Melancholy and exhausted

I’ve been in a funk lately.  There are several factors at play: co-workers/friends keep moving away, I’m over my job, I applied for another job but didn’t get an interview, gardening season is almost over (though I should be getting excited about skiing, but it’s not happening yet), I spent the first half of the month traveling and giving talks–while sick, and I’m stressed out about finishing up a project with my second job by the end of the year.

I got so frustrated at work a couple of weeks ago that I took off most of last week from work…just to get away from the things that were pissing me off.  I did a lot of cooking, gardening, and hanging out with The Stinker.  It was nice and relaxing, but I was unmotivated to blog, which surprised me a little bit.  I guess getting out of the habit while I was traveling earlier this month is partly to blame…kind of like with my running routine.  While traveling I had virtually no chance to run and so when I got home, I really had to force myself to get out.  And we’ve been having really nice weather!  So that wasn’t a factor.  I think it was just that I’m feeling “blah.”  I haven’t gotten into a funk like this in quite some time.

I think a big part of it is work-related.  Now that we’ve lost yet another quality employee, we are left with…how do I say this?  Uh, well, perhaps that says all that needs to be said.  I’m having to clean up some work that another former employee did, which pisses me off.  This is the third time I’ve had to clean up someone else’s incompetent work.  This makes me want to pull my hair out, except that I like my hair, so it makes me want to do physical harm to something/someone.  Whatever happens to get in my way at the wrong time.  Because I’m so frustrated with the incompetency and inefficiency, and there seems to be no change in the works from higher up, I was really, really, really excited when I found a job with the school district a couple of weeks ago that seemed right up my alley.  It was a tutoring position (which fits nicely with my teaching background), full-time, with benefits, AND I’d have my summers off to garden to my heart’s content.  It was PERFECT.  I saw it after the closing date, but the position was listed as “open until filled” and it was still listed on the website, so I thought, “Well, hell.  I have to at least put in an application.”  So I did.  And then I checked their website again on Friday afternoon and saw that the position had been removed.  What a bummer of a way to start the weekend.

But I have to move on–and keep looking for another job.  Something will show up, but it might take some time.  I just have to keep focused on the things that keep me happy in the meantime and be grateful that I have a job that helps pay the bills.  And really, this job isn’t too stressful most of the time.  But it is time to move on.

While I was home this week I made a pumpkin pie with a real pumpkin.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never done that before.  Thank you, CSA, for those pie pumpkins.  I made it with a chocolate crust, which was pretty darn good, plus it looked Halloween-y with the black and orange colors!  I also made a fantastic kale and butternut squash pizza.  This may be my favorite thing I made this week.  I made kale chips (Hubby hated them so much he spit them out–more for me!).  I made some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (still have plenty of pumpkin to use up) and I made some veggie nuggets based on a recipe I saw in Parade Magazine a few weeks ago.  The veggie nuggets are wonderful!  I tweaked the recipe just a little, and I had some mix left over so I made them into burger patties–one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever eaten.  Hands down.

Below, clockwise from top left: kale and butternut squash pizza, kale chips, homemade veggie burger with fresh tomatoes from the garden (sigh…love!), and pumpkin pie with chocolate crust.

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I finally got the last of my garlic planted.  A couple of weeks ago between work trips, I planted garlic in my garden boxes.  I didn’t intend on planting so much, but I filled two 4’x8′ boxes with 221 cloves.  That’s just what I saved from the garlic I harvested this year.  I also ordered 2 pounds of garlic (an 8 variety sample pack) that I planted in the community garden this week.  That was another 103 cloves.  I also founds some rogue garlic sprouting in my garden this weekend while cleaning up, so I’ve got a boatload of garlic to harvest next summer if everything goes well!  I might sell some of it to the CSA next summer.

We’ve had such a nice, warm fall that I’m still pulling things from the garden.  I have flowers on my snow peas, I’ve got some huge carrots and radishes, and my kale and chard are loving the cooler weather.  While everyone else has tucked their garden in for the long winter, I’m still out there plucking fresh veggies for dinner!  Two more weeks of the CSA share and then our fall share begins.  I’m looking forward to winter squashes, onions, and potatoes.  Comfort foods when I need them most.

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