Saturday, October 24, 2015

The heat is on









I've been having computer problems this week, where my laptop spontaneously shuts itself off and doesn't always start up again. This has made it very difficult to keep up with blogs (I'm sorry). The resident computer whiz tells me there's nothing wrong with my laptop, which is only a year old, but that maybe I should stop trying to watch full episodes of Teen Mom 2 on it. Apparently, it's overheating and shutting off to protect itself. I think this might happen with any long video, but maybe it's all the fighting, cheating and getting arrested that's doing it. My laptop just can't handle the drama.

It finally feels like fall here and I'm so happy! Oh, I can't even tell you. I'm doing all the fall things. I never really stop making soup in the summer but it feels so much nicer to do it now, to know that my crockpot is perking away all day with something hearty and warm inside for dinner. I've been baking a little more too, all the fall-ish things we like; a pumpkin pie is planned for tomorrow. You know me, all about the warm cozies. The furnace ran once this week, for the first time this season. We'd had a very cool, rainy couple of days and by the second one, the temperature never made it out of the forties. I had a feeling we might need the heat so I turned on the furnace during the day. It didn't come on until early the next morning but we really needed it by then. I always like to keep a mental note of when we start needing it each year. This year was a bit later than most, maybe a week or so. It seemed hotter than ever through September and the first half of October, and it probably really was, but I'm sure some of it was my own attitude. I was sick of it and that made it seem worse. In any case, we're in it now, full-on fall is definitely here.

We watched the movie Philomena last night, on Netflix. (The Bear and I, not the kids). Have you seen this movie? I thought it was such an interesting story. A sad and somewhat shocking one, but really good. I would recommend it highly, but be prepared to cry a little. Do you cry when you watch movies? I do, pretty often. Everything makes me emotional, even Teen Mom sometimes, if I'm honest. We also recently enjoyed watching a documentary about Bob Weir, of the Grateful Dead. It's called The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir, and it's also on Netflix. I realize that the Grateful Dead and their music may be an acquired taste but I've always been a fan, since I was a little kid (my dad liked them), and it was a really interesting film.

I've been trying something new since August, with my "free time" while the small Bears are in school. They're in school four morning a week; the school day is short because we spend at least as many hours homeschooling, as part of their school's unique program. I used to use this time to run errands and generally race around town trying to find the world's greatest bargains. I've stopped doing this and I'm a lot happier. I just shop once now, on Saturday morning. I've cut back on my shopping in general, just because we really don't need so much stuff, and I'm doing almost all of my shopping in a well-stocked supermarket, instead of dividing it up between a smaller market and a big store like Target or Walmart. I was finding that I spent more money that way, because there was always something extra to buy, like clothes from the clearance rack or extra shampoo or a fun new makeup item. At the big supermarket, I might spend 50 cents more on shampoo, but I'm not also buying cheap shoes and backups for my backup pantry items, so I'm spending a lot less overall.

I'm using the school time differently, just staying home most mornings and doing housework, reading, crocheting, catching up on blogs, and enjoying the quiet before I have to pick up the kids. I feel much more at peace now, having quiet alone time in my days and having all the chores done early in the day. I'm fortunate to be able to stay home and I knew I needed to use my time more efficiently, but wasn't sure how to do that. I think I've found the right balance for me, and that feels good. I feel better and I can do better, which helps everyone.

I need to make lunch now, and then take the LB to his guitar lesson. The GB had hers earlier this morning. I think we might have a fire in the backyard pit later this afternoon. The Bear and I are having shrimp scampi for dinner, just an easy recipe I've been making for years. Tomorrow's an at-home day, to finish some yard work. I'll be doing the laundry too. I hope you're having a good weekend, whatever you're up to!

50 comments:

  1. I hear that fall is coming our way this week, and I can hardly wait! It was 80 degrees yesterday, and that is too hot for late October. I like hearing how you are using school time now, it's so important and necessary to have alone time as a mom. I enjoy my quiet mornings while Charlotte is in school until noon every day. Like you, I am also enjoying cooking and baking more lately. I made pumpkin muffins last week, and I'm making an applesauce spiced cake this week! And Ina's chicken pot pie is on the menu for tomorrow. Have a great weekend! Your shrimp scampi sounds delicious for dinner - Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julia, I looooove Ina's chicken pot pie! I'm so excited to know you like it too. :)

      Delete
  2. Hi Jennifer! Good idea! You need to refuel and refresh! It's SO worth it to stay at home and soak in the quiet!
    I think your soup looks delish! I'm making soup right now.
    I hope your computer revives. Teen Mom 2 (lol)
    I liked Philomena .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your new morning schedule/shopping plan sounds like it is working out wonderfully. What a great idea. I have not seen that movie, but will watch it soon. Movies make me cry, music brings tears and so do books. I was reading this morning when my son came in to go to work in our nursery. He wanted to know if I was o.k. I had to tell him that I was just fine, but that I was a bit teary-eyed over my book.
    My computer has been just fine. I don't have a laptop, but what has been driving me crazy lately is that my screen won't work. I have to unplug it and then plug it in again. Perhaps I need a new monitor.
    I am happy to hear that your weather has changed for the better. I've been building a fire in our wood stove every morning as it has been quite chilly and our chilly weather has such a dampness to it here in this part of Oregon.
    Have a lovely rest of the weekend..oh, and yes soup is so yummy anytime, but especially during the fall and winter. I made some the other day and also some pumpkin muffins. Delish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ellen, you reminded me of something my husband always teases me about. When we first got married, he came in from outside and I was sitting in the living room sobbing over a book. He asked me what was wrong and I said (crying hard), "Nothing, this book is just so gooooood, boohoooooohoooo" and he just shook his head. He didn't get it why I would read a book that made me sob but he doesn't seem to get women in general, ha. :)

      Delete
  4. I like the sound of your mornings they would suit me every now and again. I haven't watched a film in ages, I find if I watch them before bed I can't sleep. I am intrigued by Teen Mom not heard of that, I am off to find out in the meantime enjoy the rest of your weekend ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're going to be so disappointed in me when you find out what Teen Mom is...haha. :)

      Delete
  5. A lovely cosy fall post Jennifer, it sounds very homely and nice with you. I'm sorry you're having computer problems, I hope it sorts itself out soon. Have a lovely Sunday. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great thoughts indeed, greetings to you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. your balanced time in the mornings sounds great, I'm happy for you that you're feeling better.

    and I always cry at movies, last night we watched About Time on netflix. and I cried....... x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Tess, I'm glad to hear you're another crier. :) I haven't seen About Time, I'm going to look for it to add to my queue and have another good cry. :)

      Delete
  8. Simple days are wonderful. I love that you have scaled back on grocery time and increased more meaningful time for yourself. Your children willnotice a more peaceful mom

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your shopping in one place is a good idea, frees up your time. Your kids going to school part time and being home schooled the rest of the time sounds interesting, how did you set that up?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janet, my kids attend a public alternative school that is designed this way. The kids attend about 16 hours a week and we're supposed to provide an equal number of hours at home (but we always end up doing much more than that here). It's a good compromise; it allows us to be very involved in their education but it also lets them have the influence of a teacher and to be with peers in a regular classroom setting, which we think is important too. All in all, it works well for us. Thanks for asking. :)

      Delete
  10. I'm so happy to hear that you are at peace.- Isn't it wonderful just feeling at peace?! It just seems like all things fall into place. :) I was watching Teen mom 2 for a bit. My husband would tease me and say it was pointless drama. I think the way they fought over the kids was what kept me glued to the show. I'm happy that you're enjoying the Autumn weather. It has been cold here in Colorado. I'm enjoying it very much. :) Enjoy your weekend~

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wish we had the option of joint schooling here - it sounds like an excellent scheme. I liked Philomena but it was rather shocking and, yes, I did have a little sniffle in the cinema! Here's to hearty soups and stews. Have a good weekend. xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I feel great too, when I find a good rhythm for my days. I am glad you are enjoying your new schedule. We have a one stop shopping store chain that I do most of my shopping at, and we can even get discounted gas which is helpful, too. I frequently cry when watching movies I find touching. I have not been reading or watching what you have, but on Netflicks I have been watching episodes of HGTV Fixer Upper and Property Brothers. One of the books I'm reading is The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson. The title might lead you to think I am getting daring in my old age, but I really try to avoid reading/watching sad scary stuff. I was required to read Edgar Allen Poe's stories in school, but I never graduated to Steven King :) I got to go to my art group today and had fun working on making a collage.
    Happy Weekend, Jennifer! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everything sounds settled with you Jennifer, and that is pleasing to read. I saw Philomena a year or so ago on DVD and found it very moving. Judi Dench is a brilliant actress. Of course I cried. I cry at anything moving on screen but rarely in real life - my husband thinks that's weird. Maybe it is! Anyway, enjoy the rest of the weekend. It's sunny here (hurrah) so I'll be in the garden. The kids have various things on but I need to do some digging. Sam x

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can cry at the drop of a hat, it doesn't even have to be a movie, I've been known to cry at an advert, I know I know, I'm so soft. I tend to get all my jobs out of the way on a morning so I've got the rest of the day to myself, well, apart from cooking for everyone when they get home, but I like how it works out having some time to myself most days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Jo! I cry so often, it's ridiculous. I even cry at songs on the radio. Every day is a sob-fest over here. :)

      Delete
  15. Your new schedule sounds ideal. In the summer months I tend to shop very locally almost everyday for fresh produce using my bike as transport and I do a big supermarket shop about once a month. But from about now until the time the asparagus starts shooting next spring I'm back to one weekly shop for everything which means I have to start planning rather than making it up day by day. I haven't seen Philomena, I go to the cinema rarely and we've never had a DVD player, but the other week I did see the live feed from the Barbican theatre of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and yesterday afternoon (a really dull, dreary, damp day here in the UK) we went to Chichester on the south coast to see The Seagull by Chekhov. I've seen it many times but the suicide of Konstantin never fails to shock. I'm still enjoying The Book of Daniel (I'm a slow reader nowadays and the light needs to be just so) but I'm tempering it with Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald. Have a good Sunday, we're just off to do some 'forest bathing', except we call it a walk in the woods!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, I had read about Benedict Cumberbatch playing Hamlet and wondered how he did. I hope you enjoyed it, I really like him in anything I've seen him in.

      Delete
  16. It sounds like a lovely new routine you have settled into Jennifer. I totally agree with you on the shopping front. We have a couple of very popular discounters here and most of my friends shop there and supplement with items from other places. They swear that they are saving money but I am equally convinced they don't because of the middle isle temptation of cheap socks and garden tools etc. I don't do our shopping, luckily. Richard is the chief shopper in our house. It is definitely soup weather here, too. Soups are not very popular with my lot unfortunately but that doesn't stop me :-) Glad you find time to enjoy yourself, it is so important. I am struggling at the moment with work and all but I still carve a niche of me time most days, even if it is just for a few minutes. Have a wonderful autumn weekend. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christina, I'm with you. I really don't think it's better that shop that way, not anymore. It's so much less stressful for me now too, I didn't even realize how much I'd grown to dread shopping, even grocery shopping, which is something I've always enjoyed to some degree. I'm glad you're making time for yourself in your busy day, it's so good for you. :)

      Delete
  17. I'm happy for you that you've found a good balance between time to nurture yourself and also getting the shopping done. It can be tricky. Because for so many years we have lived out in the country I have almost always tried to limit shopping to just one day a week. And now that we are out here at the cottage I have gone back to that routine. Philomela was incredible. And yes, I cried.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just found Philomena, you made me curious :) I saved it and will watch it ( and weep) tonight with the cats.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Think I just accidentally deleted my comment instead of publishing it ... so if this is a duplicate, sorry about that!

    We enjoyed Philomena too, and yes, I cried. Books make me cry too, though I try to avoid really sad ones. (Have you read Bleak House? I bawled like a baby when Jo died. Haven't been able to read it since.) :)

    Your new shopping and time-spending plans are good ones. It's definitely better to minimise those errands, otherwise you're spending on gasoline and energy everything you've "saved" on the bottle of shampoo! I'm so glad you're taking advantage of your quiet time at home too - peace and solitude are very important.

    Re the laptop - is it the kind that needs to sit on a hard surface to allow air circulation? If you're watching things with it on your lap maybe it just needs a clipboard or something underneath. (Something I picked up from my resident computer expert.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue, I just asked the local computer maven and he agrees with your suggestion. Thank you, that was a very good idea. :)

      Delete
  20. Life is all about balance, which is not always easy to find and invariably needs tweaking or changing every so often ... but I like your new plans/routine they sound excellent.

    Hope your weekend has gone well.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  21. balance is so important....and so happy that you've found that balance in your life. Everyone needs a bit of alone/me time and for a busy mom this is usually what goes first....and it's the one thing that can make or break a happy day!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I enjoyed Philomena too.. but it was sad... so many lost opportunities.. people who listen to authority figures instead of doing what they know is right. I hope you get your laptop to behave. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Finding balance in our lives, and making time for ourselves is so important. I am happy you are making the time for you, it means a happier home all around.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend Jennifer, and that the week ahead is filled with good things :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm glad you have started using that "alone time" as quiet time for you. Those silent minutes are precious even if you just use them to fold laundry, by yourself, in the quiet. Bliss. I come home from work each day for lunch. The house is blissfully still and I can recharge a bit before heading back to work. I wish weekends had that same built-in silence!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm glad you have started using that "alone time" as quiet time for you. Those silent minutes are precious even if you just use them to fold laundry, by yourself, in the quiet. Bliss. I come home from work each day for lunch. The house is blissfully still and I can recharge a bit before heading back to work. I wish weekends had that same built-in silence!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I don't think they make computers like they used to. My last computer was doing the same thing yours is, and was running so slow. I got a new one about 5 months ago, and it freezes up a lot. Very frustrating!
    Your photos are so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  27. So glad you are finding some peace in simplifying your routine! Thanks for the movie recommendations - I'll definitely check them out. both my husband and i grew up loving the grateful dead too, and i don't think either of us has seen that documentary. This is random - but have you upgraded to windows10? Your laptop sounds like mine before i did, and surprisingly (i thought the upgrade would kill it) things have been smoother since. might be totally different, of course. anyway, have a good monday Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I cry at everything too and I'm getting worse as I get older, lovely photo's Jennifer I'm glad the weather is cooling down for you we are well and truly in winter mode here it's freezing I've had my heating on for weeks now. I like the sound of your new routine that sounds pretty much like mine but without the housework haha I will will avoid that whenever I can in fact the very sound of the word makes me feel faint. Have a great week. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hey Jennifer,
    I think it's very important to strike the right balance at home. I used to spend all my time in a whirlwind of activity because I felt guilty for being at home! I don't anymore. The way our household is run is our business. Plus a happy Mum = a happy house. So good for you for finding a balance that works for you. I cry at news items; such sadness in the world. I watched Mona Lisa Smile yesterday. It was ultimately unsatisfying. But Julia Roberts is such a beauty that I just stared at her all the way through.
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Jennifer. I so enjoyed your blog today. Your life has such a sweet rhythm to it. Alone time is really important, especially with small ones at home. It can help "even" you out...at least it did me. I cry at everything too. I always have. Sometimes it's embarrassing, but it is who I am. Fall is here too. Colder weather and snow on the mountain tops as we drove home from Montana yesterday. I know we need snow, but I'm not ready for it!
    Blessings always,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  31. What an enjoyable read Jennifer. You have a wonderful balance in your life, and it makes me feel validated as a stay-at-homer (is there such a term?) Balance is key, and you establish it so well. I too shop only once a week and find it a less wasteful option for myself too. If something I always buy is discounted, I might buy two instead of one, but otherwise I don't chase bargains not on the list. Philomena was a very good movie, I thought so too. It really was like that, and not only in Ireland, and all within living memory. Pumpkin Pie - mmmmmm

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's definitely Autumn here too. Our heating is on now and I'm craving more wintry foods. Only today I was looking at parkin recipes. I also cry at anything - films, tv, books! I'm yet to see Philomena but I'm sure it's really different to Steve Coogan's other stuff...I'm planning to read his autobiography soon...hope you're having a great week xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the cosyness of fall. You have got me thinking about making soups now, in October Josh usually makes a pumpkin soup so I think that will be our first this year :-) I'm glad you have found a balance that works for you. I now have my weekly shop delivered each week. It is a lot easier on me healthwise and I spend a lot less. I go through the list of things I regularly buy, add anything off my extra list and once I have filled miy basket I go back through and take out anything we don't really need. I love the way your children's schooling works but it does only leave you a short morning. It's great that you are able to get a bit of 'me' time in there so that you are ready and re-charged for when the children come home. I hope you have a lovely week. x

    ReplyDelete
  34. Yes, I've seen Philomena and it is very sad. Especially when you remember that it is based on a true story which is only one of very many similar stories. I think your new way of shopping will definitely save you money as well as saving you time that you can use better at home.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I think Im going to give your new routine a go .I am struggling to have better balance. I am rushing around far too much and not really enjoying any time I have free as I am so exhausting. I find I am trying to bag a bargain only to end up with the cupboards heaving. My daughters boyfriend said if rationing was ever to come back he is moving in , as I have so much food.
    I love your photos .

    ReplyDelete
  36. You have a great sense of humor! I go to my husband who is my computer wiz around here. His diagnoses to my issues is that I go visiting sites and get computer viruses. We got to see Philomena (Neflix) and we really enjoyed it. Did you see a small documentary about the real Philomena ? Great story! You mentioned pumpkin pie, I too need to make a pumpkin pie one of these days. It is my favorite pie. Beautiful bread you have in that photo! It's always good to stablish a routine with house work, it makes things go smoothly. We have had the heat going on for sometime already.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Maintaining a life balance is essential for our happiness and well-being.Personally I'm often out of it but I can't avoid some things...Hope everything is okay now with your laptop.
    Olympia

    ReplyDelete
  38. hope your laptop gets better soon..
    your morning routine sounds perfect, so relaxing. i am still a while away till both boys are out of the house. I can only imagine what my mornings would be like.
    I love fall, it is hands down my favorite season, made better by soup :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I remember those days of the kids being in school and grateful to have a few hours to myself. I worked outside the home PT on and off during their school years, too. But some free "me" time is definitely needed as a mom. Sounds like you've found a nice balance. Have not seen the movie, Philomena. Haven't watched a movie in ages. Just not much of a TV watcher; not even movies. But yes, I do cry at movies. In fact, it's weird...I'm not much of a crier in general, but movies - or even some commercials - can generate the tears!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Your mornings sounds like my Thursday morning when my little man is in playgroup... ran all around town the first few weeks, but since, I've just stopped myself from doing so. I found a little organic bistro I sit and have bbreakfast at, bring my laptop or a book and read, study, relax. It's been so nice. This morning, after a little spot of breakfast, I'll be going walking with a friend. These alone moments are so important.

    Oh, I'm such a crier when it comes to movies... and I'll cry multiple times as I rewatch movies too. Never used too, Then I had babies. LOL! Now I cry all the time. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am fascinated by how you do you shopping, how anyone does their shopping for that matter. We tend to do one big weekly shop (John usually does it on one of his days off) and make sure we've planned meals for the week too. If I didn't do that I'd be shopping three times a week but never have anything for tea in the cupboard! I'm glad you're feeling the benefit of using your child free time differently. x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...