TO DO: Once-A-Month Cooking

One of my biggest goals is to create some sort of manageable routine that our whole family can depend on. There are many of small steps that must be taken in order to reach the top of the routine staircase and once-a-month cooking is one of those steps.

I cannot even tell you how many times a month, cooking goes on the absolute back burner in this house. As the primary cook in our household, I am really bad at my job. First of all, I love the idea and concept of cooking a lot more than I actually like to cook. Cooking kind of reminds me of doing dishes – I dread getting up to go and do it, but once I’m there I enjoy myself well enough, and once it’s over, I never want to do it again. Generally, my place is not in the kitchen!

I also wouldn’t say that I’m a skilled chef. I tend to make a lot of the same meals and any real chef will tell you I’m doing it wrong every step of the way. To this day, every single time I make a roast, anyone who wanders past my oven will gape and moan about the atrocities being committed. My Mom, to this day, every time I cook that roast will comment that she can’t believe that it’s as good as it is being that I just killed an already dead cut of beef… And my lack of skill doesn’t necessarily reflect on the taste or quality of my meals, since I’ve never had a single person (not even my sometimes picky kids) say that my food wasn’t good.

I tend towards massive limitations on the type of foods I’m willing to eat as well, which make the whole once-a-month cooking idea that much more daunting for me. In our house, I am definitely the pickiest eater. I’m not a huge fan of any fruits and the only vegetable I eat regularly is corn. I seem to really enjoy foods that come in cardboard boxes – although I think that’s more learned than it is actual enjoyment. But things like onions, mushrooms, the things you normally add for additional flavoring in freezer cooking, really turn my taste buds off. Just writing them makes me cringe a little…

However, all those negatives and excuses now being laid out, I cannot stop obsessing over the idea of being able to easily pull out a basically prepared meal from the freezer and have dinner on the table with only a tiny bit of preparing. And most definitely a lighter clean-up. It just looks and sounds like a blissful experience. What? I just have to pop this in the oven for dinner tonight? Like a pizza? It’s perfect!!

I’ve read many things about this fantasy land known as freezer cooking. They all say the same things, but I often wonder, can I really do this? Is this really me? It’s something I would like to try and at least be capable of providing a definitive answer to that last question.

Advertisements

TO WRITE: Something Non-Erotic and Fictional

I do write non-erotic fiction, I’m almost absolutely sure of it! For many years now my main focus has been erotic fiction and erotic non-fiction and any other writing is in the form of articles or resource pieces.

Prior to erotica, I stuck mostly to poetry – that I would then add to music and make a song out of. It’s been a really long time since I last wrote a song and I’m pretty sure my last masterpiece was an on-the-spot piece consisting of two chords and words that rhymed with “tree”, thus making this song “The Tree”. Could I tell you anything about the song now? Nope!

What I’d really like to experiment with is sci-fi/fantasy writing, but I’ve often found that I struggle intensly with it. Especially being that I’m not a huge fan of reading it and so far the only fantasy/sci-fi type books that I’ve gotten into (thanks to The Boyfriend) is R.A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt series (seriously love this character!).

I’d also really like to try my hand at some literary humor. I tend to not even try to be funny in writing. Sarcastic sometimes or maybe darkly witty, but rarely ever outright funny. The smiles on people’s faces during reading any of my pieces would probably be more devious than one of sincere and genuine humor.

I’m kind of not sure where to start with this one. If it doesn’t involve sex or intimacy, I’m kind of lost on what to do with characters and plots. I don’t get ideas in my head about non-erotic things or non-educational things very often, so it’s kind of like fishing in the dark and seeing what I come out with.

The Boyfriend has been working on two stories, very sporadically, that I would eventually like to contribute to. I feel like I could tell the story so much more differently than him, but inspired by his original storyline, that it could be a very interesting thing to do. However, he would totally have to finish one of them for me to do that with 😉

TO DO: Paperwork, Phone Calls and Errands

So, for years, there has been a slew of things piling up to conspire against me – okay, really they’re not actually conspiring. It’s just things that I have put off over the years that I should and really want to absolutely get done.

For example, I still don’t have my driver’s license, even though I’ve had my learner’s license. And I only have one birth certificate for one of my kids… So, let’s go through the list of all the paperwork, phone calls and errands that I really should get done…

  1. Get My Driver’s License

    I obviously just told you about this, but seriously… I think it’s ridiculous that I’m almost 28 and will have to start back at the beginning of the graduated licensing system, when I would’ve just had to have taken that road test when I was 16 to have my full driver’s license now.

    What holds me back from getting it? Fear mostly. Fear because I haven’t taken a test in a really long time, fear because it’s been a long time since I really drove… Who knows for sure.

  2. Get a Library Card

    I used to have a library card, I think. And I’m pretty sure I owe money on it, I think. It’s hard to remember because it was when we first moved here, I think and we’ve moved a lot since then. I need to at least pick up the phone and find out one way or another.

    I really want a library card though. I want to be able to read more than just what I have on my bookshelf (which is currently almost all stuff that I’ve read or have no interest in reading), plus our library hosts a ton of really awesome events and I could just see me going to them if I had a reason other than the event to go to the library.

  3. Make Doctor’s Appointments

    This is kind of a multi-step to-do, which is exactly why it hasn’t been done and keeps getting pushed so far to the backburner. First, we need to get our medical situation sorted out. Since The Boyfriend and I are now claiming common-law, all of that stuff has changed and neither of us has really taken the time to find out how exactly…

    Then, we haven’t been to see our family doctor since Carter was first born. Does that still mean that we can go see him? I’m not sure… But anyways, have you ever tried to book an appointment that includes a PAP smear for 5 people at a time (now 6)…? It’s epic work! That also involves me knowing exactly when The Boyfriend has off and generally I tend to rely on his reminders the night before.

    Finally, we need the whole work up. We all need to get just regular ole physicals, then we all need to see an eye doctor (especially The Boyfriend who is virtually blind without glasses) and finally, we all need to go to the dentist. That’s basically 15 different things to worry about right there!! That doesn’t include the paperwork, potential costs, nothing…

    It’s very daunting!!!

  4. Get Birth Certificates

    This one needs to be done by the time the kids go back to school, so it’s probably the only one that I’m pressuring to get done like yesterday. We’ve got Carter’s birth certificate, which I have to find a safer place for and now we need to work on getting the three older kids theirs.

    This one just mostly involves taking the long walk or bus ride to the place and putting in the purchase. Plus, it’s going to cost a pretty penny…

  5. Start a Savings Account

    Now that The Boyfriend has gotten his promotion and we’re getting more into the swing of how our monthly income is now going to work, it would really be nice to start some sort of savings system.

    This one is mostly about researching our options and then choosing what’s going to work best for us and then experimenting until we get it right. But it would be nice to have a plan going into the whole experience of saving money.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, although I’m sure that I’m forgetting at least three other things, which I’m sure will come to me. All of this would be so much easier if I just had a routine

Well stay tuned for updates about this particular goal and maybe in the next year or two, I’ll be driving and reading at the library 😉

TO DO: Create and Follow a Routine

One of the greatest problems I’ve faced over my lifetime is sticking to any type of routine. For the most part, I’ve managed okay with the lack of routine, although there are times when I seriously question how okay I’m actually managing.

It’s long been a goal of mine to create a manageable routine and follow it enough that I feel the effects of it, as I’ve been told magical stories about circadian rhythms and been instructed on the benefits of habit.

I often hit a variety of stumbling blocks, which stand in the way of ever sticking to routines. First off is the kids. Kids are very unpredictable and you have to have some flexibility when working with routines. I also have four of them, plus a man that often acts a little bit like a kid, so there are five people to consider when making routines.

Then there’s the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom. The only reason I have to get up in the morning is to get the kids off to school. I am also a procrastinator and a perfectionist, one of the most horrible mix of qualities I’ve ever encountered.

Finally, when I envision my ideal routine, it includes steady waking and sleeping hours. However, that doesn’t always work out since The Boyfriend often works varying hours and we go to sleep together. It also gets in the way because I sometimes suffer from insomnia, although not nearly as bad now as it used to be.

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world my routine would consist of an early morning wake up and workout. During the morning hours, I would clean my house from top to bottom including a load of laundry every single day. During the afternoon, I would focus on all my online work, spending no more than 4 hours on it.

Once the kids returned home from school, I’d love to spend more time with them. At the moment, this time feels rushed and uncontrolled. We hurry to make and eat dinner, we sometimes forget to check for homework and by the time the kids go to bed, stress levels are through the roof for everyone.

I’d like for this time to have dedicated space for homework, then making dinner together as a family and eating it as such, and a nighttime routine that helps the kids relax and unwind as well as prepare for the day ahead.

Finally, I’d like to have a bedtime routine for myself. Ideally it would include at least an hour of reading, time enough for snuggling and a regular falling asleep time.

Over time, you’ll see updates on this post as I attempt to reach my goal, so stay tuned!