stitchwhich: (Default)
Yesterday my kingdom had one of the three annual "University" events. The registrar, Genevieve, has been letting me play with her work so I happily spent the first couple of hours handing out class schedules and rosters to the many instructors. Lunch time passed slowly so in my down time I pulled out my embroidery project and worked on that. Got some good discussions in with people - the kind where one could cover a difficult subject and know that we had enough time face-to-face to fully resolve any issues.

I taught my class on camp cooking. It was sparsely attended. I'd started with five people pre-registered for it, one of whom was myself, and ended up with five students - only one of whom was pre-reg'd. Such is the way of things. Most of my students were experienced cooks who were intrigued by the subject. They had some good suggestions and every once in a while I actually surprised them with information they had not known/considered. And it was nice to have another voice chime in with affirmation about something I'd said.

The drive to and from the event was 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Since I was part of registration staff, I needed to get there earlier than most so was up by 4am. Dragging in the door at 8:00 that evening meant I just kept walking down the hall straight into the bedroom. I've not the energy I had when I was younger! And thank goodness my hubby emptied the cooler for me.
stitchwhich: (Default)
I haven't posted much lately as I've been coping with the side effects of a new prescription which have been somewhat debilitating. It is for depression & anxiety, which are something I have a hard time admitting to myself that I am suffering from. It seems too easy to take things day-by-day and not see the cumulative effect until something forces you to do so. I'm not sure I am comfortable, yet, with taking a 'mood altering drug' as I am an old-school kind of person who believes that I ought to be able to bootstrap myself back up to 'normal'. Other people have a legitimate need for medication, but not me! I should be able to tough it out and fix my own attitude. Funny how we're so often mor3e judgmental about ourselves than we are about others.

Well, my blinders weren't working and unstarted or unfinished chores hit the stage of being direly overdue so I was no longer able to feed myself excuses. And thus the medication.

It causes tremors and sleepiness (but not much success in actual sleeping), as well as excessive sweating and worse, it has affected my vision so my glasses - trifocals - do not give me clear vision in any strength. That irks me as they are brand new and there is no way I can afford purchasing $450 worth of glasses 'just because' only months after getting these ones. I've been spending a lot of time in bed staring at the inside of my eyelids or reading books in a bid to get tired enough to achieve real sleep. You'd think that would be a cause for anxiety all on its own but no, it just makes me more prone to laying there bored.

So I've not had much to write about. Even this post strikes me as "blah, blah, health whining, blah".

Tomorrow we're having friends over to celebrate the Fourth of July. Or more truthfully, we're using the holiday as an excuse to have friends over. None of us truly feel celebratory about the USA right now. I'm looking forward to laughter and weird foods. I think everyone coming over is bringing something different and they all have lists of things they refuse to eat. So it should be an eclectic mix. We're firing up the grill. Folks will being a meat for themselves and a side to share. I made an offhand remark to my husband about the sorts of foods we once thought of as traditional for this holiday and now I'm cudgeling my brain trying to remember what goes into 'traditional' jello with fruit in it. His eyes lit up when I mentioned it so here we go.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The problem with 'feeling better' is that one's brain starts to write cheques that one's body (or time) cannot cash.

For instance, I'm cooking for 14 or so people in a 5-day camp next month and (cheque written) need at least two new tunics or gowns. It finally occurred to me that while I have a perfectly acceptable sleeveless surcote-styled apron, what I don't have is but one gown and one tunic whose sleeves can be rolled up to stay out of dishwater or flour in a bowl. Oops. And all of my tunics are linen, nice enough that I'd rather not chance staining them while spending each day in the kitchen. So I must sew myself some new garb. I have piles of fabric in my craft room that are in the 'need to use up' category of cotton so I think a few kitchen tunics which can later be donated to Gold Key as "Men's tunics" are the ticket. They will be plain as all-get-out but sturdily made. Because I have so much free time between now and then...

I'm mulling over side dishes for the event. We will have two evenings with everyone onsite so one will feature Rolled Thin Pancakes (a Chinese/Mongolian 14th century dish) along with ham lumpia, the modern descendent of RTP. I've never served either of these with sauces or side dishes but wonder if I should. Usually people just stuff themselves until they look at the next batch with horrified longing. So maybe those don't need side dishes. But the next meal will be a selection of sausages the men (it's mostly men) can grill over my little tripod campfire while they are hanging out after the fighting and archery sessions and I should have something to go with those. I have one diabetic besides myself to consider but I think that I'll do something specific for us two and for everyone else try something like mashed parsnips & carrots with cheese. I don't know. Got a suggestion for something I can take along which won't require too much cooler space? My cooler use is going to be awful!

And there is the painting of 22 new sheet walls, three hanging baskets to fix the chains on so they can actually hang (I've not much hand strength so this is in fact a chore), a kitchen layout to map so this year's try will not be as chaotic as last year's, a hangerroc to finish hand-sewing, and things that have slipped my mind right now but which will surge back as soon as I am laying in bed trying to sleep again.

I haven't ridden my sweet trike yet. A tropical storm followed by the flu has set that back. I can't wait to get on it now. Maybe this evening after the heat of the day passes. Until then it will be the last of my camp wall sewing, a mountain of laundry, and writing my after-Pennsic deputy mayor report. Oh - and checking out amazon prime for a solar phone charger. Gotta get that charger. Oh, and get to the commissary for this week's food supplies.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
In a little while we will be going to a five-day camping event. I have to be honest - the only reason I am looking forward to the event is that I will be cooking for about 10-15 people and that makes me all squeely-happy. I've been happily contemplating my menu and my diners for months now. But I threw the invitation open to everyone in our camp (it is a small camp) and now have a couple who will be on the plan who will be camping for the first time in about 17 years. No, longer than that - Pennsic 17 was their last event. He is handicapped with fibromyalgia and diabetes complications. That doesn't affect my menu planning much at all since I, too, am diabetic. There will be plenty to eat for him and I without shorting the selections for the normal (and the food-sensitive) folks.

I am ashamed to admit that I am now dreading the event because of this couple. They are open-handed and kind folks... but he's been shut up in two rooms of their home for years now and is one lonely garrulous man. Constantly talking about himself, his past jobs, honors, and actions for hours on end. Hours. And any sign of disinterest results in smoldering rage cumulating in a dramatic flounce of some sort.

They will be there the first day, which is normally a light one, just one or two tents in camp and few in the event at all. So will I since I am the camp master for the household camp. They know only a handful of people from our baronial group, who will likely be camping in a spot too far away from him to be able to visit. Which means that I anticipate he will be sitting in my kitchen nearly full time, talking.

I understand his loneliness and his need to connect with people, to feel validated and worthy. And I can usually support that with an open ear for an hour or so. But after that I begin to want to run away... too introverted, I guess, because I end up exhausted after interacting with him.

I have no idea how to reduce the amount of time I'll be, well, subjected to his self-focused verbosity. The last time I tried to change the subject to something more up-to-date and general he went into a pet and "quit" the SCA within a half hour of walking away. That's on him, I know, and not my problem. And to be far he was going through a difficult drug withdrawal as they were experimenting with various types to try to alleviate his pain.

But how - especially as a Peer - do I create an open dining area such as I've had in the past inside our tent and at the same time divert him from spending all of his time sitting there monopolizing the conversation with bragging and 'instructing'? Politely? Got any useful phrases or actions you could suggest? I don't want to hurt his feelings or make him feel unwelcome but at the same time, I will be basically chained to my kitchen - by design - and that means I am a sitting duck.

I'm guessing that this is a time-worn problem so there has to be some coping skills in history somewhere, yes? "Garrulous old man you can't escape" has got to be fairly common in village/castle/town life?

[Edit] In the manner of things, once I'd typed this and left it to try to sleep I thought of a couple of strategies. One would be to simply be honest with the man and tell him that I am far more introverted than I appear and that I need quiet to balance out the socializing that will come at each meal. If he can be quiet around me, I could deal with him always being in the dining area. And, since our tent is divided in half with the front half the 'dining/hosting area' and the other a kitchen on one end and our sleeping area in the back, I can just pull the curtain between the kitchen and the dining area (the sleeping area's curtain is always closed) and say that I am going to rest. That I'd be doing so by sitting in a chair stitching on something is beside the point. Additionally, I plan on offering our little collapsible wagon to him & his wife so they can tote their chairs and beverages with them and send them out to visit the nearby 'village' (artisan's row), merchant area, and even the archery range. I only need that wagon once or twice a day to fetch refilled water jugs.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
We went to an event yesterday and I won a competition. I don't 'do' competitions - in fact I may be the only Laurel of the SCA who did not ever compete (sort of - I did once, early in my SCA life, and the judging was so ridiculous that I had to laugh rather than get mad and that was the end of that.) But this time a friend was sponsoring a "in honor of our neighboring Shire which was just disbanded" A&S competition and I was concerned that there would not be any entries - which would really hurt the feelings of the (probably) two ladies from that Shire who'd be attending the event. So since my first event was hosted by that shire ("Samhain", 1989), I decided to bring their "traditional" dessert to yesterday's event and serve it as my homage. It didn't fit the actual category of the competition since I was not using anything from the Shire's heraldry but I figured that those two (turned out to be three) ladies wouldn't care - they'd just know that their group was remembered with love.

So I back-documented the dessert into the category of "probable", that being the closest we could come to "medieval" (I found one for dates cooked the same way), and was good to go. It turned out that the head cook was also sponsoring a last minute side-board dish competition. So what the heck, I entered that too... again, because he's a good guy and the chances were slim that there would be many entries (there were actually 4 besides mine. I was relieved for his feelings! It sucks to sponsor something and only have 1 or 2 entries.)

I won.

The cooking competition. And got this as a prize:

I was stunned to see the salt/truffle fusion in the prizes. Wow. He spent some money on that. Now - I'm not actually much of an every day cook and don't want to waste his lovely prize so I have decided that I shall do the time-honored thing and save these spices to pass on as an appreciation gift to the Chancellor of Pennsic University this year - he's a kicking good cook and I have not done enough to support his work over the last few months. So this is better than my standard "knitted bag filled with goodies" appreciation thing. But I am going to regret losing the containers. :)

More importantly, a few people liked the dish well enough to take photos of the "documentation" so they could serve it for dessert at feasts they will be preparing in the future or as a dessert for their camp. So Berley Cort's legacy will live on.

The recipe? You're actually interested?

Pears Poached in Cream
heavy cream
canned pears (you can cook them up from raw but why bother?)
assorted spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, a tiny smidgen of mace, whole cloves, and chunks of dried ginger)

Combine in a pot and heat over a low temp burner. Spoon up with a slotted spoon.

The cream will last for friggin' ever so be prepared to make this again and again as you try to use up the nummy cream. It microwaves well if you want to just keep opening small cans of pears for a quick 'two person' dessert. Or do as we did yesterday - crumble windmill cookies into the bottom of a bowl and spoon the cream and the remaining pear bits over the top, then eat like a thick pottage. Some of us were thinking about trying it with peaches, though, and spooning the mess over a small spice cake with strawberries on the side.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I'm avoiding working on a scroll - the paper I chose for the thing (Bristol) is very thick so my light-board isn't working well. I'm not an artist, can't draw worth a darn, so need the silly light-board in order to get anything done. But it is so dim on the other side of that Bristol paper that I actually took my glasses off and had my face hovering a few inches above the surface so I could squint enough to see the images shining behind. I have the bottom edge design traced out and am only needing to draft in the left edge patterning and then - OMG - do the text. Which, btw, will be traced with an extra-fine Sharpie pen and not callig'd. This is because I "wrote a cheque from an empty account". I haven't had a chance to practice any calligraphy and being a leftie means that it takes me a bit longer to get up to speed. The two scrolls are due this Saturday morning. I shouldn't have volunteered to do them but I got my time sense confused and thought I had an extra week to get them done after the camping event.

My meal plan was successful as far as the diners went. I was unhappy with the level of disorganization that I had and grateful that I had a 'memos' app on my phone so I could make a list for myself in the middle of the night, that being when solutions to problems seem to become clear and elegant. If I'd waited until morning they'd be lost forever. The biggest difficulty was my own lack of ease in getting things done. This would have been alleviated had I asked for a kitchen helper every day instead of trying to do it all myself and if I'd stored the dry goods in bins sorted by meals. Asking someone to lay out the items in a small 'breakfast' bin while I started the hot water on the stove would be such a step up from my own rooting around in a giant bin pulling out boxes and jars while folks hovered in the public area waiting for their coffee and oatmeal and the unneeded items had to be placed on any convenient surface while I found the breakfast or lunch items.

I learned that my 'food restriction' person had given me, as we suspected, a list of foods that were a blend of dangerous-to-her ones and personal dislikes. As she said on Friday when I mentioned that I might just end up scrambling everyone's eggs on Saturday, " I don't DO scrambled eggs!" I bit back the reactive "Then you can just eat oatmeal if you are lucky, b*tch" thought that immediately crossed my mind. (I was in pain and very cold, it being a little over 40 degrees, so grumpy.) Later in the day she mentioned that she had been through a three-month elimination diet with no appreciable results so I am giving her the benefit of the doubt that she may not actually know what is causing her intestinal discomfort. I imagine it must be quite frustrating to find that some foods create dire effects one day and yet not on different one, with no medical explanation of why or the common factor. Nonetheless, she will not be on my meal plan next year.

Oh, did I mention that I am already planning on doing it again next year? I did enjoy it even through the frustrations of my disorganization. It's been years since I've cooked a meal plan for more than four people. Probably a full decade, actually. And I ended up with 5 more people on it by Friday - the head of a household who'd asked after the plan just 12 hours before I was due to leave home told his shire members that they were on it. Which I learned after they arrived two-by-two from out-of-kingdom. But with the help of a person swinging by the grocery store after their trip to Lowe's, we had plenty for everyone. They loved the chawettes, they loved the lumpia, and they adored the SOS. Which made me giggle - of all things boring SOS seems to be the one that people greet with raised eyebrows and then come back to the kitchen sniffing hopefully for seconds.

It was cold at night. Just barely above freezing. We slept warm though, and shared Bossman's air mattress instead of setting up our normal two beds. I had expected that the arrangement wouldn't work - he normally sleeps catty-corner on the mattress so he can fit. But instead we fitted together just fine. I guess old habits are not ever lost. :) The mattress was difficult for me on the days he wasn't there as I could barely get off of the thing but once he got on site I was fine so long as he was in the bed while I was exiting. I needed that extra firmness to push off from! Before we left home we went to a secondhand store and bought a couple of quilted bedspreads to take with us for the bed. I'd meant to buy only one but there were two that matched and he wanted both of them. So after two thin wool blankets were laid down one quilt (King sized!) followed, then our down comforter, then the other matching quilt. They were large enough that I could tuck the ends and the foot-level bits of the sides under the mattress, which effectively kept the blankets from sliding off the mattress during the night. Those things are not designed for tucking in one's bedding. The plan was to return the quilts to the store as donations, effectively 'renting' them for the duration of the event (a whole $14us!) and keeping us from having to find new storage space for them, but he likes the ugly things so now they are packed into a vacuum-sealed bag and put away on top of the camping gear for next Pennsic.

We had brought a small but powerful propane heater with us. We never needed to use it. We did finally figure out that it was useful on Sunday morning for the gathering area while folks had their breakfast and coffee/tea though. It was nice to have that hot air blowing on us.

The Great Dark Horde camp had six brothers camping in it and eight chagua. We had a couple of Brothers have to cancel plans, durn it. I made twelve new sheet walls for the camp to go with the six I'd already made - there were no more than that there. No one else made or brought any. Luckily for my morale, I had only expected one more wall to show up, as I knew that most of thems who made walls were not going to be able to attend. I just bought more sheets to launder and cut into new walls. Hopefully if I do a set of two sheets every payday we'll have enough by next WoW. Friends of ours who live in Clarksville are going to let us store the household's camping supplies (sheetwalls and poles. Maybe a fire bowl) at their place so we can have them consolidated. Having each of us store and bring a personal set of supplies was good in theory but rotten in practice. Next week, after our Baronial Investiture event is over I shall start painting designs on the walls with the help of some of my khanate members. That will be fun.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
All of a sudden my days seem crammed - prepping for War of the Wings has become an over-riding need. And so much was left undone after Pennsic! Which I did not really notice until this morning. I just finished making 46 little pork chawettes and still have filling available, enough to make probably another two dozen. I think instead I'll use up my left over lumpia wrappers to make a pork version of 'rolled thin pancakes'. Staying in the Great Dark Horde camp means I should serve at least one Mongolian dish, right? And it would be dead easy to add the extra ingredients to the leftover pork. Besides, they can be fried in the same way as the chawettes. And more importantly, I won't have to go to the Hispanic store to buy more supplies.

Tomorrow I shall be roasting beef and a turkey in order to have luncheon meats to serve. Maybe a ham, too. We'll see what is available at the Commissary. I'm serving eight people but only on Friday and Saturday. That is making portion-anticipating a bit of a challenge. Especially since three of them are staying at a hotel. The easy and boring route of 'instant oatmeal or fresh muffins or bagels" is going to be breakfast. I'm not going to chain myself to a stove all morning on the off chance that someone from out-of-camp will wander in hungry for breakfast.

This meal plan has its own special challenges. Oh boy, yes. One person sent me her list of forbidden foods (sensitivities, apparently). For your enjoyment, this is it:
Bell/sweet peppers
Lima beans
Raw onion (cooked okay)
Almond flour
Most soups and stews (Brunswick okay)
Oranges/tangerines/clementines/mandarins etc
Most dairy – milk, soft cheeses, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, whipped cream (hard cheeses okay)
Ground beef is iffy
Most spicy things

In the world of medieval cookery, this is both easy and tough. Cooking without almonds? Tough. Or at least 'weird'. Leaving out New World food products - not a problem. Even the mayo doesn't phase me. I could bring some for mid-day sandwich making but I think I'll just bring two different sort of mustards and people can deal with that. The cheeses are confusing - she just told me that she could have mozzarella... I would have considered that a soft cheese. Still, there are also other folks with food concerns. One is lactose intolerant, one does not eat any veggies except for corn (which I won't serve at an SCA event) and one specified no "guacamole, hummus, or sour cream". The menus were fairly easy to come up with but I was saddened that I must leave out some items I'd been anticipating serving, like "Savoury Toasted Cheese". That would have been lovely once the sun began to set and the chill of the day set in but with two lactose-intolerant folks I will skip that one.

I've been driving for Uber like crazy at night, trying to get as many hours in as I could this week to make up for the days I'll be unable to next week. It finally dawned on me that we have an event the Saturday after we get home from WoW and I've promised two scrolls to our outgoing Baron and Baroness for their final court. They are depending on me for wording. Guess I'd better get on that too, eh?

Okay. Time to get off of the computer and get sewing again. Tomorrow is food prep, then the test feast (we're invited) for the Investiture event. There is a huge pile of laundry to take care of, pavilion curtains and flooring to sew, and packing to do. Before early Wednesday morning. Whew!
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Got this on a Facebook link and transcribed it. Finally tried it out tonight with hamburger steaks. It wasn't bad. The potato slices were a bit underdone but not enough to bother me. I found that I couldn't fit all of the veggies into the pan so have half of them left over for sautéing later on. I think the problem was that I cut each vegetable down the middle to make half-circles for layering, when I probably should have just cut a slight edge and then sliced them as 'almost circles'. They looked a little sad in the pan, so short. The calorie counts, btw, are based on using all of the veggies so I guess my (later on) sautéed ones will be "free".

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour
Total counts: 43g carb/38g protein/674calories
Serves: 6 - or one veggie eater and one not-so-veggie eater

1 Tbsp olive oil (doing without the oil loses 120 calories – which I did)
1 medium yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium potato
1 medium tomato
1 tsp dried thyme
to taste salt & pepper
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with olive oil until softened (about five minutes).
While the onion and garlic are sautéing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.
Spray the inside of an 8×8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I am so bad about reading LiveJournal that I'm only on June 16th right now. Because whenever I read my 'friend's list', things they write remind me of stuff I want to get done myself, and I pop up to run over and do that thing... and just don't seem to come back to the computer until my phone dings to tell me about a facebook post it thinks I need to read.

Ah, the Electronic Age.

A few days ago my husband cooked up one of those small microwave pizzas for himself. (We're madly trying to use up all the food in both freezers, which is resulting in consuming things we are not all that interested in eating but just can't throw away). The smell was, as normal, much better than the flavor, and I spent a few hours wistfully sniffing the air, wanting pizza for myself. A reduced carb/reduced calorie lifestyle usually means "no pizza for you". Or at least, as I finally figured out, "no ordered-in pizza for you". The breaking point had come and resulted in me attempting to make my own. At 290cal per slice, it was still 'expensive', but quite filling and very tasty. I mention this because I just licked off the sauce from the last slice before I started typing - the final two pieces were lunch today.

I must figure out a better sauce for them. I am content with store-bought Pillsbury Pizza dough and of course the toppings were all nice and home-made, but the sauce was not. I used a canned spaghetti sauce. It wasn't bad and will be very tasty with some meatballs later this week but it was a tad too runny for pizza on a regular crust. We'd used it for 'French bread pizzas' in the past so the runniness wasn't that apparent. I think that mixing a bit of it with tomato paste or puree would do the trick. I already know that the times I would be making myself a pizza will also be times when food must be prepared quickly and easily, else I'd just make up my own sauce. Although.... I should write that down on my to-do list for after our vacation, after the chest freezer is defrosted (why we are eating everything frozen). It would be very handy to have prepared sauces pre-measured for my own pizzas in the freezer.

Remember the Big Baronial Fundraiser Lumpia sale? There are 14 20-count packs of lumpia in our freezer still. One can only eat so much of it before the mind screams "NO MORE!". We're at that point. I almost had a home for some last week until I realized that all we have left has onions in it, which my friends could not eat. Darn.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
My mind is on recipes for Pennsic. Or rather, on changing my view of what is and isn't 'easy' to make for two busy people (or for hosting a small set of friends).

See, after realizing that we were going to have to replace our 35-year-old Coleman camp stove, we dithered a bit and finally, thanks to the Memorial Day sale going on at Bass Pro, plunked down the extra $100 to buy a propane stove-oven rather than just a stove. Yup, I now have a camp oven to mess with. Yes, it is modern and not my beloved Viking-era kitchen stuff but I don't mind at all... I've wanted it for about three years now. Just for the idea of freshly-baked bread and cinnamon rolls to serve my man. Not to mention his idea of the Ultimate Meal - meatloaf. (Yeah, I know.) So those items are easy to consider. But I've 40 years of 'we don't really bake while camping' mindset to overcome, along with my diabetes 'shouldn't eat much grain' daily diet, so what I thought I'd be cooking if I ever got the oven - casseroles, pastries, meat pies - are now not so interesting. And I'm hard-pressed to think of what I should be putting together for this Pennsic, when he's going to be busy as usual and I'm going to be a Deputy Mayor (less busy than as Quartermaster or Head Troll, but more busy than as a general watch stander.)

There is a quick-snack item that I love to make, apple slices rolled up in cinnamon sugar covered croissant wedges, which will be nice to have on hand for guests and quick grabs, and the same concept will work for small meat pies, but beyond that - what is possible? Fast to put together yet not filled with carbs? I am going to have to do some recipe-sleuthing. After all, I must justify to the man that the extra expense and packing hassle is worth it. Although I think meatloaf and cinnamon buns will probably do the trick.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Our new medium-sized thermos worked wonderfully on Saturday, delivering steaming-hot soup about 7 hours after we'd filled it. I was impressed. My 'lunch time' smaller thermos failed so my own soup bowl had a lukewarm offering in it. Nonetheless, it was warm enough that dipping my bread in it was satisfying.

We made the trip with one of my protogees in the back seat. Oh my. I shall have to find a way to chat with her about her need to fill silence with 'conversation'. We had no chance to take two breathes together before there was another comment or conversation-opener from the back seat. For five hours. I had a heck of a headache by the time we reached the site. Which reminds me. I hate Garmin right now. "update" indeed! Once we got close to the site and needed directions, I turned it on and the screen read, "no maps loaded". I was not a happy woman. It had seemed to work when I was at home, after the partial-upload (it doesn't have a big enough memory to hold an entire USA map system any longer so I opted for 'east coast area'.) Now I have to either go buy a memory chip and figure out how to install it, or else call for help. Stupid thing. I should have figured that 'guaranteed updates for life' would come with a worm on its hook.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have beef stewing on the stove. With luck, it will be a hot lunch for us tomorrow. I am currently stewing the beef to rags, along with two onions and a triple handful of chopped celery. I don't normally put celery in beef soups. It is generally a go-to for chicken ones, or for gumbo. I hadn't really noticed the difference in the smell of the cooking until Bossman said he'd woken up thinking I'd made gumbo. Guess that green stalky stuff makes a real difference after all! Later tonight I shall add mushrooms and parsnips. We're going to Atlantian Coronation so I will eschew potatoes and orange carrots. Deciding that we wanted (as daytrippers) to have a hot lunch necessitated a trip to Target and then Walmart to find a wide-mouthed thermos (type, not brand) to make sure our soup would truly be hot six hours after leaving the house. Between the two of us and the google-function on my phone, we finally purchased, yes, a Thermos-brand thermos. (What are those things called, anyway?) And then I stitched up two bags to hold the large one and the small one, so they'd have extra insulation and not offend my medievally focused sight.

In two days the last Letter of Intention (heraldic submission letter) that I shall write will be ready to work on. People are making last-minute comments on it right now so even though I am itching to get started, I shall school myself to patience. It is a long one but looks to be pretty straightforward. And then I am done with my current Kingdom job. We'll be doing the turnover for the position in a couple of weeks.

It feels odd. I've had three years of working around an imposed schedule, doing things I was only half-trained to do (so it took a lot longer in the beginning than it does now) and other projects were set off to the side. This is not good for a procrastinator! I've got unopened boxes of Lego kits that are three years old! And fabric purchased for my experimental merchanting booth at the end of November, still sitting there waiting for me to apply scissors and sewing machine to it. And yet I still feel an internal governor-brake, as if there is something looming on the horizon and I daren't get started on a project which may last into a week or longer and be quite intensive... well, I suppose the looming thing is true given that I grabbed that last letter to do and told my successor that she didn't get to draft it. (Honestly, she needs a freedom-break before she gets tied to the schedule too. She's been alternating with me for months, pushing to do more as our turnover date got closer, and not realizing the difference the office title is going to make in her daily life. Sort of like babysitting a lot before becoming a parent and thinking you have a good idea about what is ahead. The difference has to be experienced to be understood.)

We weren't planning on attending tomorrow's event until just a couple of days ago. I am getting so excited about it! It has been a while since I've approached an event with anticipation rather than pushing myself through a heavy curtain of resistance and inertia.

[Edit: 2:00am. The soup is finished and I had a bowl of it for 'second dinner'. Yum. Bossman may not like it (it often surprises me, what he chooses to turn his nose up at) but I am finding it wonderfully delicious.]
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