Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And on the 8th day.....

God created Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.


Whine past.

Stress break

Hawkeye: If they try and serve us that garbage one more time, I'm going to throw a fit.
Trapper: You won't throw a fit.
Hawkeye: Then I'll throw a berserk with a strong resemblance to a fit.
Paraphrased from M*A*S*H "Adam's Ribs"

We're losing another editor to their dream job (teaching). That brings our in-house editor number down to 5...and out of those, 2 work odd hours and one is completely dedicated to a specific project. So I'm feeling a little stressed and needed to post a whine. Because on top of that, we're finally getting caught up, which means less work, which means the higher-ups may decide we don't need as many editors as we'd like. The potential for that development doesn't amuse me. If my boss decides to jump ship after he gets his MBA this month, he's going to find his home rolled in toilet paper and his motorcycle up a tree.

It also helps punctuate that I'm not doing what I'd like to be doing and makes me jealous of those that are able to manage it, which makes me ornery...so I'm whining. Wah.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Really brief (yeah, right)...hoping to download pics in another day or so...still decompressing from this past week....

I'm grateful for:
1) Les's grandma, who gave me the plane ticket money so I could go see Nanie home.
2) The home, however messy and broken down, that Les and I've made for ourselves (because it's really nice to come home to).
3) The snow that started falling as we left the church to head to the cemetery with/for Nanie, which continued all day, giving CT a foot of the white stuff and a true winter wonderland feel.
4) Being back in Florida, which I realize now that I bitch about way too much.
5) The Christmas bonus, however small, that my company saw fit to give out this year.
6) Generous relatives who fulfilled several of my Christmas gift wishes.
7) The look of love in my mommie's eyes as she cares for her new puppy.
8) The epiphanies I had about my health while on my travels, after days of arthritic pain and mouth breathing from exertion, barometric pressure, etc.
9) Having a job to come back to.
10) Paying $1.39 at the pump on the way home yesterday (SC).

Connecticut was exhausting and sad and blissful and different...I haven't seen snow like that since 1985, and Meara's never seen it fall, so we diffused our grief quickly upon arriving back at my Uncle Dan's by going out several times to play in it. We took picture after picture, she made her first snow angel...it was really amazing and did my heart good. Thank goodness I brought my red wool coat, because it was perfect for the conditions outside...the snow started to pour right when we arrived at the cemetery and naturally the little canopy over the gravesite couldn't fit everyone, so I was standing on the outskirts and even in a dress, wasn't cold at all.

South Carolina was harder, quite a bit of family drama there, but we made the best of it. I think it was harder for me just because the trips were back to back...got one night in my own bed and then it was back to sleeping on couches and being what people needed me to be. Got back yesterday, dropped our stuff at home, and went straight to Mom's for Christmas dinner with Meara, Cyril, Alice, Hunter (his face is changing! 8 years old, my foot, he looks at least 10!), and the new puppy Chloe, who is so frickin' adorable it defies explanation.

Back at work, glad for the weekend...came home to a broken fridge and a needy cat. Looking forward to getting back to normal.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


My dear, sweet Nanie passed away this morning, Sunday, December 14, 2008, at the remarkable age of 97. That's her (R) and Mom (L) last year, June 3rdish.

Mildred Grace Lyons was born on July 18, 1911. The younger of two girls, Nanie enjoyed a fairly average, middle class upbringing by devout Irish Catholic parents in Norwalk, CT. Her parents were something like 2nd generation Irish-American and came from sturdy stock; Nana Grace herself lived to be 96ish. Her older sister Alice, married David McGrath and had 2 girls and a boy before succumbing too young to cancer. Nanie married Cornelius (Neil) Lyons and had 4 boys; the third in line was my dad.

We lived in CT from my birth to my age 15. Weekends more often than not were spent traveling down to Norwalk for day trips to visit relatives. Nanie would get a rotisserie chicken in a bag from a place that my faint memories place near Stew Leonard (probably wrong), make mashed potatoes...which is not to say she didn't cook much. I don't think she ever had a career (correction: she met Popie while working at either CVCO or Nash as a stenographer/clerk); she was a stay-at-home mom and I remember some terrific food in her kitchen. Cyril (Lil Bro) and I would pull out the basket of old toys that she had left over from her boys and busy ourselves while the adults visited. Her backyard was great for running around, had a big rock that was fun to climb.

Popie, her husband, passed in 1980 after lingering for 18ish months after a major stroke. Nanie did what women in grief do; she tried to move far away from the hurt. She bought a condo in Kent, CT, where she found herself desperately lonely for Norwalk; she lasted only a year or two there. She inquired to the new owners of her old house, found they were planning to move, and she grabbed her old house back, where she stayed until her finances dictated different digs. Her later years were spent in 2 different houses until her age dictated she move in with her eldest son. A couple of years ago, she began to wander, her memory began to fade, and she was more unsteady on her feet. It had always been her plan to go into Notre Dame Convalescent if necessary, so that's where she's been for the last what, 2+ years? When we visited last year at Dad's memorial, she never really clued into who we were, though part of that was because we were all carefully avoiding the thing that would've sparked her memory (she hadn't yet been told about Dad).

I remember lots of parties at her house, christenings, funeral wakes, family gatherings. Cheek-pinchers and cool adults alike. Man, we Irish can party when someone kicks. The Lyons were a name in Norwalk back then, probably still are. We (Cyril and I - Meara arrived on the scene in '83) were quite a bit younger than our cousins on that side and gravitated toward the adults, where we were praised for being so well-behaved. Nanie enjoyed us, babysat for us occasionally...she was my first pen pal. I couldn't have been more than 6. I would write her little notes and mail them and she'd write back. She enjoyed brushing and braiding my hair, and she told me once that while she certainly loved her boys, she'd always dreamed of having a girl that she could name Mary Jane and encourage to have long hair. So I was her Mary Jane, and her little pussycat. She also credited me with getting her to stop smoking...when I was an infant, she came over to babysit me once and realized she didn't want to smoke anywhere near me, so she stopped right then and there.

She was felled by depression in her later years, but she always retained a quick wit; and before the senility kicked in, her mind was bright. She held her Catholicism inside her like her own spine, constant, never failing, and I'm sure she kept her original thoughts to herself mostly, given her generation, but she was fun to talk to when she was younger. Hell, you have to have a sense of humor to raise 4 boys in the era of children being seen and not heard...like that's possible.

When I saw her in 2002, she was still with us mentally and we had a lovely visit that I'm grateful for now, because the visit last year...well, it wasn't a negative for me either, come to think of it. We spent the visit going around the table reintroducing ourselves. I sat right next to her and held her hand, and when she let lines slip like, "I'm not much use now," I told her that wasn't true, that her strength was a testament to all of us. Likely, I've fashioned my memory to something positive that I can take from that whole numb visit; we were all in so much pain after losing Dad. But I know where I get my strength now, and my love of life. Dad may have had the weak heart, but his soul and moral compass helped create the solid, bright individual you're listening to now...if you've hung on that long :)

I'm aching hard today, and this week and holiday season will be a bit difficult now. We're waiting for word on arrangements, but the only way I can afford to go to the funeral is if a) they are in fact giving out Christmas bonuses this year, like they have the past 5 years, economy notwithstanding, and b) I can manage to get it early so I can buy a plane ticket. I really want that to happen, so I'm talking to one of my bosses tomorrow. If I can get the money early, Les will try and borrow from his grandma so he can come with me this time. He's never met Dad's side, we couldn't afford to bring him with last year, and I was too numb to realize we should've borrowed from Grandma then. I pray this comes together, and I pray for strength to keep the weepies at bay. I know it's natural and healthy, but between the lackolithium and the hormones, the weepies sneak up on me. Adding insult to injury, I'm in the middle of the 2ww (2 week wait), so I won't be able to drink. Imagine attending an Irish wake and not being able to drink. The gods are testing me.

Godspeed, my dear Nanie! Take care of Dad and Popie and Neil Boy, and take Meara's advice and learn how to swim while you're up there; it's a blast!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


With my next paycheck, I'm gonna buy a pad of construction paper so I can make paper chains and holiday decorations to hang around the house. I'm wearing my holiday earrings now, but I need more...this is gonna be such a thin holiday. That's a good thing, I know...with a little luck, it'll be easier to engage that idea in the future...lord knows I'll be pushing handmade gifts more...I'm rambling...

Been living in the future this week. You'll be happy to know I've managed to make enough money to send my kids to the Waldorf school in Chapel Hill, NC, and we have a little house with a decent herb and vegetable garden in this future...

It's f-ing 70F outside. I hate Florida.

Thursdays are ok though, there's this "home stretch" feeling to them, and the company Christmas party is tomorrow night. After 9 years, it's pretty pat, but I'm looking forward to dressing up a bit, free country club food, getting Husby to smell like Drakkar :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


With myself...a good pal reminded me that everyone goes through phases where they feel they're barely accomplishing anything. I'm not so special (I know, I know, you didn't mean it THAT way). I'm just always a little hard on myself, because I used to be a type A, and now...I know better. I live two lives too, and being stuck in the "other" life gets tiresome and frustrating. My "good" life is where I'm on my proper doses of prescribed medications and my head feels screwed on straight. My current life, well, my patience is shot and I don't give myself nearly enough leeway.

It was a nice Thanksgiving. I 86d the acorn squash and we're still up to our ears in leftovers. I burned the pie, but it was still edible. Gonna have to freeze the sweet potatoes so they don't go to waste.

We need to consolidate the recycling and take out the trash today, and tidy. Can't believe it's Sunday already. Trying not to be too down about that. I woke up thinking about things, and I hope to assuage my guilt over not getting enough done this weekend by sitting down to make some lists, really think about the next year and what I'd like to have happen versus what will probably happen. Kind of parse my dreams against reality, see what sticks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Somebody stop me before I concoct another side dish...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Started in adulthood...had to, because my folks weren't traditional with this holiday...I'm not sure we ever (EVER) did turkey for Thanksgiving. We did filet or stuffed lobster, hamburgers, anything but turkey. Mom and Dad both had grown up in traditional (for the times) households and had had enough turkey to last them a lifetime. And the turkey soups, turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey ala king, and oppressive amounts of side dishes leftover...so they didn't want to subject us to that, or deal with it themselves. I understand it, but...

So as adulthood presented itself, I created my Thanksgiving. We travel at Christmas, so Thanksgiving is mine. I put the Macy's parade on, open up the house if it's cool, and spend the day baking. The last couple of years, Les and I bought a turkey breast and smoked it out on the grill. I experiment with side dishes and desserts (that I've spent the last 2 weeks mulling over) and make almost everything from scratch.

This year's menu is complete and I have just a couple of things to grab at the store tonight, got most of it last night...we're doing another turkey breast (Les likes dark and white meat, I'm a white meat gal only, so with just the 2 of us, it cuts down on waste), I'm making smashed sweet potatoes (Barefoot Contessa), acorn squash ala Paula Deen, and broccoli souffle (Southern Living). The potatoes and squash are because I can't be trusted in Native Sun, the broccoli is because we needed something green. Breakfast will be quiche Lorraine, I'm trying a blue cheese mousse dip with bread and chips for in-between, and dessert is Paula's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie, which is VERY well received in my house. I'm still contemplating bread from scratch too, but my stomach threatens to explode at the thought, so may have to wait til the weekend to dabble in that.

Mom and Meara head to Ohio tomorrow for a family reunion on Mom's side, Cyril and his sig oth are both working, so there's absolutely no guilt attached in not spending this holiday with family. Talk about your win-wins! Ah, you know what I mean...we'll relax, watch the dog show after the parade, putter, ponder cleaning, decide against it...it's nice together-time for Les and I. The menu feels pretty indulgent, but we only do it once a year. Have a wonderful holiday!

P.S. If you have some prayers to spare, please direct them toward my Nanie. She's Dad's Mom, 97 years young and winding down...latest word is that she's stopped eating and sleeps most of the time, and she's a DNR so that means they're letting her fade. Having her possibly leaving us soon has torn the band-aid off my Dad grief, so I wouldn't mind a little positive energy too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yeah, I've gone sporadic again...

I'm in a rather constant fight with myself. While we're trying for small people, I'm on a hormone regimen, no lithium, and half my normal dose of Paxil. The result is rather unenjoyable mood swings, that have my brain working 25/7 (which is a blast when I wake up in the middle of the night), coupled with the delightful, apathetic lethargy that accompanies depression. I get all these great ideas at work, when I can't implement them, and when I can implement them, I have no desire to. For my reformed type A personality, it's frustrating. So sometimes it's better not to speak.

Work's been busy, quite frustrating, and a little scary. But things will lighten just a bit as the holidays ensue. I'm getting in the mood, though I haven't a clue yet where the money will come from to purchase/make gifts this year. Thank goodness for my micropromotion; we're not caught up yet, but it's allowing us a certain amount of freedom in spending that's heartening. I'm looking at inexpensive, charitable places for gift ideas, like The Hunger Site, and I'm not knitting a damn thing this year for anybody. Barely picked up needles in September and October, and it's just not worth the stress, trying to make stuff for Christmas. As for holiday cards, I'm thinking of making my own from the cardstock I recycled from my company when we changed our name.

Hit Native Sun last night for the Annual Open House. Holy-crap-on-a-gluten-free-cracker! I figured it would be busy and I was still blown away...got there at 6 on the dot, there were 2 cops directing traffic, and the line wrapped halfway around the building. The place was a mob scene, but the food was delicious, they gave out some recipes I look forward to trying, and I stocked up on veggies for Thanksgiving and one or two other items. I'll definitely be hitting that place more; I'm finally in a place where wanting to eat healthier is a goal and I'm not turning my nose up at stuff just b/c it claims to be health food. Their organic ale was yummy too; may have to grab a bottle of that before we start trying again this coming month :)

P.S. Having a Starbucks a stone's throw from my office is getting dangerous >:)

The plants finally made it out to the back porch, and if the weather holds, I'll be drying clothes out there more and they'll have less chance of getting neglected. I'll start a fresh batch of herbs soon, just have to unearth the apartment a little more. Came to my senses about having the family over for Christmas dessert...the place may be clean by then, but you can't realistically expunge 10 years of smoke buildup. But I actually did a little work in the dining area last weekend, and it'll help motivate me to do a little more this weekend. A little at a time...

Happy weekend everybody!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thinking about stuff...

Nothing earth-shattering...just plunked down $8.15 at Panera for lunch, and while it was delicious and satisfying, it got me thinking again about how there's nothing but me stopping me from creating lunches like that to bring from home. Now granted, I'm operating with a handicap of late...said to my mom today that between hormone therapy and my micropromotion, I'm lucky if I leave the house with the bra UNDER my shirt. But I'm thinking of stopping the hormones and doing a seesaw with the lithium, so I may have a few more marbles to work with upstairs in the coming weeks. I have doctor's appointments for my meds and my yearly female fun this week, so I'll address all that with them then.

But it gets me thinking...about how easy (and fun) it would be to cook a soup or light stew on the weekends for dipping into from the freezer, how salads aren't seriously complicated, how lunch doesn't have to be just sandwiches, and with just a little planning in the evenings, I can set myself up for nutrition and saving money on the midday meal. So frickin' basic, and I don't even have kids to distract me yet. Setting these habits in place now could make a world of difference down the road, regardless of whether there's small people on the scene.

Two days off this week just cuz...Saturday Mom's treating Meara and I to a half day at a local spa, that'll be nice!

Friday, November 07, 2008


Made a decision this week...when I'm not in limbo (wondering if I'm PG), I'm going back on my lithium. Something's gotta be better than nothing, and I know my body. My stress level has been through the roof lately, and my happiness hasn't been an issue - it's been nonexistent. I had a very dark day yesterday, and some things became clear. It's time to get healthier. I've turned this leaf over enough times where it's embarassing to bring up, so I won't explore it beyond that here.

This weekend will bring new recipes, cleaning, organizing, relaxing, planting, and dreaming...may yours have the same!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


My gosh, but I'm in a good mood. Being bipolar when things go your way is neat!

So I've decided that I'm like my Uncle Mike. The family line is: tell him a joke on Thursday, he'll get it in church on Sunday. My problem's slightly more intellectual, and it's why I don't like debating. I know what my beliefs are, but when I'm asked to defend them, the Dale Carnegie and my convictions vacate the premises, leaving me stammering.

I steamed a bit yesterday as I listened to a coworker's story of how he nipped his kindergarten-aged son's Obama crush in the bud. He brought it down to the kid's level, saying "you know how you get gold stars for doing well in school? Would you want to share those with kids who hadn't worked as hard?" Your basic conservative's argument against socialism: why should I work hard and not get as rewarded, while others slack and get rewarded? I wanted to chime in, but knew I wouldn't be able to verbalize it more than with the highly erudite comeback of "well, that's a load."

I'm standing at the bathroom mirror this morning, 18 hours later, deciding on earrings and checking that my bangs are presentable, when the lightbulb hits: that kind of thinking is selfish, it's every man for himself and screw the folks who don't have my wherewithal. And I don't believe that, haven't for awhile...I'm seeing the bigger picture, wanting to leave this world better than I found it, not just for my children, but for others, and that's going to mean working not just for myself, but with the idea of how my actions will affect the country and the world.

So there.

So other than my time-lapse brain issues, I'm in such a fantastic mood today. I can't wait to get home tonight and read and play on the computer and think and dream. I bought a NY Times, a Wall Street Journal, and our local POS newspaper. I feel "Melinda-inspired"—she's the writer behind Elements in Time/One Green Generation; her website is a wonderful resource, chock full of ideas on how to live more locally and save the planet in the process. I want to go home and reorganize my planting materials so I can start my herb garden fresh. I want to dig into the dining area so that our apartment will feel livable again. I want to eat better and exercise, so I won't get winded just thinking about keeping up with small ones. I want to budget so we can move in January of 2010. I want...

But alas, must get to work so that that budgeting thing is more than just a dream...

Congratulations America! Let's get to work!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


My change from dyed-in-the-wool conservative to bleeding heart liberal was a long time coming. I was a staunch College Republican and held offices with that venerable, yet surprisingly fun bunch, because a) my parents were Republican, b) I didn't know how to think for myself yet, and c) I was in love with guy(s) who attained leadership with that crowd. 20 years ago...holy crap. When I met Les and got properly medicated (those two things were independent of one another), I changed. Started reading, started thinking, started realizing just how dangerous and narrow the "right" POV can be...I'm NOT trying to start a debate on liberalism vs. conservatism, never been a debater. This is just where I ended up, a self-proclaimed granola who wishes drilling in Alaska wasn't an option, that health care was borderline socialized, and that we'd get the hell out of the world police business.

So it was with a glad heart that I went and voted today...first time in ages I didn't feel like I was voting for the lesser of two evils. This change in me is fairly new as political changes go—I voted for Bush II in 2000, for pete's sake! But today is so important, if the tide goes our way. It sucks that the Current Occupant (as he's coined by Garrison Keillor) has screwed things up so badly, that it'll take Obama (please, gods!) his first term of office just to get sh*t under control...but oh well, take the good with the bad.

It's hard to think about things finally opening up in this country, when I'm voting for Obama on the same ballot that wants to declare marriage as one man, one woman only, in the state of Florida. We've got such a long way to go still...and I want to move to states even redder than Florida eventually. But I'm finally gaining confidence in my beliefs, and I look to the future with hope.

Happy Election Day, folks!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

34 degrees!

We simply won't discuss how it's getting up to 70 today.

Frost on the roof of the car.....having to use the defrost on the rear window for something besides rain and dew......sweater to work again......windows open last night.......fresh, fresh air!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

49 degrees

It just figures that I think about neglecting the blog for awhile and the weather goes and gives me something to gush about...

Actually it's 55 out there right now...yes folks, 55 at 1:15 in the afternoon in Florida. I'm in heaven. Wore a sweater to work. Having an attack of startitis and can't wait to go home and start a pair of fingerless gloves or work the blue mittens I've started. Thinking about baking with apples and squash. Fall, for however short a time, has arrived in Jax!

I'm so happy I could squeak. I didn't want to go to work this morning, first day with the boss back, never mind how difficult it's been lately, but the minute I felt that air as I was walking down my stairs, my face got that big goofy cold-weather grin it gets and I felt instantly better. Just ate lunch outside. May have to go out mid-afternoon for a breather >:)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dry spell

I can feel this blog taking a sabbatical, possibly until I get pregnant...between work and lackolithium, I'm finding it impossible to live up to my own expectations and some things get neglected, like our apartment and this blog. We'll see how this plays out...

Slept a lot this past weekend...not sure how I feel about that...

There's something really poignant about drinking your coffee from your dead dad's thermos.

Yeah, I know...that was random...

Thing is, there's nothing to report of late...been working my tail off (for our living), and rested well this past weekend, so very little got accomplished...plants still residing (and withering) on the front porch, no plans for replanting yet, dining area still a FEMA site...I'm having a hard time these days. Hopefully I can do the ole bootstraps thing and continue to chip away at stuff...one day at a time...

I am back to knitting, which is really nice...almost done with my first pair of real socks for ME, and busying myself with a garter scarf...thinking about other UFOs...it's a comfort.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick, edited update

Harlot - Delightful! Hysterical! Warm! Haven't laughed like that in ages...

Southern Women's Show - Exhausting! Hilarious! Had no idea the Fireman's Fashion Show was like THAT! More details when I'm more coherent...real Italian ice...great brochures of all the tourist spots in NC, VA, etc...

The stress-level increase at work has me feeling pretty raw...it's going to be a tough week, because the boss is out Thursday and Friday to get hitched...lots of little loose ends to keep from unraveling, when I'm feeling pretty unraveled already...or maybe the term is 'frogged'?

More soon...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Harlot's coming, the Harlot's coming...

It's the little things. Between the Yarn Harlot event tonight and the Southern Women's Show this weekend, it almost makes up for the fact that it's going to be in the frickin' high 80s today. ::grumblegrumble:: I really hate Florida. New goal is moving out of state January 2010. Might bring the Husby with me... :)

Forgot my camera, and may not have time at lunch to go get it :(

Gotta buy needles too...I've been coveting a set of 10" 13s to start a scarf with the almost-puce-but-surprisingly-not-ugly yarn my Mominlaw got me for my b'day...

Busybusybusy at work...we're crazy behind, because we decided in the middle of the clusterf*ck that is the US economy to revamp our entire style of creating websites so that they no longer look like crap. The upshot is decent looking sites that take twice as long to build, and that's no longer acceptable to the bottom line, so things are ACK-stressful ...

I miss my lithium...

And my husband...been working late every night this week. Bleh!

So Saturday's hanging with Mommie, collecting brochures, entering sweepstakes' and raffles, sampling food...it's a blast. Sunday I have to devote to paperwork :( My new FSA (flexible spending account for medical) requires receipts for almost everything (dorks!) and I'm seriously behind on that, so gotta catch up before they decide to put a hold on my card or something. Bleh again! But I hope to replant the catnip and move my little green guys from the front porch to the back, and maybe even transplant my filing cabinets too. Ah dreams of a weekend...

Friday, October 10, 2008


Definitely been taking a sabbatical of sorts...I got the supervisor position at work, which means steady activity in my workday finally, with almost no chance to goof off. I suppose at 39, that's a good thing. I've been coming home numb still though...will be taking this weekend to finally dig into things a little in my own environment.

The plants are withering from neglect, and I'm kicking myself for tossing all the old plastic sheeting we had when we were clearing out the house...old shower curtains and pool floats and such, because they would've been perfect for securing around my lower porch to keep out the rains, as I'm planning to move my plants out there for the winter. Ah well, plastic can't cost too much. I'm letting the tomatoes go to seed, if they'll even do that, and in the coming weeks I'll be mixing some fresh topsoil with the organic stuff I had leftover so that I can start some fresh herbs. The basil and chives may be the only things that survived the neglect of September.

I haven't been knitting either, and that I'm starting to feel...picked something up the other night finally and the feeling of peace that came over me as I worked was something I didn't realize I'd missed. I've definitely been a pinch more stressed in my new position—although it's nothing I can't handle, it's a reminder once again of how much I miss my lithium...gets me wondering how I'm going to make it another year-plus without it...can't go back on it while trying for babies, and can't go back on it until after breastfeeding if/when a blessed event occurs...I know I can do it, I know it'll all be worth it, but it gets hard sometimes, is all...

Anyway, taking care of me this weekend...Lil Sis is in town too! Yay!

Monday, October 06, 2008

No title

Simply couldn't think of anything...my brain's still oatmeal.

Mom's completely moved into her new place, but she had a back procedure done last week (which isn't taking AGAIN), which has her unpacking slower than norm. Meara will flip when she comes to visit this weekend; she'll have the rest of those boxes unpacked before she sits down to talk Friday night :) Kid's got some neatness issues...

I got that new position at work, which means no more time to dick around on the Web during work hours. Blessing and a curse. Job security on the one hand, way behind on all my personal junk on the other. Definitely worth it though; can't stand what the economy's going through right now, and getting this new role will keep my wanderlust firmly in check - so I can focus on our next moving goals a year plus from now...

Got plenty of rest this weekend, and let myself grieve a little more for Dad...it was like my brain could finally take a step back from the overwhelming work of the past month, and take in why all that work had to occur. Didn't help that I was watching "Winter Passing"...indie flick from a couple of years back, about dealing with death. Anyway, still feeling a little rumpled up spirit-wise, but rallying...

October's my absolute favorite time of year, and I'm determined to make this a good month.

Monday, September 29, 2008


So tired in brain and body. Mom's move is complete, the closing's tomorrow. Saturday we moved her with the help of Old Baymeadows movers, Sunday I went back to the house to help her clean. My body's disowning me again. My brain is functioning from some faraway place where my reserve stores are kept. And our own apartment needs attention next. We inherited a rather large cabinet, whose use has yet to be fully determined, and a typewriter table which will become my sewing machine table. The stuff we've inherited also spreads out all over the dining area, and some remains in the car still. We have some work ahead, organizing, culling, purging...

I'm glad it's fall, just wish I lived elsewhere. I love that it's almost October already, and I'm getting the itch to bake stuff involving apples and pumpkin, squash and breads. Saying prayers that the temperature starts dropping...

Friday, September 26, 2008


Definitely rallying a bit...there's this "we're in the home stretch" feeling today...

Just bought my ticket to see the Yarn Harlot on 10/16...hoping to find her new book this weekend...

Check out KnitWitz for more information on the Yarn Harlot's visit to Jacksonville :)

Super fast update

Mom's moving tomorrow (Saturday)...

Been kind of numb this week...hoping once we get past Saturday, I'll rally more.

Work's painfully slow, scary slow.

Barely been knitting...started reading Eragon tho'...really lovely writing.

More soon...

Monday, September 22, 2008


...because the word exhausted just doesn't define it well enough...

At this point in "life post-Dad," the catharsis has past and been replaced with something else...I'm not sure what, but I experienced it this past weekend, as we set out our belongings for strangers to paw through and run off with, for pennies on the dollar. There was an initial feeling of violation, coupled with that fear of change feeling, because of course, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't have to...in Lyons utopia, Dad's still with us and the garage isn't an issue. The misanthropy I felt had to be curbed fast though, because in spite of the early rain, folks showed up in droves Saturday morning and there was no time for emotion. We made enough on Saturday alone to almost fully finance Mom's move, and it's a good thing, because we learned that Southerners don't tag sale on Sunday. I guess between church and football season, driving around looking for deals takes a backseat. I wish we'd made more money of course, but I was so exhausted Sunday, it was hard to care.

The new owners of Mom's house want the cabinets that we couldn't unload, as well as the radial arm saw. That's a relief, as we'd rather that went to someone who'll use it, rather than donate it somewhere where it could be trashed for appearing obsolete. It's a 35 year old saw probably, but it still works. The pile of stuff we dragged down to the end of the driveway for the neighborhood vultures to pick over was remarkably small, though my car is stuffed with junk to go to Goodwill in the next day or two, plus some more stuff for Chamblin's.

I'm tired. Haven't knitted in a week and the apartment is trashed...will start picking through stuff in another day or two, creating my own piles for Goodwill.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An open letter

To the handful of Jacksonville locals who read this blog:

Hey gang!

So, you get done with Pagan Pride Day over at Riverside Park, or seeing Obama over at Met Park, and can't decide what to do next.....how 'bout a garage sale in Marietta!

We're garage sale-ing at my mom's Saturday and Sunday 9/20 & 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. It's a pretty hilarious pile of stuff...if you have any interest in electrical work, plumbing, or hardware, you may be in heaven. There's also furniture, stuffed animals, and a serious "please take it off our hands" mentality, as Mom moves next weekend.

99 Devoe Street....take I-10 West to the Marietta exit and bear left. Go straight at the Cahoon Street light. At the Beaver Street light, stay straight, go into Marietta Forrest development. We're the grey house on the right about 4 or 5 houses down with the crap laid out all over the driveway and the exhausted looks on our faces.

Coming from 295...exit at I-10 West and Marietta will be your first exit...may not even have to merge.

Looking forward to seeing y'all and completely understand if you closet cases steer clear ::wry grin::


Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'd like about a two-day nap...

Well, I'm back. SC is cool and pretty. You smell nature instead of cars.

The garage at Mom's feels like a frigging disaster area, but on Saturday and Sunday, it'll be garage sale time. I'm still a little tired from SC, so it's hard to think about the next 3 days. We just got back last night and there's several things I want to try to sell at the garage sale, that are currently in our apartment. This makes the next 2 evenings rather challenging. Thank goodness I don't have time to think about baking anything...

I like Aiken, I love getting away from Florida and driving up there and listening to critters and hugging trees...the cotton was up, and the air was missing the ole wet wool blanket of humidity. But this sure wasn't a pleasure cruise. We were there to help take care of Grandma, age 80-something, who recently underwent medical procedures, and our niece, age 2, who spends her days glued to the TV because her parents suck at parenting and have substance abuse issues. It was a very frustrating 2 days, where I managed to hold my tongue, but came away deeply angry at how they've already ruined our niece in some ways and are slowly killing themselves while manipulating everyone around them. I'd love to take that kid for about a month of reprogramming....the niece, not the sisinlaw...Sisinlaw definitely needs professionals. Ah, family...can't wait til Xmas...

So Husby and I are very glad to be home, but the next 2 weeks are kind of overwhelming...worst of it will be this weekend, the garage sales. Mom's hiring somebody for the actual move, so next weekend will be more about helping her settle in. Man, it'll be nice having her on my side of town!

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm a rock star!

Well, not exactly, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

Just kidding. What I did do, through the highly skilled method of replying, was win Two Frog Home's Fall giveaway. How neat! And with the month I have ahead of me, it'll definitely be something to look forward to in the mail. Thank you, Kathie!!

Husby's off in SC (well, I'm assuming...haven't heard from him yet, as he's likely sleeping off the train orneries at his Lil Sis's)...

Back to work :(

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Very small word, very large tasks ahead...

Lemme see if I've got this straight:

1. Shop for cell phone.
2. Hide little notes throughout Husby's luggage.
3. Drop Husby at train station.
4. Sigh repeatedly on drive back.
5. Bounce off the walls for an hour, then crash.

1. Work (bleh!)
2. Wait for Aunt Flo to make an appearance. Significant mood shift anticipated depending on her punctuality.
3. Clean litter box.
4. Throw clothes together for weekend...drag laundry down to car tonight.
5. Quality time with Fig.

1. Over to Mom's early, talk lists, breakfast, organizing stuff...
2. Go out to garage, move crap around, and sweat copiously.
3. Haggle with Lil Bro about stuff going into storage.
4. More organizing, dragging stuff to store back into house, so it's not mixed in with potential garage sale stuff...
5. Talk signage, cash box, layout for next weekend.
6. Hang out with Mom and Lil Sis sleepover-style...pass out from exhaustion before movie is half over.

1. Repeat Saturday.
2. Go home to apartment, repack.
3. Top off food, water, place surprise cat treats around apartment.
4. Quality time with Fig, pass out.

1. Up at the crack, drive to SC.
2. Reunite with Husby, big hugs to Grandma.
3. Play with niece, give her lots of outdoor time (because she doesn't get enough normally).
4. Keep mouth shut around difficult family members.
5. Count the days til Wednesday.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Relief and overwhelm-ment

My mom sold the house! Well, not quite...closing's not til 9/30. But they showed it on Saturday, the young couple fell in love with it on sight, and offered the asking price! Holy crap! And woohoo! Mom's so high, it ain't even funny. Actually, it's wonderful :)

Which means we can't put off the garage sale any longer, and we need to make some significant decisions. It means cutting the cord on a lot of big items. It means rearranging our apartment to accommodate the stuff I do want to take. It means rearranging our schedules, working full weekends for the next month at Mom's.

We're supposed to go to SC next weekend and into the following week to help out his family while Mom and Dad J go on a trip. That's up in the air now, and dependent on Grandma, who ended up in the hospital this past weekend with internal bleeding because a medical clamp somehow found its way into her stomach. I doubt the family will get a straight answer from the docs on how that happened; it could've been a necessary device left in from her gall bladder removal approximately 2 years ago, or it could've been a big oops. Kind of a non-issue, since Grandma's not the suing type according to family, but considering the pain she was in...

So she's still in the hospital, they endoscoped her to remove the clamp (breaking an endoscope in the process!), and her discharge from said hospital may dictate if Mom J goes on the trip. Grandma's 87ish, so any recovery will take awhile. We may have to send Husby up on the train, and then I'll follow him up that Monday.

Garage sale's scheduled for Saturday, September 20 and probably Sunday, September 21. I'll post more about that as we get closer, for you local folks. In the meantime, we have to organize the garage for said sale, make all the decisions on what's staying and going, etc. Mom's moving the next weekend (27th), so it's definitely crunch time. She put down her (post-dated) deposit for an apartment up the road from me, and she's so frickin' happy and relieved, and can't wait to get a little dog...ironically, it's in the same complex I moved into when I first moved out of my parent's house 15 years ago. We've come full circle in some weird way.

My birthday's tomorrow...I told the gang at work I wasn't turning 39 until I was pregnant, so they could relax on the celebration. We're going to lunch Thursday anyway :(

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Not too much going on, but thought I'd touch base...holiday weekend was quite relaxing, though that brings with it the usual guilt because we still live in a clutterpile. Started a couple of new knitting projects, but my interest is relegated lately to a row here, a row there...still thinking about sewing, but too chicken to cut into any fabric...

The masochist subject line is because I made the mistake of watching House last night...I don't know that it can be called a mistake, because I enjoyed every minute of it and felt it was quite well-written and acted. But it was last year's season finale, where a character who had grown likeable dies of multi-system organ failure, and the "let's try this, no let's try this," nature of the storyline brings me back to Dad, and I had some good cries, which left me feeling drained today. And just when I'd like to turtle and just get my work done, we're having tours with a major partner today and I'll probably have one shadowing me, seeing how we do things...so I'm feeling a little stressed.

I'm such a pussy. One of the reasons my blogging has slacked is because I can't stand the diary/journal nature of it, would rather be informing the public in some way like Elements in Time or Soule Mama. I know I have something to say, but too often it gets muddled down by my mood swings. So if I'm sporadic for a piece, it's because I'm doing some thinking. Or because we're wringing out from TS Hanna...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bursting with ideas

In the past, couldn't understand how manic depressives enjoyed their condition, because back before I was medicated, I lived much more in the lows than the highs. Now that I've been properly medicated, and am currently living on about a third of my normal meds, I see the allure. The highs are nice; I feel happy and strong, and my brain turns on big-time.

  • Instead of cluttering the apartment with both of the garage cabinets I have my eye on, if just the bottom one is in good shape, bringing that to the apartment as a pantry, and placing the chopping block on top, will free up counter space in kitchen proper...

  • If we can't afford to move in or out of town come baby-time, maybe moving to a new apartment within our current complex...

Man, these mood swings are a blast (she said sarcastically)...the politics of a flawed work system just made me look bad on the job and I'm livid, so I'll end this before I start ranting. Snuck both those pictures from other blogs for their calming influences...the pantry is from Two Frog Home, the green beans from Tiny Farm Blog. I aspire to both illustrations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New week

The debris has been cleared, and the retention ponds have been raised to their erosion lines...nice! Hard to think about the tropics as going through a drought, but we're in one half the time, so we're always grateful for the rains, even if they knock the crap out of us. Man, though, it's nice to see sun again!

Saturday was a wash, Sunday was half spent at Mom's...we're getting closer to garage sale time, so we invited Tom (Dad's LilBro) and Denyse up to go through the garage...which resulted in me bringing home some more clutter ::sigh:: so I played hookey on Monday and reorganized some of it. The dining area's still a disaster, but the bedroom's quite liveable...I stole SouleMama's idea of using vintage suitcases for storage, and reorganized my fabric stash, Craft garb, and some yarn into Mom's old suitcases. The result is easier access to key stuff, and a neat look to the bedroom. In the coming weeks, I'll be unpacking boxes with CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes and reorganizing them shelf-style, switching out end tables, and weaning myself back off the worktable in the dining area, as I'm hoping to switch it with an old typewriter table that's buried in Mom's garage, for use as a sewing machine table. Trying to embrace the less-is-more concept, but after 10 years of collecting, it's slow going...

And we just ain't discussing the Buy Nothing Challenge yet, cuz I SUCK at it...

Basil's about the only herb that's rallying out front, and the tomatoes are still poking along...I put 2 little stakes in the tomatoes, but they still ain't flowering so I'm going to have to revisit the idea of putting them out back part of the day...

Friday, August 22, 2008

August showers

Yeah, more like August deluge. August monsoon. Ever see The Perfect Storm? How 'bout Castaway, when the plane crashed? Yeah, try driving in it...

I'm so pissed to be at work today, this post will probably be one big vent. I drove through debris, flooding, dead traffic lights...it's not safe to be on the roads today. It's really got me thinking about this company I've given almost 9 years to...

We've postponed our weekend work at the house, and I'm glad, as I'll spend tomorrow assessing my career and replanting my aloes, which are drowning as we speak out on the porch. I woke up around 1 a.m. feeling some serious guilt about not moving those, as the winds and rain lashed against the apartment and my windows rattled. I took the herbs down from the ledge out front to be safe, and they're under enough cover where they haven't moved, but the aloe's taking a serious pummeling.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some hardcore sulking to catch up on...Happy friggin' Friday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I work for a very fancy meat market

BAH! My tight-assed company finally came to the conclusion that they needed to shut down operations this afternoon...


They hate shutting down so much, they're a) making us use our own PTO if we do go home, and b) blackmailing people with time-and-a-half to stay on the phones...

Since a huge chunk of the phone folks are having to go home due to bridges closing, kids, etc., they're looking for folks who don't normally work the phones to do phone work too...

I haven't worked phones in 4 years. We can always use the money, but do I need 4 hours of solid stress to get it?

So now I feel like I'm not a team player because I'm electing to stay at work doing MY JOB!! 8½ years working for this sweatshop and I feel like my loyalty quotient just cut in half. Great.

Dumb-assed tropical storm.

Ahh...ok...vent over, moving on...

Ah, Florida...

Land of scattered hairstyles and fashion-unconscious footwear...

Thank goodness I got my hair trimmed up last week, cuz with these winds I'd be going out of my friggin' mind this week. It's nice having the wind blow your hair six ways to Sunday and know that it's probably falling back in place in a non-ugly fashion...

The footwear crack is cuz I'm wearing sneaks twice in a row this week to work, and while they may not go great or be my first choice with my slacks, they're comfy and handle the weather better than anything else in my closet right now. My company dress code is relaxed business casual, so I'm not breaking any rules, but being older and larger than a lot of the crowd here, I usually try to maintain some semblance of work fashion (I've mentioned before how I save my jeans for Fridays). Plus I tried wearing an old pair of shoes on Tuesday, and now I'm a poster child for blisters :(

This storm really pussed out on us here in Jacksonville..it could still turn, but I'm not worried personally, though I'm pretty sure I'm drowning my porch aloes, never got around to moving them...they haven't even closed the bridges, and the gusts only have to get up around 40 mph for that to happen. That basically shuts down the city, since the St. Johns River splits Jacksonville in half. Lucky me, my 10-minute commute goes nowhere near the river. Most folks who are ducking out on work have kids who are out of school...a good reminder to me of challenges to come (hopefully). We're trying again this month, and this time I'm armed with a triple-hormone regimen - so prayers to Husby if the mood swings kick in :)

Stay dry, y'all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Soggy Wednesday

My reverse seasonal affective disorder kicks in with this weather...storms are exciting, so long as they behave themselves. And can you imagine being a kid in the Duval county school system, starting back to school on Monday only to have Wednesday and Thursday off for the storms...I mean, I enjoyed school for the most part, but I sure loved me a good snow day. I wish it were different for my nephew's sake though, as his autism means he desperately needs the structure of school back in his life, especially after moving to a new house this summer.

Got to see him this past weekend, growing like a weed (my gosh, is he! only going-on 8 and practically up to my shoulders!), and behavior wasn't bad at all considering he's on next to nothing medicinally right now...just gets wound up occasionally and needs the words of a family member he knows to respect. He wouldn't listen to me if I tried to direct him, but once his dad stepped in, he was good. Pretty much as it should be with any kid...

Got some nice inspiration from SouleMama today...it was a good reminder of how you have to set your mind to a task and just tuck away at it. I've been letting myself get overwhelmed by the apartment lately, and then nothing gets done in the evenings...I watch TV, knit, goof off, when I could be unpacking a box and going through it. One box at a time...and she just reminded me of some things, like the use of old suitcases for packing fabric or whatever (when we just came across some oldies in Mom's attic), and how the sewing machine doesn't have to have a huge area when the dining room table can double as a crafting space...

Now if this tropical storm would just increase to hurricane status so I could go home and get started....ah well, guess that's not enough of a reason to possibly endanger lives with nature....but getting started tonight is definitely in the cards :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yup, there's a new badge on the blog...

Buy Nothing Challenge - August 2008

Very neat idea, and one I HAVE to embrace. I just spent the last week, stocking up on junk food we don't need, and trying to talk myself in and out of a new purse. We're barely making ends meet, and I'm thinking a new purse is in order. So today I'm catching up on One Green Generation and am inspired by her thoughts on redefining normal. And then I wander over to Crunchy Chicken (while checking out the APLS blog carnival posts) and find her Buy Nothing Challenge. Ah, another greenie epiphany at the ole lighthouse...my purse yearnings slide quickly into the "NO" column, and I'm into my bag stash for something that'll placate my itchiness for consumption.

Sure, it's easy to cheat or slip on any challenge, but if you don't have a plan at all, it's that much easier to spend willy-nilly. Having the procreation of small people become possibly real this month really shifted my thinking; I look at our apartment, our lives with new eyes.

Fairly straightforward goals (from Crunchy Chicken):
  • No new clothes
  • No new gadgets
  • No new furniture or housewares
  • No salon services (except haircuts) - heh, that's a cheat, just got mine cleaned up last week.
  • No new makeup
  • No new tools (also a cheat - any tools I need I'll be acquiring in the coming weeks from Mom's garage)
  • No whatever the hell else people buy (gee, like purses?)
  • No eating out

I've talked about that last one before, and nothing's changed since the last time I mentioned how badly we need to stop pissing away money on easy meals. So I'm looking forward to being hard on myself and Husby on this one. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Midweek upswing

A short blurb about manic depression, and then we'll get to the update...

Chris Burke, that dear guy from the TV show "Life Goes On" said in an interview way back when, that he had Down's Syndrome, but just a mild case of it. That's how I treat my manic depression. It's tempered with age and medication, and I can deal with my mood swings now, for the most part, without spending us into bankruptcy or fantasizing about running cut glass on my skin.

That said, the downers still suck big time. I've mentioned I'm off my lithium and down to half my Paxil, because we're trying to have kids (and we're finally actually trying, so I'm being vigilant about keeping unnecessary meds out of my system...now if I could only do that with food too...). So when the downs take up residence, I'm a rather grumpy individual, not the funnest person to be around, and my time is spent accepting my misery and getting little accomplished, because the alternative, trying to fight it, really doesn't work and is self-defeating. Still, it's a frustrating cycle, because then you hit an upswing and think of all you'd like to have accomplished while you were being a whiny, self-absorbed mess (never mind that it's a medically justified whiny, self-absorbed mess), and then you scramble, trying to get things done before the next wave hits. Waa, waa, it ain't easy bein' me.

Anyhoo, that's where I've been...

About the cat, what an odd thing...Friday morning, this young male orange tabby shows up at our doorstep crying up a storm. Wants in so badly it's hard to get into the apartment at lunchtime. Still there in the evening, and cries all night. We gave him a food and water source, and he not only shut up, but disappeared, but I've been keeping the food plate filled at night, and it's licked clean the next morning. So we may have ourselves a cooperative outdoor cat, who was seriously dehydrated initially. I hope it's him eating the food, as I hate to think about the other critters that could be coming up our stairs, the not-so-friendly strays or worse, a nutria (we've got a bunch of those critters living with the ducks around our retention ponds - they look like beavers with possum tails). My herbs and tomatoes are still on the front landing, and they're no worse for the wear, but still...

So I'm feeling better and looking toward the weekend. Blogs are starting to talk about preparing for winter. Florida breeds laziness; we're lucky if we get weather cold enough to break out the wool, but there are so many other ways that we could be living simpler with just a little preparation. And autumn's my hands-down favorite season, so there's apple butter recipes to try, as well as more food storage ideas (freezing, canning, dehydrating), experimenting with squash and pumpkin recipes, and enjoying the break in the heat here, as Gaia gives us 2 days of rain. Enjoy the breeze!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ornery n' out of sorts

I'll do a proper post in a day or two (maybe even with pictures and a neat story about the outdoor cat that's sort of adopted us...), but I gotta shake off these orneries first. TTYS!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pensive Thursday

Seriously inside my own head today...check out SCMoving for the topics rolling around in there.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Some things coming clear this week, quite a few things...one boss leaving, making it clearer the possibility that I could shift into a supervisory position here at work (in the months to come), either in Gretchen's current post or as QC team leader. I'm ambivalent, to be sure; I prefer the QC work to the prospect of supervising, and any pay increase would be a joke. But when push comes to shove, we're talking about job security with bennies, and when you're trying to start a family with a disabled husband, there's not much more you look for. Dreams shift, not to be forgotten, just set on a shelf. So I'm opening my mind to the possibility and looking for ways to improve my image with the higher-ups.

And we're finally trying for kids :) I don't think it took this month, but I'm going back on Clomid and Estradiol next month and we'll see. It's a true eye-opener, looking at life from the prospect of being someone's parent a mere 9 months later. We have an enormous amount of work to do. Like, understatement. This is where the "To Do" lists will take on new life...more later.

Check out "For Better or For Worse" today (August 6, 2008) - Excellent!! And I'd love to know how many US publications chose not to run that strip...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Thoughtful Tuesday

Just wasn't in the mood to post Monday...

I'm in a weird place, not quite a rut, not quite up...

Nary a single "to-do" list was created this past weekend (naturally), but I did get little things accomplished, just enough where I wasn't beating myself up. Moved the aloe to the porch, still babying the herbs and tomatoes. Resigning myself to the tomatoes being a winter harvest. Made a carrot/banana bread on Sunday that was surprisingly tasty. Threw together a chicken dinner last night that was surprisingly untasty. Sigh. In another dry spell with the knitting too...

Just not much to post...doing a lot of thinking this week. We'll see how the week progresses...

Friday, August 01, 2008


In an attempt to interrupt my broken-record habit of making huge, grandiose plans of things to accomplish on the weekend, only to spend said weekend lamenting my inability to get those things done...I'm stepping back and trying a one-day-at-a-time approach (without the alcoholic cravings)...

To Do Tonight (Friday)
  • Relax
  • Think about the top you want to make, and give yourself a refresher course on sewing.
  • Start lists on several subjects
  • Steer clear of dining area
  • Don't clean anything (yet)

Mom's stepping back too...the weather's supposed to be rainy this weekend, so she didn't want to do any heavy-duty work on the garage yet, until she thinks about it a little more. That frees me up to tackle our apartment. Husby started a new med on Wednesday that has had rather nice results so far, so I may even get some work out of him too, as well as be able to talk with him about kids and future stuff.

3 hours to freedom! Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't fight nature, plan around it

Maybe I am a stress junkie...this has just been a good week so far. Monday I went grocery shopping after work, have made two decent meals this week so we're drowning in leftovers (which neither of us is bitching about, because it's so nice to be eating decent food again), and have been enjoying knitting again. Started SouleMama's lacy looking hat, and while I'm afraid I'm making it too big, I'm pressing on because I love, love, love the yarn I'm using (a single hank of KnitPicks merino that's since been discontinued, in this excellent blend of beige, navy, and hunter green)...will toss it in the wash before wearing, am hoping that'll help it shrink just a bit.

Tonight I have to do laundry, clean the kitchen, and ponder the weekend...probably going to Mom's on Saturday for some garage work, and I'm determined NOT to repeat last weekend, so I'll make some more lists for little projects, designed to chip away at the overwhelm-ment that is our apartment. Husby and I were talking this morning about how we need to change things around there, if we're going to have a small person there initially...I'm glad I'm getting him talking, it'll make it easier when those "to-do" lists end up in his hands for busywork during the week while I'm slaving away at the office :)

Pictures soon, I promise. I haven't gotten around to reseeding the herbs, but my patience is paying off...they still look weak, but they are growing! One of my "to-do" items is cataloging the planting stuff I have that's not in use, because I'd love to do more vegetables this fall.

Monday, July 28, 2008

No point in dwelling...

"Don't blow a day by not planning it; plan to blow a day." — Tim Lyons

Words to live by. Apparently not this past weekend, however. I'm so angry with myself I'm trying not to think about it, because I hate dwelling on things that can't be changed. Gotta just push forward...

But seriously folks...what. the. hell! I pissed away both days this past weekend, doing very little other than finishing a truly unremarkable baby hat, missing Dad, napping, and allowing my depression to enjoy free rein. Can we discuss how frustrating it is to be lamenting how little time we have on this earth while simultaneously enjoying a complete lack of motivation and energy to do anything? On second thought, let's not...

So. Back at my desk at work and wondering just how much of a stress junkie I am to be able to get more accomplished while simultaneously earning money at a regular job...I started a fresh "To Do" list, a grocery list, and my brain's turned back on, pondering how I can unearth us in that apartment and make it more conducive to living simply. I'm betting part of my problem is that apartment, just how overpopulated it is with "STUFF," weighing me down and making me unable to see past it...we're painfully behind financially right now, so I get thinking about how we'll be starting a family there in that place, and that's borderline unacceptable as is...there's a lot of work to be done to get it to where I'd feel comfortable having a baby living in there with us. But Husby and I act in spurts...he mopped the kitchen floor on Friday on a whim, said he'd been wanting to do it for ages, and I'm the same way...will do nothing for weeks and then suddenly plow through a closet or the dining area. It needs to be more consistent.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekend rally

Money in the bank, 2 days off, what's not to love? Well, the money will go away very soon, of course...but the 2nd quarter bonus in this check means actually being able to restock the food shelves and maybe pay a bill besides rent...very glad we decided not to go to SC, because we would've so pissed that away and it can't even really be called a surplus, not as far behind as we are...

Anyhoo, will reseed plants this weekend, move some stuff around, and get back to eating healthier...ooo, and baking! ooo, and knitting and sewing! Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sleepy, grumpy, a couple of other dwarves...

Can't seem to wake up today...feeling fat...McDonald's didn't help...bleh!

I think I'm ready for another trip out of town...maybe I could talk Husby into an overnight down at Gold Head...we just begged off on an SC trip due to lackofunds, suppose I need to suck it up...especially since I'm making enough this next check where we could actually pay a bill besides rent...

I've had one of Dad's memorial cards up at my desk at work since like oh, a week after he hit the happy hunting ground (he was a duck hunter back in the day, that's not just me being a morbid little snot)...today I took it down. It's just hurting a little too much lately, and I don't need any reminders; my memory serves me all too well in that regard.

::grumble, grumble, bitch, moan::

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I get it now

I'm a big M*A*S*H fan. In the final episode ("Goodbye, Farewell, & Amen"), Winchester has a sad epiphany where he realizes that music will always be a reminder to him (of the war). I always had trouble buying that, based on the obvious love his character had for certain musics, couldn't see how something like music could take on such a negative connotation.

I get it now. It's not negative, exactly, just very, very painful. I'm finding that I can't listen to certain artists at work (Josh Groban and Enya in particular), because the music is so beautiful, it's making me cry. I feel this rather painful rage inside me with the knowledge that Dad will never again enjoy the beauty of music on our plane (of existence). I can't handle that; he loved certain music...I'm not even saying that Enya or Josh were particular favorites of his; rather it's the crystalline beauty of their music that's setting me to tears. We kids grew up listening to various types of music with Dad; some of my earliest memories are of having the headphones on while we listened to Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head or Tie a Yellow Ribbon, or Judd Strunk's Daisy a Day. I can't handle the thought of all the stuff he's missing. I suppose I should/could content myself with the idea that he gets to enjoy it all whenever he wants now, but I just can't buy that idea of Summerland...and I can't believe it just for faith's sake, regardless of how terrified the alternative makes me. Being true to myself means recognizing that I plain don't believe in heaven and hell...don't believe in much of anything on the subject, beyond the possibility of passing onto a different plane of existence. Whatever...he's missing out, and we're missing out by not having him here, and it sucks!

Reviews & rallying

Simple Prosperity by David Wann is back at the library, but I wish it was on my bookshelf...definitely going to look for that one next time I'm at Chamblin's. It was a surprisingly enjoyable read...you know how some books look informative, but once you crack them, you realize you need a degree in horticulture and 6 cups of coffee to get through them? This isn't one of those; it's written in an almost conversational manner that engages the reader to think and press on. I was really surprised by how engaging it was, how easy it was to read even with the TV on in the background. Sure, some of it was old hat; but I think it's a decent reference tome for people who are trying to live simpler and greener, something you can go back to for reminders and ideas.

I also own Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, so thought I'd say a little something about her here too. While I'm skeptical about some of the recipes in that book, it's more because they're so far afield from what I normally eat that's it's hard not to turn my nose up at them (Eggs in a Nest?!). That said, Kingsolver also has a writer's ego, and some of her opinions in this book are just that, opinions; which is why the book is saved by her husband's essays, which combine opinion with factual information cited from specific sources. She does offer a decent bibliography and appendix of sources, so I'm not exactly faulting her - it's just that you have to be in the mood for her writing sometimes. This book truly was a family affair though, from Camille's recipe ideas to Lily's chicken adventures, and that makes it a very enjoyable look at living green. Another very helpful facet (for this Florida gal) is that it's laid out Eastern-seasonally, so you get a true taste of what's in season when, from asparagus to zucchini...even the Vegetannual graphic is a nice reference to help remind your brain until you get used to seasonal eating.

Can feel myself rallying...really nice shot in the creative arm over at SouleMama, where she's posted PDF links for some wonderful handmade gift ideas. I'm so glad to have ideas other than knitted socks for the impending Xmas gift-giving...the Gratitude wrap is rather perfect, as I came into a large stack of cardstock that I was thinking of doing something with...has the old company name on it, so I'd have an excuse to create some design over it...hmm...or could cut it away, maybe? Can't wait to go home and try out these ideas! Work's a pain...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waking up again...

Still not used to working in the new place...had to change my shift to accommodate the economic dry spell that the company's going through...I'm going in later and leaving later, because the work falls later in the day...that and our usual financial difficulties has had me in a weird rut, that I'm just now figuring out and attempting to rally from. Just now back to feeling human again too, after the 3 H's of this past weekend (hormones, hangover, and hard work)...bleh!

Excellent example of how the world's problems aren't getting solved by our current leaders, because they've definitely got their wires crossed somewhere along the line...while I'm sure this story is taken out of context a bit, it's still a jaw-dropper: http://tinyurl.com/6mw8ka.

I'm in a creative dry spell too...until I get used to the schedule difference probably...getting home later means later meals and cleanup, means feeling rushed at the end of the day, so I'm not in the mood to knit...I'm just out of sorts. (whinewhinewhine) Not getting enough fresh food either, and I've been slacking on the health factor of my lunches, so it's no wonder we've hit rut territory again. Damn broken record. Need to get baking again...I'm tired of granola bars and fruit.

Going with Husby to next week's doctor's appointment so I can yell at the guy again...it's impossible to get him (Husby) working when his quality of life sucks so badly...I'd love to blame it on his shame over his teeth, but really it's the fact that he's still always in pain. If I had blazing headaches everyday, I'd be useless too, and this is while he's on what are supposed to be decent medications! Problem is, he can't take the triptan meds that are normally prescribed for migraines, he gets bad reactions with them, so instead he's stuck with pain meds that taken often enough, put him in a cyclical situation, so that nothing works for the breakthrough pain. There's gotta be more options...but he doesn't remember to ask the right questions when he has his appointments with the guy, so I'm going along because I'm the boss :) I feel a pinch more secure with my job, but we still so need him working too...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Such a seesaw

In a hilarious turn of events, I may be getting groomed for a promotion at work. I got this news at the very end of the day on Friday; and after the stress of spending a week wondering if my hours were going to be cut and should I be looking for a second job, I needed a beer. One turned into four. Didn't wake up that hungover, but you know how your body feels pooped out after overindulging? Add the monthly hormonal hostage crisis and an afternoon planting aloe in the Florida sun...well, let's just say I'm taking it easy today. And I'm pretty sure my biceps are disowning me.

I'll have to prove myself to some of my higher-ups...I've spent the last 8 years shying away from responsibility and presenting myself as a workhorse for them and nothing more; so when my team leader has brought up my name as a potential for supervisory responsibility, he's been met with skepticism. This doesn't bother me; just means I need to reacquiant the bosses with what I'm capable of. I know going in, that I can't rely on just my team leader's opinion of me; he's still too easy to impress because he's new to this business. But I also know, have always known, that I have the ability to be a decent manager; and I've changed a lot in the past year. So I have some work to do.

Mom's backyard looks neat. We planted the rest of the aloe that I wanted to part with, and laid down a red mulch, so it actually looks like a deliberate grove of stuff under the trees now. Will probably need a bit more mulch as the rainy season progresses. I'll miss the Big Boys, but I'm so glad they're in real ground now and out of our apartment. I kept some babies and Mom bought me a jade yesterday to add to my collection of living stuff.

Most of my herbs have wimped out on my first tries; conditions just aren't terrific, but I'm not giving up...thinking of reseeding the ones that pooped out. Thinned the tomatoes a bit last week and I'm going to talk to Husby about keeping them on the porch in the mornings and then having him bring them in when the afternoon rains hit. I have to shift my schedule at work, so won't be getting home til almost 6 now; otherwise I'd handle it myself...but since he's home...

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to grab a nap and feel absolutely no guilt about it :)

Friday, July 18, 2008


I didn't expect to be quite so angry upon leaving the baby shower today. Maybe it's because I confirmed that the coworker I sit next to is also pregnant. Maybe it's my hormones; I put the moonstones in my pocket this morning to jump start my system because I was a day late, and sure enough, it worked! Maybe it's because I got to hold a baby at the shower, and her smell is still in my shirt. Whatever the reason, I hurt now. I'm so ready, so very ready. I'm not celebrating my next birthday until my body's with child...I simply can't reconcile myself with turning 39 without a baby inside of me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I still don't really get how it's possible that Dad is gone, that I'll never see him again. Yesterday was just one of those hard days...I did websites in Androscoggin, Utica, and Saskatoon...all former territories of his. Then I was listening to music later and realized that I really can't listen to Josh Groban's February Song at work anymore (or for a while anyway), because the notes he hits in that sucker are so, so beautiful, it's jarring and makes me cry.

Thinking of changing my work shift a bit, because work falls later in the day...there plain isn't enough to keep us busy earlier in the mornings. It's helping me catch up on areas where my training was lacking...this morning I'm getting to explore Dreamweaver and Photoshop finally, as well as acquiant myself with the work of Tech Support...but it's a scramble everyday, and I need to bend to the demand.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Pretty impressed with myself that I spelled that right on the first try...did look it up in m-w.com though, to see if I was using it correctly...I'm pretty close.

My fear and stress over possibly having my hours cut at work is causing me to slip into a fast rut. Going to try to nip that sucker in the bud before it takes root...it doesn't help that I'm a hormone hostage this week, thus a tad scattered, and that I'm getting used to working in a different location...it feels like we're just visiting here; it's SO different...more open, bieges instead of greys, easy to get lost still, larger desk areas, new chairs...it's so neat and nice, just wish we had the work to go along with the new digs. So one of the things I need to do (in the reconnoiter category) is quit stressing and start thinking...thinking about how I can combat the money worries with different work options...

We need better recycling vessels in house, but we're definitely all gung-ho about it now, and the difference in our trash is marked...we were hitting the dumpster almost on a daily basis before we started recycling; now it's more like once a week. It's so automatic, getting ready to throw something out and realizing it belongs in the recycling instead, and we're rinsing things well enough where the bug problem hasn't gotten any worse...

Gotta go look busy :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Embarassing how winded I am after climbing 3 flights of stairs...I do a flight everyday at my apartment, but 3 is another story...I stop at the top to get my heart rate under control, and so that I don't make a lot of noise with my mouth-breathing when I exit the stairwell...I'm determined to take the stairs more often than not; I'm plain not a fan of elevators and lord knows I need the exercise. But it's definitely going to take a while for my body to acclimate...

New week

I feel busier. In fact, business is dangerously slow...I spent the weekend enjoying a fresh bout of stress, because my boss confided in us that the higher-ups are starting to make noise about cutting hours. Just moved into the new building, and it feels like they're going to have to lay people off to justify it. I ache with the news that my hours could be cut. I'm not in a place mentally where holding down a 2nd job would be healthy, but I'm thinking of hunting anyway. I'm scared...

So my stress meant not enough got accomplished this weekend, but I did try to relax. My brain did quite a bit of shutting down. I knit a fingerless glove. Watched Project Runway marathons. Avoided reality. Ordered out too much.

More later...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dear Boss,

I certainly empathize with anyone who feels restless stuck behind a desk. I'm a professional fidgeter and twiddler myself, since decreasing my meds...swear I'm gonna go 'round the bend sometimes stuck at a desk job, just don't have the patience for all that sitting still. Your career prior to this job was the U.S. Navy, so certainly there's going to be some adjustment to the boredom of corporate America.

However, our area is nice and quiet now that we're in the new building, and if you don't stop drumming your fingers on your desk, I'm going to have to come into your cube and break all your fingers.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Moving day

Last day in the old building, woohoo! I dig change better than most, probably will have trouble keeping the silly grin off my face all day Monday...

I'm thinking of bailing on the Independence Days Challenge...not bailing per se, just not formally reporting specifically that stuff. I'm just not there yet...certainly the brunt of this blog will still be about my desire to live green, simpler, etc., and the occasional crafty stuff, but it's such a work in progress, and right now, the Growing Challenge is more than enough......definitely will keep y'all informed as my little corner of the planet progresses...future projects this year include delving into canning, more freezing foods, more plants...

I still haven't thinned the tomatoes yet, and I think it's starting to stunt them...this weekend I'm hoping to deal with the aloe (yes, I know, where have we heard that before...) - geez, it goes THAT far back? That's depressing...and I want to manufacture something to keep the plants out on the porch where they'll have better access to sun, rain, pollenators...going to visit the evil big-box stores for greenhouse-type mesh...ah, maybe I'll be a good little granola and look for it at the smaller hardware stores or nurseries...

Frogged 2 projects last night, rolled 3 balls of yarn yesterday, having another attack of startitis...no motivation to start Xmas projects yet though, still baby stuff or stuff for me :)

Speaking of the Growing Challenge, Elements in Time moved to a gorgeous fresh website/blog, One Green Generation...give it a look-see!

Haircut is moving quickly from dog snot to shagadelic; thank goodness it grows fast! Thinking of investing in a straightening iron so the mop will make me less nutty (heh, kind of a reach, I know...).....it got me thinking about my buddy Alexa's hair, which I covet (natural SERIOUS curl and auburn)...I'm sure the limitations involved with naturally curly hair would make me just as impatient as I am with my mop, so it begs the question of whether or not I'm perpetuating my nuttiness regarding my hair by continuing to try different styles that quickly fall short of my expectations...I do know I miss the length and am going to try my darnedest to keep from trimming it for the near future; and I've developed a definite appreciation for longer styles, thanks to Husby (the little creep). Still, if you ever wanna trade, Alexa.... :)

What's sad is one of the things that got me thinking about hair this week is watching Shear Genius on Bravo for lack of anything better on the tube...Jaclyn Smith irritates me for some reason (was never a Charlie's Angels fan, but I sympathize with anybody in remission from breast cancer, so she gets a pass), but the show itself is kind of fun...man, I'll be glad when we get full cable back...it ticks me off when I find myself enjoying those so-called "reality" shows, but then again, some (ONLY SOME) of them have merit...I find my creative juices flowing after watching Top Chef or Project Runway too. Now if we could just take crap like Super Nanny or Wife Swap off the air, our society may have a chance of moving beyond its Jerry Springeresque tendencies...

Well, that's enough of the cultural snobbery...work wants help with the move, but they're not willing to pay OT, so I'm steering clear. House is getting a serious cleaning this weekend instead; our apartment building is at least 25 years old, so when you let it go to seed, the bugs come out unfortunately...dropped my milk cap on the floor yesterday morning, and had this fantasy of 2 cockroaches coming out and carrying it off, while one of them said to me, "thanks, we'll get this back to you." I'm not well. So it's cleaning time, and the usual organizing and creative fantasies that accompany a Melanie weekend. Hope yours is relaxing; Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Random wanderings

Mini rant #1:

Was in Winn-Dixie last night and saw Manwich already prepared, in a tub, in the same section as the tubs of barbecue (this IS the South, after all) and the Hormel meals that require refrigeration at the end of the meats. Manwich? Seriously? I'm sorry, but unless you're a college student with no access to a stove, there's no excuse for buying that...like it's so much frickin' harder to buy a pound of ground chuck (that you can actually see through the plastic and might even be able to hazard a guess that it came from some sort of bovine), brown it in a frying pan, break out the heavy equipment (can opener), pour it in, and bring it back up to a simmer. We're talking lowest common denominator cooking here, folks! Maybe I'll understand it better when I have a couple of ankle-biters and I've just gotten home from an 8-hour day chained to the computer, but I hope not...I wonder how much corn product they've managed to infuse into that Manwich prepared stuff...

Starting to miss not having home Internet access...found a bunch of fresh blogs and sites...and can't spend acres of time reading them when I'm at work...

Mini rant #2:

The only thing more frustrating than not having work to do at work, is having my boss try to invent "special projects" for us to do when there is a little work in the queues...I don't give a damn how low the queues are, I just want to be able to do my job, and if there's sites in the queues, then I can do my job, so lemme do it!


I thought the Florida and other state lotteries were smart in adding free gas to their scratch-off games.....

But a little industry in NV taking that idea, is frickin' ingenious...

If the local news stations run stories about the danger of being robbed of your gas by siphoning thieves, doesn't that give the thieves ideas? My neighborhood's bad enough; I don't need the news making our thieves any smarter...

If oil prices decreased earlier this week, how come gas still costs $4.04/gal at the local Racetrac (the ONLY place I buy gas because they have the lowest prices in my area, usually don't try to profit on our suffering, and don't hire drunks to man their tankers)?

Yeah, so I'm a little grumpy today. Had 4 hours off yesterday due to lackowork, so after relaxing for a bit, I crashed for a nap, only to sleep too late for my liking and wake with a start at the thought that Nanie was no longer with us, which I know is just me being paranoid because I'd really like her to make it to her birthday next week (July 18, she'll be 97), but makes me wonder if she is close to leaving us, if the veil between the worlds is experiencing a bit of a rift for her...

But on the up side, Mom finally got pictures of Dad's name added to the family headstone (and the new ivy border)...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Holding pattern

Wow. Been a while. Holiday weekend and all that. I relaxed for the most part, did some knitting, did some reading. Not a whole lot to report. The plants are suffering a bit. I'm going to fashion something on the porch that allows them to get that sun and space without drowning them with our afternoon storms, because the poor things don't have a chance at pollenators when they're on our front landing.

Gas prices are unreal. Work's scary. Or rather, the lack of work is scary. I'm not worried about my job; I'm trained in just about everything I can be for my position, plus a couple of things; and they like me here. But sales are miserable and we spend our days grabbing a site here, a site there, and then staring at an empty queue more than we'd like and looking for busy work. I can't stand busy work, though I'll admit it was cool yesterday; I retrained in designing Adwords (those ads you see on the right side of the screen in Google™), and they've changed the tool a bit since I last did them, so I actually learned something there. But usually it's just work engineered to keep you off the queue for an hour or so, so it'll build back up. I'd rather be grabbing the sites as they show up, don't have the patience for busy work. Maybe if I went back on the lithium...

I don't really mean that, it's just another bit of frustration where the baby making is concerned. Finding your ovulation time is hard enough, but nailing it when your husband doesn't have a migraine is a whole other beast. I mean, in fairness to him, would you want to partake of nookie with a blazing headache? Yeah, me either. But still, I ache to get started and can't stand the calendar marching toward my 39th birthday the way it is...

At least my company's appearing to be in a good place right now...we move into the new building this weekend, which certainly negates any chance of a raise for at least another year; but I'm able to walk into work confident that I have a role to play here. My mom's not so lucky right now; her employers, in addition to laying people off right and left, have also 86d matching their employees' 401(k) contributions and the EAP portion of their health insurance. It's making her a little nuts, wondering if they're going to try to retire her early...that's not something she's ready for, and of course, finding a fresh job at 66 isn't the easiest task. Send some positive thoughts her way please...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Midweek update

Life: good
Work: slow
Plants: stalled

Discovered the writings of Ann Hood this week...she lost her 5-year-old daughter to a virulent form of strep and discovered knitting as a way of maintaining sanity through the grief. I can relate. Boy, can I relate...always knew that knitting through the pain was a smart outlet, but there's still this vindication in reading Comfort and The Knitting Circle and discovering I'm not alone in this.

Haven't gotten around to reviewing the David Wann book, Simple Prosperity, still reading...think I may need to own this one, it's quite good. Wonder if I can find it at Chamblin's...Silent Spring still getting neglected...

Doing well...nice feeling :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A heavy heart

Warning: philosophical entry ahead...

There were a handful of times in college where I drove home hugging the white line on the right and praying to whomever I believed in at the time, that I'd make it home safely because I'd had a bit too much to drink. I've always worn a seatbelt; my folks were good about instilling that in us as kids, and getting into a car accident 4 days after getting my license certainly put the fear of God in me where that was concerned too, especially since the seatbelt in question failed and I took a steering wheel to the chest...luckily wasn't going too fast, as this was pre-airbag days, though I'm not a fan of airbags either. Anyway...

My friend Izzy's daughter Sara lost her boyfriend yesterday; he lingered for 2 weeks following a drunk driving accident before dying from his injuries. I ache with this news. I think of the things that people will say..."what a waste,"..."so young,"...like those words will help make sense of a senseless tragedy. I look back on my own mistakes in judgment and wonder why I was spared. What makes me so friggin' special? Which gets me thinking about the randomness of life, how we don't have any control over it at all, no matter how much we try, and then I have to stop thinking, because that's enough to make you want to curl up in a ball...I think of Christy and more lately, Meara, who are trying so hard to have complete control over their lives, who think that so long as everything is going according to plan and in its proper place, that maybe nothing (else) bad will happen. I totally get Meara needing that after losing Dad; we had 36 hours of closure, which I thank the gods for, but we all still feel robbed, like it was way too soon. The anger that accompanies that feeling has a color and a vehemence that can easily overwhelm.

But there must be a happy medium between needing total control over your life vs. giving up completely and letting fate or destiny take its course. I like to think I'm finding that balance myself. I'm not even sure I believe in god, but I wake up in the morning, take solace in the elements, and recognize the balance between perfectionism and faith. Thanks to Dad, I'm reminded everyday now of the tenuous time we have here on Earth and I try to make good use of that time. I believe that Dad's fear shortened his life, and I'm determined not to let it happen to me. I pray for the opportunity to create my own small ones and teach them the preciousness of this life.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Wow! Nice, new facility...larger desks, great use of natural light, and we're on the 3rd floor, so I'll be trying my darnedest to use the stairs for exercise. Naturally, since I started packing up my desk today, they had to bump the move at least a week, but we certainly have something to look forward to. There's a nice retention pond on one side and our main break room opens out there, so I look forward to lunching on the grass. It borders I-95 and the main view is Baptist South (hospital) on that side, but I think I can block that out.

We really do need the new digs; we're getting too big for our current facility and all-hands meetings are an exercise in claustrophobia where the break room turns into a sauna because of all the bodies. Still, a tiny part of me wishes the money they spent on the new building could've gone into our paychecks instead, like in a cost-of-living raise. With no overtime opportunities in the foreseeable future, it gets me thinking about a 2nd job again, though I know how unrealistic it is for me to hold down 2 jobs and maintain my sanity, especially sans full meds. Nose to the grindstone...

A good place

Nice weekend. Puttered on the computer quite a bit, neglected the apartment (except the kitchen), and took care of me. Why can't I remember what I did on Saturday? Laundry in the morning...then what? Must be having a lackolithium moment...did quite a bit of computer trolling, and I'm glad I did, because we lost cable this morning, so Internet and phone are soon to follow, and we can't pay it probably for 2 weeks :( Alexa turned me on to another crafty site with great resources for inspiring little ones: MotherRising...also a rather amazing account of life lived 1 block from 9/11/01. Seriously gives you perspective, makes you think...

Did quite a bit of cooking yesterday, and am happy with my new stove :) Made a bunch of wheat bread from scratch, a lil-of-this-lil-of-that soup that surprisingly wasn't a failure, and some oatmeal cookies for the week (with a hint of banana because I was low on regular oatmeal, but had 3 packets of Banana bread flavored oatmeal left).

  • Planting and harvesting: still just the catnip. Quite impressed with myself, the attention I'm giving said plants, not letting them wither from neglect. Wish I could say the same for the aloe. Everybody's sprouting but the spearmint, which is odd; those were Burpee seeds from this year ala Target. Going to shove Jobe's sticks into everybody this week. Gave the plants their first dose of real sun Saturday on the back porch, only to nearly drown them when the afternoon rains hit. So they're back up front for now.
  • Preserving: 2/3rds of the soup and bread I made yesterday went into the freezer :)
  • Prepping: yesterday was clean as you go in the kitchen, and I'm more comfortable in that room now. This week I hope to deal with the aloe and go through the bookshelves at least; not having cable will be a big help in this endeavor.
  • Cooking: mentioned above...also planning to try white bean burgers later in the week, and I have to bake a cake for a worker's birthday tonight.
  • Managing: reserves are LOW...have to do a shop tonight :(
  • Local food systems: WIP

We move into the new building for work this weekend, get to tour it in a couple of minutes. Should be fun!