Saturday, December 31, 2022

And So The Year Ends

I was busy doing other things the past two weeks so I did not get around to posting my joys list, even though I did keep up with the daily joys.Though I did not share them on the blog they are written for me to re-read as I will re-read the list of my joys for the year on New Year's Eve. So this is the last list of my daily joys I will be sharing for 2022, the year that disappeared more quickly than any year I have ever experienced. I guess that is what age is all about__bummer!

Saturday: We had nearly everything ready for Christmas morning so, naturally we decided Christmas Eve morning was the perfect time to go to a little coffee shop near us, sit and have a leisurely breakfast and people watch.
Once we got home I did a little advance food prep for Sunday's brunch, got the dining room table set and ready for the next morning, did a little last minute run through tidying the house (TheHub is the vacuum master__thanks) then hopped in the bed to wait for Santa.

Sunday: Obviously the huge joy was gathering with Son2, DIL2, My beloved Sister, BIL and TheHub for gift swapping, laughing, and brunch . . . followed by football and naps (but mostly naps).

Monday: TheHub's sister came to visit us. It is always so nice to have her here. We visited then had Son2 and DIL2 join us for dinner. Laughs and more laughs happened.

Tuesday: SIL was here but had made plans to go visit with other family members, so I had the day mostly to myself. Once she returned we met some other of their cousins for dinner at Season's 52. The restaurant was not crowded at all so we were able to linger over dinner and have a lot of conversations and laughs.

Wednesday: SIL had made plans during the day to meet some of her high school friends, so again, I had the day to myself. I started taking down some of the Christmas stuff, replacing it with New Year's decorations (very few decorations). After dinner we rode around and looked at some seriously cool Christmas lights in one particular neighborhood.

Thursday: SIL went to visit a couple of longtime friends while I ran errands, and a few more errands. My car had been in the body shop since December 5 and I was in an ill humor driving the rental while doing errands. My left knee pops out of joint easily (which makes me say seriously foul things) and the stupid rental car was not knee friendly. It did not make my knee happy to be hopping in and out of that particular car, but I did make sure to park several cars away from anyone else so that when I did get out of the car they would not hear whatever I was saying under my breath. 
Tameron Honda in Hoover, you are on my hit (did I just misspell that word?) list.
TheHub came home early so we could get our yearly contributions decided, done, and in the mail before we met Son2 and DIL 2 at The Electric for dinner.

Friday: SIL left early in the morning and I began tackling all the laundry. I do not ever start a New Year with dirties. Fresh year, fresh clothes, bedding, and. linens. I think I have a load of towels and, of course, our bed linens left for Saturday, before we get ready for our big NYE celebration. 
My biggest joy, is after a few days of calling the Honda body shop, I finally got my car back. All is right with my transportation world and my left knee is ecstatic.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve, continuing on through the rest of 2023 filled with joys!

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, December 26, 2022

On to the Next Adventure

This is the last meal plan of the year. I guess it will be interesting to see how closely I follow this last chance at actually sticking to a plan. I am including two dinners out this week. My sister in law is here and we are going to try and meet my brother in law and his wife, and also one of the favorite cousins two different nights for meals.

What was planned:
Monday:Restaurant dinner party. 
Tuesday: Grab leftovers from the fridge.
1. Soup, shaved brussels sprouts salad
2. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
3. Potato soup, shaved fennel and apple salad
Christmas Eve: Take out Chinese food (we have done this for decades)
Christmas Day: Our big meal is brunch. Breakfast casserole, ham, cheese grits, asparagus, green bean casserole, orange spinach salad, assorted candies , cookies 

What really happened:
Monday: Outstanding party meal  at Gianmarcos, an Italian restaurant in Homewood.
Tuesday: Leftover (from dinner party)  snapper over sautéed cabbage and white beans with conecuh sausage bits.  It was as good warmed as it was the night before at the restaurant.
Wednesday: Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
Thursday: Potato soup, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing
Friday: Spaghetti sauce from the freezer over bucatini noodles, tossed salad
Saturday: Chinese take out. We split an order of Mongolian beef and each had a spring roll.
Sunday: The main event. Breakfast casserole, bourbon brown sugar meatballs, green bean casserole, broccoli, mushroom roll-ups*, sausage balls, assorted cookies and candies.

What's up (maybe) for this week:
1. Brunch leftovers
2. Soup and salad
3. Chili, coleslaw, cornbread
4. Taco soup, salad
5. Out to eat
6, Out to eat
7. Traditional New Year’s Day meal (Ham, black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread) 

Have a great week staying on plan,  going off plan, or with no plan at all.

*I followed the directions mostly but altered the mushroom filling using parsley, thyme, white wine, garlic and minced onions.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Friday, December 23, 2022

Because I Live In Alabama

This has become a song I share every year at Christmas. I figure since the south (Alabama in particular) has the reputation of being in-bred rednecks I might as well continue to perpetuate that myth.



Thursday, December 22, 2022

This Makes Blogging Worthwhile

They were exciting to receive, so I thought I would share the Christmas Cards I received from fellow bloggers or blog readers.

                    From Lorraine at Clamco (beach card) and Linda at More Parsimony (giraffes)

These are from 2 blog readers Darlene  (arched card) and Meg B (plaid with trees) and another from Linda at More Parsimony

From Treaders at Random Thoughts (angel) And Bobi (candy canes).I think she is a reader but if I am wrong please correct me Bobi.
Sam at  Coffee, money and Thyme (VW bus) and last, but never least Sluggy (cursing Santa)

In addition to the cards I got this beautifully painted rock from Lorraine. I had already taken it out of its package and have it in my kitchen window so I can see it each time I am in the kitchen. Thank you so much Lorraine. After the shortest daylight of the year here it is nice to look up while I am cooking and see the promise of what is coming in a few months.
In a mere 11 months I hope to continue this card swap with my little corner of the blogging world, and those of us who have marveled at how fast this past year has gone will understand Blogger Card Swap year 5 will be here before we all turn around.

Stay safe, and if you live in North America, stay warm and stay inside!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Food For Christmas Week

I am so late with this, but I have been celebrating the season and lost track of the time. I am not sure there is any point to planning a menu this week since it will most likely be anything but what I plan, but here goes nothing.

What was planned for last week (I had no idea I was going to feel so bad when I planned it)
1. Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one dish meal
2. Soup (possibly potato soup ) salad
3. Leftover seafood pot pie (TheHub over ordered Saturday night) salad
4. Chicken and dumplings, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing 
5. Christmas party Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (all three are dinner parties)

What really happened:
Monday: Soup and hot tea
Tuesday: Soup and hot tea
Wednesday: Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one pan dish
Thursday: Take out Thai
Friday Christmas Dinner with cousin
Saturday: Christmas party with amazing food
Sunday: Christmas dinner party

What's up for the week of Christmas
Monday: Christmas dinner party (Already happened and it was outstanding)
Tuesday: TheHub has to go to an office party. About to grab whatever is leftover in the fridge.
1. Soup, shaved brussels sprouts salad
2. Chicken pot pie, coleslaw
3. Potato soup, shaved fennel and apple salad
Christmas Eve: Take out Chinese food (we have done this for decades)
Christmas Day: Our big meal is brunch. Breakfast casserole, ham, cheese grits, asparagus, green bean casserole, orange spinach salad, assorted candies , cookies 

Whatever happens will happen and it will all be fine.
Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

As the year comes to a close, the year's joys are almost over. It will be a lot of fun to read them NYE just to see all the good things that happened during the year. So I begin the last three weeks of 2022 joy posts. That year went fast didn't it!
This new week will be one of intense merriment and anticipation. Can you believe Christmas is almost here? My next joy list SHOULD be on Christmas Eve morning. Fingers crossed it will happen!

Saturday: We went out to eat with Son2, DIL2, and TGS, followed by a ride to see Christmas lights, including the biggest most over the top display I have ever seen. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a pac man light display hung over a manger. There is no way I could even begin to describe all the different vignettes in the yard. We will just say there are elves, fairies, reindeer, multiple Santas, sleighs, lights o'plenty, carolers, and anything remotely Christmasy you could imagine all over the yard.

Sunday: We went church for 3rd Sunday of Advent, appropriately the Joy Sunday. Afterward TheHub and I were going to go out to eat, but decided to just run by Publix and pick up some deli meats and cheese for sandwiches. I did not feel great so we did nothing the rest of the day but drink tea, eat soup and watch movies.

Monday: I felt rotten.  I did get masked up and ran to the post office and to The Pig to get their free items, but then I came home and was worn out, so I sat in the rocker and rocked and read. TheHub had a work party and I was supposed to go but I stayed home, ate soup and rested.

Tuesday: I felt like I had been hit by a truck,  and did nothing all day but drink hot tea and take OTC meds. The joy is that is was not covid, flu or strep which are going around here like mad.

Wednesday: After some heavy Tuesday nighttime drugging, I woke feeling like a different human. Good thing too because my cousin K was arriving Thursday to spend a couple of days here. It gave me one day to get things in order. I started it, but did not finish. Instead I watched the finale of Survivor.

Thursday: K arrived in the early evening which did give me time to get the sheets washed and put back on the bed. We had dinner here and I am not saying anyone overindulged, but 2 bottles of red disappeared while we were eating and talking. (And laughing, lots of laughing)

Friday: K and I made a trek across town to deliver an antique rocker she had brought with her from Texas to another cousin's house. That cousin S has been in the hospital for 20 days, mostly in ICU. She was being released to a private room so we went to the hospital and waited, and waited, and waited and finally got to see her at about 6:15. Hospitals evidently move on hospital time, which is different than the time the rest of us keep. 
Anyway we did get to visit with her for a bit then went straight to the restaurant to meet whoever from the family wanted to see K. Turned out only My Beloved Sister, TheHub and I were there with her. The rest of the cousins had strep, mono, or unexpected grandkid things. Didn't matter we still had fun. And the supreme joy was those with strep, mono or flu did NOT come even though they wanted to.

Have a wonderful week, getting all the odds and ends tied up so we can all have a wonderful holiday.

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, December 12, 2022

A Food Reformation Movement

Just when you think you have all the leftovers done and gone a few creatures rear their ugly heads. Sunday when Son3 and DILl3 were still here, they and their friend wanted Publix fried chicken for lunch. We bought one of the large family packs, but only the three of them ate it so there was quite a bit left over.
I left it in the fridge until everyone left Monday evening, then pulled all the batter off the chicken pieces, removed the chicken from the bone, and stuck it on the freezer.  I also found one sweet potato that had not been cooked,  along with a raw  crown of broccoli that  in the crisper drawer. 
Add that to the small bag of sliced ham I stuck in the freezer, and I wound up with the beginnings for 3 unplanned meals.

I am not even going to bother posting what was planned since I don't think we had a single planned meal. Nothing to do but let what had to happen happen!

Monday night: Ham slices, potato salad, shredded Brussels sprouts with basil lemon dressing (leftover from a few nights ago), almond Kringle (Thanks Trader Joe's*)

Tuesday: Chicken divan (used the leftover fried chicken and leftover broccoli crown) dinner rolls

Wednesday: Sweet potato soup, mixed greens, and cheese toast

Thursday: Out to eat at a local meat and 3. TheHub had chopped steak and veggies, I had a veggie plate.

Friday: Grabbed food  from Culvers,  fish sandwiches

Saturday: TheHub and I met Son2, DIL2 and TGS at a restaurant. No idea what they all had but I had crab chowder and a side salad.

Sunday: Neither of us felt well so it was a chicken noodle soup kind of a night

Ideas for this week
1. Conecuh sausage, cabbage, potato one dish meal
2. Soup (possibly potato soup ) salad
3. Leftover seafood pot pie (TheHub over ordered Saturday night) salad
4. Chicken and dumplings, shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon tarragon dressing 
5. Christmas party Friday, Saturday and Sunday night (all three are dinner parties)

* If you have a Trader Joe's near you go and get one or two of these. They not only are delicious but they freeze very well. They are a little pricy, but so good that I think they are worth it.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Are Leftovers "Used" Food?

With all the Thanksgiving and holiday guest foods left over, the only thing I had to do this week was warm stuff in the microwave. Now we can move on to regular meals. Whoopee!  Surely something will sound good at some point this week, except that I am totally uninspired.

What was planned for the past week;
Stuffed baked potato
Out to eat
More leftovers

What really happened
Monday: Hamburger, iced tea
Tuesday: Leftover ziti, leftover tossed salad
Wednesday: Leftover bourbon glazed meatballs over rotini, leftover (kind of sad looking) tossed salad
Thursday: Leftover chicken pot pie, arugula salad with lemon basil dressing (finally something that was not leftover)
Friday: Out to eat at The Electric. El Paso salad for me, flatbreads for TheHub
Saturday: Tomato soup and oyster crackers (We were not hungry)
Sunday: Tossed salad, crackers and cheese (Again, we were not hungry)

What might happen
1. Stuffed baked potato
2. Grilled cheese sandwich, soup
3. Grilled tuna steaks, tossed salad
4. Stuffed bell pepper, coleslaw, green beans
5. Out to eat
6. Salad dinner
7. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
8. Some sort of quiche because I just found one of those crappy pie crusts (according to Kim) in the fridge

Have a great week staying on plan, going off plan, or with no plan at all.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time is marching

 Oh me oh my, week 48 is gone and I barely (by one minute) got this posted on Saturday. Now begins week 49. The past week is like the others for 2022 and seems like it was over before it even began. Even as fast as it flew it still had joys, large and small. Does it seem like the year should be over this quickly? 

Saturday: Everyone but me went to the Alabama/Auburn ball game. I stayed at home doing some serious cleaning and cooking.  They arrived home for a late chili dinner. 8 of us total. There was a lot of laughter and post game talk.

Sunday: We messed around the house. Son3 did all of their laundry so they could take clean clothes back home with them which was smart since their apartment has washing options neither in the actual apartment nor on the premises. There is a laundromat down the block, but I am glad they arrived home with no dirty clothes.
Son2 DIL2 and TGS came over for turkey pot pie, a little music, a lot of laughs, and very little serious conversation.

Monday: I had to get up relatively early to get Son3 and DIL3 to the airport for their flight home. Their friend had a later flight so he and I talked for a while, went out to grab some lunch (It seems Chick-Fil-A is a destination  meal if it is hard to find in your neck of the woods.) TheHub came home in time to ride with me to take him to the airport. We stopped and picked up a burger on our way home, came home, ate and crashed.

Tuesday: I did not have to get up to cook breakfast or speak to anyone, so I slept until I woke without an alarm, read and started on a mountain of laundry. I love guests but hate all the washing that comes afterward. One of the special joys was that Son3 had gathered all the towels and brought them downstairs before they left. Every little bit of help is much appreciated.

Wednesday: I was supposed to go to class, but was a day off and thought is was Tuesday until it was too late to go. Oh well. Instead I did a little cleaning (very little) and a boatload of reading.

Thursday: DIL1 had asked me if I could find a photo of the bridge over the creek in my parents back yard. My sister, dad, and I lugged cross ties for the structure as well as boards to build the actual footbridge down to the creek when we were teens. We had a lot of sweat equity in that thing and it lasted for over thirty years until one too may floods washed it away.
My older sons loved playing on it and they talk about it all the time. DIl1 is planning on using one of the photos as part of her Christmas gift to Son1.
Long story even longer, the best photos we could find were old 35mm slides. Hmmm, they needed to be in digital form, so my beloved sister and I found a place in town that does digital conversions of every type of film. She went with me and 75 bucks later I had 5 (yes, count them, just 5) photos digitized in a high resolution so DIL1 can have them printed however she wants. Maybe I should count that as one of her Christmas presents from me?
After we left the Image Hive we went exploring, then out to lunch. It was a beautiful fall day with one of my favorite people.

Friday: Errands__I had 'em and did 'em. It was not fun but they are done. Yippee!
I talked with Sluggy just to check on her since she has not been feeling well. To be honest she did not sound great, but with meds and rest she should be good to go when it comes time for the cruise.
TheHub called and wanted to go out to eat. I never say no to that!

Have a great 49th week, finding your joys.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

p.s. I have been reading your blogs at night in bed and can't comment from the Kindle fire.