A Way Over Due Brain Dump….

It’s been over a month since I have been here to chat and I apologize. Sorry!

I thought of naming this post a “coffee date” but in all honesty, I need a nice tall, cold glass of something much stronger than coffee to take away all that has happened in the past month. So let’s just have a good old brain dump of sorts.

First, our 80/20 eating plan of meat/fish/chicken only twice a week and plants the remainder of the week is going fabulous. If you wish to read why this all came about click on Scared Healthy. Actually, there are many weeks we eat meat only once a week. I don’t miss it at all and surprisingly my husband does not either. In fact, the other day he said he would really like to have sloppy joes for dinner and I simply looked at him and said really, ground meat sloppy joes or what? And he said, can you make it any other way….I mentioned maybe lentil sloppy joes and he shook his head and said sure why not, let’s try it. MY HUSBAND…I can’t believe this to this day, ate lentil sloppy joes and said he liked them and they could be added to the make again cookbook. IMG_1688

Another big hit recently was my remake of mushroom reuben sandwiches. I had went with a friend of mine to lunch one day and this was on the menu. I love reubens so I had to give this version a try. I was blown away….it was fantastic and I told her right away I think this would be great to try on my husband. Sure enough, the next weekend I prepared these for him and I was right, he gave them a thumbs up in the first bite.

IMG_1719

Speaking of scared healthy, the family member that started this transition for my husband to finally eat more plants did not win his fight against heart disease. Sadly, we attended his funeral a month after fighting for his life. And if that was not enough, his wife also passed away 3 weeks later of what most say was also heart disease, but in my opinion it was more of a broken heart.

Training for our up coming mountain hiking trip has been difficult to say the least. Hills have not happened in two weeks due to non stop rain. I have never seen so much rain here in WI. And distance hiking on the weekends has been about all we have been able to accomplish. Plus, I have been going to the gym in the wee hours of the morning on a pretty regular schedule. So exercise is getting fit in just not according to the original plan.

IMG_1626

Another big change in the past month has been that we decided that I needed to cut back on working. I have done childcare in my home for well over 20 years and with my husbands new position and added travel I just could not find enough time to keep up with everything plus all his responsibilities if he was on the road for an extended period pf time. So ultimately, something had to change and this was the logical thing to change. I have dropped the number of children I care for per day and I have lessened the number of days per week I offer care. Which, in the long run, should give me one whole day extra to do life things, home chores, and maybe even get back to finding time to have some me time once again. It sure was hard to make this decision and I had to say good bye to some of my little loves, but I know when things settle down once again I should be in a better spot.

IMG_1378

And last but not least, and by far the biggest change in the past month has been our big shade tree…..

IMG_1633

now looks like this. 20180927_134318

This, for me, is an experience I NEVER want to relive as long as I live. It was the scariest, most horrifying job anyone could get up and go do every single day. We hired a climbing professional to remove our tree limb for limb. It was in a very tight spot, could have easily taken out three homes….ours being one of them, we were not allowed in our home during this process, and I am so thankful it’s down and no one got hurt. Damage wise, well, the very last branch from the very top did fall on the back corner of our home but left very little damage considering what could have been. Another branch did damage our fence but all in all it went well. All the repairs have been made and soon we will have a nice green area once again. I will leave you with some pictures and hope that soon I will get back to a normal blogging schedule once again. I just need life to settle back into a new normal and then all shall return to normal here on Natural Red. On that note, the removal our our huge shade tree went a bit like this.

IMG_1655

IMG_1658

IMG_1663

IMG_1669

IMG_1673

IMG_1667

20180926_113752

20180926_140346

20180926_140432

20180926_142556

20180927_094908

20180927_112753

20180927_110524

20180927_132702

20180927_134304

20180927_134318

 

 

Sometimes In Marriage You Must Agree To Disagree

Sometimes in marriage you must agree to disagree. This is always what I have believed. Just because your married to someone you love does not mean you have to have the same beliefs and thoughts. And I can assure you, in our marriage, we disagree about a few things but this one main topic I was determined to win….it all started about 8 years ago. Our disagreement was and still to this day about dishwashers.Seriously, not money, not where we vacation, not lack of communication….simply dishwashers! I feel they are the most useless appliance in a household. Here is where this all started.

Twenty-two years ago we bought our house and it came with our first ever dishwasher. I was excited.Then maybe two years after it started to leak. And sometimes finding a leak in a dishwasher takes awhile, so by the time you figure it out you have floor damage….thankfully we found ours fairly quickly. We repaired this one, this time. Then a year after this the entire dishwasher was junk for some reason that I don’t recall. OK, so we go buy another one. Four years after this one is purchased, this one is junk. I even called a repair man….which let me assure you, rarely happens in my house since my husband can fix almost anything. This guy, the repairman, assures me it is junk and tells me to buy a new one. We buy another dishwasher. Then, like always, while my husband is traveling for work this dishwasher also springs a leak. I call him, tell him, and he says I will look at it when I get home. OK, I stop using it and wash dishes by hand until he returns. No big deal! Well, he traveled for two weeks with work and I really learned that doing dishes was seriously not that bad. I could wash them, they would dry quickly, and I could have them all put away in a few minutes…..compared to the hour it took for the dishwasher to wash, dry, and then be emptied. That is after you find at least one, usually more, dishes that did not get cleaned. OMG, this used to drive me insane….I remember it like it was yesterday.

So this is where the argument starts…..he got home, looked at it and said, oh I can fix it it’s no big deal. I said, you know what, I don’t want it fixed. Let’s just do dishes by hand since it’s so much faster. He looked at me like…what…are you serious…or just crazy??? I laughed and said….don’t fix it, because if you do your wasting your time, I am not going to use it anymore anyhow. And he knows not to second guess me, what I say I mean with all my heart and soul. I was done being the dishwasher queen….I was now converted to the dish washing queen. So he did as asked and left it.

And here we are today, after getting a quote from a professional to remove the dishwasher and make it back into storage space a few weeks ago….which my husband is the one that told me to get this professional quote, I did as I was told. I knew exactly what would come of this but I did what he asked. I then emailed him at work with the quote and waited patiently for his response. I would love to repeat what he sent me but let’s just say this is what has been happening in my kitchen since this email.

It began with a plan scribbled out by MY personal repair man…my husband!

IMG_0435

Then we hashed around a few ideas and before I knew it the dishwasher was out of it’s hole and was history.

IMG_0431

IMG_0434

Wood was cut, drilling was happening, and saw dust was now starting to cover my house.

IMG_0432

That all took about 3 hours on a Sunday. Then it was time to go back to work for the week and I was left with a hole for the time being.

That is until an ice storm happened on a Tuesday where both my husband and son were home from work for the day……however, I still had to work.(Remember: I work from home with my in home daycare)

IMG_0440

You can only imagine that I knew what he would want to do on his day off….which was work on the cabinet. Which meant that I would have to try and keep children out of his way and still function in the kitchen during breakfast, lunch, and snack times. Ugggg, this would be like me trying to make a chocolate cake with icing and sprinkles on his work bench while he is trying to work. Yeh, not a good thought but we made it work. Thankfully, he loves children and has learned how to have an enormous amount of patience from having so many in our home for so many years.

IMG_0463

IMG_0452

IMG_0460

IMG_0461

He even made time for a quick break taken at snack time to keep his “little supervisor” happy since he promised her he would make popcorn after nap. Plus, this snack takes a good amount of time to eat with little fingers which meant he managed to get all but the staining done on the new cabinets on his day off.

IMG_0458

The finished results are wonderful. I am so excited to have additional storage in a spot that has been wasted space for so many years. It’s been a long debate in our house…one that I would not budge on. I will never be the owner of another dishwasher.

IMG_0486

IMG_0487

As for the argument of whether or not we need a dishwasher……apparently not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Events/Food/Happenings

Wow what a busy weekend. Ours technically started on Friday evening when we found ourselves at our local hardware store staring at different wood stains. Yeh, we have a project happening around here and I can’t wait to tell you all about it later this week.

IMG_0476

I finally got to use my new cookbook holder my husband so nicely made me after I complained one evening that my cookbook would not stay open to the correct page while making a recipe. It’s amazing to me how he can go to his work room and whip something like this out in minutes. I guess he works with wood like I work with kids….its comes pretty easy to us both.

IMG_0472

IMG_0473

Saturday I was solo all day since he needed to squeeze in at least one more ice fishing day before the ice is unsafe for the season. Plus, two of his best friends have been waiting to fish with him but with work travel lately fishing has not been able to be worked out for them. Being solo for me is not a bad thing though. I get so much stuff done when I am alone. I began my day at yoga…..I so needed this yoga session. Then I came home changed and off to the car wash I went.

IMG_0480

Living in WI does not make keeping your vehicle clean in the winter and easy task. And if there is one thing I dislike with a passion it’s my vehicle dirty. Being it’s winter, my only option is the car wash…just one more thing I miss during the winter months is being able to wash our vehicles in our own driveway. Soon…real soon. Anyhow, while I was sitting in the car wash I began thinking about treating myself to lunch but was also tossing around the idea of going back home to grab my husbands vehicle and treat him to a clean car come Monday morning. He was kind enough to treat me to midweek tulips after work one evening since he knew I was struggling through this week with the winter blues…so I figured I owed him one and a clean car would make him pretty happy. The tulips sure brightened my day with the melting snow making a nice mud mess outside.

IMG_0475

As for that lunch, I did end up treating myself to my favorite deli in the area and got myself my favorite sandwich that I ended up eating in my husbands clean car since the restaurant was fully packed with people.

IMG_0481

After lunch I came home, cleaned the garage, went for a 3 mile neighborhood walk, took a shower, put on my lounge clothes, made BBQ chicken pizza, and called it a day. IMG_8713

And then Sunday arrived. We already knew the weather was going to be nasty so I had planned all my indoor stuff for Sunday. House cleaning, haircut for my husband, laundry, and food prep all happened while my husband finished up the home project with that stain we picked out Friday evening.

IMG_0478

Food prep for this week looks like this:

I decided tuna pasta salad would be my choice lunch this week so I threw a quick batch together.

IMG_0482

Plus, I made a dozen hard boiled eggs then cleaned and chopped all the needed veggies for the week. I also sauteed some cabbage and spinach to have with eggs.

IMG_0489

That sums up my weekend…..super productive which made me feel pleased by Sunday evening.

 

Painting, Planting, Planning

We spent the weekend working….to put it mildly. Being a home owner is not what I would call rainbows and cupcakes all the time. Yes, it’s a great investment for your future IF it does not consume all your time repairing, remodeling, and reinvesting more money into that so called future investment.

We started this weekend with a simple room painting of our son’s bedroom. Not so bad right…..until it was time to install the new ceiling fan since his was making some kind of weird noise. Still not so bad, $100 later and the new fan was picked out ready to install. Well, that is where things went completely wrong. Now, being the person I am, I do not know the technical terms for any of this building stuff, but whom ever built our house years ago really half assed a few things and we are slowly finding them throughout the 20 years we have lived here. And believe me, when you have a husband who knows a lot about technical/mechanical things…..it makes him livid which then inturn makes a 1 hour job into a 3 hour job. It then makes me question, once again, why we ever thought buying a house is something everyone should do in their lifetime. And it also makes me very thankful my husband can fix almost anything.

IMG_7239

While all this repainting and repairing was going on in one end of our house, I spent time in the other end meal prepping for the week and planting some herbs to enjoy cooking with in the next few months. Fresh herbs add such a wonderful flair to dishes and I am so looking forward to having them freshly available.

IMG_7070

IMG_7233

I also did some experimenting with brewing coffee in our tea/coffee press. We are  seriously thinking of taking this with us camping for fresh, non instant coffee and I had never made coffee in the press before only tea. So today was a good day to try it out. Impressed I was after we both tried a cup and now it is officially added to our list of camp supplies we will need in the next few weeks.

IMG_7236

Add in two trips to the gym, a haircut I had to give to my husband, and numerous other home chores, I would say we had an extremely productive weekend. I am glad we finished these big jobs before the upcoming nice weekends we are hoping to have are here. There is nothing worse than having the sun shining brightly and us stuck indoors working.

IMG_20161125_0850350_rewind

 

 

 

 

Let’s Chat Over Some Tea….

Let’s chat a bit over a nice cup of hot tea.

IMG_5385

Hunting season is in full swing and this is a big stress topic for me. I am not fond of hunting…well not really hunting per say….just the part that includes the gun! So for me, when my husband says he is going hunting for the day…the busier I can keep myself the better I will be until I see him arrive home safe and sound. And hiking during hunting season offers a bit more stress since I often think the gun shots are closer than they actually are. Soon we will be adding blaze orange to our hiking attire to hopefully not be mistaken for an animal and shot at.

IMG_3013

Then you have the colors that are changing in the trees surrounding our state. Which is a photographers paradise….and our son is a photographer. Well, this also brings stress for this here mom since the same place my husband stumbled across a bear while hunting, just so happens is the same place my son says he is going to try and capture some fall photos. And let’s face it, a camera is far from carrying a gun for protection….so at least he asked dad to join him(with the gun) and he armed himself with the bear spray. I was a bit more at ease then.

IMG_5383

You all won’t believe what I received in the mail this past week. A “save the date” invitation for an upcoming wedding of one of the first children I ever cared for in my home. OMG, did this make me feel old. Even though I knew she had gotten engaged, had introduced me to her fiancee, and I even got to see the ring…..the invitation is what really made me think back and just say WOW….I have cared for children for a long time!!!!

IMG_4305

I am learning more and more every day how to live with my new limitations since going through major surgery 8 months ago. I am not going to say I like it by any means, but I am learning to live with it. I am still not up to what I weight lifted prior to surgery, which in all honesty, I don’t think I ever will be back to where I was. Although, I am ok with this since weight lifting was never my favorite anyhow. Yoga is a challenge….especially on my right side. However, I am not willing to give up yet on yoga since it brings me such calmness and peace. I do what I can and accept it for what it is. I am happy to say my cardio is back where I left it and even more on some days. This is awesome, since cardio is my favorite, stress relief.

IMG_4318

Even though fall officially just started….I really miss summer already. Like, REALLY miss summer!!!!!

IMG_4497

That being said, we are in full swing of some big home repairs and this makes me very happy. I hate summer home repairs, so we put them off until the fall and go crazy during the weekends.

IMG_5389

Have you all seen them….these mini 100 calorie bars of yumminess? I am by no means a chocoholic but when I am craving chocolate I will eat it no matter what the calorie count is and later feel guilty. I came across these in the store the other day and grabbed 4 bars just for me. Now, when that moment hits and I NEED chocolate, I can eat one of these with very little guilt.

IMG_5423

I have to say, since the weather has gotten cooler I have found myself rotating some of our favorite stove top and casserole type meals into our weekly meals plans. Summer is when we grill often and I rarely make casseroles.

IMG_5427

That’s it for me today. Got anything you want to share? Go ahead, I love hearing from you.