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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

How many times can someone walk up and down the stairs with a toddler before they go absolutely insane from the repetition of it all?

Asking for a friend.

I’m a huge fan of self-sufficient kids, but the constant refrain of “Bennett DO IT MOMMA” is wearing thin. I get that it is important for development and is totally age appropriate. But trying to remember to start heading to the car 15 minutes earlier than we need to leave, just so he can walk down the stairs by himself is losing its appeal.

Speaking of crazy toddlers, we have yet to burn a fire in our (fairly new) woodstove this fall because of one little blonde pint-sized punk. Troy discovered that Bennett can now reach over Fort Knox (the baby gate fortress around our woodstove) and touch the top of it. While Troy was trying to figure out how to raise the gate, like the 1970’s mom that I am, I said: “well, he’ll only touch it once”. I’m just glad that Troy didn’t have CPS on speed dial because the look he gave me….

Thanks to Pinterest, we found the inkling of an idea and then made a plan to adapt it to our baby gate. Assuming, of course, we can make it happen. We have such different tastes when it comes to well, everything related to home decor. Picking anything we can both agree on is painful and takes months. There is a reason why everything in our house is grey, white, and blue. Because that is all we can agree on. Hence why my sewing closet is so bright and colorful that it could possibly burn your retinas. I walk over our beautiful area rug daily and think back to how we almost had to go to marriage counseling over selecting a damn rug. And then I also think that the rug needs to be cleaned.

I have been acting as the assistant coach for Jack’s soccer team for most of the season. Bennett is often our team mascot/bench warmer/equipment manager (he kicks all the balls and throws cones) many games. He loves to watch Jack play, but his favorite is when Jack is on the bench when his coach subs out the kids.

My mom’s memorial went really well. We didn’t take a headcount, but my church was fairly full. I was a bit more of a hot mess than I anticipated, but what are you going to do? I gave a eulogy(ish) – I read most of this postΒ along with another story. My mom’s best friend since 1962 spoke as well, and my Dad told the story about wanting to break up with my mom after six months of dating. My nanna told my dad that if he did that, she would disown him and adopt my mom. πŸ™‚

There were people who came up to me at the (all chocolate) reception who shared that they were in their forties and my mom had been their kindergarten teacher. There were so many of her former colleagues there; it was weird to see all the teachers I grew up with. I kept expecting to get in trouble or have my card turned for talking out of turn.

My friend Elaina flew up from Los Angeles for the day. It was so nice to see her, but hopefully, our next visit is on happier terms. The love and support of in-person friends and those keeping us in their thoughts were much appreciated.

She got sick of us teasing her for being short. So I won’t say anything about it, ok?

If I spent the start of the week honoring an amazing person, I spent the end of the week with a heavy heart. Last September, a dear friend was diagnosed with a brain tumor the same week my mom was diagnosed with cancer. That friend is now on hospice and never opens her eyes. She can’t communicate except with an occasional hand squeeze. Her husband and I spent about 45 minutes talking about gardening and our respective trials and tribulations (damn you morning glory) and did our best to include her in the conversation. I think he was desperate for a normal mundane discussion. And I 100% understand that desire. My superpower is the ability to make quality small talk with anyone, so put me in coach, I’m ready to play.

There were tears on my part; some during the visit and some on the way home. Things are too fresh for me and I’m having a hard time separating my feelings from the two situations. But in addition to the sadness, there is a determination in my heart to live life and love life. Our time here is very precious and worrying about situations I can’t control or rude dipshit people sucks away from the joy that can be found in our everyday. Making it a point to remove my head from my own ass more will be a lifetime goal for me.

My dad is now off on his extended fishing trip. We’ll see him when we see him. He left two days after my mom’s memorial. He was busy packing up the RV and everything and left while I was in my bedroom folding laundry. I got a call 20 minutes later saying “oh sorry honey, I forgot to say goodbye”. πŸ™‚ On a good day, his memory isn’t great. And this was a week of none of us being 100% or all too quick on the uptake.

3 goals + playing clean and not like a rabid ahole = fro yo reward

I am headed to Denver at the end of this week to see my friend Anne. It will be a quick, kids-free trip and I’m so excited. Jack is bitter beyond all belief, but this trip isn’t about him. I love Denver (and Anne) and am so looking forward to getting out of my own space for a bit. And since it is Denver in October, I’ll be packing for 80-degree weather…and snow.

This week there was a definitive shift in our Seattle weather and Fall came roaring in like a boss. I’m over sweating all the time. I’m happy to be wearing socks again. And layers. We had a random windstorm sneak in at the end of last week, and leaves are now everywhere. I switched over to our flannel sheets and it is pretty much the best decision I have ever made.

Remember last week when I said it was my goal to try to run a 9-minute mile? Well, I did it! And honestly, I have no desire to ever do it again. πŸ™‚ This week I only got a few runs in. Life happened.

The best part of that run was the fact that I was wearing newish black underwear. It had only been washed a few times, and it bled some of the dye onto my skin. Nothing says “you’re looking pretty” like seeing stretch marks highlighted on your greyed out ass. Dear Penthouse.

Mile 6: 9:55
Mile 7 (happened same day as mile six): 8:23
Mile 8: 10:33
Mile 9: 10:09. I really, really, really had to go to the bathroom during this mile. It should have made me run faster, but honestly, I thought I was going to have an issue if I pushed myself.

Since it is the 15th, and my goal is to run 31 miles before the end of October, I’m going to have to double up all next week. Who has two thumbs and isn’t looking forward to that (points to self)…this girl. But I know I can do it, and I always feel a bit proud of myself when I’m done.

I took the zucchini and cucumber plants out of one of the raised beds this week. The chickens were thrilled with the leaves and vines, and I found three more medium to large zucchini growing that I hadn’t seen. I made a double batch of Chocolate Zucchini Muffins to freeze, but I ran out of ripe bananas before I ran out of shredded zucchini. I ended up freezing two quarts of shredded zukes and that will make two more batches of muffins at some point in the near future. Simply thaw the shredded zucchini overnight in a strainer placed over a bowl. Squeeze excess water out, and use like normal shredded zukes. I have contemplated maybe canning some zucchini next year, but it seems like a waste of canning lids when it is so easy to freeze. Have you ever tried canning zucchini?

The empty garden bed will get a hefty dose of composted chicken crap and then garlic will be planted in it post haste. Garlic is my favorite crop ever to plant because it is foolproof. You plant it in the fall, cover it with some straw, and then harvest it when it looks dead in July/August. It really is that easy.

Five (six?) years ago I bought some seed garlic from Azure Standard for about $16. I planted it that first year and saved the best heads and planted those that fall. The next year I saved the best heads and planted those later that fall. And so forth and so on. Each year my crop has improved and grown stronger because it is acclimated to my soil and my climate. And some chicken crap doesn’t hurt either.

That initial cost of $16 has kept my family in garlic for at least half of a decade. Life is good here on the micro-farm.

I am working on a new Instant Pot breakfast dish for you all. I can’t wait to hammer out the details and share it. In the meantime, I’ll just keep eating this delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, chocolate concoction. Life is tough sometimes. How is this my job? πŸ™‚

Did you miss any posts this week? It was a pretty food-heavy few days on this ole’ blog. I shared:

Garlic Bread/Crack Bread

garlic bread

No Knead Bread

no knead bread

My photoshoot helper. He does a great job holding the “bounce board” to help reflect light.

Roasted Broccoli With Cheese Sauce

broccoli with cheese sauce

Cranberry Sauce to help you win the holidays

cranberry sauce

Meal plan time! Everything this week is meant to pull from our freezer and pantry. I ended up spending over $100 on chicken at our local butcher earlier in the week. It’s good to have a fully-stocked freezer, but it was more than I anticipated spending.

Monday:: Homemade tomato soup, salad, and biscuits.

Tuesday:: Beef stew (trying it in the Instant Pot), salad, and leftover biscuits. We’ll fill up Jack and my nephew with warm wholesome food before they head out to soccer practice.

Wednesday:: Orange “fried” tofu in the air fryer, rice from the Instant Pot, and salad.

Thursday:: Breakfast dinner. I need a fast and easy soccer night meal. I cook and freeze bacon and sausage in huge batches. I also always have a bunch of homemade pancakes frozen and ready to reheat for quick breakfast. Basically, all I need to do is make some eggs and slice fruit.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: I’m leaving the boys some homemade frozen pizzas. And veggies. But we all know only the pizzas will be consumed.

Sunday:: Troy can figure it out. πŸ™‚

Smith Brother’s Farms: $19.97

Fred Meyer $54.15:: The Kettle ChipsΒ were on sale and I had a coupon. The apple cider is from a farm in Olympia and was marked down because all the jugs were super sticky. I’m guessing one of them burst or something? Rather than simply clean the containers, they marked everything 50% off. Noosa was the Friday Freebie. The puff pastry was on sale, and the Fred Meyer app had a $1 off coupon. Boom. I like to keep the puff pastry in the freezer for an easy meal of Savory Puff Pastry Sandwich Bakes. Plus I really needed to get my order total to $50 to get the 200 bonus fuel points and I was only at $48. Troy drives a truck 120 miles round trip to work (he works 24-hour shifts, so it is about 10 trips a month) and those bonus fuel points represent a huge savings for us.

Costco:: $50.43. We love those Nature’s Bakery fig bars. I almost never get them, but they’re on rebate right now. The flavor is great, they’re not too sweet, and the ingredient list is legit and not creepy af. I hate the plastic tubs that the croissants come in now, but I save them for other uses. They work great for taking items to potlucks or other places where you don’t want to have to deal with getting your container back.

I was in charge of dessert for family dinner. That pie was tasty!

Trader Joes:: $33.04

Local butcher: $104.65 for a butt ton of chicken, and then $13.93 later in the week for burger.

What are you having this week?

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6 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. I canned zucchini one year when I had a HUGE crop, ran out of freezer room, and made more pickles than we could eat. I just sliced it about half an inch thick, and put it in jars with water and a little salt. My Dad claimed it all, and used it to make zucchini lasagna. He said it was great, and would love for me to can more again. Sadly, I have since moved, and cannot grow zucchini here to save my life. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.

    • Did you do long slices or more like rounds? I’m intrigued!

      I have a hard time growing zucchini most years too. It seems counter-intuitive since it is pretty much a weed.

  2. I pickle zucchini (only I call it courgette!) using this recipe (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/681665/crunchy-courgette-pickle) and just keep it in the fridge, we are much less into water bath canning here, but I reckon you could just do it for 10 minutes or so. It’s great in cheese sandwiches. Also there’s a great courgette pizza recipe on Smitten Kitchen and I’ve used frozen shredded courgette on that!
    As to what I’m eating this week, I haven’t gone my act together to plan it but it will feature soup as that’s what’s in the fridge!

  3. Hi Sarah,

    I know you mentioned it before but could you go over how you cook up a whole package of bacon or sausage and freeze it? I guess I more curious about how you thaw it and how it turns out. Is it still crispy?

    I’m bummed I missed the Friday Freebee. I love those Noosa mates, especially the honey pretzel peanut. I’m sure any benefit you get from the yogurt is immediately cancelled out by all those “toppings” but damn if it doesn’t taste good.

    What an absolutely beautiful picture of the boys at soccer!

    Have a great time in Denver!

    • Yes! I line a large rimmed baking pan with foil and lay the bacon out flat. I bake at 400 degrees and flip after 20 minutes. Then I cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on how thick the bacon is. This is in a regular oven. I have a friend with a convection oven and hers is done in about 12 minutes.

      I transfer to a plate lined with layers of paper towel to absorb extra grease. I allow it to cool completely at room temperature, and then wrap all of it in a piece of paper towel folded together. Transfer to a freezer Ziploc. To heat up, I simply microwave for about 20/25 seconds.Some parts of the various pieces may still be a bit cold. If you have time to let it sit at room temperature to thaw a bit before microwaving, it will definitely heat up more consistently.