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Settling Into Routine

Hopefully a quick post as I really should be working.  Well, I’m actually shifting from one job to another and thought I’d write to help clear my brain and get it ready for its new task.  I am a terrible (TERRIBLE) multitasker (multitasking is a myth!) and it’s not easy for me to focus on more than one thing at a time.  Well actually it’s impossible (scientific studies back me up on this!)  So it’s quite a challenge for me to work both on my dissertation, and on designing and preparing my courses.  Just trying to shift from one course to another is difficult enough for my obsessive brain.

My plan of attack is to get up in the morning and spend (at least) two hours every morning working on my dissertation.  Then I stop, do some house chores, walk the dogs, eat etc., then settle into course work for the afternoon.  I’ve actually been doing this for several days now and am finally starting to see some positive results.  Today, for example, I actually got some WRITING done, rather than just thinking, reading and internet surfing.  It’s taken me all week just to get my brain back in gear around the chapter I’m working on.  That will teach me to take such a long break!  It’s been great, but it would have been better had I written down everything that was in my head prior to going on vacation.  I had done a lot of research, and now I’m having to review most of it again before I can remember my arguments and formulate my thoughts.  It’s coming together though.

This morning I didn’t wake up until 8am.  Yes, I know, what a slacker.  I’ve been trying to be working by 8am at the latest, earlier if possible.  Waking up late meant that the dogs were restless to start their day.  Making them wait 2-3 hours at that time before feeding them is just a recipe for being pestered and annoyed by pacing, chewing and other unsatisfied dog noises.

So I decided to do my morning chores first, and then to write.  This is why I’m finishing my morning writing session at 2pm!  It’s going to be a long day…

After letting the dogs out and getting dressed, I started on my chores.  Food chores to be specific.  Yesterday I started several fermentation projects and today they needed to be moved to their next step.  First, I checked my cheese.  Yesterday afternoon I had warmed five liters of milk to 86F, added my cultured buttermilk starter (different from real buttermilk – see below) and put it all in a large bowl to set.  To my surprise, it was completely clabbered (solid) this morning.  Considering how cool it was last night, I did not expect this.  I still have no idea how to predict milk fermentation behaviour.  I transfered the curd to some cheese cloth to drain and there it now sits.

I also started a pot of soup stock – using up all the whey I had in my fridge – and got a batch of sourdough bread started.  I am going to use the whey from this latest batch of cheese, instead of water, for this bread.  I’m curious to see what will happen.

Two other projects on the go are a batch of muffins made with spelt fermented for 12+ hours in real buttermilk (i.e. what is leftover from making butter, which I made last night), and a chocolate sourdough cake made with my leftover sourdough starter.  I will post both recipes if they turn out.  I’ll know more shortly!

I also spent some time in the garden, which is a complete disaster right now.  It has really become overgrown in my (both mental and physical) abscence, and is largely drying out as we’ve had no rain in a couple of weeks now.  So I went out with some scissors and harvested my lemon balm, catnip and anise hyssop.  All three bunches are drying in my upstairs bedroom now.  I have discovered that drying herbs upstairs works better as the air tends to be dryer than on the main floor (likely due to bathroom and kitchen steam).  I trimmed back my other herbs, and hand cut the grass around my herb bed.  Oh, and I gave everything a good drink.  Except, of course, the grass, which remains the bane of my existence!  I really need to cut the whole lawn (yes, AGAIN), but that will simply have to wait. Perhaps I’ll try later this evening.  We’ll see.  Considering my late start to the day, it may have to wait until the weekend.

Once all of the above was done (and dogs were fed) I sat down to write.  I actually have been working since 10:30 am, or nearly four hours.  Not all has been productive, but I now feel like I have some momentum going that will hopefully carry on tomorrow.  After going to market that is.  Now I am going to check on my food projects, move my computer to the dining room table where my course prep books and notes are waiting for me, and carry on.  I have a whole bunch of photos downloaded and will try and get at least a few posted this evening.  Until then!

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One Response

  1. I thought of you when I saw this Border Collie blog post…

    http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2010/09/woollies-and-dogs.html

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