Challenge Day Thirteen

Remain unperturbed and sustain momentum.

Today was a pretty great day. After a tasty breakfast and some writing time on my Humans of Interest piece, my mom dropped by to borrow some knitting supplies and pick up a box of things I had for her. To my surprise and delight, she brought me a care package of encouraging little treats: an enamel pin that says “WRITE SOMETHING,” a fancy fountain pen with blue and purple inks, a pair of socks that say, “so many books, so little time,” and (my favorite) a mug with a mermaid and the phrase “strong women make waves,” and her little shell bra and some of her scales are gold. It was the sweetest reminder that my mom has always been, and will always be, my number one fan. (Hi mom, I love you!)

Daily Challenges

Intimate Time
CookingToday’s Menu: Guy scrambled up the 12 egg whites from the crème patissiere and the leftover bacon from last week’s meat pie to go with a couple of pancakes for our brunch; we enjoyed a family dinner of flank steak, green and fruit salads, potatoes, and olive (I think) bread, followed by a dessert of cream puffs, natch.
Reading (Poetry)Editor Whedon” by Edgar Lee Masters is an indictment of the corrupt newspaperman, and also a confession to being one himself. Alongside bribes and exploitation, Masters gives us images of sewage and filth, so we know how he feels about the job of newspaper editor. It was written in 1916 but I find myself thinking of Fox News….
Reading (Fiction)I find I have to save The Poisonwood Bible until after I’ve done some of my more tedious tasks, because I keep getting lost and spending an inordinate amount of time reading it. It’s been a while since I connected with fiction in this way.
Reading (Nonfiction)I didn’t have the brainpower for a technical article today, so I read a few pages of Maid instead. As with The Poisonwood Bible, I find myself thinking about what it’s like to be the writer. I love memoirs, and creative nonfiction has always been my forté as a writer, so it’s only natural that I muse over my own future memoirs.
MusicSigh. I am trying to be patient with myself, but on the one hand, I know I could have made time for music today, but on the other hand, it would have been at the expense of essential down time. I did plunk on the piano with my eldest nibling (the Aladdin sheet music I’ve had since about 1995) but it wasn’t practice. Tomorrow (and tomorrow, and tomorrow….)
Postcard Poem This isn’t a hummingbird, but it sort of reminded me of one:

A year or so ago, the neighbor living behind us cut down a tree for some reason, and I was super sad about it for weeks because there was a hummingbird family nesting in it, and then one day the tree was gone. I was so upset about that nest and that tree, that I finally reported (to the city) the pickup truck with a flat tire hitched to a trailer full of garbage that had been parked on the street in front of their house for over a year.

The hummingbirds’ nest
was the size of an orange,
could be crushed to a pulp in your fist.
When the tree cried its boughs
and fell to the ground in grief,
I wept and raged at the men
who wailed with their chainsaws
and didn’t think to scour the branches
first, or who did, and cut it down
– Sarah Reebs, 10/13/2019
(Those neighbors also have a dog that barks at everyone who walks by their yard, which is a double lot and so a very long time to be barked at. I imagine that they are kind and loving people, but I also detest their smoky fires every few nights during the summer, and the fact that they park their cars on the street, when they have a massive yard and a garage that I know for a fact they cleaned out last summer. They just live like they’re in the country, when in fact they’re in the middle of a city, and it annoys me.)
Trash PickupI’m pleased to say that my bag was only about a quarter full, and that half of what I picked up was from out of the street, where there are usually cars parked and I can’t typically reach:

Today’s Challenges

My big challenge for today was to publish my Humans of Interest feature. Today, I waxed poetic about Abby, and if you haven’t read about her, it might be worth your time to gather context, since she seems to come up in every other post. You know, or don’t, because it’s your life.

I filled the choux buns with crème patissiere and topped them with chocolate ganache, and they turned out pretty much perfectly:

The puffs were surprisingly easy to fill; it only took me like 10 minutes to do them all. The ganache was super easy to make, and took about the same. Next time I will make the ganache a bit thicker. (Oh yeah, there will be a next time! These were not that bad, just very exhausting for my whisking arm.) To pretend to make up for all the pastry, I did my abs challenge after dinner, and it’s definitely getting easier every day. I’m over the halfway point now!

Good night, good night, a thousand times good night!