Monday, August 3, 2015

Today's Update - 3 Aug 2015

Just a little wet around here.  Could you hear the sarcasm dripping off every word?  If you couldn't it sure wasn't for lack of trying on my part.

We've had over twenty days straight of rain and about a week of occasionally heavy rain followed by a long weekend of obnoxiously persistent rain resulting in what all of that rain normally leads to ... flooding.  And we aren't clear yet although we are getting a little mercy for a few days before it is supposed to start up again.  I'll take it though, anything so that we have a chance to dry up a little before starting the cycle all over.

In the arena of good news, my father was released by his wound doctor late last week and I helped them drive back to their home on Saturday.  It took their SUV and my van to transport everything and then the sixteen year old daughter and I carted everything in and helped to at least get the mess generally organized before having to get back on the road and get home in torrential rain.  I miss my mom already.  It was fun having her around all the time to remember stories from my childhood and having her impart some of the wisdom she picked up from her own growing up years.  It was fun having someone to go to the market with and try new things with.  My daughters are great but they are getting to the age where they have their own lives full of things going on.  Wish my parents lived closer but life is what it is and I'm now more determined than ever to take advantage of my time with her when I can get it.  I would have stayed longer but I need to get back.  Sunday morning I was up at 4 AM to get nineteen year old daughter to the airport so she could fly out on a mission trip and she'll be gone a week.

A bit of good news is that twenty-two year old son is now home and in only one week back has helped me tremendously by getting to some of the yard projects that hubby and I simply hadn't had the time to tackle this summer as we had intended.  Son has gone maniac-with-a-machete on the mess around the pond, cleaned out several of my raised beds that I had allowed to go fallow for the season due to nematode infestation, he laid and stapled down the black plastic to cook those nasty little nematodes, cleaned out a horrible mess in a flower bed by the front door so that we can get to the window and replace a rotten sill (waiting on the rain to dry up first), and has gotten some of the worst offending palms trimmed a bit to prevent the fronds from littering the drive and yard.  Tomorrow he'll start working with hubby and hopefully before he has to go away for grad school (next summer) he'll have helped whittle down the long list of special projects hubby has for the business.

Tomorrow a guy that owes us some money will be coming to paint two bedrooms to barter away the debt.  He's a professional painter by trade and we'll provide the supplies and he'll provide the expertise.  Those two rooms (the daughters' bedrooms) haven't been painted in who knows how long because they are like they were when we bought this place five years ago.  They aren't bad, the guy who owned this house was a professional painter himself, but they aren't exactly what you would call restful either.  One is a deep fuschia with some checker board designs on one wall - have no idea how many layers of Kilz that's going to take to keep from bleeding through - and the other is one of those rag-on paint jobs that is white on the base coat and celery-colored on the glaze color.  One of the rooms also has some ceiling discoloration that needs addressing.  I was prepared to paint the rooms myself but boy am I glad I don't have to.  The guy has a paint sprayer that will be neater and use less paint to get better coverage.

As a result of all the coming and going with my parents and then the rain creating extra work I have had to put canning on temporary hold for about a week.  You wouldn't believe what all I've gotten canned recently though.  Take a look ... just don't look too hard or you'll see what a mess my storage area is in right now.  That isn't all of it but is about 60% of what canning I have.  I know it doesn't look like as much as I make it out to be but there's a lot of work represented in those jars.  And I can get about 5 quart jars deep per row.  The quarts are full of green beans, pears, chili, vegetable beef soup, garbanzo bean soup, chicken soup, meatballs, etc etc etc.  Then the pints and half-pints have a multitude of other yummy things from meats (pulled pork, chicken in various forms, meatballs) to veggies (carrots, peas, pickled beets) to fruits (jams, jellies, preserves, pickles, sauces).  And bonus for me being a good girl ... they are all low to no sugar and/or low carb.

I still have my canning mess sitting in the kitchen but that will be taken care of by the end of the week as well as soon as I can get some shelves reorganized in my storage area.

Which leads me to my personal update and a very big thank you.  First thank you for all of the support and suggestions so many of you have chimed in with regard to my recent diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.  I'm not as angry as I was but I certainly go through the ups and downs the way anyone does facing something so unexpected and permanent life-changing.  I admit I cheated, had to suck up the unpleasant consequences, and while still not completely comfortable in my skin about it all, I've decided that "cheating" on the new diet is going to have to be pushed out there a ways until I can find exactly what spikes the glucose for me.  Ugh.  Some days it seems everything does and some days make me question the manic dedication it all seems to take.  I'm chugging along however because it is the right thing to do for me, my husband, and the rest of my family who count on me.  I can understand however how people develop the I-don't-care attitude in the face of so much self-denial.  Double ugh.  It gets old fast having to remind yourself what you can't have ... at least for a good while and some things maybe never again.

In amongst all of this upheaval I've actually managed to get some writing accomplished.  Not as much as I want but more than I have been able to get to lately.  Some of it I'll post tonight and some will get posted over the next couple of days as I can get it transferred from paper to computer.

Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack

I have the section for Hartford Ridge written but not edited for posting.  I'm going to try and finish that tonight or tomorrow.  Depends on what messes I have to clean up.  I also have pieces written for Thornless and Larkspur.  I've also almost finished editing the end of Geek.  In the mood I'm in if I had all day to write I might actually catch up to where I want to be but that's not going to happen any time soon so I'll have to sneak things in as I can.  If I can get Geek and Larkspur out of the way in August I'll feel like I've accomplished something significant and it will make way for me to do a few other things I want to do.

A couple of interesting vids.  The first one is how to make Watermelon Jelly.  It is the season for it and I want to get to this next week.  The one after that is on Watermelon Jam.  The third vid is on making your own chocolate mint extract and then making chocolate mint jelly.  Yum.