Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lazily Productive or Productively Lazy?

Do you ever have those days when you’re melancholy for no apparent reason?  I was having one of those days yesterday.  I don’t particularly like these sort of days, but even so it’s often difficult to want to do anything more than wallow in my melancholia.  But that wouldn’t give me much to write about, would it?

Friday I was more motivated to be productive.  I’ve had a “project” in my head for awhile now that I decided let loose.  I’ve subscribed to National Geographic for a number of years.  Mostly because I have a gift subscription for my dad and it’s not that much more to have my own.  Even though I don’t read them cover to cover as he does, I find them interesting and have kept them over the years – including the maps and posters that occasionally come with them.  I went through every issue and pulled out the maps and posters.  And proceeded to cover one of the downstairs walls with them.  It’s probably worth pointing out that this is not my first foray into using magazines as wall covering.  Many years ago when I was living in a small garage converted to living space, I covered an entire wall of my bedroom with magazine ads out of Vanity Fair.  I believe the hubs thinks I’m a little nuts.  He said it was “busy”.  Indeed, it is. 

I supposed I should have replaced the vent covers and
wall plates before photographing, but here it is as it was.
And the ugly green chair - that's the dog's chair.  She has her own chair.

Yesterday I chose to tackle a cleaning chore I’ve been putting off for some time.  The light/ceiling fan in our upstairs living room needed to be cleaned in the worst of ways and I wanted to replace the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents.  Neither easily accomplished with a 14’ ceiling.  A ladder was involved.  But it’s done.  For awhile.

After that, putting some of the maps and posters back up on the wall that had fallen overnight (this time with super sticky stuff), and a couple of loads of laundry, I felt I deserved to do something I wanted to do.  That’s sort of the deal I make with myself:  do some things I need to do, and then I can do something I want to do.  It’s not often they’re one in the same.

What did I want to do?  Make caramels.  This was my first try at goat milk caramels with my homemade sweetened condensed goat milk.  And I decided to try and infuse them with some orange zest.  Not sure how they’re going to turn out yet.  I’ll find out for sure when I cut them later today.  What I chewed off of the spatula didn’t seem to have any orange flavor at all.  The goat ate the orange.  Or more likely, since I put the orange zest in with the sugar and syrup in the beginning (to essentially candy the zest), the intense boiling was too much for the delicate oils in the zest.  That may warrant further investigation.

The orange.  The only oranges I had on hand were the Cara Cara oranges I had picked up on a whim last week.  I’ve read about them on several occasions lately and just HAD to have them.  The label called them a “pink navel orange”.  From all the hype, I was expecting one of the most awesome oranges I’ve ever tasted.  I’ve had much, MUCH better oranges.  How disappointing.  That marmalade may need some embellishment.  We'll see what I can come up with today.