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10.03.2011

My meal plan is done, I swear...

...well, at least I know what we're having today and tomorrow.  The rest of it is done, I just haven't looked at it since Thursday, when I worked on it last.  It's been a super busy weekend, but the awesome kind.

On Saturday I went to the farmer's market (I don't need any produce, but I'm stocking up on maple syrup for the winter!) with Izzy, and when we got home I was going to do a little easy cleaning and then relax.  I had put Oliver down for a nap (and let's note here that he naps on the couch in the living room...) when I decided, completely on a whim, to pull up one corner of the awful beige carpet in our living/dining room to see what was under it.

Finished hard wood.  I'm guessing maple.

Who puts ugly beige carpet on top of maple floors?  So I decide that this is NOT going to be a relaxing afternoon.  I'm gonna rip up carpet.

But I had no help- Scott was at a motorcycle show and had no idea what I was doing.  So I took the sectional apart, moved it all into the dining room half of the room, and pulled up that side, rolling it until I hit furniture.  Then I pulled up all the tacking strips and staples from the exposed area and cleaned the floor, and returned the furniture.  After a few hours I had this:
The hardwood floors under our ugly carpet.
Please note my poor son trying to sleep through all of this.  I would have tried to move him upstairs, but he doesn't like changes so I figured that would only result in two hours of screaming and fighting.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Yeah, well right after I took this picture I rolled the carpet a little more and found out why they had carpeted to begin with.
Ugh.

Double Ugh.  8 inch wide Ugh.
Yes, it's pretty ugly.  Apparently they decided to rip out the wall between the living and dining rooms (good idea) and then NOT fix the floor (bad idea).  But it could be worse- there could have been some sort of irreparable damage done to the floor.  This mess, while awful, is at a point where there is a natural transition anyway.  And there was NO WAY I was going to put that ugly carpet back down over those beautiful floors.  I can figure this out.  I have faith.

The good news is that the rest of the floor is fine, other than some discoloration in one part of the dining room that I'm not even going to worry about as it's exactly where I plan to put a piano, anyway.

I know, a lot of people actually think I'm crazier than the guys who laid down the ugly carpet- I live in Minnesota where it gets hella cold in the winter.  I have two responses: slippers and area rugs. 

Anyway, stay tuned to see what brilliant idea I have to cover the ugliness:)

So the carpet all got hauled (by me and Izzy... seriously) to the garage and I got 1/2 of the tacking strips and staples up before I had to go PICK MY HUSBAND UP off the side of the road because his motorcycle broke down (AGAIN).  By this point it was late anyway and I was pooped, so I quit for the night.

Sunday I had big plans- I haven't had a break from life/my kids in I can't tell you how long, other than the mornings that Oliver is at preschool.  So since Scott got to spend the day Saturday at a chopper show, I decided I was going to spend most of Sunday doing... whatever.  Something else.  By myself.  So after I did the noon chores (early) I left.  I went to body pump (cardio weight lifting- I love it!) at the Y, went to Menards to try to figure out my problems with the floor mess, I went to Savers, had lunch, and spent like 3 hours at JoAnn's.  Then I went to a movie.  It was glorious.  The only hamper on my day was that I forgot my phone, so in the back of my head I was worried that Scott needed to get ahold of me but couldn't.  But overall it was really nice and refreshing and energizing to do what I wanted at my own pace.

When I started this post I was simply going to say I've had an idea.  I was looking for a real food version of chicken and rice just now- you know, the chicken/canned soup/onion soup mix concoction that many of us ate growing up.  It sounded really good to me- but I wanted one I could make with real food ingredients AND in the crock pot.  Enter Stephanie O'Dea.  Here's her recipe for real food chicken and rice casserole in the crock pot (only I'm going to use a whole cut up chicken... I don't do chicken breast unless it's connected to the rest of the chicken).

And then, as I always do when I end up at her site, I started clicking around.  I ended up on this recipe:  Rotel Sausage Dip.  As a crock pot dip I was totally prepared for it to include SOMETHING that I won't eat/feed my family.  But it doesn't (cream cheese is kind of a subjective one, but I'm okay with it).  It's one of the original 365 crock pot recipes she did that first year, and she mentions in the post that they were doing fondue Fridays every week. 

We have been unofficially doing pizza almost every (well, more like every other) Friday here.  But homemade pizza isn't exactly a hands off type meal- it's not hard, but it's 30 minutes of running around the kitchen.  I make pizza on Friday because I want our Friday meal to be more of an occasion than the rest of the week's meals- I want it to be fun.  But in a perfect world I also want that to be one night a week that I can take a break(ish) from cooking.  Without compromising on what I feed my family.

Is that too much to ask?

But as I was reading that sausage dip I had a revelation- there are LOTS of different dips I could make that are made from whole foods- homemade onion dip, salsa con queso, buffalo chicken dip, cheese fondue... as long as I stay away from Velveeta and boxed mixes. 

So that's my announcement.  All that to tell you we are now doing dip/fondue Fridays.

Which leads me into my make it yourself Monday post, to come soon.

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