Monday, April 30, 2007

Lazy lazy weekend

Haven't had one like this in a while. Definitely a good thing, since I'm decreasing my lithium and having to pay close attention to the ole bod and brain. Saturday I tried my hand at whole wheat Italian bread (unimpressive recipe, but part of the problem was finding a suitable place to let it rise in our house...the oven's ok, but it gives it just a slight crust.) Now that it's warming up, I'll experiment with something that allows me to do it on the porch without critters getting to it. Then I made a 6- or 7-cheese penne for the potluck at Lynn, Robbie, and Michelle's that night. The recipe was a 5-cheese from the Barefoot Contessa, but once I got to the store, I was like, why buy separate cheeses at $2+ a piece, when I can buy a mixed bag for $2.75 total...probably makes me seem cheap, but I say frugal. I put a shade too much butter on top, but everybody raved anyway :) It was so nice to just hang with friends outside. We gals knitted, the kids played, the men poked the fire, and the weather was perfect, not too muggy, not too chill.

The Bean arrived, and not one moment too soon; I need the exercise. Thinking of walking after work while I do laundry, but more likely I'll try out some more exercises on the Bean, because the lithium decrease is giving me an initial bloat for some reason...felt like a hot air balloon when I woke up this morning and I'm surprised my pants fit. GRR! Gotta gotta GOTTA take off just a little bit of weight before you know what, or I'm going to be just miserable. I mean, if my back bothers me now when I'm on my feet for too long, I can't imagine how it'll feel with a critter growing inside me. I know part of the back ache is because I don't wear shoes all the time around the house, and I absolutely need to with my right foot doing me wrong the way it has, but still.....breaking in the custom orthotics for 1 hour on Saturday put me in pain the rest of the weekend though, so part of my feelings on this topic are just fresh frustration about what feels like a $300 stopgap measure.

Sunday I did very little, and didn't feel guilty. My sleep's out of whack though, which sucks. I'm not a fan of dreaming, because even when they're good dreams, it makes me wake up feeling like my brain's been on all night and like I'm not rested. I know from a scientific standpoint, it's actually the opposite, but that's the way I feel. So Sunday was a heavy dream night, I didn't get a nap yesterday, and could NOT get to sleep last night, plus snapped awake several times and had trouble getting back to sleep from those. Feel like I should be exhausted today, but so far so good. Weird. So I lazed around, knitted, read.

This week will be about knitting on the SSS (home stretch! again!), celebrating Beltaine, and improving my diet and exercise habits. I haven't done anything for the (Pagan) holidays in ages, so I'm going to try and plan a ritual on the porch for May Day. I got books by Dean Ornish and Kathy Smith at the Chamblin's splurge that'll get face time with me this week, and I'm breaking in that Bean :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday already?

Ain't complaining, don't get me wrong. Got a nice relaxing weekend planned, and hanging with friends to boot! But this week was weird, still feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. Jordan's improving, thank goodness. Gained almost a pound in 2 weeks. Knit on the SSS a bit; decided to extend the grey just a smidge before binding off, so it ain't gonna be done for Saturday, because tonight I'm baking bread. Still...

Weaning off lithium, and so far, so good. The changes are subtle; my dreaming has picked up again, my sleep is off, and I'm trying to be cognizant of what I say before I say it, because I have a feeling less lithium wears away at that filter that nice people have for social situations, the one that allows them to exhibit tact, grace under pressure, friendliness, etc. Problem is that in adulthood, I've really learned to say what I think, so it's good that I'm consciously keeping an ear on myself, so to speak. This is mainly so I don't hurt Husby's feelings with some quick jab, because he's a real tenderheart - says he knows when I'm joking, but lets stuff sink in anyway.

It's SO nice to have decent reading material around again. I mean, we have a house full of books, but there are times when it's like looking at a fridge full of food and finding nothing to eat. Been reading Drawing Down the Moon this week, and treated myself to an issue of Tricycle, because there's a 28-day meditation challenge in there that I'd love to try. Lord knows my brain will need the settling as the lithium vacates my system.

I'm doing ok. Arthritis walk next weekend! Beltaine potluck on Saturday, can't wait to jump over the fire >:)

Monday, April 23, 2007


So I had a decent weekend. Hormones were kicking my ass, so I rested quite a bit. Saturday we hit the Jacksonville Farmer's Market for the first time (the one on Beaver). I was impressed with its size, but not with its selection...oh, they had plenty of everything, but there was a plethora of out-of-season items, which makes you wonder how long they'd sat in freezers and root cellars. Given this is April, they shouldn't have had nearly the variety they did. Plus there was quite a selection of things that I wouldn't expect, like mangoes and bananas with the Imported from Ecuador stickers still on them. That's disappointing when you're trying to buy local. I may scout around to the neighboring towns for their farmer's markets, but more likely I'll make more of an effort to shop at Native Sun for's too close to my place not to.

Since we were over on that side of town, Les said, how about Chamblin's? Chamblin's Bookmine has to be the largest used bookstore in NE FL/SE could literally spend the day wandering their's crack for bibliophiles. An hour and $ACK$ later, we headed home with some terrific finds.

Sunday I went to church for the first time in ages, because I knew they'd be covering Earth Day in the some good ideas for living more sustainably. Spent the rest of the day relaxing and reading...knitting's getting neglected, but it's definitely for a good cause. I'm taking the steps I should've stuck with back in February, to lose a little weight and get healthier for baby-making. Dr. Kim-Ashchi took one look at my weight and my age and wanted to send me to a fertility specialist. It's hard to feel like that's justified when we haven't really started trying for real yet, but on the other side of the coin, losing weight takes time and I ain't getting any younger. So I'm checking with my insurance to see if it's even an issue (lots of plans still don't cover infertility specializations), and I'm weaning off the lithium, because she won't put me on anything (like Clomid) until I'm off that, since there's a very real chance of danger to the fetus in the early weeks. Not grazing is the hardest thing, but I'm stocking up on SlimFast and fruit for quick snacks.

April showers bring May flowers...

I hope so. 'Cuz we ain't getting rain, but we could sure use some sun.

I'm not talking about the weather. I was having an ok day. Then I read my email and now there's this ache in my belly. One of my friends from CT high school lost her mom last month in a car accident. She hit a patch of black ice and took her SUV into a telephone pole, died at the scene.

Again, the athiest in me comes out. How could that have been her time to go? With no closure for her kids or grandkids, or her husband whom she inconceivably was still with in spite of the fact that they'd spent their marriage cheating on one another...this woman was the vice chair of the local school board, was a teacher and organist, was on her way to play at the weekly choir practice at her church as she'd done the last 9 is it possible that it was right for her to die in that manner?

More later...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

So much for the no whining zone

I say when my butt falls asleep on the job, it's time to go home.

The chairs are ample, which given my big ass, I'm quite thankful for, but I tend to forget that I can't sit leaning back for too long a period. I've fractured my coccyx twice (don't recommend it) and the second time caused my tail to go just a little flat on the end (I've seen's a little long too), which must sit on a blood vessel or something when I lean that way and my butt falls asleep. I know, I'm weird.

So I guess that that would be an NG for worker's comp. too, because it's a pre-existing condition.

Reason for complaint: Flat tail causes butt to doze off

The things that go through my head.....


Keep forgetting I don't like it when I let this blog be a whining zone.

Then again, if I don't vent a little of the Jordan guilt, I'll just eat it so maybe the blog suits its purpose just fine. I've gone at least 5 days without real chocolate (I don't count SlimFast), and my body's definitely adjusting fast. Grabbed some Skittles yesterday and it sent my blood sugar into a tailspin.

Definitely a random knitting week. Wanted to start something last night that wouldn't require much brain power, so I cast on some LB Chenille for a scarf. I'll be ripping it out later today; it's not speaking to me at all. Should've just worked on the FnF scarf, brain needs are pretty minimal with that pattern.

Jordan's still more on people food than cat food, but at least he's eating. Cold cuts, chicken breast...thinking of adding some soft-boiled egg to the repertoire tonight. Got a great shot of him drinking out of the john with the digicam. Need to add some carbs too, right now he's mainlining protein. He's a sucker for cheese, and I'm thinking of making him mashed potatoes this weekend. I'm trying to feed him when I'm getting ready in the morning, so I can get the first dose of antibiotics into him then, and I must have a knack because he hasn't broken the skin yet biting me when I do it.

Get to go to my Kim-Ashchi appointment tomorrow with 20 pounds still on my frame. I think this is going to be a thinking weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Eye opener

Ok, seriously, how do you working moms do it?

The last two mornings, I've had to cart Jordan to the vets, drop him off, worry incessantly that our neglect is sending him to an early grave, get off work, pick him up at said vets with instructions and conflicting reports as to whether he's going to recover from this episode, take him home, encourage him to eat and drink, watch him like a hawk, and keep his little, but hefty sister from playing with him. Haven't had time to read or knit, or pack myself a decent lunch. We're doing everything we can, and it still may not be enough for his kidneys to rally. We can't even tell if we're headed in the right direction until he gets that 2 weeks of antibiotics into him. Right now he's eating more human food than cat food and washing it down with Whiskas cat milk and, in a starling new development, toilet water. He followed me around this morning, talking a bit and seeming a shade more upbeat, but we've definitely got a long road ahead. The vet suggested separating Fig and Jordan so he could acclimate better, but as we live in a 2-room house, that ain't the most feasible suggestion. Which does suck a bit though, because Fig follows him around like a little sister to her big brother...but her idea of play involves pouncing on him and grabbing him around the neck. So we did separate them quite a bit last night when we were feeding Jordan or when it seemed like he needed space without pestering. I pray it's enough.

I ask how you working moms do it because I realize that this doesn't even really compare to how it is with a kid. The only thing I take heart in is that if my kid were sick, at least I'd have insurance. That's a no-brainer. My niece is about 3 months away from losing her Medicaid benefits, and I'll bet money her parents aren't dealing with it. That absolutely baffles me, and with Les's and my medical issues, it stands to reason that we'll never not have medical insurance. So at least the financial burden of illness wouldn't be as bad, which would leave more time and energy for worrying. And while you're at it, why not earn some money, put a nutritious meal on the table every night, and not fall to pieces...

Gotta go buy more food for mr. picky...he's been thumbing his nose at regular cat food in favor of Oscar Meyer turkey and ham.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Baby steps

One day at a time. Last night was ok; we got him home, got him to eat and interact in spite of the cath strapped to his leg, and he even drank from his bowl like a normal animal later in the night. Lately if he drank at all, it'd be to dip his paw in and lick the water off it. Cute, but doesn't exactly get the job done.

One cool thing is the vet's folks eased up on the diet, because he's so damn thin. The assistant suggested some canned chicken or something, anything to get him eating; so after he got home and acclimated last night, Les tried some of our Oscar Meyer sliced turkey and Jordan snatched it up happily. He ate in small portions all night of a couple of different foods, we got his night and morning meds into him, and he's back at the vet for a 2nd day of hydration therapy.

The good news is his blood work indicated he was only one point above normal in the renal failure field, so everything's still reversible. The bad news is we paid for x-rays that only reassured us of half his health. His heart, lungs, and chest cavity all look fine, but because he's running on like, zero body fat at present, the x-rays wouldn't contrast worth a crap in his abdominal area. (They wouldn't let me pay 1/2 price for them as a result, go figure!) But they did also identify a 2nd infection in his mouth, which certainly explains why his appetite and enjoyment of drinking went to the wayside, so they prescribed a 2nd antibiotic. So that means we could have dental work or an abdominal ultrasound down the road for him, but most important right now is getting him gaining weight and looking and feeling healthy again. I'm still worrying, but definitely feeling a bit more in control of the situation.

Otherwise, worked a couple rows of the kerchief (and stuck with the pattern without screw-ups...gotta give myself more credit), watched Kyle XY and most of 24 (love any scene with Ricky Schroder, but the Vice-President reminds me of our Current Occupant - thanks to Garrison Keillor for the term - so I tend to surf during Powers Boothe's scenes. It's either that or curse at the screen.)

My heart goes out to everyone in the Virginia Tech vicinity. My beliefs tend to veer from agnostic to atheistic when something as random and senseless as that tragedy occurs. There's just no point in trying to wrap your mind around it and make sense of it, so you have to push past it and go right to the healing. I have a real problem with a God who allows people to become misguided enough to strap bombs to their chests and go blow up cafes in the Middle East or to become despondent enough to take up weapons and let out his frustration on a classroom of his peers. This disbelief ventures into much tamer ground though too, with the same God who says that because I have decided to worship the earth as well as a higher being, that this belief condemns me to eternal damnation, but don't feel bad because you'll be in good company with the Buddhists and the Muslims, and the Shintos and the Sikhs, oh and even the Jews, because they don't believe in me in the proper way either. My TV surfing this past weekend took me to EWTN, where they were showing a movie on Saint Faustina. Not a bad flick, though I'm a sucker for subtitles. Point is I alternated between being jealous of the blind faith of the nuns and mystified by how such a deeply loving and venerated calling could also be so narrow minded. How can you base your faith on the teachings found in just one book, when there are so many other books out there offering so many other interesting theories? I want that level of faith, but I'll do it with my eyes wide open, thank you. It just feels like the Christian God was resting on the 7th day, decided to give us free will, and then woke up on the 8th day thinking, oh crap, do over!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dammit! Pray please!

Jordan's back at the vet. Thought it would be cute to lose his appetite over the weekend and stop drinking water altogether. The little creep's not even 12 yet, where does he get off thinking he can try renal failure on for size at his age? I ache with not knowing how to help him. We tried to force-feed him water on Sunday, but that was pretty much akin to giving a cat a bath—a wet, futile process. I want to shove a hose down his throat. Sorry, that's the fear talking.

Jordan's my first pet. We had zero pets growing up...the closest we came to having a pet was a stray cat that we found on Above All, all grey, pretty gentle, named him Shadow. We fed him tuna and Friskies, and Dad took to him a little, so he stuck around for about 3 weeks. But we knew it was too good to last, and ended up driving him to the New Milford Humane Society, where I pray he was adopted rather than gassed. Dad grew up with a little dog as a pet, and Mom grew up in a house with WAY too many animals, half of them strays, so neither of them had the energy to try pets themselves. So when my manager in Fort Myers said she was hoping to give away one of her cats when they moved to the next theater, I jumped at the chance. Jordan's a part-Siamese shorthair with white legs and tummy, dark brown on his back, and coffee ice cream in splotches around his shoulders. His eyes are crystal blue, and he's just so gentle and aloof. We finally got a digicam; when it comes in the mail, I'll add a pic, assuming he decides to tough it out and stick around. Man, I wish I didn't have to work today; I'd rather be cleaning the apartment to keep myself busy than editing frigging websites.

Catching up on bills is delicious! The power went out yesterday afternoon thanks to the gusty winds we've had here, and the first thing I thought was, this isn't our fault, and a slow smile spread over my face. Such relief. To have a payday coming up with nothing to worry about except that we still haven't figured out the home phone/Internet sitch. Of course, my furry friend mentioned above will probably suck nicely into that surplus with this latest vet's visit, but all you can do is roll with it. He's our furry son; we'll do what it takes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


VERY busy work time to blog.....

Jordan's at the vet.....

SSS has been a very painstaking project this week.....

More later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Little grumpy

I'll be very surprised if OT isn't mandatory this weekend...wouldn't be a bad thing except I'm going through one of my restless, this-job-is-sucking-my-will-to-live phases.

Only knitting news is backwards: I made it to row 10 on the border of the SSS, took a good long look at it, and sucked up my pride. It looked like a rats' nest, or at least like a disorganized spider's web. This wouldn't do, not after all the work and time put into what otherwise looks like a nice shawl. I grabbed my size 8 circulars and painstakingly threaded them in, stitch by stitch, along the line where the blue yarn meets the grey. Once those were in, I felt comfortable starting to unthread the grey, which unfortunately is exactly what I'm having to do, as it appears the YOs in the pattern love my needles so much they like to hang up at the joins (slightly worn Clover bamboos), so it's not like I can just slide the mess off the needles easily. Once the grey is unraveled and reorganized, I'll probably do a line 2 of the pattern (garter with k2tog, no YOs) so I can switch the needle sizes and pick up any stitches that I missed on the initial threading (THAT's going to be pretty painstaking too, since a dropped stitch means disaster), and then I'm thinking I'll just do a couple of more rows of the regular pattern before tackling the bind-off. The border pattern just isn't feasible because I let my sections take on different sizes; one section might be 63 stitches while the next one is 57, and to try and play catch-up now (adding or subtracting stitches in each section where necessary to get it even) would probably result in a mishapen shawl, and the evenness of it just ain't that important to me in the grand scheme of getting it done. It sure looks pretty as is, and the unevenness of it certainly matches my character :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Can I claim butt atrophy under worker's comp?

Even with my recent arthritic foot flare-ups, I REALLY get tired of sitting on my ass everyday.

My day starts out around 6:45...shower if needed, throw on some clothes, spend a pinch of time on my hair, forget to put on makeup...

...grab coffee and my standard breakfast (Eggo's with peanut butter)...

...out the door...listen to NPR on the way to work...can usually listen to that first thing in the morning without feeling like the world is going to hell in a I can't stand morning show DJs.....unless the Jags are coming up on a big game, then I might throw on Lex & Terry, because they have Sam Kouvaris on the same time as my commute...

...commute's mostly on I-95, fairly painless, thank god...park...drop lunch in break room fridge if by some miracle I've managed to make lunch that day...walk to cube and park...

...10ish...forget to take a break...

...12ish...lunch outside unless it's raining...I'm unsociable at lunchtime, just want to read a bit or put a row on something and enjoy the outdoors...

...get back to my desk and grab that morning break, so that I can check email, hit blogs quick, before getting back to work...

...3ish...forget to take afternoon break...

...4:30ish...escape! Back in car...listen to half music/half NPR on the way home...stop at store because we suck at planning dinner menus as yet...

...Home, make or help make dinner, unwind, change clothes (not in that order)...depending on TV season, park my ass in front of stupid

Yes, of course I could exercise when I get home; hopefully that'll be occurring again real soon. But I can't do a thing about the mind-numbing job until Les gets employed, and even then, I'm still not burning bridges if I do find other work, because working remotely will be ideal in the first months/years of our future small peoples' lives. So I definitely have to make more of an effort and do less whining.

Meanwhile, last night was a serious cleaning didn't start out that way, but it definitely became that--a serious organizing fest. The big boxes that were sucking the free space out of the bedroom have been broken down, their contents placed into slightly smaller vessels and stowed. We also threw out everything that was cluttering up the foyer that needed to head to the trash. I finally tossed that pain-in-the-ass plastic container, and I took the flat couch pillows from the couch we tossed and consolidated them. How the frick do you consolidate a pillow, you ask? I took the flat stuffing of one pillow and split it between the other two, was able to empty an entire big pillow and a small one in the process. As I get around to restuffing and recovering those pillows, their outsides will be washed and stuffing traded; this was just a start.

There's actual honest-to-God floor space in both rooms right now, more than I've seen in a couple of years! It's sweet, and I'm going to bust ass to keep it that way. Also broke down the little boxes that contained stash, and managed to consolidate my yarn into just 2 boxes. The place is looking better by the day. And they came today and put in a brand-new A/C unit! That's a long damn time coming, but since AIMCO only acquired Auburn Glen like, 3 months ago, I can't even bitch to them about the memories that succumbed to black mold last year, from being stored underneath that leaky sonofabitch. Ah well. Next step is the closet hardware, then maybe the disposal, while I look into purchasing curtains and rods. I'm gonna make that place liveable if it kills me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sex camel

Was watching "Scrubs" last night, Elliott was trying to justify a long-distance relationship with Shawn by saying she could go 6 months without sex, that she was a sex camel. I must've laughed for 5 minutes. Not sure why, since camel status is certainly frustrating at times, I can vouch for that personally. Just never heard it spoken quite like that.

So I've got my knitting on my work desk, as well as a king-size Mr. Goodbar, and for some reason, work isn't as excruxiating as usual. The yarn's that pretty Turquoise Splendor from KnitPicks Shimmer line; I'm starting the Candleflame Scarf with it. So pretty! Last night was a busy one...I restarted the Irish hiking scarf in double-stranded Wool Ease Wood Multi, finished the blue and started the silver-grey on the SSS (row 1 of the border down!), and started the Candleflame. I still want to start Emerald with the Wool Ease T & Q, and chart some initial blocks for that baby blanket idea. Hopefully can do some of that tonight.

Also, the library's been my friend lately...pulled some more books on agrarianism and sustainable agriculture to keep my brain busy while I wait for Barbara Kingsolver's newest book to come out...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Delusions of aptitude or jinxing myself?

Here's the idea: a baby blanket made up of individual squares that have the alphabet emboss-knitted on them. It's a simple enough idea really, just labor-intensive—all knit and purl, maybe a little seed stitch to jazz up the borders, then sew them together...maybe the alphabet and the numbers 0 through 9; that would be 36, or 6 x 6. It'd be easy enough to sketch the blocks out on graph paper...and if I decide to bag the idea halfway through, I'd still have washcloths.

But one of the things holding me back (besides all my other UFOs), is the idea that I'm jinxing myself by building something like that. I'm not all that superstitious, but I also know that I wouldn't be making it for someone else's baby, no matter what I'd tell myself; I'd be making it for our potential, eventual small Johnson person. And isn't that tempting fate somehow? Hmm...

Luckily too many other projects on needles at the moment...

At loose ends

Short weekend...had to work Saturday, which sucked. Have to keep reminding myself that I can't safely look for work until Les's employed. Hell, even then it'd be sketchy since I still harbor dreams of getting him into school in the fall. Actually, we should be doing financial aid paperwork now, so that they'll only see my income and give us more money. Gotta go...

Just kidding...well, not really, but there's only so much I can do at work. Knitting was neat and frustrating this weekend...I'm working a hat with a funny stitch that I know I'm screwing up, so I'll probably rip it back to the ribbing and start something different. I started the Irish Hiking scarf last night on Wool Ease...actually 2 rows in, the stretchiness of that yarn is already driving me nuts, so maybe I'll double it—that'll certainly get rid of it faster! Also started a kerchief in light blue Encore, and the piece de resistance ::trumpets:: I'm out of blue yarn on the SSS!!! This week I'll dig out the Lace book, add the Smoke Alpaca Cloud, and go to town on that castoff.