Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It's working!

Here we are - midway through January - and I am still organized!  It's a miracle, I tell you!  It did help that I had a three-day weekend, prefaced by an early exit from work for a haircut.  I am practicing for my retirement...

Lots went on this weekend:

Lunch with my parents
Oil change (and surprise exhaust work)
Knitting (see above)
Manure shoveling

My meal planning efforts are starting to be worth their weight in gold.  Last week, my sister gave me this dry erase board (I so love it) and I set myself up for a week.  I list the recipes that I need to make on the bottom right (most were done at this point...) and then all I have to do is remember to consult it every morning.  That is the challenge.  Soup this week was Sweet & Sour Beef & Cabbage.  The chicken was roasted with a mustard/honey sauce.  It was supposed to be cut into serving pieces, but I was pretty much knackered by Monday night, so it was spatchcocked.
Roasted with the end of my paltry potato harvest.
I already made some changes to the plan - the "S/P crust" was for the sweet potato pizza planned for Friday.  No way that was happening by last night.  So it's now going to be an omelet with leftover roasted potatoes from Monday's meal.  I am loving this planning business.  I think I never bothered because I didn't think it was worth it for a single person.  Wrong-o!  I made my breakfasts for the week:
Strawberry cheesecake oats

GF Oat 'gnagels"
I chose a new recipe for oats this time - strawberry cheesecake oats.  I discovered a partial bag of frozen strawberries (egads - at least 2 years old, but smelled very strawberry-ey) so whipped these up.  Very healthy - strawberries, almond milk, yogurt, cough*creamcheese*cough, chia seeds.  I also whipped up a batch of KAF's oat 'bagels', which are gluten free.  Ergo, not bagels, but gnagels.  I love these.
 Speaking of breakfast, I had my favorite GF pancakes for breakfast this weekend, Trader Joe's GF Pumpkin Pancake Mix (with some frozen blueberries I discovered next to the strawberries....bad me):
OMG, the BEST mix!

The pups and I went up the mountain for a hike on Sunday - it was a sunny day; a rarity in these parts lately.  Of course, the length of the hike is only as long as the shortest legs...
Captain Short Legs

A beautiful spot
We then got to go inside and have tea, cheese, fruit and GF crackers (me) and rawhide sticks and beef jerky (pups).  It was all very civilized.  I went on a solo adult visit Saturday to a friends' for our 'holiday' get-together.  It was very revealing.  We usually (there are three of us - the Girlz) exchange little baskets of homemade stuff.  L is not very handy but she usually recycles gifts to us that she receives and doesn't want.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't care where it comes from.  She gets great stuff!  However, this year she didn't have anything to give.  Also, not a problem.  My little gift bag was entirely handmade - a pair of knitted acorns, eggnog with rum, Meyers lemon curd, homemade vanilla.  What did bother me was that she was visibly relieved to find that all of it was handmade - as if it was not worth much/anything, so her guilt was assuaged.  We all know how much time, effort and care we put into handmade things.  She is off my list for next year and I may suggest we all give it a rest.

There was a lot of knitting in between cleaning and manure management.  I ended up with some unexpected knitting time - at the mechanics, you can take it from there - so I am making progress on a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend's partner.  I also got some quality BFF time with Melanie, as we are back on our Knitting Sundays.  It's always a good excuse to get a fire going in the fireplace which makes for a cozy scene.
Kramer is a big fan of fireplaces.
Next weekend will be a little different.


  1. Loved the "captain shortlegs" and the cat in front of the fire.
    Wish I could join said storm here. I'm chilled to the bone!

    1. Sue - Oh, no! Ice storms are the WORST! I hope you are safe and warmish inside.

  2. Susan,

    Grease boards are our friends when trying to be organized. I try to do my food planning for dinners (1 month time frame). Then I compile a list of what items I have, and those I don't have in preparation for any grocery shopping. This really makes a difference in my schedule (less stressed), and I don't have to figure out what to make for dinner for everyone just before sitting down to eat.

    It's good you schedule your walks around "Captain Shortlegs" you don't want him to feel left out in any way.

    Maybe next year your friends can put their names in a hat (only those who want to participate) and pull only one name out per person (and that's the person you make stuff for as a gift). This way you're not killing yourself trying to get all kinds of stuff made, and it eliminates those who don't want to participate in the gift giving.
    Personally, I think homemade gifts are the bomb (I love them). You can see all the love a person puts into making you something. Speaking of that, I love my acorns!!!

    Scratch your furbies behind their ears for me.
    Sending hugs and love your way.

    1. Sandy - I realize that not all people value homemade gifts. Especially (I find) people who have a lot of money and buy everything they want. I am more of the 'don't give me anything' type, so I'd rather we just have a nice evening with a glass of wine or two. You tell that little Beans that, Chihuahua or not, sweaters are a necessity in snow!

  3. I can see your new organization schedule is working for you. It comes right through your written words!

    Even though Captain Short Legs may have had to expend a little more energy than anyone else on the hike, I'm sure he enjoyed it immensely.

    When you spoke of the friend being relieved you had "only" presented her with homemade gifts, it was like a gut punch for me. Ugh. I'm speechless.

    Love your "manure management." Sounds so much classier than "shoveling you-know-what."

    You say, "Next weekend will be a little different." Is that a tease? You have successfully piqued my interest!

    1. Mama Pea - I admit it, her reaction had the same effect on me. Even know that she is a rather - er - diamond in the rough type didn't make me feel that much better. Ah, yes. It is a tease all right...

  4. I admire handmade no end because I don't have a crafty bone in my body-more's the pity. Nothing like a walk on a rare sunny day. We had one yesterday-today wind and rain, too nasty for the pups so it wil be a running up and down the stairs day.

    1. Susan - So, do you run up and down the stairs, too? God bless you. I'd make it up once. Then head straight for bed.... :) BTW, you may not have crafty bones, but you sure have a green thumb right up to your elbow!

  5. So glad you are enjoying your organization. I love it too & get very anxious when it starts to unravel. What an ungrateful "friend". I know we are supposed to give from our heart but I have sent homemade gifts (lap quilts specifically) & never gotten a thank you. I know they aren't perfect but jeesh. did you use regular oats or steel cut in your breakfasts. Would love the recipe.

    1. DFW - Wow! Lap quilts are amazing gifts!! And a lot of work, too - not to mention the amount of talent and creativity it takes to create one. I can't afford to get anxious if my plans unravel because they always do... :) I used regular oats in this recipe. It's made in the blender/food processor - cup of diced strawberries, 3/4 cup almond milk; 1/2 cup yogurt (they said Greek, but I used regular), 1 oz of cream cheese - whiz together and put in a bowl. Add 1 cup whole oats and three tablespoons of chia seeds. Mix, ladle into individual jars, seal and refrigerate. Or leave it in the bowl. Best if it sits for overnight at least. There may be some vanilla in there, too - I'm going by memory, such as it is.

    2. And a tablespoon of honey in the first part.

    3. Thank you Susan. I am going to cook some steel cut oats & give this a try tomorrow.

  6. Sad that your friend doesn't value handmade gifts! My faves.

  7. Homemade gifts are the MOST thoughtful of all because of all the time, care and attention that go into them. I love how content Kramer looks on the pillow in front of the fireplace.

  8. Homemade mittens are a great gift. That Kramer sure has the right idea.

  9. if someone doesn't appreciate something homemade, they really are not very evolved humans.

  10. I have a lovely dry erase I have NO excuse not to use it...I love Mr. Shortlegs :)

  11. Life's too short to spend our precious "free" time and talent on not-like-minded people. Just my opinion, of course!

  12. Susan, you're an inspiration! I need to get organized as well, but my problem is the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

  13. I love my dry erase board! I too, try to do handmade gifts. Not only do I feel special when I receive them, but on a practical side I love to give them because it saves money when I give them! What makes me crazy is when I knit something or make a lap quilt and i see later that the person doesn't wear it or use it. "I don't them to get ruined" is what I've heard about socks. Ugh, just use the darn things... I made them to be used and will make more!!! My knitting has fallen by the wayside with gifting to my family members since my sister in law is an amazing knitter, fair isle sweaters and the like. I was ecstatic when my mom called me and specifically asked for a stack of knitted dishcloths. I can always count on mom :) Next year I'm doing soaps...