Thursday Thoughts #8

Thursday Thoughts

I’m posting a second Thursday Thoughts this month because there’s just so much going on!

We’ve been in our new house a little over a month now – and we’re getting closer to calling it home. We downsized when we moved to Ohio. I know, sounds crazy when we added a family member! With an older house we have much less storage space inside the home – but there’s a shed in the backyard and an add-on at the back of the garage where all of our extra furniture is housed in while here. Funnily enough I have a smaller kitchen, but more cupboard space. A very small amount of counter space though means the dishes pile up quickly; I’m still working on how to efficiently do my food prep. One thing I haven’t figured out is the lighting. The light fixtures, while new, have covers on them and provide a very yellow glow. I’ve been utilizing the covered back porch to get natural light and take my food outside to photograph. I’m not so sure foodgawker likes seeing grass in the background of my photos – it’s been a struggle to have images accepted on their site again. So, it’s back to square one with food photography. I do have a photobox that I might just have to become more proficient in using. If anyone has any tips please let me know!

IMG_0245We signed the lease for this house sight-unseen while still in Florida. We were hoping to avoid our belongings being placed in storage by having a door-to-door move. Unfortunately, our personal plans of a week’s vacation along the way meant that wouldn’t be possible. When we arrived, the house was smaller than we anticipated (the storage room I mentioned was included in the square footage, but it’s not a livable space). The photographs of the property that we saw online were accurate though, which was comforting. We were nervous this house wouldn’t work for us, but with creative use of space we’re happy with our new home. What is meant to be the dining room is our living room with couch, tv, and small table to eat on and the living room doubles as Stuart’s office and my craft space. The backyard is beautiful, too. The sink in the kitchen is underneath a window that looks into the yard and I love it!

I do love our neighborhood, and better yet, our neighbors! We always said we were “bad neighbors” in Florida. We’d always do the kind “wave hello” driving through the neighborhood and on our walks, occasionally we stopped to converse with the family on the corner. We vowed to be better neighbors when we moved and so far our neighbors have made that possible. Our next door neighbors stopped by to welcome us with fresh tomatoes from their garden. (You may have seen the photos on Instagram)

I’ve always heard that nothing can compare to homegrown tomatoes. That statement is absolutely correct. I don’t eat tomatoes plain – but these I could with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Perfectly firm yet juicy and full of fresh flavor. I wanted to do these tomatoes justice – by not heating them! – and prepared two meals with them. We did BLTs that hit the spot and I created a tomato blueberry “salsa” to top grilled honey balsamic chicken which we ate over a bed of wild rice (photographed below).

Tomato Blueberry Salsa

Thursday Thoughts #7

Thursday ThoughtsIf you’re a regular Sew You Think You Can Cook reader, you know that we have just relocated from the Florida Panhandle to the Miami Valley of Ohio. We opted to do a partial dity move, in which the Air Force hired and paid movers to transport the majority of our belongings and we took some of our items ourselves.

There are a lot of horror stories when it comes to military moves, and I’m happy to say we aren’t one of them. No, things didn’t go perfectly – bookcases, an entertainment unit, and a desk were broken; our ladder got lost along the way; a large vase broken; board game boxes crushed by bowling balls; and two boxes were investigated by mice.

I read other blog posts on moving tips and attended PCS meetings. We’d heard that the packers will pack literally everything – including the trash. While I couldn’t imagine that being true, I can see how it could happen. Our packers assured us they wouldn’t pack the trash (and I had all garbage cans emptied before they arrived), they did move everything. The night before the packers showed up, I went through the fridge and pantry and invited Kate over to come grocery shop. I had forgotten to get rid of the left over items (like the opened box of cereal and graham crackers) and they got packed along with the unopened boxes of pasta, rice, and canned foods. This box is one of the two that was of particular interest to the mice. The neighboring box (which happened to be my fabric stash) also got hit – and I lost a nice roll of batting.

Learning from other’s experiences I knew that I wouldn’t trust my grandmother’s antique secretary desk to the movers. And I am beyond grateful to my in-laws for helping us move this piece of furniture. If cheap pieces of furniture were broken – I can’t begin to imagine what might of happened to my antique. Other things I didn’t want to lose included – scrapbooks, quilts, and personal documents.

And then there were the necessities – everything that Wesley would need for the week, and anything we would need as well. I can’t stress this point enough – IF YOU HAVE LITTLE CHILDREN, MOVE THEIR THINGS YOURSELF. We spent 3 days in our new home before our delivery. That also means – don’t forget to pack a uniform. It’s a good thing we had one uniform set in our suitcase because Stuart had to report before our boxes arrived.

My last piece of advice – get help! Stuart’s parents helped with the move and my mom helped with the unpacking. Even with the extra hands, half of my house is in disarray!