Monday, April 29, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday // April 29, 2019

Right, so jumping back in here...

This week we are pulling ourselves together and forging ahead! Really, what is there to do besides that? We were not expecting another blow like this, but I'm sure there is a reason for it so we will try to remain optimistic that my husband gets a new job soon and we will keep plugging along.

In the meantime, let's get back to it. It's Monday, the sun is shining, and it's a brand-new day. Time to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay-at-Home-Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday.

{The weather}
Brr! Is it almost May or is it almost November? It was so cold all weekend, and looks to be a chilly week ahead.

{On my reading pile}
I'm in between books at the moment. Thinking of starting Mary Karr's memoir Lit.

{Movies or Shows I watched this weekend}
Nothing really, just reruns for background noise, mostly.

{On my TV this week}
Honestly, I have no idea! There's nothing I'm dying to watch at the moment and I have a really busy week ahead of me.

{On the menu for this week}
I'm not sure what I'll be doing at the end of the week. I have kids going to visit grandparents, going to birthday parties, going to work... I'll figure the rest out later, but at least I have the first three days planned.

Monday: Hunter's sausage, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies
Tuesday: Grilled London broil, baked potatoes, salad
Wednesday: Meatballs and spaghetti

{On my to do list}
-- Laundry (obviously)
-- Organize my craft supplies
-- Vacuum/wash floors
-- Clean bathrooms

{What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating}
I still have to finish crocheting that baby blanket, which may or may not ever see its intended recipient. If not, I'll just save it for another time or sell it.

I'm itching to get my sewing machine out. Did you know that scrunchies are back? Oh yes, they are. So L. has been asking for them and I have lots of elastic and fabric so I think I'll make her a bunch.

{Looking forward to...}
The high school band and choral concert is this week. The teachers and students always do such an amazing job. I can't believe how talented some of these kids are!

{Looking around the house}
Ah, the remnants from the weekend are strewn about, but really it could be worse. I'll finish up this blog post, send off a couple emails and then straighten things out.

{From the camera}
This picture is actually from last week, Easter to be exact. My mother-in-law got a new puppy and even though I am not really a dog person, I think she is so sweet and just the cutest! She is some sort of terrier and her name is Sarah. (There were dog treats in those eggs, LOL!)

{What I'm wearing today}
Just jeans and a t-shirt!

{One of my simple pleasures}
I love opening the back door when I wake up and taking in a breath of fresh air.

{Bible verse, Devotional, prayers}
Lots of people on my prayer list this week. Seems we know a lot of people who are going through difficult times for a variety of reasons.

I hope your week is off to a good start!

Monday, April 22, 2019

So... Life Goes On

Well, after being led on for over a month, on Saturday we found out that D. does not have a job at this new company. To say it was a shock to the system is putting it mildly. I read the hiring manager's emails. It didn't sound like a maybe it definitely sounded like a sure freaking thing. (And people wonder why I have so little faith in humanity.)

Saturday was hard. Really hard. To make things worse it was my husband's birthday. This all happened while I was at work, and luckily I was able to keep it together and keep it professional. I even managed to go shopping and a get a birthday cake afterwards. But Saturday night I lost it. Like, I totally lost my shit. I was sad. I was angry. I cried, I screamed, and I certainly had a little too much to drink which certainly did not help. It wasn't pretty, but I allowed myself that day to get it all out.

Easter Sunday we went to my MIL's. I was not sure how she was going to deal with all this (knowing he had already given his notice, based on conversations with this new company). Thankfully, it was a lot better than I expected. The whole day was actually very low-key, which helped in a way. D's aunt has Alzheimer's and is quickly degrading. He set up her LifeAlert, the kids did an egg hunt in the backyard, we had a nice lunch. It was actually pretty nice.

So here we are. Starting from scratch. Despite what our wonderful (insert eyeroll here) government might lead you to believe, jobs are not exactly plentiful, and the ones out there certainly do not pay that well, so we just have to be optimistic and tenacious, and use all the resources we have at our hands.

I wasn't even going to write this, but... it's part of my story. I suppose some people may wonder why I'm not furious that he made this rash decision before there was a sure thing. And truthfully, I had a conversation with him shortly after and was very honest about my feelings. But now? It's not like you can go back, you know? What's done is done. Making him feel worse isn't going to make the situation better.

I'll just keep on doing my part. I am thankful that I work. I am thankful that we have savings and have continued to live frugally. I will continue to pare down where we can. And we will make it work. And who knows... maybe in the end we will end up better than before.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Hello, April...

Well, it's been a while hasn't it? Truthfully, I haven't been blogging because it has been sort of a stressful month around here, and I hope it improves soon, but right now I am just trying to keep it all together. My husband has been interviewing for a new job and it's been a long process. He was told they are putting together an offer (exciting, yes), but the process is really dragging and now I am getting panicky because it is taking so long.

Monday the hiring manager did speak with one of his references and the conversation was incredibly positive and encouraging. So I am trying to focus on that and the fact that she is hiring for a couple other positions as well. But he already put in notice at his current job (I know, I know...), so... yeah. And I guess I just felt it was time to write it all out because I don't know what else to do.

If it comes through (and there's no real reason it shouldn't), it will be an amazing opportunity for him. So if you're so inclined to say a prayer that this works out, I would sincerely appreciate it.

Other than that, things have been rolling along. Work has been busy in a good way and I recently got a new title (Assistant Library Director and Head of Programming) that fits everything I do a little better. I am happy about that. The kids are all good. Sunday we went to a SUNY college fair so Jake could check out a couple schools. It was at SUNY Albany, so it was kind of fun to go somewhere different.

Honestly, it is hard to believe we are at this stage of life -- looking at colleges for our oldest. It feels like my own college days weren't that long ago! Right now he is listing Psychology as a probable major and mostly looking at schools here in New York at the moment. The next several months will be interesting, that's for sure!

Spring seems to be taking its sweet time reaching us. The sun is out and it's sort of warm today. I was at least able to open up the windows and get some fresh air in for a little while. But it's windy and not as warm as I'd like it to be. (Probably reflective of my mood.)

Well, I should head outside to get L. off the bus then make the boys an early supper before play rehearsal starts. The performances are this weekend and honestly I will be so glad once it's done. The nightly cast and pit orchestra calls are really starting to wear on me. But they love it, so I suck it up because as moms, that's what we do, right?

Now that I have all my nonsense off my chest I shouldn't be away from the blog this long again. Hopefully good news will come soon!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Change is Good

As if my typical Wednesday schedule isn't crazy enough, today we started with a three-hour delay for school. Now, I know what you're probably thinking. You've never heard of such a thing. What's the point? Why even bother? Well, there was freezing rain overnight and given the hilliness of this area, and the fact that some of us (ahem) live out in the boonies and the kids don't walk to school... I can understand it.

Nevertheless, it added another layer of schedule rearranging. On the bright side, the kids and I did enjoy a pretty relaxed morning!

Everyone had bacon and eggs for breakfast. I had an extra cup of coffee instead of rushing out the door. Really, it wasn't all that bad.

After everyone was at school, I puttered around for a bit and then made myself some lunch. I was really craving a turkey melt, but 1) I let the kids finish the bacon and 2) I didn't have enough sliced bread. So it was on to plan B... Turkey and cheese (slightly melted) on a multigrain English muffin with lettuce, red onions, olives, and a big slather of mayo.

It was so good, and again a reminder for me -- things may not go exactly the way you want for a reason. It seems like such a little, insignificant thing: school delay, no bacon or bread... But it's really easy to get annoyed or irritated over those things. But sometimes that stuff isn't around for a reason -- there's something better waiting. I'm probably overthinking it, LOL...

Anyway, then it was on to the hairdresser's. I was very much in need of a haircut!

Because everything shut down with yesterday's storm, the place was really busy and running a little behind, but my amazing hairdresser still took her time and gave me a brand-new style! I absolutely love it!


My hair is really thick and it just feels so much lighter and healthier. And let's face it (going with the theme of the day... change can be good.)

After I finished up at the salon, I hit the grocery store. Really, I just went there for asparagus, rolls and cold cuts, but there were so many great meat markdowns that I could't help but stock up.

The store also had the Valentine's Day seasonal Polar seltzers, so I picked up one of each. Can't wait to try them!

After that it was getting home, getting the groceries put away, getting L. off the bus, getting her a snack, then getting her off to religion class (thank goodness for the carpool my friends and I have worked out)! Then it was back into town to pick up J. from pit orchestra rehearsal, off to Town Hall so he could update a message about the rescheduled town meeting on the video scroller, then home to get dinner ready. We ate, L. got dropped off, I got her dinner plate made, then N. and I headed out for the CCD evening session carpool (which I drive in). D. pulled in the garage just as we were getting in the car (he had to work late because he's taking off a couple days so there were a number of things that needed wrapping up).

Dropped the kids off, gassed up my car, and then finally, finally, finally was home for the night! Got my PJs on, made a cup of tea, and after I finish this up I'm going to watch an episode or two of "Russian Doll" on Netflix (SO GOOD) before hitting the hay.

Hope you all have a great night!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 11th Meal Plan

I know, I know, I totally missed Happy Homemaker Monday yesterday. L. was home sick and I was trying to plug away at the library print newsletter, so honestly I just ran out of time. But I was going through old (really old ) posts on my old blog, Pure Sugar and years ago I was so good about posting my meal plan for the week . I thought it was a really interesting snapshot of the recipes and food trends I was into at the time, so I decided to just continue it. Who cares if I make it in as part of a link-up or not? I'm reminding myself that by starting this new blog, it is for me... it's a way to document and share and I would love for people to read it but if not, that's OK too.

On the menu this week, Feb. 11-17, 2019:

Monday: Chicken & chicken pea tikka masala, rice, cucumber and red onion salad.

Tuesday: Turkey burgers, tater tots, sweet kale salad

Wednesday: Wednesdays are crazy here. L. has CCD from 4:30-6 and then Noah has CCD from 7:15-8:45. I'm blessed in that I am able to carpool with two family friends and it definitely makes the night a little easier, but dinner can be a challenge. I like to prepare something that is easy to fix and everyone can eat when it makes sense. This week I'm think of making sheet pan chicken fajitas, tortilla chips, fresh salsa and guacamole.

Thursday: 💞💗 Happy Valentine's Day! 💖💕 I am meeting my parents up in the Berkshires and Laura is spending the weekend with them. If the timing works out (and my 16-year-old doesn't have to work, video-recording the monthly town board meeting), D. and I are hoping to go out to dinner, but we will see!

Friday: D. and the boys will be winter camping with scouts so it's just me for two nights! I think I'm going to make myself steak, baked potato, and salad

Saturday: Shopping after work, and since it's just me I plan to get Moe's take-out. Probably a chicken burrito

Sunday: Boys' choice!

Maybe I'll even start doing a week's end wrap-up with dinner photos! I really enjoy seeing what other people are cooking up -- I get a lot of inspiration that way. Might be fun to give it a go.

Menu Plan Monday

Another Snowy Tuesday

It's so funny... seems like when winter and snow finally roll around, we get stuck in these weather patterns with storms often happening on the same day of the week. I first noticed it in high school, and as I've looked back over old blog posts and Facebook updates, it does seem to happen quite a bit! So yes. Another Tuesday, another storm.

The snow started falling around 10, and the sleet and ice are supposed to come later this afternoon. Seems like the whole area has shut down -- it's predicted to be a real mess. It's definitely adding up -- I went out to bring in the garbage can (thankfully it was picked up earlier today!) and there's a couple inches out there. I just had to take a picture of our neighbor's mailbox. I thought it looked so cute! I love that it looks like a little house.

Since both school and the library were closed today, I had some extra time that I used to catch up on things around the house. I washed and folded two loads of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed... that kind of thing. 

I decided to have a little treat for myself so of course, the chocolate called! My mom gave me this box of Russell Stovers and they are all the best ones: chewy and nutty candies! The. best.

I decided to have the molasses candy with my tea. So yummy!

I think I'd like to take a little time this afternoon for crafts. I really should work on that star blanket I am crocheting, but I'm feeling the urge to knit something with this Malabrigo I got (for free!) at a fabric and yarn swap. 

The red is just so vibrant! Decisions, decisions... 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday, February 4, 2019

Hello everyone! I am enjoying a beautiful day at home today, and I could not be happier! I am hoping for a normal schedule this week. Last week with a storm and frigid temperatures we dealt with early dismissals, school delays, and cancelled events. But we got through it!

Anyway, let's get on with it shall we? Time to link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather...
It is just beautiful out today! Sunny and warm-ish. It definitely is giving me a bit of an energy boost. Last week was rough! I'll happily take this little bit of a thaw.

On my reading pile...

The Woman Inside, by E.G. Scott. I just processed this book on Saturday, and it sounded pretty good. Getting first pick of the new books is definitely a benefit to the job!

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend...
Honestly, I can't even remember! Saturday we watched Ramona and Beezus by Laura's request, but otherwise I can't think of anything that stands out.

On my TV...
I'm finally finishing the final episode of the Netflix Ted Bundy docu-series. Very interesting and very scary. It's really unbelievable the evil people are capable of. I just can't understand it.

On the menu for this week...
Monday: Crock Pot roast beef, green beans, garlic bread
Tuesday: Quick chicken parmesan, steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Chicken & chick pea curry, naan, sliced cucumbers & onions
Thursday: Pork chops, roasted red potatoes, green beans
Friday: ?
Saturday: Meatballs, Italian sausage, whole wheat penne, Drew's homemade marinara, salad
Sunday: ?

On my to do list...
  • Fold & put away laundry
  • Tidy master bedroom
  • Catch up on my memory planner
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating...
Baby blanket for a gift, dishcloths, feeling the itch to start a knit scarf

Looking around the house...
The piano still has to be put back together 🤣 Since my MIL will be coming up this weekend, it absolutely has to to get back in order! Other than that I have my laundry baskets out that I have to deal with. I did a good bit of cleaning after I got home from work on Saturday, so that helped keep things clean over the weekend.

From the camera...

I love the way the sun is sandwiched between the trees in this photo from last Wednesday morning!

What I'm wearing today...
Jeans, purple and gray baseball tee, ponytail.

One of my simple pleasures...
Fresh flowers! Yesterday the grocery store had bouquets marked down to $1! I bought four, took everything apart and then made up three arrangements -- One for the living room, one for the kitchen, and one for the bedroom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cold & Tired & Sick

What a whirlwind the last week was! Thankfully we were able to get our heating issue fixed just in time for some terribly cold weather. In fact, last Tuesdays the school had a delayed opening because of the dangerous wind chills.

The rest of the week was the usual blur of activity! Saturday I left work a little early so we could get a jump on our trip up to Massachusetts to see my family. I'm kicking myself for not taking photos, but we were just having a nice, relaxing time. My mom cooked us all a huge dinner of meatballs, Italian sausage, chicken parmesan, pasta, garlic bread, salad, and cake for dessert. No, we certainly weren't hungry!

Sunday morning we stopped by my brother's house and gave my niece and nephew their Christmas presents -- we had not had a time to get together sooner ☹️ But it was great to finally get together! We got back home mid-afternoon and the boys had homework to finish up. I did some laundry, made everyone's lunches for Monday, and that was about it.

Yesterday was grocery shopping day, and I wanted to get that done before the predicted snow. Got everything put away and sat down to watch a bit of the Ted Bundy docu-series on Netflix when suddenly I was just overcome by aches and tiredness. I drove J. down to the Town Hall for his work orientation (he was approved as a junior A/V engineer to help out with broadcasting public meetings), and then mustered the energy to make dinner, but I just crashed after that. In fact, I think I fell asleep by 8:30, only to wake up in the middle of the night with a horrible sore throat.

I did drag myself to work because I was pretty sure I'd end up needing to leave early anyway, and sure enough - the schools announced an early dismissal due to the impending snow storm! The library follows the school district, so we closed at noon as well. I wish I could say I made better use of the extra time, but I am really not feeling well so I've just been watching TV and doing a little puttering around the house.

I'm thinking about making some chicken soup... hot, salty broth sounds so good to me right now. Also planning on making BBQ chicken paninis for dinner, so a cup of soup will go well with that.

So now we will see what tomorrow brings! The snow continues to fall and I wouldn't be against a snow day. Really, I'm just hoping that a good night's sleep will help me to start feeling better. Not that anyone enjoys being sick, but I really don't have the time to let things fall behind!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday for January 21, 2019

Oh, it is such a Monday, let me tell you. The power vent on our furnace burned out yesterday, so I've already had the plumber out here and he needs to get a part and will be back this afternoon. Thankfully we have the wood stove. But the lack of hot water is really aggravating! Well, I guess it's all part of the joys of home ownership, right?

Other than that, we had a pretty nice weekend. We attended an Eagle Scout court of honor on Saturday night, which was really nice. We got home before the weather got too bad, and Sunday we didn't leave the house. I started working on cleaning out my dresser and closet and what a huge difference! I was really inspired by the Marie Kondo program on Netflix. It felt great to get rid of some clothes I was hanging on to, hoping they would again fit me someday or because someone gave them to me and I felt guilt over donating them... but no more! Now everything I have fits, and the clothes are styles I currently wear, and they are not ripped, torn, or overly worn.

Anyway, let's get on with it shall we? Time to link up with Sandra at Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather...It is just frigid today! We got snow and ice over the weekend, and now it's just ridiculously cold. Thursday is looking to be the best day of the week.

On my reading pile...I'm going to start You by Caroline Kepnes. My husband and I watched the show on Netflix and now I'm curious to see how it compares to the book. D. listened to it quite a while back and he said the show was very different from how he remembers the book.

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend...Nothing much, really. At night D. and I have been watching old episodes of Seinfeld (I still love that show!) and the latest DVD season of Big Bang Theory.

On my TV...I think I need to look for a new show to watch. I want to start The Innocent Man, as well as Glitch if I have time this week.

On the menu for this week...

Monday: Fried chicken, baked potatoes, steamed green beans
Tuesday: Turkey tacos, black bean soup
Wednesday: Bacon cheese burgers, French fries, salad
Thursday: Roast chicken thighs, broccoli-cheddar rice, steamed broccoli
Friday: London Broil, salad, mashed potatoes
Saturday: Dinner with family
Sunday: ?

On my to do list...Vacuum, watch floors

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating...While cleaning out the closet I found a 10-point star blanket that I started a couple years ago. I am going to pick it back up and finish it as a baby blanket for a gift.

Looking around the house...The kids are off from school today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so it's not as tidy as it could be. Plus, our piano is still in a few pieces, as D. is working on some repairs. It's hard to get motivated to clean at the moment, though! I'll catch up tomorrow and Wednesday,

From the camera...

Even though the snow had a crunchy layer of sleet and ice, the kids still managed to get some sledding in yesterday.

What I'm wearing today...Jeans, gray sweatshirt with lace overlay sleeves (love this top!), slipper socks, and slippers.    

One of my simple pleasures...That first sip of coffee in the morning! Is there anything quite as good?

Friday, January 18, 2019

Tracks in the Snow

"There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on."
-- Carol Rifka Brunt

It snowed last night (though hardly the 2" I was expecting). In fact, it was just enough to lightly cover the ground. Nevertheless, it was also just enough to let us know that a fox was trotting around early this morning. At least I'm pretty sure it was a fox. My tracking skills are not the greatest, but comparing the prints to images online, and knowing that there are plenty of foxes around, I think it's a pretty good guess.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Trying Something New (Back to my Blogging Roots)

Well, I don't know if this will last, or if in a few days or weeks I will delete this blog and go back to where I've been writing for the last 19 years, but... I felt like trying something new/old.

The new? Obviously the name. And the web address. The old? Blogger is where I got my start way back in 2000. I've found myself really frustrated with the new editor in Wordpress, so I thought I would give Blogger a go again. Why not? It's free and familiar. Kind of like coming home in a sense.

And that brings me to my new blog title. "My Hudson Valley Home" is pretty self-explanatory! I have been wanting to get back to a more journal-esque style of blogging, and while I could certainly do that on my old blog, a fresh start seemed appropriate. I love my adopted home -- New York's Hudson Valley and it has become a huge part of me. And I enjoy writing about all things "home" like my knitting and crochet projects, scrapbooking and memory keeping, sharing recipes, and just rambling on about who-knows-what. I want to create a space that is cozy, friendly, and reflects who I am now. So we will see how it goes!