Sunday, November 1, 2020

A week of Mondays


Yes, dear readers, it was a week of Mondays.  All. Week. Long!  

Work stuff, family stuff, farm stuff, stuff - stuff.   Thankfully, Friday came.  God answered prayers.  And the workweek ended along with the Monday-ness of it all.  Farmer and I went to the city to run a few errands.  But, oh, The. People!  We hurried through our errands and called ahead to get a place in line at our restaurant of choice.  Then to our blessed home. 

Saturday was a beautiful day.  A bit breezy but a good day to hang all the laundry on the line. 

Old photo, same backyard.

I cleaned the old Farmhouse, visited with one of Farmer's cousins, made chicken stock in the Instant Pot, cleaned out the fridge and cooked up some sausage from the fridge.  Supper was easy and we enjoyed a restful evening.  
(And yes, it was that October 31st event but we don't celebrate it.  It helps that we live in the country with few small children as neighbors.  And we keep the porch light off.)

Today is Sunday.  We were both up early due to the end of Daylight Saving Time.  I made coffee cake for breakfast.  We listened to our church's sermon podcast and did our devotions.  Farmer watched football and I made more flat sausage patties and sheetpan eggs for breakfast sandwiches.  
The Littles came out for a visit after naps and now we are back to another quiet evening.  I love this time of year!

MENU (Well, I tried)

I made a menu.  Did we eat it?  Not really.  What we actually ate indicated by the parentheses

Sun: Baked Potato Soup

Mon:  Chicken parmesan casserole, frozen mixed veg (Leftover Potato Soup)

Tues: Walking Taco Casserole, salad (Ate out, Mexican)

Wed: Breakfast pizza, smoothies  (Meatloaf, new potatoes, frozen mixed veg)

Thur: Hot Dogs, new potatoes, Beans  (Pancakes, sausage)

Fri: Fish, FF, Slaw  (Ate out, Burger & FF and Chicken Quesadilla)

Sat: Pizza, salad  (Leftovers for lunch; AF hot dogs, beans, chips, and tomato/cuke salad)

What can I say, it was a week of Mondays!  And we needed easy and comfort foods.
I haven't made this week's menu yet, except for Breakfasts.  

Normally we do not eat breakfast at home.  I'll grab a cup of coffee before work and one at work and maybe a yougurt or breakfast bar.  Farmer will have graham crackers and fruit at his 9 a.m. break. But I've been finding that I don't get time at the office to eat something, so I was eating my bar at home.  I decided I want a little something more, so I found some waffles in the freezer that I can toast.  I also purchases some croissants from Sam's Club and will fill those with the sheetpan eggs and sausage I made this weekend with a piece of cheese.  I had one for lunch today and it was very good.
I can't say I saved much from buying them in the store.  I figured .19 for the cheese, .60 for the croissant, .32 for the egg, .12 for the sausage, if I had purchased it.  I used ours from the hog we bought so I'm not sure what that figured out to be.   Even if it wasn't cheaper, at least I know where the eggs and sausage came from.


Farmer wanted to go into Sam's on Friday, "just for animal crackers."  I should know better.  🙄
We ended up with the animal crackers and!... Softener Salt, 2 cases of La Croix (we bought one for the kids), case of Green beans (We were out.), Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes & Baby Cukes (for me), Butter (Because... butter!), a bag of our favorite Candy mix (Because... Chocolate!), those Croissants, Eggs and Crab rangoon because it's Sunday.  And I forgot to get frozen Blueberries and Mayonnaise and Half&Half.  
Seriously friends!  We have so much food!  And then today, the friend/neighbor who hunts on our ground brought me a case (a WHOLE CASE) of bacon!!  I found room, barely.  

I'm not complaining about the plethora of food.  Believe me, I'm not.  I've been hearing way too many warnings about what may come after the election and with the virus and just the bad winter that's being forecasted. 

I made up another batch of Chicken Bone Broth yesterday and packaged it up in 2 cup freezer bags.  I have about 6 (or more) carcasses and will be making more each Saturday until I've used them.  Flat quart bags take up a lot less space than bulky bones.  
I'm looking forward to making more IP Chicken Noodle soup for the freezer.  The last batch went to a friend who had a cold.

I'm thinking I will add the items I need for Thanksgiving to my next Wm Grocery Pickup.  Some Stovetop stuffing, cranberry sauce, jarred gravy, mini marshmallows and maybe frozen dinner rolls.  I should have everything else except the turkey breast.  That I will get right before the day.  I'm not sure if the local kids will be here or not.

I spent some time on Saturday straightening and decluttering the pantry.  I told Farmer that we will not be getting groceries except to fill in a very few gaps (blueberries, mayo, dairy and produce as needed.)  We should be fine until the new year!

And tonight I dove into the freezers a bit.  I'm not happy with the condition of those.  I will need to gather some baskets and defrost and rearrange.  I can't find anything.  That will be a good Saturday afternoon chore.  


I cleaned out the fridge on Saturday.  I did have to toss a quart of chili soup and about 4 eggs that were getting too old for even my comfort.  I fed that all to the cats so it wasn't really a waste.  

I went through the ripening tomatoes on the screen porch.  I tossed about 1/3 of a 5-gal bucket.  I also blanched the 2 heads of broccoli I got on the $20 bag sale and another head gifted to me from a friend. And then I pared and julienned a 2lb bag of the carrots I got on that same sale.  The ends and peelings went into the tomato compost bucket along with the too-small and too-wrinkly and too-green small potatoes.  Tossed all that into the new dumps of compost Farmer has put down on the garden.

I had 2lbs of sausage meat thawed and I made sheetpan thin patties for the breakfast sandwiches.  

The leftovers I have available are 3 meatloaf muffins, about a cup's worth of taco meat and beans, 2 cups of baked beans, some baby spinach, various cheeses, some thawed chicken breasts.  The meatloaf & beans will be Farmer's lunch one day.  The taco meat I'll put in the freezer to put into chili soup again.  I will use the chicken and spinach in something for me this week (I'm thinking Sweet Chili Garlic Chicken with pineapple over rice.)  The cheeses will keep.


Have you started Christmas gift buying yet?  I have ordered a few things for the out-of-state kids and have ideas for the local Littles.  I need to see if the adults want gifts or $$.  Farmer and I don't give to each other as we buy what we need/want all year.  I might fill our stockings for something to open on Christmas morning... or not.  We're just as happy to just be together and enjoy the real Reason for the Season with a nice brunch.

And now it's getting time to close for tonight.  

Let me know how you've been using your fragments.

Are you ready for whatever will be coming?  Tell us how you are prepared.

See you soon, 

"Autumn is the season to find contentment at home 
by paying attention to what we already have."

Monday, October 26, 2020

Menu 10/25/2020

Sunday:  Baked Potato Soup

Monday: Chicken Parmesan Casserole (new recipe), salads and garlic toast 

Tuesday: Walking Taco Casserole (another new recipe), tomatoes and lettuce  or salsa topping

Wednesday:  Biscuit crust Breakfast Pizza, fruit or smoothies

Thursday:  AF Hot Dogs, new potatoes, Beans

Friday: Fish, FF, Slaw

Saturday: Leftovers or Tuna Sandwiches; Homemade Pizza & salad

Sunday, October 25, 2020

It was a produce Sale!

It was a LONG week, work-wise, last week. My menu will reflect that. 

Saturday: No idea, leftovers I think. Or Chef Salads. 

Sunday: Leftover chili for him; IP chicken noodle for me. 

Monday: I have no idea. It was that kind of day. 

Tuesday: Tacos, yellow rice, refried beans. 

Wednesday: Farmer finally went back to work at the Plant after 3 months of recovering from a broken wrist. He ended up with a bad headache so he went straight to bed. Got up for leftover homemade waffles and yogurt. I had leftover rice and ground beef. 

Thursday: We ran errands in the city. I had a coupon for Red Robin so we ate there. When we went to pay, we found I had a loyalty club coupon too, so saved $16 on our bill. Win-win! 

Friday: Cast Iron Cheeseburgers, Home fries, canned green beans for him & frozen mixed veg for me. 

Saturday: AF snack foods (chicken strips, fries, mozzarella sticks) for the first college game; Quesadillas for supper with Apple Crisp for dessert.

All this for $20!

Our local grocery had a 2-day "Fill a Bag for $20" produce sale.  The above photo shows what I got on the first day.  I filled that paper bag to overflowing!  I went back the next day and they were sorely low on many things.  They substituted butternut squash, bananas, a different variety of apple for some of what was in the ad.  That day I got more raspberries, 2 more bags of carrots, a butternut squash, 6 apples, 6 avocados, 2 bunches of bananas.  Not as great a variety but still lovely.

Now I don't want to lose any of this bounty, so I've been using or have plans to use it.  We've eaten several of the avocados and the rest will be used this week for avocado toast or on sandwiches or with a meal.  We've eating some of the pears and 1.5 were used in the apple crisp. (I cut one up for the grandkids and then someone took a nibble of another. Sweet little "mouse.")

I also made seedless, low-sugar raspberry jam with the raspberries and a few blueberries.  I've not made raspberry before or used Pomona pectin before.  I'm eager to taste it.  It was an easy process once I got to cooking it. Straining the seeds out took the longest time, but I knew we would not care for a seedy jam.  I got 6 1/4-pints when all was said and done.  I gave one to DS2 along with some 1/2-pints of peach from last year.  

This week I plan to blanch the broccoli and some of the carrots to store in the freezer.  The mushrooms I'll either cook up and freeze or mince and cook with ground beef to extend the meat.  That I will freeze also and use for pizza or pasta dishes.  The pineapple I will cut up and use in Farmer's lunches and freeze some for Pineapple Salsa. The squashes will keep in the cool pantry.  The apples and the rest of the pears will be eaten over the next few weeks.  

There were also some salad type vegetables (bagged iceberg salad, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and celery) but they didn't look very nice.  I passed on the 5# bags of potatoes and 1# bags of onions, since I still have baskets of our home-grown.  I would have gotten some of the celery but my fridge was already full and I can find that on sale before Thanksgiving.  I don't use it as often as I do carrots.

I've been looking over my pantry and freezers (which are all FULL) as we draw closer to the election here in the US.  I've been hearing way too many rumblings of riots and shortages coming afterwards.  I feel we are well stocked except for a very few items.  Canned vegetables are one thing I will be getting this week.  Another 10# bag of flour since I've been baking more as the weather has gotten cool/cold.  Another large bag of sugar for holiday baking (white and brown).  Other than that I really don't think we need much.  
I've looked into getting a CSA from Alaskan fishermen in the spring.  It's a little over my price-range but I would feel better about the quality.  This will require more thought and prayer.

We also need to stock up on some non-food items.  Good socks for the Farmer.  A new pair of work shoes for both of us.  (He got his on Thursday.)  I'll order mine this week.  Another pair of gloves for me. Earmuffs for him as well as the good paper face masks for when he does hay chores.  He needs 2 more work shirts, so I will look at the local thrift store or Walmart for those.  Then I think we are set.

The weather has changed to COLD here on the prairie.  This is early for us and I keep hearing we are in for a cold, nasty winter.  We are so thankful we finished harvest early.  There are still a few around who are picking corn but should be finishing soon.  

We've winterized around the Farm House.  We picked all the pumpkins way back at the first of the month.  They helped me make the Farm looked especially Fall Festive.

The berm decked out in Fall Splendor

The Littles really liked the mini pumpkins.

We had a young helper (boss' son) come help one day and we picked all the rest of the tomatoes and pulled the plants. 

Not the last of the tomatoes, but an earlier harvest. 
Imagine this table full and with about 1/4 of them, green in color.

Last in September we dug all the potatoes.  The card table in the first photo was filled from edge to edge.  Plus a market basket of marble-sized and about 1/4 of the camping table with regular-sized.  I hated to pull them as some were still setting on potatoes but the weeds were taking over and some had died back and I didn't want to lose where they were in the row.

Over the last 2 weeks, we've taken the old cows to market.  Weaned off their calves who are now here in the pen.  That means evening chores again. 
Farmer refreshed the soil on the garden.  My helper dumped the flower pots that were done and those are stored away in the wash-house.

Today is cold, windy with a wintery-mix in the forecast for tonight.  I am so thankful for our warm farmhouse, many provisions and a time of rest and recovery from the busy growing season.

Let me know how you have been stocking up?  
How is the winter supposed to be in your area?
Share your menu ideas.  

I'll be back tomorrow with this week's menu.


“Autumn is the mellower season, 
and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”
~ Samuel Butler

Friday, October 23, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Menu Sept 13, 2020

 First, Happy 40th Anniversary to us!  40 years ago it was a very hot Saturday.  Today it is a pleasant sunny Sunday.  We are spending it quietly.  Yesterday our BFF took us on a roadtrip to northern Kansas.  We just drove through small towns, stopped at a few antique stores.  I found 2 pieces of ornate fencing that I will hang on the side of the garage for decoration.  I also got 2 muffin tins.  We ended up having a nice meal in a tiny town in Nebraska and then we were home by 11 p.m.


We dug those potatoes on Tuesday and I have an entire card table filled, another 1/3 of the camping table and 2/3 of the market basket filled with the marble-sized. There are about 5 that were cut when we dug so I'll be using those first.  I've read up on how to blanch and flash freeze so I may be doing that with some of these.  I need to move these to somewhere dark and airy and cool.  The Littles play in the basement but maybe I can barricade off an area somehow.

Yes, you spy some tomatoes yet.  We were busy alot of last week, in the evenings so I didn't get any canning done.  So many people have told me I can can with the big canner on the glasstop stove.  I guess I'll try it and see.  Canning quarts will use them up faster.  :)


I used up most of the leftovers.  And added chili soup, a jar of broccoli cheese that I took from the freezer and then didn't eat.  Added homemade pizza.  There are still hot dogs.  I will be freezing the chili.  It's suppose to warm up this week and Farmer will probably not eat it.  I'll freeze the hot dogs too for a future lunch.  

I'm a little afraid to check the crisper drawers.  I already know there are dying green beans in there.  I just didn't get to them. If I can salvage any, I'll blanch and freeze.  I did cut up some carrots and celery and bag that up for us to easily snack on.  I have more of both, so will get them cleaned and cut also.  

I will be cooking those damaged potatoes and will either add to Friday's supper meal.  I don't want to lose them, as they are nice big potatoes.

I have a few slices of homemade bread and 2 hamburger buns from last week.  I'll make croutons out of those and freeze for chef salads.

I did reorganize my pantry and found all the "lost" items.  

I need to organize & inventory the freezers.  I MUST make bone broth and get those odds and ends out of there.  Just waiting for a Saturday when Farmer will be out of house as he HATES the smell.  



L:  Leftovers (Pizza and Chicken Enchiladas/Rice)

S:  Usual Air Fryer appetizer meal

Monday: Chef Salads, Grilled cheese bread

Tuesday: Tacos, Rice, Beans

Wednesday: Smoothies, French Toast, Bacon

Thursday: Tator Tot Casserole, frozen Mixed Veg

Friday: Fish Fry (Date Night) or Pork Chops, new Potatoes, salad or veg


L: Tuna Sandwiches or Leftovers

S: AF Fried Chicken, FF, Green Beans

That is all for now.  I'm off to spend more time with my Farmer.

Stay well,


Sunday, September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

 2020: Making do, stocking up, using up, frugality and living our best life.

Hello my Lovelies,

I won't even comment on my ever-long absences.  It is what it is.  :)

Briefly, Covid hit.  Farmer and I both work in essential industries so no work changes for us, nor for our sons.  One DDiL works in a school so she was home with their 5 children, doing remote school.  The other is a nurse, so she was VERY busy.   Farmer & I are pretty sure we both Covid in late February.  We both were quickly sick and he lost his sense of taste.  But we recovered quickly enough.  I haven't been "afraid" of getting it except that at my office, there are several more susceptible individuals, plus if any of us get it and we get shut down for 2 weeks, that means the business is totally shut down for 2 weeks, at least.  So I have my "Masks required" signs up and 6 feet distancing in place.  Interesting how many people do not abide by such requests.  

We experienced the same shortages as everyone else.  Thankfully we keep a deep pantry.  We never ran out of anything, even TP.  And if we had, we would have employed the "Family Cloth" method of soft clothes and washing them afterwards.  Not much different than cloth baby diapers.  As a rule, we don't use much in the way of disposable paper products.  We use cloth hankies and rags/towels.  I have paper towels around for really messy spills (eggs, grease) and if I can, I will compost them.

Which brings us to now...


We've had a wonderful garden this year, for the most part.  We planted potatoes, onion and tomatoes in the main bed.  Farmer planted gourds and pumpkins in an old cattle pen.  I tried to grow cucumbers, peppers, beets and zucchini in pots/raised beds on the patio.  None of those did very well.  The squash bugs found the zucchini even in this bed.  The cucumbers need more soil to hold the moisture and I just could not keep up with them.  The beets are very small.  The peppers too.  Thankfully none of those crops were vital to our survival or happiness this summer.  A friend gave me enough cucumbers to make a batch of relish.  I have bags of shredded zucchini in the freezer yet.  Beets were just a fun addition.  Peppers I am getting from friends also.  The herbs in the pots (basil, rosemary, thyme, sage) are all doing great.  Even the flowers in pots were not happy this year.  Partly I think it is because I used some cheap potting soil and nothing planted it in really took off.  Lesson learned.  Next year it's Miracle-Grow.

We have harvested the onions and they are drying on the enclosed back porch.  I need a nice breezy day so I can chop outside and get them all in the freezer.  I plan to flash freeze and then vacuum seal.

As I said, I made a batch of relish, so that is replenished.  I found our peach jam supply from 2 years ago.  Just on a lower shelf.  So I didn't worry about making any jam/jelly this year. 

We've filled this table at least 3 times over the past month.

We've been harvesting tomatoes like crazy.  I made several batches of pasta sauce and one of chili base for the kids.  Then I made 3-4 batches of salsa.  I may make another batch of that.  It's rather labor-intensive, so we'll see.   Now I'm just canning tomato juice for chili soup.  We make that about once a month and I use 2 pints in each pot, so need 12 pints at least.  2 more batches should be enough, unless I decide to do more, just because...  

Updated Potato report photos.

We'll be digging the potatoes tomorrow before it rains on Tuesday.  I need to get them on the porch to cure/dry and then I'll store in the basement in flats.  **reminder to get flat boxes from grocery store**  (UPDATE:  Farmer uncovered some while mowing so we went out and dug 5-6 plants and ended up with a card table filled!  Tomorrow (Monday I will dig the rest but I don't know where I'm going to put them.  Guess I'll have to hurry and get those tomatoes on the table, processed and in the freezer.)

The pumpkins are just for decoration which is fine. I don't use that much pumpkin throughout the year.  Just a few pies and maybe a dessert or two.  We counted what we could see through the leaves this evening.  At least 9 basketball-size.  There are many mini pumpkins.  I'm looking forward to Fall Decorating next weekend.  (Hurry up Cool Weather!)

Also, I planted 2 elderberry bushes last year and this year I had a harvest.  I cut the berry heads off and gently dunked to wash.  Then I put them stems and all in freezer bags.  Supposedly the berries are going to fall off the stems for easy use.  We'll see.  I'll be making syrup and maybe gummies from this for winter health.

The flowers around the farm house were just so-so.  I always tell the guys, I can either have a great vegetable garden or pretty flower beds, but not both.  


You know I keep a deep pantry, but when I felt nudged by Father God to stock up this past Spring, I did what I could.  I felt that same nudge in August, so we got the following:  TP; Flour, Canned goods (veg and tomato products), pasta, rice, canned & dry beans.  I had purchased yeast earlier and just got another shipment of baking powder.  I only stocked up on the things we normally eat.  I will be getting some shelf -stable bone broth for our "Illness Shelf"  I also keep single-portion mashed potatoes, applesauce on that shelf.  If I get sick, Farmer is not the best nurse and we've both gotten the stomach flu before at the same time.  Easy is better during times of illness and these things I can make even while sick.

We also butchered a steer this summer.  Farmer had gotten 1/2 of a hog from a friend when the packing plants all shut down.  And I got one chicken order in June and will get another here in September.  My freezers are FULL! We share beef with our sons, so what was left of last year's meat went to them.  

So all in all, other than the things I'm using up and restocking on a regular basis; I'm feeling good about going into the Fall & Winter months. 


I really enjoy watching and reading how other vlogger/bloggers are using up the fragments of their food supplies.  When the Ohio kids were here this summer I made all but one of our meals.  We had alot of leftovers (I"m not used to cooking for 9-14 people).  We froze alot of leftover meats and ate leftovers for the following week.  (Which was good because Farmer broke his wrist the week after they left and I didn't have a lot of time to cook with helping him.)

This weekend we've eating leftover hamburger & green beans; Chicken Enchilada (that used up some roast chicken and incorporated some Salsa Verde from the fridge) and Yellow Rice; Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes.  Farmer is not a fan of leftover unless they are in his lunch for work, but he's eaten them.  Some items just don't freeze & reheat well.  

As of today, we have 1 serving of Enchiladas & Rice; some cooked hot dogs; some cooked bacon.  Farmer will probably eat the enchilada with chips and salsa.  I will cut up a hot dog or crumble some bacon into the rice.  Farmer will eat the other hot dogs for lunch this week.  Any leftover bacon I'll put in to a pasta salad tomorrow or Farmer will eat a Bacon Sandwich.  We also have some leftover cooked potatoes which will be made into cottage fries or hashbrowns on Wed. Some beef juices/stock which can be made into a sauce for the steak, added to the Chili or used in the pork roast. (Or I will freeze for use later.)  Some hard-cooked eggs to use in salads or in the Tuna Salad next Saturday. 2 cups of pineapple tidbits & some grapes, these will go in the smoothies on Wed.  Any extras will be frozen for next week. A variety of block and shredded cheese.  I'll use up the shredded for the soup topping & in the omelet. The block cheese will keep.  There is deli turkey and dried beef from our steer. Again these we will use on salads or for sandwiches this week.

I have the usual condiments. I'd like to use up the odd jelly and jams, so we might have to have smoothies more than once.  I can put those in, instead of honey.  And we have alot of different dressings.... ok, my weakness... I buy those interesting ones from time to time and forget to use them.  I'll be looking into ways to incorporate those into dishes.  Marinades?  Sauces?  Or just plain use them on my nightly tomato salad.

Also on Monday, I MUST reorganize my pantry.  Farmer "helped" and reorganized his way but now I cannot find anything.  His way was to just put everything to the back of that narrow room but he buried my flour stash.  The canned goods are haphazardly shoved together.  He did not know my system and now there is NO system.  I like to group catagogizes together, like the "Illness Shelf", "Soups (& their ingredients)",  Tex-Mex, Oddities, Veggies, Fruits, Home-canned, Baking.


Today is our last HOT day of the summer (I hope).  We are suppose to get a major cool down this coming week.  But I know we will have some warm days yet.  Also Farmer is looking towards starting harvest in the next 7-10 days.  I need to plan meals that are easy or can hold.  Our evening meals get late(r) during harvest.

I've been making our bread the past month.  We were never eating up the boughten loaves.  I also make some kind of baked breakfast item on Sundays that can get eaten into the next week.  I try to make a side dish (like a salad) that can be used over the next several days as well.  I'll probably make a dessert item tomorrow in case we have any neighbors stop by.

Menu 9/6-13

(All meals are dinner/supper meals. Breakfasts are usually yogurt & either toast, leftover blueberry muffins or breakfast bars.  Lunches are usually sandwiches or leftovers.)

Today:  Sunday Night AirFryer Meal (Poppers, Popcorn Shrimp, Crab Rangoon, Fries or Onion Rings.)

Monday (Labor Day):  

Lunch- Leftover Hot Dogs, Pasta Salad OR Chopped Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Supper- Steak on the Grill, Garden Potatoes, Salad, Homemade Bread


Lunch- Leftovers (all week)

Supper- Tomato soup & Grilled Cheese OR Chili Soup & Cornbread, Carrots/Celery

Wednesday: Ham & Cheese Omelets, Hashbrowns, Toast, Smoothies

Thursday: Chef Salads, Cheese Sticks or Biscuits or Homemade Bread

Friday: Fish Sticks, Cole Slaw, Fries, Rye Bread


Lunch- Leftovers or Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Carrots.

Supper- Pork Chops or Pork Roast, Potatoes, Mixed Veggies, Bread or Rolls

Sunday:  Our 40th Anniversary!  I hope for a nice meal out, but if not, we will have something nice to celebrate.  Maybe Ham Sandwiches and a Cake in remembrance of our wedding meal. 

I can't promise when I'll be back, but maybe I can find time for short posts a couple of times a week.  



Some crimson poppy of a late delight 
Atoning in its splendor for the flight 
Of summer blooms and joys 
This is September.     

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Happy Valentine's Weekend!  

This week has felt 10 days long.  Actually this whole month has felt Big and Long.  A week ago we had our annual tax appointment.  It always feels so good to have that done.  As soon as we got home from running errands and visiting the Littles; I fell to organizing and putting away the 2019 paperwork,  And then I started on entering the 2020 receipts.  My goal is to stay on top of it this year.  (I say that every year!)  But I mean it this year. To this date I only have about 5 or 6 receipts to enter and that can be done in less than 15 mins.
I also purchased an "in-box" so I have a place to collect them during the week and then can enter them on Saturday.

Sunday the 9th we stayed home from church.  It was the annual Chili Cook-off at church and I'm not a fan of chili and not eating grains, so no cinnamon rolls for me.  We both took a late morning nap and just piddled the rest of the day, RESTING.  I  helped with chores and made a few food items for my week.

A week ago Tuesday my best friend's dad passed away.  The family viewing was Monday evening so we went to that and spent afterwards with B & A.  Tuesday was the funeral, so I worked until 10 a.m.  Farmer picked me up and we went to the funeral and luncheon.  The country cemetery was terribly muddy so we chose to not go to that.  I went back to work from 1:30-5.

Wednesday evening thru Friday, the weather turned cold.  We had wind chills at -20s all day on Wednesday.  I could feel the cold seeping through the north wall in the living room.  I kept the thermostat at 68 until bed and then turned it to 64.  Farmer wasn't cold sitting in there, covered in 3 quilts.  My computer room is right above the furnace and it stays nice and toasty.

Friday was Valentine's Day.  We are both just fine with a verbal greeting, a kiss & a  hug.  I found a great deal on Under Armor fleece shirts for the Bigs and had sent them out in time for the holiday and sent the family a Universal Yums box to share.  I got the Littles each a card and a toy.  P is very into super heros and Lego people.  He got a Super Hero card and the generic brand of people.  Sissy does everything P does, so Lego people for her too and a Minnie Mouse card.  N is too little to care.  She got a Minnie Mouse card too and a teething toy.
I also got inexpensive ($1 or less) gifts for my Boss' kids and 2 other special friends.  A pack of pencils for $1 to be split up and a pack of Reece's Cups to be split.  The other 2 each got a $1 gift and a tube of Kisses.  
I also gifted my work guys with donuts as we haven't really celebrated or observed anything in a while.  They are a good bunch of guys and work hard, so I'm happy to be the "office mom" and do these things.
By evening I was "done."  Neither of us wanted to go to town and I don't need much for groceries and can easily wait until next week.  Farmer wanted a frozen pizza and I had my sausages in the fridge.  We ate what we wanted and enjoyed a quiet evening.

And that brings us to Saturday, today.  We were up early to drive 2 hours south in to Kansas to look at a sprayer Farmer was interested in.  We enjoyed touring some small communities and seeing some of the big older homes.  Clay Center KS was a delightful little town.  I'm sure I could move there and fit right in.  We stopped at the little bakery, and were the object of everyone's attention (New Comers in town!)  
After Farmer's inspection was done (he hasn't decided if he's getting it  yet), we took a different route through the Flint Hills and back to Nebraska.  By then I was getting car numb, so I took a nice nap.  

During the morning I had had 2 service calls on the after hours phone.  I needed to stop at my office to check on something for Monday morning, so we took the round-about way home through our small town.  While there we called DS2 and asked if we could stop by to see the Littles.  He wanted to come out with them to get them out of the house.  So we agreed and hurried home get the house "baby ready."

4 hours, 3 yucky diapers, a snack and evening meal (Dinosaur chicken nuggets, green beans, mac & cheese, & pears), lots of imaginary play and Bubble Guppies later; I am doing laundry, running the dishwasher.  Farmer is in his chair and I'm here. 

Tomorrow may not be a church day again as I am still in need of some real REST.  The workweeks are pretty stress-filled and the past few Saturdays I have not been able to get much done here.  I don't want to get run down as the Flu is still rampant around here. 

Last week
Friday:  Whole 30 Spinach-Artichoke Dip on Sweet Potato Toasts
Saturday:  Pizza Buffet (salad and small amount of non-compliant items)
Sunday: Salad for lunch.  Fish Sticks and Fries for supper.
Monday: Fast food out with friends
Tuesday: Waffles & Sausages, Smoothies
Wednesday: Cast Iron Skillet Burgers
Thursday: Salads with grilled chicken breasts
Friday: Frozen Pizza or Italian Sausage on Salad greens.
Today:  Donuts, coffee; Sonic burgers; Water, Pistachios & Craisins

Next week I hope to make pizza one night.  We haven't had steak in a while.  Or Meat loaf.  We have some salmon in the freezer.  Probably Chef Salads again as I have a ton of lettuce.  Some kind of soup (other than chili) sounds good.  Maybe Salmon soup with plain nut milk?  Or Chicken Pot Pie Soup?

Homemaking Ways
I MUST clean out my pantry.  DS2 was looking for any leftover homemade jelly.  I couldn't find any of mine so let him have a pint of some  yummy apricot a neighbor gifted to me.  I think I have some left but all I could find was pepper jelly.  Not so good on toast. 
I need to find anything we are not eating anymore and donate it before it expires.  That is a huge waste.  And I cannot walk in that room due to all the stuff on the floor.  
And I just need to declutter.  I've decided if I haven't used it in the last 2 years, I'm boxing it up and will have the daughter-in-loves go through it and then offer to nieces before donating or selling on our local Swap.
After the pantry, I plan to go through the kitchen.  Then the closet under the stairs and then the back porch.  All this over the next 2-3 months since I only have Saturdays now.  Once it gets warmer and lighter longer and Farmer is in the field, I can work upstairs on Saturdays and on the main floor in the evenings. (one drawer or cupboard at a time.)
I also need to make up some Elderberry Syrup.  The Flu is going around here for the second time.  That's the LAST thing we need.

Being Creative
My quilting is calling.  I'm patiently waiting for Farmer to get the rocking horses done. Gifts for the Little Girls.  Then I can finish B, K & N's quilts.  
I also would like to plant up the sprouting bulbs I got for cheap.  (Maybe tomorrow!)
I have cards I could make.  And produce bags.  

Learned Ways
I have several "deeper" books on Biblical subjects I'd like to get started on.  I don't have the mental wherewithal to read them during the week, but Sunday afternoons seem like the perfect time.
I would also like to learn more about eating Paleo or Gluten-free.  The more I test it, the more I'm finding grains are not my friends.  This past week was heavier on them and I can tell.  I get bloated and my face gets blotchy.  Sugar is another no-no.  That with the grains makes my Rosacea flare badly.  I had a bad reaction after the holidays, and am just now getting it under control.  Shea Butter and Helichrysum EO has helped enormously. 

So all in all, I'm still busy and have lots to do.  But I will work Smarter, Not Harder and will continue my Year of RESTING in Him.

See you soon!

**February is the border between winter and spring. 
~Terri Guillemets, "Years,"