Monday, January 13, 2020

Menu plan for the week of January 20

Hey, y'all!

This week, I'm continuing to use random items from my freezer to plan meals.  It's fun.  You should try it.  Next week, I'll add refrigerator and pantry items to my list.

Supper:

  • Slow cooker chicken bacon ranch sandwiches (chicken breasts and bacon from the freezer; cream cheese from the fridge), buns, salad, green beans
  • Tacos, tortillas, taco type toppings
  • Chicken thighs with creamy mushroom sauce (the chicken thighs, part one), steamed broccoli (from the freezer)
  • Zuppa toscana (cauliflower, cabbage, and kale from the freezer, heavy whipping cream from the fridge, and turkey stock from two years ago), rolls
  • Ham and cheese sliders (found some deli ham in the freezer), fresh veggies (cauliflower, broccoli)
  • Chicken enchiladas (the chicken thighs, part two, along with enchilada sauce, and green onions from the freezer), salad
  • Grilled pork chops and chicken breasts (I have 2 pork chops and 2 chicken breasts left in the freezer.  Time to use them up, and hope that they go on sale soon), salad, grilled broccoli, mashed potatoes
Other:
  • Banana muffins.  I might try baking some in mason jars and sending them off to AKD to see if they stay fresh.
  • Granola.  A triple batch.  Because if I'm going to make granola, I might as well make granola.  Yes, I know this is going to add more to the freezer instead of getting stuff out, but I have some diced strawberries in the freezer to use up, and the way I want to use them is by eating them with yogurt and granola.  So that's what I'm gonna do.


Thursday, January 9, 2020

3/20 for 2020

Hello again, my friends.  I'm ready to reveal the first three of my twenty 2020 goals, along with a couple I won't be completing, and a few that I'm leaning strongly toward.

First up: these are the first three 2020 goals.  Yay, goals!

1. Make sauerkraut.  Truth?  I started the sauerkraut on New Year's Eve, three days before I published my list of possible goals.  I tried some sauerkraut, which I never, ever dreamed that I would like, at Thanksgiving, and I liked it.  So I had to make my own.  Had to.  Unfortunately, based on how that sauerkraut tasted, and how my sauerkraut tastes so far, it seems likely that that sauerkraut had added sugar.  Well, I had to try, and it only cost me a cabbage, a couple of carrots, a few cloves of garlic, and some salt.  Plus, my sauerkraut will make my gut so happy.


2. Grow an amaryllis.  This goal has been on my list of potential goals for all three of the years that I've participated in this project.  Amaryllis is so pretty, and so easy to grow, but it's been years since I've actually grown one.  Y'all.  I found one on clearance.  A week and a half after Christmas.  In fact, the store employees were taking the Christmas stuff off the shelves as I was shopping.  Gotta make room for Easter and garden stuff, doncha know.  So this goal is already in progress, which means it scores a place on the list.  Yeah.  I don't care that it'll be blooming in March instead of December.  Who says amaryllis is just for Christmas?


3. Drink tea.  This goal is incredibly vague.  Like, I could say that it's complete if I drink one sip of tea (I've consumed more than one sip so far this year. #winning).  It's on the list because I would like to like tea.  My whole life, I have wanted to like tea, first because my mom drinks tea, and I wanted to be like her, and now because tea has so many benefits.
Ha.  Didn't realize the fruit was so prominent in this photo; too lazy to go back and crop it now.  Enjoy this lovely cup of tea in front of fruit.
By the way, thank you to the friends who chimed in one which goals they thought I should pursue this year.  Stay tuned to see if your selections make the final list.



Next, I'll share a couple of goals I will not be completing this year.  Or, at least, I'm not certain enough that I will complete them that I want to put them on the 20 for 2020 list:

  • Hand knit a blanket.  I think I just don't like the yarn that I bought.  But I don't like any of the other yarn available locally for this project, either.  So I'm tabling this project for now.  It might happen some day.  In any case, the yarn is going back to the store today.
  • Make a willow whistle.  You knew I wasn't going to choose this one, so why not cross it off the list now?
  • Make a peekaboo cake.  This just seems like too much work.  Yeah.  Don't look at some of the other items on the list, because if this is too much work, those are definitely too much.


And finally, some goals that I am leaning strongly toward pursuing:

  1. 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.
  2. New floor.  It's time.  It's past time.
  3. & 4. 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!



Here's the rest of the potential 2020 goals.  
I, um, may have ... added a few?  Yeah.  Maybe.

  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 cloth napkins for more seasons
  6. Make a pretty apron (I would have to find a pattern I like first.  Also, a sewing machine)
  7. Make lip balm
  8. Make soap
  9. 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).
  10. Make a console table/thing to keep the step stool from dinging our wall.
  11. Make a frame for the B
  12. String art
  13. Install pallet wall
  14. 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).
  15. 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).
  16. 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).
  17. Hang the W (MC made a beautiful wooden W sign that needs hanging).
  18. Repair moose pillows
  19. Log 50 activities on Strava
  20. Finish or decide to abandon that darn puzzle
  21. Make maple syrup
  22. Can apple pie filling
  23. Remove a popcorn ceiling
  24. Wash outside windows
  25. Make a particular wooden sign for a friend
  26. Grow and can pickles
  27. Track something
  28. Obtain a working sewing machine
  29. Buy a statement necklace

Monday, January 6, 2020

Menu plan for the week of January 6

Well friends, I am mashed potatoed out.  I mean, I could eat mashed potatoes every day, but I'm a little tired of making them every day.  It was pretty fun for a week, though, and it made menu planning easy, to have mashed potatoes almost every day last week.

This week's menu plan is brought to you courtesy of my freezers.  Someone I follow on social media is hosting a freezer challenge this month, challenging her followers to use up as much from our freezers as possible in January.  This actually made for a very easy menu planning session, too.

Here's what I did.  I went through my freezers (the small side-by-side freezer attached to our fridge, and the small "starter" chest freezer), and wrote down everything that I wanted to use up, which included things like random meats that I bought because they were on sale, but I didn't have a specific plan in mind for (I'm lookin' at you, chicken thighs), leftovers, both from Boy Scout camp-outs and us, small quantities of convenience foods that aren't enough to make a meal on their own, and veggies and fruits that I froze because they were about to go bad, among other interesting things.  I was a little surprised about the variety of things I found in the upstairs freezer.  No wonder it felt so full for the past several weeks!


Once I had my list, I started writing down meals that would use up those ingredients.  If I couldn't think of something immediately (hello, 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs), I searched the ingredient on Pinterest (hint: on some recipe sites, like allrecipes.com, you can search by ingredient, both ingredients that you want included in the recipe and ingredients that you want excluded). 

As I wrote the meal ideas on the menu, I highlighted the ingredients that the meal would use, on my list.  That way, I'm not writing down 3 different meals that are going to use the same thing.  Because then I'd have to buy more of that thing.  The thing I'm trying to get rid of.  After the ingredient is actually used, I will cross it off the list.  Menu planning this way, I managed to get two weeks of meals planned, and I haven't even gone through the refrigerator or pantry goods yet.  Yay!

So, here's what's on the menu this week:

Supper:

  • Turkey dinner leftovers
  • Pasties (frozen rutabaga, leftover carrots, and maybe some shredded frozen cabbage) with gravy--this meal will actually add something to the freezer--the leftover pasties--but AKD is home, and assures me that he will eat them before he leaves.
  • Beef barbacoa (leftover from a couple of months ago), guacamole (from the freezer), tortillas, corn (also from the freezer), black beans
  • French toast (French bread leftover from a Boy Scout campout), sausage links, fresh fruit
  • Hamburgers, buns, chips, carrots, caramel apple salad (from the freezer)
  • Spaghetti and meatballs (zucchini noodles), garlic knots and garlic toast, green beans
  • Grilled pork chops and chicken breasts, salad, grilled veggie, mashed potatoes (I think I'll be sufficiently recovered by then)


Other:



How about you?  What do you have lurking in your freezer, fridge, or pantry that you need to use up?

P.S. There are three slices of apple pie in my freezer.  Sure hope I can find someone who's willing to eat those.

Friday, January 3, 2020

2020 goals?

Y'all, I crushed my winter break goals.  Crushed. Them.

Just to recap, my winter break goals were:

  1. Wear PJs or comfy pants as much as possible.
  2. Paint my toenails, and
  3. Go sledding.
I did so well with my winter break goals, I decided to try again for annual goals.  Twenty of them, possibly, for 2020.

I've been writing down potential goals for about a month, but I'm having a teensy weensy bit of trouble deciding to which of them I should commit.  

Would you help a friend out?  Please?  Help me decide.

So here's the list, in no particular order, except that when I started the list I started listing in categories and then it all broke down into randomness, because entropy.  At least, that's what I'm telling myself.  Entropy is an always handy scapegoat. 

Anyway, here you go:
  1. Hand knit a blanket (I already have yarn for this project, which should move it up the list in priority, but now that I have the yarn, I find myself strangely lacking in motivation.  The upshot?  The yarn can be returned)
  2. Crochet a cowl
  3. Crochet a poncho
  4. 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).
  5. Make reusable food wrap
  6. Make cloth napkins for more seasons
  7. Make a pretty apron (I would have to find a pattern I like first.  Also, a sewing machine)
  8. Make lip balm
  9. Make soap
  10. 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).
  11. Make a console table/thing to keep the step stool from dinging our wall.
  12. Make a willow whistle (I typed it, because it's on my list, but what was I thinking?  I don't want to do this!)
  13. Make and install towel hooks/shelf in the bathroom (this one has to happen, because the towel bar fell off the wall, and we need something from which to hang towels).
  14. Make a frame for the B
  15. String art
  16. New floor (we need a new floor in our entry, kitchen, and dining area.  Not need, like we want one, but need like, our current floor has rugs strategically placed to cover up discolorations and actual holes in the flooring that  have sharp edges and have injured me.  So because we need a new floor, we had pretty much our whole first floor repainted, put in a new kitchen countertop, and a new backsplash in the kitchen, but no new floor as of yet.  Makes sense, yes?)
  17. Install pallet wall
  18. 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).
  19. 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).
  20. 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).
  21. Hang the W (MC made a beautiful wooden W sign that needs hanging).
  22. Repair moose pillows
  23. Peek-a-boo cake
  24. Make sauerkraut
  25. Log 50 activities on Strava
  26. Finish or decide to abandon that darn puzzle
  27. Make maple syrup
  28. Can apple pie filling
  29. Grown an amaryllis
  30. Remove a popcorn ceiling
  31. Wash outside windows
  32. Make a particular wooden sign for a friend
  33. Grow and can pickles
  34. Drink tea
  35. Plant something new
  36. Start seeds indoors
Whew!  If you made it to the end of the list, congratulations!  I admire your persistence.  So, which goals do you think should make the final list of 20?  Which would you cross off the list?  Are there any additional goals you think I should consider?

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Top 19 posts of 2019 (and one that didn't make the list, but should have)

Hi friends, and happy January, happy 2020!  Today I thought I'd count down my 19 most read posts of 2019, because why not? And it's kind of fun looking back over the year.  So, without further ado, my top posts of 2019, plus one more.

Tied for 18th place: 
I finished my purple scarf, in which I talk about my church being on the brink of something new

9 for 2019 June Update: basically the last update of the year.

17 
Chicken Update

Tied for 14th place:
19 for 2019 Reveal, in which I do not reveal my actual 2019 goals

I made it out, in which I experienced a miracle

9 for 2019 July update: the un-update

13 
Garden Planning

12
 So Judge-y, in which I confess to judging people for being judgmental.  Oy!

11
 Garden Update, week 8

Tied for 9th place:
 This week's Cricut brag post

How I do cards, in which I explain how I do cards.

Tied for 7th place:
 My Nine (goals) for 2019, in which I do reveal my actual 2019 goals

Hazel: a tribute

What should I do first?, in which I share my excitement. I have completed 6 of these 7 projects.

18 for 2018 Wrap-up

Perfect: "When did we decide that it's not ok to be proud of something unless it's perfect?"

My Husband Gave Me Cheap Vodka for Valentine's Day: I might ask for more this Valentine's day, but not for the same reason.

This week's Cricut brag post

This week's Cricut brag post: no, I didn't list the same post twice.  Y'all just apparently love Cricut blog posts.  Guess I ought to do some more.

It seems, my friends, that you like menu plan posts (I left them out of this list, but some of them actually would have made it), posts about chickens and the garden, posts about my goals, and most of all, posts about Cricut projects.  It's possible that these are my most-read posts because that's pretty much all I write about...but...nah.

And finally, the blog post that I think should have made the top 19 but didn't:
An Open Table (God's Extravagant Love)
You should read it.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

9 for 2019 wrap-up

It's the very last day of 2019, and I owe y'all an update on my 2019 goals.  Here's how I did:

  • Make/install chicken swing--Check!  I have since uninstalled the chicken swing, since the girls seemed to be afraid of it, but it's going back out there when/if we ever get new chicks.  I'm hoping that they'll be less afraid if I train them young.
  • Make vanilla extract--Check!  I've even used some of it, for muffins and cookies.
  • Cover a box that I store things in to make it pretty--Check!  I'm even using it for what I intended.
  • Four playdates with myself (Ikea, Hobby Lobby, downtown, Arboretum)--Check!  I decided that Home Goods was an adequate stand-in for the Arboretum, and I sneaked the downtown trip in under the wire, but I got it done.
  • Replace dish cloths--Check!
  • Put together a traveling charger kit--Check!
  • Facts of life book--Nope.  And it's not going to show up on next years' list, either (two years was enough), but I will continue to work on it.

All but one, done.  I learned that I need to get most of my goals done in the first half of the year, before my energy and enthusiasm dessert me.  

How did you do on your 2019 goals?


Here are the ten additional goals that I would add if I was doing 19:
  • Plant a green bean teepee--sort of!  It was a weirdly shaped teepee, but I'm counting it.
  • Grow an amaryllis bulb--nope.  But good idea for next year.
  • Light an outdoor tree--again, nope, but I'm considering this for next year.
  • Make a sugar scrub--Check!  And now I kind of don't want to live without it.
  • Make vanilla mint lip balm--nope, but it's in the running for next year.
  • Make a bacon lattice--No.  What was I thinking?
  • Make reusable food wrap--Also no, but definitely a contender for next year's list.
  • Find a pretty bottle for my mouthwash --Check!
  • Schedule an appointment for Bubby with the orthodontist--Check!
  • Unsubscribe (from magazines and email newsletters)--Check!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Menu plan for the week of December 30

Hi friends.  I am doing so well on my winter break goals.  I've been sledding several times (it helps a lot that we have two excellent sledding spots on our property), I switched to leggings for a couple of hours on Christmas Eve, but aside from that it's been all PJs all the time, and I painted my toenails on Thursday--they're blue.  I am crushing these goals.

Y'all.  I am so excited about this week's menu plan.  A couple of our people are out of town, including our potato hater, and mashed potatoes are a favorite of the people who are left, so we are having mashed potatoes for (almost) every meal!  I don't even eat mashed potatoes most of the time (I do love them, though.  This might be the week I try mashed cauliflower)!  But this is going to be so much fun!  Even though I have to make mashed potatoes every day because they just don't taste as good leftover!  And according to the Idaho Potato people you can only keep peeled potatoes for about 24 hours!

How do you feel about potatoes, my friends?  Will you be joining us in a celebration of mashed potatoes this week?

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

Supper: 
  • Shepherd's pie, applesauce, rolls
  • Nachos with taco toppings and guacamole
  • Meatballs with mashed potatoes and probably a vegetable of some kind (although AKD assures me that we don't need any additional vegetables because potatoes are a vegetable)
  • Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli
  • Sunday night stew with mashed potatoes
  • Mashed potato bar (mashed potatoes, gravy, bacon bits, green onions, broccoli)
  • Roast turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, and it doesn't matter after that, because those are the important things.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Menu plan for the week of December 23 (including Christmas!)

Hi friends. 

I have three goals for this winter break:
1. Wear PJs or comfy pants as much as possible.
2. Paint my toenails, and
3. Go sledding.

I'm doing pretty good so far. I went sledding yesterday, and so far I've worn PJs for all except about 2 hours. Yay me!

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

Supper:

  • Fend for yourself/hockey game
  • Nachos, with taco toppings, and of course, guacamole
  • Ham, mashed potatoes, rolls, Brussels sprouts, corn
  • Spaghetti and meatballs, green beans, garlic toast
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, chips, jello, raw veggies
  • Out to eat
  • Grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies


Other:
Nope.



* I posted in December, but wrote the post in November.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Menu plan for the week of December 2

Are we ready to think about food again, yet?  I mean, I am almost always ready to think about food--it's one of my favorite pastimes--but are you all ready?

Well, ready or not, here I go!

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

Supper:



Other:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Chicken update and tree hunting

Busy week, probably for all of us, so please enjoy these lovely photos.

 Here's my favorite (and only) lap chicken, Esther, pretending to be a flamingo.  It's always easy to get good pictures of Esther, number one because she's beautiful, and second because she likes hanging out with me.  Her muff and beard are growing back.

 Finally, Toasty Crunch is molting.  She's looking even more spotted than this today, and she's growing those feathers back.

 Indigo and Rocky are laying eggs.  I really thought they wouldn't be laying at this point, due to molt and lack of light.  But I'm not going to complain about receiving eggs.



 Koko is clever and inquisitive.  She has finally started losing feathers.


 I growled, "smile," at them.  And they did.
 Tree huggers.
 Timber!  Bubby didn't give anyone else a turn.

Friday, November 22, 2019

We need one of each: Random Thoughts with Scarlet

Speaking of Just Dance...ok, we weren't.  Just go with me, here.

Y'all!  Not only did I finish 1st in three different songs the other day, I also finished first in a tournament (which is three songs in a row--highest cumulative score wins).  Eek!  My theory is that all the really good dancers have moved on to Just Dance 2020, but that doesn't make me any less geeked when I see my name on top of the leader board. 

So if the really good dancers have moved on, does that mean that there's another World Dance Floor out there, where all the really good dancers are dancing to 2020 songs?  How long will my 2019 World Dance Floor continue to exist?  Dunno.  I'll keep you posted.

*****

People!  Rocky laid an egg.  What. Is. Going. On?  I am not prepared for these already-molted chickens to lay eggs again until spring(ish).  I am not complaining, because eggs are delicious; I'm surprised.

*****

Speaking of chickens, I could spend hours looking at chicken breeds online.  I know that I could, because I do.  Some of them have feathers on their feet and/or legs!  Some of them have crests, muffs, or beards!  Some of them have five toes!  Five!  Some of them lay blue eggs, or chocolate brown eggs, or pink eggs!  Pink!  They're all so wonderful--I'll take one of each, please.

*****

Speaking of wanting one of each, the other day Hubby said we needed more chickens.  I couldn't agree more.  We're gonna need a bigger coop.

*****

I've mentioned that I've distilled my Warm Me Up Sausage Quiche down to the four essential ingredients, and I try to always have those four ingredients in the house.  I almost always have those ingredients, but they're not always in usable form--the sausage is raw and frozen and the cheese is ungrated, in blocks.  Well, yesterday I decided to cook a bunch of sausage and grate a bunch of cheese, so now I have three bags of cheese and sausage in the freezer all measured out and ready to be made into quiche (along with a baked quiche in the fridge).  I'm so excited to have streamlined the quiche process even more!  Batch cooking to the rescue!

Here's my current recipe:

  • Mix together 6 eggs, slightly beaten, 8 oz shredded cheese (I usually use sharp cheddar), 6 oz breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled (about 8 oz raw), and one 7 oz can diced green chilies.
  • Pour into a greased 9" square baking pan and bake in a preheated 400°F oven, for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer jiggly.
*****

The Just Dance 2019 World Dance Floor still exists.  In addition to all of the accolades mentioned above, I've become Dancer of the Week for three songs!  That means that I achieved the highest score for each of those songs in the past seven days.  Of course, my titles were short-lived, but it was super exciting to see my name up there.

*****

I've been making lots of Cricut projects, but I haven't been very good at taking pictures of them.  Whoops.  Here are a few of the projects you haven't seen yet:
 This is actually a reversible sign.  I took the "gather" picture before I put the frame on.

 I love these pantry labels.  Side note: who else has four or more different types of flour in their pantry?  I actually have six, but only four of them are in labelable containers.



My Cricut project list just keeps growing, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Menu plan for the week of November 18

I bought a turkey.  It is difficult to resist purchasing a turkey at this time of year, when they're such a good price.  Unfortunately, all of the good-price turkeys at my store were around 16 pounds, which is kind of a big turkey, especially when you're a family of five (one of whom lives elsewhere most of the year).  Oh, it's not a big turkey for us to eat.  No, that's not a problem.  It's a big turkey to store in our starter freezer.  So, yeah.  I have a freezer full of turkey, currently.

Speaking of that family member who lives elsewhere most of the year, he'll be home on Friday.  I think he told us Friday.  That's why the menu takes a sudden AKD-centric turn later in the week.  I love feeding that boy man.

Speaking of feeding people, Hubby was talking with some teenagers and they revealed to him that not everyone eats supper with their family most nights.  Or any night.  At least one of these teenagers said that every night is fend-for-yourself night in their house.  That just makes me so sad.  Those families are missing out on precious time together.  I get it, though.  People are so busy.  And it is so tiresome to have to cook every day.  Not just the cooking part, of course, but the planning part.  It's difficult.  As much as I angst*, though, I can never stop.  I just love our family meal times too much.

How about you?  Do you eat meals together as a family?

Supper:

  • Pepperoni rolls (this is something we were introduced to in West Virginia (I associate them with our friend Paula, for some reason), basically biscuits stuffed with pepperoni.  So good), raw veggies
  • Nachos, guacamole, taco toppings
  • Sausage egg biscuits/English muffins, fresh fruit
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, chips, green beans
  • Beef barbacoa (from the freezer), tortillas, guacamole, taco toppings
  • Shepherd's pie, rolls, applesauce
  • Peppered steak with portabello mushrooms, mashed potatoes, grilled green veggie


Other:

  • Cookies.  It has been far too long since we have had cookies in our house
  • Muffins.  Ditto on the muffins (although far too long, in the case of muffins, is about 4 days)
  • Taco bean soup.  I eat it for lunch every day, and supper some days.
  • Warm me up sausage quiche.  Modified down to the 4 essential ingredients.


* How d'ya like that verbing, eh?


Friday, November 15, 2019

Why are black olives sold in cans? Random thoughts with Scarlet

I keep having random thoughts that I want to share with y'all.  None of them warrant a post all on their own, so I decided to just start a post, add to it whenever I think of something I want to share, and then publish it at some point.  Maybe Friday.  We'll see.

*****

I bought green olives the other day.  I almost always have black olives in the house, but I don't buy green olives very often.  As I was perusing the shelf, it occurred to me, for the first time ever, that green olives are almost always sold in glass jars, while black olives are almost always sold in cans.  I would really appreciate it if black olives were sold in jars, because then I wouldn't have to transfer them from their can to another container, which inevitably leaks in my refrigerator drawer, to store them.

So I googled it: why are black olives not sold in jars?  And I found an answer that was kind of a non-answer, about jarred black olives causing botulism in the early 20th century.  It's a non-answer, because by now, the world has figured out how to jar low-acid foods safely.  So why is this still common practice?  I don't know.

The good news is, due to my musings, I have finally realized that I don't have to put my black olives into plastic containers to store them in the fridge--I can put them in glass mason jars.  Which are much less likely to spill, and also make me much happier.

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I am loving having sugar scrub in my shower!  The current iteration is peppermint: 1 c. granulated sugar + 1/3 c. coconut oil + 1 T peppermint extract (you could use several drops of peppermint essential oil instead).  I use it on my elbows, knees, ankles, and feet almost every day, and I can definitely tell the difference when I don't use it for a while.  No more rough, dry skin for me!

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In a surprise turn of events, Indigo has started laying eggs again.  It is so strange, considering that she wasn't laying eggs regularly before she molted, and then she molted (which slows down or halts egg production), and then the days got shorter (which also slows down or halts egg production).

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In other chicken news, Toasty Crunch has entered the feathers-fly-everywhere-whenever-she-shakes-her-body-or-flaps-her-wings stage of molting.  There are feathers everywhere.  I really wish she had lost her feathers with the others, because it is cold right now.  It is legitimately January weather, and she's losing feathers.  Silly chicken.  And then there's Koko, who hasn't even started her molt.

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I found a (dead) moth in the neck of my water bottle the other day.  How did it get there, and how long had it been there?  IdontknowIdontknowIdontknow!  But I didn't notice it (because I was drinking (water) while driving) until the water was half gone!  Ewww!  Please excuse me while I brush my teeth (again) and gargle with high proof alcohol (again).

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Eek!  I got my first 1st place finish on the World Dance Floor!  And it was on my sis' favorite song (or at least her favorite the last time I knew her favorite).  So exciting and gratifying.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A New Morning Routine

Earlier this year, I told you about my new morning routine, which consisted of getting Bubby on the bus, then doing devotions with the chickens, followed by Just Dancing.  I loved that routine, and it worked perfectly for me, for a lot of reasons.

And then this school year happened.  Bubby catches the bus much earlier, and it isn't light out at that time.  I could grab my headlamp along with my Bible and prayer journal, but since the point of doing devos outside with the chickens is to get exposure to early morning sunlight, that would kind of defeat the purpose.

So I was waiting until it was light out to go out, which was about an hour and a half after everyone had left the house for the day.  I started doing other things, and I ended up not actually reading or visiting the chickens most days, which led to not Just Dancing, either.

It made me sad, but I wasn't sure what to do.  The school district is not going to adjust the bus schedule based on my needs.

I wasn't sure what to do, that is, until yesterday.  Why not, I thought to myself, reverse?  Why not start Just Dancing as soon as the others clear out in the morning, in the basement, where it doesn't matter whether or not it's light out, and then go out and read with the chickens?

Y'all.  Why did it take me this long to figure this out?

So we're back in business, friends--morning routine: exercise, God-time, and early morning light exposure--back on track.


Speaking of Just Dance, the 2020 version came out last week.  I wonder how long it'll be until the World Dance Floor switches over to the 2020 songs.  And will I still be able to access the World Dance Floor with my 2019 game after that happens?  I hope so.  At least I think I hope so.  Maybe I'll feel differently when I start not knowing the songs, and not being able to practice them on demand.  I'll let you know what happens.

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