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Scattered Sundays

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If bad/bonkers things come in threes, I think the Cook family is all set for July and you know…the rest of 2021. First, there was the head injury. Then, the tiny child with the head injury locking us all out on the deck at night for the fourth of July.

And to round everything out, this week, someone backed into my car in a parking lot, causing damage that when all is said and done will be about $4k and require me to have a rental car for a week.

I was picking Jack up from tennis camp on Tuesday and had Bennett in the car. The parking lot is TINY and everyone has to double and triple park. I was blocking a lady in that was then in turn blocking another car in.

The woman I was blocking was an older lady (for ease, let’s just call her The Grandma), and I asked her if she needed me to move so that she could back out. Jack still had another minute or so of camp and I didn’t want to inconvenience her.

She said she wasn’t leaving yet, and by the way, could I please help her buckle her grandson into the car? She said she had arthritis in her hands and that car seats were really hard for her. Now, my true crime friends, we all know that I immediately thought “oh sure, do you also need help moving a couch into your VW” (<—-deep cut on that one) and had a “not today, Satan” thought.

But, considering I was in a parking lot surrounded by people, she had two small children, and um, I was blocking her car, I agreed to help her. As she was getting the grandkid into the car, Jack finished up and I told him to hop into our car and put his seatbelt on and I’d be there in a second. I was probably six feet away from my car.

The Grandma was struggling hard with the seat functions and it was clear to me that not only were her hands an issue but that the car seat wasn’t even properly installed. So, I fixed the seat, got the kiddo buckled in, and then started walking The Grandma through the finer points on how to loosen and tighten the straps without needing to wrench on them.

As I was just about finished educating her in the finer points of car seat safety (Captaine Safety Pants would have been oh so proud of me), we heard a big CRUNCH and watched an older Toyota minivan back right into my driver’s side bumper.

I excused myself to The Grandma and went and checked on the boys. They were totally fine and were both belted in. Phew! Then, the driver of the minivan came out and immediately started apologizing and saying she was fully insured.

My driver’s side bumper was off-kilter on the side, there was a nice scrape on it, and a lovely dent right between the bumper and the brake light. Her bumper was almost hanging off on the driver’s side. She had barely been going 3 mph, but there was definitely some damage done to both cars.

a silver car with body damage

She could not stop apologizing and was starting to tear up. I just gave her a big hug and said “it’s ok. It’s a car. Things happen. Your kids are fine, my kids are fine. It’s fine”. She looked pretty shocked and then we exchanged insurance info, contact info, etc. I finished up helping The Grandma and then the boys and I were off to a playdate at a park.

Here is the thing. I’m not always a chill person. I can happily (?) grumble about the stupidest small stuff (please ask Troy what I think about his dishwasher loading abilities…). And I LOVE my car. Like, love it. I keep it in pristine condition. One of the greatest compliments someone ever gave me was “without the car seat in here, I wouldn’t have known you had kids”. 

But as much as I love my car, at the end of the day, it’s a car. I have no idea what was going on in that lady’s day. Her kids might have been total aholes all day and were whining while she was backing up. She might have a sick family member or friend she was worried about. Her spouse might have been out of town and she was DONE being a solo parent. Who knows. What I did know is that me being upset about a bumper was not going to help the situation at all.

And you know what? It sucks that it happened at all, but at the end of the day, The Grandma’s grandkid was now driving around in a car with a properly installed carseat. Maybe stuff had to happen that way to prevent him from getting hurt later on. Who knows.

The next day I got an estimate from a body shop and was shocked that it was going to take an entire week to fix. I also have to get Subaru to reset my “rear cross-traffic alert” sensor thingy (<—-the official name I’m sure) but was already heading in for a routine service next week and they can do it then. 

If this had been six to ten years ago, I would have been stressed to the max about this. My instant thought would have gone to “how much is this going to cost me and how long is it going to take us to financially recover from this”. It’s a testament to how much our lives have changed that I could take a deep breath and realize, whatever happens, it’s going to be fine.

And for the record, my insurance company has declared I’m 100% not at fault and her insurance will be paying for everything, including the deductible and rental car. But it’s still nice to know my first reaction wasn’t to cry about cost.

a boy eating dough in a kitchen

Pretzel dogs prepped for the freezer and a tiny raw dough eating gremlin.

Jack did 15 hours of tennis camp this week and had a blast! It did require traveling to a town 30 minutes away, but my community has the worst parks and rec department. Scratch that, we have a lot of parks, but the “rec” aspect is terrible.

Since the camp was hosted by a parks district, it was bonkers affordable at $54 for the week. I cannot recommend public libraries and parks/rec programs enough! They’re both doing the Lord’s work and are an amazing asset to the community.

Jack has been asking for a tennis racket, but I’m torn. For one, no one else in the family plays tennis, so who would he even play if I could find an open court? Second, Jack is notorious for his short-term obsessions that quickly go away and his brain becomes fixated on something else.

I suppose if I run into one at Goodwill or a garage sale this summer I might snag it. But, seriously, who is this kid going to play with? How does one make “tennis friends”?

I had my first meeting this week as an “official” soccer coach. The coaches met up at the equipment shed for the club and were issued our net bags full of soccer balls, jerseys, cones, and a first aid kit that I know Captain Safety Pants will deem “woefully incomplete”.

My team roster should be coming in the next week or so, and then I get to organize a team meeting and maybe start a few practices here and there. I’m going to be coaching six-year-olds and Bennett will be playing up a year as a result. They had too many six-year-old boys and not enough coaches, so they moved us both up.

The term “coach” for tiny children is misleading. I think “herders of drunk cats” might be more apropos in this scenario. My goal for the season is to keep the kids safe, enable them to have so much fun, and maybe teach them a little bit about soccer. In that order.

Next week I finally start Operation Make My Skin Look Like a 40-Year-Old and Not a 13 Year Old. That is a truly terrible name, but it describes it perfectly. I start microchanneling treatments next Wednesday to rid myself of these pesky old acne scars.

To get my skin prepped for it, I had a facial from the esthetician who will be doing the microchanneling. I had also been looking for someone to professionally shape my eyebrows for years (I talked about my desire for brow help in this post back in 2018!) and had her tackle them during our appointment.

My brows are naturally pretty light, and the esthetician asked if she could tint them. I had never considered it but made a split-second decision that I’d give it a try. I really loved the results and thought for once I finally looked like I had eyebrows!

2 photos of a woman

What I stupidly forgot is that I live in a house with all males. And no offense to my three male readers, but y’all suck sometimes. I got home and was greeted with “why did you do that to your face” (Bennett), “why do you look mad, mom? Are you mad?” (Jack).

Troy stared for a second and said “you look different. It’s weird”. I told him I had my brows tinted. He said he liked it and had never really seen my eyebrows before. I told him he probably should have led with “I like it…”.

chickens in a yard behind a fence

she’s baaaaaaack

You’re never going to believe this. You know how last week I told you one of our chickens ran away? About two hours after that post went live, she just randomly showed up again; after five days!

Starting at 5:15 that morning, Bawk Holiday, one of our chickens was going NUTS. I let them out of the coop early to keep her quiet because she was so annoying. She never really calmed down and I had to throw a piece of bread at her head to shut her up. This was not an act of violence. Chickens love bread. And popcorn.

About 15 minutes after the bread tossing, I looked out the window and saw that Oooo-teeny (I don’t know how to actually spell her name but it’s the sound that Ewoks make. She was named by Bennett.), the missing chicken was just hanging out in the yard with the others like it was NBD. I did a total double-take and then I got curious.

Where had this chicken been for five days? What had she been eating? What had she been drinking? How freaking dumb was she that she couldn’t find her way home to the only house in the neighborhood with chickens?

What stories did she have to tell? And um, if Troy patched up all the holes in the fence after her escape…how in the world did she get back into the yard? If that beak could talk, the things I would ask it.

a dad in a blue shirt removing staples from a kid's head

Dr. McCalves will see you now

Troy took Bennett’s staples out on Wednesday during my sister’s birthday dinner. Because that is how we celebrate in this family! I took a picture from afar, and Jack hid in another room, because this stuff is gross, yo. Bennett handled it like a champ and is thrilled to not have them in his noggin anymore.

We realized during this process how much all of us put our hands on his head and ruffle his perfect hair. We’re constantly catching ourselves about to rub his head and having to pull our hand back. Poor little Staple Head. That’s one of the nicknames he has acquired recently – Staple Head Hummus Finger.

It’s too early to tell if he’ll have a scar or not. But you can see the holes where the staples were and frankly, that’s revolting and something I’m not interested in seeing. I just wish he’d wear a hat for the next week.

In the Garden This Week

I did it! I finally pulled the pea vines (the chickens greatly enjoyed them) and trained the cucumber starts to start growing up the cattle panel trellis. Without all the pea vines in the way, I was able to see that the cucumber starts were a bit more sparse than expected. I planted three more…we’ll see if it’s too late in the season for that.

The DAY AFTER I pulled the pea vines, a four-point buck that has been hanging around our street, decided that snacking on one of the cucumber vines was a perfect breakfast. Thankfully after a few nibbles, he realized that cucumber vines are scratchy and spiky, and he walked away. But some of the damage was already done.

I also yanked the rest of the romaine from the bed with the green beans. It was bolting (going to seed) and starting to taste bitter. I’m just going to buy greens from the farmer’s market until late summer/fall when I replant my own greens. I also finally put our extra trellis in the green bean bed to give them something to climb onto.

We’ve been picking blueberries (you’ll see them featured in a brand new recipe that is coming on Tuesday!) and raspberries and also picked the first ripe tomato(es) of the year. For reference, we usually don’t pick a single ripe tomato until late July/early August. The giant heatwave we had a few weeks ago seemed to have pushed them ahead of schedule.

What I’m Reading This Week

It’s been slow-going with The Man From the Train. It has nothing to do with the book, which is fascinating and written with the kind of snark that speaks directly to my heart. But it has been a week of packed schedules and reading kind of got pushed to the side. Just like my car…

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Nancy left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli {Pin this recipe}:

Perfectly steamed broccoli (and purple cauliflower)! Am a huge fan (of both the recipes and the snark.) 😉 So as not to be TOO healthy, I served it with a little ghee and parmesan Reggiano. Melty goodness.

a white bowl of instant pot steamed broccoli on a wooden board with a fork and lemon wedge

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Chipotle SauceThis amazing Chipotle Sauce recipe will transform anything you drizzle it over or dip into it. Quesadillas, fajitas, veggies, nachos, and tacos are all instantly transformed with this zesty southwest sauce! {Pin this recipe}

A spoon of southwest sauce over a glass jar

Ginger Beer MocktailThis Ginger Beer Mocktail is a crisp and refreshing non-alcoholic version of the famous Moscow Mule. Juicy peaches, fresh blackberries, and non-alcoholic ginger beer make this Moscow mule mocktail incredibly delicious. {Pin this recipe}

a peach moscow mule with blackberries and mint on a white background

How to Can CarrotsFollow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Carrots can be. A key ingredient for so many comfort foods, now your favorite soups/stews, and roasts can be ready in a flash. {Pin this recipe}

3 canning jars of canned carrots

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Canning Peaches – this post will likely remain in the top five until September(ish). Get used to it. {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Peach Ice Cream – AKA a bowl of sunshine. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – so many people are going to have awesome smoothies this winter!  {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips – super crunchy and packed with flavor with only about 1 tsp of olive oil. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Testing a new Instant Pot recipe for fall + salad on the side.

Tuesday:: My sis and nephew are coming over and we’re having organic hot dogs, tater tots (the Simple Truth brand is stellar) in the air fryer, salad, grilled zucchini, and watermelon.

Wednesday:: Testing another new Instant Pot recipe for fall. I’m so dang excited and I cannot wait to share it…if I don’t mess it up.

Thursday:: Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos, Garlic Butter Rice, and salad.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Takeout to support a local small business AND it is our 17th wedding anniversary. Watching the first episode of season two of Ted Lasso to celebrate!

Sunday:: TBD


What is on your menu for the week?

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8 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Happy Anniversary! Ditto on the tennis racket comments below (free is is great) , but also, if you have a public court in town, get two. It doesn’t matter if you or hubs or the little one can’t play now…you will learn the basics and it’s fun. When a friend comes over they can play

  2. So glad you’re ok and so glad that you were so calm!!! I’m sure both women were touched by your kindness and generosity. We need more ppl like you!! I also had a recent parking lot incident and I gave the woman my info but I haven’t heard from her…. I need to follow up with her

  3. Happy Anniversary to you!

    Congrats on the upcoming treatments for your face, and the tinted eyebrows. As a woman, I get it!! Self care.

  4. The brows look great! I need to find someone who can do that for me. As the gray hairs multiply, I find my brows fading. The hair is there, it’s just hard to see. Sorry to hear about your car, but love the way you handled it. Things can be fixed or replaced. I also love that you helped the grandma with her carseat. It is always a happy day to find someone who sent good out into the universe. Thank you for doing so.

  5. Happy Anniversary in advance!

  6. I feel like your guys deserve partial marks.  They may not have been properly complimentary, but the fact that they noticed at all has to be worth something!     The first time I waxed the fuzzy caterpillars over my eyes, They looked so good, and I felt so glamorous and hubby couldn’t even see the difference.  And this is a very detail-oriented guy who normally notices everything, even when I trim a couple of millimetres off my bangs.

    Perhaps if you put the word out (among non-blog readers, I mean) that you are looking for a gently used tennis racket, someone may have extras and sell (or even give) you one for Jack.  You’ve certainly got nothing to lose. You could totally mention it a soccer, if tennis camp is over (THAT would have been the ideal place to ask around).  I am guessing that sporty people probably have multiple interests.

    I’m glad your chicken returned, but it sure is mysterious.

    That sucks about your car, but I am glad nobody was hurt and it won’t cost you anything to repair.  
    You sound like a fantastic person.  I am bummed that we will never get the chance to meet.

  7. #1 Do you have a local “Free Cycle” group? You might be able to find the tennis racket there. Is there maybe garage wall without a window where he could practice hitting the ball? #2 Not to up on your weather on that side of the country but maybe you can plant more greens in a shadier corner of the yard, around the middle of August? I know greens don’t like the pure heat of summer but maybe you can get in a second crop before winter? I know I’m holding off planting kale until mid August and then I’m going to try it in a pot that I can move indoors for the winter.

    • There is no good shady part for greens so I have to use shade cloth. It’s not a big deal though. Our weather goes from “too much sunlight” to “it’s never enough” in a flash.