Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Chaos

Part of shipping Dad to Florida allows us to do renovations and projects around the house.      His trip plans were changed, and he was only away for 2.5 weeks, not the 5.5 we had planned for.     Threw a wrench in the works.

We did get the garage reorganized with new cabinets, shelves and workbenches.     But the carpeting, with the moving of everything into the none carpeted rooms was to happen after he returned.  Is there such a thing as too many books?


I have been using every Spare minute to move things.    Empty bookcases.   Pack up daughters belongings safely.     On top of this Mom is now losing the vision in the one eye that still had some.    She is stressing, about her own life progression and my vision.    She doesn't believe that I do not have what she has (wet macular degeneration).  

Pops (who lives with us) doesn't handle change well.     The moving of things into other rooms threw him off.    People being in the house threw him off.     The movers moving the furniture threw him off.    Not being able to eat constantly threw him off. Lots of cursing.    Yelling.   I had to stay home until DH could get home.  

I also had two asthma attacks during the removal of all the carpets.   I know it was from this as I felt better immediately upon going outside each time.    Inhaler only helped a little.   Not as strongly as it usually does.

Think all this black crap had anything to do with it?

And then.   THE 18 Month old Whirlpool Duet Washer stopped working.    ARGGGHHHH

I am typing this in the waiting room of my Mothers eye specialist.     I then have to take her to bank, post office and grocery shopping.    All before I have to be at the studio to teach for 2 pm.

Appliance servicing scheduled to arrive between 2-3 pm.    DH is coming home early.  

This is a typical day.    Not upset, it is what our lives are.    Just have to go with the flow and keep smiling.  

At least the new carpeting looks great.

Meals 2-19 through 2-28

Posting the meals I remember cooking.     It has been a chaotic 10 days, but ultimately good chaos.   More in another post.

Sunday 2-19 was a Ham that was received as a Christmas Gift from the Uncle.  $140 for a 9 lb ham!   I do have to say it was very lean.    I made it with the last of the celery root (made it like mashed potatoes), broccoli and buttered amish noodles. 

Sunday evening for Monday I made quiche with some of the Ham and Broccoli photo prior to cooking.  One quiche didn't make it to Monday (guess who!, lol)  Gpa P also made linguine to go with the leftover sauce in the fridge. 

Tuesday I made pork loin in the crockpot with 3 sliced onions and a jar of Heinz Gravy, along with mushrooms and onions and DH made white rice.

I shredded leftover pork for freezer, planned pork posole.

Roasted chicken, potatoes, broccoli

Stock with carcass

Pea soup with dried peas and last of ham.   Made stock from ham bone.  

Chicken soup from stock with onions, carrots, celery and last of buttered Amish noodles.   

Chili, added a teaspoon of cinnamon.    What an amazing difference.   Try it!

Sausage and peppers

Meatballs and sauce

Sausage and broccoli rabe.  

February shopping January 26 - February 28


Shoprite 1/26/17 $32.19 3 jars of chichi salsa, broccoli Heinz Worcestershire, 4 cans starkist white albacore, enough Goya beans to get the $4.00 back from Savingstar. 10 lbs of potatoes and two dozen egglands best (one dozen free!)  As of 2/20 still have all salsa, all tuna, all beans, 1 dozen eggs

Walmart 1/28/17   $30.90     Loaf of white and loaf of rye.  4 pk yocrunch, two pack Yoplait with granola and strawberries, 4 pack Yoplait with cookie crunchies and one Yoplait dipper.  So far DH has given thumbs down to granola/strawberry and the dipper.  I will eat the other strawberry one.  3 lbs of Wrights bacon and a box of Kashi cereal (I was out of my favorite, coming this month from Amazon subscribe and save).   I have semi returned to my old way of eating at the suggestion of my GP.   In retrospect, I should have waited for the Kashi that doesn't bother me, as after 5 days of this other Kashi I was suffering. As of 2/16 all is consumed.

Target 1/28/17 $17.68 after cartwheel, specials, 5% off using Target card, 3 Quaker Oats favorites (lemon ricotta, vanilla chia and rosemary apple cheddar, all good flavors, limited time) 4 twelve packs of Sunkist diet orange.  Of course I went to the courtesy desk and paid CASH on my bill.  As of 2/28 have 2 boxes of oatmeal left and 2 cases of Sunkist.  I do not drink soda. Well, an occasional Diet Coke, but not often.

Stop and Shop $55.94 1/30/17    Had $2 off $10 in bakery, FREE silk cashew milk, $2 off a seafood dept purchase and two .75 cent chip coupons doubled.  I also submitted checkout 51 for cookies and chips and got .50 back.   garlic crostinis, crispy cookies and sliced Panini bread from bakery dept.  1/2 gallon whole milk for DH and the cashew milk unsweetened.  Pound of deli turkey breast.  Two 35 packs of spring water.  3 Chips ahoy cookies (hid 2) and 3 bags of cape cod chips (special 3 for 6), one bibb lettuce and just shy of a pound of cod. As of 2/28 all baked goods consumed, Pops finished Panini bread yesterday.  Water down to 1/4 of this purchase.  One package of Chips ahoy still here.  I gave the Cashew milk to my neighbor.  Lettuce and cod consumed.

Target $30.09 2/5/17 had a one day sale on all soda (honor of superbowl I guess) 50% off!   DH was all over that.  He chose 6 various brands of 12 packs.  I also got MORE of my Quaker Oats favorites at 50% off as well.  DH threw in a bag of Doritos ( taste great but I don't eat them as I suffer for days), ritz chips and crinkle cut French fries.  As of 2/28 all soda and oatmeal unopened.  Doritos and ritz chips gone.  3/4 bag of fries left.

Stop and Shop 2/6/17 $53.90 Light English muffins, almond milk, 3 different styles low carb wraps (froze two packages) 2 Italian sausage packages 50% off, 3 packages of Johnsonville turkey sausage links, 3 cucumbers, cocktail sauce and salmon.  As of 2/28 one muffin left, still have almond milk, still working on unfrozen wraps, 1.5 packages of turkey breakfast sausage links left, salmon gone, Italian sausage in freezer, 1 cuke left and unopened sauce.

Farmers Market $63.06 2/12/17 2 halves of fresh bread, Berliner and Rye, 2 pretzel rolls, 2 soft pretzels, chocolate croissant, chicken/kale sausage, 6 English muffins, beef bacon (not a fan) and veal stew meat. Dad finished all of the breads in two days.  I froze the English muffins and sausage.  Last of bacon is in the soup I made on 2/16.  Dad finished the stew the morning he got home.

Shoprite $44.27 2/16/17 12 pack of Utz lunch chips (need to hide) Loaf of wonder and loaf of Pumpernickel (Pops got into it between my two shops today), 1 and 1/4 lb broccoli (savingstar will give me 20% back) .86 lb of escarole, 12 Oikos triple zero yogurts, 5 Yoplait with cookie crumbles (DH), 3 pieces of fried chicken for DH, 1/2 lb turkey breast and roast beef, 1/2 lb of American cheese. 2/28 broccoli and escarole gone, 3 yoplait left, chicken and roast beef gone.  

BJ's wholesale $93.37 2/16/17 two 40 pack cases of spring water, 4 pack mixed peppers, Jone's turkey sausage links (3 lbs) 8 pack of Marie Callender pot pies (DH lunch option), Jumbo cheese ravioli, egg whites, 1.5 lb mushrooms, gallon whole milk (going to start watering it down ala Nathalie at Imperfectly Frugally), Stacey's chips, guacamole,  9 lb boneless pork roast.  2/28 1/2 ravioli still in freezer, two pot pie gone, chips and guacamole opened.  Mushrooms and milk gone.  Egg whites not touched yet. 

Cafe G 2/18  $5 for a full loaf of their Berliner Rye bread.  Nice to know we can go to their cafe and purchase the bread. 2/28 all gone.  I had one slice.  DH none.  :/

Bed Bath and Beyond, 2/19. $8  Seem's odd doesn't it?    They have a great grocery section in their Milford store.  Hard to find items.   I got Cafe Du Monde coffee w/chicory and Beignet mix. 2/28 already had two cups!

2/21 $9.63 Very large roaster chicken and two dozen eggs. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Combined Daily Diary, Monday 2/20 and Tuesday 2/21

Didn't sleep well on Sunday, due to pain and anticipation of this Beat the Blues morning class.  I haven't been holding morning classes for almost a year, and this class, sold out with 15 families, was 13 new to me families.  I paid just $20 to advertise this class.  AND one of our teachers got a new private student from it as well, so it was a very good event.  Tiring, I had to rest after it for about 20 minutes just sitting and thinking.  Then had to deal with the day falling apart schedule wise, lots of people called out last minute.  It allowed me to leave early though! Normally there til 8 pm, instead this was my day.

Arrive at 9, set up class, opening instruments, making sure I had enough take home materials (CD, book for each child, amish made bird dolls for lap babies and rhythm sticks for older kids).  People started arriving at 10 am, class went til a little bit past 11.   I then did an assessment for one of the families to see if their 5.5 year old was ready for piano and she was!  I am brutally honest, and will not take a student if I do not feel they are ready.  Some parents don't appreciate me saying that, my reply is always I hope you will remember that I told you this, and respect me for it some day.  Someone else will definitely take your money, I will not.  It is not productive to take a student who is definitely not ready.  Frustrating for all involved. 

Anyway, sat for 20 minutes after, then went and got a coffee.  Had lunch (quiche, guacamole and one ounce of Stacey's pita chips)

Packed away all class instruments and brought powwow drums back to instrument storage in basement.

Resumed teaching at 130 straight through til 5.

130 violin teen
2      viola adult
230  hour advanced violin
330  violin child
4       violin teen
430   special needs piano

and then went home to have dinner out with DH at our favorite diner in Vernon!

Came home and started packing up breakables in DD room. New carpets going in next Monday, woohooo! When do we insist that an adult child take the rest of her stuff?  She has been on her own for 2 years.  Could this be the catalyst?

Bed by 915.  Slept Great!

Tuesday 2/21  Up at 7 am.  Woke at 4 am when shatterproof mirror fell off shower wall (seems to be a pattern now, LOL), then again when DH alarm went off at 545, but was able to fall back to sleep.  Got up, immediately started moving packed items into basement. 

Checked bank accounts (did I mention we got hacked last week?)

Emailed Radiology company that they owed me $784 dollars.  PSA, you do NOT need to pay in full for a service if you have insurance that they accept.  Even if you have a high deductible.  I learned this after the fact.  They are SUPPOSED to bill your insurance first.  Then bill you for what you owe them.  Grrrrr.

Packed more of DD room.  Had breakfast, drank cup of coffee.  

Put clean laundry away (2 baskets worth)

Left house at 1 pm for studio.    I want you to know that if I need a bathroom break, I do take it, and then just start the lesson clock when I get into the room.  So it's not exact. 

2       violin  child
230   violin  teen
3        break (230 teen will be starting hours eventually)
330    violin teen
4         piano child
430    violin child
5         piano teen
530     piano teen
6         violin teen
630     violin teen
7         violin teen
730     violin teen

Little Damage control discussion afterwards, then went to CVS and picked up 8x10 FREE print of DD for my Mom.

   Also got 2 Scott Papertowels and 2 Scott Toilet paper with $5 ECB back, then when got home entered it into Checkout 51 and got $4 back almost instantly!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Meals this week (Sunday 2-12 through 2-18)

Veal stew as described in my instant pot post
Shrimp and Rice with no salt canned Green beans (no photo)
Kitchen sink soup, turkey stock with some meat from freezer, last two slices of beef bacon, can of Bushes Siracha Beans, onion, celery, escarole
Sauce, with ravioli

Lunches were assorted leftovers, wraps made from perdue shortcuts (freezer)
Breakfasts were English muffins, turkey breakfast sausages and yogurts

Daily Diary

I am going to try adding some diary posts, so that I can look back and see what I do in a given day.

How am I feeling?  Stomach ok.  Not really hungry.  Joints ache, especially left ankle.  Vision more double today than yesterday, but I can force focus. Eye appointment was yesterday, and there is improvement.  Had a full eye exam as well, prescription minutely changed from 2 years ago (based on them checking my current glasses)  May or may not get new one's made.

Today is Friday February 17th.    I was awake at 6 but didn't get out of bed til 645.  I immediately stripped and remade the bed with fresh sheets.

I took the laundry downstairs and did a load of dress work clothes (all get hung to dry, on hangers over door frames in the bedroom hallway)

Emptied dishwasher and refilled

I ate a yogurt with a sprinkling of Kashi cereal

I cleaned the bathroom and kitchen counters (different rags) and the dining room table.  I cleaned the window frame in the pass through from kitchen to dining room.

I paid two bills, perused grocery flyers for next week.  Put recycling in bins.  Handwashed a few dishes.

I planned a young musician class special I am holding Monday morning (sold out!)

I did 7127 steps (by 11 am)

I ate lunch (5 ravioli, my sauce and 1/4 cup of perdue shortcuts)

showered, and left at Noon for hair appointment. (I get roots and a cut every 5-6 weeks)

Started teaching at 230
230  first time violin lesson 4 year old
3      adult piano
330  youth piano
4      youth violin
430  special needs adult piano
5      special needs adult piano
530  teen violin
6      teen violin
630  youth piano

Home by 7, throw in a load of whites.  Set out clothes for tomorrow (I leave before 615 am)

Light supper.  Talk with DH.  Just in the last few years have we started to do valentine's gifts.  I got my favorite springtime flowers in my favorite color vase. 

and an antique coffee grinder. 

I gifted my DH a book light that is actually shaped like a book!  Complete with pages that light up. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Readjusting to Pops being home, and remember the honey purchase?

Good morning!     So, for over two weeks I did a daily wipe down of counter tops and stove.  Now I'm doing it almost every hour. 

This is what my stove looked like after 5 eggs for Gpa P and 1 for the dog were cooked.  No, I didn't cook them.

But the real post is about the honey.  Remember I purchased honey for the Uncle as part of his birthday gift.....
Here is how much opened honey I have in my house
Walmart Generic Bear

Amish honey and comb

Student gift from their own hives
But what does Gpa P aka Pops go for this morning?   Yup, you guessed it
Uncles not even in the kitchen birthday honey.
I'm still giving it to him, telling him his younger brother tested it to make sure it was sweet enough.  Since he knows what we deal with I'm hoping he will find it amusing.
I will be honest, I wasn't very amused at first.........but I walked away to not yell at him, and find a humorous spin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pops is back!

He arrived home at midnight.       So far he has eaten a the rest of the Berliner bread, the rest of the stew, a 2 quart sized bowl of special K with whole milk (DH had purchased a half gallon last week) There is maybe a cup left.

I think we need to start cooking again.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Used my Instant Pot for the first time

I have been very nervous about using this item that I bought almost a year ago. I slowly got it out of the box a few months ago.   I've read the manual several times over the last few months. It's out on the kitchen counter since I opened it. DH and I talked about my nervousness of using a pressure cooker.

He reminded me that we have a pressure oven. I reminded him that he's the only one that uses it in the pressure setting. We sat and watched some YouTube videos together about instant pot use and I started to get excited.      He went outside to start dealing with the new snow that fell on Sunday morning. And I started to plan our dinner.

The idea of having one machine that I can use for several different styles of cooking was the reason I wanted it in the first place. As it heated up on the sauté setting I made sure that the veal we have purchased earlier today at the  farmers market was of similar size. I was happy to see that they were actually cut into very uniform small pieces. I only had to trim two pieces to make them the same size as the others.

I did this while I had two large onions sauté in olive oil in the pot. I removed the onions once they were ready, and started doing The veal in batches to brown it.     When the last batch of meat was almost done (I did  three separate batches ).  I added several tablespoons of flour and a little bit more olive oil to the pot to create a roux.

 Once that was done I shut the pot off. One of the main points that all the videos mention, is that in order to switch from different settings you must shut the unit off and then choose the next setting. I now switched to stew setting. I added diced carrots diced potatoes some more onion the veal  and a carton of beef broth. Several shakes of Worcester shire sauce and several shakes of my colonial seasoning spice mix.

I locked the cover on the pot,  making sure the lid was on the seal setting and walked away.    I was prepared to check it in an hour by releasing the safety seal and letting it cool. I noticed after about 20 minutes of me having lock the lid on a timer appeared that said 35 minutes. And alarm went off after that timer had counted down. By this time my husband was back in the house, and he released the vent.    I took a good five minutes for it to start steaming and for us to hear a click. We then could take the lid off.

It was the best stew  I have ever made.    Even doing stews in the crockpot for eight hours never came out like this.

I'm  already planning to make jambalaya the next time I use it.    If you've been on the fence about getting one of these I would say go for it.

Snow and ice storm adventure including farmers market

Yesterday we woke up to snow storm combined with ice. DH had promised to take me  to the one winter indoor market that's held on a Sunday. I told him we didn't need to go but he said he wanted to go so we were going!

I had some Kashi Golean with almond milk and he had a piece of coffee cake ( I had picked one up at a bakery near my mom that he loves since I was out there this week taking her to some doctors appointments on Friday morning which was another horrible snowy icy day )  and then off we went. I kept checking to make sure they had not canceled it, since the last outdoor market weekend they had canceled due to rain. But it looked like it was a go!

When we first started out the roads were fine but that quickly changed.     When we go to the farmers market we were greeted with a very empty parking lot and a young lady in the entranceway to let us know that due to the storm a lot of vendors had canceled. She wasn't kidding,  the list of vendors not showing up was much larger than a list of vendors that have arrived. But that's OK we still got some nice purchases.  We were disappointed no yogurt or milk as Smith Trinity Farm was too far away to risk the trip.  I was impressed that Blue Slope Farm made it, they are from Franklin.

We  purchased something new to us from Blue Slope, beef bacon. We also purchased 2.4 pounds of veal stew meat. Cost was 22.50 at this vendor.     Then some sausage made of chicken and kale from a favorite vendor that I usually see $10.56. Whole G bakery was there, another one that I miss that doesn't come to the Sunday outdoor market anymore.   DH and I were excited that they were selling half loaves of bread.  Yes it cost us a dollar more to get two separate half loaves than if we had purchased just one whole loaf, but I felt that it was worth the charge to try some new things.    We got half a loaf of Berliner bread which was a combination of whole wheat, rye, and I believe graham flour. It was a little bit lighter than a pumpernickel and had a nice sweet flavor and a really hard crust. I would get that again.    The other half that we purchased was rye bread,  delicious. Two pretzel rolls, two large soft pretzels and a chocolate croissant. $15.    SONO bakery was there. Everyone knows that my family has a love-hate relationship with them, for some of their staff and their prices. To put this in perspective I did buy six English muffins. Three were scallion which are something that they don't always make, and three were regular. I paid $15 for six English muffins. But I cut them in half,  and I will only eat a half at each meal I enjoy them. 

Those were all the food purchases for us that we made. I also bought the Uncle a birthday gift for $15. There's a vendor of honey and maple syrup that's only at the Saturday market so we've only seen him once. I was happy to see that he was there remembered that the Uncle loved his honey and we got him a huge 2 pound  jar.

There was also a woman who is new to us who made beautiful handcrafted 3D cards as well as Valentine's Day paper dolls that were so intricate I had to buy one for my grandmother. Also bought her a 3-D birthday card for me to send her later in the month. Total is this stand was not cheap, $18 for these two items but I know my grandmother will enjoy them and I like the idea of purchasing from someone who has actually made the product.   Here is a pic. of the Valentines doll

 Then we drove around downtown New Haven for a while noticing how bad the roads were getting. But that doesn't stop my husband. And driving through the artsy part of town we came across a new restaurant called order of fries. I looked them up they only make fries and chili. And if you've been a reader of my blog you know my husband loves Fries. They didn't open until noon we had an  hour to kill, so we started driving. Drove through Hamden. We drove through Cheshire. I wonder if a fellow blogger had gone to the market as I didn't see her there as we drove through her town.

We returned back with the roads now very bad. But my husband was determined to see if that fry place was going to open. And they were open. He purchased a cup of their chili and a large fry with several different sauces for us to bring home. I have to say the chili which I had two spoonfuls of was delicious, and gave me the idea of starting to add cinnamon and other sweeter spices the next time I make my own for a change.     When we got home I took some of the fries and put them on my plate with a  low-carb wrap that I had put the last of some Purdue chicken shortcuts in.

It was an adventurous type of day.   

Friday, February 3, 2017

Meals so far and other happenings

Dinners and lunches for DH for the most part since Sunday January 29th have been lasagna.  I finally froze the rest of it.  I did have it for two lunches. 

On Tuesday January 31st  I cooked just shy of a pound of Cod in the oven with Emeril's original seasoning.  White rice and broccoli rabe (frozen assets from the farmers market).  Enough for me to have for lunch on Wednesday.

Wednesday February 1st was two chicken breasts grilled with baked potatoes and broccoli 

Thursday February 2nd  we had take out sushi

Today Friday February 3rd we had sausage in sauce that I defrosted from kitchen freezer.

I also took out another bag of Broccoli Rabe from the freezer that I blanched during farmers market share season.  A pound of hot turkey sausage.  A pound (4 count) of Stoltzfus meats burgers (PA).  These will be for the weekend. 

The prints in the snow to the right are four deer hooves.  The dogs are the closer together ones on the left.

Yesterday after I did all the house activities I went to the studio and taught for my short day (230-730)  Here was my logged steps for the day

I also was in a one day competition with friends, came in third.

Today I went to two banks with deposits, fed the birds and deer.  Fed and walked the dog, washed the hallway floors and kitchen floor. Brought in the trash and recycle bins.  Cleaned the bathrooms.  Washed the kitchen counters. Put the plethora of unopened wine bottles that we got for Christmas in the basement.  We get an awful lot of wine for people who really do not drink, lol.   Did more studio paperwork.  Then drove to the studio for an interview of a potential beginner at 230, taught from 3-7.  It's almost 9 pm now, DH is asleep on the couch.  I am waiting for the dishwasher to finish so that I can empty it and get my new Stainless Steel French press ready to go in the morning.  Did I mention that my glass FP broke?    Since to replace the glass was almost as much as getting this stainless steel one I went with the change.  Can't crack stainless steel.  Hopefully.   I sometimes get Starbucks on Saturday, but I have been enjoying making a pot at home and filling my RTIC mug to go.  It was a birthday gift from DH. 

Tomorrow is Saturday.  I am up usual time (530ish) and have to be in the studio by 7 am (yes, that's right)   We have lessons that start at 730 am for three of us.  I'll be there the latest, 1230.  Why so early?  Some of our clients need that early. Some of them leave us at 830 and go to skating lessons.  It's amazing how busy these kids are.   I'm up anyway.  So are the other teachers.  It's a choice we all agree with.  It also explains why some Saturday's I just have to have a nap. 

Last but not least, my steps for today.  I will probably hit 13k before we hit bed.  Maybe a bit more!

How did you do today?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Typical Week (with no one home) and other mutterings

Photo taken on January 30th
And as I post this I realize I need to clean the window trim.  Yuck at me.
I won last week's step challenge between friends.  Only because Dawn was either ill or lost her tracker. 

So, I thought I would share a typical day with Gpa P away.  Less interruptions.  It is like having a child with him here sometimes.  More messes and more interruptions.  I do love my Dad, but like anyone else you are with 24/7 it can be annoying.  Add the fact he forgets he's eaten, turned on things, left doors opened, etc it is a challenge at times.

It is 943 am as I write this.  I am on the 2nd load of laundry, I have done 4300 steps so far and been active for 40 minutes. 

I took Gpa P's dog out after feeding her, and took some photos.  Here is the best one.  Can you see him?


I have entered in receipts, brought out recycle bin, eaten breakfast, made the bed.   Started two blog posts.  Collected garbage to bring out.  Done bookkeeping for the studio (payments come in the first week of the month)  Cleaned out our robot vacuum and had it do the entire house.  We run it at least 3 times a week. 

Checked in with my Mother and Daughter (who is trying go get seen by a doctor today, so I am guiding long distance on how to find a new physician).  Texted with Gpa P and the Uncle. 

Had 8 ounces warm water with lemon and on 2nd cup of coffee.  Also 16 ounces of water consumed so far in addition. 

Cleaned out the fridge. 

To give you a sense of our home life, this is Leroy. He was in the garage on a chair, I guess DH felt it was to cold for him and put him in the basement.   This is how I found him

So now I will put him in a different spot and see how long it takes DH to notice.  heehee
How is your morning going?