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Scattered Sundays

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The fact that I called 911 this week because I found a freshly delivered package in a bunch of ivy, might be a sign that being interested in true crime since I was 7 has reached a boiling point. Maybe. Maybe not. Let me explain.

I was out on a walk on a busy road earlier this week and saw a cardboard box tucked into a patch of ivy and shoved against a mailbox post. It was early(ish) in the morning and the box wasn’t damp, so I knew it had been delivered that morning. 

I picked up the box and saw a handwritten note that said “attempted to deliver to the house but the resident was not home”. Which to me seemed odd. Because this mailbox “belonged” to a house at the bottom of a long steep driveway. So, the delivery person went all the way down the driveway, found no one home, so then they just chucked it in the bushes on a busy street?

My assumption was this box was going to get stolen if left in the bushes any longer. I picked it up and walked it down to the house. As I got closer, I saw a pile of mail and deliveries piled up on the front porch, and a clean truck in the driveway with an out-of-state license plate. The clean truck is important because the driveway and house were shrouded in trees. And this time of year in the PNW, anything under tree cover gets coated in moss.

There were “missed delivery” notices on the front door, and I saw that the first one was dated January 20th. The neighbor’s house that shared the driveway was giving me creepy vibes (junk everywhere which is rare for that neighborhood), and I realized that I was by myself down a steep driveway where no one could see me from the road.

I quickly took a photo of the name/address on the box, placed it on the front porch, and got TF out of there. I ended up calling 911 for a welfare check. The operator was so polite and asked lots of questions and never once made me feel like someone who was exposed to Dateline at a much too early age.

It must have been a slow day, because, within 45 minutes, a sheriff’s deputy contacted me to say he had done the welfare check. He said he had walked around both the house and the neighbor’s creepy house but didn’t see anything that gave him permission to break in.

But get this…THE TRUCK WAS GONE when he got there. Dun dun dun! At this point, there isn’t enough cause for the cops to do much. But this house is on my walking route and the deputy said I could keep an eye on the front porch and mailbox and if anything changed I was supposed to call back.

And yes, it could be something as silly as someone being out of town, or sick with the flu or ‘rona, or something. But I know Troy once went on a call where a person had died when they fell through the rotted floor of their house. And they were discovered a few weeks later when someone called because mail was piling up. Side note: Troy’s job is gross.

Get ready for my new podcast – Nosy Neighbor. I solve such crimes as “which dog is pooping all over the sidewalk” and “why are those people lighting off fireworks in November”. It’s going to be a nail-biter. As in, it will be so boring you’ll chew off your nails to get out of listening to it.

2 photos of a kitchen with the note "same space, 2 years apart"

This week marked the one-year anniversary of finally moving into the new kitchen. I still get a little thrill in my heart every morning when I walk into that space. Every.single.day. 

After two weeks home, both boys finally went to school on Monday. Jack had gone back last Wednesday, but Bennett’s annoying dry cough was still hanging around. Frankly, it’s still there a little bit, but he’s been quarantined longer than if he actually had covid. 

He was getting very stir crazy and bored towards the end of being home. He created “Mr. Money” as a little friend to play with. Six separate negative tests and imaginary paper friends said it was definitely time for this kid to be back in school!

a paper money roll with a smile drawn on it

I got more work done in the first two days of the week than I had accomplished in the last two weeks. No one interrupted me, asked me to watch them do something, or needed help in any way. It was heaven! I am also finally tackling that flash photography course I bought back in November. And it was lovely to just sit there and dive into it without distraction.

After practicing over and over taking photos with play food from Bennett’s play kitchen, I finally sacked up and shot a “real” recipe using 100% flash. I still have a lot to learn and tweak, but I think I matched my normal natural light style pretty closely. You’ll see those photos this coming Thursday!

a flash photography photo set up in a living room

Since I need the blackout blinds for work, can I use them as a write-off…? Ha!

This week was supposed to have a 10-day forecast with lots of sunshine and blue skies. Instead, we got a high-pressure system that settled over the region and spent most of the week under an air-stagnation warning. 

The Puget Sound is essentially a basin, and when high pressure prevents wind from moving things around, pollution, fog, and all that junk just lingers. As much as I love a wood stove fire every night, we’ve been holding off to do our part in keeping the air as clean as possible.

There were no restrictions on burning, and basically, everyone around us was still having fires. But, I’d rather hunker down under a blanket than make the situation worse. When it gets bad enough, they restrict fires to households that don’t have an alternative source of heat.

a kid holding a picture of a kitten

On Friday, this little chicken turned six. SIX! He’s funny, quirky, artsy, a lover of cozy velour pajamas (even in 100-degree weather), sensitive, and witty. And never has a child loved cats and stuffed animals more than this kid. As his godmother said, he’s the personification of “hygge”.

As with any time we make plans, something happened. My inlaws were supposed to come over on Saturday for his birthday dinner, but my mother-in-law was potentially exposed during an outside activity. And while the risk is very very low, no one was interested in taking that chance.

We postponed his birthday dinner until next week. Fingers crossed. We’ll do a cake then, but I couldn’t keep pushing out his celebration, so I made some cupcakes for Friday. We topped them with some sugar kitties that his aunt sent him for Christmas. Dibs on “Sugar Kitties” for a band name.

I bought those “to go” cupcake containers from here. I originally got them when Bennett was supposed to have his movie theater birthday and I was going to hand out cupcakes in the parking lot. Alas.

2 stuffed kittens being held up by cat cupcakes

And for those who have been following the saga since early December, yes, the kitties finally got their hoodies!

Jack’s new select soccer team has their first game this coming Saturday. It’s a 90-minute drive, so we’re definitely jumping in with both feet on this whole travel team thing. A lot of the games in our scheduling app say “near x city” or “probably around x park” so it seems like details are definitely still being hammered out. 

It looks like we’ll have at least one game every weekend between now and early April. It feels so weird to be playing soccer in winter, but we’re excited about it! I have only seen these kids practice and I’m stoked to finally watch a real game.

a boy in a soccer jersey

I decided I had put off running for long enough and started back up this week. No idea why I took a break, other than the fact that running sucks and life is better without it. Rather than just jump back into it, I backtracked in the 10k training app I had used last year.

The muscle memory was definitely there, as was my brain screaming “why are you running? This is dumb”. I’ve decided to set a goal of running 5 miles per week between now and the end of February. Whether I do 2 miles one day, and 3 the other, or run 1 mile 5x a week, I’m going to try really hard to get to 5 every 7 days. We’ll see!

2 running reports from an apple watch

HOUSEKEEPING

This is the first opportunity 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!

And if you’re not already a Rakuten member, new clients get $30 cash back when they spend $30 or more. And Butcher Box is also offering $4 cashback. Sign up for Rakuten here.

We got our Butcher Box order this week and it was a good haul!

an image of a butcher box order

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I stumbled onto the investigative series, Bonaparte this week. “It’s been 25 years since Anne Champion’s friend was killed, but the case was never solved. When Anne, now a prominent Manhattan attorney, gets an unexpected phone call from an old friend, it compels her to return to Iowa, her childhood home, to try and piece together the events around Laura Van Wyhe’s mysterious death.” (source)

It’s really really engaging and I was hooked just a few minutes into the first episode.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Catharine left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Pizza Rolls {Pin this recipe}:

These were delish! I made them in my AirFry Oven ~ it’s better b/c You can watch (& smell) the cooking. They took 6 mins ~ flip to fold up 2 mins ~ flip back to fold down till golden. Keeping the sauce & cheese to a minimum is definitely the key.

air-fryer-pizza-rolls-17

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Air Fryer PicklesCrispy, crunchy, and so poppable, these Air Fryer Pickles will be a huge hit! Perfect as a quick appetizer or a healthy game-day snack, fried pickles in the air fryer are sure to become a crowd favorite. {Pin this recipe}

a hand dipping a fried pickle into a bowl of dipping sauce

Freezing SpinachLearn all the tips and tricks for freezing spinach to save a ton of time and money. Learning how to freeze spinach for smoothies, soups, and sauces is a great way to preserve this healthy staple of so many recipes. {Pin this tutorial}

freezing-spinach-5

Sheet Pan Sausage and VeggiesA fast one-pan dinner, Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies is pure homemade comfort food. Full of flavor and packed with tons of (frozen!) veggies, this sheet pan dinner is a meal prep dream. {Pin this recipe}

a white bowl with sheet pan sausage and veggies

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. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! On, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – one of my favorite air fryer recipes of all time! And these beautiful bites of dough are freezer-friendly too. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Appetizers – because eating a few different appetizers and calling it dinner is pretty rad. {Pin these recipes}
  5. Air Fryer Pickles – one of my favorite snacks, after I tried them on a work trip years ago and couldn’t find them locally. {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: A new air fryer dinner that I’m making, with salad on the side.

Tuesday:: Troy is making ground turkey sloppy joes (I added the turkey to our last Butcher Box order), fries, and veggies.

Wednesday:: Picking up takeout on the way home from Jack’s late orthodontist appointment.

Thursday:: Troy is making homemade pizza and veggies.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD because of Jack’s soccer game details being so vague.

Sunday:: Bennett’s birthday dinner. We hope. Fingers crossed.

 

What are you having this week?

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7 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Not saying you shouldn’t have called emergency services, but put your sheriff’s non-emergency number in your phone. You could have saved a life with your call, though, good for you. Life these days is all about being flexible. We were supposed to get together with family this weekend and one member got diagnosed with the covey so that’s out. It’s a shame because they live five states away and we were psyched to see them. Our kids are never going to know what a real invitation or time or date looks like: “You mean the wedding is for sure on Saturday? Naw, what if I feel like coming on Sunday?” LOL. They are going to think that everything is just … whenever.

    • I called non-emergency first and after pressing a bunch of buttons to talk to someone, they told me to hang up and call 911. Ha!

      I hope your family member fully recovers and soon. And 100% on our kids not understanding real plans.

  2. Congratulations on getting your days back and happy birthday to Bennett, I hope he gets to celebrate soon.
    Good luck with the winter soccer (the league runs August to May here, and kids start with the school year, Sept to May. Then you play cricket) it’s cold but character building!

  3. So my daughter is now at a school where the menu is very, very different and I am tucking these recipes away for when she gets back. She sent a letter that detailed her menu for the week…
    “We had vegan curry today…I liked it”
    “I had the best Mac and cheese and afterwards found out it wasn’t cheese. Nutritional yeast is now a thing for me”. 
    “I helped make banana bread…without nuts or regular flour…and I really dig it” 

    Since my 16 year took the time to WRITE A LETTER I am going to take that as a hint and start a recipe binder for her. I’ve printed off half a dozen of your highest rated veggie/vegan recipes so far excluding the virgin mojitos 😉