Baking with Leftovers

Who else has heard about this rude richsplaining of why avocado toast is the reason millennials can’t afford down payments on houses?

While that is patently ridiculous, at the core of this terribly, terribly expressed thought is at least one grain of truth: food can be expensive. Not necessarily avocados… or toast… (Seriously, why?) But once any food gains enough momentum to be considered “trending” there’s this unspoken expectation that begins to come with it. If you rushed to get a Unicorn Frap before Starbucks took it off the menu, that’s the kind of thing I mean — and that’s just at the novelty end of the spectrum.

This post by Nimue Brown goes more into the economics of affording (or not) all the organic, non-GMO foods on the market these days, or even just the wares at your local farmers market. Essentially, not everyone can afford it. Not even just the food itself, but the gas to go the extra miles to the nearest Whole Foods. Nimue also raises points about the relative greenness of driving to buy organic produce vs. biking to buy non-organic.

Side note, I feel like there’s at least one country out there where it’s actually illegal for a car commercial to imply that just because a car is a hybrid, it’s “good” for the environment, because it’s not. It’s better, but it’s not good. American commercials tend to gloss over the part where it still produces pollutants, just arguably fewer. If anyone reading this lives in a place where there are laws on the books about this, please comment on driving vs biking to get groceries and if there’s any difference in attitudes towards that.

So there’s all that.

And here’s what I actually wanted to write a post about, before I got carried away: food can be expensive, so don’t let it go to waste. Actual statistics on food waste can be found here, but to be honest I only skimmed it before linking. I’m talking about letting your leftovers, or even unopened products or unused ingredients quietly going bad in a corner somewhere in your kitchen.

My reasons for caring are, admittedly, kind of small and petty. I spend money and time on food, I was looking forward to it, and suddenly I (a) don’t get to eat it, (b) have to worry about how much of the trash has to wait until next week to go out, and (c) if it’s fruit then there are going to be fruit flies. These small and petty reasons are my motivations for doing something about food waste in my own home, or even think about the larger problems of food waste by association, so don’t knock ’em.

Because I enjoy baking, I’ve recently started experimenting with using my leftovers and miscellaneous extras to test out recipes I’ve found online. (Following, among other things, this inspiring example.) Usually I have to do some scaling down or substitutions based on the ingredients I have on hand. The rule, I believe, is that if you change at least three of the ingredients and/or proportions then it’s no longer copying.


2017-05-17 14.19.46

Faux-Plum (Actually Apple) Crumble

I had two apples, a partly empty container of blueberries, and a gluten free partner who really likes stone fruit. Unintentionally, I made a crumble that worked with all of those conditions.

Serves: 2-4, depending on how you feel about portions Continue reading “Baking with Leftovers”

A Month in Review: April 2017

$_58I know that I started my March review saying it was a very busy month, but April was crazy busy! Recently I acquired a Boynton Wild Ones 2017 pocket calendar and the month of April is decorated with flying pigs. This is fitting, because I started doing store visits in April and, if you’d asked me a few years ago, the phrase “when pigs fly” would have been connected with this sort of thing. Plus, my parents came up one weekend for a visit, so we had to clean the apartment. Plus, our friends came up the weekend after that and actually slept on our couch, so we super had to clean the apartment.

So that was all wild. But the store visits mean bigger reimbursement checks, more exercise, and less stressful office time, and the apartment has never looked better.

Here are some of my other March highlights:

  • I wrote 23 short stories in 30 days!!! When I went through and counted likes/comments/views, both here and on TheProse.com where I was also posting these almost daily, the top six were:
  • All of the comments I received were wonderful. Thank you so much for reading!
  • My partner is the best for reading through all those stories on such short deadline. I am the luckiest writer in the world.
  • This past weekend, when our friends came up to visit, we did a two-day wine and food tasting event and it was so much fun! I don’t remember the different wines so much as the different foods, especially towards the end of the days, but we had a blast. Would do again, and I feel like we got our money’s worth.18095201_1879429792308282_3893139896772067328_n
  • The cat’s out of the bag… We got a third cat and told both our parents over Easter. She’s a little all-black kitty with yellow eyes and her name is Noodle.

And here’s what I am currently:

Writing stories for X, Y, and Z. I didn’t get to them for the April challenge, but I still have ideas for them and will get the stories written eventually.

Planning to bake more often. I saw a post on Instagram that gave me the idea of keeping dough in the fridge at all times and using it to make pies out of leftovers. Also, we got some gluten free noodles that I’m excited about, including some lasagna noodles. For lack of a better pan, I am eventually going to attempt a lasagna in a pie dish, haha.

Making a new habit, or trying to anyway. I’m gradually trying to work abdominal crunches into my daily routine.

Anticipating my birthday! 29 isn’t a landmark year, unless you look at it as my last birthday in my twenties. I haven’t decided how to feel about this yet, but I’m looking forward to everyone coming up here for a birthday dinner rather than me and my partner having to drive down to the South Bay.

Reading through a bunch of blog posts from the A to Z Challenge.

Watching The Great British Baking Show. My partner and I have watched a lot of cooking shows, but they always seem so stressful. This one is by far more relaxing, and based more on technical and fundamental skills than throwing stuff at the contestants and see how they do off the top of their heads. In this show, the contestants alternate between some challenges they can prepare and practice for and some that they can’t. I like it a lot.

Feeling tired. The past two months have been non-stop… I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to slow down a little bit. Not one of my strengths but I am trying.

Needing a new primary care doctor. I need to get my anti-anxiety prescription renewed, and I’ve made an appointment but I’m going to run out before that. Today I managed to start the process of getting a one-shot refill that’ll tide me over, so fingers crossed. I’m also hoping to get the dosage bumped up a little when I have the actual appointment.

Loving my partner and our cats, even though someone in this house gave me ringworm (and I literally have no idea and no way of ever knowing who). This is another reason I have a doctor visit this month.

Hating how hot it is. I know, I know… Summer is coming, and I was getting really tired of all the rain and flooding. But this is such a sudden change that I’m getting whiplash here!

Hoping my partner gets a job soon. There have been a lot of interviews lately, we’re really hopeful!

A Month in Review: March 2017

Inspired partly by this post, but borrowing the cool structure from this one.

March was a very, very busy month for me. One of my jobs is for a parenting magazine, and we had our big annual event with booths and live performances and all sorts of family friendly fun. I did all the social media marketing for it, all the email marketing for it (including informational emails to the booth vendors), put the performance schedule together, and acted as stage manager when the person who was going to do it ended up needing back surgery.

The show was a HUGE success. One group canceled a couple days before and one group just didn’t show up, but we started out strong with an awesome exotic animal show. Towards the end of the program we had this AMAZING hiphop dance group, some of which were six to eight years old. The younger ones were adorably flustered, because apparently this was the first performance they’d ever done! Some of their parents even brought flowers to hand them after they left the stage. The older students were really good, and the dance instructor was this cool, super enthusiastic lady who I kind of want to be friends with now. My partner and I made sure to nab one of her fliers to save for when we have kids, haha.

All of my coworkers told me I did a good job with the show. My partner, who doesn’t like crowds of loud unruly children that you might find at, say, a camp fair event held at a mall, but came anyway and stayed the whole time. One of the people manning the booths came over and thanked me for including his Christmas light display in the December issue guide. Our Editor told me that the rough draft summer camp guide I’d submitted to her last week for our April issue was one of the neatest, thorough, and most consistent guides she’d ever seen — and our office manager had already said earlier that week that they were sorry for everything they’d needed to cut for space reasons.

So basically I spent all of Friday on cloud nine.

Here are some of my other March highlights:

  • Made new friends at our local bar. This is a big deal because, despite living in this county for a couple years now, we didn’t have any local friends.
  • Went to an awesome Meetup for local queer folks. We’re basically the youngest people in the group, but they’re cool people and we had a lot of fun. Also, it turned out that the wine tasting was free, donated by the owner who was a member of the group as well! We bought a bottle to show our support.
  • Checked out the local sports center/arcade hall. They had everything. They had ski ball, air hockey,  and all the usual kinds of arcade video games, but instead of collecting tickets it all went on your money card to be redeemed for prizes later. I have less than complimentary feelings towards the bar service, which was insanely slow, but it was an awesome night and we need to go back. (There are some prizes we have our eyes on that require more points to collect.)
  • My partner had interviews in some local tasting rooms. Lots of potential new job news is brewing, people. It’s very exciting.

And here’s what I am currently:

Writing all the things! I’ve committed myself to writing 26 short stories this month and am already super excited about posting the letter B story on Monday.

Planning some potential life changes for the better. More on that later, maybe, when something comes of it.

Making an indoor cat garden. Luci is a fan of the ‘nip. 2017-04-01 16.12.27

Anticipating a really cool Passport event we’ve signed up for in April, and hoping some of our friends will be able to come with us. The wineries in that particular valley are awesome, and, very importantly, this two day event includes food. Food is with wine is vital if, like me, you are a lightweight.

Reading lots of new blogs participating in the A to Z Challenge.

Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We didn’t get all the way through it again before Netflix cut us off, so we caved and signed up for Hulu. I can’t help but think this was a very clever marketing campaign collaboration…

Feeling content. I think April will be a good month for our household.

Needing more sleep. Somebody was snoring last night.

Loving my partner and our cats, even though a different somebody keeps trying to eat my hair.

Hating Donald #NotMyPresident Trump. He and his cronies make me so mad I actively avoid watching the news.

Hoping that my partner gets a job they love, that we tell our parents about a hilarious new life choice we made and they don’t judge us too much, and that my cousin who is turning 21 this month actually follows through on letting us drag him up here to our local bar.

Sunday Gratitudes #46: The Little Red Number

You know that little red number. It signifies unread texts, unread emails, missed calls, voicemails waiting for you to listen to, and other notifications. There are so many demands on our time and attention these days that it’s like omg overload all the time — depending, of course, on how many apps you have, how much friends and family members text, and whether or not you have your work email synched to your phone.

I really do not recommend that last one. I synced my work inbox to my phone once in 2013 and that only lasted a couple days before I undid it because that little red number was staring at me like a little red eyeball from hell.

This doesn’t bother everyone. My officemate has over 1000 unread emails and I just can’t even comprehend that. When I pointed it out, she said she hadn’t even noticed! Now, I’m a millennial and most of my coworkers are… well, if I had to guess, I’d guess they’re Baby Boomers. They are badass women who know what they’re doing and give very few fucks, and I like them all a lot, but there is an undeniable difference in the way we think and the way we approach certain tasks.

Some days I wish I was the kind of person who had one email addresses and didn’t care if it had hundreds of unread emails in it. Instead, I have upwards of ten, including six different work inboxes, and I start to get a little antsy if a double digit number is staring me down anywhere for more than a couple days.

So this Sunday, I am grateful that my personal inboxes (the most relentless red eye on my smartphone) are now down to just one unread email. That means I’ve paid my bills for the month. I’ve caught up on all the blogs I want to read. I’ve even finally remembered to update my FasTrack mailing address and dig through the stack of unopened mail to find three our of four of the W4s or whatever that I’m supposed to have. Despite being so sick yesterday that I threw up and slept nearly all day, since Friday afternoon I’ve also scooped the litter boxes/swept up the litter on the floor twice, neatened up the dining room table, washed some dishes, and voluntarily initiated a phone call with my parents.

And I’d like to thank a friend of mine for emailing me the link to this TED Talk video about stress, which I finally watched today. Did you know that stress isn’t as bad for you as simply believing that stress is bad for you? I knew it was a motivator, but I didn’t know that oxytocin, a stress hormone, helps strengthen your heart. If you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of evolutionary sense. I’ll leave you with the video — please feel free to comment on it and/or about how you feel about the little red numbers.

Recipe: Nectarine & Blackberry Mini Pies

I love to bake, but it’s been a while since I truly experimented. On a whim I bought some blackberries at the store, and by the time I got home I’d decided I wanted to bake something. It didn’t happen that particular night, but there was a display of delicious looking nectarines at another grocery store a day or two later… And this was born.

2017-02-17-23-06-23Because there was always an apple tree in our back yard growing up, I started out by making apple pies. Then my parents planted sweet cherry trees in the front yard and I was faced with a new challenge. You need tart cherries for a pie, like the kind grown in states like Michigan, New York, and Utah where the air has a cold snap to it during the winter  — otherwise the pie will end up sickly sweet and weird. But tart cherries don’t grow so well in California, so we make due with cheats like adding pureed plum to the sweet cherry filling to give it that tartness.

Knowing that and adding orange juice for the tartness is what made this “cup-pie” experiment so successful, although I might do some tweaking in the future. If you try this recipe at home, let me know what you think! Continue reading “Recipe: Nectarine & Blackberry Mini Pies”

Recipe: Orange Glazed Acorn Squash

This was a few weeks ago, but I am still deeply proud of myself. I remember my mom, in one of her few acts of cooking that doesn’t involve the microwave, making acorn squash with a brown sugar glaze when I was a kid.

I adapted this from a Bobby Flay recipe that I found on the Food Network website. Again, half the point was to make something delicious and the other half was to use up the box of oranges my parents have given me. Technically I was supposed to grill the squash but I don’t own a grill.

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The “before” shot.

Instead, I used a cast iron grill pan that will probably never forgive me, although by now I’ve cleaned it as best I can.

Anyway, this recipe wasn’t difficult and the results were very tasty. Acorn squash prepared this way tends to be a cross between side dish and dessert, but with the orange it was nicely tart as well as sweet.


Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1/16 cup melted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

    2017-01-31-20-51-32
    Slightly burnt but still yummy. Also, I’m not sure I reduced the glaze down quite enough, but oh well.
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/8 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 whole allspice berries
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Brush or spray the cut side of the squash with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place squash, cut-side down, on a baking sheet and bake until almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the squash is baking, combine the orange juice, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring often. 
  5. When the squash is done, place cut side up on a cast iron grill pan and brush with the orange glaze.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn over with tongs and cook for 5 more minutes, or until tender and glaze is caramelized.
  7. Remove from heat and pour the rest of the glaze into the “bowl” of each squash half. Serve warm.

Tell Me All About You

Inkbiotic recently invited readers to answer some personal questions. Feel free to answer them too if you want. 😊


If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

Mostly I write about writing, but one of my New Years Resolutions was to post more of my creative writing.

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

A little of both. When I started out, I tried to hold myself to weekly posts — Monday Musings, Words of Wisdom Wednesdays, etc. It didn’t work very well. Now I just sort of ramble for a bit, then go back through and make sure it related to writing in some way.

I struggle more with getting stories written. The challenge prompts from TheProse and prompts from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie have been very helpful though.

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

I don’t really have a favorite kind of post, I just really like the ones where I had an idea of what I wanted to write and got all of it down before it went poof. As for whether people like reading them, I’m quite pleased with every like and comment I get.

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

There are details about my personal life that I wouldn’t write about. For one thing I like the relative anonymity of the internet, and for another I know that once you put it online it never really goes away. And besides, not all details that are part of my daily life are really mine to talk about.

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

Right now I’m most pleased with Gender & Writing because people definitely got it, I can tell from the comments. And that makes me happy.

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the most strikingly memorable one I can think of at the moment is “The logic of emotion” by Nimue Brown. The title alone caught my eye because in college I wrote a 42-page psychology/biology paper on emotions in Vulcans, which included watching Star Trek: The Original Series for credit. Writing that paper was so much fun, and I learned so much while doing it. This blog post was a really good read because it put something in a way that I’ve never thought about it before: “Emotions are like weather systems – not always good, or useful, but a physical reality caused by complex influences. There is a logic to them.”

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

I like the writing and I like the practice I get at putting myself out there, including reading and commenting on other blog posts. When I started this blog I wanted to write more, even if it wasn’t necessarily fiction. It’s been over a year now and I’m finally starting to ease naturally into writing stories.

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

Mostly I like reading writers writing about writing. I also like reading other people’s personal experiences and what they take from it. Plus, it’s fun to read book reviews and add new things to my “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads.

What kind of posts put you off reading? Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

Not going to lie, I am put off by reading along and suddenly it gets religious. Everyone is free to believe what they want, but I have a lot of pent up exasperation towards evangelism and… my parents for calling in the smarmy, condescending pastor to talk to me about how, when he was my age, he went through an atheist phase as a teenager too. It’s just a thing, no offense meant by it.

Also put off by homophobia, transphobia, pro-life at the expense of everyone else’s choice, pro-Trump, and racist sentiments.

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

Yes, all of those.

… Fine, not the volcano. Don’t judge me.

Recipe: Orange Spice Cake (gf)

My parents have two orange trees in their backyard and had to start dripping up the branches with two by fours before Halloween to keep them from breaking under the weight of the fruit. Thus, we have a box of oranges. So this week is one big brainstorming session on how to use up oranges in stuff.

71k8umh3vsl-_sy679_Since I happened to find a Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix in the clearance bin at Raley’s, I decided this would be a prime opportunity for some experimental baking.

The recipe on the back of the bag calls for 1 cup of milk, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup of butter. I substituted orange juice for milk (hand juiced, tra-la-la-la-la) and olive oil for butter, since I was vaguely sure the citric acid might do something unpleasant to the dairy. Then I added an “I guess this looks good” amount of cocoa powder, because who doesn’t like chocolate, and half a cup of chopped almonds for texture. Poured that in muffin tins and popped them in the oven at 350 for what ended up being about 35-40 minutes.

Instead of frosting I made an orange glaze with 3/4 cup of orange juice, one cup of sugar… and a splash of water to get the rest of the stuck-on sugar off the inside of the measuring cup. Let that simmer for a while until it seemed less runny, which I loosely defined as “kinda leaves a residue on the spatula.”

When the cakes were done, I popped them out of the pans and into a foil-lined baking dish and dumped all the glaze over them so some would soak in on the bottoms and give it some extra moisture. (I didn’t use muffin papers, and actually forgot to even grease the pans. Lol, whoops! But they popped out fine.)

End result, they are delicious little cakes of goodness. The spice of the spice cake mix comes through stronger than the chocolate and the orange, but it’s all in there, and the almonds give it a nice texture. And that glaze? Good. Good glaze. I’m not sure if it was the gluten free or the not using milk, but the cakes would have been very dry and dense without the glaze, which is both sweet and tart at the same time. Would make again.


 

Cake Ingredients:

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Not the best picture ever, but they’ve all been eaten now.
  • 1 bag of Pamela’s gluten free Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder

Orange Glaze Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar

Makes 10-12.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all the cake ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour the batter into large muffin tins, each cup about 3/4 cups full.
  4. Bake according to cake mix instructions, or possibly longer until it’s done in the middle.
  5. When the cakes are done, set them out to let them cool.
  6. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  7. When it starts to bubble to the top of the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it go for about 15 more minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  8. Line a baking dish or shallow pan with tin foil.
  9. Pop the cakes out of the tin into the foil-lined dish and pour the glaze over the tops of them.
  10. Let soak at least until the glaze on top has cooled to more sticky than runny, then eat at your leisure.

No plan survives first contact with a flood warning

It’s been raining a lot around here lately. A lot. A lot.

On one hand this is good. California has been in a drought for a while and we could use the water. On the other hand, my mom sent me a photo of the Mercury News front page at some point mid-week…

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This is the next street over, just north of where I live. 

When I moved up here, I left my 2+ year full time position at a flatbread bakery down in Gilroy. Last week, I got an email asking if I would be willing to do some store demos in my area for (a) old time’s sake and (b) $20 an hour. Naturally I said yes, but as this week progressed I started to realize that the only way I might be able to get out of my neighborhood would be by boat.

Luckily, our house is on a hill. That’s not the problem. The problem is that all the ways out are downhill. The road we’re on floods at the creek, right before a postage-stamp sized town, but there’s a back way out. That back way, however, is mostly flat. To either side of the road are vineyards and those flood. It’s not much lower than the road, so after a while the road will flood too, although we’ve yet to see that actually happen since we moved up here. All of this would be less of a problem if it hadn’t been raining for most of the end of December, leaving the ground pretty saturated. Flooding this weekend and into the week will probably be the worst we’ve seen yet.

Yesterday was fine. I arrived in Petaluma for the demo on time, because the main road out had not flooded yet. Once I was at the store I was delayed for another half hour because I had to find where the heck they kept the olive oil and buy some, find an outlet for the toaster oven, find an extension cord to plug into the outlet because the bakery had accidentally sent me a computer cord, and borrow a step ladder so I could plug in the extension cord to an outlet above a refrigerated display. From that point on, I spent three and a half hours in front of the refrigeration unit, keeping warm by holding my hands over the hot toaster oven.

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Surefire way to look like a dork: take a selfie in a Safeway.

Side note, I am not a salesperson. I’m not a people person. But I can sell this bread, because (a) I did marketing and sales support for 2+ years so I know all the talking points, and (b) it’s genuinely good, so I don’t have to try and fake my enthusiasm. If you’re like me and ever get stuck doing demos, here’s a tip: Some people are going to ignore you. You can recognize them by the way they keep their eyes totally averted from you and your table as they approach and pass. Save yourself the time and social awkwardness (on all sides) by not asking if they want to try some. At most, say “Hello.” This saves you from rudely ignoring them back and also from pestering anyone dead-set against being interested.

Also, here are a few food safety rules to keep in mind. If someone doing a demo doesn’t follow these, maybe you want to not try what they’re sampling. Take it from someone who was, at one point, officially certified as a Food Safety Manager.

  • You’re not supposed to touch your face, hair, phone, etc. while wearing gloves. If you do, you have to change them.
  • You’re not supposed to eat, touch your mouth, etc. while wearing gloves. If you do, you have to change them.
  • Seriously, the point of wearing foodservice gloves is to avoid possible contamination, people. This also includes picking up and sipping from a Starbucks cup.
  • No earrings or other jewelry. They might fall into the food. Do you want to feed someone a hook or a stud backing? I don’t think so.
  • Per the USDA, the “Danger Zone” for letting food sit out is between 40°F and 140°F. Below 90°F, perishables can only stay out of cold or hot storage for 2 hours. Above 90°F, that’s down to 1 hour. Basically, use a cooler or a heat lamp if the demo is longer than 2 hours. (In my experience, most are usually 3 to 4 hours long.)Why? Because bacteria.

… Anyway.

This morning I set out for my second demo. The first road out was flooded, so I tried the back way. The first leg of that was okay in the sense that it had not flooded, and if it did probably wouldn’t flood very badly, except for some low spots where puddles were already starting to form.

The next leg was a disaster, and I almost didn’t even have to drive on it to know that. It hadn’t flooded yet, but it was going to. When you see bodies of water starting to form on either side of a nearly level road, it’s not a good sign. There were a couple spots where it was already on the road, but not deep and only on one side or the other. There were several spots with thin sheets of water flowing across the road, though these mostly weren’t near any obvious puddle spots. I checked the weather forecast — not only was it expected to rain all day straight, but it’s supposed to rain for the next three days as well.

I called off the demo. Luckily, I’d already warned my friends at the bakery earlier in the week. They’d tried to reschedule them for me to a safer weekend but it was a no go, so they understood when I texted in today saying I wouldn’t be able to do it. While I was out, though, I took the opportunity to stock up on some groceries really quick.

In the time I’ve been typing this, my phone received an emergency alert flood warning for the area. Who called it? This girl.

Weird things that happened to me in 2016

I’m hopeful about 2017 being a good year. That being said, 2016 was a really weird year for me. Not necessarily bad, not necessarily good, just… weird. 

In February, I got a job offer out of the blue. Also, three year anniversary. 

In April, my apartment gave me fleas. And a panic attack. Thanks, former apartment. But before all that, we gave our first cat her first bath and yikes. That tiny girl made it sound like we were murdering a baby. For some reason we ended up doing this at 2am… Sorry, apartment neighbors. 

In May, I commuted 2-3 hours to work. Occasionally I avoided the long drive by sleeping at the office or in a van. 

In June, my car was simultaneously nearly hit by a falling tree and slightly hit by downed power lines in the same moment. Life lesson: when I got out of the car, I’m lucky I didn’t get badly electrocuted. Also, my partner said to me, “Look at this kitten up for adoption. She looks like she has poop on her face!” Then we got our second cat. 

In July, we moved into a fabulous little duplex. Our landlord is awesome. 

Luci and Frankie
Luci (younger) and Frankie (older) when they were each baby kittens
In September, our second cat had an accident in her carrier. Towards the start of a two hour drive. Thanks, Lu. Afterwards I gave said cat a much needed bath, but really only on her back half. Because I didn’t have to get her face wet, the whole affair was surprisingly silent and escape attempt/injury free. Now the cats share a carrier and our first cat cries less in the car. They love each other. 

In November, my Grammy died, and my partner came with me to Montana and met my dad’s side of the family. I finally confirmed that I’m not the only queer member of said family. (Who knew?) Also, I won NaNoWriMo. Thanks, Grammy. Meanwhile, my country elected an Oompa Loompa to be president. 

In December, I started getting more serious about freelance work, finished all my Christmas shopping on time and under budget, and felt like a gd adult in ways I never have before. Weird. 

In conclusion… Happy New Year everybody!