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Scattered Sundays

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The year: 1970. The plan: build the ugliest door ever invented while wearing hideous polyester. Mission: accomplished.

Since we moved into this house, I have been haunted by our hideous front door. It’s this incredibly dark wood in a space with no overhead light. It’s like the death star and sucks the light out of our entryway. At last…the time has come for this door to stop mocking me with its complete ugliness.

a large brown front door

It took a whopping two coats of primer and FOUR hours just to get it prepped for painting. I’m tempted just to leave it primed because it’s SO.MUCH.WORK. I would prefer a fun bright color, but the handsome big-calved killjoy I am married to won’t stand for color. 

Originally the plan was to paint it some shade of light grey because we have seven different cans of light grey paint in our garage. Surely Troy and I are not the only couple who can’t agree on colors and just default to “light grey” for everything. Right…?

But, we also have a random can of white paint and are going to use that instead. I’m trying to sack up and get the motivation to finish it this week. Man, I hate painting. HATE it. The good news is, thanks to using scraps from other projects, this door will have cost us absolutely-freaking-nothing. And the refresh brought it from 1970 to 1993.

a large front door painted white

Today is Mother’s Day in the US, and it can be a mixed day of emotions for many people. It is a day of celebration for many, grief for others, and longing for some. Whatever today looks like for you, I’m hoping it involves good food and grace for yourself and others. And whatever you want for dessert. 

The boys (AKA Troy) are making me breakfast, and I’m going to be taking a nice long walk in the sunshine after watching our online church service. It won’t involve celebrating with family like we usually do, but so far nothing about 2020 has really screamed “normal”.

Years ago during the Great Recession, Troy and I made a decision to not give each other Valentines, birthday, anniversary, or holiday gifts. It was dictated by finances (we were broke as a joke), but we still follow it to this day because it’s so nice to just not deal with finding the perfect gift. We do exchange cards, and for the last few years Troy has been making all of mine. He’s pretty talented!

That being said, we do still make sure the “boys” give gifts for Mother’s or Father’s day. You might remember that five years ago I bought myself a clothesline for Mother’s Day (best gift ever). This year, Troy took it upon himself to get me a new hose for the garden, which I desperately needed (the old one was patched up with tape in 3 different places). We’re pretty fancy in the Cook house.

The Couch to 5k  hit a big honker of a week – three days of 25-minute runs. I did the first run on Monday and within 5 minutes of starting, my Achilles was on fire. Thanks to our crazy smart followers on Instagram, I got hooked up with some great calf and ankle stretches.

I also decided to just wait until Friday for my second run to give my ankle plenty of time to recover. The run went really well and nothing hurt (success!). I took a new route and was shocked at how far I got, considering it takes three minutes in my car to get to the end of it.

Friday’s run was dedicated to Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger who was murdered in Georgia two months ago. Friday would have been his birthday, and runners all over the country logged 2.23 miles in his honor (he was murdered on February 23rd). If you were on social media on Friday, you probably saw a lot of #irunwithmaud posts in your feed.

Last week I was inspired by a reader to turn this training into a fundraiser. With that, I have set up a fundraising page over at Feeding America. I’ll be running my 5k on May 27th. If you have the funds to donate $1 per kilometer, we can feed 50 people. You can donate to our efforts here. If donating is not in the cards, sharing the fundraiser on your social email channels is totally free! Many thanks in advance for whatever your support looks like.

If last week was a bunch of “do nothing” in the garden, this week was “do everything“!!!!! We got supplies to rebuild one of our garden boxes that fell apart last year but we’ve been letting limp along for months. The existing beds are at least seven years old and have served us well.

After talking about adding another layer of pavers to our main planting area for like…three years, we finally did it. The vast majority of our tomato plants go in this garden bed and deeper beds rule because it allows the root system to grow bonkers strong. Strong root systems = strong plants = less watering = more sustainable gardening.

the parsley, rosemary, and oregano are out of control!

I’ve also been weeding my dad’s flower garden and goodness it is taking forever. Troy joked we should turn it into a “rock garden” AKA, rip everything out and put in gravel. The weeds and soil are so impacted that my dad finally just said “rip it all out and plant what you want”. I’ve never loved him more.

We don’t have the budget to do anything to it this year, so I’m covering the weeded areas with cardboard and then we’ll top it with woodchips. Next year though…it’s on like donkey kong.

Troy has agreed to let me plant an excessive amount of blueberries, but I’m also lobbying for more raspberries. He thinks that is too much. I think he is wrong. I think we all know how this is going to end up. With me running a raspberry farm… 🙂

I’m planning on planting some asparagus next year too, but that takes 2-3 years before they really produce. The best time to plant asparagus and fruit trees was five years ago. The second best time is today. Or rather, next spring. HA!

Our new chickens are settling in nicely, despite escaping their yard on a daily basis (Troy is building a new fence tomorrow) and hiding their eggs. They’ve even been roosting at night with the older chickens, a definite sign of acceptance. Our friend is still raising some chicks for us and we’ll be adding them sometime this summer. We’ll see how that mixes things up!

One of my recipes was included in this roundup for zero waste hacks to a fun summer. There are lots of great ideas in the article, so take a few minutes to look through it.


Farmbox Direct was founded in 2014 with the idea of connecting people all across the United States with farmers to bring fresh produce to every American’s home, even where there isn’t a farmer’s market readily available.

With peak growing season starting in much of the world, fresh produce is so delicious! If you’re unable to find organic fruit and veggies locally, Farmbox Direct is a fabulous option that our family loves.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I started the new podcast “Motive For Murder” this week because when the producers of Dateline make something, I listen! It is a weekly series, so I’m looking forward to future episodes.

What I’m Reading This Week

Still working on Becoming by Michelle Obama. Still loving it, and still wicked impressed with her intelligence, grace, and wit. My friend Anne recommended Educated by Tara Westover as my next read. I got on the ebook waitlist at the library thinking it would be months before I could download a copy. Whelp, it downloaded to my Kindle the next day, so I need to get my butt in gear!

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Mhairi left this five-star review on Air Fryer Cornbread, a recipe that just came out last week! That was fast Mhairi; I love seeing that. 🙂 {Pin this recipe}:

Made these last week to have with broth we were having. Made them as muffins in silicone molds, they were delicious, already planning the next batch but with cheeeeese. Really want to add some chilli but certain people in this household don’t like hot stuff…

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Cold Soba Noodle Salad – This 10-Minute Cold Soba Noodle Salad is the fast main or side dish you have been waiting for! Packed with flavor, it comes together in a flash using pantry staples. It’s even better the next day, so consider this a meal prep dream dish. {Pin this recipe}

A white bowl filled with soba noodles topped with green onions and celery

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes – An easy from-scratch recipe for the Fluffiest Whole Wheat Pancakes you’ve ever had. These healthy make-ahead pancakes are made with 100% whole wheat flour and buttermilk.{Pin this recipe}

A stack of whole wheat pancakes topped with berries and butter and syrup being poured over it

Air Fryer PotstickersCrispy Air Fryer Potstickers are a delicious appetizer or snack. Baked, not fried, these air fryer dumplings are simple to make and cook in only 11 minutes! {Pin this recipe}

Instant Pot Coconut RiceMake this Instant Pot Coconut Rice for a fast weeknight side dish that the whole family will love! This dreamy rice is delicious even after a few days in the fridge, making it great for weekly meal prep. No pressure cooker? You’ll also find stovetop instructions in the recipe. {Pin this recipe}

A bowl of rice topped with parsley

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Cinco de Mayo flew in this week and positively BLEW UP our Virgin Mojito post. Let’s take a look at the other top post in the last seven days.

  1. Refrigerator Dilly Beans – I’m guessing a lot of people got green beans in their CSA box this week! {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice – as always, non-Instant Pot instructions are included in the post. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Pickles – as always, non-air fryer instructions are included in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Instant Pot Beef Tips – as always, non-Instant Pot instructions are included in the post. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

It hasn’t been deliberate, but I’m finding we’re eating fewer meals with meat in them lately. At the start of the year, I wanted to make sure our meat consumption was more thoughtful. I really haven’t had to make a big effort to achieve this, and not going to the grocery store often might be helping. 

With meat supplies in question lately, it’s been beneficial for our family to just eat less of it. I even canceled our most recent Butcher Box order because I felt we had enough in the freezer. They’re running on a waitlist right now, so hopefully, my cancellation meant someone who needed it got their order. And it will make me appreciate our delivery in June even more.

Monday:: New recipe I am working on, salad, and homemade fries

Tuesday:: Tomato Soup, grilled cheese, and salad.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business

Thursday:: Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings because I need to use up some celery we have (I might freeze the rest, directions here).

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business

What We Bought This Week

Smith Brother’s Farms: $28.05. Jack really wanted English muffins this week, and in our old lives we would have just picked some up. But nooooooooooo. Thankfully, we found some through our milkman and um, the bagels just jumped into the cart for me. 🙂

Azure Standard: $273.93  – soooooo much chicken food (we used to buy 1-2 bags at a time but those days have passed because it’s hard to get to stores), butter (yes, I buy a flat of butter at a time…) coffee, organic apples, and parchment baking cups (for recipes like: Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins, Double-Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, and when I am Freezing Spinach.


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12 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I, too, struggle with too many Kindle library books coming in at once ????. I learned that if I just put my Kindle on airplane mode and get off Wi-Fi, though, then I have all the time I need to finish it even if my loan time is up. Pro tip ????

    • Yep! In fact, I shared that tip on the blog a few months ago. But thanks for reminding me because I forgot about it. To the downloads!

  2. I think you’d love the podcast All Killa No Filla with Kiri Pritchard McLean and Rachel Fairburn, depending on how well you cope with British regional accents!

  3. Love the fundraiser! I also use Wolf Trax, sign up and walk. Your walking earns money for shelter dogs. No fees no money out of pocket. Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Using your baking bacon in the oven for breakfast and dinner today. Woke up to baby snuggles ???? and the hubby made coffee when I normally do on my days off. Hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day. 

  5. Thank you for all you do! We have made a donation your fundraiser and shared the page on social media. Keep being awesome!

  6. If you are enjoying Becoming you might enjoy the documentary by the same name currently available on Netflix.