Catching My Breath in Day by Day

  • March 5, 2017, 9:16 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Last week was downright crazy. Our niece and her husband were here for four days, which meant a lot of entertaining on top of an already hectic schedule. They flew into Tampa, which is a significant drive out of our way when people ask us to pick them up, between the trip up, getting through the airport itself, and the drive back to our house, which always requires a restaurant stop because everyone is hungry after a plane trip, and usually another pit stop, can easily consume the better part of an afternoon. Fortunately, they rented a car, so I was able to work right up to their arrival. They went exploring during the day (beach, kayaking, etc) and that helped, too, since I didn’t have to worry about lunches. The first night, I served Margaritaville shrimp with yellow rice, broccoli, and salad fresh from our garden. Well, I added olives and mandarin oranges from the pantry, dried cranberries and artichoke hearts, too, now that I think about it, but the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots were from our garden.

The big dinner was on Thursday night, when the kids came. I did my usual: spaghetti dinner. I could do it in my sleep. Except THIS dinner came with a twist: niece no longer eats wheat because of digestive issues. She assured me she could tolerate small amounts and was looking forward to meatballs and sausage, but pasta was out. Eldest son suggested he bring his spiralizer and he’d make squash spaghetti. So I’m thinking he’ll buy a spaghetti squash, right? Nope. He brought zucchini and had a good sized pile of zucchini (he suggests one zucchini per person) that he gave a quick heat through in a frying pan on the stove. He said if it was cooked too long, it became mushy, but I suggested that perhaps he needed a higher heat. He disagreed and I let it go. It was quite good.

I still boiled up pasta and some had zucchini and some had pasta and some, including me, had a little portion of both. I liked the zucchini version. As I get older and especially when the garden is in fully, I’m preparing more meatless meals.

But, geez, it’s a lot of work feeding a crowd. The salad takes a while, as does preparing the meatballs and gravies (more on the plural reference in a minute), grating the cheese, heating the garlic knots, setting the table, chilling a variety of drinks, and dessert was a layer cake with a custard filling topped with cherry pie filling in the middle. I made niece a ramekin of custard and cherry pie filling, topped with a thick layer of chocolate frosting, so I was able to accommodate her wheat-free diet. Oh, and why did I have TWO spaghetti sauces? Because my son’s girlfriend doesn’t eat beef. If ANYONE else visits with a special dietary need, we’re all going out to eat! LOL!

Dishes afterward, wash and fold dinner napkins the following day.

I took it easy on the last night of their visit. The men barbequed boneless, skinless chicken breasts (they were a bit dry, but it’s all I had in the freezer for a BBQ) and I served balsamic carrots, as well as creamy macaroni and cheese, both of which were already in the freezer so it was just a defrost & heat. I also made a fruit salad, since my planned dessert of berry pie and ice cream wouldn’t work.

So a four day visit. They had a ball, I’m EXHAUSTED! :) I spent the next day doing three loads of wash, putting the guest room back in order, cleaning the bathroom, etc. I’m caught up and I’m glad they came because I love them both and they’re very appreciative, but I sure am looking to a fairly calm week!

I meant “calm”, not “free”. I have a bit of non-profit stuff to do, and I need to write a magazine article on May Day celebrations in the 1940s & 1950s. I have a rough draft, just need to polish it. I’m almost done with my article for my column (this time it is mental health advice for seniors from a local therapist). The articles don’t have to be done this week, so I’m under no pressure at all.

About Trump’s claim that Obama bugged the Trump Tower. Here is my last statement on it:
Deflecting Donald throws manure at the wall and hopes something will stick so people will forget about the fact that he’s in bed with the commies. He spreads fake news. Sad.


GypsyWynd March 05, 2017

You had a busy week!
I like spiralzed zucchini, especially with alfredo sauce.

Shattered March 05, 2017

Although busy, it sounds like a splendidly pleasant visit! :)

ConnieK Shattered ⋅ March 06, 2017

It was, but I'm grateful the visit was a brief one.

QueenSuzu March 06, 2017

You are certainly the hostess with the mostest! My daughter has one of those spiralizer things and loves it but I have not tried it myself yet, besides I like "real" pasta way too much!

ConnieK QueenSuzu ⋅ March 06, 2017

The zucchini "pasta" was actually quite good. I think I like both. :)

Ferret Mom March 07, 2017

It's always fun to see people you haven't seen in a long time. But playing host is tiring (On the flip side, being a guest can also be tiring).

And if you were cooking for people... when we have guests we typically just go out to eat. :)

So true about Trump.

ConnieK Ferret Mom ⋅ March 07, 2017

Oh, honey, during tourist season, we try to avoid going out to eat! LOL!

Guests usually tell me they are leaving me feeling well rested. Now that I have an empty nest, they get their own room, own bathroom and private use of the pool. With drinks and food, I'm a bleeping resort!

Trump is either insane or looking to put Pence in charge. My hope lies in mid-term elections. The clock is ticking.

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