Monday, August 31, 2009

Enjoying the bed

The Vintner has been enjoying the guest bed. We've rearranged the spare room, and now it appeals to him quite well. He often works all night long when he is on call, and a spare bed next to the computer makes it easy for him to take brief naps or answer middle of the night pages. In addition, he spent some time rearranging my laundry room and getting it clean and organized. I've wanted to do that for ages myself, but never got the opportunity, what with care for the boys. I'll enjoy my ironing and sewing even more now. The Cottage is coming along nicely and feels more like home every day. It's amazing that we've been here almost two years. There's still some fine tuning to be done in the decorating, but we count our blessings every day.

The vines have weathered the heat of the summer well. We've broken the back of the hottest weather, and can look forward to increasingly cooler days now. The nights are already tolerable. We'll have some time for fall plantings and fall gardening. Hopefully, we'll expand the vineyard next spring.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Buying a Guest Bed

After all the struggles this month with money, there is a small surprise at the end of the month. I received some money (which is rightfully mine, but is a debt repayment upon which I don't count,) that's just enough for a guest bed. We've really needed an extra bed, just a cheap $40 spare platform barely off the floor. Also, the chair for the computer is about to fall to pieces. We've repaired it again and again, but it's past repair. We need a new one. Fortunately, there's a sale on office chairs today of 50% the regular (bargain) price. My extra is exactly enough.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weekly shopping abbreviated

We won't be hosting guests this weekend, due to a family emergency. Thus, we won't have to buy supplies. Today's shopping and baking is cut short, and delayed until next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Special Projects Day

While we've been in the hub-bub of routine, I haven't gotten a chance to even organize my day. Today will be special projects, which means also an emphasis on needlework. With luck, I'll get some work done on my business as well. It's slow going, but I'm going to keep at this, and have a well run, efficient home one day. I'll also have a home business, and well educated home schooled children. These projects take a lot of energy, but they are worth it to have the wonderful life of which I dream.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One of Our Last Swimming Tuesdays

Before long, we'll be back at the library for story time. For now, we're enjoying a swimming morning and reinforcing the skills the boys have learned this summer.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Propers for Saint Bartholomew the Apostle

The Collect

O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word; Grant, we beseech thee, unto thy Church, to love that Word which he believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle
Acts v. 12.
BY the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

The Gospel
St. Luke xxii. 24.
AND there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Social outing and cleaning

Is it Friday again? We're out for socializing and then back for cleaning the Cottage. It's a far drive today, so we won't have much time for organizing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Out and About

Today we've been shopping, going to a meeting (third Thursdays) and running an errand. Add in lunch and nap, and the days over half gone before I get to sit down and organize my day. Consider that my help called in sick, and the baby won't nap at the same time as big brother - it's easy to see why I'm tired here at the Cottage.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Playing with Grandma

The boys get to play with Grandma today. We're enjoying fun in the sun, and maybe even getting some projects done. It's project day, and I've got help with the boys! Yeah!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We thought we were going to meet friends for swimming this morning. Ooops! We went to the water park instead of the pool. After about thirty minutes there, I realized what we had done. While the invitation to the water park was first, I forgot to check with the confirmation. We had a fun time, even though it was just mom and boys. We look forward to socializing on Friday, instead.

With errands done, that just leaves needlework and one short errand. Perhaps I'll even get my ironing done as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

At Home

A quiet day at home to tidy the house after a weekend - we'll be staying here and having typical fun interspersed with potty breaks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Worship and Prayer

Today we worship and pray. There are no tasks or duties for the household.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Offering Hospitality

Today, we offered hospitality to our friends for play group. I so enjoy baking and entertaining friends. It's a shame that it took so long to begin this wonderful treat for me. Have you considered entertaining some friends, lately? Not formal, elaborate fetes - just inviting someone over for tea and a simple pastry - these events belong in the routine of our lives. Connecting with others can transform a home, even if it be a humble cottage with two tiny vines along side.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The August Shopping Challenge

It's another shopping day here at the Cottage. We're still adhering to the August Shopping Challenge, created by an accounting error. While today's budget is more than double last week's, it's still significantly less than the original budget plan. I can easily meet the challenge, but it does mean doing without items with which we've done without for weeks. I had hoped that after a tight month in July, we'd have an easy month with August. Alas, we will only have a relatively easy month in September, then tight in October, then holiday expenses for November, then tight and holiday expenses in December. Thus, the challenge this month will but steal us for the months to come. We will be quite acclimated to doing without for the rest of this year. However, we now have a plan and a strict budget, whereas in years past, we just muddled along. Furthermore, we now have prayer and a stronger faith than ever before. As nice as it would be not to have this challenge, it will be even nicer in future years to not have this situation ever again. We progress toward our goals with gratitude and Grace.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today is project day. I'll need to clean at least one window, preferably inside and out, do some of the laundry project (clothes that are to be put into storage,) and sharpen knives. In addition, I need to do menu planning for next week and make out my shopping list for tomorrow morning. We have some outside play in the morning, and some preliminary preschool lesson planning. Then, if I get extra time, I've got some gardening to do. I'm reading and doing needle work during the evenings and the boys nap times.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Swimming Invitation and Inviting Others

We're guests this morning, and we've invited guests this afternoon. In between we have a nap and errands. My older son loves his lessons so much, that we have those in there, too. Add in laundry and ironing, reading and needlework, and a late supper, and it's a full day here at the Cottage.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baseball Season Is Over; Preparing for Autumn

Over the weekend, our local baseball season ended. Sadly, our team was out of the play offs, and we're done for baseball this year. We have a few quiet weeks until school begins. We began this morning with introducing the notion of morning lessons. My elder son loves singing nursery rhymes for his lessons. For now, that's what he needs to learn. He's eager for preschool, and doesn't mind the loss of summer fun. It's a bit hard for him to understand that summer fun is past, but he's learning. I think that he'll enjoy learning so much that he won't mind the long wait until next summer.

I have some preparation time before home schooling begins in full force the day after Labor Day. I am doing my preliminary work now, and gearing up for two full hours every day, four days a week. Fridays will be our social time; we'll keep to play group for another year. The younger boys have just turned two, and the older boys aren't quite ready to move on to their preschools. Thank heavens that I've been working on organization for months now! I don't know how moms do it without an organization plan. For us, Morning and Evening prayer has been essential in structuring our days, and devoting us to higher purposes. I only wish I'd learned this growing up, myself. What a gift to the world for centuries now! Prayer is the secret; prayer is the answer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Social Outing

We're off to a social outing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Propers for The Transfiguration of Christ

The Collect

O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle
2 St. Peter i. 13.
I THINK it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

The Gospel
St. Luke ix. 28.
AND it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

Shopping Day

Due to some accounting error, I have miscalculated our budget this month. I have but twenty dollars for shopping today. That will last us until Monday, when another paycheck arrives. August will be a lesson in frugality and economic management. We will have to make due on half a month's funds, instead of a month's. I might have dismayed or despaired or torn my hair years ago. However, we have changed our methods in the past year or so. I no longer stress or worry about money. I have financial peace through walking with our Lord Jesus Christ. For more specifics about our plan, check out Dave Ramsey's website. I accept these set backs as opportunities to learn and to pay some stupid tax.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What does all this prayer have to do with home management, anyway?

My home is more than laundry, linens and lists. I know that many other home management blogs emphasize the daily tasks much more than I do. I commend them for their work. There has been so much lost over the last few decades in the care and esteem and the home; there is room for blogs of all sort. I believe that prayer and faith in the home is the greatest loss, at least it has been in my family of origin. It is from here we begin, and here we return after our work. Perhaps after our journey is further along, there will be more emphasis on other aspects of home care. For now, we'll demonstrate how our management extends out from prayer, and how it enriches our home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reflecting on D.W. Whittle and BCP

If one is well versed in the work of D.W. Whittle, one might have noticed that I've been using his guide as to the New Testament passage of the day. Now that I have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, I will begin using this. I'm going to finish out the Whittle guide, up until the book of Revelation, which will be in Advent. After that time, I'll post from the BCP. This has been my plan for a few weeks now, but I didn't mention it, not knowing when I would buy a BCP. I have used an online Book of Common Prayer for my own use until now. Praying in my normal place in the home is more reverential to me than praying in front of the computer. I look forward to the progress of this Trinity season.

I have the guide from D. W. Whittle from the back of my maternal grandfather's Bible. He left a marker in the back, at the guide to reading the Bible in one year. I am so happy that I can share this journey that he made years ago. While this may be the only year that I follow along as he did, I'm glad that I've done this once. His old Bible is worn, and it is not wise to continue with it for daily use. He might very well have been horrified to learn that I was leaving off this plan, to transition into a "high church" style of Bible study. I hope that he might look down from heaven and see my devotion, rather than my variance from the methods that he preferred. Interestingly, it was my investigation on D. W. Whittle that led me, albeit circuitously, to the online version of the 1928 BCP. Once I really thought about it, I knew that I could not continue Mr. Whittle's plan past this reading. I prefer to join the 70 million in the Anglican communion, and follow another method. While we may or may not ultimately join the Anglican faith, I cannot see us continuing with the low church wanderings, if you will. I suspect that he never really thought about how Mr. Whittle came about his plan, but just accepted it with reverence because it was in the Bible that he owned. I doubt he knew anything about Mr. Whittle, or his faith. I doubt he ever stopped to realize that Mr. Whittle wasn't part of the original Bible, just an inclusion by the publisher of his particular version. I would imagine that he had a similar longing, as I do, for a systematic daily reading of the bible, but his low church faith so strongly forbade him from ever searching from amongst Church history for one. I suppose that I might never have pondered this subject, if it were not for this Bible and guide. For that alone, I'm thankful for this Trinity season and this guide and his Bible.

I have so much to learn. While I do wish that I had had a better religious education as a child, I'm glad that I've come to this while my children are young. It is much better to grieve one's own failings and shortcomings, than to grieve how one has failed one's children. I never knew the Lord's Prayer until I taught myself at thirteen. My own children will never know not knowing it. The religion of my youth was so impoverished and cartoonish compared to what we will show the children. By that, I mean literally. I had a comic-book rendition of the Bible as a child. The only hymn that I was ever taught to memorize was "Onward Christian Soldiers," and that without melody. My own parents only gave me what they knew, until they abandoned it after their divorce. It was only years later that they repented leaving off attending worship when I was a teenager. Their parents knew nothing of Church history, and believed that ignorance to be noble. They had no other perspective to pass to my parents, and so forth. I am not alone in this position; there are millions who have similar stories over the past thirty years. We have lived through a dark time. I pray for not just our family but for millions like it to come home to the Light and Love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thanks Be to God!

God in His infinite wisdom has provided me with a 1789 Book of Common Prayer. I offer my deep gratitude for His mercy and kindness. I was in disbelief to see it on the book shelf at the store. I was even more shocked at the bargain price. I asked three different employees about it, so I accept this as Divine Intervention and His will that I own this. I was prepared to pay ten times what they asked for it. I have prayed so much this summer for this book. I only hope this is just the beginning in our journey home as a family. With this, and our new Bible, further study and devotion to God can more easily continue here at our humble cottage.