January 3, 2016...This Week In My Home...

Welcome to the New Year!  I don't know about anyone else but I am certainly looking forward to a fresh start this year.  It does seem last year was awfully hard in so many ways for us all.  That's not to say that this year will necessarily be all roses and lavender, but you never know.  I do recall one year without any major upsets, hurts, heartaches or worries and I remember thinking, "This is one year I shall remember for a long time to come!"  I'd not mind another year such as that, you know?  But God is still in His heavens and I shall be strengthened by that knowledge.  No matter what comes, God will be faithful.

So I took a little time off over the holidays.  I'd love to say that I lounged about and did nothing but relax or then again that I got loads and loads accomplished.  Nope.  Just about the usual amount of both lounging and working.  Knowing that we'd be on the road on our natural Shabat on Boxing Day and getting out the door early and home again as soon after dark as possible, John and I treated Christmas Friday as a sort of Shabat and rested.  Rightly so.  It paid off for us both this past week as we worked about the house.

I think my urge to go into the New Year with a fresh face on things affected John.  He went into his music room and went to work on sorting things out and he went at for more than one day.   It feels good to go into a year with a fresh outlook.

For myself, due to the pouring rain I couldn't do a bit of work outdoors and so I sorted out the bookshelves and found some of my treasures hiding there.  I organized and culled.  I set up the living room fresh with blue and white china and on Thursday decided I just had to swap curtains with the bedroom.  I'd ordered two new pillows on Wednesday and Thursday I covered some of my existing pillows with leftover fabric from the kitchen and sitting area.  It looks nice.  And it cost me two new pillows which I bought on sale for less than $30.  Ta Done!

Well let's get busy with the week ahead of us.

This week in my home I...

...am astonished at the fat buds on the daffodils!  It's mighty early for daffodils to be blooming.  I am nervous about winter and these plants that wish to bud and bloom before January has even begun.

...plan meals...

 I am so bored with my usual fare.  I've been reading cookbooks all weekend looking for new ideas of any kind to bring life back to our meals and that creative spark back to my cooking.

Turkey Strata, Broccoli, Roasted Butternut Squash,
I've had this recipe for some time.  It's a Kraft foods recipe and I winged it this week when I was mixing it up: bread cubes, chopped turkey, shredded Swiss cheese, red onions, celery, red bell peppers all mixed up with a little mayonnaise and a good glug of wine.

Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, Chips,  Clementines
Leftover chuck roast and red onions that I cooked in the crock pot New Year's Eve.  I thought this would make an easy dinner for after church.  I'm serving on hamburger buns (toasted) and topping with some Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

Chili, Green Salad, Corn Bread, Chocolate Pudding
Sort of clearing out the freezer with this one.  I dumped corn, black beans, tomatoes, leftover salsa into a container a few months ago and froze it.  I thawed it all and put in the crock pot with some beef broth and browned ground chuck.  It should hit the spot on this cool day.  I'll be happy to have any leftovers for my supper during the week.

Hungarian Goulash, Noodles, Salad with roasted beets and red onion,  Baked Apples

on my own

Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrot Cupcakes

Oven Baked Chicken, Butter beans, Coleslaw with Apples and Walnuts

...plan my work week...

It's Harvest week so the usual tasks that go along with that: totting up the checkbook,  writing checks for tithes and bills, post office, banking, running errands, looking over sales sheets and planning  and then actually going to purchase groceries.

Today, I gave the kitchen a good wipe down, doing all the cabinet doors and appliances as well as removing items from the counters and wiping those down.  I took a scrubby and cleaned the side of the fridge next to the Kitchenaid mixer and wiped at the walls.  It's enough for today.  I still need to sweep that room.

I'll start decluttering this week, working my way through all the rooms and closets, except John's music room. While I don't have nearly as much to do as I've had in year's past, I am allowing myself the whole month for this task.  There's lots of paperwork and I've let it get out of hand.  It needs to be thinned out and shredded.  Our closet is the biggest clutter magnet there is at the moment and likely will take a couple of days to sort. I did a bang-up job on the guest room pantry/closet last Spring, but will refine it just a bit by seeing what I might let go. Oh there are plenty of things to hit.  I begged John last week to let go of the old cassette tapes he insists on hanging on to.  We haven't had a tape player in something like 15 years but he refuses to let me donate or trash them either one.  I long ago culled out and donated mine.  Well, they went into his closet just for that reason.

I mean to get a comprehensive shopping list made up for things to look for this year for home, yard, pantry, wardrobe needs, etc., so I'm prepared when I see sales.

Post a book review.

Sew a new cover for the ottoman out of the leftover kitchen fabric, maybe.  I haven't made up my mind hard on that one.

Pick up clippings from rose bed.  Finish weeding.  Dig up the young rose bushes that have grown up near the house foundation.

Continue to look for new (or very old favorites I've forgotten about) recipes to jazz up our meals.

Start back at frugal boot camp and read my money saving books.  I've got them lined up on the shelf next to my chair in the living room so they will be handy for study.

...have a bit of fun...

I've a load of books here at home that I haven't read, or came across while organizing and thought "Oh!  I need to read this one again."  And yet, I am planning to go to the library this week.  Why?  Because I (a) need to get out of the house (b) thought it might be a fun way to do some genealogy research (c) do not for one minute believe I have enough books in my life when there are so many in the world.

Work/fun combined.  I thought I'd go shopping while John is working this week.  I just need to make up my mind if I want to stock the pantry or go visit a couple of home goods stores and look hard for a new spread for my room.  I've been making do for about three years now.  My quilts I've been using are breaking down and getting small tears and holes. I have a short list of other items I'm hoping to find as I stroll through the stores but I'm not feeling over anxious to buy, so I can take my time to look around and see what I really like.

Make hot cocoa and popcorn from scratch and serve it as a snack one of these cool afternoons.


Dawn said...

I pulled out my copy of The Tightwad Gazette to read again. I need the extra encouragement to keep the budget in line.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

You have your plans really well laid out. Wish you the best this year.

Living on Less Money Blog said...

You are so productive! I'm always encouraged by reading your list!

Lana said...

We have several days without rain the forecast this week but it is too cold to work outside. It will all keep for a nicer day.

We are in a serious food rut too. I do plan to make stir fry to use up odds and ends in the produce drawer but other than that it is the same old stuff. I think I can skip the grocery store all together this week.

Have a good week!

Lana said...

I remember you saying you need a coffee stock up. Publix sneek peek of the new ad has BOGO Seattle's Best. I found 1.50/1 coupons on their website and also their Facebook page. That should make it $1.50 a bag depending on your store's price. That is a major stock up for me on our favorite coffee.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading inspirational books too. Several Christian ones on the roles of a wife to start with. I have a couple I really love I reread off and on. Then too I have been going through old recipe clippings and tossing some and checking out cookbooks. I have The confessions of an Organized Housewife too and several others but I found Denies's {?} to be one of the best.
The doctor has still not come through with the promised class on diabetes. We need to call him. We are trying to cook right but meter readings don't show that. They go up when we think we are doing the best and down at times when we we thought they would go up. No rhyme or reason. It is a shame too as hubby is willing to do anything he can to eat right. Didn't you say you had Pinterest account with postings about diabetes? Could you please give the address again?
I keep thinking like I used to, of all the deserts and jellies and such that need making. :( Oranges are on the tree and I was to make marmalade and orange cake etc. I need to get in a different mindset now. :-)
I need to seriously declutter here. The hard stuff. Like books, DVDs and clothes. Books? Oh no!! :-) Used to be that I knew pretty sure that if I got rid of a book it would be in the library to reread. Either through the local one or inter library loan. Not so anymore. My sister is finding that out too. In her library many basic classics are not even there. When she goes she takes out one or two of the classics or older books she loved. Just taking them so it looks like they are in good circulation to hopefully keep them in the library system. Yes, books can be bought on-line but the library is better because I don't have to decide sometime down the line to declutter BOOKS! again. :-)))) Oh the heartache!! Sarah :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy new year! Okay, I'm wondering what books you have besides The Tightwad Gazette that keep you on track with saving?

I just sat down and worked and reworked the monthly and yearly budget. I enjoy doing that. It is fun to me. The two things on my list this year to buy are new jeans that fit and are long enough for me and if I can find flannel sheets on sale, a new set of those to replace the set I just threw out that I patched last year but it was so thin it was tearing everywhere else. I think we got our money's worth out of those sheets.

My hubby is now on board with me as far as menus go. He asked me yesterday if I was going to get my January menu made. (Grin). Yep, my goal this month is to buy milk and eggs, if the neighbor doesn't have the eggs to share. He just gave me 3 dozen yesterday. I'll be careful with them. So for this week I just purchased a gallon of milk. My freezer and pantry are still full of garden produce so I need to use it!! I'll make bread. I also have meat and fruit so I really am sitting good but I do need my menu to make sure I'm using what I have on hand. Pam

Terri Cheney said...

Sarah, I hope you see this comment. Remember my numbers were all over the place too when I first came home. One thing I learned too late is to change one thing at a time instead of getting overwhelmed. Go to Diabetic Connect for a lot of helpful recipes, articles, etc to self educate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Teri. !! :-))))) I came here tonight 'just in case' you commented before your next Questions, Answers and Comments post. Do you still have the Pinterest board? Now I am wondering if it might be good for us non diabetics to 'balance' proteins with carbs and such? I mean I know eating like a diabetic is supposed to would be good for anyone but I am wondering if it might help us non diabetes to keep from getting diabetes ???? Lots to learn! But so worth learning. Thank you again. Sarah

Anonymous said...

Wow Teri! There is lots of information at Diabetic Connect ! :-))))) Is the Pinterest site you gave us months ago then THEIR site not yours? Or do you have a side too? I am now better armed with information so when we do see a dietitian I will understand more what is being said. I have read up to page 6 of the questions to them section but as there are 49 + pages.... ... ... And soooo much more information! I feel better already though! Now to get Hubby better!! :-))) You have been such a blessing. Sarah

Colleen Gold said...

I too have been on a clutter hunt. How we ever accumulated so much is beyond me. After doing our room ( thanks to dh for his help) VietNAm vets will love us this pickup. I was ruthless. I also need to reread the Tightwad books. I love The Working Pantry & other blogs to keep me on track

Terri Cheney said...

Sarah, that site is where I've pinned information and recipes from. I also like Diabetic Living Online which is a website but I can't find an address for it at present. They send out newsletters to your email once you subscribe and it has information and recipes and hints and such too.

It really does help to explore these sites and look around and get ideas. YES if you eat as your husband does with a balanced carb/protein, decreasing fat and salt you too will probably lose weight and find you're a lot healthier overall and YES it will PREVENT diabetes. John lost weight eating pretty much what I do. Now I am more careful to try and make my right choices, but i figure he's getting enough of my diet that whatever other choices he might make won't do him much harm.

And as you read you'll notice a wide variance of what some doctors consider good numbers and what others will consider as bad. My doctor is very happy if his patients average higher. Just at first your husband may actually feel worse than he'd felt with high blood sugars but that is his body adjusting. Eventually he will start to feel good with a lower blood sugar level.

The dietician at the hospital actually recommended the heart association diet at 1800 calories for me with 180 carbs per day. As a man, your husband will be allowed a higher calorie count, but you can pretty well plan on an initial carb count of 10% of total calories.

Gramma D's advice was the soundest for me. She told me what her daily counts were like and suggested I find my sweet spot for each meal. I do well starting my day with a higher carbohydrate number and decrease it with each meal. I've never been a snacker really but I've learned to keep a protein/carb combination snack handy in case I find myself unable to eat a regular meal and I do have a small snack and glass of milk about 9pm each night which helps keep my sugar level lower during the night.

And of course, the plate method is a grand thing. My diabetic counselor recommended I use that and it's become second nature to me. You visually divide a plate into fourths. 1/4 is a lean protein serving (3-4 ounces), 1/4 is a starchy vegetable, 1/2 is for any low carb vegetables you care to have and there are plenty of them! With the heart association diet you can also have a serving of fruit, and a bread serving and a dairy serving. It's a lot of food but it's a very balanced diet.

Exercise and losing weight will help stabilize numbers as well. If you start to feel overwhelmed step back, take a deep breath and get back to basics and forget all the 'chatter' that will gather in your head.

I can't remember how to tell you how to link to my Pinterest board, but I'll post it for you later this week when I go to the site. It's a time sucker for me so I can't just drop by, lol, but most of the information I had was from the two websites I gave you anyway.

Crystal H. in Nevada said...

I loved your comment about the books - I just went to Grassroots Bookstore here in Reno. About once or twice a month they have a warehouse book sale for 3 days. It is so awesome. I wait until the third day and that's the day we get a grocery bag full of books for 4.99. This time I got 30 books. About 1/2 cookbooks, fiction and then a few for my son and husband. I love these sales. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I have a stack of books waiting for me to read.

I to have a lot of "Frugal Living" books and look forward to rereading some this year and culling new ideas. This is such a passion of mine. I look at it as a hobby that pays me instead of me spending a huge amount of money on a hobby that has no return to me. It's like a fun game I play. We have done a pantry challenge (modified) for the last 3 months which helped since winter is our slow work time. I now have a defrosted freezer and a pantry to start restocking. Spent about 100.00 in 6 weeks on groceries - that's the time I really tracked it. We ate well and ate up some stuff. Looking forward to deepening my pantry with items we use at the best possible prices this year so next winter we can do it all over again. lol.

Thanks for including us in your life. Enjoy your blog so much. Take care.

Anonymous said...

When you were talking about books, it brought to mind an estate sale ad in our paper a while ago. 30,000 yes, thirty thousand paperbacks, mostly romances, selling for a quarter each! How does anyone accumulate that many books and where do you keep them? I don't go to estate sales or household sales, because I seem to have too much of to many things but it would have been fun to have been a mouse in the corner to see what was going on there.
Happy new year to you and John. Gramma D

beckyathome said...

It sounds like you have been getting a LOT done! I've been doing a little bit of decluttering, but I have much left to do. I agree that books are one of the hardest things to let go of.

I also have diabetes, and your tips are sounds.

Karla Neese said...

Wow, I feel like I fell into a worm hole in space and lost track of life! I'm finally back at a routine (sort of) and stopping in to see how you've been these past weeks. Looks like you are all planned and prepped for the new year!

Homemade hot cocoa and popcorn sound delightful indeed!
I too am on the look out for a new bed spread this year. Not sure what I want but ours is about 10 years old now and though it's good quality, it's starting to have that worn out look.

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