Tag Archives: domestic badassery

2016 – The Wrap-Up

I’m just going to pretend that this year is over. I really can’t take any  more 2016. The next couple of days are interstitial days – they belong to no year and nothing that you do on those days matters. This is a new rule I just made up, but I’m keeping it.

Fuck you, 2016!

This year was tough. My marriage ended. I moved into my own place. I got officially divorced. My job ended. I have been – as yet – unable to find a new job. A lot of celebrities I especially liked died. A celebrity  I don’t particularly like not only lived, but was elected president. Money is tight and anxiety and depression are high. My kidlet is stressed out. I’ve had persistent shoulder issues that have prevented me from doing as much as I’d like.

Lots of shit.

Lots.

(Sometimes, literally.  Motherhood is rewarding AF.)

Seriously. Fuck you.

But you know what? It wasn’t all bad, was it?

I’m in a fantastic relationship. I have a great kidlet (even if he is not only a four-and-a-half-year-old, but also the source of that literal shit I have to deal with from time to time). I really got some quality time with a lot of wonderful friends – and made some new wonderful friends, to boot!

Being four is serious business

There was a lot of good travel this year – I was in Vegas in April for the RT conference where I got to meet IRL my friend Elizabeth Hunter as well as make new writerly friends! In May, I went to Bend for the weekend with the Beer Guy. I was in Seattle a couple of times (July and November). In August, I was able to take the Bean to South Dakota to meet my grandmother (his great) for the first time (and not incidentally got to sing karaoke with my three bestest besties from the good ol’ college days!).

Me & my marshmallow goo proving that being 39 is also very serious business.

AND – I was able to go to Iceland. ALL BY MYSELF. Sometimes I remind myself that if I could do that (which required a lot of overcoming of my anxiety issues), I can do almost anything.

I waited patiently in Bifrost for a divine visit, but unfortunately, the gods overlooked me this year.

I got to meet some other personal goals as well. I’ve really reconnected with my domestic badassery – my garden wasn’t much to talk about this year, but I made jam, and just canned festive simple syrups, and made some pies, and started baking bread again. Also – cheese. I made a cheese. Soon, we will know if that cheese is delicious. CROSS YOUR FINGERS!

Parmesan!!!

I finished writing two books and a novella, completed edits on one book that’s currently in the last look-through by my editor on its path to publication.

I found out that I really, really enjoy being a writer, and if someone would actually pay me, I’d be okay doing this for a living. (What I need is some freelance editing/proofreading work to supplement my as-yet non-existent writing income. Apparently there’s no six-figure advance for self-publishing.)

SAY MY NAME, BITCHES!

I’ve worked through a lot of things this year and I hope that I’m coming out on the other side stronger than I went in. I lived on my own. I single-mommed. I’ve been unemployed. I’ve stopped procrastinating and started achieving my dreams. I’ve traveled internationally alone.

All of the things I thought would be the hardest have been the easiest. The only thing that makes this year still shite is that pesky lack of funding issue. (I am open to paid companion positions, all eligible sugar daddies reading my blog…I’m sure there are a ton of you out there. Call me.)

(Seriously. Call me.)

The emotional stuff has been hard, but I feel like I’ve been tempered this year.

A year ago, I declared that 2016 would be the year of me. When I wrote that, I had two very specific goals in mind. I wanted to end the year not married and not in the job in which I started the year. Both of those things have come to pass, albeit not exactly as I’d planned. (Maybe I should be a little more careful with what I put out in the universe.)

I don’t know everything that 2017 will bring. There are a few things of which I’m certain:

  1. I’ll (again) move houses, but this time into a more permanent situation (less than a month now!)
  2. I’ll start a new job
  3. I will publish two books
  4. I will turn 40 and there will be a unicorn piñata (the party is the day after my birthday – Saturday, 2/25 – you’re totally invited)
  5. I will do some travel, even if only a little bit
  6. My Bean will turn 5 (FIVE YEARS OLD!)
  7. I’ll have a great garden and do more canning (I’m out of salsa and it is a travesty)
  8. I’ll keep writing
  9. That crazy Bean will start kindergarten
  10. I’ll keep moving…yoga and walking are where it’s at right now, but I’d like to – just maybe – start running again
  11. I will drink delightful gin cocktails on the back patio in the summer with the people I love best
  12. I will laugh and love and live just a little bit more

 

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.

 

 

Frosty the windshield owes me a hot toddy

I had to scrape my windows yesterday for the first time this year. It was actually the first time in ages. Last year, the architect scraped my windows most of the time, due to the fact that my huginormous belly got in the way.

Anywhosits, that is not really my point.

I made it through the five day weekend! AND – as a bonus – I didn’t even set my kitchen on fire! There may have been a close call, but it all worked out in the end.

My mom and sister arrived Wednesday (separately), and after a P90X core workout, I headed out to fetch them.

I conned my sister into having lunch and beer with me, and then we headed back home to do a little more work. And have a few more kitchen disasters. I almost gave up on my 18# $100 (seriously) heritage turkey at one point. It was a pain in the ass.

BUT – I persevered. And got nothing checked off my to do list EXCEPT that stupid turkey.

Wednesday evening was great – my mom & sister got reacquainted with Alvie Bean AND my mom made a pie. That is a good time.

Thursday morning was the Turkey Trot! Everyone did different distances (there were wings – 2.5ish miles; legs – 3-9 miles; and the turducken – 10+ miles). I went in thinking I’d do a 10K leg. After 2 miles, I decided I was more of a wing girl. The run was hard! BUT – the Ambitious One talked me into 4 miles. So, we went for 4. At 4, I decided I could do 5. I got to the turn around point and ran back to my car. When I checked my phone, I was at 6.12 miles. Obviously at that point, I had to run the last .08 miles to get a 10K!

So, I was tricked into sticking to my original plan.

Turkey Trotters (minus photographer AS & anti-social Mr. Pi)

After the run, I headed home to finish getting ready for the big dinner. There was the aforementioned turkey (which was awesomely delicious and worth all the trouble it gave me), gravy, cranberries, and crack potatoes. My mom made the gravy & cranberries in addition to the pecan pie. My cousin brought stuffing, roasted root veggies, and Brussels sprouts au gratin (yum), pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and her dad! There was good wine, good food, and good company.

The Bean had turkey and sweet potatoes, and loved it. He was pretty upset that we wouldn’t share the wine with him, though.

Friday was a day of relaxing and cleaning up and watching my son be adorable.

He worked on standing and scooting and talking.

Saturday was yoga day! And then I took my family for a ride in the Portland Tram and then to show off my office.

Sunday (very very early) morning, I took my mom & sister back to the airport. 🙁

Later that day, the architect went for his first bike ride in ages – about a month due to pneumonia! When he returned I went for an 8 mile run. On Terwilliger. Which is hilly.

Also? COLD! It seemed not so cold when I left home and while running. But by the time I finished my hilly eight miler (and I only got lost once!), I was freezing. A venti latte and a hot shower helped a bit, but I was not quite prepared for the chilly run.

Sunday afternoon, my family & I just chillaxed. I hung with my two favorite guys and tried to pretend I didn’t have to go to work the next day.

Overall, quite a nice time. I am now two days into my first 5 day work week in ages. I hope I survive! Thursday morning I have a pretty big meeting, so yesterday & today are all about prep work for that. (That process would be easier if I had a heated network jack in my office. Apparently at some point Monday evening, my network jack got cold feet. Or whatever. And it wasn’t fixed by 4 pm Tuesday. Which is great.)

So – all in all? Things are good. I feel good. My family is healthy. I am feeling bits o’ holiday spirit.

Life is pretty fantastic.

What I Ate Wednesday – with 100% less croissants!


I am not so much a healthy holiday snack person. I like to indulge. Which may be part of my problem! However, I’m also not a candy & sweet person most of the time – although I do have my moments! The more I run, however, the less I crave sweets. Not sure why that is, but there you go.

So – I love Halloween. And parties. And throwing Halloween parties! And I usually try to have a mix of healthy & not healthy food on my spooktacular snackalicious table of delight.

See – mix of healthful and non-healthful foods. There are fruits! And salsa! And guacamole! And surely moldy-looking cheeseballs are healthy, right?

 

ANYWAY – the fruit never gets eaten, but the bleeding heart brie stuffed inside the croissant dough sure went fast. What I do like to do is have healthy seasonal meals. I love fall. I love soups and root vegetables and roasts in crockpots. So – last night for dinner, we had roast Colin and a medley of root vegetables. But before we even get to dinner…

6 am – coffee in the BIG cup – with vanilla soy milk. Obviously, I did not remember to photograph that before drinking. And that is just how it has to be – nothing gets done before the giant cup o’ coffee.

9 am – breakfast! I had more coffee – a hazelnut latte! And while I was latte buying, I saw this delightful looking raspberry “muffin.” Muffin goes in quotes, because I’m pretty sure it was a cupcake. I didn’t so much remember to photograph that, either. I did have a large water!

1 pm – lunch. Lunch was healthful. Two small slices of homemade whole wheat bread, 1 oz cheese, turkey, two garden tomatoes, and 1/2 avocado. Also mustard. And a banana that (full disclosure) I didn’t actually eat because I was too full after my sandwich, and then I forgot. I did finish my diet coke. And my water.

Then – dinner!

 

I threw Colin in the slow cooker before going to work, and when I got home, my house smelled quite lovely. (Colin 1.0 is my 1/8 share of beef. Starting tonight, we will be moving on to Colin, Jr. All that’s left of Colin 1.0 at this point is some short ribs.) I grabbed a bunch of veggies and started peeling and chopping. In the meantime, I turned the oven on to 400*.

Into the big baking dish (of awesome – check it out!) went:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 purple potatoes
  • 4 beets (strangely not red beets – it was very disappointing)
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 turnips
  • 1 onion

In addition, I added a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. I drizzled 1/4 cup of olive oil over, tossed to coat, and roasted for 50 minutes.

I meant to put in an acorn squash, but decided to keep it, in case I needed a weapon. The purple potatoes, beets, carrots, garlic, rosemary & thyme were all from my garden!

It was pretty good, although the architect did not so much enjoy the white veggies (and my camera phone did not fully capture how awesome those purple potatoes looked in there). I sprinkled with salt and a little of the drippings from the roast, and lo! it was delicious. I loaded up on mostly veggies and a little meat (just about 3 oz – a serving), and a glass of wine. (You can see the very bottom of the wine glass in the photo. It was great.

Less impressed, however, was Alvie Bean.

Mr. Bean has not been enjoying the carrots. This is the third night in a row of carrots, and the first time he’s eaten most of them. He is pretty skeptical, though, and tries to hold out for something better. He loooooved sweet potatoes, and once I tossed the jarred, store-bought peas for home steamed & smashed peas, loved those, too. Carrots, though? Not so much.

I am trying to guilt him into liking them. I grew these carrots, and dug them up, and steamed them, and pureed them, and mixed them with breast milk that I made with my own body, what is wrong with you son? but he’s still resistant. He has one more night of carrots tonight, and then we’re moving on to bananas! Oooooh – fruit!

I am noticing that there needs to be more balance in my diet. More fruit early (any fruit at all) and less morning carbs and caffeine. I used to be a one coffee/day girl, but lately that’s flown out the window. However, If I’m going for more than one coffee, maybe ginormous sugary lattes are not the way to go. Lattes are a sometimes treat!

 

Weekend in Review! (now with photos!)

I feel that I had a pretty productive weekend. Friday, I left the house! And had lunch with a friend! And went to New Seasons. And then, had to rest for the remainder of the day.

Saturday was yoga, then visiting with a neighbor, then cake making!

I love to make cakes, and make very good tasting cakes. I just don’t necessarily make pretty cakes. Part of the problem was, I think, that my baking powder was at the end of its useful life, so I got poorly risen, lopsided cakes. Because they were just for me, I didn’t bother leveling them, but it did result in less pretty than hoped-for cakes. Also, I have not yet mastered the art of the dripping glaze down the sides in an artful & beautiful manner.

BUT – the cake is delicious.

 

Sunday was another busy day (well, new pregnant-Amy busy, not old Amy does lots and lots of stuff all the time-busy).

I made banana bread – two loaves; one to freeze and one to eat now.

 

I cleaned the kitchen. I helped the architect do some garden stuff. As I was doing the garden stuff, I made a discovery! The tulips are starting to poke up:

 

 

I am hoping that this week is infinitely less stressful than the last couple. I am hoping to get some swimming time in Monday, Wednesday & Friday this week. I am having an ultrasound this afternoon, so new baby pics for the bumpday update this week! (Because I know you’re dying to see grainy b&w pics of my fetus.) Actually – lots of baby stuff this week: u/s today, waterbirth class tomorrow, daycare tour on Thursday, and childbirth classes on Saturday & Sunday.

Sometime in there, I’ll need to do some school work, but I’m so close to being done! YAY!

Happy Monday, y’all!