Procrasti-Cleaning

One of my greatest skills is something I call “procrasti-cleaning” aka cleaning or organizing something in my life so as to avoid work or a task I really don’t want to do.

This week’s target? My home office. I had been collecting boxes and files just on the floor under my counter and it was annoying. So a few dollars at online Wal-Mart and some pictorial assembly instructions I have a five cube shelf. I have just enough space for my bags to the side and all the junk from the counter now lives nice underneath.

The cleaner and more organized space really helps me feel calmer and more productive. And then I can usually get back to the task I was avoiding. Anyone else out there have skills like this?

Happy Organizing!!

Green Chef Last Hurrah

This last week was our last hurrah with Green Chef. We liked their environmentally friendly business models and it was super easy to make all the recipes. But they just didn’t knock our socks off on a regular basis flavor wise. And for what they ended up costing it just turned out to not bet a good fit for our family. The kids basically hated all of the dishes except for the burgers.

We gave it one last hurrah with the Japanese Fritters with veggies and rice. Basically rice with edamame and ginger, seasoned broccoli and cabbage fritters with siracha aoili.

I will have to say, this was a definite hit. It was savory and spicy but still fresh tasting. Both the hubby and I said we would most definitely do this again. For a meatless dinner it was very filling. And it looked very good plated up.

Next up in our food adventures is Home Chef. The recipes appear to be more kid friendly and more affordable. Our first week includes Spicy Crispy Boom Boom Shrimp….my mouth is watering!!

Sprucing Up

All this time spent at home lately has really made see how shabby some spaces around my home are. I spent all of last Sunday repainting the trim around my front and garage door. Seven years of furniture moving, dog scratches and kid marks really made them look ROUGH.

I busted out some paint from the basement and some painters tape and put two new coats of fresh paint. I was even a good homeowner and pre-sanded the woodwork before painting to make it look smoother and less dented up.

Next up was the bathroom wall that the hubby had turned into swiss cheese while trying to hang a second towel rod. My blessed father patched the interior wall and fixed up the sheet rock for me. All I had to do was sand and paint.

I just happened to have a TEENY TINY amount of green paint left that was JUST enough to repaint this section of wall and feather it in so that you can’t see the contrast of new versus old. Well….good enough for me anyway.

Next up on my to-do list is hang photos from PB’s birth (two years ago) and the kids height boards I received as Christmas gifts. Better late than never!!

Summer Canning

Our current temperature in Kansas is roughly the surface of the sun with like 1,000% humidity. So why wouldn’t I want to haul out all my canning supplies and heat up my kitchen? I was having some anxiety related to world events and general unrest so I felt the need to make something. That feeling turned into one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam, two batches of blackberry jam, two batches of peach jam and one batch of strawberry jam.

Jellybean helped me off and on saying that he “didn’t like the hot and sticky parts”. Which we all know is almost the whole process. He did like how dark and ruby colored the blackberries cooked down into. All this fruit, except for the strawberries, was homegrown from my families gardens. To me this gave me a grounded feeling and a connection to people I can’t visit right now.

This project did make me feel a bit better. I did have a tiny bit of frustration when my peach jam didn’t set and I had to haul all the supplies back out to re-cook and add more pectin. But the re-do process did seem to work. Now I have some jelly stores for the next year and enough to give as gifts this holiday season.

How is everyone else coping lately?

Bring Me All Your Butter

We spent what we hope was a responsibly safe 4th of July with my parents. We kind of have made our own little “bubble” and see few people but each other up close and within breathing distance. Everyone in my family is getting really good at cleaning…even the littles. And we stayed up WAAAAY too late shooting big fireworks and chasing fireflies.

So Sunday morning, after the 4th of July, I found myself awake with PB with the rest of the house was snoozing. So PB and I raided the fridge to make breakfast. Being good hearty Midwestern folk I made a well rounded country breakfast. I turned leftover baked potato into hash browns, used up the last of the sausage gravy, cooked off some thick sliced bacon and fried a perfect medium egg in butter.

Forget yarn….bring me all your butter!!

Getting A Little Dust On Our Boots

Restrictions here in Kansas are easing despite our cases of COVID still rising. I have opted for my family to err on the side of caution so we are largely doing the same routines we did during Shelter in Place. However, my kids and I really needed to shake things up so we decided to do that carefully. We loaded up the van and spend a quiet weekend at my parents house as a “vacation”.

We opted not to interact with other extended family or public spaces. We played in the yard and around the house with lots of trips around town in my dad’s golf cart to get some wind in our hair and dust on our boots (or bare feet in Jellybean’s case).

One evening we stopped to say hey to the local high school’s chickens. They are definitely missing their kids! We rolled up to their “coup” after they had been put up for the night to protect them from predators. They came RUNNING to us. So the kids and I talked to them and threw in some fresh grass and chicken feed. It was quiet and simple and a nice way to spend time as a family.

Note: These chickens are most certainly well cared for despite schools being closed since March. They are fed, watered and set to graze daily by the ag teacher and her family. They even collect the eggs and hand out to local families in need. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog post 🙂

My Back Hurts

Y’all….I did a thing. I almost single handedly moved 4 tons of landscaping rock. I definitely way over ordered from the quary but my neighbors were delighted to take about one ton of it for their fire pit area.

Now the hubs did help me here and there but I can proudly say this was my baby. I finished the big bed pictured above, our rose garden and the driveway lining. Everything is now cohesive and hopefully weed free at least for a little while. And boy is my back sore!

I’m already scheming on how to jazz up the large bed. I’m thinking a standing planter for seasonal flowers that can stand high sun and maybe a hanging bird feeder. PB REALLY likes to watch and talk to birds lately. I think it would be neat to have a feeder out the dining room window she could watch.

All The Yard Work

Happy May Day!!

Today I will regale you with my yard work adventures from last weekend. We have a large landscaping bed off the south side of our house. It’s out of sight and out of mind and long neglected. Well, bring on a global pandemic and I decided I needed to be outside and away from kids! The area looked like this to start.

I raked, scooped, shoveled and pulled weeds for a solid three hours. The bed at one point had a wooden mulch layer but I scooped that out as well, no thank you termites! I managed to get down to a pretty nice even dirt layer. I did use a quick spray of weed and grass killer to discourage new growth. My next plan is to call a local quarry and get some rock delivered. I want nay NEED low maintenance ground cover. I do plan to roll out and stake down some weed barrier before the rocks.

I could barely move my arms and legs the next day (or two) because I moved a metric poop ton of debris! I filled two trash bins and five large yard bags with junk. I probably should have left the sanitation workers a tip…

Anyone else out there sprucing up their yarns or gardens in this time of #stayhome?

More Gratuitous Baking Content

Jellybean looked at me this week and said “we should make cookies”. And I said why not! So here is more gratuitous quarantine baking content.

We made pretty standard cookies except for Jellybean insisted on adding the whole bag of chocolate chips. He then put fork marks in them like peanut butter cookies because why not? He also squished the completely flat. So we have very nice and crisp cookies.

They lasted all of 3 days. But to be fair I only baked 1/2 the dough and froze the other half or another baking day. I hope future Rachelle enjoys the work of past Rachelle, lol.

Happy Baking!!