Last August I decided to stop writing these Simple Living This Week posts. I had been doing them for a long time (for me). It was taking time to source the artwork. With Caroline starting high school and such, I was feeling the need to reduce what was on my plate.
I decided last week I wanted to start writing these again. In the interim, I’ve found more sources for artwork which helps. It was also interesting to go back through the previous weekly posts. In some ways, these are the most “bloggy” posts I write now, something I wish I had kept up all through the past seventeen years of blogging. Oh well. I can’t go back, but I can go forward.
Originally this was meant to be a weekly way for you and I to share what we did in our homes that week. I invite you to leave a comment if you would like, but I’m going to write even if no one else chimes in. I hope you will, but that’s beyond my control.
So here’s what I’m working on around my home.
I have Mikasa English Countryside dishes which are pretty and go with almost any color of table linens. However, they have a cracking problem. The glaze cracks and then it creates this circular patterns in the glaze that compromises the dishes and leaves dark marks. Mikasa replaced four dinner plates for me about a year ago, but now I have more of them cracking. I’ve read in various places this is a known problem. I’m not going to buy more of them and I really don’t want to buy all new dishes right now.
So for now I think I’m going to pull out the china I inherited from my paternal grandmother (Petite Bouquet). I’ve had it for many years and it’s mostly been packed away all that time because I have minimal daily storage space in my kitchen and none in my dining “room” area. I believe I have 10-12 place settings so my plan is to pull out a bunch to use, but keep back 2 (or 4) complete place settings.
I know once we start using them, they will chip and get worn. I looked them up on the Replacements website and they aren’t expensive china so it makes sense to use them and enjoy them rather than buying something else.
The downside is they are much more limited in what I can use them with in terms of linens. But for now we’ll use them and enjoy them. Eventually I hope to purchase something else that will work with all my various linens, but this is a good solution for now.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.
We decided to try growing russet potatoes in buckets this year. We had an elevated square foot garden many years ago, but haven’t done much vegetable growing since then other than cucumbers on the deck. The weather this spring has been cold, cloudy, and rainy. I hope our first batch we planted is okay. We should see sprouts in about another week so then we’ll know. We’re also going to do bush beans and bush cucumbers when it is warm enough to plant them.
This has been a really slow spring to arrive. Usually our leaves are out by Mother’s Day weekend and we look to be weeks behind. There has been a noticeable change in our weather patterns the past three years in terms of the lengths of spring and autumn, but this is by far the most pronounced we’ve experienced. (Grand Solar Minimum, anyone?)
I had David bring up the off-season clothes bins from the basement two days ago to switch out our winter and summer clothes. Yes, it is May and I am just now doing this. Last week I was still wearing winter clothes because it was still in the 40s outside. I’ve never switched out our clothes this late, especially in May. Hopefully I can get that task taken care of this weekend. I wash everything when I pack it away, but I also wash it when I get it out again. I like everything to smell fresh so I take the extra step.
I have many other things on my to do list, but seem to be slow to get to them. I’ve been suffering from decision fatigue for several weeks (at least). Anything that requires much of a decision keeps getting put off. I need to tackle at least a few of them today as some of them are actually quite important. I keep reminding myself that these are difficult times we’re we’re living through and it’s normal to be mentally weary. In the meantime, I keep doing what I can and making wise choices as best as I can.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without.
What are you doing around your home right now?
Artist: Hermann Seeger
I work full time outside of the home however am very much the homemaker. We have planted a very large garden and purchased several blackberry and blueberry bushes as well as fruit trees. My husband has built several shelves to increase our food storage and I have been purchasing more canned vegetables when they are on sale. My focus at this time is expanding our food pantry due to inflation and possible food shortages. I am not living in fear but more of an awareness of the times we live in. God bless you Sallie.
My potatoes in a bucket met the dreaded late frost which ruined their leafing out but left the starts undamaged. I moved them into the garden proper. We put in drip irrigation in the garden. To provide more consistent watering. Waiting for final late frost to direct plant.
We have chickens and they are unhappy with new garden fencing 😉
I also just changed out winter clothes for summer. I don’t wash before storing but after storage.
Putting up bird feeders and generally getting ready for summer.
Hi Sallie, We are in the process of changing the curtains. They must be washed and ironed before we can put them up. Joan does the ironing. Marilyn cut the grass last week and Marion swept up. We have gladiola bulbs, Lilly Of The Valley seeds, Marigold seeds and a few other flower seeds to plant. We purchased Pansies and Geraniums. They are thriving and so bursting with color. We like to change the dinnerware according to the season or time of the year. We only use a few pieces of the sets. Wishing you a Blessed Mother’s Day. God Bless.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
Joan,Marion and Marilyn
I’ve been sorting out things from the last move, or two, or three, despite the toddler skipping some naps, and a stomach flu circulating through the family.
Hi Sallie, So glad that you are writing your newsy letters again. I love to hear from you and each person who replies. I also have decision-making frustration. But, yesterday after berating myself, I sat down and listed some of the tasks I have accomplished and realized I was making some headway. I am constantly organizing and reorganizing my pantry and have added shelves in the laundry room to store more comestibles. I am an inexperienced gardener but hope to plant tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and radishes as well as lettuce. I stay in a constant state of worry about what to do and when to do it. The Lord reminds me that He has not given us a spirit of fear, so I lean on Him at every turn. Keep sharing. I look forward to your correspondence daily.
We are still settling into our new home in our new state. Getting all the doctors transferred over to new doctors for my parents has been a full time job for the last couple months. Each new doctor wants a visit, wants to do all new testing, then follow-up visits and whatever procedures they deem necessary. We have not had a weekday without at least 1 appointment for someone since recovering from COVID in January! 🙂
I have decided to put in a garden this year. I have had small patches with a couple tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini plants before in our previous home. This new house has lots of yard, so my garden plan has expanded considerably! I have built 5 raised beds, 1 potato crate, and quite a few raised rows. I started some seeds this spring and have had pretty good success, so I hope that continues once I get them transplanted. So far, I have planted 75 strawberry plants, 8 asparagus crowns, and a dozen potatoes. The strawberries and asparagus won’t produce this year, but I love them both, so I look forward to the future! 🙂 I’ve got seed starts for cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, basil, and lettuce. The tomato plants, and some more herbs will arrive soon. This week I had 5 yards of dirt/compost mix delivered to our driveway, so E and I have been carting it back to the garden area by the wheelbarrow full. I am not a natural born gardener, so I hope to have some success just because of the quantities of plants I have planted. LOL There has already been much blood, sweat, and pennies invested, so hopefully something will actually grow!
We continue to take our time with school. E is still not interested in graduating, but I think I am going to have to push the chick out of the school “nest” here soon. 🙂 She has been walking the dog and exploring our new small town, and has been mentioning places she might like to work, so that’s a good step in the right direction. I continue to trust that God has a terrific plan for her life and am just waiting patiently to see what that may be. Because my husband works at the university, she can take undergrad classes there at no charge, so it would be foolish to not take advantage of that opportunity. She gets nervous and overwhelmed at the thought, but maybe if we start out with some classes like art where she would have some success off the bat, she would warm up to the idea. She is still very resistant to the idea of learning to drive. 😉
I continue to enjoy all your posts and your Telegram feeds, but rarely have time to sit down and write a comment. Please know that it’s not because I’m not interested! 🙂 I pray for you and your family often.
We had a strange spring, as in there was no spring weather really and then suddenly it was summer weather.