The Mistress of the House:
As with the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise, so it is with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportions she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path.
~Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management
In my home this week, we are all starting to settle in. Katie hasn't started her new job yet but should begin this week. She took Caleb to the nursery on Friday. She said he ran right into the room the moment he saw all the other children and started to play. I asked him this morning if he'd enjoyed his day and he said, "Uh huh!" smiling hugely.
I sort of muddled through last week but this week I begin with a plan. After all a new month begins this week and there are things to do. I've gone over the budget sheets and altered some figures, decreasing grocery amount, increasingly gasoline and determining exactly what we shall do with our money. I feel I've drifted all through January and February and now I want to set my sights on what I can alter. I may not want to look at my bank account every single day, but I think I'm going to look at that budget sheet everyday as part of my determination to get the best use of our funds.
We've had a lovely Shabat day at home. Quiet? Well, no. But lovely just the same. I woke very early this morning and was treated to sunrise with my coffee and book. So beautiful!
Katie has been using our car (she buys gasoline) to go pick up Taylor on her weekends, because ours gets much higher miles per gallon than hers. Gasoline here is getting higher and higher. That's when I first saw Caleb today.
Katie brought us lunch and we ate with her and the children, so we had a nice visit with Taylor and Caleb.
They'd been gone about an hour when Bess texted me about making yogurt in her new Instapot. She and Millie came over to bring me the remainder of the tub of yogurt and we had a nice visit with them as well. Millie always pretends she's worried about being left here but John makes faces at her and acts silly until she tilts her head and says "Daddy!" and smiles at him so that her dimples show. Then she begins to play. Today she sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for us.
My mind is all over the place at present. Finances, projects, household needs, personal requirements, travel, home decor, gardening, my wardrobe and appearance, how and when I do my shopping, etc., etc. My thoughts are scattered at the moment because I haven't stopped to focus on just one area but this week, I'm getting focused.
Keep Millie. Bess as an outpatient procedure sometime on Thursday and I'll keep Millie and possibly be picking up the boys that day. No other plans made for that day except for meals. They won't give Bess a time until the day before, so all of us are up in the air waiting. Such is the nature of the current season we're all living in.
Re-establish household routines. Daily tasks, weekly tasks, Zone areas. It's all coming back this month/week. I've altered this over the last few months in many ways and will need to see it on paper to insure I'm touching all my bases. But I'll start this week with a Monday and Shabat Eve housekeeping and concentrate on zone 1...But I haven't yet determined what zone 1 shall be, so there's that to work out and then execute.
Create a daily schedule. I won't live every day by a schedule, but I certainly can make better use of my day and time if I have one for those days when I know I'll be at home and child-free.
Weed the flower bed at the corner of the back porch/patio.
Pot the rooted plants on the kitchen windowsill.
Start prepping my proposed garden spot. I should have thought of this sooner, but this week I will form a doable plan and what steps must be taken to achieve my goal. I want to measure my space and determine what I'll need.
Run errands. Purchase six bags of mulch for the town house. Make thrift store donations while I am in that area. Visit Mama. No reason I can't do all those things in the same day.
One of the areas I want to focus hard upon this week are ways I can step up in the kitchen once more to create added savings. This article at MyRecipes helped me get my thinking cap working. I've been reminding myself all week long of several more things I can do or have done in the past and I'm inspired to keep right on thinking. I'll be using my own blog to remind me of what I've forgotten.
I haven't made bagels while Caleb was here because the idea of boiling water and hot ovens combined made me nervous. It was bad enough just trying to get bread baked each week. Bagels aren't hard to make but they are more involved. I'd like to make bagels. I paid $2.99 for 4 plain bagels at the grocery bakery. I am sure I can make my batch for under a dollar and have 10, even with the higher priced flour I've bought.
Make Yogurt. Bess and I both wanted to make yogurt this week and she bought a huge tub of plain yogurt for starter. I'll use what I need and told her I'd freeze batches of the bought yogurt for us both. I also want to research using dry yogurt cultures, what they cost and how to use them. This may be something I will add to my pantry for future starts, since we had such a hard time finding plain yogurt to use for starter. Bess visited four or five stores to get this tub.
I spent a lot of time building up my recipe book last year and it's now time to get busy using it, adding in the new tried and true recipes and planning meals by seasons. We're quickly heading into a warmer season here and while we'll still have cool days, we had several over 80F and I simply didn't want slow cooking, heavy meals on those warmer days. I'd like to have lists to draw from. Easily done, since if you who read my blog know, I may try new recipes often, but I'm pretty consistent in what is on my menu in each month of the year, as well.
Remember the Shoe Box Suppers? I was trying out recipes to see which we found edible (Spam with Baked Beans a winner, Taco Soup was not) and then I fell out of the habit. I want to get back to this and try more of those recipes I'd collected and see if any of those are worth keeping. I'll post the keepers in my recipe book.
Meals this week:
Gramma's Fried Chicken, Mac n Cheese (kids), Coleslaw, Potato Casserole (from leftovers)
Russian Cabbage Rolls, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls. This is one of our last cool day this week and I want to make this dish while it's cool.
Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Pear and Cranberry Salad, Green Beans (using up any leftover chicken)
Taco Pasta Skillet, Whole Kernel Corn, Salad
Beef Stir Fry, Rice, Oranges
Grilled Chicken with Fresh Tomato Sauce over Pasta, Green Salad
Set up March wardrobe.
Make a list of needs/wants for the year to be added to my wardrobe.
Reminding myself I now have time to delve into hobbies once more...I'd like to lay out a new apron for myself. I've said I'd start wearing one about the house and I really do want to get into the habit of it, but if it's not pretty, I'm not interested. I know myself. I want to feel good when I put on the apron.
Genealogy. I haven't done anything much with this in months. There's so much more research I'd like to do and I'd like to expand John's family line as much as I can. I want to return to updating my Roots and Rabbit trails blog so that others researching some of the same family members we might share can have the information and family stories I have.
While I am glad to be back to work, I don't want to forget to balance work with leisure. There's still time to have coffee with John, to watch a movie, go for a ride or read a book. There's time to play with the children when they come by and to just sit and talk.
This week I shall keep my plans focused on myself and not a date day or anything while John continues to recover.