Mini Spring Cleaning

My office had gotten into what the British call a right state, meaning it was altogether in the wrong state. A small pile here, a large pile there, things had gotten out of hand. I hadn’t taken the time to develop a system for the stuff that accumulates in an office.

Yesterday was the day to fix that.

I began with the bookshelf. It had started out as my bookshelf but had quickly become the place-that-catches-everyone’s-stuff bookshelf. I went shelf by shelf, removing everything, including the dust, and shifting things to other, better places. My trash can overfloweth.

One thing I did that I think will be helpful in the long run was to give each of the students their own cubby hole for their school books. All Grade 2 books are in one place. That seemed to help the overall tidiness of the office at the end of the day yesterday. They knew where their stuff went, and it wasn’t in a pile with everyone else’s. We brought in a small end table and moved the printer off my desk and onto it. I also moved the desk and table around to different locations to give us all more room.

I feel like I can breathe again. Clutter in a room has a way of cluttering the mind, inducing confusion and frustration. Emptying a space down to its essentials is a good way to bring a measure of peace and calm that wouldn’t be as easily obtained otherwise.

I made another batch of yogurt yesterday. With the whey drained off, the batch was about a gallon and a half of yogurt. This time I tried something a little different, adding some flavoring. I used one small packet of orange gelatin, vanilla, pineapple extract, and sugar. The final product tastes pretty similar to a dreamsicle ice cream. I checked it this morning, and it has set up with a beautiful, creamy thickness.

I want to play around with some flavorings with the next few batches. People like yogurt around here, and they love flavored (super-watery) ice creams, so I think a flavored yogurt could be a hit. I also want to try adding fruit to yogurt, eventually, but fruit is hard to come by right now. That experiment will have to wait.

The cheese-making process is not coming along as well as I’d like. The batch I made earlier this week is drying in the cupboard. I have an alarm to turn it every twelve hours. I’m again hoping to make an aged cheddar with this. The flavor and smell of the cheese is good, but I could not get it pressed out the way I wanted with my crude tools. As soon as I can get to Cusco again, I want to search for an actual, factual cheese press.

Yesterday was Thursday, which meant pizza again. Steph used her fresh mozzarella on it and sprinkled ground Parmesan over top. Happy sigh….

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