winter

winter

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bento boxes!

I have fallen in love with the concept of the bento box. There are lots of great websites that talk about recipes and different ways to design them. I have whipped up a few different ones off and on over the last year or so. Cuddle Bear was a bit to young to really appreciate them when I got started, which left me a bit frustrated.

Now that he is older, however, I can start applying some of these awesome ideas that I have encountered. Tonight, the boys are getting bento boxes for dinner. I made them the following:
  • Hummus & cream cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread
  • Apple slices/chunks (crinkle cut with my nifty knife)
  • Mini marshmallows and vanilla wafer cookie
I'll be giving them juice with dinner because we have about four bottles of it kicking around here. My plan is to put together boxes for them to have for lunches next week when Cuddle Bear and Snuggle Bug are both off from preschool. (Snuggle Bug is now going to preschool 2 days a week. It's been a relief that he has taken to it so well.)

I'm going to post what I whip together for them to eat. Eventually, I may even get pictures of the meals and the boys enjoying them up on here too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making progress...

I've recently finished making gifts. I am now half through wrapping them. I have half of my yule cards out in the mail. On the whole, the only big thing left is decorating. I'm not sure just how aggressively I'll be going after that because the boys are getting into everything.

I am, however, making progress and getting things done. That counts as a win, right?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #30

I'm finally at the end of the month and I finally have my post count up to where I wanted it to be. Yay! In other news, discussing stuff regarding Cuddle Bear's foray into schooling is so stressful. I understand Beloved getting hot under the collar over it. It was hard, but I managed not to 'catch' his stress. I kept focusing on trying to clarify what he was upset over and trying to clarify where I was coming from. I'm still feeling pretty wound up, but I'm not angry or otherwise feeling poorly.

I guess that's a win, right?

NaBloPoMo Post #29

Random nonsense goes here. I'm doing the lazy man's way out and making a paragraph stand for a blog post. I'm also having a hard time getting my thoughts to slow down long enough to type them up. I type pretty fast, as it is, so I think it may be time for my medication. At least I'm no longer on the verge of a panic attack. But my brain is whirling around faster and faster. I don't like it when I get like this.

But, this is why I have medication.

NaBloPoMo Post #28

So, I am a little past half way finished with my list of Yule projects. I still need to figure out how to get pictures off of the digital camera so I can put together that photo album for my MiL. I hope to pin my husband down tonight and get him to show me what I must do, this way I'm not stuck bothering him a lot later on. I need to go out shopping for two items.

I want to give Snuggle Bug two puzzles for yule. So, I am going to have to hit up the store where I got the one for a second. Then the puzzle box will be full of puzzles again. Which I am sure both kids will enjoy. I also need to go out and buy him a sweater. I know that he has several that were passed down from his big brother but I really feel that I need to get him another. Because quite a few of the hand-me-down sweaters are getting small around the neckline. I want him to be able to actually use them. If I'm lucky, I may manage to find him a hoodie with Cookie Monster on it. Because, Snuggle Bug LOVES Cookie Monster.

I'm at the point now where I am about to start work on two stuffed animals. I also have a hat left to make. It's a tough decision but I think I'm going to finish the hat first because it will be fairly quick to do. Then I can get the animals done and be ready except for wrapping stuff up. And if I work at it diligently, I can be at the point where all of that is taken care of before Yule even.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #27

I have a lot of stuff put aside for doing scrapbook pages and collages. I should probably get my hands on it and actually start putting these pages together. I think that will serve as my 'Artist Date' this week. I'll take some time Sunday afternoon. That'll be my reward for getting through the week.

If I do a page a week, I should get caught up after a little bit. Or perhaps I'll do two pages. I don't know. But I am not going to get ahead of myself and try to make myself do too much. I want to take as steady and reasonable of a process as I can manage. All of this reminds me, I need to print off pictures of the boys for the photo album that we're going to be giving my MiL for Yule this year. I don't know how we're going to get that done.

I think we'll probably be ordering prints via Wally World. I suspect, however, that will be one of the last things that we require from anywhere for presents. Again, I need to go through the pile of stuff. I should probably start wrapping things now instead of doing it all in a mad rush for the last few days before Yule.

NaBloPoMo Post #26

Well, I'm three posts behind where I wanted to be. I will probably ramble on about politics or something else later on this evening to get my post count caught up. I'm almost finished with NaBloPoMo. As I look back over the month, I am glad I didn't take on NaNoWriMo. I think it would have made getting ready for Yule a nightmare and just stressed me out horribly. So, I suppose I made the right decision this year.

Maybe next year I'll do NaNoWriMo. I'm not going to leave major work on Yule gifts until October next year. That was just foolish of me.

Monday, November 28, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #25

Ahh, Pakistan. I'd just like to say that I called this one coming a mile away. There's this little thing called sovereignty. When one country ignores it and does what ever the hell they want in another country, the other country is going to get pissed. Now, I'm still trying to figure out why the fuck we thought it was a good idea to take a shit in the sandbox of another NUCLEAR capable nation.

We got Osama Bin Laden, whoopie. And the Taliban is running around doing bad shit, then hiding in Pakistan.

Seriously, that part of the world is a goddamn power keg and it's not going to turn out pretty if we keep trying to boot stomp our way around there.

Of course, reading about this stuff just makes me cranky. Maybe I should go back to reading about happy fun things. Our government is run by idiots. I'm genuinely convinced of this.

NaBloPoMo Post #24

I've been following the news about Syria for a little while now. The UN has finally grown a pair of balls and called the Syrian government on their atrocious treatment of protesters. I think it's because the Arab League has put on their ass kicking boots and are not tolerating Syria's bullshit. Between sanctions and ultimatums, I think they're getting ready to take action if there is no change to the situation.

For my part, I'm rather disgusted that the USA hasn't taken a more decisive stance on the matter. There was an initial statement and then pussy footing around. And I hold Hillary Clinton in even more contempt then I had before because she called this toothless response 'smart power.' I question, Madam Secretary, where is your outrage over the brutal violence against peaceful protesters?

Last I recall, your husband took a stand against similar brutality that was going on in Kosovo. Oh, wait... that was a war. Never mind, we apparently only will act when we feel we have the moral high ground in the event of a ...

Wait? What? Oh yeah... Iraq. Wasn't that where Saddam Hussein was brutalizing his people? We didn't turn a blind eye to that ... well, not over the last few years of his ...

Oops... I guess the US record on human rights is kinda shitty on that front. How many people died because we failed to put on our big kid pants and stood up for what was right?

Let's see, we've got:

Darfur
Somalia
Iraq
Kosovo
Stalin's Russia
Kim Il Sung's North Korea

And that's just the beginning of the list. And we've a place of honor... we're on that list of genocides for Nixon's fun in Vietnam.

The next time some asshat tells me that we have the moral high ground in international politics, I may just beat them to death with a dictionary... like the unabridged one, which if you drop it out a 2nd story window on to someone it'll cause severe injuries because it weighs several pounds.

Good on the Arab League. US, let's get our heads out of our asses and get our shit together.

NaBloPoMo Post #23

I'm way behind on my blogging for the month. I feel a little frustrated with that, to be honest. Of course, as I look back over my last few blog posts I feel a bit embarrassed by them. A paragraph is a bit wimpy, so says the part of my brain that has been insisting that I should have taken on NaNoWriMo this year. I'm working on not being calculatingly critical.

Oh, hells, a paragraph is better then nothing, right? Maybe I'll come up with some other random thoughts to post next. Stargazer did NaBloPoMo and had some entries that were a single sentence. If she did it, so can I.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #22

I feel worn out. Not physically but emotionally. I think it's just from my hormones being all over the place due to my menses but I'm not entirely sure. A part of me says there's no point to blogging if no one is reading. I've been doing my best to tell that part to shut up, with little success.n

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #21

Short post. Leg hurts. Stomach aches and I've felt cold all day. Blargh.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #20

It's been a long day today. And yet, here I am at the end of the day more awake then I was in the early part of the day. I don't know why. Perhaps it's just an off moment. Perhaps there's something else at play. Either way, I'm not looking forward to all the work of tomorrow.

I tell myself that I am blessing my home and cleaning a holy place, thus serving my gods and helping my family. Cleaning, however, continues to be drudgery. Some day, I'll change my relationship with it. If I keep telling myself these positive things, I should change my mindset on this, right?

NaBloPoMo Post #19

And now for a bit of fiction...


The Priestess walked the halls of the temple beyond the partition of the sanctuary. Cradling a hot cup of tea with honey in it, she proceeded at a stately pace, meditating on her role as head of the order. It was unprecedented that she dropped part of her title during informal interactions. It was equally unprecedented that the High Priestess of the order would work intimately with her junior priestesses. It had earned her the informal title of "Blessed Mother".

On this morning, she was tired and watching the honey colored light slid through the archways to glow in vibrant pools on the marble flagstones. She walked through these pools, half expecting to feel its warmth catch upon her voluminous skirts like water. From one end of the colonnade to the other, she walked. A pair of acolytes knelt near the midpoint of the passage, scrubbing the stones with wide, soft bristled brushes beside a bucket of cold water. The priestess knew they were watching her from the corners of their eyes.

The dark haired woman stopped near the two younger women. The pair remained steadfastly focused on their task despite the silent presence behind them. "Rise and come with me," she said quietly. The acolytes looked at each other. "Floors always need cleaning. It will keep. Now, come with me," the High Priestess of Yulara prompted gently. The pair kneeling before her looked at each other. One resumed scrubbing as the other stood.

With a small gesture of benediction, the priestess turned and began walking again. "Your sister is still too troubled by the world," the priestess said to her young shadow, "Come, walk by my side, not behind me. We are sisters in our service to the gods." Reluctantly, the acolyte walked to the left of the head of her order. The young woman's short hair shone like spun gold in the morning's light as they walked out into the courtyard.

"My dear, do you know why your sister failed to accept my invitation?" the black clad woman asked. The acolyte chewed her lower lip, unsure what the correct answer was and thus remained silent. The Blessed Mother looked over and smiled indulgently. "The wise choose silence when unsure how to respond, you have done well," she said before taking a sip of her tea.

The pair walked to a bench sheltered by a pair of thin trees with silvery green leaves. The brilliant sunlight bathed the courtyard with blinding beauty. It caught in the tresses of the Blessed Mother and made the touch of gray in her hair silver. "Sit, my child," she said, gesturing beside herself on the bench. Obediently, the young woman sat with her hands folded in her lap. The Blessed Mother looked over at the younger woman.

Her blond hair had been cut short as a sign that she was reborn upon her entry into the order. Unlike other maidens under her care, the Blessed Mother noted this young woman maintained the short hairstyle. Her white robes were pristine beneath her dingy gray work smock. The Blessed Mother remembered herself as a maiden of the order, struggling to maintain the pure white of her own robes.

"Tell me, my Daughter," she said, "What is your heart's dearest wish?" The maiden looked over, surprise in her eyes. "You've not taken the vow of silence," the priestess said with a rich chuckle, "So speak, child." The young woman looked at her hands.

"I wish to serve the gods," answered the acolyte, "As you do, Blessed Mother." The priestess smiled, hearing the undertones of the young woman's answer.

"That requires a great deal of study and sacrifice," she said.

"I know. I am willing to do what I must," the acolyte.

The priestess nodded. "Very well. Return to your chores. Take the vow of silence for one year. Then we shall speak again of this," the older woman said, "If you are truly ready for the sacrifices you must make, a year of silence will be a simple thing."

Friday, November 18, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #18

Random thought: the Duggars are having their 20th child. For some reason, it disturbs me that they've had 20 children. It's not that I begrudge anyone the joy of having kids. It's not that I have an issue with people not using contraceptives in their marital bed. I'd be one huge hypocrite if I got up on the soap box over that.

The thing that disturbed me was the quote from Michelle Duggar:
It feels more natural to be pregnant than not.
I just sat there and went 'Good Goddess preserve me from that mindset!' Honestly, I can't see myself enduring morning sickness and all the other discomforts of pregnancy 20 times. I lack the words to express how much I do not EVER want to experience that. Three time, maybe. 20 times? Hel no!

Good luck to the Duggars. I think all y'all are nuts. But, there's gotta be some crazies in the world to make it go 'round, right?

NaBloPoMo Post #17

I am just done for today. My nerves have been having me twisted up in knots. My therapy session sucked. And the kids were getting into everything this evening.

Can we stop the world so I can get off and take a break for a second? I think it's time for me to be doing some knitting or something.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #16

A few days ago another person introduced me to the concept of free form crochet. Looking at the images that come up when I did a search, I am intrigued by the idea. I like the prospect of having absolute control over the fabric and I like the prospect of using my yarn like I would paint on a canvas.

The little bit of three dimensional stuff that I've done, the things I really enjoyed were where I just started crocheting and adding as I went along. I suspect that I will take to this style of crochet like a duck to water. First, however, I have to finish the stuff for yule.

NaBloPoMo Post #15

So I am feeling like I am making a fool out of myself with this Policy Council stuff. I just finished the rough draft for the letter asking for more participation from parents. I sent it out to some other council members to get some feed back before I finish tweaking it. I feel like I wrote up a really pathetic letter.

At the same time, it has literally been years since I've had to do much in the way of official correspondence. I still don't feel comfortable about this.

In other news, I have a bad feeling that I'm going to be voted in as secretary for the upcoming year. My gut is telling me that the fact that I take notes and I actually typed them up after the last meeting is a sign that I'll be doing it more.

Of course, this could be a good thing for when I want to get involved in other activism type of things, I suppose. And I could put it on my resume. I just am quietly worrying that I have just made a fool out of myself.

I hate it when I get like this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #14

Long day. Between mood swings and the kids acting up, I'm just worn out. I did some crochet but I'm just going to say its enough for now. At least I remembered to post today. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I can get two posts in and be only one behind where I am date wise.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #13

You know you go to a fast food restaurant a little too often when the staff comment on how nice your new hair cut looks. And one of the wittier people in the back calls out that they missed you when you weren't in on your usual day.

I think I need to find a new place to pick up food while I'm doing laundry on Sundays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #12

Well, I am making progress on Yule gifts. I've got the body done for a little amigurumi rabbit. The head is started. I'm still not entirely sure how I am going to make the ears. This is going to require a little research. I also took a break to make a pocket black hole. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #11

A part of me says it's cheating to call the knitting pattern I posted earlier a contribution to my NaBloPoMo count, but I'm not letting that bit of perfectionism stop me any more then it stopped me in finishing the knitted mitts. I honestly didn't expect to get them done before Thanksgiving. I'm glad that I did.

Now I have the other small projects to do, which should work up pretty fast. Tonight, I am going to LARP out in Buffalo. I'll be bringing the lace scarf that I'm knitting for someone who may be currently reading this blog. I'll also be bringing the neon orange frog that I crochet last summer for another friend. I'm pretty sure she'll get a huge kick out of it.

I am considering bringing the small crochet bunny that I am working on. I finished the body. I'm just now starting the head. I'm a little stumped as to how to make the ears but I am sure I will find something somewhere that will give me a few pointers.

Rocker Chick's Fingerless Gloves

YARN:
Color A: 1 ball black RHSS
Color B: 1 ball candy print RHSS

NEEDLES:
size 10 us

Cast on 42 stitches in color A.
R1: Knit in color A
R2: Purl in color A
R3: *Knit 2 st in color A (English method), carry color B across back of fabric (WS). Knit 2 st in color B (Continental method), carry color A across back of fabric. * Repeat *10x. Knit 2 st in color A (English).
R4: *Purl 2 in color A (English method), carry color B across front (WS). Purl 2 in color B (Continental method), carry color A across front (WS).* Repeat * 10 x. Purl 2 st in color A (English)

R 3 & R 4 make pattern. Continue until 6 in long. Knit 1 row in color A. Purl 1 row in color A. Bind off knit wise.

Seam tog R & L edges of fabric, leave 1 in open at 2 in from cast off edge. Seam tog R & L edge of fabric 1 in from cast off edge to cast off edge.

Friday, November 11, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #9

I'm slowly making progress on my knitting. The kids are in bed as Hubby is out with a friend. The sounds of gregorian chant isn't relaxing me like it usually does. I feel cold, alone, and generally upset. I'm pretty sure it's due to my mood going through swings. I started out the day ok but then with in the last few hours... well, this happened.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #8

Well, I've gotten most of the kitchen clean. The living room is a bit of a mess but that'll be easy to take care of. My goal of having each room of the apartment 15 minutes from clean is looking pretty realistic (except for my project room, but we won't talk about that LOL). As I find interesting new gadgets to help me be more efficient in cleaning, it gets easier to be less stressed by a given task. I am seriously considering buying a few of the FLYLady tools.

All of those positive reviews has my curiosity aroused. Something that would work better then what I've got now is always something I'm looking for. Currently, I have one of those dish scrubbers that keep a bit of soap in the handle. I suspect I may wear out the sponge before I use up the soap, however. It did a beautiful job on one of my pots that I had accidentally burned something in. It doesn't seem to be scratching up the every day dishes either. I think it may have been a smart buy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #7

I may make two 'extra' posts over the next couple of days so that my post number corresponds with the date. I'm undecided on that. But, let's move on to what I briefly hinted at yesterday. I went out to the Policy Council meeting for my Cuddle Bear's preschool. I almost turned around and came back home three times on my way there (the third being right in the parking lot). I told myself that I needed to do this, if not for myself then for my kids.

I walked in and put on a sunny smile, but on the inside I was a nervous wreck. I wasn't so nervous that my body was hating me but I was on edge. The folks there were actually quite pleasant and generally laid back in attitude. It relieved me that all I really had to do by way of introducing myself was state who I was and how I was connected to Head Start. I was also glad that I didn't over prepare and bring in a copy of my resume. Beloved talked me out of it, thankfully. Things could have been quite awkward otherwise.

I got a chuckle out of the WTF reaction there was to the budget report. It disappointed me but didn't surprise me very much that the program was operating at a deficit. As fundraisers got briefly discussed it became quite clear that one of the biggest problems was getting parents to participate. I suspect this is going to be a theme through out the year. I volunteered to help write the letter requesting additional participation from parents. I think that was the second hardest thing I did yesterday.

Thinking about it, I am getting butterflies in my stomach and my hands are a little shakey. A part of me is screaming that this whole affair is a bad idea. I think I can push through it, however.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #6

Three sentences and then I'm off to bed. Holy crap, I actually did something uncomfortable and came out unscathed. More details tomorrow because I'm tired right now.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #5

I finished one of Rocker Chick's gauntlets. I am in the midst of casting on the second and finding that I'm actually feeling optimistic about this. I think the youtube videos helped me out a fair amount. I'm still not half as good at knitting and purling in the continental style but I can actually do it now. A few thousand more rows of doing this and I may even get *that* figured out. Thank goodness that the gauntlets are not *that* long. :D

Friday, November 04, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #4

I haven't much to say this evening. I'm finding that working on Rocker Chick's Yule gift is getting maddening. I am coming to hate knitting in the Continental method. I especially dislike purling with that technique. It is very frustrating and I feel utterly clumsy doing it. I have set the project aside. I'll take it up tomorrow. Perhaps the blessing of daylight will help make this easier. A sour part of me doubts it. :P

Thursday, November 03, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #3

My prompt for today was:

Can you listen to music and write? What kind of music did you listen to today?

I regularly listen to music as I am writing. It helps me to focus on what I am working on. When I am writing fiction, the music helps me to come up with scenes and characters. When I am working on non-fiction, the music helps me to put aside enough of my anxiety that I can actually write sentences with out compulsively checking for errors immediately after I finish. This makes my work flow a lot more smoothly. Today, I am listening to Gregorian Chant.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #2

I'm sitting here at the end of the day unsure what to write in here. I have to do at least a paragraph or my conscience will gnaw at me. So, two sentences in and on the third, I still have no great brainstorm. Perhaps tomorrow will bring better inspiration.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo Post #1

So, it's officially November and the beginning of NaBloPoMo. (And NaNoWriMo, but I'm not participating in that this year.) Their prompt question for the day is:
What do you enjoy about writing?
I'm not really sure if I should run with that question or the writing prompt from The Artist's Way which is:
List three old enemies of your creative self worth. Please be as specific as possible in doing this exercise. Your historic monsters are the building blocks of your core negative beliefs. [...] It is always necessary to acknowledge creative injuries and grieve them. Otherwise, they become creative scar tissue and block your growth.

I'm not really sure where to begin with either of these. I haven't done my morning pages yet and feel a bit foggy at the moment. But I don't want to forget to write in here. I may just journal the writing prompt from The Artist's Way and try to come up with at least a paragraph for the other prompt.

I suppose what I enjoy the most about writing is the cathartic qualities it holds for me. Like my artwork, writing helps get some of the fears and doubts out of me. It can help me to clarify just what is bothering me. Which then allows me to process and work through it. Writing helps me to figure out how I am going to live with something unpleasant or to plan for something happy in the future. It is probably one of the most versatile tools I have at hand for coping with the world at large.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

my head sux

Short version, I've been struggling with Bi Polar II for a little over a year. (I was diagnosed this time last year. I've been dealing with it undiagnosed for a long time.) I've been sliding into a depressive episode and it disturbs me. I naively thought that the medication would make it where I would at worst get a little weepy or a bit cranky. Instead, those horrible self-demeaning thoughts are whirling around in my head, getting through the day is a struggle, and I'm extra sensitive to possible insults.

To be honest, I hate this and I'm more then a little bit afraid that what ever changes my psychiatrist makes to my medication later this week are just going to do nothing for my symptoms and leave me feeling like crap from the side effects. I'm nervous about the blood test he had done. I'm worried that the results will say that I'm utterly fucked up and hopeless. I don't know why, but I'm afraid that's what the results are going to show.

I'm tired of hiding my diagnosis. I'm learning to accept that there is no shame in it. If there is no shame in having diabetes then there's no shame in having bi polar. I don't like the fact that I've a laundry list of disorders that I am dealing with, but they're all interconnected. I have complex post traumatic stress disorder. I have a social phobia. And I have bi polar II with psychotic features (when I get extremely depressed, I start hearing voices). I'm afraid to go out and find other people like me. I'm terrified that they're going to reject me.

This, however, is something I need to just push through like I have to push through the feelings of shame at having to take medication. I am a good person and I deserve to be healthy. These are things that will help make me healthy.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wall St. vs Main St. part 2

As I started to say the other day, I believe that people are confusing the symptoms with the problem. We live with a government that is corrupt. It may not be as corrupt as the governments in other nations are, but it is still corrupt. The signs of corruption are fairly simple and it makes me disappointed to have to point them out. That said, here is what I identify as the signs of corruption:
  • A disconnect between legislation and the needs of the people
  • Heavy handed enforcement of arbitrary laws
  • Failure of the government to address grievances of the people
  • Greater focus upon propaganda distribution then upon dissemination of factual information about government activities (including but not limited to resistance of honoring citizen request for said information)
  • Tailoring of laws and statutes to the benefit of an elite few
Now, I recognize that a government will do what it can to perpetuate its existence and to gain greater power. This is just a natural consequence of human greed and the desire to create a secure and comfortable existence. Those who are in the positions of power will attempt to maintain those positions by any means that they can accomplish without upsetting the subordinates to the point where they will rise up against them.

I can fully empathize with the frustration of the Occupy Wall Street groups. There is something wrong with this country when people who were 10 years ago solidly in the middle class are now trying to get financial assistance to cover groceries. I could go on but I think that right there sums up the frustrations of the Occupy Wall Street group. The problem, however, is not the bankers or the corporations.

The problem is in the people who turn over authority for aspects of their lives to these people. When you surrender your financial health to the whims of the stock market, for example, you are going to find yourself unable to maintain it for an extended period of time at a status where you can competently meet your other needs. During the 1990s and the '00s, many people did this. During the same time period, people ceded their rights and personal liberties for the sake of perceived security. Was it a wholesale surrendering of rights? No, but enough was surrendered that I am not surprised by the actions of the NYC police force.

They believe that their activities are appropriate. Why? Because of the potential for rioting and other 'terrorist' like activities. What needs to happen is the people of the nation need to exert their will upon the government, we need to remind them that WE are the ones in charge. That they work for US.

Sadly, I fear this may require a measure of harsh activity. If people who are peaceably protesting continue to be met with a rough hand by the local law enforcement, they will eventually begin to push back. And that will not end pretty.

Infatuation vs. reality

I had a heart to heart with Stormcrow last night. Stark reality is perhaps the harshest of things to face at times. I am happy for him. I was concerned with him being so alone down there. I truly am glad that he has found some one. I dearly hope that she treats him well because he deserves not only to be happy but to be treated like he is worth his weight in gold. Stormcrow is a truly amazing person.

I'm just having a little difficulty putting aside the infatuation that tangled me up over the last few weeks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Songs and memory.

I have fallen in love with a song. I confess a mild infatuation with Ingrid Michaelson. Her song The Chain is quite possibly one of the most beautiful things I have heard in a while. It is filled with such clarity of sound and lyric beauty only on the basis of the orchestration. Add to it the wonderful contralto voice of Ms. Michaelson and it is simply enrapturing.

Another song that I have been just enthralled with is filled with an almost fierce sense of vitality. Omina is a group that I stumbled onto and keep finding myself listening to with a mixture of awe and joy. Their song Alive! is another vivid piece of music that just leaves me breathless. It makes me want to get up and dance wildly. It has been a musical bit of medicine for my soul in the face of the crushing depression that rolls over me in waves.

In the midst of all this, I find myself thinking of when I heard Stormcrow sing for the first time. I hadn't expected a tenor voice. I don't know what I was expecting but the sweet, clear ringing quality that was in his voice just held me captivated. I find myself thinking of that moment with a measure of longing. There was no self consciousness or braggadocio. He was just simply singing the song as naturally as breathing. It was striking.

It makes me want to listen to him sing again.

Yule Project List

This is a list to remind myself what I am currently working on. I may even note progress in here with addendums. That said, here is The List:

  • Sweater for Cuddle Bear X
  • Bigger Blankie for Snuggle Bug X (given early)
  • Bigger Blanket for Beloved (replaced w/ another item, store bought)
  • Crochet Klein Bottle Hat for Beloved's brother
  • Audrey II for Energizer Girl
  • Crochet fingerless gloves for Rocker Chick (X), Trouble 1 & 2, the Mischief Duo, and Mercy Girl
  • Loom Knit hats for Monster Girl, Cuddle Bear's best friend T and T's little brother
  • Beaded stitch markers for OnComingStorm
  • Crochet hook case & sweater pattern for StormWatcher
  • Crochet hook case for JBirdie
  • Sock weight yarn for J X
  • Amigurumi rabbit for Trouble 1 X
  • Amigurumi dog for Trouble 2
  • Amigurumi monster for Snuggle Bug
Of all this, I've the yarn finished, the sweater half done, and the increase in Snuggle Bug's blankie started.

I think I'm going to be busy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wall St. vs Main St. part 1

Just about everybody is giving their opinions on the Occupy Wall Street protest, it's daughter protests, and the counter protests. Some of the opinions are entertaining, some are thought provoking, and others are, to be honest, moronic. There are people screaming about class warfare. There is misbehavior by the NYC police and gallantry by members of the armed forces. It is a messy, leaderless group of people who have reached the crucial point of frustration and anger where they have moved beyond simply venting to taking action.

I say messy because there is no one strand unifying and thereby clarifying just what they're looking for. Oh, yes, there are some 'demands' floating around on the interwebz. There was the seed concept, which was to call upon the leaders in the political arena to separate themselves from the financial industry and similar corporate influencers of lawmakers. It has, however, grown beyond that seed concept into a free form movement.

Something that I have to say is that people are confusing the symptoms with the problem. Corruption in the government has a specific set of symptoms, in my opinion.

[I'll add more after my husband gets home from work, because the kids are up to mischief.]

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

NaNoWriMo?

I'm trying to decide if I have the mental cohesion to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. It is something that I'd like to participate in again but I don't know if I should. Part of the challenge before me is finding the time to write. Part of the challenge is what to write. And the third part of the challenge is determining if I have enough time to do so in the face of working on Yule gifts. November is not only a big month for me writing wise with NaNoWriMo, it is a big month for me to finish up gifts for people.

I don't want to push myself too hard. I'm realizing that with my psychological challenges, I could be setting myself up for some real problems. Over exerting myself tends to set off my depressive episodes. I don't want to deal with that on top of everything else. We literally just got out from under some rather challenging constraints. I don't want to tempt fate and engender more. That is the absolute last thing I want to do right now.

I may do NaBloPoMo instead of NaNoWriMo this year. If I work on one of my fiction blogs, I can still say I'm doing something that could be worked towards a novel. It's something of a debate right now. Fortunately, I've got most of October to make my decision.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Struggling with depression.

For the last several weeks, I've been having a rough time of it. I am having problems again with depression. The doctor has adjusted my medication and some of the more severe symptoms seem to have lifted. This, however, has been the primary reason why I haven't posted anything in here for a little while now. I shall, however, try to post something at least once a week. Even if it is a quick update as to what I've been doing with the kids.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mexican Style Pasta Bake Recipe

Posting this here for future reference & to share with friends. It actually came out pretty good.

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1 lb box of noodles (I used shells because that's what I had on hand. DO NOT PRE-COOK!)
1 qt jar of marinara pasta sauce (Rinse jar out with a 1/4 water, approx. and pour remnants in.)
1 qt jar of salsa (See above.)
1/2 lb shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream (to taste)

In an 11 x 7 x 2 in pan, pour pasta sauce and salsa. Mix together. Add box of noodles, stir together until noodles are coated. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 deg F. for 1 hour. When serving, add a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Prospero's Speech

Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free


Listening to Loreena McKennitt's version and was enjoying it immensely tonight. Don't know why, but I've always loved Prospero's Speech. The Tempest wasn't one of my favorite Shakespearean plays but this was one of my favorite monologues of all time. It's a tie with Hamlet's soliloquy.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Knooking?

I now am the proud owner of three knooking tools. I read about this technique of knitting with a crochet hook last week. I got so interested in it that when I saw the hooks for sale for a whopping $4.95 at wally world, I grabbed 'em. I resisted the urge to buy more yarn and forced myself to finish running my errand. When I got home, I was positively giddy to try out this technique that I had been reading about and watching video tutorials for the last several days.

I've been playing around idly with this wooden hook for the last few hours. It's like a cross between Tunisian crochet and regular crochet (when it come to technique). I'm still trying to perfect the tension with this, but I'm getting the basic knit stitch down. I did a few rows and discovered that I was somehow mixing knit and purl stitches. Thus, I ripped out and have been focusing only on knit right now. I figure once I get the knit stitches down that I'll take on how to intentionally do the purl stitches next.

My hunch was that I was going to really enjoy this. I have to confess, I may just put away the knitting looms and needles in favor of this thing. I've still got to finish that sock and the other projects, however. This, however, I think is going to turn into my favorite way to be making washcloths instead of regular crochet. Aside from that, I love using these wooden hooks. They feel WONDERFUL in my hands.

I honestly didn't expect that.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

handcraft research

Just slapping a few links up for me to return to later.

how to make your own crochet hook

how to make plarn

I'm in the midst of planning yule gifts. One of my nieces has already requested that I make her Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. To say the least, I'm going to be busy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ideas

going to this site for a few ideas for yule. will add more later.

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I'm pretty sure that Stargazer would have laughed when I told her I was planning on making some Yule gifts based in higher mathematical concepts. I've been interested in the Klein bottle hats. I saw a knit one and thought that it would be perfect to make for my brother in law. Then I realized that my knitting skills are not quite up to that level yet. At which point I found a crochet one.

And then I saw this hat and decided that I am going to have to make it for my son at some point in time. It's not really as math oriented as the other hats, but it was still a good find.

At some point, I want to make a Möbius scarf but I am having a hard time picking what pattern I want to use. I know that I'm not going to have the time to make up the DNA model this year. That, however, is alright because I am thinking that I'm going to make a scarf based on the Fibonacci sequence. I've made a few washcloths and an art piece (crochet for all of those), so I'm pretty sure the scarf will be a fairly straight forward thing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

changes...

Feh! I just screwed around a little with the layout on here. Partly because I was bored and not desiring to go to bed just yet and partly because I was annoyed with it.

I'm now consigning it to the fates and wandering off to bed. If I'm lucky, I'll sleep well tonight despite my back.

I hate monday.

I forgot that fact. Then today happened and I was reminded. The boys were just all out monsters for me. Jumping on the furniture was the least of my headaches. I found myself understanding why some animals eat their young.

I really hope that the weather allows the boys to get outside some tomorrow. If anything, I'll have them run laps around the house a few times or something to burn of some of this wild energy. Good Gods grant me strength and sanity. I love my children, I really do. But I spent a good portion of my day asking myself "What the hell was I thinking?"

You know what this means, of course, tomorrow they'll both be sweet as pie and well behaved.


...


Or did I just jinx myself? >.<

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Pride and Joy!



To the left is a picture of my youngest son. He's the little guy affectionately known as Snuggle Bug. It has become something of an ironic nickname for him. He was a very cuddly baby at times. Snuggle time, however, happened only on his terms.

Now age two, he is my little holy terror. My FiL and I have jokingly called him a shark. As my FiL has said, he has two modes: go and stop. Snuggle Bug is a very active little guy and loves to do things full bore.

Currently, he is quite thrilled to be doing things like jumping on the couch or climbing everything we own. Snuggle Bug absolutely loves going to the park and playing on the swing. He has recently decided that he is going to start giving the slides a try. As such, he has been trying to climb up them like he sees the older children do. It has made for much silliness.

To the right is my eldest child, known as Cuddle Bug. True to his nickname, he is a little lover. This (like the picture above) is a picture that is several months old. His hair is not as long now and that outfit no longer fits. That, however, is the way things go with toddlers.

Cuddle Bear loves his little brother and does a lot to try to help me out with him. He is, also, a rather independent child who doesn't exactly enjoy having a little shadow. I remember trying to get away from my younger brothers much like he tries to get away from Snuggle Bug. It's not that easy.

Cuddle Bear adores the color purple and fire trucks. He is a quiet child with the beginnings of a deep love affair with books. I'm fairly certain that he will be the one I find hiding with a flashlight under the covers with a book.

Birthday shenanigans & thoughts.

Yesterday, we held a combined birthday party for Cuddle Bear and Snuggle Bug. The boys had a ball playing with balloons as we were waiting for the guests to arrive. Beloved had been nervous and worried that we hadn't enough food for everyone. I, however, was fairly confident that things were going to go fine (after a brief spate of social anxiety driven panic). The weather was beautiful and the park was just lovely.

As the guests arrived, it quickly became apparent that not everyone we had invited were able to make it. I was a little disappointed but I recognize that life will throw curve balls at us and it can be hard to do everything you want in a weekend. (This was a big change from the last time I tried to throw a party and quite a few of the guests were unable to come. Then I got rather upset and felt rejected. It wasn't fun at all.) Even with the smaller number of guests, we still had plenty of folks to eat up the goodies we had there. The rainbow colored goldfish crackers that my MiL brought were especially well liked by the kids.

When the time came for presents, it became obvious that I had hit one out of the park. The firetruck that I found at the thrift store as a last minute purchase was the favorite toy of both boys. Thank goodness that Beloved's brother brought a monster truck for Snuggle Bug. He headed off the screaming fit right at the pass. For a good while, the boys alternated between which truck they were playing with. All of the adults made a point of complementing them on their sharing of the toys.

Amusingly enough, the firetruck was such a big hit that the boys were at first indifferent to the big presents from Beloved's parents. Snuggle Bug, after a while, did finally start playing with his wagon. He seemed to really enjoy picking up gravel and dropping it into it. Then, with some coaxing, Cuddle Bear started to play with his tricycle. He wasn't as excited about it as we thought he would be. Then I remembered, Cuddle Bear gets to use one fairly regularly at preschool.

We had cake but no candles on it. Beloved and I thought it would just be a lot easier that way. We now have half of a sheet cake sitting in the kitchen. Cuddle Bear wanted to bring it down to his best friend, Ladybug* but the weather isn't exactly agreeable to walking down there. I am sure that Ladybug and Wort** will be equally delighted with sharing some cake tomorrow after school.

I was a fool and forgot my camera at home. Thus, there are no pictures of the party this year. I hope to get a good one of the boys playing with their newest toys later. Perhaps I'll get lucky and get a good picture of Cuddle Bear on his new tricycle tomorrow. I think the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm tomorrow. Today, it is raining. I'm not going to complain, however, because the drought still hasn't broken.

The rain we have gotten recently and my diligent watering has resulted in my tomato plant having more then just two tomatoes on it. I'm quite excited. The pepper plant seems to have finished flowering. If I'm lucky, it will have peppers on it soon as well. I am planning on bringing some of my fresh vegetables down to Ladybug and Wort's mother in the coming week. She's been ill and I think some homegrown produce would cheer her up. I may even bring some herbs down.

My marigolds seem to have recovered some from getting so terribly dried out recently. I've started to get blossoms on them. It is my hope to collect some and dry them for making an herbal tea later. The first few blossoms that I had harvested are currently being rained on because I forgot to bring them in. I hope that they'll dry out well for me in the sunny weather to come. I have been reading about how one can use marigold blossoms to dye fiber with a little bit of vinegar.

Some interesting articles about solar dying have had me seriously considering dying some of my fiber from my MiL with this technique. I may even go so far as to save some onion skins and some red cabbage to try dying with that as well. I have a few mason jars free and a gallon of vinegar. If it really is as simple as steeping it like sun tea, then I believe I am going to give it a shot. I like the idea of dying my own fiber with stuff that I have immediately at hand. I may have to do a little bit more reading before I give it a shot. Either way, I hope to get some pictures of this up once I get underway.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

* Ladybug is Cuddle Bear's best friend from preschool. She's about a year older then him but they get along like two peas in a pod. Beloved and I got a chuckle out of the fact that they're best friends. That was how he and I started out. If we're at their wedding 20 something years later, Beloved will be informing them that I had predicted it (in jest).

** Wort (from the old middle English word for plant and the nickname for Arthur in Disney's The Sword in the Stone) is Ladybug's little brother. He's five days younger then Cuddle Bug. He and Cuddle Bug play together regularly. Both boys seem to be becoming fast friends as well. It is something that their mother and I would like to encourage.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

It's called Separation of Church and State, moron!

I don't generally pay much attention to the Christian Science Monitor. There was something about their article about Texas Governor Rick Perry that caught my eye. So, I sat down and read the article. I was fully prepared for someone to be softening his very 'conservative' views in an attempt to make him more palatable to others. I was prepared for a bias in his favor because he is a highly visible and politically well connected individual who supports the aggressively evangelical face of the Christian faith in the United States. Thus prepared, I read the article and my jaw hit the floor.

I then did a little digging to see if they were actually sugar coating just how far to the 'Right' he was. Then I read what Forbes had to say about him and this prayer rally that went on today. I read the official 'about Rick Perry' page, the Wikipedia entry, and several other pages (including his Facebook page). As I learned more about the man, the more disturbing the idea of his having influence over a state, let alone on a national level, became.

Sure, he has done some impressive things. He's got a squeaky clean image and the camera seems to love him. His positions on economic matters are interesting. This, however, doesn't make up for the fact that he endorses the concepts espoused by the American Family Association of Tupelo and similar organizations:
  • The protections of the First Amendment apply solely to Christians.
  • Homosexuality is a moral threat to the nation.
  • Abortion should be illegal.
I could go on, but these are the three big turnoff's for me. The protections of the First Amendment are inviolate and extend to all citizens of the United States regardless of their religious affiliation. Any movements to some how curtail this should be regarded with great resistance. It is the First Amendment that makes our nation great. I'm not saying we're perfect, but the fact that you can, among other things, speak your mind freely and practice your religion freely is a strength.

I highly object to the argument that homosexuality is a moral threat to the nation. Homosexuality has been around for a very, very long time. The idea that it is suddenly this new threat is preposterous. Among the minds that lead to the development of this nation, were most undoubtedly homosexuals. Their sexual orientation didn't undermine the establishment of this nation. It's pretty safe to assume that there's a percentage of the population who fought to establish and maintain this nation through out history were homosexuals.

I think it's safe to say that homosexuality is a non-issue on the matter of the welfare of the nation. Logic aside, the argument of moral threats to the nation should be suspended. Why? Because moral issues are religious issues. Please, refer back to the First Amendment on this issue if you need to have that position of mine clarified. It's pretty simple.

Abortion is not the problem. It has been made out to be the problem when the majority of abortions are performed for medical reasons. As a matter of course, the idea of abortion for the sake of birth control is not going to be the preferred method, unlike what many of the anti-abortion folks insist. Making the medical procedure illegal returns us to where women are at an increased risk of dying during pregnancy. Depending on how the law is phrased, a naturally occurring miscarriage can be illegal.

As a woman who has six miscarriages, I take great offense at this prospect. The idea that a woman who has already been traumatized by the loss of her child could then be facing murder charges sets my blood boiling. Unfortunately, the anti-abortion groups that have the strongest lobbing presence support laws that would criminalize women like myself. The medical community doesn't fully understand why miscarriages happen. To take something nebulous like that and criminalize it sets the precedent for greater injustices for the sake of the 'social conscience.'

I am dearly hoping that Rick Perry is just a flash in the pan. If, by some weird happenstance, he does prove to be the Republican candidate, I'll be one of the folks doing their best to get people NOT to vote for him. People like that, who regard the Constitution as applying only to them, are dangerous. It's only a small ideological jump to fascism.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blessed First Harvest!

I'm still in pain from my fall back in early June. The muscle relaxant that the doctor prescribed for me isn't doing much to help. It makes things like weeding the garden difficult. After a long day, I must admit, it is something that tends to slip by the wayside. Still, I do what I can and keep my hopes up for rain. We're currently in the middle of a rather wicked drought, you see.

I didn't let that stop me from harvesting a little bit of my home grown produce. My pepper plant has put out only one pepper thus far. It was quite small but exceptionally flavorful. I used half of it in my macaroni salad that we had for dinner tonight. I also harvested a bit of basil and some of the nasturtium leaves. I chopped those up fairly fine and tossed them into the salad too. It was just as pleasurable to eat as it was to make.

I'll slap up the recipe at the end of this post. I tried to make it through the day with out any soda. I failed horribly. I'm realizing, however, that I get the desire to have some when I get stressed out. It has become (or has been and I didn't realize it) a coping mechanism. To say the least, I need to replace that with something that is kinder to my waistline. I am going to attempt an experiment of sorts with my force of will.

When I desire a cold glass of soda, I am going to replace it with a glass of water. I figure since I have a fair amount of lemon balm (which is doing beautifully despite the drought), I can start adding a few bruised leaves to my water. Aside from that, I'm going to resume adhering to the little amusing expression: keep calm and have a cup of tea. It is my hope that my will shall hold out and I can break this soda habit.

As my daily walking has been curtailed significantly by my injury, I need to cut calories where I can with out doing too much harm to myself. I don't want to get back down to being about 110 lbs. That was a dangerously unhealthy weight for me to be at and I have decided that I never want to be that skinny again. When I was walking about four miles a day and living on a fairly lean diet, I got to be about 150 lbs. I don't think I had ever felt healthier then I did at that weight.

It is a rather enormous thing that I have done just by way of walking and portion control. This time last year, my weight was up to 280 lbs. It was due to a combination of stress eating, medication side effects, and a somewhat sedentary lifestyle. Depression really takes a huge bite out of your energy and stamina for pretty much any form of exercise. Since then, I have dropped down to 195. I have been exercising fairly regularly.

I was attempting to get 8 miles of walking in each week. I had been making pretty good progress on that up until I fell out in the garden. Now I get roughly four miles in each week by walking down to get Cuddle Bear from the bus stop. I want to get more walking in, but right now it's painful. At times, my leg will even go numb. My Father-in-Law suggested that perhaps I had pinched a nerve when I fell. Given that the Tylenol isn't doing much for the pain and the muscle relaxant isn't helping either, I suspect he is right. Thankfully, the doctor is confident that I didn't break anything when I fell. Thank goodness for small mercies, right?

Well, I'm running out of stuff to ramble about right now. I'll slap that recipe up.
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Macaroni Salad (quick version)
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked macaroni (or other small pasta)
  • 1/2 small bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup whipped salad dressing (or mayo)
  • 3 nasturtium leaves (shredded fine)
  • 4 sweet Italian basil leaves (shredded fine)
Step 1: Cook pasta.
Step 2: Place colander in sink with frozen vegetables in it.
Step 3: Pour pasta and water into colander, rinse with cool/tepid water.
Step 4: Toss pasta and vegetable mixture to make sure vegetables are thawed.
Step 5: Transfer pasta and vegetable mixture to a large bowl.
Step 6: Add bell pepper, nasturtium leaves, and basil.
Step 7: Add salad dressing and mix together well. Make sure all of the salad is evenly coated.
Step 8: Chill for 15 min in the refrigerator.
Step 9: Serve!

Friday, July 29, 2011

evening shadows

My good friend ArtCat did an excellent job of describing PTSD. He said:
PTSD is like a hydra. If you do things piecemeal, you may resolve one symptom but two more will pop up in its place (or it will return twice as bad as before). You need to strike at the root and work through the fundamental issue in and of itself. Everything else should be taken in context of that.
I... I have a hard time with my cPTSD when I reach the end of the day. Beloved pointed it out to me the other day and it's been rattling around in my brain. At the end of the day, I run out of things to distract me from my disorder. I find my emotional reserves are fairly close to tapped out and I dread going to sleep. Even with my medications, nightmares will come fairly regularly. They just don't have the same kind of effect on me that they did before.

I suffer from emotional flashbacks on a daily basis. I haven't the slightest idea what is triggering them. This upsets me greatly. I just want to get to the root of this latest go on the hellish merry-go-round. I want to face this stuff down and move on as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it's simply not that easy.

I sit here, trying to figure out what more to write. I don't know why I'm posting this here, even. I guess it's just to get it out and off my chest. I want to cry. At the same time, another part of me decries it as a sign of weakness, which must never be allowed. I feel confused, hurt, and alone. I don't know why. It's terrible to feel this way because I don't know what set it off.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Science is getting interesting.

A few days ago, I read this really interesting story about how scientists grew and then successfully implanted an organ into a person using their own tissues. I thought that was really exciting news. I knew that nanotechnology was getting applied in various interesting ways throughout various industries. What I didn't know was how far advanced it had gotten in the medicine sector until I read that article.

I have a friend who had to have a double lung transplant almost two years ago. I immediately pointed this article out to him. We both agreed that it was pretty amazing. The idea that medicine has advanced far enough that we could theoretically grow a new, healthy version of an organ that was diseased and failing was something that just struck us as wonderful.

Granted, we're both of a mind to watch these developments carefully. Organ transplants are notoriously tricky and the risk of rejection is always high. The proof of success in this case is going to be a bit down the road.

But then I stumbled on to this article and I was just left in shock. It was only a few years ago that the idea of regrowing a fingertip was science fiction. To see evidence that it has been done just left me in awe. What is going to be next?

Obligitory Casey Anthony post.

As a person who reads the news and occasionally blogs about it, I suppose I must put in my two pennies worth on the subject of the Casey Anthony fiasco. Fiasco really is an understatement. I think train wreck may be a better way of describing it. It was a disaster from the beginning.

One may ask, why I think it was a disaster from day one. My answer is really simple, the media sensationalized the living hell out of it. Imagine if this case unfolded and the mother wasn't involved beyond misreporting a missing child. There wouldn't be half as many people screaming for blood as there are today. Let's take this little thought experiment a bit farther. Let's imagine if the person involved was an acquaintance of the family. The number of people screaming for that person's blood would drop off exponentially.

In my opinion, the first thing that judge should have done was bar the media from the courtroom. I think it should be a standard practice in any and all high profile cases. This should be as routine as sequestering jurors. Did the district attorney botch their case? Probably. Is Casey Anthony guilty? I don't know.

There's a chance that she is guilty as hell. That doesn't matter in the eyes of the law, however, because a jury of her peers found her innocent. Yes, a terrible thing happened to a little girl. The injustice of it smarts because we can't pin the crime on any one person's head and exact some form of vengeance, because let's face it that's what people are looking for with the death penalty.

That doesn't mean that we automatically criminalize parents who don't know immediately if their child's missing. Older children are harder to keep track of then younger children because they're much more independent. Guess what, that means that little Suzie may be spending the night at her friend's place and if she and her friend get lost while they're out doing stuff, Suzie's parents aren't going to know until at least 24 hours later.

I'm not a big fan of that sensationalist rag the Huffington Post. At times, however, they have good articles. This article does a better job then I can illustrating why we shouldn't jump to knee jerk conclusions and start changing/writing laws in the heat of populist passion. Cases like that of Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson are rare. Writing laws that affect everyone because of things that happen in these outlier cases is bad policy.

The Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said it best:

The more laws, the less justice.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gentler sex? My German ass.

Any one who argues that women are incapable of evil or some similar nonsense on the basis of their gender is a moron of the first caliber. I read about a Rwandan woman in the news today and I was beyond disgusted. A former minister, this woman ordered the execution of helpless refugees and the rape of many women and girls. Why, one asks? Because they Tutsis and she was part of the Hutu government who felt that this minority were subhuman.

Life in prison is far too humane for this woman. A slow death with great pain and the erosion of her sense of dignity is far too kind even. I don't know what an appropriate punishment is for someone who orders the genocide of another people or the systematic sexual torture of others. Anyone who claims that knowledge of Christian values serves to prevent barbarism is willfully ignorant of cases like this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ranting again.

This time, it's not people from Facebook in my sights. It's an acquaintance of mine. I can recognize that disability takes a heavy toll. As some one who has been diagnosed as disabled myself after *decades* of being undiagnosed, I fully comprehend just how difficult it is to move forward in life despite it. Disability, however, doesn't serve as a blank check to get you out of being a responsible adult. Having a marriage that is on the rocks doesn't excuse being a self absorbed, immature 'brat'.

An active and inquisitive child does not make them a brat, neither does their age. Brat is not a term of endearment. It's an insult and it means that the child is spoiled, irresponsible, and unmannered. Sounds more like the parent then the child, in my stated opinion.

I don't like you. I pity you because you seem to lack the intellectual ability to behave as an adult. I out grew the childish behavior that you regularly indulge in when I was in my early teens. You're almost forty, it's well past time you grew up. One of these days, I'm going to tell you exactly what I think of you, your husband, and both of your behavior. It seems like the only one who has something going on upstairs is the child and the inmates are running the asylum.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rambling in the garden.

I have a bit of a garden going. It isn't all in one spot but that doesn't really matter. It's now been almost a month now that I have been working at this. I'm learning a fair amount as I go along. Among the first things I think I can say I have learned is that I prefer gardening alone to having help. It is a relaxing, meditative, prayerful act that helps to center me in the face of my constant anxiety.

I have also discovered that I get cranky if I go too long with out having some kind of interaction with my plants. I am concerned that some of the seeds I have planted won't come up. It was something of a disappointment to realize that I worried about the plants. It made that bitter critic in me mutter 'as if you didn't have enough to worry about...' That was a rather hurtful moment. The other was when I discovered that my miniature rosebushes just are not going to bloom more. I am holding out hope that there will be additional future blooms, but I have a bad feeling they may just be done for the season.

It has been one of the areas in my life that is relatively untouched by my creative block. I suppose that is because the plants I am growing are all fairly hardy and tend to take care of themselves to some extent. I just need to water them and weed. I don't have to put myself much more on the proverbial line then that. For a little bit of time, I am being rewarded with an abundance of fresh herbs to cook with, healthy tomato and pepper plants, and (soon) fresh strawberries. Now I just have to be patient enough to let the flowers come up.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On writing, knitting, & other art projects

It has been a grueling week for me artistically speaking. The only form of artwork that hasn't been semi-painful to endure is my knitting. I've been forcing myself to write. It hasn't been fun in any sense of the word. The morning pages feel like they're filled with epic failure and minutia that really shouldn't be penned.

The Sanctuary manuscript only has a handful of pages added to it. Most of them are just flat and have been excruciating to write. It's funny, according to the word count, I have it finished. That's how I won NaNoWriMo. The story, however, isn't done. I still need to find a way to marry the work I have typed on the computer with what I have hand written in a note book. I haven't even fleshed out the scenes that I barely put to paper in something of an outline.

I'm struggling with an enormous sense of apathy and creative drought (Julia Cameron really hit the nail on the head with coming up with that expression) in my textile arts. The knitting is like a band-aid. My crochet washcloth book is languishing for want of writing down patterns.

My loom is idle. I have it warped but I just can't muster up the emotional effort to sit down and weave. I can't seem to figure out what I want to even use for my weft here. I used my handspun purple merino to warp it. I adore the color but now... I can't figure out what I want to use to weave. A part of me says I have to use wool while another part says I need to just grab what ever I have on hand and start throwing the shuttle.

Some how, my sketch book has gone missing. The project room ate it, I think. I have been mourning the loss of that particular item, though I haven't felt particularly pressured to draw or paint. I feel pretty bad about the fact that I haven't been painting. I just can't get past this enormous sense of failure. I don't know why I feel like a failure in my painting, but I do.

It all comes together in this black morass of misery. The morning pages, I suppose, are like my lifeline or something. I'd prefer a golden thread to help me get out of this labyrinth of a block, to be honest.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ramblings

Snuggle-Bug is sitting on my lap as I type this and we're listening to Pollywog In A Bog. We like the Barenaked Ladies' album Snacktime. The boys really enjoy the songs and will dance around the living room to them. Hubby enjoys this one too - Drawing. The album is full of a lot of fun music and BNL has a great sense of humor. We had enjoyed BNL in high school when were first introduced to their work. As time goes on and we explore their work, we just find more reasons to love this group.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I was just stunned by the news today...

Really, I was utterly shocked when I read this article from Reuters. Scientists have proven that formaldehyde is bad for you. Not just kinda icky, but really bad for you. I am in awe and horror.

How was the sarcasm? Did I do a good job? Did I fool you? ... No? Yeah, I wouldn't have believed me either. Don't feel bad. Get ready, kids, here comes the rant!

Ok, I'm going to make an assumption here that a large majority of my readers are in the USA and have (or will have) taken a high school biology class. And in something like 95% of those biology classes around the country, you are required to do a dissection. It may be of worms, fetal pigs, frogs, or even fluffy the cat. In most of those cases, the critter to be chopped up is preserved in ... (wait for it!) ... FORMALDEHYDE!

Now, maybe it's just me and my redneck-hillbilly ideas, but if they use it to PRESERVE DEAD THINGS, it might not be such a good thing to consume. We drink alcohol. Too much alcohol is bad for you. We eat stuff with salt in/on it. Too much salt is bad for you. We consume foods with tannic acid in it. You know what I'm going to say next, so I'll spare you the obvious statement. Now, small amounts of alcohol, salt, or tannic acid won't kill you. That's why we can drink wine, eat our salt coated french fries, or have that cup of tea and NOT die.

When you look at compounds like formaldehyde, one glaring thing REALLY stands out. It is a POISON. Every container you find of the substance tells you NOT to consume it. Don't drink, eat, or breathe the fume. It is BAD for you. Who in the nine hells do you expect really wants to have some formaldehyde on the side of their meal? Last I checked, it wasn't the new monosodium glutamate (aka MSG) that you sprinkled on everything to make it more flavorful by tricking your taste buds and subsequently becoming addicted to it.

Oh... wait... I wasn't supposed to mention that bit about MSG. Oops. ... *Shifty Eyes* We'll just keep that little secret between us, ok? *Winks*

Back to the rant... Anybody who has been in high school biology most likely remembers the strict admonishments of their teachers not to smell, taste, or otherwise consume their experiment. Just a ... well, a little suspicion here... If a substance is OBVIOUSLY poisonous, it's probably safe to assume it's going to have a laundry list of other REALLY bad effects on the body. If you're lucky, cancer is the least of them.

It wasn't just the Visigoths who did in the Romans. It was the lead pipes too. Trace amounts of lead in the water resulted in lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is BAD. It screws up your brain. So... perhaps we're dealing with some of the modern version of lead pipes for Rome. Just a theory, mind you. Honestly, are we supposed to be shocked and hail this "discovery" as some earth shattering news? It's fucking
formaldehyde, people.

Pardon me, I'm going to go look for my nearest source of lead and drink up. I obviously am functioning at too high of a brain power for my country because I didn't need this discovery to tell me that a poison is bad for me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Space Race part 2?

I read an article stating that NASA is going to use a vehicle from Lockheed for future missions. Reading the article over and the oblique statement that NASA is considering manned missions deeper into space, I was struck by two things. The first was that the process by which a man (or woman) is launched into space hasn't really changed all that much over the years. You put them into a small orbiter and strap 'em to a *BIG* rocket. Then you pray it doesn't blow up on the launch pad or have some other catastrophic failure.

For some reason, I thought we'd get farther in our efforts to explore space more efficiently. Reusable orbiters are awesome, don't get me wrong. I thought that was one of the more awesome aspects to the space shuttle. But... I don't know how to phrase it. I was struck with some kind of hope that with the X prize and the research being done in various private sectors (who are all in a bidding war for the next 'space shuttle' nod from NASA) that somebody would possibly develop a better launch system.

The second thing that occurred to me was just how deep into space are they talking about going? Science fiction has dreamed of interstellar and intergalactic travel. Parsecs ticked off like miles on the odometer, and such. Is it a dream or a nightmare that our government who can't manage to figure out how to keep the roads in decent repair is planning their next proverbial moon shot and talking about deep space? I can't shake the image of Hal losing it's marbles. Something about this talk of deep space exploration strikes me as unnerving, but I can't quite place my finger on it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rambling thoughts.

I'm not really sure what to write here. It's been ... Well, it's been quite a while since I've sat down and posted in here. I feel inadequate right now. I think it's just a passing thing, however. It's been a long day.

Cuddle-Bear (my eldest) is starting preschool. We've gone in for a few hours over the last several days. He's taking to it very well. They're talking about transferring his speech therapy and occupational therapy to being done at the preschool in the fall. I'm trying hard not to be nervous about this.

He's improved a lot over the last several months with the speech therapy. We're getting actual sentences out of him where it was before one word responses. He's beginning to show some improvement with his diction and pronunciation. His vocabulary is just blooming beautifully as well.

We've only just started the occupational therapy. (As in, last week was his first session.) I really don't understand what all of it is about. The gal who is his therapist says that a big part of what they're going to be working on is sensory processing. She says that will help him get past things like his utter terror of the vacuum cleaner. I really want to see him succeed, and if this is what's needed, then so be it.

Snuggle-Bug is teething, again. And this child... oh good goddess, he's a handful. I didn't realize how much we were spoiled with Cuddle-Bear until Snuggle-Bug started getting into mischief. He's 18 months going on 3, I swear. One of Snuggle-Bug's favorite things to do, right now, is to climb on the furniture and stand up.

It'd be one thing if the furniture he chose to do this was stationary. The desk chair at Beloved's desk, however, is most certainly NOT. This resulted in a tumble this morning, which I think upset his Grandpa more then it upset him. The boy's also been eying the bookcases with interest. I think I'm going to have a lot more gray hair by the time we get done with this phase.

And then there was Snuggle-Bug's newest trick. Since he's teething, his nose has been a bit runny. Sometime today, Snuggle-Bug discovered he could blow snot out of his nose. It resulted in laughter from Cuddle-Bear and great disgust from Grandma and I. He kept doing it and I think we must have gone through at least half a box of tissues. I'd say my feelings on this 'accomplishment' can be summed up in one word: EW!

Beloved's birthday is tomorrow. I gave him his presents early. I made him hypnotoad and camo ninja. Camo ninja comes from the movie Ninja Terminator. It was his birthday present a few years ago. Hilariously bad kung fu movie; if you need a laugh, watch it. Hypnotoad is hypnotoad. I'll be posting the patterns for these up soon.

I'm not sure what else to add. I guess that's it for today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Facebook ranting.

Yesterday Hubby pointed out that the 'Facebook activisim' is ridiculous. I took it a step farther and called it activism for cowards. I suspect that offended a few people. To be honest, I kinda hope it did. I can't stand the idea that spamming your friends (a few hundred people) with the same bullshit status multiple times with the request that they spam people on their list is some how socially acceptable.

It's like chain letters. I absolutely abhor chain letters. I have since I was a kid. The idea that not sending it on to five other (or what ever the random number generated is) will bring you bad luck or some other misfortune is as laughable as the idea that it will bring good luck. With the popularity of social networking sites, I suppose the chain letter phenomenon was going to catch up to there as well. The whole concept disgusts and infuriates me especially when it comes to matters of social responsibility.

If you feel strongly about an issue (such as child abuse) and you want to do something about it, get off your misbegotten ass. Spamming people or sending chain letters is a pathetic attempt to placate one's sense of social responsibility with no effort. It's a lot like just praying for someone who is unable to put food on their table. Prayer by itself may be powerful but it's nothing compared to prayer supported by action, such as helping that person to get a hold of their local food pantry.

Waving your internet sign from your internet soapbox will be useless unless you have some real action to support it. You may not be able to go march in the streets but there's always *something* that can be done, even by one person who is flat broke. There's an old expression, God helps he who helps himself. It means get off your lazy ass and do something about the problem.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Reboot Coming Soon!

Hi folks!

I haven't written in here in a while. I'm going to be completely rebooting this thing. New format and such. I expect to have that done in about a week. Soo... if you have any favorites to read, read 'em quick. They're going to be getting filed away soon.