A Cool, Rainy Day in July

Doesn’t the title of this post seem out of place for someone who lives in the Flint Hills of Kansas? How often do we walk outside on a late July day, wearing a skirt and tee, get goosebumps and shivers, then run back indoors for a jacket and long pants? It’s a rare thing, folks, and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Because of the chilly damp weather, it felt like the perfect opportunity to wear this outfit to church. I’d gotten the dress a couple months ago, but knew I wanted to wear cowboy boots with it, so figured I’d have to wait until September. Thanks to the freakish weather pattern, I was able to don it in July!

No Boundaries pink lace dress – Walmart
Cardigan – Maurice’s
Mossimo Western boots – Target
Pin – thrifted
This outfit turned out exactly as I’d imagined it when I saw the dress on the clearance rack at Walmart. It’s a junior size 2X, so it’s a bit loose and kind of big in the top, but since I’m not fond of clingy clothes, this works out well. The neckline did have some gaping issues, but that was easily solved by gathering the excess in the center and using this fun pin to hold it together. I love how the shells are made to look like flowers!
The dress was supposed to have a leather belt attached, but someone had removed it and made off with it. Considering that the only other dress like it (in white) on the rack had a neon pink belt, I am not sure I would have cared for it anyway. I considered wearing a brown leather belt, but decided that would be just a bit too much. A belt would probably be fine without the cardigan.
See how green everything is in the background of the pics? This is truly amazing for July in Kansas! Normally by this time, the grass is withering and the trees are turning brown, and the ground has giant crevices that will swallow up small dogs. Thank you, Father God, for the blessing of a cool, refreshing, rain-filled summer!

Formerly Known As The Frumpy Hausfrau

Notice some changes on this blog? Yep, I’ve got a new title, new web address and a bit of a new look. Not much else is going to change, though. You’ll still see posts about What a Hausfrau Wears, Favorite Kitchen Gadgets, random recipes and craft projects, and occasional bargain shopping. A name change seemed in order once again, as I shift my focus in this creative outlet one more time.

In my efforts to crawl out of that dark pit of depression that I fell into a couple months ago (again), and to take better care of myself and to renew my mind to think on things that are positive, it occurred to me that using the word “frumpy” in the title of my blog might be contributing ever so slightly to my negative self image. After all, to be frumpy is to be dull, plain or unfashionable…colorless, drab, with lack of care of appearance. How can I reverse that image of myself when the word stares me in the face every time I post a blog entry?

Over the past week, I’ve been mulling over various names, collecting input from family and friends, and came up with something I like:

Flint Hills Hausfrau

The name reflects the beautiful area in which I live, as well as the non-career path I’ve chosen for my life. Both are very positive things, and I hope the new name inspires beauty and simplicity both to me as a writer and you as a reader.
Welcome to my little farmhouse in the valley! Let’s share a cup of coffee, a plate of fresh-from-the-oven cookies and enjoy a happy visit together!

My Favorite Kitchen Gadgets – Ice Cream Maker

We have an old-fashioned ice cream maker – the kind with the wooden barrel that you fill with ice and rock salt and the metal canister and noisy motor that spins the paddle. But when Some Postman saw this Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker, he just had to have it! An added bonus was that we got it FREE with our credit card points.

I learned an interesting lesson using this machine last night….if you forget to put in the freezer canister, it makes a really big mess. It’s a good thing I had to plug it in next to the bathroom sink (Some Postman was fixing an electrical outlet so I had no power at the kitchen counter where I usually put this thing.) The really nice thing about this machine is that no ice is required – just keep the canister in the deep freeze all the time and it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice! As you can see, we don’t keep sprinkles or toppings in the little compartments at the top, but I did test it out once. When you press down on one of the levers on the side, the toppings are supposed to go down that clear plastic thingy and mix with the ice cream as you pull down the handle in front. It works – sort of – as long as you use tiny toppings. But since that means more parts to clean, and because we don’t really care for toppings, I just leave those empty.

There’s a super-easy ice cream recipe that I’ve modified for using with the Cuisinart soft serve ice cream maker (it only makes about a quart of ice cream). This is pretty much the only recipe I’ve ever used for this machine, although it did come with a booklet full of recipes.

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together; chill in refrigerator about an hour before pouring into ice cream freezer.

Last night, I subbed vanilla almond milk and 2 egg yolks for the half and half, since my tummy has been balking at dairy products lately. And I switched up the flavoring with a combination of vanilla, butterscotch and almond extracts. Mmm…yummy! I’ve added diced peaches to the mix before (decrease half and half by the amount of peaches you’re adding), as well as added some chocolate syrup. It’s pretty easy to adapt for different flavors.

Look at that frosty sweetness swirling around!

Not Exactly Christmas in July

Last night was our annual Christmas in July party for our ladies’ group at church. I thought about dressing in appropriate holiday colors, but then I remembered the new scarf I’d recently purchased. And since I am making an effort to look slightly better than a lumpy frump, a scarf seemed to be a good idea. This is the outfit I went with, despite it being more patriotic than festive:

Mossimo kimono dress – Target
Bird print scarf – Walmart
Born BOC sandals – Vanderbuilt’s
Don’t you just adore my beach towel “curtains”? One of these days I’m going fabric shopping and will get some decent curtains made.
I could not resist this bird print scarf, even though I have more than enough scarves in my collection already! Probably should have worn it tied differently than this, but my imagination was lacking. Plus it was quite hot out and I didn’t really want a bunch of fabric around my neck.
Bracelet watch – thrifted

Making an Effort

So….I haven’t had the inspiration or motivation to blog lately. Last week, I took Boo to Vacation Bible School at our church every morning. We had a LOT of fun together! It was Boo’s first VBS adventure, and he soaked it up like a little sponge. Daughter said all he talked about when she got home from work was “Kingdom Rock” and “Stand Strong!” This Grammy was fashionably frumpy all week long, wearing long shorts or capris and t-shirts every day except Friday. On Friday, I wore a simple dress, hoping to stay a little cooler. Boo said, “Grammy, I like you’s new dress!” when I picked him up that morning. What a sweet boy!

And then, over the weekend, some stuff happened that left me feeling like moving to a deserted island and staying there. I’m sure God will work it all out for the best, but I’m still not handling it too well. I do not like confrontation in any way, shape or form, whether I’m doing the confronting, being confronted or witnessing confrontation. My prefered way of dealing with issues is to make imaginary confrontations, keeping all the stress stuffed inside my head, where it eventually gets buried far enough that I can pretend it doesn’t exist. Sometimes things must be dealt with head-on, however, and that leaves me stressed out like a bunny rabbit surrounded by starving barn cats.

This week, I am making an effort to be positive, to let God handle all that crud (because I simply can’t!) and to take care of myself. My neighbor C has encouraged me to be her walking buddy, so I’ve been joining her every other evening. We walk and talk for about 45 minutes, and it’s really helping both of us to handle our respective life issues. I’ve been doing a yoga session almost every morning, which is a good stress reliever. Today, I gave my growing-out hair a color touch-up, and tonight I plan to wear a decent outfit to our church ladies’ group’s Christmas in July party. It’s going to get better; I must keep my trust in God’s promise that all things work together for good for those who love Him!

In keeping with this being positive thing, here’s a good deal I ran across at the grocery store this week:

FREE snacks! Green Giant Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips were on sale at Dillons for 99¢ when you bought four. They were FREE after using doubled 50¢ coupons, and I got the last four on the shelf. Woo-hoo!

In Honor of Little Old Lady Dog, Take Three

This scarf was simply too cute to resist! It’s a great size and length, so will be quite versatile, once I learn how to arrange it. It was a challenge to find the best way to wear it this morning. Collared dresses present me with problems when it comes to scarves.

LEI dress – Walmart
Dansko sandals – Trade Home Shoes
Dachshund print scarf – Amazon
Silver hoop earrings – JCP
Silver bracelet – Walmart
I still miss my Little Old Lady Dog, Abby, but it is getting easier with time. And it helps so very much having Silly Miss Etta Pooka around. She follows me everywhere and snuggles with me and gives me puppy kisses.