This Week In My Home: Changing Pace

This week in my home...

... I was reading Rhonda at down---to---earth this weekend and she wrote "making the most of what we already have"... Well there was the phrase I'd been waiting on as my theme for this year.  Did you notice?  I put it in the header right under the title.  I replaced the 'Retirement Remedies' tag with Making the most of what we have, because really, isn't that what we're doing, regardless of whether we're retired, hoping to retire soon, starting over or just beginning?  I knew that if I were patient new inspiration would come along and so it did.  Oh! be sure and follow that link above to Rhonda's post that inspired me.

We had a nice weekend.  The rain that was promised as an all day, all out stormy affair on Friday produced nada/zilch here.  Delorise said they had a 1/2 inch and she's only about 20 minutes northeast of me.  Such is weather life.  This stormy day was meant to encompass ALL of the state from one state boundary line to another.  Nope. 

I'm certainly not sad about that since we didn't grocery shop and run the bulk of errands until Friday.  It was a little cool in the morning hours but warmed up to a nice temperature.  It was supposedly 82f outdoors but not even the AC believed it, as it was off for long spells of time between cycles.  I am not complaining!

Saturday morning we headed to Perry Pawn where they were having a sidewalk sale.  In years past when we knew this event was upcoming, John had to work Saturdays, or was busy as worship leader, or we were traveling to the synagogue in Macon.  I happened to hear the sale advertised on Tuesday morning and texted the date to John.  I knew he'd been wanting to go for years.  So we finally made it over.  They had the parking lots packed with tables and goods.  I saw a few things I'd love to have purchased that just weren't fitting in the Honda to make the ride home.  Like a really well made beautiful Wicker headboard for $20.  Sigh.  My happy score was a folding army cot to use for Josh or Taylor when they come to visit next.  I'd meant to buy one of those toddler cots but this was not a bad price and if push came to shove,  two toddlers could sleep on it, one at either end. 

John enjoyed himself.  We spent a little more than we'd probably anticipated spending but we got things that will be helpful and one item because it was just cute and I decided it was worth money to get it.  I'll share that at a future date here in April.

Looking at the week ahead, John hasn't yet signed up for any extra work.  I do realize that is subject to change but at present he'll be home and I'll just lay odds that mowing the lawn will be on the agenda this week.  I'd like to do a whole lot of yard work this week myself but I really must focus on the kitchen as Passover is just around the corner and I'd like to be ready when it arrives.  I cannot imagine the truly deep cleaning Jewish women do for this season.  I have discovered in the past few years that it's nearly impossible to rid the space of every evidence of yeast and it always humbles me when I correlate yeast to sin in our lives.  It's a very humbling experience to follow this ritual each year, even in my own way, which is hardly as strict as an orthodox household might experience.

Not too long ago, someone asked me why I'd participate in the feasts and fasts of a faith in which I didn't grow up?  I explained that when my children were at home, the 'What Would Jesus Do?' movement was going strong.  I'd asked myself that question one day while reading the New Testament and realized that what Jesus DID was follow the feasts, among many other things.  It seemed to me that fact alone pretty much speaks for itself.   I don't do any of this 'correctly' according to what I read here and there at various sites, but I do what I can the best that I can.  I feel closer to God because of it and might never have had as clear an understanding of a few things as I do had I not chosen to participate and learn.  I think I've gained far more than I've lost by participating, though there are pastors who will preach hell fire at those of us who dare return to celebrating the feasts. 

I've made a good start on this day already.  Dishes washed and now drying, a load of pillows washed and a second load finishing up in the washer.  Sheets stripped and bed remade all fresh and nice.  I guess I should head outdoors but it's chilly and this hot cup of tea is mighty good at the moment.  Still, it's barely the beginning of the day, so plenty of time to do much more.

Time to start planning.

...I plan my work:

Obviously kitchen cleaning is on the agenda.   I did about half the tasks I listed last week in this area.    I'm going to try to do the bulk of this cleaning this week.

I also want to plan to use a little of the items I have on hand that contain yeast but it does not bother me to throw it away.  It's seldom enough to fret over and nothing that would be a hardship to replace.  Nevertheless, with planning, I can use some of these items this week in our regular meals and snacks.

Make whole wheat tortillas.  I didn't do this last week as planned.  I did buy some at Aldi but I am always stunned when I read a package's use by date and it extends 3 months out...Certainly it's convenient to be able to buy in the store, but I do shake my head.  The ones I made and took from the freezer 'expired' by the end of the week, evidenced by mold.  Call me silly, but I kinda feel better about food that expires in a reasonable amount of time.

Work on porches and yards.  Some of this will be hard labor, some will be quiet work.  The pollen is finishing off here and the weather is awfully nice.  I've piled almost all my pots on the back steps so I can empty them and replant.  I've bought some herb plants to get me started.  I mean to go pick up some flowers and ornamentals and mulch and soil and more landscape blocks this week. I have three coupons to use and I will take the last of the cleaning money and my pocket money and manage it all I think.

 I have sewing and painting to do related to outdoors stuff. 

 I haven't yet determined exactly how I want the front porch area to look, except I will stick with my red chairs and my old ironing board I use as a plant stand, though it's bent and looking rather abused. I need to dig into the shed and look hard at what I have to determine which direction I'll go in for d├ęcor there.

My goal is to do something every day towards these areas I've mentioned above.  I have a mere glimmer of an idea for one or two other areas but nothing definite yet, so I'll be stretching my brain as well as my muscles as I work.

I still haven't quite decided what the Eating On A Tight Budget food challenge will be for this month.  I have several glimmerings of ideas but haven't taken time to think about it in depth.  I plan to devote some real time to this subject this week. I might not get started this week, but I'll at least hammer out a working plan for a new challenge once I decide.

Work up outfits.  Can you tell I procrastinated on doing some tasks last week?  It's to be warm all week long and I really do need to work up outfits.  I plan to do this today so I'm ready to face this week.

Sandwich and supper ideas. I was very pleased with our ease of preparing the evening meal this week after I finally started planning supper once more.  However, the sandwich fillings I made were finished off this weekend and it's time to put a few more into action.  I'm going to spend some of my quiet work time with my cookbooks and look for economical and fresh ideas and get a few basics together. 

And of course, there's all the routine daily stuff to be done as well, so I'd best stop planning how to fill every single hour of my day. 

... I plan meals:

I made exactly one meal on the menu I made out for last week.  One.  Everything else was a wing and a prayer sort of planning and preparation.  I'm not saying they weren't economical meals because they were and they were good meals as well.  In fact, one meal I cooked served us twice so that was more than okay.  One meal was put off because I did not have the main items needed to prepare it, namely Italian sausages.  I guess we used those in another meal and I just plain forgot.  And the last two I have no excuse for not making except I didn't fancy them!

I have onion soup mix, bread pieces, and a few packages of yeast which will all have to be used or tossed by next Sunday.  I will use what I can.  John would be mighty happy if I'd make sour cream onion dip this week before we come to Passover.  I'll have to purchase some sour cream, though. The Souper Onion burgers wll use the other packet of soup mix and that's really the most pricey of the items I feel I should use up.  I could serve French Onion Soup which would knock out bread and soup packet together.   Apple Brown Betty and Cheese Strata (think breakfast casserole) will make two items for the menu this week.  There are actually 'bread cookies' you can make, like coconut strips and nut crisps which I may make to have for snacks but more than likely I'll end up making French toast for breakfast and what we don't use will feed the birds.

I can't possibly use all the yeast this week but I will make pizza and that's one less package to toss.

Fortunately I've been very mindful that this was coming up here in April and consciously chose not to purchase items that contained yeast. 

Tuna Pasta Salad, Crackers, Apple Brown Betty
I didn't shop until Friday and that pushed this meal over to this week.  I simply didn't have fresh produce to work with and it's necessary for this salad dish.  I have green onions, carrots, celery, peppers.  I typically have just served this in a bowl but I'm going to serve on lettuce leaves this time.
I'll use some of the bread end pieces in the freezer to make fresh bread crumbs and use some less than desirable apples for the Brown Betty.

Souper Onion Sirloin Patties, Mashed Potatoes, Onion Gravy, Green Salad

Pepperoni Pizza, Tossed Salad, Fruit Plate

out with Mama

on my own

Cheese Strata,  Asparagus with Lemon Butter, Tossed Salad, Strawberries and Whipped Cream

BBQ chicken, Cream Corn, Coleslaw, Corn Muffins

...I plan my leisure:

I really DO plan to be leisurely, to rest and recover in order to work the next day.  I finished my book last week and I've chosen another one, but mostly I while away hours on a Jelly game...Not the most relaxing or mindful thing I could do.

This week I'll return to my previously self-imposed limits on game time and spend it with other things that expand my mind and truly do relax me. Like reading and researching genealogy items and sitting on the porch contemplating the plants or the sky.  Or listening to music.  And so I shall.


Lana said...

We got inches and inches of rain. I wish I had put my rain gauge back out so that I knew how much but it rained hard here for 24 hours with little let up. I was glad to get it since we had such a horrible drought last year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri, Have you ever thought about donating the unused packets of yeast to a local food pantry? That way you wouldn't be throwing them away and someone else could benefit. Just a thought -- I'm not sure how it affects "getting rid of all the yeast" in your household. Chris

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Today was the first full day of sun we have had in quite a while. I enjoyed it as much as I could even with needing to spend the day inside catching up with inside stuff that had to be done. I had all of the drapes and blinds open and the glass up and screen in on the front door to get some fresh air in. Even my little Fuzzy dog was enjoying the sun shining in as he stood with his front paws up on the arm of the chair watching everything out the window. He was blinking his eyes because it was so bright and sunny.

When you wrote about missing making one of your planned meals because you didn't have one ingredient, I knew exactly how you felt. That happens to me sometimes and I find it very aggravating. I have found myself straying from menu plans that I make because of cravings for different foods than what I thought sounded good a week or two ago.

Happy Spring!

Carolyn @ Our Gilded Abode said...

Menu plans are wonderful because they really make me think about items in our pantry, freezer and fridge. But I try to be flexible because I find the dishes I've planned may not always be appealing to us on particular days. Flexibility is a lifesaver! :)

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Menus sound good.. I love having my menu planned for the week [though I do stray a good bit ,ha]. By having it, it makes me keep check of pantry and freezer and not let foods ruin or get old.
When you get rid of yeast items... Do you have to "not use them" or literally get them out of the house completely?" just curious..
Hope you have a good day and enjoy your work and leisure.

Anonymous said...

I love hearing about your spiritual routine. I have been making a few changes as to where and how I worship. I just came to the realization today that I'm losing a few friends because of it. I must follow where Jehovah God is leading my heart. Thank you for the wonderful blog.
Karen in WI

Terri Cheney said...

Karen, I've lost a few friends on my journey. It is sometimes a lonely walk but I continue on because, in the end, my trust lies is God, not in man (or woman).

Terri Cheney said...

Judy, The Torah tells us to remove it from house and property (Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible). I remove it from my home, take it away from my house. Rabbinical law, which I don't follow, says that we can 'sell' it to a relative to keep in their home and then 'buy' it back. Because I am aware that it's coming up each year, I tend to avoid buying products that I know contain yeast if they won't be quickly used up. I have determined that it is a small matter to trust God to replace the few items I will have to throw away (a few packets of yeast, a packet of soup mix). Sometimes, when my children are visiting before Passover, I pass along these items to them to use. I'll take a box of saltines to Mama for that household to snack upon. My brother has always like saltines and peanut butter as a snack.

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

While sorting though Mama's cookbooks the other day I came across a Family Circle magazine cookbook that looked familiar.  I brought...