Sunday, April 20, 2014

In memory of my lovely Mom

Sadly, my Mom died on Friday. She loved her family and friends, dogs, reading and her library, traveling to new places, art, bird watching, learning, going out to eat and to plays, and so much more. She really loved my Dad and I love this photo of them taken back in 2007 when they were both well. I miss them both terribly and was lucky to have them for so long.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Becoming the oldest generation in your family

I am heading out tomorrow to go see my Mom for what will probably be the last time. She is failing fast in body and mind and I was advised not to wait until my planned trip at the beginning of May. She has some severe and painful medical challenges ahead if she survives much longer so we are hoping she can leave us peacefully with as little pain as possible.

My Dad died a few years ago and the realization has hit me that when Mom passes away then my brother and I will be the "oldsters" in our little family. The idea of having no one left who loved and remembers all about me from the day I was born is unsettling. I know though that I have been very fortunate to have parents who lived a very long time and until recently my Mom was fully present in and enjoying her life despite some health challenges.

Something positive has come out of the last two months of her illness as my brother and I have talked on the phone very frequently as we navigate through this time with him being in the same town as Mom and me far away. We have shared more about our thoughts, values, concerns and feelings than ever in our life. Fortunately we have also worked as a team with no difficulty and I have been able to find ways to contribute and share a bit of her care long distance. As a result we are closer than we have ever been in our lives at least from my perspective.

If you have become the eldest generation in your family recently through loss of a parent how has it changed your perspective?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

So, all those veggies ...

I've been dealing with the mass of veggies I purchased because they all looked so good. So far we have had some mega veggie salads and a wonderful rainbow chard dish as well as zucchini sauteed with onions and garlic. I also made applesauce out of some apples that weren't sitting well in our stomachs when eaten raw.

This afternoon I decided to deal with others in the bin so I washed all the rest of the salad greens and cooked the baby beets and beet greens. I mixed them together and added a bit of vinegar. We will have them tomorrow.

Tonight is fish with leftover green salad and some sweet potato that I bought today. I plan on making a big batch of roasted veggies on Friday to use up a lot of what is left. I might actually make it through it all without tossing any!

Cooking meal after meal is an interesting challenge. Sometimes I am diligent about making up a menu plan and shopping to it. Then I get tired of that and just buy what looks good as well as what we are out of and is on the list. I think of those weeks as more improvisational LOL.

I guess after learning to cook when I was about 9 years old and my Mom had a bad shoulder for about 6 months and then cooking for myself and various family members since I was 19 I am a bit tired of the routine. Fortunately Hubby pitches in and is a good cook. Both my sons have turned into great cooks so I feel like we did a good job there.

Laundry, some cleaning, food shopping and cooking have to be done. How do you keep yourself interested and motivated around these type of repetitive chores?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just because

Play hard and then rest but keep what you love close at all times LOL.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oops - It must be veggie week

I guess it is the influence of spring weather but I seem to have overloaded us with fresh veggies. Everything green looked delicious! So this week will be filled with veggie dishes which will be great.

We started last night with a main dish salad full of romaine, spinach, arugula and frisee with chopped orange and red bell peppers, white radish, carrot and grape tomatoes. We topped it with tuna salad and quinoa and some broken up crostini. Add some orange slices for dessert and it was the perfect follow up to our very meat heavy, rich anniversary dinner the night before.

In addition to more of the mentioned salad veggies also in the frig are fresh small beets and beet greens, rainbow chard, snap peas, broccoli, onions and zucchini. As always we also have frozen French green beans, corn and peas. (This morning I added 2 avocados.)

And there are the fruits - fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, apples, bananas and grapefruit. Frozen blueberries. Canned pears and peaches.

Grains and beans are around too - quinoa, brown Jasmine rice and barley; black, kidney, pinto and cannellini beans. We also have chicken and salmon.

I clearly have been shopping without a menu plan.

Recipe suggestions please!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

52 Projects Sunday - sewing, leak proofing and transplanting - and an anniversary

3 projects will be done by the end of today (I know I am stretching the project rules here). I did finish the "muslin" skirt and altered the pattern draft and am now ready to cut out the real material and see if I can make it fit.

Hubby is working hard on trying to stop water from coming into our basement when we have heavy rain. He has already done some roof repair and is finishing work on the grading and downspout today.

I am going to transplant an azalea that is failing to thrive and put it in a hopefully better location. This is the second try in the current location so it is obviously a no go spot.

We celebrated our 33rd anniversary last night with a play at our favorite theatre followed by dinner out. Enjoyed both greatly.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend reading you might enjoy including about pies!

My favorite news article in recent memory - This pie chart is delicious & statistically sound

A most interesting blog focused on trying out a different self-help book's recommendations each month - Help Me! Blog

If you find you don't like cleaning your home
- The lazy person's guide to a happy home - I especially like tips 5 and 6
10 Tips & Tricks for Keeping a Small Space Clean - I especially like the one day a week for regular cleaning and one a month/quarter for deeper cleaning as I feel like each day I am reminded of things that need cleaning in our not-so-small-space.

This is on a federal employee focused website but most of the advice is good for anyone wondering about how to financially prepare for soon to arrive retirement - What to do and when to prepare for retirement