Week in Pictures

Again, food was center stage as fall’s arrival has kicked things into even higher gear when it comes to preservation and final harvest. Clockwise from top left: 1)Today’s garden harvest is smaller, and I’m starting to pull off any tomato that’s gotten to yellow/orange to bring them in to turn red (our tomato plants have been severely pruned to stop any more blossoms and encourage the energy to go into the remaining green ones on the vine). 2) Peppers, also being nightshades, are similar (with lighter pruning, just plucking off any blooms) and even after making a vat of hot sauce, I still have a ton of serranos, habaneros, and scotch bonnets – can’t explain why they love Oregon weather so much! We’ve made about 6 quarts of roasted/marinated peppers, so I’m setting a few aside for stuffing this week, and the rest will be chopped and frozen to make my life a bit easier. 3) And the canning continues, with the combination yesterday of 128 oz (16 cups) of chopped tomatoes, one chopped up onion (I’d do more but husband isn’t as keen on onions as I am, a few bay leaves, several cloves of garlic and S&P simmering for 3-4 hours equals 2 1/2 quarts of marinara. Amazing to see how much it shrinks! 4) Tomatoes spread out on cookie sheets to turn red – if you put them in a bowl there’s bound to be losses due to mold, so this format works best for us. 5) Dill seeds harvested and dried from our new dill plant that we put in this year – I’m not a huge dill person but it’s nice for pickling and stuff, and husband digs it a lot.

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In my  continuing commitment to give back a portion of my business’s profits to worthy organizations, the first three quarters were dedicated to local nonprofits, and this 4th quarter we are now in is all about national and international programs I want to support. With that, I adore what the Malala Fund is doing and their goal to “enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities.” Awesome!

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The ultimate prescription and supplement bonanza taken every day to prepare for this week’s transfer. Last night we did our last Delestrogen evening injection as I transfer over to the Estradiol pills which I’ll take 3X a day starting on Wednesday. We’ll be using the rest of the PIO up then after transfer that’ll change over to the suppositories as well (oh joy, but I’ll still take it over the needles after this many rounds of DEIVF, y’all). We could have chosen to stay on the injections post-transfer but I’ve got so much scar tissue or whatever it is from doing IM injections since mid-2015 that now about every other injection hurts like a mofo and I just don’t want that trauma after the transfer. Serenity now! Today I’m a bit worn out physically but I think it’s more the cloudy day rather than the drugs. Sure I get a bit nauseated but it’s nothing overwhelming. And pre-transfer I gotta say this time the estrogen is giving some (wink wink) good side effects that beat out the challenging ones. Heyyyy! 🙂

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So how do you convince yourself to get started on your kitchen remodel? You have the husband take all the drawers and doors off the base cabinets and immediately donate them to The Rebuilding Center, so you can’t change your mind! While some folks love closing the doors on the mess, I’ve found through open shelving that it increases my minimalism and also makes the kitchen feel a bit bigger. This past spring I shared with you my eco-peeks, including how I organize my kitchen, and now we’re ready for the next step. Along with the base cabinets, we’re going to take out the old upper cabinet so we can – gasp! – see the actual walls of our kitchen, then paint them and replace with floating shelves made from repurposed barn wood (similar to what we used for our bookshelves that we built in May). As far as the base cabinets go,we’ll pull those out, recycle the cabinets and tiles, and replace them with one long work table with an inset to fit in a new one-bowl farmer sink (I’ve never liked two bowls, can’t get anything big in there for soaking!) Where is all the stuff that was in the far right cabinets, you ask? Well, believe it or not it was just a matter of reorganizing! We had a ton of unused storage space inside the repurposed barn wood bench seats that we built in our breakfast nook this summer, and believe it or not, I completely eliminated the kitchen junk drawer (we all have one, right?), moving certain things to the garage and the basement and getting rid of the rest. Felt SO good! We have some shelving above the stairwell going down to the basement, just off the kitchen, and that’s where we moved our cleaners – a better place for them anyhow, especially if this kid thing finally happens! So now I look at this and go, okay Aimee you’ve *got* to buy a decent looking set of trash & recycling bins for this kitchen (maybe this?)! Heh. Good distraction for the 8 day wait, no?

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In the meantime, just geeked out on some chalkboard labels for the bulk items. Most of their contents are obvious to me, but after “is this salt or sugar?” came up a few times from the husband, I figured I had an excuse. And I’m digging the chalkboard marker that comes with the labels…ahh the little things.

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