Wednesday, March 25, 2015

gardening finds & organic eating

I cleared out all the leaves from the garden beds in the front of the house. Two huge yard-waste dumpster-fulls. Still the sides of the house and the back and along the fence to go! I found some interesting stuff:
Some weird snake thing, a sign from someone's church event, and an old kitchen spoon that was maybe doubling as a gardening tool?
Lots of work to go!
I made a totally organic meal! (well the meat was grass-fed, non hormone beef, not sure if meat can be 100% organic)
This meal should be called "how to make one of the cheapest dinners (spaghetti) more expensive". Thick noodles from Target $3, sauce from Aldi $2, beef from Meijer $8, kale from Meijer $4, salad dressing from Meijer $4.
And wouldn't you know, Doug said it was one of his favorites!?! Here I am scouring blogs for new ideas and recipes and the man loves spaghetti :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

weekend update

If someone were to ask me what I would do after I got off a 12 hour Saturday shift, my answer probably would not have been that I would end up in my neighbor's bed. But that's what happened.
Doug had my car all day so he picked me up from work. As we were pulling into our driveway he saw his neighbor friend across the street. I had never met her yet, as most of our neighborhood has been hibernating in their homes all winter, us included! So we walked over to say hi. She is super outgoing and inclusive, so invites us in to meet her mother. Next thing you know we are being fed bowls of beef stroganoff and chocolate cake. Then her mom tells us to try her foot massager thing. After 12 hours standing on my feet, it didn't take much convincing. After that she said if we liked that we should try her massage bed! ummmm... I thought it was a massage table like the rich people I nannied for had, so off we go to the bedroom. But it's her normal bed!
So yeah, we ended up in our neighbor's vibrating massage bed
Quite nice actually.
Sunday was church. Doug and I have been alternating between our two churches since we got married, which is not much fun. Yesterday we agreed to do a 3 month trial of my church, and if he still didn't feel 'at home' or whatever, we would do a 3 month trial of his. And if I didn't feel settled there, we would look for a new third option. It's hard. He loves his pastor and the sermons at his church. I love the people at my church and believe in their goal of reaching the people who feel like they don't belong. And I can see it. In the 4 years I've been there I've seen it at least +1/3 in size. It is a little sad I don't see the people as much anymore :( I think me moving, and then being so busy in nursing school, etc drifted me away from some people, and I miss it. I guess at least by the end of 2015 we should be close to a decision and can get plugged in again somewhere.
Sunday afternoon we ate lunch at 5 Guys, grocery shopped, and watched Mockingjay pt 1 on the couch while Doug tried to nap away a headache. Poor guy, he's still getting so many of those. Then we went for dinner at his friend Fran's. She made us chicken, potatoes, salad, bread, hummus and garlic paste. Yum! It was fun to see her.
Today I'm getting my 'garden' ready!
(that photo looks very anti-climactic) but I am excited to try and do a garden this year. Those little seeds have to germinate for 8-10 weeks which buys me some time for the other stuff that has to be done first. Our house is on a crawl and there is some mold under it now, so one thing the guy said to do is get fill dirt and slope it along the house. So we have to do that. Then I have to figure out how to make some raised beds because I can't put the garden over the septic field, and I don't want it to be on the ground where the groundhog will eat everything. I keep googling ideas for raised beds that look nice,aren't too hard to do, and aren't super expensive to build! (ideas?)
One last thing is Doug got a new phone. It actually looks like a camera, with a telescoping lens, but it's a phone. Look at the quality of this shot!
our little cover model

Thursday, March 19, 2015

errands

I feel like all my days off will soon be just 'errands days' :( I miss the days of lounging around watching tv or movies! Although I did lounge around and read my book club book the other day, it was at the expense of other things I should have been doing. Always so much to do!
I worked my second full day (on 2.5 hrs sleep since my stupid brain wouldn't turn off). I do feel a teeny bit better than the first day, so maybe, just maybe I can do this nursing thing!
Doug had snuck a handful of chocolates into my lunchbag :)
And it hasn't all been errands. Today I had a lovely friend date with my friend Jenna. First chatted at Starbucks, and then more chatting at the Menchies next door. Very tasty, and nice to see my friend.
And the other night I went and hung out with Jill. We collaborated on an amazing greek salad, and then walked downtown to the cupcake place. As I was sharing about Doug and I's tithing and church talks, a guy came to sit by us. Let's call him Drunk Mike. Drunk Mike proceeded to talk to us, which instantly made me clam up, while Jill amused me by keeping up a witty conversation with him. It wasn't bad except for when Drunk Mike insinuated we had 'let ourselves go' (since we were eating a cupcake?) and the storeowner was asking him how he was going to get home and he was, drunkenly, arguing with her. Then Drunk Mike's hopefully-not-drunk-friends, texted to ask if he needed a ride and he was telling us he didn't know what to say. But I took his phone and told them to come get him. So Jill went to the bathroom and when she came back the cops had arrived. The store closed so Jill and I walked home, and we will never know what happened to Drunk Mike, but were glad he wouldn't be driving himself home. When people talk about 'how fun' it is to get drunk, I guess I just never understand, it looked pretty sad actually.
Anyway, on my way home from meeting with Jenna I did do a couple errands. One was stopping by this awesome little produce store close to our house.
All this for $4.32!
I never thought I was a person to eat food that was sold at a counter, but one day in there I saw this old man eating something and asked what it was and it was a falafel ball. He proceeded to offer me one of his, but I bought one ($0.25!) and it was super tasty. They also make this fresh bread in one of those fire wall ovens. $0.20 each!
I came home and made quite the tasty little sandwich
Now off to do some yardwork. I was supposed to trim these crazy bushes Doug has in the fall/winter, but it was always too cold! So I have to hurry before spring officially comes :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

food wknd

This weekend we celebrated my mom's 69th birthday.
I made a chocolate cake with strawberry filling
Doug and I went up to my parents, Dad grilled chicken and veggies and we had the cake and presents, it was nice.
Later that evening we went to Matt & Rachel's for a vegan potluck with Mark & Liz. I have pretty much been waiting 4 years for my favorite chefs to come together in the ultimate cook-off, but a potluck is a close second I guess.
Rachel made homemade bread with bruschetta, some kind of sweet potato cakes with homemade chutney, a Tex-Mex casserole with cashew sour cream, a white bean kale soup, salad with maple vinagrette, Liz made some kind of pumpkin spinach lasagne, and a variety of vegan chocolate muffins, I made a beluga lentil/quinoa/asian pear salad, and Rachel made this amazing vegan carrot cake with the most delicious cashew coconut frosting. SO good. Vegan food is awesome.
I've had a couple weekdays with no work, so I've been organizing stuff, working out in our messy tangle of a yard, and today off to visit some friends.
Last night I started our new book club book
I couldn't put it down and then when I went to bed, I couldn't stop thinking about it!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

mini projects

How could I have forgotten this DST pic I laughed at?! Yeah, we've adjusted now, but this year I did DST wrong and woke up with 15 mins to get ready for church instead of the extra hour I'd planned on. Whoops!
one set of doors done! That looks nice, and keeps September from jumping up there and clawing her way on our clothes to the top
So one little mini project was moving the hampers to the laundry room from the 'office'. I had one big hamper, and Doug had one. But then I'd still have to go through 2 hampers and sort into my whites/mediums/darks piles. So it was a waste of time.
A sort of 'before' picture:
So one trip to Wal-Mart and $21 later found 3 matching bins. They are more appropriately sized too, so now I can just wait till they are full to do a load instead of cramming the size of my old bin into the washer.
This is more like a 'progress' shot:
I found homes already for my bigger, perfectly good, but now redundant laundry bins. But still need to find a slimmer trash can so we can have an 'overflow' trash that will tuck in next to the laundry tub. I was telling Doug the 'overflow' trash can is called the dumpster outside! But he likes to have an extra place for bigger things. It makes sense I guess. So as soon as we find that our laundry room will be much more streamlined and efficient. We are still planning a bigger project to turn our big laundry closet into a pantry, and re-vinyl that floor in there, but that is scheduled for May. But the little bit of organization helps make it more efficient so I like it.
I have my first full day on the floor tomorrow and I am nervous! There's been so much paperwork, and decisions for retirement and health ins, and computer training. This batch of cookie making was necessary
I guess I've always been a person who gets super overwhelmed at stuff. I remember in high school crying about some paper and my mom helped me with it. (ooooh!) But yeah, I was in training yesterday thinking, maybe I don't really want to be a nurse, I can just walk out of here.... I do want to, and I'm excited for it, but it's scary. And it really sucks the amount of paperwork and charting we are forced to do. A lot of it is necessary to communicate with other health-care members, but some of it is solely for protecting ourselves (and the hospital) from getting sued, and that stinks because it takes so much time away from patient care. So we'll see. Hopefully I can learn prioritization and time management skills early so I don't end up like so many overworked burnt out nurses!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

weekend update

Guyzz?!? Oh theres you are. I'm readdy to come inz now!
September thought we wanted a couple holes in our screen window, oh thanks! Next time maybe you can just 'meow' to come in like a normal cat!
Doug and I got a fair amount of things around the house done and some down time. It was a beautiful weekend.
One thing on the to-do list since getting this cat was to find a laundry tub cover, since September seems to think the laundry tub also doubles as her personal urinal. We've had a big poster over it for months, but we finally got a piece of plastic cut for us at Lowes and then Doug cut a hole for the washer hose.
Yay! Looks pretty much invisible, but blocks out kitty and doubles as an extra flat space for folding laundry.
We also have a project of adding closet doors to our closets. The closet in our bedroom had no doors at all, and the other ones just had these cheap scratched up rectangles of wood. But, sheesh, closet doors are expensive! Thank you CraigsList guy for selling his brand new ones. That helps a bit with the total expense
One up, one to go, add some knobs and this room is ready to be 'officized'.
Thank you handy hubby!
I saw these organic seeds at Lowes and picked some up. I'm going to attempt some kind of small garden this year. It will be tricky because our yard that gets lots of sun is right over the septic, and there is a HUUUUUGE neighborhood groundhog that lives around here and if I don't figure out some kind of raised bed or fence scenario, he'll pretty much just feast on all our organic non-GMO goodness.
Doug and I watched a documentary BOUGHT last week. We have been researching vaccines and stuff for future family preparation, and my cousin had this movie posted on Facebook. (watch free here till March 15th). But don't watch it if you want to live in peaceful oblivion! This one wasn't as vaccine detailed as another vaccine movie we watched a couple weeks ago, but it did talk a lot about food, drugs, big pharma, and money versus health. It was eye opening, but in a scary kind of way. So Doug and I also talked a lot about our health and the food we eat and he is really wanting to steer us more towards organic and looking for non-GMO foods. I am definitely pro-health, but the cheapskate in me has a hard time shelling out the extra money. So we are going to take small steps and keep looking into stuff. It's funny how you hear about something and then start seeing it places. I noticed the back of the Meijer naturals diced tomatoes I had said they were non-GMO, and there was even organic/non-GMO stuff at Aldi. So it is possible.
Anyway.
We also had a couple movie nights. First up, 'All of Me'. Which was pretty much a bad version of The Notebook, complete with another affair, and this time with added domestic violence. We didn't like it at all.
Then Doug got 'Alexander and the No Good Terrible Very Bad Day' which was super cute, pretty wholesome family goodness, and some laugh out loud moments.
A bit more work onboarding orientation and then I go up to the floor on Friday, nervous!!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

20 Things I Hope I Never Forget About My 20s

My friend Lindsey posted hers a week or so ago, and my first thought was "my 20s we're bad, I'm glad they're over" and then I had to stop and correct myself. Where the heck did that come from?!? My 20's were great. Full of new adventures and friends and experiences. The only year that was pretty much bad all year was 2012, the year of going through the divorce, and that wasn't even when I was 20! I was 30.5-31.5(ish) so why in my mind was it a bad decade?! Anyway, the only thing to do was to right that wrong.
I probably won't actually have a list of 20 things, but I do want to reflect on some of the bigger 'life lessons' learned during that decade (of awesomeness).
So, I specifically remember turning 20 because I was afraid to leave my 'wild teen years'. I was up in Northern Michigan at a student leadership training camp with InterVarsity and it was the summer I became friends with Jill over long walks after dinner and her making fun of my 10 shirts the exact same style just different colors
Ahh, so young, so tan looking
Turning 20 was fun and even kinda 'wild' as Jill, another friend, and I snuck out of our dorm and went skinny dipping in the lake at night (just girls, calm down).
My 20's also included my first mission trip! I went to Calcutta, India for 2 months and worked in a Mother Teresa orphanage.
Look at those sweet faces of those precious girls. My mom says I came home begging them to adopt.
In my 20's I took an epic road trip with Liz. With just a map and our Bad Girls Guide to the Open Road book we hiked into the Grand Canyon, slept in our car, tried to sneak into a ghost town, cooked sandwiches on the car engine, camped and I cried when I thought Liz was kidnapped (turns out she was just sleeping outside on our picnic table), we ran over a snake, (twice), and drove up the coast of California. I fell asleep as we left California and Liz drove us all the way to about Nebraska when I woke up, haha, friend drive sharing fail.
My 20's were a huge time of out-of-my-box personal and spiritual growth. I'll never forget the year I spent in Tulsa, Oklahoma as an intern for a mission's organization. I helped kids go on missions trips, was involved in Bible studies, tutored girls in a girl's home, worked with the youth group, was an intern at the church. It was a year of developing new relationships. I became friends with another Jill (Oklahoma-, then Kentucky-, and now Missouri- Jill) who is still my friend today
That was a year of learning about love relationships. I was a total jerk to this super nice guy and broke up with him telling him "he wasn't funny enough". ouch. (I did later apologize). Later I fell in love, and wasn't loved in return. It was a year of learning.
And it was a huge year for me as I decided to get baptized as an adult
Thank you God for saving me!
My 20s were years of education! I earned a certificate in therapeutic massage, a Bachelor's in Wellness, Health Promotion and Injury Prevention, and a certificate in paralegal studies. Now, I didn't say years of good paying jobs! But education yes, and years living at my grandparents and nannying which were both amazing experiences.
(especially being flown in private jets to Aspen... ah the good old days....)
There were trips and travels.
I loved our family trip out to Yellowstone National Park/ the Tetons
A couple years later the "kids" went on their first (no parents) camping trip to Tobermory, Ontario
let's hear it for cards!
There were lots of good times as a family, and fun times with my siblings. Bittersweet times too, moving Joel out to Colorado
and then Elizabeth a couple years later
I took so many trips in my 20s! India, Canada, Venezuela on a mission's trip
Mexico
me and Liz got a tour of Mexico City from a guy we had met on the plane
Costa Rica
Honduras
where I learned a lesson of failing as I failed my scuba diving lessons (and got the most horrible forehead sunburn of my life)
(and more good trips in my early 30's: Peru, Guatemala, and Hawaii so far!)
I was engaged and unengaged in my mid-20s. Valuable lessons learned there. Looking back now I think I just really wanted to get married because my 2 best girl friends were. It hurt at the time, but I know we're both happy we didn't get married. And then I did get married at 29. Which in a lot of ways was good, and I really loved him, and for a short time I thought we had a beautiful life together. And then of course, it wasn't. And even though the divorce was so hard and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, and the year was really really hard all year - it was also, as I've shared again and again, such a beautiful year. I had never felt such love and support and community from my family, friends, and Savior. I will never forget that.
Wow, God has been so good to me! I love seeing all these pictures and remembering so many wonderful memories and stories.
I'm SO thankful for all the amazing life experiences God has blessed me with so far, I look forward to another decade of love and learning and life!