Friday, November 30, 2012

Living in the present ...

... doesn't have to happen right now. And that's OK.

I've spent a good portion of today doing 3 things:

  • Reading Ben Hewitt's blog archives
  • Checking my Yahoo accounts to see if
    • a) my brokerage account has updated and
    • b) I've received any correspondence from either my leasing agent in NC or my freelance employer in same state.
  • Checking my eTrade account in case it updated ahead of its email confirmation. This happened last time.
I loathe going into the weekend with things not solidified, but it may not be helped. If the money's not there, I can't put a security deposit on our place yet. Luckily, I spoke with the leasing agent and she mentioned another unit in the same buildings coming available next week, so if for some reason we lose our chance on the unit we're trying for, all would not necessarily be lost. Still...

We're so close to YES on this. And with that realization comes the subject line, because reading Ben Hewitt's blog has me dreaming big time, realizing that I'm a pansy for not wanting to build a home from scratch, that we haven't even scratched the surface on living lighter, that we're (mainly me) still so very, VERY tied to the conveniences of city life. I look at my eating habits in an average work day and can easily see areas for improvement, how with just a bit more effort and planning, I could bring more drinks, more snacks, how when I'm working from home 2 months from now, I'm certainly not going to want to waste the gas and dough for Starbucks when I could make a cuppa at home. And it has me dreaming for both near and distant future...near future includes possibilities like a clothesline even though we'll be living in an apartment building, maybe some cold frames or a portable greenhouse, which would have to be locked down somehow since we won't have any kind of porch in the new place; a compost bin...more distant future dreams have me wondering if 5 acres for our farm is too small, how I'd love access to our own trees for fuel, how rotating pastures for pigs and sheep requires more than a little patch of land.......these ideas belong on my infrequently visited Dark Meadow farm blog.......

My mood about independent contracting has been changing this week. Hells, yes, the first priority practically before we've opened the first box in the new place, will be finding temp-to-perm work somewhere with some sort of medical benefits. I checked COBRA and the rates are laughable, once you get your breath back from the shock of the numbers. So there's that. But there's also the realization that while things are going to be painfully thin at first, that we're also entering a phase where the world's basically wide-open to us...if I can pull off enough dough via contracting to get us by, then my real "job" doesn't have to be a career-builder, just something to get us bennies...and that means new possibilities. I already have a "career" as an editor, and hopefully it will drive my opportunities in the future.....but it doesn't have to define me.

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holding pattern

Too much to do and nothing to report, so here's an animated GIF to pass the time...

Image from here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

No avoiding it

Pretty sure it's gonna come whether I want it to or not. Pretty sure it's going to come whether we have the money to buy/make anybody anything or not. Pretty sure it's easier to give in and enjoy it a little...may be the only way to make it through the move sane.

Thanksgiving is past. Hello holidays!

Image from here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

What I learned

  1. I know I'm out of shape and need to lose weight, but it takes an on-your-feet holiday like Thanksgiving to drive that notion home. My whole body hurts today.
  2. French toast bake was a serious hit, may become annual-ish tradition.
  3. I've never been so satisfied with my cooking, as when I tucked into a slice of pie, which was entirely made from scratch. With the exception of a 5-oz can of evaporated milk, everything else from crust to apple butter and pumpkin was homemade (or as close as you can get without owning a garden or orchard)...and I have plenty of leftover puree and butter to do my holiday breads now too. Unreal how nifty that feels.
  4. Turkey needs a longer brine time, and nothing beats my husband's smoked bird boob still.
  5. Yellowtail Sweet Red Roo is YUMMY!
What will be spent noshing on leftovers, maybe doing a little baking, and move planning. I'm taking a checklist we found in a relocation mag and applying it to our progress, or lack thereof. I'm still pretty wiped, so I'm allowing today to be a pack-a-box, knit something kind of day...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


My lower back is one large fist, but I'm having a blast. Threw together the brine, which was easy, but is proving the most pesky, because we left it covered when it should have gone in the fridge. I need the stock pot to make the apple butter, and at this rate, I may be knocking that out tomorrow morning. Popped the half frozen pumpkin in the oven. Peeled and sliced the rest of the apples (mental note: apples really do keep better in a fridge, if you don't have a root cellar). Those suckers were only a month old, but heading south. Peeled the skin off the pumpkin and pureed it, which was so ridiculously easy, I've decided to only buy canned now when it's out of season.

The apple peeler and corer is such a wonder too! Slices as it peels, just turn the crank! Then I realized the cover needed to come off the brine, and then get refrigerated. So I made the pie crust, which was also a little too easy to justify ever buying pre-made again. Popped that in the fridge, then made the breakfast casserole. Now I'm waiting just a bit longer for the brine to cool. Since the apple butter takes at least an hour on the stove, I'm thinking that'll be a morning task.

So on the docket for tomorrow morning will be the apple butter, the breakfast casserole, the potatoes, and then the pie; with the Macy's and the National Dog Show on the tube in the background (or NCIS in the bedroom, cuz I'm an addict and they're running a marathon on USA)...and green beans with orange peel last, cuz they're stove short-timers. I tossed the idea of rolls, since we're doing mashed; but I'm making those suckers this weekend too, cuz they look awesome. The turkey just went into the brine, in a bag in the roasting pan that I inherited from Mom, that hasn't seen action in some time (looks like this one). I love being able to give a 2nd life to Mom's old kitchen stuff. The potatoes will likely go into one of the Corningware casserole dishes I inherited too.

I'll dig out the cloth napkins and a table runner. If the Yule log is on On Demand, we may put that on, though neither of us is feeling the Christmas music yet. We're not huge football fans either, unless the Jags are playing/losing, so maybe we'll put on a movie tomorrow evening. We own Hunger Games, 2 of the last 3 Harry Potters, and Where the Wild Things Are, and have never watched them...real life gets in the way. I'm grateful for the chance to slow down.


My favorite holiday. Kind of odd, since we barely celebrated it when I was a kid, and we NEVER had turkey. Mom and Dad had both been scarred by years of turkey and its leftovers and were determined not to subject their kids to that. So I guess my love of Thanksgiving is reactionary...and fueled by my love of food, unfortunately.

I'm an OK cook, have had my share of successes and disasters. Working in the kitchen centers me. I like to defer to recipes, but I'm learning to trust my eye and identify flavors. Every year, I try a new side dish, and we almost always spend the day at home. Windows open, weather permitting, Macy's parade on the tube, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. I look forward to dragging family members out to our place someday, but for now, this works for us.

Hubs usually smokes a turkey boob on the grill, which tastes amazing, but we were concerned about the cooker not sustaining one more smoke job, plus we were looking for something different, so I'm brining a boob this year. There are new side dish recipes, I'm thinking of making rolls even though they won't necessarily get eaten (in the face of said side dishes), and Paula Deen's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie for dessert, because Hubs adores it. This year I'm going old skool, roasting the pumpkin from Skytop, making apple butter from the rest of the Skytop apples, and making the crust from scratch ala Ashley English. I can't wait to discover the flavor differences.

Spoke with rental agent in NC and while we did get rejected for credit, they're still willing to have a cosigner, so I'll be moving on that paperwork this weekend. We're still in limbo, but I'm more confident after talking with her. I'll have plenty keeping me busy this weekend...I want to make white and wheat bread from scratch, try a new cookie recipe, do some side work on the freelance assignment (that she didn't assign, but will be good practice for me), pack the crap out of our house, and make lists. We're getting down to the nitty-gritty.

Too much to list that I'm thankful for...the trick will be reminding Hubs of this attitude. It's been a shit year for him, losing Dad and Grandma both, and it's harder to find the happy in the face of that, never mind that I'm uprooting us. He's ready to move too, but it's real scary the way we're going about it; and reminding someone who doesn't have faith to begin with, that he needs to acquire some for a specific venture, gets tricky.

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


How do you keep a dick in suspense?

I'll tell ya tomorrow.

Alternate ending: Process their housing application right before Thanksgiving. Take your sweet damn time about it.

Just kidding, mostly. I only turned the damn thing in yesterday. But with the holiday this week, the suspense is killing me. Dawned on me this morning that it's the 20th. I'm trying to stop work 12/21. That's only a month away. You'd think I'd know better than to stop work on that day in particular, but I'm not an Aztec or a Mayan, so I just have to throw caution to the winds and stock up on canned goods now that the Twinkies are gone.

If we get accepted, I'll throw more money at them, breathe a weepy sigh of relief, and start packing like a madwoman.

If we get rejected, which I'm expecting, I need to get Les's mom's signature. Not the easiest thing, since she lives 2 states away, but I have a plan in mind involving our printers' ability to scan and the glorious concept of email. If my Lil Sisinlaw doesn't go home for the holidays, that process could be much more complicated than it needs to be, but I remain hopeful. The alternative involves me on a cell phone talking with my hands (because I am my mother's daughter), while my mother-in-law puzzles over her printer, wondering why she can't find the file the application scanned to. This will, of course, be happening while I have 3 things on the stove Thanksgiving day...

I'm scared enough about how little money I'll be making the first month we're up there and the possible lack of insurance...I'm going to run out of contact lenses in February, Hubs can't go without a pain management doctor, and we're both on daily meds. Not being insured isn't an option. So I'm seeing about COBRA, praying we can afford it, and the minute the offices open on January 2nd, I'm going to be down at Kelly Services or Snelling or whoever with my resume and winning personality, saying "put me to work!" Hubs will start looking once we're settled too. I'm probably too soft on him, but I don't expect him to rush out January 2nd like me...the guy hasn't worked in almost 10 years. I'm pointing him toward Buncombe County's vocational rehab programs, so he can ease into it.

It's still so damn tenuous. I'm sitting on a fence, ready to jump off, ready to fly.

Image from here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Yea, Friday Favorites got blown off this past week too...I'm pretty sure I'm going to be unreliable with my posts for the next 2 months. Between juggling my first freelance gig (!!!) and getting a roof over our heads up there, all bets are off with regard to regular posts. Which I'm sure is a grave disappointment to my 6½ readers, but I have every intention of posting like a high-on-life madwoman once we've moved, about all manner of things, so stay tuned...

In the meantime, here's Tard again, cuz she just rocks!

Your excuses for lapsing on Friday Favorites are the essence of lame.

Image snitched from FB, but likely came from her site.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving it to the gods

When Christians wrestle with a problem, they are told to give it to God, to trust that the big guy knows what's best and will guide you in the appropriate direction. Dawned on me this morning that as a pagan, I don't have that. Well, as a control freak, I don't have it either...I have trouble with the concept of just letting something be and trusting fate or destiny to take its course in my favor. Which is funny in the face of how much I've let life just pass me by...but this isn't a self-flaggellation post.

But paganism, being polytheistic, makes this much harder, the release of worry at the fork in the road. I'm not heavy on the ritual of being a witch at all (you won't catch me nekkid in a field calling the quarters under a full moon), but I do have gods that I've studied more than others, as well as guardians that I call on to guide me at times. There are New Agers who are heavy on that level of study..."oh, I call on this god when I need this and I call on that goddess when I want that"...but that ain't my speed; how do you hang onto responsibility for your own life with that attitude?

This week has been pressing down on me, and we're quite close to taking a step off a cliff, and I'm recognizing that in order to get through it with my sanity and marriage intact, it would be wise to listen very carefully inside myself a bit.

This move is borderline wouldn't happen at all if we had kids in tow, but since it's just the 2 of us and 1 large hairball (cat), we can take that leap of faith together and trust that we'll be able to survive the initial months of thin dough and scrambling for work, because we've come through so much already. But that doesn't assuage the worry, the blind fear of all that could go wrong once there. Would we be this afraid if the media weren't blasting the economy every time you turn on the TV/computer? Maybe not, but it's there, and to ignore it completely is to not respect it and risk it seriously kicking your ass.

The money should drop in my account today, enough to put down a security deposit on the apartment I have my eye on in Weaverville. We'll probably get rejected and need to sweet-talk them into taking us with a cosigner, but I'm ready for that. Until I'm certain we can't find a roof for over our heads up there, this dream lives on.

Image from here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Grumpy Cat is not impressed.

Sensing a pattern this week?

I seriously want this pic on a T-shirt with the incredibly witty caption "Fuck off!" To be worn every 30 days, if you get my drift.....

Along that same subject line, if you don't laugh your ass off at this week's New Girl episode, your funny bone is broken...

I woke up at 4AM and proceeded to obsess about the move for an insane is it to move with so few job prospects lined up what if we can't find a place how the hell are we gonna scrape by the first few monthsSONOFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!.....the morning brings some clarity, but things are still so damn up in the air. I swear, the minute the new $$$ drops into my brokerage account, I'm going to apply for a place so I can jump off the damn fence!

"November journal entry: starting to doubt my mission..." ~ Joshua Beal, Wide Awake

Luckily it's soggy, depressing, and muggy here, while Lil Sis in Charlotte woke up to 35F and gorgeous, so my perspective is still intact.

I've opened my mind to apartments again. Pretty sure the mobile home prospects are too restrictive or depressing to attempt. I'm recognizing the seriousness of our sitch, but I can't let go of the dream. If we can just get up there.....

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've been online all day occasionally editing websites while trying desperately to find us a house in the Asheville area that a) doesn't appear to be the size of a bread box, b) is within our seriously meager price range, c) has washer/dryer connections, d) doesn't make me want to pack heat while walking from car to house. It's NOT an easy task, I'm finding, and we're not eager to do much more traveling past loading up the UHaul, which means the possibility of renting something site unseen with a lotta prayers,'s a pic of Tard snitched from the web, because she matches my mood right now and I have nothing else exciting to share.....

Image from here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Political Rambling...

Pretty much still my mood as we go into the first official week of re-election...

And can I get a "hot damn!" that Florida went blue again...

I am thinking of starting a political blog, but for now, you'll have to deal with my liberal ramblings...

I gotta say, the conservatives did have some of us scared. I'm heartened to see that so much of it was smoke being blown.....but I'd still like to punch somebody in the throat over it. Dick Morris will do, if Karl Rove's not available.

Man, Fox offered an impressive stock of douchebaggery Tuesday night. I'd like to thank Megyn Kelly for injecting a shred of truth into the reporting that evening.

I really can't understand why I held their values for so long...I just wasn't thinking, I was following a herd (of guys I had crushes on at the time....geez, I should write an essay on when female hormones, and debilitating loneliness, shape voting trends). All I know now is that while the pundits may say we liberals are celebrating, what we're really doing is basking, for just a moment, in RELIEF...relief that our nation isn't really as tight-sphinctered as it appeared on TV, that our freedoms are still intact for the most part, and that those that aren't, we're still free to fight for. And while the conservatives sit around stunned silent, wondering where it all went wrong; we liberals will be getting up, dusting ourselves off, and getting back to work, the work of shaping compromise to keep our country running. I only hope we can get the right to the table too.

Dear Tea Party, OK, you got me, good one, thanks for the crawl back under your rock please...

So, as Jon Stewart pointed out, after 2 years and $3 billion, we're pretty much right back where we started. I swear, that's more frustrating than the fiscal cliff, because all that energy spent worrying over who was going to win, should have instead been injected into cutting pork, getting tax bills passed to increase revenue and social programs, finding green solutions for the horrific things we're doing to the environment...the list goes on, and I'm so sick of the career politicians in Congress who don't give a damn about their constituencies when it means the possibility of's an idea: stop blaming the other side and start working for the people for once! Pretty sure the founders of our nation, the ones you're so fond of quoting, liked the latter idea back in the day...

Otherwise, I'm back at work, the weather's too warm here as usual, I'm chasing another mobile home up yonder and enjoying controlled hyperventilation over the state of the stock market, and I'm still out of sorts from the was a weird weekend. Hopefully that'll change soon.

Image from here.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Of all the weeks to go offline...

I mean seriously...I know Grandma didn't plan to leave us, but being in a Republican house on Election Day was interesting, never mind that I needed to hit the sack at a decent hour that night because her funeral was Wednesday...and I still don't have access to the WiFi there because they switched out routers a while back and no one has any clue what the new password is...

Les watched the returns, but I just couldn't bring myself to. I wanted to be sharp for the next day, and couldn't take the pressure anyway. When Les popped into the room to let me know Romney had conceded, my first thought was, "OK, who are we grooming for 2016, because that was too damn close." I know the electoral college margin looks nice now, but my gods, the work we still have to, the relief is nice though.

I like to think I need these little breaks from technology, and usually it's not something that gives me the DTs or anything, but damn...trolling the web to catch up 24 hours after we got home, it feels like we left the damn planet for a week.

So no Friday Favorites this week...I literally only hit the computer like, twice in the last week, to check stuff about the move. Incidentally, we lost the first house in NC that I was looking at, but I'm hitting the search again hard tomorrow...

This trip didn't feel exhausting at all, but my body and brain are telling me another thing entirely today. I've been napping, yawning, and slouching all day...more later this weekend.

Image from here.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


That post yesterday was written early in the day. By mid-afternoon, we got the news that Grandma wasn't improving...wasn't swallowing/taking food and was screaming whenever anyone touched her because she was hypersensitive to pain/touch. Changing IVs was becoming a physical battle. The decision was made to stop treatment. We think it'll be fast now, but I was reminded today that when we "stopped treatment" with Nanie, it was 2 weeks before God took her. Granted, Grandma's been fighting organ failure for a week now, but still...the balancing act of waiting for word while not wanting to count her out yet is a little exhausting.

Les barely slept last night, he tends to sit vigil; so I'm letting him grab what sleep he can because he'll likely take the train up there tomorrow night, and I'll follow when...I already used my bereavement time this year when we lost Dad J., but my work is willing to work with me and I have time to burn, which is great. I'm simultaneously trying to get a job 3 hours north of there and get us into a mobile home I have my eye on, but hey, I've never turned away from a challenge.

Prayers of strength please, for everyone concerned during this time.

Editor's note, later: I'll be offline this week. Claudia P. Hurt of Aiken, SC, went to Summerland Saturday, November 3, surrounded by her children.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Friday Favorites

Wild. It's like I took 2 weeks off from thinking anything about the move, and this morning, my brain turned back ON.

Damn good thing considering the timing. The last 10 months have gone by like frickin' lightning, and I'm fully expecting the last 2 of this year to do the same. Insert gutteral scream of panic here.

Today's one of those tropical paradise days down here. Cranking up to 80, blue skies, full sun. The above image is much more natural IMO for November, and even though the fog we had to drive through on our last trip to Asheville skeered the snot out of us, I still want more of it for the winter months. Just seems more natural. November is not for sweating. Besides, we need the lower electric bills.

Grandma's holding her own, getting feisty and as usual, completely out of touch with her limitations. She'd be home already, I think, if the doctors didn't still have her in critical care. I pray they find a good facility for her post-hospital, because the situation at home is so hard when she's not healthy.

Prayers welcome for us finding a home up there...I have a line on something, we'll see where it leads.

This week around the web:
  • I discovered Uncommon Grace, where she let people see a week's worth of lunches she prepares, and most of the ideas are quite yummy looking (I started on the Tuesday link, because I'm not a spaetzle and mushrooms gal).
  • So am I like, the last person to learn about the unknead method of making artisan bread?
  • Such a great resource! Now if I can just find the time to read it...
  • Permaculture crack
  • Can't decide what's niftier, the information she offers or the fact that she lives on the Isle of Man.....
  • And it's that time of year for Chai...I want to try this version first and work my way up to Ashley's...not a whole lot of difference...just needs to be done in stages.....cuz like, I didn't even know cardamom starts out in a pod!
Have a great weekend, y'all! 

Image from here.