Sunday, April 06, 2008

Where to Start?

It was General Conference weekend and so Saturday I worked and worked and worked and listened to the talks on my computer. I was supposed to take Ben and Milo to a classmates' birthday party but totally lost track of time. Omigosh, I felt so awful. We got there in time to give him his presents but the boys--all of them, really, were crushed. A friend from church took the twins back to her place so they could play with her daughter for a couple of hours. I went home and had dinner with Chris and Max, went to get the twins, and then came home and worked again until 2am.

That's how it is with this job. You work and work and work and work and then . . . wait 6 to 8 weeks to get paid and then weather ANOTHER work slowdown.

So. The resumes are out. I am slogging my way through my certification paperwork so I can at least sub. I have some good leads and a few people in my corner to help me this time around. I have loved having the flexibility of my job the last 9 years and I was/am good at it. But I think I've come to the point with it where it's not worth it and I just want something more. I'm happier doing Reader's Theater on Thursday afternoons for nothing--and that's with second graders. I'm not notoriously at my best with the 3rd grade and under crowd.

After talking to the wrong people at Penn State, I happened to mention to the Vice-Principal at the charter school that I was hoping to pick up an ESL certificate and she referred me to the local Ed office. I can do this as continuing ed! That makes like $9,000 less. For about $1,000 I finish the course work for it. And I can do a bunch of it online.

This past week for me was a blur of kids activities and canning beans and working and job hunting and I'm expecting more of the same for the upcoming week--except that the weather is supposed to be better, so I'm hoping to get some yard work done.

Today was a very nice watching General Conference at Gaye's house and then having burritos for dinner and then . . . and then it was bedtime. And that is all I get to write tonight for now it is bedtime already for me, too.


Blurker said...

Does the family truckster have a new home yet?

The Queen said...

Nope. It's still for sale!

Aunt Charlotte said...

Where did you get the beans?

The Queen said...

They're not green beans, they're pinto and black turtle beans. I bought two 50 lb bags of each a year ago and then divided those each into 5 lbs sets. Every so often, I soak the whole 5 lbs over night, cook them up with two large diced onions and some peppers and other spices (it's a whim thing, no two batches are alike), and then I process them in quarts at 10 lbs pressure for 90 minutes. If I know I'm going to be home working all day, then it works out well since the prep time is minimal and my job is mostly to keep the pressure canner from blowing up. (Just kidding, Dad!)

It sounds like a lot of work just to have the beans cooked ahead of time, but it's really NOT a lot of work (although it is a lot of dishes, I'll give you that) and the resulting beans are totally fat free, flavorful, and ready to go when I don't know what to make for dinner. I either add them to meat for chili, add them to a ham bone for ham and beans, or blend them in a food processor and reheat them to make fat-free refried beans. It works out to 48 cents a quart for flavorful, fat-free beans--and 9 cents of that is the canning lid.

Only 7 quarts fit in my canner, so I store the extra beans in the fridge. Then when I'm ready, I mix all those together, bring them back up to boiling, and can those in pint jars. No waste, and the pint jars are the right size when Chris wants a chili snack.

This time around I figured that since I had a few tiny hot-pepper plant seedlings, I could start to use up my hot peppers in my freezer, so I did make one batch super spicey :) Omigosh, I almost burnt my lungs in the first half hour those were cooking on the stove. I'm going to save a quart of those for Jake :) Because, you know, I love my brother.

Aunt Charlotte said...

and your Aunt would probably like them too!