Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekend of self-care

I decided that was what I wanted, before next week's whirlwind of meetings, and the following week's grinding-to-life of classes.

Yesterday afternoon I cleaned house. Not 100%, my bedroom is still cluttered as is my home office, I mmmmmight attack those tomorrow, I don't know. But I'm always in a better mood after doing this; I get busy enough and am bugged enough by stuff like dust on my piano or mystery-splotches from cooking on the kitchen floor that I feel bad until I get the house cleaned. I also worry: what if someone has to come over and goes in my kitchen? I mean, it's super cluttered, but somehow it seems worse if it's *dirty* too. It's never really unhygienic - I don't have mice falling out of the ceiling or anything - but I do wind up with spills on the floor and the stovetop and similar.

I decided not to go to Sherman for shopping this weekend because it's "sales tax free on certain school supplies and kids' clothes" weekend and I know the stores will be slammed, and places like the Target may be the scene of several meltdowns on the part of kids who want something they're not gonna get, or who don't want something their parent thinks they need. And that might spill over to the groceries.

So I got what I needed for the next week at Mart of Wal (and am considering doing a combined antiquing and grocery trip NEXT weekend, or maybe Friday afternoon next week if our faculty meeting gets done early enough)

I also need to get better at "eating off the shelf" and using up some of what I have stored. And so to that effect, I decided to make a (modified version, slightly) of the "Pork Lover's Maple Baked Beans" from the "101 things to do with beans" cookbook.

(No, children: stuffing them up your nose is not one of the things).

Anyway. This is a cookbook I've had for a while - my dad got my mom a copy last Christmas (they use beans a lot, because beans are economical and also healthful) and there were so many good recipes in it she wound up ordering copies for my brother and for me. (The garbanzo-bean patties are particularly good but the only drawback - and why I've never made them - is you have to run the beans through a food processor and the agony of washing mine makes me not want to do it. And I tried mashing them with a potato masher; that doesn't really work). I wonder if a food mill would work? I have one and it's a lot less effort to clean (and to get out) than the food processor....

But anyway: I was looking at it the other night and realized I'd not made baked beans in a while. (Part of this is the need to avoid things like bacon, but occasionally probably small amounts of it as flavoring - especially if I leave out the other salt in the recipe - is okay).

So I'm doing these with a pack of Great Northern beans off the shelf - the only thing I had to buy was bacon. I bought the smallest package I could (How I wish we had an old fashioned meat market where I could go in and ask for two or three slices and only have to pay for two or three slices. I know bacon freezes but it doesn't keep more than a couple months, even in the freezer. Maybe after Pruett's renovation I'll be able to get small quantities of stuff? Given that this is a college town (lots of students and a fair few singletons among faculty, and also lots of widows, you'd think the shops would be more oriented towards selling small sizes).

If the beans are good I will share the recipe. (I didn't buy the ham hocks they call for - usually Green Spray has them but I don't need that kind of meat in my beans; I probably will pick out and not eat the bacon, either)

They also have maple syrup in them (as sweetener) and mustard and onion and you put a little butter in them (which I bet improves them a lot).

I also have the goal of finishing Hagrid. I got the collar all done last night so I just have to finish the sewing. I might start the Augusta cardigan, I don't know. Or I might try to get closer to finished on the Grasse Matinee, or work on one of the several stalled shawls...

I also have half a plan to FINALLY iron off the Mary Engelbreit top and backing I've had folded up for years and take it to Lulu and Hazel's for longarming - would be nice to have this one all done.

I'm also going to try to transition my sleep patterns back to "going to bed earlier" so I can start getting up a bit earlier - on days when I haven't had to meet my research student, I've slept in, sometimes as late as nearly 7, and that's when I usually leave the house on school I need to work back to:

getting into bed sometime between 8:30 and 9 pm
reading for a while longer instead of interacting with a screen so much*
getting up earlier again.

I may - have not yet decided - try to shift back to exercising early in the morning (hopefully I am past whatever issue gave me indigestion from that) so I don't have it hanging over me when I get home. Then again, I have but one afternoon lab this semester so I might be able to cut out early enough most days, if I'm disciplined about getting stuff done during the hours I'm not in class.

(*Am wondering if some of my "staying awake too long after I get into bed/weird mash-up dream" issues are related to this. Have had several dreams in the past weeks that have fundamentally been cribbed from "Bob's Burgers'" episodes I watched before bed, and while they're entertaining and not BAD, there's just a lot of stuff going on in them, and I feel less rested after the crazy information-packed dreams. (Also: dear brain? You don't need the plot points of every episode of Bob's Burgers in your long-term memory, okay?))

I also want to (finally!) finish reading Moby-Dick. I'm not sure what my next "big" book will be - I want to read both Emma and Persuasion some time soon, but I also have a new-ish translation of The Three Musketeers that supposedly preserves some of the more....not quite "risque," but close....jokes that apparently the original had but had been excised for a lot of the versions used in schools. I'm sure I have some other big books stacked up I'm not thinking of...I also want to start on Rosemary Sutcliffe's Roman-legion stories (it's a trilogy, or at least, I have three books) some time. That's a little lighter as I THINK they were originally written for kids/teens, but then again - a lot of early 20th-century children's novels are pretty darn complex and well-written, and are easily enjoyable by adults.

I also have a copy of St. Julian's "Revelations of Divine Love" (a Folio Society purchase) that might be good for times when I'm sad and rattled by the world....(It is her words - the "all shall be well" phrase - that is engraved on my favorite pendant to wear)

Other little things to do, I think:

change out my finger/toe nail polish for the new ponified ones
change the sheets on the bed (maybe in tandem with cleaning my bedroom tomorrow)
wind off some yarn with the thought of starting new projects sometime
hand quilt a bit on the top in the frame, again with the thought of "maybe I can soon think about doing another one"

I do also need to mow the yard; that might be a late-afternoon thing for today provided the rain holds off. (Right now it looks like it might)

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