The Week Ahead: Fourth Quarter of the Year



Isn't that a lovely living room?  Would you believe it's a room designed for Ladies Home Journal in 1912?  Yes, it is.  Aside from the lack of television or radio, the room appears almost modern.  The room is uncluttered, one might almost say minimalist and yet it is really a lovely room.

First let me share the blurb beneath the picture:  "The first requirement of a living room is to give a feeling of cheerfulness and hospitality."

I'd say this room delivers on both scores.  I long to just go in and sit in this room.  It's is cheerful with it's two toned walls, wood floors, beautiful rug and upholstery and overall color scheme of sand and teal green.  Considering the color of the walls is something I've been considering for my own living room, you can probably understand that this room really spoke to me when I first saw it for more than just the color scheme though that drew my eye first.  This room reminds me of so much of what we've spoken of doing with our own living room.  In fact, this is now one of my inspiration photos for my own living room.

First the room has a lovely height.  The way the walls are done, with the upper half blending into the ceiling color creates that artificially.  The tudor style effect over the mantel adds to the feeling of height.  Height always lends airiness to a room.   The beams across the ceiling are small enough to add interest, but not dispel  the feeling of height.

Second there are all the windows which  I am especially drawn to.  I also love the French doors at the end of the room.  With the light walls and the windows days in this room would be lovely and bright.  And at night, the sheers at the windows (and perhaps blinds behind) and the light walls will amplify the light.

Let's take note of the function of the room here: There's a bookcase and desk on the end wall.  What a lovely little writing corner that is.  Note how the Windsor chair is pulled up near the window.   A lovely spot to spend time sewing or reading during the day.  

The angle of the sofa towards the fireplace also caught my attention.  It reminds me strongly of  Grace Livingston Hill's Honor Girl.   The young man who comes to call on Elsie finds the living room set up in such a way, a sofa rolled into the room and angled towards a fireplace with pillows piled at one end, a lovely rug upon the floor, and the living room itself had a desk.  In fact, I might well transfer this room to the scene in that book that always has spoken so to my homemaker's spirit!

The fireplace, at this point in time was almost always the focal point of a room.  Radios were not yet on the scene and televisions unheard of.   A family spent the evening in a living room reading silently or aloud, sewing, and conversing.  Imagine a world where the focus is upon those who live or are visiting in the house and not upon any sort of device with a screen.   

I think I could live in such a room...and one day perhaps my own living room will be a nearer resemblance to this one.  I'd like that a lot.

In my home this week:  

I'm slowly getting my potted plants squared away.  I just went out this morning, in the fresh breezy air and repotted the snake plant.   I thought I had two plants in the pot but there were three.  I did find the sole slug in that pot of plants, so we'll call that a bonus.  I can at least bring in those three, now.

After repotting plants, I went out to the shed and clipped a pretty bouquet of marigolds and some sprigs of rosemary to accent it.  I wanted to clip still more flowers, since the cosmos are so especially lovely but the butterflies and bees were buzzing around them and I told them I'd leave those for them.  I had a third zinnia bloom by the way, lol.  Loving my bit of autumn flowers.


John startled me Friday evening when he mentioned in prayer that we were in the fourth quarter of the year.  Fourth!  Why had it not occurred to me that we were already in the fourth quarter of this year?  I'm usually the only one who divides the year into quarters in our home.    I haven't worked out a fourth quarter budget.  On the one hand, I'm more than happy to be out of the third quarter which was difficult to say the least.  On the other hand, this fourth quarters brings with it the beginning of a lot of pay outs and the holidays so I guess I shall not expect a great recovery time this quarter either, but I still need to know where we are so that I can plan wisely.

It's our monthly pay week.  I need to write checks and gather things so John or I can run the local errands one day.  I've already started making out a grocery list but need to work on that some more.  

Clean up the porches if the rain is all done.  That is questionable as you'd know if you were looking out my window with me at the moment, but there's no doubt that both porches need a good straightening up and some things removed to sheds and yes, the bin I used last year must come out and possibly another bought to contain the plants over winter for frosty nights.   

Try to transition another set of plants indoors.  Figuring out where I might put all of them is the tough part but some of them at least will not survive at all outdoors this winter and I'm determined to save them.

There are little jobs I've noticed need to be done: straightening the towel cupboard, neatening the napkins drawer, working on the organization of my bedroom closet, dusting the living room.  I'm not really concerned with zone work at present because frankly I'd just be frustrated if I tried to tend to zones.  I'm keen to tackle those things I see that need to be attended to and keep up with basic cleaning.

One other job that must be done this week is mopping.  The kitchen is the worse for wear at present and the bathrooms might as well be mopped too, as well as both entries.


I find that currently my life seems to center hard around food.  I have been enjoying making new recipes, many of which have incorporated leftovers.  These past few weeks the new recipes have all been keepers and I'm happy to add them to my recipe file.   I need to actually print or write them out for my recipe file or I'm going to forget them.

 I want to try and keep my pantry built up and to recognize and fill gaps I find in it.  I caught myself this week making out a very comprehensive grocery list for the month ahead.  I never got as far as some of the really necessary items.  Frankly I got overwhelmed at all the 'needs' I supposedly have.   Well I don't!  A lot of things are 'nice to have', and there's nothing wrong with adding those things in but I need to refocus what is NECESSARY, then see where I am with allowing in some of the 'nice to have' items. I'm going to be rewriting my grocery list and trim it down.  I'm going to be sure to add some of the holiday meal items in so I can spread out the expense of those through  these three remaining months.  I'm going to focus on my pantry and actually fill a few gaps (Crisco and vegetable oil, flour and sugar).

Grocery Shop.

I'm going to start adding one dehydrated food to my pantry each month.  This month I'm planning to add green bell peppers.  I never seem to keep enough of these on hand and this past week when I made spaghetti sauce, the one place I absolutely want green bell peppers, I had to scratch and scrape about in the freezer to find enough to give flavor to my spaghetti sauce!  I found a deal on Amazon for an 8 ounce package each of red and green (in separate bags not mixed up) bell peppers for $1.18 an ounce which was the very best price I found.  I've got them in my cart.  I'm not going to go big on dehydrated things just yet but it's definitely a new area of pantry foods I want to explore.  

We don't have a lot of leftovers in the fridge at present probably because I've either divided and frozen recipes as I made them or because we used the leftovers immediately.  I haven't come into this weekend with much of a meal plan either.  I'm using items I've put into the freezer as the basis of easy meals this weekend.


Tandoori Chicken Thighs, Yellow Rice, Roasted Cauliflower A freezer entree.  I had half this left sometime ago and John asked not to have it again right away.  I'm ready to get the container out of the fridge and I may try toning down the curry of it with a bit of coconut milk.  

Shoebox Supper/Meatless Monday: 7 can  Soup, Cornbread, Gelatin with fruit

 I didn't add in a Shoebox Supper last week but I haven't forgotten that it was my intent to make such meals so I'd know what was Tried and True and which we might honestly choose to eat. I don't have processed cheese on hand so I won't be using that in my soup but otherwise this meal comes strictly off my pantry shelves.

Italian Pepper Steak, Noodles, Salad, Rolls

Turkey Tenderloin, Cheesy Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes

Deviled Chicken Backs, Mashed Potatoes, Black eye peas

John out to men's meeting, me out grocery shopping

Meatloaf Muffins, au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans or Broccoli (this one is iffy.  I definitely want an easy meal for Friday and definitely want a beef meal but I may change to another meal entirely.


Read, read, read.  I finished the book I began on Wednesday.   Now I'm reading Kerry by Grace Livingston Hill.  

Get a haircut.

Try and rest each day.   I found my nap so refreshing one day last week that I didn't drop into bed two hours early and pass out as I'd been doing.

(C) Terri Cheney

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