Monday, August 10, 2020

July 2020 Newsletter

"I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on summer humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives." 
~ Ann Voskamp

Greetings gentle reader! Here we are with another monthly newsletter in which I talk about books I have read, things I have watched, projects I have been working on and any other ponderings which really don't fit into its own post! It's pretty much some old-fashioned homemaking chit-chat. July was filled with many family engagements mingled in with the beautiful routine of everyday life. This included some light traveling and trying to maintain the home and laundry in-between. Homemaking is much easier when you remain home. It flows like honey... but when you are a traveling busy bee, it can certainly sting! 
The garden was busy producing lots of sweet, vine-ripe tomatoes. If there was one vegetable I was able to choose to grow year-round, it would be tomatoes. What they sell in the markets doesn't resemble a real tomato in the least. Due to our temporary small garden space, we haven't had an abundance to preserve and to be honest, I have been really enjoying the freshness of them (and probably have been over-eating them)! We made lots of salsas, green salads, caprese salads, marinated vegetables, black bean salads and every Friday it is pizza Marguerite! 
There are various ways to make a Marguerite pizza. From what I understand, it traditionally includes fresh basil, mozzarella and sliced tomatoes to mimic the Italian flag (green, white, red). This is my version... I infuse freshly minced garlic in extra-virgin olive oil for an hour or so while I work on dinner preparation. Then I par-bake our sourdough crust until the bottom gets golden. Next I smear on the olive oil and garlic across the entire crust (this acts as the "pizza sauce") and place sliced garden tomatoes across the entire pizza. Follow with a heavy sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Finally, I place the pizza back in the oven until the cheese is bubbly, add some freshly chopped basil to the top and drizzle any leftover garlic-infused olive oil over it all. It is delicious! 


One of the projects I have been working on is our pantry extension. Do you recall that I increased our pantry area about 8 months ago by adding a stand-alone linen closet? By removing all our linens from the hallway closet, we were able to free up more cupboard space for our food supply! In the meantime, we were storing our second level of food storage in the garage (you can read up on my system and goals of pantry building here). This was certainly not an ideal location because of the summer heat. So, we started bringing in our storehouse supply into the small spare room (aka hubby's study and our sewing space) where the average temperature is 75 degrees.


To remedy piles of bulk flour, sugar and so forth on the floor, we bought a cabinet to store our excess at a second-hand store. We painted it up nice and pretty (white of course!) and attached a spring rod across to keep the area looking tidy. Now I feel we have a nice storeroom area that blends in with the house while maintaining the food storage goals our family has. 

I cut an old tablecloth that was too small for our kitchen table in half and sewed it into a curtain to cover the contents (I will make dish towels with the other half as I love the cotton neutral stripes!). I put two thrift store baskets on top for additional storage. I am really pleased to have this extra space!


While on the subject of pantry building, I wanted to share the new Etsy Store I opened! This is going to be my little hobby since I finished homeschooling. I enjoy pantry building, decorating my food storage and organizing my home. I think this little cottage industry employs all my homemaking interests! If you would like to take a peek, please visit Mistress of the House.


One of the books I enjoyed last month was "Simply Living Well" by Julia Watkins. It is a guide to creating a natural, low-waste home. I will be honest and say that I read these "green living" type of books for the frugal living inspiration. You can glean many money saving concepts from the "zero-waste" movement. She shares many lovely recipes, diy tutorials and of course, pretty pictures to make it all beautiful!

As far as movies go, I have nothing to recommend this month. The culture is reflected in the media and it is hard to relate to most of the shows they are offering. Even the period dramas that were always my favorite (here is my list) (and most of the time were clean viewing) have become absolutely scandalous. It seems there has to be a marital affair (with the heroine being the culprit!) or other forms of un-godly relationships in order to attract a modern audience. And the depth of what they show on the screen! It is hard to gloss over. But I digress...


On another note, our "Pretty in Pink" giveaway ends soon in case you haven't yet entered! It is a set of feminine favorites that I find romantic and pretty. I have to say that my favorite part about the giveaways I have been doing is reading all the comments! You are all such wonderful women and kindred spirits!


Lastly, I wanted to take this opportunity to say that although I seem silent regarding the current state of affairs in this world, I definitely am aware of all that is going on in it. While I have been talking much about pink, pantries and other pretty things, I do not have on rose-colored glasses. I am well-informed. However, this blog is meant to occupy and inspire the keeper at home and so this is where I choose to keep my focus... in the home. While I have covered and will continue to cover pantries and preparedness, it has never been from a spirit of fear but in an act of Proverbs 31 prudence. Also, I never wanted to keep a controversial blog because I didn't want to be focusing on "battleground" comments all day while trying to peacefully raise a family. I certainly have opinions on all that is going on -- strong ones. But I hope you understand that this place here is meant to be nurturing ground. It is a place of encouragement and all the beautiful Philippians 4:8 tidings. I just wanted to clear the air in case any of you were wondering and had too much good manners to ask :)
Now, what about you dear reader? What wholesome and lovely things have you been reading, watching and/or working on? As always, recommendations are much appreciated and just reading about your projects inspires me!


Verse of the Month:

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
~ Philippians 4:8



34 comments:

  1. Your blog content is refreshing. Thank you. I enjoyed this newsletter. ❤

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  2. I really enjoy how you focus on the home. There will always be things in this world that go on...but home is where we can nurture and serve the Lord. Thanks for all the delights you've shared! This week my children have started back into their formal lessons and so I am working on creating a "work station" by the kitchen for some of their homemaking tasks.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I couldn't agree more! I love creating little stations for all the household projects! Enjoy it! and Happy homeschooling! :)

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  3. Thank bbn you for all the delightful information you shared. I love the things in your give-away. I enjoy reading your blog most every day. Thank you!

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    1. I’m so glad! Thanks for sharing here today! 😊♥️

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  4. JES, I am selfishly pleased when I receive your newsletter and it's dated the previous month; that means I have the current month's one to look forward to! Although you list Philippians 4:8 as the verse of the month, I consider your entire blog, from the very beginning, a "Philippians 4:8 blog." The world will always be in turmoil until the Lord returns, so dedicating your blog to the many noble, pure, and lovely aspects of homekeeping is balm to our souls. Nancy

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    1. What a kind thing to say! ♥️ Thank you 😊

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  5. Thank you! We can find all the politics, policy, and lunacy we want elsewhere...this site is a like a hot cup of tea....a quiet respite.

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    1. Thank you so much for understanding and for your generous comments ♥️😊

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  6. I have a lot of cabbage in the garden and today I made your recipe of Confetti Cabbage Salad and we love it! Thank you so much for your beautiful blog and posts - I love that you are back!

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    1. Thanks so much for the recipe feedback! I love ❤️ knowing some of this content is actually getting used! ♥️😊

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  7. Jes, I love coming here as your blog is so pretty and feminine. I also love going through the posts on your sidebar as they are always interesting and inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for being such an encouragement 😊♥️

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  8. I recently bought that same book, Jes. Lovely to see how you're building more pantry space - and yes, that stripe fabric is so perfect! I'm looking for a nice check to recover our dining chairs. Have a blessed week. xx

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    1. I’m guessing we own lots of the same books! 😊 It’s a nice, peaceful read which is good... I think you’re always safe with checks... happy hunting ♥️

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  9. Thank you for keeping your blog such a peaceful, beautiful, and inspiring space! I get so exasperated when I want to get away from news and drama and it spills over even into homemaking and style blogs. Thank you for sharing your ideas and plans! I have learnt a lot here.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement Jamie! ♥️😊

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  10. WOW, Jes I was just going through learning again how to organise my pantry as it has become a bit disarray. I remembered I had learnt alot from you over the years and missed your presence in this long time. Well low and behold, typed in your website address and I literally screamed. My family came running in to the room asking what had happened, what is is...."She is back, she is back" I loudly said. So wonderful to see you again, hope you and your family are wonderfully well. xxoo

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    1. What a fun story! Thanks for sharing that! It made my morning 😊♥️

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  11. That verse has been one that I have had to focus on during this time, to keep my mind of the right things. I like what you've done with your pantry. Clever. Have you read any books by Gladys Tabor? I think you'd like them.

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    1. It’s such a beautiful verse... one of my favorites to keep sane! Regarding the books... I had ordered them from my local library about 8 months back but most copies were older and unavailable. I think I ended up with the Chronicles but felt like I needed to read the others first to get the whole picture... they are on the top of my list ♥️😊

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  12. I love reading your blog. Its refreshing and encouraging. As for what's going on in our home I'm doing some sewing. I'm teaching myself to sew using Christian Light Publishers. I made a dress last week and this week I hope to start a jumper that looks easy but I don't know.
    Have a blessed day!

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    1. Good for you!!! We used that curriculum for my daughter's home economics course - it was very thorough... Hope your next project is a success! :)

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  13. I enjoyed seeing your new pantry and it has given me ideas for food storage as well since we have been expanding that, too. I appreciate that you are not addressing today's politics and that I can come here to a place of peace. I agree that there seems to be nothing to watch and we turned off movie after movie. My husband and I have been watching old episodes of Jaque Pepin and Julia Child Cooking at Home and have been thoroughly entertained by the humor between the two and I have gleaned some cooking tips. It has also been a time of pulling out old movies that we enjoyed many years ago and re-watching those.

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    1. Yes, yes and yes!!! I can't tell you how many repeats of the Andy Griffith show we have enjoyed! :)

      Thanks for sharing Lana!

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  14. You always write an uplifting blog,one that refreshes and doesn't create feelings of disharmony or unhappiness. Please, keep it as you are now. I always smile to see this in my inbox. Thank you, and God bless!

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    1. Thank you Mary! I have no plans of changing anything! :) Just wanted to explain myself! Have a beautiful week! ♥️😊

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  15. I have just found your blog through Jenny of Elefantz, it is just lovely and I will happily be returning. x

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    1. Thanks for introducing yourself! It’s a pleasure to meet you! ♥️😊

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  16. I am a bit late dear but wanted to say that I believe we are kindred spirits! So agree with you on your views and love everything about home! God bless!!

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    1. Thank you Faye -- you are always so encouraging!!! :)

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