Tag Archives: canning

40 Before 40 – Update the Eighth

Eighth is a weird word. It’s not autocorrecting, so I must be spelling it right. But weird, right?

ANYWAY – we’re reaching the home stretch. Due to  my current unemployment and my desire to not live in a box, some of the things are going to be postponed until I have more disposable income. But still – I have made a bit more progress.

Things that I did in the last month…

I went to the local nude beach. I did a volunteer cleanup there. I saw lots of naked people and too many snakes to make me want to be one of those naked people. BUT – because I love you, I bring you photographic evidence. Boobs and pussy.

img_0187

Heh. It’s a cat.

 

I made jam. Lots of jam. I’ve been cooking more, too (yay for the instant pot!). So, the DIY stuff is coming along nicely.

All the fig jam...

All the fig jam…

I also climbed a tree. A fig tree. To make fig jam. It was a little scary, but it’s done! (Sorry – no photos of this!)

That takes me to 17 of 40 things finished…but there are some things that will be done!

  1. [Redacted]
  2. Photo framing – just need to shell out the $$ to get that done
  3. Cheese trying – this is currently on hold (fortunately, I’d probably tried nearly 12 cheeses in the first 7 months, so I can probably declare this a win…).
  4. Publish my first book – I have the cover art mockup – just need to finalize fonts; and I should get first edits back from my editor at the end of this week.
  5. Perfect pie crust – I made pie earlier this week, and although it was good, it wasn’t perfect. Yet. I’ll try a new crust recipe for the second go.
  6. Meet three computer friends IRL. DAMMIT, Cat! Just come visit for the weekend. Mel – wanna go cheese shopping or something? I’d buy you a beer.
  7. Ice skating. I will go. I will fall down. People will laugh, but it will be done.
  8. Regular exercise.
  9. Self care (I’m mostly sleeping better and I’m starting to eat a little better now, too…)
Pecan pie. I served it with whiskey hard sauce. It was amazing.

Pecan pie. I served it with whiskey hard sauce. It was amazing.

 

 

Words. So Many Words.

I’ve been plugging away at the writing project. I’m about 1/4 of the way done with the book in progress (which is #4 in a series I’m writing). It’s been fits and starts and it’s generally taking me a lot longer to get the words down than I would’ve predicted. I’m not as efficient a writer when I’ve got all day, apparently.

I do need to get better at that, though. I have just over a week to make final changes to my first book before the editor starts working on it. She has three readers who took a look at it and got their comments back. Two of the readers had some good critique, but overall liked it. The third did not so much like it. For some reason, that person’s opinion holds much greater weight than the other five people who’ve read and said they enjoyed. Not sure why the rating system is weighted that way… In real life, shouldn’t five positives > one negative?

 

ANYWAY – I have a cover artist. I have a content editor and a proofreader. I should have a book published by the end of the year if all goes well.

And then people should give me money and not tell me if they don’t like it. If you want, we can even skip the part where you read the book. Just buy it and forget about it.

So – goals for the next few weeks – tighten up the first 1/3 of Eleanor’s first book and get to the editor.

Finish up the fourth book in the series. Start a second draft of the second book in the series.

And then – the other series…I have two scenes left to write in the first book and I’m ready to start the second!

So much writing. So much editing. And I should probably try to find a new job that will pay me in cash money since I’m guessing that I’m not going to sell a million copies of my book in the first week of being a published novelist.

Life goals

Life goals

Today, however, I’m making fig jam and listening to my #ginforthewin playlist.

gin-is-awesome

 

 

IT’S OCTOBER!

For five days now. I know.

It’s been such a busy few days. There was a lot of good and some not so good.

Thursday evening I decided I really, really needed to make apple cider sangria. And so I did. And lo! It was delicious.

2015-10-01 19.44.05

The sister wife and I hung out with the architect all evening until I got tired (or drank too much sangria) and had to go to bed.

Friday started out kinda shitty. It’s not my story to tell, but I would like to go on record as being pro-gun-regulation. I tried to get my Zen on, but was unsuccessful.

Two things that usually make me happy.

Two things that usually make me happy.

After the tense was over, I headed over to a nearby storage facility to sign a contract on a storage unit. It was not creepy at all.

(Mis)quoting a friend, "I'm not saying there's been a chalk outline there, but..."

(Mis)quoting a friend, “I’m not saying there’s been a chalk outline there, but…”

After paying money for that lovely space, I went home and found the sister wife waiting for me. We exchanged one of Satan’s handshakes.

hugs

and then went to lunch.

That evening, the Bean and I met the architect for dinner at Ecliptic then went home to see how the cider sangria had fared after sitting for 24 hours.

It fared well. So good.

I did my best to decimate the remaining supply.

I did my best to decimate the remaining supply.

 

Saturday, the sister-wife, the architect & the Bean went on a great train adventure. The best part of the adventure is that I did not have to go along!

2015-10-03 18.32.52

 

Instead, I finished another chapter and a half on my book, and spent most of the day hanging out with a friend. There was tasty food AND delicious beverages involved.

Porter and Thai Curry

Porter and Thai Curry

Sunday was moving day. But first, we feast!

Bloodies with tomato juice from the garden, cheesy grits, and egg clouds. And bacon. Obviously.

Bloodies with tomato juice from the garden, cheesy grits, and egg clouds. And bacon. Obviously.

We moved a few things into the storage unit, including a big-ass shelf thing. Our living room looks rather bare now, but we no longer live in a box palace and I feel comfortable having the house cleaner come back!

After the exciting storage moving (there was police action! Storage units are the best!), the sister wife, the architect & I (with occasional help from the Bean) cleared the garden of tomatoes. SW (sister-wife) and I headed to her house for jars and the the rest of the day was spent canning tomatoes (me) and finishing the deck (SW & the architect).

TOMATOES!

TOMATOES!

I was supervising. With wine. (I may have also antiqued the deck. With wine.)

I was supervising. With wine. (I may have also antiqued the deck. With wine.)

I mosied down to the local food cart pod to get the hard workers food and beer. I fell on the way because I INSIST on wearing this very cute pair of shoes that I have never yet worn without falling over.

I’m bruised on the shin, in the chest region, one hand, and a little swollen on the chin. It was awesome.

Imagine this (these are box carrying bruises), but all over my body. Yeah. It's SO sexy.

Imagine this (these are box carrying bruises), but all over my body. Yeah. It’s SO sexy.

Because I am awesome, I went to the food carts in aforementioned shitty shoes, but also my Mitmunk pink bionic leggings and a unicorn shirt.

So cool.

So cool.

I carried my Marie Laveau bag, too, because (a) I needed a way to get all the food and beverage home and (b) I am that awesome.

2015-10-04 18.45.05

After the deck was finished (and it is, except for fastening the stairs to the deck), we celebrated with food and beverage and fire!

 

It was no trip to NOLA, but I sure did have a delightful weekend. Wonderful people really do make for a lovely weekend.

sister wives

Weekend in Review

I am at a point when I pretty much just feel good if I can leave the house on the weekends. Going to work is easy – and I feel good while there. The 3-day weekends, however, are hard. So – if I can accomplish anything at all on teh weekends, I feel like I deserve a gold star.

I had a rough start. I ended up canceling both sets of plans I had Friday because I just couldn’t face leaving the house. Instead, I did…nothing? I played with the baby, and he is awesome, but keeping my plans would’ve been better.

I also decided that this is not the year to try to throw my spooktacular. I love it, and I love Halloween, but I just cannot this year, and it’s causing too much stress.

Saturday, I was ready to leave the house & go running, but due to a convergence of events, it did not happen. I did go to Target, which was horrific and infuriating. I hate (other people’s) kids.

I think that may have been my sole accomplishment for Saturday.

Sunday was about the same – although Alvie Bean & I did go for a walk to a local park and swing for a bit. I also  made grape syrup. (It was supposed to be jelly, but after a series of mishaps and near disasters/fires/etc, I decided to cut my losses, put the slightly thick, sweet stuff in pint jars and put it in the freezer.) The grapes were all from our own vines, so that was cool. I also got out to the grocery store, so that was two leavings the house and one kitchen accomplishment in one day! Yay!

This next week will be all about baby proofing. The Bean is getting super mobile and trying so hard to crawl. It will happen before we’re ready, so I want to minimize as much damage as we can.

So – weekend, not as good as it could be, but not horrible. I have some plans this week, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep them all. I have a feeling that if I don’t, the Ambitious One will come find me & drag me out regardless. Also, the meds I’m currently on have a dose increase that started Friday, so that should kick in soon, too.

Post partum depression/anxiety is kicking my ass, but I’m glad that I had my support system in place ahead of time, so that when things started to go wrong, I was already in position to take action.

I’ll leave you with an adorable picture of my son – because he’s always the best part of my weekends. Three whole days with the Bean!

Smugly Productive

That is how my weekend felt.

I canned (salsa & pickles).

I relaxed!

I did some things that needed to be done! I made a will, and formalized my power of attorney & living will – you don’t want to be without that stuff! Even if you’re married and your spouse automatically gets to make decisions for you, if you don’t have it formalized, you may not be able to do some financial stuff (like access a bank account in their name, etc.).

I finally figured out what I need to do to replace my social security card that was lost (stolen? who knows…) a couple of years ago.

I bought a safe to store all of our important documents.

I finished addressing and stamping all of my baby announcements – and before he turned 5 months old! Go me!