This is gonna shock you, so brace yourself. I'm a list maker. I know. Whoda thunk? What can I say? When every Hobbit views me as their own particular property and at their disposal for endless interruptions, it's very difficult to remain on track. Some days I find myself literally drifting in circles, like a rudderless boat. But it's worse than that; it isn't enough that I make to-do lists. No. I have to have categorized to-do lists. I have a to-cook list, to-clean list, to-school list, to-project list, to-garden list, and a chore list for the kids for each day. Is that anal enough? Not quite.
I've decided that I've discovered the value of a diary. Not the kind of soul-searching, deeply-delving journal where one pours out one's essence onto the pages as a bequest to future generations. No. This is much more shallow and callow than that: I want Brownie points. So much of what I do through the day is repetitive, routine, and ephemeral that I feel the need to have something to show for it. After all, I was on my feet and moving from early morning to 9p last night before I finally dusted my hands and called it a day. I didn't get but half of my to-do stuff done, but I was busy doing things. Doggonit, I want credit for what I did. Yep. I'm starting a diary. You know those dry, stale things that were a laundry list of laundry, et al that one does in a day, but no one is interested in reading? Yeah, no one in posterity is going to want to read these things, but dagnabit, at least I can hold that up next to my trashed house and say, "See??? I did SOMETHING!!"
Phyllis Diller said, "Cleaning the house while you have children is like shoveling the walk while it is still snowing." Yeah, but you can't wait until the mess stops making to start cleaning it. We had a taste of what that would be like this past week when Tool Guy was...um...tooling. He's converting some wasted space into a room for Princess. New England cottages are usually characterized by realtors as being "cozy." Well, our cottage is quite "snug," thank you very much. This little conversion provides us with some "found" space, but in order to utilize it, we had to displace a great deal of...er...stuff. Our timing lacks synchronicity, because while he was projecting away on the room conversion, I was beginning to tackle changing our wardrobe over from winter to summer. Which requires evacuating the contents of the attic. The house was in a state somewhat less fit for polite society. So as much as I would like to wait until it stops snowing...still gotta shovel. Through all of this mess.
There's a lot of Breatharian cooking that doesn't take a lot of time, even though the little bites of time start adding up after a while. Making ketchup is one of those things. Of course, since almost all ketchup is corn-sweetened, contain corn vinegar, or corn-based citric acid--though that may change with corn prices rising--Hunt's and the ilk are off the menu. As my tomato plants are adjusting to their new home in the greenhouse, I'm eyeing the last jars of tomato sauce and wondering if they will hold out until the first fruits come in. And I grab another jar to make ketchup.
Breatharian Flames Ketchup
6 ancho chile peppers, stemmed & seeded
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3 cups water
3 T vegetable glycerin
3 T maple syrup
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 quart plain tomato sauce
1/2 t salt
Place peppers, chopped onion, and minced garlic in a large saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes or until peppers are soft. Strain out peppers, onion, and garlic and blend in food processor. Add tomato sauce and remaining ingredients and blend well. Adjust seasonings to taste and spoon into glass container. Store in refrigerator.
Keeping a diary of to-do stuff keeps me accountable. It keeps me on track. It keeps me aware of how I use my time. "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." Psalm 90:12
Oh. Yeah. I'm also one of those people who do something and put it on the list for the joy of crossing it off. Am I pathetic or what?