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Life in Progress: I went for a walk early this morning at my favorite trail. It's a good day!

Not a current photo, but a favorite photo.

The Garden: I've posted quite a few photos of the harvest waiting on my counter. The garden is doing pretty well, even though the zucchini and summer squash were obliterated by squash borers. The cucumber are also dying and I'm guessing it's the same pests causing the problem.

This has provided a valuable lesson to me though; I don't really want to grow either of those in our garden. We can't keep up with the cucumbers that did survive, if it was thriving we would literally be buried in a heap of cucumbers that we won't use. I'm not interested in canning pickles to be honest. We use sweet relish for tuna salad and dill pickles occasionally for hamburgers. I don't need 52 jars of home-canned pickles. And my friend might disown me if she knew I even thought about sharing some with her. LOL

Zucchini would be a similar problem. I don't want to freeze it in hopes that I'd be baking lots of zucchini bread, because, to be honest, we all prefer banana bread. I prefer the smaller zucchini for grilling, sautéing, or occasionally frying. I'd rather have bacon in my freezer.

The Hospitable Heart: I have been so lax in sharing meals with other families. I've had plenty of opportunities and very little time to follow through. We did enjoy a one-night stay with my brother and his wife. So glad they were able to come down and spend a little time with Mom. Hoping the doors are opening to more opportunities.

The Eclectic Cook: I finally found a solution for the cookbook blog! I had been wrestling with it for a long time and finally made a decision that helped me make a lot of progress. Click here and tell me what you think!

I hope to get into the deep freeze today and organize so I know better what we still need to stock up on. I also want to pull the individual items and put together the meal kits so they will be at the ready to prepare or share.

I pulled a couple of Taste of Home magazines off the shelf yesterday and told John I'd like to flip through them to see if there are recipes we'd like to revisit or new ones to try. He agreed.

On a side note: This week I heard someone claim that cooking has been "romanticized", and I agree it has been to a large degree. But I think there is a good reason for that - food is for physical sustenance - but shared meals provide so much more. When the one who prepares the meal does so with the care and consideration for the one(s) who will partake, it sustains more than the body - it nourishes the spirit and mind, as well as relationships.

The Writing Life: I am choosing to persevere! I'm suiting up and showing up. I moved the computer to the main floor (again...) and am taking advantage of the margin in my day to write, write, write. My morning walks will make a difference, I know they will. Also, I've been waking up at 4:30 again without the alarm clock and I think that is my mind telling me to get back to it - the writing that is.

My son asked if we were still having Mastermind meetups. That got me to thinking... I'm ready to resume and I need to think about this more.

Sew Simple: I've been thinking about sewing, that's about it for now. I have projects that are on the shelf waiting for me and I think the time is drawing closer to when I'll be ready to pull them off the shelf. I have a block of the month kit that I can't wait to get to - my sister-in-law coincidentally purchased the same kit. She has four blocks done, so I need to get started if we want to do it together.

I'm revisiting the casserole covers also.

The quilting machine is lonely, and there is a quilt with John's name on it waiting to be quilted :-)

The Lovely Little Shop: Nothing new other than I've been considering pulling the Bunco Kits out and listing them, along with several other projects I never got around to including before. Rachel did make these simple soaps. They are pretty and make my hands so soft!

Ideas about what I'd like to list in the shop:

Bunco Kits

Traveling Pan Casserole Kits

Baby quilts

Lap quilts


Corn Hole boards


Just to name a few...

Life Support ~ Emotional Sobriety: Stinkin'-Thinkin' is a real problem for most of us. I've recognized it in a blaring light this past week or two. I anticipate a separate post about this topic later this week.

Oikos ~ Family: I can't believe summer vacation is nearly over for school-aged children. It makes me sad, although I'm guessing that's easy for me to do since I don't have any school-aged children in my care :-) The summer has flown right past us and we haven't taken a minute to spend any time together. I know it's all due to circumstances that I don't control, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating and disappointing. I am working on some possibilities as I tiptoe out of the above mentioned 'stinkin-thinkin'. I have to remind myself our circumstances don't need to be perfect to just gather our family. We just need to say, "yes".

I worked on backing up photos this past week and that brought so many smiles and warm memories to mind. We haven't always been so disjointed in our gathering. Families are growing, challenges arise, we're all working to keep our heads above water, and it's easy to forget that we have to be intentional about nurturing our friendships. More to come...

Micro-Traditions: Those memories mentioned above are flooding back and I realize that all the things we used to do that I stopped doing because it was messy and exhausting - those were the very things that made life together so good. So, bring on the mess and chaos because no matter how exhausting it is I'm ready to re-engage with our micro-traditions!!

Caregiving: I think I've turned a corner. I surrendered all the fears and am just going to trust that God has it all. I don't have to worry about all of the things I've been afraid of happening. God knows and wants what is best for his children, because he is a good, good father. I'm going to trust him, especially with this area of our lives.

Home Management: The work I've been doing around here is making a difference. There is less stuff to deal with, cleaning up is so much easier, accessing things I need is so much easier, and that makes life easier. There are still a lot of projects that we intend to get to like painting and replacing some things, new flooring, repairs, etc. All in good time.

Encouragement for the week ahead: Cultivate the life you want - plant the seeds for what you want to grow. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Who doesn't want more of these in their life?

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