ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote,


Still alive, still kicking...seem to have wandered off of LJ for a while.  Might wander back, or finally migrate to Dreamwidth, or...something.

Still working the same job.  Yeah, I know....  On vacation, from last Wednesday through this Wednesday...have ended up logged in every single weekday during vacation.  Today I expected.  Last week I mostly ignored a thing until others figured out it was going to be a problem - that counts as success.  Tomorrow I'm irked about:  it's for a tiny task that could have been done months ago but people kept running around screaming instead of just letting me take care of it.  I mean, I officially was not allowed to take care of it.  Then I tried to poke them, because the new deadline they were aiming for meant I needed to do the work by labor day at the latest.  And then today they started screaming and running around again...and the relevant boss had his usual response, that always means extra work for anyone in his path.

Anyway...vacation.  Got a big pile of engineered hickory on craigslist - enough to do all 3 bedrooms!  Only tackling one on this vacation - have other stuff to do.  It feels like an unreasonable number of tack strips, nails, and staples to take up - especially in the closet - but I'm getting there.

Also on the list:  finally replace the fume hood  - sorry range hood - with a non-venting one, in stainless to match the new kitchen appliances.  When the sunroom was added, the hood then vented into the sunroom.  The new one uses the charcoal filters but is rated to take on a fair bit of smoke.

Also poking at that seat14c writing contest.  The stories posted so far tend toward the...panderous.  Even the ones by authors I usually like.  I have most of an idea, but am so very rusty at the actual mechanics of writing fiction.  And writing fiction for 20 years out is tricky.  But, it would be good to stretch those muscles and see what they can still do.

The garden goes well enough.  The 3 new garden beds are making it abundantly clear that the older beds are under-nourished.  Must compost more and better.  I am up to my ears in cucumbers - gele tros cukes, assorted nice long Japanese slicing cukes, pickling cukes.  Beans are in the August lull - they'll likely be back.  Bitter melons (at least 3 varieties), bottle gourd, winter squash, summer squash, okra, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, purslane....  Only one achocha plant survived cutworms (by the time I noticed, the damage was done), but it should be self-fertile and has tons of flowers.

Herb garden project is on hold until I decide what to do about the yellow jacket nest I dug into (only 1 sting).  Can wait for winter to take its course, or I can pour hot soapy water in it and cover it with a bucket.

Had a fine time eating a solid handful of blackcaps from the yard every day after work.  They're long done now, but elderberries are coming on.  Whitney crabs and dolgo crabs - but I have been slow to harvest.

Have made some good vats of food.  And a fine pie experiment:  blueberry coconut cream meringue.  Needed to mostly-bake the crust, then cook the blueberry filling and pour in, then make the coconut cream and pour on top, then make the meringue and bake it - hoping I wouldn't burn the crust or un-set the fillings.  Then cool completely, then chill.  Needs some tweaking but the flavors were excellent.

Been buying meat at The Conscious Carnivore.  Basically, outsourcing my ethical concerns about meat - even though I'm not sure what "humanely killed" means.  I'm handling my enviromental concerns by purchasing less meat - the meat from Conscious Carnivore is pricey, but tasty.   Between that and the garden, I am eating very, very well.

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