Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Check in and menu post for the week of March 23

Hi friends.  How are you?

Now, how are you *really*?

Seriously, y'all.  What a strange time.  For weeks, I've been feeling like there's a tidal wave coming at us in slow motion, and we don't know when, exactly, it'll get here, or how bad, exactly, it'll be, or how long, exactly, it'll last, or even how to tell that it's arrived, but we just know that it's coming and it's threatening to overtake us.

We are well.  Mostly.  I mean, I think so.  Tomorrow, our state's governor is planning to sign a Safer at Home order, which is just a gentle and hopefully-strong-enough, but also not-panic-inducing, way to tell people to stay home, already.  Frankly, I think some people need a little more panic in their lives.  Not actual panic panic, but enough panic to realize that this is serious business.

Since all of us are home indefinitely, I wish I had a space where I could close the door--a place to which I could retreat and regroup--but with a very open floor plan, and 5 people for 4 bedrooms, there isn't a place for me.  Everyone's schedule has been disrupted, of course, but of the five of us, I think I, more than any of us, needs personal space, and time without people.  I've been doing some thinking on this issue, and here's what I've come up with for retreat spots:

  • The master bathroom.  I could put all of the decorative pillows that are usually on our bed in our double jetted tub to make a comfy reading nook.  Advantage: I'd have running water and a toilet right there.  Disadvantage: people might want to use the bathroom for its intended purpose.
  • The car.  It's actually pretty comfy in there.  The front seats recline and the back seats can be folded down or removed.  Disadvantage: it might be cold this time of year, and it'll be dark if I leave it parked in the garage.
  • A hammock outside.  It snowed last night, but this could work.  Disadvantage: people could very easily find me, especially if I return to the hammock regularly.  Also, it's a little cold right now, but I could bundle up and/or bring my sleeping bag with me.  Advantage: it would be comfy, and being outside would be good for my mental well-being.
  • The utility room.  It has a door, and people hardly ever go in there.  Advantage: there's food.  Disadvantage: the food is frozen and/or raw.  But there is a microwave in there.  Not plugged in, but that's easily remedied.  Also, there isn't any comfy furniture, and the lighting is depressing.
  • The chicken coop.  It's kind of small, and I run the risk of being pooped upon, but it does have a door that I can close.
I've been feeling it in my body--this tension, the not knowing.  The concern, not necessarily for myself, but for the others.  The others who are vulnerable and know it.  The others who feel invincible, and are putting themselves and others at risk.  The others who already felt isolated and now are even more so.  The others who have lost their jobs, and may lose their homes as well.  The others who may lose their small businesses.  The others who are working so hard to keep essential services going.  The others who are caring for the sick.

Friends, I know that we're going to get through this, and we will be better, stronger.  I know that my trust is in God, and the assurance that God wins.  I don't mean to be trite or overly simplistic, but y'all.  This is the only way I can move forward.  

Anyway, what are you eating?  Here's what's on our menu this week:
  • Pasties with gravy, broccoli, corn, applesauce
  • Nachos with taco toppings and guacamole
  • Sausage and egg sandwiches, fresh fruit, raw veggies
  • Corned beef and Brussels sprout saute, rolls, applesauce
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hot dogs and brats, buns, chips, raw veggies
  • Grilled steak, roasted asparagus, oven fries

Monday, March 16, 2020

Menu plan for the week of March 16

I'm going grocery shopping today.  I have a list, but I'm not sure what I'll find.  Last week, when I grocery shopped on Monday, everything seemed normal.  It was a little busier than I'm used to, but I attributed that to it being later in the day than I normally shop.  In the week since then, I've heard stories and seen pictures of empty grocery store shelves.  Tomorrow, I'll see for myself.

Regardless of what I find or don't find tomorrow, I am certain of this: God will provide. God always provides.  Now, it's true, sometimes God provides in ways that we weren't expecting or ways that we wouldn't have chosen.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like God is providing.  Sometimes God doesn't provide what we want or what we think we need, but what we actually need. 

So we'll see, my friends. Today, and tomorrow, and every day, we will trust.  And we will see God's loving care for my family.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever heard that Yiddish proverb?  Man plans and God laughs?  Here's the menu plan for the week.

Supper:

  • Tacos with taco toppings
  • Fend for yourself
  • Pancakes, eggs, bacon
  • Spaghetti, garlic toast, green beans
  • Pizza
  • Hamburgers, buns, chips, raw veggies/salad
  • Pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy, grilled green veggie

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Chicken update and new babies on the way

Saturday was the Littles' 2nd hatch day.  As often happens with younger children, their special day passed without fanfare.  It was on the calendar, but did I look at the calendar?  No.  Not until it was too late.  Whoops.  Anyway, it's been a while, so I thought it was time for a chicken update.

We've entered swamp season in the coop.  Melting snow has made it quite wet in there.  This year, we don't have standing water, at least, and the snow is almost gone, so we're probably not going to.  Still, it's wet in the run, and because it's wet, it's also a bit stinky.  It's an awkward time of year for footwear.  It's definitely muddy enough that I want to have my chicken boots on, but there's still enough ice around the coop and on my path to the coop, that I want to wear boots with a little more traction.  Usually the chicken boots win.


I've been sending the girls out to play just about every afternoon.  At first, they were reluctant to walk the 20 feet or so on snow to get to the cleared ground, so I set up a couple of logs as a bridge for them to walk along so they wouldn't have to walk in snow. 

A couple of weeks ago, enough snow had melted that they were able to walk along the northern perimeter of the yard to get over the the garden and climbing wall area, but then they forgot how to get back to the coop. 

Koko is the most sensible, so she just walked across the snow (I'm really bad at estimating distances, but 20 yards or so?  Too far to fly), Toasty followed her, but got stuck in some deeper snow under the trampoline frame.  I led Rocky and Esther to safety around the perimeter, but Indigo decided to go it on her own and flew in three great bounds over to the fire pit, about halfway across the yard, and had to be rescued.  Indigo is not fond of being picked up or carried, but we reached a tentative truce that day--she seemed to know that she wasn't going to be able to get out of that situation by herself.


All five of the girls have resumed laying after their molts and winter, although they are not yet laying consistently.  Still, it's been thrilling to find eggs in the nest box again.  They are getting "older," so I expect production to decrease--peak egg production is generally between 1-2 years of age.

In other chicken news, Bubby and I ordered new chicks the other day.  They're supposed to arrive around April 23--it kind of blows my mind that their eggs haven't even been laid yet.  I'm a bit reluctant to receive the birds that late in the season, because I want them to be old enough to begin laying before the cold weather sets in, but that's the date that was available.  It's about 3 weeks earlier in the year than I got the Bigs, so maybe it'll be ok.

Bubby decided that he wanted a Cochin, which is a larger breed that's super fluffy and has feathered feet and five toes (most chickens have 4).  He plans to name her Fluffer-Nutter (anyone else remember fluffer-nutters?).  He chose the gold laced coloration.

We also ordered a California White, which is a cross between the white leghorn (leghorns are the chickens commercial egg producers use--if you're eating a white egg that you bought at a store, it's from a leghorn) and the California gray.  It's heavier, and therefore less flighty, than white leghorns, but is still a prolific egg layer.  I wanted white eggs in my egg basket, and I chose this breed because it's friendly and cold hardy, but still a good layer.

And our third new chick will be a Cream Legbar.  I've wanted one of these ever since I heard of their existence, because they are one of the few breeds that lays blue, and only blue, eggs (there are a few breeds that might lay blue eggs, but they could also lay other colors).  Cream Legbars are interesting looking, too--I love the little poof on their heads, too.

We're looking for names for the California White and the Cream Legbar, so drop your suggestions below.  Bonus points if they don't start with E, F, I, K, R or T and/or are a really good pun.

Next time we order chickens (yes, we're already planning our next purchase.  We would have gotten one more this time, but I think our coop is maxed out for space with 8), I would like to get a Welsummer.  They lay dark brown eggs with speckles.  Speckles!

I think that's all I have to say about chickens right now.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Menu plan for the week of March 9

Friends, thank you so much for your menu suggestions last week.  We liked everything, and I think we might have found a couple of new favorite recipes to add to our rotation.  I won't do it every week, but I think I might have you all plan our menu for us more often.

As I type, I'm boiling down the box elder sap--the windows are open, and it smells maple-y.  It lifts my spirits.  I'm 8 gallons in, with another to go, and the weather is warm enough that this might be the end of the sap run.  That's totally ok.  If we get a quart of syrup, that's plenty for us.

Speaking of plenty for us, I have toilet paper in my Sam's Club pick-up-in-store cart, and over the past week, I've been watching it go out of stock and then back in, briefly, before going out of stock again.  This is happening, of course, because people are stocking up in case they need to quarantine themselves.  I can definitely understand the desire to not run out of toilet paper.  I mean, I don't ever want to run out of toilet paper, myself.  I know there are alternatives, but I'm not fond of them.  At all.  But I don't understand needing to buy out the store shelves.

Hubby and I were talking about it, briefly, and he said he didn't think toilet paper was essential.  Yes, he actually said that.  Probably because, number 1 (no pun intended), he's a boy, and number 2 (definitely no pun intended) he would not have to deal with the aftermath of the people in this household using non-toilet paper for toilet paper purposes (for example, cleaning washcloths, or unclogging toilets if people decided to flush items that are not supposed to be flushed).

Anyway, we're fine for toilet paper right now.  We've got some under each of our bathroom sinks, and some in storage.  But we're definitely down to the point where I want to replenish our supply, and normally would replenish our supply, and I can't.  Because everyone* else is going crazy.

And on that cheery and totally appropriate note, here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:




*OK, not everyone, but enough to impact TP supply.


Friday, March 6, 2020

Sealed

I finally watched Overcomer last month.  I was already bawling just watching the previews, 'cause it's just that kind of movie.  If you haven't seen it, I do recommend it. 

At one point, the female lead was encouraged to read Ephesians 1 & 2, and to write down everything that God says about her in those two chapters, using "I am" statements.  I thought, that's a good idea, and so about a week later, I read chapter one. 

Y'all.  Seriously, even though I had watched it being done in the movie, I was not prepared for how it would feel to write those I am statements.  It was like reading a love letter.  I recommend this, too.

Anyway, Ephesians 1 contains a bunch of wonderful affirmations, but the one that stood out to me the most was in verse 13(b): "Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."

I am sealed.

I had heard this before, and I had always thought of the seal as it's described, as a mark, identifying me as belonging to God.  Kings would affix their seals to proclamations to signify their approval.  Letter writers would attach their seal to prove the letter was legitimate.  Those are the things I have associated with being marked with God's seal. 

But, I've been doing a lot of sealing lately, which has given me a new perspective.  When I make wooden signs, I seal them to protect them. You can still see the wood underneath, but it's protected from damage.  And the right kind of sealer on a project can really make the characteristics of the piece shine out.  It makes the piece more dimensional, deeper.

I love that picture of me being sealed, by God, against the storms and pressures of life.  They're still there, all the temptations, all the sadness, all the harm, but I... I am protected by that God-seal, and made more beautiful because of it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

9/20 for 2020

Y'all!  I am totally rocking this 20 for 2020 list.  Like, completely crushing it.  We are only about 1/6 through the year, and I have already accomplished 45% of my goals.  I have to say, I am really appreciating the fact that I didn't commit to all twenty goals at once.  I am loving the flexibility that I have to look at the list each month and decide what I want to accomplish short term.


Here are the first nine of my 20 for 2020 goals:
  1. Make sauerkraut. I did it!  Truthfully, it still tastes like salty cabbage to me, or at least it did when I put it in the refrigerator--I haven't eaten any since.
  2. Grow an amaryllis. I think I need to change this goal to: attempt to grow an amaryllis.  I don't know if it's too cold by the window or I've been giving it too much water, but I've got zero growth.  I moved it away from the window to the tiny piece of countertop between the fridge and the stove.  It's warmer there.
  3. Drink tea.  I did it!  I drank tea.  And I'm going to do it again.
  4. Make cloth napkins for more seasons.  Valentine's napkins, so far.  I was hoping to find something flowery or springy or Eastery, too, but all of the ones I liked had prominent white in the patterns.  It's all fun and games until someone wipes taco juice on a white napkin.  I'll keep looking.  We already had fall/Thanksgiving and Christmas/winter napkins, along with a generic, anytime pattern, and a summery pattern.
  5. Track something.  I added this to the list, and I started tracking two somethings, because I'm an overachiever like that.  And then I realized that I already track something (egg production).  Winning!
  6. Buy a statement necklace. A friend of mine hosted a Trades of Hope party, and I found the necklace I've been looking for for the past 3 years, made by an artisan in India.  Yay!
  7. Make a box to sit on our toilet tank.  I attempted to do this last year, but the box was too big.  I tried again, and I love it.  Since it's made out of pallet wood, it's a little wonky, but it is beautiful and just the right size.
  8. Make a particular wooden sign for a friend.  I did it!  I just can't show it to you yet, because it's a surprise.
  9. Make mayonnaise.
My box.  It's a little wonky because I used pallet wood, but I love how it turned out.  It's perfectly sized, and has a rustic feel.  Now, of course, I need to get serious about painting this bathroom.


Here are three goals I plan to work on in March:
  1. Make maple syrup.  I tapped the trees over the weekend, and the sap is flowing.
  2. Make and install towel hooks/shelf in the bathroom.  I have the hooks.  I have the wood.  I bought a jig.  It needs to happen.  The installation portion of this goal will probably take place after the bathroom is painted, which will happen after we brood a new batch of chicks beginning in late April.
  3. Make a reusable bag out of a chicken feed sack 


And here is the list of potential goals:
  1. Crochet a cowl
  2. Crochet a poncho
  3. Make a reusable bag out of a chicken feed sack (this, and the other sewing-related potential goals, are complicated by the fact that my kiddo just declared my sewing machine officially not-worth-fixing.  I am definitely not up for handsewing this, or anything, in 2020).
  4. Make reusable food wrap
  5. Make a pretty apron (I would have to find a pattern I like first.  Also, a sewing machine)
  6. Make lip balm
  7. Make soap
  8. Make a console table/thing to keep the step stool from dinging our wall.
  9. Make a frame for the B
  10. String art
  11. Install pallet wall
  12. Install gallery wall (we had a gallery wall, but there was just something off about it.  I was never happy with it.  Too symmetrical, maybe.  Or the frames were too close together.  Or maybe too big or too small in scale for the wall.  So I'm afraid to try again, lest I not like it again.  I think a gallery would look better on the wall we're intending to palletisize (absolutely a word), but I don't know if I will want to cover up so much of that wall).
  13. Light an outdoor tree (there is a sledding hill between our house and the tree I want to light, so I'm not sure it'll work.  Either there will be an extension cord that we will have to avoid while sledding, or the lights will have to be solar or battery powered, which, of course, would drive up the cost of this project).
  14. Go to a movie by myself (not sure what's coming in 2020, but there's bound to be at least one movie that I want to see, but no one else in my family wants to see).
  15. Hang the W (MC made a beautiful wooden W sign that needs hanging).
  16. Repair moose pillows
  17. Log 50 activities on Strava
  18. Finish or decide to abandon that darn puzzle
  19. Make maple syrup
  20. Can apple pie filling
  21. Remove a popcorn ceiling
  22. Wash outside windows
  23. Grow and can pickles
  24. Obtain a working sewing machine
  25. Make and install towel hooks/shelf in the bathroom.  I have the hooks.  I think I probably have the wood (I need to go through the stack of pallet wood to see if I have a combination of sizes that will add up to the size I want).  It needs to happen.  Now it's just a question of how long it'll take for me to actually take action.
  26. New floor.  It's time.  It's past time.
  27. Watch the Star Wars movies in timeline order.  I don't think I've ever seen any of them besides Episodes IV, V, and VI.  That is a travesty.
  28. Make a cast iron skillet handle cover.  Cast iron skillets are excellent for cooking because they heat so evenly.  Unfortunately, the even heat means the handle gets hot, too.  I'll be making a heat-resistant handle cover.
  29. & 30. Plant something new and start seeds indoors.  I ordered some seeds!  And they've been shipped!  Imagine a fruit that looks like, and has the texture of, a granny smith apple, but tastes like honeydew.  That's what I'm growing!  And starting indoors.  I also grabbed a small watermelon and a beet variety.  So fun!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Menu plan for the week of March 2

Whoa.  March, already.

You may have noticed that I am fond of decluttering.  I am so enamored of decluttering that sometimes I wonder how we have anything left in our house.  The answer, of course, is that there are 3, sometimes 4, other people living here, and I don't declutter their stuff, at least not without their permission. 

Anyway, I'm pretty good at decluttering as I move through life.  If I see something that doesn't need to be in my life anymore, I remove it from my home right then. I have decided, however, to participate in a "Clean Out Challenge," hosted by Hip2Save.com.  I thought it would be a fun way to focus my decluttering efforts in areas that I might not always think about.  Check it out--I'd love for you to join me.

Speaking of joining me, last week, I asked y'all to help plan my menu, and you came through for me!  Thank you, friends!  My absolute favorite suggestion was from my nephew.  We're having it on Wednesday. 

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

Friday, February 28, 2020

Random Thoughts with Scarlet

It's time for another round of Random Thoughts with Scarlet.  Enjoy!

*****
One of the things I do on Fridays is declutter my email inbox.  I try to take action on everything that I've been keeping in there for the past week as reminders.  As I am typing this, it's Friday, and I'm going through those emails.  But the people keep sending me emails!  This is taking much longer than it ought to be taking.

*****
I was right.  There are parallel Just Dance World Dance Floor universes, at least there were as of Wednesday.  I bought Just Dance 2020 because I knew that the price wouldn't go lower, at least until JD2021 comes out, and I figured I could then defer my decision about whether to open and use it or return it until later.

I got some good advice from AKD, who told me that generally people move on to the new edition of a game when they have beaten the old edition.  I suppose that beating Just Dance looks like getting a Megastar rating on every song.  I don't think I've quite reached that goal, but I have at least gotten 5 stars on each song.  The children encouraged me to move on to 2020, so I did (because in his encouragement, one of the children opened the game, rendering it unreturnable).

Anyway, there are separate World Dance Floors for 2019 and 2020, which makes me wonder if there are also World Dance Floors still going for previous years.

I didn't fall immediately in love with 2020, probably because I was so completely enamored of 2019 immediately.  No way could I replicate that excitement of dancing to my first song.  But it's growing on me.  I have a few songs that I love to dance to, and I'm sure I'll discover more favorites along the way.

In the end, I decided that I needed to try something new, and that I should continue to try something new.  I have heard that dancing is something that staves off dementia.  Dancing makes us use our brains and bodies in new ways, which creates new neural pathways, which apparently keeps the brain working well.  I had reached the point in the 2019 game where I was rarely surprised, almost always anticipating which moves came next.  Challenging myself to learn these new dances will, I hope, yield brain benefits.

I do have to say, however, that visiting the 2019 World Dance Floor is good for my ego... I'm a superstar over there.  Not so much on the 2020 WDF.

*****
I made the mistake of telling my super-curly-haired boy that he shouldn't necessarily wash his hair every day, in the presence of my not-as-curly-haired boys.  I, myself, wash my hair once or twice a week, and my curls thank me.  The not-as-curly-haired boys seemed to have missed the whole curly-haired requirement, and my statement has caused one of my other children to decide to wash his hair just once a week, which is probably ok, and my other other child to decide to wash his hair... never.  Ugh.

I think--I hope--I've finally convinced the other other child that he should wash his hair more often than never, because he has washed his hair two days in a row now.  Please join me in crossing our fingers that he continues.  Who knew hygiene would be such a slog?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Menu plan for the week of February 24

I don't know, y'all.  I just don't know.  Can one of you please tell me what to make this week?  No fish, no chicken thighs, no sugar, no "cream of" soups, no crock pot, and every cheesy thing has to be cheese-optional.  Bonus points if it's low in carbohydrates, or easily adaptable to be.

I am strongly leaning, almost horizontally leaning, toward making each person in this household choose, plan for, and execute supper at least once week, because I am so done.  I am empty of ideas.  The only reason I haven't already implemented this plan is that I fear it will dissolve into fend for yourself every night.  And I value family meals too much to let that happen.

OK.  Here's what I've got for this week, but next week, it's on you.  Drop your meal suggestions in the comments here or on Facebook, or if you read my blog via email, you can just hit reply.

Supper:

  • Spaghetti/zoodles with meatballs (we're a little over halfway through our warehouse store bag of meatballs), garlic toast, oven roasted cauliflower
  • Pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit
  • Chicken bacon ranch sliders, green beans
  • Hot dogs or hamburgers, buns, chips, raw veggies
  • Tacos with taco toppings (enchiladas for Hubby, because I still have a bit of enchilada sauce in the freezer)
  • Creamy Smoked Sausage Mac (or cauli) and Cheese,(using half a bag of Gemelli, even though I kind of want to save it for pasta salad, which no one will eat) steamed broccoli
  • Grilled chicken, salad, mixed veggies, garlic toast



Friday, February 21, 2020

Mayo

I made mayonnaise, y'all.

I never much liked mayo.  Looking back, that could be because I didn't realize that mayonnaise and "dressing" (think Miracle Whip), are not the same thing.  I definitely didn't like "dressing," and I still don't.  I probably assumed I didn't like mayo because I for sure didn't like "dressing." Did you know it has corn syrup in it?  Yuck. 

The turning point in my attitude toward mayo may have come when my aunt strongly suggested  that I try (read: didn't give me a choice and ordered for me) a hamburger topped with mayo and green olives, when I was out to lunch with her one day.  It was delicious.  Then came Whopper Wednesday when I was at school--Whoppers for $1, every Wednesday, complete with mayo.  It was a thing.  So good--the food and the memories.  Now, it's the Deluxe Butterburger from Culvers.  Mmmm.  Love them.  Kind of obsessed.

I still don't eat a whole lot of mayo, but it's an ingredient in a few of my favorite lunch prep items, and I do like to smear some on my hamburgers from time to time.  Always with olives, of course.

I've wanted to make my own ever since I discovered how simple mayonnaise is to make.  And I was planning to, the last time we ran out of store bought mayo.  But I forgot.

This time?  I didn't forget.


It was even easier than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be pretty darn easy.  The hardest part was scraping the finished mayo out of the blender into the jar.* 

Now, there is a raw egg in there, which would make me nervous if I didn't have chickens--I doubt Toasty Crunch is gonna try to kill me by poisoning me with salmonella, since I bring her food.  If you don't have chickens, or think your chickens might try to poison you, you can use a pasteurized egg.** 

I used olive oil, because that's what I had, but next time, and there will be a next time, I will endeavor to use avocado oil.  In fact, I've already got avocado oil on my shopping list, because you never know when you're going to have a mayo emergency.

This is the recipe that I used.  Don't let the long list of ingredients (is 8 long?) intimidate you.  Really, all you need is oil, an egg, and acid.

Let me know if you try it!


***************

*One more reason I (occasionally) wish I had an immersion blender.  I could have just made the mayo in the storage container, which would have eliminated the need to transfer, and would have resulted in less waste.

**I don't know how egg pasteurization works.  How do they pasteurize without cooking the egg?  I guess I'll have to find out, and I may or may not report back.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Menu plan for the week of February 17

Hello.  Every time I plan food for my family, I tell myself there's got to be an easier way.  There's got to be a way to just plan once and then never plan again, like a 4-6 week plan that just gets repeated over and over again.  For some reason, I can't do it, though.  I guess it seems too confining, too final.  Like these are the 28 or 42 meals that I will eat for the rest of my life.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Wait a minute.  Actually?  I would be very happy to eat even the same seven meals over and over again for the rest of my life.  So why do I have this huge mental block over this issue?  Oh yeah.  Because at least one member of the household would not be happy to repeat the same seven meals over and over.

Huh.

Anyway, here's this week's plan.  And I'm gonna have to plan again next week.  And the week after that.  Forever and ever.

Supper:

  • Pizza, salad
  • Hot dogs, buns, raw veggies
  • Chicken nuggets, green beans, fresh fruit
  • Taco casserole (using up some chilies in adobo that have been in the fridge for a while), salad
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hamburgers, buns, chips, steamed broccoli
  • Nachos, guacamole

Other:


Monday, February 10, 2020

Menu plan for the week of February 10

Hi friends.

This week, I'm slowly dipping my toe into the using-up-random-fridge-and-pantry-items pool.  I'm slowly dipping, partly because I'm afraid that pool is going to be cold (aka no one will want to eat what I make), and partly because there actually isn't a whole lot that I need to use up.

I made my pantry list weeks ago, but I just looked in the fridge today, and found...three...random items.  That's all.  About 1/4 c. turkey gravy, 1/2 c. salsa verde, and maybe 3/4 c. chilies in adobo.  We're using the gravy this week, along with a small amount of penne pasta from the cupboard that isn't enough for a meal on its own.

I found three open bags of marshmallows in our cupboard, which is typical.  Why do we open new marshmallows when we have an open bag?  I dunno. All I know is that they're there, and they're stuck together and gross (I mean, marshmallows are gross anyway, but when they're stuck together it's worse).  I'll be making cereal bars with those.  In an ironic twist, I also found unflavored gelatin in a cupboard, which I plan to use to make...marshmallows.  But not this week.  Maybe I'll wait until closer to s'more season.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

  • Cheesy mini burgers, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, green beans
  • Tacos
  • Spaghetti (and a small amount of penne) and meatballs, garlic toast, broccoli
  • Kielbasa and cauliflower stir fry, applesauce, corn
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hamburgers, buns, chips, grilled asparagus
  • Ribeye steak with portabello mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli

Other:

Friday, February 7, 2020

6/20 for 2020

So, I guess I'm not making a final list this year?  Or, rather, I am making a final list, but it won't be complete until much later in the year.  It's a list in slow motion.

I like it better this way.  If I made a list at the beginning of the year, inevitably, I would end up changing my mind about wanting to do at least one of the things by the end of the year.  But I would still feel obligated to do it, because it's on the list.  And that would create angst.  No good.

Hope you don't mind (but don't really care if you do, because it's my list, and my goals).

Alright, here are the first six (of twenty) goals for 2020:


  1. Make sauerkraut. I did it!  Truthfully, it still tastes like salty cabbage to me, or at least it did when I put it in the refrigerator--I haven't eaten any since.
  2. Grow an amaryllis. I think I need to change this goal to: attempt to grow an amaryllis.  I don't know if it's too cold by the window or I've been giving it too much water, but I've got zero growth.  I moved it away from the window to the tiny piece of countertop between the fridge and the stove.  It's warmer there.
  3. Drink tea.  I did it!  I drank tea.  And I'm going to do it again.
  4. Make cloth napkins for more seasons.  Valentine's napkins, so far.  I was hoping to find something flowery or springy or Eastery, too, but all of the ones I liked had prominent white in the patterns.  It's all fun and games until someone wipes taco juice on a white napkin.  I'll keep looking.  We already had fall/Thanksgiving and Christmas/winter napkins, along with a generic, anytime pattern, and a summery pattern.
  5. Track something.  I added this to the list, and I started tracking two somethings, because I'm an overachiever like that.  And then I realized that I already track something (egg production).  Winning!
  6. Buy a statement necklace. A friend of mine hosted a Trades of Hope party, and I found the necklace I've been looking for for the past 3 years, made by an artisan in India.  Yay!




Like last month, I thought I'd share a few goals that I am leaning strongly toward completing.  They are not the same as last month's!
  1. Light an outdoor tree.  I have lights of two sizes, purchased on clearance.  I could probably use some more small lights, and I definitely need an extension cord, 'cause I don't think Hubby wants to give up one of his for several months while we're waiting for the snow to melt.
  2. Obtain a working sewing machine.  I ordered a part.  I'm hoping it will solve the problem.  If not, there's always Craigslist to find a new-to-me machine.
  3. Make a box to sit on our toilet tank OR make and install floating shelves above the toilet.  I'm leaning toward the box.  I can always add shelves later.  Now...what Cricut-cut phrase should I put on the box?  Any ideas?


And...here's the list of possible goals.  Like the Cricut project list, it seems to be growing.
  1. Crochet a cowl
  2. Crochet a poncho
  3. Make a reusable bag out of a chicken feed sack (this, and the other sewing-related potential goals, are complicated by the fact that my kiddo just declared my sewing machine officially not-worth-fixing.  I am definitely not up for handsewing this, or anything, in 2020).
  4. Make reusable food wrap
  5. Make a pretty apron (I would have to find a pattern I like first.  Also, a sewing machine)
  6. Make lip balm
  7. Make soap
  8. Make a box to sit on our toilet tank OR make and install floating shelves above the toilet (this goal is made more complicated by the fact that I'm not sure which I would prefer.  I mean, I like the wreath that's above our toilet (which means no shelves), but it has definitely seen better days (which means shelves would give me an excuse to get rid of the wreath).
  9. Make a console table/thing to keep the step stool from dinging our wall.
  10. Make a frame for the B
  11. String art
  12. Install pallet wall
  13. Install gallery wall (we had a gallery wall, but there was just something off about it.  I was never happy with it.  Too symmetrical, maybe.  Or the frames were too close together.  Or maybe too big or too small in scale for the wall.  So I'm afraid to try again, lest I not like it again.  I think a gallery would look better on the wall we're intending to palletisize (absolutely a word), but I don't know if I will want to cover up so much of that wall).
  14. Light an outdoor tree (there is a sledding hill between our house and the tree I want to light, so I'm not sure it'll work.  Either there will be an extension cord that we will have to avoid while sledding, or the lights will have to be solar or battery powered, which, of course, would drive up the cost of this project).
  15. Go to a movie by myself (not sure what's coming in 2020, but there's bound to be at least one movie that I want to see, but no one else in my family wants to see).
  16. Hang the W (MC made a beautiful wooden W sign that needs hanging).
  17. Repair moose pillows
  18. Log 50 activities on Strava
  19. Finish or decide to abandon that darn puzzle
  20. Make maple syrup
  21. Can apple pie filling
  22. Remove a popcorn ceiling
  23. Wash outside windows
  24. Make a particular wooden sign for a friend
  25. Grow and can pickles
  26. Obtain a working sewing machine
  27. Make and install towel hooks/shelf in the bathroom.  I have the hooks.  I think I probably have the wood (I need to go through the stack of pallet wood to see if I have a combination of sizes that will add up to the size I want).  It needs to happen.  Now it's just a question of how long it'll take for me to actually take action.
  28. New floor.  It's time.  It's past time.
  29. Make mayonnaise 
  30. & 30. Plant something new and start seeds indoors.  I ordered some seeds!  And they've been shipped!  Imagine a fruit that looks like, and has the texture of, a granny smith apple, but tastes like honeydew.  That's what I'm growing!  And starting indoors.  I also grabbed a small watermelon and a beet variety.  So fun!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Cricut Brag Post

It has been a minute (or two, or millions) since I last posted a Cricut brag post.  I kind of lost my way there for a little while.  December is hard.  I've come to the conclusion that any Christmas Cricut items need to be completed by mid-November.  Which means we might be celebrating Cricut Christmas in July this year.

Anyway, here are some Cricut creations you haven't seen yet, in reverse chronological order.

 I am in love with that buffalo plaid!  It was a pain to weed, though.  Can you spot the vinyl I missed while I was weeding?

 What can I say?  I love snow.

 I, um, wish I had a half bath, mostly so that I could display this sign.  This is a silent auction donation.

 Have you heard?  I'm letting things live on my counter now.  But only yummy or beautiful things.  I set up a hot cocoa station for the fam, and of course it needed a sign, so they'd know what it was.

 See?  Yummy or beautiful.  My friend gave me this beautiful jar, and I knew right away that it needed to have pink flowers in it.

 This was a gift.  It's totally a lie, but...yeah.

I made this shirt for Bubby.  Mostly because I felt like he needed another Christmas gift, but also because he likes climbing.

Yup, it's been that long since I bragged about Cricut.  This thankful sign is on the reverse side of the boo sign.

Not shown (because I couldn't bring myself to take pictures, because it was early January): I made some stickers for AKD's water bottle.  They turned out pretty cool.  And I also made some decals for his "Goon Squad."  Yup.  That's what they call themselves.

What's coming up for me and the Cricut, you ask?  I've got three gifts in the works, so I can't share those, but I'm really excited about them.  I also have a commission to do for a friend, and this morning, Bubby asked me to make him another climbing shirt.  And then there's my running list of projects that only seems to get longer, never shorter.

Y'all.  I feel so blessed to be able to create beauty in the world.  Such a joy.  Thanks for sharing it with me.
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