organization

Making Bone Broth in the Crock Pot, the Long Way

  1. It’s getting near the time of year where you realize it’s almost time for camp. Which means it’s your normal week for deep cleaning.
  2. Realize, for a lot of really complicated melodramatic reasons it’s time to start looking for a new home. So you start cleaning like you’re moving, because eventually you’re going to be. And -really- clean.
  3. Realize that you have pantry moths, so you start to freeze all your grains and decide that after your week at camp you’re to start shifting every loose food item into glass jars-including your spices.
  4. As you’re freezing the grain you realize that you need to get the bones out of your freezer to make room so you decide to make bone broth.
  5. That requires going through your cupboards to pull out spices…and realize that you have larger pest issues than just pantry moths. Whatever it is, it doesn’t look like WNY roaches. Which is comforting, and you find out that they really hate bleach cleaner.
  6. Set up your bone broth, and spend an hour and and a half bleaching cupboards and putting spices in glass jars.
  7. Spend some time googling roaches because what if the five bugs were roaches?

cupboard

 

The fruit of my labor is an apartment that smells of bleach, a bag full of empty spice jars, and more information than I wanted to know about roaches. The upside, such as it is, is that I am mildly comforted with the knowledge that in a modern global reality where things are carted here there and everywhere a lot of bugs just hitchhike into your home and stay there. It’s not a filth issue though that certainly doesn’t help-they can show up pretty much anywhere, because roaches and such love cardboard boxes. This is however not how I wanted to spend my summer.

Beauty Babble-Rotating My Collection

cosmetics basket

I get asked questions sometimes, and it makes me realize as a blogger that the blogging community gets stuck on the big ideas. You know, being the first to review a product [I’m probably never going to be that person. This is a column on a fairly wide ranging blog, and I have no real interest in going further into beauty than I already do] or talking about wide-scope trends.

Not the basic stuff like, ‘how do I make sure I actually wear the stuff that I own’?

Which is a question I was asked last week, and it’s actually a really solid question. I really like testing things-whether it be new oil based perfumes or foundation. I like the process of finding a new product, trying out, seeing how it handles. Then I end up with a good sized (at least for me, my budget, and the amount of space I have to put towards it) collection-and eventually, through new purchases and purging, a collection I’m actually happy using.

And a tendency to want to continually use my favorites, which sometimes means spending more money on a product than necessary because I’m repurchasing a more expensive version of something when I have perfectly usable, functional products that aren’t as pricey/nice/perfect/whatever. This happens with my foundation, mostly, because I’m so generally dissatisfied with drug store foundations but am constantly looking for one that I like well enough to make it my staple DS product.

Long winded lead in for a simple answer: I have a basket that I change out weekly.

In the basket, which lives on my bathroom sink, goes a bb/cc/tinted moisturizer, a powder, a foundation, a palette if it fits, a blush, and a mascara. I also keep a smudge pot or a smudge stick and an eyeliner if it fits.

Every Wednesday (for no good reason, Wednesday just seems to be the day it started happening), I switch out those items from something else in my collection. I rotate out my lipstick daily. Sometimes I don’t feel like wearing what’s in the basket, so over the course of a week new stuff gets thrown in. But on Wednesday it gets cleaned out and restocked with new product in my bins.

It keeps me moving through what I own. It doesn’t keep me from overspending on my collection completely, but it does make me aware enough to give me pause-I have to find a really awesome sale/clearance on blush for me to bring another one home because it’ll probably be two months before I overlap again, if I used a different one every week for the basket, for example.

Time, Stress, and Canning Jar Storage

I am obviously back in the swing of blogging, but my quality has slipped.

I know that, I’m okay with that. It’ll come back with time.

Not-canning and not-horror and not-knitting life right now has just gotten a little out of hand. Blogging, even a few fractured sentences, is helping to ground me. I’ve finally managed to get the hang of not caring about my stats while maintaining at least a low level social media presence. And I’m writing about the (very) quick projects I’m managing to get in.

The good, the bad, the I have lost my mind completely. Mid’s grandmother passed this weekend so we’re dealing with wake/funeral cycle. Becoming death-positive has actually made this passing smoother for me. M gave me the life advice that I still live by. She told me that she was 90, and had seen everything from the Depression to the moon landing to the rise of the smart phone and the one thing that was clear was that it was a cycle, you just had to ride it out. There’s terrible things but there are wonderful things, and you can’t have one without the other-but both will end so just remember not to let the terrible stuff swallow you whole.

I am matron of honor for the woman I consider my sister. If you told me 10 years ago I would be in that position I would have laughed. Here is my overweight, bald, foul mouthed self trying to figure out how to be a matron of honor. I hope I’m not the person that trips.

And oh yeah. Weddings. After 8 years, Mid and I finally have a date to make this show official. Everyone is laughing at me because it’s 3 years out but we’re handling it as a deadline more than a ‘desired date’. If nothing else, I’m getting a really good idea of what I -don’t- want. I have also threatened, with all seriousness, that I will wear my vintage oxblood Doc Martins, rainbow knee socks, and walk to funeral music if I have to ensure that this stays low key.

storing empty canning jarsThere is a list of topics that are always coming up on the canning groups I’m active in on Facebook.

Dilly beans, my recipe for firestarter, how to make jam with less sugar, and how to store jars are big ones.

There is no single good way to store jars but this is the way that I have found works the best for me.

I mark my old lids with stickers and store them in a plastic ziplock bag. When I empty and wash a jar, I put one of the marked storage lids back on the jar complete with the ring. When I need to use the jar, the ring is already in place and the ring is with it already. If I need to use the jar to store food in the fridge or travel with it to work, I don’t have to go digging for a used lid.

I live in a very small apartment currently overrun with a mobile dj rig and the jars get stored wherever I can find room (that goes for both empty and full jars). The lids mean that I can stick them wherever and don’t have to worry about dust. Most of the time my collection rotates fast enough it doesn’t matter, but during fall and winter when canning slows down it eases up what I have to do in the summer.