menu plan~ march 14, 2017

We are tolerating winter’s brief show and looking forward to later in the week when spring is expected to return. Twice the past week, we had a light dusting of snow that melted away in the afternoon. I hope that is the last of winter for us till the end of the year.

last snow of the season

The menu for the week follows. We have company in the person of Youngest Daughter’s college roommate. They, of course, have their own schedule and are busily in and out of the house. If they’re here, they eat with us. If they’re not, they eat elsewhere. We are enjoying the company regardless of how often we see the girls.

Monday
Leftover Pot Roast on
Homemade Buns

Tuesday
Tacoritos
Taco Chips
Avocado Sour Cream

tacoritos

Wednesday
Homemade Pizza

oh, yum

Thursday
Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Oven Fried Potato Wedges
Sugar Snap Peas
Sweet and Sour Cucumber Slices

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

Friday
Chicken Fettuccine

Saturday
Church Quilt Day at our house. Everyone’s bring salads to share.

Sunday
Roast Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Corn Casserole
Steamed Green Beans
Garden Salad

I am still working on spring-themed Putz houses. I’ve cut out five patterns (made two or three of some of them) and all the bits and pieces needed to finish them. I’ve made three bases so far. Eight more are needed. When the bases are done, I will start painting the houses. I hope to have some finished by Friday.

~~Rhonda

Irish cottage Putz house

In a week, it will be St. Patrick’s Day. I have finished the two Putz houses I started to celebrate this March holiday. They are made from the same pattern and look quite similar. But there are a few differences.

The first one has a white “yard” and a stone colored fence.

thatched Irish cottage Putz house

The second one has a green “yard” and a white fence. It also has green glitter on the sides of the base.

Irish cottage Putz house

Detail…

Irish cottage Putz house

thatched Irish cottage Putz house

From the back…

thatched Irish cottage Putz house

With the lights on…

thatched Irish cottage Putz house

Irish cottage Putz house

I think the thatched roof looks better on the second one. I learned a few things as I went along.

thatched Irish cottage Putz house

Irish cottage Putz house

The first St. Patrick’s Day house is available in my Etsy Shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

My next project is to make five or six spring-themed Putz houses. Stay tuned!

~~Rhonda

menu plan ~ march 9, 2017

We had plenty of fridge food (leftovers) to use for the first part of the week, so I put off menu planning till today. The grands are coming over Friday evening to spend the weekend. Just in case we really do get some snow on Saturday. If we do, they will enjoy playing in it. If we don’t, there are plenty of other adventures to be had.

Thursday
Spaghetti
Homemade Red Sauce
Peas
Garlic Bread

Friday
Simply Great Chicken
Asparagus
Baby Baked Potatoes

baby baked potatoes

Saturday
Smoked Pork Shank and Beans
Cornbread

Sunday
Alton Brown’s Pot Roast
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Garden Salad

Monday
Fajitas

I’m looking forward to the weekend. Just hoping the 19° expected Saturday night doesn’t hurt the flowering trees and shrubs. I’m afraid my lovely pink magnolia is going to quite browned.

magnolia 'Jane'

~~Rhonda

weekend garden

On Saturday, DH and I took a turn around the yard. There is a lot of spring out there! Lots of daffodils.

daffodils

daffodils

DH picked a big bouquet of the larger daffodils for church on Sunday and he also picked a small bouquet of the tiny Tete-a-Tete daffodils.

Sunday bouquet

picking daffodil bouquets

Little patches of spring moss are popping up.

spring moss

The Star Magnolia is in full bloom and still looks great after the two nights of below freezing temps we had.

Star magnolia

The buds on the beautiful flowering almond bush are just beginning to swell and open.

flowering almond

The deep pink ‘Jane’ magnolia is looking lovely.

magnolia 'Jane'

The honey bees are happy in the apricot trees.

apricots blossoms

And the robins are happy in the yard.

robins

The last of the crocus are up. These larger purple ones are always the latest to bloom. They didn’t bloom till March 11 in 2015.

crocus

We were accompanied by Riley. She loves to ride in the golf cart as we tour the yard.

Riley

It was wonderful to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Take time to savor the spring flowers. They come and go so quickly!

~~Rhonda

menu plan tuesday ~ february 28, 2017

I haven’t posted a weekly menu plan for a long time. Today, I’m thinking about what to make for the next few days or so. I am thinking about items that can be made ahead and then frozen or that can keep in the fridge for a few meals. Crock pot meals are good because they can be started early in the day and then forgotten till it’s time for supper. Once I am knee-deep in a craft project (which happens almost every day), I hate to stop and come down to spend an hour preparing a meal. Because the long staircase is a painful proposition for my arthritic knees (thank you, genetic material), I only go up and come down once a day. Once down, I stay down.

I’ve discussed menu options with Middle and Youngest Daughters, planned a menu and made a shopping list. Middle Daughter plans to make a grocery run later this afternoon.

Tuesday
Baked Shells and Broccoli ~ Due to popular demand, I’m leaving out the broccoli and adding chicken, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.
Asparagus
Garlic Bread

Wednesday
Cheeseburgers
Homemade Buns
Grapes

Thursday
Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef
Rice

Friday
Spaghetti with Homemade Sauce
Garlic Bread
Peas

spaghetti sauce

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Alton Brown’s Pot Roast
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans

Might even throw in some apple crisp for dessert.

apple crisp

Now I’m off to take care of the do-ahead bits and pieces. Cook chicken, make rolls and buns, make spaghetti sauce, prepare tonight’s casserole, etc. Tomorrow, I’ll probably be back up in the craft room. For today, Youngest Daughter brought down a project I can work on while I’m between tasks in the kitchen. I made thirteen Putz bases in the past few days and started the painting process yesterday afternoon. I can finish that at the kitchen table today.

Making Putz bases.

~~Rhonda

a visit from family and a visit to the garden

Yesterday, my Dad, my sister and my brother-in-law came for the afternoon. They live about two hours due north of us. DH and my BIL went on a 22 mile bicycle ride. My Dad, my sister and I had a nice afternoon just visiting, catching up on news, and enjoying each other’s company. I’m so glad they were able to come!

After they left, DH got out the golf cart and we toured the garden. The temperature was 69* and the sky was a beautiful blue with puffy white clouds drifting to the east. The first daffodils opened yesterday. I sent two of the blossoms home with my sister for them to enjoy until their own daffodils bloom. I could have sent more if I’d been around the garden before she left! We found quite a few blooming here and there. We did pick a sweet little bouquet that DH put in the craft room for me to enjoy, and we discovered quite a few other things beginning to bloom.

first spring bouquet

The Star Magnolia had opened several buds.

Star Magnolia

The crocus began blooming on February 11.

crocus

The Surprise Lily leaves are popping up, dark green and lush. The leaves will die back along with the daffodils and then, in the first week or so of August, long stems will burst from the ground and make a beautiful show of pinky purple blooms.

surprise lilies

The magnolia ‘Jane’ is covered with blossoms beginning to show their beautiful pink color.

Magnolia 'Jane'

A lot of daffodil patches are covered with buds. They will open soon, if our warm weather continues.

daffodils

The little 6″ ‘Tete-a-Tete’ daffodils are blooming all around the yard.

Daffodil 'Tete-a-Tete'

Here’s the view from the bottom of the little hill behind our house. I always thank God for this huge old Southern Red Oak that graces the back yard. It’s beautiful all year round.

Southern Red Oak

It was wonderful to see so many signs of spring in the yard. Our weather has been much warmer than our average February high of 44*. Spring is here much earlier than usual. Hopefully we won’t get a deep freeze before winter is finally gone for good. I hope you have some flowers. Either in the garden or on the table. Either way, they’re heart warming!

~~Rhonda

back in the saddle again…

After two weeks of being sick, I am finely feeling well enough to do some real work in the craft room. I spent three afternoons up there at the end of last week, but didn’t have the umph to make any good progress, though I did cut out three simple Putz houses, so I worked on those today.

Putz houses

A lot of my Putz houses don’t have chimneys. I need to add them more often.

Putz houses

Picking fences…

Putz houses

Putz houses

Adding snow…

Putz houses

Hoping to make more progress tomorrow.

~~Rhonda

happy valentine’s day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to my dear husband. He wears many hats and I appreciate and love each one. This past week or so, he has covered the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows above and beyond. But he makes me happy in many other ways all year round.

He’s my grill master.

dinner's almost ready!

And my mad scientist.

fun with dry ice

He shares my love of reading and of kitties.

multi-tasking

He’s great with littles.

story time

He loves his Lord.

family Christmas

He’s my favorite cyclist.

at the start of the ride

And the best fudge maker.

he makes the BEST fudge

An excellent bread maker…

sourdough bread

My favorite gardener…

digging daylilies

My sweet.

signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you forever and always!

~~Rhonda

my life right now…

Currently, my life is on hold. I have a terrible cold. I know I’m not the only one. It is making the rounds. Headache, painful cough, sore throat, low grade fever, you name it, I’ve got it. I have spent three days in the recliner trying not to move or talk too much. Both make me cough. Especially talking. So that means I’ve done absolutely nothing in the craft room. I’d probably cough up a lung if I had to climb the stairs. Our staircase has 22 steps (because of the twelve foot ceiling) and it is a loooong way up there when you are feeling sickly.

Clark waits on the staircase...

This is my life right now…

My life this week

We have the twins this weekend. It’s nice that they are old enough to take care of themselves if we are busy (or sick!). Pa made pancakes with them this morning, they made the Valentine’s for their school parties, they took a hike in the woods with Pa…

twins01

…and rode the golf cart around the yard. And they flew a kite at the park behind our house!

kite02

kite 03

We had a high of 69* today. The spring garden is slowly waking up. The bees were out today.

bees

And the crocus are up!

white crocus

2017-02-11

We had all the windows open and I could hear cardinals singing their spring songs. It’s so early in the year to have such warm temps, but we are appreciating it while we can. Tomorrow Older Son and our DDIL are coming to cook a late lunch for us before taking the twins home. It’s always fun! I just hope I will feel well enough to take part.

Hopefully I can get back into the craft room by Monday or Tuesday. Till then! ~~Rhonda

fourth and last Valentine’s putz

I didn’t feel well over the weekend and didn’t come up to the craft room on Saturday or Sunday. I think I’m on the mend, though I now have a bad cold settling in my chest. Some coughing and a headache, but better than the past weekend. I had finished the Valentine Putz house Friday evening, but was too tired to take pictures of it then. I had planned to do that on Saturday and get it posted to my Etsy shop, but just didn’t feel well enough to follow through.

But I managed to get the pictures taken today, so here it is. I love to see the windows shining with light.

Valentine's Putz

I usually don’t post the back picture exept on Etsy, but here it is from the back. The hole will accommodate a small light. LEDs are perfect for Putz because they are so small and they burn cool. Here is a link to a string I ordered from Amazon and it works very well with the Putz houses. LED Light String

Valentine's Putz

The house turned out pretty well. I do love the heart-shaped fence.

Valentine's Putz

Valentine's Putz

I would like to make a house to represent each month of the year. The Valentine houses certainly cover February but Youngest Daughter suggested something about Martin Luther King for Black History Month. I looked up the house he grew up in and it would make a beautiful Putz house. Now to draw the pattern!

~~Rhonda