Time To Clean the Fridge and Menu Plan

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I made a menu plan a couple of weeks ago.  That week, I cooked a lot of food, and then cruised along on the leftovers this past week.  For instance, I ate the last piece of lasagna last night for dinner along with some green beans.  I did have to cook some things, but it was minimal.  Today, when I went to make a menu plan, I quickly realized I could not make a grocery list because there was NO WAY to tell what I had or didn’t have in that over-stuffed, disorganized fridge.

So, I spent the morning cleaning it out.  I found things to toss.  I found lots of yucky stuff that had gotten tipped over, ran down the fridge, and settled into unidentifiable masses on the bottom.  There were crumbs, smears, and what looked like relish all over the shelves, and plastered to the door, even.  The leftovers were piled in stacks in no apparent order, random things like bowls of rice were piled onto mostly empty bowls of chili…..you get the idea!  So, I sorted, discarded, put contents of bottles together when people had opened new ones even though there was still some in the old one, washed and scrubbed, and ended up with a clean fridge.  Now I know exactly what I have to work with and I had a feel-good morning.  There’s nothing like clearing up a big mess to make me feel virtuous. Then,  I made a menu plan.

I am continuing with the theme I’ve had for the past couple of weeks–clean it out and use it up from the freezers, pantry and canning cupboard in preparation for summer, when I will grow a garden.

Breakfasts are choice of:  oatmeal, muffins, eggs with ham bits, homemade granola, cereal

Lunches are: leftovers such as soup, scalloped potatoes, salad, etc.

Dinners:

Today:  Rob barbecued chicken drumsticks, veggies, brown rice I cooked last week

Sunday:  Not sure yet–my sister and I still have to decide, but I’ll take whatever she tells me to bring

Monday:  Sausage and beans, using frozen pinto beans Rob cooked a few weeks ago, veggies

Tuesday:  Enchiladas, using some meat and bean mixture that was leftover from the chili-mac I made Thursday, veggies

Wednesday:  Roast beef, carrots and potatoes in crock pot

Thursday:  French Dip from leftover roast beef, carrot sticks

Friday:  Beef soup/stew with remaining beef–in Crock Pot

Saturday:  Home-made chicken nuggets, green beans, home-made fries

Veggies consist of my home-canned and frozen veggies, plus a huge bag of carrots I have.  I also have some salad greens and a cauliflower

To Make:  muffins, scalloped potatoes with ham (for lunches when there are not enough leftovers), big container of cut-up carrot and celery sticks for people to munch on, apple crisp with some apples that are getting a little wilty, roasted hazelnuts (from a bag I discovered in the freezer), and Chex Mix.

I need to buy:  1/2 and 1/2, milk, French dip buns, celery, look for potatoes on sale, and a few non-grocery items.  If I see something I regularly use on a super good sale, I may get a few more things, but I’m very pleased with the shortness of this list.  Any extra grocery money I may save will be put towards a Costco trip in a week or so.   It’s not hard to use up excess money.

So, here’s your challenge!  Does your fridge need cleaning?  Why don’t you go see what treasures you discover when you do?  It’s a feel-good job that you can accomplish in a couple of hours and you will feel “oh-so-successful” and thrifty when you do.

 

House Update–Sept. 5, 2016

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Now that we have a huge pile of our belongings stacked in the shop, we are attempting to put it away.  We are finding that we have way too much stuff for this tiny house.  So, we are getting creative.  There was an extra space in the garage.  Rob to the rescue!

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Most of my appliances will be stored in the garage–there’s not enough room in the kitchen–so, cookbooks and appliances will go on this new shelf.

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Clearly, we have much left to do, but we’ve made a great start getting a lot put away.

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It’s been amazing to be able to do my laundry at my own home, again!  I have welcomed a lot of old friends back into my life–my pots and pans have shown up, and the plates finally surfaced on Saturday.  This morning, the missing cord to the electric fry pan was found in a very strange box marked misc.–I was helping Rob move boxes around in the shop and thankfully took a peek–Whew!

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There is a partially enclosed patio.  Rob put the picnic table on the deck outside, and got an umbrella for only $15 at Winco.  We’ve already had several meals out there.

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It’s starting to shape up!

I may be a bit spotty with my posts and comment replies, though, as we are not connected to internet, yet.  Soon.  In the meanwhile, I will continue to catch wi-fi where I can.

And, Rob had 4 interviews in the last couple of weeks.  So, we are waiting on pins and needles to hear back from a couple of them that seemed promising–hopefully tomorrow.  If he doesn’t get one of these, he has about 15-20 more applications out right now.  So far, he’s applied for a lot of jobs–like around 40 or more.  One job had 40 applicants.  So, even though competition is fierce, I have a feeling that he will be back to work before long, and I am feeling a strong sense of urgency to get as settled as possible before that happens.  Because, let’s face it.  I’m lousy at building shelves:) He wins hands-down on that one, along with quite a few other things.

The Floors Are Done!

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After working on the floors for 3 days and a little bit more this morning, they are done!  I’m so excited!!  They are just beautiful.  Bob, the hardwood floor refinisher, said they were in extremely good condition for floors that were so old.  I think the house was built in 1948 and they were from then.  When the previous owner moved in, it was in the 1970’s and he said they were already covered with ugly green shag carpet, which he replaced at least once.

I love how they look dark sometimes, and light at other times, according to the lighting in the room and also the character the boards have.  They are oak.

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The house was filled with a very strong smell this morning, and I spent several hours there today airing it out.  We will open it up some more tomorrow after church.  Bob doesn’t want us to put any furniture in until Monday, no rugs for 2 weeks, and no washing it for a month.  He was lamenting that the recent heat wave with 97-99 degree days is over–ummm, Bob?…..But I guess it cures better in the heat.  We won’t be running the air conditioning for a few days.

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I spent several hours doing yard work (Patsy wanted me to take a “before” picture), emptying boxes into the kitchen (existing linoleum is fine to work on) and got a new library card!  Imagine my surprise when they informed me that movies are going to cost me $1 for each one I take out–otherwise, I’m in city limits and my card is free.  Wait?  What?  It’s going to be cheaper to subscribe to some kind of service like Netflix, etc. More information will be gathered, but I’m sure excited to be able to check out books only 6 minutes from my new house, even if movies are not included here.  It’s definitely the closest I’ve lived to a library since Rob was in college!  Exciting for sure!

The Painting is Done!

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We, and several relatives, have worked many hours this week, and we have completed painting the inside of the house.  First, we painted it with Kilz to get rid of any smoke smell that might be lingering.  Then, we added the color.

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The living room, dining area, hall and Rob and my bedroom were all painted this creamy tan color.  It is light, airy, warm and inviting.  I love how it turned out.  This picture actually shows it being a little darker than it appears.  There are no lights in the living room.  Yet.

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Patsy’s room is mostly white, with the one wall that is light green.  A)  It also appears darker in this picture and B) Yes, I missed several spots, which I went back and painted with a brush after viewing this picture.  In fact, I went over several such spots in every room after I thought I was done!  The white is a nice, bright white and the green is much softer.  She has a huge closet in her room, and I will store quite a few of my things in 1/2 of it.  I also may put a community bookcase in her room, but I need to see how things fit in.

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The big girls will share a room.  Their ceiling and closet are white.  Their walls are a blue-gray.  It is really this dark, maybe even a little bit darker.

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The big girls painted almost all of their own room.  It was good experience for them and took them most of 2 days, since they were new at painting.  The previous painters had not been careful in any room and there is old paint on most of the woodwork, often blobbed or striped as if they did not tape at all. We did it properly, and it has been suggested that we paint over the woodwork in the places that are blobbed with a paint that matches the brown trim  or color over with a brown Sharpie.  I’m not sure if we are going to do any of that.  By the time we get furniture in there, we won’t see much of the baseboard:)

We’ve been moving loads from our storage unit over to store in the shop until after the floors are re-done.  We did another load today, even though the temperatures have been over 100 degrees this week.  (Very rare for our part of Oregon, so we are uncomfortable)  The only reason we could actually paint in this heat is that our new house has air conditioning.  Otherwise, I think the paint would have dried up too fast.  It’s supposed to cool down a bit, so hopefully I can get lots of loads moved next week, and some yard work done.  Things have grown up while the house was for sale, but I can tell the previous owner kept things in good shape.  I want to do the same.

We’ve also been working with the stove insert company, getting the details settled for the chimney preparation and installation of a new insert stove.  After filling out forms in 2 places, mail has finally arrived, today, at our new address.  Not long now until I get to go get a library card to the Salem Public Library!  That excites me tremendously.  I was last inside about 25 years ago, and thought it was really large then.  I will really feel like I live there (which I don’t actually, yet) once I check out books!

 

New House Projects–Aug. 17, 2016

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We are spending most of our time these days working on the new house.  After both Rob and I worked for quite some time, we finally got the linoleum removed that was glued to the hardwood by the door.  The flooring man said he could sand the rest off–hurray!!!

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Aunt Janet has been on the paint crew the past 2 days with us.  Yesterday, with my brother-in-law, Ron’s, help as well, we got the layer of Kilz on the walls all over the house.    Today, we got most of Patsy’s room done, as well as a good start on Lovana and Ja’Ana’s. (They will share).  Tomorrow, we will see what we can get done!

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Michaela was delighted with a train calendar the former owner left in the shop.  Rob gave it to her, because trains are one of her absolute favorites!  She was a good helper yesterday, too.

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Ja’Ana pulled purslane out the the garden area for a long time.  Those huge piles in the back of the garden are pulled and she will move them to a compost pile soon.  It  got too hot and she came in.  She and Lovana both painted today for quite a while, too.  Yesterday, Lovana unpacked a few boxes of food items and kitchen things.  J did some more today.  We can’t unpack other rooms, but the kitchen and garage can be filled as boxes come up in the small loads we are moving in our van each day.  The rest can be stored in the shop until the floors are done.  We are pretty committed to emptying the one storage unit before the end of August to save on rent.  They will charge us for the entire month of September, even if we take the things out on the 1st.  Hmmmm……Not a hard decision!!

 

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This is a rare shot of Rob and I with 5 of the children.  We took some time to mourn the passing of a close family relative this morning.  It was a beautiful service and it was nice to have so many of the kids with us.  The young lady Rob has his arm around is our oldest daughter, Abbie.  The young man by me is our son, Anthony.  The rest, you already know.  Clearly, there were several relatives with phones, all calling out for everyone to smile at them, so everyone is looking around, but….life is like that sometimes–kind of messy!

 

 

The New House–At Last

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And, here it is!  The new house.  Rob and Patsy are going in for the first time after it became ours!

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It is on .3 acres.  It has a large garden area with Marion berries on one side and raspberries on the other.  Clearly, there are a lot of weeds to remove, but it has grown the former owner a good garden for years, and the soil has been amended.

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It has a shop!

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And a cute little partially enclosed patio.  Behind the patio is a paved area where the camper can be parked behind a locked chain link fence.

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Here is the kitchen and the laundry room behind.

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The living room has a fireplace.  The carpets smelled badly of cigarette smoke.  Our first project was removing them.

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After 2 days spent pulling up carpet tacking strips, pulling carpet staples as well as the carpet and pads, the lovely hardwood was revealed.  We have an appointment scheduled to get them refinished.

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It’s already a huge improvement!  We have several other things planned.  We will have to wait a bit to move in, but it will be worth it in the end to have them done before we do:)

We are super excited and can’t wait to start living here!  I will admit that I have muscles I never knew existed after crawling around on the floor for 2 days.  I am very happy that I’ve leaned a new skill, though.  I’ll bet there are several new experiences ahead!