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Scattered Sundays

Everything is so green right now. Except the flowering trees, which are vibrant shades of pink, white, and purple.

This time of year fills my heart with so much beauty. It’s almost hard to stand it.

white flowering fruit trees.

Troy and I have an ongoing debate about bad weather vs. good weather. I’m someone who will get outside and walk in ANY weather…except lighting. To me, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing/gear.

Troy absolutely hates to be cold or wet. He cannot stand pants, though if I had his calves, pants would likely feel like leg jails to me too. He cannot stand dark or rain.

My argument for the last 19 years has been, “if we don’t have bad weather, you won’t appreciate the good weather”. The first time we had actual rain after months of living in Los Angeles, I ran outside and danced in the street in a way that gave our new neighbors something to talk about.

It’s no secret that the PNW does get dark from November until March when daylight hours are limited. It’s nothing like what Katie and Emmeline deal with in Stockholm, but I will fully admit that only 8 hours of daylight can be grim.

On the flip side, those dark months truly make me appreciate the 16 hours of daylight we get in spring and summer. If that were our normal, then I would take it for granted.

Instead, I greet the 4:45 am sunrise and almost 10 pm sunset as a thing of wonder. I know it won’t be there forever. I also know that I truly love the cozy feeling of a woodstove-heated house when it’s gross outside.

I don’t have a point here. There is no lesson in any of this. Just my Ted (Lasso) Talk on working to find the beauty in the everyday. It’s out there, I promise.

pink flowering trees.

In “things that are trying to get me down” news, we had one heck of a week of mechanical breakdowns. On the last Friday in April, I took the final load of basement demo stuff to the dump. On the way home, a “service engine soon” light came on in Troy’s ancient truck.

Since we bought our used EV last July, the truck gets driven maybe 10-30 miles a month, max. It also looked like it was past the time for an oil change, so fingers crossed it was something simple. Narrator: it was not something simple.

At 18 years old and with 220k miles on it, that truck was tired and pissy. A “mere” 2 hours and $800 later, Troy left the repair shop with an estimate of $6k worth of things that needed fixing on it. The truck is worth maybe $3-4k max. Ouch!

Our 2023 plan involved an EV truck for Troy, and that has been ordered and we have patiently been waiting for it. With this news, it has switched to impatiently waiting. Ha!

We’re not sinking $6k into a truck that is worth half of that. Instead, we fixed the biggest issue with it and will continue to not drive it unless absolutely necessary.

When the new truck arrives, we’ll sell his, hopefully to someone who knows how to fix things and can see a truck with great bones. It’s been a wonderful vehicle for us, and soon it shall be a good deal for its next owner.

clothes on the line.

With some gorgeous weather this week, I cleaned off the ol’ clotheslines and hung a whopping five loads of laundry in one day. How I love that free sunshine and the wonderful smell of line-dried clothes.

In good and bad news, that burst of laundry washing was a foreshadowing of some laundry struggles we would encounter on Thursday. That afternoon, our washer, the singular cause of our basement flood, decided to stop working.

It simply stopped draining during a load of laundry and much like a stubborn toddler, it just refused to do anything. The error code said one thing, but Troy took it apart and found the issue seemed to be the motor.

I had been at soccer with Jack and came home to find this scene.

a laundry room in disarray with a fan.

A broken washer is very much a first-world problem. But seeing fans going in this space again definitely sent some stress triggers to my brain. This dumb washer kicked off five months of events that tried on a daily basis to break my spirit.

Troy found a part with next-day shipping and free returns. Paying $110 for a part was definitely more appealing than $600+ for a new washer. It’s an older washer and clearly, I have some mixed feelings about it.

We’ll eventually need something new, but fingers crossed it can be a model that I research and find the best deal on, instead of running into Lowes yelling “what do you have in stock today”.

My friend, Amanda, speaks highly of Speed Queen and I love the idea of them. They’re made in the US and are practically industrial workhorses.

But the washer capacity seems too small to handle the king-size bedding of a family where someone coughtroycough is highly allergic to dust mites and thus we have to wash our comforter and duvet constantly.

All that being said, life is funny and something is always on the horizon to trip us up. From the incredible book, Under the Whispering door, “it’s easy to let yourself spiral and fall. But it’s what you do to pull yourself out of it that matters most”.

And for me, that means getting outside and seeing more of this. Please and thank you.

pink flowering trees.


Many of you have recommended Bone Valley over the last few months, and I finally listened to it in February. And FYI, the name does not mean what you think it means. It comes from the phosphorous that is prolific in the area from dinosaur bones.

The podcast was interesting but a bit slow. I bring it up this week because the focus of the podcast was denied parole (again) on Wednesday, May 3rd. It’s an absolute shame that this person is still in prison. And since it’s so timely, you might want to listen to the series.


Long-time reader, Kimberly, left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Mexican Rice {Pin this recipe}:

Thank you, thank you, thank you – I will no longer have to endure my husbands clumpy, tasteless attempts to make Mexican rice! The whole family loves this Mexican rice and I love how quick and easy it is to make. A perfect accompaniment to our fajita and burrito nights. Plus, I now know what often causes a burn notice with my Instant Pot, tomato based ingredients, who knew. Side note, I pureed a can of diced tomatoes as I didn’t have any tomato juice, which worked well.

A black bowl filled with Mexican rice and topped with cilantro and limes on a board with avocado and other garnishes


I’m slowing down my posting schedule for May and June so that I can spend time setting myself up for an easier summer. And by easier, I mean less photography and in-depth writing while the kids are home from school.

While I work all summer, I have found over the years that I am a nicer mom if I am not trying to do all the labor-intensive things while the kids are up in my damn face for three months.

Pesto OrzoThis Pesto Orzo is a simple and easy dinner that you can throw together in 15 minutes or less. You’ll want to make this delicious homemade comfort food part of your permanent meal plan. {Pin this recipe}

orzo salad in a blue bowl.

How to Freeze AsparagusLearning how to freeze asparagus is a great way to preserve this short season vegetable. A freezer stash of frozen asparagus opens the door to amazing and speedy meals. {Pin this tutorial}

A baking tray with frozen asparagus


  1. Air Fryer Potatoes – this post had a moment thanks to Google Discover. And these potatoes are so freaking tasty! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! Oh, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Cookies – I’m a big fan of this recipe and you’re going to love it! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Garlic Butter Rice – I can’t think of a week that goes by in this house without at least one batch of this comfort food being made. {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Freeze Spinach – the people want to know, and I have the answers. Yay! {Pin this recipe}


Monday:: TBD

Tuesday:: Testing out a new recipe that I *think* the kids will enjoy. Veggies on the side.

Wednesday:: TBD

Thursday:: Troy is making dinner and we look forward to eating it!

Friday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Sunday:: Mother’s day. Going to pizza with my inlaws at our favorite local place.

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9 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I do not recommend Samsung. Ours can barely handle a queen duvet.  Our dryer needed a repair and the part needed should have been an easy, cheap part (the broken part looked like a hamster wheel), but  in order to get the hamster wheel, you HAD to buy an entire new MOTOR.  It was crazy.  

    Spring is, and has always been my favourite season. Even though I don’t like being out in the rain, and I’m not overly fond of thunder and lightning.

    I hope the truck holds on until the new one arrives!  Our vehicle is going in for some maintenance and upgrades in about two weeks.  Last week, after the appointment was already made, a light came on and it is acting up!  Naturally, the problem has to do with the part we wanted to upgrade anyway, so now I’m without a vehicle for over two weeks!  Thank goodness for grocery delivery and a very convenient, recently received coupon for $$ off my next three orders! I normally prefer to shop in person, to compare prices and check best-by dates, but I’ll take saving money and getting stuff delivered for now.

    • I’m sure there is a Samsung model that can handle a king. Sounds like you just got a smaller one.

      I love thunder and lightning but we get very lame storms here. You must have the opposite problem there!

      I hope the vehicle is actually done early. Being without transportation would not work in my town where public transportation is terrible. I am thankful our dealer offers free loaners if the service takes more than 3 hours.

      • Our washer seems pretty large to me.  It took our old queen duvet just fine, but the new one is much loftier.  But size is not the reason I suggest avoiding Samsung.  It is the difficulty in getting parts to repair them that irks me.  If I knew then, what I know now, I would have bought a different brand.   Our fridge is also Samsung and the ice maker crapped out years ago.  We just don’t use it (the ice maker, not the whole fridge) rather than pay a crazy price to over-repair it.

        We don’t get a lot of storms, I just hate them.   We used to have access to a cottage on Lake Ontario and hubby and my youngest would sit in front of the big window to watch storms while my oldest and I were curled up far away from the window reading or playing video games!

  2. We were ones who had a washer break with a full load of wet clothes in it. My husband “grabbed something” at Lowes on his way home from work. (Honestly, at the time I had a 1 and 2 year old and just needed something, no brain waves to research.) I have learned I hate front loader washers (I suspected and wasn’t going to do that, but he didn’t know I was thinking that). I won’t be that upset if this model is one of those “doesn’t last as long” ones, but it’s been holding on for 9 years now. 🙂 Good luck as you research. I’ve heard the same thing about SQ, so I’d love to know if you find one that can handle king comforters.

    • May it die a quiet death with no drama, no water, and no loads of wash in it.

      SQ got back to me and said none of their models is designed for a king comforter. Darn darn darny darn.

  3. Speed Queen is always everyone’s first recommendation. My friend was trying to research and do best by their budget and family of 6.. Her husband heard “SQ is the BEST” and went and bought it ( and it was $$ than the ones she was researching).. with little regard to the tub size… So now every time my friend is doing laundry ( which is a 7 out of 7) she curses that machine b/c the tub is smaller and she feels like she is just doing twice as many loads as before…

    • The 7 out of 7 made me laugh, because, of course.

      I reached out to SQ and they were super helpful. They said that none of their models is designed to accommodate king-size comforter. Which is a bummer. Also, a product made in the US for the US should probably reflect that everything Americans do is big. And therefore, we need big washers.

  4. Love all of your Sunday posts! (Side note…in the 3rd paragraph you wrote lighting. Side note, as a librarian…it’s actually lightening, sorry, grammar Queen here!) 😝😘

    • Sadly, Ford and their marketing team said we’re both wrong. LOL! They’re spelling it “Lightning”.

      As a second-grade teacher, my mom used to say she hated Toys R Us because the backward “r” was bad for kids learning phonics. Ford is setting off a whole generation of future misspellings. Ha!