The Week Ahead: Blooming Season

The roses began blooming yesterday.  It was a surprise to me because the previous two nights and mornings had been quite cool.  But as Bess was heading back home, I stepped off the back porch to look the pots over to see if maybe the basil or oregano was going to make an effort to come back (yes for the Basil) and there were deep red roses blooming on the lower half of the branches.  We walked over to the Rosemary bush and the yellow rose was blooming as well.

As I looked out the kitchen window later Friday afternoon, I saw a small patch of honeysuckle had bloomed.  There is no lovelier country bouquet than old fashioned roses and honeysuckle vine in a simple glass jar together.  You can't buy that at any store!


The shed awaits...I need to move things off the back porch into the shed and I need to organize the back end of the inside of the shed.

Clean the front porch.  This will not be as big a task as the back porch was, thankfully.  It really does just need a good wipe down and then I can play about putting out plants and such as I'm able to get out to get them.  I'd like to add extra seating there but think I may just bring the chairs up off the patio since we never sit there.  But then there's the decision of what to do with the table which is too big for either porch...

I have so many things that need to be repotted.  The Christmas cactus and the rooted off springs...Dianthus that needs a bigger pot, Angelonia that needs more soil.  I've got the odd pot of used potting soil as well as having filled the hole Maddie dug beside the rosemary bush with some of the old potting soil last year.  Between that and compost I think I can manage a few repottings.

Clean up the grill.  Most of the cleaning is the outside thankfully.  I had gotten quite good about cleaning the grills while still warm and easily cleaned.  I'd love to fire it up this week.

Paint the inside of the chifforobe.  I bought paint to do that job last year and now that it's mostly empty, I'd like to tackle it.

Make an apron.

My first week as an assistant homeschool teacher.  We're going to start Monday and I will also have Josh on Thursday.  We're figuring an hour to hour and a half.  There are papers from school and Gammy sent him a Kindergarten work book and I think between the two we can manage fine.   We had a sample start today.  Josh and I worked on clocks, learning how to tell the HOUR.  Then he wrote out his ABCs and 1-20.   I settled him with the Kindle and he watched a video about Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders.  All in all he worked about 40 minutes.  So I feel pretty sure we will manage nicely on an hour and half of time and told Bess that likely he'll need only about that much daily.  We are agreed if he expresses an interest in anything in particular we'll figure out a way to incorporate it.  Can you tell I'm a little excited by the idea of this?

Harvest Week this week.  It's a whole new proposition as it's basically working on paper until bills actually come in.  I learned my lesson in February when I missed a bill, and have taken to looking over bill box and checkbook weekly.  It keeps me very aware of where we are financially and on top of any bills that come in.

I've started a grocery list of 'would be nice to have' items.  Nothing expensive but I seldom remember them when I'm shopping.  Things like  Green  chilies, Tahini, garam masala, sesame oil or poppy seed.   That may sound odd, but more and more of the recipes I'd like to try have those ingredients in them.  They aren't part of my basic pantry yet, but once I've added and begun using them, I could easily manage to use them up.  They wouldn't be single use items bought for just one recipe.  I'm going to try to set a dollar amount and add one or two items each month to my pantry.

And because I keep avoiding it: READ every day!


Meals last week were all over the place and not one of those new recipes were made.   Items weren't available for some of the menus I'd planned and others went by the wayside because we were busy working and wore ourselves out.

This week I'm going to try something new!  I mean it!  And I'm going to start incorporating some ofo our warm weather favorites, too.  I did say I'd love to fire up that grill.

Mongolian Beef, Rice, Broccoli
This is something Bess introduced me to when they lived here in 2016.  It's a lovely spin on a chuck roast.  You top it off with tender green onions...Which led me to suggest to Bess that leftovers would be lovely wrapped in a tortilla.  My roast is a small portion, so we'll see if there are any leftovers but if there are I'll definitely be trying them in a tortilla with more green onion and cucumbers.

Polska Kielbasa, Pierogi with Caramlized Onions, Cabbage
The hardest part of this meal is the caramelized onion.  

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise,  lettuce and tomato, Oven Pub Fries, Apple Slices
I haven't made black bean burgers in a long time, but I think they will make a nice change from the usual beans and rice.  Pub fries haven't been on my plan for a long time either.  They are just home fries, baked in the oven at a high heat but served with v
vinegar and chopped fresh parsley 

Shawarma Chicken, Lemon Pilaf Rice, Cucumber and Tomato Salad, Pita Bread
I really want to make the sort of sauce that I had at the Greek Restaurant but I do not have tahini.  This recipe doesn't call for it in the sauce, hence why I'm choosing to use this one.  If I've time, I'd like to try to make my own pita bread, but if not  I'm going to try flatbread, which sounds a great deal like a tortilla dough.  The link for the flatbread is on the same page as the Shawarma Chicken.  

Beef Tortellini Casserole, Green Salad, Garlic Knots  
I've never yet made this recipe as written.  The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of beef.  I generally use 1/2 pound.  I will use shelf stable tortellini which tends to be less pricey than 'fresh'.  I do have tomato soup for the first time ever when planning to make this dish and instead of using basil leaves, I'll use a tbsp of jarred pesto.   I do urge you to try the recipe.  We love it and find it adaptable in so many ways.   This will make a gracious plenty for two casseroles with leftovers from the first one so that will be two meals this week....I'll serve with Green Beans, Wedge Salads, Easy Tiramisu the second time around.

Grilled Steak, Armenian Potatoes, 24 hour Salad
I know that I have a nice sized piece of sirloin in the freezer that will serve 2 nicely.  I will also grill hot dogs and  two burgers (rest of package of venison used in the Tortellini casserole should make two burgers.  These will make nice lunches or an easy supper if we shouldn't have enough leftovers at any point.

Breakfasts:  Sausage biscuits; Pancakes with Chicken sausage; Raisin Cheese Toasts, Omelet, hash browned potatoes, toast; Bran muffins and yogurt with strawberries; Oatmeal

Lunches:  Generally speaking leftovers.  I did make a homemade pizza and there's always extra of that to make another meal.  BLT's are in mind as well, and another day I think I'd like to have a big bowl of salad with boiled egg and cheese bits.  No real plan for lunches overall but loose planning.


All this staying at home is not good for me on some front or another.  Self care is part of the problem.  Just check out my list of things I mean to do this week below:

Wash and moisturize my face each morning and evening.  I can't name the number of times I've neglected to do just that since we've been home so much and I've worn so little makeup, especially if I haven't been outdoors working.

Put on a little makeup each day.  I can tint moisturizer with foundation, put on a little mascara, do my brows.  I don't need full on makeup but I'm so over looking in the mirror thinking I look worn down when it's just lack of makeup!

Start pulling the very stained shirts out of my home clothing drawer. I may not be replacing but I have plenty of them and no need to keep wearing things that are just not looking good even when fresh and clean.

Shave my legs.  Now that I'm older it's not as noticeable but I haven't given myself a proper good shave in a few weeks.  Just quick slapdash ones.

Fresh pedicure. Manicure, which may or may not include polish.

Read...I've been forcing myself to finish books that don't interest me at the moment.  I'm switching them up today for books I do want to read.  I've been just longing to get into Jane Austen.   John mentioned The Honor Girl the other day which is one of my all time favorite Grace Livingston Hill novels.  I never have trouble getting caught up in an Emilie Loring mystery.  I think I'd really like to visit with Mitford folks once more or spend some time in an English village with Miss Read's books, to name a few.

My choices at present:  An Old Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott, Return to Thrush Green by Miss Read, Emma- Jane Austen, Throw Wide the Door by Emilie Loring.

I've been coloring for moments each day.  I'm currently working on a mandala page that has multiple sizes and I do a little at a time on one of them until it's finished then go on to another.  I find it very calming and quiet work.

Speaking of quiet work, any sort of handwork is also calming.  I've pulled out my little stash of fabric circles to make into yoyos.   I know I'm taking forever working on that project but I do find it peaceful work.  Any sewing is peaceful work for me, really if it's just mending or easy stitching.

Set up a handful of outfits just for the fun of seeing how I can make some of my old stuff look fresh.  Eventually we will be going somewhere for groceries or even just for a ride. And now that we're under orders to cover our mouths/nose (Surgeon General's statement on Thursday I believe, and he said to use anything at all even a t-shirt if you must, when you go out), I'll match a scarf to go with my outfit as my face shield.  So glad that I typically keep scarves on hand!


Anonymous said...

Naturally I culled most of my scarfs just a few months ago ! :/ I was watching how to make good masks on You Tubes by The Fabric Patch. They talk of ones that will actually keep this teeny tiny virus out using the linings they recommend. Yet the masks are very breathable and comfortable to wear. This channel has 4 videos on masks. One tells of what to do if one thing you want to use to make them is unavailable now. I heard that thin elastic and other things are out of stock many places because people are making masks. The Fabric Patch you tubes to me are the best out on this.

Teri, I had not noticed that you had links in your posts for the recipes and such ! My eyes do not distinguish the different color of the words to click on from the words around them. When I was little if teachers used blue chalk on the black board it looked blank to me. Silly but true. So now I will check and go to where you help us to go. Thank you so much !

A word to the wise. I heard last night that Maryland and Vermont I believe were the two states that have banned the sale of any garden seeds or garden products along with paint and many other products for sale at this time. Stores are told to rope off those areas from sale. They say they are non essential' items. They showed a sign over all seeds at one Home Depot saying they cannot be bought along with any garden things like say soil, fertilizers etc and plants. It was a long list of 'non essential' things no longer being sold during this time. Also Target and Walmart etc included. I have no idea if other states are doing or will do the same . I take it they are doing so to limit the amount of people out shopping. This also though, limits what we can do in our homes to occupy the time While we are not shopping. And seeds and plants need to go in the ground soon. With less food production from farmers due to all this bad weather last year people wanted to garden even more this year in case there were food shortages due to that too. :((( Sarah

Lana said...

That is a sweet little Florida house at the top. All my scarves are the long type so I would be dragging a lot of fabric along with me! Some missionary friends' Mom is sewing masks with all profits going to buy Bibles, which they spent 25 years translating with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I was happy to place my order and wait for them to arrive in the mail. We won't need them before they arrive.

I want to do more grilling this summer. We bought a Blackstone griddle a few weeks ago when Walmart was clearing them out for a low price and so we are learning to cook with that along with our regular gas grill. We have put a whole pound of bacon on it and had it done in like 5 minutes and all the mess was outside. I think I will do fajitas on it tomorrow since I can do meat and veggies and even heat the tortillas all at once.

My daughter subs peanut butter for tahini in recipes. Chef Ina G..... can't recall her name, recommends it because tahini is so expensive and she says that it is hard to use it up before it spoils. My daughter says you cannot tell the difference in most recipes. We use a lot of green chilies and I keep stacks of cans of them in the pantry. Walmart Great Value brand is the best price I have found on them and the brand is good. I usually buy like a dozen cans at once and them use them before restocking since we rarely go to Walmart.

This week we got the front flower and shrub beds all cleaned out of leaves and such and then the front yard mowed so next week it is the back. The front looks really good and ready for Spring now. Our neighbor boy helped with cleaning up downed limbs. We have been cutting huge bouquets of azaleas to bring in the house since we have masses of them and they are coming on one type at a time now. It is a good way to prune the top shoots and we so enjoy them in the house.

Our little lake park has the gate shut and locked. So sad. I hate it for the retired guys who fish on the lake in little boats all by themselves. They weren't in any way hurting anyone.

Lana said...

Sarah, I just read your comment about the seeds and such! That is shocking! And stupid! I can't read black print on red. It just disappears for me and the harder I try to see it the more it is invisible.

terricheney said...

Lana, Thank you! I had wondered if I might substitute peanut butter...It is after all just another nut butter isn't it? I shall try that instead then and save the splurge money for another item I'd like to stockpile that isn't basic. I always have peanut butter on hand.
Carolyn who sometimes comments here has a Blackstone Griddle and she and her husband love it. They take it when they go RVing as well as using it at home.

Liz from New York said...

I’m going to be really unhappy if the stores won’t let us buy garden supplies!! Terri, life is too short to read a blah book lol! Read, wear, eat, dress, and occupy time with only the best! Nothing mediocre anymore for me. I too, am throwing out all the t-shirts that have stains, are stretched out, and have little holes that develop right around the waist area. Does that happen to anyone else, and does anyone know why it happens? Have a great week!

Lana said...

A friend who is a rocket scientist for NASA posted himself on Facebook going out to the drug store in a dish towel held on with a chip clip. I pictured him arriving at the store in Houston and getting out of his new Tesla in that get up!

Liz, I get those holes in shirts too and it is so frustrating! I wonder where they come from, too.

Liz from New York said...

Lol at Lana, if you ever figure it out please let me know!

Karen in WI said...

Terri, I think it is absolutely lovely that you will be helping with homeschooling Josh! He will always remember this. I have homeschooled my boys for most of their education and now that three are grown, I can say that I worried too much if they were learning everything. They have done wonderfully and felt very prepared for college. When they were in elementary I read to them a ton to help them love reading. I was also very relaxed about them learning to read as most kids aren’t developmentally ready until 7 and I think today’s schools push them way too early. We had such fun gardening and talking about plants or whatever seasonal thing was going on. They loved to catch snowflakes on a frozen tray with black paper and then look at them through a magnifying lens and then read a book about snowflakes. Are your libraries totally closed? The boys would ask questions and we would go find out. A favorite quote is that education is more like lighting a fire than filling a bucket. Good luck to you and Bess on schooling. I think it will end up to be a wonderful time.

I absolutely get the tendency to not do too much with our personal appearance during this time! I was a bit shocked at myself the other day as I hadn’t shaved in a bit and my husband commented if I was wearing my armpits in the “European fashion”. Sigh....yes, I need to keep up on these things. It does feel better to glance at yourself in the mirror and see brushed hair and just a bit of lip color and eyebrows. I think it makes my face look a few years younger just to do that.