when Monday becomes Tuesday and Tuesday attacks

Dear Reader, it will perhaps shine a light on how things are going here today when I share with you that instead of making dinner this evening I stopped at not one but two fast food establishments to feed the family after soccer practice, I cannot find one child’s lunchbox, and the other child spent 20 minutes singing very loud songs about donuts at me and is now furious about having to take a shower.

Here’s to a better tomorrow, and here’s what we’re probably having the rest of this blissfully short week.

Wednesday: Festival of frozens
I’ll be stopping by Trader Joe’s to procure a selection of their fine frozen foods.

Thursday: Soup and sandwiches
I have a strong suspicion that the children will balk at my veggie noodle soup.

Friday: Frozen pizza
Rockford and I are going out on a date, and we are making the children stay home with a responsible adult and a couple of frozen pizzas.

Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

In memoriam

The weekly calls from Rockford’s grandmother started shortly after we moved to Missouri. I didn’t know her all that well, but I welcomed the calls anyway because I was suddenly hundreds of miles from anyone I knew at all.

“Nichole, it’s Mom,” she’d say. “Sorry to bother you.”

“Mom, you’re never a bother,” I’d say, and that’s how most of our weekly conversations started for the next 17 years.

When the kids were babies, she’d tell me stories of when Rockford’s dad and aunt were babies. My father-in-law, she’d tell me, had always been a handful. When Rockford started traveling frequently, she’d tell me how she coped when Pop was overseas in the military and she was home alone with two small children. Sometimes she’d talk about her childhood or how she met Pop, but mostly she just wanted to hear about how we were doing.

After Pop passed I talked to her even more frequently. She was lonely, and I was worried about her. Most of the time I’d call her from parking lots while I was waiting for Poppy after soccer practice or Pete during guitar. She still wanted to hear about her great-grandchildren, but she was more forthcoming about herself in the last few years. She had trouble sleeping. She missed Pop. She still worried about her kids. She was forgetting things more and more often. She was ready to go.

She didn’t pick up the last time I called. I wish I’d known the last time I talked to her would be the last time I talked to her. I would’ve kept her a little longer.

I’m grateful to have known her. I’m relieved for her. I’m so sad. She was my friend, and I’m going to miss her.

Sometimes Monday throws you an impromptu party with strangers

If this week’s menu looks a lot like last week’s menu, it’s because I lost my grocery list somewhere between home and the store and then I couldn’t remember any food I’ve ever eaten or prepared in my lifetime. I guess that’s the problem with relying heavily on grocery lists and meal planning. I don’t do well when it comes to spontaneity. (This is true in groceries and in life in general.)

I was the first one in line this morning at the deli counter, but the three people working were all feverishly preparing a large online order that had just come in and was to be picked up in 15 minutes. By the time they got to me, there were five other people waiting. We chatted about our favorite deli meats and encouraged one another to try them. The deli employees overheard us and started slicing samples of everything we were all ordering to pass out. It was a lovely little deli party, and I learned that the expensive, fancy salami really is delicious.

Monday: Sandwiches
Our diners will have a choice of turkey, buffalo chicken or bourbon ham. Or just plain cheese, if you’re Poppy.

Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs
I made this last week with the intention of freezing some of the meatballs, but the meatballs all fell apart so I just stirred them into the sauce and had spaghetti with meat sauce for lunch for most of the week. I didn’t think I’d ever want spaghetti again, but here we are. I can’t quit you, pasta.

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
I once asked Rockford what he’d like to see on the menu for the week, and he said “We could have breakfast for dinner one night. And we could have pancakes another…” He was completely earnest. The man loves breakfast. Happily for me, he also loves making breakfast.

Thursday: Something from the wok
I’ve never actually used a wok, but one has recently come into my possession. We’ll give it a spin this week.

Friday: Frozen pizza
Hopefully I remember to pick up a non-dairy one for myself.

Hungry for more? Check out the Menu Plan Monday linkup at OrgJunkie.

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