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!