Sunday, June 14, 2015

Today's Update - 14 Jun 2015

Here's a silly little ditty that my father remembers from when he was a kid.  I laugh in all the appropriate places even though I've heard the stories so many times before.  To me this shows his memory is starting to fill the holes back in.

One bright day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise
and ran to save the two dead boys.
If you don't believe this lie is true,
ask the blind man, he saw it, too.

Not only is the ditty silly but so am I.  So tired I'm silly.  Today is the first day off I'm going to have from transporting Dad and Mom to various doctors for almost two weeks.  It seems no matter how I arrange things I just don't have any time at the end of the day to write like I had planned.  It is driving me a bit crazy.  In fact I'm not getting much of anything done beyond playing taxi cab driver.  On top of it I am barely keeping up with the house and business.  Strike that, I'm not keeping up with either of those things either.  Last night I'd finally had enough of being less than productive and got my daughters to help me do some overdrive work ... kitchen, family room, breakfast area, living room, bathrooms, laundry, etc.  None of it is as clean as I would like it to be but at least it is cleaner than it was.  Amazing how much mess two extra adults can make, especially when they spread their stuff through the house creating little piles of stuff that doesn't belong where it winds up.  Then add in all of the mess my dad's medical supplies make ... even in my frig with his insulin and antibiotics ... and no matter how much I clean and pick up nothing every seems to stay clean for more than an hour or two.  My parents have just gotten used to letting things go and as busy as we are I just can't live like that.  Too much chaos make Mother Hen a cranky ol' bird.

The other thing I did yesterday was two small batches of sugar free (as in no sugar at all) jams using my Ball brand automatic jam maker.  The first batch was strawberry.

I got that batch made and then went on to the next batch which was strawberry-blueberry no-sugar jam.
Took about six pounds of strawberries plus two of blueberries to get both batches made.

Ignore the old and broken spice jars in the background.  Ugh.

I made it using

This was my first run with my jam maker despite having purchased it earlier this year and I realized right off the bat that I need to adjust a few things.  Even though I am supposed to put the pectin evenly on the bottom before the fruit I will probably need to thoroughly mix the pectin in with the puree beforehand.  The first batch I tried the pectin stayed on the bottom and cooked/burnt there.  Ick.  Mixing it in made for a much better product.  I'm not sure if that is true of all pectins or if it is a particular problem with the low-sugar/no-sugar type.

Sorry for taking so long to get any story but I gotta do what I gotta do.  The stories that I've updated include:

Up On Hartford Ridge
Still doing a little clean up on this one but it will be up by the end of the day.
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Dark Days
Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack
Prelude and Chapter 1 is up.  This one is a little "out there" as far as the volcanic disaster genre goes but it was fun to write.  Will probably go up slow as I don't have a lot of time for editing right now and this one really needs it.

Only have one video for you today but hopefully you will find it fun and useful.  It's on how to make a pie crust using a Duncan Hines cake mix.  Now think about that for a second.  How much fun could you have making different flavored pie crusts that way?  Strawberry pie with a chocolate crust?  Key Lime Pie with a pineapple crust?  Squash Pie with a carrot cake crust?  Or even one of those no-bake pies (ice cream or cool whip type things) with a flavored crust?  Lots of possibilities with this one.

Thanks for being understanding.  Enjoy!


  1. Well dang, I never thought about cake mix for pie crust lol. Hoping things continue to get better and you find the time for home and work less and less trouble.
    Thank you for taking the time for your stories. I check several times a day every day, I know I shouldn't but I can't help myself. Editing is okay but not essential as far as I am concerned lol.

    1. One of my girls made and ice cream pie using a chocolate cake mix for the crust and she reported that her friends' mothers were all asking for how she did it. Chocolate crust with orange sherbet filling. Even I was impressed and my 16 year old loved she'd thought of it herself.

  2. Thank you so much Kathy! I've been checking back here (and on Emi and Dark Days) every day and feeling selfish and guilty every time I did so. I am not articulate enough to express how grateful I am that you're still trying to keep with the writing even with every thing else going on. I'd hug you if I could!

    1. Don't feel guilty. I really would love to have the time to write more and it is driving me crazy that I don't.

  3. Kathy it sure is good to herar form you, I pray that all quites down for you soon. Thanks for taking the time to post your storys for us.

  4. Thanks Kathy! Great video tip. Hope the bariatric treatment is helping your dad heal. Like Sara, I keep checking and appreciate all you are writing. Also had never seen the jam and jelly maker - have added that to my list of wanted appliances.

    1. The jam maker is for very small batches but they have some interesting recipes for it in the amazon reviews of the product. Plus I am making my dad several batches of low and no sugar jams and jellies and I gotta say it is better than making a mess with all the pots and pans for such a small amount.

  5. hey! My dad taught all us kids that ditty...exactly as you wrote it, too. He was also a fan of anguish languish (example: horse waif enjoin toil evasion)!!! 😉

    1. Some of the things my dad learned and did when he was a kid make me glad the curse didn't go "that he had one like him." LOL.

  6. It is 8:30 ET and there is not update to 'Up On Hartford Ridge'?

  7. There still is no update to 'up on hartford ridge

  8. As the resident family pill dispenser, a couple of things that you may find helpful. Get a plastic tool box to keep meds in. Do an estimate of how much space you need for the pills and get the next size larger box. The upper tray that usually comes with them is a good place to keep markers, pill splitters, lists, and other things. When you need to take meds to an appointment, they are all there together. The other thing is to ask your Pharmacist for one, or more, of those little trays they use for counting pills. They usually get them for free from the drug companies. They are handy when working on making up daily pill groups.

    1. This is a heck of a lot better system than the "shoe box" currently in use. In fact I may just get them one each and let the kids decorate them so they'll stand out from one another. Thanks for the great idea!