It’s almost spring!

The winter here was not too bad in the snow department, but I’m still ever so glad to have made it through until March.  I really don’t like winter, and I’m very much looking forward to springtime and flowers and warmth. Here’s a gratuitous flower shot — pure eye candy, isn’t it?

I’ve been the worst blogger ever lately, partly because of work, but also, I think, because I have been doing quite a bit more reading in the last few months.  (Latest fave book: 600 Hours of Edward.  Some adult content, but an amazing view into the mind of an adult with Asperger’s.)

The latest from work: the OB building flooded, which put our department completely out of commission for a few weeks. We’ve been keeping a skeleton crew of OB nurses in our ER each shift, just in case a baby decides to be born before a mom can be transported to the nearest open OB department.  The rest of our OB staff has been floated by turns to work at the Boise hospital, which has been quite a stress-inducing adventure.  So far, the shifts I’ve done have gone OK, but it is no small thing to be handed a patient load on a busy floor to which you have not been oriented.  On the bright side:  the Boise hospital is where John works, so a time or two we’ve been able to say hi and chat a minute between shifts.  (I’m still working nights and he works days.)

The latest from home:  Emily and Julianna have been practicing a piano duet and have gotten rather good at it.  I love that they’re enjoying playing together.  In fact, Julianna says she’d rather play duets than play alone.  They’re taking lessons from my mom, which I absolutely love.

Even tho there’s room in the house for the girls to have rooms of their own, I still have them sharing a bedroom.  They are such good buddies that I’m not quite willing to separate them yet, and they actually really do enjoy being together….  I may rethink that at some point– Em is almost 16, after all.  But then again, Julianna still sometimes gets anxious if she’s alone at night.  So who knows….?  Parenting is such a guessing game, isn’t it?

In other news, they now have guinea pigs, and the guinea pigs have a room of their own.  This keeps the girls from having to sleep in the same room as piggy stinkiness, but it does seem to me a bit over the top in terms of pampering your pets.  Ah well.

A reader recently asked me a question about grocery shopping splurges. I do still aim to feed my family affordably as much as I can.  Stirfry is a regular option around here.  We do homemade pizza and homemade enchiladas and fajitas, etc.  And I’ve been delighted at how many tomatoes our tiny yard can produce– enough that I’ve actually still done a bit of canning each fall.

But I have to confess that since I began working away from home three years ago, I’ve gotten worse in the grocery budget department.  Most notably, we eat out more now that I work outside the home. I’ve also been tending toward grocery splurges that are healthier options– things like salmon and blueberries and strawberries and easy salad mixes.  The overall budget difference hasn’t felt like much, because since I started working we also had four grown kids move out.  If anything, our grocery bill has gone down a dab…but not by much thanks to spendier food choices and more eating out.

In more kitchen news, I had fun organizing my pantry last week.  It is embarrassingly huge– in Idaho and Utah this type of pantry is often dubbed a ‘Mormon pantry’ since it is big enough for long term food storage for a very large family.  Yet somehow even with all that space, it still managed to become a total clutter bomb.  Here’s what it looked like before.

After a whole afternoon of rearranging and wiping down and decluttering all the various items, I got it looking a lot better.  This is definitely one of my favorite projects because it is free and very gratifying.

It also led to the unearthing of all sorts of odds and ends of food items, some which definitely and quickly got tossed, but others of which found their way into meals over the next couple days. Now I love walking in there because it just looks so much better.  Here’s what it looked like when the great decluttering was complete.

I would still like to do the following label with all the jars where I am storing dry goods. Doesn’t it look like fun?? But for now I am enjoying the fresh and tidy look! What’s new with you?  Thanks for continuing to stop in now and then even tho I have been so irregular in my blogging lately.

And– PS– if you’re planning a family trip to the Oregon coast sometime this year, swing by our beach house website and see what’s open.


  1. You just need to tweek your schedule for when you blog, maybe to two at one time and set them to post on certain days if your blog set up allows.
    Everyone is busy and those that don’t blog don’t know of the time it takes as Daughter2 has realized while watching me do my own blog on top of moving her and buying our new home.

    Love the pantry… here it would be called AMISH pantry.

  2. Your pantry looks tremendous! Great work! I’ve been in the midst of decluttering, too — and I agree — it’s the best form of therapy for me 🙂

    Just curious whether you’ve read one of Susan Pinsky’s books — Organizing solutions for people with ADHD : tips and tools to help you take charge of your life and get organized — I got it from our library, do not have ADHD but do have 12 children that serve as constant distractions! I think you would love it. Her humor reminds me of you. It’s some of the best practical advice for organizing I’ve ever run across.

    Of course, it doesn’t look like you NEED it — you’re on top of things — but you might enjoy it all the same.

    I’m on the fence about grocery frugality. I think it’s worth it to be careful, but sometimes there are other factors in the equation that make it WORTH it to spend that little extra in order to save time/have a treat/make life a little more enjoyable. No guilt from me!

    Anytime you get a chance to blog is a treat for me, so I’ll take it whenever you can give it.

  3. PlainJane says:

    Oh! Those flowers are lovely! <3 Your pantry looks very nice now. It's wonderful to have an organized space.

    On the food budget…I can relate. When we were homeschooling, I was far more frugal, but since the kids have been in school, I've been gravitating toward "healthy and convenient" options, like pre-bagged snacks, baby carrots, mini oranges — things that make it easy for the kids to pack their own lunches.

  4. graceinspiredhome says:

    Thank you so much dear!

  5. Funny how the cleaned up pantry seems to have more in it than the cluttered pantry. 🙂 It does look lovely though. It is amazing how we can mentally ridicule the convenience foods and yet when things are busy, we still choose to go purchase them.

    I shared a room with my sister all the way until I went to college (and then shared the dorm room with someone else) so if the girls like to share, why not? A separate room for the pets does sound funny!