Diary of a Homemaker’s Week: We Are Gonna Do This


Saturday:  I slept well last night.  It was especially nice to have a bit of a lie-in this morning and not come out until 8am.  My only mistake was not eating a proper breakfast.  I paid for that a little later.  All I would have to have done was eat a little bit more.   

We had to go do the errands we couldn't get done yesterday.  I loathe going to the grocery store on Saturdays.   I mentioned last time we got our haircuts that we'd had an awesome experience at an out of the way salon.  Today we opted for a branch of the same salon near Kroger.  What a pleasure to come in and find one of the girls from the other salon in the shop.  It was very busy, and we didn't get a chance to talk too much, but it was a joy to have her cut my hair today.  She helped me to understand a product that I already have at home.  She showed me how to use it to increase volume.

Then we did the grocery shopping.  I had a list on my phone, but the app doesn't put things in the order of the store set up.  That meant I had to really pay attention and since we were in an unfamiliar branch of the store, I had to look hard.  The only thing we forgot today was the one item we promised the little one, pops.  He wanted lollipops.  I happened to recall them the moment I sat down in the car.  Fortunately, there is a Dollar General on the route home, and we stopped there.  John didn't but the small ones we usually get. He went the old-fashioned way and bought Tootsie Pops which now just say "Pops" on the package.

By the time we got home today, I was beyond done.  We hadn't had a meal since 8am and it was now 3pm.  I heated lunch right away.  I didn't unload a single thing until I'd sat down and eaten.  We kept it light.  I knew we'd be eating supper in a couple of hours' time.   

Little one was down for a nap.  Memory like an elephant.  When I was heard moving around, I heard a tiny voice say, "Gramma...Pops."  I'm so glad we remembered them!  

Panic attacks this evening off and on.  I've been struggling with them now for the past few days.  I'm sure they will settle down but it's a fair warning to be sure and get plenty of rest, I've noted before that when I'm over tired I'm more prone to having these attacks.

It was a hard week behind us.  I'm determined to keep my head up, but the difficult part is figuring out how to take care of me.  I always struggle saying that.  I'm very accustomed to meeting the needs of others.  I do, however, tend to forget that I too deserve  need care and while it would be easy to look at others and expect it, that isn't enough.  I have to take care of myself.  I have to eat right, rest, try to get sleep, take time to journal and pray.   

Meals:  Muffins/Bagels

leftover pizza

more leftovers of all sorts.  Every plate looked different tonight.  Little one has a fear of missing out and he inspected all the plates to see if anyone had something that looked better than his choice.

Sunday:  Panic attacks continue to hit me in waves.  I am curious if perhaps I've failed to take Niacinamide over the past few days...Did I run out and forget to replace in my medicine supply?  I shall have to see here in a moment when I go in to refill the weekly pill box supply.  Otherwise, I am at a loss.  It could all just be stress triggered but I don't know.

After church today, we went into Tractor Supply.   It's like the new Walmart in my life.  Go in and pick up needed items then stare at the receipt trying to figure out how they total went so high.  Admittedly we were buying pet foods and picked up two bags of sale priced bird seed which is expensive.  Yet I get a world of pleasure from feeding the birds and that's fact.  I stared and stared at seed packets this morning.  A winter morning with 42F temperatures and glowering grey skies with drizzly rain is just the sort of morning to stare at seed packets and dream agreed?   

What we did see that we admired greatly were two rolling raised bed planters with shelves underneath where another set of planters might be placed.   Recall my idea of a patio garden.  John was very impressed with these planters and suggested he buy me two for my birthday.  We came home and found some on Amazon that were less than those but equally as nice.  I'm quite pleased with this promotion of a dream I've had of making the patio into my 'garden'.  

Mind you all, I need to get busy trying to find HIS birthday gift...He has yet to choose a Christmas gift, so I might have to do this part myself.

I've also got a plethora of ideas for little miss' birthday.  Her request was simply 'Pink' which doesn't narrow the field down but oddly enough if you enter 'pink' into a search field on Amazon it auto adds 'little girl' and a world of ideas comes up. I have sent a list of possibilities to her mama to see which would be acceptable ideas.

Meals:  Doughnuts, cheese, egg

Sandwiches, Chips

Leftover Chicken Pot Pie, French Fries, Salad    When I was a girl, we had those Banquet chicken pot pies.  I don't recall Mama ever making her own chicken pot pie, though she often made ham pot pies and they were delicious.  Anyway, Daddy insisted that a pot pie and salad wasn't a meal.  His theory also worked for spaghetti and hot dogs.  Mama's solution, which pleased Daddy no end, was to add French fries to those meals.  Daddy was very proud of his Irish heritage.  He wanted potatoes at every meal if at all possible and we ate them nearly every day with the occasional exception of having rice as a side instead.  During those meals, Daddy complained bitterly over the 'bland and tasteless' rice.   

Needless to say, we ate a lot of potatoes. Looking back, I'll go on and surmise that adding potatoes made meals 'stretch' and so Mama used Daddy's insistence on potatoes at every meal to her advantage.  

Mama did a good job of balancing meals.  This was something she'd learned as part of her nurse's training.  We ate a lot of salad and fresh as well as canned vegetables. Broccoli was something that was pricey and often frozen back then and asparagus could only be had canned, but we ate it.  We always had lots of fresh seasonal fruits on hand, too.

A further memory: eating with my first husband's family for the first time.  On the table were all the sides his Mama had made to go with the meal. She had Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn and rice...and this was how she served nearly every meal with the exception of occasionally throwing on a pot of Lima beans (not green butterbeans as Granny might use but the super starchy big fat Limas).  They never ate a salad or green beans or canned green peas.  Nothing green was ever on that table except in summer when they might have fresh green beans or cucumbers from the garden, but never at any other time of the year.   

Nevertheless, they were a healthy and sturdy lot, so I suppose their diet suited them.  All that to say, we're having oven fries with our chicken pot pie tonight because I'm feeling nostalgic.  It will be sweet potato fries, as I've just discovered that I forgot potatoes yesterday.

Monday:  I smell to high heaven at the moment...Thieves Oil has been generously applied to wrists and back of neck.  I have a stuffy nose and a slight burn in the pharyngeal area.  I was sniffling as I cleared up dishes tonight when little one's mama came in.  "You are feeling rough, too?"  I nodded and added that the little one spent the afternoon on my lap.  "Ugh...Then he's getting it, too..."

When I was pulling chicken thighs from the freezer this morning, I pulled out a container of chicken meat that was already cooked.  I had a lot of spaghetti leftover last week and thought, while I had fresh mushrooms on hand, I might go on and make some Spaghetti ala Diable to put in the freezer.  I ended up putting a dish in the fridge for later this week.  I also made Chicken Salad.  Worse comes we have those and frozen lasagna on hand right now.  If I'm feeling even half decent tomorrow, I plan to make a few more meals ahead.  I have a bag of bread cubes in the freezer, so I could make up a Breakfast Casserole, the ground meat is thawed to make the Swedish meatballs and I might just put on a pot of chili, too.  

Our first day of full-on potty training went well enough.  Still wearing diapers but I'm taking him to the bathroom every two hours.  So far, we've sat happily enough though without results.  I haven't done this in 38 years so I'm assuming it's a good start if there's no screaming over it.  I plan to keep this up all week long and gradually introduce the idea of wearing underwear under his diaper.  This is something Jordan Paige has suggested in some of her vlogs and with 8 kiddos I figure she about knows how to do this now.  

Meals:  Pancakes and Sausage

Mac and Cheese and sandwich for John, Mac n Cheese with orange and baby hot dogs for little one, single serve frozen leftovers with leftover broccoli for me

Chicken Indienne (French dressing, onion soup mix, cranberry sauce.  Apparently, this was the original name for the recipe.), Rice, English peas, Green Salad, bread and butter.

Tuesday:  The sniffly burning sensation has developed into a little bit more of an illness.  John grabbed zinc and D3.  I had zinc and vitamin C this morning and hearty dose of Thieves on my wrists and back of my neck again.  I slept last night but had those weird sorts of dreams one has when ill.  I at least slept.  I was asleep when John came to bed last night and though I woke several times I went right back to sleep.  I plan to e sure to go to bed early again tonight and possibly take a nap this afternoon.

Knowing that I may get worse, but hoping not, I had determined last night that priority was to prep a few meals ahead.  I have chicken soup, chili and Swedish meatballs going in various receptacles right now.  There's a fresh loaf of bread cooling from the oven.  I figure John can handle making sides and such with only a little help in determining what will work well with each meal.  I pretty much wore myself down getting that much done for the morning.  

I had a phone call this morning from the little one's mom.  A nursery position came to her in the form of a customer.  Honest discussion led director to offer placement in a slightly younger class where they are also working on potty training.  So, we'll start over again this next week.  When I told the little one that he would be going to school again he got a very deep frown on his face.  I hurriedly explained it wouldn't be the old school but a new one with new teachers and new friends.  His face cleared.  Prayers have surely been heard.

Meals:  Toast and Bacon

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Mushrooms, Beets

Wednesday:  Not only did I not go to bed early last night, I tossed and turned.  I was too hot, I was too cool, I was too stuffy or my nose too runny, the left side of the back of my neck was stiff.  I slept in past 8am this morning.  When I woke, I had a horrible pain in my right shoulder blade, no doubt due to all the lifting and carrying of a certain little one who has dragged on my arm every chance possible yesterday.  

I settled in my chair with a very hoarse voice, super stuffy head, pain in my back, a child attached to my lap and bumping my coffee cup every time I thought I might take a sip, and John walking about snipping and looking morose as the skies outdoors.  He is not happy when anyone in the house is ill, but most especially not if it's me.  I asked him to make us breakfast and he did.  

I rounded up all the cold meds I'd purchased in the past and dosed myself with them, took pain relievers and used a heating pad to ease the shoulder blade.  I hastily planned out what lunch might be, have rethought supper four times at least but am at the point where I don't even care what we have, just so long as it doesn't involve much from me.

Today has been very low key.  Out of necessity I went over the checkbook, found something is off and must be righted but haven't enough brain power to figure out where I went wrong.  Thankfully not a terrible issue.  We aren't into overdrafts, but something definitely isn't right.  My figures and the banks don't match up.  I'm sure that it's a matter of math which I was doing on paper and not with a calculator.  I just haven't a clue where my phone is at the moment.  

I recalled that John's birthday is this weekend which means we need to register car tags on Friday.  I went to the folder where I keep these things and there were two tag receipts from last year.  One for my car, one for another car we had covered last year, and none for John's Honda.  I came out of the room asking the question, "Why?!  Why is it every single year the tag receipts go in the very same place for the same purpose and every single year without fail, I can't find one?  And why if I can't find one of them this year must it be for the car that must be registered?  Why couldn't the other one we aren't renewing be the missing one instead?"  Conundrum.  I'll find a way to manage this somehow, but sheesh.  I do not want to deal with a file box full of files looking for something that never should have been misplaced in the first place, sigh.

Potty training is going along.  We've yet to figure out the purpose of sitting on the potty and though I am careful to stick to a schedule we aren't synced with little one's schedule.  But at least we're sitting happily and chatting away while we're there.  

I'm off for my second dose of medicine for the day and perhaps, maybe, a nap.

Meals: Breakfast sandwiches, Mandarins

Chicken Noodle Soup, Saltines, Fruits

Chili, Mexican Cornbread, Pineapple

Thursday:  Dreary dreary day outdoors.  Cold and damp and gray.  Earlier today though, I was standing in the kitchen listening to the birds outside the window chirp happily.  They are so cheery and don't complain over the weather, only chirp their excitement and gratitude over the seeds in the feeder.

Not does Misu and Rufus complain.  I watched as Misu went across the yard to potty in the edge of the woods.  Rufus has been escorting her about the yard for years now.  When she was still hunting, he always went with her but kept a respectful distance and completely still behind her while she hunted.  Now he's escorting her to go potty.  He stopped short of the muddy drive, turned his back to her and she picked her way across the puddles to the grass on the other side.  When she'd finished, she walked back to him.  He got up and they walked slowly back across the yard. They remind me of an old couple.  When he stopped to roll in the grass she sat down and looked back over her shoulder at him as though to say, "I don't even know who you are at the moment but get it over with..." 

Potty training here is still a miss, but patience abounds on all our parts.  He goes, he sits, we wait, he says 'Done' and we allow him to get up.  In two hours, we go again.  This goes on from the time he wakes until before bed every night.  My method may be slow but eventually he'll get the point and manage to go.  If he's like the rest of the boys, he'll still not quite connect that's why he's going to the potty but eventually it clicks in.  I don't think trauma and drama is going to accomplish a single thing.

Mama called in an upset this morning.  She has a chronic kidney disease and it's progressed to another stage.  So far, she's done nothing at all about it, but they are now referring her to a specialist.  I looked online at treatments and then called her back to tell her what she might expect.  It was far less than she'd feared.  Mostly it's a matter of change of diet and proper medications to treat other conditions.  But there's that to deal with now, too.  Her biggest dread is having to go to the next town to see a doctor.  I assured her I'd be available to take her, so she won't have to drive.  No clue when that will be but it's on the wait and see end of things.

I am feeling better.  I'm extending time between doses of medicine and overall feeling more myself.  It's just the residual buildup of mucus and such to deal with at this point.  Not a long-drawn-out sort of virus or cold, thankfully.

Meals:  Sausage Gravy over Grits, Toast

Pimento Cheese Toast

Sheet Pan Pierogi, Kielbasa Dinner.  A rare thing for me, I ended up throwing food away tonight.  I salvaged the sausage but the rest was just not good and there was no redemption in keeping it and trying to serve leftovers again.  I tossed it and am calling it a loss.

Friday:  I found the Honda tag receipt in the Honda's dash.  Why there is beyond me.  Obviously, John kept it when he put it on his car.  At least it was found.  I walked outdoors yesterday evening to have a look round and found it between manuals and repair paperwork that also should have been indoors.  It was pouring rain at the time and what a misery the entire day had been for all of us.  The little one had a long sob session yesterday afternoon and was inconsolable, not saying, "No" any longer but now, "Not Want!"

This morning it was grey and dreary when I finally work, sometime near 8:30.  I do not understand how I can be so miserably sleepy each evening until I get in the bed and then my eyes pop open and I can't even muster a yawn until hours later.   Though it was cold, I took my shower bath in the master tub, shivering and miserable.  One can only put it off so long.

I am better.  My chest rattles when I cough but it's all clearing out as it ought.  It's not been a particularly difficult nor long lasting ailment at all.  I really only felt bad one day and have had my usual energy the rest of the time.

While I was making my coffee, John was preparing breakfast.  We've eaten a lot of eggs this week.  I smiled to myself thinking of Meals with Maria's latest video in which she is using what's in her fridge to make meals.  At one point, she is scrambling a dozen eggs, laughs and says, "I promise we're not rich...I just have these and need to use them."  I was thinking the same thing this morning, "We're not rich...but boy these have been handy this week for us!"    Little one called us to the window to see the deer.  He did this yesterday morning too but nary a deer was in sight.  This morning there was a deer!  Well spotted!

Yesterday afternoon, after sob-fest, we discussed plans for today.  John wanted to do a bit of banking, I had outgoing mail, there were tags to purchase before the birthday weekend.  Well, those plans were kind of scrapped this morning for a bit and then last minute we decided to just go do what we could.  The banking didn't happen.   There was another sob-fest this morning.  I've been trying to have little one help do simple chores, like taking something to the trash or helping me push the vacuum, but the result of this is that we then think we can help with ALL the chores and tasks and truth is a 3-year-old doesn't belong every place there's a chore.  This led to a major meltdown, then an accidental tumble and hurting a 'belbow' and then more tears.  The tears went on so long I felt like crying myself and when my voice broke while speaking to John, he ordered me to leave the room.  He got calm restored and then went to sit on the edge of the bed like a broken man himself.  

In the meantime, the sun began to shine.  I insisted we just head on out to do what we could of the errands planned for today.  Having determined the tag office at least did not take a lunch break, I'm glad we went on.  But the bigger banking task can definitely wait until another day.  It's not high priority.  Little one was glad to be out in the car riding and to see the "Hee Haws", goats and cows.    We got tags, dropped off mail, picked up lunch and came home.

After lunch now and I've finally started my Shabat bread.  The little one has gone down for quiet time.  He was very close to being asleep and I could have kicked myself.  I discovered I was out of flour in the canister.  I knew the other day it was low and told myself then to go ahead and refill it.  I hadn't and now I was in a situation where I had to or waste my starter.

Had a text from across the field this morning relating a conversation with Little Miss, who voiced her opinion on new school starting for Little One on Monday.  "He not go!  He cwy and cwy!  He need not go!"   So says the outspoken one.   She turns three this weekend.   Currently, there are tentative plans to spend time with Grampa and them share in eating their personal cupcakes.  

And so ends another week.   How was your week?

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Book release is March 28, but this book is related to the podcast I shared in this week's Coffee Chat.  You can pre-order and it will ship so you receive it on the release date.

(C) Terri Cheney

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