• Daily Life

    the most bougie thing i have ever done

    Our dryer died last weekend, and the landlord is working on getting a new one, but in the meantime, the laundry is piling up, so I have found a local laundry service that will COLLECT EVERYTHING, take it away, wash, dry, and fold it, then BRING IT BACK TO US.

    I said over on twitter that if this goes well, I may never do laundry again. That’s probably not true, but the fact that I can just have somebody COLLECT IT…. I mean, I found them because I was looking for a laundromat near me, and the Google ad service came up with them and I was like “…that would just be a lot easier,” so I booked them.

    It is by far the most bougie thing I have ever done.

    It’s also just like a huge sigh of relief.

    I should probably apply this new knowledge about that last sentence there to the blog post below about housecleaning, Marie Kondo-ing, and…stuff. :)

  • Publishing,  Writing

    New Book: A VERY MEOWY CHRISTMAS

    My latest paranormal romance novella, A VERY MEOWY CHRISTMAS, is now available!

    I cannot tell you how much fun I have writing these lil’ novellas. They’re short, they’re sweet, they’re funny, and everybody gets to live happily ever after, which we certainly need in these times. I genuinely hope you like it as much as I liked writing it. :)

    Being cool as a cat is harder than it looks when unexpected love strikes!

    Single dad and bobcat shifter Mason has moved to Virtue to raise his toddler in the safety of a shifter community. But minor catastrophe strikes when his daughter escapes to play in the woods, and the last thing Mason expects when she’s found is to meet his mate. His bobcat insists it’s meow or never, but Mason isn’t ready for the complication of a new relationship.

    Veterinary student Chrissy has always known about Virtue’s shifters, and even dreamed of finding fated love of her own, but that didn’t prepare her for a lost bobcat kitten who turns into an adorable little girl. She can hardly believe it’s fur real, but Mason really does seem purrfect.

    Mason needs to take it slow. Chrissy hasn’t yet wrapped up veterinary school. On the surface, it seems impawssible, but as they spend time kitten around, Chrissy and Mason realize they’re already building holiday traditions of their own, and that together, they’re going to have a very meowy Christmas.

    A Very Meowy Christmas is a sweet, short romantic comedy that will be mewsic to your heart as this charming shifter romance with a guaranteed happily ever after promises that love is meow and forever!

    A VERY MEOWY CHRISTMAS is available now! (affiliate link)

  • Daily Life

    i gotta marie kondo my life

    S P E C I F I C A L L Y i need to marie kondo all the stuff that’s lying around that’s actually already been marie kondo’d and just needs to be TAKEN SOMEWHERE ELSE. We don’t have a car, which makes some of it difficult, but there are also things too large to be put in a car (like a 3 seater sofa), so it’s less relevant on that front.

    I am just so tired of Stuff. I do not know how to winnow down the STUFF. I mean, I do, but like most things in life, it’s much easier to know HOW to do a thing than to actually do it. Even, in this case, if you apply the really fairly sensible Marie Kondo approach. I mean, like, do my yearbooks bring me joy? No, but it’s still weirdly hard to get rid of them. Does the collection of 6th grade research papers we wrote in my QUEST class bring me joy? No, but if I got my act together I could get them scanned and send them to my classmates, which might be worth a moment’s laugh.

    Or not.

    Anyway, this is hardly a new refrain, even on a blog that’s been mostly dormant for years, but it’s what I’m wrangling with today.

    My dream, really, is to DECLUTTER enough to feel like getting somebody in to vacuum and clean the bathroom would not just be sort of a waste of time. Like, I recognize the house isn’t anywhere near bad enough to make a professional cleaner recoil, but I would like to get it to a Reasonable State and then have somebody HELP ME KEEP IT THAT WAY.

    (I’m beginning to realize that the character count limit on Twitter affects my tendency to bold or italize things. Now I just YELL THEM REAL LOUD.)

    Okay, I’ve just spent twenty minutes trying to find an image for the ‘featured image’ on this post, and can’t, so I think perhaps I should just post it and move on with my day.

  • Daily Life

    as the world falls down

    All right, well, as we wait to see whether Twitter, like, collapses into a singularity or something, I’m at least updating my website, and maybe I’ll learn how to blog again. Probably not, but who knows, it could happen.

    I…have no idea what to write. I can still write books, but not, apparently, a blog post of more than 280 characters.

    I’ve recently finished writing my fiftieth book. I’ve even more recently finished my tenth novella (although of the 50 books, 3 are short story collections that include novellas, so we start getting into murky territory right away here). I started knitting once and stopped again. I occasionally read something, but mostly I forget to, and go look at Twitter instead. (Arguably Twitter disappearing would be good for me. Equally arguably, it would not be.)

    I moved my Professional Self over to CatieMurphy.com a while ago, and think it was a good decision. I think it’d be an even better one if I remembered to update it regularly, but *waves hands at the world* I think I’ve got reason to not remember.

    And now dinner is ready, so I don’t have to try to remember how to blog anymore. :)

  • Daily Life

    Apple Butter Recipes, Redux

    Miz Kit’s Apple Butter Recipe
    ~10 pounds unprocessed/~4lbs prepared (peeled, cored, sliced) apples
    1.5 cups apple juice/sweet cider
    1 tsp salt

    Peel, core and slice the apples. Put prepared apples and apple juice into a large pot, cover, and boil until the apples are soft (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Puree the mix in a blender/food processor/whatever until smooth. Turn into a deep, flat enamel-lined pan & put into a pre-heated oven at 325°F (150°C, 130°C fan assisted) and roast, stirring very occasionally, for 1-2 hours or until the puree has reduced by half.

    Remove from oven. Stir in FLAVORING OF YOUR CHOICE (see below). Return to oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring slightly more frequently. Jar as you normally would. Makes around 48oz/6 8oz jars.

    TO FLAVOR:
    Honey Apple Butter: 2 cups/500ml honey

    Maple Apple Butter: 2 cups/500ml maple syrup, 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

    Warm Spices Apple Butter:
    3-4 cups sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp anise seeds (if you like that sort of thing)
    1/2 tsp grated/ground/powdered cloves
    1/2 tsp nutmeg

    Caramel Apple Butter: 2 cups/500ml caramel

    To acquire caramel if you don’t have any on hand:
    Miz Kit’s Caramel Recipe:
    1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
    2 tbsp. butter
    1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream (room temp)
    2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
    1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

    In a large saucepan over high heat, combine granulated sugar and 1⁄2 cup water. Cook without stirring, 7–9 minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 385°. When it starts to caramelize, swirl the pan gently for even color. Make sure it turns a nice goldy caramel color before you whisk in the cream (be careful it steams SO MUCH OMG), then butter. Lower heat to medium and whisk until thick, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Pour hot caramel directly into the apple butter.

    COOK’S NOTES:
    this is a very forgiving recipe, and can be doubled, quartered, and more but I don’t have a big enough pan to, like, quadruple it, but if you have 5 pounds of processed apples, eh, just follow this & taste to see if you think it needs more sugar or anything. It’s a *very* forgiving recipe. :)

    Depending on how sweet your apples are, and how sweet you want your apple butter to be, ANY of these can have sugar added to them. If adding sugar to the honey butter, I would specifically recommend white, not brown, sugar, because the honey flavor can be delicate and brown sugar would overwhelm it.