table talk

...cloth napkins with individual rings to identify and (hopefully) reuse from one meal to the next...

Since my father came to live with us, we are eating more meals at home than we did over the past few years.  I am REALLY enjoying planning, shopping, and serving a variety of economical and healthy meals.  I'm thankful for the circumstances that resulted in our at-home mealtimes.

Gary and I don't eat breakfast, so my father fixes his own.  Gary makes our coffee and we gather around the breakfast table to share a devotional time - Bible reading and prayer.  We are generally able to eat our lunches together as well as the evening meal.  After cleaning up in the evening, we linger at the table to play table games.  More than usual, we are also inviting friends to join us around our table.  These times, too,are so pleasurable and rewarding.

After reading some Wendell Berry essays, I realize that community is happening around our table in fresh ways for us in this season of life.  It set me to wondering if there are any ways I can make our table experiences even more delightful.  So, I googled it and found these two paragraphs that encouraged me to keep up my quest. The article also suggested a few ways to perk up an ordinary meal.

All our senses are involved when we eat. When a plate of food is appealing to the eye, has a wonderful aroma, and a variety of flavors and textures, we take note. And we usually rate those meals as not only more pleasant but more satisfying, too. 

If your eating has become routine—and your meals look the same, day after day—that could spell trouble. In an attempt to get more satisfied, you may find yourself eating more but enjoying it less.
Before we find ourselves eating more but enjoying it less,  I'm adding a couple simple, small touches - beyond the foot itself - to our table.  I'll let you know what those "touches" are, if the men I share the table with notice, and how our table experience is affected (if at all).

***
 Meanwhile, what are some of the ways YOU make YOUR ordinary table experience a special one?

a smple grill

Purchased several years ago for $15 at a garage sale,
this simple grill is getting a workout this spring.  
We're using it more than ever now that my father has come to live with us,
and we're eating more meals at home!
Last night (in spite of cooler temperatures), Gary grilled leg quarters -- 3 large ones.
Enough meat left over for at least another meal for three!
I tried something new to me.
Employing a small, old cast-iron skillet, I sliced some golden Yukons
and added onion and garlic salt.  
I poured a bit of melted butter over them 
(probably should have used olive oil), 
covered it with foil, and put it on the grill.
We will definitely do this again! 
And next time, I'll slice one more potato!
So simple.  So delicious.

potting benchless

Good-bye to this.
We brought it 'round from the side of the house
to repaint and sturdy up.
Gary made it years ago from recycled wood.
It LOOKED great
and occasionally we used it to hold picnic buffets.
We decided to see if it would sell on a local Facebook sale site. 
It did within hours of being posted!
So we are potting benchless now (and a few dollars richer)!
No complaints.

sort of....


 Transforming some mismatched frames 
 into a set.
 Sort of...
Now to find a place for them!

thrifty life styles

 Thrifty Style for me has expanded to include 
what could be characterized as a Life Style.
This blog started out celebrating my clothing finds in local thrift stores.
 As seasons of life move from one to another,
I celebrate OTHER areas of simplicity and frugality.
 My father has come to live with us and as winter passed into springtime,
we celebrate simple and frugal healthy habits.
Walking in public parks and spaces that require no admittance fees
has proven to be a favored recreation in the evenings following
easy and healthy suppers.
And so we stroll...
sharing the sights and scents of nature with those we love...

quirkiness

 Gleaned from an hour spent at Barnes and Noble this afternoon...
Another relaxing afternoon spent paging through new magazines.  
This is where & how I generate new ideas for our home and flower beds.
And quirkiness pretty much sums up my current passion.
(Well, as quirky as you can be at my stage in life.....)

simplfying continued

Rusted, torn and weathered,
these four chairs barely survived the winter.
Looking at them, I realize we were simply NOT going to apply
the work necessary to restore them to an attractive state.
So I listed them on a few local facebook garage sale sites.
Within an hour, they were sold and on their way to a new home
My simplifying continues.
Wow!  Does it ever feel great!

parting with some pots

 These pots wintered on our front porch.
Today my husband power-washed the porch, so I brought them inside to wash
off the accumulation of winter's dirt.
I guess I didn't realize I'd collected so much enamelware.
(I have even better pieces that these inside.)
At any rate, I decided to list them on a local garage sale site
to see if I can sell them.
Reluctantly.  And cheaply.
It's time.

spending $5

 Found!  Today at the Rehab Store where we'd gone for a break in our day!
Five dollars went a long way!
My husband went right to work cleaning the enamel top
 and removing the paint from the legs
After the store visit, we took Dad to the historic (100+ years old) Coney Island
in downtown Fort Wayne, IN for (you guessed it) coney dogs!
It was pretty ironic to sit a a table that appeared to be the same size
and built of the same materials as the one we'd just purchased!
***
Our sweet day was enjoyed even more as the sunshine slowly emerged,
replacing the cloudy sky that had hovered gloomily over us
for the past few days...

guess what

 Guess what WE're up to?!?
Below:  in the painting station my husband rigged up after one coat.
(I'm hoping it appears a little more "blue" than black after the second coat
and when hung in our living room.)
OK.  Finished and rehung.
In certain lights, it's blue.
In other light, it's a shadow and doesn't show the blue as well.
It doesn't "pop" as much as I'd hoped,
but it IS consistent with other blues in the room.

hygge on my mind


A visit to Coffee Tea Books and Me  and a link therein
gave me a new lens through which to view this corner of our bedroom--
a hygge corner to me. 
It also left me wondering what form (if any)
hygge will take this spring...
By the way, without using the word itself,
Abigail Ahern NAILED the essence of hygge here, in my opinion! 
(Let me know YOUR reaction to her post, will you?)

weird, unpractical and stupid




 ... the one thing I really needed to hear again, and to feel in her home: you should not be able to walk in a straight line from one place to another. Sounds weird? Unpractical? Stupid? Well, try it! Don’t be afraid to make a cozy nook a place you would never have thought of, don’t be afraid to put that huge palm where you are suppose to take the easiest walk to the next room. It makes such big exciting changes, like a little jungle of layers and discoveries. And thanks to Abigail‘s reminder I put an old bench in the middle of the tiny kitchen. Where you are suppose to walk straight from the stove to the dishes. And I love it. And my husband loves it too! We sit there with our coffee and lunch, feeling like the house has expanded, even though I’ve just made less floor space! Who would have thought so? 


Abigail Ahern, I knew.
Villa Betula?  I'm just getting acquainted!
The paragraph above was all I needed to place my newly-upholstered old stool
where I did--
Right where you're supposed to walk straight from doorway to stairway
Weird? Unpractical? Stupid? 
Yeah.
Thanks, Maren.

making it happen

My thrift store excursions are much rarer these days.
However, once in awhile, I venture out with a specific goal.
This time it was to find suitable fabric to cover a footstool.
I was thrilled to find a remnant for $.99!

My husband went to work to make it happen,
and I am so pleased with the result!