Tuesday, September 07, 2010

…and so it goes…

Last week I was out sick for three days. I think that is the most sick leave I've taken from a job since Eldest was born. And I was none too happy about it, either. I mean, it's one thing to take a "sick" day, you know? Oh ya,ya, I'm soooo sick, *cough-cough*, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the CSI:Anywhere marathon on Spike, if that's what you're thinking…

It's something else entirely to actually be sick – not for three days, but for six.

And counting. Which I didn't realize before about 11:30 this morning when it suddenly occurred to me that I was still doing the hot-cold-hot-cold-hot-cold thing. And that my head was pounding. And my sinuses were throbbing. And that I was beyond tired. And that really, had I been anywhere near my bed or couch, I totally would have crawled onto it for a little late-morning siesta.

Also, I nodded off in a meeting. Briefly, and I think I woke up before I got really busted, but, well, see, what happened was, I was in this phone meeting? And I was dealing with 74 emails (which was what I had left after an initial pass of sort-file-sort-file-fast.answer-sort-file this morning), so I was kind of, uh, multitasking, and then I realized I had absolutely no idea where we were in the conversation so I tried to stop multitasking but I just couldn't seem to tear my eyes off my whackity-majillion open windows sooooo, I sat back and closed my eyes in an attempt to give my brain nothing to do but listen with my ears and suddenly I realized that I was totally falling asleep because startling awake will bring this realization to one.

Thank Dog for the mute button, friends. Because I think I actually did snort a little when I woke up realized I was falling asleep.

And I still had no idea where we were in terms of the meeting agenda. Wait, what project is this again…?

Fortunately (which may not be the right word here), the meetings today went right over and through the lunch hour(s); by the time I finally said, "OK, thanks everybody!" for the last time, it was 1:30.

And my manager recently laid down da law on me when it comes to overtime and lo the law is thus: Do it not.

Which means that I was sitting there asking myself: Do I want to take a lunch half hour and leave at 2:30 like normal, orrrrrrrr, do I want to skip it and leave at 2:00?

In some ways, it makes no difference. I'm still at the mercy of the train system. Leaving earlier doesn't get me home any earlier – I'm still on the same ACE train, arriving back at my home station at the same old time.

But in others, well. If I just sit there staring blankly into space at the bus stop (possibly snoring) (or worse, talking to myself, which I have a bad habit of doing in the best of times and which becomes downright constant when I'm falling asleep while technically wide awake), nobody writes me up for it, ya know?

So I (and my Starbucks card) busted out of there like we were breaking out of a medium security prison, I filled up my trusty Contigo with an extra-hot triple-grand Ambition-in-a-cup, and caught an earlier train out so I could hurry up and wait at the bus stop.

And listened to a lovely couple discuss their most intimate marital problems AT FULL VOLUME BECAUSE WE ALL NEEDED TO KNOW EVERY LAST GORY DETAIL allllllllllll the way to Dublin while a dude I suspect was tweaking sat across from me staring at me and doing this weird rapid blinking/head jerking thing, picking at his forearm and occasionally drawing in a sharp breath like he was about to say something only to shake his head and let it out in a long, drawn-out hiss. Awesome!

I love BART. Truly. When it's light, the crazy people really come out of the woodwork. When it's crowded, it's like a fascinating glimpse into what life would be like post-apocalypse, when it's every man for himself and people will stubbornly sit glaring at the elderly pregnant woman and her walker with an expression that clearly says I will DIE before I give up this seat.

It probably doesn't help my tired/sick/cranky feeling today that I worked like a dog over the weekend. This is something that will happen if one decides that it would be awesome to go all homestead-y on one's bad self, and throws one's self into this massive gardening project, with all kinds of grandiose ideas around how much can be produced on each square foot of ground.

…and then one promptly and after deciding that there is simply no work for one left in the whole entire Universe gets a job in a city far, far away from said homestead but instead of immediately dropping the whole crazy idea like a sensible person would, one says, "No, no, I'll just tone it down a tad, because after all, it's only a twelve fifteen month contract (with possible if not probable extension to eighteen) – it will be gone before you know it and what will you have left? The homestead…" and then one will spend every spare waking moment of one's exhausted, pathetic LIFE dealing with the stupid homesteading crap, and one will wonder if one needs psychiatric evaluation and possibly medication would be nice because NORMAL PEOPLE DO NOT LIVE LIKE THIS, PEOPLE!

Or so I've heard anyway. Ahem. So! This weekend, I got to deal with the produce that has been building up all over my kitchen counters and stacking up in my fridge and starting to wither on the vine while I was busy doing other things like working, or doing laundry, or being sick.

Over the course of the weekend, I put up an awful lot of stuff. Let's see.

6 pints strawberry jelly.
5 pints zucchini relish.
4 pints 'house' salsa (mild-to-moderate spicy)
5 pints green-tomato salsa (Habaneras Edition – kick, it haz it)
4 pints BBQ sweet-tangy sauce
4 quarts Italian-style spaghetti sauce
6 pints cucumber relish
4 pints zucchini marmalade, which is not as disgusting as it sounds. It actually tastes like plain old orange marmalade, but the bulk of the, um, bulk is actually shredded zucchini
5 quarts tomato puree

It's time to start resetting the little fields, too, as we're entering the transition months, shifting away from the heat-lovers to the cold-tolerating. Taking away the current aphid food and planting new goodies for them to devour. (Honestly, if only I could figure out how to harvest and sell aphids, I'd be set for life, y'all.) (maybe I could skin them for hide and tallow…?)

But I can't think about that right now.

Because I'm almost home, after thirteen hours of being gone. It will be noisy at home. There will be messes, old ones and new ones. There is stuff that needs to be put away. Emails that will need to be answered. Homework and questions and what's for dinner and four of us will think bedtime is too soon and two of us will think bedtime will never come, and many somethings won't be finished yet and will simply have to wait for yet another day.

And so it goes, and so it goes, and so it goes…and goes…and goes…


Elizabeth L in Apex, NC said...

You are my hero. 'Nuff said.

PipneyJane said...


I am in awe of your homesteading successes. The results of my efforts seem to be inverse to the work I put in.

- Pam