Diary of a Homemaker: Everything and Nothing

Saturday:  We had a perfectly rotten night last night.  Who knows why?  It rained, gently, not pounding and with a minimum of lightning and thunder.  You'd think the rain alone would have been a huge relief.  Yet I can assure you that John and I both were like popcorn in a hot pan.  He'd toss and I'd turn, and I'd toss, and he'd turn.  I finally moved to the back room for a bit, then got back to bed, then got up again and back to bed and we'd begin again.  Neither of could find a comfortable spot to rest.  I had a bunch of aching joints.  I've no clue why.  I've felt pretty well lately but ache those joints did and ache they continued to do.  I fell asleep somewhere after five just after John got up and went to make himself a coffee.   

I finally came out of the room around 9am.  He'd been awake for hours and was ready for breakfast and I wanted nothing at all to eat.   I made lunch and he could barely bring himself to eat it.  Ah well.  

We've both been very quiet today and I'm afraid we've overindulged in TV.  We've been watching Deep Space Nine for months now and just discovered that Netflix is discontinuing the series come July 1.  We're trying to rush through Season 6, but we'll never make it to or through Season 7.  I told John I don't know when we'll see it but eventually someone will run the series on another channel.  We'll watch it then. 

I should choose a new book but I'm afraid reading will make me sleepy.  I'd rather be sleepy tonight than sleepy in the late afternoon.   

We've had a very quiet day.  It's warm once again but not as it was earlier this week.  We get a brief reprieve before heading back into the triple digits.  I'm grateful for the 'cool' spell.  

I've been thinking about this high heat we've had.  We have had some fairly mild summers the last few years and it's about time for a high heat summer once more.  I've been paying attention to our home and can say that I really need to consider replacing our living room curtains.  They are the least insulated curtains in the house and are a little skimpy for the double windows.  I've been pricing them and will have to set some money aside.  Insulated drapes would improve our ability to keep the summer heat outside those western windows now, but if we have a really cold windy winter, they will also help keep the drafts out, too.  So, they will be a worthwhile investment all around.   

I've noted that I also still need to buy one more of those nice PVC wood look heavy duty shades for the guest room.  It's one of those rooms I seldom go into and so I somehow have forgotten that was one of the things we meant to do for energy efficiency in our home.  Again, a worthwhile investment.  

I confess I'd thought we were ready to plan to do other things at this point, but I can see that I'll need to make these two items priority and push those other ideas to the back burner for now.  Not a tragedy.  Just another choice that we must make all of the time.  

Meals:  Bagels and Cream Cheese

Sausage and Vegetable Pizza

Baked Potatoes and Tossed Salad

Sunday:  It's always a mix, isn't it?  Tears and laughter.  We've had both today.  On returning from church, we found Maddie Grace on the patio. Her death was apparently sudden and quick.  She'd only experienced a bit of hip stiffness in the few months and moved more slowly but was her usual self otherwise.  I'm glad it was so.  

Sam came to help bury her.  Bess came by with River to pay their respects.  Katie came later and brought Caleb.

And there we have our laughter.  He's learning to 'dump!' and will bounce onto the balls of his feet then fall down.  His feet never leave the ground, but he's convinced he's jumping.  John, who has been tearful and low, laughed and laughed at this joyful little boy.  Thank God for the blessings in our lives and our grandchildren are definitely blessings.  

Meals:  Grits, Strawberry muffins

Cheese sandwich for John, Sloppy Joe for me

Spaghetti a la diable, Roasted Broccoli, Orange Meringue Pie

Monday:  Tears for me this morning.  I guess we'll take it in turns to grieve.   Bess came over after we'd eaten breakfast and brought five huge cucumbers from their vines.  She wept when she came in.  "I knew she wouldn't be on the back porch, so I don't know why I'm crying, but I wanted her to be there..."  John's complained that the yard is too quiet.  And it is.  Not that Maddie made that much noise.  It's just the absence of her presence leaves such a void it feels like silence where there had been constant noise.  

After Bess left, I kicked my seat and got housework attended to and then I sat down before the fridge and pulled out all the produce.  Some we bought at Aldi, some at the farmer's market, some has been there long enough.  I sorted out the fridge overall and wiped up spills, then I went to work on the produce.

I chopped peppers, grated zucchini, washed and sliced mushrooms, did the same to yellow squash, diced some tomatoes that just never quite seemed to get ripe but were getting old.  I put some things in the freezer and then I took a bunch of fresh peppers, mushrooms, squash and onions and dressed them with Italian dressing and tossed in a package of Italian Chicken Sausage.  That will become a sheet pan dinner one evening this week.  

I put zucchini, squash and peppers in the freezer.

I chopped the last of the broccoli and made a quick broccoli and apple salad.  That will be part of dinner tonight.

And I took lots of the produce, all of the chopped tomatoes and a little grated carrot along with some dried tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce for the freezer.  It's simmering now.

While lunch reheated today, I sliced cucumbers and onions and made up one jar of refrigerator sweet pickles and three jars of refrigerator dill pickles.   The sweet pickle is a new recipe to me.  We sampled one pickle even though they've not cured yet and boy were they good!  1/4 tsp each of salt, turmeric, celery seed and mustard each 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of sugar brought to a boil.  Pack a quart jar tightly with cucumber and onion slices.  Pour over brine and put jar on lid.  This is a really good tasting recipe already.  I can't wait to try them.

For the dill pickles I used what I had which meant dried dill and minced jarred garlic but I used a recipe from All recipes on YouTube.  Link is HERE.

Now I am off to take the kids to the library.  We're going to see a magician today.  I doubt we'll be home before 5:30 since it's such a late program.

Meals:  Pancakes and Turkey Sausage

Pizza, Pineapple bits

Meatloaf, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli and Apple Salad

Tuesday:  The program at the other library in our county was for a magician, who also told stories and earned genuine laughs from children and adults alike.  I had all three children this time.  Millie was so pleased to be with us and kept turning to give me a kiss all through the hour we were there.  Josh won a nice gift bag as a door prize.  When I asked what his favorite part of the program was, he said, "All of it!"  

I think all the programs we go to from here on will be at the other library.  I don't see any offerings from our town library at all.  I'm going to see if the boys can transfer their reading lists to that library as well.  I don't think it will be a problem.

On the way home a soft gentle rain fell.  It's not putting down anywhere near the quantity of water we really need, but it's a help and I'm grateful for it all the same.  It made the dirt roads home far less dusty.  Sam had insisted I drive his car which is a bigger vehicle than I'm used to (SUV) and totally necessary for his family and car seats, etc.  It is a nice riding car, but I think if I could have one modern day convenience on my car it would be the backup camera.  

I remember when Sam was in high school that each time, I had to pick him up from his job at the recreation field, backing up was always a hazard.  Parents never kept their eye on children.  I'd start to back up thinking all was clear with everyone in the car craning their necks out of the windows to be sure and nine times out of ten someone would pound the side of the SUV because they'd walked up on the vehicle as I was starting to back out.  It was no problem at all yesterday even with an equally large vehicle parked directly behind me, to back out safely.  I liked that a lot.

Isaac had the best time yesterday poking those jiggly bits of my underarms as I was trying to fasten his seatbelt yesterday.  He asked concernedly if it hurt and when I said no, he laughed and said, "Because it's funny and I like doing it."  He's a little stinker, lol.

I came home to make our supper which was easy enough, but I had to thaw the meatloaf in the microwave as it had done little towards thawing out despite sitting on the counter all afternoon long.

Woke this morning knowing we were heading over to Katie's to mow.  Something had a regular feast on my arm last night.  I woke with the arm itching and kept feeling it to see if I had bites, but I couldn't tell.  While I was having coffee, I got a call from Katie who is sick with a tummy virus.  She asked if I could come get Caleb. I offered to take him to school.  John wasn't going to cut the yard alone (I didn't think) and we can't do it with a two-year-old in tow.

Fortunately, that boy loves going to school and when I asked if he wanted to go, he took off for the door without me.  We got his shoes on and headed out.  That only took an hour round trip.  I got Katie some Ginger Ale while I was out.  When I returned John had mown most of the front lawn already.  I took over and finished off that job then insisted I could mow the back yard too, which wasn't high but would be next week if we continue to get these sprinkling showers.  I told John I didn't want to go back to the house to work this week.  It only took two hours together and we got all the yardwork done and made headway on another job or two as well.  John pulled up some bricks that were bordering a back yard flower bed that no longer is planted out.  I didn't bring brick or landscape blocks home today, but they are there waiting on me.

Here at home, I returned to an unmade bed, last night's dishes (clean and dry but not put away) and a home that definitely needed a good tidying up.  After we had a very late breakfast/early lunch, showered and rested for a bit. 

After my shower, I noted that my arm seemed to have bites and when I looked, I found there were a dozen or more places there. I have an essential oil mixture I bought at a booth during the Strawberry Festival that is anti-itch.  I've used that to tone down the inflammation.  No clue what bit me, but John is bite free and it's only on that one arm.  

Those necessary things all got done.  I really want to work on my monthly inventory and tidying up of pantry and freezer and may attempt to get some of that done here in a few minutes.

At this point, I've no idea if Katie will be better enough to pick up Caleb this evening.  Just in case, I'm going to start supper early and then I can just reheat, if I do need to go.  I also need to peel peaches and make a small cobbler to use them up.  They are quite ripe.

Meals:  Burgers and Fries

Sheet Pan Sausage and Vegetables, Peach Cobbler

later:  I'm so glad I listen to my intuition!  I figured if I was going to make supper, I might as well make a peach cobbler.  I went right into the kitchen and started the cobbler, poured my package of Italian marinated vegetables and sausages onto a sheet pan and let the oven work.  It's been much cooler today, so I didn't mind so much having the oven on, but it's still not my top choice.  Still if it's going to be on, let it do all the work at once!

Bess ran by to pick something up and looked longingly at those peaches I was peeling.  I handed her one.  "But you won't have enough for your cobbler!"  "Yes, I will."  She sighed happily, "I haven't had even one yet this summer."  Made me think to myself that when I get a chance to go buy more, I'll pick up extra so she can have some, too.  It's not money that's kept her from it, it's time.  She's working more hours now and Sam's taking over the grocery shopping.  Sam doesn't like peaches so he's not going to think to buy any.  

If John did the grocery shopping, I'd have to give him a detailed list (and I do mean detailed), plus be prepared to be on the phone with him for every step he took in the grocery (ask me how I know).  If I simply relied upon John we'd have bread, eggs, coffee, hamburger meat and cheese.  If he picked up fruit it would be either bananas or apples and overpriced, out of season strawberries (for me).  And if there were doughnuts or the cheapest Duplex cookies, he'd have covered all his bases and see no need of anything further.

While food was cooking, I went over my fridge freezer and the food cabinets in the kitchen.  I took a coffee break and was debating heading to the big pantry to organize and inventory that when Katie called.

Katie asked me to go with her to pick up Caleb.  She was still not feeling well, needed to pick up a prescription and just wanted someone along.  I surely didn't expect to be in Warner Robins twice today.  I was glad I went ahead and made supper!  It's easy enough to warm up, but it's pretty hard going to have to start cooking at 6:30.   I'm well aware many folks do, especially those who work, but I like my suppers in the country manner, a wee bit earlier.

When we returned John came out to speak to Caleb who was happy as could be until he realized that Grampa was telling him goodbye, and they weren't getting out to visit.  Then he cried and let his hurt feelings prevent him from waving goodbye to us.  He's never not waved goodbye to us before, but today he was just not going to do it.

Indoors, I started reheating supper then went on into the pantry to start that organization and clearing up.  I didn't get finished by any means, but I made a pretty good start at the job.  

By the time supper heated, we'd eaten, and I'd cleared up the dishes it was 7:30.  I decided it was quite okay at that point to be tired and stop for the day.

Wednesday:  My arm is itchy and feverish.  That pretty much leads me to believe that it was a stinking mosquito who bit me because that's the way I react to mosquito bites now.  I'm using my essential oil rub and ice packs to try and keep the swelling and itching down to a dull roar.   At least with the essential oil, these tend to heal within three or four days while without it, it's a 10-day process.  It's just the going through part that is uncomfortable.  Not life threatening just uncomfortable.

I got my pantry and freezer/cabinet inventory all done this morning.  Now I know about where I stand foodwise and where I'm low or need to concentrate in the months ahead for restocking.  I also see what I need to use.  I have some mayonnaise that may or may not last until I get to it. It expires this month.  Canned tomatoes that have just expired are not a concern.  Those can be used first in the weeks ahead and will still be good.  I feel pretty comfortable with our supply at present.

I worked outdoors for a few brief minutes this morning.  It was cool but heavily humid.  I sweat a river in just a few minutes walking about the yard doing simple tasks.  I did some very minor weeding.  Noted that a few flowers appear to be surviving in the shed flower bed.  Not as many as had popped up earlier but a few.  So, we'll see how that goes.

I decided to top off the coleus which is HUGE.  I put some cuttings on the kitchen windowsill to root, which makes the fifth set I've rooted since I brought that plant home last month. I planted a mixed pot of begonia, coleus and dusty miller to go in the other hanging basket on the front porch and two lemon seeds that put out shoots.  

Now it's time I got myself ready to go for the boys' library visit this afternoon.  When I return, I'll tell you about the subscription clothing service and my opinion of it.

Meals: Cold Cereal, Cheese Toast

Leftover Spaghetti a la diable

Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, bread and butter, pickles

Later:  I'll do my reviews now that we've had supper and I've cleared up.  The boys had a great time and I think we'll be spending the rest of the summer going to the Butler branch of the library.  They played with robots, snap circuits, Conex, Legos, and lots more today.  Josh was winner of another door prize.  This time he got a slinky, an insurance company sponsored handheld pencil sharpener, a bubble fidget toy (something I was just looking at this week thinking about Christmas gifts for the kids all around), and a really neat little bag.  I was also told that I have to sign in when I bring the boys in.  It seems they are doing a drawing for the adults after the program ends because 'the parents make a commitment to get the kids here.'  Cool!

Number 1: frozen cabbage.  If you'll remember while cabbage was going for 39c a pound in March, I bought an extra head so I could experiment with freezing cabbage.  I took out a quarter head today and cooked for supper.  I'm not impressed.  It's edible but like the canned cabbage I'd bought and tried, it's super mushy in texture.  I'll try one quarter as coleslaw, but I think this is going to end being a failure.  We'll use it up, but I won't do it again.

Number 2:  The sweet refrigerator pickles I made yesterday are soooo good!  I made only 1 quart jar, but we liked them very well.  We sampled the dill pickles and John wasn't much of a fan.  I think they need to cure a bit longer and perhaps they need a bit of sugar and more vinegar.  We'll see.  Not every recipe is a keeper.  I think with the next lot of cucumbers they give us, I'll put up a couple of jars of sweet pickle relish.

Here's the link to the recipe I used.  We had them at supper tonight and that jar is half gone already.

Number 3: Subscription clothing service I recently tried review will up as a post on July 6.  I wrote it out and realized that this diary, which typically is longer than anyone ought to be willing to read had gone even further in length!  However, I did write it all up today as promised, it's just going to be posted next week.  Look for it!

Thursday:  We had a real proper rain last night.  Not just the thunder, lightning and light sprinkles that didn't do much good but did keep things just barely alive.  This was a real roof pounder.  John checked on Misu and Rufus and said the front porch was soaking wet.  I told him "It always is...But there is a shelter out there for them if they'd only go into it."  "Nope.  They're both sitting on a chair together."  And there you go. 

It's overcast this morning and the ground is soaking wet.  That puts an end to our plans for the day.  This week has not been a good one for painting or mowing.  So glad we got the town house yard done on Tuesday.  John will be working double time to catch up the two country yards when the weather cooperates.  

Not complaining about rain though.  We needed it and I'm grateful for it.

Josh, Isaac and I stopped on Monday to watch an ant carry a huge piece of popcorn.  They ant moved it a foot or more, carrying it toward the hill.  The boys were fascinated by that.  I noted ants at work over at Katie's on Tuesday and mentioned it to Josh and then I thought of the proverb about the ant (6:6-8) and shared that with Josh on the way home yesterday.  He was amazed that the Bible would mention ants.

We took a different route home, and I was able to show him a proper Beaver Dam at roadside.  He thought that was so cool.  And what was Isaac doing the whole while?  Eating his snack.  That is serious business for him, and nothing interferes with it.

Josh asked if we might just go to the library in Butler for the rest of this program and I see no reason why we can't.  Their reading credits are good at both, and the selections for the boys are greater.  I did look around there and it's the same story as at the Reynolds library: all new books, long shelves of one select author's work, with nothing older or of the modern-day authors I do enjoy reading.  Sigh. I'll just continue to buy my books to read and be grateful I can acquire them through the mail.

I have spent my morning setting up the checkbook for the month ahead and pampering myself a wee bit.  Fresh pedicure, moisturizing skin, etc.  John and I are totally at loose ends really but like the rain we needed we need this resting period as well.

Funny how if we just release our need to control, we will find we receive what we need.

Now if only inspiration for dinner would come along!

Meals:  French Toast, Bacon

Nachos, Apple Slices

???Surprise!  Katie brought in shish kebab.  I made rice and salad.  We finished off with a post birthday, Key Lime Pie.

Friday:  I am ready for a nap.

Up early-ish this morning.  John started load of sheets and towels while I started up dishwasher which I'd meant to start last night.  I announced to him my intention of going to grocery today and suggested he might not want to go with me.  I had every intention of doing this alone, but it didn't turn out to be so.

We puttered about the house, and I was practically ready to go when I heard him step into the shower, so I cooled my jets and waited on him.

I wanted to go to Kroger to take advantage of coupons about to expire and special sales on items I could use and was out of entirely.  Greatest favor I've done myself in a long time is determine that the first of the month should start my grocery month.  Makes it so much easier to plan for my shopping!

We opted to go to Perry Kroger which is a smaller store.  John doesn't care much for the store.  Funny how different stores have different personalities isn't it?  After church we go to one near the church that is huge and chaotic feeling.  Aisles are odd in some spots; just half the length of others and the arrangement of goods is nothing like any store I've been in.

On Highway 96 that Kroger is luxe and has everything: home goods, kitchen goods, outdoors items, a Starbucks, a bar, a huge deli area, jewelry store and clothing.  It's even larger than the one near church.

The Perry store is the oldest of the three stores and I've been shopping there for 40 or more years.  It's always been arranged pretty much the way it is now.  It's also the smaller of the three stores but the parking lot is also smaller and therefore more crowded than the other stores.  The situation is not helped by the fact that the Fuel Center takes up half the former parking lot space, since this was added 20 years ago, while the other two had Fuel Centers in the planned build.

Today being the first of the month, plus a holiday weekend meant that the aisles were crowded with huge carts of stock, employees and customers milled around and it was generally pretty much a 'watch where you're going' scenario.  However, despite the crowded aisles there is an orderliness in how things are being done in this store that keeps it from feeling chaotic.

Long story to say I shopped in Perry, huh?

Eggs were on my list.  I've waited for another good sale but haven't seen any and since I had only two eggs left here at home knew I was going to have to buy them regardless of price. I've cut back on eggs somewhat but John's not going to go without them entirely.  He likes his eggs!  Egg prices were interesting today.  18 ct. large was $3.89. I had two 40c off store coupons which made this the better purchase for my money.  I never did see how much the 60 count large eggs were, but 30ct mediums were $5.69 or thereabouts.

Two-pound blocks and bags of shredded cheese were on sale.  Butter was $2.49 a pound.  I had two FREE coupons for Hillshire Farm sausages.  I bought Oscar Mayer beef hotdogs for $2.49 each.  I looked for steaks.  A whole ribeye was selling for $6.99/pound, but I knew I couldn't fit one in my freezer.  Single rib eyes were $9.99-$13.99 a pound depending on the quality.  I kept looking about the meat counter and found three of the $13.99 rib eyes marked down by 50% each.  I grabbed those three.

I have been reading up on rice lately.  I have been hindered in buying brown rice in bulk because it is not shelf stable for very long.  It expires pretty quickly.  White basmati rice has a similar glycemic index as brown rice with the exception of being slightly less in fiber.  Basmati will keep up to ten years in storage. Brown rice is generally good for 6 months.

I looked high and low today for Basmati rice and thought I'd found the best price on it but once gone through the register and on our way home, I found it cost $6 more than the price I saw on the shelf.  Sorry to say that John was in no mood to turn and go back.  He pointed out that any increase in what I thought it cost was more than offset by my free Hillshire Farm sausages.  Sigh.  Never mind.  

Blueberries, lettuce, baked beans, onions and baking potatoes finished off my purchases, all on sale and with coupons.

I bought a pretty Penta, a magenta pink one.  I'll need to repot it into something larger.  I think I'll put in the flower bed at the back steps.  The coleus doesn't like the sustained sun there.

Last night, Katie brought the main entree and dessert for supper.  While I waited on her to arrive, I made rice and a salad.  Then I printed out a new lease agreement on the town house for us to sign and recovered my ottoman.  This afternoon I hope to get John's recovered.  I didn't make a slipcover but just went ahead and covered mine.  It looks pretty darned good.  Is it a pro job?  Nope.  But it's done nicely enough no one will likely guess it's not a pro job unless they examine it up close.

Caleb is always full of surprises.  Katie and I were sitting in the kitchen when Caleb walked in and plainly said "Gamma".  I know my eyes got wide and I looked from him to Katie and found Katie's eyes were just as wide and she was looking from him to me.  "He said it," she said to me.  We were both surprised.  Millie is now calling me Gamma as well.  No more Mamama.  It's always a bittersweet passage from the first name they call me to Gramma.

Well, the work is done.  I've a plan for supper. The groceries are put away.  There's a long holiday weekend before us.  We don't have any plans.  I do plan to take it easy and treat it like a holiday though.  We've worked hard these last few weeks and I am feeling the need of slowing down.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

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Shirley in Washington said...

Thank you for the recipes, the sweet pickles sound delicious. Happy 4th to you and your family. Blessings, Shirley

Wendi said...

I laughed when you spoke about men shopping. Hubby is pretty good at getting what I need. Although, it's rare for him to tend to this task. My BIL on the other hand is a hot mess at the grocery.

Twenty years ago my sister was on bedrest during her third pregnancy. This was pre-cell phone and she kept wondering why it was taking him so long. He looked for every item on the list in the order it was written. I can imagine him running all over the store looking for lettuce at this end, milk at the other and then later back to produce for bananas.

He asked why she didn't write the list in the order that the items were in the store. She responded because that list was written as an item was needed. She also had two littles to care for all while she was on bedrest. We still tease him about this shopping trip!

Lana said...

My husband shops just like John. He can't do Lidl because something about their store blocks the cell phone signal. I try hard not to send him alone because with his brain injury it is really hard for him.

We have our middle son's family arriving today for the weekend. Excited to see them!

So many crazy deals this week kept us on the errand run but I think it was worth the effort. Our freezer is seriously groaning. In some ways it looks like grocery stores are getting rid of stock that is too high priced to sell well now. We got one pound packs of good bacon for 2.50 and other crazy deals. We also had a lot of free food from out which I will never refuse when we have a busy week!

ranchwife3 said...

Here is a link for freezer coleslaw. I've made it when I had cabbage to use up and it is quite good. I only froze it for a couple of weeks but it did save the cabbage! I enjoy reading about your frugal ways to avoid waste as that is something I also try to do. Have a blessed day!


Anne said...

You are so right about the particular joy that preschoolers bring to the party. Millie and Caleb not only amuse you and John, but your readers also. There is something so special about the ages of about 1 1/2 until five, as they try and make sense of the world around them.

My hairdresser is raising her grandchild who just turned five. Every month that I go in I press her for the latest words of wisdom from little Charlotte. I'm always chuckling over them for a week afterwards.

terricheney said...

Shirley, I think I'm going to try canning those bread and butter pickles if we get more cucumbers from the kids. I can't eat fresh cucumbers except the seedless sort but I can eat pickles just fine and these were seriously good.

Wendi, lol, oh dear. John's always asking for help and sometimes female employees will tell him "oh you want this item, not that!" lol even if he's on the phone asking me.

Lana, there were good deals at Kroger and I think Publix has quite a few too. I'll check my list and see if there's anything to grab while we're at church (publix is across the road). I won't pick up much but I'll see what's up.

Ranchwife, Thank you for sharing that recipe. I'll give it a try next time I have cabbage.

Anne, I LOVE this age group for children. I deeply enjoy it. Others have told me they DON"T. They like infancy stage and they like older kids but not toddler stage. I think they are just plain FUN at this age.

Tammy said...

When Greg shops for me, he asks for a texted list before he leaves home. We have a running joke about the extras he brings home not being "on the list".

My sister and her family will be here this evening and staying for a couple of days. They're staying here instead of at my brother's, so the frig in the house and frig in the garage are packed full of food. Jess and the kids will be here for many of the meals, and Nick will be here for some, too, plus other family will be in and out. Even feeding all those extras, I should have enough leftovers to not have to shop for a few weeks - and even if I don't, I'm not shopping for a couple of weeks. Lol.

Have a wonderful quiet 4th of July!