Tag Archives: progress

Progress of a sort

The fixed pane/frame of the new sliding glass door is installed. We have to get the sliding door in, but comparatively? That’s easy, I hope. There are details, trim, etc. to do, but they’re details. We have to finish up the details on the porch wall as well.

All that said? This may FINALLY get done.

The drip edge which was sent was the wrong one, so things aren’t QUITE done, but we can see definite progress.

So we have to go put our new door in. Much better than the sheet of plywood and a tarp we’ve had for the past 5 days or so!



More Different

light out of darkness

There’s still WAAAY too much stuff here and it’s still too disorganized and we still have BAD habits. That said? There’s stuff getting disposed of here, daily. Areas which are being culled and cleaned, daily. It isn’t huge, but nibbling at the sides, every day. DH is finishing various projects, I’m culling a box or more . . . every day and cleaning some place new, every day.

We may, eventually, dig our lives out from under all the stuff.



3 rules of work


Look Elsewhere


For years I recommended a book search engine to people who wanted to evaluate whatever books they had. Today I did a search there and noticed something, it was basically an amazon search engine. Not surprising, as Amazon bought the site a few years back.

It had been balanced. Most of it was Amazon, but you could still find things elsewhere. The major used book site was bought a few years back by Amazon too, so that’s there, but I stopped buying from them when Amazon bought them.


Sometimes I think I’ll be the last person in America who won’t buy things from or sell on Amazon. I don’t buy things at Walmart or use self-checkouts either. I’m just weird.


To Do List 3/20

to do list 1

Today’s list is complicated by the fact that my back started to go into spasm this morning. My tax appt. is tomorrow, so the tax info gather HAS to be finished today. I’ve had a hot shower, hot milk, and Motrin. When/if the Motrin kicks in, I should be about normal, I hope. I’ve learned that it doesn’t pay to ignore my body when it starts to have issues, I need to deal with them now. It’s the only hope I’ve got for not having a full-blown problem. Like dealing with the PTSD or anything else, it seems adulthood/maturity is learning how to forestall the negative as much as possible and increase the positive!

Keep using pantry goods. Empty the freezer before June 1. Should be as empty as is practical to make it!

Box up the rest of the stuff for the flea market in April

Finish getting the tax info to the tax person before the appt.

Get at least one piece of one item off of the long-term list!

Empty the old coffee table full o’ stuff in the hallway. The things which were stored near the black strap table now are adrift, etc. MORE to do!!!

With the flea market money (I hope) get the organizer pages to the graphic artist for an estimate.

Lapfull of Warm

Over the past week+ you would think I was a youtube addict. I’ve watched Nero Wolfe TV shows, music videos from Burlesque (the movie) and a lot of the “blind auditions” at The Voice.

Why? Well, especially with those auditions, what I got was distracted, just enough that I could knit.

On occasion, I’ve noticed what I was doing and the fact that the muffler I was knitting had gotten longer and longer and the ball of yarn correspondingly smaller. When I did, my hands would shake, I’d make mistakes, and  I’d fix them. My back would get cold and when I wanted to cry I’d look at the video, whatever it was — and keep knitting.

Of course I do have a life that doesn’t include sitting at my desk, knitting and listening to music or half-watching video. But. . .I tied the piece off about an hour ago. I  have 2 strings one on each end to weave in. There is one more ball of this yarn here. I may (or may not) make fringe for this. I don’t know. But it’s done. I intend to use it.

My heart is pounding a little. My palms were sweating as I did the last few decreases.

Somewhere, there’s a little girl, sobbing curled up in her bed because she doesn’t know what’s “wrong”with her, crying on the top of the cliff she was too “cowardly” to jump from, in a hospital because she doesn’t know how to cope with the world, and, and — there’s a thousand slides of the wounded child/youngster/woman I was, defeated and dragging herself  — plodding to her next probable failure, somewhere. . . .

There was usually just enough hope and whatever the F it is that always made me a fighter, from my first breath.

I got a man who stands at my back. I started winning sometimes. There are friends who “get” it. I got diagnosed. I won a lot more.

Then there was knitting: the fact that knitting was traumatic was not just laughable on the face of it, but it seemed absurd. Last year, I found someone and took a lesson. I knit and I knit and I knit — until I knew it was possible for me to do so without a total meltdown. Then I quit.

Last year, my husband’s holiday gift was a gift card at a local high-end yarn shop. I bought this beautiful yarn. For a long time I thought I’d just hang the skein on the living room wall. The skein got misplaced in the rearrangement for painting the living room. That didn’t matter as I’d stopped knitting.

I found the skein about 2 weeks ago and couldn’t keep my hands out of it. Eventually I rolled it into a ball. I started pieces and ripped them out and started something else. Nothing got finished, of course. Then I started a 20 stitch thing not all that hard, but not boring either.

I finished it tonight. I’m shaky, scared, wanting to cry — and fighting a smile. Because I won.The muffler is over 5′ long and it certainly has mistakes. I don’t care. I have a lap of warm stuff which will keep my neck warm,  imperfections and all, I’m proud of it.

Take that Abuser!!!

Why Make Cookies/Crackers from Scratch?

Yesterday I made a fruit/cheese pie. I didn’t know what I was doing, as I had no recipe per se. My pie is ricotta, fruit, fruit syrup (the failed apple/cherry jam, remember that? Here’s a (link)).

It’s good!

What is disappointing is the crust. The recipe I used as an inspiration had a vanilla wafer crust, made like a graham cracker crust. A few months ago I had a yen for s’mores, so bought all the ingredients, including the “name brand” graham crackers. The crackers were “off,” and when I looked at the package in detail realized that some other company had “improved” the cracker. I’d forgotten about that when I bought the vanilla wafers yesterday.

I love vanilla wafers. Because of that, I rarely buy them. I’ve been known, when really depressed, to eat an entire box with cups of hot milk. They’re dangerous, for me. So, yesterday I went from the small market in the next town (only had generic vanilla wafers) to the C store (had a hole where the vanilla wafers should have been) to the market, where I bought, with satisfaction, that yellow box.

When I got home of course, I had to sample. They tasted funny — then I looked at the box, and found that they weren’t produced by Nabisco anymore, but were Nabisco brand, made by another company.

My reaction was three-fold — 1) I will absolutely start throughly reading boxes of cookies and crackers before I buy them. 2)I will avoid everything labeled “Nabisco.” 3)I looked in a cookbook (Better Than Store Bought) where I’d looked after the graham cracker incident, and was relieved to see that there’s a vanilla wafter recipe too.

I’m going to make them from scratch.

There’s nothing wrong with the graham crackers or vanilla wafers, but they’re different. To my taste whatever they’ve changed hasn’t improved them.

I have the same sort of problem with nearly all cake mixes. The results taste like chemical fluff to me, not cake. The only brand I’ve found which I like is Dr. Oetker, so in my pantry you’ll find, almost always, one box of Dr O’s vanilla cake mix. I can add chocolate or whatever to it if I want, but the basic cake is good. I gave up on Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines and . . .  because every one I tried tasted chemically to me.

Cake, like cookies and sweet crackers are not staples here, so my changed habits are not going to put “Nabisco” or “Betty Crocker” et al out of business.

I find it ironic though, that the convenience foods I would like to count on I can’t. And, while others are eating a lot more prefab entrees, we almost always eat scratch foods these days. The exceptions were baked goods, jams/jellies/preserves, and rice mixes.

Good bread became too expensive a while back, so we started baking our own. It seems sweet baked goods are next on the list. Savory rather than sweet crackers are also likely to join the list  of DIY foods here — ever read the per lb price for a box of crackers? It’s more than the price of ground beef in many cases! I always thought my cooking life would go the other way: in my youth and middle age, when I had the vigor to do so, I’d  do “from scratch” cooking, then use mixes in my “dotage.”  Guess not.

With the warning about graham cracker/vanilla wafers in mind, here’s the recipe for my Summer Fruit & Cheese Pie. Easy peasy.

Make (or buy) a sweet cracker/cookie crust in the usual way (butter/crumbs). Put it in the fridge to chill.

Clean, cut, pit, etc. about 1C sweet cherries. Repeat with about the same amount of strawberries. (The strawberries I used were just starting to be “ugly” in that some of them were soft but not slimy or black.) You want the fruit to be small cut, not minced, but not halved necessarily either.

Heat about 1/4C syrup  so that it’s runny. (I used my failed apple/cherry jam. You could probably use melted apricot jam or honey or maple syrup?). Let cool slightly. (Don’t cook the cheese.)This is not super-sweet like many baked goods/desserts. If you have kids or are a total sugar hound, you’ll probably want to add more syrup than I did.

I put the cooked fruit and syrup in the mix and thought that was a mistake, yesterday, when I tasted it, as the previously cooked fruit had a different consistency from the other fruit. Today I can’t tell the difference between the previously cooked fruit and the fruit which was added raw. Your mileage may vary.

Open a 1 lb package of part-skim ricotta. Put into a bowl, stir. Then stir in the prepared raw fruit. Finally, add the cooled fruit & syrup.  Store in fridge in between steps, if needed because of the cheese! Lastly, put the fruit mix into the chilled pie crust and pack it down firmly. Invert another pie pan over the top as a lid and put in the fridge over night or for several hours. (I don’t use plastic wrap.)

Needs to be kept in the fridge, but enjoy!




So I made a List

of what had to be done, everywhere in the house. The goal has been for a long time to “deep clean” the house 2x a year, rotating my way thru the house.

The two biggest categories of things to assess, clean, maintain, cull, repair or replace are the stuff which floats loose around the room (boxed and not) and the structure itself: walls, windows, doors, floors and ceilings.

Been working on that.

→The laundry room is done!

(Well the structure of the laundry room is done.)

checklist for checklits, google images

But it’s definite progress. I now have a list, my time line is really open-ended so it doesn’t lean on the PTSD. I’d like to clean all these things once every 6 months.

What I wrote down about the laundry room was that it was done, in June — that’s it. I know from previous attempts at this that if I start tracking things daily my PTSD will start screaming. I broke the tasks down by day of the week, but that’s a suggestion rather than a mandate. I have tried to organize, categorize, order, whatever you want to call it, a cleaning system for quite some time, with no success. So, loose, open-ended, list of what needs to be cleaned, and that’s it. Hopefully, this will work!