Live Real. Eat Real.

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.


9 comments

meaghan says:

Sorry to hear about everything. We have two Australian shepherds, and I can’t even think about the imminent day we will lose one of them without getting choked up. Everything will hopefully take a turn for the best soon if not just because we’re going to ditch this 100 degree weather we’ve been having in the midwest. Your work and creativity here is always appreciated. You are expected to take care of yourself and family first, and I know we’re all looking forward to fall recipes :)

Alex says:

I’m so sorry to hear that Jan, no one deserves such a rough combination of things. Fingers crossed for you that things start rocketing up into the positive stratosphere very soon!

Lenore Tomlinson says:

This too shall pass. Not much comfort when you are in the middle of things, but your son will come around. His life is changing massively. Fellow students won’t be there for him 24/7, the food will drastically reduce in quality, his clothes won’t wash themselves, no one will make his bed and tidy his room for him. My guess is he has been feeling pretty insecure about his life this summer. No one can create the tension in a house, like an acting out teenager. The good thing is they can’t stay teens forever.
I’m so sorry about your dog. We’ve had to go through this many times, and it does take a period of grieving before you’re ready to open your heart to another dog. They’re a beloved member of your family. I hope you can hang on to the good memories and the knowledge that you have done the very best you could for him in this.
Thank you for all your cooking, canning, freezing. Your postings are a wonderful part of my life. We enjoy so many of your recipes. I can hardly wait for the results of your current cooking spree.
Peace and grace.

VandyJ says:

We are facing a decision about our older dog sooner rather than later, I just know it. It’s not easy, but time does help.
Looking forward to seeing what you cook up!

Anne says:

Oh, Jan, how I am with you. All those unbloggable things and then the stressful things you can blog about on top. Hope the autumn will be more peaceful for you.

Tessa says:

My heart goes out to you, Jan.

Suzanne says:

I want to fly to Ohio and give you a hug. But? That might stress you out, so I won’t.

I’m so sorry about Scooter. I still miss Doc too much to even talk about him without crying. Losing a pet is so hard, and I too hate it when people act as if a pet is easily replaceable. Doc sat with his head on my lap surgery after surgery … I may love other pets, but no other pet will BE him. I understand what a loss it is.

I am thinking this mid-life shit just really sucks. I just heard yesterday my dad has had a sudden medical issue crop up. I’m not sure yet how serious it is, but I think my parents are attempting to gloss it over so I don’t worry. Kids leaving, dogs dying, extreme marital stress, parental worries ….! Ugh!

I’m glad you’re enjoying your new work situation even if it’s keeping you super busy. I feel like I’ve let so much work stuff escape my attention the last few months. I miss you when you don’t blog, but I also completely understand. I hope you know how much I love and adore you …. all the way from the west coast!

xoxoxoxo

Michele says:

When we lost Tripper I was inconsolable for weeks. Take this time to grieve.

Lisa says:

Sending hugs and affection.

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