My Special Circumstances (for Today)

My Special Circumstances (For Today) at

Monday morning, my husband drank his coffee out of a cereal bowl.

To be fair (to my slob self), our cereal bowls do have handles and could technically be called really big mugs.

But still . . .

I hadn’t washed dishes since last Friday.

I know. I KNOW I have to do dishes. I KNOW it is the habit upon which the state of my home balances.

I totally know.

But y’all, I had special circumstances.

Unique circumstances. (I would love to say really unique, but there’s no such thing. Unique is unique, so degrees of uniqueness aren’t possible. That’s your language lesson for the day week month year.)

I have ants.

Ants everywhere.

Ants marching in lines across my cabinets. No matter what I do, no matter what I scrub or block or remove, the ants keep doing their ant thing in my kitchen.

So I’ve been avoiding my sink. Belly up the sink and you’re guaranteed to find an ant crawling on your shirt or your arm or your NECK very soon.


But guess what happens when special circumstances keep me from doing my dishes?

1. We run out of clean dishes.

2. My kitchen gets really messy.

3. My husband drinks his coffee from a cereal bowl. (A cereal bowl with a handle . . . but still.)

Reality doesn’t stop because of my special circumstances.

While special circumstances may keep me from doing what I need to do, the results of me not doing what I need to do still happen.

Results have no pity.


But really, though, I’m the Queen of Identifying Special Circumstances That Justify Avoiding Tasks I Didn’t Really Want to Do Anyway.

So Monday morning, I used the last of my cinnamon in a desperate attempt to get the blankety-blank ants to stay away from the point where my belly meets the sink.

It kind of worked. A few fewer ants made it onto my t-shirt. My cinnamon-stained t-shirt.

What special circumstances are you facing that keep you from doing the things that have to be done, no matter the circumstances?

Podcast listeners click here.

Oh, and if you want to know how to pronounce “blehalalala” just click the play button below to hear this post in audio form.


Two Very Different Women Who Cooked for Their Families

This post contains affiliate links alongside totally free inspiration.
Making Cooking for Your Family Work for YOU at

When my husband and I got married, things were pretty smooth that first year. I’d heard horror stories from newlyweds about adjusting to living together, but we got lucky. I think part of it was that we were so grateful to be together after our opposite-sides-of-the-world romance, and part was that we drove home together from work each night. Thirty minutes in a car lets you deal with any “issues” before you even walk into the apartment.

But one thing that made me bonkers was his reaction to my call of “Dinner’s ready!!!”

My pronouncement that my latest newlywed-in-the-kitchen creation was complete got him up and moving . . . and doing things OTHER than coming to the table right then to eat.

He’d head to the bedroom to change. He’d get up and grab the newspaper he didn’t finish that morning, and then READ IT.

He’d do some other thing that wasn’t eating.

I thought I was going to LOSE my mind. At first, I was confused. Then, I was mad.

Finally, either through a confrontation or a random conversation (it has been fifteen years and my memory is fuzzy), I figured out what was going on.

Before we got married, we talked about how things were in our homes growing up. We both had moms who cooked.


We had exactly the same philosophy about the importance of eating at home.


We both understood the importance of sitting down together around a hot meal.

Not so much.

Here’s the thing. His mom worked full time. My mom stayed home. They both cooked for their families. Both of their families ate home-cooked meals every night.

But they did it in very different ways. When my mom said dinner was ready, we all stopped whatever we were doing and ran to the table. We ate the food that had just come off the stove or out of the oven. Letting the food get cold was something we knew not to do.

His mother cooked on the weekends. Big pots of beans and pans of cornbread. Pot-roasts and casseroles and baked chicken breasts. Then, throughout the week, they ate that food.

That home-cooked food.

But if his mom said, “Dinner is ready!” (which I’m not sure she did), it meant come fix yourself a plate and warm it up. That can be done immediately or five or ten minutes later.

Neither way is right or wrong. Both women cooked. Both women put in real effort and time and work to ensure they didn’t blow the family budget eating fast food.

Both women are wonderful cooks.

They just did it differently.

Once I understood why Hubby didn’t react the way I wanted him to react to my declaration that dinner was ready, I gained such respect for my Mother in Law’s way of doing things. I’ve learned a lot from her and some of my best freezer cooking ideas are based on how she cooked.

Not that Hubby dawdles at dinnertime anymore. He’s learned.

Podcast listeners click here.



Why I Purchase Chicken in Bulk

Why I Buy Chicken in Bulk at

Full Disclosure: Even though I’ve written about my love of purchasing chicken in bulk from Zaycon many, many times, they offered me a product from their extensive line for writing about it again. I jumped at that chance. I’m also using my own referral link so I can build up credit for my next chicken purchase. You can do the same thing by referring your own friends! Just grab your own referral link after signing up through my link to be notified of sales in your area! And, there’s an awesome chicken event starting right away with many new locations!

I was purchasing chicken in bulk long before I’d ever heard of Zaycon Foods. It just works for me. It works for my style of meal preparation. It also works for my style of budgeting.

Meat is generally the most expensive part of our meals. (And I learned fairly soon after Hubby and I got married that he wasn’t a big fan of meatless dinners.) When I was a kid, my mother passed on the tip to stock up on meat whenever I found it for less than $2 per pound. Buy enough at that price to last until the next good sale.

I find it bizarre that $2/lb is still the price I watch out for thirty years later. I almost never find any kind of beef for that price anymore, but I do find boneless, skinless chicken breasts for that price when I’m watching carefully.

When it’s on sale, I buy as much as I can afford in my budget and then divide it up to freeze for individual meals. Pre-Zaycon, I would generally buy about 10-20 pounds at a time. I also started pre-cooking some of the chicken and freezing it that way to make future meal prep go more quickly. The more success I had, the more I tried to buy at one time.

Things I love about purchasing in bulk:

  • The more I purchase at one time, the longer I can go without needing to search for sales. With Zaycon, I am usually good until their next chicken sale and my reminder for that comes through my email.
  • Even though trimming and bagging and pre-cooking a LOT of chicken at once takes a LOT of time and energy on the day I do it, it eliminates SO much time and energy out of my daily cooking routine. When I don’t have to trim chicken (or even cook it when I use my pre-cooked chicken!), I’m more willing to make dinner and I can make it very quickly with significantly less mess.
  • Getting a LOT of chicken all at once, even at a good price, can be a challenge for the budget in that moment, but it means I’m not spending money on chicken at all for a long time. Not needing to buy chicken allows me to stock up on other items when they go on sale. Then, having plenty of pasta or beans or frozen veggies already in the cabinet or freezer means I can  spend a big chunk of the budget on chicken the next time I need to make a bulk purchase. It’s the good kind of endless cycle.

Because this was already my kitchen style, I was immediately intrigued when I learned that I could get 40 lbs at a time at a good price from Zaycon.

Zaycon is increasing the number of “events” and the areas where they will happen. And they’re offering chicken for 1.69/lb, which is a GREAT price for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I have been very pleased with the quality every single time I’ve purchased. AND, while I’ll love it if you sign up as my referral, you need to refer your own friends with YOUR own referral link! Through June 30th, first time buyers will result in a $5 credit for the person who referred them! The Zaycon referral program is ALWAYS awesome since the referrer gets a $1 credit every time their referral makes a purchase (not just the first time like other programs), but this makes it extra amazing!

Don’t wait, though. I know from experience that Zaycon events do sell out. It’s also worth it to go ahead and get on their email list to be sure you are the first to know about future events in your area.

Sign up for their email list here.

If you’re confused how this all works, don’t worry! I have a ba-jillion posts that will help you understand:

How I trim and package 40 lbs of chicken at once.

How to Shred Lots Of Chicken in Seconds With No Carpal Tunnel Pain! (also includes links to recipes in which I use shredded chicken)

How to place an order through Zaycon.

How a Zaycon pickup works (This one is from when I picked up bacon, but the process is the same for chicken.)

Freezer Cooking Podcast

Do you purchase chicken or other meat in bulk?

Podcast listeners click here.


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