HAPPY HOMEMAKER, MENU PLAN & UPDATE MONDAY week 28 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies.  I CANNOT believe we are in JULY already!!!  We had a warm and uneventful weekend here where we watched some NASCAR races between the gym, pool and biking we’ve been doing for my recuperation.  I did make a few new recipes that were yummy and have gotten quite a bit of reading done also.

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 – hot, hot and more hot, but the humidity is only about 15% and I grew up in this kind of dry heat so it’s much more tolerable than Texas was with its HIGH humidity 😀 Highs this week are supposed to be around 110° and the lows around 80° and continued LOW humidity.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – a banana, green tea and a protein bar

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – nothing at the moment

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – Life in general makes me happy these days.  I recently read somewhere that the happiest places in the world are those where enlightened leaders shifted their focus from economic development to promoting quality of life. THIS!! THIS is the place we are looking for to live!  Anybody know where it is?

 

HEALTH UPDATE – We are finally following a “recovery” routine.  An hour at the gym in the mornings using the machines specific to building up the muscle I’ve lost and then 2 miles on the stationery bike plus 2 more on the treadmill.  Then it’s home for the pool time where I am using a “volleyball” as a flotation device that I sit on and my arms to tread water back forth for several laps using my arms especially and water aerobic weights before I finish with several regular swimming laps and then just some plain old sun time 😀 After dinner when the sun sets and the temps have dropped below 100 we do several miles on the “regular” bike before showering and calling it a night.

I do seem to be getting more calories and eating better as well as building back the muscle, but am still losing weight so am keeping a close eye on the “BIG” picture.

The goal is to keep up this very specific daily routine between now and our nephew’s wedding in late September in hopes that I can look decent in a dress! as well as get my stamina and strength back so I can lead a good daily routine in life.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I’m still editing through pictures from the trip west as well as my SIL’s house and ran across these. The first was one of my favorites from Cadillac Ranch. I love the face on the wheel.

My late BIL loved crows and had this fountain installed at their house.  The fountain never worked right and they converted it to a cactus garden, but I’ve always loved it and her view beyond it 😀 And her wild flowers that pop up here and there are so gorgeous

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads, after all how much can you dirty living in shorts and swim suits? 😀
  • LIVING AREAS… pretty clean since we are in a smaller space for the summer and I keep the clutter picked up and the dishes done regularly
  • YARD… trying to keep the flowers extra watered and added some extra sun shades
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning for when I get back into a “normal” routine and even some holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING AND ON MY WAIT PILE

I’M READING Debra Clopton’s Windswept Bay series and am almost finished – Book #10 With this Forever

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – last week was so blasted hot that we did some netflix and redbox movies so we could stay in during the heat of the day.

  • 🙂 12 STRONG – enjoyed it a lot
  • 😀 GAME NIGHT – FUNNY
  • 🙂 HURRICANE HEIST – thought it might be bad as it didn’t have too many well known people in it, but we really enjoyed it
  • 🙂 TOMB RAIDER – really enjoyed it
  • 🙁 THE ESCAPE OF PRISONER 614 – we didn’t even finish this as it was really trite
  • 🙂 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA – really cute
  • 🙂 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 – just a cute as the original
  • ??? RED SPARROW – still not sure what I think about this one
  • ??? ANNIHILATION – VERY weird
  • 😀 A WRINKLE IN TIME – good, but so un-Disney
  • 😀 ESCAPE PLAN 1 – REALLY enjoyed this one was looking forward to 2
  • 🙁 ESCAPE PLAN 2 – the audio is horrible with all the techno music and it jumped all over the world leaving a less than cohesive story – we actually turned it off and did not finish it.
  • 🙂 15:17 TO PARIS – this film hit a little close to home since one of the guys was from the town we were living in when the Thalys train attack (August 21, 2015) happened.  That was the same town that just 2 months later had the UCC college shooting (October 1, 2015) needless to say a very emotional time for our little community.
  • 😀 THE WORLDS FASTEST INDIAN – what a neat movie! I can’t imagine anyone but Anthony Hopkins playing this role!

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 ??

CHEESY CHICKEN PANCAKES

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

PEACH YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

PINEAPPLE PEPPER CHICKEN & SALAD

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 ??

HONEY SOY PORK & PEANUT NOODLES

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

BERRY YOGURT & GREEN TEA

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

JALAPENO HONEY STICKY WINGS & SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

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

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

SUNDAY

BRUNCH at a Friend’s house

PROTEIN DRINK

GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, TUNA SALAD OR ??

TEQUILA CHICKEN SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

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.

STILL IN SEARCH OF THE ALIEN COW

One of our favorite places here to visit wildlife is Brazos Bend State Park. We tried to go back in November, but were turned away as they were still closed due to damage from August 26th’s Hurricane Harvey that had the park under 6 feet of water and did major damage to the park. To date they are still not sure how many alligators just floated away during the storm.

Tuesday was sunny, but on the cool side so the alligators were only visible when sunbathing along the lake edges, but the birds were everywhere.  Unfortunately, we only got about half the park in as I just plain ran out of energy.  We’ll go back in a few weeks.

After several visits I was curious about what alligators actually eat. My research shows that what they eat is dependent on their age and size, but they are primarily carnivores no matter what. Researchers have found fruits and berries in dead alligators also. As they grow they will progressively hunt for larger and larger prey including turtles, raccoons, muskrat, large fish and some birds that live near the water. There have been reports of dogs, panthers and even black bears being eaten by alligators. Once an adult they will feed on any pretty much any animal that comes near the water. Alligators tend to NOT prey on anything larger than they are. I’m sure given the right scenario, they might prey on just about anything if they are hungry enough. Alligators tend to avoid humans, but when provoked they may attack. As you can see from my pictures there are plenty of turtles and birds that live in and around these alligators.

Even the turtles were sunbathing trying to stay warm.

Like I said, the birds were EVERYWHERE including this guy who I thought would turn and fly the other way as we got closer, but did the complete opposite landing right next to us and then taking his time crossing in front of us.

After reading this I have to wonder who and why they created a park where there is NOTHING separating you from the alligators except your common sense to keep your distance. ALL of the alligators I saw today were larger than I am!

Back in 2011 when we were here taking care of my aunt we made our first trip to the park and on the way home we saw an “ALIEN” cow.  We have looked evey time for the cow or an offspring, but still NO luck.

AN ADVENTURE – THE HARD WAY

Life has been so topsy turvy lately and we both just needed a break.  We decided to take a day and visit a favorite park of ours, Brazos Bend State Park.

There is a don’t touch or pester the alligators rule and as long as everyone behaves there are no issues seeing the alligators via their natural habitat.  They are not caged or fenced and people just know to leave them alone and enjoy the park.  There are also several wonderful birds, turtles and old mossy trees to enjoy making this a truly unique experience.  Boots and Alien Cows is a post from a few years back if you are interested.

On our way to the park I kept a look out for Alien Cow. It had been several years since we’d seen him, but we ALWAYS look just for fun.

But, the universe had another idea on how we were going to spend our day. The park closure changed our day big time. Alligators wander off from the park during the best of times, but the flood waters were 4 1/2 feet in the park and the estimate is that 300-350 alligators just floated out of the park in floodwaters along with several venomous snakes. There was a pretty informative article here if you’re interested. Here are some images from GOOGLE to give you an idea of what a trip to Brazos Bend is like.

Personally I fear the cotton mouth snakes more than the alligators.  The park itself has been flooded during the last 3 BIG floods – Memorial Day 2015, April 2016 and Hurricane Harvey 2017 which was the worst and forced the park closure so pathways, ponds and signs could be re-created.  This time they lost several buildings too.  The wonderfully informative Ranger at the front gate told us they were slated to re-open November 7th so we will try again after that time. I’m anxious to see how it’s changed.

So we decided to head for the coast, Freeport in particular just because we had never been there, but once again the universe had another idea as a HUGE fire detoured us. Fortunately it was a very nice day and we went with the flow to Surfside Beach.

The beach was absolutely perfect and many people were out enjoying it just like us, including the pelicans and surf birds.

This is an area that builds its house on HUGE pillars because of strong storm surges during storms and hurricanes.  While most places appear to have gone unscathed here, there were several still in need of repair and many already undergoing a rebuilding.

And no road trip for us would be complete without major roadwork in our path.

Save

Save

DO NOT USE PROUD AMERICAN MOVING!!!!!!!!

Kimberly at Proud American Moving specifically told us that they did not use contractors. She also guaranteed us a specific time window for moving.

When they showed up LATE (by 2 days) the head guy was a fast talking salesman that left us with no alternatives. After our belongings were loaded he began the fast talking again specifically telling us our things could now NOT be unloaded without a cost. He then went on to call the head office liars because he was a contractor and asked for a “cash up front” tip so that he could lower our total cost. Our final cost was double the original quote even with his deal! We felt we had no choice – he had all our belongings and we were 2 days behind schedule, so we paid. 

When our belongings finally arrived (3 weeks later than promised) the brand new boxes we had purchased for the move were all beat up and many broken open, many things broken, 2 tables and a box missing. The delivery driver said we would be contacted about our missing belongings in a few days. NO ONE HAS EVER CONTACTED US! We have tried REPEATEDLY FOR 4 MONTHS to contact them about the insurance and NO ONE EVER CALLS US BACKI’m still waiting for an answer to one of the hundred messages I have left.

We filed a Better Business Bureau complaint that they didn’t respond to either. Since they are NOT BBB accredited, we are now at a complete loss as to what to do next to get our belongings back!  ANY SUGGESTIONS?
DO NOT USE PROUD AMERICAN MOVING!
THEY ARE A COMPLETE SCAM!!

We had contacted the Better Business Bureau in October 2011 (in person) and were told both then, and in a follow up phone call that there were no complaints on file.  Yet, I ran across this article today that says just the opposite!

ALMOST HOME

Being a So Cal girl at heart, surfing was always a saltwater sport and usually done in warm weather.  The thing that surprised me the most when we came east was that the great lakes have waves too.  The lakes are soooooooo large that they look like an ocean at first glance.  I caught this surfer in a rainstorm on Lake Michigan today and he was looked so at peace even though I never actually saw him catch a wave!
On another note, the plant below was sent to me by my SIL when we first moved into our investment house 5 years ago.  It grew huge in my kitchen and had to be cut back monthly.  When we went west to help my in-laws, the poor plant froze the first night out.  I kept it and babied it while at my in-laws and it began to come back.  That was 2 years ago.  I keep babying it and it keeps hanging in there.  I can’t wait to put it back on my kitchen counter and see where it grows.  I call it my Bobbie plant!
I should be home tomorrow and then begins the arduous task of reversing the winterizing from 2 years ago and getting the utilities on.  I’ll fill you in on the rest of the Chronicles of a Major Move at that time.

GLITCH #4

Remember GLITCH #1, #2 and #3?  Well, not much has changed.  I did speak with a supervisor today and while he was a good listener, not much was resolved.  After listening to me, he said, “…we can’t guarantee a time only a date.”  At which point I asked why they weren’t coming today.  He seemed taken aback, but still insisted it would be late in the day on the 8th instead of the originally scheduled early in the day on the 7th.  He did promise to see what he could do and call me back.  Surprise though, he didn’t call me back, but had the original clerk who failed to call me back on Sunday be the one to deliver the news.
It will still cost us an additional 4 days in hotels with pets and did I mention we had scheduled this based on weather too?  We’d been keeping a close eye on the weather and today was the perfect moving day or at least loading day!!  Not too hot, definitely not too cold and dry.  Enter GLITCH #4 ~ Tomorrow is supposed to bring us SEVERE thunderstorms.  Not fun for loading and definitely not my idea of, well, of ideal.  The boxes that I so painstakingly packed with care will now get wet and then spend 5-7 days locked in a truck – gee what fun on the other end!
So we’re still here, waiting…

GLITCH #1, #2 & #3

We had an all systems go with our move.  We moved all the things upstairs down in an effort to speed the loading process when they get here tomorrow as we will be on the road right behind them and don’t want to be driving in the dark.  We worked hard too!!
Enter Glitch #1.  What was to be a confirmation call for tomorrow’s arrival time became a clerk asking me if pick up on Tuesday was okay.  When I told her no, she said she’d try someone else and get back to me.  Several hours later she called me back.  Asking me is no longer an option as she is now TELLING me it will be Tuesday.  Enter Glitch #2 It will be Tuesday AFTERNOON! Enter Glitch #3 as I’m running the route in my mind and realizing that I will now need to pay for 4, count them 1,2,3,4 additional nights in a hotel with 4 animals since we will now arrive on a Friday afternoon and won’t be able to get any utilities until Monday.  So with the late load on Tuesday we’ll need a room for Tuesday as well as Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I told her this was a real problem for me and she was going to speak with a supervisor and call me back again.  No call came and when I tried her I got a customer service voice mail recording.  Trust me I left a nice, BUT firm message.  There is no excuse for not at least calling me back and letting me know what the supervisor said!!!
When we booked this move, there was an opening for the 1st, but it came with a 2 day window for pick up.  Hubby didn’t want to be driving over the weekend if the window was on the end so we booked for the 7th, a Monday so we’d have a guaranteed pick up date and be able to schedule utilities and such during the week.
:Sigh:  we’ll see what tomorrow brings.  I’m trying to stay positive and believe all things happen for a reason despite our personal disappointments.