Thursday, July 27, 2017

What's for Dinner: This Week's Menu

 Well, welcome to "Epic Total Fail" week here on "The Make Do Homemaker".  At least it felt that way.

It started Sunday night with Alvah melting down into a puddle.  Shrieking the shriek that any parents knows...the one where you would actually stick a poker into your eye red hot if it was assured the child would stop said shrieking.  Yeah...that shriek.  While doing everything in his power to hurt himself and others.  This went on for seventy two hours. 

We have no idea what set him off, but it was just awful around here.  I got a MAX of two hours of sleep each night as an escape from the tornado of doom that was his moods.  Watching him hurt himself...I would have walked through acid, broken glass, red hot coals...anything to help him stop hurting himself.  Nothing worked.

Tuesday we went in for an emergency visit to the psychologist and I must have looked awesome because as soon as we walked in with the screaming, hitting mass of fury that was my son she just shouted to be heard with an upset look on her face and said, "We're starting Risperidone!"  I just nodded like the desperate parent that I was, not remembering what Risperidone was (she had mentioned it I did remember that much) .  She even asked me in a moment when he was calmer how I was doing and I answered her honestly.  If we didn't do something to help him soon I was going to end up getting committed with depression because I was at the end of it, all the while fighting tears.  It was not a great moment.

We had to wait another 24 hours as all of the pharmacies in the area didn't have Risperidone in dissolvable tablet form, so that added another 24 hours to the ordeal.  BUT, and this is a big BUT with a massive silver lining folks, the medicine came in and we started him on it last night.  Within 20 minutes of giving him the pill there was an IMMEDIATE improvement.  No more self harm episodes and it was like I had my happy and well adjusted kid back.  I was amazed, astounded and so SO grateful!

But yeah, it got bad enough that my husband even ended up with chest pains from stress at work one night.  It was bad.

On top of the son, running (and I mean RUNNING) to take care of the chickens and things in the morning before having to constantly field the son, so housework hasn't gotten done this week (got a bit done today since the son was in a better mood, but honestly I'm just exhausted right now after all I'm going slower than I'd like and then on top of everything else I just failed utterly with the menu plan this week it seemed.  The husband and daughter were just not impressed with whatever I served (with the exception of fish and chips one night, which I did as an act of desperation to not hear little side complaints from the peanut gallery...wiped out most of my cooking oil to do it too), which didn't help my mood much in all honesty.  Tonight my husband admitted everything seemed to taste better when he'd have it for lunch a few days later, so maybe he just wasn't in the mood for that stuff that night (made me feel better after the fact anyway).  At least they ate what was put in front of them, I guess.  Better than not.

So, yeah, this week was rough through the first half.  Got a bit of good news when I went and checked on the chickens this morning too.  Turns out that not having any eggs in the coop at all, or even the scent of an egg being laid, snapped two of the hens out of being broody FAST.  They were up and running around today.  I even had to run down on the fly, convinced the chickens were being murdered or something with the racket they were making and it was just the two hens and the rooster talking to each other (he was REALLY lonely being all alone out in the run without company).  So, yay for uppers to help save a week!

Right, so now after the multitude of things that happened this week, onto this week's menu!

My husband's birthday is this week, so we'll be having angel food cake for his birthday (sadly when given the choice he did choose that out of the choices and said, "Well, at least I can have my favorite cake since that's the only present we can afford right now" was a true statement, but I still felt sad that it was true).  The daughter and I are also going to make him some sugar cookies, hopefully, although everything is hinging on how well the son's behavior meds work and how good of a mood he's in here (not to mention how well he sleeps).

Meat is getting kind of sparse in the freezer, although we still have plenty of chicken, so I'm going to be working more and more of that into the menu plan...hopefully without it being too monotonous.

Bright side is that the garden is producing some now.  I harvested a few rat tailed radishes this week so far and a couple of decent hauls of peas and even a few handfuls of raspberries in the last couple of days (a few seen above in one of my "mini hauls" after the inevitable "Can I have some, mom?" moments *laugh*).  We are SO tight on money right now that I am so, so grateful I put in a well sized garden (for the space I have available).  Every bit of food helps right now.

So, onto this week's menu!
 Wednesday:  One dish roast beef (London Broil) with roasted veggies (carrots from freezer from the garden last year, peas from garden, potatoes from fridge), bread (menu before we ate seen above there).

Thursday:  Bratwurst, sauerkraut (from pantry...I only have one jar left after this!  Eek!!!  Grow fast cabbage!), bread.

Friday:  Hamburgers, french fries, salad

Saturday:  Meat pie (use leftover beef roast with more veggies from freezer for filler.  Use home made biscuits placed on top for "top crust").

Sunday:  Sausage gravy and biscuits (use leftover biscuits from night before), fruit cocktail.

Monday:  Waffles, sausages, fruit cocktail (left over from night before).  This is dependent on son's mood.  Here's hoping!

Tuesday:  Easy to stuff manicotti, garlic toast, salad.

Desserts:  Angel food cake with chocolate frosting, beignets (use puff pastry...bake in oven instead of frying...I KNOW it's not the same thing, but it'll work and preserve what is left of my cooking oil) with home made lemon curd, rhubarb dream bars

Breakfasts:  Leftover desserts (I know it's going to happen *laugh*), granola by itself or in yogurt parfaits, oatmeal with pancake syrup or jam or jelly (from pantry), toast, English muffins, victory pudding (use pancake syrup instead of maple syrup).

Snacks:  Boiled eggs (one of the hens laid teeny tiny eggs before she went broody, so I boiled those four and a few other regular sized ones for snacks), cheese and crackers (note:  Make branch bread), yogurt, apples, raspberries (getting a few right now).

And there you are folks.  Our menu for the week.  How about you?  Eating anything tasty this week?


  1. <3 So sorry to hear all that's been going on.

  2. Fingers crossed the new meds help your son, and you all get some rest.

  3. Erika, your garden produce and meal looks fabulous! I'm impressed that you can do all that despite taking care of your son. You're doing a great job taking care of your family and providing a nurturing and healthy home for them, despite scarcity of resources. You should be proud of yourself! And your meal plans always make me hungry!

  4. I am so sorry that you had such awful days with your son. Thank goodness your new therapist is helping. I can't imagine how it would be without her.

    Your meals are always so much better than ours, your family has no cause to complain at all.

    I am happy to hear about your chicken ls starting to lay again, I was sure that they were about to go into the pot!

  5. I am so sorry you had such a horrible week. Praying this new med works it's magic for all involved.
    I know there are times it doesn't seem so, but God is with you.
    God bless.

  6. (Julie from Oklahoma again) Oh, honey. You are a MUCH better person than I am. Given how hard you work to provide tasty meals on a limited budget while paying the bills, cleaning the house, and dealing with your son's issues? I think ONE EYEROLL from the rest of the family about the food on the table would have resulted in me packing a bag, telling the husband he was welcome to figure out the meds, the schedule, the food, and the money, and checking myself into the nearest hotel where I would order room service and spend at least three days sleeping and eating and not having to listen to anything but the sound of my own heart beating. Seriously. Hugs to you and here's hoping the next week is much better.

  7. I've been following your blog for a while now. Whew! You've had to endure many trials, but obviously it's given you the ability to persevere and understand firsthand that the old saying "necessity is the mother of invention" is very true. You're proving it everyday and coming out a winner eventhough, I'm sure, it doesn't feel like it some days.

    I can completely sympathize with you because I've been there myself, and in fact am still going through tough times, although they have lessoned somewhat. It has been a long 9 years, (since the '08 recession) and I will be happy when this stage of my life is over - if it ever gets over :) You were talking about being in a rut for dinners, but still needing to use your pantry items, for the most part, to cook the meals. I've developed an arsenal of recipes/tips that addresses this problem, but it would be too lengthy to go into all that on this post. Of course, they are all budget stretchers. Is there any other way to live? I can write to you personally with some of these ideas, if you're interested. I'd just need a contact email. Then you could do with them what you will.

  8. Goodness, Erika! I hope your son has a much better week and that things settle down a bit for you.

    Your dinner looks delicious and I'm so glad that your garden is producing well. Your menu looks wonderful.

    We did pick a few green beans and two yellow zucchini. Tomatoes should start being ready later this week.

    Thanks for sharing all your struggles and victories with us.

  9. Julie has a point. The next time you get attitude about dinner, plate yours to eat, pack up the rest to save and offer everyone with attitude something you can afford along the line of a roll or biscuit. I know this is hard on everyone, but nothing like it is on you.
    I know because I had my own "on the spectrum, tried to bash his own head in on a regular basis" child. It took so much to get him grown and functioning, and the worst is wondering if that is even a possibility, so I get it.
    My son has made huge strides, graduated HS, is in community college part-time and works part-time, so don't give up hope.
    You have to manage on no money, make miracles happen for Alvah, put on a happy face for your husband and daughter on NO REST and very little hope somedays. Somebody needs to fill your cup with something, even if it's "This char-broiled bread and onion looks delicious, I don't know how you do it Honey/Mom".
    Your grit and good attitude is a gift and someone should be thankful for it. You are a hero and an inspiration to many who read this blog. Keep your chin up.
    Love and prayers to my nomination for "Mom of the Year".
    Patti from CA

    1. Oh, and praise God the meds are helping your son with his suffering. Hugs.

  10. Sorry you've had such a rough week. As always, praying for you and yours.
    Sending (((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))
    P.S. Your menu sounds yummy.

  11. Ditto to pattis comments. You're AMAZING and your blog helps put some of my own struggles in perspective. With all you have to do, thank you for taking the time to write this blog. I hope in some way it's therapeutic for you and not a burden. There are many who benefit from it.

  12. I am praying for continued good news for Alvah. Praying for rest and strength for you. And one little tip that you probably already know; save all grease from meat cooking. Use that (bacon, sausage) when you make savory things. Like in the biscuits. Or for cooking other foods: veggies & meats. Save the oil for sweet baked things if possible. We too are on a self-imposed no spending time. My temp job ended a week ago and the next one probably won't start until after the first of Sept. Thank you Lord for the garden. Only squash & cucumbers now but tomatoes will come. Also herbs are growing. And sweet corn will be offered by neighbors soon. So thankful we raise our own beef and I was able to go in on some chicken with a friend for a good price. No grocery shopping except for bare minimum items until i start working again. !!