In My Home This Week: A New Challenge

In my home this week:

It's cold and rainy as I write but meant to be sunny and bitter cold all the weekend.  I love winter for just this sort of weather.  I relish the coziness of my home.  I have warmth, light, food, good books to read and emergency heat and water should I need it.  In other words, I can be safe at home and assured of not having to go anywhere for any need whatever the weather might send my way!  It's a lovely feeling to be secure at home.

The first week of the New Year seems to have flown by.  Did it seem so to you, as well?  I did get busy and do some of those put off tasks, like planting the bulbs and hemming my jeans.  I managed to clean and organize a good section of my shed.  I sorted through a couple of boxes of books and I worked hard at writing posts, preparing foods and tending to the shopping.  I feel prosperous after this past week and I relate that to the Mother Hubbard challenge.  I look forward to my next Eating on a Tight Budget challenge next month. 

In the meantime, I'm ready to face other challenges in this first month of the new year.  Despite my planning ahead the last week of 2016 I have not quite pinned down the phrase that will be my theme for this year, nor have I fully formed all my thoughts for the new year.  I have a fuzzy head from too many pain relievers due to some very real mouth pain I've been having.  It does not seem to be a tooth or teeth but nerve pain in the gums.  It is episodic now rather than the continual pain it was so obviously improving.   However, regular doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen does not promote clear thinking, sigh.  Bear with me and I'll properly introduce a fuller portion of my thoughts about 2017.

One thing I became deeply aware during the challenge of this past week is that we have lots of little things that I seldom use: herbs and spices, grains, nuts, specialty items,  etc.  These are all nice to have, but I use them less than I'd thought I might.  In fact, I wonder just why I have several of these items on hand.  I'm going to do my best to use them up and I'm not sure I'm going to replace them once I'm done.  It seems silly to have thyme on hand when I use it for only one recipe and often forget to add it!  Ditto for cardamom. And if I feel I should have barley on hand for the occasional soup can't I find other ways to use it as well?  If not, then why buy it? 

As you can see, I'm still food minded but that's not all that's on my mind!  It's the season to start dreaming of flowers and vegetables for spring and summer.  A season to read books and sip hot tea (I'm trying to learn to savor that), to snuggle into a chair and watch a heart jerking film , to take advantage of sunny mild days and soak up that good sun as all the people in our neighborhood were doing on Thursday when we left home.  It seemed all the neighbors were sitting on their porches enjoying that sun.  We all knew this spell of rain and cold was coming, you see.  It's a season for learning, when I've time to put aside the majority of outdoor chores and can focus on teaching myself new skills.  It's just a lovely time of year all around.

And if you're asking "Well what's the new challenge?"  Run down to the meal planning section.  John is going without bread or meat for a modified Daniel fast.

...I plan my work:

While I accomplished a lot this past week and took care of some long put off items, I didn't spend much time focusing on the cleaning I meant to do.  So this week I'll be doing just that. I'm not making other plans this week, just to focus on the house and the challenge.  I'll be doing some monthly jobs (cleaning ceiling fans for instance), some weekly tasks and some deeper cleaning tasks.

I'd like to sort through another box or four of books. 

I still need to do that book review.

I have a full freezer, a very full fridge and some items I need to use up but have no place to put if I use the current line up of recipes in my file.  So I'll be researching ways to use up some of these items and figuring out a way to make more room in my freezer.  I really want to make a few dishes ahead for Bess to use at the end of her pregnancy or just after delivery, but unless I can freeze them I can do nothing.  However, this current challenge does not encourage as much use of freezer contents so I'm sort of caught!

...I plan our meals:

My husband has said he wants to do  a Daniel fast and so I am attempting to do what I can for him.  I am eating meat but he is not.  I thought you might be interested to see what I'm making for him.  Finding ways to add protein to a meal without using meat was a challenge.  However, I've drawn on my limited knowledge and done the best I could.  There is yogurt if it is wanted.  John steadfastly refuses so much as a taste of the homemade yogurt, but I did buy him a few containers of Aldi store brand cups for him.  Honestly, he's very resistant to some of the best homemade items!  I guess I need to get some blueberry jam for him to flavor homemade yogurt with.

Vegetable Soup w/ barley, Orange and Cottage Cheese salad, Crackers
It's rainy and it's cold, cold, cold.  This will really hit the spot this weekend!

on my own/out with Mama x2

Leftovers, Salad with apples and walnuts, Steamed Broccoli
We've a world of leftovers in the fridge at the moment. I expect to use these on Monday.  John has a homemade mac and cheese left from this past week's challenge

3 Bean Chili with rice, Pineapple Salad, Corn Muffins

Steamed Green Beans w Walnuts, Garlic and Mushrooms, Tossed Salad w/ Cottage Cheese, Oranges

Baked Potatoes with steamed Broccoli and Cheese Sauce, Tomatoes with cottage cheese and blue cheese dressing, Baked Apples

...I plan my leisure:

Out to lunch with Mama.

Cuddling up in my chair with a cup of tea and a good book. Yes I said tea.  I gave up coffee for a spell and this is my go to now.  I am finding that unsweetened hot tea is do-able.

The weather will be nicer later in the week.  I plan to soak up some sun during that time.


Dawn said...

I think homemade yogurt has a much nicer taste than store bought. It is less tart. I credit you with the nudge for me getting back to making my own. I cannot get my husband to taste it either though.

Lana said...

We are finally out of CCU this morning after 13 days. For eleven of those hubby was in a coma. He wasn't expected to ever wake up. I fought for him 3 very day and refused to let them pull the life support. My perspective on life is forever changed. We have a long road ahead for healing and rehab but it's okay because one day he will come home.

Kathy said...

So sorry that you have been in pain. do hope your mouth feels better!
Your meals sound good, esp the soup when it is so cold. Thanks for sharing what you are eating for the Daniel fast! Hope you have a great week!

Mable Hastings said...

Prayers for you, Lana, with your husband's illness. Make sure you don't run yourself into exhaustion taking care of him by yourself. Now is the time to call on friends and family for help. In my experience, most people are happy to help, they just do not know how or are uncomfortable offering specifics.

Terri, we eat barley like a grain, usually instead of rice. I throw some in an oven pan and mix in some beef broth or a can of mushroom soup and some water and bake it until the barley is soft. Throw in some mushrooms and chicken and you have dinner. We rarely use barley in soup, as we prefer it this way.

Anonymous said...

The first week of January has flown by here too. Amazing it is already the 8th!

I, too, enjoy winter. I can be home and feel very content with the pantry full, books and movies to enjoy, and my hubby is home more, a lot more. Love winter because of having hubs home more. And, we have even had winters where we could sit out on the patio and enjoy the nice weather. Amazing but true. But, not this winter! We've been in the deep freeze for most of it so far.

Hope your mouth pain heals. I had some jaw pain and used an arnica cream (outside the mouth, not inside) that helped a lot.

I love 1/2 c. cottage cheese mixed with a container of yogurt to which I add nuts - love the crunch, and sometimes fruit. Makes a wonderful meal.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Lana, so very happy to hear that hubby is out of ICU, and out of the coma. My prayers are with you both. Praying for complete healing.. hugs. Judy

Terri, Have a blessed day.. The menu sounds good. We too, are having the freezing cold weather.. I too, am cuddled up in the warm house..with some hot chocolate.

Anonymous said...

When my husband wanted to make a bread that needed Carbamom we knew he only needed a smidgen and the price per bottle for something we don't use was crazy. He still wanted to do This recipe. So we went to Sprouts and looked and they had it in bulk in the spice section. We bought just the teaspoon the recipe needed for pennies! Yea ! We learned how to get round the cost of that one. :-) One down? to go!! Sarah

Deanna said...

I have been out of the habit of making yogurt but I'm making some overnight tonight. I haven't written about it yet but I am doing my usual No-Buy January challenge. Not only does it save some money but it usually gets me back in the habit of making things like yogurt and bread.

Lana, I am glad your husband has made some progress. I will keep you both in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried a non caffeine non coffee drink like Postum was? It is no longer sold that I know of but they do sell Pero and Roma two brands of instant natural beverage that tastes a good bit to me like coffee. Ingredients for Pero are: Malted Barley, Barley, Chicory,Rye. My husband has never liked coffee and I was raised with hot tea but wanted something different hot so tried these and liked them. It is something different than tea or cocoa. You can have it without editions or add sugar or cream.. how ever you like. Both Roma and Pero I believe have the same ingredients. Sarah

Lana said...

Aldi has a microwavable soup mug for 3.99 this week. We have two of those for hubby's lunches and they are great!Thought you might be interested in them for John'S lunches.

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