A Day in the life, Part 2 (Meatloaf recipe too)

Part One of Day in the Life of Patty of My Chaotic Home was posted yesterday. Click here to read it.

Ok, I'm awake and have a spare moment to get the rest of my day on here. ((Sorry this post goes back and forth in past tense and present tense. It's how my brain works. ))

So, I made it to bed by 6am and got up around 2pm. Sometime before then, Christopher had brought Zoe home. She'd been feeling bad at school and they'd called him to come get her. She must not have been feeling too bad. This is what the living room looked like when I got up.

I was just glad she was feeling better. So, on with my daily routine!
I went to reboot the laundry and realized the heavy winter duvet cover in the dryer was still not dry. Since it was sunny out, I draped it on the deck rail. (pardon my messy deck, it get neglected when temps reach the 90s each day).

Then I let the dogs out and feed and water them (except we ran out of dog and cat food and I haven't had a chance to run to the store. They're getting a lot of scraps though.)

Then it was back to the laundry room to start a new load. I noticed that the girls had not gotten their cubbies and put their clothes away like they're supposed to.

So, start a new load.

WooHoo, this emptied my bedroom hamper, and the girls' hampers had been emptied the day before so they each only had one set of clothes per girl in them (in theory anyway).

It just left a few things left in my bathroom hamper which will get washed next time along with what's in the girl's hampers by then. It's a constant chore to keep up with the laundry.

I have been trying to make my laundry room more pleasant to be in. I keep pretty knickknacks and things I like on the dryer so junk doesn't accumulate on it.

I also keep a vintage tablecloth on the chest freezer for the same reason, and also because the top of the freezer is ugly and stained and rusty. I now have a pretty flat surface for folding and sorting clothes right in the laundry room.

Ok, so now on to finish getting my day started. Next step was my bed. Nothing seems to go well, unless my bed is made. I feel the same about a clean empty shiny sink too.



Much better. That stack of clothes are the ones that still need to be hung and put away from yesterday. I think putting away clothes is my least favorite household task. Also, there's my purse and bible case.

Now it's time to get dressed. Unlike a lot of the ladies on the blogs I read and enjoy, I am not dresses-only. I do wear skirts sometimes when I feel like it, but today was very muggy and I just knew I'd feel more comfortable in jeans.

Now, I can finally open the drapes and let in the sunlight!

Then, I sit and relax for a moment with a glass of tea on my made bed with the light coming in (or watching the rain, whichever), and read my little devotional book. Since starting my day off with this time with God and prayer, I feel much less lost and out of control than I used to.

Then it's off to the bathroom to get face, hair, teeth etc all done. I won this amazing set of Arbonne at an Arbonne party my friend invited me to. The prices of this stuff in the catalog are jawdropping and I got it free, Yay! I don't use it every single day, but I should. I can tell when I've not been using it, my face starts to get grayish and I look quite zombie-ish. Did I mention I don't leave the house for days at a time?

After getting myself ready, I wipe down the sink and counter with the wash cloth, then wipe down the toilet and also swish it with the toilet brush. I can't stand a nasty toilet, and I much prefer maintaining a clean one than cleaning a dirty one!
Then the wash cloth just goes into the hamper.

Ok, then I come back to the bedroom and check my routine. Usually I can do it all without having to look at it, but I like the feeling of marking off the things I've accomplished. Without this book and my routines I really am lost and going around in circles.

So, back to laundry room to reboot laundry and fold the dry clothes. I keep a tote bag nearby for things that are too small or I know the kids don't like etc. When it's full, I take it to Goodwill or some other charity store... well in theory. I actually have stacks of giveaway stuff I need to actually give away.

So, once the folded clothes are put into cubbies, I head back to the main part of the house. My mother in law has shown up by now. Tonight is family dinner night.

I cleaned up any messes Zoe had made in the kitchen and made a new pitcher of tea to be cold for dinner. I also had Zoe start cleaning up the mess she made in the living room.

When the girls got home, I got their lunch bags back to put the containers in the dishwasher and put the bags away.

Here's the two middle ones having their after school snack before homework. This is a rare pic of my 13 yr old awake. She usually hides her face in pictures. In fact this one is a little blurry cause she's started to move her hands to her face.

Now it's time to make dinner. The Family Dinner Night special is almost always meatloaf and macaroni and cheese.
First, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of milk and 1 cup of oatmeal. It originally called for 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, but once when I was out of breadcrumbs, I used oatmeal and ended up just adjusting for texture. Now I like it better with oatmeal.

Then I chopped an onion and some fresh thyme. I prefer using a whole chopped onion rather than just a half. Also, the recipe originally called for 2 tsp dried thyme, but I'm out of dried and have thyme growing on the back deck, so used it instead. I love how it looks in the mixture.

Then add a tsp of ground sage and a 1/2 tsp of salt.

Mix all of that together, then get 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (or a mixture of ground meats. I don't like how ground turkey works by itself, but it's great when mixed with either ground beef or pork. All I had this time was ground beef. I almost never buy ground beef actually. I will occasionally get one small pack of 93% lean ground beef for a meatloaf, but that's it. However, this week, things were a little tight in the grocery budget due to another big bill, so when I saw the 3 lb rolls of beef for $2.89 on markdown, I snatched them up. As long as don't eat that stuff all the time, I think it's ok when things are tight.

Then I mix it all together with a spoon first.

Then it's time to use the hands. Zoe washed her hands really well and volunteered this time. Yay! (No, no one ended up sick because she stuck her hands in it lol)

Then I put it into a 13x9 pan and shape it into a loaf shape. I use this pan instead of like a bread loaf pan because there needs to be room for the fat to melt and separate from the loaf. Then it cooks for 50 minutes at 350.

When it comes out, drain off all that fat. When I do it, the meatloaf stick to the pan enough that it doesn't slide when I pour off the grease. Then I put on the topping which is a mixture of 1/4 cup ketchup, a squirt of mustard and a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar. Then put it back in for 10 minutes. Mmmmmmmmm Gooood!

While it's cooking that last 10 minutes, I start the water boiling for macaroni. Our mac and cheese is very simple and so delicious. I just cook a box of macaroni with a little oil in the water to keep it from clumping. Then drain it and add a little butter and put into a large bowl. Then dump a big bag of shredded mixed cheese over the top and mix it all together. Our favorite cheese to use is the local store brand Mexican cheese blend. It's not spicy or seasoned, it's just a mix of cheddar, jack and something else. I know, big help, but I just know it's YUMMY! But yeah that's it, just hot macaroni with enough butter to keep it a tad bit slippery and then a bunch of shredded cheese that melts with the heat of the macaroni as you mix it in.

Well, since there weren't enough seats at the table, I let everyone else eat first, especially since Corina and Tyler were going to take Rhiannon to her first chorus concert. The middle school chorus was going to sing for the school board meeting. By the way, it's not unusual for this many people to eat here several times a week. It makes dinner a challenge. If I had a bigger grocery budget, I'd have made two meatloaves (and there'd still be no leftovers.)

So, while they ate, I took the time to check on my cream cheese.

I made home made yogurt a few days ago, and this is the second batch of cream cheese I've made from it.

I realized the bowl I'd used was not deep enough and the strainer ended up sitting in the whey, so I had to pour off the whey into the jar and put in a new cloth to finish draining the cheese.

Well, when the three kids left for the recital thing and the rest had eaten as well, this is what was left (and that's only because they knew I hadn't eaten and had to leave some for Mom. I've seen them fight over the last bits of meatloaf and mac&cheese. It's not pretty.)

So I made my plate and took off for my desk, because now it was time for work.

Christopher managed to get the girls to help straighten up a little and dishes were mostly taken care of... but when I went on my lunch break from work, this is what I found. Notice the full laundry basket just left there to wrinkle, and there were still dishes on the table as well. So, I hollered at the girls to come take care of dishes and laundry (they weren't really thrilled as it was after 11:00 at night, but they know what they're supposed to do. Not my fault they didn't do it when they were awake.)

So this is what it looked like when I came back out on my last break of the night at 1:00am. The basket was empty with folded clothes all over the table, and the dishes were in the dishwasher. Definitely an improvement.

Well, after work is when it starts all over with making lunches which I showed on yesterday's blog. Click here to read it.

I hope you enjoyed this very long and probably boring glimpse into my daily life. Now, it's my day/night off and I'm going to go waste some time reading blogs and emails and watching TV. Hoping to get a DVD Date Night with the Hubs tonight!

Have a great weekend everyone!!