Freezer Needs–Input Requested

For most of my adult life, I have had a freezer. Once upon a time it was a giant chest freezer, that got left behind when I divorced. Then an upright freezer my mother bought me when we lived in Gainesville. It didn’t move with us. Then we had the “free freezer” from Jewel-Osco. It was a rather small chest freezer (5. something cubic feet maybe). It moved down here with us–but it died, somewhere between the defrosting or the move.

Anyhow, we have no freezer right now. We have a side by side refrigerator that is large, but odd. So, I am back to pondering freezers. I am unsure if I want to go with another chest freezer OR with an upright freezer.

Here are the considerations:

  • This is a household of women. We top out at 5’4″
  • I hate diving to the bottom of a chest freezer–but the upright ones don’t seem to hold enough.
  • There are only 3 of us full-time now
  • We tend to stockpile when we find things on sale
  • We don’t live just down the street from a “real” grocery store anymore.
  • But, we also aren’t Costco/Sam’s Club people at this point
  • GARDEN! Farmers Markets! Produce.
  • Holidays
  • Entertaining (Seems like we might be doing some of that “now that we have friends”)
  • I want self-defrosting–because I hate defrosting freezers.
  • We don’t have an ice maker on our freezer–well, we do, but it doesn’t work and I find we have increased ice needs for some reason here. This means bag ice OR we need to get one of those stand-alone ice makers. Or something.
  • I would really like something energy efficient.

So what do you recommend? Chest? Upright? Brand? Have I forgotten something? Do you know a great deal? Organizational tips?

The Flamingo House at Paradise Pond

We’ve bought a home. This is the first home Denise and I have bought together. It will be our forever home. We love it.

Front of a 70s home The Flamingo house

It is on a lake–more of a large pond actually. We have almost an acre of land. (probably an acre–but part of it belongs oddly to someone across the lake–so there is a weird divot in the property line next to the lake. There is also a large area in FRONT of the house that isn’t ours but is ours. Unless, of course, there is some nature of huge expansion that requires our tiny dirt road to become a three lane highway.

The house started out as a two bedroom lake house and sprawled into a giant, wonderful, 70s home. We’ve spent more time outside in the past three weeks than we ever really have before. The hounds love their big yard. I’ve got big plans for gardening. In fact, I joined growjourney today. They send certified organic seeds, that include information on seed saving and MORE. Now to get the “boys” (our son Chris and his friend Chuck) to building my raised beds. Great yard, bad sandy soil.

This is where we spend most of our time:

deckLooking at this:


But, we also love the inside. We’ve replaced the carpet with laminate. Brand new laminate–and there is a lot of it. I wish I had some serious Bona muscle (Can anyone tell me what that one that was at the BlogHer Conference last year?) to help take care of it. For now, we are handling it with our mops and Denise’s whatever it is that vacuums and wet wipes the floor. Grr, I should remember the name.

We’ve bought real, live living room furniture. We are going with brights! We bought an orange chair from At Home. We also bought some great pillows there. Add in some tractor seat bar stools for the breakfast bar. My mother gifted us with a sleeper sofa, an end table that is fabulous, and a new tv stand. Our IKEA tv stand wasn’t up to the move. Of course. Neither were our bookshelves, kitchen cart, or desks or two of the children’s beds. Sigh. But now we are trying to choose deliberately, furniture that will last, items that will bring us joy.

We still have so much to do, replace, create. I have an ever-growing wish list on Amazon. From the silly and unnecessary to the more serious.

The boys are here now working on finishing up with removing the carpet from the Florida room. (Where they put it as they installed the laminate.) They are measuring for our bookshelves in the office, installing a grab bar in the downstairs bathroom, planting the gardenias and lemon tree IN THE GROUND! Because we own our home! We can actually plant them in the ground.

One of the gardenias is my housewarming present to Denise when we first moved in together 14 years ago. The one I gave her before we were a couple, 15 years ago perished several years into our couple-hood. It was in a too small pot, outside in the Florida heat, and we’d left town without instructions to water it. But this one, the August beauty has survived and thrived, despite being moved to Illinois and back to Florida. It has had its hard times, so have we.

I’ve decided it is time for a bit of a pivot. I will be blogging more about gardening, outdoor activities, home decor, remodeling a 70s home while keeping the 70s character (because I am still all about the retro)  life with an empty nest, maybe even some *gasp* entertaining. (But still caregiving for my mother) I may even change the name of the blog.

Enough for now–just dipping in my toes. I have so much to tell y’all.

Menu for the Week

Here is our menu for the week. It started Saturday, but I just am now posting it.
Saturday Pimento cheese chicken, garlic bread or ciabatta from freezer, salad (lettuce from last week)
Sunday-Melissa–Tapas (Cheese tour, meat tour, street corn, burrata, pickled vegetables. )
Monday-Chicken Fried steak, mashed potatoes, cream gravy
Tuesday-Hash brown Casserole
Wednesday – Birthday Dinner! Foreplay Funghi (No eggplant–crookneck instead)
Thursday – Luau Pork, macaroni salad
Friday-Leftovers OR hot dogs, baked beans or bbq beans or just chips

Stream of Waste

I took the garbage out and to the street yesterday evening. It isn’t one of my normal chores. For whatever reason, when setting up our household, it fell into being Denise’s job. Likely something to do with Jake? I don’t remember.

I grew up taking the trash out and to the street. Back before there were wheels on garbage bins and careful control of amounts in the form of OFFICIAL bins. It always was my chore. I remember living in Eugene and separating carefully washed recyclables for what I thought then was an overzealous theory.

But, mostly, I don’t think much about garbage or our contribution. Sure, I read the MNN and Treehugger articles about food waste, landfills, plastic pollution, etc. I think about it in the abstract and think “We need to do more.” I feel a twinge of guilt when I reach for some over packaged something. I grimace as I fill an insulin reservoir and end up with a ton of garbage–wrappers for the reservoir, the insertion kit, the used reservoir and insertion kit, the box for the insulin, the huge wad of instructions, the little plastic cap on the insulin. I cringe as I toss my empty med bottles, and remember I saw something somewhere about how to donate them. (because reusing them in this house is not something we need to do–we’d have enough in one month.)

Back to garbage night and taking it to the street. I did it. Then I came in. I immediately it seemed had one more thing. Oh and another thing. I made two more trips out to the street. Then all through the night, I was intensely conscious of everything I had to throw away. I didn’t want Denise to come home to half full trash cans. That is why I thought about it. More than that–I realized that we don’t have to do this and by changing our habits–from purchasing, to cooking, to simplifying our house and reduce the inevitable garbage and recycling to almost nothing. I certainly have read all the articles. I know it is possible. (at least one of my coworkers has a family of five and only throws out less than one small bag of garbage each week)

I need to act. Me. Not just hope the government or companies or someone makes it too hard for me to toss something in the wastebasket. We can’t keep waiting for supermarkets to reduce packaging and force us to use reusable. We need to do it ourselves. For us, for our children and grandchildren, for the sea birds and diversity of species.

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