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Scattered Sundays

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Our stupid annual game of delaying gratification by waiting until November 1st to use our woodstove will end at 11:59 pm tonight! Honestly, it’s been fine because all but three or four nights have been warm enough where I didn’t even feel a desire to have a fire. Dibs on “desire for a fire” as a band name.

Why do I do this challenge every year? Hmmm, I have very little actual reason behind it. Maybe because I hate myself? Maybe I just like a challenge? I think part of it lies in our lack of storage for firewood. Our lot is pretty small, and some annoying person covered most of it with gardens and a chicken coop. Pssst, that’s me.

We can store firewood in two places and can house about 1.5 cords of wood in total. Thanks to a VERY efficient woodstove, we only burn about one cord of wood between November and March(ish).

But that doesn’t stop my prepper brain from constantly thinking we’re going to run out of seasoned firewood and perhaps there will be a storm and we’ll freeze to death. Please note, my dad’s part of the house is hard-wired with a generator so in no way shape, or form would we ever freeze. 

The coming week will be pretty warm by late-fall standards, so I’m not sure we’ll even have a fire. But we now “technically” could if we wanted. And that feels nice, especially after freezing our butts off at soccer.

a man in a Die Hard shirt

Found Troy the best shirt ever on ebay.

Jack’s team had the most exciting game last Sunday! Honestly, I’m still jazzed about it. We were playing a team that his team had lost to at the start of the season. It was a really one-sided physical game (i.e., the other team was aggressively shovey and pushy), and our team was demoralized by it.

We had a great game last Saturday and I think it boosted the boys’ confidence going into Sunday’s game. The kids, the parents, and the coach could all feel this weird energy on Sunday because every single one of us wanted to beat this team…or at least let it be a more even game.

Within five(ish) minutes, we scored and it was my favorite goal of the whole season. The kid who scored it has been trying to score all season and finally scored last Saturday, but his mom missed it since she was at her daughter’s game. Well, she had to leave early in Sunday’s game too but got to see the goal. I absolutely loved that for them both.

Our boys continued to play hard, despite the absolute gong show of a rainstorm that we had going on. Jack scored our team’s second goal that was an amazing left cross from way outside the goal box. Jack is a lefty (aka, Satan’s foot, as I like to tease him), so his coach wisely always puts him as left forward. Nobody excepts the left foot!

True to form, the other team was deliberately shoving and playing pretty dirty. You could see the attitudes of our boys shift around the 20-minute mark and they were DONE with it and started giving it back.

The person in me who values fairness always wants to tell the kids to play like gentlemen and to beat their opponents with skill. But the mom in me who watches giant 13 year-olds deliberately target my 85-pound kid who is built like a Twizzler wants to yell “shove them back Seabass”. I’m a constant work in progress. 🙂 Also, name the Seabass movie quote.

The weather intensified during the first half and it was rough. Our team came back from half-time freezing and most of the action switched to our side of the field. Our defense got a workout but played their little hearts out the full 45 minutes. Jack scored another goal in the second half, and the game ended with a 3-0 shutout.

My hearing is still recovering from all the cheering our parents did. It was such a good game and the smile on our coach’s face was so big. My inlaws attended the game and at the end, my father-in-law declared it the most fun he has ever had watching Jack’s team play soccer.

We decided to keep the celebration going off the field, and my inlaws picked up our favorite local pizza and we met back at their house. My father-in-law doesn’t have a dumb “we only light the woodstove after x date” rule as I do, so we enjoyed pizza, a fire, and the delicious taste of vindication.

a kid wrapped in a quilt

It took this poor kiddo a solid 90 minutes to thaw out and warm up. 2% body fat will do that to you.

We had a total of three games last weekend, and the weather was a nightmare. I previously made fun of people who had these chairs on the sideline, and now all I can do is think about what freaking geniuses they are. And is there a way I could install a heater in mine?

We’ve signed Jack up for select soccer, which is year-round, and Bennett wants to do winter soccer. So now I’m being targeted with ads online for fleece-lined waterproof pants and sherpa-lined snowboots.

It’s like the algorithm is sending me all the ads for “parents who kinda hate themselves”. I’m sure ads on buying glitter by the gallon or a new drum set will be next.

a packed trunk

Soccer season during a fall storm: a photo essay.
Eggs and magazines are for my inlaws. 🙂

Sunset is getting earlier and earlier, and soon the PNW will be plunged into darkness around 4:30/4:45 pm. It’s not fun, but the flip side is we get 16+ hours of daylight from May until August.

With nightfall happening around 6:15, and lots of rainy fall weather, I told my soccer team that this last Thursday would be our final practice. Oddly enough, not one parent complained. HA! It was getting to the point where the kids were too cold for practice to actually be conducive to learning any new skill.

Jack’s rec team is still practicing, but it seems like they’re ending earlier and earlier each week. His new select team has access to field lights, so it’s still a full-on two-hour practice. And if you’ve ever played soccer, you know that practice is rain or shine. Soccer only gets canceled for lighting or if the fields are in danger of being destroyed.

During lockdown, as a family, we made our way through the shows Avatar and The Legend of Korra. Jack and I recently found out that one of the Avatar characters is voiced by the same man who played Ruffio (and all the children of the 80s say “Ruff-i-o”) in Hook.

This realization made me declare Sunday a bonus movie night so that we could watch Hook. I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, and let me just tell you that watching these movies over again with an adult lens is very illuminating.

First, the “boring adult” stuff at the beginning is WAY longer than I remember. The boys kept saying “I thought this movie was about pirates. What is going on”? And second, the entire premise of Peter Pan is SO MESSED UP.

Basically, you have adult pirates fighting motherless child soldiers to the death. WTF? During Ruffio’s death scene (spoiler alert 30 years later…), I was messaging my friend Cassie to note how effed up Jack was finding the whole thing. She said, “welcome to 90s movies, kids”. The fact that the mother hadn’t been killed was surprising to us both.

Another movie that is interesting to rewatch with an adult lens is “Home Alone”. The kids found it hilarious, but Troy and I kept looking at each other saying “what in the world does Kevin’s dad do to afford that house and a family trip to Paris for everyone”?

Have you had a chance to rewatch The Land Before Time as an adult? Dude. WTF? We let Jack watch it when he was three and I spent the whole time thinking “I thought this movie was funny when I was little, but it’s just sad and scary”. You know who still holds up though? Ducky. Yep yep yep.

What is everyone doing for Halloween this year? It’s Jack’s last year for trick-or-treating, and he’s going to a big neighborhood with two of his friends. We’re their ride, but Troy and I will be taking Bennett to give the tweens their freedom/I don’t want to listen to them talk about video games.

For the fourth year in a row, Jack will be Jason Voorhees. It’s the easiest costume in the world and he gets to wear jeans and a black hoodie. Bennett will be some guy from Halo that I don’t really understand but whatever. Considering how many costumes we already have, and how warm most of them are, I have no idea why he went in a whole new direction.

In the Garden This Week

Some of the baby lettuce starts that I planted 6-8 ish weeks ago are now mature enough to start harvesting for our salads. It’s so funny that half of the planter box is mature and the other half is a few weeks behind. I think the cucumber trellis blocked the afternoon sun for some of them.

That trellis is getting taken down this coming week and hopefully, everything else catches up. During the few months where I haven’t been able to grow/harvest our own lettuce, I was full of hate for buying the plastic clamshells at the store. Recycling nightmare, but a girl needs some greens.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I started listening to Hemingway’s Picasso over the weekend and it’s really intriguing. It’s a new investigative podcast exploring the story of a larger-thank-life Miami smuggler and the alleged masterpiece he came to own. (source)

Ok, I’ll say this and then we can be done with it. The host sounds a lot like Drew Barrymore. So if Drew’s speech patterns drive you bananas, this podcast is not for you.

What I’m Reading This Week

I finished The House on the Cerulean Sea. I found the book and the characters very charming and was fully invested in what happens to them. The book would be appropriate enough for teens and even some advanced tweens. My friend’s family does a read-a-loud book with her 11 and 12-year-old daughters, and I suggested this as the next option.

Next up is Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford. It’s a memoir and I’m not very far into it yet. But, the writing is very beautiful.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader, and amazing hat knitter, left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana {Pin this recipe}:

Zomg. Amazing! I haven’t had time to cook in ages but I came across a bag of chopped kale and have been thinking about this recipe for weeks. Today was the day—I got some Spicy Italian sausage out of the freezer, bought potatoes and milk (didn’t use the milk) and started cooking. I didn’t feel like defrosting bacon, so skipped that. Missed the part where I take the fat out after cooking the sausage (oops), used plain water and skipped the milk but it was still amazing!!! 

a bowl of dairy-free instant pot zuppa toscana with kale

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Mashed Potatoes with WasabiCreamy, fluffy, delicious, and with lots of zip, these Mashed Potatoes With Wasabi take a classic side dish to the next level. These comforting horseradish mashed potatoes are an amazing recipe that will be a new family favorite. {Pin this recipe}

an overhead shot of mashed potatoes with wasabi and a gold spoon on a grey board

Roasted Frozen BroccoliSave time and money by making Roasted Frozen Broccoli part of your weekly dinner rotation. It’s so easy to whip up this crispy broccoli for a fast and healthy side dish. {Pin this recipe}

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silliness of the month.

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

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. Freezing Spinach – looks like the fall gardeners are squirreling up their greens for winter. {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Two, yes, TWO new air fryer recipes that I’m testing for later in the year. One is a main dish and one will be a side. Psst, as of the writing of this post, our favorite air fryer is currently $30 off and in stock. Get one for yourself or buy now for a holiday gift.

Tuesday:: Troy is making paninis and salad.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business/save my sanity.

Thursday:: Puff Pastry Pizza Pockets and veggies.

Friday:: Troy is making chicken parmesan, pasta, and salad.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Sunday:: Butcher Box sent us a whole chicken, so I’m going to make dry brined roast chicken (and then Instant Pot bone broth the next day), fluffy mashed potatoes, and salad.

What We Bought This Week

We got our Butcher Box order this week, and I kinda wish I had delayed it by a month. Our basement freezer desperately needs to be organized and inventoried.

a butcher box order

It’s hard to see everything in the box, but we got: 1 organic whole chicken, 9 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4 lbs of ground beef, 2 top sirloin steaks, 1 sirloin cap, and 1 package of bacon.

Right now, Butcher Box is offering a free 10-14 lb free-range, hormone-free turkey to all new customers.

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5 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I remember, about 9 or so years ago, watching The Outsiders -I’m an 80’s kid- with my girls (side note: we stole our youngest daughter’s name-spelling from Land Before Time.  It sounds just like your first name, but is spelled Cera), I still loved that movie, probably because of nostalgia more than anything because it was less ‘action-y’ and a bit more boring than I remembered it, but the girls HATED it.  Every now and then one will holler a very dramatic “Do it if for Johnny!!!!” just to bug me.  They didn’t care for Goonies either, but didn’t hate that one.

    I LOVE Halloween!!!  We had our house ALL decorated last night.  Too bad I can’t post a photo here.  We have tombstones, a 6′ tall animatronic werewolf (my almost-2-year-old granddaughter helps to comb his fur so he looks handsome), a grim reaper statue Hubby made, skeletons, red lights, zombies trying to get out the window……  I want a fog machine.  Hubby and I dress up and hang around outside.  I have been Maleficent for the last three years and Hubby puts stilts on and prowls the driveway as an 8′ tall grim reaper, startling people who think he is just a statue.  It was pretty cute to watch our granddaughter, dressed as Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, run up to him, calling “Pop!” (that is what she calls him instead of Grandpa).  Today, I get to tidy the aftermath instead of grocery shopping.  ….yay, me.
    May I ask WHY it is Jack’s last trick or treat year?  My kids went out well into high school and they were the ones who decided when to stop.  My thought is just to let them have fun with it for as long as they can.  I gave candy to several gaggles of teenagers.  I know for a fact that two of them (my friends’ twin sons) are in grade 12!  They got extra because it IS their last year out.

    I’m glad your guys beat the dirty soccer players!  And without really dropping to their level, it sounds like.  Even better!

  2. Love Troy’s new shirt!

  3. I’m not really sure that it was even appropriate at the time, but Heathers did not age we’ll post-Columbine. But still the reason for don’t eat corn nuts. 

  4. A friend of mine and I have been rewatching a lot of 80s/90s movies/shows of late and just wow.
    I don’t think any of the 80s stuff has aged well (Weird Science for sure could not be remade today without some serious rewrites and I don’t know why my parents let me initially watch it so young). My friend told me to just not rewatch St. Elmo’s Fire if I still wanted to enjoy it lol.
    My friend has been rewatching all of the Disney movies in order since she got Disney+ and has pointed out so many plot holes or wildly inappropriate things we missed as kids. I watched the first few episodes of Lizzie McGuire while visiting my sis a few months back since it was the only thing I had kinda of wanted Disney+ for and I was…well bored. A coworker assured me that she was also bored everytime she tried rewatching any old Disney shows; I guess 30-somethings aren’t their target audience but I wonder if the kids today would like them as much as we did at their age.

    It’s so sad that Hook doesn’t exactly hold up. That was always a fave of mine.

  5. We have been finding that all the 80s and 90s movies we loved as kids DID NOT AGE WELL. Everytime I look at Greg and cringe.