Monday, May 16, 2022

Empty Nest menu #119

 What happens when you overbuy groceries, still thinking you are cooking for two is...
...you can cook from what you already have the next week or so.

Monday - Shrimp Salad on toasted bun, low salt chips
Tuesday - Chicken Breast cubes with Lemon Feta Rosemary Potatoes, peas
Wednesday - Taco Mac for one, corn, salad {doc appt in a.m.}
Thursday - Mexican Tilapia with onions and peppers, risotto {OFF, attic day!}
Friday - Happy Hour at The Girl's apartment {OFF, Spur Jewelry at 3 p.m., pay off the truck}
Saturday - TBD {oil change on the truck early then I work 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.}
Sunday - Grilled Pork Chop, zucchini, twice baked potato {mobile mower maintenance guy is coming}


Gina

Friday, May 13, 2022

5 thing Friday - crystals, Friday, cute shoes, enchiladas, security

I ordered a couple of these big crystals from Amazon: 
I hung them with extra strong fishing line - one in my room and one in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, the one in my room doesn't catch enough sunlight what with all of the trees.  But I still love to gaze at it, and as the earth moves and the seasons change, I may well get some rainbows.
A metaphor for my life right now.
My turn to host Happy Hour Friday tonight and maybe I can convince Teddy to hop into my lap.  We are having burgers and tots with a bottle of wine.  I am so looking forward to the weekend.  Its been a brutal week.
Please enjoy this selfie of me asking The Girl what she thinks of these shoes.
I've had them a couple of years and have worn them once or twice.  I need to get some sundresses for the cute wedge sandals I own and WEAR THEM while I can.  It may as well be summer here - its in the low 90's - I want to dress fun.
I made Walnut Enchiladas last night and serve them with a nice salad with avocado.  They were so good!  Next time I will grind the walnuts a little more so they aren't as noticeable.  I subbed green enchilada sauce for the red, and monterrey jack for the cheddar.  I never even noticed the missing beef or chicken.
This month's Big Project was getting the alarm system up and running.  Mark and I never had anyone come out and check it or update it or cypher out why it was randomly sending out warning beeps.  It hasn't been monitored for years, tho we were faithfully paying the alarm permit. He unplugged it and intended to try to figure that out, and the rest is history.  It was pricey to update a 26 year old system and this keypad is obnoxious at night (I have a plan for that), but its one more thing crossed off the list and gives me a little more peace of mind.
Happy Weekend,


Gina

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Mother's Day 2022

 There are a couple of people who like to text me around holidays and other special occasions with something along the lines of 'I hope you are doing as best you can and I know this is tough for you and the day is full of mixed emotions for you and your kids (?) and a time to honor loving bonds but you can't do that because your husband died and after all, its a family day'*
I'm paraphrasing here...


Since I think its $hitty to send someone such tone deaf messages, I think I will start sending this poop emoji as a response.  Because those people are poopers.  Just gonna lay this riiight here....
******
Anyhoodle.
Mother's Day was just fine.  I got called in to work, which I basically knew would happen.  But just as I hung up the phone, The Girl appeared bearing gifts!  Tacos from Rudy's, a pistachio latte from Starbuck's, a cross stitch bookmark kit, a cute cat planter with a cactus, and some very very cute cacti that she knitted:
She is so crafty!  My sweet girlie  (:  I felt loved. 
I had a really nice day, overall.  Made some Oatmeal Bombs for my weekday breakfasts:
Caught up on some chores.  Took a nap.  Did a little cross stitch.  Drank some wine with my dinner, which by the way, was delish:
Mole Pork Enchiladas and a salad with avocado and purple onion!
I even called my own Mother, who by the way is also a widow and she still likes being recognized on Mother's Day...and I had time to do a mani/pedi.  
Leftover cake was also enjoyed!
This was from our Friday Happy Hour dinner.  So good!
I even played with my Cricut a little bit - its been so long since I used it that I forgot how...oh well!
The boys are usually a little late with Mother's Day, and I chalk it up to A. Them being men, and B. Not having their significant other nag them, which I guess is good?  Scout promised me a loaf of fresh banana bread and Firstborn did an oil change for me on Saturday.  And Bubbie even sent me a text saying "thanks for everything you do!".   All in all, a good weekend.
Family doing well.  Life moving on.
Happy Belated Mother's Day!


Gina


*some clarification:  My kids did not lose me, so celebrating me on Mother's Day causes them zero stress as I am not dead...  Its not a family day, it's literally MOTHER's Day.  And no Mark is not here, but I'm sure he would be OK with the kids honoring me.  

Monday, May 9, 2022

Empty Nest menu #118

 This is me, thinking about what's for dinner while I am still at work feeling tired and hangry...

Monday - Seasoned chicken breast, couscous with quinoa and veggies (a frozen thing)
Tuesday - Gnocci, kale salad with lemon vinaigrette and avocado
Wednesday - Thick cut pork chop, Italian beans with broccoli {the alarm company returns}
Thursday - Walnut Enchiladas, sauteed kale {last day of call}
Friday - Happy Hour with The Girl: burgers and tots
Saturday - TBD {wine club pick up, beer release at STW, check on Highlands}
Sunday - Freezer meal {might visit my mother for the first time in months}


Gina

Friday, May 6, 2022

5 thing Friday - hearts, sewing room, front room nook, jewelry, mowing

Another set of hearts for IFAQH:
I really need to step up my game though.  I've seen some really pretty ones on Insta and Facebook, not to mention their blog.  I've got the materials and the time and its very fun to leave them somewhere then see them disappear!
I bought a pretty desk mat that looks like an antique rug.  I love the colors.  It adds so much pretty to my desk and acts as a giant coaster and mouse pad as well. It inspired me to re-cover my chair cushion: 
Clearance fabric for the win!  This has a pretty dimensional chenille stripe.
My sewing room is definitely my sanctuary!
 I also bought this from Amazon:
No more digging out the thread box.  This is located just above my sewing table and I think it looks something like art! {I know it looks dark in here, but with the overhead light or the lamps its juuussst fiiinnne.}
What to do with this corner?  Originally I wanted to move the furniture around and add a chair and lamp here.  I moved the framed fabric from behind the sofa when I bought that new canvas piece.  One of these days I may get two matching floor lamps for this room and one could definitely sit here.
I have an appointment coming up with a company that refashions your jewelry into something you will wear.  These cufflinks belonged to Hubby's dad and I don't think they will ever again get used for their intended purpose.  I don't know the back story, but I do know that I will pass all of my jewelry on to my peeps and these will be a reimagined part of the collection.  There are several other pieces to refashion - can't wait to see what they suggest!
On Sunday morning I mowed and edged - by today it needs doing again.  I can see why Mark complained so much about mowing* - its a huge chore.  But sitting here by my window I see the yard perking up and looking so green and am thankful once more for this house and this yard.  
Chore or not.


Gina

*Let's be fair - I did years and years of chores that were no fun either: cooking, shopping, laundry, etc, etc.  Its all perspective, right?

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

To wine or not to wine?

 I know I have mentioned this before, but wine club pick-ups don't have the same feel that they did in the past.  Even though I love the wineries and the people we know there. {ditto for the brewery we frequented}
Last weekend I took two of my peeps to one of my favorites.
It was a beautiful day - the sun was out, the music was great, the wine wonderful as always, the burgers tasty.  What's not to love?  My sister and BIL joined us a bit late, and we didn't stay long after we finished our bottle.
We really enjoyed the tasting among the vines.  The teeny tiny grape flowers smell amazing!
A couple of silly selfies were taken.  We had such a great spot under the trees outside of the tank room.
And enjoyed petting the winery cat.
******
But everything about it feels like the shine is off.  Mark would have loved everything about this pick-up party and I'm sure we would have stayed longer, even though the day was quite warm.  I can imagine us leaving mid-afternoon and heading back to Highlands to sit in our lounge chairs a while, build a firepit, and make dinner on the camp stove before watching the sun go down.  And I feel a little sad when I think that it will never be that way again.  
So what do I do?  Keep the wine clubs and just accept the different vibes or move on and find something else to do?


Gina

Monday, May 2, 2022

Empty Nest menu #117

I realized that after my massive mid-April grocery shop, I have more than enough food to keep me out of the grocery store.  This is a good thing, since I am only feeding one person!  I am resolved to use up what I have, anyway, as I am running out of containers and the patience to cook after a long day.

Monday - Cilantro Lime Chicken, twice baked potato, salad
Tuesday - (frozen) Pork Roast, Steakhouse mac and cheese, honey carrots
Wednesday - Pick up dinner on the way home {a.m. alarm guy, and p.m. counseling}
Thursday - (frozen) Polenta with Sausage Marinara, frozen veggie
Friday - Happy Hour with The Girl (her turn to host) {mental health day, off work, but I'm on call through next Thursday}
Saturday - Salmon, tomato Cavatappi pasta, peas 
Sunday - Grilled Pork Chop, bell peppers and onions, leftover pasta, wheat roll {Mother's Day!}

A mother's Day gift for you: 

The most beautiful word on the lips of mankind is the word “Mother,” 
and the most beautiful call is the call of “My mother.” 
It is a word full of hope and love, 
a sweet and kind word coming from the depths of the heart. 
The mother is everything – 
she is our consolation in sorrow, 
our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. 
She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness….
 
Everything in nature bespeaks the mother. 
The sun is the mother of earth and gives it its nourishment of heart; 
it never leaves the universe at night until it has put the earth to sleep to the song of the sea and the hymn of birds and brooks.
 
And this earth is the mother of trees and flowers. 
 It produces them, nurses them, and weans them. 
The trees and flowers become kind mothers of their great fruits and seeds. 
And the mother, the prototype of all existence, is the eternal spirit, full of beauty and love.


 ~ KAHLIL GIBRAN


Gina


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