Alan rearranged my bedroom for me a couple of nights ago.  The boys will be sleeping in the upstairs middle room (my family owns a Cape Cod) this summer, instead of the basement (affectionately known as “the bunker,” or the more popular “man cave”), so the upstairs middle room (once my work area, the PSP/Wii area and Sarah’s sewing room) will be the boys’ room, the PSP/Wii area and Sarah’s sewing room.

My desk – a gift from my parents for having earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do – is back in the dormer window area, but instead of standing parallel to the window (and effectively taking up almost the entire area), Alan set it perpendicular to the window, so I still have room to sit in the little nook and look outside.

Alan also moved my shelf of Mary Kay inventory, paperwork and other related stuff into my room, perpendicular to my dresser.  And, because my bookshelf sat where my desk currently does, he moved that beside the Mary Kay shelf, creating a physical wall between the rest of my bedroom and my work area, but still allowing me to see the door because I become incredibly paranoid and irritable if I am unable to see exits, have my back to exits or windows or sit in the aisle seat of restaurant booths, movie theaters or church pews so I can immediately greet anyone who enters.  Not that anyone should be entering, because I am also very protective of my personal space and dislike intrusion.

Actually, it’s more like me just not liking people seeing the fact that I am not anal-retentive when it comes to my room.

We’ve not had a good strawberry season here in PA, due to the incredibly wet spring.  So, when Mom purchased strawberries yesterday (from an Amish woman selling them at an ice cream place, of course), she knew they wouldn’t last until Saturday, which is when she needs strawberries for a recipe.  So, Alan and I took them off of her hands and made strawberry jam last night.

Pectin-Free Honey Strawberry Jam
+ 2 lbs. strawberries
+ 2 C. sugar
+ 2 C. honey
+ 1/4 C. lemon juice

Wash and hull the strawberries; crush with a mortar and pestle.  Combine all ingredients in heavy-bottomed pot and heat on low until sugar and honey are dissolved.  Slowly bring to rolling boil and heat until temperature reaches 220F, stirring frequently.  Allow to cool and place in jars.  Refrigerate.

You can also can strawberry jam, or freeze it, which is what my maternal grandmother does.  Last night, Alan called Grammy to ask for her jam recipe, and she said she uses the one on the back of the SURE.JELL fruit pectin box.  And here I’ve been thinking, for all of these years, that it was some epic family recipe for the most amazing strawberry jam ever.  It reminded me of an article I read about the effects of divorce on children.  Offspring who are adults when their parents divorce may question the happy memories of their childhoods, wondering if everything was truly as it all seemed.

With one phone call, I am left wondering how many other recipes have come from the backs of mass-produced grocery store items.  For starters, there’s the Onion-Roasted Potatoes recipe.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

However, I would like to note that my grandmother makes the absolute best venison, stew, PA Dutch pot pie (the dough kind, not the pie crust kind) and blueberry custard pie in the history of amazingness.  So, if she happens to use a recipe on the back of a box and you know this, don’t tell me.

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