Friday, July 30, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up - Stranger Things

Well, this has been an interesting week.  Monday around 2pm, Lindsey and I were in the sun porch, when we noticed and abundance of fresh green leaves blowing through our yard, followed by our deck chairs flying by the back door.  Torrential rain started, and then the hail started, HUGE hail, bigger and in more abundance than I've ever seen.   I told Lindsey to get to the basement, and just as she started back the hallway, we heard a loud thud that stopped us both in our tracks.   I went to investigate and noticed that our bedroom was way more dark than normal.  I opened the blinds on the window to see nothing but green leaves and branches, a tree was on the house.  

I grabbed and umbrella and ran outside in the still pouring hail and rain, to try to figure out if the tree was through the roof or not.  The way it landed I couldn't really tell, so I ended up calling the fire department to come assess the situation.  They had to go up in the attic to make sure it hadn't come through the roof; they determined that there was no structural damage, thank God!  While they were leaving, everyone's phones started going off with emergency weather alerts...the first ones to be issued all day, and the storm had already stopped.  I was not amused. 

Thankfully, the way the tree fell, the chimney/rooftop intersection pinned it in a way that didn't allow it to slide or roll and cause more damage.  The imprint of the tree was left on the shingles, but not a shingle was ripped off needing replacement, thank God!

As you can see, our house is dwarfed by large maple trees on the property directly beside of us.  We've been asking for years for the trees to be trimmed to a safe and healthy size. Now that one of the trees has fallen on our house, they've agreed to the trimming.  Better late than never?

Tuesday night we had another round of crazy storms come through, and our town received a great deal of flooding and wind damage.  Lightning struck the neighbor's property, and there were water rescues required on some of the main roads.  Again, the warning alarms came after the storm had passed.

Wednesday was calm and quiet, although hot and extremely humid.  The kids and I met friends in the evening at the county fair.  We were so excited to go, but once we got there we saw that the rides were all little kid size, even Lindsey wouldn't fit.  We still had a good evening watching drag races and eating deep fried Oreos.

Thursday was pretty average with grocery shopping, laundry and house work.   We had severe storms in our forecast, but nothing every popped up.  Here's an interesting factoid for you.  In 2019 our city school board got caught up in the "let's rename everything" cancel culture trend, and changed our high school name and mascot.  The new mascot name is the name of our city followed by "Storm".  Since that time, we've had unprecedented storms that have caused millions of dollars worth of damage.  Coincidence, maybe, but none the less, the irony is not lost on me.

Friday Lindsey spent her day working on a baby quilt.  I'll share finished product photos next week.

Olivia is still working seven days a week.  She got a raise at her weekend job.  Lindsey finished up her summer work schedule.  Family #1 is on maternity leave, and family #2 is done with summer lessons until the new school year starts.  

Have a great weekend??

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Zucchini Bread (Recipe)

Our zucchini harvest has been huge this year.  I believe we're at 30 squash total so far, with more on the vines.  We've given some away, fried and sauteed some and then sliced, chunked and grated crazy amounts to go in the freezer for the winter.  We have of course made everyone's favorite, zucchini bread.

This recipe makes two regular size loaf pans of zucchini bread.  It typically lasts a day and a half in our house, if we're lucky.  As you can see, there's a lot of sugar and oil in this recipe.  I've not tried substituting other sweeteners, but applesauce does work well in place of the oil.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs - beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil (or apple sauce)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300, grease and flour bread pans.  Sift together flour, soda, salt, powder and cinnamon, then set aside.

Blend eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil together.  Slowly add flour mixture and mix well.  Stir in zucchini and nuts and mix well (by hand).

Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

This is an excellent snack, dessert or breakfast bread.  It does freeze well too.

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up - Meetings and Changes

This has been a long week, full of some really heavy issues.   Virginia's elected officials have been working overtime to put some pretty shocking things into place in our public school system by the start of this academic year.   Public schools here start August 5, so school boards and parents are having to make pretty quick, reactionary decisions.    This has caused a very adversarial situation both within the schools and in the school vs. homeschool arena.   Some counties are standing up and saying no, some are not.  Our area is a current hot spot.

Monday during the day was our current, typical schedule.  Olivia was out the door early to work.  I dropped Lindsey off early, picked her up at 9:30am and then we were at PT by 10am.  Monday night was our City School Board meeting.  I attended, and sadly, I was not shocked to see that they voted unanimously to put these things in place.   I was GREATLY disappointed, but not shocked.   The girls went to a local baseball game while I was at the meeting.

Tuesday was Lindsey's long nanny day.  In the evening after work, Olivia and I spent over two hours talking with the Marine recruiter.  We are still in an information collecting time, but I'm pretty sure she is going to enlist.  Lots of emotions tangled up there.   The girls were late for Jiu-jitsu, Lindsey is still not able to participate in classes, so she watches and makes notes.

Wednesday morning Lindsey had PT.  I had an interview with the local TV station at noon, to discuss homeschooling and to promote the homeschool informational meeting that a group of us put together for later in the evening.   It didn't take long for me to see that the reporter was trying to bait me into saying something that would make homeschoolers sound "phobic" (draw your conclusions based on that word).  I was able to side step all of that, and give some great information...all of which was met with "Um, yeah, so...." and then cut and spliced together to create an 8 second blurb that made it sound like people are just homeschooling because they are afraid of Covid.  Crazy.   The informational meeting went REALLY well.  We had roughly 100-150 people show up from different areas of the community.  

Thursday was more normal with just getting Lindsey to/from work, doing a grocery store run and then home to work on house work and laundry.  The girls had Jiu-jitsu in the evening and then they were off to the baseball game again.  I stayed home, decompressed and did a lot of researching on the Marine's website.

Friday morning I had to take Lindsey to feed the chickens/birds/cats.  She's animal sitting again due to a family emergency that took the owners out of town.  The husband was off work, so we plan to go out to lunch this afternoon.

The world is changing fast, not for the good in a lot of ways.  Be willing to stand up for what is right.

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Friday, July 9, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up - Early July

 You may have noticed that my Weekly Wrap Up's are a little more spread out these days.  Right now, there's not a whole lot going on while we're on summer break, so I skip a week here and there.

July 4th was this past weekend and we did a little celebrating.  First, I decorated the house.  I don't have much decor in this theme, so it didn't take long.   Changing out my house and garden flags was the first task.

Then I added a festive table cloth to the dining room table.  Additionally, I found these cute drink holders at the Dollar Tree and bought one for each of the kids...then realized they were too big to fit in any cup holder in the known world.  The cups are now considered table decor.

That's the extent of my decorating.  I should probably work on that for next year.

Sunday was a regular work day for Olivia, in the evening we went out to my brother's home for a cook-out.   I made a two new recipes to share, antipasto tortellini pasta salad and loaded ranch potato salad.  Both were delish!  The temperature was unseasonably mild, so we had a fire pit after the sun went down.  We got to watch fireworks all over the place while we were there.  

Monday was a regular work day for Olivia too, but they did let everyone leave 2 hours early since the rest of the college staff had the full day off with holiday pay.  In the evening, we went out to friend's house in the country.  There was a great deal of people there, and we all rode on hay wagons up into the dark country side.  Once there, we had a reading of the Declaration of Independence as sand the National Anthem as a group.  We then enjoyed one of the best fireworks shows we've seen in ages.  Riding back out to the main parking area, we got to watch millions of lightning bugs fill the air, and the trees.  Frogs and whippoorwills were calling to each other and it was as if we'd stepped into a completely different time and place.
Lindsey's PT was supposed to end this week.  Unfortunately, her progress was slow the first few weeks and she's not where she needs to be, so we've added 4 more weeks on.  The good news is she won't need surgery.

That's about it for this week.  Have a great weekend!
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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up - Just Stuff

We picked up Lindsey's retainers on Monday afternoon.  Her teeth had already started to shift from when her braces came off on Friday, so she's been a bit uncomfortable as everything moves back into position.  She's also got the cutest lisp now, she sounds slightly Daffy Duck-ish.  She also had PT, and they told her to take the week off from jiu-jitsu to see if that impacts her pain level any.

Tuesday was a long work day for both girls.  Lindsey went to jiu-jitsu, but only to watch.  She doesn't want to get behind, or miss hanging out with the guys, but couldn't participate.

Wednesday morning, Olivia had a meeting with the financial director of the equestrian center.  This was her first time being in such a meeting, so she was a bit nervous going in.  However, she was excited coming out, she was given a really big hourly rate increase (several dollars on the hour).  Lindsey had PT, and picked up a couple of extra hours babysitting.  We were able to go to the ball game in the evening.  It was super nice weather, actually cool enough to need a hoodie after the sun went down. 

Thursday was grocery and laundry day for me.  Lindsey had a short work day.   Jiu-jitsu wrapped up the evening.  Lindsey went to class, but just watched again.

Friday morning I took Lindsey for her annual checkup and sports physical.  We have no clue if volleyball will be a thing this year, but we wanted to at least have the forms filled out, just in case.  We did some shopping afterwards and then went out for a nice sit down lunch at a quirky sandwich shop.  We stopped for milk shakes on the way home.  We had nothing going on in the evening, thank goodness!

Enjoy your weekend!

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