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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Curses, Foiled By Rain

I had planned on doing a lot of grilling, but obviously had not paid attention to the weather report. Instead of beautiful spring days, we had a lot of clouds and wet stuff Monday  afternoon through Thursday. I guess I could  have done it anyway but I don't like to cook while dodging raindrops.



Planned:
1. Veggie meal
2. Huli huli chicken, rice, mixed greens
3. Tuna steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes
4. Leftover spaghetti dinner, tossed salad
5. Out to eat
6. Steak, baked potato, tossed salad
7. Big salad dinner TBD

VS

Reality:
Sunday: We had gone to our local produce stand and were surprised at the variety he had. Our purchases sealed the deal on our veggie meal.
Black eyed peas, okra, tomato slices

Monday: This is the one leftover meal TheHub never says no to. I am pretty sure it is because I save the sauce only and cook fresh pasta to serve it on. As long as it work, I am not complaining.
Leftover spaghetti, tossed salad, hot dog bun garlic bread

Tuesday: TheHub went to Cracker  Barrel for lunch Monday. They have a deal with. the purchase of an entree you can buy a mini meal (one of 4 choices for the main dish and a side) for 5 bucks. It is enough (with an added veggie) for both of us at dinner. It is pretty much a no brainer .
Meatloaf, Mac and cheese, squash and onions, sliced tomatoes

Wednesday: We had a little minor issue to deal with and had to head out of town unexpectedly. Thankfully I pulled some soup from the freezer to thaw before we left.
Vegetable soup, cornbread

Thursday: It was still raining and foiled my plans for steak. Instead I punted and grabbed some smoked sausage from the freezer.
Conecuh sausage, leftover smashed potatoes, green beans, tomato slices

Friday: Neither of us were very hungry, and I had 3 different types of soup in single serving containers frozen for lunches. I dumped all three in the same pot. It was not delicious but it was fine.
Soup, crackers

Saturday: While we were out and about doing our Saturday morning thing, we rode by our local fish monger and decided to see what he had that looked good. And this is why I keep a lemon in the fridge nearly all the time.
Scallops, corn on the cob, coleslaw, Italian bread

Whats next?
1. Sandwich meal
2. Tuna steaks, asparagus, some sort of potato, coleslaw, Italian bread
3. Salad, tuna dip, crackers
4.Veggie meal TBD
5. Huli huli chicken, tossed salad, maybe rice, maybe not
6. Steak, baked potato, tossed salad
7. Out to eat

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




Monday, April 8, 2024

The Week That Was

Returning home from a trip and getting the house ready for guests was a little hard on me. There is clean enough for us to live and a little cleaner than normal for guests. I have not begun the great purge in the upstairs rooms so they had not been cleaned other than a cursory cleaning since Christmas. It needed a lot of spiffing up.


Monday: I needed TheHub to go back to work so I could do a few things I wanted/needed to do. My Beloved Sister came over and we visited for a little bit before doing a little joint business we have to do monthly.
I talked with Sluggy for just a minute before I was interrupted. I will not be able to speak with her until she gets back from the cruise. Bummer for me,  but good for her!

Tuesday: I spent most of the day doing laundry.  I needed sheets on the beds in 3 bedrooms, along with towels and washcloths needed for four nights. The joy was not doing the laundry, but having it done.

Wednesday: I spent the morning cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming upstairs, moping floors that can be mopped, dusting (again), fluffing all throw pillows, rearranging the table scape in the dining room, (It still looked a little too Easter-ish.) and doing all those little things you do before houseguests arrive. I had time to shower, put on fresh clothes and makeup, and have a little unwind time before they got here.

Thursday: I was up early and ready for the day when they wandered downstairs. While we were waiting for the 13 year old to get moving we saw 2 gorgeous goldfinches in the apple tree. I always have beautiful birds in the backyard, but this pair was brilliant .
After breakfast I took them to my happy place, to meet the participants of The Independence Place. We walked into a dark room, said hello and were pelted by foam "snowballs". Evidently once I called to say we were coming they decided a snowball assault was the best way to greet us. I am not sure you could have a better ice breaker than that. 
My company really did enjoy meeting them, and all joined right in the "snowball" fight.
We went out for a late lunch, then they decided they wanted to go to a local garden.  While they were at the garden I ran to the grocery store. I do not shop for kids anymore and we don't have things kids want  like milk  (or Little Debbies) at our house. A few years ago we started using almond milk in cereal and that is truly the only thing we use milk in.  If I am baking I use reconstituted powdered milk or evaporated milk, neither sounded appetizing to 13 and 9 year olds. I guess Fruit Loops do call for the real thing.
When they came back we had dinner, some conversations, then they headed for bed.

Friday: They had planned a quick trip to the Space Center in Huntsville. I probably should have gone with them, but I needed to do a few other things at the house, including going back to the store to pick up a couple of things for dinner. I made sure the meal would hold since I had no idea when they would be back. I am glad I cooked early because they came home much sooner than we expected they would.

Saturday: We had a slow morning while the 13 year old watched Rainman. Several of the participants at Independence Place are on the spectrum and she was interested in learning more about it. 
After she watched it we met Son2, Dil2 and TheHub's cousin B at a restaurant near the zoo.
The youngest sent a message to his middle sister  who was in L.A. having a solo vacation with their parents, saying "Call me. I'm bored'. * Bored until the talked turned into a male kid friendly subject and then he came alive. Nothing like mild toilet humor to crank up a 9 year old guy. 
They visited the zoo while TheHub and I ran a few errands. While they were in the area they took a side trip to Vulcan. It was not a great trip for my SIL because she is afraid of heights.
Son2 and DIL2 came and joined us for dinner, before we watched Alabama's game in the Final Four. Even though they did not win it was still great they made it that far. The 13 year old was a very gracious Georgia fan and actually rooted for Bama.
Son1 and Pip went to Phoenix and were at the game. They sent pictures during the game, and afterward where Pip got to meet a few players and got her Alabama sweatshirt autographed. In the photos she was grinning from ear to ear. So we have created a PNW native Alabama fan! They are coming for Thanksgiving because Pip wants to go to the Alabama/ Auburn game. Guess who will make sure she has tickets?

Sunday:  They woke had a leisurely breakfast then got ready to head back to Georgia, after stopping to go to church where a friends Son in Law is the minister. TheHub and I had a slow day watching the final game of the NCAA women's basketball tournament, and watching Alabama Softball. We both dozed off at some point then woke in time to see the end of both games. TheHub was pulling for Iowa, but I wanted South Carolina to win. And of course we both wanted Alabama to win the softball game. I lucked out with both teams winning.  I wish we had bet something like the loser had to cook dinner! I am always too late with my brilliant ideas!

Look for your joys no matter how small. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

* If I am being perfectly honest I was getting bored too. The mark of someone who acts old is someone who talks about their ills and the medical conditions of everyone around them. When she was alive my mom used to say no one wants to have conversations about the sick, afflicted and dying. I agree! 

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Meals, Meh

As is often happens in my life, things do not go according to plans. So, what's new?


 And who cares anyway? It's just food!

What was planned: 
1. Hamburger with all the fixings, fries
2. Baked chicken, rice, asparagus, cooked carrots, tomato slices
3. Large salad meal TBD
4. Ruben sandwiches, coleslaw
5. Grilled tuna steaks, mashed potatoes, green beans, tossed salad
6. Grilled Huli Huli chicken, seasoned rice, mixed greens
7. Chicken stuffed peppers, tossed salad

What happened:
Sunday: This meal was so lackluster it is really not even worth mentioning.
Bowl of tomato soup
Monday: I had not even begun to think about dinner but always keep a few hamburger patties individually frozen in a gallon freezer bag, I grabbed two of those to cook quickly. I also keep instant potato flakes on hand all the time. I usually use them in recipes, but hey sometimes you have to grab what is available and run with it.
Hamburger patty smothered in onions, mashed potatoes, tomato slices

Tuesday: I was getting the house ready for company and did not want to have anything but the basics. Chicken and green beans were in the freezer and cooked quickly. I always have the makings of coleslaw on hand so it was a no brainer.
Chicken, green beans, coleslaw

Wednesday: Company came in, I was tired from getting everything ready for them and I was tired.
 Take out meal

Thursday:  The day was gorgeous and perfect for doing a little grilling.
Grilled tuna steaks, garlic smashed potatoes ( the real thing) , tossed salad, dinner rolls

Friday: Our guests went to Huntsville for the day to explore the Space Center. I had no idea when they would return and wanted to have something that would keep easily in the crockpot.
Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad, dinner rolls

Saturday: Son2 and DIL2 came over for a ball game meal pre-final four viewing. 
Hot dogs, baked beans, chips

What may or may not happen this week:
1. Veggie meal
2. Huli huli chicken, rice, mixed greens
3. Tuna steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes
4. Leftover spaghetti dinner, tossed salad
5. Out to eat
6. Steak, baked potato, tossed salad
7. Big salad dinner TBD

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


Monday, April 1, 2024

The Week That Was

This week did not start with a bang, got better (much better for me at least) followed by the sadness of leaving Portland, a couple of ho-hum days and ending with more happiness. I guess you could say it was a mixed bag of nuts.



Monday: Sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning I heard weird noises. It urned out to be TheHub who had contracted a severe stomach virus. He was sick as a dog hugging the porcelain throne while the contents of his stomach made a repeat appearance. He finally settled enough to sleep a little. Once he was down, I got ready for the day and met Pip in the restaurant downstairs for breakfast. She was feeling a little under the weather too, so Son1 picked her up after breakfast and his meeting. 
By about 1 I realized TheHub needed to see a doctor. I am very thankful, because of his job, he had a working relationship/friendship with a doc in Portland. We called him and he arranged for TheHub to be seen immediately. (Especially thankful for Son1 who drove to the office in an area of Portland I was unfamiliar with.) 
A  couple of prescriptions and a ton of Gatorade along with some rest at least allowed him to sleep through the night. (Fitful sleep but at least it was sleep and not another night of hurling)

Tuesday:  We had planned and already bought tickets for a tour of a bean to bar chocolatier, Creo. TheHub thought he would feel like going but I made a judgement call to nix that idea. Instead Pip invited her friend to go with Son1 and me.  The tour was interesting and I learned a lot about the growing, shipping, winnowing, pulverizing and finally preparing chocolate for bars and candies. 
Each person on the tour was able to create a bar of their own. I chose red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and candied ginger flakes for mine. (It was fabulous) 
I am not sure what Son1 did with his, but Pip and friend went full kid on theirs with tiny m&m's sprinkles, nuts, more sprinkles, more nuts, and more m&m's. You were encouraged to name your bar and they both named theirs Unicorn poop. They were unimpressed with the name I gave mine__Annie's.
After the chocolate tour we walked back to the hotel. We have stayed at the same place the last four or five visits to Portland because it has a large indoor pool where Pip and friend swam for a couple of hours. TheHub roused and sat on the pool deck with Son1 and me for a bit, but then he needed to go stretch out for some healing rest. 
After the girls had enough of the pool and accompanying hot tub, they dressed and we went to the hotel restaurant for a light dinner before they went home for the night.

Wednesday. The day was cold and rainy but it was a much better day. TheHub felt somewhat well, and ate a little oatmeal before we headed out to pick up Pip. We had a shopping day planned and headed to Ulta to look at everything she "needed". I told her she was lucky she is the only grandkid as she walked out of the store with a bag of things to make her feel, smell, and look more beautiful.  
Our next stop was Crumbl cookies because she "needed" those too. 
Finally we made our way downtown to the Nike store. It seems she also wanted a pair of white and blue Nike high tops.  
It might seem like we were excessive, but we see her twice a year on a good year. I don’t have the advantage to have her spend the night with us and go grab a burger or see a movie.  When we are there we have to make up for lost time. And we love doing it.
We drove back to their house and watched a movie before eating dinner. DIL1 had made a pot of chicken noodle soup with TheHub's stomach in mind. It was delicious soup and such a good thing for him to have to eat. I am very lucky to have her as a DIL. (I am actually lucky to have all three, and could not love them more.)
We visited with them a bit more before returning to the hotel.

Thursday: Son1 and Pip came over to the hotel, ate breakfast with us then stayed until it was time for us to head to the airport. We do try to be at any airport about and hour and a half ahead of our flight, just in case there are any snafus. We had an uneventful boarding but sat on the tarmac for a while. There was a slight mechanical issue with the latch on one of the toilet doors. It delayed us about 45 minutes, but thanks to the tail winds we arrived in Dallas close to our scheduled time.
Alabama was playing basketball and there was a bar next to our gate with a TV tuned to the game.  TheHub stood and watched until halftime when we boarded our connecting flight. We had planned on watching it on Live TV offered by the airline, but it was not operational. We had no idea what had happened until we landed close to midnight  and discovered Alabama had won by 2 points. I was surprised, but glad for them.
I was even happier to be able to sleep in my own bed.

Friday: I slept in then washed all of our dirty laundry and got things in some semblance of order.  TheHub came home from work early, we ate mac and cheese (what TheHub thought he could stomach) then settled in to watch Alabama softball, and Tennessee and whoever they played. I was having trouble getting to sleep so I read___until about 3:30.

Saturday: We got up and did our usual Saturday running around. We were especially happy to see our favorite produce stand has opened again for the season. They will there Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until November, and now we have gorgeous tomatoes. They had sold out of cucumbers before we got there, so I will be sure to be there Tuesday morning to snag some.
We came home, ate lunch and watched Alabama softball lose to Kentucky. 
I read a little more then it was time to start watching basketball. I am not sure how it has happened but Alabama advanced to the Final Four for the first time ever___Amazing!

Sunday: It was a drop dead gorgeous Easter here.  We went to church and got to see all the families with children (and some without kids) standing in front of a flower bedecked cross for their annual church Easter photo. The children were precious and the weather was perfect for all the Easter frocks they were wearing. 🐣
We had no plans for a big Easter dinner after church,. Instead we came home, ate a sandwich, and watched basketball games.
In the early evening Son2 and DIL2 came over for supper. We loved seeing and visiting with them, even working in a FaceTime visit with Pip,. 
While we were in Portland, I bought Son2 a ghost pepper white chocolate truffle and she wanted to watch him eat it. I think she was kind of happy to see him do it, but would have liked it even more if she could have seen steam come out of his ears.

Look for your joys, they are always out there, no matter how small.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

March Reading List:
The Girl Who Lived Twice
Remote Sympathy (I have been reading this between library books and it took a while to finish)
North Woods 
The Things We Keep
The Silent Corner
The Librarianist
We All Want Impossible Things
Child Finder


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Starting From Scratch

Since we ate out nearly every night while traveling last week there was no following a menu plan so there is no reason to list what we had. It was anywhere from really good food to just plain fodder. We ate, we shared meals and conversation with family, rinse and repeat.

Once home we ate simple meals like cheese and crackers, canned soup, or mac and cheese.

This week we need to be more conscious of what and how we eat, since we may have overindulged both with meals and spending. I plan on using what I have on hand only buying a bit of produce. Don't think for a minute this will be a hardship. My freezer and pantry  runneth over.


Possibilities for the week*
1. Hamburger with all the fixings, fries
2. Baked chicken, rice, asparagus, cooked carrots, tomato slices
3. Large salad meal TBD
4. Ruben sandwiches, coleslaw
5. Grilled tuna steaks, mashed potatoes, green beans, tossed salad
6. Grilled Huli Huli chicken, seasoned rice, mixed greens
7. Chicken stuffed peppers, tossed salad

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

* This is all subject to change for we are having houseguest for 4 nights. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Joys in Our Week

Most of the week was rather ordinary, but it held the promise of ending with a bang! Lucky for us! Though the work week ended with rains, winds and icky weather, neither of us cared because we were headed to see Pip. And even a rainy day with her fills us with sunshine.




Monday: This was like most of my Mondays. I try to have little planned so I can get things done to make the rest of my week run smoothly.
The St. Patrick's Day table decor was put away until next year, and an Easter tablescape is now in its place, along with some moderate Easter decor in the foyer. I like to have seasonal things out, but I like it to be simple enough that it is easy to put away once the occasion is over.
The best thing that happened Monday was a phone call with Kim's own Sissy! Lucky me!

Tuesday: I mostly stayed at home with the exception of running to Publix to pick up a few of their ad items that would be leaving that day. 
Before, I have mentioned the only use the tub in the master bath gets is to hold toilet paper. Usually I have 5 packs in there at all times. That is why during the great toilet paper shortage of the covid crisis, I had no worries about securing said item. I always bought it whenever it was on sale so I always had an abundance.  
Well, Monday when I was cleaning the bathroom and was going to vacuum the tub (yes this is how I clean a never used bathtub) I noticed only 1 1/2 packs were left. Panic set in until I could get to the store and buy my beloved Angel Soft at it's sale price. Whew! I dodged a bullet and even though I was not at my preferred number, I was at least comfortable with 3 1/2. (I think each pack is supposed to equal 36 rolls, but I believe that is for much smaller rolls that are now counted as regular rolls. Toilet paper math! Go figure!) And now I can breathe a little easier and even though not fully stocked, I at least have a good base. 
We will be  having house guests for several days once we get back from our trip, so I probably need to get a little more. ( At least 3 more ) 
Fingers  crossed, someone has it on sale this week.
Who ever knew toilet paper could bring such joy?

Wednesday: What a glorious day! I went to class, did a little running around and came home to people actually laying sod. I am very glad because it had been sitting in a truck for 2 days and there was no way I would pay for grass that died because the landscaper let it sit too long. The men he had doing the work did a nice job, and I thank them for that. Working with this particular landscaping company has not been the best experience. 
I got to talk with Sluggy which is always a fun thing. I do enjoy laughing with her.
After a take out dinner, TheHub and I watched more of "The Chosen". 

Thursday: I was able to do all the laundry and start putting  together the outfits I will be wearing while we are in Portland. (Who am I kidding, it will be mainly jeans and various tops ) It is going to be a little cooler and rainy/misty while we are there. I have put most of my cool weather clothes up for the year, but still have enough in the closet that I should be ok. I even managed to partially pack. We had tickets to a play Friday and I wanted to be all but done before we went to see Hadestown.
In the evening I had a call from Pip and Son1. According to both of them she had rather see us than go to Disneyland. I am calling that the highest praise possible!

Friday: I woke, got dressed and was about to run a few errands picking up a couple of things I needed to pack when the phone rang. It was Pip on her way to school, who wanted to know what she could bake for us to have when the plane landed. She has no clue that just seeing her is a big enough treat for us. I do love that child!
I did head out to the store later and once home I packed everything I could think of that I might need. If I forgot anything crucial I knew I could buy it there and if I forgot something non critical ___too bad!
I had changed our theater tickets to Hadestown from Sunday to Friday night. We did enjoy the play, but not necessarily the timing. Our normal tickets are for Sunday matinees. There was a big concert happening  in the same complex at the same time as the play. Sunday's rarely have conflicting events and it makes parking a non-issue.

Saturday: We woke, finished all the little details we needed to do before we left, then headed out for the airport. Woo hoo! Our flight to DFW was uneventful and we even found a food court with a basketball game on TV so we could watch while we had a snack during the layover. 
The real adventure began when we boarded the flight to Portland. The two ladies sitting in front of us were having a good time.  A little loud but seemingly good natured. We should have realized when they downed their first Bloody Mary before we left the tarmac that the flight would be interesting.  It was, and ended with one of them falling flat on her face when it was time to deplane.  It was sad.
The upside of the plane debacle trip was getting to baggage claim and seeing the most beautiful girl in our world running to us with her arms wide open. 

Sunday: TheHub and I woke, had breakfast at the hotel then drove to Son1’s family’s house to pick up Pip and take her to that wonderland of shopping, Sephora (her request).
 When I was in the fourth grade the only skincare routine I had was to wash my face with Ivory soap. After all it was so pure it floated. I do remember if it was winter and my face was chapped I would smear some cold cream on my cheeks, and if I was sunburned in the summer I used Noxema to take the sting out of an over red face, but that was it for my self care. This generation pays much more attention to things than I ever did.
We wandered around the store before she zeroed in on the exact brand she was looking for. She had 50 bucks with her and wanted 3 different things but her 50 would not cover it.  When I told her I would buy one of them for her, she LET me buy her the most expensive one. 
Not to be left behind, I did buy me a cheap (by Sephora standards, but still a little more than CVS ) lip gloss. Yes I am a high roller!
After our shopping spree, we went back to their house to watch Alabama basketball. They won by the skin of their teeth and move on to the Sweet Sixteen.
Dinner and visiting followed, then it was time to go back to the hotel and get some sleep. 
I was thrilled to be doing things with them!

Look for your joys. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne




Sunday, March 24, 2024

How Did The Plans Go?

This week required little time or effort on my part. Some meals were simply reformatting leftovers, some were takeout or restaurant meals and some just happened. It does not matter since we were fed, had no real food loss, and we made it to Portland to see the most beautiful girl in our world



And on to our meals

Monday Plans: Cabbage soup
This used the remaining cabbage and carrots from St Paddy's meal. I had chicken broth I had frozen and some Conecuh sausage also in the freezer. I did use the rest of the onion from the fridge, but also had to cut a new one. I threw in some of the sun dried tomatoes for good measure and some chopped celery.
It was good, not great, but good. I am going to have to eat it every day for lunch so it will be gone by the time we leave for our trip. I think I will be good and tired of it by then.

Tuesday Plans: Ruben casserole, mashed potatoes
Neither of us were particularly hungry, so I booted the potatoes. The meal was tasty but we are fond of the taste of sauerkraut, and I had loaded  the dish with it.  The one serving that remained was frozen for a lunch some day in the future.

Wednesday Plans: Tacos with fixings
We decided to just run out and pick up a chicken dinner from Jacks. It was neither bad nor good, but it was fine and I had no cooking .

Thursday Plans : Taco Salad
TheHub had tacos, I ate a taco salad. It worked for both of us with leftover taco salad for my Friday lunch

Friday Plans: Whatever 
We had theater tickets and decided to go early and eat somewhere close to the show. Some C/W superstar (I have no idea who he is) is preforming at the same complex and limited parking would be even worse. Going early and eating nearby was the best solution. At least that is what we thought might happen. It seems na large portion of the people going to the C/W concert *arrived very early and the restaurants were packed. 
Once the theater opened TheHub found something from the concession stand to snack on but we waited until we got home and ate a pb& j.

Saturday Plans: Whatever
We knew we would be eating on the plane and had pre-ordered our meals
I had a fruit and cheese plate and TheHub had some chicken dish. Mine was better

Sunday Plans: Whatever
We knew supper would happen but had no idea what or where. We let Son1's family drive the meal train and wound up eating. Pizza at their house while watching basketball. 

Whats happening this week?
Monday - who knows
Tuesday - who knows
Wednesday - who knows
Thursday - who knows
Friday - either something from the freezer or take out
Saturday - see Friday
Sunday - Easter meal  Stuffed boneless leg of lamb, asparagus, rice pilaf, mixed greens salad, grape salad and something for dessert (no clue yet)

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

*After standing in line for the theater doors to open we were able to observe hundreds and hundreds of Zack Bryant (I finally found out the dudes name) female fans. I really do need to get in touch with his tour manager because they need to rename this the Boots and Butt cheeks tour.  Boots and Daisy Dukes were the fashion choice of the night.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Small Things That Made Me Happy

This past week I found joy mainly in the small things, but this week things should change from small to grand. Well at least grand in my small life way of thinking. The week should begin with a whimper, but end with a bang.  We are leaving to go visit the most beautiful girl in my world, and I can't wait to see her.



Monday: I really do like to start the week with a pretty thorough refrigerator inventory, since food loses generally originate there, mainly in the produce drawers. Everything looked good, and should last through the end of the week's menu plan. And with grocery prices being what they are, that is a true joy. 
Other than doing a ton of weekly organizing, laundry and food prep, my biggest joys were talking with all three of my sons, plus my granddaughter.
TheHub was tired and went to bed early, so I (who had not seen but one movie nominated for an Oscar) watched Poor Things. After watching it I understand why Emma Stone won the best actress award, but the movie itself was definitely not my cup of tea. The movie style reminded me of The Grand Budapest Hotel, but the subject was vastly different.

Tuesday: I woke to a drop dead gorgeous day. My favorite, and only, handyman was at the house by 9 a.m.  We had a list of chores for him and he is excellent at what he does, but will only accept jobs for things he is good at.  I have yet to find anything he does not do well.
I asked him to paint the stairs (built last summer and had time to age before staining). Our deck is in three parts, covered and screened, covered and unscreened, and the third part is open to all the elements with a southern sun exposure. It does require a bit more care than the other parts. When I looked out he had stained that entire part of the deck, because he thought the new stain on the stairs made the rest of that portion of the deck look dirty.  He is a jewel!
I also got to talk with Sluggy, which always means laughs!

Wednesday: This was another gorgeous day. I had my normal Wednesday class, did a little shopping, talked with Sluggy again (laughs aplenty) did a little reading, and then realized I had a few more grocery items to buy. 
The deck was bone dry so the steak meal was on go! For the first time in eons, I had none in the freezer and headed to Publix. My mistake! We usually share a Porterhouse steak and they had none. Instead I bought a New York strip, and we found after grilling it there is a reason I try and buy meats exclusively from The Pig. Lesson learned!

Thursday: My Beloved Sister went with me to Independence Place for our volunteering day. Since it was pi day it only made sense to have them make individual pies. Chocolate was a no brainer and we did a little experiment making peanut butter pie using instant vanilla pudding as a base. The pb pie was a success and  pi day was a hit!  We might do something similar in the fall with pumpkin  or apple hand pies. The days I volunteer there are the very best days I have. When I call it my happy place I am not exaggerating. 
When TheHub came home we took my car to Costco to fill it up. Their gas price still beats everyone else in town. Once the tank was filled we drove to our favorite neighboring restaurant for dinner,
.

Friday: Friday was a rainy and overcast morning, and even though the rain stopped mid morning I was able to stay home all day . My one disappointment of the day? I forgot to call My Beloved Sister, disguise my voice and say "Beware The Ides of March"
TheHub and I watched Alabama basketball get trounced. Oh well, no more basketball until March Madness begins.

Saturday:  We had a "dolottle" Saturday. Each of us had some things we worked on separately around the house, then we came together to watch Alabama softball (they were killed by Georgia) and finished the series "Masters of the Air". We really did enjoy watching it. 

Sunday: It was a gorgeous but much cooler morning when we headed to church. Neither of us have green clothes so as our bid to St. Paddy's Day, TheHub wore green socks and I wore a green necklace and bracelet. We are both mutts, and I am sure we both have some Irish hidden somewhere in our family trees.
Once home we messed around with separate projects, set down and planned some activities and trips for after TheHub's retirement, watched the selection show for March Madness, then sat down to eat the American traditional St Patrick's Day meal. 
I had never corned a brisket at home before and it was a delicious experiment. I will be doing it again. When I bought the whole brisket and butchered it, the flat was so big I cut it in half and froze them separately. There is still one in the freezer along with the point I froze for smoking.
We have been streaming "The Chosen" nearly every night during Lent. Because we will be out of town most of next week and have most of season 3 left, we watched 2 episodes. By our calculations watching it this week and once we return we should finish the last episode on Easter Eve.

Look for your joys, they are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

March Reading:
The Girl Who Lived Twice
Remote Sympathy (I have been reading this between library books and it took a while to finish)
North Woods 
The Things We Keep

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Dinner Plans

I'm ;ate posting this. We had a normal Sunday, and to be perfectly honest I rarely am on the computer on Sundays.  I do not like to find myself going down wormholes when TheHub is home, and I might if I started scanning sites.


This song is not for the easily offended

Monday Plans: Chicken cacciatore, sautéed zucchini, spinach salad
The leftover bucatini from TheHub's spaghetti night last week was used as the bed for the cacciatore. Instead of having the zucchini as a side dish I just cooked it as part of the chicken dish. I used just a small amount of the spinach for the spinach salad, and it was moved on to become a veggie side dish during the week

Tuesday Plans: Steak, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, tossed salad 
It was the perfect day for cooking steaks outdoors, but the handyman came and painted the deck the grill is attached to. Punt time.
Low carb chicken Tuscan soup
The chicken left from the rotisserie chicken lunch Sunday, and the chicken broth from the same bird became the basis for the soup meal. I had a bunch of spinach left over from Monday, along with about a cup of the sauce the cacciatore was cooked in. It all went in a soup pot along with sun dried tomatoes, cauliflower, and Italian seasonings.  A little cream and a dash of Parmesan cheese turned it into a really good meal with enough leftover for at least 3 lunches. Steak meal moved to Wednesday

Wednesday Plans: Steak, mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, chopped salad
The mashed potatoes were left over from the weekend, the onion and bell pepper (still about 1/4 of each left)  for the chopped salad were leftover from the cheesesteak waffle meal. There was enough steak for shaved slices to move to the weekend. There was also a half carton of mushrooms to move to a later meal.

Thursday: Out to eat
We plan an evening out every week, and Thursday was the night we chose.  We went to the place closest to our neighborhood, The Electric, for a couple of flatbreads. TheHub always has the original. I generally get the wedge salad, but my mouth wanted something more exciting so I chose the pyromania flatbread. Wow it was perfectly hot and tasty.

Friday Plans: BBQ chicken, coleslaw, potato salad
I forgot TheHub had bought a meatloaf/ mac and cheese meal when he at lunch at Cracker Barrel earlier in the week. It had to be eaten right away, so we shared the meatloaf, TheHub had the mac and cheese, and we both had green beans. Nothing moved forward to the next meal. Chicken meal moved to Saturday.

Saturday Plans: BBQ chicken, coleslaw, potato salad
As dinnertime got closer and closer and I had still not made the potato salad, I punted. The  potato was tossed in the microwave, some cooked shredded chicken was pulled from the freezer and thawed.  I used the shredded cabbage from earlier in the week, the bell pepper remnants, and about 1/4 of the leftover onion  and sun dried tomatoes were tossed with an oil and vinegar dressing for coleslaw. The chicken was sauced and used to stuff the baked potato.

Sunday Plans:  Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes
I had corned a beef brisket over a week ago for a St. Paddy's meal. We had invited Son2 and DIL2 for dinner but they were working on their house and did not finish until much later. Since they could not make it I booted the potatoes and cooked each of us a carrot instead. We have a ton of food leftover.

This week's plan: 
I am only going to plan Mon- Thursday. We have plans for Friday night and will be going to see Pip on Saturday and will not be home for a few days.

1. Reuben casserole, cucumber tomato and onion salad
2. Cabbage soup, cornbread
3. Sandwiches TBD, coleslaw
4. Taco salad

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




Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Oops, I Forgot

Even though I have had all these joys from last week already written, I forgot to post it yesterday.
I seem to be a day behind. In fact I seem to be behind in everything I do, or want to do right now.  Do I sigh, or do I just laugh it off?



Monday: Independence Place fun with My Beloved Sister. Nothing is better for my soul than to go there. This time they made pancakes. Only one participant wanted plain pancakes and only one wanted blueberry. The rest chose chocolate chip pancakes for their treat. There is no where else I go that I feel so much love.
TheHub and I  rode up to the bluff to see the sunset, but we were a little too late. The afterglow was still beautiful though.
 
Tuesday: I am counting the privilege of voting as my big joy for the day. I was dismayed at how few people turned out to vote. When I was there I counted only 6 people voting. How sad is that?

Wednesday: TheHub and I had an early evening meeting that lasted a tiny bit longer than we thought it would. Even though it took a while, it was very productive and things look decent as TheHub moves toward retirement.  I am just glad we had planned to go out to eat. 

Thursday: Little housework, lots of reading. Is there a better joy than that?

Friday: This was a miserable rainy day. It was perfect for catching up on laundry, while reading, then reading a little more. 
After dinner TheHub and I watched Napoleon. I do think Joaquin Phoenix was too old for the part, but he did a good job of playing him.

Saturday: We stayed at home on Saturday and cemented plans for our upcoming Portland trip. We also watched Alabama basketball and softball. 

Sunday: We went to church, did a little running around afterward and came home to watch Alabama softball. Florida spanked Alabama.

Look for your joys, no matter how small they are out there!


March Reading:
The Girl Who Lived Twice
Remote Sympathy (I have been reading this between library books and it took a while to finish)
North Woods

May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne


Sunday, March 10, 2024

Not Exactly What I Had In Mind

This cascading meal plan did not go like I thought it might. TheHub has not been feeling great and the meals I had planned were just not what sounded very good to him. Luckily I could just "shop" from things I have on hand to satisfy his tastes.




Monday Plans: vegetable "crab" cakes, fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw
I booted the fries and hushpuppies. Instead we had the faux crab cakes, coleslaw and dinner rolls. The only things that were cascading was the coleslaw which was processed but left undressed for another meal and about 3/4 of an onion which will move to the chicken casserole

Tuesday Plans: Chicken cheesesteak casserole
TheHub was not feeling well and only wanted cheese toast and ginger ale for dinner. I was not going to cook for just me so I had cheese toast and dill pickles. The casserole will move down the menu.

Wednesday Plans: Out to eat
We had a meeting Wednesday in the early evening, and planned to go out to eat afterward.

Thursday Plans: Chicken cheesesteak  casserole, green beans
The chicken that was cooked and frozen last week was thawed for the cheesesteak casserole. I had frozen green beans that were eaten as the side dish.  Nothing was left to cascade to another meal.

Friday Plans: Cottage pie, green beans 
The coleslaw was dressed and served with cottage pie.  Cooked and frozen ground chuck from last week’s bbq cheeseburger waffle was used in the filling. Extra mashed potatoes were made to be used with Sunday night’s meal.

Saturday Plan: Steak or chicken cacciatore
Neither of us wanted to have a steak or chicken cacciatore . TheHub found some of last week’s spaghetti sauce in the freezer, cooked  some bucatini and called it a meal. I had a frozen tv dinner with leftover coleslaw.  His meal smelled and looked much better than mine.

Sunday Plan: Lunch: Rotisserie chicken, coleslaw 
 Had to make more coleslaw, dressed enough for lunch and  saved the rest for this week’s meal. Removed the chicken from the bones after we had lunch, then simmered the bones for 3 hours. I wound up with about a quart of chicken broth to use in a soup meal
Dinner: Grilled tuna steaks, mashed potatoes or caulimash, and tossed salad.  
The only things moving forward are about a cup of both mashed potatoes and caulimash.  

Coming this week:
Steak, mashed potatoes, sautéed  mushrooms, tossed salad
Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots
Black and blue salad
Chicken cacciatore, sautéed zucchini, spinach salad. 
BBQ chicken, coleslaw, potato or caulitato salad
Soup TBD based on what is left from the meals from the week
Out to eat or sandwiches

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








Monday, March 4, 2024

Back to Joys

Well, it looks like I am back to a more traditional joy list. At least for now I am. I am trying a different way of meal planning and preparing which might or might not work. Nonetheless this is what I am going to be doing, and I am all right with it.



Monday: I stayed at home and spent a good deal of the day in the kitchen. My time there waffled between advance cooking for the week and inventorying my pantry and fridge. I am loaded with food for the moment, and probably need to have a dinner party to use some of it. If that is not a first world problem I don't know what is.
Additionally I was able to catch up on my laundry and have some quality reading time.
TheHub and I decided for the Lenten season we would watch (or rewatch for me) all 3 seasons of The Chosen. Having the app on the FireStick makes it very easy.

Tuesday: Oh wow it was gorgeous, really warm, and blue, blue skies. Had a phone call and long conversation with Sluggy., It is always a joy to laugh with friends. 

Wednesday: Another gorgeous day happened. I did get the coat closet completely emptied, cleaned out and decluttered. Several things either went into the donation box for the exchange club, or found new homes via my community Buy Nothing facebook site. Getting rid of an overload of stuff is a real joy.

Thursday: What happened? Our day started off as a gorgeous day, then it got cooler! I declare this a personal foul. Once you give me warm days, I think they should continue.
The landscaper finally put the sod in the places that were disturbed when we reconfigured the front yard. We only signed the contract with him before Thanksgiving. Not timely at all but at least that part of it is done. I am still not sure where the sod for the side yard is.
TheHub and I went out to eat for a little casual celebration dinner. (The only criteria for the restaurant was to have a really good vodka martini because sometimes toasts are in order) 

Friday: The day was overcast with intermittent rains which is fine, but it was cold. I thought I was done with sweater weather, but I guess not.
I had to run to the bank and post office and when I returned home I sat in the car counting the number of robins in my front yard. I managed to count 21 at one time before the flock was spooked. We have robins year round, so I am guessing these were migratory birds stopping for a bit of refreshment before heading north to herald spring.
Because you cannot do too much of a good thing we went out to eat again. We were at a sports bar/restaurant with a gozillion TV's. While we ate we sort of watched "Friday Night Heights" (women's gymnastics. Alabama was in a meet with LSU. After we ate we came home and finished watching it. I have no idea how they do all the things they are able to do with their bodies. Call me impressed!

Saturday: We did our usual Saturday morning running around, talked to Pip and planned our next trip to Portland. While we were riding on a couple of back roads to go to the grocery store, we saw something we have never seen before___a baby coyote, by itself standing on the side of the road. You have to understand we do not live in a remote area and the babe was on a side street that runs parallel to a 5 lane road. It made me sad to see it alone, but . . . .
Once home, we watched Alabama softball (back to back games) then watched Alabama men's basketball.
I think if Alabama had a tiddlywinks team we would watch it.

Sunday: I woke at 4:30 and could not get back to sleep so I hopped up, drank coffee and read until time to get ready for church. A lot of time we go out for a quick lunch afterward, but we came straight home and ate here. We both had a few things to do before getting ready to go to a gallery showing one of our neighbors had. We really do like this particular neighbor quite a bit and went specifically to hear the "artist talk" with a very talented facilitator who asked interesting questions. I have known she was an artist (actually both she and her husband are) since they moved in, but it was a lot of fun to hear her stories of her career in art, along with her inspirations.
When we returned home we watched "Masters of the Air". If you have Apple TV and are looking for a good series, this might be for you. I would call it the air force equivalent of "Band of Brothers" 

Books read in January:
Demon Copperhead
Paper Names
Symphony of Secrets 
Mardi Gras Murder (Because it's Mardi Gras time)
5 O'Clock Band        (Ditto)

Books read in February:
Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk
The Nightingale

Hoping for better March reading  but no book is completed yet

Look for your joys, large or small. They are always out there.
May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne





Sunday, March 3, 2024

Changing Things

I have decided I am going to start posting my menu and food plan on Sundays because I am trying something a little different.

While watching a Youtube video I recently heard the term cascading menu and the vlogger explained what she meant. (I wish I could remember who she was and I would share the link) She makes her menu based on what she will have left over from her meals, cooks or preps items to be used for more than one meal. I thought I would give it a try and plan 2 weeks of meals as a test.


I do not know of any song about cascading anything but I have heard of The Cascades before.

I think I will like the idea of doing this as long as I can make sure we have very different meals using whatever is left, cooked, or prepped at the same time.
I can eat leftovers, but I have to reform them for TheHub. And honestly neither of us love monotonous meals.
Yep, I guess time will tell.

Planned for this week:
1. Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, cucumber salad
2. BBQ cheeseburger waffles, cauliflower side dish TBD
3. Chicken divan (ton of broccoli left over from Sunday's dinner to use)
4. Hot and sour soup, spring rolls
5. Big salad meal TBD
6. Potential celebration meal at a restaurant
7.Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, tossed salad

How this cascading thing actually worked:

Monday:
Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, cucumber salad - scratched the green beans and used spinach leftover from egg bites made and frozen for breakfasts. Instead of mashed potatoes, I served my meatballs on caulirice.

Tuesday:
Chicken divan over rice - used broccoli left over from Sunday's dinner, and cauliflower rice from the Swedish meatball meal. While I was poaching the chicken for for the divan, I cooked enough for the cheesesteak casserole (planned for next week) figuring I might as well kill two birds with one stone. I fortified the poaching liquid with a little Better than Bouillon, because I needed about 2 tablespoons of rich stock for the chicken divan. The rest of the liquid was saved as a base for the hot and sour soup. While slicing the mushrooms for the chicken divan I also sliced them for the soup meal. 

Wednesday:
Hot and sour soup, spring rolls - Used mushrooms and chicken broth from chicken divan night. The hot and sour soup was not vegetarian because it had chicken broth as it's base, but it had no meat or fish in it. In addition to the white mushrooms sliced while making the chicken divan, I added baby bellas. They have a slightly different flavor and a meatier texture. After they were prepped I realized I did not need all the white mushrooms I sliced. I put the extras in some seasoned vinegar and oil to use in the salad meal. 
The spring rolls were just matchstick slices of red onion, carrot, cucumber, celery, radish, cabbage and red pepper. While the red onion was out, I cut several slices to make a quick pickled onion for the chef's salad meal and chopped some for the cheeseburger waffle meal. I also sliced red pepper for the salad and chopped a little for the waffle meal.

Thursday:
Out to eat at The Electric. Flatbread for TheHub, pimento cheese BLT for me

Friday:
Out to eat at Baumhower's . Hot Lips salad for me (very hot sauce brushed on the chicken that tops the salad) Shrimp Po boy for TheHub.

Saturday:
Lunch:
Italian chef's salad (moved to Saturday's lunch) - Used the marinated mushrooms  and pickled onions prepped when making the soup meal. Also used the marinade liquid to make the salad dressing. This was much smaller than it would have been as a dinner meal. I have lots of marinated mushrooms and pickled onion leftover for salad lunches next week.
Dinner:
BBQ cheeseburger waffles, coleslaw (booted cauliflower side dish and opted for coleslaw) - Used the chopped onion from soup night. Cooked ground chuck for next week's cottage pie while cooking for this meal.

Sunday: 
Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, tossed salad - Though we will not have eaten before this is posted, it really does not matter. Nothing was used from any other meals. 
I made and froze then sauce Monday morning  before I ever heard the term cascading menu.  But that does not exclude the possibility of something from this moving into next weeks menu.

The first week was pretty easy to do. I guess the true test will be to see what happens the second week.
 
Week 2 plans:
Chicken cheesesteak casserole, green beans
Grilled tuna steaks, mashed potatoes, tossed salad
Chicken cacciatore, spinach salad, spaghetti
Cottage pie, coleslaw
Grilled steak/w cowboy butter, baked potato, tossed salad
Vegetable "crab" cakes, fries, hushpuppies, coleslaw
out to eat

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


Friday, March 1, 2024

Fuzzy Memories

For anyone who has not read this blog before let me tell you what I am doing in 2024. I decided I would touch every single item in our house, organize every single thing we are keeping, donate or re-home things that need to go., recycle anything recyclable and hopefully have minimum to trash. I have been amazed at the number of items I either had no idea we had or had forgetten about completely.


I am very fortunate that both The Exchange Club and Vapor ministries have trucks that will come to the door for donations, and I have curb recycling every week. Also our community has a twice a year event for hazardous waste disposal, paper shredding, and electronics disposal.  I also am a member of our local Buy Nothing FB group and a neighborhood FB group. All of these make getting rid of things much easier.

I did a seriously bad job of cleaning/weeding rooms in February. Why? I really don't know. I had the time but I just did not use it well. March is going to be a little busy, but I am determined to clean/ organize/ donate at least 2 areas, if not the complete rooms. 



Stuff I found during February clean out and where it was:

Changing Room
  • USB charging port - Neither of us knew we had one. Keeping
  • Mosquito zapper - Bought when we had the lake place, stored and forgotten. Keeping
  • Wooden CD holder - held a bunch of Dad's CD's, 

Upstairs Bedroom 1
  • Outdoor lawn game - No idea we even had it
  • U of A door banner - Thought I got rid of it years ago

Upstairs Bedroom 3
  • 3 tops I did not remember ever buying, 2 still had tags. Keeping

PowderRoom 
  • Bronze soap dispenser

Coat Closet
  • Black hoodie (mine bought and evidently forgotten) Keeping for now
  • 3 games 1 was a gift, I remembered after seeing it. Absolutely no clue where the other 2 came from.  Keeping for the moment
  • Instruction packet for hosting a murder mystery- no clue where that even came from. 
  • 35 mm slide viewer 
  • Hammock 

Given away
  1. Keurig - Buy Nothing FB group
  2. 7- 36" gold balloons (still in package) - Buy Nothing FB group
  3. Travel Master cup for air flights (never used) * - Son3 
  4. Binoculars - Son3
  5. Frank Stitt's Southern Table cookbook - Son3
  6. The French Laundry cookbook - Son3
  7. U of A door banner  -  Son3
  8. Outdoor lawn game - Son3
  9. Vacuum cleaner with bags - Buy Nothing FB group
  10. Drawer organizers - Buy Nothing FB group 
  11. 2 Exchange Club boxes ready for next pick up**
  12. Slide viewer - Buy Nothing FB group
  13. Murder Mystery game - Buy nothing FGB group
  14. Hammock - Son2
  15. CD holder - Buy nothing FB group





*This was a corporate Christmas gift. Does anyone actually need an insulated glass and 3 ounce flask for an inflight beverage. Evidently Son3 does.
** Also started another exchange club box. This will technically not be picked up until March, but they were filled in February so I am counting them as a February giveaway.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Another Week of Joys and Foods

This week I really was off my decluttering game. In fact the only thing I even moderately decluttered was getting rid of some clothes I will never wear again. 
I had a pair of pants I had packed and planned to wear out to eat while we were in Fairhope last week. Fortunately or unfortunately (I will leave this up to you, the reader) the hotel room had a full size mirror in the hallway of the room. You guessed it__I came, I saw, I changed into a pair of jeans, and as soon as we were home, put those atrocities in a Goodwill box. (Had to be the pants right? No way it could have been the person in them). Once I started a load I thought I might as well go through everything hanging and get rid of anything I did not think I would wear again.  Damn mirror!




Monday: I was glad to be back home, able to do a little laundry, get back in a routine, and read a bit__mainly glad to read!
Dinner: I had intended to make a cheeseburger salad, but when I talked with TheHub before he came home from work, he told me he had a big salad lunch. Back to the drawing board! This is exactly why I keep things in the freezer that can be thawed and cooked in a few minutes.
Hamburger patty, sautéed peppers, onions, and super thin potato slices

Tuesday: It was a drop dead gorgeous day, with lovely spring like weather. When I was out driving around I saw daffodils blooming and the shrubs are showing signs of that beautiful spring green. I love it. And a bonus for the day was the sale price on frozen tuna  filets. The day felt like an all around win!
Dinner: I had planned on air frying some chicken, but decided I did not want to have that much clean up. Instead I changed plans a little.
Orange ginger glazed chicken, smashed potatoes, tossed salad

Wednesday: Another gorgeous day in the hood. I woke, got gussied up and went to my weekly class, came home and got everything in order to go to my happy place.  My beloved sister has started going with me sometimes and I love having someone to talk and laugh with driving from here to there. It only takes about 30 minutes which is not a long time, but there is really nothing to see from the interstate between my house and the exit. It's much better to have a passenger!
This time the participants made nachos and as a bonus I had mini moon pies for them. I think they really liked it.
Dinner: We never celebrate Valentine's day on the actual day, and had made reservations for dinner on the 15th. We needed to reschedule because we had to leave town last Thursday afternoon. They had an availability for Wednesday at the time we wanted so we took it. It was the first time I have ever been to Automatic Seafood. What a treat!
Scallops for me, Grouper for TheHub, rolls, and creamed spinach

Thursday: It was beautiful once again. After all the rains we had this winter the gorgeous days are much more appreciated. Now the forsythia is blooming along with a few trees. The best thing is the days are warm enough to have the house open and aired out before the Big Pollen Dump. I fear it is coming early this year.
Dinner: I did not give a hoot what TheHub did or did not eat for lunch. We were having what I wanted!
Cheesburger salad

Friday: It rained in the wee hours  of the morning then the sky was blue all day. Instead of doing any sorting I did minimal laundry, drank a lot of coffee and read.
TheHub wanted to do something besides stay home, so I kind of dressed up (OK I  showered, put on clean clothes and makeup) so I would be ready the minute he came home. It was still light, more like an early twilight. I am very lucky that when you walk out my front door you can see the moon. rising. Friday the sky was a blueish purple with a beautiful full moon. as if that was not enough I could see the glow of sunset through the trees. We hopped in the car to ride up to the bluff, We missed the actual sunset, but the afterglow in the sky was brilliant scarlet and tangerine. I told TheHub we had a bookend sky experience. Dinner: Once had finished looking at the amazing sky, we headed to our favorite "just beyond the neighborhood" place. While there imagine my surprise when I ran into one of my childhood friends. I do not remember a time when I did not know her. She has recently moved to my area of town so I could possibly see her more often.
Wedge salad or flatbread

Saturday: The day was a little cooler, but far from chilly. It was gorgeous while TheHub and I went out to do some errands along with a little exploring. Daffodils are blooming everywhere along with several tree varieties, and dandelions which I find a menace if they pop up in my own yard, are quite beautiful in other folk's yards.
While running around/driving about we decided we were hungry. One of our resolutions for the year is to try new to us places to eat. We had been in a rut and seemed to go to the same 6 or 7 places over and over. Saturday we tried Donato's pizza and had not been there previously. 
Neither of us are huge pizza fans and both chose something other than a red sauce based meal.. The Italian chef's salad was a perfect lunch for me, but TheHub's sandwich looked delicious also.
We got home in time to watch Kentucky skunk Alabama's basketball team. Oh well, then ended the night watching the current episode of "Masters of the Air"
Dinner: While out, we ran by Snapper Grabber to pick up some fish for Sunday's dinner, and also bought  1/2 pound steamed shrimp. I am not a big shrimp fan but an easy dinner is an easy dinner.
Steamed shrimp, coleslaw

Sunday: We went to church, came home and watched a little bit of Alabama's softball game. TheHub had to run into the office, so I read while he was gone. Once he came back to the house we went out, rode around a little then ran a couple of errands before coming home. BTW I am stocked to the gills with groceries now!
Dinner: This meal was not even thought of when I planned my menu last week. I blame the impulsive visit to Snapper Grabber Saturday morning.
Grilled swordfish with yuzu sauce, broccoli, tossed salad.

What might happen this week:
1. Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, cucumber salad
2. BBQ cheeseburger waffles, cauliflower side dish TBD
3. Chicken divan (ton of broccoli left over from Sunday's dinner to use)
4. Hot and sour soup, spring rolls
5. Big salad meal TBD
6. Potential celebration meal at a restaurant
7.Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, tossed salad

Hope you have a great week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all.

Books read thus far in February*
Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk
The Nightingale

Be sure to look for your joys this week. No matter how small they are always out there!
May all your weeds be wildflowers.
Anne

* Seriously bad reading month