The Homemaker Plans Her Week: Ch-Ch-Changes



In my home this week, I am considering the options of housework, Christmas decorating, gifting, first of the month tasks, and a change of circumstances that I didn't predict.  I'd laugh at it at this point except I'll admit I was tossed for a loop and haven't quite untangled myself yet.  So, there's that.

I'm also contemplating the handful of projects I'd just added to my list of homemaker projects.  Scratch that.  Scratch the remainder of the list.  They aren't going to happen this year.  Regrouping is getting to be what I'm really good at. 

Work:  


I need to get my check register set up for the new month.

Finances are finicky.  I need to do some hard-core planning regarding Christmas, Family Day, gifting, repairs that are needed, grocery budgeting, etc.  You'd think after two years of being retired I'd be accustomed to figuring out all of my monthly stuff at once.  The trouble is that every month brings something new or altered that affects every other thing and so there I am scrambling to figure it out.   

John and I must sit down and discuss what happens with the shower drain issue, the hot water on the kitchen sink issue, and the refrigerator evaporator fan issue.  None of these are things he can deal with.  In the meantime, we keep limping along and I suppose we still can.  I can boil hot water to use at the sink, we can keep using the guest shower, and as long as the fridge keeps working...maybe we can manage but we do need a contingency plan just in case things don't work.

I need to determine where I'm putting the Christmas tree this year.  I'm not sure we'll be putting it up as soon as we usually do.  That could be problematic and while I've always enjoyed that soft glow all through December month, it may prove to make life more difficult.  And right now, I am all about fewer problems to deal with, not more.   

Oh heck!  I really enjoy the Christmas tree while it's up and I think I'll throw caution to the wind and just do it!  This year has been difficult in so very many ways and Thanksgiving was an odd affair this year, but I want to savor our Christmas season. 

Get Christmas cards addressed and ready to go out on December 1. 

Book our tickets for the church Christmas play.

Look for more free activities we might enjoy as a family group or as a couple throughout the season.  

Gracious! I need to check a calendar and see when Channukah is this year. 

Kitchen:



Using the Thanksgiving Leftovers (or packing them in the freezer) is foremost on my mind at present.  There were not huge quantities of leftovers, but we did end up with far more dressing/stuffing than I'd thought we would have.  Everything else is manageable.  One of the Pumpkin Pies went right into the freezer.  The other pumpkin pie is nearly done.  There's roughly half of the Pecan Pie left.  The rest is more odds and ends.  But no waste is my goal just the same as always.

Meal prep time will be necessary and most helpful each week of this month.  I need to plan to make Sunday afternoon my meal prep time.  That's the time to get breakfasts, lunch and dinners planned, the fridge sorted, and preparatory work done, such as thawing meat, chopping vegetables, gathering pantry items, etc.  It can only make my life easier overall.

Meals:  

Out with George and Pilar

Scalloped Potatoes with Sausage or Ham, Coleslaw, Peas

Turkey Broccoli Pot Pie, Waldorf Salad, Green Beans

Mongolian Beef, Rice, Salad with Green Onions, Bean Sprouts and Sunflower Seeds with a Ginger Vinaigrette

Spaghetti Bolognese, Garlic Bread, Green Salad, Easy Tiramisu

Pigs in Blankets, Potatoes with onions, Baked Bean Bake

Chinese.  I know what the budget is and I know it's not necessary, but it would be awfully nice to have some pot stickers.  I don't even care if our meal is from the frozen foods section but if we all chip in we might could manage Chinese.  And if not I'm sure there will be leftovers galore.

Personal/Leisure:

Read. 

Listen to soothing seasonal music.

Taking time out to sit on the porch and absorb sunlight.

Fill the bird feeders.

Journal.

Put up the Christmas tree and make time every single day to sit and just gaze at the lights.

Find my Christmas books and stories and advent books.  Enjoy something from those daily.

Diary of a Homemaker: Thankful

 


Saturday:  The above picture is to inspire me to remain calm and enjoy the week...We had an opportunity to see Caleb late this past week and thoroughly enjoyed his visit.  Not so fun for him.  He's still sick and Katie thought it best if he was seen by his pediatrician here.  Poor little fellow still has ear infections and complications to his system from the previous round of antibiotics.  We tried all sorts of natural home remedies prior to the doctor visit, but the doctor assured his mama that none of them would have eased Caleb's way in the least.  Here's hoping he feels better with the new medications.

After they left today, John and I quickly cleaned house and then took a formal Sabbath rest through the afternoon.  That said, we both did some other tasks that would be considered quiet work, simply because it was necessary.  

The Homemaker Plans Her Week: Begin Again

 


In my home this week, I am determined to begin over again.  This afternoon when we'd had time to settle down, I felt overwhelmed at the unknowingness ahead.  Well, that wasn't going to do, now, was it?  Just because others refuse to make firm plans doesn't mean I should skate along and make none either now does it?

So, what to do?  Go back to Plan A.

Work:



No matter who comes, no matter who isn't here, no matter what is or isn't happening, I know this much: On Thanksgiving Day I am serving a meal.  Period.  And that menu was planned right at the start of the month and shall stand.  I went through my recipe files and cookbooks, gathered my recipes and one by one, I went through the pantry and made sure I had all the items required.  I checked my turkey breast, and it weighs 7 pounds.  If the maximum of guests come the Butterball site says that my turkey will serve 6-8.  

Moments after we began to discuss this fact, I had a text from a family member that they definitely won't be here.  Strike 5 from the guest list.  Add 2 to the guest list for the ones who changed plans and will be here.  2 more are still at large... Should they come, we will be 7 at the table, 5 if they do not.  John and I agreed we'd like to have a little more turkey than just enough.  I mean, what is Thanksgiving without turkey sandwiches?

That led to writing out a grocery list.  Not for the pantry, but for the things that I must have to prepare meals over the next week and the holiday weekend following.  I don't have grocery money but at this point in time it matters little.  I will borrow from next month's budget and hope for the best when we get there.  Cavalier?  Well maybe so but in light of what I require (good basic vegetables and fruits, a smallish turkey or turkey breast, breads) it seems best, and at worst means we eat a good bit more soup and economy dishes for the greater majority of December.

Done and dusted on two items.  

I sat down with the computer and filled out my 2023 health care application.  I've been approved by Healthcare.gov.   This year I'll be doggone sure to check with the State of Georgia prior to refilling a prescription after what I went through in 2022 with having to be reinstated after my acceptance.

Done and dusted three items.

We will go to the grocery store. 

I will sort out the guest room which I'd started last week.  I'm sure John will help me to get this task done if I ask him.  He knows it's important and has offered to make room in his music room for some things that need to be moved out of the guest room.  We'll just have to push through and work hard, but we can do it.

Kitchen:  



I will begin meal prep as far as I can.  Pie crusts may be made and blind baked for the Pumpkin Pies.  For that matter, pies may be baked and frozen then thawed on Thursday while the rest of dinner is being prepared.   The Gelatin Salad can be made early, and the Sweet Potatoes can too, and be ready to be topped.  Cornbread can be made for the Stuffing, onions and celery for that chopped.  There are plenty of things I can do ahead.   I have such a lot of eggs and John's very fond of Deviled Eggs.  I think I'll add those to my menu as well.

We'll need breakfast each morning as well as lunches and suppers before and after Thanksgiving Day.  There will be guests on various days.  I think it best to pick up various quick items, prep something ahead that can be a freezer meal if it's not wanted, etc.

Meals:  Beef Stroganoff Soup

Tamale Pie, Yellow Rice, Pineapple Salad

Pot Roast with Vegetables, Pear Salad, Muffins

Salisbury Steaks, Mashed Potato Cakes, Green Beans, Biscuits (Make extra and freeze them for the week ahead)

Oven Baked Chicken and Dumplings, Peas, Honeyed Carrots

Here's where planning gets a little more difficult.  Different guests have different food allergies, and I must be careful that no meal contains those items.

We do generally eat our Thanksgiving Dinner as the midday meal.

Turkey and Stuffing, Gravy, Deviled Eggs, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Salad, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie

Choice of leftovers

Friday:  Turkey Sandwiches, Chips

And here's where I don't know what we'll do.  John does not eat before performing.  I think my best bet is to make something to take as something I can serve to the whole of the coffee house group and add to those goodies.  It's usually a fairly substantial grouping of different snack foods but will there be this night?  How many will even show up?  I just don't know.  I'll take something to contribute, sliders or something.  

Saturday: ??? Out???In???

Sunday:  ???How long will anyone be here on Sunday???  No clue.  

Personal/Leisure:



Why pretend?  Not this week honey, not this week.

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Ho Ho No

 


Saturday:  We had a miserable night last night for both of us, though John slept a bit more than I did.  I've no idea why I was wide awake, but I did manage to keep my mind quiet which is restful in itself.  It's the nights when I'm awake and my mind races that I find very exhausting.   We finally got out of bed at about 5:45 this morning.  I told John about that time I was tired of pretending I was sleeping, and I thought I'd get a cup of coffee.  He quickly agreed.  I didn't think he was asleep.

I was sitting in the kitchen watching Instagram Reels as I sipped coffee, when I heard the unmistakable sound of Scrooge.  Yes, the annual showing of A Christmas Carol has begun.  I confess that between watching vloggers decorate their homes for Christmas and now viewing A Christmas Carol, I am feeling far more of the Christmas spirit earlier than I have in years upon years.

Coffee Chat: Love, Hope and Thankfulness

 



Do come in dears and let us have a nice hot cup of something and have a talk.  It feels like it's been forever since we had a visit.  In looking back, I see that we've not had a proper chat since the end of September.  Weeks ago.  I suppose it's to be expected given all the stuff to be dealt with these past few weeks.

I've done periodic updates of sorts in the Weekly diary, but I am ready for a right proper chat, aren't you?  Soon we'll all be stuck in the holiday preparations and I'm afraid time will fly even faster than it is at present, and it will be 2023 before we have a visit.

The Homemaker Plans Her Week: Catch Up

 


In my home this week, I shall actually (hopefully) spend more time in it than I have in quite a few weeks.  And I'm rather looking forward to that!

Again, I'm not planning deep cleaning tasks, but I have plenty to do to get my home ready for next week and to catch up on things I haven't been able to get done.  My zones this month will be turned topsy turvy and I guess I should explain that Zones themselves are a set number of rooms but the order in which I work those zones is how I number them based on what week I shall be doing them.  It's really a sort of prolonged block schedule, where I block out an entire week or a set number of days for each area of my home.

Diary of a Homemaker: Let the Blessings Come

 


Friday:  I am a woman of my word. I promised John if we worked really hard together on a set schedule at the house in town this week that we'd take Friday off and boy did we plow through the work.  We didn't quite finish up, but we'll go back on Monday (though John's said twice now we'd go over Sunday after church) and do some of the last bits.

We were very leisurely in our getting ready this morning.  We took time to strip our bed and remake it.  I wanted to sweep the kitchen floor and we just went about everything slowly and easily without rushing.  We puttered, literally puttered.  So, we didn't leave home until nearly 12N.  After a week of hurrying to get things done here and hurrying to go to town and do things there and hurrying back, today was just as leisurely as could be.