Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Expectations, Reality, Focus

I looked towards the woods once this morning and saw blue sky above the trees.  When I looked again the sky had reverted to the shades of grey which have been with us for a week or more.

Snowstorms of significance are rare in south/central Kentucky. 
Unless the sun brightens the day, the landscape is subdued--quiet colors.

My carefully plotted list of things which should be done this week did not include an outing.
Still, when Jim announced on Tuesday morning that he needed to convey a truck engine to a mechanic two hours away, I packed up and went along.
It is my turn to present the lesson study at church this week and since I can read while riding, I managed to do my look-ups and make notes during our journey, needing only an hour in the evening to edit and type.
I've been working on some music--learning an accompaniment from youtube and getting the melody line written down. At some point I would like to 'play' with one of the computer programs that can create a score, transpose, etc.
So, what with music running through my head, sorting the lesson helps and being given breakfast at a decent cafe, the day was well spent.

I managed to tidy [somewhat] the kitchen counters this morning before launching into a marathon of cooking/baking for the weekend.
Tomorrow is a cleaning day.
I am more or less on track with what I need to do--but my expectations always exceed the reality of  my stamina. 
There was a time when I could multi-task fairly well.  Now I get distracted, disorganized.
I have to remind myself to focus my energies, not to waste time.

I made a large kettle of soup this morning; preparing the ingredients for a hearty soup is a calming task: beef cut in small pieces to brown with onion while carrots. potatoes and celery are diced fine, broth added, bay leaf, barley, thyme, minced garlic---the homey smell of it as the whole mixture comes to a gentle simmer.
It has been cooled and stored in the spare fridge in the garage.

I nipped out to the workshop this morning for a few minutes, ran a piece of 600 grit sandpaper over our shelves as a final smoothing.
Jim brought in his finished rustic shelf and proceeded to become exasperated while hanging it.
The Amish carpenters who built the house apparently [according to Jim] were unable to set the wall studs at a consistent 16 inches on center--which limits how things can be safely hung.
We are both pleased with the shelf.

Most of the items displayed belonged to my Grampa Mac. Jim found the vintage scribing tool [on the shelf] in Wyoming along with the cowbell and the smaller torch.  I rescued the vandalized horse weather vane from behind a garage in Vermont.  The old branding iron came from the farm we owned in Vermont--a "G" for the Goodrich family who had been there for several generations.
Jim is trying to learn more about the use of brands in early New England.

I had to push myself to make pastry after supper. Flopping into my rocking chair was a strong temptation. I had intended making pastry shells and putting them in the freezer to be brought out this weekend.  Jim suggested he peel apples for a pie to be baked immediately.
These are some of the Northern Spies brought 'home' from Vermont last month by Matt and Gina.

It has been sampled and I can attest that it is a delicious pie!
Jim's favorite molasses cookies are in the jar, a casserole is in the freezer.
The casserole presented the only hitch in my plans.
I opened two recently purchased packages of lasagna noodles [expiration date August, 2018] and discovered that the noodles were infested with horrid little bugs.

I didn't want them in the house overnight!  It was dark as a pocket outside when I rushed out holding the boxes of noodles at arm's length.  I decided I didn't need to risk colliding with one of Jim's tractors on my way to the compost heap beyond the stable, nor to trip over a wandering possum or otherwise come to grief.
I pitched the noodles over the wall, came inside to thrust the cardboard packages into the fire.
Since moving to the 'south' I've kept all my pantry staples in glass containers with screw tops or rubber seals.  Hopefully nothing on the pantry shelves was vulnerable to these creatures which came in with the groceries.
The casserole became rigatoni layered with the sauce and cheese meant for lasagna.

Not a riveting or thoughtful post tonight, merely a rambling account of my run-up to the holidays.
I have lost my 'to do' lists; how will I know if I get 'it' all done?


  1. A lovely round-up of your day. I am being held to ransom by the Time Fairy who keeps stealing hours and then there's the Sloth Fairy who steals the energy to want to do much at all, apart from sit by the fire with a good book. I need to shake both of them OFF!

    1. Jennie; I am determined to sit by the fire with a book in the days immediately following Christmas. We shall eat leftovers and be happily slothful. [I can hope!]

  2. **my expectations always exceed the reality of my stamina.
    There was a time when I could multi-task fairly well. Now I get distracted, disorganized. I have to remind myself to focus my energies, not to waste time.**

    The above is so me.

    May you and Jim and your family (human and critter) have a wonderful Christmas ~ FlowerLady

  3. Rainey; Thank you for the Christmas wishes--I hope it will be a lovely day for you as well. As we grown older holidays bring so many reminders of those who are no longer with us.
    It is comforting to know that the 'distracted' tendency is not mine alone!