Friday | Pre-Spring Edition

We’ve made it to another Friday. These last few months have been hard, both out in the wide world and because of weird things happening here at home. And despite knowing that there’s no real difference between my weeks and my weekends, I still sigh with relief at the very idea of Fridays. I’m happy to report that this week has been relatively warmer and we’ve spent a lot of time outside, which has felt so nice. Here’s a quick update on what we’ve been doing and noticing.

The weather here has felt like late fall, which tells me that we are finally transitioning to spring. But for now we’re contending with a very soggy yard, a few icy and snowy spots, a muddy driveway, and lots and lots of brown. Brown trees and brown ground. And still: my newest tulip bed has really started to take off and the woolen catkins are bursting through on my little willow tree. I check my asparagus beds every day despite knowing that I shouldn’t expect anything until at least May. We’re cleaning out the shed, but not pushing the snow blower all the way back quite yet. Yesterday I raked and weeded my roses and herbs. We’re building the raised beds we didn’t get to last summer, thinking about how to support some of the ornamental snapdragons that drooped and snapped last year, and considering what sort of effort it would take to build a small greenhouse on the south side of our yard. It’s also time to start seeds indoors and I’m totally overwhelmed by gardening already! But in the best possible way.

Remember the owl picture I shared a while back ago? Well, I’ve spotted it three times this week. I’m expecting my Hogwarts letter to arrive any day now. It’s been in a different tree each time, but always watching. I had to walk right under it earlier this week when I put the chickens to bed and it didn’t budge an inch. It was very strange to watch it watching me. Studying me. Judging me? Maybe. I hope it keeps visiting.

August and Agnes bird watching

Our window feeder has been very busy. This is the first year that I’ve noticed large groups of finches visiting us! We typically get one or two finches, plus an assortment of chickadees, nuthatches, and titmice. But the finches this year! And some beautiful males with bright red necks and breasts. They are simply stunning.

Monday was a windy day and we had our first robin spotting. A whole flock of them flew right through with the wind. This is my evidence that spring is actually coming. The robins! Now they’re all over the yard, running in their funny way. Can there really be that many worms and bugs out there? There must be because they’re awfully busy.

IN MY KITCHEN:

I had a really hard time with meal planning and cooking this week. I just didn’t want to do it. At all. Maybe it’s spring fever? So I’m a little embarrassed to share this with you, but I hope it will give you a simple meal solution for a day when you’re not feeling up to preparing anything.

Saturday: we ordered Chinese food. Because I give up. Already!

Sunday: I made a simple pot of spaghetti with jarred sauce for the kids. Matthew had to go into work because of craziness there and I wasn’t in the mood to cook. Again. (this will be a theme, obviously.) But bonus: even though it felt like I phoned it in for this one, this is a rare meal that all three kids actually enjoy and will eat. So I’ll call it a win.

Monday: nachos. Tortilla chips on a plate, melt the cheese in the microwave, and add your favorite toppings. (My favorites: salsa, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños.)

Tuesday: Black beans + quinoa bowls. I added corn that we froze from our garden last year. This is one of my go-to recipes that I always feel good about preparing. And despite being super whiny about cooking at all, it only takes a snap and is no big deal.

Wednesday: Matthew made homemade pizza. Hallelujah!

Thursday: Leftover black beans + quinoa. I made a bigger batch on Tuesday because I suspected I wouldn’t want to cook anything later in the week and it’s no extra effort.

Friday (today!): I’m not sure yet. !!

Who knows what next week will bring. I really appreciate everyone sharing meals in the comments these last few weeks. They all sound delicious and I’m planning to make a few of them when I’m up to cooking again!


And, as usual, I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about Ukraine. I’ve continued to give to World Central Kitchen; they’re doing amazing work. As are so many organizations. I keep thinking that all of this loss and destruction is for nothing because Russia will never keep Ukraine. Putin has to realize that. And yet… it has continued for three weeks. The people of Ukraine have endured so much and I hope that soon I will be able to donate to efforts to rebuild Ukraine instead of simply helping people survive.

But here in New Hampshire, the high temperature today is forecasted to be 70*F… which makes me giggle a bit. That’s the warmest it’s been so far! It will rain all day tomorrow and I’m relieved it’s not snow. So I’m expecting to spend a lot of time outside today in my flower beds and perhaps I’ll be able to do some indoor planting tomorrow. I’m hoping for some quality time with my Ramble shawl and my current stack of books (The Paper Palace, Migrations, and Great Circle). And with a tremendous amount of luck, I’ll steal some time with my sewing machine. I’m currently obsessed with this knitting bag and cannot even begin to imagine splurging on it, so I’d like to try my hand at creating my own version.

I hope you manage to do a few things you love this weekend. Please – stay safe, cozy, and take care of yourself. We could all use an extra dose of comfort right now!

11 thoughts on “Friday | Pre-Spring Edition

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  1. Hope you soon get that letter from Hogwarts! All owls are beautiful, but to my way of thinking, barred are among the most beautiful. Such soulful eyes. Your meals sound yummy, no matter how quick they might be. The most important thing is that your family likes them. Enjoy your time outside! Still too muddy in central Maine to do anything in the yard, but the snow is melting at an astonishing clip.

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  2. That owl is incredible! I’ve seen a lot of hawks (or maybe the same hawks over and over?) lately, but I’ve never spotted an owl in the wild.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself about meals. It’s a hard job to do every day, every week, and we all have times we have to phone it in.

    We’re due for warm weather here, too, today, maybe even breaking 70. It really smelled like spring yesterday after a little rain in the early morning. I find it interesting that you’re just seeing robins — we have them here year-round! I’ve been using my bird ID app quite a bit recently and was surprised when it captured the song of a Carolina wren because I didn’t think we had them here!

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  3. We have an owl in our yard and I am hoping it will keep some of the critters in check. I sent you a link to a knitting bag I made a few years ago. And now I’m thinking I need to make another one since I gave them to my daughters.

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  4. You are incredible! I am amazed at all you accomplish and your cheerful outlook. Thank you for caring, sharing and encouraging all of us… and the owl! Amazing. Do enjoy your weekend! Cheers~

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  5. Clearly there must be edible somethings the owl is watching. He is very handsome. Sometimes we all need easy recipes.Here’s one, known as Baked Bean dish. You need a tin/s Baked Beans ( not sure what you call them, but they are made by Heinz and are beans in tomato sauce) . Cook some potatoes and mash them. Chop and fry an onion. Put cooked onion in bottom of an oven proof dish. Top with baked beans, then a layer of grated Cheddar cheese, finally the mashed potatoes. Put in an oven 180C for 20-30minutes, till beans are bubbling up the sides and the topping is looking a bit golden and crispy.

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  6. Wouldn’t a letter from Hogwarts be awesome! I love owls and we see a few here too. I think spring is arriving for you and hope warmer weather comes your way soon. A lovely post Katie 😊

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  7. I love your owl! Thanks for sharing!

    Don’t ever feel bad about what you share for your meals – it makes me feel better about the fact that I serve my kid frozen chicken nuggets and Annie’s every Wednesday, ha ha! The struggle is real.

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  8. Oh that owl is magnificent!! We have seen one in the summer while hanging at our fire pit (us…not the owl…) and we hear one or two occasionally during the winter. Yesterday Fletch watched 3 hawks (I was napping). Spring is definitely here and quite welcome!!

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  9. Wow, you found a meal all your kids enjoy? That is a miracle, I wish I could find a meal my kids would agree on. I had that same problem with food last week, just was not in the mood to cook and we had many nights of arguing over food. I need to find some recipes that I can make a big batch of something and have leftovers.

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