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...
~Rebecca

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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!

Beardtongue

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...
~Rebecca

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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?

Spiderwort

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

Daisy

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...
~Rebecca

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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 child...be 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! ๐Ÿ’—



Until next time...
~Rebecca


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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...
~Rebecca

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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...
~Rebecca

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Monday, May 8, 2023

Master To-Do List and Menu Plan Monday - May 8, 2023

The day is nearly over and I am just now getting a chance to sit down and work on my Monday post. How was your weekend?

Peony

Mine here was good, but, man! It pretty much went from cold to hot overnight and, now, here we are... ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿงจ

Latest Mystery Iris

Saturday, in celebration of 'the man from Missouri', I worked Truman Days at the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar (May 8th is his birthday).

Harry S Truman Birthhome

My job was to aid site visitors in making cornhusk dolls and other historic crafts.

Cornhusk Doll

That evening I watched the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla on Youtube. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of either one of them, but, I sure did enjoy watching all the pomp and circumstance! Magnificent!

King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Sunday afternoon my cousin from Colorado called and we visited for quite a while on the phone; Sunday evening Amber, Audrey, Mercy, and I met Amanda and Alysia for supper at Freddy's in Nevada. Unfortunately, we had to leave before Kayla arrived, so we didn't get to see her this time. 

Pink and Purple Iris

This morning I went with Nicole to her prenatal appointment. Afterwards, we stopped by the nursing home to see Pat. Then, we ran a few errands. 

We stopped by the Amish greenhouse to pick up vegetable plants and soil. I had about decided not to do a garden at all this year, but, after thinking about it further, I decided to try something completely different...gardening in five-gallon buckets! Our last stop of the day was to stop at Walmart to pick up the buckets and topsoil.

Roma Tomato

After we got home, Tony helped me drill holes in the bottom of the buckets, then I filled them with dirt (topsoil in the bottom; good growing dirt on top). I planted onions in one bucket, Yukon Gold potatoes in two of them, Roma tomatos, green peppers, sweet banana peppers, and yellow crookneck squash in each of the others. I have one bucket left and I am saving it for zucchini plants...which was what I thought I had grabbed, but it turned out to be the crookneck instead...but that's okay. 

My Five-Gallon Bucket Garden

Anyway, I planted the vegetables, then arranged the buckets in a row on the old stepping stones that the girls helped the grandlittles make for my birthday back in 2009. At the time there were only seven grandchildren; now there are twenty-two (soon to be twenty-three) and the oldest is expecting a baby of her own. 

Stepping Stones  - 2009

The pretty paint washed away years ago, the pictures have faded to white, the grandchildren have grown, and Papa is gone, but the love that the old stepping stones generate in my heart, lives on. I think this is a great way to repurpose them. 

Stepping Stones - 2023

Oh, and I got an oregano plant to fill in that last space in the herb wheel, so it's full now, too!

Oregano

Herb Wheel

Well, it's thundering and lightening and threatening to storm (I hope we get some rain...we need it so badly) and I'm running out of time here, so I'm going to go ahead and get started on this week's post. Won't you join me?

Irises in Bloom

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

- Clean house
- Do laundry
- Go with Nicole to prenatal appointment
- Visit Pat
- Purchase garden plants
- Pick up buckets and soil
- Plant garden vegetables
- Plant aloe starts from a friend
- Plant rest of marigolds
- Go to the bank and post office
- Pay bills
- Get tires on van
- Work

Northern Bobwhite Quail

This week's menu plan...

Will be focusing on fresh items and items on-hand that need used up this week.

- Homemade pizza
- Oven-roasted chicken, baked potato, fresh asparagus, and corn-on-the-cob
- Turkey burger and oven fries
- Butter and garlic pasta with mixed vegetables and homemade French bread
- Pork chop with fried cabbage, peppers and onions, baked potato, and corn-on-the-cob
- Breakfast for supper
- Leftovers

Dame's Rocket

Well that's it for today! I hope you've had a nice day and I wish you an absolutely fantastic week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

P.S. - By the way...it's RAINING! ☔๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’—

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