Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
It's been a good week so far. I'm focusing on more indoor projects now that the rainy season has started. I purchased some new knives and measuring cups and was motivated to clean out the drawers I store them in. I was able to also get rid of bad knives, and broken measuring cups (the handles had broken off years ago). I had a few that were plastic and the measurement on the cups were worn off. Not usually a big problem other then occasionally trying to figure out if a cup is 1/4 or 1/3.. :). But I now have new ones in clean drawers.

That clean up job led me to give my kitchen counters a good cleaning, clean out the toaster of its crumbs, move the microwave and clean behind it and go through some things in one over crowded cupboard and toss a few items.

Funny how the small things in life can be motivating.

Yesterday hubby and I took our oldest son out to dinner for his birthday. His birthday is in a couple days, so we celebrated early due to schedules. We let him choose his favorite restaurant and enjoyed some yummy Chinese food.  We both find it hard to believe that we are old enough to have a 35 year old son!   :)




With my hubby's help we did the yearly name drawing for Christmas. With a family as large as ours it's not practical for everyone to buy everyone gifts. That is a financial burden that I would never want to put on my children. So for years the kids would draw names when we'd meet at Thanksgiving. Now that I have children living in other areas and we can't always be together on Thanksgiving so hubby and I draw names for them. I put all the names in a basket and then hubby draws each one and I write them down so I have the master list for them in case anyone looses or forgets their name (which has happened :)




After we were done, I messaged each of them and told them their name. They keep their chosen name a secret until Christmas. I set a reasonable dollar limit on the gifts as well. The whole idea is to have some family fun for the holiday.



On My To-Do List
Today I need to do some basic chores around the house..

~clean the bathroom
~sweep/vacuum floors
~sort recycling
~one load of laundry

I'm also going to spend a little extra time in the kitchen doing some meal preps for the rest of the week.


Projects I'm Working On
Planning our Thanksgiving Dinner. Actually we are having our family dinner on the Sunday after Thanksgiving day. For the last several years I have had our meal on a different day due to schedules and the fact that I like to give my children options for that day. They can cook their own meals with their own family or spend the day with their spouses family and don't have to choose one or the other each year. This year my youngest daughter's birthday is on Thanksgiving day so we will spend the day with her and her boyfriend making a birthday dinner instead.



Today's Weather
Well, I think the day can be best described with.. yuck! It is just rainy, rainy and very wet outside. It's actually been raining, almost, non stop for a few weeks now. We get a break here and there (yesterday was a mostly dry day).. One thing is for sure, the rainy season has started!

While I might not care too much for the rain, I find it amusing that my duck, Ping, loves it. When I was taking my picture for today's post, I zoomed in on Ping, swimming around the pond without a care in the world. :) I now can personally see where the saying “like water off a ducks back” came from! :) 



Today's High, 48 Low, 42 and no end in sight to the rain


The View from my Deck (or window)
It was raining pretty hard when I took this picture.  It's hard to actually capture rain in a photo.





What I'm Reading
I finished reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and loved it. Actually my memory of some of the older renditions of the movie are pretty much true to the book.  I now have started reading the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I'm currently reading the book of Matthew in my Bible reading. I found a Kindle freebie that I also started. It's called, The Stranger on the Road to Emmas. I know the book has been out for some time, but I've never read it. It's a Bible study giving an overview of the Bible tying the Old and New Testaments together. I'm loving it so far. And seems to fit right in with my goal to read the whole Bible, in order, this year.



What I'm Listening To
The rain falling, my clocks ticking, and my hubby restocking our firewood.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
This is a frugal tip (so to speak) that goes along with Fitness & Health for the week.. exercise for free. I have no issues with the gym or gym memberships as I know people who have them and benefit from them a lot.

But, I also know they are not for everyone, and they can be expensive. There are so many options for free exercise. The simplest one is walking. If the weather or other reasons prevent you from walking outside, there is walking to a variety of walk videos all free on YouTube. Running is also free, as is doing basic exercises in your own home.

What I love about this modern day is the ability to find a huge variety of options on the internet. You can find (aside from walking videos) yoga, dance, working with weights, daily exercises and so much more, all for free. A quick search of YouTube will show you more then you can believe.



Fitness and Health for the Week
I'm excited to share my progress with you. I've made it to or above 10,000 steps 5 of the last 7 days. I feel like it won't be long and I'll be back to where I was before my health issues set me back. I've been doing 2, 3 or 4 mile walking workouts and it feels amazing. I'm back to my goal of “Getting fit in my 50”s” and moving forward.



That is all for this week!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Menu Monday!





Happy Monday! A new week, a new menu. I had a few different ideas running through my head for this week and settled on some simple meals.


I am making chili tonight in my Instant Pot. It was on my menu last week and the only meal that I did not make, so we'll enjoy some warm chili and cornbread on this rainy cool day.

The rest of the week is looking like this...


This is simple to make and tastes really good. I've made it a few times. It's a low carb recipe, and while I'm not doing low carb I enjoy trying a variety of recipes. I'll serve this with tortilla chips & salsa and a green salad.


Meatloaf
I have a couple of them in the freezer already to go. I'll make one of them and make mashed potatoes and a salad on the side.


Split Pea Soup
Due to days and days of endless rain, I'm in a soup mood. Soup and rain just seem to go together. I'll make it with sausage. Sometimes I use ham, sometimes sausage of some sort (kielbasa type or Jimmy Dean type). I'll serve biscuits and a salad with this meal.



That should do it for the week!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Instant Pot Stuffing




This week in Friday in the Kitchen I'll show you how to make super moist and simple stuffing in the Instant Pot.



Instant Pot Stuffing

Last week I made a turkey breast in my Instant Pot (IP) and then made stuffing to go with it. A little pre - Thanksgiving dinner for us. Instant Pot stuffing is easy to make and is so moist. If you have an IP, this might be handy in your dinner meal preparations. 

I started by chopping up a small onion and about half of a red pepper. I usually also add celery, but did not have any. 



I then put my package of stuffing cubes (I believe it was about 14oz in size) in a bowl and sprinkled the seasoning packet on it and added about a teaspoon of salt.




In a frying pan I melted 6T of butter and sauteed the onions and peppers until they were soft and added this to the stuffing cubes...





The turkey breast I bought had a gravy packet with it so I poured this into my measuring cup and added water until I had 2 cups. If you don't have a gravy packet you can use chicken stock or just water.



I put 2 eggs in with the stuffing and poured the liquid in it and stirred it up..




In my IP I put 1 ½ cups of water and then put a steamer basket into the pot.




I spooned the stuffing on top of the steamer basket...




I put the lid on, set the know to “Sealing” and hit “Manual” and adjusted the time for 7 minutes...




When the time was up, I did a quick release of the pressure. I had a delicious bowl of perfectly cooked, moist stuffing.. 

 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot



Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
This week seems to be flying by. Not sure why some weeks are like that and others just drag. I've been busy around the home and it's been a quiet week.

Does anyone really like the time change? I'm trying to figure out why we still do this. I am a fan daylight savings time over standard time, I would like it if they just left it on daylight savings time. But, either way, I wish we could just leave the clocks in one place and stop messing around with them :). It takes a week to readjust to the new time, and now of course it's getting dark way to early for me.

What do you prefer? Daylight savings time or standard time?

My oldest son came for the weekend for a visit. It was a nice time. He said he just needed a break from the city. I'm thankful my kids can come home to a warm and familiar place that holds a special place in their hearts when they need a break from day to day life.

Yesterday was a long day of grocery shopping and the groceries are in the house and that is always a good feeling. I also had an eye appointment. It was my yearly eye check up. Even though I'm dealing with other vision issues I needed to see if there were any changes in my vision. And there were, so they have to up my prescription.



On My To-Do List
I have a few household chores to take care of today..

~laundry
~vacuum
~mop kitchen floor

And I plan to take an indoor walk after I get this post out. 


Projects I'm Working On
I am planning on making more soap today. I had it on my to-do list last week and it never happened. I do have all my previous batches cut up. I put them in a basket in the bathroom.




My hubby saw it and said, “That's a lot of soap!!”. Ha, ha.. for someone who use to make 25lbs or more at a time, it does not seem like it to me. I told him that most of it will be given away for gifts this Christmas.



Today's Weather
Oh my but it's really getting cold and windy! The trees are really loosing all their leaves and it's starting to feel more like winter then fall. We had a dusting of snow on the hills across the river from us a couple of times.

Today's High 43 Low 41

We have rain coming in today and that will help keep the temps at night in low 40's.. its been in the mid to upper 30's this last week.



The View from my Deck (or window)
You can see just a faint hint of snow on the top of the hills... 





What I'm Reading
I finished reading the Old Testament this week. I started a year ago with the thought of reading the Bible in one year. I've done this many times but I've taken it at a slower pace, which is OK with me. So, now it's on to the New Testament.

I finished Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four. And in the spirit of the holiday and my desire to read classics, I've started reading Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.


What I'm Listening To
My hubby is in the basement working on a project and I hear him humming.. :) I also hear my cats scampering about on the back porch, they are waiting for me to come and feed them. My dishwasher is beeping letting me know the load that I started this morning is done.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
When the weather starts to get cold, as it's done this week, our old farm house gets drafty and hard to heat up. Years ago my hubby solved this problem in a very frugal way. He made plastic windows that can be reused from year to year. He made the frames from 1x2 stock and purchased 3M window plastic. He attached the plastic to the his frames and used a blow dryer to tighten the plastic up. He puts the frames over the windows. This way we have not had to buy the 3M plastic each year. These windows can be used over and over.



He puts strips of foam insulation tape on the side that goes against the window to insure a tight seal..



He screws in the frames to the windows...





and the plastic is clear and tight so it does not obstruct the view..




The difference this makes in keeping the heat in the house is literally HUGE.. It turns a drafty cool house into a warm and cozy home. Because we heat with wood we save tons of labor and time spent collecting, cutting, and splitting wood, bringing fire wood into the house, as well as building and maintaining fires and cleaning out ash.


Fitness and Health for the Week
The best part of this week is that I'm now back to walking. I'm not able to comfortably walk outside (due to vision issues), but I am walking with Leslie Sansone again (both videos and her YouTube channel) and it feels so good. It feels even better to finally have the energy and motivation to do this again. I've reset my goal to 7000 steps for starters. I had one day that I did make 10,000 steps. I started out easy and quickly realized that I was able to do a 3 mile walk without a problem. I guess I have not lost too much with my long break.

That is all for this week!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Menu Monday!




Happy Monday Everyone! :) Hope your week is off to a great start. Today is an at home day and I plan on doing some cooking and maybe a little baking, we'll see how the day goes.

Last week I had sweet pork tacos on my menu and they did not get made. We enjoyed the turkey breast and tri tip roast for a few days. My son was not feeling great one day, so I made chicken noodle soup instead. Now this week, what is sounding better to me is Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Tacos w/Pineapple Slaw. I've made this recipe with both chicken and pork. I have my pork roast already defrosted so it will be BBQ Pork Tacos.. :)

The rest of the week is looking like this...


Chili
The weather is cooling down with some snow in the forecast so I'm thinking a nice pot of chili will be the perfect thing. A little cornbread and honey on the side with a nice salad.


BBQ Baked Chicken
Chicken pieces of choice, bbq sauce and baked in the oven.. pretty simple. I'll make mac & cheese in my IP and fresh green beans to round out the meal.


Salmon & Rice Pilaf
I have some salmon in my freezer and this looks like a quick and easy recipe. It is a pressure cooker recipe. I'll serve roasted brussel sprouts and baked (or IP) butternut squash.



That should do it for the week!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
Last week my husband and I took a trip down to Sacramento California to see our daughters. We visited Emily and her hubby, Brandon and our sweet little grandbaby Raylan and we visited with Leanne and her husband, Danny. It was a very busy and packed week of fun and good memories were made.

We spent a couple days with Leanne and Danny. They treated us to some amazing pizza and then we had a trip to the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico. It was fascinating to tour the brewery and see how beer is made. I had no idea. 




We were also treated to an amazing Korean dinner called Dakgalbi. It was made by both Leanne and Danny. Danny is a chef by trade and the meal was first class. It is seasoned chicken with veggies and eggs. It's served with rice. 





We loved our time with Emily & Brandon and Raylan. He is getting so big! And he is so busy. Always moving and exploring the world around him.





I think what impressed me the most is that at almost 1 year old he can understand English, Vietnamese and now Spanish. He responds to all 3 languages. He has a new nanny now as Leanne has started working for the school district as a substitute teacher and needs to be available full time. His new nanny speaks only Spanish to him and he responds appropriately to what she says to him. Daddy speaks Vietnamese to him and he knows what daddy is saying. It's amazing to see what a little baby can absorb and take in.


It was a busy week with lots of driving and some beautiful scenery in N. California..






On My To-Do List
We arrived home Monday afternoon and unpacked. Yesterday I got reorganized, did laundry and basic housework.

Today I still have a few things to check off my list...

~one load of laundry
~vacuuming
~clean the bathroom



Projects I'm Working On
I'm now turning my attention to Thanksgiving planning. I'm not sure who all will be here for the holiday. I know my California children will not be coming up, and one son may be going to see them. So it will be smaller and I'm good with that.




Today's Weather
Fall is most certainly here! It was a difficult transition for this summer loving lady to spend a week in CA with temps in the mid 80's and come home to temps 25 to 30 degrees cooler. The snow levels are dropping this week. Not down to us, but close enough to make things much cooler and the nights getting colder.

High 54   Low 46  Rain starting later in the day



The View from my Deck (or window)
Cloudy and overcast today with rain in the forecast




What I'm Reading
I finished the book, The Girl with No Name. It was a quick read, and it held my interest. I liked the look at World War 2 in England. It was interesting history to me. If I was to give it a star rating, it would probably be a 3 star book (out of 5).

I did not do any reading while on vacation. I was just too busy or exhausted to take the time to read. But, now I'll finish reading Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four and pick back up my Bible reading.



What I'm Listening To
The quiet peaceful sounds of the home, clocks ticking, refrigerator running, fire going


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Being on the road and on vacation makes being frugal a challenge! However I did find a deal on coffee pods for my Keurig. Keurig cups or pods can be expensive. I've seen them for as much as a dollar each. I drink one, maybe two cups a day but I'm still not willing to spend anymore then necessary for them. I set my limit at .30 cents each. While at Costco I saw my favorite brand (San Francisco Bay Coffee) on sale. The price was .25 cents each. I can handle that.. :) so I bought 2 boxes. I'm set with coffee for a quite a long time.



Fitness and Health for the Week
I've not been sick in about 3 ½ years.. nothing, not even a little cold. I was disappointed that I ended up with one while on our trip. I'm past the worst now and only hope I did not infect anyone else while on our trip.

We did a lot of walking while on our trip. We also did a lot of driving.. ha, ha.. so it was a break even for me. Since being home I'm working on just keeping myself busy and on the move to work in as many steps as possible.


That is all for this week!