Healthy Eating Reading Recipes

Simple Ideas For Keeping Busy & Productive at Home

This has been a busy week for me and a slow week for the hub.  He’s SUPPOSED to be resting his knee due to a stress fracture for two weeks.  He’s been sort of up and down with that, but it means I get to do all the fun chores around the house and still keep my day job.

I managed to keep busy and productive and John managed to be somewhat productive, all things considered.

Here is a pic of the hub using an electric buffer to polish out the etches on our marble countertops.  He's supposed to be non-weight bearing, but at least he's busy and productive at this moment.
This is John Buffing, Not John in the Buff

He did get out the buffer and polish our marble kitchen countertops.  For anyone considering marble in the kitchen, it is beautiful, but it etches super easy.  It doesn’t bother me, but it was making him crazy.  It’s never going to be perfect (it’s a rock for heaven’s sake) but it looks very nice now.

John's quarantined birthday.  But enjoying an ice cream cake.  Thank goodness Baskin Robbins is still open.
John with His Yummy Ice Cream Cake and No Candle to Blow On

This was birthday week for John.  This is how the day went down:  Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, backflips off the high dive, a quick trip to Disneyland and cocktails on the beach in Hawaii.  Yep, all of that happened. Doesn’t that sound busy and productive?

Well, what actually happened is that I surprised him by getting him an ice cream cake and a pint of his favorite mint chocolate chip from Baskins Robbins.  They have one cake shaped like a roll of toilet paper.  Nice someone has a sense of humor in this madness.

We are trying to be as social and still distant as possible. 

What I’m Reading

You would think all this downtime is really good for a lot of reading and a few good book reviews, but I’ve been really busy doing other stuff (drinking chardonnay?) and haven’t gotten in as much reading as normal.  Having said that, I do have a few things under my belt.

On audio I listed to J.A. Jance’s Until Proven Guilty, the first in the J.P. Beaumont series.  This series has been going strong over the years and this book was published in 1985.  Those dated stories are still good fun even without cell phones and whatever GPS tracking gadgets they were missing.  There are so many Jance fans in Arizona where she is from, but I’m not sure I loved him enough to keep going.

I am listening on audio to the fourth Cork O’Connor by William Kent Krueger, Mercy Falls.  Krueger is a beautiful writer and having him write a detective series is just icing on that cake.  O’Connor becomes more likable in each novel, so maybe I’ll give Beaumont another try.

In print, I read Thomas Perry’s third (and final?) Butcher’s Boy series.  The Informant is fast-paced, fun and like Perry’s other books feels realistic.  His characters are likable and leaves me rooting for the good guy and the bad guy.  The ending was great and imaginative. Love it.

What I’m Eating

Homemade dressing on salad with a side of Grandma's potato salad and healthy air-fried chicken.
Homemade dressing on salad with a side of Grandma’s potato salad and healthy air-fried chicken.

I made Grandma’s potato salad again this week as a side to healthy fried chicken (made with corn flake crumbs, buttermilk and the air fryer) and salad with homemade vinaigrette.  I never eat bottled dressing because homemade is so easy and so much better. 

Some of the ingredients I use to make my homemade dressing and the little containers I love.
Red Wine Vinaigrette Prepared with My Pretties

I think any food is even more special when you use cute little gee gaws.  You know I love my honey jar.  I bought this adorable tiny measuring cup when I was in Aspen last summer so it makes me feel extra special.  My “cruet” is an Italian jar and lid I got at the Container Store around Christmas.  I put one in my sister’s stocking as well because it’s so dang cute.

Since I’m low fodmap, I no longer use garlic or onion in my dressing, but adding some onion powder and crushed garlic really adds to it.  I use different dried spices to taste and capers if I have them on hand. I like mine on the tart side, so if it’s too tart add a little extra oil or water. Here’s the basic recipe:

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • ¼  cup olive or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar (works nice with balsamic too)
  • ½ – 1 tsp water
  • ½ – 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp honey
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Dash of dried thyme, basil, oregano or any other herbs you like

Whisk ingredients and let the flavors meld a couple hours before using.

Setting the table and preparing to eat like human beings.  Notice I'm wearing real clothes and not exercise leggings?  Preparing meals keeps me busy and is certainly productive.
Setting the Table and Eating Like Human Beings

We can look forward to more time at home and try to enjoy the patio and our home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I really do not loke cooking and cleaning, but that is what has kept me busy and productive at home – way more than I want, actually.

To cope, I try to use my pretty things, turn on some music, play some games. We even ate at the table one night like human beings.

Lucky to have each other, but so miss spending time with our loved ones.