Monday, June 5, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - June 5, 2023

The morning has gotten away from me and, here we are, already well into the afternoon! I hope your Monday is going well! 

Butterfly on Marigold

How was your week and weekend? My week here was good; my weekend busy. I can't believe how fast the days are flying by and that the year is nearly half over already! Is it just me? Or does it seem that way to you, too?

Tiny Green Peppers on the
Plant in My Bucket Garden

It sure felt good to sleep in a bit later than usual this morning. I don't sleep well most nights anyway (never have), but, after being out of town a couple of weeks ago, I just couldn't seem to get caught up. I don't do well with heat and, even though it wasn't extremely hot, with no a/c and a lot of extra activity outside of my normal routine, I experienced a lot of hormonal imbalance and water retention. I'm just now starting to get back to normal and am feeling much better. I am so thankful!

Twin Cactus Roses

Well, the day is getting away from me and I have much to do, so I'm going to scoot for now. Let's take a look at the week ahead...shall we?

Tiny Skipper on Marigold

This week's master to-do list...

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Answer a couple of letters
- Look for a rim to make a good spare for the van
- Make plans for an upcoming out-of-town adventure (more about that later)
- Celebrate granddaughter, Kelly's, first birthday
- Work

This picture was taken on the way in to work on my very first day.
That was June 5, 2014...nine years ago today! Hard to believe!

This week's menu plan...

I finally made it to a grocery store (yesterday...hadn't been to one since the 18th of May) and got restocked on fresh foods...fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc. Possible meal ideas this week include...

- Pork loin chop with baked sweet potato and asparagus 
- Oven roasted chicken with baked potato, asparagus and corn-on-the-cob
- Tuna and noodles with peas
- Stuffed pepper casserole with beets, green beans, and corn-on-the-cob
- FIsh sandwich with oven fries
- Possibly out an evening or two and/or leftovers

Bison Calves Born Recently @ Work

Well, that's it for today! You have a nice day and a great week ahead!

Until next time...
#22 at Grammy's Grid Unlimited Link Party this week! #UnlimitedLinkParty 115

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Friday, June 2, 2023

Tallgrass Prairie Wonders

I just got home a bit ago and wanted to share a few photos that I've taken on my way to, from, and at work this week...

Butterfly Weed
This plant is an important food source for butterflies
such as monarchs and the regal fritillary.

Monarch Butterfly on Purple Coneflower

Regal Fritillary Butterfly

I so look forward to the return of these
little birds each year. Their sweet song 
brings me much joy!
Take a listen for yourself...

Pale Purple Coneflower

Baby Bison
We have four new ones this year
and they are absolutely adorable!

Bull (or Horse) Nettle

I hope you've had a terrific Friday and that you have a great weekend ahead!

Until next time...

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

In the Garden

It's the last day of May and I just came in from a tour of the garden. Here are some of the things that are taking place there...

The cactus roses are blooming.

So are the white spiderworts.

Little brown mushrooms are popping
up here, there, and everywhere.

This little ladybug was visiting
the purple coneflowers.

The pie cherries are ripening.

And this pretty butterfly was fluttering 
along from flower to flower.

That's some of what's going on in my garden today. What's going on in yours?

Until next time...

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Monday, May 29, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - May 29, 2023

In case you haven't noticed, I've been missing-in-action for a couple of weeks now. I'm so glad to be back here with you today! Happy Memorial Day! 

Most of my time this past two weeks has been consumed with work and work-related activity, including leading a hike at the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site at Butler and a four-day trip out of town to serve as a mentor at Missouri State Park's annual spring training for new and seasonal employees. This year's session was held at Knob Noster State Park near Knob Noster, Missouri. 

Spring Training 2023 @ Knob Noster State Park

The last time I attended spring training was in 2019; due to covid training was cancelled in 2020 altogether. I didn't attend in 2021 due to my husband's illness, and following his subsequent death, I was neither mentally, emotionally, nor physically, up to attending in 2022. It wasn't easy going back this year, but I'm glad I did. I came away with a whole new perspective of where I might be headed in the days ahead.

Mentor Group 2023

Katy and Darian and I had a great group of mentees! I enjoyed watching the first-yearers overcome some tough challenges, as they learned new skills that will aid them in being great interpreters at their various parks and postitions across the state this summer. THAT was the best part of all! 

Prairie Rose

While I was at Knob Noster, I got a message that Grandbaby #23 is a girl and, yesterday, it was revealed that my first great-grandbaby is a boy! I am greatly looking forward to meeting both of them before the year is out!


Other than that, that's pretty much all that's been going on here. Let's get started on this week's post, shall we?

White-Crowned Sparrow

This week's master to-do list...

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Go grocery shopping
- Pick and dry herbs from the garden (basil and sage)
- Check the cherries to see if they're ripe
- Figure June's budget and bills
- Pay the bills
- Go to the bank and post office
- Turn the calendar page
- Take a look at the month ahead to see what's coming up and strategize accordingly
- Sort through a few more boxes from the shed
- Work

Doodle Art

This week's menu plan...

I really need to get to a store to get some fresh items, but, right now, I'm just not up to it. I won't go today for sure, but maybe tomorrow or Wednesday (if I can get myself pulled together) or it might even be next week. In the meantime, I will just keep focusing on eating what's in the house.

Foods on-hand include chicken, ground turkey, rice, beans, cheese, eggs, and tortillas. I also have some canned and frozen vegetables, plenty of flour, and a variety of boxed and packaged goods (on the shelf and in the freezer) and this might be a good time to focus on using some of those items up. It's mostly fresh stuff that I need to pick up whenever I do make it to town.

Possible meal ideas include...

- Burritos
- BBQ chicken with potatoes and brussel sprouts
- Grilled cheese and soup
- Butter and garlic pasta
- Chicken ala king 
- Broccol, cauliflower, cheese, and rice casserole
- Breakfast for supper

Sunset Over Island Mound

Well, that's all for today. I pray that your weekend is going well and that the week ahead is a great one!

Until next time...

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Monday, May 15, 2023

Master To Do List and Menu Plan Monday - May 15, 2023

It's a cool 71 degrees and cloudy here on the tallgrass prairie this morning and more storms are expected this afternoon.

Did you have a nice Mother's Day? Mine here was good. I heard from all but one of my children and was blessed with many sweet offerings of love and honor along the way. 

I feel like I'm cutting it very short this morning, but am running extremely short on time this morning, so am going to head straight on in to today's post. Join me, won't you?


This week's to-do list...

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Figure mid-month budget and bills
- Go to the bank and post office
- Attend an end-of-year homeschool program
- Pick up a couple of graduation cards
- Work
- Lead a wildflower hike at the Battle of Island Mound State Historical Site
- Pick up a few items at Walmart
- Prepare for Spring Interp Training through work


This week's menu plan...

I need to pick up a few items at the store this week, but am mostly going to focus on using up odd-and-end food items on-hand. Meal plan ideas this week include...

- Pork chop with baked potato and corn-on-the-cob
- Turkey burger with oven fries
- Soup and grilled cheese sandwich with petite carrots and ranch dressing
- Breakfast for supper (turkey bacon, eggs, and toast)
- Wheat Thins with hummus, cottage cheese, and fresh tomato wedges

I plan on eating out a couple of times this week, but will eat up as many leftovers on-hand throughout the week as possible for all other meals.

Prairie Wild Roses Getting Ready to Bloom

Well, I've got to be heading out in just a few minutes, so that's it for today. I hope your week is off to a great start and I'll be with you again soon.

Until next time...

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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful and amazing moms out there! From those that are well-seasoned to those that are preparing to become mamas for the very first time and to everyone in between!

To all the grandmothers and other special ladies (be you friend, aunt, or some other relation) who have been there, filled in, helped out, or have been a second mom to someone else in their hour of need.

No matter who you are...if you have invested (or are investing) time, energy, resources, and talents into the future of a not weary in doing so!

You are so special! Don't ever allow people, society, or circumstances make you feel less-than, because what you're doing is important work. In fact, it is THE most important work there is!

May many blessings be yours today and beyond! Happy Mother's Day! 💗

Until next time...

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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Thursday Things - Rain, A Change in Menu Plans, and More

It's a beautiful rainy day here in southwest Missouri and I am so thankful! We might finally be getting enough rain to make a difference! Whether we are or not I am enjoying it greatly! 

Pink Peony

I've been piddling around the house most of the day. I've made the bed, done dishes, fluffed and folded the towels, washed a load of clothes, gone through program boxes to find items needed for upcoming programs, and brought in the trash bin. I've also started preparing a list of things that will need to be packed before heading for spring training, which is coming up quite soon.

More Irises

I've done a total turn-around on my menu plan this week. I got to looking in the fridge and discovered that I still had so many fresh vegetables that needed used. With just me in the house it's hard to use some things up in a timely manner, but, I don't like wasting food. Even though it may take extra time, energy, and effort, I generally do whatever I have to to keep it from going to waste. 

I thought, "Well, I'll just chop these vegetables up and freeze them." Then I thought, "Why don't you just chop them up and cook them into a stir-fry now?" And that's what I did. 

I chopped up cabbage, cauliflower, onion, green pepper, celery, mushrooms, and carrots, and added fresh corn cut from the cob. I am cooking up some ground turkey to add to the pot and will season the mixture with salt, black pepper, and Bragg's aminos. This evening I will serve the stirfry over brown rice and will make up several containers that will be used over the next couple of days or frozen to eat later. I will reevaluate the current menu plan next week. 

I have some apples that need used up, too. I think I will turn them into an apple cake. After it's cooled I will sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar, cut into slices, wrap, and freeze to be doled out a piece at time here and there along the way. For my favorite Apple Cake recipe click HERE

Well, I guess that's it for today. I'm so glad that I had time to sit down and visit with you this afternoon. That just makes my day! 

What's going on in your world today? I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you're having a lovely Thursday afternoon!

Until next time...

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Second-Quarter Thrift Plan

Somehow this post (that was originally planned to be published towards the end of April) ended up buried in the list and was never published at all. Being as I discovered it today, I am going to go ahead and publish it as originally written. Forgive the delay. The dates are off, but the information is the same.

As we move in to the second-quarter of 2023 (April-June), I want to fine-tune in the area of finances. I got a nice raise, effective the end of March, for which I am very thankful and I want to be a good steward of all that the Lord blesses me with. Here are some of the thoughts I have about second-quarter finances...

- I plan to be working extra hours during the months of April, May, and June. My plan is to deposit as much of the extra money into my savings account as possible. That will be after using some of it to complete, at least, one of the bigger projects on my Spring Bucket List.

- We became debt-free back in April of 2020 and, since then, even though I still use a credit card for some things (especially online purchases), I am careful to pay it off each month, in full, so as to avoid interest on even the smallest of purchases. I plan to continue paying off, in full, each month.

- There is plenty of food in the house, so, other than fresh items along here and there, I don't have to worry about that. I will continue to focus on using up the oldest stuff first and not replacing until absolutely necessary.

- The propane tank is full. I had it filled mid-March and, unless next winter is a bad one, I probably won't have to have it filled again until late-winter or early-spring of 2024. 280 gallons usually lasts me a year.

- I will continue to roll every cent of change received and put back for trips, Christmas, or whatever. We've done this for decades. When the children were young, our rolled change went towards Christmas every year; after the children were grown, our rolled change provided money for annual trips and get-aways for the two of us. Now, even though John is gone, I just keep putting it back. Someday I'll do something really special with it. 

- The main thing that I want to focus on during this second-quarter is using up odds and ends on-hand...almost empty bottles of cleaning supplies, almost empty bottles of health and beauty aids, etc....combining like-products into one bottle when possible, cutting down on shelf and storage space. I will replenish these items in late-summer or early-fall.

What about you? Do you have any financial plans or goals to share as we go into this second-quarter of 2023?

Until next time...

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