Category Archives: Starting Successful on Mondays

Happy Homemaker Monday, Goodbye 2020!

And don’t let the door hit you in the “behind” on the way out.  Obviously, 2020 was not the best year.

Of course, we were lucky in that overall 2020 was kind to us. We had our health and both kept working. We had our family and friends even if we didn’t get to see them as often as we wanted. While we did have some challenges, they were minor in comparison to those who weren’t treated as kindly by this year.

One of my list items for 2020 was to link up with Sandra from Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom for every single Happy Homemaker Monday. Today’s the last one for the year. I think I missed one. Maybe next year I’ll manage to link up to every single one of them. I really appreciate her efforts in hosting the wonderful HHM blogging community every single Monday and do hope she’ll continue to do so in 2021.

The Weather 

Cold and partly cloudy this morning. Weird as always. 31 degrees right now, wintry mix expected tomorrow morning, and then we shoot back up to 42 degrees by tomorrow afternoon. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday show good chances of rain and/or snow. Much needed around here.

On The Breakfast Plate

Flip yogurt, coffee, vitamins. Then, my husband made blueberry muffins (from a box) so I also had one of those.

As I Look Outside My Window

I can see blue skies out the backdoor and too many squirrels. Stepped out and clapped my hands to make them leave my bird feeders alone for a bit. Worked for approximately 3 minutes. Researching squirrel proof bird feeders is on the list for the day. Can’t afford to feed both the birds and the 6 squirrels who empty out my bird feeders every single day.

As I Look Around The House

Christmas decorations are mostly done. I’ll leave the Nativity out until January 6. Today I’ll finish taking down the rest of the stuff, mainly the shower curtain in the bathroom and clearing the Christmas cards off the closet door although I did decide to leave the lighted greenery around the kitchen doorway.

What I’m Wearing Today

White short sleeved sweater (already spilled coffee on it so changing before I go out later), jeggings, tennis shoes.

On My To Do List

  1. Go pick up bird seed (and maybe a new bird feeder)
  2. Order or buy 2021 wall calendar somewhere (There’s a specific kind I want)
  3. Continue to clear out and put away Christmas decorations
  4. Take inventory of fridge/freezer/pantry
  5. Grocery store if needed (needed because I just remembered I’m out of milk)
  6. Work on blog
  7. Write a letter
  8. Decide whether to order J a school yearbook (figure out if I already did this)
  9. Go through December magazines (recycle day is tomorrow)
  10. Put some Christmas treats in the freezer (figure out what can freeze)

On My Reading Pile

Still reading the Lisa Gardner book series about Detective D.D. Warren. I’m currently reading Look for Me which is number 9. I started with book 10 and so I’m excited to get to book 11, a library hold I waited on and actually sent to the next person in line a few times so I could finish the rest of the series in order. My plan is to finish this series before the end of this year.

On My TV

After debating and researching a bit, I splurged on Christmas Eve and ordered us a year of Disney plus. I found for us the best deal was to simply pay for one full year upfront.

So, I’ve been watching all the Marvel movies in time line order.

On The Menu This Week

It’s that let’s clean out the fridge/pantry/freezer after the holidays week. Though we do this often enough, I’ll probably need to pick up a few things at the store.

MONDAY: Bacon and Turkey BLT’s (minus the t’s, out of tomatoes) and French Fries *J has his baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY: Spaghetti, garlic toast or buns of some sort, salad

WEDNESDAY: Leaning toward pork chops and asparagus (bought for Christmas but never prepared) *I have a hair appt at 9*

THURSDAY: New Year’s Eve! Honestly, I’m not sure what we’re doing. Maybe shrimp (in freezer) or take out from a restaurant?

FRIDAY: Black-eyed peas, ham, cornbread, salad. *HAPPY NEW YEAR!*

What 2020 Has Taught Me

I saw Sandra added this category just for today. Honestly, I struggled with how to answer it.

My first flippant thought: It taught me I like the store Tractor Supply. They’re nice in there and it’s easy to use their curbside pickup services.

However, I think as I give it more serious thought, this aggravating, annoying year has mostly taught me acceptance. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s a “crap” (not the word in my head) year or that people aren’t as kind, thoughtful, smart, or considerate as you want them to be. I used to be fairly good at accepting people for who they were but veered away from that a bit. This year certainly reminded me I need to get back to that. I suppose in the end this year taught me to focus on serenity.

From The Camera

On My Prayer List

The entire world. To heal from this year (and maybe even past years) emotionally and physically. Rest, compassion, and kindness for all of us.

Quote For The Week

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)


Just a reminder, I plan to switch over and start using Chit Chat With Jean next week. If you subscribe to this blog, I’d appreciate it if you hopped over there to subscribe there. It’s still a bit of a work in progress but there is a place on the sidebar to subscribe.

What are your plans for this last week of 2020?


Happy Homemaker Monday, Almost Christmas

Ah, the joys of procrastination. Christmas is just 4 days away? Are you ready? It’s Sunday afternoon as I type up this post and I assure you that I am not ready. Close? Yes. Ready? No.

In reality, I’m typing this up late Sunday afternoon so technically I have almost 5 days to go still.  Doing my post this afternoon as I work the first 3 days of this week. Then, it’s Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Not sure when I’ll link up with our host, Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom, probably late in the afternoon or possibly Tuesday depending on how the day goes.

The Weather

While it seems most of those east of us are covered in snow, it’s green and bright around here. To the point, I’m thinking I need to teach those preschool kiddos Mele Kalikimaka as the Christmas song of the week.

Just happens to be one of my favorite Christmas tunes.

It’s 50 degrees this afternoon, supposed to 58 tomorrow, then 60 on Tuesday, and back *down* to 57 for Wednesday. Cold again for the actual holiday days. Maybe a snowflake? More like a rain drop. However, you never know around here and even this Mele Kalikimaka fan wouldn’t mind a white Christmas.

On The Breakfast Plate

Probably yogurt and vitamins.

As I Look Outside My Window

Blue skies with a few clouds, birds happy at the bird feeders I just refilled for them.

As I Look Around The House

Cleaned up a little today but still needs a ton of work before we have my husband’s family (just 5 of them) over for Christmas dinner.

What I’m Wearing Today

Since I’m typing this up on Sunday, the answer is Chiefs red, of course! Red long sleeved layering shirt with red short sleeved tunic on top, jeggings, tennis shoes. Absolutely no idea what I’ll wear to work tomorrow.

On My To List

  1. Grocery store
  2. Birthday card for sister in law
  3. Work
  4. Finish up little Christmas details
  5. Have a Merry Christmas

On My Reading Pile

Still barreling through Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren series. Annoyed that the library randomly didn’t have book 6 in the series. And I’m too cheap to buy it on Amazon when I’m already paying for Kindle Unlimited (need to see better choices there and soon or I won’t be paying for that any longer). Finished up book 7, Fear Nothing, one of the better ones in the series.

Now, I’m reading another library hold book. Didn’t realize it was poetry but good to expand horizons. Halfway through How to Fly: In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons by Barbara Kingsolver.

On My TV

Slowed down a bit on the Christmas movies. However, I did fit one in last week and it was a good one! The Man Who Invented Christmas on Hulu is about Charles Dickens and his writing of A Christmas Carol. I thought it might be boring but it was not boring at all. I wanted to watch A Christmas Carol right after seeing it but I’m partial to the Alistair Sim version of the movie and couldn’t find it anywhere for free. (Note: I see now where I can rent it on Prime for 50 cents, putting it on the week’s agenda for sure!)

Not exactly a movie, I don’t think, but I also watched the Dr. Who Christmas special called The Snowmen. At some point, I’d purchased it from Amazon along with a couple of other Christmas specials I’ll probably watch this week.

The Kansas City Chiefs are currently on the TV but I’m doing my fan duty and not watching so they’ll win. (Insert eye roll from teenage muttering you people and your superstitions here)

On the Menu This Week

Always tough planning the menu on holiday weeks…especially when you need to go to the store still.

MONDAY: Quick and easy because I work until 4 & J has a lesson. *I work 8-4:30* *J has a baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY: Pizza (family birthday celebration but even if we don’t go, pizza doesn’t sound bad) *I work 8-4:30* *Family birthday?*

WEDNESDAY: Maybe pork chops? *I work 8-4:30*

THURSDAY: CHRISTMAS EVE Thinking soup and appetizers, something easy.

FRIDAY: CHRISTMAS. Menu picked by my husband, I’m still protesting a bit. Brisket, baked beans, smashed potatoes, rolls, chips, something green (I did VETO asparagus, way out of season!), maybe mac and cheese. French silk pie, standard Christmas cookies and candies. Just seems odd for Christmas but then again, this is nothing if not an odd year. Not sure we’ll have everything listed but things along those general lines.

Something Fun To Share

My work had a Christmas station celebration in lieu of a regular Christmas party this year. Each teacher had time to make an ornament, create a Christmas card, eat a special lunch, write messages of encouragement for other teachers, and just relax a bit. They kindly included the substitutes in the fun as did the MPTO in the gifts. Benefits of working at a small, private school.

My wood slice ornament here should tell you why you don’t see me post many artsy or craft things.

Not my area of talents. I actually had help with the above as I first painted the area under the tree light blue and it looked like it was floating.

Loved the gift from the MPTO this year:

Planning to enjoy my hot cocoa bomb on Christmas Eve.

From The Camera

I’m still having trouble picking up my camera, just the moodiness of the year, I think.

However, I did snap pictures of my work gifts from my Secret Santa. Had to get everything on Thursday as I oddly enough didn’t work until then last week. 

She spoiled me unbelievably well. Too much but no complaints and I loved absolutely everything!

That wasn’t even everything! Lots of other dark chocolate (my favorite chocolate) candies as well. And yes, I shared everything except the almond joys. Those were only MINE.

On My Prayer List

A special prayer for all those hurting and/or alone this year. Holidays can be a struggle and stressful during the best of years and this is one of the worst. Hoping peace and love find you for the days ahead.

Quote For The Week

Let’s just let Linus handle it this week:


What are your plans for this week?

Happy Homemaker Monday, 11 Days until Christmas

And 17 days until the New Year. All set? Not even close here. Well, maybe close but it doesn’t feel like it.

Think I definitely need a plan for this week. Joining in with Sandra at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom to plan my week with the Happy Homemaker Monday link up she hosts.

Lots to do today so straight to the categories.

The Weather

After some fabulous weather last week (mid 60’s on my birthday, a nice extra gift), back to winter temps for most of the week. However, most the snow went south so we never saw a flake fall in these parts. Currently 22 degrees and supposed to edge up to 37 today. Looks like we’re back in the 50’s by the weekend. No rain or snow in sight as of right now.

On The Breakfast Plate

The usual.

As I Look Outside My Window

Out the front windows, I saw serious frost on the car windows. Out the back door window, all my birds searching for seed. I read it online so it was supposed to be true. However, it turns out squirrels *do* like safflower seed after all. SIGH. Going to get them (birds or squirrels?) more seed is on the agenda today.

As I Look Around The House

Also on the agenda today, a major clean up and organize project.

What I’m Wearing Today

Probably going to change clothes before leaving the house. For now, I’m wearing a blue sweatshirt and olive green corduroy pants plus tennis shoes.

On My To Do List

Already mentioned the first two, here’s the rest of the list

  1. Go get bird seed (didn’t do it last week so now we’re out)
  2. Clean and organize house
  3. Pay bills
  4. Write out some Christmas cards
  5. Get stamps
  6. Figure out rest of the Christmas gifts
  7. Make a couple of appointments
  8. Camera practice (didn’t do good with this one last week either)
  9. Maybe I should say do all the things I didn’t do last week…

On My Reading Pile

Tis the season for murder? I’ve been reading lots of Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren books lately. Just finished one called The Neighbor.  Started with book 10 in the series so now I’m trying to catch up in order while waiting for my library turn with book 11.

Also, Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman showed up on my library turn. Took a minute to read that (nothing like a note of 10 people waiting to make you read a little more intently). While I love his writing and it’s an excellent novel, perhaps not the best to read during a down year. Hopeful and yet, I cried at the end.

On My TV

Been reading a lot (see above) so a bit behind in my Christmas movie countdown. We did watch Christmas Vacation as a family because J had never seen it. Not sure honestly that I’d ever seen the whole thing beginning to end. Also, I watched Krampus. Thought I’d be scared but I wasn’t at all. Perfect Christmas movie for those Scrooge moods. Loved it. Definitely a new one to watch each year for me.

Of course, we also watched the division champions (again!), Kansas City Chiefs yesterday. Sorry, Pittsburgh fans.

On The Menu This Week

Notice given yesterday it’s an eat out of the fridge/pantry/freezer week around here. All of below subject to change based on what I find today.

MONDAY: Salsa Verde Chicken and Yellow Rice (carry over) *J has a baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY: Lasagna (from freezer) and salad

WEDNESDAY: Something with flank steak and probably rice/potatoes depending

THURSDAY: Husband’s choice. *I work 1-6*

FRIDAY: Free for all. Leftovers of the leftovers? *I work until 4:30, need to confirm start time. Might be noon but might be earlier to help with Christmas party*

Something Fun To Share

The ad for these pens popped up on my Instagram account and for some reason, I find the video super relaxing.  Maybe you will also. Note you’ll have to scroll down a tiny bit. Here’s the link: snowflake marker drawing.  

Also, I’m not endorsing these/no idea if they work/not a sponsored thing/just like the video.

From The Camera

Took a birthday trip to Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. Go back one post to see my geese and eagle photos (more bird photos coming Saturday) but the landscape was also gorgeous!

On My Prayer List

All those struggling right now, a family member who lost a parent last week, friends, family and strangers. My friend, Rachel over at Living Better One Day At Time for her and her family to have a speedy recovery from the virus. An end to this pandemic and a return to kindness and civility. A peaceful and happy holiday season for all of us. 

Quote For The Week

Discovered in my reading of the novel, Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman:

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. (Martin Luther)


Are you counting down to anything this week? Christmas? The New Year? Something else? And are you ready for it?

Happy Homemaker Monday, My Birthday Week

So far, there isn’t much going on this week. However, it looked that way last week and then, I worked every single day! Here I go planning my week knowing it could all change. Still nice to have a plan in place whether I follow it or not.

Joining in as always with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom.

Let’s just get to it.

The Weather

Rudolph could work this morning. Foggy and chilly, freezing fog warning early but it stayed warm enough for no worries. Rest of the week is supposed to be beautiful. This week leading up to Christmas is green and bright until Friday. Okay, brown and bright but that doesn’t have the same ring to it. On Wednesday, it’s supposed to be almost 65 degrees! Sold!

On The Breakfast Plate

The usual boring thing of a flip yogurt, coffee, and vitamins. Making scrambled eggs for J later.

As I Look Outside My Window

Nothing but fog and frost on the car windows. Seemed to stay dark longer this morning because of all the fog.

As I Look Around The House

Christmas decorating in progress means half-empty bins, furniture slightly askew, and a box full of poinsettias all sit as an additional layer over the usual mess.

What I’m Wearing Today

A lightweight blue sweatshirt along with a matching pair of blue sweatpants. Slip on brown loafers (not brave enough to come down the basement barefoot). Probably need to change later if I leave the house or the temperatures rises a bit.

On My To Do List

Ever have those weeks when you wonder what’s not on your to do list? Describes it today. Let’s see, here are a few of the items.

  1. Pick up the camera and take a photo at least one time each day (lost my camera taking mojo last week)
  2. Clean the house
  3. Laundry
  4. Finish decorating for Christmas
  5. Clean up the front porch/yard on a nicer weather day
  6. Help J get and stay on track to finish the school semester
  7. Christmas shopping including secret Santa gifts for work
  8. Make sense of the chaos in our pantry (not sure what happened but it’s a mess, again)
  9. Target for cat food and other household necessities if I can find them
  10. Order and pick up bird seed from Tractor Supply

On My Reading Pile

Rare answer here: Nothing. Finished The Book Thief last week, worth reading but not the best pre-Christmas in a pandemic year choice. I think I’ll mostly just make due with a big pile of Christmas/December issues of magazines this week.

On My TV

Lots of Netflix Christmas movies! I’m doing my own Advent by watching a Christmas movie every day this season. I posted about the ones I’ve watched so far yesterday for Blogmas. Yesterday afternoon, I watched The Calendar, one about a magical Advent calendar. Definitely one of my favorites of all the ones I’ve watched so far. A bit more plot than some of the others though I did concede to my oldest son that yes, all the Netflix movies seem to use the same set.

Non Holiday things on our screens: The Chiefs game (woohoo, another win!), The Masked Singer, standard morning news show (for the weather mostly), sometimes The Voice, we’ll probably watch the finale of I Can See Your Voice tonight, and The Weakest Link.  My husband is watching The Crown and G’s re-watching all the Lord of the Rings movies, and J’s watching those along with him here and there or stuff on You Tube.

On The Menu This Week 

MONDAY: Pizza soup for brother in law’s birthday or frozen pizza at home *J might have a baritone lesson at 6:30, unclear as his teacher is in quarantine but I’m not sure the end date*

TUESDAY: BLT’s and French Fries

WEDNESDAY: ????? *It’s my birthday! So I’m not cooking it!* *J has a band concert recording to attend*

THURSDAY: Salsa Verde Chicken and yellow rice *J has all district band stuff, need to find out time*

FRIDAY: Not sure, probably leftovers (we did have pulled pork yesterday so might pull that out of freezer for a repeat performance) *J has all district band stuff*

Something Fun To Share

I had lunch with some of my favorite feathered friends one day last week. Always a delight to see the Cedar Waxwings! My phone camera doesn’t do them justice but they were so fun to watch often stopping mid air to grab the berries.

From The Camera

Did I mention I didn’t pick my camera up one time all last week? SIGH. I took some not so great bird photos (shared above) with my cell and this one that I forgot to post on Instagram yesterday. Buddy, our Elf on a Shelf, arrived yesterday and brought some breakfast. (We’ve not tried the cereal yet).

On My Prayer List

J’s baritone instructor to stay healthy after being exposed to the virus, family, friends, strangers. An end to this virus and a return to normal. Also, a return to civility and kindness. For a peaceful, healthy, and happy Christmas season for everyone.

Quote For The Week

Borrowed from the Christmas movies I watched last week:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

(Mostly attributed to John Lennon but here’s a history of the quote for those interested).

And how I currently feel about 2020 as it’s end draws near (I’ll leave out the language but I’m saying it in my head):

Yippie Ki Yay, (fill in the blanks…2 words)!  (Bruce Willis as John McClane in Die Hard)


So clearly, I’m in a bit of a mood this morning. What are your plans for this first full week in December?




Happy Homemaker Monday, One More Month

I missed my post last week. Starting on Sunday afternoon to make sure I don’t miss two weeks in a row. Missed my bird watching post Saturday as well so I’ll also share some bird pictures.

Today (Monday) is the last day of November. One more month to endure this surreal year. While it hasn’t been all bad, I fully admit I’m ready to flush away 2020 and move on to better things in 2021. Flushing it away seemed an appropriate thought given the toilet paper shortages.

IF we could have New Year’s Eve parties (and I’d invite you all!), I think little toilet key chains would be fun favors. Or maybe gold fish. Don’t mind me I’m just over here planning an imaginary party.

Perhaps I’d be better off sticking to a plan for the week ahead. Hoping to join in again with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. Probably not going to get a chance to link up before tomorrow afternoon as I do work a full day.

The Weather 

Cold. Windy. The clouds from this morning are gone, however. Highs in the mid to upper 40’s all weeks and lows in the upper 20’s to mid 30’s. Slight chance of rain (snow?) on Wednesday and Thursday. We had some rain (and snow! Not much.) last week but are still in drought conditions for the year. 

On The Breakfast Plate

Since I’m typing my post on Sunday, today’s breakfast wasn’t as boring. Sausage and biscuits. And coffee. My husband made it. Work days are back to the usual flip yogurt and coffee breakfasts.

As I Look Outside My Window

In the basement, frosted glass on this window. Wind keeps making it sound as if someone is walking out there. It’s just rustling leaves. I did see this outside the backdoor window this morning: 

As I Look Around The House

It’s not in bad shape. Took down all the Fall/Thanksgiving decoration yesterday. Need to put up Christmas but the crowd here isn’t enthused.

What I’m Wearing Today

I should be wearing my Chiefs shirt but it’s in the laundry so instead a long red-sleeved shirt with my S.T.A.R. labs t-shirt over it and a pair of brown pants. Plus tennis shoes that I’ll take off soon. Threw them on to go for a walk and run errands. Done now.

On My To Do List

  1. Make it through the rest of this crappy year
  2. Pay the end of the bills (just a couple due in early December plus welcome to Missouri! property and real estate taxes. We have until the end of the year but I should probably just get them out of the way.
  3. Decorate for Christmas
  4. Pull out holiday clothes for work days (sweaters and socks)
  5. Do some Christmas shopping

On My Reading Pile

Somehow I derailed my plan to start reading only Christmas novels after Thanksgiving. And started in on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s very good but not exactly what you’d call a Christmas read. I’ll finish this week, I think.

On My TV

Along with the book idea, I decided to watch a Christmas movie every day after Thanksgiving leading up to Christmas. We watched The Santa Chronicles 2 on Friday. Loved it. I thought it was better than the first one. And then, perhaps a stretch to call it a Christmas movie but I subjected my husband to a viewing of Holidate. Is it a bit dumb? Yes. Entertaining? I thought so. For the kiddos? Um, not at all.

Not sure what I’ll watch tonight. Something short as it’ll be after the Chiefs game. And on Wednesday, we’ll watch The Masked Singer. Have you been watching that? I think either the seahorse or sun is going to win the whole thing. Maybe. My guessing game is terrible.

On The Menu This Week

After our big meal on Thanksgiving, not sure what we’ll have. We finished off the sweet potatoes and corn bread yesterday as sides to a bit of ham. G suggested the end of the turkey might be good in noodles so maybe we’ll do that one day. I think I’m winging it the rest of the days.

MONDAY:  ?? *I work 8:30-5* *J has a baritone lesson at 6:30*

TUESDAY:  Pork chops *I work 1-4:15*

WEDNESDAY: Turkey and noodles



Something Fun To Share

Want a sneak peek at a new project of mine? I’m moving! Just virtually to a new blog. With a new host, bluehost.  Keeping word press. Don’t worry, So Not Organized won’t be going any where for a while as I just renewed the hosting on it with godaddy (No, I wouldn’t really recommend them if you’re just starting out). I’ll be glad to say goodbye to them when it all runs out. Long story but I’m glad to have an updated blog (background junk) in the works.

Keep in mind, I just started working on the new site on Friday but here’s a preview of: Chit Chat With Jean.

My plan is start serious transitions and new postings to the site in January of 2021. Fresh start in a fresh year.

From The Camera

Took a walk in the (cold) wind this morning. Just a couple shots. 

On My Prayer List 

Family, especially one of my sister-in-laws who just lost her own sister (not to the virus). A former coworker who lost her father to Covid in October. A friend from high school as her father is hospitalized with the virus. All those dealing with the virus, and the stresses of living through a pandemic. J as he continues to struggle with his anxiety about school.

An end to this virus. A new wave of kindness and civility to overtake the country and the world.

Quote For The Week

I found the above on Pinterest but go visit her site. It’s worth your time.


What is on your agenda for the new week and month ahead?







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