Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank goodness

a) it's Friday.

b) my mouth's feeling better.

I don't trust it yet, but it's improved. Had a crown placed Wednesday morning and the next day, Thursday, was a little slice of hell. Heat, cold, air, the little bastard was throbbing, and I was out of Advil. You know it's bad when you start dreaming of the root canal. But I knew it needed to acclimate, so there was no point in calling the dentist, and I have another appointment in less than 2 weeks, so...good news is, I think it's acclimating. And Husby gave me a pinch of the good stuff, so I experienced relief and slept like a rock last night. Whew!

Rain's not supposed to hit til tomorrow afternoon, and I'm holding them to that...the thought of walking with my mom and 150 wet dogs isn't the most appealing. Looking forward to cleaning, organizing...another full-of-promise Friday :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mental wander

Graphic snuck from MSNBC, one of their slideshows. Feels appropriate. Was chatting up a college friend online last night and it's got my mind wandering...

College was painful for me. I was a late bloomer, afraid of life, and had no clue about my chemical imbalance. I tried counseling time and again, cut and bruised myself to release the ache, and sleepwalked through my degree. My friends were all guys, so they rarely saw how screwed up I was. I made an effort to fit in with them and must've been a good actress. And with memory, there exists an idealization of the facts.

It's not a cliché: with age comes wisdom. I'm not that person anymore. With Les, I opened like a flower, discovered my balance, his unconditional love allowed me to think for myself, and the proper medication has repaired my addled psyche. What's more, I'm able to handle myself, able to step back. I haven't been on the lithium for 2 years now, because you can't take it while trying to make babies. I miss it like being on a deserted island with no Starbucks sometimes. But maturity allows me to see the kinks in my psyche now, where my mannerisms are caused by that lack, and I'm able to better handle myself. It's hard...can't sit still in work meetings when people are whining rather than being productive, but I'm mostly able to keep hold.

I muse sometimes that I wish my college friends could know me now. We'd disagree pretty wholeheartedly on matters of politics, but I think about how I'd love them to see "how far I've come." I put that in quotes, because it's also a cliché, and I'm not sure I knew that until last night. The friend I spoke to last night...we shared passion at one time...and he knew parts of me I couldn't see at the time, because they were buried so far under the fear. I saw my crazy as the sum total of me, but there was always a little part of the real person shining through. When you're knee-deep in the crazy, you don't see the good; you just see the pain. There's something sort of liberating in the realization that I was there all along, that the me I know now was a part of the me that existed back then.

This train of thought's getting's no wonder my first novel was about a girl with a borderline split personality /:), I gotta rewrite that thing; it had some gems in it.

This week...brain's not quite back from vacay yet. The kitchen's gone to seed a bit and I'm looking forward to tackling the apartment after a short nap on Saturday. I'm doing the Trail of Tails walk with my mom (annual fundraising walk for the local Humane Society - everybody brings their dogs) Saturday. Also need to get cracking on intent letters for potential employers in Charlotte and budget for the next 6 months.
Still reading about farming...interesting stuff...gotta renew the library books this weekend. Jenna continues to inspire...every time I read a post like Tuesday's, I want to comment to thank her, but I can be stalkerish, so I'm keeping it at a minimum. But her writing so clearly describes what I want in life, what I'm hoping to start really planning for, once we clear the first hurdle of getting the hell out of this city. I hold it in my heart (heh, my Barnheart), and it drives my dreams and my goals.
Knitting stalled again, but there's socks on the horizon. The weather turned chill again, and the Floridians are baffled. I throw on a scarf, let the wind blow my coat open, and drink deeply.

Monday, February 22, 2010


These are kind of backwards...would've been better to put the two dogs at the end...they look like they're pooped from playing with each other. Also, out of respect for my godparents' artistic talents, I'm keeping most of this weekend's pics off the blog. Their place is much creativity, such neat perspectives, beautiful forms of artwork. Uncle Tom was a sculptor who built dental products as a career; Aunt Denyse was a graphic designer and book illustrator, antique collector, and has quite the green thumb...her backyard was amazing! They retired fairly recently and are enjoying the pokey life. Very fun, neat people...and thankfully, I didn't ache from Tom reminding me of Dad...Tom's much less uptight and carries himself differently, whereas my dad was a guitar's high E string.

Really nice weekend filled with laughter, relaxation, and good food. We didn't go into the weekend with plans, just let them evolve naturally. When I went to visit a friend whom I hadn't seen in a decade, the rest of them went for a wander in the car. On Sunday we went to Dunedin with the intent of just wandering in shops, and instead came upon a HUGE crafts festival, so we wandered there. The dogs got along fine (my mom's micro dog and their fairly impressive Golden Retriever), and we worked around the cat's distaste for our little yipper. Lots of fresh air, nice weather, and I had never seen their Clearwater home, so I took a pile of pictures that I look forward to drawing inspiration and good memories from.

Back to reality. Chilling tonight, and I'm sure the brain will turn back on at work tomorrow with plans for starting intent letters to companies in Charlotte :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yummy weekend ahead

Yummy is a great adjective. It's not like a lot of new foods will be attempted this weekend, it's not that kind of yummy. It's a yummy that involves being nestled in the bosom of family, friends, and a little adventure and music.

Mom, Lil Sis, and I are gallavanting down to Clearwater tonight to visit my godparents, our aunt and uncle, aka Dad's Lil Bro and his wife. Very neat people, creative, warm fuzzies. I'm sure we'll ache a bit when Tom reminds us of Dad, but I expect a nice visit. I'm also hopefully hooking up briefly with my best pal from high school...haven't seen her in 10+ years.

Husby wore me down and I bought the iPod Nano last night (photo courtesy of It's a bit of an extravagance, but we'll be able to eat the next 2 weeks. Spent last night downloading iTunes and getting acquainted with this very cool toy. I dream of feeding my own chickens with a playlist going, someday. Hilarious lack of segue there! Cold Antler has a huge fan in me; my dreams are taking shape and becoming goals. May take a year or three, but no less doable. It's nice when dreams gain focus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

aha...well...that changes things...

My dear, sweet husband wants to buy me an iPod. This would, of course, be purchased with my money technically, because the poor slob hasn't worked in years, but you get the idea. We were thinking that the tax return would be a nice time to indulge. I've been hemming and hawing about it, because I'm looking ahead 6 months to the ole hopeful move...grown-up priorities and all that. Adding to the itch to indulge myself is the fact that I recently won 2 $25 Target gift cards at work...

But in the back of my mind, I was hoping, while simultaneously thinking that my employee stock options may lend us some much-needed help come move time. Figured I was reaching, but hey, you gotta have hope. My company switched from some obscure holding company to eTrade recently, and I've finally been able to access the system and get a look at my holdings.

Reality has set in.

I have 290 vested options (out of 800, a nice chunk, though I have no clue if I keep them if/when I leave the company), which in this economy would net me a whopping $23 and change right now.

OK. Regroup. Perhaps a Shuffle.

Probably not...I'm an old fart and like my screens, like to be able to see what the hell's going on with my playlists. Though my mom's the scattiest broad I know, and she's got a Shuffle, so can't be too difficult to handle /:)

I'm patient where music is concerned...hell, it took me 2 years after Dad before I could even listen to music again. What I'm not patient about is living in Florida. That will drive my decisions for the next year. Every blasted $4 cup of Starbucks comes with baggage now, every lazy decision to eat out rather than in. We won't discuss how it always should have that baggage (I mean, please, when did it become OK to spend $4+ for a morning latte?), as the point here is that I'm recognizing a new maturity in my financial decisions. There's a pitiful irony in the fact that I checked my credit report recently and it's looking better because I passed the 10-year mark on my bankruptcy. I'm forty-frickin'-years old! ::sigh:: anyway...

So the move's going to have to happen with good old-fashioned hard work and saving. I'm a little worried now, but I sure don't shy away from a fight, so bring it, life—I'm ready.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Snuck from

Really need to get me one of these specifically for Mondays at work. Still a bit out of sorts and definitely not in work mode....more like future farm mode. Ah well...

On the up side, the tax return's in. On the down side, I'm pretty sure my desire to move will rule out getting an iPod right now, in favor of paying bills and saving. The life of a grownup.

Tonight, minestrone from cheater's scratch (beef broth, crushed tomatoes, a couple cans of Veg-All, pasta, spices), new sock knitting, and backyard barnyard books :) Good stuff!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lots of words...lots to think about...

Shaking off the orneries...last night, had my first (and hopefully only) sleep study to see if I enjoy symptoms of apnea. Well, enjoy isn't the right word. Foreign, uncomfortable, claustrophobic blast is more like it...nice facility, brand new, with all the amenities (shower, satellite TV), but still, yuck! Took out my contacts, which was a mistake, because padding around without my glasses made the experience worse. Was hard to have 'em on, because of all the shit on my head.

1) EKG leads on legs and chest

2) Multitude of leads on head: face, jawline, neck, back of ears, and buried in hair

3) Weird little plastic thing in nostrils as base for nasal cannula-type thing that I'm guessing measured my breathing...that's 2 things in my nose

4) Two straps around my body that I'm guessing were half to measure respiration too, and half to hold all the leads close to my body

5) Pulse ox on finger

"You can sleep in any position except on your stomach."

Yeah, you try rolling over with all that shit on!

And let's not forget the night-vision camera watching you in the dark the whole time...::shudders::

I normally fall asleep on my side. Twice, managed to roll over wrong, which brought in the tech to jiggle wires back into place, and twice, I had to pee...that meant calling her to come in, make sure my wires were aligned properly, and then realign me once I was back in bed. Such a blast! Kept my hair in a ponytail all night, which was also uncomfortable...normally sleep with it down.

And I couldn't wear face lotion last night, because they want a clean canvas for the leads, and my fair skin still hasn't forgiven me for that.

OK, I think I'm done whining. Thinking of hanging this post on my fridge, for when I need motivation to lose weight...remind myself of the stress/worry and discomfort I've experienced in recent weeks, probably all due to the extra 100 pounds of ass I carry around. It's sobering.

On the plus side, going on 3 weeks of a clean kitchen. Well, clean for us. The pics probably highlight stuff I should be embarassed about, like the permanent stains on the side of the fridge or the clutter I still keep on the cutting board, but I'm loving it. I move the clutter behind the cutting board and shift it forward to use the whole thing, which is much better than how I had it before...before, only half of it was accessible because of the small kitchen appliances on it. Having the room to knead bread dough...words fail. Doing better on the concept of a meal plan too...

And I finished the socks. For me. They're quite imperfect and a pinch large, but I'm machine washing them tonight, which I'm hoping will block them nicely. I need to cast on a pair for my MIL, since the xmas socks were way too small...hopefully tonight, and I'm going with an easier pattern, that's for sure. Spreading out lace patterns over months is a royal bitch.

Was going to cast on for the Knitting Olympics, found a nice cowl pattern, and blast if the right needles aren't on another project...may treat myself to a 2nd pair this week.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Hobby Farms

Gone researching. Please leave a message.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Manic Monday

Lunch: homemade chili, homemade bread...REALLY tasty, but definitely needed sour cream...I enjoyed it all afternoon sans the white stuff. Need to work on the Coke still. Need that caffeine edge to get me through the afternoon. The book is my attempt to teach myself Dreamweaver. The lunch bag's an oldie of Les's...worked for them a whole 2 months before they laid him off. Used to be a subprime of B of A, pretty sure it's defunct now...good riddance.
Gotta work on the plastic too...I'm finally no longer microwaving in plastic, but storing stuff in it is going to have to be a work in progress.
Digression: I've never actually been diagnosed manic, thank goodness, just marked depressive with a hint of bipolar that can be explained away by my lithium deficiency. Still, it makes me wonder after the energy I had this past weekend...well, shouldn't really wonder, since I've been off the lithium for 2 years now...and I've integrated the caffeine back into my life...but...heh...anyway...

On Saturday, I hit the library in the morning and then did the grocery shopping. That in itself is more than I normally accomplish in an average weekend. Usually by Sunday night I've spent the weekend indoors, am quite depressed, and haven't the energy to pull off a shop, let alone laundry. The weather turned cool here, so we opened the windows Friday night and kept 'em open all weekend...what a nice difference! I went with Mom in the afternoon to one of the local dog parks so the little runt could run around (her dog, not my mom), and the strong breezes and sunshine helped fuel me, and continued to stir things inside of me.

Yesterday was hilarious. I was up at a decent hour and puttering. Cleaned the kitchen and thought out what I wanted to do. It was a tall order: bake a batch of toll houses, bake bread, make meatballs from scratch for grinders while we watch the Super Bowl on and off that evening, and throw together a pot of chili. When I realized I was ahead of the game and couldn't stop, I made applesauce muffins too. In between tasks, I did the tax return and the laundry. Cleaned as I went, all the's still spotless. Made a mistake or two, but no disasters. Took the bread out a pinch too soon after the 2nd rise and the towel covering it was sticking to the tops, so when I pulled it off, they dropped in height quite a bit. Need to find a means of covering rising dough that doesn't stick to it...I've noticed this problem before. Been a while since I made bread from scratch though, so I was just tickled to be doing it, plus I'm discovering the wonders of letting yeast do its thing...makes for a much more friendly dough for kneading.

FINALLY settled down for some TV time...geez, wasn't really until after 9 p.m. Put away leftovers and still wasn't ready to slow down, so I retreated 2 of the cast iron pans I inherited from my mom when she moved and downsized. The smell was a bit much after 40 minutes, so I killed the oven and am hoping it did the trick. I knit on the neverending sock until I hit the point for kitchener stitch, which I knew I didn't have any energy or brain power left to deal with...hopefully tonight during "House."

I was a good girl and took breaks, but my body's still protesting today. Or maybe it was the 2 beers I enjoyed while the Saints handed Manning his rear end. Was very glad for New a Jags fan, I'm no fan of the Colts; they may be AFC, but once you've been destroyed on the field once or four times by them, it's hard to be sportsmanlike. Plus the whole Cinderella story of the Saints is nice...almost wore my Mardi Gras beads to work, but chickened out.

Was awake by 5 a.m., and the body was achy enough where I could tell sleep would be a toss-and-turn proposition, so I rolled over, flipped on the light, and read the gem of my library finds: Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich. Holy cow, is she inspiring me! I read until 7, took a shower, made my coffee start earlier, fixed myself breakfast, and took it to my wing chair where I could push back the bedroom curtain and enjoy the fresh air while I continued reading. Still leaving the TV off in the mornings. Loving the quiet.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

One Small Change update n' other stuff

image from a Barns calendar
Small changes will lead to bigger changes. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

January was tough; I was nailed with a head cold, some stress about the cardiac tests I'm having done, and work was abysmal. But the book boxes are stacked nicely in the dining area, the Goodwill/Hubbard House box is overflowing, and I've started to clean. That's a biggie.

Technically, that's February, since the desire to scrub overcame me this past Sunday (edit: heh...just realized Sunday was January, my bad). I spent 2 hours unfilthing the kitchen, and by some miracle, it's still in that condition. It's inspired me to declutter the bedroom, and the bar and dining area will be getting the same treatment this weekend.

For One Small Change, I thought about just continuing with January's goals, since there's still plenty of work there, but I'm realizing the itch to recycle is growing. So sometime this month, I will be purchasing a cheap plastic bin for recyclables. When it fills up, I'll go to the disposal location on Philips. There's just no excuse to let it overflow or to put dirty stuff in the bin. That was kind of an issue last time, but now that I'm on this cleaning kick, there's no stopping me!

Well, that's the hope anyway :)

So January was purging, February will be recycling. And spreading out the cleaning. Cool.

I discovered Cold Antler Farm this week, and it's awakened something inside of me. Where has she been all my 30s? I wake up in the morning and think about being grumpy or rolling over for another 15, and then I think, suck it up, she's been up for 2 hours already and the animals are fed. I'm realizing what I want is a hobby farm. I don't aspire to huge numbers of livestock...just some sheep for wool, chickens for eggs, a large garden. Dogs too, big ones :)

But for now, catching up and getting us moved. I'm doing the taxes this weekend, and gods willing, will catch up and stop the damn borrowing cycle we've been on for over a year. The relief that will bring...

Monday, February 01, 2010

New week

One Small Change update coming soon.....

for now, have totally fallen in love with yet another blog...

My name is Melanie and I have barnheart.