And Sometimes You Make Vinegar

Well, my wild fermented cider is now wild fermented apple cider vinegar.

I do have the larger jug (now in a plastic container) in the freezer to see if the water will freeze off and leave me with some booze, but honestly I’m not very optimistic. The other two jars are solid apple cider vinegar which I’ve now put up in mason jars and should last me a good long while.

I feel like this cider to vinegar mishap is a good metaphor for where I’m at in my life right now. I quit my full-time, full-benefits, salaried job in the middle of September. There are a variety of reasons for why I quit, but in essence I needed to steal my life back–and steal it back I have!

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’ve been enjoying these past few months of not working: it’s been incredible! And, while I recognize most people don’t have the luxury to not work for a chunk of their adult life like I am, I wish more people could.

I’ve been keeping myself busy. Spread across various tables, spots on the floor and counter-tops throughout my house I’ve got projects galore: linoleum block printing, a quilt, handmade rock climbing chalk bag, earrings, mending projects, photo album organizing, a graphic design project for a local non-profit, more kimchi, fermenting horseradish and a handful of letters waiting to be written out and dropped lovingly in the mailbox. And those are just my craft projects, I’ve also got some major house projects under-way, a graphic design job (which I’m getting paid for!) and I’m helping to start the Riverwest Public House Cooperative, a cooperatively-owned tavern in the neighborhood.

1) Rock climbing chalk bag I made out of re-used vinyl banner complete with liner, drawstring and waist belt. 2) The wheels of my quilt are going to be double-cross and radial laced! (Note, it’s pink and turquoise, not red and green–I have x-mas.) 3) A bowl of horseradish we dug from the garden the other week. I grated two cups of it to make sauce and now my sinuses are clear but I also made the rookie move of accidentally rubbing my eyes.

So how is all this like the vinegar I made? Because not all of it is going to turn out like I planned. Already the first linoleum block I cut didn’t print how I wanted it to; I might decide that I can’t handle the bright colors of the quilt I’m making; the resumes I’ll be sending out may not pan-out. But I know it’ll be alright. Making mistakes is completely fine and just a part of the process of it all. The point is to try and to learn. (Like love: heartbreak is just a part of the whole thing.) I’m so appreciate that I was raised in a way that has given me the confidence and resilience to know that.

And one of these days, I’ll figure out how to make cider. Until then, I got to see what the “mother” of apple cider vinegar looks like (it’s the bubbly skin on the top).

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