So it seems like it must be time for a random post to touch on a few things I keep forgetting about. A sort of collage of various things, but none as beautiful as the winter collage above, by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
. If you have never visited Abby's site, you must. So much Scripture and encouragement, not to mention beautiful free graphics. Head on over ... you won't be disappointed!
So let's see, what did I want to talk about? Just the minutiae of daily life, I guess. I like to read that sort of post when others write it, so I assume my readers like this sort of thing too.
Let's start with reading.
I was a voracious reader in my younger years, but in the past 20 years or so I read mostly to fall asleep. And I read very little fiction, as I've found that disturbing scenes from books tend to linger in my mind forever. I have to be a better steward of my mind than that, so I am a very selective fiction reader and a frequent reader of nonfiction. As I mentioned in some of my New Year posts, I want to keep better track this year of the books that I read. As I thought about how to do this, I decided that each month I would just jot down the books completed that month of the back of my "Best of My Days" calendar cards which I keep on my nightstand.
This has been working out really well. Here's the list of books I completed in January (some were started in December or even earlier; January is just when I finished reading them).
Shepherds Abiding, by Jan Karon
Esther's Gift, by Jan Karon
The Quiet Little Woman, by Louisa May Alcott
A Fine Romance, by Susan Branch
Homemade Hospitality, by Barbara Sims
The last two fall into the category of books I've only dipped into before. I finally read them through and Homemade Hospitality
is headed to the thrift store. It's an interesting read, but not something I'd be likely to read more than once. I'm trying to read books that interest me but that I may not care to keep, so I can declutter them as I go. (Other books I can decide about without finishing them! I've thrown away many in that category, but I have many more to go.)
As mentioned in a previous post, I'm currently reading The Fringe Hours
, by Jessica Turner. I'm working through it slowly and answering the questions as I go. Hoping to blog my way through it, but time will tell.
On my nightstand currently is My Neck of the Woods
, by Louise Dickinson Rich, recently rediscovered at my childhood home. (This copy was my brother's.) I've read it before, but it's been decades, and this is probably one of those I'll keep.
Then there is crafting
|Photo snagged from Thriftbooks.com|
. I also have very little time to craft, but am trying to squeeze it into my days for the mental health and stress relief benefits. I always have a crocheted hot mat going; it's a great portable project. For those interested in seeing more of these and getting the link for the pattern, you can find it here: crocheted scalloped hot mats
I'm also working on a UFO crochet project: a gift, so I won't be sharing a photo. And last weekend I sewed a very simple small table topper from some pretty winter fabric. It felt good to sew even for a few minutes. I have another simple sewing project in mind and several more UFOs to finish. There are many cross-stitch projects I'd enjoy working on, too, but I'd like to knock out those UFOs first if I can.
Some are no doubt wondering how the decluttering is going
. It's slow, very slow, here at our home, since we are very busy cleaning out my childhood home. I did, however, throw out a huge stack of catalogs. I have a cabinet where I keep them, so they are out of sight, but usually I go through it seasonally and toss the out-of-date ones. I did a little of that before Christmas but not much. There were catalogs from summer, fall, and
Christmas in there. I believe I threw away 55 catalogs or so. I've taken a box of unwanted items to the thrift store, too, and started filling the box again.
Others may be wondering if Mr.T is keeping his promise to help with housework. Indeed he is. So far, in addition to the vacuuming and dishes he has always helped with, he's scrubbed the tub and shower, dusted the bedroom (no small task!), changed the sheets, and much more.
Wondering how things are going with the house we're cleaning out? Pretty good. We've found a home for some of the furniture and lots of the kitchen things. We've taken hundreds of books to the thrift store and book drop. Box after box of household items and bag after bag of clothing have left too. We are hoping we can finish up this task in a couple of months, but really you can't imagine the magnitude of it. Attic, cellar, house, outbuildings -- all of them crammed with the belongings of several lifetimes.
What have I been cooking these days?
In winter we eat lots of soups. Just about any kind of soup is a favorite with us. You can click the "soups" label in the label cloud to see many of our favorite recipes. Usually I'll serve some sort of bread on the side with a soup -- crackers, cornbread, breadsticks, biscuits, etc. We had lunch guests on Sunday and I made a version of Italian Wedding Soup in the crockpot. I served it with cornbread and baked an apple crisp to have with ice cream for dessert.
What's my quiet time looking like so far this year?
I have so many options for Bible reading and study, but so far I'm keeping it pretty simple. There are several studies I want to do, but for January and February I have been doing the Scripture writing from Heidi St. John and just meditating on journaling the verses a bit. Hopefully in March I can squeeze in time to begin an actual Bible study, but I do know that what I am doing contributes every bit as much to my spiritual growth. I'm still struggling to fit my prayer time into a reasonable time frame. I tend to take a lot
of time praying.
Of course we had to take some time to vote Tuesday in New Hampshire's famed first-in-the-nation presidential primary. They handed out "I Voted" stickers and I stuck mine temporarily to my wallet. So thankful for the privilege of voting!
Our town's voting place is the elementary school, and the 8th grade was having a bake sale (complete with locally roasted coffee!). Mr. T and I ran into neighbors we seldom see as we left the gym, and they were heading to the bake sale down the hall, so we went there too. He and I each got a "brookie" -- a brownie-cookie cross that was baked in a muffin tin. Scrumptious!
Guess that's probably enough randomness for now. I'll get back to putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward ... just like Mr. T's snowshoes do.