alone at last

After a fashion.

Both my current roommates/housemate/tenants (I never have figured out what to call them) are out. I have the house to myself! Whee! Generally, I enjoy renting rooms. It covers the mortgage, which teaching does not do; it provides company, mostly of the good variety; and it, well, I can’t think of what else it does. But I usually enjoy it. The part that is constantly a chafe is the kitchen. I think the next temporary person look for will have to have “hates to cook” in the ad. Sharing the kitchen with one person works well. Two is crowded. I’m over it.

Anyway.

Other things of note:

  • it has been hot and humid as fuck, after the rainiest June I can remember, but I just figured out how to program the thermostats for the mini-splits and I a feel like the eco-police might yet pass by my door. There has been what I consider too much air conditioning happening, but it is just so damn hot and I am trying to keep tenants happy and paying rent.
  • a restaurant across the street from me just sold/is closing. This is great for the owner, who I do like a good bit, but – wow – is that restaurant wrapped up in some good times from my life and its passing is more than a little sad to me.  Silly to mourn the passing of a restaurant, I guess, but there it is. I’m sad.
  • work, aka “camp” is more than half over for me! Whee! It is so worth the lack of money to not pull an entire summer of camp. I need the break, y’all. So as to come back “into the classroom” refreshed. I fully intend to be refreshed, because…
  • cho-girl is in Maryland doing her Montessori training, which means I will be “assisted” (because who could call what she did mere assistance?) by somebody else. Hiring is happening. I’ve never done it before. New skillz! I may haz them! (N.B. the use of the word “may”.)
  • wow, y’all, I sure do love my cats. Probably this goes without saying, but, wow. So true. It’s a little embarrassing. I can’t believe I just made a entire item about that.
  • also in the world of “my work” I went to a workshop last weekend on RIE, which was great. I’ve been reading a lot about it this past year (mostly here), and I’m pretty sold on a lot of the ideas, which are pretty similar to Montessori. So that was great. Only now I really want to run a tiny baby class and be done with these giant, geriatric toddlers.
  • the gas line from the pipe in the floor to my stove got replaced. Fun times! There was the faintest smell of gas and I dithered over it for a moment and then called the emergency gas leak number in the phone book (starrhillgirl, still using phone books in 2013) and the nice man from the city, who’s been here before for a gas leak, came right over and did all his little test things and swore up and down the space behind my stove was no grosser than he’d seen before and found a tiny leak in the flex pipe. Which I then convinced a friend to come fix in exchange for a night of babysitting. Done and done. But wow, it was gross behind the stove. There was cat pee. Ugh. And yuck. But now there is not. Whew.

Looming on the horizon! A trip to the west coast! To see chosen family, not family of origin (who are great, don’t get me wrong) and to ride a train from San Fransisco to Seattle! I’m so excited!


sort of in chronological order

Y’all. I just had a four day weekend. Four. It was so great. Those personal days I’ve earned (?) don’t roll over, so I figured I’d use one. So there are only like 5 that I wasted.  Oops. Next year!

Anyway. You know, and I know you know, you want to know what I did.

How about a list?

Ok, if you insist.

  • went erranding on the bus to the old-skool strip mall on what used to be the north end of town but is now the middle, sort of. I got a new dish-rack and it has made my life better.
  • went strawberry picking with Elsie, who had also taken a day off, and my new-ish housemate, who is great. I saw this really nice lady who I used to see at the market all the time and she remembered me and gave me a hug! And asked me to pass on a message to another vendor at the market, so I felt very much in with the in-crowd from the market. Also, we got a fuck-ton of strawberries, which my housemate and I got washed and hulled and sugared by 9 pm. Maybe there is a picture? There is!

IMG_2770

  • went to the market with LB and S and made out like a fucking bandit: in addition to the usual haul from my CSA, I also got my neighbors’ CSA because they are out of town; a bunch of meat, because summer paychecks will be thin so I want to stock the freezer; the best bulgolgi, ever, plus a Korean melon kimchi that the nice lady from Wolf Creek said was “very expensive”; 9 pounds of rhubarb to make jam; goat’s milk from Elsie, because we like to have our own little market at the market. Hooray the market!
  • made jam with most of those strawberries and froze the rest, excepting probably 3 pounds that have been on the counter and are now almost all eaten.
  • had S and D over for bulgolgi and then went out (out?!) and had drinks with them.
  • cleaned the house and did laundry because it was perfect laundry weather.
  • had dinner with LB, S and D again, at S’s this time.
  • went grocery shopping with S and got more jars, because the strawberry jam used up all the little ones I had.
  • made more jam with the rhubarb.
  • made a pork but in the crock pot.
  • took not one but two naps in the hammock. Pictured is Sunday’s nap. Monday’s nap was less sunny, if still fair of face.

IMG_2776

  • contemplated that there are only two days of school left.  Well, 1 and 1/2, really.

There were also Chicken Adventures, involving a mass escape this morning when I went to refill their water bowl and an entire day of freedom for Kate Olsen, while the Kardashians, who are wilder but a little more gullible, or possibly just less scared of me, were rounded up with promises of food and confined for the day as usual. They were pissed, or else they were squawking their normal amount and I read meaning into it. Kate, make no mistake, seemed a little taken aback by her full day of free-ranging solo and stuck close to the house, for which I am glad. Can’t have her digging up the neighbor’s plants again.


world of dairy

Y’all, I am making yogurt from goat milk. I am so excited by the goat milk. The goat in question is so cute. So cute.  That’s her on the left, having her chin scratched.  She lives in paradise, which is only a short bus ride away from me.
IMG_2413
Also, my cup overfloweth with cow’s milk, as I only finished about half of last week’s half gallon and this week’s is waiting for me to pick up. I’ve made a half-assed (lots of halves in this paragraph) version of cottage cheese where the milk just sits out on the counter overnight and then I salt it, but it tasted about like you’d expect for the amount of effort put in. So this time, I’ll try a recipe.  My thermometer is one battery short – and there’s only one battery in the damn thing – so I will have to find a battery to fit it before I start.  And some cheese cloth.  I seem to be out.

Look!  It’s a post without a list!  You’re welcome.


somebody should do some tidying around here

Aiming for once a week for the rest of the summer is do-able, don’t you think?  I mean, I’m hardly working.  And then perhaps I could also do things like clean up my blogroll, which is sadly out of date, and maybe log my lunch everyday.  Really, I have no excuse.

It’s been a hard couple of years, y’all.  But I think I am feeling better.  Time. I’ve taken two years of it and now I am calling you, though not in the morning.

Here are things:

  • it is hot as fuck here, again, and there has been no rain and the plum tree has lost about 1/3 of it’s leaves.  Jim Waive saw fit to remind me that I like to freak out about the weather in July.
  • I am gearing up for (yet another!) embryo transfer, avec steroids and lovenox, which is said not as if you planned on marrying an ox, but as if you started to sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and then changed your mind and wanted to talk about vans and oxes.
  • there is Neighborhood Dramaz.  Really.  More than one drama.  One neighbor is concerned that my cats mistake her front flower bed for a litter box.  Oops.  Not much to be done but apologize and give her some eggs.  Production has improved slightly since my last post,  btw. Other neighbor, previously featured on Caved as a Serious Cat Person, is very upset that another neighbor has vicious sounding big dogs that are not supposed to be at his house but for some reason keep coming back.  Written out, it sounds so silly, but she is truly distraught.  To the point of sounding irrational.  And the offending neighbors do nothing, which is the shame of it, I think.  Starrhill is pretty tight; there are really only a few of us in the place and this is how we usually handle shit: if you’re upsetting somebody, go talk to that somebody, hold your damn hand out and try to make some compromise.  I fear it has gone on too long for that at this point.  And that the actual owner of the dogs seems to be the sort that thinks she doesn’t need to hold her hand out.
  • LB and I are splitting a share from Appalachia Star farm again this summer and it’s pretty great.  The tomatoes are about to come rolling in and I am very excited.  In other food news, I have pots of herbs that I am actually using for the first time in years.  It’s like being born again.  Sort of.  Being home to make a lunch is like being born again.
  • I had another miscarriage awhile back – whee.  This one didn’t hurt, which was nice.  The sliver lining is that it put me up to the magic number of three miscarriage, which makes my insurance company willing to pay for the Big Giant Pannel of Autoimmune tests.  I do love a good visit to my lab people.
  • my old neighbor, who should just move back to Starrhill, solving all the Neighborhood Dramaz, loaned me the book about running everybody read like 2 years ago, and which I also happened to give my dad but never read myself, and for about 5 minutes I was all “I could run!”  And then I laughed at myself.  Because the part of the book about eating beans and tortillas is really much more up my alley than running.
  • one of the search terms I just saw in my stats is tiny tits.  Hahahahahahaha!  Sorry,  wrong blog.

I have been thoroughly enjoying Twitter and Instagram.  We can blame that for my lack of blogging, but didn’t everybody have that particular crisis like 4 years ago?  Only my laziness to blame, as per usual.


they should kick me out of camp

Oh, camp…  I can’t even remember what day it is….

Let’s go look.

Oh, yeah, day 8.  Teaching.  Um, well. That’s what I do.  For work, that is.  And also because I generally love it – the money’s not good enough to make anyone stick around; you have to love it at least a little bit.  Or, if you’re me, you also stick around because you have no other marketable skills.  My kids are two, and don’t yet read (although they are great a picking their noses), so blogs mean very little to them.

Shall we play catch up?  We shall.

Day 7.  I don’t think I have a favorite for any meal – weird, considering I also had no guilty pleasures.  Wow, do I love food blogs, though.  And, yes, I would totally write one if I had enough motivation to do anything at all.  Note my tumblr, which is all about lunch and hasn’t been updated in forever, and the last post wasn’t even  my lunch.  Maybe I should get back on that… or you could!  You, too, could half-ass-ed-ly fulfill your food blogger fantasies and log your lunch!

Day 6.  I never try new things because I hate new things.  For real.

Day 5.  Ummm…. I don’t know what I like best to do on my birthday.  (See why I need to be kicked out of camp – can’t answer the damn questions.)  Usually, LB and I have a party of sorts, because our birthdays are so close together.

Day 4.  Being an adult surprises the shit out of me daily.  What is this leaky pipe and why do I have to deal with it?  Where did these bills come from?  And who are all these damn cats and to whom do they belong?! I think the world of blogging has taught me about generosity.  How to have it and how to be on the receiving end of it.  Thanks for that lesson, Cali.  For real.

 


summer camp day 3


Look!  It’s summer camp!

Day Three.  Guilty Pleasures.

  • Popcorn in bed with a book.
  • umm….
  • well…
Maybe I don’t have so many of these?  I think my guilt tends to be about things that don’t bring me any pleasure.  Probably this says something important about me, but I’m not sure what it is.

getting it together

Come on y’all.  Log your lunch.  Or your cocktails, as the case may be.  Tumblr misses us.


food/gift craftastic

Or, “I don’t need to take the little pips out, do I?”

Oh, come on. You know you’ve missed live blogging with The Food Crafters.

Present: T of Tuesday Fame, Elsie, Cho-girl, LB and me.  Here we fucking are.  We are making infused vodka and flavored salts.  If they turn

9 pm.  Maths.  Math is hard.  LB is cutting citrus for infused vodka and Elsie is commiserating about mL and numbers of limes, slicing and doing maths while the rest of us sit on our collective ass and talk about a new fabric store.  Vodka is filtering, so as to see like higher quality, a la SJ.

9:17 pm.  Cho-girl begins lavender salt.  Smoked paprika is the shit this season, you know.  So we’ll be doing that next. And macha which is good on eggs.  Vodka still flitering.  T of Tuesday Fame is packaging some cleaning shit for us.  Terra Scrub if you must know.  You must know.

9:25 pm.  Pic of sliced citrus as we wait for vodka to filter. Again.

LB said “wait while I hold it against my bosom!”  but I didn’t post that one.  This is a family blog, after all.

9:35 pm.  Lavender salt done.  Vodka update:  first bottle, 3rd pass through the filter.

Live blogging is hard.  I’m passing this shit on.

9:40 pm.  Where is the shamwow?  Cleaning utensils-salt flavoring change.

9:45 pm.  Kermit crab status-mass murder and painting.

T of Tuesday Fame:  “did you calculate for the displacement of the citrus?”

SHG:  “fuck no.”

9:50 pm. New salt is smoked paprika and moving on to matcha which smells like green tea ice cream.

9:55 pm. Smells like a tea house.

10:00 pm. Four cycles of filtering the vodka is our max. around here, pouring it in with the first citrus mix, grapefruit.

10:05 pm. V-Bottle two, pass one.  S-done for now, we will be drying citrus and doing that later.


cupcakes

It’s mini-vacation time here in Starrhill – no school till Monday!  Whee!

So far today, not in this order:  plotted killing schemes with LB; written dirty emails; fed cats; saw a very hot, brand new Porsche outside my window; fed and watered chickens; got up; got dressed; made turkey broth; went to Reid’s for sour cream for cupcakes, thereby breaking my vow to not buy things on Buy Nothing Day (*sigh*  crap); read the comics.

Now I’m going to make cupcakes and listen to Al Green.

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OMFG.  WordPress has fucked me again with the pictures.  Anyway.  There are cupcakes.  Yay!


i don’t have time for you, Mark Bittman

Or, Sunday To Do:

Oh, fuck it.  Let’s make a list.

  1. laundry the first (Oh, laundry, how do I love you?)
  2. start sponge for bread (Got late start, so there really is no time for the no-knead stuff – it’s back to my old bread bff, Tassajara.  I do love you though, Mark Bittman, I really do.)
  3. mop the kitchen (Blah.  Mopping, I dislike you as much as I love laundry.)
  4. work self into a snit over current events/sexism/state of the yard.
  5. eat something (Note to self: recent bad habit of 2 cups of coffee before breakfast = not good.)
  6. anticipate visit from the kids from the Valley (!)
  7. mirate very clean stove and oven, don’t think about how long cleaning said stove and oven took, don’t notice spots that will never be really clean because the fucker is at least 60 years old if not 70.
  8. laundry the second (*sigh* laundry….*sigh*)
  9. get sidetracked talking to LB

Ok, so the real fun is over on my lunch blog.  Really, y’all.  If you’re not logging your lunch, you’re missing out.  Highlights include serious panda bento boxes, repetitive but delicious beans on toast, food fights between prominent London lawyers and peanut butter crackers stolen from small children.  Ok, just kidding on that last one.  And the one before that.  But really.  Go log your lunch.


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