Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

posted by on Homemaking

Now that school has started it seems that our calendar is quickly filling up. As the holidays approach our calendar will become even more crowded. I found myself struggling with trying to juggle my calendar organization the other day and this idea popped into my head. It has already helped me tremendously & I hope that it will help you also.

I do use the calendar in my phone, but I am a girl who loves her paper. I have tried going paperless on many things and I just can’t do it. Besides, who wouldn’t want to use a calendar that has my all too cute grandson on it?

 I had several people we were trying to schedule to have over for dinner & a trip that Gene has to make for work that still has no set date.  I got post-it note strips and wrote the names of people we were trying to schedule and Gene’s trip. I placed the strips that I had an idea about a date for on that corresponding date. For those that I wasn’t sure about I put on the bottom of the calendar.

 Because these notes stick & re-stick it made it easy to juggle things as I was trying to schedule them. I am very visual, so having it where I could see it to make changes made things much easier.


Once the date was firm, I would then take off the post-it and write it in pencil. I used to write dates in pen, but things can come up and plans will have to be re-scheduled and I hate marking through things, I’m just neurotic that way.

I hope that this tip is helpful to you. Do you have any other ideas/tips on organizing your calendar? Please share them, I love to hear great ideas.

posted by on Homemaking

With several members of my family living with chronic Lyme, including myself, keeping up with the house can be quite difficult. There have been many times when nobody could keep up with the house with so many people being sick. Thankfully as of late we have been able to get better at keeping the house under control even with our illnesses. I hope some of these tips can help you or someone you know.

Don’t Stress

When you have a chronic illness the last thing you want to add to your life is even more stress. The more clutter there is around the house the more stress and crowded you will feel. It is important to try to keep up with things but at the same time don’t stress if you do not feel up to working, you can always work on it later when you feel a little better.

Work In Spurts

Don’t try to clean the whole house at once. By doing that you use all your energy up quickly and can become overwhelmed. Instead try setting a timer and working in fifteen minute spurts. If you don’t feel up to working for fifteen minutes try ten or five minutes. Once your timer goes off re-set the timer for a select amount of time that works best for you and rest until your time is up.

Keep Organized

If you are organized it helps you to keep everything clean and to clean quickly. It only takes a few seconds to sort your dirty laundry into hampers labeled for darks, colors, whites, and towels as you use them. This saves time so that you do not have to sort laundry as you wash it.

Make sure everything has it’s place that is kept organized. It makes putting things away really quick and easy, saving you energy.

Prepare Meals Ahead Of Time

When you are sick making a basic meal can seem like an impossible task, especially when trying to clean as well. What I like to do on days that I have more energy than normal is to make myself large batches of several meals and freeze them. You can freeze them in batches big enough for your whole family or in individual servings. Soups, casseroles, pastas, meats, and pre-cut vegetables work really well for this.

Another thing that I find helpful is to always have some baked potatoes, roasted chicken, and washed salad mix in the fridge. At the beginning of the week you can bake your potatoes and chicken and keep them in the fridge for simple meals and snacks. For the salad mix wash and completely dry your lettuces then store in a container in your fridge. Add a paper towel to the container to absorb any extra moisture and keep it fresh longer.


If you know that in the next week you want to get certain rooms in the house clean sit down and write a list of everything in those rooms you want to be cleaned. Once you are done separate the list into seven equal parts based on how strenuousness the jobs are. This way every day you have about an equal amount of work and are not putting too much on yourself. If one day you have more energy than usual go ahead and get some work done from your list for later in the week to make the rest of your week easier.

Clean As You Go

Before you leave the room you are in look around to see if there is anything you can pick up. If there is anything that does not belong where it is pick it up on your way and place it where it goes. This will help save you time later on when you are cleaning and keep your space feeling more open and relaxing.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

This is one of my biggest problems. I feel guilty about having to ask my family to help me with something. The thing I have to remember, and often times tell them, is that if I have to do a certain thing, getting myself lunch for instance, I will not have enough energy to do another thing which is more important that I do. I know It can be difficult to ask for help because you feel like you are being a burden, but in the long run it is easier on your family instead of you pushing yourself too much and getting sicker.

Be Thankful

I am extremely grateful for all the help my family gives me when I am sick, I couldn’t get by without them. Make sure those who help you know how grateful you are, it will help them to know you are thankful for all they do.

I hope these tips can help you as they have helped me. I am currently reading the book More Hours In My Day by Emilie Barnes. More Hours In My Day is already helping me learn how to save myself more time and energy. I would highly recommend it to young adults and adults alike wherever they are at in life.

Turkey Day


posted by on Food & Cooking, Homemaking

Every year after Thanksgiving and Christmas I hit the stores looking for the holiday meats that have been marked down. Last Friday I went to Kroger looking for marked down fresh turkey. Normally I would buy a turkey that is .25 a pound or less, but this year we are having to do things differently. Due to dietary restrictions we aren’t able to buy the frozen turkey because it is injected with all types of things before they freeze them. So, from now on it’s fresh for us.

When I went to the store to buy my turkeys they only had 22 pounders left. They were some huge birds! I bought two of them planning on roasting, carving and putting them in small portions in the freezer. We’ll use the meat for soups, salads, and casseroles. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to them for a couple of days and put them on ice in a large ice chest. I use my ice chests a lot during the holiday season since my refrigerator is usually packed. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of doing that, it has sure been a lifesaver since I started doing it.

I bought my two disposable roasting pans Monday and was ready to roast on Tuesday. I usually use my table top roaster for my turkeys (can’t say how much I love that appliance!) but these birds wouldn’t fit in it. Tuesday was going to be turkey day! I was ready, and I had a plan. I was going to roast the turkeys one at a time in the oven because I didn’t think there was any way to fit them both in at the same time. I wasn’t injecting them because I was going to be using the meat in different ways. It was going to be simple; rinse the birds, throw them in the pan and roast them.

I should know by now that simple doesn’t exist in my house. I am the type of person who always hopes for the best, and thinks things are going to run smoothly, I don’t know why I am always surprised when they don’t. You would think I would have learned by now. Well, on turkey day who do you think awoke with a stomach bug? If you guessed me, you’d be right. On top of me being sick, Caroline also had a stomach bug an Hannah is suffering with a major migraine which left Rachel to run the house and cook two turkeys. Did I mention that I am the only one in the house to have ever roasted a turkey? As I was getting back into the bed about to pass out the thought came to me that it was turkey day and I had two humongous turkeys that were going to take about 8 hours of cooking. The idea of sticking my hand inside a naked, dead, & cold (which is a greater reminder of its lack of life) bird was enough to turn my stomach, not that it wasn’t already doing somersaults.

When I told Rachel my dilemma she cheerfully told me that she would take care of it. I was in that state of half-awake, half-passing out when I gave her directions as to how to cook the turkeys. I am sure I was quite clear in those directions, they made perfect sense to me. After I awoke from my coma to smells of turkey wafting in the air, I walked stumbled into the kitchen to check on the turkey. Much to my surprise I found two turkeys in roasting pans crammed into the oven. I asked Rachel how she had prepared them because they looked different than anything I had done before. She told me that she had adapted a dry brining method we had heard about from a friend. She separated the skin from the birds and rubbed a mixture of olive oil and sea salt generously all over the bird. On top of the skin she rubbed a little more of that mixture and more oil on them to make them crispy. She cooked them breast down, which allows all of the juices to run into the breast, and slow roasted them at 325 (F). The only problem with cooking them breast down is that the skin isn’t crispy on the breast. You can alleviate that by flipping the bird and cooking it breast side up for the last 45 minutes or so. For me, I would rather the juicy meat and I don’t worry about the skin. Besides, who wants to try to flip two hot 22 pound turkeys?!

We were rather dubious at first, thinking that the meat was going to be too salty. Once we carved the bird and tasted it, all fears were gone. Those were the best turkeys we have ever tasted! It was all moist and juicy and had just the right amount of saltiness to it. I don’t have pictures to share, I wasn’t up to taking any last night, and I sure wish I could give you a taste through your monitor, but since I can’t, you are just going to have to trust me.