• space and distance

    After living in their bus for nearly two years, my older son and daughter-in-law have moved to a rental.

    It’s an adorable little house with oodles of natural light, high ceilings, tons of open space. Well, it’s not tons tons, but after living in a bus for two years, it’s pretty darn palatial. (“Overwhelming,” was how my daughter-in-law described it.) 

    The new place is twenty, maybe twenty-five, minutes from our house, all the way on the other side of the county, but after having them live so close — every time we drove into town, we passed by their road — the new place actually feels super far away. Like, we’ll have to make it a point to go see them. Not that we actually ever really went to see them before (remember: BUS), so maybe it’s the space, not the location, that matters most in this case?

    Anyway, last Saturday we met up at the new house for a cleaning party: washing windows, scrubbing bathrooms and cupboards, airing furniture, etc.

    They live close to the river, so the move is just in time for summer: we can go hang out by the river for the afternoon and then pop over to their place for supper.

    That’s my plan anyway. 

    So over the weekend they moved far, far away, and then Tuesday morning my older daughter flew off to Ireland where she’ll be solo traveling for the next two and a half months.

    After Ireland, she’s going to Scotland and England, and maybe Amsterdam. She has one WWOOFING gig lined up, and a couple of her cousins are gonna meet up with her for a few days at some point. Another girlfriend will join her in London towards the end of June and then the two of them will come back together on the Queen Mary 2. (Apparently the Queen Mary 2 has the biggest library on the ocean; considering that both girls are insatiable bookworms, I imagine that’s where they’ll spend most of their time.) 

    She arrived safely and has been sending me photos of her pub dinners, gray skies, and rocks. She left her water bottle at the airport in Shannon, but other than that everything’s going just fine. 

    It was pretty hard to see her go — transitions always heighten my feelings of sadness, loss, and anxiety — but now, even though the tracking app on her phone tells us that she’s 3365 miles away, I’m one cool cat. Everything’s up to her now, not me. Live it up, kiddo!

    This same time, years previous: the quotidian (4.17.23), sunshine cakes, the coronavirus diaries: week six, both ends, it takes a village, in the night air, with an audience, cheesy popcorn.

  • the quotidian (4.8.24)

    Quotidian: daily, usual or customary;
    everyday; ordinary; commonplace

    Multigrain sourdough and a pot of cheese.
    (Always a pot of cheese.)


    Sourdough English muffins.


    Speed chill: hot bread (polenta sourdough), hungry woman, windy day.


    Herby sourdough focaccia with fried eggs, bacon, and sharp Jack.

    Recipe testing a potato sourdough.

    Trying a new coffee cake: not convinced. Too many crumbs, oily mouth-feel.

    Mystery mead.
    (Grape and rhubarb . . . I think?)

    Stackables, whoop-whoop!

    Chilly fridge, oops.

    Wack weather.

    Rainbows galore.

    Dish and cold side: parallel shifts.

    Working hard or hardly working?

    This same time, years previous: two (no three!) fun things, dairy developments, the different kinds of meals, the coronavirus diaries: week five, the quotidian (4.8.19), scatteredness, millet muffins, the quotidian (4.6.13), yellow cake.

  • milkslinger

    Two years ago I started a YouTube Channel. Last month, I registered to be an LLC (official business name: JJ Murch LLC). I opened a business bank account, got a debit card, and attended a local business class. And I finally, finally, FINALLY settled on a brand name

    a surprise gift from my older daughter

    My daughter-in-law helped me set up a spreadsheet for tracking business expenses. My brother is helping me set up a website. I’ve hired someone to turn my videos into written recipes which I plan to sell as PDFs . . . once I get my online store up and running, pant-pant. I got a subscription to Brevo, am learning all about email marketing, and launched Splashed!, a weekly newsletter. Tomorrow I’m setting up a PO box so I can receive correspondence from viewers and readers.

    And I’m working on developing a logo.

    I was the guinea pig for a graphic design college class (the students were fantastic and the process helped me clarify what I want), have done lots of doodling (a family gathering is a perfect time to bring out the paper and pencils, especially when there’s an artist in the mix), and am now consulting one-on-one with a graphic designer, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law. 

    It’s kinda wild, this whole “starting a business” deal. Three years ago I was just beginning to make cheese in earnest and now here I am making mountains of cheese each week, dreaming of a cheese cave, and chatting with cheesemakers, both amateurs and professionals, all over the world (Spain! Mexico! South Africa!). For the longest time, I didn’t talk about my goals for this project, this business, but I’m feeling much more settled now. I know what I’m doing. The expected and hoped-for growth is happening. I can see where I’m headed. 

    So what do I do?

    Well, yesterday I got up at 4:30 (because I couldn’t sleep, not because I’m noble) and edited videos. I made and filmed a new cheese. I opened, tasted, and filmed a Manchego. I went to kickboxing and showered. I ordered some cheesemaking supplies and scheduled a couple meetings. I played Ultimate and showered (again), ate supper on the rug in front of the fire with my husband, played our NY Times games, and watched some Netflix.

    Today, I’ve responded to emails, edited videos, (mostly) finalized the next newsletter, filmed some cheese maintenance, scheduled a community post, made a coffee cake, attempted to nap, munched twizzlers, photographed a random snow squall, mixed up a batch of focaccia, made some business calls, and worked on this post. 

    Tomorrow I’m making (and probably filming) another cheese, as well as editing video. (The video editing is endless.) I’ll make sourdough. I’ll go for a run in the morning if it’s not raining (just this afternoon it rained, hailed, snowed, blew, and shone; welcome to Virginia!), and maybe I’ll walk with a girlfriend in the afternoon. 

    So! To sum up: there’s a lot of list making and crossings-off, thinking and thumb twiddling, plus there’s goodly amount of plain old Sitting My Butt Down, followed by endless squirming, with a few bursts of productivity sprinkled throughout.

    It’s all very mundane and non-glamorous, but also equal parts hectic and blissful. 

    This same time, years previous: the quotidian (4.3.23), the quotidian (4.4.22), ground beef chili with chocolate and peanut butter, instead of a walk, kickboxing, caribbean milk cake, a trick for cooking pasta, the quotidian (4.4.16), red raspberry pie.