HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 26 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies.  Can you believe this is the half way mark through 2018?  Where does the time go?  I hope last week and Father’s Day weekend was wonderful for you and your families.  It went by all too fast for us!

We are still on the travel this morning so I hope this posts when it should. Best laid plans and all has changed this past week many multiple times with me being sick, family plans, lack of internet connectivity… This next week will be much easier for me once we arrive at our destination.  I have to admit to not doing very well these past weeks with all the changes and illness. But, I have also really needed this week of  “down time” to veg and get well.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – It’s quite cool here, but absolutely beautiful! I’m wearing Levis and colorful blouse with my favorite sandals.  We’re going to lunch with some old friends in a bit and I’m ready to go. From there we will travel to our next destination to see hubby’s dad who will be 97 this year.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – I had some Cheerios and green tea

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – absolutely nothing 😀

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – as much as I have needed this past week to recuperate I am also anxious to get into a regular routine of the gym and pool to get my life back on track.

SIL lives on a large piece of property in the country where internet and cell signals are almost non-existent and at the end of the line so not very strong when they work. Because of this I wasn’t even aware I was having phone issues, but will go by my carrier’s office on the way out of town to get it fixed.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

My niece Londyn staying occupied with her grandma’s toy bag while we were at dinner.
Momma deer meandering through SIL’s driveway. SIL is surrounded by a greenbelt and often has A LOT of wildlife that she feeds. The baby deer moved out of the frame before I could grab the camera.
Beautiful Lily in SIL’s goldfish pond.
SIL is doing some bee keeping and the bees are really loving all of her fragrant flowers.
The dragon flies are VERY prolific near her ponds. They also need to be very careful as I have seen her frogs have them for a snack.
SIL has 3 different ponds on her property and they all had a lily blooming while we were visiting.

INSPIRATION

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED – nothing as we have been visiting with lots of family for different occasions.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • PHONE CALLS & PAPERWORK… looking forward to finishing up a few things and need a dentist appointment
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and even some holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING AND ON MY WAIT PILE

I’M READING Debra Clopton’s Windswept Bay series – Book #7 WITH THIS PROMISE

IN THE WAIT PILE TO READ

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH

COMEDIESBig Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, American Housewife

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comediesNCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdon of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS & REALITYThe Good Doctor, This Is Us, The Resident, the Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, American Ninja Warrior, Ransom, Instinct, Taken

SYFYZ Nation, the Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files, Supernatural, Midnight Texas

COOKINGGuy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America, Bobby & Damaris, Kid’s Baking Championship, Master Chef Jr., Master Chef, Southern at Heart, Best Baker in America

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKET – EVERYTHING is packed so there will be no crafting until late June or so when I start the Christmas gifts and cards

WHERE I’VE BEEN SURFING ON THE NET -LOL nowhere with little to no connection at SIL’s house – it has been a technology free week. Even more than I realized 😀 This is set to auto post, so I hope this posts when it’s supposed to

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

PEACH YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

CHERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

BERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

SUNDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK – none unfortunately

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 25 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies.  It’s been a rainy weekend, but looking like it will be a better week.  We are on the move again this morning to our next interim stop for the summer via a few days of family and fun with long missed SIL, but I had to pop in for the sake of staying on track.  Next week we will arrive at our summer destination and I should back on track with HHM, MPM and life itself while beginning the process to regain my strength, muscle mass and stamina after that.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – It’s still a little cool and rainy this morning (which I love by the way), but we’re on the road heading south toward the sun and heat so I’m wearing some Levis crop jeans and a blue/purple blouse with my most comfortable flip flops for traveling

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – yogurt and green tea on the go

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – nothing for a couple weeks

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – we are traveling this week to see one of my most favorite people in the world, my SIL, Bobbie for a few days and then we’ll see hubby’s dad who will be 97  this year and then on to one of our favorite nieces and some friends as we trek to our summer destination for my rehab time.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I just love being back in the country!

INSPIRATION

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED – was a bit too busy this week to watch too many new things

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and even some holiday post planning
  • Everything is packed away into storage for safe keeping until we figure out the next leg in life!

CURRENTLY READING AND ON MY WAIT PILE

I’M still READING Debra Clopton’s Windswept Bay series – Book #6 With This Ring I’m just too tired to getting any reading done at night

IN THE WAIT PILE TO READ

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH

COMEDIESBig Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, American Housewife

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comediesNCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdon of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS & REALITYThe Good Doctor, This Is Us, The Resident, the Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, American Ninja Warrior, Ransom, Instinct, Taken

SYFYZ Nation, the Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files, Supernatural, Midnight Texas

COOKINGGuy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America, Bobby & Damaris, Kid’s Baking Championship, Master Chef Jr., Master Chef, Southern at Heart, Best Baker in America

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKETEVERYTHING is packed so there will be no crafting until late June or so when I start the Christmas gifts and cards

WHERE I’VE BEEN SURFING ON THE NET – no where special this week

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

 ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

PEACH YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

CHERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

BERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

SUNDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

??

??

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK – I did get a couple recipes made last week though

APPLE CIDER PAN GRAVY PORK CHOPS

This recipe is good year round, but tastes especially GREAT during the fall when apples are at their prime.

APPLE CIDER PAN GRAVY PORK CHOPS
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 3/4 inch pork chops
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-4 sprigs FRESH thyme
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
thin sliced apples,  for garnish SEE NOTE

  • Generously sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Heat avocado oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear pork chops on both sides.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the honey and apple pie spice.
  • Add in garlic and apple cider until well blended.
  • Pour over pork chops.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove pork chops to a plate, tent and let stand 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water.
  • Add to pan gravy and whisk until well blended.
  • Add heavy cream and whisk to blend.
  • Increase heat and bring to a SLOW boil until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve pork chops with apple stuffing, your favorite vegetable and top with pan gravy.

NOTE:

  • You can serve with thin sliced apple slices or you can use a little butter and apple pie spice to saute the apple slices for a sweet treat.
  • Many times I prefer to sear the pork chops for 3 minutes on each side over high heat and then place them into a 400° oven for 6-8 minutes to finish cooking while I prepare the veggies. I find that the pork chops stay moist and juicy this way.

APPLE STUFFING
2 honey crisp apples, peeled,, cored and chopped
3 Kaiser rolls, chopped small
1 large carrot, chopped
1 small bunch green onions, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 + 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup apple cider
2 packets pork flavored top ramen seasoning packets

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet on medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and saute 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add green onions and garlic sauteing until fragrant.
  • Add apples, sauteing until beginning to soften.
  • Whisk together the pork seasoning packets into the apple cider.
  • Add the remaining butter and apple cider mixture to pan.
  • Fold in bread pieces, stirring to coat.
  • Cook until liquid is completely absorbed.
  • Fold into a casserole and bake 15 minutes or so to heat completely through.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, TUTORIALS & TIP, DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP, WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY, SOUPER SUNDAY, BETH FISH READS, SATURDAY SPARKS, AMAZE ME MONDAY, INSPIRE ME TUESDAY, SHARE YOUR STYLE, OVER THE MOON

Simple Summer Suppers ~ SEAFOOD SALAD & PARMESAN CHEESE ROLLS

This recipe is from my mother-in-law. She told the story that it was something she would make at the end of the month when funds were short because it was cheap.  Cheap works though!  This is one of the most flavorful salads and always a family favorite.  The rolls date back to hubby’s grandfather’s Beverly Hills restaurant, The Castle from MANY years ago.

SEAFOOD SALAD
Green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 bunches green onions, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can albacore tuna IN OIL, drained VERY WELL
1 can bay shrimp drained, or 1 cup fresh
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
FRESH ground salt & pepper, to taste

  • In a large bowl mix together the lettuce, green onions and tomatoes.
  • Add the tuna and shrimp. Toss well.
  • Squeeze with lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.
  • Add mayonnaise and toss until well coated.

PARMESAN ROLLS
4 French Sandwich rolls, cut into halves
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup grated or sliced Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Mix together the melted butter and olive oil.
  • Dip tops of rolls into butter mixture.
  • Dip into the Fontina cheese pressing slightly so the cheese adheres.
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Broil until golden and crusty.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, TUTORIALS & TIP, DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP, WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY, SOUPER SUNDAY, BETH FISH READS, SATURDAY SPARKS, AMAZE ME MONDAY, INSPIRE ME TUESDAY, SHARE YOUR STYLE, OVER THE MOON

RECOVERY IN PROGRESS UPDATE DAY 180

It’s hard to believe we are at the 6 month mark. Sometimes it feels like it’s been 10 years already. Then when I try to eat something I’m not yet ready for I realize, it’s just been a very short time in the realm of relearning how to eat.

PROGRESS REPORT

So, for some weird AND unknown reason many food smells that were once welcoming AND comforting now turn my stomach. The doctor says this is fairly normal, but CANNOT answer why it is “normal”. Some of the once loved foods that I can no longer stand to be around are:

  • hard boil eggs
  • pancakes
  • cabbage
  • sausage

I also cannot eat much bread, potatoes or rices because they take up too much space in my egg sized portion of stomach with virtually no nutrient value.

‘REGULAR’ WILL BE A LONG TERM AND ONGOING LEARNING CURVE for the REST of my life

I have SLE (Systemic Lupus), Fibromyalgia and recently ended up with a non-weight loss stomach bypass that changed my life beyond belief.  Just 6 months ago you would NOT have been able to convince me to EVER give up ALL sugar – (nothing like waking up from a routine surgery and learning it was anything but routine and you can never again have certain things), but I have to say no sugar is NOT the worst thing ever. I ALSO DO NOT do ANY sugar substitutes or preservatives because of the SLE and Fibro. So, while my diet does become a bit limited, it is possible to cope.  The thing I REALLY miss is coffee, but am making it work with green tea which is ultimately so much more healthy.

I had needed to lose 15 pounds or so as we all do at this stage in life, but now at the 50 pound mark lost, the doctor’s concern is that I lose no more and try to maintain where I am – he actually felt that way at the 25-30 pound mark.  Because there is no “real” stomach or holding vessel for food, the body does not absorb much at all.  For that reason I have certain vitamins and supplements that will be 5 times a day for the rest of my life. I also have to be picky on what I eat as many foods still do not agree with me and I can never eat sugar again.  Anything with high fat is also an issue so it really limits my choices every day. The biggest lifetime issue will be the amount (or lack there of) of food I can eat at any given time.  My stomach is now the size of an egg.  My stomach does not and will not stretch. It also does not absorb much in the way of nutrients.  My stomach will NOT grow or change in any way.  Eating is now and always will be in the future something of a challenge.

One of the biggest shocks was the need for ALL new clothes, I went from a size 8-10 down to a 2 so far. I have had to buy ALL new underwear, bras, pants, dresses and even shoes! Yes, I said shoes. I lost an entire shoe size – I didn’t even know that was possible.  This is just one of the piles of shoes I made when trying to find something to fit on Easter morning.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 23 of 2018

Good morning my friends. We have arrived at our first interim stop and I am beginning to feel a bit human again.  Things have not gone as planned with the move, but will be okay eventually,  just a bit stressful getting to this point. 😀

We’ll be here about 10 days and then head to our next destination via a few stops to see family and friends along the way. We will be there for about 3 months and that is where I am praying that the gym and pool will be my saving grace at getting my strength and energy back.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – The weather is GORGEOUS! It’s supposed to be in the mid 70’s today and guess what? There is no horrible Texas humidity 😀 I have to go to town and get the oil changed so am wearing levis and a blue print blouse instead of the normal summer shorts.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – Green tea and peach yogurt

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • my new InstaGram hashtag is #HappinessIsSouthEastTexasInYourRearViewMirror which makes me extremely happy.  As for the rest of it, we’re going to just take it one day at a time for awhile
  • I also completed my final post (Day 948 aka 2 1/2 years in Purgatory) for the HOUSE from HELL if you are so inclined to read – it is a bit long, but all encompassing.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – we made a stop at Cadillac Ranch – wow what a change from when I was there in the early 90’s! I can’t believe how much trash was left behind!

INSPIRATION

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED – I enjoyed the Celebrity Boss episode about Deion Sanders reaching out to help at risk youth

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

Nothing much this week other than some laundry as we are at mom’s house. Hubby does have a couple dental appointments and the moving truck should be here at some point so things can be loaded into storage before we head out for the desert.

CURRENTLY READING AND ON MY WAIT PILE

I’M READING Debra Clopton’s Windswept Bay series – Book #5 Holding Out for Love

IN THE WAIT PILE TO READ

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH

COMEDIES – Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, American Housewife

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies – NCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdon of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS & REALITY – The Good Doctor, This Is Us, The Resident, the Amazing Race, Dancing With the Stars, American Ninja Warrior, Reverie, Instinct, Ransom, Taken

SYFY – Z Nation, the Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files, Supernatural, Midnight Texas

COOKING – Guy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America, Bobby & Damaris, Kid’s Baking Championship, Master Chef Jr., Master Chef, Southern at Heart

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKET – EVERYTHING is packed so there will be no crafting until late June or so when I start the Christmas gifts and cards while we are in the desert.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

Use 1 gallon boiling water per pound of pasta. Only place pasta in a rolling boil of water (uncovered). Add salt to the water to speed up the boiling process. Add oil to water prevent pasta from sticking. Pasta should be checked ~3 times during the cooking process. Pasta should be cooked to ‘al dente’ (to the tooth). Check the pasta between your thumb and forefinger. Pasta should double in size. Fresh pasta requires less cooking time than dry pasta. Fresh pasta contains less starch than dry pasta. Rinse the dry pasta with cold water to stop cooking and remove excess starch. Rinse the pasta in warm water to bring it back up to temperature.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

APPLE CIDER PORK CHOPS with APPLE SLAW

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

PEACH YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

SEAFOOD SALAD & PARMESAN ROLLS

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

CHEERIOS, SMALL BANANA & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

CHERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

PINEAPPLE CASHEW CHICKEN and SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

BERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

??

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

SUNDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

CHICKEN in OREGANO CREAM SAUCE

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

 

 

DAY 948 aka 2 1/2 + years in PURGATORY ~ UPDATE on the HOUSE FROM HELL and LIFE

WARNING: THIS IS A LONG POST, BUT THE FINAL POST ON THIS HOUSE FROM HELL

While I was cleaning up the kitchen and dinner dishes recently I realized I’ve been posting quite a few recipes, but have been severely lacking on my actual “writing” about what is going on in our lives. For years I have worked really hard at keeping this an eternally optimistic blog full of grace for the great and wonderful blessings in my life, always trying to live by the old rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”BUT, there comes a time to call out the crazy acrimonious instigators and tell it like it is, if for no other reason than to get it out of my head so I can be more at peace.

Well, today is the 2 1/2 year mark (though it feels like 10 years), the house is sold and we are completely packed and CANNOT WAIT to have this horrific experience in our rear view mirror.

You all know my categories for this place,  A HOUSE FROM HELL, REHABBING GRAMS & GRAMPS HOUSE, CHRONICLES OF MY MISGUIDED COUSIN BETH which fit REALLY well, but in the 2+ years since we started this project there are a few tags that could be added that now fit even better like GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX, THE FOX IS LOOSE IN THE HEN HOUSE, NO BALLS COUSIN and LOONEY TUNE UNCLE.

ALL of this is so sad to admit, you never want to believe the worst about your own family.  This experience has lent credence to the adage that family isn’t always blood, but those you chose to love. It still baffles me that anyone can turn their back on their family, their own flesh and blood,  for money which is exactly what my uncle did when my aunt passed away and he took up with the apparent GOLD DIGGING WITCH WITH A GOD COMPLEX.

He became an even more arrogant, egotistical and abusive cheating bastard after taking up with her. Almost immediately she had his power of attorney and things took an immediate turn for the worse as they tried to swindle us beyond belief. After hiring an attorney we were able to force the sale, but are still losing a ton money on the deal. My uncle used us and our skills as well as our cash to get the work done on the house and then tried to evict us claiming we had done nothing to better the property.  Fortunately, I kept a chronological progress here on the blog, every receipt to the tune of over $50,000.00 and a detailed log of hours which adds up to over $200,000.00 of labor. So, unfortunately, my blood uncle did swindle us in the end, but worse than that he abused a sacred blood relationship.

The definition of swindle is: swindle – to use unscrupulous trickery or deception to defraud others or cheat someone to obtain money or other assets. 

Many of you remember how disheartened we were when we arrived here to find NOT what we were told, but the HOUSE FROM HELL full of…well just FULL and filthy!  It was a rodent’s dream AND it was a hoarder’s nest. It was full to the rafters and even the rafters were full and so was the backyard and the garage.

The agreement with my uncle was that the house was ours for a discounted price if we came to help clean it out and care for my aunt.   He was offering to help get us back on our feet after the cancer, surgeries, VA claim issues and health issues.  Ironically, if he really loved me he would have never exposed me to this house which ultimately left me with the bacterial infections one after another that culminated in my bypass surgery. Supposedly we were going to use our abilities in the process of helping him and make some money for us too, NOT end up completely upside down and worse off than when we got here both financially and physically not to mention we never even had a chance to work on the VA red tape mess.

Here are the BEFORE and beginning AFTER pictures to refresh your memory

So on to the before and after pictures. Hubby is upset that the before pictures don’t truly show how HORRIBLY DISGUSTING this place really was. I just hope the after pictures show how truly GREAT it is now – it really is turn key now!

MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM BEFORE
There was “STUFF” everywhere!  The walls where all stained from who knows what and the carpeting was full of melted wax and cigarette burns even in the closet.  I have to say that my cousin was evidently suffering from some form of mental illness because this is NOT how she was raised!
The picture above is what I got out of the bedroom carpet on the first pass of available floor with my Rainbow Water Vacuum. Disgusting does not begin to describe how it looked or felt.  Below was just one of the cracks to be repaired that was caused by the foundation issues.
The master bathroom didn’t look too bad until you looked close or opened a door and saw all the mold in the wood. So, it ended up getting gutted too. It took me 2 weeks, but I did get the tile clean in the shower, but we still need to find someone to professionally refinish the tile.
MASTER BEDROOM & BATHROOM LATE 2016

Finally a new window and completed bedroom. We used wainscotting floor to ceiling for the new bathroom walls.
SPARE BEDROOM BEFORE
The spare bedroom was stacked to the ceiling with junk!  It also housed much of her “business” food products.  What was the city thinking when they gave her a food license to operate out of this house? Not to mention it is completely against the H.O.A. rules and regulations for this neighborhood. In the photo below the bottom left hand corner was mouse droppings. YUCK!!
SPARE BEDROOM late 2016
 KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY AREA BEFORE
THERE WAS “STUFF” EVERYWHERE.  NOT ONE CABINET WAS CLEAN OR ORGANIZED .
THE CABINET HANDLES THAT WHERE THERE WERE GREASE AND DUST COATED. THE CABINET DOORS WERE HANGING BY A THREAD.

THE REFRIGERATOR WAS FULL OF SPOILED AND SPILLED FOOD, MILDEW AND MOLD – A SERIOUS SCIENCE PROJECT IN THE MAKING AND ONE THAT THIS IMMUNITY CHALLENGED GIRL WAS HAVING NO PART OF.  THE SEAL ON THE REFRIGERATOR DID NOT WORK AND HAD BEEN LEAKING OUT FOR SOME TIME. THE FREEZER WAS ANOTHER ISSUE TRYING TO GET THINGS OUT SINCE THEY HAD FROZEN INTO ONE BIG GLOB BECAUSE OF THE LEAKING SEAL.
This is the pantry floor as clean as it would get!  We scraped off all the linoleum and sanitized the foundation before re-flooring.
BEHIND THESE DOORS (which are off their hinges and just propped there) IS THE LAUNDRY AREA AND ONE OF THE SCARIEST LOOKING AREAS.  THERE WAS A RATS NEST UNDER THE COLLAPSING, NOT TO CODE WATER HEATER base.  THE DRYER WAS NOT VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE AND HAD NOT BEEN FOR SOME TIME AS THE LINT WAS EVERYWHERE AND THE WASHER LEAKED LIKE A SIEVE!

This 10 pound bag of sugar was spilled ALL over a pantry shelf and was one of the biggest sources for the ants, cockroaches and mice.
KITCHEN/DINING/LAUNDRY LATE 2016
STUDIO BEFORE
STUDIO 2017
ATRIUM BEFORE
unfortunately we can’t seem to find the picture that shows this room stacked 10 feet tall of papers, cabinets and “crap” so have to start with this empty picture.
ATRIUM late 2016
FOYER BEFORE
The door would no longer open due to the foundation issues and she used this 24 square feet (8×3) as a “CAT BOX” area.  I hate to admit that this was the MOST disgusting of ALL the house and required several bottles of hydrogen peroxide etcher after we removed the toxic 2 layers of tiles.
FOYER 2017
New floor, new door and new paint are done and looking good. I LOVE how much light the new door lets in.
LIVING ROOM BEFORE
These are cracks, tears and stains in the atrium/living room carpeting.
It took weeks/months to get the living room to this organized point LOL.  Notice the crack near the vent?  It went all the way to the floor and was 3 inches wide.  It is also why we waited over 3 months for the highly recommended dry wall guy that turned out to be a HUGE joke. The picture below is the living room after we finally got it emptied and ready to start painting.
This is one of 3 sections of the living room carpet that had melted candle wax all over it.  She had just arranged the furniture over it.
LIVING ROOM late 2016
We made built in cabinets in the living room to hold things like the DVD player, WiiU, movies and games, etc…
I could not get Whiskey to move so she’s in the picture! There are still many Christmas things sitting around as I get them pack up to put away, but all in all it’s looking good.
SPARE BATH  BEFORE

There was a funky built in area above the tub for linens that needed to be removed and the walls had to be re-done after the 2 layers of wall paper were removed and the wall board was peeling away. 

SPARE BATH 3017
GARAGE  BEFORE
 This was after hubby spent 4 weeks cleaning and and making a path for donation and trash.
GARAGE late 2016
Hubby has done wonders at creating a neat and organized garage!

It took months to get to this freezer and then weeks to get into it.  The key wouldn’t work!  Turns out the seal had failed and there was a HUGE layer of ice sealing it shut.  It then took hubby days to chip away ALL the ice and bag the food that was there. We are SO thankful for our trash guys.  For a case of beer and soda twice a week and some “special” bottles at Christmas they took ALL we gave them.  Way more than they were supposed to or should have.  We thank them for going ABOVE and BEYOND!

ATTIC
From this point in the attic you can turn 3 directions, but they all look about the same.  We got as much stuff out of the attic as the house it seemed. It is now ALMOST empty except for some insulation that needs bagged and the storage boxes I added just around the opening for when we move.
I tried to salvage these globes covered in nicotine and dirt, but in the end it was a lost cause.
JUST A TYPICAL TRASH DAY.  It looked like this, sometimes double this EVERY! trash day (2 times a week) for 9 months!
The wiring had to be all re-done as gramps and possibly Beth’s boyfriend, Tom had done some really scary Mickey Mouse jobs that left us thankful the place hadn’t been burnt to the ground.  We found an awesome Electrician and while Tommy was expensive, he is a Master Electrician and left us with a safe feeling allowing us to sleep at night.

This was the path hubby created through to the back gate.

Did I ever mention that the neighbor next door in a 2 story tried to buy this place because he loved the floor plan, but my uncle wouldn’t sell until the foundation work was done? In ALL honestly this house would still be sitting here in the same condition we found it if we hadn’t come long when we did.  Unfortunately for us it appears my uncle does NOT appreciate any of this. He still wants more money than it was worth and said if he’d realized it’s condition, he would have just dumped it.  If that is the case I have to wonder why he didn’t sell to the next door neighbor to begin with and honestly if he’s going to “DUMP” it why not do so to the people who spent the money for the parts and labor AND did the back breaking work for over a year?

Here are the FINAL AFTER pictures of an empty sold house:

I would like to say I am thankful for this experience and the lessons learned, but I just can’t. I do know grams is no longer turning in her grave over what her son and his daughter allowed her home to become because we have restored it and made it better.  The girl scout in me has taken over though and we are better people for having done the right thing by family and are DEFINITELY leaving it better than we found it.

I can say I am glad it’s over and after taking some serious time to rehab at the gym and in the pool to regain my strength this summer elsewhere, we will move forward to something better FAR FAR AWAY from any influence of my caustic, toxic, back stabbing uncle who gave such a wonderful speech at our first Christmas about how lucky they all were that we came to the rescue when they were in over their heads because of my Aunt’s Alzheimers and dementia after my cousin died and left this place such a shambles.  He went on and on about how he would make it worth our while because he had no real idea what an F***ing Pig his daughter was until we spent months just cleaning out the place to begin this project.  Calling his daughter, my cousin an F***ing pig were his words, not mine, but then he turned around and literally swindled us out of our time, my health, our trust and our money.

My rant is done.  I know Karma and God will take care of the rest.

CHICKEN in BACON RANCH GRAVY ala SLOW COOKER

This is a wonderful fall or winter recipe!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN with BACON GRAVY serves 4
adapted from Sarah Olson

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground pepper, to taste
4 sprigs FRESH thyme
2 bunches green onions, sliced thin
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 Pioneer country gravy packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup heavy cream

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
  • Generously salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
  • Add the garlic, green onions and bacon.
  • Lay thyme sprigs on top.
  • Whisk together the gravy mix and ranch dressing packets water until smooth.
  • Pour the gravy mixture over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
  • Remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks.
  • Stir heavy cream into gravy mixture until well blended.
  • Return chicken to gravy mixture and stir to coat well.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, TUTORIALS & TIP, DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP, WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY, SOUPER SUNDAY, BETH FISH READS, SATURDAY SPARKS, AMAZE ME MONDAY, INSPIRE ME TUESDAY, SHARE YOUR STYLE, OVER THE MOON

Still no Alien Cows to be found

We took one last trip to see if we could find the alien cow or at least one of his kin, but still no luck. We did however have a wonderful day and saw quite a few friendly animals.  We found some recent turtle egg activity and lazy alligators.  The moss on the lake was so mossy that it was easy for them to hide.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 21 of 2018

Sorry I’ve been MIA so much of the past few weeks. As we get closer to the BIG day, I’ve definitely been busier AND A LOT more tired.  I hope you have all had a great week.

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday
to visit with all the other Monday morning ladies
.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – A HUGE storm rolled through unexpectedly last night leaving behind a TON of humidity to start the day.  At least the storm also brought in a COOL front and it’s only supposed to be in the high 80’s this week so I’m wearing cut offs and a teal polo shirt.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – My standard peach yogurt and green tea is today’s breakfast

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – I’m extremely happy that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel fromthis nightmare! I’m working on a final update to be posted soon. All of your encouraging remarks have REALLY helped get us through this!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

Last Wednesday through Friday I spent visiting with my original BFF aka FFE (first friend ever) Leslie. We had a great time chatting and playing nostalgic catch up. So many memories to think about. It was so great to see her and spend time together.

This picture is of a gift my sweet neighbor brought me yesterday to say thank you and goodbye.  And some of the flowers she brought me last week still look GREAT!

INSPIRATION

 

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS…KITCHEN… STUDIO… all getting a deep clean today and tomorrow
  • YARD… nothing much afteryesterday’s storms, just too wet to do anything, but hubby will mow Wednesday
  • BLOG… not much for a few weeks

CURRENTLY READING AND ON MY WAIT PILE

I’M READING Debra Clopton’s Windswept Bay Series Book #4 Forever & For Always

IN THE WAIT PILE TO READ

  • BARBARA FREETHY’S PERILOUS TRUST after I finish this series

SHOWS WE WATCH

COMEDIES – Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Life in Pieces, The Good Place, American Housewife

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies – NCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdon of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS & REALITYThe Good Doctor, This Is Us, The Resident, the Amazing Race just ended and Dancing With the Stars will be beginning

SYFY – Z Nation, the Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files, Supernatural

COOKING – Guy’s Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America Celebrity, Bobby & Damaris, Kid’s Baking Championship, Master Chef Jr., Master Chef

 

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK

MONDAY

BANANA & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

TUNA SALAD OR ??

PORK CARNITAS TAMALES & GARDEN SALSA

FRUIT

TUESDAY

YOGURT & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

TUNA SALAD  OR??

C.O.R.N.

clean out refrigerator night

FRUIT

WEDNESDAY

 BANANA & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

TUNA SALAD OR??

C.O.R.N.

clean out refrigerator night

FRUIT

THURSDAY

YOGURT & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

OUT

OUT

FRUIT

FRIDAY

YOGURT & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

OUT

OUT

FRUIT

SATURDAY

YOGURT & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

OUT

OUT

FRUIT

SUNDAY

YOGURT & TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

OUT

OUT

FRUIT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CHEESY ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

CHEESY ARTICHOKE CHICKEN serves 2

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin (1/8 inch)
6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained WELL and chopped small
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced thin
4 thin slices Provolone cheese
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small bowl combine artichoke heart pieces, parsley, garlic and green onions.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  • Top each chicken breast with 2 cheese slices.
  • Top cheese with artichoke mixture and spread evenly.
  • Roll up chicken and secure with toothpicks.
  • In an ovenproof skillet heat avocado oil and turning frequently sear chicken bundles until golden.
  • Place skillet in preheated oven until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Slice into roulades and serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.

LINKING TO: CELEBRATE YOUR STORY, CRAFTASTIC MONDAY, DISHING IT & DIGGING IT, NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, SHOW & TELL, SUNDAYS AT HOME, SUNDAY’S BEST, THAT DIY PARTY, JCOOKING & CRAFTING WITH J&J, INPIRATION MONDAY , INSPIRE ME MONDAY , MADE BY YOU MONDAY, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY, MERRY MONDAY, MIX IT UP MONDAY, MOTIVATE ME MONDAY, PROJECT INSPIRED, SHOW AND SHARE, TUTORIALS & TIP , DIY TUESDAYS, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY, THE SCOOP, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY, TUESDAYS AT OUR HOME, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST, CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS, SHARE YOUR CUP , WINTER BLUES WEDNESDAY, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, SHOW ME WEDNESDAYS, WOW US WEDNESDAY , CREATIVE CIRCLE, DAGMAR’S PARTY, HOME SWEET HOME, FAVORITE THINGS, GRACE AT HOME, HOME MATTERS, PIN JUNKIE PIN PARTY, TALK OF THE TOWN, BLOGGER’S PIT STOP, HANDMADE HANGOUT, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME, SWAY SHAREFEST, WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS PARTY, BOUQUET OF TALENT PARTY, INSPIRE-BE-INSPIRED, RAE GUN BLOCK PARTY, I’M LOVIN’ IT, THIS IS HOW WE ROLL THURSDAY, FULL PLATE THURSDAY, FOODIE FRIDAY