Saturday, October 30, 2010

Typical Week

I received a phone call from one of my kids the other day.  When I asked what he had been doing, he replied that he had gone to work, come home, slept, gone to work.........  I replied that his life was just as exciting as mine.  I hadn't done much either.

And then this morning I started thinking about my week.  It was typical of most of my weeks.  It wasn't Woo Hoo exciting.  That's OK with me.  Let others live with Woo Hoo exciting.  That usually includes drama and stress, both of which I am quite happy to live without.  But to say that I hadn't done much was not exactly true.

I go for walks.  Every day unless the weather is really ugly.  Jessie usually goes with me.  We walk in my neighborhood.  We walk in the park.  We walk down along the river.  We see all sorts of interesting things and people.  Jessie likes the people.  She thinks each one should pay attention to her.  Sometimes they do and sometimes not.  But when they do, we have interesting conversations, like the one with the guy we met in the park who has a beautiful white Great Dane.  The Great Dane is totally deaf.  It was amazing to watch how she kept an eye on her owner who has taught her hand signals, and how she responds to those signals like most dogs respond to voice commands.  Even with her disability, she is one really happy dog.

I did a couple of loads of laundry.  For most people, doing laundry involves throwing clothes into their washer and then into their dryer.  For me, it means hauling clothes down the stairs from the second floor down to the first floor, outside around the building, and down the stairs to the basement.  Then back up the basement stairs, outside to the door to the apartments, and up the stairs to the second floor.  Then I do that a couple more times.  For fourteen years I have been trying to get my landlord to put in an elevator.  He just laughs at me.  I don't know why.  So when I can't put off doing laundry any longer, I do the stair thing, grumbling under my breath the whole time.  But in reality, I know that this is good exercise for me.  Chances are really good that climbing the stairs won't kill me off.  I am still in relatively decent shape for the shape I'm in.  And when I see some of the older folks riding their scooters around town, I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to climb stairs at all.  But I still grumble.

I had a day of baking.  I had made up a batch of brownie mix and wanted to test it to see if it was worth making more later.  It is worth it.  They turned out really well, so I won't be buying any more brownie mixes at the store.  I can make my own.  I also tried a new recipe for oatmeal cookies.  After a taste to make sure they were good, they went into the freezer.  Then it was on to the bread.  I can't remember the last time I bought bread at the store.  I have a recipe for "Grandmother Bread" that is really good.  It is a recipe that doesn't need milk or eggs, and I can make it even if I am out of those ingredients.  So two loaves of white bread went into the freezer.  I also tried a recipe for wheat bread with herbs.  That is a basic wheat bread and I added some Italian herbs to it.  It is to die for.  I kept out part of a loaf for my supper, and into the freezer the rest went.  So did two pans of cinnamon rolls.  I package each individual roll in a baggie, so I can have a cinnamon roll for breakfast any time I want.  Heaven.

The last time I went grocery shopping, I bought a big bag of onions.  So one day this past week I dug out my dehydrator and dried a load of onions.  It is easy to do.  I just peel and slice the onions about a quarter of an inch thick and fill the dehydrator trays, plug the dehydrator in and forget about it until the onions are crispy.  I used the dried onions to make a batch of dry onion soup mix.  I have a small beef roast in the freezer, and tomorrow I will put it in the crock pot, topped with the homemade onion soup mix.  I just love testing these homemade alternatives to store bought.  I haven't been disappointed in the results as yet.

I started another blog this past week.  This one is for the Matheny-Olmstead side of my family.  It is listed in the side bar.  I had a request for photos and information recently, and thought this was the best solution, rather than emailing.  I made the mistake of complaining to David when he called me a couple of days ago, that blogging took so much time.  He wanted to know what I was complaining about.....I have all the time in the world.  He is right.  I do.  And I like it.

The dogs were getting low on food, so another day I made dog food.  I usually use hamburger, but didn't want to take a bus ride to the store just for meat, so I opened a couple of jars of home canned chicken, added a jar of carrots from the pantry, some frozen, cooked green beans and some rice cooked in home canned chicken broth.  Stirred it all up, bagged in zip bags and froze it.  It really worked slick to have the meat, broth and carrots all canned so I didn't have to spend the better part of the day cooking.  I just found a blog with a video on canning hamburger, and I may do that next week.  I really liked being able to grab jars from my pantry.  Makes the job so much easier.

Which left plenty of time for this.

These little hexagon flowers are addicting.  I now have enough of the colored flowers for a quilt top and am putting the light colored borders around each of them.  Today I will raid my fabric stash for green fabric to use to connect each of the flowers.  This quilt top is going together much faster than I thought it would.  I listen to audio books while I sew.  I found a website where I can download audio books, and although they are not the latest novels to come out, and they are old enough to be in the public domain, they are still fun to listen to.  This week I have heard a couple of Sherlock Holmes books, one that was a comedy and another mystery set in the 1920's.

So I guess that to say that I hadn't done much this past week wasn't entirely accurate.  My life may not be as exciting as the lives of those who are busy with their jobs, busy with outside activities, involved in stress and drama, but it isn't just vegging in front of a TV, either.  In fact, it is just the way I had hoped for many years that it would be.  And I like it this way.

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