Tag Archives: jam

40 Before 40 – Update the Eighth

Eighth is a weird word. It’s not autocorrecting, so I must be spelling it right. But weird, right?

ANYWAY – we’re reaching the home stretch. Due to  my current unemployment and my desire to not live in a box, some of the things are going to be postponed until I have more disposable income. But still – I have made a bit more progress.

Things that I did in the last month…

I went to the local nude beach. I did a volunteer cleanup there. I saw lots of naked people and too many snakes to make me want to be one of those naked people. BUT – because I love you, I bring you photographic evidence. Boobs and pussy.


Heh. It’s a cat.


I made jam. Lots of jam. I’ve been cooking more, too (yay for the instant pot!). So, the DIY stuff is coming along nicely.

All the fig jam...

All the fig jam…

I also climbed a tree. A fig tree. To make fig jam. It was a little scary, but it’s done! (Sorry – no photos of this!)

That takes me to 17 of 40 things finished…but there are some things that will be done!

  1. [Redacted]
  2. Photo framing – just need to shell out the $$ to get that done
  3. Cheese trying – this is currently on hold (fortunately, I’d probably tried nearly 12 cheeses in the first 7 months, so I can probably declare this a win…).
  4. Publish my first book – I have the cover art mockup – just need to finalize fonts; and I should get first edits back from my editor at the end of this week.
  5. Perfect pie crust – I made pie earlier this week, and although it was good, it wasn’t perfect. Yet. I’ll try a new crust recipe for the second go.
  6. Meet three computer friends IRL. DAMMIT, Cat! Just come visit for the weekend. Mel – wanna go cheese shopping or something? I’d buy you a beer.
  7. Ice skating. I will go. I will fall down. People will laugh, but it will be done.
  8. Regular exercise.
  9. Self care (I’m mostly sleeping better and I’m starting to eat a little better now, too…)
Pecan pie. I served it with whiskey hard sauce. It was amazing.

Pecan pie. I served it with whiskey hard sauce. It was amazing.



Words. So Many Words.

I’ve been plugging away at the writing project. I’m about 1/4 of the way done with the book in progress (which is #4 in a series I’m writing). It’s been fits and starts and it’s generally taking me a lot longer to get the words down than I would’ve predicted. I’m not as efficient a writer when I’ve got all day, apparently.

I do need to get better at that, though. I have just over a week to make final changes to my first book before the editor starts working on it. She has three readers who took a look at it and got their comments back. Two of the readers had some good critique, but overall liked it. The third did not so much like it. For some reason, that person’s opinion holds much greater weight than the other five people who’ve read and said they enjoyed. Not sure why the rating system is weighted that way… In real life, shouldn’t five positives > one negative?


ANYWAY – I have a cover artist. I have a content editor and a proofreader. I should have a book published by the end of the year if all goes well.

And then people should give me money and not tell me if they don’t like it. If you want, we can even skip the part where you read the book. Just buy it and forget about it.

So – goals for the next few weeks – tighten up the first 1/3 of Eleanor’s first book and get to the editor.

Finish up the fourth book in the series. Start a second draft of the second book in the series.

And then – the other series…I have two scenes left to write in the first book and I’m ready to start the second!

So much writing. So much editing. And I should probably try to find a new job that will pay me in cash money since I’m guessing that I’m not going to sell a million copies of my book in the first week of being a published novelist.

Life goals

Life goals

Today, however, I’m making fig jam and listening to my #ginforthewin playlist.




Weekend of Domestic Bad-assery!

I had a pretty short weekend (only TWO DAYS!) due to being at a work conference on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, I only have to work three days this week before having a six-day weekend (yay for vacation)!

I did make the most of my only two days off (I don’t know how people do that – it’s full of the crazy).

Saturday started off with homework, but then moved on to some quality garden time. I’ll have picture updates for you later this week, but it’s looking awesome. Everyone is really appreciating the sunshine!

Saturday afternoon, I made some salsa (thanks for the recipe, kick-ass neighbor!) and guacamole and then headed off to a really fun birthday party. Such a great time AND perfect weather for an outdoor party.

Sunday was also awesome. I got up pretty early because I knew it would be a busy day. I headed to the farm stand that has opened up in my ‘hood (lots of local produce, as well as a few not-local things – such as Canadian tomatoes) and picked up some berries.

At home, I made some cheese – my most successful mozzarella to date! (The architect & I marinated half of the cheese in olive oil, garlic, parsley & red pepper flakes – YUM.) The architect made a loaf of bread, and then a few friends stopped by for a jamming extravaganza!

Between the four of us, we made nine jars of strawberry jam, nine jars of raspberry jam, and 5,000,000 tiny jars of blueberry jam (maybe 17 jars total, 12 of which were 4 oz size). Then we ate cheese (brie + jam + fresh bread = heaven!) and jam and bread and drank some wine and celebrated our accomplishments.

For some of the participants, it was their first real canning experience! AND, every single jar except one sealed! Yay!

After everyone left, the architect & I sat out in the garden and finished our wine – a perfect end to a fantastic day.

(This post is a great reminder that I need to get a LOT better at documenting and then actually uploading the pictures!)