Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Spent more time doing hard physical labor in the last week than I've done in a very long time.

John's redwood deck is now done, railings, steps, and every single last darned screw in every join. He did it in about two weeks, and we really pushed to get it done by tomorrow, as we're having a party with about 20 adults and 17 kids tomorrow. Grilling included, sunshine out of the forecast, but we'll still hope as, well, it's Colorado.

I was sore from sitting, bending, kneeling on the deck to get all those screws in. I was so sore Tuesday night I just started taking ibuprofen on a regular basis until today. Yeesh. Jet was like, "Mom! Why do you hurt so much?"

Then, on top of that, I turned five different seed beds at the OUR center. I used a spade to hand-turn each bed twice, to get the compost really into them. By Thursday, I was so tired, I asked the folks there to plant the seeds, at least, and water. I'm not doing EVERYTHING. But I moved some of the up and coming plants into the appropriate beds, got some things up and going and the green onions, strawberries, and spinach are all very happy. The seeding I did were the peas (sugar snap, snow, and shelling), beets, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, green onions, and more spinach in the gaps. The spinach may have been a mistake as I'd really like to plow those rows under and get some compost in them when they are picked.

There *should* be snow again, sometime. Everything I put out is cold tolerant and even likes the cold, like the kohlrabi and the beets are sweeter if they're planted in the cold. Not that I like either... *grin*... but they wanted 'em.

Tuesday was pretty full and fraught, as I started off at Jet's classroom and did the art center for Mrs. Bauer. Then, from there, at 11:30, I headed to the OUR center, turned two seed beds in an hour, and then ate a big plate of stewed beef on a roasted potato with some salad and bread from the lunch line. It's... humbling to go through the line and accept food for my work, in some ways closer than anything else I've actually done as work. But I was starving. And I got to talk to the guy managing the whole hospitality area and the garden and I drew him a map of the whole garden with what I had planted, what I hadn't planted, and penciled in what I was thinking of doing as well. He made a copy so he could get the folks having to do community service out there and turning the raised beds that didn't have anything in them yet.

From there we did half a dozen errands and then went home where I made our dinner, and then John went off to class. I didn't get my shower until after Jet was asleep and I needed it. It felt great to not be sticky anymore. Whew.

Wednesday was quieter. We did have fun and made noodles for our dinner. Jet loved cranking away at the noodles, and John and I had ours with Italian links and Jet had his with the usual butter, seasoning, and Parmesan.

Thursday, after we sent Jet to the bus stop, John and I raced off to do car maintenance, meat shopping, and I spent a good two hours digging at the OUR center while John got the oil changed and the tires rotated. I ended up running out of time and handing off all the seeds to the manager guy and he was happy to just plant them according to the seed packets. So that was great.

The meat buy was due to sales on various meat-products at King Soopers, and we ended up with two slabs of spare ribs, meaty and huge, three fryer chickens, lots of hot dogs, and a package of chicken wings for dinner. Chicken wings. I love chicken wings, but some places make them too dry and stringy... and it turns out that the Frank's Red Hot sauce bottle has a great recipe for crisp, tasty, not too fat wings! Just take all the tips off, separate the last two sections at the joint, and then just bake 'em for an *hour* at 425. I added salt and pepper and an initial coating of vegetable oil, but they really didn't need that at all, as all the fat rendering out of the skin was just as good. I hadn't needed to *add* any fat as a ton of it cooked right out. By baking them for only about 50 minutes, they were crisp enough on the skin but still tender on the inside. We tossed 'em with the sauce and some butter as well as some teriyaki. Yum. That was good with a big salad and a pound of grilled asparagus. Not the usual sides for wings, but probably better for us. *grin*

Today's been cooking day. I've plowed through the two slabs of ribs (dry rubbed 'em last night with World Spice's Smoked BBQ rub plus more salt and brown sugar and then braised them in beer, onions, garlic, and some yellow mustard at 300 for nearly four hours) and three chickens (same dry rub but with a beer can filled with 4 ounces of beer, a bruised sprig of rosemary, a quarter chopped onion, and two or three cloves of garlic inside as it grilled on our gas grill for about an hour and a quarter until the thigh registered 170, with the can in it the whole chicken does do carry over a few degrees). We'll part it all and, tomorrow, we'll grill 'em with BBQ sauce as a glaze until they're heated through and then serve 'em.

Haven't really done much else, but I needed to write. So here I am. :-)

I've been mildly frustrated this week, and finally realized that by volunteering for Jet's class, then for the OUR center, and then to help John out with the deck and then his class it was a whole day where there wasn't a single minute really for me. I've been doing all that plus stuff for the church party tomorrow that's going to be here, and I've been working on answering letters to folks for them. So I really need to do a better job of carving out SOME time for me. Writing here and digesting my time, exercise, calligraphy, painting, or watching anime or *something* that's just for me will probably help even me out a bit. I've been doing a lot for the sake of other folks.

I got a flyer from Heifer International, which included an interview with Alice Walker and her perception of the dynamic balance between self-care and contributing to the community was kind of cool. It's a theme I've seen over and over in novels, real life, and my life. Either extreme can be damaging, i.e. giving too much without thought to oneself or retreating into just oneself are both limiting and kind of self-destructive. But doing a balance of both allows for more growth and more fulfillment than either one alone. So it is...

One of those days in there, we happened to go back to Crackpots to try and at least get a picture of the picture of my hummingbird bowl, post-firing, and the lady at the shop said that she was in on the committee trying to pick the auction bowls and that it was quite likely that my hummingbird bowl was in the auction. *grin* So I might well get to take pictures of it myself rather than having to rely on their digital printouts. I'll at least hope.

And, yes. The OUR center lunch is tomorrow along with our party, so we have absolutely no room to do any last minute adjustments to our plans. So it's going to be quite tight tomorrow. I really want to look over the silent auction and see if there's anything I really want to buy. :-) We'll see.

I'm certainly not running short on things to do. *grin*

Plus early next week we're leaving on a ten day trip through San Diego, and we haven't really even thought through all our plans for that trip, yet. Other than the simple fact that we have to go to Sea World and Lego Land. *grin*
Tags: building_things, cooking, gardening

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