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Jessica
Tucson, AZ
Interests: Thinking, writing, wine, food, cooking, travel, sewing, costuming (especially historical), gardening
Recent Activity
I went to a psychiatrist recently in order to confirm or deny a growing realization - one that I've been coming to over the past couple of months - that I may have ADD. It turns out that, yes, I do indeed have this mixed blessing of a condition. And I am thrilled! Really! Let me tell you why... All my life I have struggled with certain problems, from poor time management, lack of drive, disorganization, forgetfulness, getting easily distracted or derailed from my intentions...the list is long. And all my life I've been told to "just try harder", "you... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2015 at LiberMentis
I've been working as a software tester since last April. I started as a total Noob. Turns out, I am a good tester and I like it, and the folks at the start up I work for also like my work, so I suddenly find that I have a new career!! I may, from time to time write posts about my work...if I can keep the entries short and to the point. It's an interesting and challenging job, and I have found that I need to learn all the things! Well, okay, not all the things...but definitely some of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at LiberMentis
Been away from blogging a lot longer than I had expected or planned. I actually have quite a few old posts sitting in the drafts folder, all written in the past two years, but they are all way too long, and, as a result, completely unfinished. I have detected a theme here. Seems I tend to ramble on and then run out of steam. So I am going to try a new tactic: Shorter posts. Starting with this one. Let's see if I can ease myself back into blogging regularly by keeping my posts short and sweet. Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at LiberMentis
I am still around, just very busy these days. I keep threatening to write again, and I still mean to...just not sure when. So consider this a placeholder. "I'll Be Back..." Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at LiberMentis
I love following link chains on the internet...going from one blog or website to another, sometimes for hours of fascinating reading that almost inevitably leads to me getting completely derailed from the thing that I was looking up or about to order in the first place. The latest chain was so interesting and fruitful that I had to write about it and share it with The World (hello one reader, you are now nick-named "The World"). See, it all started with a search for lard. We are almost out, so I need to restock. Usually I get my lard from... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2012 at LiberMentis
Bobotie is considered to be a difinitive dish of South Africa, although it most likely originated in Batavia (now Known as Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia). It is one of the finest of the ground meat casserole dishes (at least in my opinion), with it's savory custard-like topping, and is really a must-try. The version below is paleo-friendly, omitting certain traditionally used ingredients like raisins and chutney (too much sugar) and bread, and adding liver. I did miss the slightly sweet contrast of raisins, and might consider adding a few next time - perhaps minced so that a little... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2012 at LiberMentis
Last year I came across a very nice drinks blog called 12bottlebar.com while in search of a cocktail recipe and wound up spending several facinated hours there, the result of which was a plan to go through the recipes one at a time to broaden my tastes. I ended up getting stuck on one specific drink, the Brandy Milk Punch, (paleo version using whole raw milk and - because it was what I had on hand, and I love it - Metaxa) that I loved so much I just couldn't move on. If you try this drink, don't forget the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2012 at LiberMentis
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Now that it's just way too cold to venture outside for any length of time, I'm looking forward to focusing on some of the other interests I have such as blogging and sewing. It has always been my intention for this blog to be about more than just gardening and food, and I finally feel like I'm able to start documenting my sewing adventures. I have quite a backlog what with costumes from two Dragon*Cons and several pirate parties, not to mention my love for vintage clothing and a growing collection of fab vintage patterns. My new blue office is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2010 at LiberMentis
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It got to be December pretty darn fast, I must say! I've been snuggled up in my cozy new blue office so deeply that I've hardly even noticed the outside world for the most part. Cozy New Blue Office. Yes, that IS a map of Middle-Earth on the wall. For instance, I knew it was theoretically cold outside because someone mentioned it would be in the twenties last week, but it didn't really sink in that it was feckin' freezing out 'til I went to get some greens out of the wee greenhouses I built and found ice between the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Today is November 5th and tonight it's supposed to freeze. I am partially amazed that it's getting cold so soon this year, in spite of knowing that we are going through a solar cycle of reduced sunspot activity that will mean cooler temperatures for the next 10 years or so. As soon as I found out about the upcoming freeze, I starting planning for my winter garden. Basically I want to save the plants that are currently growing, and see if I can continue to grow some veggies well into winter. So yesterday I took apart the bean trellis that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2010 at LiberMentis
I've been drifting in my paleo diet over the past 4 or 5 months. O, let me count the ways: eating rice or corn a few times a month to several times a week eating potatoes several times a week consuming processed foods such as chutney (my favorite way to eat eggs is fried in butter and covered in cheese, chutney and chili sauce - which is mostly paleo, except that commercial chutneys have sugar) eating out at Waffle House about once a week (meats and eggs are fine, but I won't lie - I go there for the hashbrowns... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2010 at LiberMentis
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With the increased heat of summer I haven't been out in the garden as much as I was in June...it's fecking hot out there! That being said, I have been giving my share of garden tours, as we've been doing quite a bit of entertaining these past few weeks. I can see the garden beginning to wain all around me. The cucumber plants have almost succumbed to some sort of wilt or virus, but I'm alright with that because I am about sick of cucumbers! The progression of the wilt starts with little yellow spots forming on the leaves, which... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Once upon a time, in a little onion patch of a small garden, there grew a simple onion flower bud, the only onion flower bud in the entirety of the onion patch, in fact. The kind lady gardener who tended the onion patch was very pleased to discover the little bud and became very quickly fond of it. She would come and visit the bud every day, making sure that it had enough water and fertilizing the soil around it's roots to help it grow big and strong. The onion bud grew larger and fuller, until one day it's cone... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2010 at LiberMentis
You are welcome to come over and smush hornworms any time you like. I'm too squeamish. Michael has offered his services, too.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2010 on Battle of Good and Evil in the Garden at LiberMentis
1 reply
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The cucumbers are doing their best to cover my back deck. I may be doing a lot of pickling if all those blossoms make fruits. Creeping tendrils of fuzzy yellow cucumber goodness: This one is about halfway grown. Lemon cucumbers are supposed to be harvested when they are lemon-sized and just starting to turn yellow. If they are allowed to reach full maturity, they turn a bright yellow with vertical stripes. I tried one that was already mostly yellow and the skin was too thick to enjoy, so now I harvest them sooner, rather than later. Sliced: Here is a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Yesterday I brought home a rather large, very heavy cooler containing the better parts of one quarter of a grass-fed cow. The price was unbeatable, plus, this cow came from a local farm and was slaughtered and processed in the past two weeks. I am happy to have a freezer full of an amazing variety of cuts of beef, and I am gratified to know that my money went directly to the man who raised and nurtured this cow on my behalf (and also to the people who slaughtered and butchered the cow). I can trace the path of this... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2010 at LiberMentis
Thanks so much for the advice! I'm glad to see that I'm on the right track. I thought the soil seemed too compacted and have tried to loosen it a bit...I will add some sand, as you suggest. We've had a lot of rain this week, which has probably compounded the waterlogging problem. I'll try your suggestion with the tomato plant too. I saw your blog earlier today, and was really impressed by your raised beds. I was even making some mental notes about how to improve my garden. The chicken wire over the seedlings is a great idea...somebody keeps eating my chards before they can even get going, and now they are starting in on my beans! How big are your raised beds, btw?
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2010 on June Garden Update at LiberMentis
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I can't believe a month has already passed! So much stuff going on lately, and hardly the time to get things done... I've been working in the garden almost every single day, and still loving it! Below are the latest photos. Sorry about the washed out quality of some of the pics...it was a very bright day. My garden has really exploded with growth this past month - particularly the cucumber plants! Cucumber blossom: They've outgrown their trellis and are starting to move to the deck railing. I'll have to read a bit and see what I need to do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2010 at LiberMentis
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There's been quite a bit of excitement around the homestead this morning! Mostly good, some not so good, and some downright funny! First the good. The radishes are here! I harvested them this morning! I figured it was time, because I found this guy peeping out at me while I was weeding: I think I'm going to try pickling them, using lacto-fermentation. The carrots are still just wee little sproutlings. Some of the radishes didn't form a root of any significant size, so I am leaving them in the ground to shade the carrots and protect them til they get... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at LiberMentis
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It got a little rainy and cool this weekend, so I was in the mood for something hearty and rich to eat. I also wanted something relatively low-carb and simple. I ended up concocting a Creamy Ham, Potato, Cauliflower soup that started out a bit rocky, but turned out fabulous! I started with a small ham and a bunch of baby vidalia onions with the greens still attached. I chopped about half of the ham up and put it in the crock pot (on high) with the chopped vidalias and greens, garlic and some chicken stock. When the onions began... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Garden Update! So, lots of good things are growing in my garden! And lots of new stuff is on the way. First, look at how much everything has grown since my last post: The spinach is ready for harvesting, and I've enjoyed a couple of tasty salads with it. There are some lettuces growing in the foreground. (The empty plastic bottles were from my attempt at a slow drip watering method, but it didn't turn out so well.) Note the marigolds in the bottom left. I've scattered them throughout the garden, because they are supposed to discourage root-munching pests like... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Last year was the year of my Very First Garden. Prior to that, I had only planted a couple of things at my old house: some day lilies that came from my grandmother and some honeysuckle. Neither of these required any effort to maintain, so I hardly consider that as counting. Last year's gardening experiment was successful, easier than I thought, rewarding, and even fun. So naturally now that spring is here, I can't resist having another garden this year. In fact, I am so excited about it that I can barely sit still! I squee every time I see... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2010 at LiberMentis
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Mar 15, 2010
Duck has become one of my favorite meats. The rich flavor, gobs of delicious fat, and the fact that it's all dark meat make it the preferred poultry at our house. In fact, since introducing duck to my husband, he has stated that he could happily never eat chicken again, and I often find him in the kitchen after a duck dinner, contentedly devouring any left over bits of meat and skin, dipping them in the fat in the pan. Most of the time, Michael devours the entire duck that night, and there are no leftovers. Whenever I have mourned... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at LiberMentis
Hah! I was just going through some of the old posts on my other blog, and came across this post from almost exactly one year ago, which was the second to the last thing I wrote. I was still working in a corporate setting as a contracted graphic designer, and WOW what a contrast from the way I feel and live today! Hooray for escaping the rat race! Hooray and infinite THANKS to the husband who is willing to support me as I muddle through and try to make something new and spectacular of myself, and who lets me take... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at LiberMentis