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Scattered Sundays

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For the last five months, I have been wearing my beloved Merrill boots whenever I leave the house. Unless of course, I’m running/walking, and then it is my beloved running shoes. On Wednesday, the weather was so nice that I pulled on my 15-year-old pair of Chuck Taylors and took the boys for a walk.

Dude. Within an hour of getting home, my knees were screaming at me “you’re 39! We need some effing support. What is with this Converse BS?” So, those shoes are headed to Goodwill. I can never wear them again unless I want to hobble around for 24 hours.

From here on out, it’s Merrill boots, Diadora running shoes, my Dr.Scholl’s slip-on sneakers, and Reef flip flops in the summer. It’s cool. I’m ok with this. Moving and walking without pain kinda seems like the responsible thing to do here.

white sheets on a clothesline

It’s March and I had laundry up on the line outside multiple times this week. What is this wonderful turn of events? Long-time readers know that I bought myself a retractable clothesline for Mother’s Day 3-4 years ago. I love that thing and I am all about practical gifts.

It was a great week to be outdoors in the Seattle area. Temps were in the mid to upper 50s all week, and it was blue skies and sunshine. Meanwhile, my friend in Denver was getting pummeled by a storm that seems like it was a biblical vendetta.

After a very muddy winter, the chickens were frolicking in their dry straw/woodchips and living their best spoiled lives. The longer and warmer days mean they are also cranking out the eggs right now. We’ve been giving away multiple dozens per week to friends and family, as well as eating them ourselves, of course. 🙂

I need to start hauling the compost out of their yard/run soon and start prepping the garden and raised bed. It’s hard to believe that the plants for the summer growing season will be in the ground in about eight weeks. Hold onto your butts, it’s planting season.

2 workout reports

I passed a big milestone in my running journey this week. For one thing, my heart hasn’t exploded yet. That’s always a plus. My previous distance record was 4.5 miles. Well…this week I did a 5 and a 5.25-mile run. I’m headed out this morning and will be sticking to the 5.25-mile goal. There is no need to die and I have nothing to prove.

Here is what I have learned by adding distance to my route. One: it never gets easier. Two: I never like it more. That “runner’s high” crap is a myth. Three: My area sucks for safe shoulders on the road. Four: I feel stronger a little bit more each day.

Want to know what is going through my head on my run? Mile one: ack, I have to pee. I totally did not pee enough before I left the house. This sucks. Hmmm, Monica lives on this road. Do you think she would let me pee at her house? There is a solid chance I will pee my pants today.

Mile two: Running is stupid. Who does this? Why am I doing this? I really wish I was friends with Jenna and Angela (I listen to The Office Ladies on my runs). I like that they’re as nerdy and dorky as I am.

Mile Three: Oh, thank you, Jesus, it’s time to run downhill. I like downhill. Why can’t I run downhill the whole time? Is there a route I could plan where it is just downhill for 5 miles? Do I need to go to a mountain to do that? There are bears on mountains. How much distance do I have left on this? (Looks at watch and swears very very loudly.)

Mile Four: What witchcraft would I need to do to make underwear comfortable when running? I’m hungry, but it seems like my butt is REALLY hungry. Can I pick this underwear out of my butt without someone in a car seeing me do it? Hey…I’m almost done!

Mile Five: OMG, I did it. I did it! Nothing hurts but I think I left my exploded heart back at mile 4.5. I’m never doing this again. Why would I ever do this again? Hey, didn’t I have to pee? I didn’t pee my pants did I? (Pauses to evaluate if I peed my pants. I did not. Phew.) Seriously, WTF is up with my underwear? You could at least buy me dinner first. Ohhh, dinner. I’m hungry. I’m going to go eat.

flowering fruit trees

Recently on Instagram stories, I asked for recommendations on new series to watch with the boys. Before bed, we all pile onto the couch and watch a show together. Once a week it is American’s Funniest Home Videoes, but then we slowly make our way through a series.

Since the lockdown started last year, we’ve finished some really long shows. Avatar was a great one, and I enjoyed it for the fact that it had strong female characters and it also in an age-appropriate way, addressed mental health and trauma. When the characters dealt with something heavy, they would get sad or depressed for a few episodes and talk about it. You know, like real life instead of just shoving all their feelings down.

The sequel was The Legend of Korra and I preferred that to Avatar. Visually it was better and the lead was a capable woman who kicked a lot of butt. But she also had to face situations that required teamwork and then had to deal with the subsequent outcomes. It’s wasn’t a “let’s push this under the rug” plot-driven show.

After that, we watched The Dragon Prince. The first few episodes I was NOT a fan of it. I thought I was going to have to suffer through this with the boys. But it got better, and then it got adorable. It has some really cool LGBTQ characters and they are just normal characters and it’s never a thing. They’re just part of the show.

Instagram people recommended Troll Hunters and we’re almost done with the first season of that. After the first season ends, we’ve all agreed to watch a season of Gravity Falls, which is the funniest and weirdest cartoon. It’s beloved by both kids and adults in our house.

Jack and I discovered it by accident in November 2015. He was in and out of the ER with his (then) undiagnosed stomach problems (you can read about it here) and it was the only cartoon on cable in his room at 1 am during one visit. It made us both laugh, and at that time, we really needed to laugh.

We didn’t have cable then (still don’t), but we eventually found it someplace where we could stream it. It is really quirky and not for everyone, but dang, it is funny!

a little boy making a silly face

Troy made and stained windowsills for the kitchen early in the week. They’re so pretty and I love how they make the space seem cozier. We went into this remodel knowing it would look industrial until we added the little personal touches.

We’re still very much in “industrial” mode, but it’s getting a little better. The floating shelves Troy has promised to build will really tie everything together. I’m not sure when that will happen, because my contractor works on his own timeline, but hey, he’s free.

a kitchen counter

Housekeeping

I recently discovered Figs thanks to a podcast (The Office Ladies, you know, my friends…) and I’m in LOVE! Yes, they’re scrubs. No, I’m not a medical professional. ????

But as a tall woman who has been searching for a good pair of long casual wear pants with pockets, I had an “ah-ha” moment listening to their ad one day on a run.

Their scrub pants are meant for you to move in and come with 6-11 pockets depending on the style. Pocket heaven. It’s like my pants are a kangaroo.

2 photos of a woman wear scrub pants

Left: jogger style “Zamora”. Right: Skinny “Yola”.

Oh, and their lengths come in petite, regular, and tall. They’re not just for the giants. Figs is a one-for-one company, so for every pair purchased, they donate a pair to healthcare professionals in need around the world.

You can try Figs for yourself and take $20 off your first order AND they will donate scrubs. Win-win. Try Figs And fall in love with pockets

What I’m Listening To This Week

Did you know 48 Hours has a podcast? I just discovered it this week! In my opinion, it’s not as good as the show. But, we don’t have cable so this is a decent substitute for me and my earbuds.

What I’m Reading This Week

I finished Anxious People this week. I liked it well enough but never found my rhythm with it. It was a good story but one of those books I just didn’t click with.

I then found The Heavy in our “available now” section on our library’s digital collection. I had read about this book a few months ago in a magazine and was curious about it.

It is the story of one mom’s journey to help her child who is medically obese get to a healthy weight. I thought the book was really honest about the struggles they faced. And based on how much I’m about to write about this book (more than I ever write about what I’m reading), you can guess I have some thoughts.

I’ve never been in the position she was in, and one theme that runs throughout the book is “parents of normal-weight children don’t understand”. And that is 100% true. So any thoughts I have about the process they used would 100% come across as tone-deaf. They worked with a childhood nutritionist and followed her plan. 

The number one thing I wish the author had addressed was the privilege her family had in tackling this health journey. They had the financial means to do so, lived in a large city with lots of resources, and were able to see a nutritionist EVERY week! That seems so out of reach for many, many families.

The fact that her family could afford to feed their kids 5+ servings of fruit as a snack was never discussed. In the whole book, there was only one discussion about her grocery bill being expensive. There are no ideas or suggestions in the book for how people without means would be able to eat like this.

She had some excellent points about childhood obesity being used as a scapegoat for many societal “ails”. And she pointed out that when parents of obese children try to rectify the situation, they aren’t actually given useful help (calorie and nutritional breakdowns on school menus, etc.,).

She gives lots of examples of being told she was being too strict with her daughter’s eating or judged for being too lax because her child was obese. The author points out that if her child had a food allergy or was diabetic, no one would bat an eye if the parent brought their own snacks to a birthday party. It very much seemed like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

I think it’s one of those books that you’d have to read for yourself to really form an opinion about. I cringed through parts of it and nodded my head in agreement with other parts. 

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Stephanie left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Creamy Tortellini Soup {Pin this recipe}:

I just want to relay how amazing this dish turned out. My sick friends were over the moon when I left a couple of canning jars full of it with them to eat. They couldn’t stop talking about it. Thank you, Sarah. It’s such a great tasty soup and I used bacon (cause I didn’t have sausage) but it still was super duper! 

A hand holding a white bowl of Instant Pot Tortellini Soup

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Baked Tortilla Bowls – Homemade Baked Tortilla Bowls are a delicious, affordable, and healthier version of deep-fried bowls. These crispy taco bowls can be made ahead of time and don’t require any special equipment. {Pin this recipe}

a fork in a baked tortilla bowl

Instant Pot Roasted Garlic – Instant Pot Roasted Garlic is a fast way to create creamy and flavorful roasted garlic for soups, spreads, and other dishes. You’ll love the mild flavor that roasted garlic brings to so many recipes. {Pin this recipe}

Instant Pot roasted garlic on a blue plate with a dish of salt

Can You Freeze Oranges? – Learn all the tips and tricks for how to freeze oranges to build a freezer stash of this versatile fruit. Freezing oranges is a great way to preserve without needing to know any special kitchen skills. {Pin this tutorial}

Frozen orange slices on a baking sheet

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Air Fryer Potatoes – skip using the oven and make these crispy taters in the air fryer.  {Pin this recipe}.
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – the childhood favorite with none of the burns on the roof of your mouth.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies – a no-brainer. These cookies rule. {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Freeze Spinach – yup, spring is coming and greens are growing! {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Air Fryer Tofu, Instant Pot Garlic Rice, and a new veggie recipe that I’m photographing.

Tuesday:: I have a 5 pm dentist appointment, so Troy is in charge of dinner. He’s making his famous burgers, along with fries, and salad. 

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Pasta with marinara and garlic butter green beans.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: A new recipe that I’m working on. Bennett and I will love it, Troy will be fine with it, and Jack will resent it.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

 

What are you having this week?

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15 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Ah running. I use to have the same love hate relationship with running. I hated how I felt doing it, but loved how I felt afterwards. Unfortunately an injury almost 2 years ago has reduced my running to a slight jog during the warmer months. Keep doing it as long as you can, you will never regret it.

  2. Totally get it about running. Years ago when I was running (because I felt like I had to), I always hated it, never got the runner’s high, and hit the wall EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Hate running. Now that I am old, I can do what I want to do for exercise and running is not it. Glorious!

    I’m going to put your tortellini soup on next week’s menu. Sounds and looks so good! Have you ever tried the Trader Joe’s dry tortellinis? I am thinking that I would have to add another minute, possibly two, to the Instant Pot cooking time.

    I haven’t tried FIGS scrubs, but I have several of their masks. Love them.

    • I have not tried them in THIs soup but I have used their ravioli this other soup. My MIL did use them in this soup because that is all she had. She said it worked great.

      I saw their masks but I have a real issue with cloth masks. I can only wear the ones from Covered Goods or I feel panicked. I made 50+ cloth masks in the early days of lockdown and could never wear a single one for longer than 5 minutes.

  3. Sarah.. you’re going to write a book? awesome although I bet you’re already writing it.. hehe..I’ve already planted tomatoes since our growing season is longer and warmer than yours.. but I always like your description of starting g your garden.. your kitchen is outstanding .. so much room.. I like to cook but I have the smallest kitchen to work in..:( but I make do .. unlike you I don’t have young people in my cooking space but if I did .  Lord help me.. haha..Mahalo 

  4. We made it through Avatar, Kora, and Dragon Prince for the last two years. Each kid had their own series of Avatar on their Netflix profile so we watched that multiple times. It never gets old though. Dragon Prince was so beloved by my almost 5 year old we bought her Dragon Prince Funko Pops for Christmas. We’ll have to give the others you suggested a try.

    I left a review on your IP roasted garlic. It was a great way to make the garlic without oil so that I can ferment it.

    • The actual Dragon Prince is freaking adorable. He’s up there with Grogu/Baby Yoda for me. I’m a sucker for a tiny little cute creature.

      I saw the review and I greatly appreciate it.

  5. Could you not get good insoles with support and put them in your Converse? Then you can wear them comfortably.  (I did that with a pair of crappy, but toasty winter boots many years ago and that worked for me.)
    I don’t understand people who run.  I have a friend like that and she knows that if she EVER sees me running, to run as well, because a bear or something must be chasing me.
    I have not meal-planned in weeks and I really need to sit down and do it.  I DO know that we are absolutely having steak sometime this week.  That was my ‘birthday dinner’ request, but it was not feasible on my actual birthday and I totally, completely forgot yesterday (when it would have been a GREAT day).  Maybe tomorrow…..   I’d better sit down with my recipes and a pad of paper now….
    I hope your nice weather continues.  We had beautiful, warm weather for a few days last week, but it is back to very chilly.  But at least the snow is gone.  Hopefully for good.  We usually get one last “snow dump”, as I call it (a snow with several inches of accumulation), right around now, but there isn’t anything in the forecast, so maybe we will miss it this year! We should only get a couple of light dustings that hardly count and then be done with snow for this winter.

    • There is barely enough room in the Converse for my feet now. Maybe I have “tall” feet? I have no idea, but I know there would not be room to add insoles. I rarely wore these shoes anymore, and I definitely got my use out of them in the 15+ years I’ve had them.

      Happy belated birthday and I hope you get your birthday steak this week.

      Farewell snow, stay gone!

      • That sucks that insoles are not a way to save your shoes.  Send them here, if they are my daughters’ size!  We cannot find a pair in her size anywhere!  She has completely worn hers out and asked for a new pair for her birthday (2 days before mine, it was a busy, fattening week here!) and was disappointed.

        Thanks for the birthday wishes.  I’ll get my steak.  I realized that tomorrow may not be ideal, but I will DEFINITELY get it soon.   

  6. Maybe 100 years ago, you had posted the recipe for Troy’s burgers. I have scoured your blog and can’t find it. Are you filing it away under “Secret Recipes to Never Publish Again”? Thats fine if you did. I just want to make sure I didn’t dream that.

    • I’m not sure we ever actually published it because there is no “recipe” and it tends to change each time. It starts with the best ground beef for your budget. He uses a lot of cumin, some Montreal Steak Seasoning, a pinch of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sometimes there is black pepper, and sometimes he puts butter on the patties on the grill.

      He also makes the patties really thin.

  7. I need pants, so your suggestion is timely! Just ordered a few pairs of Figs to try out.

    Good job on the running! I dont mind running, but my body kinda falls apart about three weeks in every time I try it lately. So, I’ll stick to walking.

    I just finished, The Island of Lost Maps by Miles Harvey. Part true crime, part cartography history, part library history, totally fascinating. I learned so much about maps and libraries, both of which I love!

    You mentioned (last week?) about wanting to put up a knife magnet but not wanting to drill holes. Have you thought about trying Command Strips? We use them for everything and have always been happy with them.

    • I had a similar experience when I started running last spring. I found that I needed to go at least one day between running, and if it felt like I needed to stop for a bit, I would. I was really nervous about starting up again, but surprisingly I have been mostly ok this time. But walking is my true love so I vote you keep that up!

      That book sounds fabulous!

      I have not tried Command strips, but that’s a great idea.