Monday, September 29, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook, Slightly Modified...

A picture thought (above)... Well, this isn't much of a thought, but it was a fun Goodwill find! We stopped at Goodwill on Sunday afternoon, and there was this set of dishes (8 place settings and a creamer and sugar) on sale for a grand total of $14.99. It is a really cute vintage set of dishes (the photo is a disappointing representation), and I was thrilled to find something for Melissa, who will be leaving home not too far in the future.

I am wearing blue jeans, a short-sleeved t-shirt with tiny blue and white stripes, socks, a half apron (a pretty, colorful one from Anthropologie-- they have adorable aprons-- given to me as a gift by one of my children at a Christmas past).

I am reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter. Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen.

I am hearing quiet, quiet, quiet, which I love.

Learning all the time... I will sign up for Project Feeder Watch, and this year I will be forced to identify all of the birds by myself because my living field guides (Michelle and Aaron) are no longer at home. I suppose it's time to become independent of my children! :-)

I am thankful for God's grace and small daily blessings. Right now, as I sit typing, I'm enjoying, and am thankful for, lemon-chocolate chip scones and sumatra coffee and a quiet morning.

I am hoping my parents really can make it here for a visit soon.

This photo doesn't show any of the casual, comfortable ambience of the popular bakery (I didn't have the camera with me when we were there earlier that morning), but here's our group, walking along in front of it later in the day. Melissa, then Mike, then Aimee, and Josiah. Aaron was somewhere...

Eating... We went to Portland Friday to visit Aimee and Josiah. We walked to Ken's Artisan Bakery and sat inside for awhile visiting while we had coffee and pastries. I had a killer flaky almond croissant and a delicious cappucino (made with Stumptown Roasters' coffee). In the kitchen at home, last night for dinner, we had a pureed carrot-red pepper soup that I sort of made up, tweaking two Deborah Madison recipes to give me my basic idea. I added Indian spices, including just enough Indian chilly (this is how it's usually spelled-- "chilly"-- in the Indian stores) powder to give the soup a bit of heat (Indian chilly powder is much hotter than the chili powder that is most often used in America). I liked the soup.

I am creating a list of things to do in October. I already have more than fifteen things written down, and Michelle says she and the boys will join me (and Lissy, too, when she can) for part of them. These are simple things-- mostly, fall traditions that were done when the kids all lived at home-- and things I don't want to miss this year. Like making pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, enjoying the shifting night sky (moon and stars), going out to collect fall leaves, forcing bulbs for indoor winter blooms (must do right away), signing up for Project feeder watch, making my once-a-year chicken pot pie with the cream cheese crust, etc., etc.

I'm bringing beauty to my home, first with increased order and cleanliness, then with a few minor autumn touches, then with plans to make a few things (future beauty, I suppose).

Around the house... I'm working at being consistent with my entire daily housekeeping routine. If I'm mindful about it, and go at it with a happy attitude, it doesn't take long, and I actually enjoy the process and the results. Everything feels nicer to me when I the house is clean and orderly enough. And with Mike doing so much outside work recently, I am now freer and more able to maintain the inside well. Feels good!

Outdoors... Mike has worked really hard catching up on things outdoors, in the yard and in the "barn." He's made neglected areas look nice and tidy again. He had someone deliver wood to our house, and he stacked it in the barn. And he hauls loads of wood in the wheelbarrow to the back deck for me.

I am thinking about that cougar, whose "very large" tracks our neighbor, a government trapper, said he saw on his front property this past week. And I haven't forgotten, either, that he also saw "huge" bear tracks on his back property. I think I shall avoid wandering around, exploring our back acreage, for awhile. I'll stick to the road for my walks and nature time.

Aimee, trying on a cute apron at Anthropologie in Portland on Saturday. It was fun to visit Aimee and Josiah, even though the visit was far too short.

One of my favorite things... Hanging out with my family. Going to Portland and spending a very nice time with Aimee and Josiah, who always make us feel welcome and are so gracious about having us there. We had fun. We went to a new Indian restaurant Friday evening and hung out there for a long time. Then we walked to Powell's bookstore and were there until 11 p.m. We visited til late, and in the morning, we walked to the bakery, where we sat enjoying our pastries and visiting about politics (though all of us hate discussing it) because the debate was the night before, and there was an Oregonian newspaper sitting there with the debate as the front page headline (of course). Then we walked around town a bit in perfect weather and went into some stores. We were in town to take care of business, so our stay was brief, but it was fun!

A few plans for the rest of the week... To start those forced bulbs for winter blooming. To write some letters. To get very serious with my Christmas planning (I scaled way back last year on gifts, and I want to make the entire celebration even simpler and lovelier this year). To clean out my closet and evaluate my warm-weather wardrobe to see what I need. To read as much as I can. To invite Michelle and Monty over to dinner. To do fall clean-up in the garden beds.