Two weeks ago I had a super intensive work week filled with meetings and important in-person discussions with my boss (which is unusual since our homes are two time zones away from each other). During my frantic week, I provided support via text messages to B while his father’s health faded.
One week ago we were at the funeral of B’s father. I only flinched during the first round fired by the military honor guard at the grave site, and was surprised that the shells were collected and presented along with the flag to B’s mother. (B’s father was a WWII Navy veteran who had served on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.)
Because I needed to be back in the office last Tuesday, B and I traveled separately to and from his hometown, which is about 125 miles away. Between my trip back and forth for the funeral and another long driving errand last weekend, I put 500 miles on the Prius in three days. I’m not used to doing that much driving, and it was surprisingly tiring.
No wonder I have been getting into bed as early as 8:30 some nights over the past three weeks.
Last Thursday was my final work day of 2012, but my “home work” list of what I’d like to accomplish during this break is pretty long.
- Complete a knitting project that has been taking me way to much time to finish.
- Put up a batch of fig compote.
- Paint the upstairs hallway.
- Organize the basement, which is still filled with stacks of boxes from when B moved in over a year ago.
- Organize and clean my “office” which is basically just a junk room.
- Complete my charitable contributions for 2012.
- De-clutter the dining room table.
- Finish organizing the bedroom closet.
- Document, pack up, and drop off a load of stuff to contribute to charity before the close of 2012.
- Read up on home charcuterie.
About that last one: I bought a very small pig from a farmer I’m acquainted with through the Chicago chicken group. My long drive the Saturday before the funeral was taken to pick up the butchered pig from the meat locker. The round trip drive was 219 miles, but my freezer is now filled with 75 pounds of pastured pork that promises to be delicious.
I got every bit of the that pig: the fat, the organs (heart, liver, tongue), and the head. One of my friends who has processed a pig at home lent me an enormous stack of books about charcuterie and whole animal cooking, as well as her supply of pink salt for making ham and bacon. I’ll process the head into head cheese, and I’ll likely have to borrow the neighbor’s Weber to hot smoke the bacon if I can’t find clear directions online on how to do with my propane grill. There’s no rush to do any of the processing since the pig parts are hard frozen. I’m sure it’s not ideal to do charcuterie with previously frozen meat, but I don’t think it’s possible to get meat any other way from the meat locker facilities.
So far I’ve accomplished one task on that list: putting up the fig compote. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday making preserves and creating a brine for the turkey I’m roasting tomorrow morning and taking to my mother’s house for Christmas dinner. (I get to transport a whole roasted turkey 55 miles one way. What fun!)
I’m making some progress on the knitting project, but it is a slog. Ugh.
The chances I’ll get through more than two other things on that list are pretty slim, but I’ll make an effort. I’m also hoping that I don’t come down with the ugly stomach bug that kept B down for nearly 48 hours. I frequently sprayed down the bathroom he was using with Lysol (including spraying the light switch, soap dispenser, faucets, and doorknob) and I exclusively used the upstairs bathroom throughout the entire day and night. Fingers crossed…