Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Year's resolutions and a relaxing Sunday

Making good on our resolution to get started on big things at Highlands, Hubby bought a trailer:
and also a riding lawnmower with a dump cart attachment (not pictured).  So now we can finish up the big trash pick up out there and order another dumpster to be delivered.
Once we get the storage shed (next on the list), we are going to empty the barn and convert it into a guest house.  All of the junk on the outside will be moved and we will create a cute place!  And the swing will find a new home with a scenic view.
This is the view from in front of the barn - I would like to store the BBQ stuff in the foreground of this picture.  And that pergola will eventually be moved.  What you are seeing here is essentially our future back yard!  We didn't get a lot done Saturday besides the trailer and lawn mower, and general relaxing.  On Sunday we headed out under sunny skies to Driftwood, for the wine club pick-up at Wimberley Valley Winery.
There's a saying here that if you don't like the weather in central Texas, just wait a minute, it will change.
By the time we got to the winery it was much cooler and very overcast.  You would never know there was a wine club event out back - lots of open spaces under the trees to relax.  We were gifted a bottle by our favorite wine steward.  I can't say enough nice things about this winery - the wine, the beautiful place to hang out ..the fact that Hubby can smoke a pipe and we can bring a picnic the people there are very friendly. 
We enjoyed a cheese and crackers snack while playing cards.  It was a nice way to reward ourselves for getting some things crossed off the list!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mealplan Monday #182

Monday - Beef tacos, salad
Tuesday - Crockpot Apple Bourbon BBQ pork roast, mac and cheese, freezer veggie
Wednesday - Pizza and Salad
Thursday - Brown Sugar Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, zucchini
Friday - Sweet Garlic Chicken, rice, chopped salad
Saturday and Sunday are TBA

Friday, February 23, 2018

Almost done Ted-sitting!

The girl will be here in a week (God-willing) to pick up this fine fellow:
It was very hard for her to leave him here back on New Year's Day, as I'm sure it was hard on him the first week or so, wondering where she was.  But we all survived.  I'm not sad he is going because I know he will be back...and I am happy for her that we could keep him for her during her first busy season after her promotion.  It was tough for her, but Ted was in good hands and he has made himself quite at home! And I think that although we enjoyed his company and he was a good house guest, it will be awhile before we get a doggie of our own...But it was nice to have him around!
He will be so thrilled to see his momma, and I'm sure she will be thrilled, too!
Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Just weary

I know I seem to talk about it a lot lately, but I feel so weary lately.
Maybe its the schedule I work or the fact that today will be day 10 in a row at work for me - not exactly a lot of free time at either end of the workday, and super busy at work.
Maybe its the fact that chores and life go on, even if you are tired of it.  Because I really could use a break...and yes, the menfolk here do help me.  But we aren't even here much during the day, so it's not like people are hanging out making messes like they did in their younger years.
I feel especially tired today - tired of spending the morning prepping that night's meal, my lunch, cleaning up the house a bit, working at my desk, etc., etc.
Getting things in place so that when I come home, I can relax a little, too.  I could stop doing all of those things, but it seems unkind on my part to stage a revolt when we all need dinner at the end of the day - one that isn't take-out.  And a clean place to live is high on my priority list, too, no matter how endless that pursuit is.
Tired of making lists, of not getting it all done, and not having much creative time.  Weekends are short, and weekdays seem long.  And I'm starting to long for a simpler life, tho I know I will miss the days of caring for a family.  You can't have it both ways, I know.
I feel like Ted in this photo.  Just weary today, no help for it.  
And I'm pretty sure the bed is never going to get made.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mealplan Monday #181

Time to help my mother make some future plans this dinners have to be easy.
Monday - Skillet Beef and Pasta, veggie (Hubby cooks)
Tuesday - Skillet Pork Chops with brown sugar rub, onions and peppers, steamed carrots, rolls (easy, I swear)
Wednesday - Leftover Carnitas, salad
Thursday - Ham and Cheese Strata (a Kraft recipe), deli potato salad
Friday - Sesame Chicken Crockpot, rice, peas
Saturday - YOYO - Mom and Dad at Highlands
Sunday - Chicken Sausage with escarole and oricchiette pasta, salad
Dessert this week is Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake (another Kraft recipe) so I can use up that last can of pumpkin.  Two winery pick-ups this weekend mean some relaxing and fun downtime!

Friday, February 16, 2018

5 thing Friday - sandals, donuts, wine and burgers, houseguests, freezer meals

As a reward to myself for cleaning out the closet I bought myself a new pair of Alegria sandals:
Pretty much my favorite shoe brand, because after an 8 hour shift at work my feet don't feel like they will fall off!
 Valentine donuts for my sleeping in peeps...a Saturday treat!
I'm sure Hubby wishes I would stop taking awkward pics of him...we had such a good time at the Perisso's pick-up last weekend.  When we finished the tastings, we found a table to enjoy grilled burgers and tempranillo.  After we ate, we grabbed two other couples we saw wandering around, gave them our primo table, then headed into the tasting room to listen to live music as it very slowly warmed up outside.  It was a relaxing afternoon, to be sure.
 Teddy is warming up so much to all of us - including Dutch!
I no longer have the heart to toss him off my bed, despite the enormous amount of fur he sheds.  Here he is making small noises as he sleeps next to me reading on Sunday night.  Wonder what he dreams about?  I'm sure he will be overjoyed to see his momma in a few days.
I was struck by inspiration on Monday and bought some extra meats and sauces to make easy dump-and-go freezer meals for the crockpot.
There's still space in there to add a few more, I think.  Pictured is Sesame Chicken, Beef Veggie Stew, Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork, and Apricot Chicken.  It took me all of 25 minutes to do, then I put a crockpot of pintos on with the leftover ham bone from Christmas.  Easy crockpot meals are my go-to nowadays!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Still loving it

It's Valentine's Day - already??!! While January last foreverrrr and a day, February is zooming by.  I have a roast in the crock pot, a salad in the fridge, and potatoes simmering on the stove for mashed potatoes.  And I'm slowly getting my spring cleaning going, because I usually start that in January, not February!  I feel like I talk about my closet a lot, but that's because its so great to use now that it isn't Hubby's office space/ham shack.  It took years to be able to reclaim it, and every so often I do another clean sweep of it to see what I can get away with getting rid of...this past Saturday I just did some basic cleaning in there.
 I pulled out some seasonal scrubs to store - found this container in the garage, empty, and put it to good use!  Since it's pretty full, I guess that means I need to stop buying scrubs. 
I found another small container that matches the one I have Hubby's gloves and scarves in, and I made one for me, too. (But wouldn't you know it, I had to pull it down and grab some gloves out of it this week because we got a COLD snap!)
 It felt good to switch out winter for early spring, too.  I stored all of my flannel and corduroy  (I am OVER it).  Gave it a good vacuuming, replaced the oil air freshener...I even moved an old desk drawer of crap out to the garage - why was that still there?  No clue.
I made sure Hubby had what he needed for work clothes for the week, too.  Now if I could get him to part with about half of the junk that fills the shelves above his hanging stuff...a work in progress, I guess.  But I sure love to see our closet is still working as a closet only!  Now, on to the next project.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mealplan Monday #180

I posted this, and then I decided to make a couple of changes...cook's choice!
Monday - Carnitas Tacos with pico de gallo and etc.
Tuesday - Crock pot pintos with ham bone from Christmas!, corn muffins
Wednesday - Pomegranate Beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, Valentine's dessert!
Thursday - Sausage Quiche, fruit salad
Friday - Baked Chicken and Gravy, rice, green veggie
Saturday and Sunday - I am on call, so we are staying close to home and grilling.  But I do know I will be making The Pioneer Woman's Prune Cake

Friday, February 9, 2018

Catching up

It's ironic to me that as my peeps have gotten older and moved on, I don't seem to be any less busy around the house.  Maybe that has to do with working full-time now, or the particular shift I am on.  But most days I feel pretty stretched to the limit of what I can get done.  And if I didn't use my lists, I would get pretty bogged down.
This week, as always, I am working a fairly long list.  I got an amazing amount of things done, so maybe I should focus on that - the success of getting things accomplished.  I'm pretty sure Hubby is tired of hearing about it so maybe I will start journaling it here!  This week I hemmed two pairs of pants for Dutch...
...bought Valentine's Day sussies for my peeps, ordered some new sandals, sent a box of treats to The Girl, did maintenance on the Keurig, cleaned the oven, washed several loads of laundry and changed my sheets, reconciled the credit card statements, bought groceries, made dinners, took the bulky trash to the curb, loaded up some donate items into my car to drop off on the way to work...
Must get this clock fixed and the taxes started, plus start this year's FAFSA for Bubbie, fix a pull on my nightstand, water and sun my potted plants that are wintering in the garage, and deep clean the bathrooms.  That will take up much of Saturday morning, before noon, at which point the chores end and the weekend begins.  On Sunday we'll do nothing more than go to a winery to pick up our wine club allocation and listen to live music, then home for dinner with our peeps.  Then Monday will dawn and the catching up will begin again in earnest.  Better busy than bored, right?

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Chicken and Spaghetti

Here is another recipe I have had for years - a favorite of Hubbys' when he was growing up.  One weekend that we visited Galveston, his mother had a big batch if this all made up for him to take back to San Marcos.  I thought it was unusual and good and my future Hubby loved it, so I asked her for the recipe.  She let me go through ALL her recipe cards and pick out the ones I wanted!  Can you imagine?  Such treasure.  It's odd I haven't posted this in all the years I have had this blog...better late than never.
Chicken and Spaghetti
Boil, debone, and cut up one 3 pound chicken, reserving the stock.  Set aside. (I used some leftover chopped turkey this time)
Cook 6 ribs of chopped celery, 1 medium chopped onion pepper, and 2 chopped bell peppers in 2 tablespoons butter until tender.
 I added more butter, though.  Maybe 4 tablespoons so it will cook a little easier.  You want the veggies to be tender.
Transfer to a larger pot and add:
1/2 c. Worchestershire sauce (do it!)
1 15 oz, can diced tomatoes
1 can mushrooms (didn't have those this time around and I prefer fresh anyway)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Admittedly, this looks a bit unappetizing - stay with me.  Boil up your spaghetti in the stock, or if you started with rotisserie chicken or leftover chopped turkey, just salt the water for the pasta.  I used linguine this time around...see how I am changing it up?  Marie wouldn't mind, I'm sure.
 Anyway, simmer the sauce on low while you wait for the spaghetti to cook.  I used 16 oz of linguine and saved some of the water I cooked it in, just in case it seemed too dry later on.  Drain your pasta and add it to the sauce, along with the cooked chicken or turkey.
 This makes enough for an army.  I buttered two big casserole dishes and divided it it up.  At this point she advises to cool it down.  It took only a few minutes to do this as I cleaned up the kitchen, then I covered it with foil and wrote the directions on top for Hubby to re-heat it for dinner.  The second one went into the freezer.
I also grated up some cheddar cheese - one regular brick of it.  You can divide this up into two ziplocs to put with the dishes.
Her directions say to keep the stock handy to moisten it before warming.  After it has the chill off, top with grated cheddar cheese and heat thoroughly.  (My directions are a tiny bit different because it was in the fridge and very cold.)  This casserole freezes beautifully, so guess what we get to have again in a couple of months?  
Comfort and memories, courtesy of Marie.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Mealplan Monday #179

An oldie but goodie from my favorite photographer:
Monday - Lazy Daisy Meatballs, mashed potatoes, peas with carrots
Tuesday - Beef Taco Rio in crispy shells, taco fixin's, chopped salad
Wednesday - Crockpot lima beans with ham, garlic toast
Thursday - Southern Fried Cabbage and Kielbasa, carrots
Friday - Crockpot Apricot Chicken, rice, green beans
Saturday - YOYO Hubby and I are going to two wineries!
Sunday - Parmesan Chicken, scalloped potatoes, brussels sprouts


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