477th Friday Blog Roundup
I had big plans to take two days to relax after turning in the manuscript, but — of course — I had to clean up life a little bit first. Sort of like giving my life an eyebrow waxing; just taking care of all those little stray hairs that had popped up while I was head down, trying to meet my deadline. So I woke up on Thursday and started making what I like to call liquid gold. I am more than a little disturbed that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has started using this phrase to describe their product because macaroni and cheese horrifies me and my liquid gold is like… liquid gold. It’s a vegetable stock that I use in place of water. I boil rice in it, I make soup with it, I’ve even boiled noodles in it. It imparts this rich flavour that is the “how the hell did you make this?” in most of my recipes.
It takes about three hours to make four small containers of liquid gold, so I usually make it an all day activity, keeping the pot continuously running until our freezer is full of containers.
I did this because the kids have endured way too many dinners courtesy of Morningstar Farms the last few weeks, and I felt like I needed to provide something homemade on this first day back in reality.
They did not appreciate the liquid gold. They would have been fine having another faux chicken patty. I’m glad I used those hours wisely.
I also needed to start cleaning the house and making some muffins and returning emails and clearing out the piles of post-it notes that have built up over the last few months while I worked on this rewrite.
And I had to farm.
My farm on Hay Day is a wonder to behold. Bagmomma warned me that it would take forever to level up after Level 20, but she doubted my craziness. I am on Level 30 and I’ve been playing under three weeks. I know this because I wrote about Hay Day for the first time in the 474th Roundup. I have the boat orders, the fishing boat, the mine, the smelter, the cake oven, the pie oven, the juicer, and all the other common items that a person can amass in the game. I have 10 pigs, 5 cows, 12 chickens, and 5 sheep. My farm is a freakin’ machine.
Josh calls my arrangement with the kids the Electronic Giving Tree. I make not only all of my boat order items, but I make most of the Wolvog’s. I make him 4 cheesecakes to sell daily for money in his stand. I give the ChickieNob butter for her buttered popcorn. I sell them everything for one coin per transaction so they don’t have to use any of their money to get the stuff. I buy and use all the items they can’t afford such as the smelter or the fishing boat, and then pass them the finished items so they can fill their orders. It is a beautiful system.
I’ve found that using my virtual money on Hay Day is just as satisfying as actual retail therapy. It’s akin to the trips to the library that I take when I’m trying to conserve cash, and I walk out with 10 new books. It feels as if I’ve acquired 10 new books (they are certainly taking up space in my house), and by the time that acquiring high wears off, it’s time to return the books anyway and do it all over again. I love amassing coins in Hay Day and then buying a new item. I especially love that I have spent no actual money to do so.
Best money spent this week was the Frozen soundtrack for the ChickieNob. She is not much of a performer and prefers to never be on stage, but she is so deeply in love with Frozen that she immediately went into the living room and started belting out the songs with the album. She even sang a bit of one song over the phone for my brother — a major step for her — and allowed me to make a few recordings for posterity. She whispered to me that when she sings these songs, she isn’t just playing a part. She feels as if she is Elsa. That’s a pretty powerful story when it touches a kid that way. I am willing to bet that there are thousands of other kids (and probably more than a few adults) out there right now who have finally found their hero — someone to emulate — in Elsa and Anna. Well done, Disney.
Just want to draw your attention to the annual March 9th Random Act of Kindness Day for Thomas. 328 people have already signed up and it’s still months away. Msfitzita is one of our own, and I love participating every year. It is especially great when I tell the person that I did it for Thomas. If you don’t know what you want to do as your random act of kindness (and I’m still trying to come up with mine this year), Msfitzita linked to a list of 101 ideas.
And now the blogs…
But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week. In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:
- “What I Lost” (The Second Bedroom)
- “Adoption on the Internet” (Stirrup Queens) — thank you, Northern Star!
- “Sticking it in a Bag, and Worrying about it Later” (Hapa Hopes)
- “My Books are Your Books” (Stumbling Gracefully)
Okay, now my choices this week.
I Won’t Fear Love has a post about the 86 times the moon has gone through its phases since the death of her son. It’s a beautiful post about measuring time by the lunar calendar, and she writes, “The moon’s been full eighty six more times since I rested my boy’s head on that one spot above my heart, since I willed my body to remember the feeling of his head there. So many things are hazy now, but if I bid it, that one spot, it still responds.” As she says, time is a strange thing.
No Kidding in NZ writes the post she wishes another writer had written thanking child-free women. Whereas the other writer came from a space where child-free women choose not to build families, she points out how this ignores a percentage of the population who do try to build families and need to stop before they have the family they want (or, adding to that, women who want to be a mother but logistics in life get in the way). I love Mali’s list, and there are many more thank yous that could go on it. I’d also like to thank child-free men.
Lastly, a non-IF, mainstream article but one that touches so deeply on things that we often talk about in our community — where our story ends and another person’s story begins; such as when we write about adoption or donor gametes, and our story overlaps with another person who may not be able to give you consent to write (especially if you don’t know what you’re going to write before you sit down). Jay Neugeboren (my former advisor) writes in Opinionator about writing about his brother, Robert. And I love the end. My gut tells me that if you follow that and come from a place of trust that it will guide the story as it comes onto the screen.
The roundup to the Roundup: Life post turning in manuscript. ChickieNob sings Frozen. Do a random act of kindness. And lots of great posts to read. So what did you find this week? Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between January 10th and January 17th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week? Read the original open thread post here.