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General Insanity

I was going to call this Food Preservation Insanity. So I could post a picture of my overstocked larder and question the time and toil I’ve invested in my stock pile of pickles and jam.


You’re getting the picture anyway. It’s not recent. Or necessarily over full. That was almost three weeks ago. Currently, I am the anti-Mother Hubbard. My cupboards are bursting at the seams.

I also thought of calling this post “There Will Be No Post Today”. That or “Dual Income Insanity”. Are you noting the theme here? Insanity and blogging and the lack there of of time. I am beyond questioning the two of’s in that sentence.

Its not just food preservation. Although that little “hobby” ate up a large part of my August and is doing a number on September. As you un-happily stand over a steaming pot of plum sauce to be, willing it to hurry the foxtrot up because its still gotta be water bathed and this is a school night dammit, one can not help but question the wisdom of this past time. Wisdom in a time investment, sanity (that word again) kind of way. Sure the plums were free, and Mu Shu pork is definitely yummy, but how much plum sauce am I going to eat in a year? Weigh that against how many prunes I’ve already dehydrated and will also need consuming in the same year. Then weigh that against my overwhelming desire after a grueling day of Corporate Servitude to lay my ass on the couch and watch a little Grimm before I collapse into bed. Please. For the love of all that is holy. You begin to see how the tomato sauce, the jam, the ketchup, the pickles, the bbq sauce, the peaches, the salsa, the dried everything, how those things might get the blame. And we haven’t even started in on the apples.

And it’s really not The Husband going back to work, which should be a joyous occasion. Cause to celebrate. Yay to money and bread winning! Bread winning means a whole lot less bread making. And house cleaning. And dinner doings. And all the other assorted, apparently super important randomness that is accomplished when one of us is home. Lately we both arrive home at precisely the same time, only to immediately start the mini-marathon of evening meals (for dogs, chickens and people too), garden tending, and absolutely necessary housework and projects (because everything else falls by the wayside). We finish that (enter steaming pot of plum sauce) and collapse to start it all over again. So what am I yaying about?

Its not the blog either. My little corner of the interwebs, how I adore you. Even when the gym must be skipped, the collapse postponed and The Husband, dogs, and ripening by the second plums summarily ignored for just one. more. moment. PLEASE. This is not a fast exercise, these letters to you. It takes exactly as long as it takes. And that varies based on inspiration and mental fortitude. Most of the time, thats good. Except when its not. Then its infuriating. So the blog posts continue. Carving out little scraps of time to commune with WordPress, and you and myself. I certainly hope its to everyone’s benefit. As I write this, t-minus nine hours and counting before it actually goes up.

It’s none of those things. And its all of them. Gathered together. Conspiring against me to rob me of… what? My precious TV watching time? More mind-numbing Facebook? (Oh, hey like me on Facebook!) I resent these things when I can’t do them at the end of my day, but what do they accomplish? There’s something to be said for rest and relaxation. Sure. Whatever. I’m going with no one ever changed their lives slumped over the remote control on the couch. If that’s what I’m trying to do, then all this makes perfect sense. The food preservation, the (temporary) dual income, most definitely this blog. Perfect sense to keep grinding away in the time I’ve got.

Fall will be here soon. Then winter. The food will stop rolling out of Ugly Garden. The cupboards will empty. Slowly, but surely. I’ll probably never be caught up on the blog, but TV watching and couch-sitting aren’t going anywhere. Lucky me. I am, however, not in the market for any additional responsibilities in the foreseeable future. No room at the inn. Move along.

What’s eating up your time? What do you tell yourself to get through it? How do you manage it?

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I have the horrible tendency to overbook myself. I took on a part-time job to help a friend, and that ate part of my weekend. I am volunteering, I am blogging, I am canning…. It all got to be too much. Now I have a strict rule of only one social engagement (or canning session!) per day on the weekend, and at least two event-free workdays each week.

I feel so much better for it, and it makes me prioritize. Do I really want to do that? If not, I have no guilt in turning down invites, especially since I present an alternate date at the same time.

Thank goodness for my calendar. It keeps me sane … as does my butt on couch time!

Don’t worry: the garden will stop producing soon, the canning will be over, and you will have yummy choices from the pantry, and you will know exactly what is in the dish you are serving your family. It is worth it.


I like your scheduling rules. I try ( with minimal success ) to implement similar guidelines into our evenings and weekends. Its the guilt I need to work on. I will often cave on something I really don’t want to attend because of social pressure or a feeling of obligation, and then end up with a later night than I’d like or that dreaded feeling of being in a hurry on Sunday night. Not my favorite way to start the week.


Driving to work – 40 minute commute both ways. I work from home every Wednesday and there is a big difference. I too have learned to say NO to things I don’t really want to do. No I don’t want to go to Chuck E Cheese for a coworkers child’s b-day party. No I don’t want to keep my 6 year old nephew for the entire weekend – one night is enough for me. No I don’t want to do the 100 or so walks that everyone is involved in. I want to stay home and enjoy the little time I have left with my child (she is 14 and still wants me around). I want to play with my dogs, read books, go for a walk. I hear all the time that I am boring – people don’t believe that I am happy not running around to a million different places every weekend. Been there done that. Home Sweet Home for me!


I’ve also been called boring, often. I love it when my co-workers ask how my weekend was. I’ve got no grandiose plans to report back, but believe me there was no shortage of doing.

Chuck E. Cheese for a co-workers child sounds like its own special kind of hell.

Erica / Northwest Edible Life

If it helps, the feeling you have, right now, this year is a very normal part of the annual rhythm. As you do it more, it doesn’t so much get *easier* as it gets more accepted. Not saying it’s less overwhelming, but you start to know that the preserving time has it’s limits, and it will wrap up because the slower days of fall are near. Fall is good because you can eat from the garden and the pantry and things aren’t in such a rush to get picked. Projects can be done with a bit more leisure, etc. etc. Then comes inside stuff – sewing practice, more organization type things, baking and gift making and after that comes eager seed starting for spring. :) I understand – oh boy do I understand – but in about 10 months you’ll be so happy that it’s time to start canning again. If it helps, think of it like surfing. You just got to ride the wave when the wave is there.


Thanks for the reminder Erica! I was super excited to start preservation efforts this year. Looked forward to it even. It jumps the shark somewhere in August, but this is normal, seasonal living. The natural rhythm to our lives. We should embrace. But come on fall! 😉


I have lots of empathy. The most valuable thing I own, in my opinion, is my time. I think that’s the case for a lot of folks.

I don’t watch TV. At all. And I’m not on the phone much either. My summers (May-August) are occupied by watering for 1-1/2 hours each evening after work everyday. Weekends are made of laundry, mowing, weed-eating, watering trees, cooking, running to the bank, getting the car serviced, dog to the vet, the pruners sharpened, etc, . Most days are go-go-go.

There are also days when I’m too tired to get out of the car after work, so I stay in my car and sleep for…30 minutes or an hour.

I used to raise meat rabbits, but gave it up because there wasn’t enough time to care for rabbits and socialize with people.

I have a severe case of “husband-envy” because I see my friend’s hubbys help so much–mowing, plumbing repair, watering, moving heavy objects, unloading groceries, and so forth. Plus, of course, other benefits.

Your jam looks so yummy! I’d say it’s well worth your time even if it doesn’t seem like it now.

I keep on keeping on although I wonder why sometimes.


Looking at your time as your most valuable asset is an awesome idea. Worthy of protection. Not to be given away freely. I like it.

All we can do is keep on keeping on. Even if that requires an occasional nap in the car! :)

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