Menu Monday - A Return to Routine

Well here we are again, sliding right back into routine days.  I'd personally like a cross balance.  John home all the time (with a steady income too, lol) and routine days with a few days vacation now and then.  However, this is the life we have at present, and why wish it away?  It was nice to take a vacation from our normal routine.

With no real plans in place this vacation, I discovered a thing or two about me.  I need some structure or I get terribly antsy, snarky and impatient.  I didn't expect we'd spend every single day taking a day trip...Goodness but that would have gotten old very quickly and been as tedious as working every single day.  But I do need some sort of routine, some task to accomplish each day or I tend to be cranky as can be as the day drags on.  Once I realized this, it was easy enough to make the sort of plans that could also be set aside if John decided he wanted to go someplace...and he usually did if I'd made plans, lol.  In the end, I'd say it was a good vacation. I tend to think we relax initially more if we actually leave home for at least 3 days and get completely away from routine/work/family/etc and will champion this cause the next time we have a full month together, which should be around October 2012.

Blogs, Articles of Interest and Other Such Items

So much time to read...NOT!  But you know how much I do love to read.  Like many I have a list of blogs...I have TWO one on Internet Explorer and one on Mozilla...and I take a few minutes here and an hour there each day to read through a few.  I am almost always adding and deleting blogs, keeping just a handful as constants in my busiest times.  I've also been collecting links for various things I thought you might enjoy.  Here's a sampling of what I've been reading and enjoying lately.

A heartwarming story:

Thrifty Thursday

Over the next few weeks, I plan to post a photo of something that promotes thriftiness in my home.  Last week's homemade cookies...and this week's shot  of the auxiliary pantry in my guest room.  There are three more shelves on the bottom that aren't shown.  One day I mean to finish building this  Guess I'd better put it on my household list so I'll get it done!

Friday:  Mama was taking us out to lunch and I'd warned John the night before that since we'd be eating a big meal at dinnertime (that's midday for us), we'd eat a cereal breakfast.  The plan was to have cold cereal but boy did it turn off cold!  Brrr!  Too cold to eat cold cereal.  I made a hot cereal for us instead.

Coffee Chat Time

Well Hello!  It's been a little while
hasn't it?  Can't help it, not one bit.  John's had vacation and this past week has been very busy.  We've a few  more days to enjoy but he'll be back at work before this week is over.  I don't know quite what I shall do with my two or three days alone before he's home once more for his regular 7 days off, lol.

I do have cookies but think twice before accepting one won't you?  I'm afraid they are not...quite what they were meant to be.  And do you know, even though I made a mistake in the mixing, I've though and thought that recipe over and there's doubt that it should turn out well a second time following the directions to a tee though I do mean to try sometime when I've more baking products on hand than I've got at present.  It's supposed to be a Blondie type cookie bar.  My fault that it turned out chocolate as I meant to add in chocolate chips as an added something.  And I didn't let the stuff cool as I ought to have so the chocolate melted.  Yes, I will try this again another time and see if it doesn't turn out differently.  I did note that the brown sugar called for was just a measurement and not 'packed' which I thought was standard for brown sugar but wondered if I was wrong?  Anyone want to hazard a comment on that?  I'll no doubt be making another treat this week and soon, because John and I both are utterly ignoring those cookie bars.  I'll use them for crumb crusts or layering in a trifle or some such thing.

My stumbling block at present is that the cookie recipes I most want to make call for nuts.  I don't believe we'll get pecans this year which will make two years in a row without.  I had a good stock of nuts in the freezer but I'm out of pecans, out of walnuts, low on almonds and have only a few pistachios.  Walnuts have been high of late and we're already warned that pecans and peanuts shall be more than in years past.  Oh and peanut butter is to go up.  Speaking of which, I noted the last jars I bought were now 12 ounces, which is a 5 ounce difference in size and no drop in price at that time either.  Sigh.  They do get you one way and another don't they, these manufacturers?

Have You Been Excluded?

During the sermon today my attention was captured by something in one of the texts our Rabbi used to illustrate his point.  He started in John 4 and I was reading the account of the Samaritan woman who came to Christ at the well.  My eyes were opened to read the scripture in fullness.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.  7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Wandering....Random Bits for the Week

I am puzzled by people who assure me quite earnestly that they don't like people...The world is just full of people!  How can you not like your own species?  You'd think they would like someone.   I am a people person.  I love getting to know people. I am forever curious about them.  When I meet someone, I want to know how they became who they are:  What their background is, what sort of childhood they had, where they've been, who they read (or don't), what their favorite color is, when did they first fall in love and when was their heart first broken...Yes, I like knowing all about people.  Admittedly I might just be called nosy but I'm really interested and not the sort to go tell it all as gossip.  I don't want to know for the thrill of the sharing, I just want to know how all the pieces of YOU fit together to make up YOU.  So, no, I don't understand people who say they don't like people.

And why is it that almost without fail those people who don't care for other people, end up working in service/people oriented jobs?  Snarly clerk?  People hater.  Snarky waitress?  People hater.  Seriously.  Just ask.  Nine times out of ten!  

I have met people I didn't like.  That happens to everyone, I think.  It is rare that I don't like someone.  I like some people more than I like others.  I have learned to mightily dislike a very few.  Now and then I meet someone I dislike immediately and I am cautious with those people.  I spend a great deal of time examining what it is I find so offensive.  I really want my opinion to be changed, I do, but sometimes I have to accept that something about that individual is just loathsome and I will walk away and leave them be.

Thrifty Thursday

Homemade cookies...Just one way to save...

Friday:  I had to make a meal for Oneg for Saturday and a meal for our dinner as well.  Everything I had that was a possible meal was frozen solid.  No matter.  I just cooked frozen meats.  I put a 7bone chuck roast into one pan, covered with mushroom soup from a can and since I didn't have onion soup mix made up a similar taste using one crushed beef bouillon cube and 1 tbsp of dehydrated onion flakes.  These were on my pantry shelf for future seasoning but there's no need like present need is there?  Covered the roast with foil and popped it into the oven on the bottom shelf.

Chicken wings were a solid block as well.  Mixed a few tablespoons of Apricot preserves with the last portion of a bottle of French dressing.  Poured over, covered with foil, put into oven on top shelf.  Cooked both at 350F for 2 1/2 hours.  Thawed, cooked through.

Wings for lunch along with rice (odd that rice was.  It took forever to cook...never had it act like that before), butter beans that I'd cooked and frozen after another meal.  Still had butter beans leftover.  Froze those again.

Leftover rice and wings went into fridge.

Blustery Winds, Thundering Hooves, and Sleeping Lettuce


It rained yesterday, just as the weatherman said it would.  I can't say I was sorry to see it.  We are still woefully low on water in our rivers, lakes and streams.  We need all the rain God will give us.  I was sorry that the humidity crept upwards and the air felt thick and too warm.  It is mid-October for goodness sake!  Let's have a bit of cool weather...That's what I thought.

I woke about 1:30am last night to hear the rain coming down yet again.  I deeply regretted not moving the beets onto the porch.  Too late and too wet and too dark to think about it, I decided the best course of action was to roll over and go to sleep and forget about it.  Apparently I didn't need much encouragement on that score! lol

I woke this morning and the house felt fairly warm...but as I went about the bedroom and bath picking up I heard the wind pounding the end of the house...I know that sound well.  It is the sound cold fronts make coming in over our hill.  I was happy to find that indeed the air was noticeably cooler when I went out to feed the dogs and cat.

I checked the plants on the patio...The beets were looking more than a little too wet.  I drained the pot as best I could without damaging my plants.  And noted that some of the carrot seeds that had not  germinated decided to sprout over night in the midst of all that rain.  Go figure.

In My Home This Week: All Routine