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Scattered Sundays

My friends, I have a secret. It’s very shameful. It could take down my entire blogging empire. Lean in. I’ll tell you.

Here we go…it’s been too hot to make soup. I know.

I’m as surprised and horrified as you probably are right now. My entire brand is built around soup being an anytime food. Not here. Not now. Not yet.

This has been the wackiest and wonkiest weather year I can remember. First, our spring went well into July. We had the coldest and wettest April, May, and June since 1945…and then just six weeks later we broke the record for the most days over 90F.

We often have lovely Fall weather here in the Seattle area, but this year it is getting downright excessive. Almost embarrassing like “perfect weather, we get it”. We’ve hit 80F multiple times in the last week and this weekend was in the 80s as well!

Every single time I check our 10-day forecast, it just keeps showing warm temps and sunshine. What world is this?! Troy is loving it, and now that we have solar panels, I’m not hating it. But I am ready for soup weather.

A long-time reader moved here from the Midwest and I keep texting her that this is not normal. I don’t want her to get lulled into a false sense of weather security.

a woman on a roof with a hose cleaning solar panels.

Our solar panel team told us back in May that if possible (i.e., we can do it safely), it’s good to give the panels a nice little bath 2-3 times a year. This removes dust, bird poop, and (especially this year!) pollen and helps them produce at their fullest capacity.

We had planned to do it at the end of August, but Troy got the ‘rona, and that kind of put all our plans on hold for a while. Well, we finally tackled the project this week and it was pretty fun, fairly easy, and only took about 20 minutes.

We each had a hose, a super soft carwash brush on a pole, and a tiny bit of plant-based liquid dish soap. There were a few spots where I was like “whooooa, we’re up high”, but mostly it was totally fine. Our roof is pretty easy to safely navigate.

It’s hard to tell from the photo above, but to the left of me is our deck. It’s covered by a sunshade so it’s super deceiving. But, had I fallen, I would have only fallen a few feet onto our deck.

And to Troy’s right was our front yard, so he also would have only fallen a few feet and our blueberry bushes would have made a messy but slightly cushy fall. 🙂

a man on a roof with a hose cleaning solar panels.

Per our solar panel installers, the goal for production is to hit ~70% of our yearly kWh by the end of September. Thanks to this absolutely bonkers sunny September, we are actually at 85% of our yearly energy needs!

Even better, this extended summer is giving our clothesline a workout. I cannot describe how happy it makes my heart to dry clothes for free in the sunshine. FOR FREE! Sure, our grass is dead ugly, but it will grow back next month. It always does!

The downside to this hot summer has been wildfires in our state. Growing up, wildfire season was July and August and almost always happened in Eastern and Central Washington.

Eastern and Central Washington are very dry and hot in summer and very cold in the winter. Most of the region only gets about 10-20 inches of rain per year. When people think of “rainy” Washington, they’re thinking of the area west of the Cascade mountains.

Increasingly, the wildfire season has started earlier and ended later. And it’s beginning to creep into Western Washington more and more, which had been almost unheard of. Right now there are fires in Central Washington and also a large one that is northeast of Seattle.

The smoke from the fires has been frustrating, but it makes my heart hurt for the people super close to the origin points. If our air is super smoky and the air quality is creeping up into the unhealthy range, it must be unbearable for those communities even closer.

And speaking of fires, are you in one of the 10-12 states that were impacted by the gas/oil refinery fire in Ohio? We sure are! Gas prices had been going down locally for 14 straight weeks.

Last Thursday I even noticed that it had dropped another $.10. Then, Friday morning I saw it had jumped up $.30. What the what? I’m pretty obsessed with reading the news and know all about global price fluctuations but this one seemed to have come out of left field.

I found out that there was a refinery fire in Ohio and it was expected to cause prices to jump up ~$.95 in 10-12 states. And yep, it jumped another $.50 here on Tuesday. It’s still dropping in most of the country, but if you’re in one of those states where it is going up, I feel your pain! Yeesh.

I had my pre-op appointment on Thursday and it went really well. My hysterectomy is scheduled for October 19th and I’m ready to get this show on the road.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing some freezer meal prep to get us all ready for post-op. Everyone’s recovery is very different, but I know I have to take it super easy for at least two weeks. It might actually kill me to sit that much but I know it’s important.

She said I could start back on walks around two weeks but it has to be on flat ground. Um, there is no flat ground around me! I’m going to have to drive somewhere to walk which defeats the purpose, but it is what it is.

No uphill or aggressive walking (the only kind I know how to do) until six weeks post-op, and no running or core workouts until eight weeks post. My sister joked they’re going to have to give me some strong meds to keep me sitting still that long.

As of now, I’m on track to get all my October and Novemenber photos done before surgery. Taking photos can be oddly athletic with lots and lots of climbing up and down on a stool for photos, standing a lot for cooking, and moving around during the whole process.

Not the mention the clean up. Can I get insurance to pay for someone to wash dishes? Asking for a friend. The friend is me.

a messy kitchen.

Bennett participated in a little fun run this week that some of the elementary schools hosted. This is the same meet that Jack placed first in for two or three years in a row when he was younger.

Bennett does not have the competitive streak that Jack does, but still, we reminded him it was just for fun and it was ok if he didn’t “win” and he looked at us like “duh”. He also told two of his friends that he hoped they got first and second place. Ha, how very different these children are.

What I’m reading this week

I finished Undaunted by the former director of the CIA, and I’m glad I read it because it was important. Dry but important.

I started Cherry by Nico Walker after a friend recommended it a long time ago. Apparently, it’s also a movie starring Tom Holland, so I’m planning on watching it after I finish the book. Assuming, of course, I enjoy the book.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO THIS WEEK

I stumbled on this episode of WTF With Marc Maron where he interviews Andrew Garfield. I always forget that Andrew Garfield is British since his American accent is sooooo good. I watched Under the Banner of Heaven with him last month and dang, he is an incredible actor.

Andrew and Marc have a very profound discussion on grief. Both lost a loved one in the last two years. They’re both so raw and honest, and it’s listening to two people who are right in the middle of it.

It’s been five years since I lost my mom, and this episode flooded me with so many emotions. It’s a beautiful listen.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Bea left this five-star review on our tutorial on Dehydrating Tomatoes {Pin this tutorial}:

Great idea for using up those extra tomatoes!! I dehydrated mine with some, chopped fresh basil and they turned out perfectly dried at the 9-hour mark. I pulverized half of these into a fine powder with my spice grinder for later use in soups or sauces. The dried tomatoes make for an awesome snack. Thx for sharing your method here!!

A plate of dehyrated tomatoes

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air FryerMaking frozen egg rolls in the air fryer is incredibly easy and fast. This easy grab-and-go air fryer snack is simple to make and cooks in under 15 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

Air Fryer CauliflowerLight, delicious, and crispy, Air Fryer Cauliflower is the perfect side or snack for fast healthy eating. You’ll love that cauliflower in the air fryer is simple, vegan, vegetarian, and packed with flavor! {Pin this recipe}

a grey bowl of air fryer cauliflower topped with chopped parsley on a grey 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 Pears – and now it’s officially Fall. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Canning Apple Butter – I cannot explain to you how amazing your house will smell with this apple butter simmering away in the crockpot. Recipe includes canning and freezing instructions. {Pin this tutorial}
  3. Canning Peaches – this post dropping to #3 is a definite sign that summer is behind us. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce – use up all those delicious garden tomatoes in this simple recipe. {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}

MEAL PLAN

Monday:: An utter hodge-podge of recipes I am photographing during the day. It will be the weirdest combo of foods. The boys should love it. <—sarcasm

Tuesday:: Troy is making dinner and we’re excited to eat it.

Wednesday:: Takeout for my birthday!

Thursday:: Pasta and veggies for soccer night.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Testing a new recipe

Sunday:: Ham and Swiss Quiche, Air Fryer Potatoes, and salad.

What is on your menu for this week?

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16 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Awwww the weather is weird .. also is here … but it is clear and sunny and ya gotta be thankful it is… however we don’t have smoke from fires like y’all have. I had issues with the smoke from those when I would come to visit my son in Seattle … cause we would always try to go up north and it would be bad.. I feel for you.. also I hope your hysterectomy goes well .. sorry you have to get that done.. and a very happy upcoming birthday wish that you have a great day with the boiz spoiling you totally! Aloha S

    • Depending on how far North you were when you were here, you were likely in a perfect storm of Washington and Canadian wildfire smoke. It’s so sad when so much is burning at once. 🙁

  2. Happy Birthday!!!! Strong work just sneaking that in there.
    The hysterectomy recovery is REAL. My auntie (who is tougher than nails) thought a week after hers that a trip to the grocery store would be fine. It was not. My cousin was with her and saved her from passing out. Wishing you the absolutely best possible surgery and recovery experience, hopefully our soupy weather will have arrived by then.

    • Ha, thanks! I feel like I have passed the age where it’s appropriate to make a big deal about your birthday. Don’t get me started on adults who have a birthday week.

      I have heard so many mixed experiences from the surgery recovery, so I’m just going to be a good girl and follow the doctor’s orders. Best case scenario: I take it easy and feel great.
      This surgery can only be done once, but having to repair things from overdoing it can take MANY surgeries. So I’m doing what I’m supposed to and hopefully healing like a champ.

  3. Happy birthday for next week! We are having all the autumn weather, send soup!

    • Thank you, and yes, all the soup! I wish we could share our warm weather with you. I know you all need to delay using the heat for as long as possible given the extreme energy cost jumps over there. 🙁

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SARAH!!  Hope you get some lovely fall soup weather soon as a gift. 🙂

  5. I never thought I would read “It’s too hot for soup.” on this site (though, I totally understand)! It’s actually starting to feel like fall here in the SE US and I’m excited because I am so ready to start my annual cold weather season Tour de Soup (I just make a different soup every week but the name makes it extra fun)! You will be happy to know that a good portion of the soup recipes I use are yours and if I’m ever out of ideas I browse your archive for something I haven’t tried yet first. I’m trying to convince myself to start a warm weather season Tour de Salad campaign but those just don’t appeal to me in the same way soup does lol.

    Thanks for the heads up about the refinery. I think our gas prices jumped about 20 cents and I was wondering what had caused it.

    Prayers for all those affected by the wildfires. And prayers for your surgery and recovery.

    • I know, the shame is real, my friend!

      I love the idea of Tour de Soup and I am honored to know that I have a small part of it. And I am with you that soup > salad.

      The gas price jump was definitely a surprise for me. I asked friends and did some googling but there wasn’t much out there at first. Then a friend in the Midwest happened to mention the refinery fire. Info slowly came out about it but I feel like it’s not being discussed all that much.

  6. You buried the lead -happy birthday!!! May your hysterectomy be a lovely belated gift ☺️🤪. I too looked forward to Scattered Sundays every week!!  🎉

    • Ha, I feel like adults who make a really big deal about their birthdays are missing something else in life. Sure, it’s fun, but I’m past the age of being super into it.

      And yes, thank you! If I could have scheduled the surgery FOR my birthday, I would have. 🙂

  7. Happy Birthday!!!

  8. Scattered Sunday posts are probably my most favorite to read. The way the topics shifts but follow a pattern feels so much like an actual conversation.