Diary of a Homemaker’s Week: Oops!


Forgive me.  I sent out this post early, then put it back in the queue to come up on its usual day.  If you're reading this and feel you've read it all, you haven't.  Just skip on down to Wednesday or Thursday and you can finish off the week with me.  I'm sorry for my mix-up.  I've been having a terrible time with focus lately because I am NOT writing down lists but storing too many thoughts at once in my brain.  Silly me.  The older I get the more I understand people who say they can't walk and chew gum at the same time.  Apparently, I can't write, listen to others and think about 9 other things all the same time!

Saturday:  It was a very laid-back day for us.  Our usual little, a sibling and mama, John all took naps.  I settled in my chair and though I didn't nap, I spent some time completing a Bible study that I found intriguing.

I put a pot roast on earlier today and dumped in all the discounted mushrooms I'd snatched up last week, some brown gravy mix and a partial packet of onion soup mix.  I thickened the gravy later and this was our main dish.  It was most excellent, if I do say so myself.  The little and sibling wanted cereal. Their mama agreed.  No arguments.  I wasn't about to spoil the peaceful atmosphere.  

Meals:  Bagels with Cream Cheese, fruits

Sandwiches and Chips

Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy, Wild Rice, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bread and butter

Sunday:  The sibling asked if they could come to church with us today.  We've been asked before and each time the sibling has backed out at the last minute. Today was different.  I was well impressed with how well behaved that one was.  Amused to watch as motions of standing or lifting of hands were mimicked, but also heartened to hear often how excited they were to be in church 'for the very first time'.  I hope we will see a repeat of this.

Home to the little we'd left behind who'd been heartbroken at our leaving this morning.  No more fussing, simply delight that all had returned.   Put together lunch as quickly as I could but it took a wee bit longer.  The little decreased the number of cherry tomatoes on hand for salad while we waited.  No harm in that.  I think it's a rather good snack to have.  Lunch appetite wasn't spoiled a bit by it either.

Find myself rather worn down and tired this afternoon but then we were up very early.  I confess I've also been a bit nervous and antsy.  I find that wearing.  I think I need this quiet afternoon while the sibling is being returned to the other parent.  

Meals:  Peanut Butter Toast, Banana, Cereal Bars, Juice

Gramma's Fried Chicken, Paw Patrol Mac n Cheese (cheese and cheese the little called it), Salads

Bean Soup, perhaps sandwiches or some fried cornbread

Monday:  I have finally learned to hold my plans loosely.  My plans for the day changed this morning when I went to help the little one get dressed.  Fever.  No nursery school.  Change of plans.

As it happened the little didn't feel well enough to pester Gramma.  I managed to get all the surfaces in the kitchen wiped down and the floor swept, even under furniture and shaking out of rugs.  I removed all the excess stuff on the counters which I discovered were mostly items that really didn't belong there in the first place.  No wonder it was looking cluttered.  

A nap took hold of the little one, so I slipped into the bath and showered, dressed and had time to completely pick up my room before I heard a peep, which was more whimper than peep.  Fever had gone up higher.  I drained the last of the Tylenol and gave a dose since we were now creeping up to 102f.   I have a second bottle with about as much.  For this one

While the little one curled up in a chair watching tv and occasionally wimpering, I noted that a store near one of my working family members supposedly had both the Genexa and Tylenol in stock.  Online ordering kept telling me that the site had sold over 1000 bottles yesterday alone.  Wow.  I texted my family member who agreed to run down to that store on lunch break.  Soon received a text back saying that the shelves were bare of everything including Ibuprofen.  

About that time a dear friend who has encouraged me often over the past few years messaged to say she had felt impressed to go buy and send acetaminophen.  I could have wept.  She said God had impressed her and it heartened me to know that.  I realized that she'd stopped and listened, and I had been listened to when I was praying that we'd manage this fever. I said, "Thank you very much," and I meant it for her and to God.

 I want to thank ALL of you who have offered to help after my last post...I have been so overwhelmed with the lovely generosity of so many of you offering to help us out by sending some of your area's supply to us and I do appreciate it.  How blessed am I to have you all care so much?  Thank you all very much.

While tv was on, I went back to the kitchen.  I'd pulled a few things from the freezer early this morning, planning to work ahead for evening meals.  I have already scratched my planned menu up.  Last night, when we were having the bean soup for supper, John refused to have any.  He said if he was going to eat soup, he wanted chili.  I considered this as I was pulling things from the freezer.  Why take out sausage and chicken to make Jambalaya if he wanted chili?  I pulled a second portion of ground meat to make chili.

I did end up taking some chicken from the freezer.  I did something so silly a couple of weeks ago. I bought a bag of chicken thighs.  I swear I thought it was 2.5 pounds and I knew it would be too much for one meal for us but really what's an extra pound of meat thawed?  I looked at it today and realized it was a 5-pound bag instead.  I was able to thaw it enough to pry pieces apart.  They were all still fully frozen.  I repackaged them and put them back in the freezer.  Goodness, I hope I pay better attention if I ever buy that large a package again.  

I was digging around looking for the frozen turkey but couldn't find any.  And I guess that's going to get scratched too because who wants a cottage pie and chicken pot pie in the same week?  Obviously, I did, since I made up the menu, but I think I'll make something else with my leftover chicken.   What 'something' will be is unknown at this point.  I lack key ingredients for most of what I can think of and the little one can't have cheese which pretty much shoots Broccoli Chicken and Rice casserole down before it's launched...Unless I make a separate portion without the cheese.  That's a thought.

Now I have chili made and the Beef Pot Pie is in the oven.   Now to think up what to do with the chicken.

Meals:  Eggs and Toast/ Yogurt, Banana and Toast

Leftovers.  I ate bean soup, John had half a sandwich and leftover mac and cheese, little one had a bit of applesauce, a lactose free mac n cheese and juice.

Beef Pot Pie, Pear Salad, Green Peas.  I decided to do the easy pot pie topping that is so similar to the easy cobbler recipe.  I've only used it on Chicken Pot Pie, but it seemed to me it was worth trying on a Beef Pie for a change.  I'll let you know how it went.

Tuesday:  Temperature of the little went up last night.  Not alarmingly but higher than it had been earlier in the day.   There was a lot of sleeping and snuggling down under a blanket all day long as well.  Very concerning.  Mama decided to call the doctor and make an appointment for him today.

Still feverish this morning, though it was lower.  We skipped the medicine and just let the fever work its goodness.  It stayed within just a point or two of where it had been this morning all afternoon long.  

The doctor's office was packed with sick children.  Apparently, they are seeing a lot of flu and the assistant was pretty sure that was the issue we were facing.  I didn't think it was...and it turned out I was right.  It was strep.  Which is also going around.  Right now, everything is going around, as it does when the children are in school, and nursery and it is winter.  Everything is being shared generously with everybody.  

We'll have another day at home tomorrow much to the great sorrow of this little one who was looking forward to being reunited with several classmates as they were all being moved into a classroom together.  Poor baby shall just have to wait a little longer.

John got his back adjusted this morning and though he suggested to the doctor that he come a little more often, she told him no, he's to come once a month and no more.  She felt stress was the issue with his back this time.  Well gee, I can't imagine what he has to be stressed about!  I am being facetious, of course.  

So glad I had a ready-made entree to put on the table this evening.  It ended being a long day.

Meals:  Cubed Steak, Gravy, Biscuits

Toasted Cheese sandwiches

Chili, Yellow Rice, Rich Cornbread

Wednesday:  We all got to sleep just a wee bit longer this morning.  It was absolutely lovely.  Little one is feeling much better and actually ate a proper supper tonight.  Yay!  There was a weight loss after the tonsillectomy and to go another few days without food during this illness is concerning.  So happy to see a happy eating child.

I had quite a lot of figuring and paperwork to sort out this morning and spent time in my room with coffee, breakfast and later a second coffee, trying to get it all squared away.  It took a lot of brain work and a lot of calculator work, but I eventually got it all worked out in such a way I could explain my idea to John, who was on board.  He reminded me of some previous obligations.  I was grateful for the reminder.

It still left us with one bit to deal with, but we decided that necessitated doing an additional thing and we needed to do further thinking and research.  We agreed to continue our discussion while out running errands.

I made out a quick grocery list for the one store we'd be near, gathered outgoing mail, and off we went to run our errands and have a nice lunch out at our favorite little place.

We did our errands and headed to the restaurant.  We were pleased to get one of our favorites of the waitstaff.  Our meal was lovely as always and everything tasted just wonderful.   While we were waiting, we sorted out the second part of our problem and John came up with a brilliant solution which pleased us both and felt like the perfectly right solution.  

We agreed I'd go into the grocery alone.  I wanted to have time to look for clearance items as well as pick up a few sales items.   John was all for sitting in the car.  It's comfortable enough for him to enjoy sitting outside watching people or resting his eyes.

The store was a mess.  I've been reading that Kroger is about to make a lot of changes in some of their stores.  I don't know if this is part of it or not but the whole store was a challenge.  Things had been moved. One side of several aisles had been completely removed and items were moved elsewhere.  One clerk explained to a customer that part of the makeover was that so many items were now organic or all natural that rather than devote one aisle to them, those items were being incorporated into the regular food categories.  So all-natural cereal would go with the cereals on that aisle, etc., rather than being off to themselves as they have been in the past.

It was crowded and lots of people were stalled looking for mis-placed items.  When I got to the section of the dairy where eggs had been in the past, I found it filled with creamers instead.   Another woman stopped a clerk who'd just asked me if I needed help finding anything.  That was one constant, the clerks were extremely helpful and there were loads more than usual on hand.  This store is always courteous, but it was especially so today.  

While I was choosing creamer, a woman came along and replied to the clerk's request to help.  "Well, where are the eggs?!  Did they get so high you all too them out of the store entirely?"  A little laugh went up among the customers in the area.  "No ma'am, we moved them down below the cheese on the dairy aisle."  "You mean over near the wine?  More cameras in that area to watch customers to keep them from stealing them, I guess!"  The clerk laughingly replied, "We thought it might be necessary."  He was joking of course.  Wine is on another aisle entirely.  But his reply got a loud laugh from everyone including the lady who was asking him.

I did find a few good buys today.  Not the buys I'd read of others finding in their area, and certainly not the best buys I'd hoped to find but buys well worth stocking the pantry with and at very good prices.  Mostly baking mixes, for cookies, muffins and such.  I don't typically keep those on hand but if mixes are really well priced, they are very nice to have on hand, especially when the expiration dates are a year or two out, as these were.  Bonus, I got a little money back from Ibotta on one or two of the mixes.   I don't get Ibotta deals very often and while these weren't free it was fun to get money back on an already deeply discounted product.

It was, in the end, a rather long day.  We came home to unload groceries and put them away.  I'd bought a rotisserie chicken for a quick supper entree.  It was a tiny thing, lol, but enough for four.  

Meals:  Cheese Toast


Rotisserie Chicken, Potatoes au Gratin, English Peas, Bread and Butter

Thursday:  Well, darn it!  I discovered last night that I'd apparently hit publish on this post early.  I've removed it from the line-up.  Now it shall publish on the proper day of the week.  Goodness!  I've been struggling lately with overload.

At the doctor's office on Monday, I was given a set of forms and told to fill them out for the new year.  I had to call the mama and ask her to guide me through it.  Well talking on the phone, monitoring where little one was wandering, listening to John mildly fuss, and trying to fill out forms ended up being a disaster.  I humbly walked right to the desk and asked for another form, as mine was filled in all right.  Just every bit of information was in the wrong slot!  The girl behind the desk offered to shred my first form.  I started to hand it to her and then snatched my hand back.  "Oh no, not now!  I've got to have this one to get all the information off of!"  She laughed, but I could only imagine what a mess that would be and to have to disturb the mama at work twice...Nope!  But in hindsight, I'll just ask them to email her the forms and let her fill them in.

I was going to do so many things last night and then I didn't.  I realized as I continued to juggle this and look up that and try to write out something else, that I was weary, just plain weary.  I shut off the computer and let an old episode of Perry Mason fully absorb my attention, then went off to bed and went right to sleep.  Kindest thing I've done for myself all week long, and that's the truth of it.

John has had some real sleep struggles lately and we've been trying to adjust.  Finally last night, I suggested we swap sides of the bed.  We did get rather tickled over our conversation right before making the swap.  He suggested that it was a man's place to sleep nearest the door, in a protective position for the female.  I told him I'd never heard such a thing.  "And besides I used to sleep on the door side all of the time," I said boastfully.  And when he asked me why we'd swapped, I looked at him and realized why...I sheepishly told him, "Well because I didn't feel safe..."  and we both had a good laugh.   We did swap sides and we're trying to adjust to our new positions.  

Honestly the most disturbing thing about it isn't being near the door.  Nope.  It's that the washstand is on his side now and that's my bedside table and drawer.  His table is a glass topped one with naval knots under the glass and all his stuff on top.  I wondered last night how it came to be that I had so much stuff in my bedside drawer and why I suddenly felt bereft of it all when it was just across the bed from me.  Never mind.  John got up twice to check his stuff on my side.  We didn't want to swap it all out until we determined if this arrangement would work for us or not.

If we do determine to swap permanently, then I must make some decisions.  You see the washstand I use is much larger than the table he uses but our bed and most importantly the gallery wall above the bed is all arranged just so around the smaller table on the door side of that wall.  It would completely ruin the look of it all if I swapped tables as we'd have to shift the bed, etc.  

I'm actually considering looking for new bedside tables.  I can always use the washstand in another room...The house is in such a state of transition at the moment anyway there's not much chance a new piece or two will completely upset our lives is there?  I chuckle ruefully remember the two new chairs last summer...

While he was doing laundry and I struggled with a jammed paper shredder, John mentioned something he wanted me to do for a family member.  When that family member showed up around an hour later, I stated what he wanted to do.  This was a pleasant surprise to her.  We agreed that no time was as good as the present time.  I also wanted to get a backpack and new pants for a growing little who has a deep desire for pockets on pants and who has worn through two pairs of pants in two months.  John begged off the venture entirely.  He has an aversion to shopping for anything that isn't food, guitars or is mechanical in some way.  Off we went.

We had lunch out as it was later than I'd imagined.  We shared a burger at a place I'd seen many times but never been too.  They have the most unique lineup of hamburgers I've ever chanced to read on a menu, and I personally would like to try every one of them.  I was really surprised because I'd thought the place was just a bar, but it's actually a restaurant with a bar.  It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the food was genuinely good, quite reasonable in price and more than ample.  We shared a burger between us, and it was plenty of food.

From where I was seated, I could see outdoors.  I was just looking at a vacant lot but I can't begin to tell you how beautiful it was.  The wall of the building next to the lot was a softened terracotta color.  Sedge growing in the lot was the loveliest shade of soft amber.  The sky just above the building wall was grey.  The wind was fairly brisk, blowing in the weather we've had this evening, and the sedge waved in such a graceful manner.  It took my breath away.  All that beauty just sitting there unnoticed by anyone but myself and I was completely mesmerized with it.  

Off to do the shopping which came up to a shocking total.  I had just said to John the day before that I sometimes feel guilty for doing so much ordering online, but it does save the impulse purchases and that's the truth.  Today proves just how much I save by being such a focused online shopper!  

Impulse buys I absolutely do not regret: a child's book for a Valentine's Day gift for the little one, a lovely pair of slippers in burgundy velvet (soooo gorgeous and clearance priced), and three new sets of miniature cooking toys which immediately occupied the little one.  One was a rolling pin and cookie cutters.  Another set was a spatula, measuring spoons and a whisk.  And the third set was a tiny wooden cutting board and vegetable chopper (also wood for safety's sake).  We found out this little one knows just what this stuff is for, too.  He chopped his graham cracker up on the cutting board with the vegetable chopper and was measuring it with his new measuring spoons...all in the middle of the bed!

Meals:  Pancakes and sausage

John ate leftovers from yesterday's lunch out.  Family member and I shared a burger that combined a dill and garlic sauce with dill pickles and fried pickles on the burger.  

Mustard and Maple Chicken and Rice, Broccoli, salad, bread and butter.

Friday:  I'd forgotten what it was like to be alone in our own home.  It's fun sharing with others but it's nice too to remember how it will be one day soon all over again, you know?

I've been a busy woman of late.  In fact, I've missed most of four days' work this week, though I did accomplish quite a bit on Monday since the little one felt so bad.  It soothed my worried soul to work about the house while that one napped.  But today I felt the need to tackle my bedroom closet.  I wanted to do Shabat cleaning.  I wanted to get some thoughts out of my head and into the places that might help me remember them.  I also very much wanted to attend an estate sale in the county seat.

Up early and fed the little one a breakfast while mama got ready for work.  Then I had a leisurely cup of coffee after they left, before making breakfast.  I loaded the dishwasher while I was making breakfast.  John had already stripped the bed and baths and was washing clothes.  

I made comment as I worked in the kitchen that I needed to sort out the fridge.  "What do you mean?! You've already sorted it out once this week!"  I laughed at John when he said that.  "I did, too.  Now it's time to sort it once again.  I have to stay atop this task, or we lose food."  Having recently gotten a good taste of what it's costing for groceries here lately, he was all for my not wasting any food.

Bread was made and the kitchen cleaned properly.  I then went on to our bath to tidy that and then made up our bed with fresh linens.  I gathered all the boxes and trash from the last couple of days. I cleaned my desk and entered yesterday's receipts into the check register.  

And then I did the big job, the one that has really made me itch to get to it all week long.  I tackled my closet.  I was just telling dear Carolyn how much I wanted to get the shelves in the niche of the closet all sorted out, rearranged and neatened up.  First though, I had to remove all the stuff from the house that I've crammed in the closet since taking up Christmas and clearing the bookcases and kitchen of extras.

With that out of the way, everything came off the shelving unit. It's not the unit I'd like to have but it is the one I have at present and until I determine what will work better, I figured I could at least make it look neat and nice and arrange it more conveniently.   You know that took far less time than I'd imagined it might and boy does my whole closet look a lot better.  Mind you I carted a load of stuff out of the closet and moved it to the back door area so I could carry it outside to the shed.

That work carried me until the bread came from the oven.  The house was neat and tidy, all the laundry folded and put away.  I told John it was time to head out to that estate sale.  No, he didn't go with me, and I was pretty sure he likely wouldn't.  For one thing it was very, very cold and windy out this morning, a real turnaround from our muggy warm day and early evening yesterday.   The sun had shone brightly for a bit this morning, but then the sky grew sullen and filled with pouty dark grey clouds.  But his second reason is that he's always afraid if he's along I'll buy something big and heavy for him to tote.  No not really, but it could be true, because I'm forever telling him what I 'almost' bought but couldn't carry.

This was a very popular sale today.  There were cars lined up along the side of the street so that you'd have thought a funeral was taking place.  I had to park about a half block away and walk back down toward the house. 

The house didn't look so very big from the roadway, but it turned out to be very large, at least by my standards.  It had been beautifully kept; anyone could see that.  Most all of the furniture still in the house was sold.  That left just loads of small articles, linens, etc.  I nosed my way through rooms and books and goods and picked up a few things.   There was one thing, I sat down and then forgot to pick up again that I wish I'd gotten but oh well.  The truth is I don't really go for the stuff, though I do love to plunder through it all.  No, I go to see the house.

This house was nice and had apparently housed someone who loved to entertain just based on the table linens and napkins and the many sets of China and glassware.  I think the house must have been a gracious home at one time, but I was disappointed in one thing.  From the home itself and the furnishings still in the house I could tell that the family that lived there was probably well to do.  Not rich but better off than most folks in our community.  There wasn't a really nice piece of artwork anywhere.  It was all standard stuff.  Given how nice the house itself was, I was very disappointed in that.  Perhaps they had nicer pieces that they family opted not to put out but given the number of pictures ranged against the walls, I'd be surprised to find there was more anywhere.

I came away with a baking pan (14 x 10), a handful of books, of course, and a Petula Clark album for John.  I enjoyed my adventure but was glad to make it back across the busy highway and get backed safely onto the roadway without a mishap.

When I came in from the estate sale, I loaded up my wagon with all the stuff that was going to the shed and went to put it there.  Had it not been so very cold and the wind so brisk, I'd stayed and cleaned that space, too.  It's time to do a good sorting out once again.  

Gracious if ever you want to be strong on the decluttering bug, just go walk through an estate sale and see the hundreds and thousands of things remaining after all the furniture is gone...It always makes me think of the clearing of Grandmother's house and of clearing out the house in town after Mama left it.   And there I was looking at all the stuff I've collected in the shed...Ugh.  Definitely time to really think about what I'm hanging to out there.

After lunch, I sorted out the fridge.  I determined what of our leftovers we'd eat for supper tonight.  John and I had a lovely time over afternoon coffee watching a movie called "The Outfit".   If you like unexpected twists and turns, but not hairy scary situations, then you'll enjoy this film.

I made supper.  We had Shabat.  Oh, how I've missed having Shabat on a routine basis in our home.  It was just lovely to have the space and quiet and time to focus solely on Shabat.  

Now the weekend begins.  Stay warm. 

Meals:  Grits, Toast


Steak, Potatoes, Salad.  I cooked a steak I'd picked up on sale the other day at the grocery, but all the rest of the meal was leftovers.  It was all so very good!

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(C) Terri Cheney

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