Everybody Hurts

I’m hurting so much right now. It’s that simple. I lack the energy to couch the sentiment in pretty language or paint with my words. I just hurt. Nothing more catastrophic than normal has happened. It just seems my ability to deal with it has diminished. The struggle to be everything is wearing me down like wind and water on sandstone. I am not made of granite, despite how it may look to people who glance at the outside and compliment me on my super-human strength. It’s not real.  Someone told me earlier this week that she was complaining of her life, but then she thought of me and was reminded her life is good.  She’s a sweet person, and I know she had no idea how her words felt to me.

It’s incredibly hard having X see the kids for three hours once a week. My prayers recently are simply to be charitable and for bitterness to stay far away from my heart. But X is the hero, returned after a long absence, who gets to have fun and play Wii and games with the kids. I cannot remind the children that his long absence was brought on himself and mandated by the courts and I am the one who picks up the pieces and disciplines and acts like a parent after he drives away. How is it a man can be months delinquent on child support, but still have the right to see his children (with court-ordered supervision, mind you)? How is this in any way fair? And it just doesn’t matter. Fair is not fair.

There is strife and dissolution in my extended family, and I am not free to write about any of it- which is fine, because my plate is so overfull with sadness I don’t have energy for anyone else’s right now. But it still adds to my hurt burden.

I’m running as fast and as hard as I can in what feels like deep sand. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I’m not sleeping well again, and if I were a drinker, I can see how finding the bottom of a glass would seem pretty good right now. I’m not a drinker, and so I find myself in the kitchen at 2 am making hash browns and drinking a cranberry juice. Carb up- numb those feelings, one way or another. I’m aware enough to recognize it for what it is, but not powerful enough to put the pan of potatoes down the garbage disposal. Instead, I eat, and feel sick, and want to throw up.

It’s hard to keep getting back up over and over and over and over- you start to lose trust and wonder when the sky is going to fall on your head and what horrible thing is waiting around the corner to eat you alive.

Easy Recipes: Sour Cream Enchiladas + Chile Verde Pork

Okay, I’ve been asked for this recipe probably only slightly less times than the Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll recipe- and judging by my links, I know a lot of you are using that one! These were delivered tonight to a friend’s family as a service, so we didn’t actually get to eat them here, but someone did! I hope they liked them as much as we do.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1- 16 oz tub of sour cream
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can diced green anaheim chilis
  • 1 whole bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained well
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 package 8-10″ flour tortillas

Mix everything together, reserving 1 cup cheese for topping. Fill tortillas and roll into enchilada shape and place in a 9 x 12 baking dish. Spread remainder of filling on top of enchiladas and top with rest of cheese and maybe some extra green onion, if you’ve got any left.

Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and everything looks toasty and good.

That’s it. Enjoy!


Easy Chile Verde Pork

This one is… simply divine. It’s a classic dish, but I’m not sure how classic my preparation is- it’s cheap and quick but it sure works well! Look for a lean pork roast– sometimes I use tenderloin– at the market. You don’t want something with much fat for this version, as you’re not going to cook it all night (I have a recipe to do that if you ever want it). It’s easier to cut into cubes if you freeze it for an hour or so, by the way.

  • Pork roast, whatever size your family needs. Better to have too much, I say.
  • a few garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup or so orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can or several fresh tomatillos
  • 1 onion diced
  • time

The night before, cube up the pork and seal in a zipper-top bag with the spices, orange and lime juice. Refrigerate overnight.

Drain the meat and place in a heavy stockpot or (even better!) cast iron dutch oven. Pour green enchilada sauce over the top, add diced onions and tomatillos (whichever kind you use) and start simmering, keeping covered. If the sauce starts to reduce too much, add a little water or chicken broth. Cook for 2 hours or so, and the pork will be falling-apart tender, and the sauce will be thicker and delicious. Eat by itself, or in simple street tacos or burritos.

Single Mother

*updated as the day progresses*

6:46 a.m. It’s unclear if the sound of rain gurgling down the gutters wakes me, or if it’s the cold little feet my daughter under my side as she flops sleepily, arms akimbo, in the pre-dawn light. When I fell asleep to the muted monologue of Letterman, I was alone in my bed, but as happens so often now, I wake with one or several little people pushing on my warmth and needing mama.

7:20 a.m. All three of them are in bed with me now, watching Handy Manny, and I am slowly being shoved towards the peripherara of the bed, as sleepy snuggling gives way gradually, as the room lightens in the gray pallor of the drizzly day. Bean’s ability to tolerate jostling and touch diminishes as his hunger kicks in, and the clock is ticking to get him fed before he tanks.

7:30 In the kitchen, the weather makes me feel like making a nice breakfast, and I whip up a batch of cinnamon crumble muffins and throw them in the oven. I like the sound of rain and the cozy feeling in the kitchen. Abby comes in to offer her “help” but I am distracted as I try and look over my homework while the muffins cook. I had an assignment due yesterday, but I know I have some leeway and if I turn it in by Monday, I should be fine. I shoo her out of the kitchen and start some bacon popping in my cast iron skillet while I think about post-colonial Africa.

7:54 Breakfast is on the table, and I even lit a candle to make it feel cozy and homey. I call the kids. I can hear cartoons and giggle-bickering. I holler louder- breakfast is ready! Still nothing. For some reason, this ticks me off. I have so many other things I could be doing besides fixing a hot, homemade breakfast, and they can’t even come eat? I am in a sour mood now, and when they do come to the table, Bean immediately yelps and runs to hide, because his muffin is in the shape of a heart and not a circle. Dammit, why did I even try?

8:00 Bean is back at the table after I wrangle him out of his squeeze-spot with much honking. They eat their nice home-made breakfast in the kitchen without me. I’m not hungry and I am crying in my room– quietly, because I don’t want them to hear me. I turn on PBS and watch through angry tears as some guy makes dovetail cuts in a beautiful piece of wood with a hand chisel.

8:22 The kids are off playing, and drag myself to the kitchen as start a load of dishes and clean up from breakfast. So much work for only a few fleeting minutes of happiness. Do they care that I do these things? Does it make a difference? Should I just have given them cold cereal? No, I can’t do that. Bean only eats specific things, and I pay for it if he doesn’t get them. We all do, including him. This is another series of questions to which there is no answer, and only time will show the return on investment.

9:00 Bean has requested that I move his therapy hammock from my room into the TV room so he can watch movies in it. It really calms him down when he comes unwound, and I’m game for moving it. Any time he can tell me what he needs with actual words I am grateful and try to do it. Unfastening the hammock from the bracket in my ceiling joist, I realize I have no tools to install a new bracket- X took all the drills and drivers. Digging in the kitchen junk drawer, I find a hammer with part of the claw missing, some screwdrivers, and one mangy crescent wrench. I can make this work.

9:40 After hammering small holes in the ceiling to determined the direction of the joists, I find a good spot and attach the anchors. It’s hard, since I have no drill to make pilot holes, but I use a screwdriver as a lever to get some torque on the eyebolts, and get them seated well with some elbow grease. Standing on one of the kid’s chairs to reach the ceiling, I am still holding a wrench in my hand as I clamp the carabiner, and the wrench slips and smacks me in the mouth. My lip is bleeding, but my teeth seem intact.

10:00 I sit down to crack my textbooks and start on my post-colonial Africa paper. The kids are happily playing in the basement, the dishwasher is finishing the dishes, and it’s cozy and warm at the kitchen table. I get about a page and a half written- it’s a decent start, and I was only interrupted three times by kids’ needs and to wipe a bottom. Bean is very happy and content with his new hammock location, and I am reaping a small reward. The Wii is babysitting so I can get those pages written.

11:00 I realize I’m hungry, and since everyone is still happy and occupied, I think cooking myself something sounds therapeutic and nice. On my counter are some plump late-summer onions brought over by some friends from church– I slice them up and get the caramelizing– still not sure what I’m going to make, but caramelized onions are always a good start. A long time ago, I learned not to toss apple or potato peels down the disposal. It seems the same applies to onion skins. Just as the onion was beginning to sizzle, I turned on the disposal and it erupted all over the kitchen. Reaching behind me I flip off the stove.

11:25 Everything under the kitchen sink is on the floor, and I have unscrewed all the pipes and cleaned them out. There is a pile of towels and a bucket full of nasty water than I decide pouring in the toilet is the best plan. It was a good choice. Briefly I had contemplated calling my HT when I thought I had fixed it the first time and water shot up all over my clothes. I wiped at the hot tears that sprung to my eyes and screwed up my resolve. I can do this. It’s all put back together, and so far no leaks, and the disposal is emptying again. I just have to start a load of towels.

12:00 I sit down to carmelized onions with goat cheese on a gluten-free slice of bread. It’s astoundingly delicious. I can hear Bean has found his trumpet, and this makes me smile. He loves that thing- we had lost it in the move. I  found it last night cleaning out a box. I microwave myself a cup of peppermint tea and realize no one has had a bath or shower yet, and I have to get us to the grocery store. Shoving aside the paper I’m working on, I remember the test I have to prep for too. If I play my cards right, I should be able to get to it all. I lag a little, enjoying the warm cup of tea in my hands. It’s still raining, and heading to the grocery store on a Saturday with all three kids is… not my favorite. But it cannot be avoided.

1:27 Still trying to get everyone out the door. All are finally dressed and clean- but it’s like herding cats. I get one shod and coated and near the door, and the one I wasn’t paying attention to bolts. Jeffrey is the only child cooperating, and Abby is weeping because she left her favorite fluffy coat at preschool and the world must stop. Bean will not stop trumpeting his bugle, and Jeff is ready to kill him. I really hope my cloth grocery bags are in the car. One in the car, two headed out the door. Still no progress on homework.

2:31 Well, that was fun. The grocery store with Bean is always a… challenge. All those colors and smells just put him over the edge, so we practically run through with our list and get the heck out of dodge. He ran away from me and hid twice, which isn’t bad. My neck prickles with self-consciousness as I scan the aisles calling for him; older people inevitably look down their noses and over the tops of their glasses at what looks like a naughty child and the terrible mother who clearly cannot control him. I’m used to it, but it still hurts. When I found him the second time, I shoved the food aside and put him in the cart, where he kicked and honked until we were through the check-out. I see a friend’s husband in the store with one of their kids, and I have a moment of envy at their ability to divide and conquer. It’s almost three o’clock and I am no further on my paper, the laundry hasn’t been started, the beds need changing. There is a single-adult dance tonight in our stake, and I had tossed around the notion of going, but honestly, I just don’t see it happening.

2:45 The groceries are all put away and the kids have taken their laundry to the wash room, so there’s that. On the couch, the boys snuggle in brief brotherly harmony as they peer intently at the screen of Jeffrey’s gameboy. I can hear Abby singing “Yo Gabba GABBA!” to herself as she spins in the computer chair in the basement. Whirrrrrr…. whirrrrrr…. And I have to go coax her to move so I can actually get started on some homework now.

5:02 Got a solid hour and a half of studying in while Abby spun herself on the desk chair next to me and occasionally asked to loosen a Lego for some big, delicate thing she was intently building. Bean hung out in his hammock, swinging contentedly and playing Harry Potter on Wii with Jeffrey. I was able to log into my University website and watch a lecture I missed earlier this week (loooove professors who record their lectures!), and then scored 96% on the 50 question quiz that followed. My tea is tepid on the desk here next to me, but that’s okay- it’s time to go cook dinner. I have no idea what I’m making, and the laundry is still forlorn and undone.

5:35 Dinner is served. All comply. At this point, there is no way anyone is reading this insane document, so I’ll just say we had frog eyes and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans- in the flavors of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. And an English muffin with pb for Bean, of course.

6:15 Kitchen is cleaned, dishes are going and the kids are getting their jammies on. I have bribed them and promised TWO chapters from Harry Potter and Sorcerers Stone if they are compliant and obedient children. Reading to them every night is one part crazy-making stuff, and two parts sweet, sweet goodness.

7:24 Abby is in bed, because she couldn’t keep her feet off her brothers, and she is happily singing primary songs to herself. The boys are in their beds with flashlights reading Calvin & Hobbes. Yes, it’s early, but with 9 a.m. church, they’ve got to be in bed by 8, otherwise morning is horrible. Also, my sanity is at stake. By this hour, I’m done. Maybe now I can get some laundry started… I still have three essays to write before tomorrow night on post-colonial Africa. What I really want to is to curl up with a book I want to read and escape for a while. So much for the stake dance.

8:16 The doorbell rings, and it’s Jeffrey’s Sunday School teacher, who also happens to be the nicest man on earth. He’s brought us a pizza, as he does almost every weekend, from his pizza restaurant. The kids will be bummed they missed him- he’s always a popular sight on our doorstep. All three kids are asleep already. Hallelujah.

8:32 Pizza is cooling on the counter. Time for some real homework. Forget social life, forget dating. Where on earth would I fit anything else in? Looking back over this day, most of what I do many other mothers do as well. Maybe not the full-time school, but the other stuff. The part that sticks out and makes my heart throb is not having anyone to share the joys and triumphs with- I am alone with all three of my children almost all the time. And while I love and adore them, they are arrows that I am prepping to shoot into the skies of their own lives. Here, where I am, I stand alone. Having someone to bounce ideas off, to help when I am tired, to pass a kid to when I’m at my wits end- these are the hardest moments.

Look What I Made!

In addition to my book-page wreath that I taught yesterday, we made chalkboards ($1 each), barn-wood picture frames ($3 each), bottle-cap necklaces ($2.50 each), fancy cake-servers ($5 each) and beaded bookmarks (75 cents each). My wreath was $1 plus your own book. It was a great day, with some really cool, inexpensive projects that actually make sometime nice you might want to have. The chalkboards (on the left) were factory seconds from the local cabinet company, and we just sanded them and painted the center panel. The barnwood frame was made with surplus fence boards from a demolition at a house in our ward. It was surprisingly easy to make, and looks fantastic.

The cake server was just a plain stainless server wrapped with glass beads on stainless wire. Some of them were really creative- Christmas colors, fall colors, all one color- it was fun to see what people came up with- and also really an easy project to be successful at.

Bookmarks were fun and pretty, and even people who feel craft-challenged can string some beads on a cord and have a pretty scripture marker. The bottle-cap necklaces were fun, and the teenage girls especially liked them. So did Abby.

Also, there was a knitting/crochet table set up with balls of yard and scads of needles for anyone wanting to learn. I’m already an avid knitter, but between projects, I learned to cable-knit from my stake president’s wife. I’d always been intimidated by cable knitting- and now am confident and happy that it’s not so hard. We also had a dozen crock-pots of soup in the kitchen with cookies and rolls being brought in cold then tossed in the oven. It was super, because there was hot food all day, but no one was stuck in the kitchen, and the clean-up was minimal.

Super Thursday Craft

Today, in my ward’s super-craft Thursday, I’m teaching two classes on how to make this wreath. I made mine from a dilapidated copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I’d held onto this book forever, and it’s binding was destroyed, but the patina on the pages was so pretty, and the marginalia were beautiful. Now it’s a wreath- and while part of me completely cringes at tearing a book apart, part of me kind of delights in the outcome. The idea came from this tutorial, with some modifications- worked out and shown here in this beautiful sample made by my friend Brenda.

Stream of Consciousness

Lines of worry are starting to etch themselves on my face. This could be a byproduct of having yet another birthday (think of the alternative, I know) or it could be the bone-crushing pressure-cooker in which I find myself. Who’s to say? All I know at this point is that there’s no way out, only through. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. And you better get darn good at holding your breath.

The recipes peppering the blog are because I cannot bear the sound of my own sadness anymore- soothing with food is a band-aid, but at least I’m caring enough to soothe with good food instead of an entire box of cheese-its.

Like a dog who’s been kicked too many times, I am kind of cowering in the corner- I don’t want to tempt the fates and speak up too loudly- it’s better to be invisible. I might not exist then, but no one can hurt me, either. My breath catches in my throat, and the part of my brain that is not primeval medulla recoils from this base reaction and begins to try and reason. You don’t reason with the primordial ooze.

The needs of others cut me like sharp slivers of glass. Like a plate-spinner in the circus I keep running between delicate balancing acts. Three essays due for school today, two discussion commitments, a large paper and a test due Friday. Between now and then I have preschool, carpool, a field trip for one child, enrichment craft day at church, a meeting with my bishop, and an appointment with financial aid.

And yet oddly, one just keeps going. There is great joy in small things, and I am getting better at ignoring the things that hurt- or at the very least, I’m getting better at recognizing that often pain is transitory and fleeting as happiness. There is comfort in remembering that- this too shall pass really applies to everything.

For happiness, this week:

I fit in a pair of pre-baby jeans. Not pre-Abby jeans. Pre-any-baby.

I found my old logger boots that I used to wear when I was traipsing around Germany, and remembered how much I love them. They are thick black leather, with lug soles and heavy, nailed heels. They make me feel solid and grounded, and I love them. The kids thought it was funny that I had on big black boots instead of flip-flops.

I found some under-counter lights on super-clearance sale at Lowes and installed them in my kitchen- and now I can actually see when I’m fixing dinner.

I got my paper for Lit finished early so I have time to do the other stuff on the docket.

We have started reading Harry Potter aloud each night as a family. It’s incredibly joyful.

Abby has finally mastered her bladder and is waking up dry most mornings. My washing machine is grateful.

So there’s all that. A lot might suck, but there’s a lot good too. I just have to remember to look harder and watch where I’m focusing. So maybe there’s a few new lines on my face- they were bound to show up eventually, right? Perspective.

Recipe: Roasted Ratatouille

I know, I know- it’s another pile of vegetables with something white on top. But really! Try it! This one came about because I had a bucket-load of eggplant and squash from my friend’s garden- and what do you make with squash and eggplant??

Why, ratatouille, of course! Only I didn’t want to dig out the mandolin slicer and go to all the labor that Saint Julia requires for a real ratatouille. So I went to my friends at Cook’s Illustrated. Even with my tweaks, it came out excellent, as is typical of their work. I wanted a ratatouille I could pop in the oven and forget about for an hour, then have dinner done. So instead of slicing and layering and baking, as a traditional ratatouille, this one is diced and roasted- and carmel-y and intense, too- due to the roasting. And it is delicious! AND EASY!

Roasted Ratatouille

  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2  summer squash, diced
  • 1 package of brown mushrooms, quartered
  • 5 cloved of garlic, sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained- 15 oz.
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh goat cheese to top
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dice up the whole kit and caboodle, about 1/2″ dice. Toss everything but the goat cheese together in a bowl. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast 60-90 minutes, stirring at the half-way point.
  3. Sprinkle with a dab of goat cheese, and enjoy your vegetables!

Reaction: “Temple Grandin”

“I am a big believer in early intervention. I am also a believer in an integrated treatment approach to autism. People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet.”

~Temple Grandin

This isn’t going to be a review of the HBO movie Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes- the movie is exemplary on every level, and there are scads of movie reviews if you want those. It’s currently rating at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty unheard of, by the way, and is well deserved.

I’ve watched Temple Grandin, the woman, in lectures and read some of her articles. When Bean became old enough to know what autism meant, he asked if there were grown-ups with autism too. I pulled up a TED talk and let him listen to Grandin, and we talked about all the possibilities open to people with autism. He listened, head cocked and eyes slightly averted, then nodded and went about his business, question satisfied. (Danes captured this mannerism beautifully in the film) It’s me who sat at the kitchen table, heart in my throat, processing my emotions and herculean love for my son, while he submersed back into his world. It’s a world I cannot fully understand and this is one of the parts of mothering a child with autism that is most difficult.

One of the things startling when you first hear other autistic adults talk is the cadence and tempo of their voices- it’s what I hear in my own son. In the movie, Claire Daines utterly nails this speech idiosyncrasy, and as the opening titles were running and we first hear her voice, my eyes were already welling with tears.

There is a lot of isolation involved in parenting an autistic child. You want to hug and hold your child, but those natural expressions of love don’t make the child feel loved, and you have to learn, as Julia Ormond portrays exquisitely in the movie, to show your love in ways that respect the child. To squelch the natural-mother desire to touch your child is… a constant battle. Without even realizing it, you reach out to show your love, and they flinch and retreat. It’s a painful dance.

Having voices of adults with autism like Temple Grandin and John Elder Robison is a godsend to parents of autistic children. Here are two adults with the same neurodiversity as our children, and their voices are invaluable in helping parents yearning to understand what their (sometime non-verbal) children are thinking and processing. Of course autistic children are as diverse as typical children in their personalities, yet the markers and similarities are haunting and identifiable-yet also comforting, when the door opens a little wider to being able to understand my child.

One of the things Temple has said is that she “…values positive, measurable results over emotion.” Emotions and people make no sense to her- and the film brings this into focus beautifully. It also subtly and effectively illustrated the role sound often plays in autistic children’s ability to process things. There is always jarring noise in the background, and you struggle with Temple to focus. This is a problem my son also has- and only now, at 7, with three years of OT and PT behind us, can he tell me, in terse and curt words tinged with anxiety “Mom! The fan is inside my head and it’s making it hard for me to think in my brain!” I can flip the switch, turning off the ceiling fan that I hadn’t even noticed was on, and he doesn’t have to run, panicking for a place to hide. Which is what used to happen.

In the movie, Daines has her first on-screen meltdown spurred by (to a neurotypical person) small things wrong in her environment- and she panics. She runs, looking for a place to hide, and shuts herself into a cattle machine which squeezes her and brings her calm.  By this point, I was crying so hard I could hardly see. We have lived this in our family in more ways that I can even express. Temple Grandin pioneered deep pressure therapy with her “hugging machine”, and we see the effects in our own home. My son routinely piles couch cushions on himself, and then asks me to lay on him. This kind of behavior is baffling to a parent who does not yet understand her child, and Grandin’s pioneering is a huge piece of why I know this behavior in my child is helpful to his brain, and perfectly normal for him.

So the movie? It’s amazing. If you have an autistic child, you will cry. A lot. If you don’t, it will help you understand not only the neurodiverse children (and adults) you might know, but also their families and how they live. While I’ve been writing, my son is curled up in a cardboard box he salvaged from the garage a few days ago. He’s basically been living in it, dragging it from room to room, and is currently eating his breakfast- a toasted English muffin with peanut butter- which he eats for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner, every single day. For Grandin her food was yogurt and jello. For us, it’s English muffins. It’s yet another mirror held up by Grandin in which the autistic families of the world can see their own reflection. What a gift.

Recipe: Making Apple Butter

So this is Washington. That means in October, we’ve got apples coming out our ears- I’ve got so many apples, I don’t know what to do with them- and I don’t even have a tree. At my local farmer’s market, I picked up a recipe to make apple butter. The best part? It’s EASY! You throw all the ingredients in the crock pot, cook it all night, and in the morning you have apple butter! And- second-best part- (because face it, I wouldn’t make it again if it wasn’t easy) it’s the best apple butter I’ve ever had.

I used a hodge podge of apples- macintosh, honeycrisp, fuji, gala, pippin and jonagold. It worked fantastic, but I have a feeling whatever you have on hand would be just fine, too. (although I wonder if you should maybe avoid the softer varieties like red delicious or yellow delicious- those would be my last choice)

Crock Pot Apple Butter

  • 5 pounds of apples, cored, peeled and chopped fine
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 or 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 of a fresh nutmeg, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Throw all the ingredients in your crock pot. Cook on high for one hour, then turn to low for 12-14 hours. For the last hour, remove the lid so the steam can evaporate and it can thicken. I started mine at about 8 pm, and it was done by 10 the next morning. Plus, the house smelled positively divine when we woke up.

If you want it smooth (we did) run the hand-held stick blender in the pot for a few seconds, and then pack in freezer jars and enjoy. It’s SO GOOD.


I deleted my online dating profile and account this morning. After the 100th email from someone who didn’t even bother to read my profile, who wanted to know the status of my uterus (!!!) or who was just plain creepy, I couldn’t handle it anymore. Too much crap to wade through. Guys, really? Blowing “Kisses” and telling me you love me when all you’ve done is look at a photograph?? Gross. I’m sure there are some fantastic guys out there, but I just don’t have the emotional energy to sift through all the craziness to find him. Somewhere, sometime, I know there is someone. But not now.