School Days, Purees, and Painting Trays

Big week this week!

It was the start of school for all the kids ’round these parts- from the sophomore in high school to the kindergartner, with a seventh grader in the middle. I ALMOST accomplished my annual goal of doing all school shopping (clothes and shoes) in July instead of August. I’ve worked retail- I know all sales are taken off in August, and ESPECIALLY ahead of tax free weekend- a madness I’ve never understood the draw of. Would an 8.25% sale tempt you to a store? Because that’s what tax free is getting you. People think it’s used in conjunction with other sales… but it never quite works out like that. ALSO- we’re in Texas, it’s hot here through at least November- but all “back to school clothes” are already stocked as sweaters and long sleeved stuff in stores- it’s just not the right type of school clothes for us if we wait to August to shop. Seriously I went to Target for something last week and not only was the girls section all picked over, but EVERYTHING was long sleeved. Crazy.

Anyway- shopping was fun, I took each of the girls out alone for one on one shopping and then we always do an outfit creating session to help them put it all together- both activities I enjoy immensely for the opportunity for conversation and hanging out with them. Plus… it’s a nice skillset to try to teach: here’s how you put an outfit together, here’s how you do hair… I missed out on those lessons at their age so I want to set them up better than I was for middle school and high school.

My skillset on outfit creation may be constrained to graphic tee plus cool pants- but damn it if I left it up to them they default to trying to match stripes with other stripes so at least it’s something.

They all (to decreasing degrees the higher the grade) are enjoying being back in school and their classes. Interestingly they all go to my former schools- from the kindergartner in my old elementary, to the middle school that was the 6th grade center when I went there, to the high school… where all the class pictures are on the wall in the front hallway… that include me and my dad, in fact.

It’s less “resting bitch face” and more “active bitch face,” I was thrilled to be there, as you can clearly see. And this may be one of the few pictures of my Dad without the mustache he’s sported for the past 40+ years.

Back to school has meant early wake ups and sandwich making and curling of the 7th grader’s hair- she has a beachy-waves, angled bob- it takes me five minutes to get it to that look- I’m willing to indulge her to help avoid even a smidge of the mocking I got in 7th grade for some honestly terrible hair. So far it’s actually nice being up and at it and getting them all up and fed and out the door feeling set up for their days… but ask me again in 2 weeks.

I am also getting back in the swing of cooking now that it’s full on required too. I love cooking! Except when I don’t- and that feels like where I’ve been the last few months. Easing back into cooking isn’t like riding a bike though… I overcooked some chicken one day and under cooked the pork schnitzel the next (I KNOW). Considering I’ve recently fallen off a bike maybe cooking IS, in fact, like riding a bike now that I think of it. The chops (snort) are coming back slowly.

I don’t know why my mint green food processor and immersion blender make me that happy just by their color, but they do. Damn your sorcery, KitchenAid!

In the spirit of finding the joy of cooking again (the mojo, not the book) It is tomatillo season here- so I roasted 2 pounds and then cooked them up for a few hours… for a super involved chicken enchilada dinner the children like to a decreasing degree (oldest to youngest). It’s my favorite- it baffles me they don’t love it as I do, but what ya gonna do.

I also turned 42 recently and I made a request for a birthday project instead of a trip to celebrate. The trim in our front room has always been terrible- the folks who flipped this house hadn’t sanded correctly so there was paint peeling off in big “we live in a shack” pieces. So we sanded it all down, primed it, and repainted. It was 2 full days of work and we finished at 6pm on Sunday the day before school started.

In classic fashion it is impossible for me to take a true “before” picture- but here is after sanding and before we started priming. That room is a closed in porch so it’s 90% window trim, seems like.

The beer in the foreground really captures the true sense of accomplishment here. Note to future self or anyone interested- that green paint is called Betssy Ross House Moss- by Olympic. The trim is our beloved Swiss Coffee- by Valspar.

Our floor… yeah. So again, the people who flipped this 1910 farmhouse went the cheap, easy route and just painted the hardwoods with porch paint. The reason they went that route is definitely due to the other 3 layers of oil based paint under there- mint green, peach, and grey-that are all scuffed off to varying degrees after 6 years of living here now. There is longleaf pine under all that paint- equivalent to the phrase “There’s gold in dem hills!”- so we’ll do the floors someday. Just not today.

Not even going to talk Delta in this one- but y’all stay safe out there!

One thought on “School Days, Purees, and Painting Trays

  1. What a frustration for back-to-school shopping to have the fall clothes hit the stores when you still have hot days where you don’t want long sleeves. I guess you’ll be well prepared for later. Good to see you getting back into kitchen mode.
    Happy cooking!

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