Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook - August 10, 2017

For Today...

Looking out my's overcast...perhaps another rainstorm is coming.

I am thinking...about my Mom. On August 15th, it will be two years since she died.

Mom with Jordan (nephew), Olivia, and Sophia.
(Taken on May 28, 2015.)

Two years ago today would have been the last time I saw her. We went to Fare for All to get some food and we were going to go grocery shopping to get items that her PCAs had suggested she get. She was angry about having to get items on the list because she was getting concerned about how much her medical care was costing.

Mom, Sophia, and Olivia at a church festival.
My mom loved attending festivals; and having a delicious meal.
(Taken on August 10, 2014.)

We ended up going back to her home and she suggested we have lunch together. I'm glad that we did. It ended up being a very nice lunch - both Sophia and Olivia were there - so they were, as well, able to see her the week that she died. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture that day. (The last photo I have of my Mom was taken on May 28th.)

Interestingly, all her grandchildren and children saw her that week. That was highly unusual that she would have seen all of us in one week. We were all so grateful that we had that opportunity to see her.

I am thankful...for a free session on the Pilates Reformer. It was to give me a demonstration about how it worked and see if it might be a good fit for what I'm needing and looking for in a workout. It definitely is!

I used a Pilates Reformer similar to this one.

It worked muscles that aren't normally worked, it was low-impact (good for degenerative disk disease in my lower spine and arthritis in my knees), and reminded me of when I used to dance (ballet and pointe lessons).

One of my favorite evenings and mornings which means I can keep my windows open at night now.

I am creating...I just finished a mug rug for the county fair. It is embroidered and made from wool felt. It ended up not being judged because apparently all mug rugs are sewn on the machine...or at least the ones that they wanted to judge. Nonetheless, it was from a pattern that I have had for many years. Finally got around to making it.

Also made a window star. It's a combination of three different window star patterns. Enjoyed making it and trying something new. It took 400 folds to make the window star.

I am wearing...khaki shorts and a black cardigan. It has become my "go to" outfit during the summer. It's been easier wearing the same outfit and not have to think about what to wear. I can focus on other things.

I am reading...curricula and getting the girls' homeschool classes set up. I'm done with Sophia's classes and am working on Olivia's now.

This is a very different year because both the girls are in high school - Olivia is in 9th grade and Sophia in 11th grade. The girls are getting a head start on some of their classes as a way to lighten their academic load during the year. With Sophia taking two PSEO courses, she'll be spending quite a bit of time on them.

I am hoping...that the impact of resigning from being the 4-H leader for the club I started and led for three years was the right one for the girls. I need to be able to focus more of my time in supporting them with their courses. I can't do that if I'm trying to do programming and run a club. It just took too much time away from homeschooling.

Sophia giving a demonstration about how to make donuts
at a 4-H meeting.
(March 2017.)

Yet, it did provide a wealth of experiences for them in such a variety of project areas, skill development, and leadership opportunities. I'm grateful for the three years they were able to fully experience 4-H.

I am learning...that I need to take care of myself better than what I have been doing over the past five years. A lot of grief and loss issues that definitely have affected me - not only the loss of both my parents, but the loss of some friendships...or at least what I thought were friendships.

In my kitchen...Sophia made blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries this morning. She also made lemon bread with fresh lemons. What a difference fresh fruit can make in baked goods (versus frozen fruit and lemon juice in a jar).

In the school room...I'm looking forward to this year because it is the first year - in many years - that I won't have the distraction of leading a 4-H club or I'm not caregiving for my parents.

The last time I was truly focused on homeschooling without a lot of obligations was probably in 2008.

Sophia making a book.
She's adding a piece of straw to the page about scarecrows.
(Taken on October 19, 2007.)

Olivia stopping on a nature walk to do some nature journaling.
(Taken on September 7, 2007.)

Wow...I didn't realize it was that long ago. Almost nine years. Sophia would have been almost 8 years old and Olivia would have been almost 6 years old.

My Dad just came back from an 11-day stay at a hospital.
Sophia was feeding him since he was having trouble feeding himself.
(Taken on November 4, 2011.)

Those nine years were filled - perhaps overfilled - with activities and life experiences.

A break from the day to read some of the books that came from Sonlight.
(Taken on April 22, 2010.)

It will be interesting to see how these next few years - two years of high school for Sophia and four years of high school for Olivia - will unfold.

In my garden...there's some vegetables and herbs that the rabbits haven't eaten! After losing all the onions, carrots, beets, cucumbers, and radishes to rabbits, we finally have some food to harvest.

It's not a lot compared to past years. However, it's flavorful!

Board room...on my Organization and Simplicity Pinterest board, I have a pin for a Konmari checklist. With less on my plate with overseeing a club, I'll have more time to focus on creating a more organized home. I've heard many good things about getting rid of things that no longer "spark joy" in one's life using this method. The list has a step-by-step checklist of the things to go through and simplify in the order recommended by Konmari method.

Shared Quote

A moment from my day...we were at a capital campaign luncheon today and a couple of people at our table asked Sophia and Olivia about projects they were working on and if they were competing at the State Fair this year.

Olivia will be going in Video/Filmmaking for a video she made about how she envisions a better world. She focused on a local humane society; and hopes that one day all animals will be in loving homes. This is the video she made that she will be competing in at the State Fair; and that will be shown throughout the Fair in the 4-H Building: A Better World for Animals.

Sophia playing the harp for a cat waiting to be adopted.
(Taken on April 8, 2016.)

Sophia will be competing in the Computers project - about how she created a website for her new CD of harp music. She used SquareSpace as a platform and chose one of the templates. From there, she completely changed the look - from the photos, typeface, and content. It truly became her own website which was fun to see develop.

This is Sophia's CD of harp music.
Her website is at

Closing Notes....thank you for coming by and visiting.


Smily said...

Totally agree about the windows open! I also like it so much!
And unfortunately, I know what you mean talking about the lost friendship. Sometimes it can hurt a lot, and we need time to recover.
Take care of yourself!

Rita said...

Oh, so much in this post. I think not running a 4-H group will free up a lot of time for you. Great idea.
Loved the video for the humane society and of the harp music!!
Nice to have it cool at night so you can have the windows open--yes!!
Have a great weekend. :)