Thursday, April 30, 2009
So I'll move the herbs to the front landing railing this weekend and see how it goes. They'll be protected from the elements there, and it'll buy me a little time to figure out if I want them out back. Most of them do ok in full sun though, and the tomatoes need to go out back, so I'll be investing in shade material and building something out there to protect them. They need to be out back so they have access to pollinators, but I'll need to keep the squirrels off them too. I'm going to sprinkle cayenne around the porch rail, see if that helps. And that'll free up the closet for the next set of seedlings...some more tomatoes, the Kentucky Wonder beans, and wildflowers.
I bought a window box a couple of weeks back, originally for the herbs, but I'm thinking the wildflowers will go there. I'll mix the rest of my leftover soil in the old litter box and maybe grow them there too, though it's nice to have a container for mixing soil...(brainstorm: the 5-gallon pickle container I bought from Firehouse and use for recycling). The weather's turned full-on sunny and low 80s already, which is why the shade material will be so important. My work schedule doesn't get me home til after 6 these days, which would mean the tomatoes going crispy in the sun before I get home to rotate them to the shade.
Stuck in OT the next 2 days plus Saturday, but I'm planning to hit it early on Saturday and then check out the Riverside Arts Market, before coming home to relax, clean, plan, dream :)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Yeah, I know, probably more than you wanted to know, but I'm in a good mood as a result, so deal. First time I've nailed a positive with those tests...missed it completely last month, was a full week early.
Momma Zen and Soule Mama are particularly good today...got me thinking...about how I treat myself and things that need to change, so I can do right by me and anyone I may bring into this world. SouleMama's post is just eye candy...her seriously healthy looking baby, Harper (little 5-month moose!), is the product of a straight breastmilk diet. Since I'm sole breadwinner, most educated, I'll naturally have to keep working somehow if/when...but Husby knows he'll be finding work then too. In the meantime, so much to do...maintaining our budget, saving, purging stuff. This weekend we'll refile his SS disability paperwork. It's looking like another OT weekend, but I hope I can beg off, because I'd love to hit the Riverside Arts Market, and then the rest of the weekend will be a working one at home.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Last night we heard a family friend had passed away. I've been in my head ever since. It's too close to Dad's 2 year...My Lil Bro Cyril's best friend from high school, his sister, passed away after a lifelong struggle with a rare, degenerative illness. I only met her once or twice years ago, but Jason's another brother to me. I was reminded of that Friday, the longest Friday of my life, nearly two years ago...we were all spread out in the huge waiting area, resting, waiting...I think the docs had told us to let Dad rest or he was undergoing another test, I don't really remember. This handsome guy shows up, greets Cyril, sits with Mom, Aunt Denise, and Uncle Tom, casts a "hello" look in my direction. I looked at him and figured he was someone from Cyril's church, Cyril was heavily involved in a Baptist establishment at the time. But the face was familiar and it took about 5 minutes for me to realize that this tall, grown-up guy who looked like he just stepped out of a Polo ad, was Jason. When he was in high school, he was a runner, so even though he grew tall, he never weighed more than a buck and a half. Now in his 30s and the father of twins, he'd become a man. The wheel of life turned another notch.
I ache for him now. If I went to the funeral, it would be to support him. I'll send sympathy cards, and I lit a candle last night for her. I never knew Tiffany, his sister, but Jason drove up that Friday from Clearwater (3 hours away...well, 2½ if he still drives as I remember), stayed through the hardest decision we've all ever made, went home, and came back for the funeral at the end of the week. He was a solid support for us in the most trying time of our lives. I pray for his strength now. Tiffany lived long past her life expectancy, and there were many roadblocks, times when they thought they would lose her; but she had this indomitable spirit and she was honored by the community for her positive outlook. Cyril would talk about how even when she was sick and wheelchair-bound, her face would light up with recognition when he walked into the room. I'm going through this tough questioning period right now, regarding my having any faith to speak of, but for people like Tiffany, I have to believe there's a Summerland.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Sunday: recoup from all that walking, plant more cat grass, clean, etc.
This week went by quickly. Finished that sock, but was too mentally spent in the evenings to do much else. Plus I've been making the effort to a) cook a decent meal occasionally at dinnertime, and b) keep a clean kitchen. Hilarious how much better I feel with clean dishes and counter space.. Food's been good too....did tilapia in a scampi sauce last night, seriously yummy!
Wish I had time to hit the Riverside Arts Market...will definitely be looking to do that next weekend. Reading about Hanna has me thinking of ways to spread the word about her foundation close to home. Haven't been to the RAM yet, but apparently it's frickin' huge, plus there's a nice big tent specifically for children to do arts and crafts. We never have extra dough, but I'd love to make flyers to hand out there, maybe wear a sandwich board advertising Hanna's Dream. Have to think about it some more...like maybe I could organize a donation day, get a booth at the market, and folks could bring their donations and art supplies. Or tack in on with Worldwide Knit in Public day here in town, or the Stitch n' Pitch thing they're doing at one of the Jax Suns games in June...great opportunities, just gotta make the effort.
When Meara was in secondary school, she had to perform X amount of hours of community service in order to graduate. That absolutely baffled me at the time, because I hadn't had to do anything of the sort to get my completely average butt out the door to college, thank goodness. But life is about change, and with all the blogs I read now and the way my political views have shifted, I see just how vital the concept of service is...to your community and beyond. It's so easy to go through life with blinders on, watching out for number one, but the rewards when you do reach out far outweigh the effort expended. I pray I can make good on at least one of those ideas above.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Chandler: "Joey, do me a favor...lift up my hand and smack her with it."
Paraphrased from Friends - "The One Where Ross Finds Out"
I'm in a bit of pain today. Did a little jogging yesterday, just short spurts, giving exercise to my littlest sister, otherwise known as my Mom's puppy, Chloe. Took the day off yesterday to help Mom through a health procedure. That part was easy, even walking the dog was easy at the time...weather's gorgeous these days, not too hot yet, and the puppy and I both reveled in the fresh air. Sat on my butt the rest of the time, got laundry done, finished the sock. Today though.....remember those Droopy the dog cartoons? When the larger dog would underestimate Droopy and find himself being tossed and slammed on the ground from one side to another? Yeah, that's what I'm feeling like today. When a 4.5 lb. puppy manages to kick your ass, it's time to re-evaluate again.
And yet, the soreness brings that feeling of ALIVE and a reminder that that feeling isn't a bad thing if it means you're taking steps to get healthier. So I'm trying not to look on it as a negative, rather as a stepping-off point. If I have any energy tonight, I'm doing yoga while I watch TV. Keep that feeling going...
In the midst of the numbness, as I tuck into a heinous amount of work that has no chance of being fully accomplished today thanks to yesterday's absence from this delightful strapped-to-a-keyboard daily existence that I enjoy, I find my mind wandering to a happy place...the cave called Stumphouse Tunnel near Walhalla, SC, where Husby and I explored that Saturday, the weekend we went camping last month (my gosh, was it just last month? Seems longer...). Dark, cool surroundings, eyes big with trying to see the different veins of rock in the walls, the cold water dripping, exploring for pieces of granite to take back to mark the occasion, and the deliciousness of just hanging with my lifemate. Really nice to find my brain wandering back to that...
OK, back to work :(
Monday, April 20, 2009
Had a decent weekend, which probably accounts for lack of black cloud. Spent a wee bit much probably, but it's nice to be able to catch up on some purchases...to be able to buy something like sunscreen (or finding a new purse at half price ::hides head::) and not feel like it's an extravagance....because shit, at $10 a bottle, it practically is an extravagance regardless of the state of the ole account, but in Florida, it's also a serious necessity. I'm going to be wearing hats a lot more this year, don't want the sun spots on my face to spread...
Planted my herbs and tomatoes! They're sitting in my closet getting spritzed twice a day, because the closet is apparently a serious dry zone, which is a little weird, since we closed the air vent in there. Should probably have wrapped them in plastic...may still do that, since the closet's so dry...less chance of mold or early funk, I figure. I hope to add another vegetable or two later in the season, maybe some greens at the end of the year when it's cooler, but for now, we have:
- Sweet basil
- Cat grass
- Burpee Big Boy Hybrid Tomatoes
Basil and marjoram for cooking...Marjoram is a staple in my kitchen, I use it in almost anything from scrambled eggs to casseroles. The Chamomile is German, which is supposed to produce a daisy-like flower, which is half the reason I'm trying it (cuz they look purty), as I'm new to the concept of something as bold as making my own tea. But if I get that bold, the spearmint will jump in there too, as well as as a flavor in recipes. Cat grass is for Fig...the tomatoes, cross your fingers! I really want these suckers to bear fruit, since last years' didn't.
I'm thinking of a portable mini-hoophouse to protect them from the elements...more on that as it develops. Also thinking of finally setting out the rain barrel, otherwise known as the big-ass Igloo cooler that I ripped off when we cleaned out the house. It's one of those ones that you see sitting on contractors trucks - big, yellow and red, round, with a spigot at the bottom...figure it'd be perfect for my first rainwater barrel, as soon as I rig a filter to the top. Apartment living baby steps...
The porch also has some aloe, some dormant sunflowers, and some chives, which don't taste that great and may get tossed into the spare soil. The sunflowers dried up fast after purchase, so I broke off their heads and am hoping to baby them back into blooming.
Almost done with one sock...oddly, second sock syndrome kicked in right before the toe, so I finished a dishcloth yesterday and did 8 rows on Cozy. I've had that sucker on the needles forever...Knitpicks Merino Style in Nutmeg, it's the color of coffee ice cream. I want to start the Embossed Leaves pattern this week, as well as finish 1st sock and start 2nd of that other pair - can't remember the name, wavy lace or something from Interweave Sock book. But the Embossed Leaves pattern starts with that 1x1 rib cast-on, which Melanie has an initial mental block toward, apparently, as evidenced by the better part of an hour I spent screwing it up with scrap yarn last night while watching old House episodes. So we'll do more patience work and learning this week. Hey, I figured out YO-purl, why not 1x1 rib CO?
Friday, April 17, 2009
2. Buy planting trays to start seeds.
3. Clean, recycle, clean, clean...
I definitely have a fair Irish complexion, but I don't consider my skin that sensitive. Recently though, been noticing my face flushing more when I'm using products that are past their prime. Always considered that 3- or 6-month lifespan on cosmetics to be an evil ploy by distributors to get you to spend more money on their crap. Live and learn...or older, wiser...or something. Anyway, time to throw out the old foundation. Have already tossed a large variety of cast-off cleansers and lotions and junk, hand-me-downs from Mom and such...
Next up, new sunscreen! Weather is Florida spring down here, seriously beautiful. I'm resenting the heck out of going to work these days. Florida spring is a lot like Canada summer, I think...50s (F) at night, 70s during the day. Trying to enjoy it and just not think about the sweaty days ahead...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Yeah, definitely time to start eating better.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Need to think out loud a bit...if you could care less about my baby-making adventures, skip this post...
Trip to the OB/GYN today was educational, thought-provoking...I'm very glad I went now rather than say, 2 months from now when I'm out of Clomid, because that disappointment would've been crushing. They likely won't refill my Clomid anymore; I've been on it for over a year, albeit on and off—one month on, two months off, and sometimes no nookie when I was on it, thanks to Husby's head. But the combination of my age and the potential for nastiness, like ovarian cancer, keeps them from prescribing it for longer periods of time. I get that. And heredity isn't on my side in that regard, so I accept it rather easily. What it means though, is if I'm unable to get pregnant by this plan, then my doctor's office refers me to a fertility specialist. Which my insurance won't cover. Which means it's back to nature.
So...we're checking Husby's swimmers again and my progesterone level, and we'll keep trying. I have an ovulation monitor and a better grasp on my body's timing. I'm worried, but determined to start eating better, exercising, and get my PCOS under control. I've been getting a look at myself in full-length mirrors lately, which then makes me want to put my fist through said mirror, but since that anger is counterproductive and we can't afford the bad luck, I'll get walking and doing yoga instead.
Monday, April 13, 2009
...Starbucks Breve Latte.
...seeing my Lil Sis (beautifulbeautifulbeautiful!).
...visiting with two aunts whom I haven't seen for at least 10 years.
...figuring out yarn-over-purl stitch.
...looking forward to getting my hands in the dirt this week.
I found my kitchen. Tucked into it before family visiting time on Sunday...man, that feels good, having counter space back. Just in time too...our refrigerator is on the fritz again, so we have to defrost everything, which puts our cold food sitch in limbo for a day or three. Yay.
Saturday was a recharge day...this month's womenly fun kicked my arse, so I did a whole lot of nothing and feel very little guilt. Besides, finally getting the ball rolling on the cleaning means it'll start now, in drips and drabs over the next few weeks...something about seeing my counters again, there's this "light at the end of the tunnel" thing going on...and no, it's not the headlamp of an oncoming train. Occasionally I'm able to dispense with the cynicism.
So my blond stringbean of an autistic nephew is playing at my brother's house yesterday. He and Cyril have these bargaining conversations, where Hunter will ask for a particular toy and Cyril will put him off by saying, well, maybe for your birthday in September. So Hunter was saying to Cyril that he needs another funnel-shaped piece and some tracks for one of his marble sets, and Cyril puts him off, and Hunter counters with something like, OK, then how about for Grandsir's birthday in June?
Grandsir was my dad. I get that time probably passes quite differently for autistics, but boy! How the frick does he remember something like that?
We were doing some reminiscing about that delightful time in our lives almost 2 years ago, and Meara brought up a memory I'd forgotten. Dad passed on a Saturday, we went home, cleaned up, went back to Mom's, and sat around in a dazed condition before going out to dinner. The phone rings, Meara answers it, we figure it's another condolensce call. It's United Healthcare, calling to talk to Dad to try and sell him a supplemental insurance package. While Meara gently explained that that wouldn't be necessary given the day's events (making the sales girl cry in the process), the rest of us pretty much laughed until our sides hurt, at the randomness of life. I remember pointing upward (toward heaven) and saying, "that was you, wasn't it?"
Momma Zen, who gave me a lesson today in patience, in recognizing when there's nothing you can do. Les couldn't come to visit with my family and the aunts yesterday, because he was knocked flat with a migraine. I'd promised he'd be there, because the aunts were from out of town and I wanted him to meet them. When it was apparent he wasn't going to make it, I let my frustration show. When he asked if I was mad, I did what I always do, rationalize it, deflect...I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the situation, I'm mad at your pain management doctor. Momma Zen helped remind me of the futility of being mad at all, when the situation is entirely out of your control, when it's something in which you absolutely cannot alter the outcome.
All my favorite blogs at right, because they remind me of the life I wish to lead and give me lessons in working toward it. I read SouleMama and dream of a life with kids and crafts and home-baked food. I read Granola Girl and dream of attachment parenting, living outside the city, and maintaining a more spartan lifestyle. I read One Green Generation and am inspired to continue recycling, get planting, and make the world better. We have so much to learn from one another.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Heh, wasn't even trying for the pun...been feeling pretty darn agnostic lately, seriously over anything remotely related to organized religion or church. I dig the Unitarians, but when you're only in the mood for feeling philosophical, the social change aspect of that religion can be tiresome.
Melanie: "Well, technically, an egg-white omelet isn't really an omelet."
Martin: "Look, I don't want to get into a semantic argument over it, I just want the protein."
Paraphrased from Grosse Pointe Blank
Plus my pastor is retiring and moving to the West Coast. Now granted, haven't darkened the doorstep of the place in going-on 2 years (dang...lapsed Catholic is one thing, but lapsed Unitarian? You gotta be some kind of lazy to pull that off), but I really enjoyed the guy—he's intelligent, well-read, and an interesting speaker. So I feel like I'm searching again. Part witch, part Buddhist, part....hmm...
Work's been very busy lately and I'm feeling a little shredded. This weekend will be a combo plate of relaxation and small efforts of diligence. There's organizing and planting and always dishes and laundry and family and lately, Dad in the background slipping into my thoughts with frequency again, as we creep quickly toward the 2-year mark. That ache takes its sweet damn time abating.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Made a determination about the bike, I think...another hard pill to swallow. The only thing harder than being this size is realizing the potential for my body to literally break a bike frame at this size. I've looked at multiple models, done some Internet research, and buying a bicycle, for me, I think, means a) dropping some weight, and b) spending some dough. Neither of these things can happen overnight, so I'm changing my thought process yet again. The bicycle will be a gift to myself when I hit a goal weight. Until then, I'm investing in yoga blocks, some new exercise shorts and socks, and strapping on the sneakers for walking. I'm a frickin' Nike ad, I gotta just do it.
I'm so over this. Made an appointment for myself with the ARNP at my OB/GYN. We were going to take a few months' off from the baby making so I could get on track, but I'm really scared I need to do both at the same time, because age and heredity just aren't on my side anymore. So I'm going for med refills and advice.
My yarn came in! Woohoo! I haven't tried Essential before, but it's softsoft and the colors are rich. I've worked with Felici in the past, very soft too. Glad I finally tuned into the importance of looking for decent sock yarn and checking ingredients. I mean, seriously, how can sock yarn not be machine washable? That was my big disappointment with Sock Garden, which they no longer make - got it through a stash trade - machine washed them by mistake and now they're night socks only. But hey, every knitter felts something at least once, right? RIGHT?! ::sigh:: Anyway, dug out the Interweave Sock book last night and plowed through my old Interweave Knits magazines...hit knitty.com too and reacquainted myself with their patterns. There's a fine line between trying something new and being too chicken to try something new...I'm a top-down sock knitter so far, and the William Street socks from Interweave have this excellent looking, fat cable pattern, but they're toe-up...so I'm having to talk myself into them. The thing about socks is the fast gratification, so I have to wrap my mind around practicing cast-ons first with (s)crap yarn, before I set into the patterns themselves. Patience, Melanie.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Indulged in a KnitPicks order last week...man, I love their stuff! I have 3 batches of sock yarn coming, plus some Harmony buttons so I can finally finish the seriously thick (White Buffalo) wool cape I made like, 2 years ago....just needs like, an i-cord and toggle button closure type deal at the top. Not sure how it's coming though, USPS or UPS, and the waiting is making me antsy. Already have 2 sock projects in mind for the yarn...need to teach myself a cast-on for one of them, that'll keep my mind busy in the meantime. And I need to order their ball winder too, before they come to their senses and jack the price back up.
Back knitting a bit here, a bit there...had laundry duty and a little homework—something actually fun related to work! Put new copy training into action by writing a couple of paragraphs selling a dragon security service :)...plus a seriously emotional House ep (holy crap, they're getting good at keeping spoilers quiet!), so nothing last night, but I did start up the baby sweater again this past weekend, and I bought a pound of LB kitchen cotton and started a dishcloth...SO, SO nice to have enough needles to complete projects and start new ones! Thank you Mommie! That Joann's card has been wonderful, stocked up on drawing supplies too.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Lawrence: "Naw..............no, man.................no, I'm pretty sure you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that."
Paraphrased from Office Space
Man, I woke up with those. Went to bed grumpy, woke up grumpy. What is it about my apartment that brings on the depression and creates this inability to get a single thing on my mental lists accomplished on the weekend? We've lived there too long, and have just signed on for another 15 months. Dandy.
So it's bootstrap time. I don't know why I operate better on a higher level of activity, but I do...will probably do dishes tonight after work, when the bastards got ignored all f*cking weekend. I didn't want to come to work at all this morning, but I tucked into my chores right away and I'm doing better. Now, being trapped in a copywriting training program (SNORE!) for 2 hours ain't going to help, but I'm in a better place for it now. I'm starting to think Starbucks Lattes possess controlled substance properties.
So I want to plant this week, and it dawned on me that to do it right, I need to seed indoors first, give the little suckers a chance. How to do that with a slightly schizoid cat in the house? And the lightbulb hit...we just closed the AC vent in the closet and started closing the closet door to a) keep the wormy cat from sleeping on the clothes and towels, and b) try and keep our (read: my) clothes from smelling like smoke, because the apartment proper is just screwed in that regard. Since I'm reorganizing the closet anyway (because it goes to seed rather quickly unfortunately when we don't have shelving), I can set up an area for the plants too. Never thought of cleaning as something to look forward to, but I think I can put a more positive spin on it now in my head.
Seeing the community gardens at One Green Generation has me itching to do more than container garden. These next 17 months are going to go by incredibly fast if we're not careful. There's so much planning to be done for Charlotte...
Ordering bike this week probably...unfortunately, the ideal model for my wants and needs has shown itself on the website of the most evil of big-box stores...tossing aside the boycott in favor of free shipping. Baby steps.
Friday, April 03, 2009
We have 17 months to get our sh*t together; they were running a promotion at my apartment complex...no rent increase if we renew by March 31, for up to 15 months. No rent increase?! We took all 15. Nasty as our place is, it's a roof over our heads. I'm starting a spring cleaning kick this weekend...Meara's place really motivated me.
Life on hormones may be brutal, but life off hormones means my PCOS comes back with a vengance. It's a vicious circle with PCOS, you crave more stuff that's bad for you, which maintains your weight and exacerbates the symptoms, like the ole ovaries taking a month off. I'm scared my biological clock is winding down, thanks to my fat ass. Going to do some real thinking about that this weekend.
My ideal job would allow me to wear jeans and sneakers whenever I wanted. There was an actual spring in my step this morning, because of my jeans and sneaks...so comfy! (I save my jeans for Fridays). Jeans are just tight enough to make me grumpy though, Kelly Clarkson concert T is just fitted enough to make me self-conscious, and I'm back in a cubicle with low walls. The ole spring in my step wore off fast, and I can tell this weekend's going to consist of some dreaming and planning.
1. Start cleaning
2. Reapply for Les's SS
3. Buy bike
4. List what you want to plant, inventory supplies, buy soil and seeds
5. Budget—Our days of being flush are going to slip away fast if we're not careful. Time to get a real monthly budget going.
6. Weekly food plan—That'll tie in with my thinking about my health and ways I can change it. I'm literally eating away our ability to start a family, and at my age ... man, it just makes me cringe, when I think of where the time's gone.
I'm 39½. At 41, Dad had his first aortic dissection. At 43, Mom had fibroids and lost her women parts. If you put any stock in the theory of heredity, then it stands to reason that I'm significantly shortening my lifespan at my current weight/health status, to say nothing of possibly missing out on bringing a small version of Les and I into the world. Yes, I'm obsessing, yes, I'm a worrier, but when the f*ck is it going to prod me into action? Missing my egg this month was a real eyeopener, and I'm through eating myself into an early, possibly childless grave. I bought and have started reading Yoga for Arthritis, and I'll bike every damn day until my knees can handle adding walking to my regimen.