Monday, October 15, 2007

Menu - week of October 14, 2007

Oops. I completely forgot to post last week's menu. I blame it on stress.

My grandfather has been incredibly ill recently. It's not a huge shock because he's 89 years old and has been sick for a number of years, but it was still a deep blow to see him looking so fragile last time I visited. He's been taken to various doctors, been poked at a bit, had some blood pumped back into him, and he has another appointment on November 2. What happens now is up to him and God, and I'm having a hard time suppressing the selfish feelings welling up inside me. I accepted long ago that death is part of the life cycle, but this is my grandfather -- the single most important male influence of my childhood and the man that I still measure all other men against. It's selfish of me to say/think/feel that I don't want him to die, and yet I don't. This world -- my world -- will not be the same once he's gone.

Things are slowly improving in regards to the apartment issues. And I do mean slowly. The biggie -- the bare pipe in the bathtub -- has been covered. Finally. That doesn't mean the bathroom is complete yet, just that I no longer have a big ugly bare pipe sticking out of the tub where the faucet should be. And there are other issues that need tending to, issues that were created by the workers while they were, but the complex has a(nother) new maintenance supervisor so I have hope that things will gradually get better. Even so, we're still looking for a house, it's just not as urgent now.

Speaking of houses, we're looking for a house. We even have a "preliminary commitment letter" with a dollar figure on it. Woo-hoo! Now to find the house we want and convince someone to sell it to us for less than that dollar amount. That's going to be the hard part. The market here is... expensive doesn't seem adequate enough, but it'll do. We could probably qualify for much more than what we asked for, but we asked for $xxx,000.00 because it will keep our monthly payments where we want them, even with all the taxes and other stuff added in. And that's important to us because we don't want to move into a house only to loose it a year or so down the way because we can no longer afford it. Luckily, we have A.'s eligibility for a VA Loan to help us out, and we're first time home buyers so that should give us some help, too. Still, the hard part isn't all that financial stuff, it's finding the house we want, where we want it, for what we're willing to pay.

K.'s birthday is the end of this month (October 25, to be precise) and we were planning on doing a family dinner out that weekend but, again, my cousin's wife has scheduled their boys' combined birthday party for that weekend. Their boys birth dates fall near the beginning and near the end of November. That's right. NOVEMBER. So they have their birthday party at the end of October. (Yeah, it boggles the mind. Right there with ya.) This is the second year in a row that they've done this and last night it had K. really upset. (She eventually cried herself to sleep, after snorting snot all over my shirt. Don't ask.) We hadn't formalized any plans for the dinner yet because things have been happening and getting early commitments from my family is like getting candy from a bear -- it's doable, but often tricky work involving much pain. (A.'s family is even worse.) It's bad enough it's almost impossible to collect enough of her friends to do a party because of Halloween, but now that her cousins' (actually second cousins?) birthday parties are being planned in such a way as to, basically, make the family chose between being here for her birthday and driving an hour or so away for their combined party... yeah, see, I'm not feeling a whole lot of familial love right now and it's got her in a wicked twist. I do plan on declining the party invitation should it be extended to us again this year. I'll probably bite part of my tongue off in the process of being polite about it, too because it's not like they don't know when her birthday is. She gets a card from them almost every year.

I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo in November. November is always an insane month for me because of the onset of the holidays, and now that I'm heaping the task of a 50,000 word story on top of all my usual November craziness...? Yeah. I'll be a babbling, drooling idiot come December.

And if you squint your eyes and tilt your head, that brings us to the menu. Yeah, it's a stretch of the imagination how I connect the dots, sometimes. It's best if you just smile and nod. Or so the husband says.

So... food!

As always, much gratitude for Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday.

dinner: pasta

dinner: breaded cod, corn, broccoli

dinner: sheppard's pie

dinner: pot roast, mixed veggies

dinner: chicken, couscous, leftover veggies (or lima beans)

dinner: pizza

dinner: taco meat (and/or leftovers) on tortillas

You know, I really should start planning lunches again, even though K. is in school and it's just me home for lunch now. Maybe next week.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Menu - Week of September 30, 2007

No blahblahblahing about the apartment today.

A. returned Thursday night rather than Friday night, and while I was considering letting him walk home so that I didn't miss CSI that wasn't really an issue since his plane was delayed for two hours. He arrived just after 11pm. It was 130am before we got back from the airport and fell into bed.

The weekend was... interesting. Saturday morning we met up with one of K.'s friends from school, bopped around the Museum of Science and Industry with her, then headed out to do grocery shopping after the girl was drug off by her family.

Sunday morning found us picking her up and taking her with us to see The Game Plan. Cute movie, by the way, especially if you have kids. After the movie and kid drop off, there was more grocery shopping.

All in all, it was a busybusybusy weekend... largely with an extra child.

This week won't be so busy. A. is driving to a city some two hours northeast of us everyday (he rented a car for the week). He's getting up at 3am so that he can leave here between 430 and 5am to be there on time. He'll be getting home... when he gets home.

This gives me the unique opportunity to be up woken up just before he leaves and have quiet time until 7am when K. has to get up for school. This gives me a jump on the not only the chores, but also the writing. If I can have my chores done by 745am when I take her to the bus stop, then when I get back I have the rest of the day to focus on writing and doing research. I don't know what time we'll all be wanting to fall into bed, but it should prove to be an interesting week. Just not too terribly busy.

So. Menu. Because my family really does like it when I feed them. And so do the little dinosaurs living in my tummy.

And there will probably be some additional "extra cooking" items added later, as whims occur. I guess it'll just depend on which way the wind is blowing.

As always, much gratitude for Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday.

dinner: Chinese/take out

lunch: leftovers
dinner: pasta, salad
extra cooking: sauce

lunch: leftovers, fruit
dinner: Autumn chicken and apples, mashed potatoes, lima beans, salad

lunch: grilled cheese sandwich, fruit
dinner: make it up out of the pantry and freezer as I go, salad

lunch: sandwich, fruit
dinner: parmesan crusted tilapia, macaroni & cheese, green peas, salad

dinner: tortillas, taco meat, salad
extra cooking tortillas

lunch: ??
dinner: homemade pizza