Thursday, April 21, 2011

TV Fasting update

So far, surviving with no TV for a week! (minus the 2 hours I was stuck in Tire Discounters this week, but there were no other chairs other than right in front of the TV...but I really wasn't paying attention to "Days of Our Lives" anyway!) Here's a list of all of the things I've accomplished this week, and all tv-free!

Tore out the "vine bush" that was in the side garden (It was evil, and trying to take over the holly bushes)
Put up the new mailbox! The post is now 3-feet deep in the ground, and is a treated 4x4 with a heavy-duty mailbox. I'd like to see the snow plow TRY to take it out this year! We have to laugh, because between snow plows and major rains, we're the ONLY house on the street with a straight mailbox. :-)

MAJOR gardening overhaul! We redid the existing brickwork around the lilac tree, transplanted some flowers from where evil vine-bush was to around the lilac tree. Weeded around the entire back of the house and lined the whole garden portion with bricks. Dug up the dead rose bush and cultivated a good portion back by the porch to eventually put in an herb garden. The other bonus of the day...MAJOR sunburn on my shoulders and back!

Chiropractor appointment (WAY overdue)
Had new tires put on the Honda (which took 2 hours). My car no longer shakes when I go over 50 mph!
Since I was down in the area, I picked up Indian food at the place that Nate and I took our 2nd date, and brought a (late, due to the 2 hour tire replacement) lunch to Nate at his work. Enjoyed a spiffy lunch with the most awesome hubby in the world.
LOTS of ironing...I am SO far behind!
Did a major scrub-down of the master bathroom. This doesn't get cleaned NEAR as much as it should, since we tend to focus major cleaning jobs on the rooms that will be seen by my music students during lessons. :-p
Grocery run to Meijer- bought a ham, and we're going to try cooking and slicing this, since it's FAR cheaper per pound than lunchmeat!

Cleaned/ironed at home while my car was being repaired. It was recalled! Apparently something in the engine could shut down and cause the car to lose power. Lucky me! :-p
Nate picked me up, took me to the Dentist. Need to have a soon-to-be-cavity filled. :-(
Aldi and Kroger stop on my way to a drum lesson.
Final run-through of the Easter Cantata!!

3-hour nap. In my defense, it was only supposed to be an hour. However, it appears that I just managed to change the clock time, rather than set the alarm itself. My error seems to have made the dog and the baby kitty very happy, because I had snuggle-buddies the whole time. :-)
Not a whole lot accomplished today. Massively long naps tend to throw off one's plans.

While I am antsy to get caught up on a few shows that I'm missing this week, I really have enjoyed the tv-free time this week. I've been making up for my need for noise by listening to a back-log of podcasts instead. :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Activities To Do While On a TV Fast

Nate and I have decided to take on the challenge offered by our pastor this week, and we are fasting from television during Holy Week. For us, this will be a challenge, since much of our evening social time revolves around catching up on the DVR list or enjoying our Netflix subscription. For me, especially, this will be hard, as I am the kind of person who enjoys having the TV on, if just for the background noise it provides. One television! (and for us personally, no DVD's, no video games)

If you are also taking the TV Fasting challenge, or are just looking for some ideas for local family activities, I've put together a list of lots of things you can do to fill that time (or to keep the children otherwise entertained)!

1. Read a book! Stop by the Wilmington Library and borrow a book (or Book on Tape/CD), or go on Wednesday for their Toddler or Preschool Storytime. If you prefer electronic books, has a huge collection of free ebooks that you can download. If you don't have a Kindle or other e-reader, they have a "Kindle for PC" application that you can download for free to read the books on your computer.

2. Check out one of the Wilmington Parks! You can go feed the ducks, take a walk, or have a picnic! Take a Frisbee, and hope that the weather cooperates.

3. Go Geocaching! If you have a GPS or GPS-enabled device, you can go on a high-tech treasure hunt! There are several locations locally! Be sure to take a little trinket to leave behind when you find your hidden location!

4. Start a home garden! Even if you don't have a large yard, plant some container-friendly vegetables (like tomatoes or peppers) and enjoy some tasty home-grown veggies this summer. Or plant some flowers around your yard! Need some help starting a garden? Go to

6. Cook a meal together! Need some ideas? Pillsbury and Betty Crocker are great resources to see what you can make with the items you already have in your pantry. You can also use the extra time to plan and make some freezer meals. (I do the freezer meals a LOT! It takes so much of the guesswork out of trying to figure out what is for dinner. Give the meal the entire day to thaw in the fridge, and dinner comes about much faster when you don't have to chop/prep that night!)

7. Play a board game or do a puzzle! Dust off those games you haven't played in weeks or years! On a personal note, I remember many a childhood thunderstorm when the power would go out, and we would play Monopoly by candlelight, so this is a great tv-free task!

8. Do some spring cleaning and get organized! Nate and I have been following the Get Organized Wizard blog's 30-Day Organize-athon, and she breaks down different organizational tasks into 5-minute assignments. Use this time to clean out your closets, organize your garage, and set aside things to be donated (or for the church garage sale that will be later this year).

9. Go on a romantic date! Take a walk, go out to dinner, or make a romantic candlelight dinner at home!

10. Come by the church (200 A Street, Wilmington) for all of the activities going on this week! Maundy Thursday service on Thursday at 6pm. Help fill Easter eggs with candy on Friday at 4. Invite a friend and their kids to join us for the Easter Egg hunt on Saturday at 11am. Be a part of the Easter Sunday activities, with the Resurrection service at 9am, breakfast at 9:30, and the Morning Service at 10:30!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Discount Green Beans make a tasty side dish!

Every Tuesday, I hit up the "local" Meijer (it's local to work, no local Meijer by home) and check out their discounted produce rack. Sometimes it's hit and miss, unless your a big lemon/lime fan, but this week they had green beans for half the normal price! Given the cost that green beans can reach during the off-season, and knowing it's not quite warm enough to plant mine in the ground, I picked up two 4.5-lb bags. Some of them were cleaned up and put directly into the freezer, some went directly into a crock pot for a batch of Green Beans & Sausage (a family favorite, and a summer favorite of the hubby).

Some of the ones that were left made it into Sunday's lunch! My Mom and Dad came over this afternoon to bring us my little brother's old bunk bed (his old room is being turned into a guest room with a slightly larger bed), and they brought many tasty things to eat. My Mom is an incredible cook, and I always say that I've learned from the best. :-)

So, I tried out a new recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker's website. Head over there for a really simple Spicy Green Beans with Caramelized Onions. While it does have a smidgin of a heat to it, it's not horribly spicy. The sweetness of the caramelized onions really balances out the red pepper flakes, and you could probably even leave those out if you don't want the spiciness. These were REALLY tasty, and were nice and crisp!

Getting green beans this week is really making me itch to get the garden plowed under. Here's hoping for warmer weather this week!