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.
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.