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Thankful Thursday | this feels like home

This week, I am thankful:

that my rental is feeling like home

On Mother’s Day this year, when I moved into my rental, I was having an unexpectedly rough time.

living room rental.

(In retrospect, I should have anticipated that this would be a hard day. Ahahaha.)

Being at my old house, packing my things up, I was barely holding it together. And when my sweet sister-in-law (my brother’s wife) gently asked me how I was doing, I burst into a mixture of angry and sad tears.

She gave me a hug and said to me, “Kristen, you made this house into a beautiful home, and you will do the same in your rental.”

plants in window

At the time, this rental house felt like a strange, unfamiliar place, and man, I felt so angry that I was having to start all over when I had already thoroughly feathered my nest at my old house (I lived there for almost 17 years.)

And I really wondered how this new place was going to feel ok, like home.

Kristen's kitchen table.

But now, five months into living here, I can say that my sister-in-law was right; I am feeling so happy and comfortable here. I really love my little house!

Now that I have feathered my nest here, I often find myself noticing how comfortable and homey it is, and the more I settle in, the more that is true (like whenever I finish more furniture!)

bed with white comforter.

You know the feeling when you get into bed on a cold night and snuggle in under the covers and then you feel all warm and safe? That’s how I feel in my rental now.

Plus, I love my neighbors, I love my neighborhood, and I love my location.

flowers on a table.

I still have plenty of days where I cry as I process all the hurt of what has happened, but overall, I feel such a sense of peace here and I am thankful!

for lovely weather to walk to school

The weather yesterday was so, so nice; definitely a good day to walk rather than drive.

Kristen walking to school.

for granola

Man, I forgot how much I like this granola! I have been happily eating bowls of homemade yogurt with fruit and granola. SO GOOD.

Here’s the granola recipe, in case you missed it.

granola on yogurt.

for leftovers

Yesterday I was very happy that there was leftover lasagna at lunchtime. 🙂

a bowl of lasagna.

for phone scanning

I have to submit my written notes for each chapter in microbiology, and my phone makes this so quick and easy, especially compared to the clunky scanning I remember back in the old days.

microbiology notebook.

for the cat. always for the cat.

She has our hearts. 😉

tuxedo cat sitting on the table.

What are you thankful for this week?

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Sunday 6th of November 2022

* To have found a Buy Nothing group in my area. I was able to give loads of stuff snd and I got lucky in receiving a book for me, a new pair of sandals for DD, nice clothes for DH and toothpaste for the dog!

* DD has Covid, tested positive 2 days ago. She is not sick one bit apart from the initial sore throat and so far none of us got it. Crosd fingers!

*Amazing weather this weekend and a walk in the woods with hubby and daughters

* my king size bed

* a quiet neighbourhood despite living in a city


Sunday 6th of November 2022

When Zoe had Covid, I'd never have known except that I had her tested since everyone else in the house was sick. Lucky Zoe!


Friday 4th of November 2022

Some commenters have mentioned sewing machines. The golden age of home sewing machines was the 1940s thru the 1960s; many of the machines made then were designed for sturdiness and for owners to do a lot of maintenance and repair themselves. Some of the newer machines use new polymers instead of metals, but they are not worse machines; many of the machines that were cheap were actually made by precision companies under contract. So, for example, the Elna company, using fine Swiss engineering and manufacturing, made many Kenmore machines for Sears. In any case, if you are storing a machine and not using it, please keep it dry, clean and oiled, and keep the manual with it. It will tell you how to wind the bobbin and thread the upper tensions. The fastest way to ruin an old machine is to store it in a dirty, damp place. If you are looking for a machine, you will get more bang for your buck if you study up a little to decide what will work for you. Since there are no longer any U.S. companies making sewing machines, all the new options come from Japan, Europe, and other countries, so we have to pay for the import as well as the machine. One of the easiest ways to compare machine quality is to look at the warranties. A Swiss company sells new machines with 25-year warranties, a wonderful clue as to their workmanship. In contrast, there are toy machines with 30-day warranties, cheap but not worth a penny. If you want to help someone learn to sew with a basic machine, the most useful stitches to include are the straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. The "decorative" stitches are not necessary for most sewing, but the more of them there are, the more expensive the machine. I love to sew, and my favorite small machine is an old portable Kenmore that stitches straight and zigzag stitches, and makes a nice buttonhole. Period. It also weighs 15 pounds all by itself! Does not skid around the table.

It costs about $75 these days to have a machine serviced--cleaned, oiled and tuned up. It is a good investment if you buy a used machine. The mechanic can show you where oil is needed, if any (many new machines have sealed motors that don't need oil), and help you keep it running well. As we like to share frugal practices, sewing saves time and money in some situations more than others--I have made lined draperies, slip covers, curtains, laundry bags, aprons and hot mitts and pads, table and bed linens, and clothing for myself and my family, often from quality fabrics that have held up well over time. The fast fashion of throwaway clothes is adding to garbage heaps by exponential tons, and sewing helps move us all into a more responsible future. Did I mention quilts? Gifts? Adapted clothing for people with special fitting needs? Decorative pillows? Fun with color? Forgive me, I really do enjoy it and miss the class I taught in basic sewing. Find a friend and start sharing a new skill. It is much more than a simple craft. Doll clothes. Event costumes. Cosplay. Cozy, gorgeous fleece sweaters...


Friday 4th of November 2022

A lovely post. Thank you. Moving can be hard. Home making is a slow process, but I haven't had the luxury of 17 years in one house. I am grateful that our many moves have forced me to let go of some things that would otherwise be underfoot, and my husband and I have come to know each other better from the stories about stuff. I am thankful my husband will be away this weekend with 20 undergraduate students. Having a quiet house for sewing and piano playing gives me a peaceful break from cooking--he has diabetes and needs to eat quite regularly--even tho I miss him too. I am thankful for some beautiful fabric that has been waiting for me for months, and for my powerful, versatile, reliable sewing machine that will help me make something wonderful to wear. For the beauty of the maple and gingko trees in my town. The leaves are coming down but they are wonderful! For the friendship of a retired nurse who so generously shares helpful ways to manage my allergies. She has reduced allergy misery by at least 75% this summer! And for a reliable car.


Friday 4th of November 2022

I'm happy home is feeling more like home for you. It looks lovely.

This week:

1. I'm thankful see your cat! What a beauty! (I'm also thankful for my tuxie cats and the other furbabies as well!)

2. I'm thankful for my job which I enjoy most days. I make enough money to be comfortable and feel like I am doing work that is beneficial to many.

3. I'm grateful for my spouse of 33 years-- what an amazing life we have had together. I want 33 more years with my best friend!

4 I'm grateful for my own comfy house that makes me feel safe and happy.

5. I'm grateful for my education--so often I feel inadequate compared to other people who went to "better" schools. But I'm a lifelong learner and I'm always learning whereas I think some of those folks don't always strive to keep learning and growing.


Friday 4th of November 2022

I have been having SUCH a hard time feeling thankful lately, but I'll try:

1. For the pineapple guava bushes I planted. They are so pretty, they'll equally grow large enough to provide a visual barrier, and they produce food!

2. I'm finally getting caught up on my backlog at work.

3. The Kickstarter modular foam couch I bought for my kids a year and a half ago finally arrived and they love it!

4. My daughter's daycare being closed for vacation definitely makes life harder overall, but she gets so much more energy out during the day at home that she's going to bed more easily.

5. I'm so grateful to have a nice home, a good and secure job, 4 kitties and my faithful old dog, and we're finally starting to get the rain we desperately need.


Friday 4th of November 2022

I can tell you live in a climate different than mine because no one here plants pineapple guava bushes!

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