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Scattered Sundays

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Are you ready for the nerdiest of nerdy injuries in the history of nerdsville? This week I almost broke my nose with my Kindle. Yes, you’re right. They SHOULD make a reality show about my exciting life. Thanks for pointing that out.

As you know, I made it a New Year’s resolution to read for at least 15 minutes before bed each night. With libraries closed, I’ve dusted off my seven-year-old Kindle to borrow ebooks from our library and Kindle Unlimited.

So, I was in bed with the Kindle in my right hand and I was feeling chilly. I went to pull our very heavy duvet up with my left hand and pulled too hard and smacked my right hand with a ton of force. The Kindle flew into my face with such a sickening crunch that Troy yelled in surprise when it hit.

And the next day I walked into the corner of one of our janky kitchen cupboard door that was open. I’m going to come out of social distancing looking like I joined Fight Club. That’s all it takes to get Brad Pitt’s ab muscles, right (I ask while I eat another Thin Mint)?

Oh, Ninja Turtles don’t give you flowers? Pity.

I recently mentioned we’re getting new chickens later in the summer, but we received an awesome text this week asking if we wanted two chickens NOW. It wasn’t from our chick baby daddy, but a neighbor who had a friend that needed to downsize their flock.

Of course, we said yes, and within 24 hours had adopted two new two-year-old hens. Our six-year-old hens are still laying sporadically, so two-year-old hens seem like spring chickens. <—–Not even the least bit sorry about that!

If you’re not familiar with raising chickens, they’re a gaggle of jerks. If you’ve ever heard the term “pecking order”, it comes from chickens. There is always one that is a bully, and everyone else learns their place. Our biggest and thus most jerky chicken is named Poo Poo Sandwiches.

Adding new birds to the flock can always be tricky, especially if any of the chickens are small. Thankfully, our two new ladies are average size when compared with our flock. We kept them separated for the first day while they got used to each other. One of the newbies even laid an egg on that first day.

The first night, the new ladies tried to roost with the existing crew and it…didn’t go well. I separated them that night, and since then the new girls have “learned their place” and are roosting separately. 

I have broken up a few fights, but mostly they ignore each other which is ideal. I’m not sure about the previous coop situation of the new girls, but they were very hungry the first day here. That usually means they were on the smaller scale and were kept away from food by the other jerk chickens. Not to be confused with jerk chicken.

It has been so pleasing to watch them explore the new space. We have expanded the lady’s “yard” so to speak in recent years. They’re not on grass (our property is just too small), but we keep their run full of straw, wood chips, pine shavings, and kale from the garden. The new girls are digging and scratching like they have never had access to dirt before. They’re positively gleeful to just dig. Or…perhaps they’re a bit touched in the head.

Jack named his Copper, and for the children of the 80’s, you all probably instantly called him Chester CopperPot. Same. Same. Bennett took a reader’s suggestion from last week and went with Chew-bawk-a.

Did you have a nice Easter? Ours was nice but low-key. The Easter bunny brought the boys a hand-held milk frother, in case you were confused if my family is weird.

I had made Overnight Cinnamon Rolls last Saturday for Easter morning. It was hands down the most beautiful batch of cinnamon rolls I had ever made. I was positively crowing about them. As I was placing them into the baking pan to rise in the fridge, I realized I never added the dang cinnamon. Farrrrrrrk. I had to unroll each little bit of dough to add cinnamon before rolling them back up. Oh well, they were delicious the next morning.

After we did online church on Easter morning, I headed out for a glorious walk in the sunshine. As I was cresting a hill, I assumed I was having an exercise-induced stroke because I saw a giant Easter bunny in the back of a Ford F-150 and another person dressed as a carrot.

I realized that there was a family in our community who took it upon themselves to dress up and drive around on Easter morning to bring joy to quarantined kiddos. I flagged them down and told them to head down our street. They even gave all the kids goodie bags. 

Times like we’re living through right now make you more of the person you really are. If you’re a big turd, you’re going to be a giant turd when tested. But if you are already looking out for others, it’s your time to shine. And sometimes that means driving around in the back of a truck in 38-degree weather dressed like an Easter bunny just to make a kid smile.

After being at home for a month, I had an exciting adventure this week that involved going two whole towns away! It was like living Oregon Trail, but I didn’t have to hunt buffalo or ford the Dalles at all. And thankfully no one caught dysentery.

With allergy season upon us (AKA, the time that everyone looks at me like I am contagious because of the near-constant sneezing), my left eye gets insanely dry. My eye doctor called in a prescription for eye drops to a local pharmacy. Well, they couldn’t get it but told me there was some at their sister store one town over.

I headed out like I was a cast member of The Walking Dead. I was determined to hunt and gather my eye drops, and hopefully some 50% off Easter candy! Turns out that other pharmacy had some in stock but couldn’t find it. So they sent me to their sister store another town over.

If you haven’t been out in public lately, let me tell you how hard it is to find a restroom that is open. I cannot under-estimate for you how tiny my bladder is. When I finally returned home over two hours after I left, I burst into the house and was simultaneously peeing (in the toilet) and washing my hands (in the sink. So we’re clear).

I would be a terrible pioneer when it comes to the bathroom. Canning, gardening and chopping wood I have down. But no bathroom or chapstick? I’m out.

If there is a silver lining of the extreme suckage of what is happening right now, it’s that people in my town are realizing how freaking awesome our community is AND how great the hills are for exercise. I’m loving seeing so many neighbors I never knew I had as we are huffing it up and down the hills.

There is a very intense hill close to us that Jack calls “heart attack hill”. It has a truck warning at the top of it because it’s a 15% grade. You gain 350 feet of elevation in two blocks. It’s legit. And I’m seeing whole families go up and down it multiple times per day to get in shape.

Thus far, social distancing has yet to be an issue even when the road is getting “crowded”. There seems to be an unwritten rule that if you’re older, a younger kid, have a dog, or a baby/kids, you get to stay on the sidewalk. Everyone else either crosses over to the other side of the road or if there are no cars around, we walk in the middle of the street. 

More masks for the preschool staff at Bennett’s school. I’m keeping the feet.

Many people are now settling in for the long-term of working from home. The first few weeks of anything new usually takes a lot of adjustment, especially when no one knows what is happening in the world. It took me a solid year of working from home before I found a good routine and anything felt normal. Give yourself some grace.

Here are my five rules for keeping sane while working from home with kids. Some might work for you, and some may cause you to throw your phone in anger at me (see #3):

  1. You gotta get up earlier than the kids. Sorry. It’s just fact.
  2. Take a shower, do your hair, put on makeup (if you wear it) and physically look like you’re about the leave the house. Every dang day.
  3. Get out of the yoga pants. Put on comfy jeans or something. But stop with the yoga pants.
  4. Schedule time for exercise, even if means bringing the kids with you. Blerg.
  5. It’s never going to be perfect. You’re probably going to have to work in chunks of time instead of normal work hours. Anticipate it so that you’re not as frustrated when it does happen. If your spouse/partner is also working from home, don’t try to work at the same time if you can avoid it. Trade-off working 1-2 hours at a time while the other manages the kids. You can get SO much done in those “power hours” if you aren’t constantly being interrupted while someone asks you for snacks, to wipe their nose, or to inquire if dinosaurs had buttholes.
  6. Bonus: no one looks inside sweater pockets or shoes for your candy stash.

Housekeeping

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In the Garden This Week

This is a new section I’m adding for Sunday posts during our growing season. My OG garden nerd readers have been asking for more gardening content. It was very warm here this week and the garden was all about it.

This week we’re harvesting: kale, and herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano, and mint) and that’s about it.
What’s planted: peas, carrots, spinach, beets. Related: Homemade Seed Tape
What’s blooming: our mini drawf apple trees are putting on a fancy pants show and being super extra this week. The apple blossoms are stunning and smell amazing. Our blueberry bushes (all 27 that have been added over 6 years) are flowering, and the raspberry patch is putting on lots of new leaves and there are lots of new canes (the woody sticks raspberries grow on) showing up. Raspberries basically plant themselves and multiply like bunnies. You only need to start with a few canes (bushes) and within 1-2 years you’re going to have a ton of raspberries. Related: How to Build a Raspberry Trellis.
Work we did: I trimmed the dead canes from the raspberry patch and dead branches from the blueberry bushes so the new growth had more room and the plants could focus their energy on creating more fruit. We did a little weeding and Bennett dumped an entire envelope of radish seeds in one corner of one raised bed. Oy.
What’s new: we got our first few flowers on the strawberry plants! Strawberry season for us typically starts in late May and goes through mid-June (ish). We’re finally using up all the strawberries we froze from last year’s crop and are so excited for new berries! Related posts: How to Freeze Strawberries, How to Build a Strawberry Tower, and How to Thin Strawberry Plants.

What I’m Listening To This Week

If you like sports, or even if you don’t, the new podcast Hall of Shame is pretty dang hilarious. Each week they dive deep into a sports-related scandal. I have enjoyed it and have learned about things I had never even heard of before!

Word of warning though, it is not the kind of podcast to listen to with little ears around or if you’re a pearl clutcher. 🙂

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Alison left this five-star review for our Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce {Pin this recipe}:

The Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce was a winner in our household! This was every bit as good if not better than bottled teriyaki sauce! This recipe contained far less sugar and tasted better than bottled, for just a few minutes hands-on we had teriyaki sauce to put on chicken for dinner or stir-fried veggies or any other food item you may choose to put it on. Will make every time we want teriyaki sauce!

gluten free teriyaki sauce with chili paste, ginger, garlic, and a green onion on a board

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Cold Start Instant Pot YogurtA super easy recipe for Cold Start Instant Pot Yogurt, you’re going to love how delicious and simple this is to make at home. Making your own yogurt allows you to control the ingredients and sugar content. This recipe for no-boil yogurt includes notes for making unsweetened or sweetened batches. {Pin this recipe}

Two glass jars of yogurt topped with berries, granola, and mint

Homemade Cinnamon Almond ButterLearn how easy it is to make delicious Homemade Cinnamon Almond Butter at home. This healthy snack only tastes sinful but it is Whole30, paleo, and keto-friendly. {Pin this recipe}

homemade cinnamon almond butter on a spoon with a jar

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola BarsPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are a delicious and easy real food treat made in your own kitchen. Bypass the overpriced packaged bars at the store and make your own with just a few simple pantry ingredients! {Pin this recipe}

Three granola bars with chocolate chips on a piece of parchment

How to Freeze Potatoes Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing potatoes to save a ton of time and money. Learning how to freeze potatoes for side dishes, soups, and fast meals is a great way to preserve this staple of so many recipes. {Pin this tutorial}

a bag of diced potatoes on a white board with whole potatoes and parsley

Homemade Ramen Noodle BowlsAn easy favorite comfort food recipe – Ramen Noodle Bowls are a crazy tasty 15-minute dinner. Everyone can build their own bowl with their favorite mix-ins and toppings. {Pin this recipe}

chopsticks holding noodles over homemade ramen noodle bowls

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes –  Whip up a batch of delicious Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes for an easy and healthy breakfast. Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and freezer-friendly, these pancakes are so tasty!  {Pin this recipe}

a stack of gluten-free chocolate chip banana pancakes on a plate

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Lots of people were getting un-lit on our Virgin Mojito this week. Let’s take a look at the other top posts y’all were enjoying.

  1. Instant Pot Iced Tea and Tea Concentrate – this post blew up from nowhere this week. I think people realized that paying $5 for a plastic cup of iced tea from Starbucks was pure insanity. Why not make 10 servings yourself for about $2? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Pickles – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Make Brown Sugar – er’body was baking last weekend for Easter!  {Pin this recipe}
  5. How to Make Powdered Sugar – frosting was a hot commodity for our Overnight Cinnamon Rolls and people needed powdered sugar!  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Around Wednesday this week, I threw an epic internal, “make a 4-year-old proud” temper tantrum. I was so OVER taking recipe photos. 100% over it. So I took a pause for the rest of this week, which means you’ll see some repeats of what was supposed to be for dinner last week.

Monday:: Peanut chicken on the grill + a new recipe I need to photograph. Because I was a giant child last week and didn’t wanna.

Tuesday:: New Instant Pot recipe I am working on.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Thursday:: Breakfast for dinner plus a new bread recipe I need to photograph that didn’t happen last week. See above. 🙂

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Cheese tortellini we bought from the milkman last week, with salad on the side.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

What We Bought This Week:

Smith Brother’s Farms: $28.43. No photo but it was: lactaid milk for Jack, 2 Tony’s cold brew’s for Troy and me (local company), 2 things of Cucina Fresca (local company woot woot) cheese tortellini, dozen eggs, and buttermilk.

Local micro farmer: $11 for 2 quarts of pea shoots (we use them just like lettuce). No picture. They’re green. Does that help?

Local butcher: $40 for chicken breasts. The total order was $80 but I split it with a neighbor.

 

 

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20 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. ‘ a pearl clutcher
    ’ – I AM TOTALLY USING THIS! – I picture a ‘1950s Donna Reed church lady type’ like Dana Garvey on the 1980s Saturday Night Live show.  That was hilarious. I do enjoy your posts.

  2. When my husband was younger, he broke his nose brushing his teeth. He went to lean on the toilet with his knee, slipped, and banged his nose. Glad you didn’t actually break yours.   I’ll share your Kindle story, he’s sure to get a kick out of it. I’m also suggesting Hall of Shame to him. Thanks for the rec!

  3. Laughing about the Kindle. Seriously I have pulled up the covers and punched myself in the face. It’s not just you. But…. it’s still funny!!! (And I laughed after I squawked at myself, because, duh!)
    We have a guy in my town with an old fashioned car who drives around with a 10-foot Teddy Beat, a giant Shrek and a giant Easter Bunny – he did that all last week. He hit 80 streets or more, by my count on his post on our community Facebook page! So nice! the guy is 80! It took him four days of outings. So many ppl smiled. That’s what it’s all about.
    Oh man what a pain about the cinnamon rolls. That’s harsh.
    I have it on my list to make the granola bars. I wish I had some alternate nut butter (giggle) to make them with because I am not such a fan of PB but I am not sending hubby out.
    Yeah I live in yoga pants. Just putting that out there LOL. I do find that having a relatively strict sleep schedule puts me into a good mood. Every day I have a list – most days I’ve set it up the night before – of what I want to get done. Like mask sewing, organizing, cleaning, nap (everything gets scheduled!), work, etc. Honestly, since i work from home anyway, I know what day it is and they haven’t blended together. It’s actually harder to get myself to go out and walk – I need to schedule that in. My bad!I also need to be better about calling friends. Texting is just not the same. It’s helpful for, like, the store, but “live” human “contact” is important.
    I am so thankful that my lifestyle and income have not been affected by this and my heart just really breaks for those who are in the food bank lines. I am sooo heavy hearted about the growing out-of-work group. I encourage everyone to help out in whatever way they can.

    • What a sweet man! I bet it gives him as much joy as it brings others.

      Do you have whole almonds or cashews and a food processor? You could make almond or cashew butter for the granola bars.

      Here’s a fun idea: make calls to friends when you’re out on a walk. 🙂

  4. Mind blown on the powdered sugar instructions!!! Thank you 😊 

  5. Girl, I wore work clothes every single day, including a blazer even on Fridays so I’m sure not wearing pants with a waistband in this unscheduled two month work from home!  It is, literally, the only bright spot many days!!  Other than texting you, obvs 

    • Haha, I knew the yoga pants thing would not be popular! But I just can’t focus on work if I’m not dressed for work.

      Texting me better be the bright spot. 🙂

  6. What breed are the new girls? They look like my red sex links who are amazing but we unfortunately lost one this week. We think to a fox.

  7. Your rules for working from home are spot on!  I learned quickly during my first maternity leave that showering and getting dressed are non-negotiable to my mental health.  And now that I’m doing teletherapy and have to see myself on a screen much of the day, it’s definitely good for me to look somewhat decent!

    When my kids were little and always waking me up super early, I used to dream of the day we’d all sleep in.  Well, they all sleep in now but I’m always awake by 6:30 at the latest!  Normally I get up at 5:00 and wake them up at 6:00 so I’m used to having that hour to myself in the morning and I really value that time.  So it works out well that I get up early, wake them up at 7:30 for breakfast and a walk, and then we all get ready for our day.

    Yesterday I went grocery shopping and bought enough food to last us a couple of weeks, so now I need to plan out how I’m going to use it all.  I think tonight we’re going to have fajitas with beans and rice.  I know Wednesday we’ll get take-out because we have a birthday parade to drive in around dinner time so we can grab something on our way home.  Other days we’ll have smoked pork chops, chicken biryani, beef stew with dumplings, and gnocchi with vegetable sauce.  I also bought some chicken sausages, some with poblano peppers and queso, and some with jalapeños and cheddar and as soon as my kids know they’re in the fridge they will be demanding those for dinner.  With mashed potatoes so I can make extra and they can have fried potato cakes the next morning for breakfast!

    • Showers are non-negotiable for me because I do not have the kind of hair that can go more than 24 hours without washing. Heck, it probably could stand to be washed every 12 hours. Lol.

      I think if you have queso in the house, the meal plan pretty much makes itself! 🙂

  8. I feel like my husband and I are actually getting more in shape during this shelter-in-place time. We don’t drive to the indoor track at the gym; we walk over to a park near us and run around a baseball diamond, outside, sometimes on a slight incline, sometimes into the wind, and I’m being less of a wuss about 40 degree running weather (go home, April, you’re drunk!). We’re not driving a lot of places, and on days we don’t run we get the kids out for a walk. We’re doing a lot of yard work. And our Lenten resolution (just him and me) to stay away from desserts and sugar is sticking, because when we did have sugar on Easter, we realized we wanted more, and we felt gross, so sugar is just for kids in the house now.

    On another brave quarantine note, I had my husband cut my hair yesterday. Just a blunt cut to get the dead ends off (I was going to get a haircut this month before my son’s First Communion and yeah….that’s not happening). He did a great job! Actually best haircut I’ve had, ever.

    Chew-bawk-a, ha!

    • Adult temper tantrums are totally understandable! I’m on a dishes strike again. I was all the dishes I use, but refuse to wash anyone else’s. I basically just close my eyes when I walk past the sink. The hubby did wash a large chunk of them yesterday. We will see if they get finished today.

      I made the granola bars this morning! I am waiting for them to cool to room temp so I can pop them in the fridge. I’ll comment on the post with all our substitutions once we try them.

    • I’m definitely more physically active but my sugar intake is out of control. I’m starting a sugar reduction tomorrow with a friend of mine.

      Wow that’s great about the hair cut! I’ve seen some turn out not great. What a happy surprise about yours.

      • Ha, I basically wanted a blunt bob (my hair was long enough to finally getbrid of some old layers) and I sat in front of a mirror and showed him how much. I said just cut straight along, no layers needed, and he said, “I don’t even know how to do layers.” I’ve been cutting his and the kids hair for 20 years, so now it’s his turn! And bonus, when you cut itbat home you can hop in the showet, wash and style it exactly how you like it. I may never go back to SuperCuts!

      • “I don’t know how to do layers” HA!!!!

        I cut the boy’s hair and always do it right after dinner so they can clean off during shower or bath time.