Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taking Stock.....or Seriously?!?!


I get that I can be antisocial at times, but there are about 14 different reasons why tomorrow's a lousy day for a team potluck:

For example:

1. It's too fucking soon after Thanksgiving and no one wants to cook.

2. We all just paid rent with the last paycheck and have no funds for feeding others. Yea, OK, that's especially me...Husby's not gonna be back in town til Monday and I'm thinking of going stag to the company holiday party just for the free food....and I don't even like the food at TPC Sawgrass!

3. We're working so much OT, we don't have time in the evenings to be creative in the kitchen. They're gonna have to settle for edible.

I could go on, but I'll try to keep this rant under control. The boss threw 10 sites in my lap for completion by COB (an hour before my quitting time) and then told us 10 minutes later that the potluck was still on. Like the fact that I haven't signed up to bring something yet isn't an indication that my culinary juices are a little tapped right now...never mind that now I'll be in the office til at least 7 p.m. because I lose track of time in the evenings and don't know when to stop working...which isn't exactly a bad thing when you've promised them 10 hours of OT, but still...

There's also the irony of buying the ingredients for potluck pot pie along with a box of mac & cheese for myself, because I'll be too busy making my covered dish to feed myself properly...

Outside: blissfully, deliciously chilly!!!!! Not that I'm loving it or anything...

Inside: tech support's too noisy and i'm too ornery to put my iPod on...

Wearing: jeans, brown oxfords, favorite sweater, black scarf....if you look up me in the dictionary, I'm wearing this outfit.

Reading: Little Women on the Kindle Fire : )

Creating: a knitted case for the Kindle Fire

Going: to TPC Sawgrass Saturday night for the company holiday party...should be VERY weird without Husby : (

Hoping.....
Dad J is headed home from the hospital as I write this. They loaded him up with antibiotics, drained a disgusting amount of fluid out of his body (seriously, you don't want the details...), and showed him the door. He was in there a full week, and I still don't think they got a straight answer about what caused all his ill health.

Husby's sis broke her foot this week. Grandma can't be left alone anymore. Husby's been a little busy up there. The fine line between your own life and your life within your family...that sucker would be a lot blurrier if we lived closer. Cheapest train he could get was Sunday/Monday. Good thing, cuz we're tapped here.

So, hoping I can figure out the Wi-Fi SOMETIME this week, get some small tasks done around the house before he comes home, and get my OT done by Saturday noon.

Image from somewhere on Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random distractions

Finally thawing about the holidays, I think....was listening to Bing's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas while we were buying our new phones on Saturday, and didn't have the urge to punch a baby.

Also starting to crave candy canes.



Can always count on the web to provide some truth, ah, I mean, snark about the holidays...

Have also discovered Pinterest. While I've yet to make it off their waiting list, doesn't mean I can't snitch stuff in the meantime...


What did I say?


Heh...practically have that now...

Sounds about right.....if being independently wealthy doesn't pan out, that is.....


Nerd porn, or a glimpse of the future? Time will tell....

And quite possibly the best crafty idea for the holidays.....


Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks


I think this will definitely be a "count your blessings" holiday season. The economy demands it. You look around and think, at least I'm still employed, in reasonably good health, same can be said for most family and friends.....

We did go up to SC. By late Thursday, it was evident in the family tone that they'd benefit from our presence. Poor Husby fought it like the dickens, but he came around...and then fought staying like the dickens too. But he had to; Dad J's in the hospital at least another couple of days while they nail down what caused such a strong reaction to the latest chemo (was it the chemo itself, an infection on his immunosuppressed body, or something else?). While we wait for answers, it's good that Les is up there, as Mom's the only other driver in the family, plus Grandma can't be left alone anymore. They need the extra hand.

Trying to reconcile with the fact that in spite of how badly we need to be up there, closer to them, that it isn't going to happen fast. Especially if we're lucky enough to engage in IVF or some other form of fertility treatment.....I need to be realistic and patient. Not my fort├ęs, but I'll manage. I plan to drive us through Spartanburg @ Christmastime, and I'm also planning a trip up there next May.

So the first part of Thanksgiving was normal, but by the end of the night, we were packing and planning. Friday and Saturday were full of shopping, puttering, and hospital visit trips in Augusta. In anticipation of the heinous post-Thanksgiving traffic heading south, I was in the car before 12 noon Sunday heading back to Jax; but naturally, since I was driving, traffic was a dream...only 2 slowdowns, no major backups. We've had trips back before though, where I-95 is a parking lot the minute you get on the sucker, so the early escape wasn't unwarranted.

I miss the Husby, but the cat and I will survive. I have a spankin' new Kindle Fire to play with and plenty of OT to keep me busy this week. Head's screwed on pretty straight, and I'm taking days off next week to burn PTO. Something to look forward to.

Image from here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!



It's a start.

First, the good news: while Dad J was admitted to the hospital last night, he's doing a lot better. He had had biopsies last week in 5 different areas of his belly. Those spots are healing, but quite painful. Add chemo and he wasn't keeping down any pain pills, so he was f**ked. They checked him in, got the morphine going, and 10 minutes later, the ole life quality was improved considerably. They'll keep him there to stabilize him and release him hopefully later today. We may not even have to go up there; we're playing it by ear. I don't mind, of course; I'm most concerned about the car (we need an oil change and 2 new tires, which probably can't be addressed for one more check) and the cat (she's holding her own, but still her own little flea factory).

There are times when being mildly bipolar is a pain in the arse. When it mucks up my holiday mood is definitely one of them.

Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday. I spend the morning and afternoon cooking. I like to have the Macy's on in the background and the dog show after it. We don't travel; I just made it that way several years ago and we've stuck with it. Les smokes a breast out on the grill, I do a couple of side dishes and that pie. We visit family at Christmastime; Thanksgiving is for us.

Having those plans possibly mucked up, it nose-dived my mood last night. I brought myself back up by cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out the fridge, and baking some banana bread; my brain was settled after that. But I feel so selfish for even feeling mopey, even if it's normal for me, and not something I can completely control. Dad's fighting for his life, and I'm whining for possibly having to travel this year. There's a lesson here.

We're waiting for my Lil Bro and his wife to stop by before they go to their respective works, the grill is lit, and I'll start on the sides as soon as I post. Santa just made his trip down Herald Square. I guess the holidays are here, whether I like it or not. Can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Hug your families, folks; we're all pretty damn precious.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Stock

There's a saying that the Christians lean on in times of crisis: God never sends you more than you can bear. I wonder.

As of this post, Dad J is probably spending Thanksgiving in the hospital. The latest chemo is shredding him.

I had two epiphanies in the last half hour. One is that there really oughta be a 10-year gap between any parental units leaving us. Dad J's not dying, per se; thanks to modern medicine, he could be with us another couple of decades...we just don't know. But even with 4½ years having passed since my dad went ethereal, I'm still gonna be pulling from my reserves to be strong for Les during this time. You don't get over a parent dying, you learn to live with it. It still sneaks up and knocks my wind out. I always joke that I'm superwoman, working a full-time job, supporting us both, above and beyond is my middle name. It's why I try so mightily to take care of me, because I don't mind being that strong and don't want anything to interfere with my ability to be it. But damn.....the bravado gets rocked sometimes.

The other epiphany is that I simply can't let the next lease be the goal for us moving. We need to be up there now. Les needs as much time with his dad as possible, and our credit is just gonna have to suck it, because I'm getting serious about the move. I've targeted Spartanburg for its small-town appeal, mountains, proximity to both families.....just gotta find work. I get that that ain't exactly easy in this economy, but fuckit, it's gonna happen.

Outside: supposed to drop tonight, thank goodness

Inside: i'm at work, whaddayou think...

Wearing: Thanksgiving outfit: beige slacks, brown shoes, green top, excellent autumny necklace with a big-assed maple leaf at the center.....

Reading: Spartanburg Visitors Guide

Creating: sock

Going: SC, probably Friday

Hoping: anybody who reads this says a prayer for Dad J.

Hug your families. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm sorry, what now?


Got some serious short-timer's syndrome going on here this week. Relishing the thought of 4 days off in a row, and it's making it hard to get stuff accomplished at work. And a 5-day weekend, the week after that, to burn some PTO! Gods, but I'm ready for those breaks.

Pretty sure I'm not the only one with this problem...still...

I'm going through a phase where I get tired very easily of dealing with people. It started a couple of weeks back, with that crazy crowd when Santa landed at the Avenues...and mushroomed when I hit Publix for odds and ends last night. Hadn't brought my Thanksgiving shopping list, and glad I didn't, because I may have stuck around to do the full shop and only fueled my stress level.

The. place. was. mobbed. Aisles full of tired parents lugging equally tired kids, because for some inane reason, they didn't get the shopping done on the weekend and so were doing it "early", after work, school, ballet lessons, but before dinner...so they were probably over-buying out of hunger and the kids were whining...

They should do studies about the emotional purchasing going on this holiday season, as people try to convince themselves that they're not as bad off as the economy is making them. Results would probably be rather sobering...

So I got home last night and said, there's no way I'm doing a repeat of that for our Thanksgiving shopping. But I work a regular job, and don't necessarily want to go without the car on a work day just for the luxury of having Husby do the shopping...it's a control thing. So I got up early and hit Publix when they opened this morning, and I'm so glad I did! Place was dead, and now I can look over the menu plan for Thursday and see if anything's missing, and that's that.

I struggled with buying the turkey breast this year. Next year, we're going organic or not at all. Don't tell Husby...I'll break it to him gently. Nah, JK, he won't mind...I stood over the freezer, staring at rock-hard blob after blob of factory-farmed breasts and birds. They were quite a few mishapen ones, which could've been the way they were frozen, or could've been the way they were raised. They were larger this year too, in weight...I remember from year to year, because our grill can't handle much larger than a 6 pounder...and the breasts I was looking at were too damn big. Which is the crux of the damn factory farming argument, that we're breeding these poor animals to be so large that by the time they hit the chopping block, their legs can't hold up their bodies.

I'm finally reaching a point where I'm going to have to budget our food money much more carefully. Because I would much rather have purchased an organic turkey breast, but I didn't plan well enough to pull it off this month. We're talking $1.79 a pound versus $5.69 a pound. Worth every penny, but still....

But I also need to find the extra money for little differences in our diets, like almond milk for myself and cow's milk for Les; organic almond butter for me, JIF for him; Applewood's Organic Sunday Bacon over Publix pre-fried, microwavable. (we'll both appreciate that last one). I can't do this piecemeal organic thing anymore; my conscience has a real problem with it, and besides, the good stuff's way better for me/us and the environment.

So it's a pensive week, here at Chez Johnson. I'm cooking up some naughty and nice side dishes, and the apple butter pumpkin pie has been requested (demanded) again. The weather's giving me an incredible gift in lower temps that day. We'll relax, keep the windows open hopefully, and go nowhere near the stores on Friday. There's time for all that later.

Image from The Laughter Ward on FB...can't get the link to work.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Planning

I really didn't work all that much extra this week (8 hours), but the weekend has been feeling decadent in its lack of structure. I got back from work yesterday, ate and forced a nap, then made that hilariously easy and tasty McCormick's Chili. It was a puttering evening. The cat grabbed my lap for at least an hour and taught me something about sitting still.

Actually, there's plenty of structure to my day today, but the fact that I'm able to do what I want rather than work is what feels decadent. I'm going to the Y in just a bit; it's been far too long since my last workout. I'm planning a grocery shopping trip, mainly for Thanksgiving. I'm planning a fresh workout regimen and modifying my eating habits again. All that OT helped me fall off the wagon big-time, from eating red meat again to grazing on bad stuff. Changes have to occur.

My doc appt revealed good news and bad news: the cyst resolved itself, thank goodness, but the fibroids are growing. I'm ready to see a fertility specialist, made an appt; but eating a mainly vegetarian diet and exercising regularly have to improve things down there too. Making that appt for the fertility doc was such a shot in the arm, a ray of hope that I have no business rejoicing over, since my insurance likely won't cover it. But the people who say don't believe statistics...they need to remember that the damn numbers came from someplace scientific, and those numbers are saying I only have a 5% chance of conceiving naturally. I heard that number and something clicked finally. I'm a shark, always moving, always looking for the next step. That's the next step. How potential hormone injections will act in my already lithium-deprived brain isn't something I can worry about right now. It's worth it if it brings a child into our family.

It helps, having another reason for not trying for the supervisor position. In my boss's mind, I'm probably an obvious choice; been there almost 12 years, certainly have the skills. But I know I wouldn't be happy in that job, and that's what matters right now. This time, it isn't fear driving my appearance of cowardice; it's knowing I wouldn't be a good emotional and intellectual fit for the position.

Looking forward to the 3-day week. Will be nice to only work 8 hours at a stretch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking Stock


I love polar bears.

Outside: Not November. Mid-80s and damp, muggy.

Note from after lunch: Not damp and muggy, but rather hot and breezy. There's a stiff wind out there and the sun's pouring mid-80s warmth onto my arms as I walk out to my car at lunch today. I must begrudgingly admit that it's gorgeous out, that I'm quite spoiled, and that I might as well suck it up and enjoy it while I'm marooned here another year. Still wouldn't mind seeing snow though.....maybe in the Carolinas @ Christmastime......sigh.....

Inside: Nose. Meet grindstone. Hello OT.

Wearing: short-sleeved sweater, jeans, most comfortable shoes on the planet. They're brown, they're butch, they're me : )

Reading: Crazy Sexy. Join the Reboot.

Creating: Harlot's plain vanilla sock. Pictures soon.

Going: nowhere til the December holidays

Hoping...
Some excellent news on the inlaw's homefront: Dad J's cancer was approved for full VA benefits! They're retroactively paying them from the point of diagnosis, back in June. Dad J's a Vietnam vet with 2 Purple Hearts, so this is the Marine Corps. way of saying thanks and sorry about the Agent Orange. Also, they're finally zeroing in on the point of origin of the cancer, which means changing up his chemo for something that will specifically target the bad cells at their source. Grandma's out of the hospital and hanging on, but starting to fade a bit more, so some special prayers toward her are appreciated.

I'm not taking good enough care of myself this week yet, but the wheels are turning in my head and the shift is imminent...

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doing Right by Me (againagainagainagainagain.....ad infinitum.....)


My totem animal in the north, my earth guardian.

My wheels are turning today, and I'm headed back to the straight and narrow path that is veganism. I see that I have to make the effort. That the decrease in inflammation alone will make me feel so much better about myself, and allow me the energy I need to get exercising daily again. These dry spells of no Y time have to stop. OT or no OT, I'm certainly organized and intelligent enough to exercise and work an extra hour here and there without it shredding me. It takes effort, is all. I have to want it enough.

My foot's finally doing better, a combination of orthotics and good shoes. Plus I think I had a ganglion on one side that was causing the worst of the pain, because since I iced it down last week, the difference in mobility/pain has been marked, thank goodness.

So I'm running out of excuses again. I found another website, two actually, that combined with Kris and Alicia's books and the spare dough we're enjoying these days, really blow all my excuses out of the water. And you can really only realize that so many times before you get completely sick of yourself.

It's time to get juicing!

Image from here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Full of Promise Monday


Was determined to start the week on a good note.

So naturally, my sleep cycle sucked last night and I had to blow off working out in the morning, so that I'd still be useful at work and not inclined to mood swings of raging bitch.

Still, it was a good weekend, filled with small tasks and a bunch of relaxing, and I feel almost prepared going into what hopefully will be a heavy work week.

I joke about being a gaming widow, but I'm not really. Husby's time in Skyrim this past weekend was peppered with breaks and signs of gratitude. I'm not neglected.

Besides, that game looks so frickin' awesome, I'm thinking of checking it out...and I'm not an RPG player. Puzzles are about my limit...mah jong, alchemy...

I picked up an ancient UFO of a sock and turned the heel this past weekend, using the Harlot's plain vanilla pattern from Knitting Rules. FINALLY, an idiotproof heel-to-gusset pattern that doesn't make the sock look like it was knit by an orangutan when I'm done with it! Looking forward to casting on the 2nd one before SSS sinks in, because the yarn's comfy looking and self-striping, and will go great with my new shoes...

Poor cat still has fleas. We took her to our remarkably fairly priced vet, and are taking the appropriate measures to make her comfortable while she heals.

Bills are paid and there's mad money to spare, but 2 new tires on the horizon and holiday gifts to start gathering...

I'm thinking about the holidays without letting it overwhelm me. I'm not ready for Christmas music yet, that's for sure, keep changing the channel when those damn materialistic and overblown commercials come on. But I want to feel the season more this year and am hoping the gradual working up to it helps with that.

Also starting to brainstorm for Thanksgiving. It's my fave and I usually try a new dish or two.

Here's to a good week!

Image from here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Full of Promise Friday


Could be. Hard to tell. We don't have much planned, but things are shifting in my head in a good way.

I might be looking at SC again. Spartanburg offers town life, mountains, and good proximity to both families.

I'm thinking about soups and stews that will appeal to Husby. He's been eating less because of his teeth, and that's unacceptable.

I actually made a list last night! Could be the start of a trend.

Light-ish OT tomorrow, so planning lots of food prep and some more book unpacking this weekend.

Dad J's chemo is changing, hopefully in a good way. Grandma's back in hospital.

I'm going to walk this weekend. I'll hit the Y at least once. I'll be kind to myself.

Thinking of my favorite veteran today: my dad.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Taking Stock

I'm over at Dark Meadow today bitching about my fate, as usual.....lots of "time to make this happen!" talk and a really nice-looking sheep there, if you're interested...

Monday, November 07, 2011

A fan of Mondays?


I know, radical thought, huh? Like switching to decaf...or thinking of letting someone else in your party have that last piece of bread at the dinner table...crazy talk!

In my defense, I did wait until we were halfway thru our entrees before I snitched that last piece of bread Saturday night...so stop looking at me like that!

ehem...digressed there, sorry.

My mornings are spent digressing...after I wrote that, I edited a FB page, found a lost blog and started catching up...and then realized I really should be working the next site, but it's hard because Jenna's post from this weekend really yelled at me in a good way that I want to reread and think hard about, if only I didn't have to earn me some money this morning...and wait, what was I originally writing about? Heather's line at the end of today's post...

:: Ready to start a new week, I'm such a fan of Mondays.


A fan of Mondays?!

::scratches head::

It's a good thing the coffee's kicked in today, or that line could have really annoyed me.

I talk about my weekends being "full of promise," but what about the promise of a new week? Harder to look at it that way when you're chained to a cubicle and a computer 8+ hours a day, but then again, isn't that when it's most important to shift your thinking in a positive manner? Especially when the weekend was taken up with important stuff that took me away from home.

I didn't get nearly the "me time" I'm used to getting on the weekends...but am I going to let work fluster me and set me spinning, or am I going to reclaim some "me time" this week and organize myself? We need decent meals in the evenings and a clean house; and in the past, the activity of this past weekend would serve as an excuse to blow the whole following week, with meals thrown together and devoid of care in planning, nutritional value, etc., and evenings spent in a TV fog. Bullshit.

The weekend was kinda wonderful. The OT fried my brain a little, but I got home at a decent hour Saturday, did some laundry and grabbed a nap before heading down to St. Augustine. We enjoyed a decadent dinner at 95 Cordova in Casa Monica for C's birthday, slept late the next morning, and dragged ourselves slowly out to a midafternoon lunch at Gypsy Cab before I headed back to Jax. It was a GOOD visit. She broke away from a long relationship this year and has a pile of healing to do, but getting settled down here, such as she is, is a really good start. I'm so proud of her!

Random thoughts: Floridians all suffer from seasonal affective disorder...give 'em more than 1 day of overcast, and they get all whiny. Also, I'm thinking I want to learn to play piano...I think it would really help my guitar playing, help bring my hands together on one instrument.

K, back to work...

Image from here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

This weekend.....

...is a little packed, but I'm not going to let it throw me.

OT tomorrow morning, then St. Augustine in the afternoon. C has to work, but we're dressing up and going out to dinner for her birthday. Fancy hotel, scrumptious food! I'll sleep over and head back midday Sunday. Tonight I gotta do laundry, and in utopia, I'm baking zucchini bread to take down there....but I'm pretty sure that's a pipedream. Rest of Sunday will be chilling, prepping some food for the week, and thinking about the holidays.

I want to get back to eating healthy. Halloween completely smithereened any semblance of intelligence from my eating habits this week. We're still plowing through the leftover candy at work, and it's amazing how quickly you can slide back into the yuck habits. I even ate red meat! As if it was reminding me of how my beliefs need to push past my cravings, I bit down on a tiny, hard bit of something in my McD's double cheese, totally giving me the willies and reinforcing my desire to get off meat entirely, unless it's humanely grown.

Dairy continues to be a sticking point. When I was allergic to milk, I felt deprived, and when I outgrew that allergy in my early teens, I developed an appetite for what I'd been missing. I'd even go through phases in college where I craved it...literally ordered it at lunch once when everyone else was ordering their first adult beverage of the day. Granted, my eating habits were just as lousy back then, so it may have been my body telling me where I was lacking, but the point is I've enjoyed the flavor and fullness of cow milk for years, so weaning off it has been a seesaw at first. Plus, almond milk is pricey...so it becomes a question of wanting to do right by me, enough to spend the money, and that motivation's not always there.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Taking Stock


November. Already.

This GD year's going by like frickin' lightening.

Outside: tolerable, almost. Open windows @ night, low 70s during the day.

Inside: Was noisy earlier...not so bad right now.

Wearing: jeans, coupla shirts, silly-lookin' brown boots...strained my damn right foot last night, so needing the comfort shoes : (

Reading: The Dragon Reborn. Thinking of rereading Animal Dreams. Still in Crazy Sexy.

Creating: yea, well...

Going: Down to St. Augustine Saturday night to celebrate growing older with best pal from CT days. OT Saturday morning.

Hoping.....
Been pretty in-between this week, not quite up, not quite down. One big factor in the seesaw is the mainlining of processed sugar and corn syrup like it's going outta style tomorrow. Can't remember the last time I was this gluttonous, and that's saying something. Glad we're past Halloween, now just gotta get past the leftovers.

I did perform a ritual of sorts on Samhain. I spoke from Spiral Dance, and then I just talked out loud to the gods, about how I want to treat myself better. It was centering, and I've been feeling better. In the coming weeks, I hope to revisit some of my pagan books to refresh my mind about the basics and then some.

Image from here.