Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bits and pieces of the week...

Behold, He cometh with clouds.  ~Rev 1:7
"In the Bible clouds are always connected with God.  Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or Providences, within our without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God.  It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith.  If there were no clouds, we should have no faith.  'The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet.'  The clouds are a sign that He is there.  What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with God!  God cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining."
~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers

The excerpt above was part of my morning coffee & reading time.  We had clouds and a light shower of rain early this morning which was refreshing before the sun burned through the clouds and the heat of the day came on.  I watered the veggie patch and the flowers and noticed how much the young, speckled birds and their parents appreciated the sprinkler too.

Purple prairie coneflower, AKA:  echinacea

It was a full week of helping out with the Littles and painting the interior of M&G's new home.  Oh what a coat of fresh paint can do for a home! Who needs to remodel when you can get such dramatic results from a can of paint?   I love to paint because the results stay.  Painting doesn't become undone like the laundry and dishes do.

In the middle of the night Friday I heard a big thump outside and the dog started growling and barking, and I just knew there was a skunk nearby.  The evidence wafted up to our bedroom window and I jumped up to close windows and block the stench from penetrating inside any more.  Oh, I get so frustrated with skunks! Perhaps if I hadn't forgotten to bring the dog in before bedtime, the skunk would have walked by unalarmed, and we might have avoided a stinky house and front porch, but that wasn't the case.  

In the morning I commenced to begin de-stinking the dog and the house.  I have a terrific pet deodorizer that works like a charm:  1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 c. baking soda, 1 tsp. Dawn dishwashing soap, and a gallon of water.  Pour this over the dog and scrub in.  Let it sit for five minutes or so and then rinse.  That was easy.  I figured if it worked on the dog, it might work on my house and porch.  I mixed up everything, minus the water, and added a few drops of lavender oil and put it into a hose-end sprayer.  I dialed it to 8 oz. per gallon and began to spray the house and decking.  It smelled much better and it was actually a good idea to spray down the front of the house since the flies had been getting bad and there were a lot of fly specks to wash off.  I washed down the porch chairs too.  I  left it to soak for a few minutes and then hosed everything down.  A half hour later when the sun dried everything, I could still smell stink.  I searched the web and found that liquid bleach is a good deodorizer for skunk odor left on solid surfaces so I added some bleach to my hose-end sprayer and hit the house with it again.  That really helped.  A.  Lot.  I am quite sure that the skunk must have sprayed close to our front door because that is where the odor is the strongest, but it's a lot better.  I'll probably spray that area down again today.  

On the inside of the house, there was just a little bit of odor floating so I lit candles and set out bowls of vinegar to absorb some odors and then scrubbed my floor, adding in some lavender essential oil to the mop bucket.  I always do it, but I added in a few extra drops for good measure.  I washed all the rugs too which really freshened the house.

I received a lovely book, Sew Pretty Homestyle,  from a thoughtful friend.  It included patterns for the sweetest embroidered roses.  I immediately traced them out with a Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pen and ironed them onto some napkins and fabrics and have been thoroughly happy satin stitching.  Now I want to cover everything in roses!

Are you watching the London 2012 Olympics?  I am.  I am normally a Winter Olympics watcher, but since the Summer Games are in London, I felt a certain connection.  My daughter and I traveled to London in 2005 and I remember seeing lots of posters around urging Londoners to "Back the Bid" for the 2012 Olympics and now here we are!  It's fun to see the green, English countryside where we traveled by train and to experience again the sights and places where we walked the streets of London together.  So far my favorite events have been the Bicycle Road Races, Rowing, Swimming and Beach Volleyball.  What are your favorites?
Speaking of the Olympics, does it ever inspire you in your everyday life when you see these athletes overcoming cancer, performing under difficult circumstances, or with injuries that they choose to ignore in order to win a medal?  I've been struggling this past week with a sore foot.  It has given me trouble every  so often for several years, and it's back to acting up again.  From what I have read, I think it might be Morton's Neuroma so my best defense is to pad my sandals and shoes under the big toe.  It seems to help.  I am a walker and I do not intend to give it up so I am very determined to find a way to keep moving.  Yesterday it was time to go for my daily walk and the first few steps started with shooting pain up the middle of my foot through to my toes.  I thought to myself, "This could be a long 2 miles," but I was determined.  After all, if those Olympians can perform through injuries and difficulties, certainly I could walk to the mailbox and fetch the mail.  And I did!  There was not one more outburst from my foot after the first one.  After my walk I spent some time stretching my calves, in particular the left one, and that seemed to help.

We started haying again.  We have a piece of land that we lease which has quite a bit of wild hay that could become a fire danger so the guys decided we should go harvest it even though it is past its prime.  Hay is hay during a harsh winter on the prairie, and we're sure our cows would gladly eat it on one of those cold, windy mid-winter days.  Feed is going to be expensive (and already is) this year so it's best to harvest all we can despite the quality.

Monday our youngest son competes in a state amateur qualifier, golfing 36 holes in one day.  It'll be a tough day since the temps will be in the high 90s with humidity of approximately 70 percent.  He loves golf though and I know that he has that inner strength and confidence to do whatever it takes to do his best.  His caddy-friend is determined that they shall WIN!  I hope so.  Hubby went along to keep the team supplied with  fresh, cold  water, snacks, and towels. 

Today is Resting Day.  I have a chicken slow-roasting in a low oven, the Olympics on the TV, and a good book to read.  I think I'll take a nap this afternoon, and maybe I'll embroider a rose on something.  Happy Sunday.

Work is not always required...
there is such a thing as sacred idleness,
 the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.  
~George MacDonald


  1. We have a lot of skunks in Texas too and I use that same formula on my dogs when they get into the spray. Your embroidery always inspires me -- making the useful beautiful:) I'm glad you kept walking, I don't want to stop and give up on things either.

  2. It was so nice to read about your week. Thank you for taking time to record it all! (Well, except the hurt feet; I'm not happy about that.) Even the skunk -- how interesting and good to read about how you scrubbed everything down. I'm not much of a scrubber, and I truly should be. Your lavender oil sounds like such a good idea. Don't you love the aroma? Now, thanks to a skunk, your floors, porch and doggie are all so clean and fresh! :) I'd like to watch the Olympics, but right now we don't have TV reception, so I'm just getting little blips from friends on Facebook.

  3. Oh boy that skunk smell is really something. I'm glad you found some good formulas to get rid of it. I'm enjoying the Olympics. I'm one of those soccer enthusiasts so that has been fun for me. I also like gymnastics and track and field. Hope you get that nap in. I saw an interesting chicken recipe for the crock pot this week. I think I'll do that for tomorrow. It's a chicken with oranges and rosemary..

  4. It sounds so nice and restful. I hate skunks too. My husband tractor- ed loads of dirt today to see if he can stop them from digging into the back yard at least. Just so we can sit on the porch with out the fear of being sprayed if the dog goes after one.
    I love what you wrote about clouds.
    It sounds like you have a busy week with your son. I hope he does well.
    Blessings to you.

  5. I can't help wondering what a skunk actually smells like, as we don't have them over here. Is it like rotten eggs? I always imagine it is.

    Loved your quote about the clouds. Hope your foot improves soon, xx

  6. I'm so glad you had a resting day, Jody! Your embroidered roses are very special!
    I shall pray your feet continue to serve you well.
    It sounds like Granny is busy there. Maybe this week you can run through the sprinkler and ride your bike (clothespin a playing card in the spokes, of course!)

  7. Angela,
    One way or another, I'll keep on walking.

    Lavender just smells "clean" to me so I like to use it in my homemade cleaning products and in the mop bucket.

    Your orange-rosemary chicken sounds really delish.

    Thankfully, the skunks aren't underneath our porch. That happened one time. A whole family lived under our deck. Ugh.

    Quiet Homemaker,
    There is nothing to describe the smell of skunk. Maybe something between a dead animal and rotten eggs, but honestly, I don't think it can be duplicated.

    Pom Pom,
    I think bike riding would be a good thing to do while my foot tries to get better.

    Thanks for your comments!

  8. With the exception of the skunk it sounded like a great weekend.

  9. The Man just painted our bedroom this weekend, and it's totally transformed. It's a whole 'nother country in there now.

    Good luck to Youngest Son! I hope he does extraordinarily well.


  10. There is a lot for me to relate to in this post! I love your pincushion, first of all. If you made one lickety-split like that maybe I could do it in a few weeks -- I should try!
    Here at the grandkids' house we are watching the olympics - well, I do catch a few scenes as I'm running up and down stairs and cooking; mostly I listen from the other room.
    I have my own "olympic" challenge which is also regarding a foot. I had to bring 5 pair of shoes on this trip just to assure that I could keep walking! Staying ambulatory as long as possible is my goal.

  11. What a sweet pincushion! It is adorable. I like the idea of a resting day. I had a good and much needed rest after lunch and now I'm ready to tackle some school planning. Hope you guys are staying cool.


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