Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Don't Blink

Why does a four day work-week feel like it's 8 days long and if you blink, your three day long weekend is over? Followed by a Monday from hell...  Don't blink I tell ya!

The weather fully cooperated for me to get some projects done on my extra day off, i.e., it was rainy, drizzly and pretty cruddy most of the weekend.  And cold.  I'm ready for the cold to go away.

Friday morning, I got up, worked out, and immediately dove in to get some of the things off my to-do list.  As I told Mr. Helen, as usual I was overly ambitious and didn't get as many things as I wanted to done but at least I got some of my least favorite chores done.

  • Painted the hand railing going down to the family room.  That railing had not properly been re-set back into the wall since we bought our new furniture in 2014.  After we got our new washer and dryer a few weeks ago, I insisted Mr. Helen figure out how to put it back up and stabilize it.  He did but had to flip it around so there was exposed wood as it evidently had been put up then painted by the previous owners.  Such a simple fix but it feels so good to glance at it and see it correctly installed and painted.
  • Completely emptied my inside refrigerator/freezer and cleaned it from top to bottom.  As much as I hate doing this job, it really is a supremely satisfying job to finished as everything is fresh and organized afterwards.
  • Organized the outside full freezer, and the top freezer of the outside refrigerator.  Again, so satisfying to get that done.  The outside fridge will need to be emptied and cleaned but honestly it's been too cool for me to want to be out there doing that.  I'll do it in April when we do our big garage clean out.
  • Assembled the new shoe rack I bought over the Christmas season on an Amazon Lightening Deal.  I now have twice as much room for shoes to be out of their boxes.  I also put away my boots for the season. Even though we are having typical schizophrenic spring weather (60 one day, 35 the next), I really don't see it being consistently cold enough for me to wear boots.
  • Cleaned the "junk" drawer in my bedroom. 
  • Spring cleaned the upstairs bathroom:  this means I take a toothbrush to trim and anything else that needs detailing, and literally scrub every single thing down from ceiling to floor.
It was a busy day and I was amazed at how long each thing took me to do.  Of course, I slept in until 7:00 and didn't even work out until 8:30 so I didn't even get to working on those chores until about 10:00.  By the time all was said and done, it was nearly 5.  

On Saturday, I got up, drank coffee and read the paper and futzed around for a couple hours, then finally got out for my run, and ran 8.2 miles.  Came home, made something to eat, cleaned up, then made a chocolate cream pie for my contribution to Easter Sunday dinner.  My mother requested a graham cracker crust this year, and it was actually cheaper to buy a pre-made crust than to buy graham crackers.  So I did that but the filling is from scratch and the whipped cream is real!

Decided to get out and about for a bit just so that I wasn't sitting around after running that distance.  I like to keep my legs moving as I find I actually recover better than if I just sit around - or take a nap which is what I wanted to do.  I browsed some stores and returned some shoes I'd bought that were hurting my feet.  Had to take a store credit but that's no problem because as you know, I love shoes and will have no issue spending that credit.

While I was out, Mr. Helen texted me from work to say his day was hell on earth.  He normally doesn't work Saturday but was doing a coworker a favor and was regretting it.  He works at the commissary meat department (the grocery store on our local military base) and they ran out of bone-in hams. I guess people were beyond rude.  He's pretty tolerant but said if this was the attitude of people celebrating the resurrection of their savior, he wasn't sure who they were worshipping.  Ay yi yi.  He rarely requests anything specific for dinner but asked if we could have hamburgers and hot dogs.  Hamburgers are one of his comfort foods (pizza is the other), so I knew his day was rough.  I made a terrific Greek Pasta Salad for us to have with that.  You guys, I made this recipe up myself and oh my goodness, it came out so good that I wrote the recipe down and will share it later.  But here's a preview.

Sunday morning I got up and drank coffee and read the newspaper and lazed around for a couple hours, then went out and walked 4 miles.  Good recovery for my legs, and also good prep for eating Easter dinner, which was also a joint birthday celebration for my niece Sammie.  Actually it was quite a big day for her as she also celebrated her first communion. Here she is in all her seven year old glory and her finery - the dress she's wearing is 52 years old and was worn by her grandmother, her mother, and now her.  

We had a typical Easter meal - ham, roasted asparagus, our family's special potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, homemade rolls, plus roasted carrots, a Caesar salad, deviled eggs, and the pie and strawberry shortcake for dessert.  There was no shortage of food! Honestly, if my mother didn't host Easter, I'd be tempted to go out - and I know a lot of people who do, including Mr. Helen's whole family.  I really enjoy all the homemade treats but it is a lot work, isn't it?  Thankfully all I do is drop the ham off for Mama Helen to bake, and make the pie!

My sister makes this Caesar salad.  The recipe is a legacy from a old boyfriend.  This is better than any Caesar you'll ever get at a restaurant! We have included it for holidays so often it's now part of the tradition.

Look closely and you'll see Mama Helen turned the napkins into bunny ears.  She was so proud of that.

My niece had requested the shortcake as her birthday cake and everyone also enjoyed the pie!

Plenty of leftovers, which was nice as I was able to take a plate to Mr. Helen who was, unfortunately, working.  I hope this will give you an appreciation for the workers next time you have to run to the store on a holiday to grab that cream you forgot!

Great weekend and I'm so happy I was able to tick a few things off the to do list.  I know for sure I've got to get these projects done before summer gets here.  Next up, the big garage clean up.


  1. So much to comment on! I love Sammie's historical dress, and she looks so pretty in it. What a lovely tradition!

    Your pasta salad is my jam. Seriously, I can never pass up a tri-color rotini pasta salad, and I was craving it over the weekend (but not enough to make it). Anxiously awaiting your recipe, as your version looks amazing!!

    I am with you on Easter dinner - it's nice to get together, but it's one meal that I'm OK with breaking tradition. Which is why we had grilled gourmet hot dogs this year - hey, it was just the two of us, and that's what we wanted...easy peasy! Your mom's dinner table looked lovely; I like her nice silver china.

    Sounds like you had a big spring cleaning bug going over the weekend - it's a lot of work, but so nice when it's done and you can see and feel the freshness. And a new shoe rack, ahhh. I love my shoe cubbies; is it wrong that I choose certain pairs to display on the top? I don't wanna be right if it is! ;)

    1. Still have the cleaning bug but don't have the time. I'm at the point where I need to make a master list and just work on it one room at a time. I swear, the house starts to feel lighter when I get to cleaning and decluttering!

    2. That master cleaning list we made was the best thing - I swear. It organizes the cleaning and I don't worry about all the rooms, since I know what's on the schedule.

  2. We always get together for Easter dinner, even though my mother is the only religious one. I think we do it for her, and an excuse to get together and eat (like we need one).

    You got so much done! That's a lot to accomplish in one day.

    People's rudeness - it's getting worse and worse. I think it is a sense of entitlement that everyone has and forgetting that the person standing in front of you is human. Ugh. This is why I want to become a hermit.

    1. I realized after I posted that I also pulled out and changed my inside decorations to spring! Hey - any excuse to get together and eat is a good excuse in my book.

  3. Man your work list wore me out just reading it. However, I did pick up a tidbit--will be saving my toothbrush for cleaning the trim!

    I loved Sammie wearing that dress too, and love that she made it her own style by wearing leggings with it!

    Mmmm. chocolate cream pie. When you make it for me could you use regular pie crust? :)

    Of course, having worked as a nurse, I am very sympathetic to people having to work the weekends and holidays. All the holidays…. And the rudeness. Good grief people, the day before?? What were you thinking? I was sad, but not rude at all when I went a week ahead of time and the butcher shop was out of leg of lamb!

    1. Oh yes, I always recycle my old toothbrush to the cleaning bucket.

      Actually I found out that everyone but my mother would have preferred the regular crust (which is how I normally make it) so she's already been told she's overridden for the next occasion lol.

      Don't even get me started about how I think rudeness has gotten worse with the spread of social media. It's like people think they can just say whatever and because it's typed, not spoken, that makes it ok.

  4. I've worked so many Easter brunches over the years, and it really sucked out the meaning of the actual day with bratty kids, whose parents were getting lit on memosas and not paying attention. I am with your hubs - burgers are my second favorite comfort food after pizza!

    1. I think it's a tie between burgers and pizza for him. I'm pretty sure whenever I go away that's all he eats lol.

    2. I can't make a comment. Wierd. Same with Shelley's site. Wanted to wish you a belated Happy Easter!

  5. What a great weekend you've had and the food looks so delicious. I did a little extra for dinner on Sunday and we had breakfast which is our tradition. Here the retail is trying to make Easter as big as Christmas. When I was a kid an Easter breakfast was it and nothing more. Now they want you to eat a big breakfast/brunch and huge dinner with all kinds of snacks in between. I refuse to go with this trend.

    I hear you on cleaning the fridge, don't like it either but as you said it is a grateful job after you're finished.

    I'm home alone this weekend and made a list of things I want to do too. That and watch a lot of Netflix :)

    Have a great weekend.

  6. You were productive! GO yoU!!!