The site should be all moved over and set. If you run across any errors, email me at mizrobyn (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what you were attempting when you got the error, please. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Man, it was one of those weekend. You know those weekends I’m talking about? Where you … Continue reading “8-18-08”

The site should be all moved over and set. If you run across any errors, email me at mizrobyn (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what you were attempting when you got the error, please.



Man, it was one of those weekend. You know those weekends I’m talking about? Where you feel like this a lot:


and kind of like this:

When all you want to do is this:


And maybe a little this:


It started Saturday morning – well, no, now that I think of it, it kind of started on Friday. Friday I decided that I’d start mowing the lawn. I had errands to run, but I figured I could mow for an hour and a half, get the side and front lawns mown, and then Fred could do the rest. At one point I thought I broke the riding mower, so I decided to finish the front yard with the push mower, but Fred told me that going by my description of what was going on, I just had to clear a clump of grass from underneath the mower, so I did that and managed to get quite a lot of lawn mowed in that hour and a half.

I went off and did my errands, and then Fred called to let me know he was leaving work early, so I thought I’d be all awesome and mow the back yard before he got home, only I got the damn riding mower in the back yard and engaged the blade, but it wouldn’t engage and thus wouldn’t cut grass, and I was all “You know what? FUCK THIS!” and went back inside to hang out with Kara and the babies.

When Fred got home he fixed the riding lawnmower and I mowed the back lawn while he processed a couple of chickens (NO DETAILS, I PROMISE). He was still at it when I was done with the back yard, so I went and mowed around the garden and then behind the fenced area and then around the garden shed and the back part of the chicken yard, and in the end I did all the mowing so that when Fred got up Saturday he was all “Huh. Now I have nothing to do!”

It’s funny, while I’m cleaning the house or cooking, my mind is always going, I’m always thinking of things I need to do or things that are bothering or annoying me, but the entire time I was mowing, whether on the riding lawnmower or with the push mower, I don’t really think about anything at all. It’s kinda zen.

Which is not to say that it didn’t WIPE me out, all that being out in the fresh air and hopping off the mower to move stuff, then back on to mow stuff, etc. By bed time I could barely keep my eyes open, and when I woke up Saturday I was still pretty fuzzy-headed and tired, and stayed that way all day.

Since I’d mowed the lawn and Fred was all caught up on chores around the place, we talked about things we could do, and in the end we drove around, checked out Joe Wheeler State Park and a few other places, picked up lunch, and went home. I’d intended to spend the afternoon catching up on my TV watching, but Fred needed to run some errands and wanted company, so I went with him. We stopped by the bakery thrift store on the way home from errand-running, and Fred mentioned to the clerk that we were looking for stuff to give our chickens as occasional snacks, and she ended up selling us a cart (or “buggy” as she called it, GOD I HATE THAT WORD) of old bread for $3. Wicked bargain!

We got home, puttered around for a while, and then started watching a movie. We’d gone to Blockbuster on Friday and one of the things we rented was Lars and the Real Girl. Fred thought I was renting it to watch by myself, but I figure if I have to watch his boring shit (or at least sit in the room while he’s watching it), he should have to watch my stuff, too.

I have to say, I don’t know what I expected from Lars and the Real Girl, but I liked it quite a lot. It was a sweet little movie, and I don’t generally like Ryan Gosling very much, but I liked him a lot in this role (Fred kept saying “He looks SO much like David Arquette!”). I recommend it!

I slept like a rock Saturday night and then I lived the high life by sleeping in Sunday morning until 6:30 YES THAT’S RIGHT I SAID SIX-THIRTY DON’T JUDGE ME.

I got up, went to get groceries, and when I got home I did what I’d been putting off for way too long.


For the past few weeks, every time Fred brings in tomatoes from the garden, I go through them and put the not-quite-ripe ones in a box, then put the box in the dining room. Once they’re ripe – usually it only takes a few days – I take the now-ripe ones and put them in a 2 1/2-gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and put the bag in the freezer. If you freeze and then thaw tomatoes, you end up with the same result as if you’d blanched them, with a whole lot less work.

When I realized we had pretty much NO more room in the freezers, I decided it was time to run them through the magic machine and I started pulling bags of tomatoes out of the freezers. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had 8 – EIGHT! – 2.5 gallon Ziploc bags, each one stuffed as full as possible with ripe tomatoes.

I’ve been wanting to get enough tomato puree to make the Family Secret Tomato Sauce from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I had about three quarts put away in the freezer and just needed another seven to start making the sauce, which I intended to freeze instead of canning this time around.

After about an hour of work, I had enough puree to start the tomato sauce, and that’s when I discovered that I don’t own a pot big enough to hold ten quarts of tomato puree. I ended up putting as much puree as would fit in my big pot and adding all the spices (note to self: grow basil next year. LOTS of basil.), with the intention of adding the rest of the puree as that in the pot cooked down.

According to the recipe, I was supposed to simmer on low heat for two to three hours until sauce has thickened to your liking. I don’t know if I was simmering it on heat too low or what, but I simmered that stuff with the stovetop dial set to “3” (the dial goes to 9) and eight hours later, at bedtime, not only was it not thick enough, but I still hadn’t been able to add the rest of the puree to the big pot. I turned off the stove and left the pot (covered) on the stove overnight, and this morning when I got up I turned it back on. If it doesn’t thicken appreciably after simmering all day, I’m going to wave the white flag and just freeze it as it is and I don’t know, add cornstarch to it when I want to use it.


Before I got the tomato sauce simmering, I decided to make the habanero hot sauce Fred’s been asking me to make and then bottle it, so I could stop reminding myself that I needed to get it done. So I chopped everything and waited for the stuff to boil and I let it boil for ten minutes, and then I put everything in the blender.

Let me take a moment to inform you that at Fred’s request I’d put twice as many habaneros and white vinegar as the recipe called for. I don’t know why and I don’t care, because habaneros are so far beyond my ability to withstand pain that I will never knowingly eat anything with habaneros in it as long as I live.

So I put everything in the blender and I put the top on, and then because I am SO VERY SMART I hit the lowest level setting on the blender to begin the blending process, and the goddamn top popped up, and a boiling wave of habanero/ onion/ carrots/ white vinegar/ lime juice splashed across my arm and down the front of me.

Fred wasn’t home – he was at Lowe’s – but I wish dearly that he’d been home, because for once when something painful happened to me, I did NOT gasp loudly causing him to have a heart attack. All I did was gape soundlessly at the goddamn blender (which I’d turned off as soon as I was hit with the wave of PAIN) and then go into the laundry room and take off my apron and t-shirt and put them on top of the washer. Then I went back into the kitchen and spend the next five minute cleaning habanero/ onion, etc. off the counter, the floor, and the cabinets.

Then I poured about half the habanero mixture out of the blender into a bowl, and I put the lid on, and I hit the lowest possible setting to begin the blending process.


This time I was not nearly so quiet about my displeasure. I think I bellowed “WHAT THE FUCK JESUS CHRIST GODDAMNIT WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME MY LORD!”, then went into the laundry room and stripped off my shorts and then went back into the kitchen to wipe down the counters, cupboards, and floor. Then I wiped down my stomach and arm, which had taken the brunt of the boiling wave of pain.

Having learned my lesson, I dumped out what was left of the habanero mixture and processed that shit 1/4 cup at a time until it was all done. Then I set it aside so that Fred could critique the consistency before I brought it back to boiling and bottling it and began the tomato sauce. Which we’ve already discussed. AT LENGTH.

So then I helped Fred with his project and then I made cookies and then I made dinner, which consisted of Unfried Chicken, corn on the cob, and green beans. And then I took tomato goop (the tomato skins and seeds the tomato strainer spits out) out to the chickens and then I hung plastic bags on the line to dry and then after dinner was made and eaten, I cleaned up the kitchen and began on the last four bags of tomatoes.

Oh, yes. Did I not mention that the four bags of tomatoes I put in the sink in the laundry room to thaw had not thawed all the way, so I decided to wait ’til after dinner to run them through the strainer? It took me forever to get those tomatoes done because (1) There were so goddamn many of them and (2) They still weren’t thawed all the way and (3) A bunch of them weren’t all the way ripe and the unripe part was giving the strainer fits.

In the end, I got almost 16 quarts of tomato puree from that 8 2.5 gallon bags of tomatoes. If I’d had to do all those tomatoes by hand instead of running them through the strainer – well, that’s a moot point ’cause by the sixteenth hour of peeling, seeding, and chopping, I would have lost my shit and tossed all of those tomatoes on the compost heap.

So with the tomato puree safely tucked away in the freezer and the tomato sauce bubbling merrily away on the stove and the kitchen cleaned up for the thousandth time that day, I went and spent the rest of the evening watching TV with Fred.

And that was MY weekend. In case you were wondering.



River on the left (well, in the middle), Kara on the right. He’s almost as big as she is!

Pretty Zoe.

Pretty River.

“Come HERE, I want to bite you!”


Beautiful Kaylee.


“I hets yew.”
“I sense your hetred, Boogerton, and I care not what or whom you hate. I shall rule this world and you shall beg for mercy at my feet.”


2007: No entry.
2006: He truly amazes me.
2005: If I insert a brillo pad into my ear, will it eventually get to my brain and scrub that song out, or is that an urban myth?
2004: You know, I’m getting PRETTY FRICKIN’ TIRED of finding cricket legs all over the damn place.
2003: “Mother,” said the spud, “That is an excellent idea, for I am going to melt into a motherfucking puddle of goo in about 10 seconds.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: In the future, the spud will be cleaning her own bedroom, since I took one look at her room and said “Fuck THIS.”