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Scattered Sundays

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Seattle gets a reputation for being rainy all the time. We allow that rumor to spread so that more people don’t move here. Please stay away. It’s not remotely gorgeous or amazing here…

But the truth of the matter is that most summers are very very dry. It’s not unusual for us to go 50, 75, or 100 days in a row during summer without any measurable rain.

We’re in the thick of that dry spell right now and I’m just begging for a good solid few days of rain. There is a 30% chance of rain on Thursday and I’m praying so hard that it comes true. Everything is dry, dusty, and crunchy. Crunchy, crunchy dead lawns abound.

And yet, even with everything dead, my allergies are still out of control. That seems incredibly unfair to me. I’d like to speak with the manager, please.

a kid in a pikachu costume with a stuffed cat

This coming week will be another one in the “bonkers” category when it comes to transportation for our spawn. Jack will be a counselor in training at a STEM camp and Bennett will be at vacation bible school (VBS) at our church.

I’m excited for Jack to do the CIT since he aged out of participating in the camp and it was canceled last year. I think the actual counselors are in high school, so it gives him something to look forward to as he gets older. He’s great with little kids (who aren’t his brother…) so I really hope they put him with the youngest rugrats.

Bennett will be doing half-days at VBS. Jack had to choose between being a CIT at the STEM camp or being a CIT at VBS for the kindergarteners. He chose the STEM camp thinking that Bennett would not listen to him. And I think that is an accurate assumption.

It’s a lot of back and forth driving to get them both to where they need to be. I’m thankful to be self-employed during these types of weeks. Also wishfully dreaming up teleporters as a viable travel option.

a book called "I hate running and you can too"

A fun read that a friend sent me.

Last week I mentioned I was testing a recipe for the final time, and if I didn’t get it right, I was done with it. It was going to be freaking dead to me. Well, praise Be, it worked. Finally. GAH, it’s been a journey!

It is an air fryer recipe, which means I also test stovetop versions so that you, dear reader, can still make it even if you don’t have an air fryer. Some days I would nail the stovetop version but couldn’t get the air fryer version how I wanted it. And vice versa. My testing notes look like Ted Kaczynski’s teenage diary.

But, I finally nailed it and I couldn’t be happier! It’s one of those cozy dinners that look like you spent an entire evening making…but it’s legit ready in under 25 minutes. Seriously, this is a dish that is dinner party fancy but made for weeknight cooking.

It’s scheduled to come out at the end of September, but I am so excited about it that might sneak it in earlier. Let me talk to the boss about that. Wait, that’s me!

I really “wanted” to run at least twice this week but it just didn’t work out. I’m just going to aim for once a week until school starts and if I’m able to go more often then it is all gravy at that point.

I’m using a training program app called 10k runner. Since I completed “training” for a 5k last year, this app let me jump into the middle of the training and bypass the couch to the 5k portion. This week the robot overlord had me do a 5-minute walking warm-up, and then run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute, run for 10 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, etc., until the running portion added up to 50 minutes total.

an apple fitness report of a run

Next up is a 5-minute walk, then 12 minutes of running followed by a 1-minute walk, 12 minutes of running with a 2-minute walk, and so on and so forth with 60 minutes total running. I think at my normal pace I might almost hit that 10k mark on my next run. Or at least be suuuuuuuper close.

According to the app, I am about to start week 11 (I jumped in around week 7 I think) and it goes through the end of week 14. I’ll stick with it even if I hit the 10k mark, simply because I like that it is teaching me how to increase my endurance and get stronger. And I LOVE getting stronger. But not running.

a boy writing on a piece of paper surrounded by stuffed animals

Sure, why not create a growth chart for your stuffed animals?

Troy was gone since Friday morning, so yesterday the boys and I headed out to a local campground to meet up with my sister. She and her family were camping along with some friends and the campground had a cool lake and swimming area. The weather was great and the kids had a blast.

4 photos of a mom and 2 kids

I am hosting a parent meeting later this afternoon for Bennett’s soccer team. This will be my first year coaching and honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s going to be fiiiiiiiiine. 🙂 I played soccer for (maybe) eight years so at least I know how to play. Some of the coaches at the coaching meeting were completely new to soccer.

On Thursday, I paid our final preschool tuition bill ever. Who-hoo and I cannot wait for public school to kick off in a month. Like the wild and crazy people we are, the preschool portion of our budget will be redirected to increasing my retirement (self-employment means no employer match) and the boy’s college funds. Being a grown-up is so damn boring.

I’m headed to Denver in two weeks to see my bestie, Anne. It’s been well over two years since I have seen her. I’m really dang thankful to be vaccinated so I can go. But as always, I’ll be remaining vigilant given the new Delta variant. Mutations are why we can’t have nice things.

We never stopped wearing masks indoors in public, because Bennett wasn’t vaccinated and it seemed unfair that only the five-year-old had to wear a mask. I would very much like to be done with them soon though. Please and thank you.

In the Garden This Week

Even though I’m desperate for rain, the garden is loving these long hot dry days. I’m watering more than I normally do to keep everything chugging along. I believe in thick mulch and not really watering much, but this year we (I) just didn’t get a chance to cover the garden in woodchips. Whomp whomp.

This week I finally had to admit to myself that even though I put up a trellis in the green bean bed…I actually planted bush beans and not pole beans. Seems like a rookie mistake but such is life. I was using some seeds my sister gave me and just wasn’t paying attention. At the very least, it will still be a tasty “mistake”.

a garden box with green beans

The garlic is about 7-10 days away from being harvested. I’m going to do it before I leave for Denver next week. The plants will be yanked, stacked, and dried over a few weeks. I’ll save the largest from the harvest to plant in October for next year.

I’ve been growing garlic for almost a decade from one original batch of seed garlic. Not a bad investment of $16 back in 2012. Almost 90% of our garlic is used for making frozen chopped garlic. The rest is used in the background for food photos. 🙂 If you’re planning your fall garden now (and you should be), check out my post on how to plant garlic.

After harvesting the garlic, I’ll add about 50 gallons of composted chicken manure to that raised bed. I’ll let it sit until I’m back from Denver, and then plant lettuce and kale for fall. Our daytime light goes from 16 hours in mid-June to barely eight by October. Getting those greens going now will (hopefully) mean an unlimited supply of lettuce all fall/winter.

stargazer lilies

Aren’t these stargazer lilies gorgeous? They bloom amongst the blueberries every summer. They’re gorgeous and popular with the bees, but make me sneeze my face off whenever I walk by them.

When we were teens, a few years in a row at Easter, my grandpa would give me and my sister a potted lily. We’d politely say thank you and “oooh and ahhh” over them. And then put them outside as soon as he left because, allergies.

Apparently, my dad must have transplanted a few of these plants into the garden. I mostly forget about them for much of the year, but love seeing them for the two weeks they bloom each summer. I miss my grandpa so much and these beautiful flowers put a smile on my face remembering him.

The zucchini plant is doing well. Getting big but not barfing out TOO many zukes. Yet. Give it time. Give it time. Tomatoes are chugging along, and once again I realize I planted too many saucing tomatoes and not enough “slicers”. I had vowed to not can any tomatoes this year, but I think a few batches of Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce might be in our future.

Housekeeping

As the daughter and daughter-in-law and sister of teachers, I know how much of their own money educators invest to set up and supplement their classrooms. I’m proud to support a high school social studies department in sharing their classroom(s) wishlist.

If you are interested in helping some teachers who are trying to change the world one student at a time, you can find their list of needs here.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Tina left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Green Bean Fries {Pin this recipe}:

My 17-year old said, “This is the good taste of Green Bean Casserole without the gross texture.” That is high praise from a teenager! 😉 We just got an air fryer and it was my first recipe to try on it….Excited to try again when I actually have Panko and I don’t bake them for 5 minutes before I realized it wasn’t on Air Fry!

green bean fries being dipped into a small dish of dressing

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Blended Iced CoffeeA creamy cafe frappe, this Blended Iced Coffee is a quick and easy drink that you can make at home. This healthy iced coffee is dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo, Whole30 compliant, and keto-friendly. {Pin this recipe}

a canning jar glass of blended iced coffee with a green straw on a plate with a spoon and coffee beans.

Canning Whole TomatoesA step-by-step tutorial on Canning Whole Tomatoes. This easy-to-follow process is perfect for beginners and covers preserving tomatoes in both water bath and pressure canning methods.  {Pin this tutorial}

three jars of whole peeled tomatoes with fresh tomatoes and herbs on a wooden board

Confessions – Everyone’s favorite post of the month!

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

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. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Refrigerator Dilly Beans – crispy tasty and amazing pickled green beans without the canning!  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Homemade Peach Ice Cream – AKA a bowl of sunshine. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Dill Pickle Relish – because sweet relish is the devil’s condiment. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: My lovely sister-in-law and her husband (my BIL who helped us a lot with the kitchen remodel) are moving out of state and we’re having a farewell dinner/early birthday dinner for my SIL. We’re going to miss them so much. Whaaaaaaa.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Wednesday:: Troy is making this BBQ “scramble” we eat on repeat every summer – sliced organic chicken sausage, onions, and whatever veggies we have on hand (probably zucchini and green beans this year). We toss it with olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning and then Troy cooks it in a grill basket. We’ll serve stovetop garlic bread on the side because the kids will whine otherwise.

Thursday:: It’s potentially the coolest day of the next 10 days, so I’m testing a new Instant Pot recipe for fall. Big salad on the side.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Testing a new air fryer recipe for fall. Salad and stovetop garlic bread on the side.

Sunday:: TBD

 

What are you having this week?

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. A few years ago my daughters both wanted to play T-ball but there weren’t enough coaches for the number of kids signed up, so my husband ended up being the head coach with me as an assistant coach. I know pretty much nothing about baseball/t-ball and honestly still couldn’t tell you where shortstop is supposed to stand, but I figured my job was to make sure the kids felt included and encouraged and saw themselves as a team… and also to keep them from climbing the backstop when they were supposed to be waiting for their turn to bat. I was pretty good at that part.

  2. Could you please send me the running app link you are using? I used to run but injured my hip about 2 years ago and I am having a difficult time getting back into it.ย 

  3. I love that “big salad on the side” im your menu plan is probably code for “the recipe I am testing is all carbs and cheese”. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looking forward to seeing what delicious coziness you have in store for us this Fall!