I can’t stand the Olympics. My track record on this subject is pretty clear. It’s not popular and people assume that I’m evil or am not patriotic. All of those things are false.

The idea of the Olympics is amazing! The athletes are incredible and I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of hard work and sacrifice that goes into making it to the Olympics. But the commercialization of it all and some other things I just can’t pinpoint just leave me feeling “blah” about the whole shebang.

Because I love you, I have come up with a list of things to watch besides the Olympics:

  • The Americans. I know these episodes stream on Amazon. OMG, this show you guys. So good! American and Russian intrigue. Nothing like present day. Nope, nothing to see here. Move along.
  • The Good Place. A few of you, ok a lot of you, on Facebook did your best to convince me to watch this show. It took some time to get through the previous season on Netflix, but I enjoyed it. It’s also refreshing in this day and age to watch people trying to do the right thing.
  • Godless on Netflix. Not uplifting or joyful in any way. It is a slower plot and it took awhile to build but it was so good!
  • Lost. All seasons are now streaming on Hulu. I used to put this show into my Outlook calendar to make sure I never missed an episode. Damn, I’m old.
  • Top Chef. All seasons stream on Hulu so you can start at the beginning or jump around to your heart’s desire. Watch and find out that the term “amuse bouche” is an actual thing and not just something to giggle about.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Hilarious, awkward and dry like the Office and you just want to love them all.
  • The Last Man on Earth. Super wacky, absolutely hilarious, and so good.

When you eat or have eaten fast food in the past, and cheese has stuck to the paper, what do you call it? I recently heard someone say “bonus cheese”. Let me tell you right now, “bonus cheese” is a load of horsecrap. Its official term is “wrapper cheese”. Bonus cheese makes it sound like you’re getting something for free. You already paid for the sandwich and thus the cheese. There is no bonus. Whereas wrapper cheese is the perfect description because it is literally cheese on a wrapper.

I can’t tell you the last time I had a fast food sandwich, but I can tell you that I would have been thrilled if it came with some wrapper cheese.

A little game he calls “shoe hands”. He does this as practice for his Mensa application.

Do you watch Instagram stories? When I accidentally click one and it starts to load I’m like “what is this? Make it stop! I didn’t mean to see this!” According to most charts, I am officially in the “oldest AF” categories of millennials, but even with that I still don’t get the appeal of stories.

Let me tuck this afghan under my pits and I’ll settle in on the davenport while you explain it to me. But hurry up, it’s 8:30 pm and Matlock is on.

Do you want to hear stories of how hard it was when I was growing up? We had self-esteem classes in school and everyone was named Sarah or Jennifer. Very confusing times my friend, very confusing times. You don’t know how good you have it now with all your unique and unusual names.

Can I offer you a butterscotch? It comes with a super annoying wrapper and it is the grossest of all hard candies. You’ll love it.

Troy and I watched Wonder Woman this week. It takes us two to three days to watch anything longer than 30 minutes, but it was worth it. I announced halfway through that I was going to leave him for Gal Gadot. Holy balls that woman is stunning! She truly was sculpted from clay. We’re going to be very happy together.

Post recap from this past week!

Homemade Frozen Heart-Shaped Pizzas. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or just make them round and serve them any time of the year.

heart-shaped pizza on a cast iron pizza pan

10 Minute Homemade Taco Salad Bowls. All the delicious crunch of a fried taco bowl, but this one doesn’t taste like regret and sadness.

taco salad bowls filled with shredded cabbage, chicken and salsa

A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom. Giving you a small peek into what it is like to juggle this full-time blogging gig with small kiddos.

There comes a moment every February when I head out to the garden holding my breath. I wait to see if my leap of faith with planting garlic last fall has paid off. And just like the previous six years, this week I saw that it had.

garlic in a garden bed see more at sustainablecooks.com

This garden bed needs to be weeded. Go ahead and get on that ok?

Gardening is nothing if not the belief that there are things in this world you don’t have to see to understand. I can’t see one little garlic clove underground sprouting roots and somehow turning into an entire head of garlic. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Being a gardener means believing in faith even if the faith isn’t related to a deity.

When what is only the latest of many mass shootings in the US happened this week, the reactions were varied. To be honest it has become so procedural when these horrible events happen. We know the process. The angst, the horror, and the fact that it will fade from our news cycles in just a few weeks.

Until the next one.

We’re gun owners. I’ve talked about this fact before. Troy has collected guns for years for competitive target shooting. I’m an Independent voter who is socially liberal but also spent three years running the office of a Republican state representative. I don’t fit into a specific mold and I’m sure you don’t either.

I recently heard a quote on a podcast that said it is easier to offer thoughts and prayers than it is to be a prayer. Because acting as a prayer means a lot of hard work and doing things that may be unpopular. This country that I love so much needs to have a conversation about what we want our society to look like. Whether you are anti-gun or pro-gun, I cannot imagine anyone wants these incidents to keep happening. There is no one who sees these events happen and doesn’t think we can do better. We have to do better.

We also can’t simply blame mental health issues for mass casualties without also addressing our lack of mental health funding and support in this country that goes back to the early 80’s.

Some friends and I joined Moms Demand Action this week. Why it took this long I cannot understand. I realize that nothing will change nationally, so working locally is going to have to be our/my only option to make any headway into this crisis. I cannot give in to the pain and distress and just give up. And so, we get to work. We celebrate every win no matter how small, and we take one step forward every single day.

Those children. Those kids who lived through the terror this week will very soon be of voting age. We’re already witnessing them take a stand for what they believe in and want to see happen. Every network has their own talking points and are primed and ready to attack others who feel differently. But I hope that this time we will really listen to the voices of survivors and hear what they have to say.

I honestly can’t think of a segue into our meal plan that is appropriate at this point, so I’m just going to repeat something our pastor said after the Las Vegas shooting in October. “There has always been darkness and hate in this world. There will always be darkness and hate in this world. It is all of our jobs to shine so much light that the darkness never wins in the end”.

Amen.

This week we are expecting (Seattle) cold weather and I am wanting to serve warm and comforting dishes to keep us toasty.

Monday:: Shredded pork street tacos (with a special topping that I will be posting about tomorrow!), black beans and rice.

Tuesday:: Whole wheat spaghetti and roasted veggies.

Wednesday:: Bahn Mi sandwiches (with leftover pork from Monday’s tacos) and roasted veggies.

Thursday:: Healthy Instant Pot Baked Potato Soup and a salad.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Jack has a birthday party to go to, and I’m headed to Seattle with my SIL to see a live podcast show (event?)! Can anyone recommend a good restaurant around the Moore Theater? Affordable, not too fancy, delicious, with healthy options (my SIL is doing Keto)? Thanks in advance.

Sunday:: Family dinner

Smith Brother’s Farms:  $22.81 

Want to sign up for Smith Brother’s home delivery and get a $10 credit on your first order? Simply click this link enter “Sarah Cook” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” field and then enter “FRIEND” in the promo code field on the payment page and you’ll be credited $10! For full disclosure, they would also credit my account as well.

Costco: $119.14 – we got our yearly rebate from Costco this month so I went a bit overboard with some things. I stocked up on snacks for basketball games (we have two games where we need to provide snacks to nine kids) and um, did you know that Costco now has their own brand of Nutella????

What are you having this week?