Bronchitis . . . and a little time to think and plan

July 26, 2017

I'm recovering from bronchitis . . . I seem to have lost two weeks of summer. Last time I had this I cracked a rib from coughing so much. Felt sure I was going to do the same this time.

But, as they say, there's always a silver lining. Or, as my mom says, "it's an ill wind that blows no good . . . "

*** I discovered that I sleep much better on the mattress in one of our guest rooms. I was sleeping downstairs on the recliner because of my cough, and graduated to a guest room so as not to wake my husband. My back is not sore in the mornings. I'm hoping we can switch the mattresses soon. Although my husband likes our softer mattress. Hmm . . . 

*** I finally finished the second sock I was knitting. Other than the last 12 stitches. I need my knitting instructor to show me again how to do the kitchener stitch to finish it off. I'm so proud of this pair of socks. A lot of effort and a couple tears were shed in the making.

*** I re-read Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson, and was inspired to get into a better routine with my housework. One of my blogger friends has discovered the old Side-Tracked Home Executives method, but it looks a little too complicated for me.

I remember a couple years ago I made myself a whole list of daily chores, and it exhausted me after a week!

Because I don't work outside the home, it's easy to get lax with housekeeping routines. I need to set something up so I can keep up with things, get some projects done, and make time for other pursuits. Have any of you found a system you like?

*** I became convicted -- again -- about social media. I'm tempted by IG, but going to resist. I only posted there for a few months, and it was fun to see my friends' pictures and keep in contact with them. But it is another pull on my time. I'm definitely dealing with the FOMO, but, oh well.

I just read another article on the time-sucking, creativity-draining, mind-numbing effects of social media and screen time. I've often wondered how my grandmother accomplished so much. Things were quiet, and there were no media distractions.

I fasted from my phone and laptop on Sunday. I think I will make this a regular habit.

I'm also thinking about having a set time during my day to get online. Not always checking and getting distracted all day long. Have any of you tried this?

*** Sitting and staring at our backyard (while coughing lying a-bed) helped me to formulate a plan to de-forest.

In the 19 years we've been here, the woods keep advancing toward the house, to the point that I can barely see the sky from my kitchen sink.

My husband has fought a valiant fight over the years with his chainsaw, trimming and hacking away. But it's time to get someone in to clear out some of scrubby brush (hawthorn bushes, mostly), dead branches, and vines, and to thin things out a bit.

The good news is that instead of a wall of bushes, we are starting to see a forest, with an understory, and I will enjoy looking through the woods, and having some space for the sunlight to peep through and room for the nicer trees to stretch their limbs, as it were.

We had two sad-looking cedars here at the side of the deck, outside my kitchen window. My husband removed one, and stripped down the other to serve as my bird feeding station.

After years of staining, and replacing boards, we are replacing the wood deck with a new composite one. No more maintenance!

We had been asked to host a large party this summer (which thankfully got postponed). But that was what really got us moving. We were afraid someone's foot could go through the wood in some spots.

I bought this vintage floral fitted sheet at an antique store last year, and hope to get some pillowcases made from it. I sleep on a very small pillow. I need to wrap a regular pillowcase around it 1 1/2 times to fit!

The above picture shows what a lazy blogger I've become. I never would have taken a picture of a wrinkled pillowcase I had just slept on. I would have made up the bed, put on a fresh pillowcase, etc., to take the picture. Sigh . . . 

How's your summer going? Let me know your thoughts about housekeeping routines and managing online and social media.



  1. Hi Deborah! I'm sorry you are sick. Perhaps a nice cup of hot tea and honey will help. I've been doing Flylady to help with housecleaning but I have fallen off the wagon a little bit. I would encourage you to give her a try.
    I hear you on the social media thing. My social media is limited to only blogging and Yahoogroup emails. I won't join Facebook, Twitter or Instagram even though I feel like I'm losing out at times because "everyone else is doing it".

  2. Hello Deborah
    Prayers for quick healing from your bronchitis, something I've never had but have heard how nasty it can be.
    Different strokes etc. Since I quit blogging I'm enjoying the slower pace and lack of obligation to FB and IG. FB has become so important for church and community updates but at least they're quick to skim through. IG I feel is more for me - to post some flowers etc. from my garden that I can go back and enjoy. Many photographer friends only use it and it's been nice to see what they're sharing.
    I sure wish we had composite on our huge deck but the wood is still decent, various boards replaced as needed. Be sure to show us the 'after' photos.

  3. Also prayers from me for healing too! I think a lot of people are more on facebook and less on blogging.

  4. Praying for you, Deborah. It seems as if you have been robbed of a lot of summer already. Gosh does your story about decks and forests sound familiar to me. I live with the same issues, but there is nothing I can do about the forest because it is not mine. I have been whacking away at the spruce, but it needs serious pruning from a man who knows what he's doing and from one of those buckets.

    The deck...prolly not willing to go the composite route because of expense, but my daughter is having a composite deck built at her new house. Good plan!

    Feel better! I hope that you find a suitable sleeping arrangement. Hard to say so long to your hubby for a good night's sleep... Yikes!

  5. Dear Deborah ~ I am sorry to hear about you being so sick. I also cracked a rib from too much coughing a few years back. That rib area is still tender to this day. I pray that you'll soon be well and be able to be up and about doing things.

    I also need to wean myself from my computer. It definitely sucks up valuable time. I'm in the middle of purging books and stuff with some remodeling going on also.

    You will be really pleased with your new woodland look and your new deck as well.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  6. Hello-I too had Bronchitis in June for about 3 weeks- Was awful. My husband of 38 years and I live on 3 acres in a log cabin down in the woods and we constantly work at keeping the woods around our cabin from taking over. I so relate to you on the housekeeping-Our 3 grown children are out of the house and I am alone much of the day and my housekeeping has not been what it used to be:)I have let some things go and I hear Flylady is pretty good. Social media-I just have FB and Instagram-we don't get great service where we live-so I don't have an IPhone or anything-no sense in it which is dine with me. Been too busy canning out of my garden at the present. Take care-Becky

  7. So sorry to hear you have been so ill, sending you a hug and know that you are in my prayers for a speedy recovery. I blog on a regular basis but that is all no other social media accounts which I find manageable.

  8. Hello, my friend! I am sorry to hear that you have been so sick. I have never had bronchitis but have a sister that has to deal with it every now and then. Your deck looks so relaxing, even with all of the greenery, believe me, I can relate. We just returned form Ohio and I was so enjoying the wide open spaces and flat farmland that we passed by. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the surrounding trees around my house too. Although I love the privacy they provide, I want to see the SKY! You must be pretty excited about that new deck too! As far as social media goes, I am guilty as charged of spending more time than I should. I like your idea of fasting for a day (or more) and limiting the time to just certain hours of the day. Sounds like a good idea for me to try as well! Take care of yourself and I hope you are feeling better soon! Hugs!

  9. All that heavy coughing of bronchitis is SO hard on the body. Back in the 90's, I had bronchitis several times a year, and one time, I ruptured a disc in my back from the coughing. I ended up having back surgery! So I can totally relate to you cracking your ribs.

    I am so with you on social media---such a time stealer. I left Facebook almost a year ago, and I don't miss it at all. I did start an IG about a month ago, but not to post myself, only to keep up with photos of my far-away grand nephews. I don't have the app on my phone, so I check it only from my laptop every couple of days.

    Your backyard is gorgeous! I love what your husband did with the tree to create the bird-feeding station. Such an ingenious idea.

    As far as housecleaning, I do a couple jobs each day. I no longer have the energy to clean an entire 5-bedroom, 3-bath, 2-living areas home in a single day. (We are hoping to downsize soon.) I felt guilty about that for awhile, but the creation account in Genesis brought peace. God COULD have created everything in a single day, but he chose to do things a bit at a time. So, that's what I do now. Bathrooms one day; dust, vacuum, and mop another day; laundry another day; outside another day. That works for me.

    Congratulations on the socks!! I can't knit at all---2 left hands and 10 thumbs when it comes to knitting needles.


  10. Hi, Deborah. I hope you are feeling better SOON! Bronchitis is a nasty bug, especially in the heat of summer. I know all those trees must be daunting, but we live in a housing track in So. CA, and I'd love to have the peace and calm that having a woods so close by for its privacy, calm and view of mother nature that it must provide. The view outside your window is beautiful! What is that old adage about "the grass always being greener..."?! I like the idea of breaking up cleaning and laundry chores on separate days so that I'm not committed to an entire day of housework. Usually I take about and hour each morning (while watching a news show) and having my morning coffee, to check out my emails and enjoy the blogs I follow. It's a nice way to start the day. I'm always happy when I see your blog pop up on my email. You write so well, and are honest, open and always give me food for thought. Take care of yourself and know that you are appreciated. Rosie

  11. Hello Deborah, I'm so sorry to hear that you have been sick. I do hope that you recover and feel better soon. It's so good to keep up with things outside in the yard. When I do housework, I do a little bit each day so that it is not so overwhelming. I do have a cleaning lady come in every other week and that is a big help with me. I think it's great to have a day to take a break from SM. I like to do emails and work on the blog in the mornings.
    Take care of yourself and rest up.

  12. Hello Deborah,
    I'm sorry that you've been ill and hope that you are well on the way to health again. These forced times of thinking can be so beneficial. Social media can take up much time. I signed up for Instagram and have a few posts there, but it's not for me. I use Facebook to keep up with family and friends from the past (and current real life friends). Blogging opened up a new world to me, a world of women who thought about life, appreciated beauty, and lived intentionally. But it seems that so many are abandoning blogging and I get that, too. I've wondered if I should do the same. Perhaps blogging less frequently would be the first step. I always appreciate your thoughtful words.
    How fun for you to see the woods open up and the light come in. Perhaps that's a metaphor for letting go of things that are less important in life. We can't do everything, and it's vital to stay connected to the Light of the World.

  13. It sounds to me your two weeks of being unwell (so sorry for that, hope you're on the mend) has served you WELL. Terrific that you found sleep! I know how hard that's been for you. As for social media (SM), I do best to get online first thing in the morning - allowing myself about an hr, then move on. The fact that you've taken Sunday as your SM fasting time is a good start to a schedule. I think schedules are very effective for feeling productive, whether it's housework (such as I'll wash towels & sheets on Mondays and clean the bath while the laundry is going) or even blocking times for creativity (like working/finishing those socks - yay you! or even drafting a blog post - that's creativity too!). I hate doing housework all at once, but sometimes when I get started, it's hard to quit. Those are the days I just give in to the feeling - because they don't happen regularly. Otherwise, I piece it out through the week. It may not ever feel like all's clean at once, but unless company's coming, who cares? Btw, isn't having company the BEST way to get big things (like decks) checked off the lists?! I love it.

  14. Hi Deborah, I'm sorry that you've had the hacking bronchitis!! That's certainly not fun for the summer, for sure. I'm glad that you did get a restful night's sleep on the guest bedroom mattress. I wonder if a sleep number mattress would be good for you and your hubby? A new composite deck will be so nice for you! I do like your idea of laying off of technology on Sundays. I hope you feel better soon!

  15. Hi, so sorry you have been so sick, Maybe you need one of those mattresses that you can change the softness with a number??
    Social media is very irritating, because it feels a bit fake and you do become addicted to it! Seriously, being real and sending a letter or a phone call or an email is so much more satisfying. Your deck will be wonderful! I do my housework as I see the need for surface or deep cleaning as I really do enjoy keeping my home clean and tidy. But the kitchen and living room is always the top rooms daily! Blessings, Roxy

  16. I'm so sorry you've been that sick! We just don't expect to be sick in the summer, do we?

    I remember reading about Home Comforts in the old Victoria magazine and kept meaning to find it but I'm sure I have another of her books on my shelves. And boy, do I remember the Side-Tracked Home Executives! Sisters Pam and _______? It was so much fun making out those index cards but not so much fun getting behind in it. FlyLady was the most helpful to me and I think I still basically follow her advice. I know that personally, the thing I have to do now at my age is "do the hardest thing first". I know the basics are going to get done sooner or later but it's that chore I dread the most that has to get done first thing,and that varies from day to day. Whatever I'm dreading on my list, that's what I tackle first.

    Take care and feel better soon!

  17. The lovely flowers and pillows look so inviting! Flowers are a motif in my New York City apartment. It was not planned. One day I took a look around, at my area rug and scattered decorations and the floral "pattern" hit me. I guess if one can't get it outself, one unconsciously brings it in.

    I had bronchitis twice, luckily, not recently. It is brutal. Feel better!

  18. Dearest Deborah,
    Oh my, bronchitis... I know too well how that feels.
    Hope you are fully recovered by now!
    Oh, at times I do envy the ones, some older than us... some stubborn and never engaged into social media for having a lot more time to do more important things!
    Yes, looking at our grandmothers we only can admire their simple lifestyle and yet they did create so much with their hands!
    As for me, I've cut back on social media too. It also affects our eyes I guess, at our age at least...
    For managing anything you only can do it with discipline and with a capital D.
    Sending you hugs and wishing you a happy weekend.

  19. Sorry you've been sick! I hope you're on the mend.
    I found a video years ago on youtube showing the kitchener stitch, and it was good for helping me finish a few socks, if you still need help.
    Social media: I get bored with too much of it. Even FB, which used to draw me in, is tiresome when I scroll through lots of stuff I don't care about. I haven't gotten into Twitter (just didn't get it) or Instagram (don't want to fuss with it). I've read that too much screen time is unhealthy for your brain, and I've lost enough brain cells as it is!
    Housework: I follow my mother's mantra: "A lick and a promise." I can tell by looking at your lovely blog that my housekeeping tendencies would probably drive you nuts, haha! We have a small house (1100 squ. ft.), and it was old and decrepit when we bought it. But we don't entertain much, and we are content with it. I hate to dust. I do try to vacuum. I mostly dab at things when I notice they need done. If company's coming, that's when I get motivated! I am not a good friend to ask, haha!

  20. Oh man, do I know about loosing your summer time. So glad you can sleep at night. Coughing is awful! I had Shingles for four weeks last summer. Thought it was the worst. My house really got dirty. I couldn't add any more burden to hubby, i.e. cooking, keeping yard up, taking care of our austic grandson. This small contribution to your question on housekeeping may or may not help. I confess, I have a problem with being consistent...enough to wear the Lord out hearing from me for Him to fix this vexing problem. Then, I hit on it ( my fix )...God said enough already, I have other people on the line...isn't He good!? Well, I set my week up to do one thing on one particular day. Shopping, Thursday. Period. Laundry, Friday. Gardening, Monday, and so forth. Sewing, crocheting, baking, all had a day. You know then that dusting, cleaning will not happen on Thursday. If you miss designated day, too bad. It won't happen until next week again. Otherwise, you over-burden yourself and pretty soon you give up from being behind. So that's it. Everything gets done at least once a week. Large or unexpected jobs happen on Saturday. If the job is big and you need two or three days, skip what you normally do on those days. DON'T try to do extra work AND what is usually done on that day. After 45 years I can say it's the only way to keep any order in an otherwise unorderly world. Hope this helps a little. Get well soon...get a sleep number mattress...everybody gets what they need. Best wishes.


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