Monday, January 29, 2024

Cleaning and Eating

The fourth week of January saw me as a true domestic. As I mentioned in a previous post, I plan on physically touching every single item in this house and either putting them somewhere that makes logical sense, giving them away, recycling, or trashing said item (only if it is totally useless, like a bottle of dried India ink I found in my art supply stash). 
Unfortunately this takes a lot of time and requires me to be in the blooming house instead of going other places and having fun. My joys for the week mostly reflect things in/from being at home.
This past week I mostly dedicated to the laundry room, which has become a catch all for everything no one knows where to put. The only way I can face it is to do it sections at a time. I have said before the room is very large with various areas used for either storage or different activities. I have completed about 3/4 of the room and found things I did not even remember I had.
I also think I will start a separate weekly post listing what I found lurking in cabinets, closets, cubbyholes, and any other random place that I either did not know I had or that I decided was just taking up real estate and I was never going to use again, and what I did with them. 
There are a couple of exclusions to things I will likely never use, but they are strictly sentimental items (a few) and I can't say goodbye to them yet because they bring back happy memories of the people they once belonged to.
So instead of having a rocking good week, I became little more than a house servant, and I feel that title will be mine this week too.

Monday: Lots of cleaning in the kitchen and laundry room.*
Dinner: The biggest joy of the day was the fact that I had spent a good deal of the very cold week doing a lot of food prep. After a day stuck in the laundry room and kitchen cabinets, dinner was just a heat and eat meal.
Chili, coleslaw

Tuesday: I spent most of the day in the laundry room, both doing laundry and sorting through a gozillion things that have been stashed in there waiting for someone to start organizing them (It seems like the only person who lives here and sees the need for getting things in order is me) 
Dinner: Meatloaf Mashed Potatoes, Collards

Wednesday: I was still in the laundry room. This time most of the cleaning/sorting was done in a large metal cabinet and the bookshelves. When I say I am touching everything I mean literally touching every single thing, which means all notebooks and binders, looking through every page to see what is a keeper and what is a tosser. There were a couple of joys Wednesday. First Sluggy called, and I talked to her while going through the cabinet. Laughing helps the workload. The second joy was finding things I had  forgotten I had. (like the chalkboard stickers that were actually on my shopping list because I needed some or a notebook full of short stories I had written years ago)
Another thing I realized while talking with Sluggy is that I have enough note cards to write a note to every single person I have ever spoken to in my life.  OK that might be a slight exaggeration, but I will never have to buy another box of cards again. Some of them went into the Exchange Club pickup box, but most of them are personalized and will be going nowhere until I use them. 
Dinner: TheHub called right before he was to go to a dinner meeting for work to let me know it was cancelled. Like that would make any difference to my dinner plans, which would be to scrounge the fridge for whatever was leftover. He opted to be a part of the scrounge plan and luckily there was enough for 2.
Leftover turkey vegetable soup

Thursday: Finally I had a day out of the house with My Beloved Sister when went to Independence Place. Volunteering there always makes my day better, and they seemed to enjoy making and eating individual pizzas. I had a couple of errand to run then settled into the remaining day reading.
Dinner: When I am gone most of the day, dinner is always something simple.
Conecuh sausage, sautéed cabbage

Friday: What can I say? The day was gloomy, I stayed at home, and cleaned until it was time to get ready for the evening.
Dinner: We planned on going out to eat and wound up at Mikey's, which is a wonderful restaurant with fabulous food and casual dress. It fit all three of my qualifications for the night!
Grouper Oscar, asparagus, salad (me) macadamia crusted snapper, salad (TheHub)

Saturday: We had a break from the rain, but there was still a slight drizzle with rare sun breaks. THeHub had some work he had to do for a non-profit he is involved with, so I did a little more sorting in the laundry room while actually doing laundry. We were both home all day (well TheHub did have to make one recreational shopping trip) and ended the night watching the Alabama/LSU basketball game.
Dinner: The break in the rain and warmer temperatures was a great night to fire up the grill.
Steak, potatoes (TheHub) , asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, tossed salad

Sunday: We woke to cooler (colder) temperatures WTH! I have only one dress that is truly warm and told the folks in my Sunday School class if it continued to be cold they would see me in that every week. After church we hurried home, ate a quick bite, and changed clothes before going to see a play. 
We have had  tickets to our Broadway touring season for years and have kept the same seats. The good thing is that they are excellent seats. The bad thing is that they are right under a vent which blows cool (cold) air on us. Normally I do not like to be bothered with a coat , but the day was raw, cold and windy, I decided to take a wool shawl anyway. I was so thankful I did because I could tuck it over my shoulders and wrap up in it while the cold air was blowing on me.
If any of you have an opportunity to see an Equity tour of Aladin, I cannot recommend it enough. It was a feast for the eyes and ears. I was not really happy it was on the schedule for this year, and went in it expecting something much less. I was wrong because it was spectacular. If you get a chance, do yourself a favor and go!
Dinner: After the play we met DIL2 and Son2 for dinner at The Pita Stop. We love seeing them any time, but especially after going to the theater. They also have tickets for the same day and time as ours, so we can compare notes while eating. 
Chef's salad, sauteed mushrooms and whatever they ate

Possible meals for this week:
1. Chicken divan, coleslaw
2. Spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed salad
3. Tom kha gai soup 
4. Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
5. Big salad meal
6. Out to eat (We have events this weekend with meals included)
7. Out to eat

Update- 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)

So that is a wrap for the joys and foods this week. Eat well and look for your joys. They are always out there no matter how small.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

* Once TheHub comes home, I call it a day with whatever project I am working on and we spend the evening together, talking or watching something.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Chilly Joys

This third week of the year was a very unusual week. What started as quite normal for our January devolved quickly as frigid air launched an attack on hot blooded Southerners. They told us it was coming and though we prepared for it, still did not mean I liked it at all.

Monday: I was able to go to my happy place this morning, but instead of cooking we simply had a tea party and conversations. Before Christmas I bought 3 kringles at Trader Joe's, then got another one as a Christmas gift. We had planned on having our neighbors over during the holidays for coffee and goodies, but for one reason or another it did not work out
The pastries would be fine in the freezer, until we ate them but neither TheHub nor I are eating sugar right now. Every year, we use January to clean our  systems of the sugar overindulgence we had in December. Instead of leaving all of them in the freezer, I took two of them with me to The Independence Place and they were very much appreciated. Some of the participants really did like the hot tea and some of them hated it. I kept telling them they did not have to drink tea to indulge in kringle.
Maybe in February we will share the remaining goodies with neighbors or friends.
After a stop on the way home to grab a sale price on ground chuck, I found  a huge package Fedex left on the porch. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get it into the house. It weighed about 45 pounds but the weight was not what threw me. The box was very bulky and I could not get my arms around it to lift it. I decided to just set it on one end and "walk" it into the foyer.
Once it was inside, the assembly was fairly quick and now, thanks to Wayfair, I have a new end table in the den. 
(aside here) Have any of you noticed the new trend in upholstered furniture where the body and back are a solid color and the bottom seat cushions are a print? I would never buy anything so trendy, but I am seriously thinking of making slip covers for the couch cushions. I might like it or I might not, but would only be out the cost of fabric if I didn't. The only downside is it means getting the laundry room in order so I can use my sewing machine, ___maybe not!
Dinner: I had just purchased several pounds of ground chuck and planned on making a meatloaf according to my meal plan. That did not happen
Hamburger patty, grilled asparagus, coleslaw

Tuesday: We did not get all of the expected ice and just had some early morning snow flurries, but we did get the forecasted cold. I had the option of going out or staying in, so I chose staying in because I am not stupid. 
After several cups of coffee, I started back with my year plan of putting my hands on every single thing in this house and making critical decisions on what stays and what goes, while reorganizing everything. I figured a strategy of an hour a day x 365 days should get it done, knowing some days I will do nothing and some days I will spend nearly the entire day at it. Tuesday I got 2 sections of the laundry room done (Have I ever mentioned I might have the world's biggest laundry room? OK not really, but it is a very large room.)
The only joy about doing it is that it is done and I can move to the next section.
I was very thankful Sluggy called so I could kinda guilt free just enjoy a conversation and laughs!
I did put a new vacuum cleaner  together.  (It had been sitting in it's Amazon delivery box in the foyer for a few days. (Why? No idea!) It is going to become the upstairs vacuum but I tried it on the main level floors first. For a very inexpensive vacuum cleaner it does a fantastic job on carpets, and will work well on the upstairs bedroom floors.
Dinner: I had done a lot of soup making the prior weekend, so our dinner was mainly heat and serve.
Turkey vegetable soup, cheese toast

Wednesday: It was very cold when I woke so it was pretty easy to stay in bed and read for a while. Once I got up and went into the kitchen for coffee I made a quick decision, because I had to be nowhere, I was not going outside at all. I have Southern blood after all. Instead of doing anything productive I decided to have a spa day with lotions. potions, masks, and manicures. I will freely admit I enjoyed pampering myself.
And what good is a spa day unless you dive into a good book afterwards!
Dinner: TheHub wanted something different from what I wanted, so I was able to use  the  contents my new Aldi silicon freezer containers to make his meal.
Spaghetti with meat sauce (TheHub), tossed salad (both of us) pickled okra (me)

Thursday: The day had warmed up enough that I could have gone out and about, but I had nowhere I wanted to go. Instead I stayed at home, worked in the laundry room, talked to Sluggy, read, watched Ghost UK and read some more. Other than chores, a load of laundry, and cleaning another section of the laundry room, I did nothing majorly productive.

Dinner: TheHub called me while he was eating lunch. He was craving a veggie plate meal and his former go-to meat and three recently closed. Instead he went Cracker Barrel for his meal. While there he found if you purchase a meal you can get a small to-go meal for $5. He asked if I was interested .  A $5 meal that will feed both of us? You bet I was.
Meatloaf, collard greens, mac and cheese, (TheHub) 2 biscuits (TheHub)

Friday: More work in the stupid laundry room which has become a catch-all. The good thing is that by touching everything in there, it will either be moved to its appropriate place, given away, or trashed. The joy is not about getting the room in shape but in making decisions about "stuff" and following through. 
Dinner: TheHub wanted to go out for dinner. Who am I to object? Luckily we went before the temps started seriously dropping.
Pulled pork, collards, coleslaw (me) deviled eggs (gag), stuffed baked potato (TheHub)

Saturday: As usual we got up had coffee or tea before we did errands and some exploring. The day was cold, below freezing  and windy all day, but the sky was gorgeous! I prefer a little warmer day for hopping in and out of the car, but___
After a couple of quick stops we made a destination trip to a speciality store. 
One of my Christmas presents from TheHub has not happened yet because I have to be with him when he actually gets it. You might be thinking what a wonderful guy for taking her to pick out the jewelry she wants, but you would be so wrong. 
For years I have wanted a stand up bass, and I am talking about 30 years of wanting. Now I have to decide if I will have a used one rebuilt or opt for a new model (or forget about it entirely and just keep on with the wanting). It is pricy, but at the end of the day when I can no longer enjoy it, I have 3 sons who will all be vying for it, so it would continue to be enjoyed. In fact Son2 has already suggested it might be a good idea to keep it at his house instead of mine! 
Little shops like we went to are a dying breed. The owner has owned his for over 30 years and you never hear of anyone now days who wants a career in refurbishing and rebuilding instruments. I wonder if this is the last generation of people who will choose these types of professions.
We got back in the car to talk it over, it was cold and we had not eaten so we tried a little restaurant  that shares space with our favorite fish monger . (The word restaurant is actually too big for the place, but some delicious food is served in that small space)
We continued with our errands, discovered all I need for my phone is a new battery, and picked up a couple of things at the grocery store, then headed home to get and stay warm.
Dinner: It was about 18 degrees when we were about to eat and I was very thankful for the meal preps I had in the fridge.
Broccoli/cheese soup, biscuits

Sunday: We woke to a 13 degree morning in plenty of time to make it to Sunday School and church, but all I had to do was poke my nose out of the door and I wimped out. I know some of you deal with cold for protracted amounts of time. It is not how our winters go and I have no cold weather  "Sunday" clothes . Instead we streamed our church service from the warmth of our house.
Neither of us left the house, except to run the garbage outside to the garbage can (which sits about 4 feet from the basement door) and make sure the pool pump was running.
TheHub did some business from his home office, and I cleaned out the baking center. Like every other thing I organize, I find things that had been pushed back in the recesses and forgotten about. A huge score was finding several boxes of various herbal teas.  I drink way too much coffee and these will be a great substitute for the afternoon and late night cup. 
I also found some unopened red and white candy melts I bought to decorate Christmas cookies I never made. I put them on our neighborhood Facebook page and had a taker in about 10 minutes. I like that much better than just tossing them.
Dinner: After we finished our Saturday lunch at the place adjoining the fish shop, we naturally brought something home with us.
Broiled tilefish, mashed potatoes, tossed salad

Meals for weird weather changes. The highs are supposed to hit 70 later this week???
1. Chili, cold slaw, cornbread
2. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts
3. Conecuh sausage, sautéed cabbage, fried apples
4. Leftover soup, cornbread
5. Grilled Steak, potatoes, asparagus, tossed salad
6. Out to eat
7 Big salad meal
Enjoy your week staying on plan, going off plan or with no plan at all

Books read in January
Demon Copperhead
Paper Names
Symphony of Secrets 

May all your weeds be wildflowers,

Monday, January 15, 2024

And It Is Back

Week 2 of January has come and gone. I am still unsure how that is possible. I also will admit there is a certain joy posting meals and joys together. I am not as likely to forget about either one if they are together. Of course it is only the 2nd week of the year, so the jury is still out!

Monday: This was not a big day around here, but I did have a wonderfully long phone conversation with My Beloved Sister. We were both doing chores and used speaker phone options to provide each other diversions while cleaning. (Neither of us is hip enough to use a blue tooth option) There is joy when laughing while cleaning cabinets.  
There is also a huge joy having my daily coffee in my new mug

Thanks to DIL2 and Son2 who "get" me

Monday night we watched the NCAA football championship.
Dinner: Because the game was going to be played when we would normally eat, we decided to have a quick game day meal.
Grilled cheese sandwich, veggies and dip

Tuesday: I attacked some more places in the common areas of the main level of the house and found several things I no longer wanted or needed. What a joy to have a local Buy Nothing facebook group. I was able to give 5 very nice household items to people who wanted them. 3 of the things had never even been used, so I felt great. Each thing I posted had at least 10 people who wanted it. Whenever my home phone rang I would ask the caller (either TheHub, Sons, Cousin S or My Beloved Sister) to pick a number 1- however many people wanted that item, and that was the person I gave it to.  
Dinner: We met BIL C and SIL P at Evangeline's in Tuscaloosa. We have been trying to get together since before Christmas and it is always wonderful to see them.
Steak, asparagus (me) pecan crusted redfish, asparagus, blackberry cobbler with caramel ice cream (TheHub)

Wednesday:  I went to class, did a little non-grocery shopping, then drove to Independence Place to celebrate T's birthday. Every year each participant has a birthday party, and this year I plan on being at as many as I can make. For the ones I can't get to, I will have a card with a little surprise in it at the party. 
Slightly sad news was the Alabama football coach retired. Nothing lasts forever and I am so very glad the school had him for 17 years. He did a lot for the school and the community in general.
Dinner: Neither of us were very hungry, so___
Veggie beef soup (TheHub) turkey mushroom soup (me)

Thursday: The day was gorgeous, windy but gorgeous. I probably should have gone to the store, but really needed nothing worth getting ready to go out. Instead I had a glorious day doing laundry and reading. 
Dinner: TheHub went to a baseball fundraiser for our local high school team, and I did not feel like cooking just for me.
Cauliflower florets, ginger dressing

Friday: I had planned on being home and organizing/getting rid of stuff. As luck would have it, in the middle of getting rid of things, UPS came with a huge box of dishes. I hate to even admit that, but at least it was not a new set. It was just some additional pieces I added to existing sets. After I unpacked them, I was left with  17x16x14 inch box filled with degradable packing peanuts and that brown waffle type paper used to wrap around breakables. On a lark I listed it on the Buy Nothing site and within. few minutes I got a message from a woman who will be moving soon and wanted it. Whoo hoo! Passing it on is much easier better than recycling
Dinner: Instead of going out like we do most Friday nights, we stayed in, ate a simple dinner and coordinated our calendars for the next 3 months. Afterward we watched an episode from the final season of Better Call Saul
Roasted chicken, tossed salad

Saturday: TheHub needed to go into work for a bit. Some Saturdays he works for about 4 hours because the office is empty and his phone does not ring constantly. Our weather is supposed to turn much colder, so while he was working I was busy making soups, chili and various broths. A little food prep never hurt anyone, and the new week should be a lot easier. (Major joy having part of the week's meals ready)
After he got home we watched Alabama's new coach have his first press conference following  the very quick hire. I have no idea how you convince someone to uproot their family and move across the country in just 49 hours. I know nothing about him but his first impression was good.
We set out to run a few errands before eating lunch. By the time we finally got things done it was after 3 pm.
Dinner: Because we ate lunch so late we did not eat dinner, or maybe we ate dinner at 3, your call. Either way our meal was late afternoon.
Pita sandwiches, tabbouleh, grilled mushrooms 

Sunday: After church we ran a couple of quick errands and gassed up my car for the week. If we are together when I am getting gas, TheHub pumps it. (Joy)  Don't get me wrong I pump my own most of the time, but if he is driving my car and we stop I never fight him to let me do it.
We came home, had a simple lunch, then each of us went our separate ways to do a few things we each needed to get done for an easier week.
We ate before watching another episode of "Better Call Saul". I have enjoyed watching it but we are just a few episodes away from the finale and I am ready for it to end.
Dinner: Our meal came together in two separate ways. I have said before TheHub cannot cook worth a flip, but he is excellent at procuring food. Saturday, while we were running around, he decided he wanted some seafood, so he went to our local fishmonger and bought a pound of steamed shrimp. Meanwhile, after I was reorganizing the laundry room fridge I found a forgotten bag of TJ's cruciferous vegetable shreds (it was just about beyond using), and a huge ham bone. Though I would normally never serve the two things at the same time, it actually worked fairly well.
"Cabbage" and ham soup*, steamed shrimp

Meal plans
It is going to be much colder for us than we are used to. We are kind of cold weather sissies, and I did some serious prep to keep from having to move about too much this week. Life is much warmer sitting under a blanket on the couch and reading while dinner just needs to be heated. Cold weather meals are the name of the game here this week.
1. Turkey vegetable soup (already made)
2. Chili, coleslaw, cornbread (already made)
3. Broccoli cheese soup (prepped just needs to be thrown together)
4. Faux bean and sausage soup (broth is already cooked)
5. Meatloaf, greens, mashed potatoes
6 Out to eat
7. Leftover soup, sandwich , salad

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

January Books Read
Demon Copperhead - Barbara Kingsolver
Paper Names - Susie Luo

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

p.s. Who says people in Alabama aren't smart???

* The soup was probably a little better than it might normally have been because that ham bone
swam in simmering water for about 6 hours.  The broth was some of the best I have ever made, andI have enough to make another batch of soup later. Win!

Monday, January 8, 2024

Shaking Things UP

And so begins a new year and one week is already in the books. This year, because the year began on Monday and I do my meal planning on Monday, I am combining the joy list and meal posts into one.
For any of you who are new to the blog, I keep a list of my daily joys, then on NYE I reread them so I can start my new year thinking about joyful things.

Monday: Happy New Year! 
Son2, DIL2 , and Reesy (dog) came over for our family's traditional New Years\'s Day dinner (which we actually ate at about 2:30 because we wanted to watch the ball game) The game came and went without the outcome we had hoped for. Oh well, life goes on. Roll Tide!
Reesy decided the only place she could be comfortable was the couch. Dogs are not allowed on my furniture, so a compromise was made. I put a blanket on it, she struck a queenly pose,  and stayed there quite contented
Dinner : Traditional New Year's day meal which I have had every year of my life with the exception of the year we were in London the week after Christmas.
Ham, collard greens, black eyed peas, chowchow, pickled okra, pickled peppers, cheesecake

Tuesday: I woke after sleeping a full 8 hours, which rarely happens. I am usually a 5 or 6 hour sleeper.  I truly did feel fully rested, but slept so much I was a little groggy at first. 
I managed to get the house in some semblance of order (Translation: I swept the floors, vacuumed and took a few of the Christmas decorations upstairs, then read.)
TheHub was flying in from Pasadena and my job was to be at the airport when his flight arrived. I will just say thank you for the invention of cell lots. Otherwise I would have been driving in circles forever waiting on the plane to land.
Dinner: TheHub did not want the quick dinner I had planned to make once we got home. Instead we did takeout from Captain D's. Not my favorite but it is ok in a pinch. By the way, their grilled fish is more than decent for a fast food joint.
Fish (cod I assume) with either broccoli and coleslaw, or fish with green beans and baked potato

Wednesday: This was a bonus type of day. Sluggy and Mr. Sluggy stopped by my house for a visit on their way home from the D.C. area. It was so good to see them. Sluggy is still the same person inside, but her outsides have changed drastically! She is just a slip of a gal now! 
TheHub and I were supposed to have dinner with my BIL and SIL in Tuscaloosa, but it was cancelled for the second time. I hope the rescheduled dinner this week works out since both planned dinners the week before and a bit over a week after Christmas had some last minute hitches.
The upside of the dinner cancellation was the ability to see my cousin K who was passing through on her way to or from Fort Worth. I was never exactly sure which direction she was headed, but I try to see her each time she breezes through town. 
Dinner: Several of my cousins had planned on meeting at a restaurant to visit with K and we were able to join them. My Beloved Sister rode with us and it really helped her. She is directionally challenged and would never have found her way to the northern suburbs if she had to drive herself.
It was fun seeing everyone and I am not sure why those of us in town don't get together more often.
Olive Garden fare. Lasagne for TheHub, soup and salad for me

Thursday: I began to implement my word for the year. Alignment started with baby steps getting some things in order and also placed according to use. I began with the corner cabinets in my dining room.  Logical folks would automatically think only dishes and service items should be stored there, but I have kept many things that have nothing to do with dining or entertaining in them for a long time. That changed Thursday. My Beloved Sister and I took inventory of my dishes and it seems I have 10 sets. I probably should host a dinner for 100 or so people just to use the dang things. All of those would not fit into one corner cabinet, so a couple of sets are still living in the kitchen cabinets (every day use), and butlers pantry. 
My next dining room task is to attack the buffet where silverware, tablecloths and napkins live.
Dinner: It was cold and we both wanted something simple and warm
Chili, oyster crackers, coleslaw (upside: frozen chili for another meal)

Friday: I had a stay at home day, which was wonderful. One of my aims this year is to stay ahead of my laundry, so I was able to do both loads, have them all dried, folded, and put away by mid-morning. Morning laundry is a habit I need to hone. I am one of the worlds greatest procrastinators though.
I did not clean out the dining room buffet but I did clean out my bedroom armoire, getting rid of things I will never wear again
Dinner: It was still a chilly night and neither of us were in the mood for a heavy meal.
Vegetable beef soup

Saturday: The day was a little warmer but still overcast and dreary looking. I read all morning while TheHub spent about an hour and a half on the phone with our internet provider. After all that time we found they had sent us a faulty "new to us" modem and we had to return it. 
While we were out we ran a few errands before heading back home for lunch and more reading. It was a lovely mostly lazy day.
Dinner: I am in a big "using what I have on hand" mode right now, and plan on doing the minimal amount of grocery shopping for the month. My freezer is filled with all sorts of proteins and my pantry is overflowing. All I will need to buy really is produce, and I have a ton of it in the fridge at the moment. 
Conecuh sausage, au gratin potatoes, coleslaw

Sunday:  We went to church, came home and both of us got a few things in order. TheHub attacked some of his clothes and I launched an attack on all serving pieces in the dining room cabinets, though I polished nothing that needed polishing. I will do that another day and time.
After finishing some chores I settled down to some serious reading. My aim this year is to read a minimum of one book a week.
Dinner: We watched some football while a bolognese sauce simmered on the stovetop
Spaghetti with sauce, tossed salad, dinner rolls (upside: frozen sauce for another meal

Possible dinner plans for the week
1. Out to eat
2. Ball game meal (College final game is Monday night)
3. New cauliflower recipe, grilled chicken
4. Brussels sprouts, baked potato, steak
5. Soup (TBD) sandwich
6. Big salad meal
7. Black eyed peas, greens, cornbread
Sticking to plan, changing plan or totally ignoring plan__we will still be fed

Aims for the week:
Read at least 1 book
Work in the living room (piano music overload and a few errant objects that have been stuffed into cabinets and drawers)
Work on one area in the laundry room (the laundry room is huge and a mess)
Coffee or lunch with friends
Explore something new 

Have a great week and look for your joys, no matter how small. They are always out there.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Friday, January 5, 2024

The Past is the Past and the Future is Wide Open

Nows that we have stepped a few days into 2024, I thought it might be a good time to look over 2023 and share plans for this new year.

2023 began calmly enough for me. During the first part of the year I battled a Covid type illness, that never tested positive for Covid, but it took me a couple of weeks to fully recover. 

We had many houseguests over the course of the year, and several of them consisted of 4 or 5 people at a time. The guest parade began in February and continued through November. Lots of guests meant lots of laundry. I understand several of the football season guests are making plans already to return.

We took a few trips during the year. 
Palm Springs (I highly recommend mila's villa, and am so thankful DIL1 has been friends with Mila for years)
Portland, Oregon
Nashville, several times
Gulf Shores vacation
Atlanta (I think we were in Atlanta 4 or 5 times this year)
TheHub went to Pasadena  (from Dec 30-Jan 2)
If there were any others they were small quick trips and I have forgotten about them

We lost Uncle Bob (Mom's brother) who was the last sibling from that generation

We began a landscaping project in November. I swear they come and lay one stone then leave. At this rate we will be through by December__maybe.

We continued our season tickets for Alabama Football games and the Birmingham Broadway series.
TheHub and Son2 enjoyed the ballgames and TheHub and I enjoyed the plays.

TheHub did not retire

Those were the highlights of the year ___Now moving forward to what we hope will happen in 2024

Huge family trip in June
Gutting the Master Bath room, new flooring in the den and MBR, new front door, replacing double pane windows that have lost their seal
Continuing the landscape work
Volunteering at IP
Make an effort to do things with friends each month
Have one dinner each month at a different "nicer" restaurant
Entertain monthly

On a personal note, I chose the word ALIGNMENT to be my word for the year. My hope is to get everything in the house and also my life in alignment. Lucky for me there is so much I need to align I should not run out of things to do.