Tag: anxiety of free stuff

Obsessively Shoving Nuts in the Trunk

Sometimes what I write on one of my blogs seems to belong on both of them.  Today I wrote about gardening and how it’s changing in my town.  Very much an urban homesteading topic, except that it turned out to also be a philosophical look at my town through its garden style and philosophical topics I usually save for this blog.  If you want to know my thoughts on how you can tell who people are by what they grow, please go read today’s post on Stitch.

This week has been exhausting.  I have yet to find a rhythm with my working hours (we have some new systems in place in my job that I’m still getting used to) and I’m still recovering from my cold and cough and my back is still weak.  Sleep has been shit.  I was going to give a talk about local eating for the Rotary Club but made a complete ass out of myself by assuming it would be an evening talk when, in fact, it was an early morning talk.  I had already canceled the talk once due to getting sick.  My credit with the organizer is now completely sunk and I’m mortified.  I had a big debacle with plums this past weekend.  I had to throw out 13 lbs of cooked plums because when I started to cook them a bunch of insect eggs rose to the top.  I’m not punk rock enough or pioneer enough to have strained the eggs and carried on with plans to eat the plums.

I have sent zero queries out to agents in favor of a continued fervor of preserving.  I made a batch of (amazing!) Damson jam which makes me feel very Miss Marple.  I can’t wait to make some scones this winter and have a friend or two over for tea and whip out my Damson jam.  I have quinces needing picking now (very cool) and processing (what?  more preserving?).  I have grapes to make into syrup.  I have more plums for more jam as well a savory sauce and liqueur and wine.  This weekend I’m picking apples and will make them into sauce.

Wait, wasn’t I going to be done preserving two weeks ago?

I can’t stop.  I literally can’t stop.  My body is tired.  I haven’t been to Kung Fu in two weeks.  My back is aching.  I have no room in my head for anything.  Why does this happen to me?  Last year I simply didn’t engage at all in preserving (okay, obviously I did some) but I was busy writing my book.  Here I am at the most crucial point in the book writing process (trying to get it published) and I’m frittering all my time away making food for the winter.

I think finding out that we are approved for the HAMP trial period and knowing how much harder things are going to get has gone to my head a little.  If I can get some apples for free how can I, in good conscience, pass it up?  That’s free food.  FREE.  That’s a nice word.  I don’t like free anything else, actually.  I don’t trust the word “free”.  I hate free samples. I really do.  They freak me out.  I won’t take them.  Usually they’re crap I don’t want anyway.  But even if I did, I fear anything “free”.  Except for fruit or vegetables from friends or neighbors.  Free produce I don’t know how to turn down.

I really offended the mushroom guy at our Saturday market last year when I refused to taste his mushroom samples that he’d carefully cooked up on an electric cooker.  He thought I thought they were unsanitary.  I reassured him it’s because I don’t like free samples.  I explained that it was the free-ness that made them suspect.  I also explained to him that this dislike of food samples and free stuff is an irrational thing I feel because I have generalized anxiety.  When he looked at me disbelievingly and, I think, a little disgustedly, I said “I’M CRAZY” and walked off.  I really threw a bomb in his works.  Poor guy.

Oh, I almost forgot about the rose hips.  I have a bowl of rose hips I collected on a walk I took with my friend Laurie just to the right of the picture in this post.  I think I’m going to make rose hip syrup with it.  So that’s another thing I need to do.  I’m not really complaining.  I’m just a little overwhelmed.  I don’t really want to stop preserving.  I love it.  I really love it.  But if I’m being totally honest, I’m starting to feel itchy not working on a major writing project.  I think I already mentioned my realization (while looking for agents) that I need to write the next Cricket and Grey book instead of working on the Jane Doe book.  So I have projects to work on and I’m getting itchy to get going.  Life is a very full affair and I can’t understand people who are bored with their lives.  How is it possible to get bored with life?

I’m off to get dressed (at the crack of noon) so I can start making things out of plums.  I hope you all have a smashing Friday!