Friday, June 28, 2019

Meal Plan Friday - #3

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

Welcome back to my Meal Plan Friday!!!

I hope you've been enjoying this weekly feature, even though it's only the 3rd week, I must say that it has helped me so much staying on track and keep to my menu plan.

This week's plan is all about new recipes, a 4th of July barbecue and one family favorite which is already on the blog.  As I make the recipes, I will, as always, post them on the food blog, so if you've not yet bookmarked the blog, make sure to do so.  Full Bellies, Happy Kids.

Desserts this week will include a Frozen Key Lime Pie for 4th of July and some Lemon Zucchini Drop Cookies.  The Lemon Bars have YET to be made, I just haven't had the time, but I'm hoping to fit those in this week as well.

Turkey Tacos (I have a Game Day Taco Kit in the pantry, and some ground turkey that needs using)

Chili Mac Casserole

Arroz de Salsichas (Sausage Rice)

Peanut Chicken Noodles

Taco Twists, Black Beans and Rice

Hay and Straw 

4th of July Barbecue ( Burgers, Bratwurst, Potato Salad, Frozen Key Lime Pie, Watermelon )

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Lemon Zucchini Drops

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The humdrum of housework, brings me joy

June 25, 2019

I have spent the past two days, fully immersed in housework, rearranging and getting ready for the 4th of July.

When you have been a homemaker for decades, it can become a tedious and often overlooked job.

You do the same things, day in and day out, nothing really changes and so it's easy to fall into a trap of thinking "why even bother?". You sometimes become resentful or lazy and just let things slide by.

I'm not perfect, and a lot of you often tell me how much you admire me or how my love for homemaking inspires you, but here's the thing, I have once upon a time felt exactly like that.  I couldn't be bothered to put in any extra effort.

I did the minimum that I had to do and everything else would just wait.

But the minute I took on the housework head on and began thinking of it as my pride and joy, something shifted  inside me.

June 25, 2019

You're probably sick of hearing me talk about housework and homemaking, I talk about it ad nauseum, so apologies for that.

So I will just say, try to shift your way of thinking and you will soon fall into the same state of contentment I am in, when pottering around my house.

June 25, 2019

I've given the house a good cleaning, top to bottom.  Rearranged some things, moved a shelf here, an antique sewing table there.

Planted a lemon tree in the yard, did some weeding, cleaned, hosed down a patio, cooked yummy food and hung copious amounts of laundry out on the clothesline.

June 25, 2019

While cleaning out my bookshelves, I came across an old book that I purchased at a local book sale, about 2 years ago.

I absolutely adore old books and I've been slowly.....very slowly.....building my collection.

June 25, 2019

Published in 1891.  This is Obras de Manuel Acuna, a book of poetry in Spanish.

June 25, 2019

I also have a few well known books like Hamlet and Macbeth, and one of my favorites, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

June 25, 2019

It's quite amazing paging through these books and imagining just how many people looked through them, read them, treasured them.  How many hands touched these pages, who they were and where they lived.  It's fascinating.

June 25, 2019

June 25, 2019

While I moved around, dusted and vacuumed and cleaned, mister here lay quietly on the couch, his eyes following my every move.  If I left the room, he left the room.  He is literally my little shadow :)

June 25, 2019

The hours tend to go by very quickly when you're busy.  I often find that the days I have nothing to really do, are the ones that drag by the longest, and when I'm fluttering around the house, before I know it, it is dinner time.

There's also a wonderful sense of achievement when you finally sit down and the house is tidy, smells clean and everything looks fresh and sparkly.  It's at this time of the day that I'll sometimes get a chance to sit down with a good book.

My book of choice right now is Susan Mallery's "The Summer of Sunshine and Margot".

June 25, 2019

I had quite a busy day with housework, driving Jasmine to and from work, making some phone calls and paying bills.  On the days like today, where I pick her up right around dinner time, or rather, the time when I would be making dinner, I always rush home and throw something together real quick.

Actually when I meal plan, I make sure to take note of the days that I will be needing quicker or easier meals to get on the table, since I know I won't be back until after Curt is home from work.

So, for tonight's dinner, I quickly whipped up some sausages, mash and gravy with a Greek salad.  It was divine, totally my kind of meal.  I think I'll always be a meat and potatoes kinda gal.

I am not just going to sit on the computer and work on some blog post ideas.  I've been feeling the pull, no doubt from God, to do a Bible Study of the women in the Bible.  I don't know why, but it's just been a nagging thought in my mind and so I must comply.

I'll be looking for some good plans to follow, some free bible studies or books to read and so on.  If you know of any good plans that you think I would enjoy, please let me know down below.

I do want to share the bible study with you and I plan on doing just that, but first I need to get it all on paper and out of my brain, it's at that stage where it's all just an idea and tons of little thoughts are popping up here and there but I haven't quite organized it all, so it's quite overwhelming.  It's very similar to when I have a creative thought about something I want to do or make, it drives me crazy until I finally get it done.

Well my sweet friends, I am off for now.   Have yourselves a wonderful Tuesday night and a great Wednesday too :)

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney - TLC Book Tour & GIVEAWAY

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

Hardcover: 384 Pages
Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (June 25, 2019)

A curmudgeon and his eccentric new roommate join together to plan an epic escape in this charming, poignant tale.

Joel lives in a nursing home, and he’s not one bit happy about it. He hates being told when to eat, when to sleep, when to take his pills. He’s fed up with life and begins to plan a way out when his new roommate, a retired soap opera actor named Frank, moves in and turns the nursing-home community upside down.

Though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, a fast friendship is formed when Frank is the only one who listens to and stands up for Joel. When he tells Frank about his burgeoning plan, they embark together on a mission to find the perfect escape, and along the way will discover that it’s never too late for new beginnings.

Filled with colorful characters, sparkling humor and deep emotion, The Great Unexpected is the story of friendship, finding oneself later in life and experiencing newfound joy in the most unexpected places.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About Dan Mooney

Dan Mooney is an amateur filmmaker and air traffic controller, and a friend to many cats. He wrote his first piece of fiction for a child-operated local newspaper at age ten and has been writing ever since. He lives in Ireland.

Connect with Dan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Thoughts:

The Great Unexpected is one of the cutest, sweetest, funniest stories I've read in a really long time.

Picture if you will a 70 year old living in a nursing home, hating every single moment of it and planning his escape.  Joel used to share a room with his beloved wife Lucy, until the day she passed away and left him in a state of sadness and depression.  Although his family still visit him, Joel can't help but feel a disconnect towards them.  He has essentially given up on everything. 

When a new roommate arrives, Joel couldn't be more irritated, especially since the person is Frank, a retired soap opera actor, outspoken, loud and completely different to Joel. 

Joel and Frank are quite the opposite personality wise, but as they get to know each other, they quickly develop a strong bond and soon become partners in crime.  They often breakout of the nursing home to go to town, which in turn provides some rather funny moments in the story.

As they spend more time together, the two elderly men became the best of friends, sharing secrets, life experiences and thoughts and dreams. 

This book made me think of my grandparents.  They so often would say that they would hate to be in a nursing home, away from family and having strangers dictating what they ate, when they slept and what they could do.  I often feel for the elderly as I do think that they are treated quite unfairly at times, and Dan Mooney brings those thoughts right to the forefront as he touches on some serious issues like suicide, while providing some thought provoking moments.

The Great Unexpected reminds us that age is nothing but a number, and that deep below the wrinkles and aging bodies, lie human beings still yearning for love and respect. 

This book has so far, been one of my favorite reads in 2019.

GIVEAWAY:  One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Great Unexpected.  Contest is open to US only.  Please leave a comment down below and be sure to include an email where I can contact you if you are chosen.  Good Lucky!!!

Thank you to TLC for providing me with a review copy.

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/24/2019 }

Good morning everyone and a very Happy Monday to you all :)

Love Mondays, as you all know, and I'm eager to get started with my day, do my chores and get my week on track.

Wishing you all a very blessed happy week ahead!!!

The weather:::
Woke up to fog and dark grey skies, but it is super muggy outside still.  It doesn't look like we're going to have much rain this week, so I guess it's full steam ahead with the hot weather.  Let me quickly add that I've noticed the older I've gotten the worse I've been feeling when it comes to the heat, I just can't handle it, it's driving me up the wall.  LOL   

Monday - Sunny, 90
Tuesday - Partly cloudy, 92
Wednesday - Partly cloudy, 93
Thursday - Mostly sunny, 93
Friday - Sunny, 96

On the breakfast plate this morning:::
Caramel latte and some cheesy bread made in the air fryer.  It's my favorite way to have toast of any kind, I just slather on the butter, add a slice of cheese and then air fry for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees.  SO good!

Right now I am:::
Sitting in bed typing up this post.

On my bedside table:::
Flowers, Cath Kidston lotion, alarm clock and my little flower pot with the tv remotes.

On my reading pile:::
The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::
Was quite busy with yard work this weekend so didn't have much time to watch anything, and when I did get a moment to sit and watch something, I couldn't decide what I wanted to watch.  You ever have those days?  I have tons on my list but didn't feel like popping on any of them.  I did however come across this show on Youtube called World's Strictest Parents UK, so I watched a few of those in between yard work.  It's basically a show about two UK teens who are out of control and are sent to spend a week with new parents abroad, strict parents.  It's quite interesting. 

On my TV this week:::
General Hospital
Homemaking vlogs
The Spanish Princess
Prince - Mind of a Tyrant Episode 1, 2, 3 and 4
Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty
Revenge of the Land

By the way, if you love BBC Documentaries (like I do), check out the BBC Documentary Channel on Youtube.

On the menu for this week:::
I posted our Meal Plan on Friday but I'm shifting meals back a bit because this weekend we ended up just snacking, having sandwiches and not having proper meals.  Saturday and Sunday's meals will now become Monday and Tuesdays and so forth.  Sorry for the confusion.   

Copycat Rodeo King Burgers and Fries

Grilled Bratwurst and Potato Salad

Sheet Pan Pizza

Spaghetti Casserole, Garlic Bread

Turkey Meatball Strogonoff and Rice

On my to do list:::
Call dealership to get an update on my car
Wash bedding from all beds (that's gonna take a while )
Vacuum and dust

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Working on a crochet piece for my bedroom. 

June 23, 2019

Looking forward to:::
Hopefully having my car back sometime this week. 

Looking around the house:::
I've opened the bird cover up, opened all the curtains and the doors to the back yard, the screen doors are closed but it's letting in such a wonderful cool breeze.  I love fresh air, the feel of it, the scent of it, everything.
The house is pretty dark with the foggy weather outside, but I do enjoy the cozy feeling it exudes.   

From the camera:::
My very first tomato.  I'm thrilled and I can't wait until the rest of the tomatoes are ripe.   

  June 23, 2019

What I'm wearing today:::
Will throw on some shorts and a tshirt, it's a home day so no need to get all dressed up for housework.        

One of my simple pleasures:::
Gardening.  I'm not the greatest at it, but I'm learning and I love seeing what I can grow and how everything goes from a simple seed to an actual piece of fruit or vegetable that we can eat. 

Bible verse, Devotional, prayers::: 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

{ Sunday in the country }

The window is open, the curtains are pulled back and the only sounds you hear are the loud chirping of the birds as they sing back and forth between the trees.

I lived most of my life in the suburbs or on military housing.  Neighbors were never too far, noise was constant.  Cars sped up and down the road, loud airplanes boomed overheard, voices, yells of children playing or random dogs barking.

I knew that if and when I had the chance, I would move to the country, far from the craziness, the noise, the congestion and the traffic, to a place where all that my ears would be subjected to, would be birds singing, horses neighing in neighboring fields and the sound of thunder as the storms opened their clouds above us and sent down a deluge of fresh cold water.

June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019

But God knew exactly what He was doing and where He was taking us, and the blessing came the day we were able to sign and put down a deposit on the house we currently live in.  It had everything, and more, that I had always imagined.

June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019

Curt and I have been doing quite a bit of yard work this weekend, even though it's hot as all heck already and we would much rather be inside, with a property this big comes a lot of responsibilities and maintenance which can't just be ignored.

During a break from the weeding and mowing, we took a walk around checking out the trees and the wild flowers (which I love collecting to bring indoors).  We have a massive and I mean massive  pine tree.   Every year it litters the ground with beautiful pine cones, which I also bring inside and use for decorations during the Fall and Winter.

June 23, 2019

Have you ever stopped and admired the growth of a pine cone?  It's amazing to say the least, above you can see a few, and just a note, don't touch them, those brown protrusions are sharp.  Yikes!!!

June 23, 2019

We also have a pear tree out back, along the property line.  I would love nothing more than to transplant that tree to the front or even the back yard, but I wouldn't even begin to try for fear of killing it.

June 23, 2019

When we first moved to this house, I discovered the pear tree, and it was quite a sad looking one, it was half dead, not producing much fruit and the little it had produced had been eaten by birds.

It's been doing so well lately, it is now filled with pears, albeit tiny ones, but it's no longer dying, there are new shoots and growth.  Just really wish it was closer to the house so that I could keep an eye on it.

June 23, 2019

We have 5 big pecan trees on our property, and they don't produce every year, only every other year so we had nothing last year.  This coming year however is going to be a good one, I can tell.  The pecans are already growing and there are thousands of them.

Honestly can not wait for this harvest.  Hoping to get some pecan milk out of it.

June 23, 2019

And here we have some Buffalo gourds.  There are hundreds of these vines not only around our property but the neighboring fields too, they are a nuisance for sure.

Pretty, but a nuisance and I don't quite see the point of these, but if you do a quick search online you will learn that Buffalo Gourd was used by the Native Americans for medicinal purposes.  They would also use the mashed up plant as a poultice to treat skin sores and ulcers.  Leaves and stems were used as laxatives, and the dried gourds would be used as rattles or carved into spoons and ladles.

June 23, 2019

Quite interesting isn't it?

I must say they do make for a very pretty picture.  These were all in a neighboring field.

And last but most certainly not least, we came across some gorgeous Day Lilies in the back yard.  I don't think they were planted there specifically, they may have been inadvertently planted by a bird carrying a seed or whatnot.

June 23, 2019

God's creations are truly nothing short of amazing, the details, the colors, it's words!

June 23, 2019

One of the perks of living surrounded by all this nature, is that my inside vases are often filled with the prettiest of flowers, bringing nature indoors and adding a splash of color here and there.

June 23, 2019

Back to work after that wonderful walk around the property.  Hubby got the rest of the yards mowed and I did some much needed weeding around the garden bed.

June 23, 2019

My tomato plant is huge.  I got it as a tiny little baby who wasn't doing very well in the Garden Center at Walmart.   Since then I've babied it and taken care of it and it has grown tremendously, already given me a ripe red tomato and has a ton more growing.

June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019

My Tabasco Chili plant is also growing tons and producing chilies.

June 23, 2019

June 23, 2019

And my cantaloupe that I grew from seed has hit the ground running.  It is doing SO well, has tons of blossoms and I can not wait to see some cantaloupe and know that I grew it myself.  Is there anything better than the feeling of growing your own fruit and vegetables?

June 23, 2019

And while out there, I may have given a little squeal of fright when I looked up and realized this furry caterpillar was right above my head, on the wall.

June 23, 2019

All yard work completely, the skies turned grey and we knew we had storms incoming, so thankfully got everything done just in time.

I then started on a few things around the house, like making myself some DIY scented plugins.  They are extremely easy to make, let me know if it's something you would like me to show you and I can do a whole post on that.

These were for my master bathroom.

June 23, 2019

Also enjoyed making some Chicken Taquitos using up leftover Chicken.  Actually, to be honest, these were made the other day, but I hadn't shown it to you yet.  I'll have a recipe on the food blog either tonight or tomorrow.  By the way, if you haven't been over there lately, I have been updating quite frequently and have added a few new recipes for you all to enjoy :)

June 23, 2019

We had an amazing, yummy, filling brunch of Cast Iron Biscuits with Sausage gravy, maple sausages, bacon, hash browns and scrambled eggs with ham and cheese.  As you know I don't often cook dinner on Sunday nights, the family have told me to take the day off and we either eat leftovers, or sandwiches, or pop in a frozen pizza, just super simple things.

I've since then taken my shower and actually popped on my pajamas already.  We don't plan on going out or doing anything else today, so I'll be on my bed, with the tv on and probably a good movie or period series, and my crochet project.
June 23, 2019

As I finish up this post, the skies have gone dark and the rain has started coming down.  It's been about a week or more since we've had a good rain and the garden is surely needing it's sustenance.

I think I may pop into the kitchen for a coffee and a brownie and then come and relax.

Whatever it is that you've chosen to do with your weekend, I hope it's been a good one, and that you've managed to replenish your soul for the upcoming week.  I will see you all tomorrow bright and early with our Happy Homemaker Monday.

June 23, 2019