Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Plans 2015

{Don't you just love bunnies?!}
I can hardly believe that Easter is upon us!  For so long I've felt like the specter of Fall and Winter were hanging over me like a cloud of unhappy.  Months from now I may look back on it a little differently, but right now, I am happy, so happy that it is Spring!
The menu is super simple this year.  I will be at work (my second day back!) and Hubby will be in charge of getting things on the table.   I plan on getting a floral arrangement for the table and I have made up some sussies for my peeps.  I will ask them to make me a plate, then dig in! I don't want them waiting until 8 p.m. to eat. 
Here's what's on the menu:
Deviled eggs
Roast Pork Tenderloin (Hubby will use the SPT)
Garlic Green Beans
Cresent rolls
tea, wine
{I will prep everything and leave instructions on heating it up.}
I hate that I won't be here with all of them, but honestly, I am so ready to be back into my normal routine that I am willing to overlook that I'm missing them that day.  After all, I had the last three major holidays at home.  And if the trade-off is a healthy body, bills paid, and mental health intact - So be it!
Easter lives in my heart, nevertheless!
Happy Easter week to you and yours!

Friday, March 27, 2015

5 thing Friday - leaves, storage, plants, tape, Wii Fit

It is a losing battle here against the oak trees.  In the early spring every single freaking leaf falls from them.  I rake every few days just to keep up.  A short time later, we are inundated with pollen and those little crackly things.  You cannot win.
 It makes it 100 times worse if it rains.  Our patio is a giant MESS.
More leaves fall every time a breeze blows through or it rains.  This weekend I will rake and sweep. Consider it part of my home therapy program...There is a LOT of yardwork we need to attend to.  Trimming lantana, raking leaves, pulling weeds.
 My friend Carol used a boot box to transport Christmas gifts to us.  It's the perfect size for storage in my closet.  Sorry, Carol, I'm keeping it!  I glued some wrapping paper on and tied it with a bow.  Inside are day runner inserts and datebooks spanning 20+ years.  In a way, they are my journals.  Reading them gives me a sense of how insane different life was when I had four young ones at home.
 My plant babies languished in the garage for 4 months.  I am surprised they all lived.  The big ones got put back in the backyard.  All of them got fed.  I like the look of real potted plants in terra cotta.
Kinesiology tape - have you ever seen this stuff?  My PT lady was not 100% on board with it, but wanted to give it a try, so I said sure.  Anything and everything that might help me, I will do.  She also suggested I use the Wii Fit that I have *cough* never used.
Our console had long since ceased to play games, but a trip to Game Over and $60 got us a new one.  I'm not sure why I never even tried it - it's seriously kicking my rear on the balance games.  And improving my balance is high on the PT's list of things I need to do.  One week left to go before I return to work!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Having a plan

It promises to be a stressful week, and since I don't have a recipe to post, I just have to lay it all out there.  It couldn't hurt to stay organized and mindful as I move through the week.  Maybe that will make me feel a little less stressed?  I had a mini-meltdown yesterday, where I sat at my computer and thought how am I going to do all of this?  {Please pardon another picture of  my janky knees - at least this time its me standing}
Monday - PT appointment, The Girl comes in to town.  Call the dentist, the counseling lady, and my regular doctor, run by the store for a few items and cash, and do some housework
Tuesday - Steam clean the carpets, run errands, and enjoy a reunion dinner with some old college roomies
Wednesday - Reassessment day for PT, pay bills on-line, buy groceries
Thursday - Take Bubbie to school EARLY, see my ortho doc to get released for work, visit Occupational Health
Friday - Take Bubbie to school EARLY, go see my boss, catch up on laundry, return my library books
Saturday - Yard work (the lantana is out of control and the leaves are burying our house)
Sunday - Last Sunday off for a while (God willing)...breakfast out with Hubby
In with all of that is the day-to-day stuff like cooking and such.  For some reason, next week looks empty, but I'm sure as I make appointments it will fill up.  And there's the new home PT schedule I have to draw up to take work into account.  Not to mention that I am getting up very early and going to bed early to get used to the work schedule - that wasn't fun this morning.  It's crunch time, and I feel crunched.  I started a new blog to help me vent, but the best therapy, I think, is staying organized and having a plan.  Even so, my stomach is in knots.  How does YOUR week look?

Friday, March 20, 2015

My elderly cat

Sugar is 11 now. (We think. We aren't really sure)  She's starting to become such an old lady cat. She groans.  She cries for food when her dish has food in it.  She eats lint off the floor.  And every now and then, a sound or something in the yard will spook her and she runs through the house, fat flapping.  But she is very good with her litter pan.  And we love her.
She does more laying around than anything else.  This is where I find her when I pass through the bedroom.  Since my bedroom is where she is most of the time, it gets the brunt of it when she decides to puke.  Isn't that special?
 She is very loyal and affectionate to me, though, so I grudgingly forgive her.   And at night, she is never far from me.  She will do these sweet little purr meows and roll over like "pet mah belly".
 She will freeze in place, waiting for you to.
 So lazy.
 What's that?  A noise?  You're leaving the room?
When I walk out, she will jump up and leave, too.  Open windows are something she must check out.  If I am sitting at my desk, she will wind her self around my legs for a minute or two.  I think mainly she is hoping a treat will magically appear.
Then since she has the attention span of a gnat, she will wander off, usually back to the furthest part of the house, and cry pitifully.  Like she forgot where I was, and thought she was suddenly alone.
I always call her back in - I don't want her to feel afraid. 
Because she's a sweet old girl.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nightstand tray spiff

Happy Spring Break!  The boys' girlfriends are both out of town this week, so I will have them more to myself. (yes!)  We plan on getting some things done around the house, eat lunches out, maybe see a couple movies.  But I also want to do some crafty things.  Can you tell I am feeling a little more chipper?  (:  I bought this sweet plastic tray for The Girl last summer to corral all of her cosmetics in the bathroom.  I think it was about $2 at IKEA.  She didn't want to take it with her, so I've been using it on my nightstand.  However, pink isn't really a color I want to decorate with in here.
I figured I would mod podge it. (I just realized that all this time I've been saying modge podge - ha ha!)
I gave the top of the tray a quick coat of white spray paint so the pattern wouldn't show under my fabric.  Then I found an old paint brush and starting mod podging away.  Tip: if you let the edges get soaked, then dry them well, they are easy to cut neatly with scissors.  Mod podge cleans up nicely with soap and water, if you clean spills right away.  Otherwise, you will have to use more elbow grease, but it will still clean up.
When it dries it is very stiff and sturdy.  But you can always peel it off if you change your decor again.  I love this stuff!  I've used it before on lightswitch covers and a decorative platter, as well as chipboard letters and cigar boxes.  It's like being back in first grade...
My sweet little tray matches my bedskirt and a couple of other things in the room.  And keeps track of my chapstick and other smallish items.  Sweet! 
Just 20 more days til my leave is up and I am BACK AT WORK.  So, I am going to try to make the most of the time I have at home.  I'm pretty jazzed about it - wish me luck!

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Friday, March 13, 2015

5 thing Friday - books, spring, candles, cake, Bubbie

I've been trying to take some "down time" and not feel guilty about getting some reading done in the evenings.  But I need to make the most of my trips to the library since our sweet little neighborhood one is closed for remodeling.  This means I have to drive a bit out of the way and park in a huge lot and navigate a bigger library.  I know that sounds trifling, but I am not yet used to parking and walking far with only the cane.
But I figure the only way to get over that is to do it more often.  So, to the library I go, rain be damned.
Like everyone else here, I am ready for spring to "stick".  We get a couple of beautiful days, them blammo, its winter again.  It's been raining and dreary off and on the better part of the last seven days.  But that didn't stop me from putting a few springy things out.  I have been veeery good and stayed out of Hob Lob and Michael's, just using what I have.
Another example:  All the pinecones got put away for next year, and out came the moss balls.  Again, I am spending nothing.  But I would LOVE to eventually get some more of those battery operated candles that I can actually turn on without fear of burning my house down.  I've got my eye on some votive sized ones at Wal-Mart for Mabel.
We aren't eating enough fresh fruit before it starts looking rough.  These two apples and a few pears made a great cake.  Buttery, moist, and perfect with ice cream.  I will have to post that recipe eventually. Next time I have too many apples...or pears.  The week before I made banana bread, for the same reason.
This person continues to eat me out of house and home.  Even his hair grows at a ridiculous rate.  I have ordered him more tee shirts and tennies and school isn't out for 3 more months, so he has to take a break from his growth spurt.  Such a nice kid - doing so excellent in scouts and school and band, with a wickedly dry sense of humor, too.  I guess I'll keep on feeding him...
Happy Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ba$tard BBQ Remix

One of our favorite chicken meals is a great "BBQ" chicken dish from the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken.  Called Ba$tard BBQ, it involves chicken, garlic salt, and brown sugar - that's it.  We've had it often, and love it, but I also have a house of bacon lovers here - why not add bacon in?  Said everyone, always.
I don't know about your house, but we're getting tired of the whole casserole/comfort food thing here.  Time for a change.  The result was really good (surprise). 
So here's what I did:

Bacon Ba$tard BBQ
2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
8 slices bacon (I used Applewood smoked center cut)
Chili powder, garlic salt, brown sugar
Mix about a half cup brown sugar with a heaping tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of garlic salt.  Then dredge each breast half in the seasoned sugar, wrap with two slices bacon, sprinkle on the remaining sugar, then bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.
*Note:  I used chicken breast because of the fatty nature of the bacon - you could do thighs, but you might want to use a broiler pan.  Also, I brine my chicken breasts to make sure they are juicy - breasts always seem dry to me unless brined.  Eyeball the brown sugar mixture and add more chili powder if you like it!

With a salad and a baked sweet potato - such a good dinner.  And making four of them assured me no leftovers!

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Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Friday, March 6, 2015

Low cost decor spiff for front room

It had been so dreary here - cloudy every day.  I wanted to do something creative, but I also have a lot of other catch up things to do.  February being over makes me want to add a little spring color in the house.
I put up all of the "red" decor this week.  It had been up since right after Thanksgiving.  Time to add some blue.  I'm still on the hunt for a pretty throw for the front room, and I think I will make a runner for the dining table - I have some fabric leftover from modifying the curtains in this room.  This candle holder was a curbside find.
I bought two of these cute owl pillows at Wal-Mart.  The colors in them coordinate with the couch cushions and they were $10 each.  Cheap.  (why are pillows and fabric so expensive nowadays?)  And I can always make covers for them when I want to change them out.
I hung the blue curtains in the dining area.  And I picked up a couple of new scents for the wax warmer.  I love these things - the light gives a cozy glow to the room at night and the scents are so nice - not chemical smelling like oil air freshers.  And no open flame.
I have opened the blinds to let more natural light in - but I would LOVE to see some sun.  The only other new things in this room are blue votives in the china cabinet and the ledge above the couch, along with some inexpensive greenery.  Real plants are not happening in here with a cat who likes to eat things she shouldn't.  I think I spent about $25 all told.
 These aren't the greatest pics - I've had a lot on my mind lately - pretty pics...not so much.  A touch of blue here and there, a clean room, smelling pretty - that's all I need. 


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