Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Daze

Hi friends, I hope you are all enjoying your week. I thank those of you who left messages of encouragement and prayer for Kenya and those affected by floods, famine or just general lack. I thank you too for leaving me birthday wishes. I'm one of those who would rather not have a birthday, lol but we can't help but grow another year older each year. Hopefully we are making the best of the time we have. I know I'm trying to live a meaningful life and do things beyond myself that will  make a lasting difference for someone else.

I have been home from my recent travels to visit elderly relatives for about one week now. I have been trying to take it easy and catch up on rest. At the same time, I have busily been trying to move forward on my action list.

I've been reading a great new novel, Half a Yellow Sun and studying my Swahili lessons which are already coming to an end. I've been searching around for a Swahili tutor and thinking about continuing with classes in the Fall. I found a tutor at the university and I found another longer and more expensive class out there too. However I want to do a lot more study on my own to build on something in whatever class I decide to take.  These are all ideas I have.  No decisions have been made yet.

The blue pots are new. I wanted to plant geraniums. I can't wait for them to bloom.
I've also been catching up on cleaning around the house; mostly in the kitchen and my bedroom. I'm thinking of getting the carpets cleaned. Right now there is a deal with Groupon that I might buy (two thirds off the regular cost).  It's amazing how dirty they can get even when you take care. I suppose it doesn't help that I have to carry bags of dirt throughout my apartment to get it to the patio garden. I've brought in bags and bags of dirt and new containers for container gardening. All of these were heavy.

New brown colour for the patio furniture.

These are the new patio chair cushions.
The patio furniture is getting a make over and the new patio cushions are waiting to sit on the revamped chairs. The cost of the spray paint ended up being a lot.  Equal to the cost of one new chair or one new cushion (about $40. Canadian), but still a lot less than buying a new patio set.  It has been raining all week so there is a delay in getting the table repainted. 

I'm still working on container gardening too.  I had to get a few more pots and was able to find these dazzlingly beautiful blue pots.  I looked and looked to find a good price. I've learned that container pots are amazingly expensive, even the plastic ones that are made to look like stone or ceramic. I don't like to use plastic outdoors as the pots crack after being left out in the sun, wind and rain. Also, they don't biodegrade.

My little bird bath is a delight. It is a cast metal so it withstands the strong winds we've been having. I've been wanting one of these for years and years. I finally got one at about one third the usual price.  After the patio furniture is ready and the garden is done, the patio will need a general cleaning.  I had to move everything out onto the patio when I was getting the new washer and dryer installed. Stuff is still sitting out there because I've been so busy these past two months. I can't believe how much time has gone by.  It feels like yesterday when the washer and dryer were being installed. I've had to buy so many things for the household this Spring. Hopefully I won't have to buy anything more for a long time to come except perhaps a new patio set if rust weakens my chairs (hopefully that won't happen).
I love my new bird bath but mostly it's attracted crows so far.

Today I am meeting a friend for coffee but I see I am out of bread so I have a batch rising as I write this post. Hopefully I can have it baked and cooling before I leave the apartment. I am also thinking of whipping up some cookies to have on hand. I've been wanting to bake for awhile now but have been too busy. I like to have cookies in the freezer so that I don't go out and buy snacks.  Actually I don't have funds by this time of the month since I am trying to balance my budget to zero at the end of each month. This means all funds are allocated for the entire month and are paid out or assigned before the first week of the month has gone by. It leaves no funds for playing around with. I'm still working on being consistent about this as it takes care of first things, first. This way of budgeting is not that easy to do if you have real emergencies arising and your emergency budget doesn't cover it all.

I also have to go out to do some banking later and stop at one store if there is time. They are having a 50% off sale of already marked down items. It pays to get things when there are these kinds of sales if they have what you need and if you have set aside some funds.  That is always the catch. The stores often don't have my sizes in stock by the time they get to the clearance but sometimes they do and that is a happy moment.

I have a lot of people I'm praying for; many are in Kenya.  There are so many needs. Some of the people I am praying for read this blog. Please know you are loved and prayed for.  God bless.


Fred Alton said...

Hi Penny. My Dad (now deceased) always had a saying whenever people talked about age. "I want to get old", he would say, with a big grin on his face. "The only alternative is to die young"!

You are a very busy person! And you call it taking time to rest up from all your traveling - taking dirt into your home to plant all those pretty flowers, sweeping up, lifting and shifting things around like patio furniture and bird baths. Lovely results though. Nice work.

Denise said...

You are such a sweet blessing, love you.

Brenda Green said...

Dear Friend,
It was nice seeing the patio chairs, the plants and the bird bath, good job Penny. It will be nice to see the pictures of plants and flowers blooming, and birds playing in the bird bath. oh, the clouds also add beauty, thank-you for sharing your life with us. love me,

Pat said...

You are quite an organized and disciplined person, Penny. The bird bath and potted plants are so pretty on your patio. What a great idea to repaint your old patio furniture so that you have a whole new-looking set!

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