Monday, May 12, 2014

Week of May 5-May 11, 2014

Clear   Concise   Expectations   Assignments  Accomplishments
To some, a list is a noose.
To me, a list is a treasured reminder. Perhaps I should keep a list reminding me to never stop putting what I want to do on a list, because every time I make a list, a voice kindly reminds me to complete...and I manage to get everything, or nearly everything, done.

Thus, it is May.

 For gardening purposes, May is the beginning of Summer in Arizona. Thus I have MUCH to do in the garden, for while I do not plant or water, I am the picker and processor. I get the stuff and turn it into good stuff we can use. That part is LOTS of work. (It's kind of like when you are at the checkout in a grocery store, and after you have selected, carted, de-carted and now have to take it home and find places to put it away, the young lady/gentleman asks "Can I help you to the car?" Yep, only if you will come with me and put it away)

For family purposes, May is wedding month for Nathan. I have a list (see earlier) clearly posted on the refrigerator of the things I have been assigned. Every time I complete an assigned item, I take out my wonderful yellow highlighter and boldly mark it off.

I had a daily list of things to do this week...and it went pretty well...(the list went pretty well...not commenting on all else...)

Monday - I had a cleaning list to do, but then I had noticed we were very low on bread. So, after I ran at 4 am, woke Nate at 5 am, I began grinding wheat for bread

and started up the Bosch. I noticed a can of old dry pinto beans ( I married a guy 34 years ago who had already started a years' supply of food, though I didn't know how to cook beans then, so they sat and sat and sat on the shelf, till they are too old to ever soften.)

I decided to try and grind them. It was successful, but more dusty than grinding wheat, so I had to haul the grinder outside on the outdoor kitchen to let the bean dust fly.

I am now pretty sure everything we eat is going to be loaded with more protein than ever! (though I am fortunate Ethan doesn't read this blog. Since he was serving his Mission in Missouri and I demonstrated the many uses of beans for the Relief Society sisters and sent him bean bread, bean cookies, and bean cake, he is very suspicious of each and every thing I bake...and it has been over 10 years!)

Beans were grinding, bread was rising, so I brushed the pool, watered my wedding flower bed after removing the remains of my spent bulbs (yes, here in Arizona, our daffodils and iris looked stunning in February, but have died off now) and headed out for that Summer Task of harvesting tomatoes.

I cut up and froze the more ripe ones, since we were having Mothers' Day pizza on Saturday.
 I got Dee's work computer signed in, woke him up, and made him breakfast: fresh eggs and bacon.

I am awesome!

When the bread was on it's second rise in the pans, I decided to move up my cupcake practice planned for later in the week to this morning, since the oven was already on. I made up one recipe of my wedding cupcakes, and after the bread was done...
FYI I always cool my bread on its' side. The loaves hold their shape better. 

I have been baking our bread for over 2 years, and still I have mutant loaves. I just cannot get that forming into a loaf stage down to perfection. It still tastes good though...
I put the cupcakes in and hoped for the best. Tender mercies cover cupcakes!
They came out pretty perfect. I can get 30 from each recipe, and since I am totally unsure of the total number coming to the reception, and Jessica asked for 200, I will make around 10 batches. I packaged up two dozen in 2 separate triple wrapped groups, as I saw on the internet, and put them in the freezer. I will thaw in a week or so and see how they taste and try the frosting. (I did these for Doran and Amber, but neglected to write anything down as to yield)

I hemmed Dee's pants for the wedding, ironed his shirt, and got out that yellow marker.

I tried on my navy blue skirt that came from and it looked good with my yellow blouse, so I hung it by Dee's and got the yellow marker.

Nano came by and brought boleros for Kayty. She selected the best yellow one to go with her blue dress. I hung it in the closet and her clothing hung by Dad's and mine,  and the dress for Gracie that Jessica got. No marker this time: Kayty's stuff is not on my list.

I then worked on my laundry...three loads today...and cleaned some.

It was Cinco de Mayo and we had planned on eating at a friend at church's house, so I cancelled my Mexican dinner, but Dee begged and I made homemade tomatillo salsa: hot and hotter.

Nate called, needing our hammer drill at his job site just down the street. I am totally amazed that no one: not a drywaller or plumber, even stopped for a minute to ask if I needed assistance. I guess the key to entry into any construction site is a Makita case. 

I did some more cleaning, folding, putting away, and then saw that list on my fridge.

Kayty had a day off...and she is great at lifting heavy things, like water bottle cases, and bags of flour, so I took her with me to Costco.

We priced things needed for the reception: chips, carrots, celery, cauliflower

We bought things for the reception: salsa, olive oil for cabbage salad dressing, 25 pounds of regular flour for the cupcakes, (and decided that 50 pounds of powdered sugar had far too much potential for disaster to even consider it.)

We headed to Payless Shoes and I picked out a pair of yellow sandals for the wedding, and a pair of black ones for church. Score!

I came home and boldly marked all the wedding clothing off in yellow marker. Done!

I canned tomatoes on Saturday, which means they had to be put away on Monday, so I rearranged so the newest were in the rear on the shelf and the oldest were in front.

For those doing other things, I made Burrito Casserole, as Nathan calls it, for dinner (I kind of Mexican lasagna layering refried beans, taco meat, flour tortillas, and cheese.
We worked in the yard, and then grabbed some green tomatoes and headed to the Gibson's house. They had us to dinner right after our wards were re aligned. I work with Shauna in the nursery. Their two boys are in high school and are just the nicest, friendliest people.

We ate the best food: fried chicken, beans, potatoes and gravy, and the BEST fried green tomatoes I have ever eaten!

As you might guess, I crashed into bed when we got home.

Tuesday- I ran...they are ready to complete paving one half of Pinnacle Peak road right by the Phoenix temple, and the sidewalk is awesome to run on!

Now, my list was invaluable. I dusted. I vacuumed. I scrubbed tubs and toilets. I mopped. I cleaned mirrors.

Dee took the jeep, and since this one is a new one to us, he ran out of gas (I am not sure how, since it was getting low the day before and it kept binging at me). Roadside assist came...almost 3 hours after he called with a gallon of gas. It did give me time to clean more.

He did stop at the nursery and get me 24 more yellow zinnias to plant in the flower bed. I fear the sunflowers won't be ready for the wedding, and they will look nice.

The weather was windy (yuck) but cool, so I got them all planted and worked on the yard for awhile with Dee.

Hot and Sour soup was made, by me, for dinner.

Wednesday - I cleaned again. as always. I laundered again, as always. I watered. I brushed the pool. I woke people up and got them off to work. I worked in the yard.

This is the last wedding reception in our back yard. We are too old to be slaving in a yard every evening.

I baked chicken and had jalapeno ranch style beans for dinner.

Dee used Ethan's gas powered blower to cleani up the front yard. I hauled buckets and buckets of pine needles to the needle bin, and buckets and buckets of compost to the bins

Webelos were here and I took care of chickens and compost piles.

We went out to Safeway for milk, and when we returned, Nate and Jess were here. Nate gave me an early Mother's Day gift: these beautiful flowers.

They were watching "The Sound of Music" favorite movie EVER! I was in heaven...singing my heart out. Nate became enthralled with "The Lonely Goatherd" and played that song every chance he could.

Children: guaranteed to ruin your favorite movie! Just kidding, but that is why my kids rarely, if ever saw this movie...or "The Wizard of Oz" (thank heavens Nathan hated that movie with a passion, so he even got rid of a copy and we never showed it)

I crashed with Julie Andrews singing beautifully in my head.

Thursday - I exercised this morning. My painful hip/back/pelvis can finally do some sit ups.

I cleaned and laundered.

I watered and harvested, and cut more tomatoes to freeze.

I boldly decided to finally get my hair professionally trimmed and evened, and it felt great just to do that!

I picked up photos ordered at Walgreens and stopped at Fry's on the way home. I found cheap sausage, bacon, and cake mixes which have now joined our pantry and fridge.

We finished the blowing/bagging/trashing/composting. Dee mowed and I put stuff away in the shed and in my hut.

We went to WinCo to utilize some coupons sent to us. We also got some more wedding cupcake ingredients, mainly powdered sugar. They had great prices, and the sugar came in 2 pound bags. Much easier to handle!

More yellow marker on the wedding reception list.

I had to re-arrange my wedding stuff on the china cabinet in the kitchen. It's getting pretty packed!

We headed to bed, and then Nate came home and told us about he and Jessica target shooting. There won't be very many more times, if any, that he comes in and talks to us before bed. It was a nice ending to a day.

Kayty went out Karaoking with friends, and texted at 2 am that she would be staying with one of them.

Friday - wonderful run. I still could wear my hoodie, though next week will bring more heat and the hoodie will be put away.

I watered, brushed, harvested (81 tomatoes!), dusted, cleaned, vacuumed.

I even made an entry display for Mothers' Day.

Dee had to go to a supplier, so I sat in the car as he made his visit, and we took stuff to Deseret Industries and went to get more wedding stuff ( and chocolate chips - wedding survival) at Smart and Final.

Dee took a picture of his chicks...they are getting pretty big!

Saturday - Nate didn't have to work, so he went to yard sales with us. Dad got a few "man things" i.e. tools, junk and stuff to fill his garage and shed. We got home and I prepped the house as best I could, got the frozen pizza stuff out to thaw, and then Dorrie and I headed out to Jessica's bridal shower. Her friends put it on at the Singles Ward Bishop's Wife's home. Our family was so supportive: Dorrie, Mom, Kathy, Marina, Sherry, Amber, Cameo and I came, as well as Lorrie, Jessica's mom and other family from her side...and of course, her friends. She received some lovely gifts.

(My camera didn't work, so I borrowed Nano's and then got copies of the pics off the internet, thus the lower quality.)

Jess had to answer questions that I had asked Nate earlier, to see if they matched up. Any non match resulted in her chewing bubble gum. She ate a few, but really, she did great.

We returned home and the guys had all the veggies chopped and ready for pizza. Doran and Amber had a wedding to attend and couldn't share in the pizza.

Cup and straw: Daddy was just trying to help...but she wanted to do it herself!

We roasted 8 pans of tomatoes for a few hours and then ran them through the strainer. We were up till after midnight cooking the sauce down. I was so tired.

Sunday - I woke up early to get the sauce in freezer bags and get it frozen.

Nate went to Sacrament Meeting with was a nice Mother's Day gift! The talks in Sacrament Meeting were great: nothing to make a mom feel guilty, just nice. 

The day started its decline during Relief Society. Whose idea was it to have a Visiting Teaching Conference meeting on Mother's Day. They were nice, gave us cookies, and tried to nicely say "get over yourself and visit the sisters assigned to you" but it made you feel kind of down. 

Got home, still work to do to clean up from yesterday and last night, so I didn't eat. Doran and Amber planned to come for a visit, and that was nice.

After they left, the toll of two days, many pizzas, and all gave me lots of work to do, so I vacuumed, and cleaned, and laundered, and went to bed early. 

My most favorite Nut and Chew!!! Always eat it first!

My kids were very good to me. Nate and Jess got flowers early in the week, Ethan and Cam got me See's Nuts and Chews, Amber and Doran got me the cutest decorator pillows that actually said "Grammy" on them. Facebook messages from Allison and Morgan greeted me the next morning.  

And I survived Mother's Day!...and a very, very busy week!

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