Tag Archives: household chores

Mmmm, cake

I’ve never been a good cake baker, and now without my cuisinart (No, I’ve not bought a new one yet), I am not even attempting cakes. Pies, yes. Plan to make an apple pie later today. But this morning, I wanted cake.

Sometimes I buy a small square of cake, one for me and one for Terry, when I go to Sprouts. I ran in there today to get more probiotics to keep us healthy, but didn’t take the time to get cake. I had other stops to make.

At my last stop, which was Whole Foods, I looked at their cakes and decided on a divine lemon cake with lemon frosting. It’s made in San Francisco and shipped here, but it is quite good. A piece of cake and a cup of tea is just the ticket to get me back in the groove for more chores.

One chore for the weekend is to make a beef/cabbage soup for the Lenten soup lunch on Sunday. I bought a chuck roast at Whole Foods which I will first cook in red wine and onion soup and then shred it back into the liquid adding carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes to the mix along with brown sugar, paprika, garlic salt, and cinnamon.

But for right now, the laundry, as usual, is calling.

Around the house

Ronni Bennett’s post earlier this week about old people’s household habits made me ponder. She wrote about not getting dressed on some days, about changing her sheets (or not), and on some days not leaving the house. The comments added to the list of things older folk are not doing. Will I reach a point where these things no longer matter to me? Has the time already come? How about you, dear Reader? What does your daily existence look like?

Because I have obligations that require me to leave the house five to six days a week, the days I don’t have to go somewhere are quite lazy. I don’t put on makeup and I dress in my “around the house” clothing. These are pieces of clothing I would not wear in public but am okay with for my quiet neighborhood. In the winter it’s usually knitwear of some kind and in the summer it’s shorts and shifts.

A few of my winter pieces are getting rather ratty looking. I made the comment to Terry the other day when I pulled on a pair of knit pants that are frayed at the waistband, “I hope I don’t need emergency care when I’m wearing these pants. The EMTs will think me crazy.” Another pair of pants that I only wear at home has a rip in the inner leg. I’ve tried mending it, but since it’s in the worn fabric, and not the seam, the tear reappears. The pants are probably 30 years old, but they are so comfortable for “around the house.”

As for bedding, Ronni writes much more than I ever could. Terry takes care of our sheets and blankets. He launders them and makes the bed. He recently told me we need new sheets so that’s on my list of things to buy at Target. That’s about as far as I go with bed linen responsibility.



For what ails me

I finally got out in the backyard to do that pruning I wanted to do earlier in the week. The bug bites have calmed down and most are no longer visible. Not wanting to get any more, I used citronella oil on my top parts and OFF on my lower extremities. Terry claimed the OFF would work better, but I didn’t want that stuff near my face. The bugs stayed away so I’m guessing OFF and citronella are effective. Perhaps equally effective.

My sciatica has been acting up this week even though I continue to do the exercises that I started almost 10 years ago. I’m seldom in any kind of discomfort but earlier in the week I found I was in pain by the end of the day. What was I doing differently?

It was those bug bites! I had been lounging on the couch, with my body turned sideways, my legs and feet stretched out in front of me. Because the bites were so uncomfortable, I was not moving very much. Not a wise thing to do. The way I was sitting stretched my sciatic nerve in a most unpleasant way. By night time it was screaming.

Now I’m sitting on the couch, or a chair, as I’m supposed to, with my bottom on the seat and my feet on the floor. I also get up every few minutes to move around and do some of those household chores I’ve been neglecting.

Bug bites and sciatica. What a week. Citronella and more movement seem to be the cures for what ails me.

What to do when it rains all day

Unlike some of my dear Readers who live in rainy climes and think nothing of a 5-mile hike in a deluge, this blogger is of the fair-weather variety and only sets out on clear days unless mandated to do otherwise.

Today is a rainy Monday, and after reading during the morning, cooking a few dishes to hold us over for the week, and doing 2 loads of laundry, I would prefer to go out for a walk but the weather holds me back. So, I had to give in and do some housecleaning.

The living room furniture needed some cleaning. We have wood and leather furniture in there, so I got out these two products:

They keep the leather chairs and all the wood finishes looking good. And since the room has a large picture window, they also help keep sun damage to a minimum. The wall unit is 45 years old and the front door is 40 years old. Both look pretty good for their ages, and I give credit to Murphy as well as the orange oil I occasionally use.

Let the holiday season begin

Our kids will be arriving late tonight. Leeya and Judah both have school today unlike the local schools who take the whole week off for Thanksgiving.

I have done a bit of cooking already but still have the bulk of our vegan Thanksgiving to prepare. Chad’s parents will be here for the meal and so his mom is making a few of her signature dishes. We will have an abundance of food.

I’m serving a fall tabbouleh made with raw beets and carrots; acorn squash soup; autumn risotto made with brown rice, cranberries, apples, and pumpkin; bruschetta for my son-in-law; mashed potatoes; and stuffing muffins topped with whipped yams. I shucked 3 pomegranates this morning to juice along with cranberries and tangerines to add to sparkling cider.

Terry washed windows and mowed the front yard while I cleaned the patio. That was on Monday. Last night the wind blew and the rain poured so the patio is no longer clean, but I took a picture just to know what it can look like:

I’m hoping the rain will have blown over by tomorrow so the kids can play outside. Judah and Leeya will stay with us through Sunday. If the weather remains wet and cold, I have craft projects for them to work on indoors. We might even get out the Christmas decorations since it really is the holiday season.

Some post Christmas signs

Now that we are back in Fresno after Christmas merriment, there are chores to be done like laundry and cooking. While the laundry spun and the pot of bean soup bubbled I sat on the couch wandering around the Internet, spending time in places like Twitter and Pinterest. One of the women I follow on Pinterest collects mammoth amounts of pithy sayings. She calls the board WORDS. I thought I would share a few of these with you:


This one might help you make New Year’s resolutions if you do that kind of thing:


And this last one was very appealing after the over-indulgence of the holidays:


Hope your post Christmas time has been filled with good things.

Stranded at home

That title isn’t as bad as it sounds. Actually, it’s been kind of nice. So, why have I been stranded since last Saturday? Grandchildren and cars.

We took the grandkids to swim at their Nana’s house last Saturday. Coming back down the hill (the in-laws live in a foothill housing development about 45 miles away), my car began flashing check engine and cruise control on the instrument panel. Fortunately, or not so fortunately, depending on your view, I had this happen three years ago, coming back to Fresno from San Francisco, by myself, on a long stretch of open road. I pulled over, then, and called the mechanic who told me that I could keep driving but bring the car in the next day, which I did.

Because I knew it was not serious, but rather an emission’s control valve that was dirty and stuck open, we kept driving on home and even used the car a couple of times during the week because Terry’s 1991 Mazda was in the shop having the heater/AC fan fixed. Being so old, it takes awhile to get the parts for his car’s repairs. This time it took three days. Now that Terry has his car back, I will take mine in on Monday to be fixed.

Expensive month for us, what with these car repairs. So, I guess it’s a good thing I was stuck at home and unable to go out and spend money! The grandkids were here Sunday and Monday so I was busy taking care of them. My girlfriends picked me up and squired me around for our first day of no-school. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were spent cleaning (and making chile sauce), doing laundry, gardening. On Friday I pulled out my historical novel, Allied Arts Girls, edited, researched, and started another chapter that will detail one of the meetings in May, 1960, when the girls had a fashion show/garden party/installation dinner. I also baked a batch of cookies which I shared with my neighbor who came over to return some bandages I had loaned to her for an emergency the week before.

Would my week have looked different had there not been the car problems? Probably. I could have jumped in the car and gone any where I wanted, like to the bookstore to get a new journal, to the drug store to pick up a prescription, to Target to get items on a growing list, to Whole Foods to pick up a chicken for dinner. Terry did a couple of these things on his way home with his newly repaired and smogged car.

That’s something we have to do here in California due to our extreme air pollution. Every two years, when our car registration comes due, the cars must be smogged before we can buy the tags for the year. It’s all done through a computerized system between the smog shops and the Department of Motor Vehicles. But, I digress.

Now that Terry’s car is back, I could go out today and run some of those errands, but I don’t like going out on Saturdays as it’s always crowded with people who have only the weekends to get their errands done. I will have plenty of time next week. I’ve realized nothing has to be done immediately.

Another thing I like about staying home, I don’t put on any makeup and I dress very casually. Nor do I worry too much about my hair, but with my super short cut, I really have little to make my hair ready to go out. Tomorrow I will wash my hair, put on my makeup, dress nicely, and attend church, ending the week of being stranded at home.