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Scattered Sundays

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In Fall, Bennett’s school paired with the advanced ceramics class at the local middle school. The first graders drew a monster and wrote a very short story about their creation. And then the ceramics students brought the monsters to life.

a ceramic monster in front of a monster colored on a piece of paper.

Bennett got to bring his monster home this week, and this was such a fun project. The kid who made Bennett’s monster wrote him a little note about how he liked the creation and gave Bennett props for a flying monster.

Gross foot story incoming. Feel free to skip down if needed.

I’ve been suffering from a toe issue for months now and finally saw a podiatrist on Monday. It was a pretty gnarly ingrown toenail and the doctor pulled that bad boy right out.

Cassie had prepped me for the process, but I was under the impression that nothing would be numb and that it would suck but be fast. You can imagine my surprise when he busted out some numbing spray and then started injecting local anesthesia right into my toe.

I’m not sure if you have ever heard the rumor that redheads and people with strawberry-blonde hair need more anesthesia than normies. That’s proven to be true in every situation where I have had dental work done. And it turns out to be the same for minor toe surgery.

I could feel everything and was likely only half numb. But, I didn’t want to wait any longer so I just kept my trap shut and did some deep breathing. The hand, foot, and boob sweat situation was real.

The doctor was incredibly fast and the entire thing maybe took 60-90 seconds before he started bandaging everything up. I wiped the flop sweat off and went to pick up my prescription for antibiotics and some special hoof ointment.

Around midnight, whatever anesthesia he had used started to wear off, and my foot was on fire. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t get comfortable, so I just tossed and turned, listened to podcasts, and popped Advil like they were Tic Tacs.

Between the pain and the way the toe was bandaged, I could barely walk once I got out of bed. I was hobbling around like a real baller.

My plan for that day had been to photograph a canning recipe, but there was absolutely no way I could be on my feet that long, let alone move comfortably. I also had to keep my foot propped up or the pain would become intense.

I couldn’t sit at my desk because I couldn’t prop my foot up, so I set up camp on the couch for the day. And since I never ever watch TV while I work, I thought my little pity party would be made better by finally watching Shiny Happy People on Prime. Boy, was I wrong. That show was d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-n-g.

When I was messaging Cassie the next day, I felt like such a big baby. She had been fine after her procedure and she hadn’t even been numb! It was after a few minutes that we realized we both had vastly different procedures performed.

My doctor removed about 15% of my total nail from the tip to the bottom of the nailbed. That’s like 1 inch missing. Just gone. So yeah, no wonder it was bothering me so much.

an illustration of a toenail surgery removal.
This is obviously drawn to scale

I have to soak my foot twice a day in an Epsom salt water bath. I’m using a disposable casserole dish, and every time I fill it up, I say “I’m making foot soup. Who wants some foot soup”? It’s good times around here.

Everything started feeling better about 24-36 hours after the procedure. Walking hasn’t been happening and running absolutely hasn’t been possible. I hate sitting still and I’m bored, but I recognize that letting myself fully heal is better in the long run.

I had previously volunteered to chaperone Bennett’s zoo field trip on Friday and was thankful that I was able to go. I was fairly sore by the end of it, but it’s ok. It helped detract from the intense overstimulation of being surrounded by 60+ screaming first graders.

a kid playing in a bucket with reusable water balloons.

After a month of having these reusable water balloons in our cart, I finally bought them this week. Bennett has two birthday parties coming up and we’ve been told that both boys like “outdoor stuff”. I wanted to test them out for ourselves before gifting them to friends.

They’ve been a fun addition to the household, and I love that they’re essentially zero waste. Water balloons are fun, but having to clean up the trash afterward is necessary but annoying.

Sometimes our chickens will do a jailbreak out of their yard, and little bits of water balloons probably look absolutely delicious. Plus, I’m worried about wild birds picking them up.

A reader and friend said hers have held up for over a year. That is encouraging in terms of longevity. Another person told me that they don’t work well with rose bushes. 🙂

We learned through trial and error that a deep bowl won’t work for filling them up. An actual bucket resulted in fully filled water balloons that made a bigger splash.

I liked that they took a bit of time to fill but that the boys could easily do it themselves. I’m always looking for more ways for them to kill time during the summer, and stay out of my face.

a stuffed seal in front of a sign for a fort.
Chub Chub the seal is the bouncer

For anyone in the upper Midwest or the New England area, I’m sending good thoughts your way. The photos I’ve seen of the smoke are really awful, and it breaks my heart for the people dealing with it. And the poor people in Canada who are dealing with it firsthand.

Wildfire smoke and the resulting terrible AQIs (Air Quality Index) have become the norm for us in the PNW in August and September. It’s sad and scary and I’m sorry anyone else has to be exposed to it. Stay safe out there.

In the Garden This Week

More watering this week as we again faced unseasonably high temps. This isn’t really garden related, but every morning when I water the garden, I have also been hosing off the solar panels that are on the west side of our house.

We formally clean them twice a year, but our bonkers dry spring has meant that there is no rain to rinse off the excessive pollen that has accumulated on the panels (and in my sinuses). A 30-second hose off from the ground seems to really help, as our production went up an average of 3 kWh per day once I started this.

Our grass is about 80% dead, which normally happens at the end of June or into mid-July. It’s ugly but I don’t waste precious water on keeping it green. It will become green again late in the fall.

We picked our first strawberries of the season and there is nothing like fresh warm local berries. A grocery store berry could only dream of this deliciousness.

2 strawberries in a hand.

Copious amounts of lettuce continue to be picked, but I seem to be dealing with an aphid attack on the bed. And that is making cleaning very extensive. But the taste of tender salad greens is worth it. Even if sometimes they come with a little extra protein…


I stumbled onto Dreamtown: The Story of Adelanto this week and really enjoyed the first two episodes that have been released so far.

About the show: What happens when a city on the verge of collapse tries to reinvent itself? How much will it cost? Who will pay the price? Reporter David Weinberg spent years following one city in California’s Mojave desert as it tried to transform itself from a city of prisons to a city of pot. And it worked…for a while. Until it, spectacularly, didn’t. (source)

What I’m reading this week

I finally finished Best of Friends earlier in the week. I don’t love how it ended, but such is life.

I started More Than You’ll Ever Know and it’s totally my jam so far.


GOAT reviewer, Erin, left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Meatballs post {Pin this recipe}:

Delicious! We made these with the oven instructions for a recent dinner with family. They were a huge hit! We will definitely be making them again soon.

a fork holding a meatball over a plate of noodles


It was a very fruit-focused week on the blog!

Dehydrated Peaches Learn all about making dehydrated peaches in a food dehydrator or in an oven. Drying peaches is a simple project for adults and kids and makes amazing healthy snacks. {Pin this recipe}

a grey bowl filled with dried peach slices.

Pineapple JamHomemade Pineapple Jam is a delicious sauce or topping for ice cream, waffles/pancakes, yogurt, or more. This tasty homemade condiment is so simple to make with just a few ingredients. No pectin is needed for this recipe. {Pin this recipe}

a spoonful of pineapple compote over a glass jar.

Strawberry SyrupMade with fresh summer berries, you’re going to love this delicious Strawberry Syrup. This is a delightful homemade treat for pancakes, waffles, baked goods, drinks, and more. {Pin this recipe}

Mulitple glass jars of strawberry syrup on a wooden board with fresh strawberries and mint



Monday:: Breakfast dinner before (and after) soccer practice.

Tuesday:: Troy will be making dinner and we’ll be excited to eat it.

Wednesday:: A new restaurant opened near us and we’re going to support this local small business.

Thursday:: Air Fryer Steak BitesGarlic Butter Rice, and veggies. Yes, this was on the menu for the last two weeks but we had leftovers instead.

Friday:: Jack will be at his 8th-grade dance, so we’re letting Bennett have his own mini-movie night.

Saturday:: Going to a street festival so we’ll see what we can find.

Sunday:: Father’s Day, so Troy’s choice!

What’s on your menu this week?

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15 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I had the exact same procedure done. And the exact same recovery. The only difference maybe is that I responded better to the anesthesia. The resulting pain once the anesthesia wore off is almost indescribable. I can only liken it to having the same procedure done repeatedly for the next 24-48 hours. The good news is that to this day that little sliver of nail remains gone.

  2. I love the addition of the photos for the Five Most Popular Posts. Am I nerd that I enjoy seeing “what’s trending this week?” 😀 Sorry for your toe pain! OUCH! Hope this week is better! We are visiting family and my amazing SIL is cooking so much for us, I’m just her helper and chop/grab extra things from the store to make things easier.

    • Ha, I don’t think you’re a nerd at all. Humans are more drawn to images than text. Unless the text is FREE PUPPIES in which case I’d be on that like a seagull on a french fry.

      Enjoy all that delicious cooking!

  3. Those water balloons are so cool!  What an awesome birthday gift idea.

  4. The glazed Monster is pretty cute. 

    Unlike the unexpected (and large) Lion print we were bequethed from my husband’s late Uncle last month. He was always a bit eccentric; but family members seem pleased that we are keeping this item in the family. No one in the family had ever been on a safari, so we’re just going to stare at the print for a while and hope we can figure it all out.

    The meals this week are easy!
    Monday: A Radicchio Caesar Salad. With ALL the anchovies and breadcrumbs. Yum, yum, yum.
    Tuesday: Darling Husband, the mushroom hater, is on travel, so that means crispy mushrooms on toast for me.
    Wednesday: More crispy mushrooms on toast! 
    Thursday: Driving to Tennessee to meet Darling Husband. Dinner absolutely will be Nashville Hot Chicken.
    Friday: Dinner with Tennessee friends. So, likely barbecue. 
    Saturday: Driving halfway home into Virginia, so probably modern Southern farm-to-table in the cute little town where our B&B is located. 

    • Oh no to the lion print! My friend has a similar family “heirloom” that she has had to deal with for awhile now.

      I love hot chicken! I had once in Nashville along with my first taste of fried pickles. Delicious.

  5. Our home ec classes did the same project but they sewed the monsters rather than made them with clay. Huge props to the student who created Bennett’s monster -the glazing is really incredible! 

    Also way to take a moment of downtime because of toe pain ☺️. 

  6. I hope your toe heals quickly and completely.  My daughter has had a similar procedure twice (once on each big toe).   
    I’m so jealous of your strawberries!  I tried growing some from seed last year.  My plants looked lovely, but did not produce well.  But I expected that the first year.  Unfortunately, they did not appear to survive the winter.  I have a very, very small amount of new growth now, but I feel like I should have much, much more by this time.

    That monster is AMAZING!  I love Bennett’s drawing, and the older student did a great job creating it.  I hope Bennett loves it.

    How funny is it that I just discovered those ‘water balloons’ existed about three days before this post?  I was wondering if they are any good.  I think I need to get some for my granddaughter!

    • I’m really really hoping I will be one and done with this, but your daughter’s experience seems pretty common based on what others are telling me. I’m feeling loads better now, and started back up with normal walks. Sitting is so boring.

      Bennett loves and I agree that the student did such a good job!

  7. Sarah,
    Oh I’m so sorry about your toe issue…I’m super squeamish but I read it all and got the heebie jeebies (autocorrect thinks both those words should be “newbie”…don’t get me started on how it thinks I want to say “duck” all the time!)…I’m glad you’re on the mend. 
    Things we are eating this week…
    Sunday- Chicken and salad with garlic bread
    Monday-Takeout- husband works tomorrow so Panera for the daughter and I
    Tuesday/Wednesday-Business travel to SLC for two nights so husband will fend for himself (probably eat stuff I don’t approve of)- daughter and I will eat in restaurants and enjoy hotel life 
    Thursday- back from travel at about dinner time so takeout
    Friday- family visiting from Bremerton so takeout pizza and ice cream sundaes 
    Saturday- family still visiting so maybe we will grill steak and shrimp and have more ice cream sundaes
    Sunday- Father’s Day but we are celebrating early so…??

    Looks like a pretty light cooking week which is awesome…but I do have lots of salad stuff on hand so we will also have lots of salads…getting salad stuff at Costco is no joke when there are only 3 people in your household…

    • Your autocorrect is hilarious! I think the same robots who code autocorrect are also the same ones who figure out grocery substitutions when you order something and it’s out of stock.

      Sounds like a tasty week for you. And yes to the salads. We had to stop buying lettuce from Costco because it was going bad way too quickly. Plus, I swear that the “spring blend” comes already almost expired. Our chickens enjoy when we don’t finish the salad, but I’m sick of wasting money!

  8. I also have issues with anesthetics and prescription pain meds in general, and the fact that my father had ‘red haired people skin’ -not sure that’s a common thing in America but over here, that’s a phrase and such skin tends to burn rather than tan and gets very freckly- with brown-with-reddish-tones hair, which I’ve also inherited, now makes sense. Local anesthetics don’t really work on me, so like you, I feel everything, then tend to pass out from the pain. Doctors tend to not believe me when I inform them ‘I will probably pass out during or right after the procedure’, which is always great and not at all awkward for everyone when I do, in fact, pass out with an ‘I told you so’ death glare on my end once I come around and they act so surprised that I actually passed out and was not just a drama queen. Strong pain meds usually make me puke, fun times. You might have given me the reason why, thanks! I hope your toe heals promptly! 

    I visites New England for 4 weeks in May/June and left right before it got too bad, but I did see the ‘orange sun’ and hazy sky and the ‘natural’ light was very weird, in a ‘am I in a post-apocalyptic/alternate reality/Sci fi movie?’ kind of way. Nothing like the videos I’ve seen of NYC though. I did come home with a weird cough due to bad air quality but it should pass. My thoughts to all people affected by these terrible fires. 

    The middle schooler who crafted B’s monster is super talented! The result is amazing! What a fun project, and the kid seems really kind as well, your description of the whole experience gives off great vibes from all parties involved. 

    I’ve been adding fresh -from the store- organic strawberries to my muesli this week and that elevates the whole breakfast experience. Will try to do that more for sure. 

    • Yep, that translates over here. Jack and I also refer to ourselves as “pasty”. 🙂

      You definitely left at the right time. The images look horrible, and I know they were canceling concerts and broadway shows to protect the voices of the performers.

      Fresh strawberry season is the best, but way too short.