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Scattered Sundays

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Who turned 40 this week and ran a 10k in 1:03? This girl!

a woman in bright clothes with a race bib jumping on a front porch

I really really wanted to make this happen on my birthday, but the weather and my schedule just wouldn’t make it work. But that’s ok, because I was able to do it Thursday morning in perfect running weather. It was about 50F, sunny, and just like the third option for Goldilocks, it was juuuuuuuuust right.

All things considered, it was a relatively easy run (I say after training for um, 18 months). I aimed for an 11-minute pace and decided to just go with the flow. I felt strong and capable the entire time and only stopped twice – once when I had to pee very badly and was passing a gas station, and the second time was when I got something sharp in my sock.

At one point, I was running on a main road with an elementary school right around drop-off time. I’m not kidding when I say this, but I ran alongside a bus for almost a mile and ended up beating it to the school. I mean, yes, it had to stop a ton and pick kids up, but still. 🙂 All the parents stuck behind that bus were hating on me so hard with their eyes.

Everything was going along just fine until about mile 5.2. No one would ever describe me as flexible (I can’t even touch my toes), and my hips are constantly tight. At mile 5.2, my hips were totally over the whole thing. I told them to shut up and the next mile had some slight discomfort but not enough to make me stop or slow down.

I ended up running 6.23 miles because I knew it would be my luck to stop when my watch said 6.2 miles but would only log it as 6.19 miles or something stupid like that. Not today, Satan. I had your number and I didn’t come to play games.

a screenshot of an outdoor run workout report

After crossing the mythical finish line, I sat on a bench at the beach for 10 minutes to rest, relax, and catch my breath. I felt good and strong and that’s rad. I then had a two-mile walk home because my running route is very deliberate in helping me avoid the most intense hills in my neighborhood.

I got through the 10k with relatively little trouble…only to turn my ankle that night playing soccer with five and six-year-olds. Doh! The field where we practice had been thatched (is that the right word?) and the surface was super uneven. One misstep and I rolled my ankle like a cotton-headed ninny muggins.

I spent Friday on the couch with my foot elevated so that I would be prepared for Saturday to be on the field with my little team of drunk cats who also happen to play soccer. Taking it easy is NOT something I enjoy. Troy likes to say I’m like a shark and if I stop moving, I think I’m going to die. Stupid bumpy soccer field.

Troy threw me a not-surprise surprise party on Sunday. It was very small with only a few members of our inner circle, cause um, pandemic. It was just my dad, my sister, my inlaws, and a friend from high school, and his lovely little family.

We had all appetizers because I love eating a bunch of little things on plates. It makes me feel like a giant and I get to try lots of different foods without feeling sick. It’s a total win-win. And we also had ice cream cake because regular cake is boring and a total waste of sugar.

In a “I feel seen” moment, I received four bags of candy corn (the best Halloween candy ever, and I will fight you if you disagree), multiple pairs of socks (see below), two books, an apron, new instant-read meat thermometer, and a peak nerd gift – a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so I can listen to podcasts in the shower.

two socks - 1 says "Sorry I can't" and the other says "my murder shows are on"

On my actual birthday, I worked a bit in the morning and then did a few boring adulty things. I went to Goodwill looking for some new clothes but only ended up getting a neon-bright Athleta top (see the running pic above) that helps me live out my exercise goal of dressing like a human highlighter. These tops are about $60 brand new, and I got it for $12.

Some crunchy person in my town either lost or gained weight and decided to unload their entire wardrobe because the Goodwill was positively dripping in medium/size 8 Patagonia clothes. Only a few of them were to my taste but sadly everything looked terrible on me so I had to pass them over. They were in pristine condition and were priced well. Blast.

After that, I dropped off my beloved Merrell boots to a shoe repair place for new soles. Yes, I absolutely should have done this in the summer. Did I see those boots in my closet every single day and say “you should take those in now for new soles”? Yes. Did I take them in? No.

I wear these boots every single day from mid-September until mid-May. Seriously, every single day. Apparently, the sole/tread of these boots are kinda complicated, so the replacement is more expensive than I expected. It’s still half the price of brand new boots, and these boots own my heart.

I know this recap of birthday errands is riveting, but don’t worry because it’s not over yet! I then tried to get a flu shot, but every place wasn’t able to accommodate walk-ins until the afternoon. I ended up filling up my car with gas, getting carne asada fries from a local Mexican restaurant and then headed home to finally finish season nine of The Office.

To ward off the post-fries coma, I took a lovely walk that afternoon and then came home and scheduled my first mammogram, which is happening later this week. Totally rocking this 40-year-old thing. Ha!

a boy in his dad's fleece

Jack had a track meet on Wednesday, and for the love of Pete, it was A LONG night. They had three schools competing when we normally only have two, and ONE of the schools alone was 2x the size of Jack’s school. Track meets are already long enough with smaller schools, and this one seemed to go on forever. Each event had 5-10 heats. 

The day was nice and sunny, but by 5 pm we were all freezing. In this time of multiple outside fall sports that is our current life, I now just travel with three different coats in my car. By 5:15 pm I was in my big and cozy winter coat and gloves that I always keep in my car. Even with all of that, I still froze my butt off until we got home at 8 pm.

I had been sitting on a towel on the bleachers, but the cold still cut thru straight to my butt. This coming week, I’m totally bringing one of the thick foam kneeling pads I use in the garden.

I bundled up when we got home and was under a blanket until I went to bed, where I slept under an extra blanket for half the night. The kids of course were in tanks and shorts for most of it, walking around like they were fine. Brrr!

a boy in a cat costume

My mother-in-law strikes again with a new costume! ๐Ÿ™‚

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Troy sent me a text that he found two kittens in our woodshed behind the house. We immediately agreed to NEVER TELL BENNETT since his only goal in life is to own a cat and snuggle cats. His cat obsession is so strong that we even got him these masks recently.

The kittens had been scared when Troy discovered them and they had run up and over the woodpile. They were between the firewood and the outside of the house, and he was worried that they were stuck. After using the flashlight to try to see what was happening, we discovered there were two kittens and a momma cat.

a man with large calves climbing a shed

Calves in the wild

We moved a few pieces of wood to try to get to them, and that apparently was so scary that the momma cat just took off. Um, great parenting there.

Though to be fair to her, I too feel like I often just want to bolt out of the house and leave the kids behind. You know what? I take it back, momma cat. I’m not mom-shaming you, and I hope you enjoyed your alone time.

Another baby took off while we were setting up a small (humane!!!!!) trap to try to catch the kittens. After a bit, we did get one and he/she was NOT happy about it. We realized we couldn’t just capture one member of the family unit, so we ended up letting him/her go so they could go find their mom. 

Troy left some food and water out and we’re now in the process of trying to catch the whole family to take to the humane society. Knowing our luck, we’re just going to keep catching dumb possums, like we usually get while trying to trap raccoons. 

Thank goodness the woodshed is by a part of the house where Bennett never goes. Could you imagine if he walked back there, only to find an entire family of kitties living there and we hadn’t told him?! Let’s just say they would be telling our family’s story on next week’s Dateline after the rage of Bennett ripped through our house.

a feral kitten in a cage

As you probably have guessed by now, I did not get called for jury duty this week. I anxiously and excitedly called every night to see if they had any need for my enthusiastic civic duty awesomeness.

Once it got to Wednesday night and they said there were no new juries for Thursday, I knew my chance was over. What court system was going to start jury selection on a Friday?! None.

I’m bummed and wish there was a waitlist I could join to take someone’s place who cannot serve for some reason. I’d be the Katniss of jury duty, volunteering as tribute. Acting like a nerd and earning my $5 a day like a boss.

lots of toys on a bedroom floor

Bennett might possibly be the messiest kid in the world. He dumps his toys everywhere and cannot put them away in a manner where they aren’t a tripping hazard. Walking into his room means you better have your will signed and notarized.

His room drives me to the brink and I had started walking by it and turning my head. Like how I handle roadkill on my walking route. Earlier in the week I was officially over it and couldn’t handle it anymore. He simply had too many toys (none of them purchased by us…coughmyinlawscough) and nothing was working to contain it all.

I moved half of his Nerf arsenal to the basement and set about making storage more accessible to him. The old system was fine, but he never used it correctly. Which in the end, makes it not fine for a 5-year-old.

After an hour of cleaning, decluttering, and giving away a ton of crap toys, I felt like I could breathe again in his room. He came home that night and said “this is much better”, and a miracle of all miracles, he has kept it clean as of the writing of this post. His old record for keeping his room clean was probably .09 seconds.

a child's room

If you’re feeling down, stressed, or just out of it this week, head on over to the Fat Bear Week Instagram page. Even though Fat Bear Week is technically over, that page is a gift that continues to give all year long.

What is Fat Bear Week you ask? “Some of the largest brown bears on Earth make their home at Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. Fat Bear Week is an annual tournament celebrating their success in preparation for winter hibernation.” (source). It’s basically March Madness but for chonky chonk animals.

It also brings to light the conditions of the land in which these bears live and how it is impacted by climate change. It makes you care about rising CO2 levels while distracting you with chunky bear butts. #genius.

And I may or may not have supported their conservation efforts by buying a mug with the winner’s chubby hairy face on it. Oh, Otis, you’re the king of the chonk.

In the Garden This Week

I did nothing this week. Nothing! Well, scratch that. I walked by my maturing lettuce and said “hey look, the lettuce is growing”. So I guess it wasn’t “nothing”.

The whole look of our front planting area has completely changed since I ripped out that rose bush. I love the space so much more now. That bush took up a lot of space and visually never fit the area.

At some point, I need to hire someone to put some pavers along this planting section. I am all about DIY, but when it comes to decorative pavers that need to line the stair area, I need someone who knows what they are doing. I refuse to level anything and I know this would end up looking like trash if I did it myself.

This coming week, I’m planting garlic. Our harvest this year was fantastic…even if I planted everything two months late last year. We were busy with the remodel and garlic just wasn’t my priority. But right now is the perfect window for planting garlic for a summer 2022 harvest.

The garlic I plant now is a “descendent” of the seed garlic I purchased in 2011. Each year I choose the 5-7 largest heads of garlic and plant those cloves. For $16 in heirloom seed garlic 10 years ago, I have been able to continue to grow that variety for free. Plus, vampires never bother my garden. Garlic is rad.


This is the last weekend this year to take advantage of Butcher Box’s “Free Ground Beef For Life” promotion. All new members will receive two pounds of ground beef in every box for the lifetime of their membership.

Get the ground beef members love—100% grass-fed and grass-finished—for free in every order for the life of your membership. You can sign up here for this awesome promo!

What I’m Listening To This Week

I started listening to Suspect from Wondery when I saw that it was about something that happened near Seattle. “It’s a series about cutting-edge science and mislaid justice, race and policing, and the kinds of weighty choices that cops and prosecutors make every day. Choices that, once made, are difficult to reverse”. (source)

What I’m Reading This Week

I finally finished The Sum of Us (a hard but important read) and decided to go for a suspenseful and engrossing thriller and picked up The Plot from the library. I’m excited to get lost in a novel for a bit.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader, Stephanie, left this five-star review on our brand new Chicken and Bacon Risotto {Pin this recipe}:

A truly “what not love about this dish” … I used beef bacon.. say what… and anything with bacon and butter and shallots and garlic and Parmesan cheese. Wow this sooo good …and ridiculously easy…in instant pot. I’m gonna have it all for myself since husband is away.. but I will freeze half of it! Thank you Sarah.. it was everything I’d hoped it be! 

a spoon scooping chicken and bacon risotto onto a grey plate

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Homemade Pear Sauce – This cozy homemade Pear Sauce is so flavorful and made with little to no added sugar. You can make this recipe in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, and it can also be frozen or canned. {Pin this recipe}

a dish of pear sauce on a white board with fresh pears and cinnamon sticks

Whole Wheat Applesauce DonutsThese Whole Wheat Applesauce Donuts are the best homemade donuts you’ll ever eat! Soft and pillowy and sprinkled with crunchy cinnamon sugar, you will love these perfect bites of baked apple donuts. {Pin this recipe}

3 cinnamon apple donuts stacked up with apples and a bottle of milk

Dehydrating ApplesLearn all about dehydrating apples in a food dehydrator or in the oven. Dryings is a simple project for adults and kids and makes amazing healthy snacks. {Pin this tutorial}

a jar of dried apples tipped on its side with a bowl of apples on a white board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Canning Apple Butter – this post has both canning and freezing instructions. And it will make your house smell AMAZING. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. How to Can Pears – our family’s favorite canned fruit! {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Applesauce – such a tasty sauce that can be made without any added sugar. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – a family and reader favorite! {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Peaches – this post is close to slipping out of the top 5, and that is expected given the seasonality of it. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: The boys are hanging with my inlaws for the day. We’ll either eat leftovers if they eat at my inlaws or we’ll make a quick dinner of pasta and salad.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business/bribe my kids to get their flu shots after school.

Wednesday:: Adult Lunchables at Jack’s track meet.

Thursday:: Homemade pizza using my 100% whole wheat pizza dough recipe, plus salad.

Friday:: Troy is making grilled chicken and veggies with stovetop garlic bread on the side.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Sunday:: TBD

What are you having this week?

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14 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Happy birthday!!! And congrats on celebrating it by celebrating your strength and signing up for your health. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mammograms aren’t the worst thing in the world, but if I’ve learned anything from the five I’ve had it’s do not schedule it during PMS week.
    I’m hoping momma cat and her babies let you rescue them. I wish more folks would be responsible about spaying and neutering their pets.

  2. All of this time, I had no idea I was following a sociopath! Candy corn?! Candy corn?! Next you’re going to tell us that you like circus peanuts. *unfollows* ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Be careful with the waterproof Bluetooth speaker. I take a little Bose speaker into the shower with me for the same reason and the unintended consequence is a shower twice, if not three times, longer than what you would normally take.

    Happy Birthday, Sarah! Congrats on your 10K awesomeness.

  3. Congrats on feeling good and strong! That is such an amazing feeling, and the 10k is just the icing on the cake ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy birthday! Welcome to 40!

  4. Happy Birthday!
    I watched the bears catching salmon at Katmai Falls a little bit most days this summer. has a variety of wildlife cameras to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Happy Birthday! I think your celebration sounds perfect.

  6. Happy Birthday! You definitely lived it up!
    Track season in Ohio is March-May so the back of my vehicle is a mix of collapsible chairs, sunglasses, coats, hoodies, hats, gloves, instaheat hand warmers, and blankets.. lots of blankets… this is so Hubs and I can tag team both kids at the Shot/Disc courts (cause only 1 place we have attended had them close enough that we could sit together and watch boys/girls participate at the same time). We also have enough on hand for that random grandparent who is not warm enough or that teammate shivering in shorts and sweatshirt who swears they are fine.. Have a fleece blankie kid!
    The alternate is Volleyball season in the fall.. and these gyms either have great a/c or none… paper plates make a doable fanning system in a pinch!

    • High school track season is in spring here, but they have flipped all the middle schools sports in our district because of a lack of fields/tracks. Either way, you and I are both either freezing or sweating while cheering these kiddos on. There is very little in-between. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I laughed at the things you pack for the teammates. I swear I am providing snacks for 50% of the team at this point. Jack just comes over, grabs a handful of things, and passes them out to friends who didn’t pack anything.

      The idea of you busting out a paper plate in a gym is giving me a great smile this morning.