Diary of A Homemaker’s Week: Summer Showers

Saturday:  John had started mowing Sam's yard yesterday when a heavy downpour caused him to stop.  Josh, Isaac, and I got caught in the same downpour in town and were all soaked to the skin by it. 

John told Sam he'd finish his yard today and so he went back over to cut this afternoon.   Before he left, Katie and Caleb came in to visit for a brief spell.   I offered up pizza leftovers for their late lunch. 

Caleb's big delight at present is to climb up on our bed and throw himself down amongst the pillows.  The second thing he's excited about these days?  If I pull a blanket over my head and he can get under there with me.  He giggles and laughs and pops in and out again and just loves that.  He made all of us laugh today with his enjoyment.

John asked me to ride into town with him to get gas.  Then he went to the hardware/auto parts store to pick up fresh blades for the mower.  On the way back into the drive, he stopped at the mailbox and fixed that broken door.  We'll eke out the thing a little longer.  I plan to buy a larger box than we have now for my next one since one of the postal carriers insists on cramming packages inside.  Mary usually drives packages up to the house, but she's nice like that and is a favorite among all her postal route.

I was so tired, my eyes felt like I had sand in them.  I didn't nap though I did try by closing my eyes and letting myself relax, but it just didn't happen.  I had some bookwork that I really needed to attend to, so I settled to do that.  I put a big hen in the oven to roast, not quite as big as the last one I baked.   My thought was that we could have chicken for lunch tomorrow as well as for supper tonight.

While I was prepping my vegetables, John came back from mowing.  He said that despite the fact it had only been one week since the last cut, he'd had to cut every section twice and that was with new blades.  He's thinking ours will be just as thick and difficult to cut, too.  I'm wondering how bad Katie's will be next week.  That's the downside of having had enough rain.  Truthfully, the lawns could be cut twice a week!

John took one look at one of my vegetables and asked, "What are you doing with that?"  I chuckled as I looked at his face.  I knew he didn't want a bit of it, but I went right on with my prep.  I told him "Never mind.  It's for ME, not for you."  I made him a salad instead.

We didn't eat until later.  I wanted to give that hen plenty of time to cook through.  It registered spot on done with the meat thermometer.

Meals:  Bagels with Cream Cheese

Sausage and Veggie Pizza

Roast Chicken, Zucchini au gratin, Baked Potato (and salad for John)

This was the last text I had from Katie last night.  Caleb wanted to change where he was sleeping...He has a lovely little bed, but he wanted to sleep in the drawer!

Sunday:  I was up late last night but I slept.  I'd read a post from Annabel that just totally resonated with me yesterday.    Especially this line:

She said when she was up with babies in the night, she used to pray that God would turn her few hours' sleep into plenty and make these hours a quality sleep that would count as a lot. 

You all know how I struggle with poor sleep.  It's been a lifelong thing and I was certainly weary yesterday due to lack of sleep on Friday night, but I tried this woman's prayer and asked last night that God would make it sound sleep that would be enough.

I've linked the whole post above because it truly is worth reading and even printing off to keep in my opinion.  

Our sermon today was Part II of a series called "Fractured" and this morning two couples were on stage both of whom lost a child, one to a car accident and another to suicide.  It is a good sermon series, but this morning's sermon was especially poignant to listen to with the testimony of these two couples included.  

After service we headed over to Kroger.  Half of the items on my list weren't even in stock.  I never complain about sales items being out of stock.  If I was really desperate for them, I'd have gone over when the sales posted last week. Yes, I had hoped to get some of them, but they weren't that important to me.  I still managed to pick up several items today despite missing out on a few.

John wanted to buy me a Starbucks coffee.  However, the sign said the espresso machine was out of order and I was not interested in a non-coffee drink.  It explained a great deal about why there were only two people in line though, lol.  

We stopped at the bakery specials rack.  Prices weren't as low as last time we were in the store, but we still picked up a package of 8 big bakery hamburger buns for $1.50 and a package of chocolate chip cookies for $1.

Cooking oil was less than it was at Aldi last week.  We recently tried the Oscar Mayer Angus hotdogs, which I'd picked up during the July 4th sale.  They were really good!  I was pleasantly surprised.  We've not eaten an Oscar Mayer hot dog in ages.  They were on sale again this week, though not quite as good a sale as they'd been two weeks ago.   John came to me and said "Come here!  They have hamburgers on sale..."  

Usually all he has to see is hamburgers already made into patties and a yellow sticker (10 for $10!) on the package for him to tell me they are on sale and urge me to come look.  Today they really were on sale, for $3 for 10 patties.  "That's 30c each!"   It worked out to about 2 pounds of ground beef.  Gracious! "You're right!"  We bought hamburger patties today, something I typically will NOT buy because usually these are $5 or more per pound at regular price.

We picked up 2 half gallons of orange juice at $1.29.  I can't buy frozen concentrate to make juice for that little just now.  I would like to have gotten more but I had one coupon good to use five times on milk and orange juice and I needed milk.  It's worth sharing that I recently read that we can buy orange juice when it's on sale, place it in quart jars and water bath can it!  It requires 15 minutes processing.  Had I not needed milk I'd have purchased orange juice for canning today.  

Milk, butter, a necessary 18 ct. of eggs and I said "That's enough. Let's go home."  My list wasn't done, I hadn't looked for every item on sale, but I felt I'd bought enough.   At the register I found I was within $10 of what I'd thought I might spend. 

John meant to start our yardwork today, but it's overcast and heavy outdoors.  I suspect that it's going to rain again.  We're going to senior supper tonight.

Monday:  There was no yardwork nor housework done yesterday at all.  No indeed.  After I typed that Sunday diary entry out, I went to sleep in my chair and John apparently thought it a great idea because he put on a classical music video and went to sleep himself. I slept a bit over an hour.   It was some of the best sleep I've had in a while!  John slept almost 4 hours.  

Our supper and program last night were really nice.  They offered up leftovers to take home but since it was barbecue pork, we passed on leftovers and left it for others.  We drove home last night with the sun full in our eyes almost every mile of the way.  A sign of mid-season with the sun setting when we're on the way home after our evening out.

This morning I slept in.  I mean really slept in.  I am just in one of my cycles of not sleeping well and I know it shall pass.  It almost always does.  After a simple breakfast this morning (thank you past me for making muffins and freezing them!), I set about my housework.  I didn't do a routine cleaning exactly today and I didn't do any of the Zone work, nor extra jobs.  I just went through each room and set it to rights.  Then I sorted out the fridge and dealt with the stuff I found therein.  I decided to prep supper for tonight, since Katie and Caleb will be joining us.  Katie is sick so I've made up a jar of broth for her to take home.  I made a tuna pasta salad for our meal tomorrow.  I cut up all the peppers and put them in the freezer, except for what I required for the pasta salad.  

John went out to mow the yard.  We've had enough rain of late that combined with the daily heat, the yard was difficult to mow even though it's not been but 8 days since it was last mowed.  John had to cut Sam's yard twice (one cut higher and the next a bit lower) on Friday and Saturday and that's how he had to cut ours today.  He carted a heavy old pecan limb that had fallen over to Bess's burn pile, and he told me that you can't even tell he just cut grass last on Saturday over at the other house.  

He stopped at the graveyard and trimmed in there as well.  "I can't keep up with it..."   I've done all I can to clear the cemetery so it can be mowed.  Sam can't get the tractor in there to do anything without destroying the cemetery.  I don't know what the answer to that task is.

I know that he was really tired, and his outlook gets like mine.  He feels he can't keep up, disheartened, resentful, sorry for himself...I'm very familiar with all those feelings myself when I've gotten weary and frustrated.  

I think I worked almost every minute that John mowed today and then some. This morning, I weeded a portion of flower bed that insists on being weedy.  I'm going to have to change something in that bed and soon or it's going to get out of hand.  I need to go buy mulch.  

When I suggested to John while he was having a glass of water that we needed to buy mulch and also look at the upright freezers and the mowers, so we'll know what we're looking at cost-wise, he got testy with me.  I think the last thing he wanted to hear at that moment was that he 'needed' to do anything.  I should have chosen to hold back that remark until another time.

Caleb is not really in the mood to eat right now.  His supper tonight consisted of banana, grapes and 2 biscuits.  He insisted I put lettuce on his plate even though he won't eat it.  He wanted it because Grampa had some.   Katie wasn't feeling good so after supper they went home.  She's coming back on Wednesday to cut John's hair.  This all worked out as far as we are concerned.  

He's got a load of wash running, I've got a load of dishes running. I think at this point we will stop and call the day DONE.

Meals:  Peach Muffins, Cheese Cubes

Roast Beef and Swiss Sandwiches

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole, Peas, Salad with Grapes, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese, Biscuits

Tuesday:  I woke really early this morning. I heard the ping of rain on the vent covers as I was making coffee.  It was a soft gentle rain. I stepped out on the back porch and found it was very pleasant outdoors.  Rufus, Misu and I sat out there together while I had my coffee.  Lovely way to start the day!

After breakfast I cleared up the kitchen which seemed to take longer than it generally does.  Why is it that way at times?  

I strained the broth I left in the crockpot overnight and got it put up in containers.  This is where reality bites. I have NO room in my freezers for broth.  I have four quarts of broth and nowhere to put any of it.  So, I shall be thinking of how I can use broth over the next few days!  The freezers are packed.  I keep pulling a little out and putting a little more back and the math is just not working.

I have made up my mind that I absolutely must stop buying to put anything in the freezers and start working on using up some of the stuff inside.  From now until end of August, I plan to concentrate grocery spending only upon pantry items and produce and dairy for current usage.  I have run out of room and there's nothing for it but to free up some space.   This is not a bad problem to have.

I pulled all the pieces of bread from the freezer this morning and have them thawing on the counter right now.  I'm thinking it's time to make a strata or breakfast casserole with this lot. I never did get the last one made.  I can also make a fresh batch of croutons for salads and soups.   John will sometimes eat them as a snack, too.

I had great plans for this week, but thunder has rumbled since early morning.  My head is aching, shoulders tensed and stomach churning.  I'm more than certain this is all barometric related. It has, nonetheless put me quite off accomplishing much today.  I settled for getting the bookshelves in order and dusted.  I long to redo them and the mantel too but not today, I think, not today.  

Meals:  Grits, Toast

Tuna Pasta Salad, Peaches

Po' Boys, Tomato Pesto soup   You might expect a seafood Po'boy but the one I grew up with was something Mama and Daddy sought to recreate often enough that I remember their efforts.  It was a sandwich they used to get at a drive-in diner when they were dating.  Apparently, it consisted of ham, pickles, cheese and a po'boy type roll and was baked.   I made mine with turkey Spam, Cheese and Bread and Butter pickles.  

When the weather finally broke this evening, the AC had long since stopped running incessantly and John and I were chilly.  Soup and sandwich sounded really good to us both and it was.

I made up a big batch of croutons from the end pieces of bread.  And the buns for our supper sandwiches came from that same bag of leftover bread pieces.  They were still fresh enough to use.  I still ended up with a full quart of croutons that we'll use to top salads or soup.

Wednesday:  We were up early this morning.  I'd had a night full of disturbing dreams.  No clue why I should have bad dreams.  But there you are.  I went to bed, jotted down a quick list on a pad of paper next to the bed as soon as we'd cut out lights (more on that in a second) and went right to sleep.  I did not stay asleep.  I was startled awake by the first dream which was grim.  The others that followed were just frustrating ones, but that first one that made me sit up gasping for air was terrible.

Anyway, we were up early again this morning.  John showered right away.  He'd determined that we'd go look today at freezers and mowers.  I will say that man is pretty focused when he chooses to be.  There was no wandering the store looking at anything much else except string for his strimmer.   We found a freezer.  We haven't bought it yet, but after viewing the options we know which one we want.  We came home and looked up reviews on it and have decided that we'll order.  We initially put in a cart online.  The date of arrival was listed as end of September.  That wasn't what stopped us however.  We decided we'd rather deal with the store and do our business in person.

We priced out mowers.  John knows pretty much what he wants.  At the very least he'll take the same size mower he has now.  He'd prefer a little larger one for these properties out here.  We were pleased we were about spot on what we'll pay for it.  I've no idea what the wait time on those might be or if we could buy it right away.  John didn't seem nearly so committed to getting one right away as he did to the freezer.

We've agreed upon how it shall be paid for and what our schedule for repayment will be.  Of course, if I can possibly pay it off sooner, I shall.

What we bought at Lowe's today: a new broom for my kitchen.  I've needed a new one for quite some time.   That was it, a whole $6 after taxes.

We left and headed to the salon so I could get a haircut which I've been needing for about a week.  The stylist I had today is 'creative' to say the least.  She's slow and does a good job of trying to give you just what you want.  She's been at this place for two years or more so she's steady and though she doesn't fit their fifteen-minute haircut profile she is good.  When I say she's creative she's unusual.  She typically dresses as though she's going on safari with pants shoved into tall boots.  Today she had a royal blue chiffon skirt over that.  Her mask has elf ears.  And she'd made up her eyes to look as though they were both blackened.  She did a good job...I truly thought perhaps she'd been in a car accident the way they were made up but when I looked closely, I saw the glitter shadow.    For all her display of creativity, she does good styling, and I was pleased with my hair when she was done.

I suggested to John we try a burger place down the row of buildings in the same shopping center.  I've hinted I'd like to try that place several times and figured since it was burgers, he'd like it.  Today he was willing to give it a try.   I had a Spanish burger with a smoky habanero seasoning (not hot) and grilled jalapenos (warm, not hot) with Pepper Jack cheese.  John wanted a classic cheeseburger.  It was quite good.  I likely won't get the same burger again, but I can't say it put me off giving the place another try.  It was reasonably priced, quiet and clean.

After that we headed home.  I realized once we were home that today is my Daniel's 13th birthday.  Now 1/3 of my grandchildren are teens or older!  Goodness where does time fly off to?

I've no idea what we'll have for supper tonight.  Something Caleb friendly for sure, since he and Katie are supposed to run by tonight so she can cut John's hair.   Tomorrow we've each got plans for our day and we'll go in opposite directions.

Supper...I really must think of something for supper.

Meals:  French Toast, Turkey Sausage

Burgers, Fries, Onion Rings (John) and drinks

Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Corn Bread Casserole (deconstructed Corn Dogs Katie called it all, lol)   She and Caleb ate the last of the bargain priced chocolate chip cookies.  BTW the cookies were good...Not like homemade good but good.  Still prefer homemade though.  It's just almost always better.

Thursday:  I meant to visit Mama today. I got up far earlier than I wanted to rise after a restless night.  Ugh.  Anyway, I made us breakfast, did very little housework then got myself ready to go visit.

I went by the local Walmart in her area to see if I could get my glasses adjusted.  Yes, they are new and yes, they were adjusted when I picked them up, but they have been a regular pain the backside.  One earpiece has pinched and gripped and made life a misery.  It also was so tightly screwed that the glasses creaked if I moved that piece in the least bit.  The other side flopped about.  The glasses constantly slid off my nose and one side were higher than the other.  Honestly, I've never had glasses go so wrong so quickly!    Fortunately, the girl was not busy and was more than happy to make adjustments.  she made the loose side a little tighter and loosened the tight side and straightened the frames.  Result?  The glasses were even, didn't pinch and still consistently slid off my nose...sigh.  Never mind.  She did her best and I can't fault her.

Off to Mama's.  She actually opened the door before I got out of the car.  I guess she was ready to leave the house.  We headed over to have lunch at Cracker Barrel today.  I wanted to look around the gift shop after lunch.  She said she did, too but she really didn't.  Once she'd looked at the toddler girl dresses, her first destination, she decided she'd seen enough and said she was going outside. I still had to pay the ticket so told her to sit and wait on the porch, which she did.  I was on a mission in the gift shop and took a few minutes more to look around.  I found what I was looking for.

Josh won two door prizes and prizes for reading his books.  No one kept up with Isaac and his books, no one read to him, etc.  Next year this will be remedied but I didn't know until too late that he was essentially getting the visit to the library and not a lot of good beyond that.  This is rare by the way because typically they have all been read to for years.  It just seems to have been a glitch with summer this year.

Anyway, I got the call the other day that in a random drawing Josh and Millie won prizes.  I thought and thought about this, and it just seemed a shame to me that Isaac was getting nothing extra.  I'm not a big one on fair.  I kind of feel like Bess does about it.  Fairs are where you get candy cotton and go on a ride.  Life isn't fair and that's fact.  But then again, Isaac's five and takes these things to heart and for all that everyone tells him he's not a baby (and he's not) he IS still a little boy.  Or as he puts it 'a little big boy', lol.   I made up my mind that if I could find anything ocean related today, I was going to see to it that he got his own prize for the summer.  I found the cutest little octopus that is squishy and reversible.  I won't tell you it was cheap, and it wasn't on sale, but it was ocean related, it was fair priced and I'm happier in giving out prizes to all three.

I paid the bill, helped Mama up off the church pew she'd sat down upon, and we headed down southwest of her town to go back to the farmstand and get more produce.  She knew just what she wanted: tomatoes, green peppers, okra, squash and pink eye peas.    No peas today.  I bought all else she requested, got myself a half peck of peaches, and thought to pick up green tomatoes.  We split all the produce between us.  I want to share the okra and peaches with Sam and Bess.  I'll probably share the squash with Katie.  If not the actual squash, I'll make her a squash casserole, which I know she loves as much as I do.  

From there we took a long country ride down another highway that eventually led us back to her town.  Mama amused herself looking at all the new houses and businesses and where old houses had been removed.   

I was in for a pound today.  I went by Starbucks to get my treat of an iced coffee then headed back across town to Cato.  I searched out the clearance racks and picked up a few new t-shirts to wear about the house here (they always go into my closet first though and then I transition them out a lot quicker than I typically would to the house drawer).  I'd noted that my shirts in the house drawer were looking very ratty and stained.  I had suggested to John that I'd wear an apron about the house to cover up the shirts and he looked at me in horror.  The idea didn't appeal to him in the least.  I may still use them while cooking but I'll avoid wearing one when I'm going to be in the rest of the house since he's so put off by it.  Who knew?!

I found quite a few, enough to get me through a routine week.  Now I can toss those that I'm finding it difficult to put on, lol.  I looked over clearance jewelry and got a couple of new pieces to add to my drawer.

From there I went up to Kroger to pick up the sale priced eggs, cheese and grape juice for Shabat.  I bought the limit of five on the eggs.  Yes, it's a lot of eggs but they don't spoil quickly, and they will last us until the next sale.  They were $1.79/18ct.  Note that this 'sale' was 50c higher per carton than the last sale.  As someone said recently, "Such is life these days."  True enough.  I only bought one package of cheese.  Not sure why.  I scanned for clearance items, but nothing appealed.  I remembered my lack of freezer and refrigerator space (anticipating putting away my produce items). Never mind.  I came out with enough and surprisingly had two full bags for my $20 spent.  

At that point I was so thirsty.  I stopped off at a fast-food place and asked to purchase a large glass of ice. I had a bottle of warmish water in the car with me.   I made sure to offer to pay for it, because most places will refuse you without thinking twice, and some do even if you offer to pay.  When I got to the window the man behind the register leaned way out and said very quietly, "No charge...Have a blessed day!"  I thanked him very nicely and left feeling I had indeed been blessed.  How nice was that?

Home to hear all about John's day out at church working with a team to pack up boxes for a food giveaway this weekend.  

We shared my lunch leftovers for supper.   I arranged the handful of zinnias I picked up at the farm stand.  So lovely.  Please Lord, let my own flowers grow and bloom...

It was a good day, truly it was.  

Meals:  Baked Egg Toasts

Fried Chicken, Potatoes, Greens, Biscuits, Coca-Cola Cake

Leftover fried chicken and freshly sliced tomatoes, cherries for me.  John had the same minus the cherries   He had the other half of my cake from lunch as his dessert.

Friday:  I dragged myself from bed this morning, at not quite an early hour, nor too terribly late, dressed and got coffee and sat and waited for John to announce it was time to head into town.  Instead, he said, "How do you feel?" 'Truth, not great, nor awful.'  I felt much as I felt on Tuesday as though barometric pressure was wreaking havoc with my head and body.  "We'll stay home today...You probably need the rest and I feel like I do."   'I've got plenty to do today, for sure.'  "I have things I want to get done as well.  We'll wait until Monday."   

I know we're probably going to regret that choice come Monday when the grass is high and thick, but today?  Not so much.  I pushed hard to do what got done here at home.

My fridge is so full.  I sorted it out, organized it, and accumulated a pile of things to process through today.    Squash, zucchini, tomato, lettuce, cheese, onion, a lonely banana, milk, mushrooms.  There was a partial loaf of bread (homemade) and a few odds and ends that I decided to simply toss out such as a muffin, two half pieces of French toast, half a pancake.   I put all the leftovers together, so I'd know to use them and made a tentative plan for meals for the weekend.

Then I processed all those vegetables and the partial loaf of bread.  I cooked some squash for Sunday dinner, put some in the freezer, made some squash and zucchini into fry sized pieces to cook this weekend to go with a leftover meal.  I shredded zucchini to put into the freezer, chopped onions and mushrooms for weekend pizza, and grated cheese for squash casserole.   I crumbled all the bread to make dry breadcrumbs.  I've just been saving my breadcrumbs in a cardboard canister that I'd bought breadcrumbs in some time back.  My bread today nearly refilled it.   

I mixed up vanilla pudding and then took my one little banana and some vanilla wafers to make a smallish banana pudding.  Sunday morning I'll whip egg whites to make a meringue to go on top.  It can brown while chicken heats and squash casserole cooks for Sunday dinner.

After we'd had lunch and I'd loaded the dishwasher, John brought in the clothes he'd hung on the line to dry and ran the vacuum.  I showered to dress to go into town.   I gathered up all that I meant to carry to Sam today (okra, peaches for Bess, freshly picked basil) and then went on to town to get prizes from the library for the children.   I took everything up to Sam's.  He was in a meeting when I came in but directed me to go on to the boys' room and hand them their things.

I've had nothing but praise for this summer reading program and I've nothing more to say but more praise.  The prizes the children won weren't cheap items.  They were really nice ones.  I was a little worried that the Octopus I got for Isaac would be way nicer than the other prizes.  It was perfectly matched to the prizes Millie and Josh won.  

The weather has broken once again, and my headache is wonderfully gone.  Now to sit back and enjoy this rain.

That's my week...How was yours?

Meals:  Peanut Butter Toast, Peaches

Tacos, Chips and salsa    Yesterday at Kroger I thought I'd pick up taco shells which were on sale (not compared to Aldi but a better buy than usual for Kroger.  I noted that the meal kit which comes with sauce and taco seasoning was the same price as the package with just the taco shells.  I'll take the free products!  

Chicken Patties and Fries    Chicken entree made with cooked finely minced chicken, egg, breadcrumbs and seasonings, then pan fried.  

(C) Terri Cheney

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