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Scattered Sundays

It is time. We have survived. There was fighting, yelling, some getting along, and some memories made.

But at long last, school is starting this week and life returns to normal. Praise be.

I’m so excited to get back to a normal work schedule. I work super hard during the school year to get all my photos done for summer, because taking pictures when anyone else is home drives me batty.

And I try to get things written, drafted, and researched early in the summer. But life happens and I’m often trying to work amongst Nerf battles and the stupidest sibling fights you could ever imagine. I’m thrilled to get back to silence, and distraction-free computer time.

This year will be 9th grade (high school!!!!) for Jack, and second grade for Bennett. Time flies and crawls at the exact same time.

Bennett’s beloved kindergarten teacher moved up to second grade this year, and we were sooooo hopeful that he would be in her classroom again. It didn’t work out that way, but I’ve heard great things about his teacher.

Anyone who has had one child with challenging behavior and another one who just puts their head down and gets along with everyone will understand the next statement. If this were (elementary-aged) Jack, we’d probably be trying to get the teacher assignment changed. But Bennett will be fine in any classroom with any teacher.

It’s going to be a good year because we’re all choosing the mindset that it will be a great year. Jack’s off to a new and (much) bigger school, but he has a good head on his shoulders and a core group of friends to keep him grounded. Onward!

The month of August was our first stinker of a month in 2023 for solar production. For the first time, we produced fewer kWh compared with the same month in 2022. This month we had: 1) a week of a heavy marine layer that didn’t burn off until around 1 pm 2) wildfire smoke that blocked the sun 3) super random five days of end-of-summer heavy rains and grey skies.

But thanks to a very sunny spring, we’re on track to likely produce enough by the end of September to meet our yearly needs. Of course, our system was built before we had an electric car so that production total is now a pretty squishy number.

I listened to this episode of Pantsuit Politics where one of the hosts and her husband discussed their experience with getting solar last year. And I loved what her husband said when he (jokingly) mentioned that he loves harnessing the power of the sun. I feel a bit like a nerdy production superhero with our PV system.

The coming 10-day forecast is a bit abnormal for this time of year. We usually head back to school with temps in the 80s, but we’re rocking low to mid-70s for the foreseeable future.

Last fall was an (unwelcome) anomaly, where we were still hitting temps in the mid-80s a few weeks into October. We were at a pumpkin patch in 2022 and it was 87˚F. That’s not ok.

Cooler temps mean two things that I love: 1) lack of boob sweat on my walks/runs 2) SOUP SEASON!!!!!! Did anyone else hear a choir of angels singing when I said soup season? Tis the most glorious time of the year.

Years ago, when we were living in Los Angeles, I made a dear friend at work. The last time I saw her in person was when Bennett was 22 months old. We had plans to meet up when we were at Disney earlier in the summer, but her husband and daughter tested positive for the ‘rona the day before we were getting together.

We’ve been half-jokingly planning a mom’s getaway for years now. Thanks to COVID and life, it’s never actually happened. But we committed this year to making it happen, and this week I booked my trip to meet up with her in December!

We got a cute and quiet Airbnb, and I booked my flights using miles and only paid $11.20 in fees. I’m flying, and she’s driving, so we can use her car instead of renting one or taking rideshare cars.

It’s a very very short trip, but our only plans are to take walks, read quietly, eat good food, and plan for our eventual lives as Golden Girls roommates. I’m going to need a caftan and a cheesecake.

What I’m reading this week

I have been the slackerest slacker in all of nerdtown, because I have barely read a thing this month. It’s embarrassing and sad, but life got extremely busy, and sometimes things happen.

I finally finished Code Name Helene, and it was right up my very specific literature alley – WWII, Europe, awesome female hero, blah, blah, blah.

I enjoyed it very much, and even found out at the end of the book that it was based on an actual woman! There is even a TV movie about her life called Nancy Wake, the White Mouse.

I started The Silent Patient after Cassie recommended it. I’m not too far into it, but the setting is very interesting and I’m looking forward to getting more into it.

READER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Kim left this five-star review on our new(ish) Instant Pot Quinoa {Pin this recipe}:

This really was easy! Quinoa is a grain I always mess up, usually because I’m multitasking and not paying attention enough to the stove. But throwing this in the IP was a cinch and it came out nice and fluffy! I even had enough extra to make Tabbouleh for myself for the week 👍

ON SUSTAINABLE COOKS THIS WEEK

Air Fryer OkraCrispy, crunchy, and so poppable, this Air Fryer Okra will be a huge hit! Perfect as a quick appetizer, side dish, or a healthy game-day snack, fried okra in the air fryer is sure to become a crowd favorite. {Pin this recipe}

fried okra in a white dish on a wooden plate

Confessions – everyone’s favorite silly post of the month. Which I haven’t actually done in a few months. Life got busy!

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

THE FIVE MOST POPULAR POSTS THIS WEEK

MEAL PLAN

With the giant soccer event over, and school starting back up this week, meal planning is officially a thing again!

Monday:: Breakfast burritos before soccer. I plan to triple the amount of everything that I make, so that we can freeze them for fast school breakfasts.

Tuesday:: Chicken teriyaki in the Instant Pot, fried rice (based on this recipe but without ham), and veggies.

Wednesday:: Retesting a new recipe for ye olde blog. I’ve made it before and it’s tasty, but the texture was odd.

Thursday:: Our favorite tomato soup, grilled cheese, and veggies before soccer practice.

Friday:: Jack has a late-night soccer game (and then one early Saturday morning which is just rude), so we’ll be eating pasta and veggies beforehand.

Saturday:: The next town over is having their final street fair of the season, so we’ll grab something there.

Sunday:: Belated movie night – popcorn and leftovers.

What are you eating this week?

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I enjoy Adirondack chairs, but I’m a short stack and a.c.’s fit my kinks. I once remarked in Sunday school that when I ruled the world all chairs would be made to my shortness’es liking. A wag told me he never knew world domination was on my bucket list. Just goes to show we don’t always know our neighbors quite like we think we do, lol.
    Your fried okra looks delicious. Your trip sounds like my kind of getaway.
    Ive been eating salads the last week or so; cant seem to get enough (especially if there is even a smidge of bacon to crumble over the top).
    Have a great week, everyone!

    • Laughing at short stack. We refer to shorter people as “fun-sized” in my family. 🙂

      Have you ever heard Jim Gaffigan’s comedy bit about bacon on salad? Basically, it’s meat candy glitter, and salad with bacon just becomes a hunt for bacon amongst the salad.

  2. CONGRATS on making it through the summer back to the start of another school year!!  Phew!  This stage of kid life seems like *such* a busy time.  Also, WHAAAAT?!  HOW is Jack now in high school?  That cannot be correct!  Hope both kids have a good school year.  P.S. Good luck with your odd-textured recipe in development!  P.P.S. What kind of movies do ya’ll watch on your popcorn and movie nights?

    • Yep, high school! Time is a thief sometimes!

      The boys get to choose the movies for movie night. Sometimes it can be a cartoon (usually Bennett), sometimes it is a Disney movie, or a Marvel movie. It is definitely a random choice.

  3. Yay for school! And there is no way Jack is a high schooler. Or that my kiddo is a senior this year. 🤯

    I’m very, very excited about soup season!!