Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thoughts on Thursday

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.
Photo snagged from
Then there is crafting.  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.


  1. Thank you for always pointing me to Him.

    1. Maureen, thank you for your sweet comment. I think it may be the most meaningful one I have ever received -- and I've received many truly wonderful comments over the years. Yours just captured my entire purpose for blogging in just a few words. Thanks again.

  2. Indeed these are the posts that I like to read too which means I need to do one as well. Maybe this weekend:) It has been a busy February with other things.
    I too am very leary about what I read in fiction these days. Very little really garners my attention or fits my idea of a good clean book. Every now and then one comes along. I rarely mention books I read because I feel most probably won't care for them. I read two in December that were new releases...non fiction that were so good and really changed my focus this year in a REALLY good way.
    I am stitching when I have time and stitching from things I have OR things I really want and know I have a place to put them. Wow, with so much out there it can get out of control. I decided even IF I could afford it that it just was nuts to keep on. I have shut my eyes and I have to tell you it is wonderful and when I do have a chance to pull that needle and floss out it is so good.
    I know how challenging cleaning out a home can me. I have done it once with Jeff's parents and helped Mom downsize to move here. I think that is why I just really decided it was time to do things differently. I will say it is a process to declutter one's own home and after 5 years I finally feel good about it. It only took 5 years! I am thinking long and hard about any new purchase. I have an overflow and most Americans do. Just trying to enjoy the family. I am glad your hubby retired and is there to help. I am sure it is a wee bit of an adjustment but good too!
    Enjoyed the post. Send me a bowl of soup. I could eat soup every night. Hubby - not so much:(

    1. Thanks, Sandy, for all of the encouragement. I was really glad to read all of the thoughts you shared.

      It's really astounding -- I thought cross stitch was popular back when I first starting stitching, but it sure has made a resurgence and become such a big thing with all of the YouTube videos and channels, all the special flosses and fabrics. I find it a little overwhelming, but I don't need to get caught up in that unless I choose to. I have so many kits and designs in my stash that I can stitch for a lifetime without buying very much at all. I do love the mockingbird you stitched -- now that was an older chart, right?

      The decluttering at home and cleaning out at my dad's home -- both are such a process! I really would like to get a storage unit short term to put all of the things I'm trying to sell, but maybe it's not necessary. Just feeling my way along here.

      It's funny but I think that many husbands don't consider soup a full meal. We sure do. That's how I grew up -- and my hubby loves soup, which helps a lot!

  3. Love the snowshoe video. What a nice walk in the woods. Speaking of woods, when you mentioned that book "My Neck of the Woods", something seemed familiar about it, and then I realized that I had read another book by the same author, "We Took to the Woods". It was fascinating. I love stories from Maine and New Hampshire real people from the woods and mountains. Have you ever read "Life by the Tracks" by Virginia C. Downs, about the family that lived in the Mount Willard area in Crawford Notch? That is interesting, and an interesting place to visit on the Conway Scenic Railway through Crawford Notch.. Wow, I'd love to watch as you go through your old family home. That must be fascinating, going through so many decades of family memories. It's good that you have the time to take your time and do it right so that you don't throw something important away! We love soups and stews in the fall and winter. Yes, even here in Florida they taste mighty good. I will have to check out your recipes. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day tomorrow.

    1. Thanks, Pamela! Yes, I love books by Louise Dickinson Rich. She wrote quite a few about her life in Maine and I believe she also wrote about growing up in Massachusetts.

      I have not read "Life by the Tracks" and ought to see if I can find a copy at the library. It sounds good.

      We've been on the Conway Scenic Railroad a number of times but have not taken the Crawford Notch trip. We really need to!

      I have often thought about all of the paper treasures I've sold in my Etsy shop. Yes, it takes time to scan and list them, but quite a bit of money has been made by salvaging things some would have thrown in a dumpster. And someone else gets to own and appreciate a vintage treasure! Going through it all is indeed fascinating, but SO MUCH work.

      Hope you had a nice Valentine's as well and that maybe you have found a new soup recipe or two that you'd like to try.

  4. Sounds like things are moving right along at your house Mrs T. I know that once you get your childhood home sorted you will have more time for crafting and reading. Marvin keeps the upstairs tidy and I keep the downstairs neat...that works for us. He also mops the kitchen floor for me. But I have seen a cordless Mop that I might invest in as it would make it easier on both of our backs. And it is cheaper than a housekeeper.:)

    1. I like your upstairs and downstairs division of labor, Arlene! That sounds like something that might work for us once all of the decluttering is done.

      We are using an inexpensive spray mop (think it was $15) and we really like the way it works.

  5. Thank you for an interesting post and giving me suggestions for reading and crocheting. I love to read, crochet and quilt but think I might like to learn to cross stitch. Do you have any advice on where to start? A good instruction book? 💖

  6. You are welcome, Susan! I am glad you enjoyed the post. As far as where to start with cross stitch, I think the best way might be to go to your local Jo-Ann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or even Walmart and find a small cross stitch kit -- something on 14 count Aida cloth with all of the floss included. Make sure it is a small kit. Maybe even a Christmas ornament. You don't want to get overwhelmed. Usually the instructions in small kits assume that one is a beginner and they are pretty clearly written. From there, if you find that you enjoy counted cross stitch, you can branch out to something larger or more difficult.


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