Showing posts from March, 2013

Quick & Dirty Housekeeping

When the weeks get long and busy, when the world seems like it's creeping in to keep you from housekeeping, focus on the kitchen and the bathroom(s). As long as you have someplace to cook a good home-cooked meal, and you can take a shower and brush your teeth without stepping over clutter or having to stare at globs of toothpaste, everything else can wait until next week.

But if the next week and the next come around and you're still "just having a busy week," it's time to accept this as your life and start finding ways to get the rest of the house onto a cleaning schedule and back into rotation. Maybe it's letting go of the idea that you have to do all of something at once--wipe down the mirror while you're thinking about it, scrub the toilet later, sweep the kitchen without mopping or run the vacuum in one room at a time if that's what it takes.

For us, having a set schedule is what's really helped. Occasionally, the vacuuming gets put off long …

Menu: March 24-31

Mr. Moon has hit the jackpot with hours at his new job, 5 days this week and almost all closing shifts (which means more guaranteed hours). Of course, it also means he's left the house before he's supposed to be serving his parental units dinner, which means a week full of crockpot and casserole meals.

With the end of Lent, we're still observing the No Meat on Friday rule for the parental units. We'd been hoping to have a family Ham dinner on Easter, but Mr. Moon's big brother won't be coming down from Seattle until later in the week, Mr. Moon has to work, and none of our friends can come Sunday evening anyway, so we've postponed Ham Dinner night until next Tuesday. We're having Seafood Sunday at Mum's request, instead. I'm going to take some time this week to think up some delicious side dishes to go along with the ham (especially since I'm not a big fan of ham and don't typically eat it, so I want the sides to be flavorful and hearty e…

Do What Works.

I'm horrible at taking medications regularly. I've tried so many tricks and life hacks and tactics and ultimately they all fail to overcome my subconscious resistance to taking medication every day. I don't even know WHY I'm bad at it!

A couple years ago, I got so annoyed by myself and my roommates leaving coats and purses everywhere that was NOT the coat closet that I snapped. The issue was that the coat closet was across the entire house from the door that we used, and no one could be expected to use it. So, I went on Freecycle and got a freestanding wooden coat/hat rack to put by the door we used. Results were instantaneous, and worst case scenario was that if someone dropped their belongings on a chair and came back to find them not there, they knew exactly where to look.

It was a revelation. Instead of fighting to do things that I simply wasn't going to do, maybe I could find different ways of doing things that would work better. It seems so simple, really, bu…

Menu: March 18-24

I had an absolute BLAST this weekend, how was yours? Went to a party Saturday night and woke up with the Irish Flu, on St Patrick's day no less, and then some friends really wanted some social time so after Mr. Moon was released from servitude we went to grab a pint at the bar. By the time we got home, it was clear that this was not just The Irish Flu but some sort of actual ailment, as hangovers don't usually get worse again after getting better, or some with overfilled lymph nodes and throats so sore you can't speak. Tea and soup were consumed, menu planning was postponed.

But of course that meant we were waking up this morning to an early-ish shift that would last through dinner time, and no dinner plan. No more putting it off. Thank goodness for leftovers, we knew we could just hand the 'Rents a plate and point them toward the leftover corned beef in the fridge. We made an easy menu plan for the week, which involved many hand gestures, some texting for more compli…

The Latest Dirt: Seeds!

I was toodling around on the internet one day and came across an offer for a free heirloom seeds catalog. Figured I might as well look through it, for entertainment value if nothing else. Well when it arrived and I finally had a chance to look through it, I discovered that the seed packets aren't significantly more expensive than buying GMO seeds from the local nurseries. And CERTAINLY less expensive than buying a garden's worth of starts! 

I made myself a wish list in the catalog, starring everything I wanted. Then discovered that I could order online, so I went through and started adding things to my cart, paring down some of my selections as I went. $112!! Well that was a little more than I wanted to pay, and I'm still not sure how much space I'm even working with, so I pared it down a bit further. Removed some of the more exotic varieties, replaced some of them with slightly less expensive more familiar varieties, and tried to map out a bit in my head where I expect…

Menu: March 11-17

Mr. Moon's new job is shaping up well. The busier weeks seem to actually be good for us in some ways, since it forces us to be a bit more rigid with our scheduling. it does have the benefit of not feeling as if we have all the time in the world to accomplish things. On the other hand, it makes me much more anxious when I'm hit with sudden exhaustion or the inability to walk, for example. I'm still learning to be fluid with my planning when necessary, and I suppose that will be a lesson I will keep learning throughout my life.

I am rather excited to get onto planting, though it looks like it will be waiting until next week at the earliest. I'd like to be starting seeds indoors, but as I've discovered that heirloom, Non-GMO seeds aren't any more expensive than I've been buying conventional seeds at the nurseries, I've decided to order some of those and do the best I can with the timing. Fortunately we've been saving up our milk and egg cartons, so we…

Building raised beds (a little late in the game)

First let me start by saying: The lot this house was built on was the rock pit for the subdivision, and if you dig more than about 2 inches into the dirt, you get rocks. Solid rocks. There's not much dirt to speak of, and tilling the "earth" for planting is a pain in the--well, everything. Plus, when you add dirt, it just filters into the rocks further to fill them in. As you can imagine, the entire yard got VERY dry this past summer!

So, raised beds are the way to go here. Combine this with the old lady with bionic joints, the younger lady (that'd be me) with old lady joints, and kneeling on the ground to plant a garden is simply out of the question. We need raised beds to be at least 18 inches tall (preferably closer to 2 ft) just to be able to reach them from a chair, which means extra wood and dirt expense to build the 4 ft x 48 ft raised garden we want in the side yard. I mean it's literally two to three times what we NEED, since we only NEED a raised bed to…

Menu: Mar 4-10

What's on the menu?

Breakfasts: Eggs & toast; yogurt and granola; cottage cheese and pineapple; muffins!

Lunches: Tuna; egg salad; grilled cheese

Snacks: apples; oranges

Monday: Lasagna [vegetarian; casserole; pasta]

Tuesday: Leftover cabbage & pork roast soup [pork; soup; leftovers]

Wednesday: BLTs and yellow potato salad [bacon; sandwich]

Thursday: On Your Own [OYO]

Friday: French Toast Casserole and fruit salad [vegetarian; breakfast for dinner; casserole]

Saturday: Salmon cakes & broccoli & swiss chard [fish; freezer]

Sunday: OYO [OYO]
What's on your menu this week? Need recipes ideas? Check out where I'll be linking up to Menu Plan Monday!

Down the Rabbit Hole: Kombucha

We screwed up our last batch of kombucha. Not royally or irreparably, but we let it ferment in the jar for 17 days instead of 10. We just... lost track of time, I guess. The only way we even knew what day it started was because we had the last batch's bottling date on the bottles in the fridge. So first Mr. Moon forgot to mark the jar, and then I forgot to put a reminder in my To Do list, and then we lost track of time... and then we spent 5 days going "we should bottle that!"

I did a little research to find out whether it would be palatable and safe. I found one source that said that anything gone above 21 days was "unpalatable" and "too sour," and another that said that people in cooler, northern climates often ferment theirs for 20-30 days. So I figured my 17 days was probably safe, especially since "unpalatable" is a very personal statement.

We did taste it before we bottled it all, and it tasted still very sweet. We mixed it with some t…

Recipe: Stuffed Cabbage Soup

As with so many of my recipes, a lot of this was "dump shit in the crockpot" and "clean out the fridge." Which it wasn't even intended to be! But that's ok. It smells (and tasted!) yummy.

1 smallish head of cabbage
1 cup brown rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (or just add another can of tomatoes)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder roast leftovers (totally optional!)
2 chicken or veggie bouillon cubes
6-8 cups water (or skip the bouillon and use stock)
Seasonings to taste

1) Chop cabbage: cut into quarters, cut out the stem portion, then slice each quarter into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. Cut pork roast into cubes.

2) Dump into crockpot: rice, tomatoes, cabbage, spaghetti sauce, onion, pepper, pork cubes. If you substituted an extra can of tomatoes instead of spaghetti sauce, and even if you didn't, you probably want to add some extra Italian seasonings here. Drop in 2-3 chicken boui…