Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Front Porch Sittin'

We love sitting on our front porch, whether it is early in the morning to begin our day with a cup of coffee, in the afternoon with a glass of iced tea or in the evening as our day comes to an end with a cup of tea.

Our little plot of land sits on a corner in our little town.  It is quiet on our front porch.  It is a lovely place to relax with my hubby.  There is nothing better than front porch sittin' ... slowing down makes for a peaceful and quiet time.

I grew up in our small town on this quiet street.  It was a small town, so we knew everyone.  We rode our bikes, we played at each other's homes.  All of the parents looked out for all of the kids in the neighborhood.  We walked to the stores on our small town main street.  When our neighbors went out of town, we would care for their homes and their pets.  We either walked to school or the parents would take turns taking us to school.  In the evening our moms would gather on the front porch and chat as we all played hide and seek, hopscotch, played jacks, marbles or jumped rope.  Our dads had big gardens and they would be working in those in the early morning before they would go to work and in the evening after the evening meal and the weather had cooled a bit.  Summer nights of my childhood and teen years often included front porch sitting time.  Sitting on the front porch of our family home while I was growing up brings back such sweet memories for me.  Our homes were not big.  They were very modest, but homey.

When my hubby and I were dating, we spent a lot of time on my front porch ... so many sweet memories.

There were the times that I would go to the little town south of us to spend time with my gramma.  I loved spending time with her on her front porch with her old fashioned wooden porch swing with flowers growing all around.  I have so many fond memories of those years gone by.

♥ This porch and porch swing are much like what I remember from my gramma's home.  Her front porch was surrounded by pretty flowers though. ♥

In these days of rushing here and there, so busy, I feel like front porch sitting is the perfect way to slow down and relax.  Not only is it a good way to slow down and relax, it is a good way to settle in for the evening, enjoy a sunset, listen to thunder in the distance, a bit of lightning in the sky, a gentle rain and night sounds to relax us before snuggling in for the night.

We find that sitting out on our front porch gives us an opportunity to be close to our family and our friends. 

We live next door to where I grew up, so I did not go far away from home.  Our son lived here from the day he was born until he married and now they have their own home a few blocks from us.  They have been married 19 years and still live in their first home.  We are all homebodies.  Our son grew up next door to his grandparents (my parents) and his other grandparents (my hubby's parents) lived just a couple of blocks up the street from us.  His uncles, aunts and cousins all lived close by as he was growing up.  Even though the years have gone by and changes have been made in our neighborhood, there are homes that belonged to older generations that the younger generations have moved into and now are raising their little ones.  We have had neighbors come and go throughout the years and we have always tried to be there for one another.

Most of the homes in our neighborhood are older homes and most of them have front porches.

These are just a few things that come to mind as to why front porch sittin' time is so important to me.

* comfy place to enjoy a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a glass of iced tea or a glass of homemade lemonade.

* good place to sit and chat with my hubby

* enjoy peace and quiet

* nice when neighbors stop by to chat

* to pray

* perfect place to have heart to heart talks with our son during his growing up years

* reduces stress and tension

* lifts spirits and calms minds

* fun to watch the birds

* nice to hear the chiming of the wind chimes when there is a gentle breeze

* having pretty flowers on and around our front porch to enjoy

* to read

* if it is hot ... we use a fan

* if it is dark ... we use soft candle lite

* if it is cold ... we use a fleece throw to snuggle under

We love our front porch sittin' time.

I hope that you will enjoy a simple evening from the comfort of a front porch.  There is just nothing like it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

One Day At A Time

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.  Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.  All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.  We cannot undo a single act we performed.  We cannot erase a single word we said.  Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities.  Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control.  Tomorrow's sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds.  But it will rise.  Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow, for it, is yet unborn.

This leaves one day.  Today.

Any man can fight the battles of just one day.  It is when you and I add the burdens of two eternities - yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not necessarily the experience of today that disturbs one's peace of mind, it is often time the bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.  Let us therefore live one day at a time.
~ Author Unknown ~

This is from a stash that I have saved over the years in our Home Journal and often times, I love going back and reading over these pages.

Oh, if only I would follow the words from this writing each and every day - so much sweeter my days would be.

Blessings for Today.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Faith And Family

These words I find heartwarming, words to strengthen me as I go about each day in my faith, loving my family and tending to our humble homespun cottage.

Every true wife makes her husband's interests her own.  While he lives for her, carrying her image in his heart and toiling for her all the days, she thinks only of what will do him good.  When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, by cheer, by the inspiration of love.  She enters with zest and enthusiasm into all his plans.  She is never a weight to drag him down; she is his strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things.
~ J. R, Miller ~

The woman, who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.  A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.  God sends many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts; but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned loves lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred calling.
~ J. R. Miller ~

I fall short of these precious words.

My prayer is that I will always do the very best that I know how.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Living On Less

I would like to share a few thoughts on frugal and simple living.

We look back now at our retirement and how we planned for it.  It has been over 14 years since my hubby retired, just before he turned 60.  He had worked 35 years in law enforcement for our town, so he was eligible for early retirement, something that we put much thought into before making our decision.  We have been able to make ends meet, even putting money into our savings.  There are even more ways that we could cut back if need be.  Prices have gone up tremendously in those years.  Retirement has worked out well for us even with the economy, by living simply and being satisfied with what we have and making good choices on how we spend our dollars.

Here are a few things that we have done and continue to do to make retiring work for us.  Our home had been paid in full for many years before making our decision to retire.  I might mention that we have lived in our home for all of our married years.  It will be 49 years this coming August.  We have a small cottage that we bought shortly after being married.  This was our son's only home until he and our 'daughter' bought their home a few blocks from us when they were first married.  There were times that we thought we needed something bigger, but are so very thankful that we chose to keep what we had.  Smaller homes are less expensive to maintain.  Smaller homes are easier to keep clean.  As we have gotten older it is nice to have a small home and a small yard to keep up and to tend to.  I might mention that we were debt free when we went into retirement and have kept it that way.  We do not buy unless we have the cash to pay for it.  

Our vehicles are now older.  We keep them in good working order by maintaining them.  This makes insurance, tags and taxes much more affordable than having a new vehicle.

We have a small kitchen garden and herb garden which supply us with fresh produce throughout spring, summer and fall.  If we had more space, growing grains and fruit would be nice.  Also, with more space, having animals for eggs, milk and meat would be wonderful.  We do not have that kind of space but we do live in an area where we have friends who own farms in the country and have stands set up where they sell their produce and we are thankful to buy from them.  We buy most of our groceries from a full service grocery store (market and deli) that provide healthy, local and organic foods and produce while also supporting the sustainability and well-being of our community.  It is community owned.  For Mother's Day a few years ago, my hubby bought me a share in our community owned market.  It was such a thoughtful gift and we both love shopping there.  We also buy from local farmers and our local farmers market.

We cook our meals from scratch.  Homemade tastes better, is healthier and keeps us within our food budget.

I haven't made our clothes but enjoy making homemade items for our home and for gifts. 

We have an outdoor clothesline that I use when the weather is good.  My hubby also bought for me an inside folding wooden clothes drying rack made by the Amish.  It always has a bit of laundry drying on it.  We also have a compost bin and a rain barrel which we make good use of.

We think that it is important to try to become as self-sufficient as possible by using what we know, by what we learn and by what we have.

A few ways to save money ... take a walk ... have a picnic ... watch a movie or play games with family and friends.  We still love to take little getaways and out and about days, but we plan ahead for these special times.  We always take a small cooler and a basket filled with nutritious drinks and food.  We enjoy nice meals out, just not every meal.  Even with the gasoline prices being a bit lower than what they were, we plan our getaways not far, far away.  We did buy a small RV and have enjoyed getaways in it.  It is our little home away from home.
These are just a few ways that we have found work for us.  I hope that you find something that might work for you as well.

I think that if there is one thing that we both love to do ... does not cost a penny ... is homey and comforting is spending time on our front porch.  We have been sprucing up our front porch to make it cosy and a quiet place to sit, chat, read, work on a little project, watch our hummingbirds at their feeder and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea ... a quiet retreat and a place to enjoy family and friends.

$ $ $ $ $

Old Fashioned Words:  Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

$ $ $ $ $

We are thankful for simple living.