Monday, January 31, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook - January 31, 2011

For Today, Monday, January 31, 2011
The sky is mostly cloudy with patches of blue.
It is 35° at 9:30am with just a tiny bit of a breeze.

I am thinking... About spring! I am enjoying this winter and wouldn't mind if we got some more snow, but I am also eager to get my garden started :) It will also mean warmer weather, so I will be able to take Susannah outside with me and we can play and she can play while I work in the garden or hang laundry, etc.

I am thankful for... Our warm house! It has not been as cold this past week, but still plenty cold enough to make me appreciate having a house to live in. I am also very thankful for like-minded friends :)

From my kitchen... comes the wonderful smell of a fresh batch of granola that I made this morning (and am now enjoying a bowl of!).

I'm reading... Nothing in particular right now. I'm working my way through Nourishing Traditions little by little, browsing pictures in home remodeling/home decorating magazines to help me figure out the little detailed stuff for the addition, and of course still doing blog reading as my time allows (which seems less and less these days!).

I'm hoping... to finish getting all the bookwork up-to-date this week. I spent a huge chunk of time on it last week and made great headway.

I am hearing...
Susannah babble and spit while she walks around the house playing in her walker.

Around the house... is lots of evidence that we live here :)

A few plans for the week... Learn more about chickens - for eggs AND meat; work on a seed order to start my own plants for the garden this year.

A picture... Last Tuesday Susannah and I went to visit my [89 year old] Grandma at the Home. We got there in time for lunch and then after lunch we visited with Grandma in her room for a bit. Grandma wanted to hold Susannah (she hasn't wanted to the past couple times) and seemed to really enjoy their time together. Susannah, of course, was all about Great-Grandma's shiny necklace, zipper-pull (on her sweater) and glasses, but Grandma didn't mind a bit!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nourishing Foods - What We Eat

As part of our Journey to Nourishing Foods, I wanted to share with you what we're eating. When I read others' blogs that have a specific eating lifestyle I'm always curious what their meals look like :) I kept a food journal so you could see the real deal. I didn't want to post a menu plan and then either feel pressured to stick to it, or feel guilty saying we were eating one thing when we were eating another.

Remember that this is a journey. It's not something I/we have perfected overnight. I'm still learning and making changes as I cook and bake. But we still eat normal food. At least I think we do! You can see for yourself and let me know ;)

Jan. 20:
Supper - Hamburger Pot Pie with White Whole Wheat Crust, Salad (Romaine, Spinach, Carrots, Mushrooms, Eggs, Tomatoes)
Jan. 21:
Breakfast - Green Pepper & Mushroom Omelets with Toast
Lunch - Roast Beef Sandwich & Banana Nut Muffins (Daniel); Leftover Hamburger Pot Pie, Peaches & Cottage Cheese (Miriam)
Supper - Marinated, Grilled Pork Chops, Leftover Baked Macaroni, Leftover Broccoli & Green Beans (not mixed together!)

Jan. 22 (Saturday, which usually means fend for yourself):
Breakfast - Egg Sandwich (Daniel); Banana Pancakes (Miriam)
Lunch - Banana Pancakes, Leftover Hamburger Pot Pie (Daniel); Egg Sandwich, Orange, Chips (Miriam)
Supper - Fried Rice
I'd made cookies so we enjoyed some of those throughout the day, too

Jan. 23:
Breakfast - Egg Sandwiches
Lunch - Hotdogs (Daniel); Leftover Chicken Rice Soup (Miriam) We were going to share the hot-dogs and soup but he was more in the mood for hotdogs and I was more in the mood for soup!
Supper - White Whole Wheat Waffles, Scrambled Eggs, Turkey Sausage

Jan 24:
Breakfast - Egg Sandwich (Daniel); food at MOPS (Miriam)
Lunch - Roast Beef Sandwich, Banana Nut Muffins (Daniel); Leftover Hamburger Pot Pie, Peaches & Cottage Cheese (Miriam)
Supper - Pork BBQ from freezer, Peas (very late supper)

Jan. 25:
Breakfast - Egg Sandwich (Daniel); Leftover Waffles (Miriam)
Lunch - Roast Beef Sandwich, Pretzels, Cookies (Daniel); Lunch with Grandma at her Home (Miriam)
Supper - Wendys (Daniel - working late); "Beans" (Great Nothern Beans cooked with Hog Jowl) from MIL (Miriam)

Jan. 26:
Breakfast - Leftover Waffles and Sausage
Lunch - KFC (Daniel - I was sure I was out of bread, lo and behold I found more that evening. *sigh*), Leftover Rice, Hotdog and Orange (Miriam - I was cleaning up leftovers! It was a weird meal.)
Supper - Beef, Cheese & Tomato Quesadillas on Homemade White Wheat Tortillas, Corn

Jan. 27:
Breakfast - Egg Sandwich (Daniel); Leftover Banana Pancakes, Peaches & Cottage Cheese (Miriam)
Lunch - Roast Beef Sandwich, Pretzels (Daniel); Leftover Quesadillas (Miriam)
Supper - Arbys (Daniel - working late), Meatloaf, Corn, Potatoes (Miriam

Aaaand, that's what we ate. And of course the week I decide to do this is the week Daniel's on call, working from dark to way-past-dark and eating alot of fast food, which is not typical! Well, it can be typical for his late days or on call weeks when he doesn't get home until really late (and I mean after 9 or 10pm). He has been working very.long.days this week and we are both ready for life to return to something more normal again. I guess the upside is that he does get paid overtime so that helps offset meals he ends up buying.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or questions you have (but please keep it nice and polite)!

P.S. Banana Pancakes are not nearly as good leftover... and I don't like them first-over as well as I thought I might. They're not BAD, just not something I'll make often.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nourishing Foods - Grocery Shopping

Last week I started a mini-series on what my weekly grocery shopping looks like as we're trying to eat foods that are better for you and more nourishing. Here is this week's grocery purchases:

Horizon Organic Milk (they were out of Homestead Creamery's Whole Milk)
Orange Juice
Canola Oil
Chips - Daniel's been eying "my" bag...
Cottage Cheese
Organic Yogurt
Organic All Purpose Flour
All Natural White Whole Wheat Flour
Wheat Gluten
Brown Sugar
4 Kiwi
2 doz. Brown Eggs
2 Mangoes
(10) "1/3 Less Fat" Cream Cheese

Total: $60.56

A few notes about what I bought today:

I need to do some digging to see if there's a better option for when recipes call for oil. I did purposely stay away from "Vegetable Oil" as it is just soybean oil (very bad for you). In the meantime, I'm about out of oil and decided to get some more for now.

The Cream Cheese was part of a Mega Sale and while I'd love to make my own one day, I was out and this was a good time to stock up a little. The Cream Cheese added $10 to my bill, so I'm happy :)

I am curious, though... if you have a whole/real foods-type diet, what does a grocery shopping trip bring home and for how much?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

English Assignment Comment?

I don't think I have EVER had so many spam comments on one post (that made it through the spam filter) as I have been getting on my Goals for 2011 post!! That title must be a hot one in the spammers search engines because I have been getting at least 1 spam comment each day, from "Anonymous". Thankfully not asking "wanna buy some drugs?" like another post kept getting repeatedly! The comment I got this morning though, takes the cake as far as wordiness, fine use of adjectives, and overall being well written, I thought. If I didn't know better, I'd say someone had written it as an English assignment!

It read as follows:

"Considerably, the blog post is actually the greatest on this worthy topic. I concur with your decisions and will thirstily look forward to your approaching updates. Saying thanks will not be adequate, for the phenomenal lucidity in your writing. I will at once grab your feeds to stay informed of any updates. Delightful work and much success in your business endeavors! Have a nice day."

Too bad it's just a spam comment, otherwise I might give it an A+!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Evening Randomness

  • I love my Kitchen Aid Electric Hand Mixer. It's so quiet! I'd never used one before, but hated (thoroughly, downright, refused to use it hated) my jet-engine other one and figured you couldn't go too wrong with the Kitchen Aid name. So I put it on my Christmas List and got one! Yay!

  • I just put the first pan of Coconut Oatmeal Cookies in the oven. And no, I didn't use the mixer. I just used elbow grease and a spoon.

  • It is getting very cold tonight. And supposed to stay very cold for several days. Brr. But I hung laundry outside today and I think it dried all the way. I need to check it because it was too cold to tell if it was dry or damp when I brought it in.

  • I wonder if chef's silently critique restaurant food when they go out to eat (ie, take their wives on a date)?

  • We had our first weekly business meeting tonight. I think it was a good thing we should continue.

  • Daniel is being thrifty - he has a bunch of short 2x4's that had been used before (so they have nails in them), and they are just right for blocking between the floor joists. So instead of paying for and using more 2x4s just to cut into little pieces, he's out pounding out nails right now.

  • And that's all I came up with in the time I had to peck out some blog fodder :P

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nourishing Foods - Grocery Shopping

I know some of you have wondered what the "nourishing foods" journey is doing to our grocery budget. And I promised I would post about that. As our eating habits have changed somewhat, so has the grocery budget. We're still not where I'd like us to end up with our food, so this is a continual work in progress. To help me figure out a ball-park weekly grocery budget, I thought I'd share a mini-series of my weekly grocery trips.

This is not a typical week for groceries. Pepsi & Dr. Pepper are not a weekly purchase, and neither are the chips or Bratwursts! But for keepin' it real, this is what I bought today.

1/2 Gal. Homestead Creamery Cream Top Whole Milk (local dairy, hormone free)
1 Gal. Orange Juice
5lbs. King Arthur All Natural White Whole Wheat Flour
Frozen Green Beans, Breaded Okra and a Stir-Fry Blend
Organic Stonyfield Plain Yogurt
Pineapple Juice
5lbs. Cara Cara Oranges
2 Mangoes
2 Onions
7 Organic Gala Apples
2 Doz. Cage Free Brown Eggs
2lbs. Brown Rice
Beef Roast
Whole Chicken
Marked-down Bratwursts
Dr. Pepper & Pepsi ($9 of the bill!)
*oops! Not pictured:
(3) 8oz. bricks Kraft Cheese
1 lb. bacon

Total: $86.60
($2 of that is a deposit for the glass milk bottle which I'll get back when I take the empty bottle back to the store.)

This week we also replenished our ground beef supply (13lbs. for about $38) and yeast (2lbs. for about $3.50 if I remember right). The ground beef will last quite a while, and the yeast lasts a LONG time.

Now, what will I do with the food I brought home? Stay tuned!! I think another mini-series, "Nourishing Foods - What We Eat" will be coming soon :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Goals for 2011

Jan. 24th, edited to add: I have blocked further comments on this post because for some reason TONS of spam comments on this post alone are somehow getting through my filter and I'm tired of sorting them out. I hope you understand!

Before February gets here, I want to have my goals for 2011 figured out and fine-tuned. This is a rough draft of what I have so far. I have to say that Courtney's post made me think about each of these as I put them on the list.

As I looked back over last year's list I realized that some of the goals were too precise (is that the word I'm looking for??), and some I should've known from the beginning I wasn't going to stick to them. But I made that list pre-Susannah and had high aspirations for my life I guess! You may notice that with my 2011 goals, instead of "daily" I put "regularly" for some things. There WILL be days that I simply will not get around to or have time to do everything I want to do. Even by writing some goals as "weekly" I'm raising the bar on myself, and probably some weeks I won't get those things done, either.

Personal Goals:
7-8 hours of sleep at night regularly
Quiet time (devotions) regularly
Pay more attention to my everyday appearance (dress, hair, etc.)
Exercise regularly/lose weight
Monthly, scheduled-in-advance, date-night's with Daniel
Do more things to show my love to Daniel
More leisure and informational reading
Say "no" when I need to (don't over-commit)
Be honest when people ask my thoughts/opinion

In The Kitchen Goals:
Make my own vanilla
Make yogurt
Buy a grain mill
Grind most-all of our flour
Buy 1/4 - 1/2 of a cow

Miscellaneous Goals:
30 minutes each week (as much as possible) to work on photo-related stuff
Fill out Susannah's Baby Book
Completely, totally, 100% finish the kitchen
Throw away unwanted, unneeded and unused stuff.

Financial Goals:
Update budget and checkbook weekly
Weekly (monthly?) business meeting
Re-visit the cash-only idea for some categories
Better planning ahead (saving) for big or small things
Start Baby Step #4 and possibly #5
Start Baby #2 Fund (no, I am not pregnant)
Start a cow fund
Find ways to cut expenses (to free up more money for all those other funds!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

His and Hers Breakfasts

This past weekend Susannah and I were away Friday and Saturday nights, traveling to PA to a reunion/Christmas get-together with my Mom's family. That meant Daniel was on his own for food here on the home front. There was bread and roast beef for sandwiches, and plenty of eggs for breakfast.

(An old picture, but he's still cute!)

His breakfasts were

Saturday morning: leftover pizza
Sunday morning...


wait for it....


it gets worse...

(Are you sure you're ready to hear this?)

Dr. Pepper.

The breakfast of the baching champion, I guess :P

Me? I can't say I've never had pizza for breakfast, or cookies first thing in the morning, but my breakfast this morning was toast and a smoothie :) I think I win. Haha!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Get the Hint?

Hmmm. Do you think that the fact that Daniel helped put away groceries last evening and might have seen this inside the refrigerator...

...would have anything to do with me finding this on the whiteboard this morning?
It's one of those things that I've kept pushed to the back burner lately. The bananas were markdowns when I bought them, so if I never got around to making banana bread I would only be out a few cents. I had no intention of just letting them rot, but other things were far more important and pressing than taking care of a few bananas. I had every intention of making banana bread or muffins when I bought them and then life went crazy for a while.

Thankfully the refrigerator is great at preserving the insides of the bananas so I think I'll be doing a little baking this morning ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Goals Review

Way back at the beginning of 2010 ("last year" already. Wow.), I wrote a post of my goals for that year. I wanted to follow through and see how I did with each one. I always wondered how I would do with a list of goals, and now I know. I do plan to come up with a list for this year now that I feel like I can breathe a little.

2010 List of Goals
*Go to bed, at bedtime, together - sometimes. Not as much as I wanted.
*Spend time together as a couple each day - fail. I don't count supper, and we didn't do very well at specifically spending time together with just the 2 of us.
*Spend time together as a family each day - fail again.
*Regular date nights for just the two of us (monthly or bi-monthly) - MAJOR fail.
*Daily personal quiet time with the Lord. - Improved but not 100% success.
*Read at least 1 book a month - Ho, ho, ho, major fail again.
*Exercise 3x a week or more. - fail, fail, fail.
*Lose baby weight and then some (after the baby's born, of course!) - fail. I lost about 2/3 of what I gained, though not from conscious effort.
*Choose and develop 1 or 2 new habits each month - Fail.
*Eat breakfast together more often - we did do this a little more than never, so success?
*Don't overschedule our calendar. Keep time free for "us" and know that it's ok to say "no." - as much as possible, so I'd say "success".

*Cash only for groceries, entertainment/recreation. - Success for a time.
*Stick to budget! Less impulse buying! - Partial success, but we also need to overhaul the budget.
*Put SOME money into savings each week, plus any extra that is possible. - fail.

In the kitchen
*Menu plan each week 1 week ahead. - bah, humbug. Fail.
*Serve salads with meals 2x a week - Fail at the every week part, but salads were on the menu more than before.
*Find or create the happy medium for eating healthier without going overbudget. - success, I think. Now to just fine-tune it.
*Update the freezer inventory quarterly (basically print off new sheets to correspond with my chicken scratches and changes on the existing one). - Rolling on the floor laughing. Fail.
*Try new recipes more often. - success!
*Use crockpot 1x a week. - yes/no.
*Reduce food waste - stay on top of leftovers and freezer inventory. - I won't mention that I had to throw away an entire, freezer-burnt turkey. Fail.

*Donate or throw away more. DO NOT KEEP CLUTTER - success, but the house is still too full.
*Complete To-Do lists daily. - Um, having a baby changes everything. Fail.
*Stay on top of filing paperwork (aka - keep the desk clean!). - Why did I put this on my list?
*Print off, write on and put photos in albums monthly. - and why did I put THIS on my list?
*Maintain clean and welcoming bedrooms. - closing the door is easier.
*Put curtains in kitchen windows. - the material is still up in the attic.
*Continue with weekly or monthly "Monster Projects" - can I call "Parenting" my Monster Project?

*Blog more regularly. - Does considerably less blogging = "regularly"?
*Clean out coupon file quarterly. - It makes a nice place to pile stuff.

Above all else
*Do all things in a manner that glorifies God and brings honor to my husband. - I know there are areas I succeeded and plenty where I failed in this department.
*Strive to be the best wife and mama I can be. - Ditto.
*Maintain a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere in our home. - The only people I've turned away were the Jehovah's Witnesses. I hope everyone else felt welcomed!