Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Let's take a step back and look at what we have within our walls...

It's in headlines all over the world. It's in your country and it's in mine.
It's changing life as we know it and created panic in the hearts of many, perhaps most. 

There's no need for me to expand on this pandemic, the news surely has enough to help you stay informed, so as I was pondering the writing of today's post what really came to mind was a desire to encourage all of us to keep a positive spirit, to look within our homes at what we can do to make these next months of living a relatively reclusive life more of a joy than a burden. 

If you're a regular reader of my blog there's a high chance you are crafty in some way and/or enjoy being a homemaker, which probably means you have quite a supply of fabric, threads, wool, paper, lace, patterns, recipes and the like right within reach. 

Perhaps you have a number of UFOs in your stash which were set aside long ago?
A whole Pinterest board of recipes to try that you never got around to?
Cupboards to re-organise or de-clutter but finding the time or incentive hasn't been easy?

A regular time of prayer and Bible study each day which though well intentioned at New Year just hasn't come to pass?
Old friends who live far away you keep meaning to call but somehow the years pass and other things took precedence? 
Those books you bought because they looked interesting or had great patterns or ideas in them; are they collecting dust in the bookcase?

Wouldn't it be lovely to share ideas for things we can do within our homes as the world leaders of our various countries grapple daily with a situation that has not been faced in our lifetime.

Whether you agree or disagree with your national leaders is not important here in my small corner of the blogosphere; I'm concerned with your ability to be calm and occupied at home, and to be mentally and physically well. 

Your home should be a safe place to just be yourself and hopefully to find pockets of joy, accomplishment and peace, even as you attend to the needs of others within its rooms.

Blossom and I have done as much pantry preparedness as we can given the current grocery climate, and now both of our households are self isolating as much as possible. We shall visit each other once or twice a week and do what we can to make those visits fun for the children whilst enjoying mother/daughter time as well.

The photos above were taken this morning. 
Whilst waiting for Blossom, Cully May and Rafaella to arrive I gathered the ingredients for a batch of scone dough and suddenly remembered that Cully May loves stars, so I found my unused yellow star cutter and got to work creating star scones for our morning tea. 
Am I the MOST popular Nana in the world at the moment?
I certainly am in Cully May's opinion! She ate three star scones and asked for more, declaring "Nana, these are delicious! They're my favourite scones!" And I must tell you that many tight squeezy hugs followed. She and Rafaella also enjoyed a large cup of weak milky tea each with their mummy and I.

Simple things.
Star scones, grandchildren, a beloved best-friend-daughter, and no pressure to go do anything else for there's always tomorrow.

I'm thinking to blog more frequently, perhaps three times a week now, as I have so much to share with you and truly desire to lift both our hearts as we walk what seems a slightly different path in the months ahead.

And whilst we're on the subject of walking a path...why don't we begin by walking the room?


If you've not heard about my habit of 'walking the room' every few years I'll share a bit from the original 'walk the room' blog post I wrote around new year back in 2015...


With an entire year to immerse my soul in the domestic arts ahead of me, I've been meaning to fill my diary with all my 'home-centred' ideas so I don't forget them, but...I keep forgetting to write them down.
Do you find yourself doing that?
A great idea (or three!) comes to mind and you plan to follow through but are remiss in making a note of it, so pretty soon you've forgotten what it was?  The story of my life. 
Another thing that stalls my good intentions for bringing some domestic control to my home is feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work I see before me and simply not knowing where to begin. 

As I was walking through each room around New Year my memory was jogged by a scene from one of mine and Blossom's favourite lazy day chick flicks - "Under the Tuscan Sun".

(I will just let you know that I fast forward through some of this movie - what we love about it is the entire process of transforming the villa)

Let me set the scene:  the main character, Frances, has arrived in Italy newly divorced, and on impulse purchases an old run down Tuscan villa called 'Bramasole' which she plans to renovate and call home...

Naturally there is an aftershock when she takes possession. Arriving with her suitcases and nothing else it dawns on her the enormity of what she taken on, but as she walks through the villa and slowly takes in her surroundings she makes this observation that resonates very strongly inside me:

"Pick one room and make it yours. Go slowly through the house. Be polite, introduce yourself so it can introduce itself to you." 
(Frances Mayes, Under The Tuscan Sun movie 2003)

Over the ensuing months she works relentlessly with the help of some odd Polish handymen...

...to create a home from the rubble.

Even though I am not renovating a neglected Tuscan villa, I do desire to make every room in this house a place of 'welcome' and refreshment, a sanctuary even, so I decided Frances had sage advice for me to draw from this year. 
One room at a time, politely re-acquainting myself with it's nuances, writing myself notes about the things I need, and want, to do with it to fulfil my vision. 

That's when my phrase "Walk The Room" was birthed.

On the top line of my paper I wrote the name of a room, and over a few days last week I 'walked my rooms' and made notes on everything I could think of that I'd like to do for them.

The kitchen (to my thinking) is the heart of a home, and the projects and chores listed for it on my sheet is longer than the plans I have for my other rooms....

...but each 'walk the room' list is just as important as another.
I will spend my Sunday afternoons reading through each room's plans and decide what I'd like to accomplish over the following week. 
I'm sure I'll add to each list along the way, but I'll also be crossing things off them.  I envisage a lot of satisfied smiles over early evening cups of tea in the months ahead as this house becomes more of a 'home'.


The photo above shows the original walk the room download sheet, and there was a newer one shared in 2017...but now it's 2020 and it's time for an even fresher sheet to download.
And you know, this time I'm not in a rental home anymore, but in a home of our own so my vision for what can be done in each space widens a bit. My husband has a hammer and drill and he assures me often "This is YOUR home now, Mrs Reynolds, and we can do whatever makes you happy." 
Oh, goodness, I love that man!

So if you'd like a task for the coming week it's to download my newest "Walk the Room" lined paper and print up one for each room in your dwelling.
Then gently walk through each room and look with new eyes at your surroundings, writing down the things which come to mind, things you would like to do within that room this year.

  I'll be doing the same thing this week and once I have my lists complete I'll add them to my new Homemakers Heart binder, right near the front where I can refer to them often.

In case you missed last week's free pattern, which became the cover of my Homemakers Heart binder it's over HERE.

I'm hoping to put together the door stop tutorial tomorrow and then share it with you on Thursday.
Apart from that I have patterns to write for the next set of Faith In Hand stitcheries, and a new bread recipe to try which features orange and currants - sounds delicious, yes?

Psalm 91 is a wonderful reminder of God's power in our lives when we surrender to Him.
Why don't you stop for a few minutes right now and go read it?

Bless your precious heart, 

Don't miss a blog post.

Need something new to stitch?
Pop over HERE to my Etsy pattern shop for a browse.


Kay said...

Here in England things are moving rather quickly now to staying at home being normal. My husband is working from home, all activities have been cancelled so I am missing running my Rainbow Guides and seeing my little ones have fun, church is cancelled too. I have plenty of books and sewing projects to keep me busy, so for now life is going along alright although we may feel differently when full lockdown begins, which it will. Stay safe and happy. x

learn with miss hillbilly said...

I love this idea of walking the room! I used to do similar, I do believe I need to get back to it. Thank you.

Deborah said...

Your blog posts always encourage me. Life is strange right now.

Unknown said...

I have a raggedy old post it note with a room name written next to just 7 dots. It was all I could manage as the kids were growing. Now it is time for your new page to print out. Your page is so inspiring and now that we have moved to such a tiny house, making this list will stifle the overwhelmed fog I walk around in. I may even see if I can find a task for my Alz mom to do. You have been so missed and we have missed the community you inspired. Truly what a world we are living in. Blessings be to you this day as you have cheered our hearts to hear from you. Donna from Texas

Cheri said...

Beautiful ideas. Thank you for sharing! Hubby and I are trying to be purposeful each day especially now that we are staying home. Writing notes, calling friends, I have a long list of projects, he wants to paint the basement. I will cheer him on with that.
Loved that movie.

Allie said...

What a lovely post dear heart - and may I say, great minds think alike, lol!!! I agree with Cully May, you're the bestest Nana!

Cheryl B. said...

Psalms 91 has been my favorite Bible chapter since high school. I had an older friend who would call me in the morning, before I got out of bed, and we would open our bible and take turns randomly pointing at something. One morning my finger landed on Psalms 91. I think St. James is the most beautiful version. "He who dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the wings of the almighty". I just love it. And the Walk the Room form. Omgoodness! This is exactly what I need right now! I am concentrating on organizing and cleaning my house for the entire year. My husband inherited 31 tubs of stuff. I purchased a Sweet Sixteen. We raised our children in this house and we have slowly filled it up and we need to make space. THANK YOU and God Bless.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Spring has come to The Netherlands ! sunshine and plus 13 C ! I think there will be a lot of garden improvement days as people stay home. "walk the garden " weather indeed! removing algae, moving plants about, hearing cheery neighbours :)and walk the hobby room! Might be 17 C tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Jenny

En France nous sommes confinés à cause du virus , mais on n'a pas le droit de visiter nos familles ...
J'ai été habituée à rester à la maison avant mon travail et c'est ce n'est pas une punition d'y rester : couture , cuisine crochet ...on peut tout faire à la maison .
Oui c'est important que notre home soit agréable .
Merci pour vos posts

Lilac Joan said...

Thank you. The verse brought tears to my eyes as this morning I am having a hard time staying positive. Now to open my Bible and read more of Psalm 91.

FlourishingPalms said...

Hi Jenny! Count your blessings that you will still occasionally get to see your children during these isolated times. At best, I will see mine on FaceTime, though honestly, my grandsons are now at the age when talking to Nana on FaceTime isn’t fun. Who knows when we will be able to travel to be with any of them? It’s too saddening to think about.

Must tell you that it can’t be coincidental that I too wrote a blog post this morning, and shared verses from Psalm 91. I’m glad so many believers are finding comfort there. Hopefully it also means that more people are praying through ththese difficult days.

I love that movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun,” and appreciate your reminder that it’s one I want to watch again. Take care of yourself.

Meg said...

This is such a lovely post, Jenny. A reminder that we can find joy and peace at home in simple things like baking, books, board games, picnics in the backyard and crafts. I too have been thinking of ways to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away or who need to stay at home now. When thinking about such challenging times and difficulties, I hope there will be some positives for our world that come through this hardship.

Linda P in IL said...

Thank you Jenny, when I do a "room walk" I estimate how long each task will take and then when I have that amount of time, I know exactly where I could spend it. Please stay healthy, the world needs your voice.

diana said...

We take care of our three grandchildren while parents are working so busy

Linda said...

Great idea to walk the room and jot ideas down. This is the second time I have seen recommendations to read Psalm 91

Beth said...

Tea with my grandparents is one thing I greatly miss. Such precious memories.

Essie said...

Jennie...your posts are so encouraging and inspiring, full of Peace and Calm which I know is surely from the Lord Jesus. Thank you! Love "Walk the Room". Usually I just write things down in a steno book,a throwback from years of being an administrative assistant/secretary but now long retired. Going to add the suggestion of walking the garden and any other outdoor work. That's going to be a long list but much prettier on your pages. Psalm 91 is a favorite. God's Word is always an anchor that holds us steady...

Susan said...

Thanks for a post that matches my thinking this morning! Thanks for the updated list. I need to do a lot of that in the next two weeks. I'm going to send you a meme a friend sent to me. I think someone had posted it on FB. It reminded me, and probably lots of others, that our homes have much to offer, and this is a God-sent opportunity to cultivate relationships within the walls of those homes. Love you, Miss Jenny!

RBrown said...

Where can I find the scone recipe and the muffin one?

Lin said...

The weather has turned beautiful here just at the right time and so we are able to enjoy walks in the garden during this lockdown. So much work to do there too after a wet winter. So apart from the basics indoors, my priority right now are the rooms outside. Good to be able to wave to the odd car that passes by too. Thank you for your lovely post Jenny - I hope that you and all your family stay safe. xx

Helen L said...

Just hoping that you stay well, knowing that you had a health scare recently. Thank goodness we love being at home, right? :-) Hugs, H in Healdsburg

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Spring is just beginning to come here in the northern United States. So looking forward to it. We are sort of quarantined. No place to go as most things are shut down and now we are being advised to wear masks if we go out. Thank you again for your beautiful blog and all your hard work. I definitely do need to start an idea notebook. The ideas come and then fly away!