I have no major milestones to report this week but I am still here and muddling through each day as well as I can, so here is an update.
I got most of my To Do List done this week, hallelujah. Now there is a new list I am working on, but it seems doable.
Cold has come from the west, sweeping east, and I said a prayer of thanks this morning for the heating system in my house because when I came back from walking Lola I was FREEZING, despite wearing my heaviest coat and even gloves. I looked like the Michelin man. That coat could be used as a flotation device. I only need it maybe 10 days a year but then I sure am glad to have it.
Comcast sent me a new router for my computer, then failed to mention that I would need to call them and spend over an hour on the phone while they got it fixed. Towards the end of the ordeal I posted this on Facebook: I remember reading that there are different levels of hell - Dante? Right? I am currently in the level called ON THE PHONE WITH COMCAST. Help me, Lord.
Why can they not handle a call in a reasonable amount of time?!?
With cold weather I always get the itch to cook large amounts of food.
I made a big crockpot full of chicken and rice and shared it with neighbors and friends. I like rice cooked until it's so soft it's like buttah, y'all. Threw this in the crockpot and cooked on high for 2 hours: about 1-2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 cups jasmine rice, 2 cups water, 3 cups chicken stock, 1 cup white wine, half a stick of butter, 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, onion powder to taste. It helps to butter the side of the crock pot before starting. Once the rice was cooked I added in about 2 cups more water and about a cup of artichoke hearts, chopped, and stirred. I turned it to low and cooked a couple more hours. At some point I shredded the chicken and stirred it well then just turned it on warm. The rice gets very soft, like risotto. I served it with fresh asparagus marinated in herbs and olive oil. Yum. Good comfort food, and I was happy to share it with a neighbor who is expecting a baby tomorrow. // If you've never cooked with McCormick's Herbes de Provence, you should!
I also made some pumpkin bread, which should really be called Pumpkin Cake because it's that sweet.
Yesterday I made homemade applesauce because I had some apples I wasn't going to eat and it made sense to make some applesauce because I hate for fruit to go to waste. I was so careful to put plenty of cinnamon and what I considered little sugar. Michael took one bit and said "TOO SWEET!"
I wrote and emailed out my annual Christmas letter. I started not to do it and then I thought no, I'm going to send it out and I'm not going to sugarcoat my year. 2016 was a SUCKO year for me, until the past couple of months. Mom fell back in May, and we had issues with Michael, and my work was very sporadic, and I'm not going to post details but suffice to say, a horrible year for a lot of reasons.
At the moment, life is OK. Michael is working at Uncle Maddio's Pizza and likes it because he has friends who work there. Mother is doing well, and is more active now. I am doing a ton of writing.
Now I have three main employers and at the moment they are keeping me pretty busy. Back in February I had a long article and some poems published in the Blue Mountain Review, and some poems published in Exit 271, a literary magazine/writer’s magazine. A couple of my legal stories have been published in Forbes, which was exciting. If you’d like to read my work now it’s easy, because I have a professional portfolio online, with links to a lot of my stories.
So I am trying to focus on the good things in my life, and be mindful of how blessed I am, on so many levels. I am singing Christmas carols and we've decorated the house, and most of the presents are already under the tree. We're going to HAVE CHRISTMAS.
above, some of my cousins and my brother many years ago, probably early 1960's