whinge

What a summer/what a bummer and What’s for dinner? (part 2 -long)

bummer_vacation

 

(Click here for Part 1)

What’s For Dinner?

I make some really yummy things to eat, even now that I am a diabetic and have changed my eating habits so that I can keep my fingers and toes and such. But overall, I’m just an OK cook. My Dad and my brothers are people who really love to cook, they really show their love to others through their cooking. My Dad wakes up every day thinking about what he and Mom are gonna eat for dinner, which – given that my mother takes a fair amount of time & caffeine to really “wake up”- has led to 50 years of him accosting her most every morning, right when she gets up, and demanding to know what she wants for dinner, which leads to a very blank and confused expression on her face that I find pretty hilarious these days.

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Of course, Mom’s not wearing the hat or the beard…..

Now I might wake up thinking of food, but it’s a completed dish I’m thinking of, preferably one that could be conjured up and served immediately by the chef/butler we do not have. Since I’m the one who does the VAST majority of cooking around here, I have tried many different ways to make the decision of what we will eat easier, and some of them have helped. I admit that we go out to eat way too often, mainly because I just don’t wanna cook much at all anymore.  One of the things that has helped a bit has been subscribing to Blue Apron** for one week a month. Since I’ve been sick or gone so much this summer, I have not been eating the way I want to and need to, and we aren’t sitting down to dinner  together nearly as often. Fresh things are going bad in the fridge, mainly ‘cos I forget that I bought them. And there’s loads of things in the pantry that should be eaten as well. I’ve fallen into a very lazy & unthinking pattern about dinners around here that is not only costly to my wallet, but to my health. So here is my latest attempt to change this downward spiral & act like an adult-

whatsfordinner

 

If you click on the picture, you can see it better. I’m just happy to have a reminder of what’s going on foodwise each day. Studmuffin would rather eat chicken than almost anything else on the planet, ‘cept maybe chocolate ice cream, so that’s why there’s so many “Chicken Somethings” in the plan.  I have a lot of cookbooks, for someone who’s meh about cooking, so I put in “Use a cookbook” in hopes that I might try something new; it could happen. My favorite innovation here *has* to be “Pantry Roulette” – go into the pantry and see what interesting thing could be made from what’s there and the older the better. Please feel free to try this out yerself, or put in the comments how you deal with the daily grind of ‘what’s for dinner?’ BTW, it’s Crockpot Chicken Teryaki tonight. See? Workin’ already.

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** If you don’t know what Blue Apron is, go to the website and check it out. I have some free meals from them to give away; let me know if you want to try Blue Apron in the comments section and if you live in the USA, I’ll send them your way.

Some Actual Good Things this summer

Singing with the band Kaleidoscope & becoming a much better keyboard player because the fellas let me play more and more, singing with One Human Family Workshop choir twice, been married to Studmuffin for TWENTY-EIGHT years, traveling to Dayton with Studmuffin, traveling to WV for the Studmuffin family reunion, the Force of Nature graduated from high school – in the top twenty of her class, taking the Force of Nature to Marion Military Institute for college, the Duke of Curl spent part of the summer working in Colorado, he came home and now is in school AND has a job, paid off a fairly large loan, going to Birmingham several times for Baha’i Ruhi Institute training, YARN! FABRIC!……there’s been good things, many good things.

THE END:A Real Grievance

The day after I wrote the previous post (The Gardening groove…) on this here blog, June 1st, my beloved dog Boris suddenly died. His sister Natasha has been ill/dying with a chronic parasitic infection for the last 3 years and we thought for certain, she would be gone first. We know their deaths are coming – they are 13 or 14 years old, and for their kind of dog to make it past 15 is quite rare, so we know it is gonna happen within the next 2 years certainly. Natasha, whom I have nicknamed “the Crypt Keeper” because she looks so bad – patchy fur, flaking skin and so skinny – is still living and quite happy. She gets all the treats now.

I has a sad....

I has a sad….

I think he ate something he shouldn’t have – probably some poisonous vegetation. He always loved to eat leaves and green things. I planted zinnias every year, not because I’m fond of them, but because Boris loved to nibble the leaves so much. Others have told me that Labradors tend to get stomach cancer and that is possible, too.  I did not realize just how sick he was until about 2 hours before he passed away; I spent about 5 or 6 hours that day driving the Duke of Curl to and from his dr.’s appointment in Birmingham; I would not have done that had I known that Boris was dying. We buried him next to Bluto^^ that night, and a week later I planted zinnias on his grave.

We won’t be getting another dog while Natasha lives; she’s elderly and sick, but she was the less dependent of the 2 and I think adjusting to a new dog would be hard on her. I will rescue more dogs after she’s gone, mainly because of this video: Shy Shelter Dog gets Adopted. But it will be a while. Emmy the cat was sick this last week with a bad cold and it brought it all back.

Boris was the dog of my heart and life is really not the same without him for me. I am reminded of him everywhere in our house and yard and all the streets nearby. It’s been nearly four months and I’m still grieving, which of course, I have mixed feelings about. There are so many terrible things happening in the world all over, and I’m crying about a dog. A dog who had a seriously wonderful life, who I was privileged to have in my family since he and Tasha were 4 months old. All I can say is that grief is the price of love and buddy, your death is costing me a fortune. You were the BEST dog for me and none of us will ever forget you. Thank you Borisman.

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^^Bluto adopted us in the early Summer 1997 (est. 3 yrs old) – died January 7, 2010

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Oh wow! A new post!

im·pe·tus/ˈimpitəs/

Noun:
  1. The force or energy or momentum with which a body moves.
  2. The force that makes something happen or happen more quickly: “the crisis provided the impetus for change”.
Synonyms:
impulse – momentum – incentive – stimulus – impulsion

Sorry I’ve been AWOL.  I’m writing a book (about music & singing) and that has been taking up all of my impetus to write. Knitting *is* taking place – I need to take pictures of a bunch of things in progress & finished and yarn……..plus I have writing ideas for here backing up from the last few months. Heck I haven’t even written about Whitney Houston’s death or Etta James’….I won’t hardly even mention India….

OH NO!  I’ve gotblogstipation!  nyuk nyuk nyuk. But one lucky thing about that is the CURE:

MORE FIBER!  Yay!!!!! Hmmmmm….let’s see who’s having a sale online?……

I’m part of a local KAL for the Color Affection shawl by Veera Välimäki. I was supposed to cast on on Wednesday, October 18th, but I still haven’t cast on yet; I didn’t have the right size needle.  I went to the LYS today and got the right one…..and 2 magazines and 2 skeins of yarn for another project. So much for my yarn diet…… Hopefully cast on will happen tomorrow. It’s just that the weather’s so nice & I’m tryna finish 2 other things and I still need to do the podcast…well, you get the idea. There WILL be pictures……and yarn crimes…..and a new giveaway…..did I mention I’m writing music for a CD to go with the book?

Madame Crazypants – that’s me!

I have another post ready that is a major digression into a reality tv show. I’ll publish that in a day or two.  Happy knitting!

CRASH! BANG!

So tonight I was actually writing when
BLAMMO!

the ‘puter crashed. Some bad words were said. ..and then I sat at the piano and practiced for a good long while. Hopefully I’ll have a decent post ready by Friday .

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The Force of Nature chose this poster for her room when she knew
I would not permit it if I had known . She did, however, choose a humorous way to change it (rather than try to argue with me to change my mind – which is her usual tactic)

so she gets to keep it after all.

One step forward and two steps back…..

Lovely sunny day today….With the sun, funk was OVER so I got up, did some laundry, various other housework-y things and then…..ATTACKED MY CLOSET. I’d decided that I just could NOT put it off any more.

Got rid of 5/6 of my “hanging up” clothes and about 11 or 12 pairs of shoes. Even made some inroads into the ratty old t-shirt collection. I plan also to go thru all my earrings (I collect them) and weed out the ones I don’t wear.

Now I have some idea what I’d like to add to my wardrobe; the sewing itch is getting fierce so – the backsliding has now BEGUN! I went to a fabric store and bought a BIG ole PILE of fabric (I mean SERIOUS yardage and pretty good stuff) and a NUMBER of patterns (on sale for 99 cents each – a bargain!); went to the “StuffMart” and got a little more fabric and a few new t shirts- it all matches pretty much colorwise. I got rid of so many things – it’s looking pretty bare in the closet and I’ve definitely been feeling the need for wardrobe updating;I’m tired of feeling grumpy-frumpy. I’ve been reading this other blog a lot the last week or so and that gave me a push in the right direction. Man, there were way too many things in that closet that were 5 to 10 years old. Off to Goodwill they go!
THEN this evening I was boating around Ravelry as I love to do, I had an idea for a cardigan I would really like to knit.

A “real woman” in her cardi

Another normal person in Noro

 

Cardigans are a real need in my wardrobe, but I was sure that the yarn was gonna cost about $175 -200 (it’s sock yarn and I’m a big girl) – even though it isn’t the absolute best in quality/feel(i.e. it isn’t cashmere….), the colors will be great, machine washable and it should last a long, long time.

I was feeling happy to wait a good while before investing in all the yarn – might’ve even gone so far as to save up for it even. Then I happened to remember the name of an online yarn place that has incredible sales. I went on over there and found the exact yarns I wanted for under $1.75 a skein. I took it as a sign that I should absolutely move forward and get this yarn.

Oh well. I’ll be in plenty o’ trouble for the fabric I got anyway* so I might as well sin BOLDLY.

I’m also gonna get back to my fitness quest – I MUST!! Here’s some thing I want to begin: 200 Sit-ups I like the idea that I could accomplish that goal in 6 weeks – seems doable even for me. Might turn things to 2 steps FORWARD and only one step back.

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I hope to get the camera out tomorrow and take some knit pictures so there may be actual finished objects to look at & read about here before Monday.  Enjoy Sunday!
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*Studmuffin has been gone for almost this whole time that I and the kids have had the crud – which I am sure has muchly increased the misery quotient of it all and probably prolonged the illnesses by a week or two. First, there was a planned work trip for 5 days (while I had a houseguest), he was then home for 6 days and then unexpectedly had to be gone these last 2 & 1/2 weeks and won’t be back before Wednesday at the earliest. He feels really bad about being gone (and also because there hasn’t been a set date for his return home), and so his guilt may just about save my hide this time.

Even WordPress has to be funny…..

The dashboard stats show this blog getting 10 times the number of hits than usual.

I guess it’s funny. I’m at a low point (seriously in need of sunshine – weatherman says tomorrow) and am not laughing at anything.   I didn’t get the things I needed to do today done at ALL.  I’ve even had 3 cups of hot chocolate and I’m still grumpy. Guess I need to go on youtube and look at videos of jumping baby goats and laughing babies to try to crawl out of my funk.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Thank goodness April 1st is almost OVER.




I’m getting that feeling……

…like I want to go online and buy more yarn. STOP me before I shop again!

I have been trying to tidy up the “yarn corner” in the bedroom since it’s been so bad, and I frogged a couple of things, and untangled some other things and am collecting up various needles/stitch markers/knit notions. I’ve even finished something (the Duke of Curl’s socks) and taken up 2 WIPs that have been languishing for far too long. It’s a good feeling – this kind of virtuous happiness that I’ m tidying up and not starting new things….but THEN! That little voice comes into my brain and says, “go check out that wonderful yarn you heard about…..you want some of that don’t you?” Or “The XYZ yarn company is having a sale…you could get a sweater’s worth for not much money and they have such lovely colors….”

Those things are all true, but I-HAVE-TOO-MUCH-YARN. There. I’ve admitted it. And as well as too much yarn, I have:
-TOO-MANY-BEADS
-TOO-MANY-BOOKS
-TOO-MANY-CDS
-TOO-MUCH-FABRIC

Essentially too much stuff all the way around. I am realizing that I, like so many, have fallen into the trap of materialism; that I have a powerful emotional response to the things I have and when I am feeling sick/down/unhappy/angry/overburdened/bored/insert-your-negative-emotion-here, I want to go 1) out and buy something or 2)online and buy something and I will 3) feel some kind of positive release once I have done so.

I realize I do the same thing with food (which is why I am so FAT).

It’s taken me a long time to realize that I really do behave this way, so I imagine it’s gonna take me a while to dig meself out of it, but that’s ok – first, one has to know what the problem is! Now my stash of yarn…or anything really, isn’t huge compared to others, and I do take a little comfort from that (check out this MONSTER yarn stash!). But my house is not very big and it isn’t getting any bigger, plus I have these principles that I really do try to live by. Here’s a taste:

Love is the fundamental principle of God’s purpose for man, and He has commanded us to love each other even as He loves us. All these discords and disputes which we hear on all sides only tend to increase materiality.

The world for the most part is sunk in materialism, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit are ignored. There is so little real spiritual feeling, and the progress of the world is for the most part merely material. Men are becoming like unto beasts that perish, for we know that they have no spiritual feeling — they do not turn to God, they have no religion! These things belong to man alone, and if he is without them he is a prisoner of nature, and no whit better than an animal.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 122)

My understanding is NOT that the stuff is bad; it is our relationship to it that determines whether it has a good or bad effect upon us. DARN IT! Time for the yarn/book/CD/fabric/food diet…which, though I know it’s gonna be good to me and for me, at the moment it sounds like no fun AT ALL. Poopies.

If I’m really honest…I’m looking forward to backsliding.

Snow

I cannot believe what I’m seeing last night and today – snow. Eight inches PLUS. This is too much winter for me!

This is WAY too much like where I grew up weatherwise; the big difference is that Alabama only has approximately 2 snow plows for entire state. Since it’s gonna be right at or below freezing all week, the snow will stay for several days……

Yes, it is pretty but……I hope this isn’t a harbinger of how winters will be in the coming years. Poopies.

Way behind and “gromping”

So what else is new? I’m way behind where I oughta be on SO many levels – I think I’ma just have to dive in and work – and not worry about “catching up” because I don’t think I actually can.

I’m so insane at this point I started swapping again on swapbot, and I’ve missed those deadlines too.

She looks just how I feel today.

The Knoxville gig was lovely – I have some wonderful friends there too that I got to stay with and have a divine visit with. I’m so fortunate!

Which is why it’s so ridiculous that I’m feeling so distressed today.

A week ago, I had a misunderstanding with someone that I thought we were working out, and it has now escalated into a big, fat hairy deal.

So I’m stomping around and grumping, saying “Everything is poo!” I’ve coined a new word for this: “gromping”.

Still life is good, and I know I’ll be out of my funk soon. Thanks for all the prayers!

I have MORE grumpy pictures:

We’re back in freezin’ Alabama

Phew! Just about 2 weeks away from home sweet home and what happened? How’d you guys make it SO COLD? Oy! It feels like I never left New England. It’s not supposed to get ABOVE 36 degrees F this week.  Brrrrr! I just don’t like cold weather…at ALL.

Anyway, back to the daily grind and a quick update on the Klimt-y Babette for Mom” I am making progress – I’ve spent many. many, many hours on this beast – but this thing is huge! She might get it by spring… I’m ready to cast on a very badic hat because I need a small project to regain my equilibrium or something.

Happy new year to all and stay warm! Now I’m gonna go have some hot tea……

Monday morning injury

I had a lovely birthday yesterday…almost NO housework done, STudmuffin served me breakfast in bed and I got to knit and watch tv by myself for several hours among other things. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.

Last night I started working in earnest on the Klimt-y Babette blanket for my mom. It’s crochet so it goes fast. However, I did so much crochet that my wrist is really sore today. I had to go dig out my wrist brace and everything.

SO in hopes that I can continue to work on this very belated birthday present (Mom’s birthday is in early October), I’ve decided to learn how to crochet with my LEFT hand. YouTube to the rescue! It is rather frustrating that I cannot just switch over what my right hand knows how to do to my left hand; there will be much practice involved. OK, now where’s the Advil?

I may not post much more this week as I need to rest my hands. ::::sigh:::::

Have a blessed day!

Yes, dear, the kind of soap does matter

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I’m recovering from open heart surgery two and a half weeks ago – unfortunately I have a bacterium colony on one of my incisions which is slowing the healing process.

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I’ve waited a couple of days so I could start to see the humour in this.  Let me tell you a little story……

once_upon_a_time_wm I was gonna have some surgery in a different city.  I wasn’t HUGELY pleased to be doing the surgery in a different city – it’s a such a hassle going through the 1000 Acre wood – but OK, I was doing it.  Of course, I needed to go up to to meet the Great Sorcerer…er, surgeon…. who was going to perform this miracle upon my person;

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even AFTER the Evil Gremlins….um, I mean to say the Insurance company …told us that the Magic Palace

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(read: hospital) and Great Sorcerer were not of the anointed kind (read “preferred provider”)….which is freakin’ crazy because there isn’t a single magic palace or great sorcerer in the great land of A-ba-lama-ding-dong that does the kind of surgery I required, but OK!  We were prepared to spin some gold out of straw or something (the oldest son is too old to give away now) to accomplish said miracle.

During the meeting with the Magic Sorcerer, I had brought along King Studmuffin

stud_muffin

to help me remember important things, write down important things and to ask questions and stuff that I know I would forget, which he did in his most kingly and studmuffinly way.

However, I DO recall the MS saying at least 3 times the specific kind of widely available magic elixir to use on the magic incision afterward to prevent infection.  It seemed important since he mentioned it so often, and since he mentioned it so often, I managed to remember it.

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Fast forward to 6 days after the surgery and the  fabulous health fairies are going to release me from the Magic Palace to go home and finish recovering.  My parents had joined me in the other city to assist me (my mother is a magic health fairy by profession) and were also coming all the way back through the 1000 Acre Wood to help me at home for almost another week.

Just before leaving the Magic Palace, I asked King Studmuffin: “Did you get the Magic Elixir?”

He replies with a smile, “Yes.”

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My mother, not hearing me ask the question before, about 15 minutes later asks King Studmuffin, “Did you get the Magic Elixir?”

He replies with another smile, “Yes.”

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Just before I get into the coach (read: wheelchair) to be whisked away to the entrance of the M.P.,

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the magic health fairy of the day (his name was Steve) asked King Studmuffin if he had the magic elixir, to which the King replied with a rather wintry,

1479899705_b95ef96263 “Yes.”

On the way back through the 1000 Acre Wood, King Studmuffin told me he’d gone out and bought a “big jug” of the magic elixir and already put it into a couple of unused vessels so it would be all ready for my use.  I beamed with joy.

fissure2_large

After a week of happily using the soap, last Sunday I was feeling rather sore and I noticed the incision was looking red, yellow and drippy – NOT GOOD.  I showed it to the King and he agreed.  We called my mother and after talking to her we agreed that it was not an emergency, so I didn’t have to go to the local Magic Palace’s express lane right away, but I did need to see my regular conjurer on the next business day.  I started to worry a little bit.  After all, this incision goes all the way into my chest cavity!

fissure4_large

Early the next day, I happened to look in the pantry (for something else of course) and I saw the big jug of magic elixir – it was the WRONG KIND!

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I brought this to the attention of the King and he said it had the same active ingredients and it said antibacterial, so what’s the big deal?

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

TO THE MOON, Studmuffin, TO THE MOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well, friends,  I hope to survive this – I now have the true magic elixir and a little additional ointment that seem to be helping. Actually, I’m 99.99999999999999999999999% sure I’ll survive this; but I have to say that if you have the swine flu, we can’t be friends until you’ve recovered, KTHXBAI.

I did tell King Studmuffin though:  if I die from this, I’m coming back to HAUNT YOU!

(And please say some extry healing prayers for me if’n ya don’t mind. Thanks.  :o)

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Actual knitting content to soon follow.

Just about heartbroken

Last night, here in Silicon Holler, I found out too late that one of my mostest favorite artists was in town playing a show.

http://www.ruthiefoster.com/

The amazing, fantabulous, wonderful Ruthie Foster was at the Merrimack Theater last night and I MISSED IT. I didn’t find out about it until it was too late. PLUS she’s gonna be in downtown Chattanooga TONIGHT doing a free show and I cannot go.

bad word bad word bad word bad word

Life is unfair like that.  BAD WORD!

Today was a lousy day.

I won’t go into all the gory details, but it’s pretty much sucked all day.  Things started off well…..::sigh:::

I will complain about one thing tho.  I’m now THIRTY NINE years of age…and I still get acne.  I have a few wrinkles AND acne.  Just ain’t fair.  My 9 year old daughter asked me why I still get acne and I had to tell her I do not know.  I get cystic acne (don’t ask; it’s gross, ugly AND painful.  Joy.) and I’m getting one on my upper lip just under my nostril where there are loads of nerve endings and it hurts.  Waaaaa.

Something cute from Friday:  I was talking to the above mentioned 9 year old and her older brother over breakfast about “second sock syndrome”  and how I’d just gotten  a book that gives instructions on how to knit 2 socks at a time (on one circular needle).  I told Louisa that she knows everything she needs to know, pretty much, to start knitting socks if she wants to, and I’d be happy to teach her how to do this new technique of 2 socks at a time.  She must have missed the part about 1 circular needle, ‘cos she looked up at me with astonishment on her face and said:

“I can’t knit with my feet!!”

I’ve been laughing about it ever since.  I love that girl.

Oh well, time for my self-pity party to be over.  Life *is* good.

Avoidance

yes, still tryna avoid my ‘puter.  I love it, but it’s stealing all my time. And it’s raining.  We need the rain, but I get depressed all the same.

whine, whine, whine