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Scattered Sundays

For the last 15 years or so, my sister and I have claimed that the entire month of August was cursed. Each August, one or both of our parents would have some sort of medical emergency.

My sister is a teacher and I used to work in higher education, so let’s just say that August is (was) a BUSY time for both of us. Each year, we’d approach August with bated breath.

August struck again in 2022 and man, it got us HARD.

Let’s recap August so far: 1) I had emergency surgery during the first week of August. 2) Bennett had his tonsils removed on August 12th and was in recovery hell for almost 2 weeks. 3) My dad has had some a-fib issues that have had him in and out of the ER and cardiologist’s office (he’s fine now BTW).

I feel like that should have been enough. August had other ideas.

Last week was a hell week for Troy at work. He had made a few shift trades at work over the summer and they basically all caught up with him in one week.

For those who don’t know, (most) firefighters either work 24 or 48-hour shifts and then have 48 or 96 hours off before they’re back on shift. Last week Troy worked Tuesday, was home for like 20 hours on Wednesday, back to a 48-hour shift on Thursday and Friday, home for 20 hours on Saturday, and then back to work on Sunday.

That’s brutal for him, brutal for the boys, and brutal for me, the solo married parent. It was rough but we survived and were all looking forward to a calmer week ahead. I even scheduled a pedicure for myself on Monday. August took a look at that and said “NOPE”.

Troy started feeling kinda crappy at work on Sunday and decided to come home that evening. While he was waiting for someone to come take over the shift (you can’t just leave a fire station down a person), his chief brought a test from another station.

Troy tested negative at work and then drove home. He took another test at home because he just had a gut feeling and it immediately popped as positive. He took a second one just to make sure the other one wasn’t a fluke, and yep, it was positive.

At this point, it was like 12 am on Monday morning. He throws a mask on, wakes me up, and tells me he’s leaving the house until we can figure out what to do. It’s early, we’re all tired and nobody was doing our best thinking.

Thankfully the next morning my sister graciously offered Troy her very very nice camping trailer as a germy man cave for the next 5-12+ days. We truly lucked out in that regard.

But wait, there’s more. Starting Sunday night, Bennett had started displaying some cold symptoms that looked a lot like his normal PFAPA symptoms. You know, the symptoms that removing the tonsils was supposed to put an end to. Yeah, those symptoms.

Also, I should add that we had promised the boys an epic week of adventures for this, their final week of summer. We had local day trips planned, tubing on a lake, floating on a river, meeting up with multiple friends, etc.

Jack bounced into my room on Monday morning all ready for our first adventure and then I got to watch his face fall while I crushed all his dreams of fun for an entire week. It was peak parenting, let me tell you.

Ok, a few things. One: we have been extraordinarily lucky and also have worked hard to avoid Covid up until now. We still mask in indoor public places and still have avoided doing things in super crowded areas. We’re those dorks.

As a first responder, Troy might have the record at his station for being the last one to get the ‘Rona. They’re in and out of people’s homes on medical calls, and for us to go over 2.5 years without previous infection was a dang good record. I also knew that eventually, our luck would run out. We had a great streak and I can’t be remotely mad about that.

TWO: we gave up two weeks of summer before Bennett’s surgery to keep him germ-free so that he could have his tonsils removed. We then went through hell for two weeks while he recovered. He had been feeling better for FOUR days before he caught another cold.

This SURGERY WAS SUPPOSED TO STOP THE EFFING COLDS. I am a very optimistic person, but man oh man, I have had some low moments this week where I have felt SO defeated. We put our kid through pain, gave up so much time, and spent a lot of money on surgery,…and it seems like it was all for nothing. NOTHING.

All at-home tests showed that Bennett was covid-negative. We even took him to get a PCR just to be extra careful heading into school starting next week. All were negative. It’s just the same crap that we’ve been dealing with since he was 2 months old.

Now let me say, we have friends who have a child with a form of cancer that they cannot eradicate. My mom was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease at 26 that completely reformed the life she and my dad had expected to live. My dad is an amputee.

None of our health things are life-threatening. These are mere inconveniences. We’ll all be fine in the end. We’re lucky and have health insurance and can access quality care. But inside I am having a big epic meltdown adult tantrum and I want to punch all the things.

Knowing how quickly Bennett caught yet another cold, just makes me think about yet another school year where he is missing days and days of school each month. I want to scream into a jar.

Please do come back next week when I will not be as grouchy and full of sugar. Stress = sugar consumption for me because sugar never judges or talks back.

August can bite me. That is all.

In the Garden This Week

Being stuck at home this week did result in a productive week for the garden. I did ALL the weeding that has needed to be done for a few weeks now. I also tackled Mt. Morning Glory, AKA the retaining wall that divides our neighbor’s yard from ours.

We live on a hill so all the homes/yards are terraced into the hill. Most of us have some form of a retaining wall to prevent earth movement. Well, this wall is on our neighbor’s property but it seems like it has slipped their mind for the last…7 years to ever remove the excessive morning glory that starts on their side of the property.

I have enough morning glory in my yard and gardens already, thank you very much. I don’t need more and I certainly have no use for weeds that belong to someone else. But I was bored and had some rage to get out this week and let’s just say that the portion of the retaining wall that I could access is currently completely cleared.

I’ve also been picking epic amounts of blueberries in the mornings. It’s too hot in the afternoon to pick and they’re also hard to see when the berries are in direct sunlight. We have 26 blueberry bushes and yet every year, two of them produce as much as ALL the others combined. It’s an embarrassment of delicious riches.

Other than that, there was a whole lot of weeding happening, especially near the retaining wall. Now that I can access our yard under all the blackberry vines. coughcough.

Our heatwave has broken and this coming week the temps will be dropping into the 70s, so I’ll be getting our lettuce starts into one of the raised beds ASAP.


I’ve been listening to The Sunshine Place because 1) I was appropriately targeted by apple podcasts and 2) I noticed it was produced by Robert Downy, Jr and his wife, Susan Downey.

Fun fact: when we lived in Los Angeles, I worked with Susan Downey’s brother at a consulting firm. So, in a way…I basically know Iron Man. 🙂

From the website: “The Sunshine Place tells the mind-blowing, true-story of Synanon – one of America’s most cutting edge social experiments, turned into one of its most dangerous and violent cults – as it’s never been told before: by the people who lived it.” (source)


Jeni left this five-star review on our How to Make Chicken Bone Broth tutorial {Pin this recipe}:

I used the Instapot recipe today and I am so proud of myself. It was my first time making broth from a carcass and I’ve never felt more “Little House on the Prairie”! Called my husband at work to impress him with tales of my domestic triumph and he was not impressed- apparently they use this recipe all the time at the fire station (he’s a firefighter) with leftover chickens so I’m trying to not let him rain on my crunchy granola dreams haha Anyways, the recipe was super easy and made SO much broth, I’m looking forward to using it in soups as we move into fall.

two jars of homemad chicken bone broth on a tray with lemons and rosemary.


Frozen Waffles in the Air FryerMaking air fryer frozen waffles is incredibly easy and fast. This easy grab-and-go air fryer breakfast is simple to make and cooks in only 3-4 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

maple syrup being poured over a stack of waffles.

How to Dry ThymeLearn how to dry thyme in a food dehydrator, via air drying, in the microwave, or in the oven. Drying thyme is a simple way to preserve this delicious pantry staple! {Pin this tutorial}

a small grey dish filled with dehydrated thyme on a white board.

Confessions – everyone’s favorite post of the month.

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


  1. Canning Peaches – like sunshine in a jar that you can enjoy all year long. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Canning Pears – Welcome to pre-fall, everyone. {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce – use up all those delicious garden tomatoes in this simple recipe. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Whole Tomatoes – delicious work for all the prepping squirrels chasing summer. {Pin this tutorial}


I have a loose idea of what we can/will eat this week but can’t come up with the motivation to assign it to a certain day.

A lot could happen this week. IF Troy is feeling better and testing negative, he’ll be coming home. And IF he is feeling well enough, I have a long-planned trip to Denver to see my bestie on Friday.

But it’s all guesswork at this point right now. Who the heck knows!

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36 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Y’all are in my prayers.
    I understand your desire to scream into a jar, I used to scream into a pillow. My Mama was nearly crushed to death in a terribe car wreck when I was 12 which claimed her strong body and indefatigable stamina, but not her will to overcome it all. She was greatly challenged by bouts of depression and many surgeries to reconstruct her hip. The doctor on duty the night of the wreck told my Dad her hip looked like ground hamburger and sawdust. She suffered bladder cancer (which actually ended up saving her life after the 2nd hip surgery) 2o-ish years later she had another hip surgery and she began exhibiting signs of dementia in 2009 which steadily grew worse. During the dementia years she was a victim of uncontrollable panic attacks which meant Daddy, Mama, and I spent many nights a week watching the sun come up over the ER because how do you tell someone you love “No” especially when they have no capacity to understand why.
    My darling Dad (aged 84) died in August 2016 and my beloved Mama (aged 86) died 12 days later in September 2016. They met when my Dad was 14 and she was 16. When my Dad first saw her he said “that is the woman I am going to marry” and he did 6 years later. I am missing them particularly right now.

    I said all that to say: Christ never fails, just keep trusting and life will be good even in terrible and/or challenging times because we have His WORD and it is impossible for God to lie. Hebrews 6:18
    Hang in there Sarah.

    • What a beautiful story even in the middle of the pain. And I love that verse!

      My favorite is John 1:16 “From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace”. Sometimes we have to hunt for that grace, but it’s always there.

  2. Oh no! Wishing everybody health over there at the cook household!!!!

  3. Virtual scritches. Hoping September is kinder to you all!

  4. Well shiznit. I hope your boys immune system steps up it’s game and this is just a post surgery recovery hiccup. I cannot imagine how frustrating and rage inducing this all must be. Wishing Troy a speedy recovery and you continued avoidance of the nasty Rona. 
    My mom got it this last January and not sharing space with her wasn’t an option. Somehow I didn’t get it and neither did my husband. I feel like it’s lurking, just waiting for the worst possible moment to pounce. 
    Here’s to September, the best weather month in Washington and hopefully a much better month for you and yours. 

    • The irony is, of all the wonderful qualities that Bennett could have gotten from Troy, he chose his immune system. My immune system is strong enough for two people; I would have been happy to share!!

      And you’re right about the lurking! This version is so weird. My sister got it in April but my nephew and BIL never did. Then a month or so later my nephew got it, and BIL still hasn’t.

      Happy September to you as well! I read an article on “reverse” SAD a few weeks ago and immediately thought of you. Here is to soup season.

  5. I know this can’t be scientifically proven but I feel like I have a lot of anecdotal evidence that Omicron is a sneaky bitch who just loves to ruin big, fun plans.  Sorry you’re all missing out on the week you were anticipating and I hope Bennett’s illness is just a one-time fluke!

  6. I read with interest about your son getting many colds since the age of 2 months. Sounds exactly like my daughter (who is now 62 by BTW). She had her tonsils out before the age of 2, with no improvement in her health. At the age of 14, after she had pneumonia twice and several hospitalizations, it was finally suggested we get her tested for allergies. BINGO!! It turns out she was allergic to many foods, plants, trees, two types of house dust, etc. It was recommended she take allergy shots, and after a few years (yes), she was finally free of those allergies. She has been healthy ever since. Hope you are feeling better!!!

    • I’m so glad they figured it out with your daughter!

      Sadly, the allergy route is not our answer. We did all that testing with an allergy clinic back in spring.

  7. I joined the club of getting covid at the end of July beginning of August. It took out the last 5 people at work that had not officially caught it in 2 1/2 years. Luckily I was fine after 1 week. My 81 year old mother got it too and was okay with it. I think there is a ‘weaker’ strain going around where it it easier to catch but not so devastating health wise. Hopefully your family is on the mend and everyone feels more like themselves soon! 

    • We’ve jokingly been calling ourselves the last virgins on prom night. LOL.

      And YES, the whole point of avoiding it for so long is so that by the time you get it, it’s the mild version. I’m happy we were able to wait as long as we did. Well, I mean, Troy did. It’s coming for the rest of our household at some point.

      So glad you and your mom are ok!

  8. Sarah. Noooo! What a crappy month. We too are those nerds, so I feel your pain. Praying things get better asap.