Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What's Up Wednesday, June 2022 Edition


Well, damn; June certainly did fly by. I feel like I blinked and I missed it, which is really unfortunate considering that I had plans. Fun plans! Plans that never panned out, unfortunately. Oh well, maybe another time. In the meanwhile, I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday; this will be a quick one, just like June was.

What I'm Eating

I'm still not in the cooking mode much, but I have manged to pull together a few decent meals, some tasty Malibu wraps, and a charcuterie board that went over pretty well with our Memorial Day guests.

What I'm Reminiscing About

As the days whiz by, I frequently find myself reminiscing about the summers of my childhood; they seemed to last forever. I remember waking to the sound of the High School marching band practicing its routine in preparation for the Stampede parade. Breakfast was a bowl of Life cereal, eaten in front of the television, where a slew of cartoons that have since been culture-canceled played on repeat (sorry, Pepe le Pew, your stalker vibe was not PC). Once the cereal bowl was tossed casually into the sink, it was time to grab my bike and meet my neighborhood friends for a day of riding, playing hide-and-seek in various backyards, having the occasional pine cone fight under the large pine trees in the Rogers' yard, and hitting up the Husky gas station for Bomb Pops and Big Hunks. We knew it was time to go home when the sun started to drop into the west and our stomachs told us that it was dinnertime.

I wish kids these days could be so carefree.

What I'm Loving

I've been staring at this question for an hour, and, damned if I can come up with anything that I'm loving right now. I mean, I'm not hating anything; I'm just not feeling particularly enamored of anything specific at the moment. It is what it is.

What I've Been Up To

In my very limited spare time, I have been...


Porch sitting...

Wine drinking...

...and trying to find relaxation as often as I possibly can; I even tried a float tank. It was interesting.

What I'm Working On

The Man-Cub and I are determined to have a yard sale this summer, so I have been slowly going through my possessions, weeding out what no longer suits, serves, or styles me. Sadly, this includes roughly three-quarters of the clothing in my closet; last weekend, I managed to sort through one side of it, and the resulting purge produced three large trash bags. The fact that those bags contain all my size 5, 6, and 7 jeans makes me want to cry into my decidedly not size 5, 6, or 7 sweatpants.

What I'm Dreading

Mom is hoping to put in an offer on a house in our area sooner rather than later, so we will be packing up and selling my childhood home. It will be better to have Mom closer to us, but I would be lying if I said that walking away from the old house for the last time won't be a punch in the gut.

What I'm Excited About

I honestly wish I could come up with something, but, alas, I cannot. At the moment, every day feels exactly like the one before. And tomorrow? Won't be any different than today or yesterday; my life is a revolving door between home, the hardware store, Not So New Job, and home again. The one day a week that I have "off" (assuming I'm not called into work for an emergency or working one of our fundraising events) consists of grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry, and very little else. It's hardly inspiring or noteworthy.

What I'm Watching

Hugh, Chris, Jana, and I went to the drive-in to see the new Top Gun movie. I was skeptical, but, turns out it was a decent movie. The soundtrack, however, came nowhere near the original.

I'm currently binge-watching The Summer I Turned Pretty on Amazon. I never read the books that it is based on, so I am unspoiled as to the plot. So far, it's a pretty good watch.

What I'm Reading

I'm midway through It Ends With Us, which brings my Colleen Hoover Summer Reading Streak to three. So far, she is three-for-three in the Thumbs Up category.

I don't think this counts, but, when I'm done with my Colleen Hoover marathon, I'll be starting on a book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Alice Hoffman. I'm looking forward to it, so I think it's worth mentioning.

What I'm Listening To

I'm sitting on the porch while I'm writing this, and I'm listening to the hummingbirds whirring from feeder to feeder. The chirping sound they make as they fight over the nectar is delightful.

What I'm Wearing

Cute shoes! Because my feet are the only part of my body that haven't gained weight since I started this whole downhill slide into menopause (I just threw up in my mouth a little).

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Assuming Hugh pulls his shit together, we are going camping with all The Newlyweds (Tom and Sean got married the summer before last, so we still consider them newlyweds, and since Hugh and I are closing in on our 29th anniversary; we'll consider them newlyweds for a long, long time). Fingers crossed.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Queen B is coming home for a week! We are going to drive to Mayberry for Stampede; Mom is hosting her 60th high school reunion and we have volunteered to help. It is also quite likely to be the last Stampede that Mom lives in the house, so I am hoping to soak it all in. Bittersweet, for sure.

Favorite Amazon Find

I purchased this sprout growing kit this month and I'm already on my second batch of sprouts. If you enjoy sprouts on your sandwiches, salads or wraps; this kit may be for you.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Look What Sprouted Up

Sprouts! Actual salad sprouts! And, while it's not exactly a surprise (I meant to grow them, after all), it's still a cool outcome (at least to me).

If you've never grown sprouts, it might come as a surprise how easy it is to do. You just invest in some sprout seeds...

...I got this package at my local garden center.

To grow, measure about two tablespoons into a glass jar, cover with several inches of water, and soak overnight.

In the morning, drain the seeds, using cheesecloth, or, a fine mesh sieve. I purchased a set of jars with lids that have the mesh already installed in the lids, which made the process super easy.The set I purchased also came with little stands or holding the jars upside down so any excess water could drain  out.

For the next six days or so, rinse and drain the seeds/sprouts twice a day, until the jar is full.

I stored my sprouts in the fridge in containers that have a vent in the top; this will hopefully keep them fresh until I use them up.

And, speaking of using them up; I made my kids' favorite Porch Night snack from back in the day: Malibu wraps. I hadn't had them in ages and, since I was going to the park for a picnic with Shanti (the Man-Cub was out of town at a car show, so I took the opportunity to spend some quality girl time with her), I thought it was a great way to use the sprouts.

Hugh has used them in his salads and I plan to include them in a sandwich that I'll pack for lunch tomorrow. Needless to say; I don't think it will take long for me to need to start a new batch.

Good thing it's easy.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Another Week Gone By...

...I really do suck at the blogging.

You know what also sucks? Bloglovin', which is the RSS reader that I have used for years to organize my blog reading habit. It has been down for days now, after being active for only a brief period of time following the last outage. I have no problem moving on to a new reader, in fact, I have Feedly up and running, but; I have a lot of blogs saved on Bloglovin' and I would like to be able to access it to remind myself which blogs I still need to move over (since, surprise! Other bloggers update about as infrequently as I do recently so posts only come up on occasion and I can't be expected to remember very single website). 

Anyhoodle, end of rant.

What have I been up to this week? I managed to survive the first big fundraiser of the season at Not So New Job. The fundraiser was a concert featuring Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Never heard of them? Yeah, neither had I, but, they drew a large crowd and for that, I am grateful. Of course, the event was not without it's hiccups, mainly on the part of the venue, but; my staff and volunteers were amazing. We were responsible for the general admission gate, and we ran it like a well-oiled machine (minus the parts where the app that we were supposed to use to scan tickets went tits up and we ran out of the bands that we were supposed to be using to indicate legal aged drinkers).

I was exhausted by the time I got home Friday night and the rest of the weekend was also fairly eventful, so I am dragging ass this morning. This does not bode well for the week I am about to have but I shall power through.

So, I'll wrap up this post with a slew of pictures to illustrate my weekend. Sorry in advance for the photo overload.

My Garden is coming along nicely. I have several new gadgets in my arsenal for ensuring a productive endeavor, including a ph testing kit and a moisture probe.

Since my raised bed only offers so much real estate; I have been researching ways to make the most of every square inch. One hack I learned is that tomato cages can be used to train squash upward in order to save space and keep the plants healthier. I'm excited to see if it works.

When I wasn't in the garden, I was attacking one side of my closet, purging clothing that no longer fits. There were a lot more items than I care to admit, but, I feel better now that they have been purged.

Saturday evening, I attended a baby shower for one of the victims advocates from our local police department, then, on Sunday evening, Hugh and I met the Man-Cub and Shanti at the theater for the new Jurassic Park movie. That made for more socializing in one weekend than I have done in weeks.

No wonder I am exhausted.

Anyway, if you don't hear from me for awhile, it's because Not So New Job is poised to kill me with a full schedule of events, reports, grant writing, and everyday duties. And, did I mention that I am understaffed?


There are good reasons for my inattention to this space.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Self-Care Saturday

 This past weekend was an exercise in rest and relaxation. It kicked off with a glass of wine on the porch on Friday night. Since I hate to drink alone, I texted The Girls and an impromptu Zoom meeting was had. It was so good to see their faces; I miss them very much and, since we are all so crazy busy; Zoom might be our only option for a get-together this year.

Saturday morning, I headed to the local day spa for my first experience in the float tank. What is a float tank, you ask? It's a chamber filled with heavily salted water, which creates a buoyant surface on which to float while listening to soothing music in the dark. That might not sound like a relaxing experience for you, but, I found it quite soothing.

The rest of the day, and the weekend in general, was spent relaxing on the porch or in the garden.

I have some stressful situations going on at Not so New Job (what's new, right?), so I am taking advantage of every bit of relaxation I can get.

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Week(s) in Review

I have been such a slacker when it comes to this blog. Of course, I've also been somewhat of a slacker when it comes to life in general, if, by slacking, you include working two jobs and running a household. 

To stick with the slacker narrative however; I will complete this post with a deluge of photos, as one does when they are slacking.

First up: the garden! I have everything planted and am doing my best to keep it all weeded, watered, and alive. I've been mostly pleased with how things are progressing, with the exception of the carrot, beet, and lettuce seeds that I planted in one section of the raised bed. For whatever reason, those seeds have not germinated and have had to be replanted. Time will tell if the new batch will fare any better.

In other news, I found a great way to use up tomatoes that are nearing their expiration date. I simply sliced them, laid them out on parchment paper, covered them with a little shredded mozzarella and a sprinkling of grated Parm, then drizzled with olive oil, tossed a few basil flakes on and baked in the oven for awhile before finishing them off under the broiler. Chef's kiss! They were delicious.

Speaking of delicious; we hosted a Memorial Day BBQ for friends and family. I started off with a charcuterie board, as usual.

We noshed on the cheese and other goodies while Hugh grilled up some steaks and chicken legs. I had finally gotten the porch cleaned and ready for entertaining, so we visited outside for the majority of the party.

On a completely new topic; I purchased this adorable bee bath on Amazon. It has a spot in the garden and I am looking forward to it providing a cool drink for the pollinators that I hope to attract with zinnias, marigolds, nasturtium, petunias, and pink sunflowers.

And, speaking of pollinators; the Swallowtail butterfly population in Hooterville has exploded. We have several that frequently circle the house at Not So New Job, and I saw these two on a Butterfly Bush while on a walk to the coffee shop a few blocks over. I always see these beauties as a sign from above. They make me smile.

Now, I am off to one of my jobs. Because that's what slackers do.