Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Madly in Love

Not to be all Debbie Downer, but life at Beloved Bayou is okay.  I wouldn't say that it is better than life at The Little Pink House...yet.

The area is nice, the folks here have lovely Southern accents, I like our new house, Devon's new school is good, having Engineer's office five minutes from home is wonderful, and all in all, life is going well.  It's just not exciting or filled with activity.

There hasn't been much going on other than work or school, which occupies my peeps but leaves me at home piddling around.  There are only so many times you can clean out a drawer or closet, know what I mean?

Looking at it from the bright side, boredom fewer distractions have meant that I can focus on my family more.  Fewer commitments also mean less stress.  There is always a trade off in everything.

Engineer and I have always liked to laugh.  We find the same things funny and make each other laugh.  And even though I was not super excited about and slightly resistant to moving, we still have found lots to laugh about.

In fact, I would say that we laugh a lot more here than we did at The Little Pink House.  And when I say laugh, I mean true belly laughter.

The only reasons I can think that's the case are because there is less to worry about, less to focus on (other than each other) and generally, more time is spent together.   Nothing really is pulling us away from the house or our relationship.

Having few commitments strips away the layers of busyness, tiredness, grumpiness, and excuses and leaves us finding interest, or in many cases, comedy, in the smallest gestures.

How funny, er, um, odd, that we would have to move away from a busy life that I loved and was happy with to find such laughter in a quiet one.

We have yet to find our place, where we fit in here, but we have found much to laugh about with each other.

1-4-3 EM because you laugh with me all the time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Last week was spent preparing for guests...that ended up cancelling last minute.  Well, at least my floors got super clean.  :)

The week went along as per usual (other than the scrubbing floors on hands and knees thing) until we hit the weekend.

We took Diva & her friend that lives in the neighborhood over to Shreveport for Movies & Moonbeams in a park.  We packed a picnic, our old dog Truffles, the girls, and off we went to watch "Frozen" for the umpteenth time.  The weather was perfect and it is always fun to watch movies outdoors.  We were surrounded by little girls in Elsa costumes who sang and danced to the music.  Our not-so-little girl joined in the singing.

Saturday night we had a totally new experience - we went to a roller derby.  Bossier City has a team called the Twin City Knockers.  If you are looking for something to do that's out of the ordinary, a roller derby definitely fits the bill.

My two week option-filled menu plan worked out pretty well.  Here it is again because I will be continuing on with the plan:

Sunday - Taquitos, Salad, Guacamole, Chips & Hotsauce
Monday - Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Lee's Hot Tuna Buns, Classic Potato Salad, & Creamy Italian Salad
Wednesday - Mushroom Risotto, Garlicky Greens, & Baked Cheese Puffs
Thursday - Dinner w/Friends
Friday - Fish Sticks, Slaw, & Pea Salad
Saturday - Dinner w/Friends
Sunday - Nutty Cream Cheese Chicken, Apricot Salad, & Green Salad
Monday - Chili, Mexican Cornbread, & Salad
Tuesday - Marinated Chicken Greek Salad
Wednesday - Tuna Casserole, Steamed Carrots, & Green Salad
Thursday - Broccoli Rice Casserole & Wedge Salad
Friday - Sausage, Cornmeal Pancakes, Eggs, & Applesauce
Saturday - Enchiladas, Beans, & Rice

I ended up using last Monday as a prep day for some of the dishes.  That way it was even quicker and easier to have dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time.

This is part of MPM.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Our menu plan lately has been a loose suggestion rather than a tried and true plan.
By the time I get to Baking Day (Thursday) night, I am tired of being in the kitchen and the trend has been that we go out to eat nearly once an day from Thursday through Sunday - especially if Diva isn't home.  Yikes!  
That's neither helpful for the wallet nor the waistline.

The bizarre thing is that I have food in the freezer like casseroles and soups that I have made from scratch but if I don't remember to thaw them, they take forever to reheat.  So we go out.

This is a lazy new and not very good development since moving to Beloved Bayou.

It's funny how logic becomes my logic.
For example, my logic dictates that if I don't bring processed (read:  quick & easy) foods into my home, we will not eat them and therefore, will be smug healthy.
What happens in real life is I don't feel like cooking, or we have a really busy schedule, there is nothing that can be thrown in the oven quickly, so we end up going out to eat - which is somehow better.
Except it's not.

We end up spending more money and consume more calories by going out to eat; but, at least, I didn't feed my family frozen taquitos from a box.  Wait, what?

In my head, it was okay to spend more time and money to go out and eat processed food that someone else bought because I wasn't the one buying and preparing it in my home.
I know, totally illogical and impractical.   I am, and will always be, a work in progress.

I had a bit of an epiphany this weekend and decided it was far better for me to have a few go to items on hand so I have portion control and can boost the nutrition factor with fresh sides.

The moral of the story is this:  Mommas, if you need to have a frozen pizza and fish sticks on stand by for peace of mind and more importantly, peace at dinnertime, then own it ladies.  Don't be shamed into not doing what you've got to do for peace in your family.*

Diva said Thursday morning that she was looking forward to pretty much vegging out the duration of her long weekend.  Instead, she had a highly scheduled and coordinated visit to Marshall which included her going to her old school, spending the night with a friend, spending the night with my parents, going to our old church, and going to Six Flags with her old youth group.  She was much happier with how her weekend turned out.

Engineer and I spent the weekend just running errands and hanging out.  By Sunday morning though, he said we may have to adopt since we won't know what to do with ourselves once Diva is out of the house in a few years.  Let's not think about that yet please Engineer.

This week's menu is a little different.  Instead of pinning myself down this week to a few meals, I went ahead and made a 2 week menu using recipes from my Maw-maw's recipe box.  It gives me more flexibility to be able to cross off what we've eaten and see from what I have left to choose.

Sunday - Taquitos, Salad, Guacamole, Chips & Hotsauce
Monday - Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Lee's Hot Tuna Buns, Classic Potato Salad, & Creamy Italian Salad
Wednesday - Enchiladas, Beans, & Rice
Thursday - Mushroom Risotto, Garlicky Greens, & Baked Cheese Puffs
Friday - Fish Sticks, Slaw, & Pea Salad
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Nutty Cream Cheese Chicken, Apricot Salad, & Green Salad
Monday - Tuna Casserole, Steamed Carrots, & Green Salad
Tuesday - Sausage, Cornmeal Pancakes, Eggs, & Applesauce
Wednesday - Chili, Mexican Cornbread, & Salad
Thursday - Broccoli Rice Casserole & Wedge Salad
Friday - Marinated Chicken, Pea & Bean Casserole, & Salad
Saturday - Leftovers

*This whole thing might just be another facet of my logic trying to justify the purchase of funnel cake corny dogs.

This is part of MPM.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Madly in Love

Engineer finished it!!!!!
He finished my bench.
The bench made from the baby bed that was my Dad's, then mine, then my brother's.
He finished it.  Oh. my. word.
I can hardly contain my excitement.

When we moved from The Little Pink House to Beloved Bayou, I carted three sides of a partially painted baby bed, some untreated lumber, and a frame from the back patio of one house to the back patio of the other house.  There may have been some amount of annoyance involved in moving the project in pieces...

But now, I no longer have pieces of an unfinished project laying around, I have a fully finished project on my front porch just waiting to receive visitors.

Engineer and I were talking today at lunch while watching DVRed "Rehab Addict" and the conversation went something like this:

Me: "We could totally do what she does."
Engineer: "No."
Me:  "Of course we could."
Engineer:  "I don't want to."
Me: "But we could..."
Engineer  "No we could not.  You see what she did there?  She did all of that major renovation work and was still going.  Cleaning and staging...yeah, no.  She's a finisher.  She finishes projects.  We aren't finishers so no, we couldn't do what she does."

Well Mr. Engineer, I hate to tell you but you are a finisher.
And I have the bench to prove it.

1-4-3 EM!  Now, I'm off to look at roached out crusty old houses that are falling apart so that we can restore them to their former glory.

Monday, October 6, 2014


The week started off well with my sweet friend meeting me for breakfast.  She was running errands in Shreveport so I met her across the river and we had fabulous blueberry coffee cake and coffee.  If you are on that side of town, do check out Fairfield Market and their specialty foods.  Lots of local flavor.

Engineer finally finished the baby bed project.  You can read about the first projects using the springs or the rails or both.  Part three will be coming soon...

Last weekend brought us the first of the overnight guests coming every weekend for the foreseeable future.  Engineer's best friend from high school and his family came through on their way to Florida for a wedding.  The last time we had seen them was 18 months ago at their wedding.  It was a nice visit, albeit a very short one.

I made my first baby hat last week, the dogs promptly ate my first baby hat, and now I have made my second baby hat.  Annoyed doesn't begin to cover it.

Their visit also reminded me just how child un-friendly our home is.  Knitting needles out.  Glass everywhere.  Antique furniture with sharp corners.  I was constantly grabbing items and putting them higher or trying to keep the baby from injuring himself.  Oh, and he learned to crawl stairs for the first time while here.  I am glad they are watchful but relaxed parents because all I could see was potential for impalement, concussion, or dismemberment.

Diva had another cross country meet and this time it was mid-week.  She did okay but her time slipped a little from the last competition.

Progress reports came out and so far, she has all A's...long may that continue.

Diva attended her first 4H meeting last week.  She's looking into Animal Science.  We shall see what we shall see...

I had bought an antique bed that was missing its side rails.  Through some digging, I found the previous owners (antique store proprietors) and they actually had the rails.  Engineer and I drove to Shreveport to their house and had such a nice visit with them.  As we were talking, all I could think of was that I was looking at Engineer and I in 20 years.  The couple had a similar dynamic to ours and similar interests; no wonder we like them so much.  And, of course while we were there, we ended up buying a china hutch...Engineer cannot take me anywhere!

This week we will be eating:

Sunday - Neighbor kids over for dinner:  Pizza & Salad
Monday - Chicken w/Feta, Greek Salad, & Spanakopita
Tuesday - Acorn Squash Soup, Salad, Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Beef Stir Fry over Fried Rice
Thursday - Butternut Squash Risotto & Salad
Friday - Dinner with Family
Saturday - Date Night

This is part of MPM.

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