I must be still really tired because the novella’s edit just drained me to nothing. I stopped cooking and cleaning. I just edited for like 2 weeks straight and my brain feels like it’s just done. So in an effort to focus on the positives, behold my list of Yays.
- Novella has gone out to the beta readers. Yay.
- Septic tank has been pumped. Yay.
- Kid 1 ordered a cleaning service for Friday. Yay.
- End of edits celebration dinner accomplished yesterday. Yay.
- I woke up with a horrible headache, but Ibuprofen and Excedrin are working. Yay.
- Exterminator is coming tomorrow to spray for bugs and scorpions. Yay.
- Kid 2 sent another chunk of her project. Yay.
- I am going to take another mental day off today. Yay.
Some yays require further explanations.
The so called novella is now even longer, almost 45,000 words. ::stares at the offensive novella:: Why are you so long?
The official length for fiction works are as follows:
- Short story: under 7,500
- Novelette: between 7,500 and 17,500
- Novella: between 17,500 and 40,000
- Novel: over 40,000
So this novella is 7,000 words longer than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Joy.
We tried to cut things. But most of the editorial feedback was “put more things in.” We did. Oh well.
Septic tank yay. It is amazing how much peace of mind pumping the septic tank can bring you. The second house we ever lived in had a sewage issue. It came up into the yard. It came up into the house. We had no money to fix it and Gordon’s mother who owned the house either wasn’t able to or didn’t want to admit the problem existed. I am forever traumatized by sewage. We’re good for at least a couple of years. Hopefully.
Celebration dinner. Before you ask, it was soft tacos/fajitas with mango pico de gallo and cantaloupe cucumber salad. Kid 1 made her trademark guacamole. We used shredded Mexican Cheese mix for the fajitas.
For meat, we had steak and chicken. Steak was marinated in a mix of lime juice, a bit of taco sauce, chopped cilantro, salt and HEB Beef fajita spices. Chicken was 4 chicken breasts, marinated in Urban Accents Chili Taco Simmer Sauce, cilantro, and HEB Chicken fajita spices with a splash of lime juice. HEB should pay me for product placement.
The simmer sauce can also be bought from Urban Accents website. I found it lacks acidity to be very effective as marinade, so adding about a lime’s worth of lime juice does the trick. I am planning on making my own chili sauce with a bit more sweetness. I found a recipe online and I will report back on results.
Both chicken and steak can be grilled. Chicken can also be baked in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Yes, I know recommended time is 20, but I like to be thorough. When I bake this particular recipe, I rest the chicken breasts on a wire rack set in the pan and I think it adds to cooking time. Steak can be broiled. Don’t forget to wrap the soft taco size tortillas in foil and stick them in the oven while the chicken is baking. They will come out nice and warm.
Pico de gallo is traditionally made with serrano peppers, but we skip them in our family because Gordon prefers mild foods and the chicken is relatively spicy already. Every Texas family has their own spin on salsa and pico de gallo. For mango pico de gallo House Andrews style, you will need ripe tomatoes, sweet onion, mango, salt, lime, and cilantro. Chop everything up, salt, squeeze a lime into it, and mix. If the meat is less spicy than chili chicken, I sometimes add a dash of chili powder to pico de gallo to add a bit of heat.
We do it by volume: 2 parts tomato, one part onion, one part mango. So if you chopped up a cup of tomatoes, you will need half a cup of onion, half a cup of mango, and enough cilantro to make it look pretty. I normally buy one bunch of cilantro and use half. Sometimes I use more. Cilantro is like garlic. Everyone has their own tolerance.
You can also put peach into pico de gallo instead of mango. But it needs to be firm.
I like these assemble-your-own style of meals because everyone gets what they want. Fajitas and tacos are my favorite.
Now I am going to go outside and mow the back yard with electric mower while Gordon mows the front. I love the electric mower so much. No fumes, no gas, no weirdness.