Showing posts from September, 2012

Celebrate the Little Things

Five things we accomplished in September that are really kind of big:

We got on a schedule of chores, and even managed to stick to it in this very busy week. We had fun on some cheap dates, and got to spend more time with friends than we have any other time since we moved down here.We pinpointed some trouble areas with the housekeeping and started making strides to combat them in a manageable way. We dove down the rabbit hole with gusto, starting on such projects are sourdough pancakes, waffles, yogurt, mozzarella, and possibly soon into sourdough bread.We managed to keep the sideboard in the dining room CLEAN and clear of clutter for the better part of a month, and still going! 
It wasn't entirely intentional, but we spent the month working on building good housekeeping habits.

If October has a theme project, I think it needs to be the garage. We got behind on cleaning that out and missed both of our self-imposed deadlines, or we will because the second one is tomorrow and there w…

The Kitchen Project: A week in pictures

I mentioned last Monday that we were doing a little project to determine where we're falling behind in the kitchen, to turn that B+ into an A+. So how did our week go?

Sunday night: Not bad! Pretty good for a Day 1. Let's see what we left out. Bag by the stove, a big dish left on the stove that should have been washed, a towel over by the toaster and a cutting board there as well. The pile of stuff to the left of the sink is a bit bad, but mostly that's empty bottles that need to get their labels soaked. Trash and compost could have been emptied. But the dishes got done and the sink was empty, and the kitchen was ready for cooking breakfast.
Monday night: Yayy! Just a couple things on the counter by the stove, and otherwise only some dishes drying. Those bottles are a Wednesday project. A+!

Tuesday night: Hmmm could have been better. A towel, some bags, half a crockpot, a basket, and some croutons that all should have been put away. BUT! The dishes are done and the stockpot i…

Down the Rabbit Hole: Sourdough Corn Bread Waffles

Mr. Moon and I have been taking advantage of his weekends off by having a little homemade brunch, usually during or before the football game. It's been really fun! And we've starting to get the hang of it enough that we've started inviting people over.

Last week it was whole wheat sourdough pancakes with soaked grains. I got a recipe from another website but it's written really badly and difficult to read. It did, however, work well enough that I used it as a base for savory waffles this week. Since pancakes and waffles have always been difficult for me, having success in this experiment was really gratifying.

So without further ado, a recipe for Overnight Soaked Grain Sourdough Pancakes or Waffles (what a mouthful!):

The Night Before: 
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup liquid
1 cup flour

Mix together in a bowl that's at least 3x as big as you think it needs to be. Don't over mix. Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap (I used a towel once and it was ok, but the to…

Menu: Sept 23-30 : Keeping it Simple

And I thought last week was going to be busy! Due to the nature of off-week scheduling (i,e, not Sun-Sat or Mon-Sun) and multiple short shifts, Mr. Moon has to work 6 days in a row this week with no likelihood of overtime. So it's all about SIMPLE. Thankfully, the cooler temperatures make comfort foods more enticing anyway. 
For chores this week we're just focusing on just maintaining our daily & weekly tasks, without worrying about extra projects. This will be the big test of our newfound habits. I made a point this week of writing down any pre-cooking tasks that need to be done the day before, and tomorrow I'm going to put together a prep list so we can do things like chopping onions only once. It really saves time later in the week, and it means I can ask Mum for help whenever she's feeling up to it. 
So without further ado, what's for dinner?
Breakfast is smoothies, apple spice muffins, and egg sandwiches. Beans on toast for the day after I make baked beans…

Date Night!

As I mentioned before, Mr. Moon and I try to do a weekly date night. We're pretty lax about what Date Night entails, sometimes it's bowling with friends, sometimes it's a movie out, and sometimes (especially when the money is tight) it's a movie in with a "fancified" dinner. As long as it's intentional, mindful, and spending time together. This week, we managed to make a really nice spread with all things we had in the house (except I ended up having to buy a loaf of french bread).

We turned the couch so it faced the TV, threw in a Blockbuster by mail DVD, and had a spread of finger foods. So much easier to eat when sitting at a coffee table! Plus I'd been wanting to do an appetizer dinner at some point.

Counter-Clockwise from Left (for reasons which will become clear):
Grass-fed, all-natural Painted Hills sirloin steak, cooked in olive & truffle oils with garlic, basil, oregano, and crimini salt. Bruschetta: french bread, toasted with olive oil…

Update: Laundry Day, Daily Chores

Do you remember how excited I was to set Laundry Day as a leisurely, TV-time activity? How we were going to PAUSE and switch laundry and FOLD while we WATCHED?
Do you remember in that post how we were getting into a nice routine with chores (do we call these daily or weekly?) on a schedule?

Let me tell you a little story about this pile of clothes... while Mr. Moon vacuums the carpets two days late.
So, the basket in front is a pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away. Behind it is a box of candle/decor stuff that I needed out because I'm running out of candles and we need the scrap wax bucket to make fire starters. On top of that box is a trash bag of clothes that no longer fit and need to be put into storage for the time being (until we even determine what's wrong with me, I'm not willing to give up perfectly good clothes that I might fit back into soon--but there is a date with a donation center next year if no progress has been made). Behind THAT is …

Menu: Sept 16-23

SUCH! An exciting week this week. Well, ok, not so much, but I try to be upbeat as much as I can. 
Hours for Mr. Moon are still few and far between so there's a lot of work being done around the house. It feels like we're getting nowhere sometimes, because we keep getting behind on some of the chores. Still getting used to them, I guess. And I think we need a second "firebomb the kitchen" day. Or something. It just keeps getting out of hand and Mr. Moon and I feel like we're in there ALL THE TIME. The worst thing is, by having a scheduled list of chores that DO get done as often as they do, it's actually illustrated how they do need to get done as often as they're scheduled. Like sweeping the kitchen, which keeps getting missed and then done at completely inconvenient times because it NEEDS it--but never more often than scheduled. Or the bathrooms, which having been kept up on for three weeks in a row now still need cleaning when we get back to them. It&…

"I am not a baker": Words have power

Words have power. I do believe that what you focus on is what will come to you, whether you say those words out loud or not. It's never easy to be conscious of these thoughts, and for a person with anxiety and the resulting depression it's even more difficult. This also comes to play in a lot of religions, where naming a thing gives it power; for a non-religious example, we look to the Harry Potter books and Voldemort AKA He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

It's because of this feeling that Words Have Power that I have found it very difficult to pursue disability. It's a little soul-crushing to have to say out loud that your limitations are more than you want to admit. So I find myself living a life where day-by-day I push myself harder than I often should, try to ignore my limitations and often end up suffering for it, making people comfortable by not discussing the realities of my situation. Then one day I have to go to an interview or fill out a form detailing every struggle,…

Keeping House: The Daily chores that keep us sane

Mr. Moon and I are getting more accustomed to daily chores. Tuesday when I woke up, it was to the sound of vacuuming in the hallway--Tuesday's assigned chore day is deep vacuuming, which means getting under the lounge chairs and the dining room table. Light vacuuming is over the weekend, and it's just the main walkways. So I woke up proud of him and pleased, definitely sets the tone for a good morning. Then I discovered that again of his own volition he had emptied, refilled and run the dishwasher, as we've gotten behind on dishes again. And to top it off, I was greeted with a clean kitchen so I could prepare us a steak and eggs breakfast.

Now tonight is just picking up our bedroom a bit, which means clearing off the desk and the shelves at the foot of the bed. Those shelves were just a few inches wider than the bed itself, which resulted in Mr. Moon rubbing a hole into the back of his work shorts by getting squished between shelves and the wall on his way by. We reorganiz…

Down the Rabbit Hole: Sourdough Starter (9/4-9 in pictures)


Down the Rabbit Hole: Home-made yogurt

Do you ever find yourself doing one thing, and the next thing you know you've embarked on an adventure you hadn't entirely planned? That happened to be this week. 
I decided that I'd like to make my own yogurt. It's not cheaper to make my own sour cream, but yogurt! That I can make for cheaper than I can buy. I also decided that with my recent difficulty buying reasonably priced sandwich bread without sugar that tastes good to me, I'd like to try making my own. So I made a sourdough starter (but that's a topic for a different day). 
How did I make my yogurt? I didn't like the fussiness and on-my-feet time required with some of the recipes I found for homemade yogurt. So I added "crockpot" to my recipe search, and right on top was a link to one of my favorite blogs. Oh wait, you mean the one I was reading a week ago when I decided I wanted to make my own yogurt? Oops. Thanks Google for the reminder!
So I started by putting my milk into the crockpo…

Eats & Treats: Menu plan, Sept 9-16

Finally, no more tweaks to the white board this week! With this cold or allergy attack (who knows?) hitting me, I'm grateful for the break we had this week, not having to cook for everyone, but it seems like it was rough on Mum even if she won't quite say so. So once again we are focusing on cleaning out the freezer, good healthful meals without a whole lot of hassle, but trying some new things.

What's on the ToDo list this week? 
We are still getting used to the daily chores being a little more structured, and catching up on some of the things that got a little out of hand. Bonus, Mr. Moon has more shifts and I have a doctor's appointment, so I scheduled a light week on projects.

Sunday, 9th: Today is a vacation day! Much deserved. Season opener for the Mariners er, Seahawks (the football guys) is on right now, and we have a date tonight with some friends going bowling. Well, Mr. Moon will be bowling, I will be watching, pointing, heckling, and l…

Is it cold and flu season already?

It seems like every time I try to go on vacation and especially to a Scottish festival, I get sick. One particular festival my family attended for most of my life, I would get sick. Every. Single. Year. And then we figured out it was severe allergies reacting to cottonwood and pine pollen, which are ripening every year around the same time/area that the festival is held. I can recall at least three separate years where I sounded like a tuberculosis patient throughout the weekend.

It should therefore stand to reason that I'm used to traveling while sick. And I am! I tend to pack as much and as many remedies as I think I might need, unabashedly and unashamed to do so. When I don't, I regret it.

Still, there is nothing quite like being able to curl up on your own bed or couch and nest when you're sick. Treating every sniffle and cough and achy joint with the care and comfort of a baby mama with her chicks. The last cold I had, I nested myself into the deep, cushy love seat in…

The ever-changing nature of decor

Growing up, we didn't have a fireplace, but we did have a secretary/china cabinet that lived in a weird nook into the hallway that had knick-knacks inside. For me, this was basically just something to collect dust and clean rather than anything I got to have fun with.

After moving out, I've always had a little area that I would decorate, no matter how cluttered the rest of the home got. It's fun to decorate things for the seasons, or just switch it up regularly. In my mind, this would be a fireplace mantle. But somehow I've only had one of those in ONE apartment. So I've made do as best I could. Our last apartment, I put a shelf above the couch about 18 inches from the ceiling, high enough that even the tallest person wouldn't hit their head on the brackets underneath while flopping down. When the room got re-arranged so that it was actually above the walkway, it was still tall enough that it was fine. I liked to use this shelf as my "mantle," decorat…

Menu: Sept 2-9

Jobs can be frustrating at times. I keep having to tell myself that Mr. Moon doesn't need to leave just because he has asked 6 times in the last 12 days when he should be expecting the schedule that starts this Wednesday. When they had the schedule week running from Monday to Sunday, they were receiving the schedule on Wednesday; 5 days before it started, and a reasonable length of time. Not being involved in this particular restaurant's decision to shift the pay and schedule week, I can't tell you their reasoning to change it, but I do know that when you have a Mon-Sun schedule, you risk either end up paying extra overtime or sending people home to avoid it during your busiest nights of the week. I don't have a problem with the shifted schedule week; I have a problem with him asking 6 times now and not receiving ANY ANSWER whatsoever about when the next schedule will be posted. He's been assured he's not on the chopping block to get fired, but it makes me anxi…