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The Summer of Our Discontent

It’s been a craptastic summer in a lot of ways.

It started with The Young One’s graduation from high school.  Which is not to say that I wasn’t (and still am) immensely proud of him, but the attendant activities were stressful and expensive.  The boy then spent the remaining summer months half-heartedly looking for employment, hanging out with his buddies, moping around the house and copping a massive ‘tude.

Understandable, yes, but exceedingly irritating.

This left Yours Truly to find/finalize any and all ways to pay for the upcoming college years, make sure the tuition was paid, find and purchase the books he needed, procure all the “extras” college students seem to need and get him organized.  One might argue that these thing were, by and large, his responsibilities and one would be 1000% correct.  One would also have to go back and read the last sentence of the second paragraph.  I just wanted him OUT. OF. THE. HOUSE.

Oh, and actually moving him?  TONS of fun. </sarcasm>

I don’t talk much about work here, for what should be obvious reasons, but this summer my role in the company shifted – in an entirely good way, trust me.  This shift, however, has left me incredibly busy.  Some days I simply haven’t had time to do anything but work, and as a result we’ve eaten out far more this summer than is our norm.  The decline in the quality of our diet has left its mark, doing nothing to help with the stresses and irritations of the summer.  In a desperate attempt to do something about this, I rashly decided to participate in another Whole30 in August.

Bad idea.  Just…a bad idea.  I won’t say anything else, but I can pretty much guarantee it will be my last attempt.

As the season has progressed, our annual Preserving Of The Food has begun.  We have decided to can less and freeze more – an absolute necessity or we’d end up killing ourselves, but we still spent 17 straight hours cleaning, dicing, slicing, bagging and otherwise preparing food to be frozen this last Saturday alone.  Sunday we rendered lard and I made a huge batch of ketchup which still needs to be canned (along with some lacto-fermented watermelon pickles; if they turn out well I’ll post the recipe).  Next Saturday we’ll likely do the same, as well as making and canning a huge batch of bone broth on Sunday.

Chief among the craptastic things that happened this summer that I can tell you about (so much is unbloggable) was the declining health of Scooter.  Over the last few months, he just got worse and worse; in the end the only thing that could have prolonged his life was surgery that would have left him unable to control his bowels and medication that would have robbed him of his energy for the few years he had left.  This seemed far more cruel to me than the alternative, so on Friday, August 16, I took him on his final car ride and had him put to sleep.

People keep asking me when I’m going to get a new dog, and I just want to smack them.  (Will I get another dog?  Almost certainly.  But it won’t be tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, or even next month.  Please give me time to mourn.  PLEASE.)

This is just what I can tell you about (although I received a particularly devastating piece of unbloggable news the very day Scooter died, making it the most craptastic day of the craptastic summer), but it should give you an idea why the cooking/blogging has been so intermittent over the last couple of months and why I was completely absent last week – I just needed the time off.  I had hopes the majority of the stress was behind us, but after the events of the last few days, I just don’t know.  We’ll see.

At any rate, my apathy for cooking has passed and I have lots of great recipes coming up in the next couple of weeks; let’s hope the trend continues.

Have a great Tuesday, y’all.

From the blog