winter

winter

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Buffalo Ranch Chicken salad.

It has been a long day. The evening is proving aggravating. This calls for easily made comfort food. Since I didn't have the stuff to make the chicken salad with the cranberries and almonds that I liked from Aldi's, I did the next best thing. I made Buffalo Ranch chicken salad from stuff I had on hand. To be honest, I think it came out pretty well.

I used one can of chicken breast (drained). I added a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and one scallion cut fine. I then put in the last of my bottle of semi-homemade ranch dressing, I guess it was about two tablespoons. I estimate I added an equivalent amount of Sirachca (however you spell it) and a teaspoon of celery flakes. I think it came out ok. We'll see what Beloved thinks of it.

In the meantime, I'm going to make myself a cup of coffee and try not to think about the holidays and stuff. Because it is proving stressful and I'm about ready to just scream at the kids because they're screwing around instead of picking stuff up as they should be. And I'm just done with it. Today is the second day in as many weeks that I had to sit down and sort stuff out so that it could get put away. I'm sorely tempted to just start throwing away every toy I step on. And we haven't managed to get anything actually cleaned up yet.

If things continue at this rate, we're not decorating for Yule or really doing anything fun. We'll just be attempting to get shit cleaned up every damn day. And then they'll get a mess of toys and it'll be an even bigger disaster. I may be in a pessimistic mood right now. It's been a rough couple of days for me mental health wise.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Feelings are messy.

So, I've been sick most of the month. It started with a cold. Then there was a norovirus (I'm pretty sure it was one, I had the same stomach issues that I did last time I caught one.) that lasted for about two weeks. A few days after I was over that, I caught the flu. Again with stomach unhappiness. On top of all of that, we're still adjusting my medications and I'm dealing with seasonal affective disorder along side my other mental health fun. (Fun being said in the greatest of sarcastic tones.)

On top of all of this, the feelings of rejection are really hard. I am getting ahead of myself, however. I have a cocktail of mental health problems that have made my life challenging for years. It's been rough and I struggle with the fact that I am disabled due to it all. It is also hard for me to accept how it has effected the lives of people around me. Especially the negative effects.

I have bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed with it after postpartum depression lead to postpartum psychosis. It was handled badly by the people who were treating me at the time. It lead to other problems. Long and horrible story short, I wound up in the hospital where I got the bipolar diagnosis (with psychotic features when the depression gets really bad). As I was in the hospital, I found myself basically talking about a lot of past trauma. From what I remember, which isn't much because of all the medications that I was on at the time, I talked about trauma from when I was a small child.

It was painful and, looking back, necessary to get that diagnosis. It was, however, probably one of the most dehumanizing experiences I have had in my life thus far.

The other diagnosis I have is post traumatic stress disorder. I can reluctantly live with this one because it is a diagnosis I have had for a long time. It was initially made when I was at college. I was having classic PTSD symptoms revolving around an abusive relationship I was in during high school. The clinician treating me had suspicions that there was additional things going on but I just wasn't read to hear it.

I reluctantly accepted that my childhood wasn't healthy at that time. Having more life experience under my belt and coming to realize that how I was raised wasn't "normal" lead to my butting heads with my parents. This made life in my parents' house problematic and I lived in fear of getting thrown out after a few confrontations. So, I went back to silent mode and did my best to get through college before they decided I was too much of a pain to deal with.

Cut to a year after I had graduated and I was struggling with my health. I lost my job because of health related absences. (I'm pretty sure it was illegal, but I was a broke college grad who had no means of reliable income to even think about suing the call center. And, honestly, at the time I was more concerned about what was going on with my health. Having asthma attacks so bad that you wind up leaving work in an ambulance is worse than losing said job after that ambulance ride.) A few days after I got fired from that job, my parents kicked me out. They said it was because I needed the life experience.

Fortunately, my grandparents had a rental property that I could stay in. My rent was based on keeping the place in decent condition which translated to cutting the grass and keeping things clean. Unfortunately, the location really had nothing for work and I relied on a part time retail job, food stamps, the generosity of my fiancee and my grandparents. My parents were outraged by this. That year was nothing but a mess on so many fronts. It's still hard to talk about it. But, aside from learning that my bout of near penumonia at college left me with scarring in my lungs, I had undiagnosed asthma, and developed a dangerous allergy to ibuprofen, I think the biggest transition I passed through was the realization that I had past trauma from when I was small and that my parents really weren't on my side.

The wedding planning was a fiasco in many ways that turned out well in spite of failures that happened. I have a lot of anger surrounding that. My husband and his family were awesome. My side of the family showed their true colors in a way that didn't fully hit me until years later. (For example, Mom and Dad took issue with the fact that I wanted to wear a dress that wasn't white, but Mom showed up at the wedding wearing a black sequined knock off evening gown. Black is worn to show disapproval of the union, if you're going by the same rules that said a bride must always where white.)

The years after I got married, I was busy with my own marriage and all the stuff that went together with being an adult living their own life. I got a lot of grief from my side of the family for not being around. There was some sense of insult over the fact that when I was unable to do something my husband went in my place to handle it. Apparently, they felt he wasn't good enough and I was too lazy. That sort of backhanded hostility has marked the entirety of my relationship with my parents and siblings (and some of the extended family as well). It has left me feeling like I wasn't wanted and a burden.

I also noticed a distinct pattern. I was supposed to go to them. They didn't come to visit me. They didn't call me to say hi or invite me over. I was supposed to court their good favor and be at their beck and call, regardless of what ever I had going on in my life. When I didn't do so, the reasons I had for not being there were never good enough for them. It didn't matter if I was sick to my stomach, I should have showed up to babysit. It didn't matter if I didn't know there was a big family dinner going on, I should have just shown up with precognitive awareness such a thing was happening.

I stopped talking to them after my second son was born because of insane behavior and outrageous threats that my mother had made to me. I called her on it. I made my father aware of it. And I was rejected by him because he said that "sometimes parents say things you don't like to make a point." So, I stopped talking to my parents for about five years. As I was concerned about my Mom creating a scene or doing something hurtful, I didn't go to annual family gatherings like the 4th of July party, Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner.

Then I got the message from the dead family (because I really am psychic) that I was needed by the whole family. So I reached out to my parents (I had maintained contact with my grandparents the whole time.) and a week later came the cancer diagnosis for my grandfather. It was a long and painful year. Two years later, a few moths shy of my grandfather's death from cancer, my grandmother died. After that, I stuck around for my eldest niece to graduate high school and go off into the world.

I had thought that I was going to try to stay in contact with my side of the family beyond my nieces and an aunt. Then I got sick. I was really, really sick for months. When the holiday gatherings came up, I didn't attend and informed them that I was ill. They never called to see if I was well. They never sent me a letter.

That was when the decision to walk away crystallized. It's been a year. My maternal grandmother stopped writing me since I hadn't written her back. The last few letters were passive aggressive demands that I make nice with my parents because they were the only parents I have and it would make me feel better. I didn't write back a because those passive aggressive guilt trips had been coming in the mail attached to pretty much every other form of correspondence. It was when it was tucked in with one of the kids' birthday cards that I finalized that decision to go no contact.

It was my decision to walk away. I did it for my mental health. I did it to protect myself and my family from the toxic influence of problematic people whom I happen to be related to. It still hurts that they never bothered to call me. It still hurts that they rejected me with their silence. I never wanted this. I know that they tell each other that I only come around when I want something. They tell each other that I'm the broken one and I'm a coward. These are things they've been telling each other and me for as long as I have been alive. They're not saying it to me now, but I can still almost hear it.

And it hurts.

I kept silent about all of this because I was worried that my Mom was reading my blog here. I was ashamed of my failed relationship with them. Today, however, is a new day. And my self respect demands that I lay my cards on the table. I'm not going to tolerate emotional abuse, slander, or gaslighting. I had enough of that in the years before now. Aside from the holidays being hard and various points during the year when trauma anniversaries popup, I'm healthier now than I ever was dealing with them. I am going to continue to grow and thrive, even if I am disabled, because I'm not letting them hurt me anymore.

And, Mom or any of my other relatives reading this, I'm not answering the phone for you unless you're on the short list. And the people on the short list know who they are. And I'm going to block comments and other social media escapades from you as well, because you're unhealthy for me. It is you, not me. And I'm not apologizing for this.

Menu week of 11/27/17

Here's the menu for my place this week. 95% of it is using up leftovers from last week's meals.



 
    Date
    Breakfast
    Lunch
    Dinner
 
 
    Sun
    Donuts
    Sandwiches
    Naan Pizzas
 
 
    Mon
    Scrambled
eggs &
toast
    Kids - School
Beloved- Peanut
noodle leftovers
Me - soup & salad
    Hamburgers,
carrot salad
 
 
    Tues
    Poptarts
& fruit
    Kids - School
Beloved - beans &
rice leftovers
Me - Salad & soup
    Tacos w/
fixings &
mexican rice
 
 
    Wed
    Scrambled
eggs &
toast
    Kids - School
Beloved - burrito
bowl & hard boiled
egg
Me: taco salad
    Baked ham
mashed
potatoes
peas
 
 
    Thurs
    Cereal /
pop-tarts
    Kids - School
Beloved - ham sandwich
& chips
me - mac & cheese w/
ham
    Southwest
MooShu
Chicken wraps
with pork fried
rice
 
 
    Fri
    Eggs /
pancakes
    Kids - School
Beloved - leftovers
Me - leftovers
    Pork korma
quinoa
tossed salad
naan
 
 
    Sat
    Eggs &
hash
    Leftovers /
salads
    Spaghetti &
meatballs
 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Na-NOPE.

So, I'm just done. I am frustrated with my NaNoWriMo project. And there's no way I can make up twenty something posts in a few days with out being annoying for the NaBloPoMo thing this month. I'm tired of feeling like I have failed some how. I have made the executive decision to set this stuff aside and focus on getting things that make me feel better done instead. And finishing off Yule preparations.

While I don't have the 12 days of Yule stuff done up for Beloved, I have a pretty good start on something for the kids. I'm trying to decide what awesomeness I am going to whip together to finish off the pile of small Yule gifts. The most frustrating part of all of the gifts is not going to be wrapping. It is going to be final assembly on two gifts. One is made of small parts to be sewn together. The other is a bunch of small parts to be drawn and such. At least I know that I've got the stamina for that detail work. LOL

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Incoming Sarcasm, be advised.

So, I'm finally over the cold I had at the beginning of the month, the gastro-intestinal bug that hit after that, and the flu. That was great fun. I got a lot of stuff done. It was mostly hacking up gross stuff and feeling like death on toast. I attempted housework. It didn't work out so great. And I attempted to write a novel.

Said novel is in a notebook sitting on the desk across the room from me right now. I have been struggling for the last hour to summon up the mental energy to work on it. It is hard to do because I feel like it is garbage. I feel like NaNoWriMo has defeated me for a second year. A part of me says I should just give up on writing books because of it. My mood isn't too great at the moment because I feel kinda like a failure for not completing this thing.

I'm attempting to get past all of the horrible stuff I keep seeing in the news. It is really upsetting me to keep reading about things like people murdering transgendered people, gay people, and persons of color because they're there. And the relative impunity of said actions is part of what I find particularly distressing. The deceased could be people whom I love dearly. I see these news reports and I want to cry, scream, and burn everything down all at the same time. I find myself afraid of what these people would do to my children simply because they're autistic. (Because there are quite a few people out in the world who seem to think that autism is something that means you should just be dead. Same people have similar feelings about people with mental illness and disabilities that are not visible.)

I am struggling to be social because my social phobia is acting up pretty bad right now. I tell myself it is because it is the holidays and I made the mistake of going to the local wally world this Saturday. I'm not so sure though. I have an appointment coming up soon with my psychiatrist. I'll be bringing this up when I see him. I need to make an appointment to see the psychologist he has on staff, but my anxiety keeps getting in my way. It's really upsetting. It is getting in the way of doing other things that are necessary, like applying for disability or whatever it is that I qualify for because I'm disabled.

It's just been a rough November. And the grief of the deaths of my paternal grandparents has been hitting me pretty hard. All in all, I'm looking forward to January so that I can just put this time of year behind me and pretend it doesn't exist. The 'holiday spirit' just doesn't happen for me anymore. I feel badly about this because my kids get so excited and happy. And I just can't get into it. It make me feel like I'm broken or something. Because I'm not happy when everyone else around me seems to be.

So, yeah, this was a *great* November. And I've got five days left to screw it up still. Oh joy.

Friday, November 03, 2017

NaBloPoMo Post 2: Ugh, rain.

It is right now raining. Fortunately, the roof is not leaking. It was the one repair that the landlord made sure got done. I'm still trying to get the guy to fix the bathroom sink. It's been over a year now that I've been trying to get it fixed. I think we've gone through three plumbers. Honestly, I'm tempted to say fuck it all and fix it myself.

My shoulder is killing me right now. But my head is not because I found out I could take Sudafed. It's amazing what that stuff can do for a terrible headache when you've got a head cold. Now I'm just trying to rest and get some writing done. Aside from that, make the menu for next week and write up my planner (including the grocery list) are on my list of stuff to get done today. And one well earned long, hot shower. I think the last of the blue hair dye is going to wash out today. I'm a little sad but I'm going to be bleaching my hair in the not too distant future to do this all again and actually have it show up. Because apparently my hair is far darker than I thought it was. Though the grey REALLY stands out right now.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

NaBloPoMo 1: Sick, again.

May be a head cold. May be a sinus infection. But I'm sick and feel pretty awful. Still attempting NaNoWriMo. And trying to finish my project from last NaNoWriMo.

While my head is killing me and I have an intermittent fever. So, as the meme says, I need a bigger NOPE. I want to get stuff done, dammit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Feeling are not facts.

I feel terrible. I am not a terrible person. I feel depressed. My life is actually going more or less ok. I feel worthless. I am an invaluable part of my household. I feel like I don't deserve to be loved, that I have not earned the privilege. Everyone deserves to be loved. It is not a privilege, it is a basic necessity for life.

This list goes on and on.

I'm fighting myself pretty hard today. It is exhausting. I find myself swinging somewhere between utter apathetic despair that I am going to be like this for the rest of my days and absolute grief for the horrors happening in the world, for the things I've lost in my life due to Bipolar, and for all the potential that could have happened between me and people who are just not healthy for me to be around.

And I hurt, very, very deeply.

A part of me wants to give up on everything writing related because nothing will ever be good enough. Another part of me says that if I give up, I will lose another vital part of myself and this is committing slow suicide.

Good thing I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow, though I am dreading this appointment. And my PTSD has been in high gear for various reasons. I'm exhausted but sleep doesn't help with this form of exhaustion. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. If nothing, I am stubborn.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Menu week of 10/22/17

I'm working on pre-cooking some things for the week. I found a recipe for how to make a big batch of scrambled eggs in the oven. I'm going to be starting on that in a few minutes. I will be cooking up a small beef roast tomorrow in the crock-pot to be used in making pulled beef for enchiladas tomorrow evening. I'm also going to store some of that pulled beef in the freezer for another dinner on another night. The guys all seemed to enjoy bbq pulled beef last week. (I was going to make the pork roast and discovered it had gone bad in the time I thawed it to when I was going to cook it, a few days later. Thus, I pulled out the beef roast and cooked it.)

The teriyaki meatballs are going to be made with Grandma K.'s recipe. The stuff using ready made meatballs and teriyaki marinade is ok. But Grandma's version is better. So, I'm going to make a big pan of meatballs and save some for later. I also have a partial bag of meatballs from the store that I'm going to use on Saturday in the spaghetti. At some point during the week, I will be making spaghetti sauce. Ever since I got the 1.5L crock-pot, I've been making things like soup stock and sauces. The salsa came out a little too salty, but I think I can fix that by cutting the half batch I have in the freezer with a can of crushed tomatoes. I have been using the McCormick spaghetti sauce spices with crushed tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce. It came out really well and made dinner last Saturday a lot easier.

I'm beginning to think that pre-cooking things for the week may be a habit that I want to cultivate. I still have to finish cooking down my chicken stock. But, as I work at it, my plan is to turn that into the base for a pot of perpetual soup over the next several months. Stealing an idea from generations before me and what not. End results of the change I have made thus far in how I handle how much I am cooking has helped me cut down on food waste and how much we spend at the grocery store.

Date Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sun Eggs &
kale / donuts
Sandwiches Naan Pizzas
Mon Pop-tarts &
donuts
Kids - School
Beloved- Spaghetti
Me - spring rolls
Hamburgers,
carrot salad
Tues Cereal Kids - School
Beloved - Turkey
sandwich & chips
Me - Salad
Beef enchiladas
with beans &
rice (tossed salad?)
Wed Eggs /
Pancakes
Kids - School
Beloved - burrito
bowl & hard boiled
egg
Me: taco salad
Sweet & sour
pork roast with
quinoa and garlic
green beans
Thurs Cereal /
pop-tarts
Kids - School
Beloved - cuban
sandwich & chips
me - bbq pulled
pork with mac &
cheese (non-dairy)
Teriyaki meatballs
pad thai &
Thai chicken
coconut soup
(peanut
noodles for kids)
Fri Eggs /
pancakes
Kids - School
Beloved - leftovers
Me - leftovers
Sloppy joes
with biscuits &
tossed salad
Sat Eggs &
hash
Leftovers /
salads
Spaghetti &
meatballs

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Menu week of 10/15/17

Hi there,

It's been kinda busy over here. I'm trying to stay on top of stuff. It's a bit hard, because it seems like everything is happening all at once. That said, here is the menu for this week. I changed things up on Sunday and yesterday. Sunday was roast chicken. Because I really wanted to have roast chicken. And yesterday I was out of spoons early on. So I had Beloved pick us up some takeout while the kids had their favorite sandwiches and some chips.

Lunch has become less complicated with how the school lunch thing is getting back into the swing of it all. (There was a hiccup because I filled out the form incorrectly and added an extra zero. This has been resolved and the boys are back on the free lunch program.)  I'm not going to post yesterday and Sunday's menus. Because we're done with that. But here is the remainder of the week:

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon --- --- ---
Tues Cereal leftovers / chili w/
biscuit / school
lunch
tacos, salad, &
mexican rice
Wed Pop-tarts Leftovers/ salad sweet & sour
pork roast w/ rice
& salad
Thurs Eggs Turkey sandwich
w/ chips / chicken
salad wrap &
veggies
pulled pork
mashed potatoes
broccoli
Fri Cereal Turkey sandwich
w/ chips / leftovers
chicken korma
w/ rice & veggies
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Leftovers/
Sandwiches
spaghetti &
meatballs
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Diet & Healthy Food Stuff.

Be forewarned, this post is really heavy on the picture content.

It has been quite a while since I updated anything. I keep emailing myself pictures of things I've made for dinner and then forgetting to put them up anywhere. So, in keeping with today's theme of housekeeping and managing paperwork, I am going to try to get blog work done too. (After this post, I'm going to go wash some dishes to be followed by a post on one of my other blogs. Because blogging makes a good reward after doing dishes.) I have been gradually switching my diet to something more vegetarian-ish. I have also been in the process of cutting carbohydrates out and getting rid of dairy. (Discovering that one of the sources of my stomach related misery was diary made me sad, but I'll live.)

For some reason, the picture of this meal didn't send. I had beet noodles (made using a Vegetti spiral cutter) that I sauteed with summer squash (also cut with the spiral cutter), cashews, and spinach. I then topped it with some goat cheese. Along side, I had 3 bean chili with textured vegetable protein crumbles that were seasoned like taco meat. Alas, the chili was a loss and the goat cheese made my stomach unhappy later - though it tasted amazing.

This was kale along side grilled chicken in chicken paprikash with yellow sweet bell pepper in it on noodles cut from summer squash. The high diary content wasn't great for my lactose intolerance, but this was the meal I had shortly before the proverbial penny dropped and I realized what part of my problem was.

The day that I had this for dinner, I had a relatively low carbohydrate meals for most of the day. Breakfast has been a bowl of cereal with some dehydrated fruit thrown on top of it (usually dehydrated strawberries) and a cup of coffee on the side. Lunch is usually a salad of some sort.

I am finding that I really enjoy kale in pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I also have been really enjoying beets. My preference has been for pickled beets, but since I started taking Agestin, I have been all about pickles of pretty much any form. Direct result of this is that pickles have been a regular between meal snack.


Zucchini cut into 'ribbons' with my vegetable peeler comes pretty close to fettuccine. I had this with alfredo sauce on it. I then threw italian seasoning and red pepper flakes on top. It was ah-mazing. I highly recommend it. Because I was basically having nothing but a whole zucchini for dinner, I didn't add anything else to this meal for myself.

Dinner that night for the guys was spaghetti and meatballs.

This night, the guys had sandwiches. It was oppressively hot that day and I just didn't have the will to heat up the kitchen to cook burgers as I had planned. So, I broke out the flatbread that I picked up at Aldi's and then put a combination of romaine lettuce, bagged salad remnants, hummus, and tuna salad on there. Next time, I think I'm going to use a little less filling for the wrap.

Now, with the diet changes that I have made, I am allowing myself more than one wrap if I am super hungry. My thinking is that one tortilla or flatbread is pretty much the equivalent of a single slice of bread. Thus, two slices of bread worth of carbs is not going to be a big problem.

I have also been finding that romaine lettuce is a bit hard to roll up down the length of it because of that strong central rib. I am thinking about trying out using them in place of bread at some point. A friend who has gone ultra low carb and gluten free for health reasons has said they even work for hotdog buns.


My diet is not just veggies and I still allow myself tasty food. I have been making indian and chinese food a lot more often. This pic is from before I went from regular sized plates to using a salad plate for my meal. It has more carbs than I usually eat in a given meal, but it is also from right at the beginning of this diet change.

The chicken korma was fantastic. Aldi's right now has the korma simmer sauce. I don't know if it is going to be a regular part of their stock. It has been there for a few months now. I kinda hope it will be because it is delicious. I also picked up the garlic naan there as well. The spiced lentils are from a recipe that I found and put up on my Pinterest cooking page.

Of it all, the rice was probably the most basic part of the meal because it was plain. But that was because I wanted to use some of that korma sauce on it. (I love rice with sauces on it and with butter. It is something that isn't the healthiest thing for me, but it is a small vice I allow myself when I make this sort of stuff even now. I just have a smaller portion.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Huh.

So, it looks like Etsy suspended my account because I didn't give them a credit card to bill. I guess this means that I am going to have to take a slightly different approach to selling stuff that I have been making. I just am not sure where to start. I mean, I don't have a credit card and I am not planning on getting one just to make Etsy happy.

I have been looking things over and thinking carefully about stuff like my attempts to sell things that I have been crafting and trying to make money via Keen. I need to sit down and do an inventory of what sort of things I have to sell. I also need to sit down and make a solid business plan for Keen. I may be disabled, but I would like to have some kind of income. It is demoralizing to not be able to say 'I have this physical item for my work.' I didn't realize how big of a deal this was for me until I started taking a hard look at what manner of things trigger depressive episodes.

One of my biggest triggers is not having tangible things to hold up and say 'Behold what I have been compensated in for my work.' It looks like Keen right now is going to be my biggest option for getting some kind of income. It is really hard for me to do Keen, though, because I have really intense issues with social phobia.

Still, I think if I make a plan and stick to it, Keen will prove worthy of remaining involved with and maybe even help me get past some of my enormous social issues.

Wish me luck, I suppose.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Menu for week of 9/10/17 & update

Hi again,

It has been a really busy week. School started last Wednesday. Beloved and I celebrated our anniversary last Monday. And somehow between then and now, I have been busy doing stuff like organizing everything and being cranky. I think this means I am in a mixed episode. It isn't that bad. I'm just extra cranky and extra focused on cleaning/organizing. No wild feelings that I must buy all the things. Though, I confess some annoyance that my brain is going faster than I can write at the moment. Nothing does a better job of making sure you're going to have typoes than trying to spell the word you're thinking instead of the one that is supposed to come next in the sentence.

Meals this week are a little bit easier now. The boys are doing school lunch. We qualify for the free lunch program, so this will actually be a big help. I am still packing lunches for Beloved. And I am still working on mastering the healthier lunches for myself. It became pretty clear last week that I need to stick with a low carbohydrate diet. The issue that created for me is cleared up now, but I must focus my enjoyment of carbohydrate rich foods into something done on the basis of much smaller portions than I have had in the past. I also am replacing my carbohydrate rich foods with ones that are lower in carbohydrates or completely free of them.

I tried making my own veggie burgers but it made a complete mess. I am going to eventually master how to make these things with out a ton of rice in them. Aside from that, I'm going to keep doing the veggie noodles. I am afraid that I am going to have to limit how much I can have by way of sweet potatoes and potatoes. For some reason, I thought that they were relatively ok to have instead of the wheat based pastas. I was wrong. They're better than some of the wheat pastas but just as carbohydrate laden as the others. It's tough because I want something with the same mouth feel as regular pasta. Thus, I am going with portion control. Instead of a normal dinner plate for my meals, I am using one of my fancy good china salad plates. While I do have salad plates from the everyday basic set, the fancy plate makes me feel a little better about my smaller portions because they look kinda pretty.

Here's this week's menu.

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon Eggs Sandwiches Hamburgers w/
fixings
Tues Cereal Spaghetti &
meatballs / salad
w/ hummus
Pulled chicken
enchiladas &
mexican rice
Wed Pop-tarts Leftovers/ salad BBQ Hotdogs w/
fixings, salad &
chips
Thurs Eggs Turkey sandwich
w/ chips / chicken
salad wrap &
veggies
Spaghetti &
homemade meat
sauce w/ salad &
garlic bread
Fri Cereal Turkey sandwich
w/ chips / leftovers
Pork chops w/
sweet potatoes &
peas
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Leftovers/
Sandwiches
Roast beef w/
root veggies &
broccoli
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza

Monday, September 04, 2017

Menu for the week of 9/4/17

Hi there!

Today has been a busy day. It is my wedding anniversary. We were out to lunch this afternoon and we enjoyed some quiet time as his folks watched the boys. It was really nice to just get some alone time with Beloved. Also, the new Mexican restaurant in Geneseo is pretty good. I highly recommend it. The service was excellent. The food was excellent. And the atmosphere was excellent. We also got a giggle at the random song that was playing with elements of Felix Mendelssohn's wedding march from A Midsummer's Night's Dream while we were eating. We both agreed that the coincidence had Flame-Hair's fingerprints all over it.

This week school starts up again. It makes for lunch time to be much quieter starting Wednesday during the week. I still, however, am going to make lunches for Beloved and myself, obviously. The goal is to get to where we are both eating super healthy meals. We're making good progress on that. I have been doing a reasonable job of staying on the low carb diet. It helps that I love zucchini and it is in season right now. (Gods bless the gardeners and the farmers who are sharing their bounty with the rest of us.)


Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon Pop-Tarts Sandwiches Leftovers
Tues Cereal Spaghetti & meat
sauce / salad &
sandwiches
BBQ beef ribs w/
salt potatoes &
garlic green beans
Wed Pop-tarts Leftovers/ salad Pulled pork w/
apple slaw
Thurs Waffles Cuban sandwich/
mac & cheese w/
pulled pork
Tacos w/ fixings &
Mexican rice
Fri Cereal Burrito bowl /
taco salad
Chicken korma w/
jasmine rice & raita
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Leftovers/
Sandwiches
Roast chicken w/
mashed potatoes &
broccoli / carrots
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fiber Fluff: Miss Gus's bonnet.

My grand-dolly, Miss Gus & My pattern notebook
So, I make stuff when I'm anxious. Kids have fidget toys, I have yarn and stuff for making yarn. Yesterday, my brain was a bit off kilter with worry about how the N. Korea thing was shaping up and the matter of Hurricane Harvey. So, I busted out some of the yarn I was donated by LivoniaLily's mom and a crochet hook. A half hour later, I had a preemie/dolly hat.

Gus is a GIRL. Snuggle Bug is HIGHLY offended if you misgender Gus. Gus is also named after a friend from the bus, who is also a girl. I had a proud momma moment over this incident. So, I decided to name this after Miss Gus.

What you can't see clearly on my project notebook is the statement emblazoned on the cover. "Perfect is Boring." It's a good reminder for me to be less hyper focused on turning out perfect results.

Here's the pattern. I think I probably screwed something up in it. If you find any errors, let me know and I'll correct them.

R1: Make a magic ring. Single crochet twelve stitches into the ring. Slip stitch the final stitch of the round to the first. Chain one.
R2: Single crochet 24 stitches (one increase for each of the original 12 stitches). Slip stitch the final stitch of the round to the first. Chain two.
R3: *Half double crochet increase by 1 in first stitch, half double crochet into following stitch.* Work * in the usual fashion around the round. Slip stitch final stitch of round to first. Chain two.
R4: *Half double crochet increase by 1 in first stitch, half double crochet into each of following two stitches.* Work * in the usual fashion around the round. Slip stitch final stitch of the round to first. Chain two.
R5: Half double crochet into each stitch of the round. At final stitch, chain two and turn.
R6 - 11: repeat R5.
R12: Crab stitch across all stitches. bind off.

With DPNs, pick up 3 stitches at corner of final row. Knit an I-cord that is 6 in long. Bind off, weave in ends. Repeat for opposite corner.

The yarn I used for Miss Gus's bonnet is a fuzzy sport weight baby acrylic. I used a 'd' crochet hook. My DPNs were size 5mm. Snuggle Bug will not want Miss Gus to lose her bonnet. So, I am going to make another one. I'll try to post a picture of it before I send it off to donation.

No spoons left, only knives.

I have been taking an unplanned hiatus from social media recently. It started when I was hypomanic because I didn't want to say or do something stupid, offensive, or cruel because in my disordered thinking it was 'clever, funny, or honest.' I continue this hands off approach towards the internet right now because my tolerance for the garbage flying around everywhere is really low.

Listening to the news makes me super anxious. It generally tends to low key trigger me for the day. Which is why I ceased my previously resumed habit of listening to the morning news as I fixed breakfast. It's hard to scramble eggs and make bacon with two small people running around. It's even harder when listening to how the nation is on the brink of nuclear war is bringing out the ugliest aspects of the nation, up to and including rabid white supremacists whom I have such a deep loathing of that it reaches into a visceral urge to vomit when I hear their trash talk.

Watching the disasters unfolding around the world breaks my heart and has me deeply concerned for everyone and everything involved. Hurricane Harvey, the flooding in India and Pakistan, the other man made disasters such as the chemical spills in major waterways responsible for providing drinking water for entire communities and regions... they're all enough to again make me feel ill, especially the ones that are created out of humanity's gross disregard and disrespect of nature.

Thus, I am weary into my soul on these fronts. I had this grand idea of starting a feminist oriented news blog where I and a cadre of similar minded female identified people kept others abreast of the threats to us all. I haven't gotten even the first post done because of how awful everything in the news has been. You don't need someone to point out where the problems are. It is slapped in your face daily.

It also is something that has made it hard for me to write. I literally am struggling with this awful feeling that all of my written work is pure vanity. This is not depression talking here. (I'm at a fairly neutral mental state, actually. This is because the medication is actually working.) It is a sense of being very small and watching the sea draw back for a massive tsunami and having no high ground to retreat to. I look at it all and go "What can I do to help? I am but one woman. I don't even have the spoons to manage all of the balls up in the air in my own household. How in the nine worlds would I manage to do other stuff?"

Horace said "Nil desperandum." Never despair. I am attempting to follow the sage's wise words. It is, however, very difficult.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday menu & rambling.

Hi folks,

It's been a while since I posted. The kids have kept me busy. And my own stuff regarding my health has been keeping me busy. School starts September 6th. I am literally counting down the days. We have all the school supplies they need. I may need to buy a few pairs of pants, but we're more or less set on clothes. I have been mending things as necessary. Something I learned was that if you use sport weight yarn to darn holes in denim, it makes a better patch than doing so with sewing thread or with an iron on patch. (The latest issue of Piecework also has a great articles on techniques for how to mend clothes via darning. I highly recommend it.)

My menu this week is super simple and kid friendly. I am just tired of fighting with them over food. I am also in the process of trying to figure out how many spoons I have that I can put towards lunches for the kids. I am leaning again towards the reduced lunch program. A part of me feels guilty about this. I realize, however, I am not in a competition with anyone and the goal is to have the kids eating healthy. Throw in how their medication tends to reduce their appetite, I am thinking about what I can do to get them to eat nutritionally dense foods. I'm still researching that right now. Enough about that now, let's get that menu up here.


Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon Pop-Tarts Sandwiches Macaroni and cheese
Tues Cereal Grilled Cheese Meatball sandwiches
Wed Pop-tarts Pb & j 'Sushi'
w/ fruit leather
Spaghetti & meat
sauce
Thurs Waffles Spaghetti pie Hot dogs & fries
Fri Cereal Octo-dogs w/
veggies & chips
Pork chops w/
cheese potatoes
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Leftovers/
Sandwiches
Pulled chicken (bbq)
with tossed salad
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New glasses and stuff.

Behold, my glorious new bifocals. And disregard my bad hair moment. It has been a bit of a challenge to adjust to these things. I went from occasionally needing reading glasses over the last several years to needing them pretty much whenever I sat down to do stuff that was close up. And then I started having a hard time reading road signs as I was out driving.

So, I went out and did what any other sane person trying to save money did. I procrastinated on getting new glasses. My reading glasses were a bit on the fragile side but I did my best to compensate with cheapie ones from Dollar Tree. The glasses I had gotten when I was living in the dorm was kinda the best I could do for seeing road signs that were for street names because they had some correction for the astigmatism in my left eye. (I honestly have no idea why I was told 20 yrs ago when I got them that the astigmatism was in my right eye.)  When the reading glasses came apart, I realized I couldn't put it off any longer.

So, when I got these I was astounded how much my vision improved. I could see stuff like the clock across the room and it didn't look fuzzy. And reading and close up work suddenly got an enormous amount easier. Gratitude is not a strong enough expression for how I feel about it all.

We've been working on getting ready for the start of school in a few weeks. I picked up everything that the kids needed from their lists from the teachers. I am looking around at the prodigious amount of school supplies we have leftover from last year. I have begun confiscating pencils and highlighters for myself. I have been doing a lot more writing by hand. And I've resumed doing stuff like researching things again. (I haven't busted out the notecards yet, but I am keeping notes in a notebook with references to things like page numbers, paragraphs, and line number. And noting which book, obviously.)

Looking at the piles of crayons, I am really thinking I need to do two things with this. One is to make those melted crayons that melt together into a hockey puck. Some people use cookie cutters, but I don't think mine would stand up to it well. Also, I don't want to use my cookie cutters like that. I suspect I would have a devil of a time trying to get the wax out of them. I am, however, going to use my muffin tin with some liners. (Aluminum foil generally works well if you fold it right. Like the last time we made them (which I think is just about precisely a year from sometime this week), the colors are going to have like colors with like. I will, however, do three in mixed colors from the different parts of the color wheel that are complementary.

I have no idea what we're going to do with these mixed crayons we've made. The kids just don't use them. If I had wicks, I would make a crayon based candle for a teacher or somebody else who'd enjoy it. But I don't and I have literally no idea how to make wicks.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Menu & notes.

Hi there folks!

I've been somewhat all over the place the last few weeks. Some of it is because it has been really busy with the boys doing summer school and some of it is because my ability to focus right now is kinda sketchy. Hypomania means I get a lot of stuff done all the time because I can't sit still and I jump from task to task. At the same time, however, it makes it hard to sit down and work on something that is not super active. Like folding clothes, washing dishes, or scrubbing the bathroom. Right now, I am forcing myself to sit here and type this.

Why, you may ask, and the answer is because I am tired of not posting anything anywhere. I want to get back to my writing. So, when the boys are doing things like playing legos at the table, I am going to do my best to get some writing done. But, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go fold laundry and wash some dishes because the feeling I need to move and do something is like an itch I can't scratch.

I forget where I put down my master list for this week with the meals planned out for everyday.


Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon Pancakes Pizza leftovers Hamburgers with fixings
Tossed salad & fries
Tues Cereal Sandwiches
& Chips
Chicken fajitas &
'Mexican' rice
Wed Pop-tarts Burrito bowls Pulled pork & apple
slaw
Thurs Waffles Sandwiches
& chips
Sweet & Sour kielbasa
fried perogies
Fri Cereal Sandwiches
& chips
Chicken jalfrezi &
rice
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Birthday party
potluck
Leftovers
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza


Eh, I tried using a table generator off of a random site on the internet. I'm not sure how pleased I am with this result.

The 'Mexican rice' recipe is on my Pinterest cooking page. That is also where the apple slaw recipe is bookmarked and the sweet and sour kielbasa recipe is too. I'm pretty sure that Friday's dinner is going to be a situation where I eat dinner before the guys so that I can get out to Buffalo for LARP in time.

I have been trying out this business of batch cooking food for the rest of the week. So far, I am pretty pleased with the results. Taking the time to cook up a bunch of chicken breasts and shred them last week left me with some cooked chicken to use this week. I also am using the leftover pulled pork from two weeks ago this week. (I am also going to be cooking pork roasts as well, to shred and stuff for next week.)

I think I like the fact that it opens up a little more time for doing stuff with the kids.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tour de Fleece: Week 1

So, I am participating in Tour de Fleece again this year. I have taken the raspberry colored fiber that I was spinning a while back out of the cupboard. I dressed my distaff and am spinning singles on my Ashford student spindle. I have gotten in about four hours of spinning over the course of the week. The weather recently has been very humid and it makes spinning wool somewhat unpleasant.

When I wasn't spinning, I was plying. I have plied the two singles that I had from my drawer pull spindle - the middle weight one. I also wound the singles from the Turkish spindle into a ball for plying. I am trying out that technique I read in Spin Off a while back where you take your two singles and wind them into a ball and ply from that. If it goes well, I may just do the same with the singles I have from my French spindle. I am still trying to decide what I am going to use to ply that. I think I am going to ply the singles from the Turkish spindle on my kick wheel. I would be using the Ashford student spindle, but that is currently occupied with spinning that raspberry fiber. I finished the whole braid of the rainbow colored fiber. When I was winding balls for plying, I wound up with stuff getting tangled up. I estimate my loss on that being around two yards.

I am trying to decide what my goal for TdF is going to be this year. A part of me wants to try to spin that full mile of thread again. The rest of me looks at the pile of fiber I have and says 'I need to use some of this up.' So, I am thinking that maybe my goal will be a certain amount of time spinning every day, like an hour or something and the secondary goal would be using up the fiber I have languishing.

I have one problem, though. My fiber keeps trying to slide down the distaff. I'm not sure how to fix that. I have been doing some reading but what I find is inconclusive. I am thinking about switching over to the skinny stick that I was initially using as a distaff, but I don't think that is a great idea because it wasn't very comfortable to use.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Low Spoons.

It has been a long and tiring day for me. It has also been a day of nonstop heartburn. It started about 9 in the morning and is still a problem right now. I have no idea why. A part of me wonders if I should be concerned. The rest of me is just exasperated with it all and wants it to stop. (I vaguely wonder if it is connected to the fact that my jeans are tight on me, but I don't think that is the problem.)

I got 90% of the things I needed to do today done. Some of it is just going to have to wait until tomorrow. Because I am mentally tapped out. I feel like I am useless. I feel like I am a consummate fraud. On the whole, I feel awful mentally as well as physically. And I have an overwhelming sense of guilt for not having ALL THE THINGS done. I know this is because I am unwell. But that doesn't help anything.

I want to write. I want to make beautiful things. I want to be social. I want to take the kids off on summer adventures. I want to make money doing stuff I am good at.

And I don't right now see how to make that all happen because I am sick. And I feel an intense sense of despair over it. I try not to give into it. I try not to think about it. Denial is not the answer here. But, it was what I was taught as a coping mechanism when I was small and what I tend to default to. Not healthy, trying to change it, but it is what I do.

So, if you're looking for cheerful updates on how things are going over here, I'm just not at the mental place to do that right now. Please bear with me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fiber Fluff

So, I sat down and made a thing a little while back. I took the half of the packaging for a bunch of lollipops and used it to make a tabletop distaff. It had a sphere at the top and then a stick out the bottom of it. The sphere could be opened and the lollipops were inside it. I took the top half of the sphere off and then filled the lower half of the sphere with stones and put the part that the lollipops stuck into and replaced it on there. The stick that was pointing out of the bottom then was the new top and the hemisphere with the stones sat on the table.

It is nice and stable. It also works really well if I am doing supported spinning at the table. I think using the table distaff lead me to having more even yarn. It really did cut down on arm fatigue. And for reasons I can't explain, my hands did get tired quite so quickly either. I'm not sure why it worked out that way, but I am pleased. I filled up the lignim vitae french spindle twice. I was then getting bored with that. So I started spinning the rest of the fiber on my turkish spindle. (I think it is made from maple but I'm not sure.) I filled that up twice. Now I have two full runs of the colorway left. I split it in half and am spinning it up on a light drawer pull drop spindle. I don't think I can get the whole lot on there in two goes. I may have to do four.

My plan is to ply what I have on each spindle with the other stuff that came from the spindle. This way, theoretically, my plies are even. And, hopefully, the amounts on the spindles are the same. I am half tempted to try chain plying this stuff, even though it is super fine. I have decided that I am going to do my plying on my kick wheel. Just because I think it is going to go faster than using a spindle for it.

I have been making baby hats again. I am using a pastel rainbow colorway from Red Heart. The yarn is their sport weight acrylic. It is my plan to wash it with super hot water to soften up the yarn. I used a 'D' hook. I made a magic ring at the top and then did eight double crochet into it. I slip stitched the end of my round to the first stitch before chaining for the first stitch in the row. My first round was eight stitches. My second round was sixteen, with an increase in every stitch as per usual and the final stitch a slip stitch. My third round was twenty four stitches (in the pattern of one increase in the first stitch of the increase and then a single stitch, up to the last three stitches which were an  increase in the first stitch of the increase and a slip stitch into the first stitch of the round).

After my third round, I began working single crochet into every stitch. My final stitch of the round was worked as a single crochet and the remainder of the hat was done in the round in a spiral, if you would. I worked two inches in single crochet. I then slip stitched the final stitch of the final round to the first stitch of that round.  It is a really small hat, but I am making it for really small preemie babies. (The majority of the hats that the spinning guild have been donating are made for the medium sized preemies. I have been focusing on the 'micro' preemies. I am doing so because most people are not making hats that small. I am seriously considering a tiny layette set, all held together with a bit of ribbon and a note telling the recipient that I was once a high risk preemie and that there is hope that their child will grow up healthy and well.)

I am still working on that ducky scarf. It got very exasperating, so I set it aside. Illusion knitting looks cool and all that, but it is a very tedious process. I'll be honest, I am getting bored with this. I did the math, I have about 5 hours of knitting to go and it will be finished. I'm going to try to get it done next week. This way I don't have to look at it anymore. I can just finish it and hand it off to the person I am going to give it to.

I haven't written up the pattern for the sweater or the bonnet I made. It is on the list of stuff to do later. When I get the pile of other things finished but before I send it out in the mail to the recipient.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Behind on EVERYTHING.

Well, I'm not behind on bills. I'm a little behind on dishes. We won't talk about laundry, except to say that 90% of it is clean due to the grace of my husband. But all of that writing stuff I've been trying to do, completely behind on that. To the point of almost a week. I am frustrated.

I finally get to where I actually have stuff organized and then poof, it all goes ass over tea kettle and I am torn between just giving up on a writing schedule and trying to cram all of that stuff in at the same time as I am doing what I had slated for today. It is awful.

I had a migraine this morning. It wasn't to the point of seeing double, but I was hiding in the darker rooms of the apartment until it abated. I think it started last night. I don't know if I am going to have another tonight. The weather conditions are right for it, I guess. I am overheated and I just feel miserable.

I want to just phone it in and hide in a hole somewhere until I feel better. (Mood stuff is still not right. I see the doctor about it in two weeks because that is when my scheduled appointment is and he literally has no openings before then.) I feel stiff and uncomfortable. I did my morning yoga but I didn't get any exercise done. I wound up using my inhaler twice this morning just doing light housework.

On the plus side, however, I think I fixed the vacuum cleaner. And I did get my plants watered this morning. I feel completely burned out right now, though. I was going to water plants before I got ready for bed, but I just don't have the spoons. So, anyone waiting for more story related stuff or witchery related stuff, please bear with me.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Monday Menu

So, I am posting this Sunday night instead of Monday morning. This is partly because it is more convenient for me to do so right now and partly because I suspect that my morning is going to be extra busy for reasons I can't really define. It is just a gut feeling.

Tonight's dinner was semi-homemade pizza. I pick up the pizza shells at Aldi's (we used the Mama Cozzi original style ones). We used some of the Prego pizza sauce that I got at Walmart last week. I honestly think it is better than what we can get at Aldi's, but I may be biased because I grew up eating Prego pasta sauce. We did use the mozzarella blend from Aldi's. It seems to melt better than what I can get at just about anywhere else. The only thing that I have found that is better is the mozzarella blend with some of the Philidelpia cream cheese shredded and added to it. (I'm planning on getting some of this cheese blend next week to see if I can make a decent artichoke dip with it.)

Tomorrow's breakfast is going to be waffles. It was going to be today's breakfast, but I decided to try to make french toast casserole. It didn't come out quite right. But, it was edible and my youngest decided that he liked it. My eldest chose to eat a banana for breakfast after trying some of what was on his plate. Lunch for myself tomorrow is going to be my leftover slices of pizza and some salad. Beloved is going to have a salami sandwich with provalone cheese, some crackers, and some cheese. I also am going to put a couple of hard boiled eggs in with it. I'm debating blending some yogurt with some fruit and adding that, but he is very particular about his yogurt, so I may just do that for myself. Dinner is going to be hamburgers, apple salad, and tater-tots. I had written down fries, but then I bought tater-tots out of habit.

Tuesday is going to be pop-tarts for breakfast. Beloved's lunch is going to be the same as it was Monday (as he did specifically request that). I and my eldest will be having lunch out. He has a dentist appointment in the morning and after that we're going to have lunch. I'm leaning towards packing something for him and I so that we can do something like stop at a park for lunch. I am anticipating Tuesday to be a challenging day because of the dentist appointment. Dinner is going to be pulled pork (cooked in the crockpot), coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese (for the kids).

Wednesday is going to be a day where we have cereal for breakfast. Lunch is going to be a sandwich with chips and stuff for Beloved. I'm leaning strongly towards making tuna salad for him and I. This way I can have it on my salad. I am going to be making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I'm going to make some garlic bread and a tossed salad to go with it. If I'm organized enough, maybe I can bake something like a pie too. I'm not decided, partly because I'm not sure how warm it is going to be and partly because I am pretty bad at making pie crusts.

Thursday is going to be a day where we have waffles. If I don't have enough waffles, it will be pancakes. I have a BIG package of pancakes in the freezer. (I can not make pancakes to save my life.) Lunch is going to be the sandwich stuff that Beloved told me he wanted. I am going to have leftovers for lunch. (I have stuff like macaroni and cheese sitting in the fridge to eat up. I'm considering doing something like frying it inside a sandwich because carbs.) Dinner is going to be tacos cooked in the crockpot and another salad. We're having these salads because they're inexpensive to make, cool, and I get most of my lunch for the next day done with out having to do any work.

Friday is going to be a cereal day for breakfast. I'm going to be out of the apartment most of the day. I will be packing Beloved's lunch as per usual. Then I'm going to go visit my Auntie Adrian before I go to a doctor's appointment. Dinner is going to be prepped in the crockpot and made with stuff that I have to cook. It is going to be teriyaki meatballs (in the crockpot) and pasta salad with fresh vegetables. If I can manage it, I am going to try to come up with some kind of sweet or other treat to have with the kids for the Full Moon.

Saturday is going to be a pancakes day for breakfast. We are going to be having leftovers for lunch. Dinner is going to be pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas. If I can get the kids to help me, it will be the shake-n-bake style pork chops using a homemade recipe. If not, I may just fry them in the skillet. I'm not decided yet.

My grocery total for this weekend was a little over $200, but I also had to do things like pick up more vitamins and prescriptions. Take that out of the total and it drops down to around $150. I made a point of getting most of my groceries at Aldi's, where my total was $75. At Wegmans, I spent about $40, with a third of that being the cost of vitamins. It was Walmart where I really go dinged on the cost of vitamins. I thought it was kinda weird, because previously, Wegmans was more expensive. Maybe they're engaging in some competition? I don't know. It could also just be a fluke.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Fiber Fluff & Current Project.

Hey there,

I'm almost finished spinning the Frabjous Fibers braid of 'hand dyed opulence blend' in colorway #4 Chromatophobia Pink. It is 30% superfine merino, 30% tussah silk, 20% baby camel down, and 20% royal baby alpaca. It is super super soft and lovely to handle. It also does not like humidity that much, so it is a good thing I'm almost finished spinning this thing up. I've reached the point where I have one full pass of the colorway left to spin.

I've been using a Turkish spindle that I believe is .5 oz. I have also been using my lignum vitae wood French spindle (as a supported spindle). I'm debating plying it all together. I'm not decided on the matter. I have decided, however, the my plying will be done using that kick wheel that Jim (at True Creations ) made and my MiL bought me for Yule a few years back. I've mostly been using the thing for plying.

I have a goal this year, however, that for Tour de Fleece, I am going to spin strictly on the kick spindle. It is my hope that I will have something finished (plied and set) by the end of it all. I've been trying to decide what fiber to use. It's been a hard pick because my MiL has so generously given me a great deal of wonderful fiber over the last little while. And I still have stuff from the sheep study that the guild is doing to process and spin up. Final decision on what I'm spinning is going to be made in a little bit, though, this way what ever work to process it can be done well before I have to be spinning.

Presently, I am working on a heavy crochet blanket for C. It is in all of her favorite colors and I'm working it up with 3 strands of yarn and a 'Q' hook, as a granny square. I am about a third of the way done. I have hit the point where I am somewhat bored with the project now. So, I am alternating between that and finishing the duckie scarf that I've been knitting for R. (Life got crazy, knitting that required thought got put aside, and now his Yule gift is *very* late. But I have about 3 hours of work left to finish that, so I think I can get it done next week.)

I've been contemplating how I'm going to be making the bag that J. requested. I'm leaning towards something featuring Tunisian crochet, this way I don't have to worry too much about lining the bag. I still have to put the lining in the bag I made for Beloved and take care of resolving that problem with the buzzy bee bag I made a while back. Which I really want to turn into something more funcitonal. It's not working out too great right now with out any lining.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Monday Menu.

No picture this week because I'm just tired of trying to find good lighting for pictures and stuff. It's a bit frustrating and I have been having enough stuff making me annoyed and frustrated. I have been having a difficult couple of weeks. So, I'm just going to make this post completely simple.

Sunday was scheduled to be pizza night, but the weather was too humid and warm. I just picked up some pre-cooked pulled pork and made Cuban sandwiches for lunch. I am probably going to be using the leftover pulled pork in Beloved's lunches this week.

Monday morning is going to be French toast with fruit. Lunch is going to be sandwiches for the guys and a salad for myself. My goals is to get back into the habit of eating salads for lunch. Dinner is going to be hot dogs with potato salad and fresh veggies. I'm tempted to cook them in the crockpot with some chili sauce. I'm not decided on the matter.

Tuesday is going to be a cereal day for breakfast. Beloved is going to be having sandwiches for his lunch (he requested turkey). I am going to be having some leftovers (if there is any) and a salad. If there are no leftovers from Monday's dinner, it will just be a salad. I may possibly do the spiced eggs on a bed of kale. It depends on how motivated I feel to be cooking tomorrow afternoon. Dinner is going to be hamburgers with tater-tots and a tossed salad.

Wednesday is going to be the leftovers from the french toast or I'm going to do something with eggs and toast. Beloved is going to be having another sandwich for lunch. It may be ham or it may be turkey, it depends on what he is in the mood for. I'm out of the sandwich style cut dill pickles but I don't think he'll mind much.  I am more of a fan of pickles than he is. I will be having a salad. I am going to try to make that thai chopped salad that I have on my cooking page on pinterest. I keep meaning to make it, I think this week is going to be the time I finally make it. Dinner is going to be chicken curry with rice, naan, and saag paneer.

Thursday is going to be waffles for breakfast. I have some fruit filled ones that I'm looking forward to. Apart of me says I should have whipped cream, but I think I'll be just fine with out it. My lunch is going to be a salad, or curry leftovers. Beloved is definitely getting curry leftovers. I'm going to do my best to make sure he has an extra portion of saag paneer. Dinner tonight is going to be crockpot tacos with fresh salsa an guacamole.

Friday's breakfast is going to be pop tarts. Lunch is going to be a taco salad for myself and sandwiches for Beloved. I'd try giving him something like taco salad but I know that's not exactly his thing. I may throw some corn chips and guacamole into his lunch though. Dinner is going to be pasta salad with teriyaki meatballs. I found a recipe for how to do it in the crockpot. Though calling it a recipe may be a bit much. It's premade meatballs and teriyaki sauce cooked on low for 6-8 hours. I'm also going to have fresh veggies out to round out the meal.

Saturday is going to be another morning of scrambled eggs. The kids apparently seem to love them. Cuddle Bear was six different kinds of proud of himself for helping me cook them for breakfast yesterday. I think he's going to be real happy to help out next Saturday too. Lunch is going to be something take out when I am out doing grocery shopping. I have a feeling that there are not going to be any leftovers from dinner Friday night. Whenever I make meatball anything, it goes really fast because the guys love 'em. Dinner is going to be macaroni and cheese. I'm going to give the kids apple slices to go with it. Beloved is going to be out doing social things that evening, so I won't be worrying about dinner for him. And the kids don't get to pick out dinner things that often, so this is kinda a special little 'mom and me' kind of thing.

One thing I have to add, menu planning has cut about $50 out of my grocery bill when I first started out doing it. As I have refined it over the last several months, it has lead to the bill going down to about $100 less than what it was towards the beginning of the year. Making Beloved's lunches for work has cut down a whole lot on food waste, which made me pretty happy. It has also helped cut down on how much money gets dropped into buying lunches and food from restaurants.

My goal is to get my total food budget down to $200 for the month, on average. This requires making some changes to how I am handling somethings. I have discovered, however, that packing lunch for Beloved is not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I am cautiously optimistic that I can apply that type of preparedness to summer meals when the boys are home from school. I also want to do some food preservation this year. While the initial investment may be requiring some planning, I think if I do it right, I can cut down on some of our winter food budget and maybe even limit how much off-season produce I buy. And, when it is winter, off-season produce is kinda expensive even at stores like Aldi's.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Word vomit, no big deal.

I found my 'hook' for an autobiographical story. I should feel well about this. I honestly don't. I feel pretty horrible to be honest. I have been told by friends and acquaintances that I should write down my memoirs. I was always thinking that I was too young to write them. Over the last several years, I have been shifting in that stance.

I find myself questioning if it would be therapeutic to write it. I haven't decided. In the meantime, I keep trying to stay on top of my journal writing (therapeutic and not) but it has been hard. Just as I found my 'hook' to start an autobiographical story, I find myself feeling like all of my writing is just vanity and that I am terrible at it. I honestly feel like I am not doing well right now on so many fronts. But I can not tell which is legitimately a problem and what is just my illness telling me is wrong. Because depression. phobias, and stuff like post-traumatic stress induced negative thinking all lie to me.

Gods help me, I hope I find a therapist who takes my insurance. I'm afraid that I can't.

In the meantime, I am doing my best not to be freaked out about everything happening in the world. And I am struggling with things like how many people in my social circle are talking about a guy who assaulted me (the guy got arrested on soliciting sex from a minor, and I suspect that human trafficking is going to come into play here). It's quieted down a little bit since the beginning of the month, but it is still very much a topic and it still bothers me, significantly.

Ah well, I will do what I can with what I have. Hopefully, I will adjust to the medication change quickly and get my life back in order.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Monday Menu

This week is not going to be as busy with my running errands about town. As such, I can put a little more time in on cooking.

Tonight was chicken nuggets, carrot sticks, and cheese puffs for dinner. The boys earned it. They worked hard today on housework (with out being prompted) and did really well at the Special Olympics on Saturday. (They won medals. Cuddle Bear won silver for the 50 yard dash and silver for the soft ball toss. Snuggle Bug won gold for the 50 yard dash and bronze for the soft ball toss. And they behaved wonderfully. It was a great day. And Beloved got to get some good laughs out of how the kids were fooling around and meet some of the awesome teachers I've been telling him about.)

Tomorrow, we're doing donuts for breakfast. My lunch is going to be the pizza leftovers from Saturday evening. I have some more of the super spicy chili in the freezer for Beloved to bring to work as lunch. I think I saw some cornbread in there I could send in with him too. Dinner is going to be hamburgers, tatertots, and carrot salad. I am thinking about making some macaroni and cheese too.

Tuesday's breakfast is going to be waffles, because we gotta eat these things up before they get freezer burn. I'm going to be having lunch while I'm on my way back from a doctor's appointment. Beloved's lunch is probably going to be related to leftovers from Monday's dinner. Dinner is going to be hot dogs with baked beans. I'm also going to make a simple salad to go with it all.

Wednesday's breakfast is going to be cereal. The boys have been talking about how they want to have Cheerios for breakfast for a little while now. I suspect they will decide to be offended by the prospect next. My lunch is definitely going to be leftovers. (I have a love for slow cooked baked beans that was instilled in me by my grandmother cooking them for every summer get together.) I'm going to be sending Beloved to work with some leftover chicken-sweet potato-chickpea curry that I made myself for dinner on Saturday. I think it will be a welcome change. Dinner is going to be pulled pork (in the crock pot) and I am going to be making a salad to go with it. I'm considering if I am going to make garlic mashed potatoes or not.

Thursday is going to be the day we finish off the donuts (if there are any left) or finish off the waffles. Lunch is going to be all about the pulled pork. I think I have everything I need for Beloved to have a cuban sandwich in his lunch. For my part, it is going to be pulled pork pizza on a wrap (or pulled pork on macaroni and cheese. It depends on how much macaroni and cheese will be left). Dinner that night is going to be ground beef stroganoff. There's several pretty good recipes on Pinterest but I am going to be using the one that is in my Campbell's cookbook.

Friday is going to be a very busy day. The kids are going to be getting a big breakfast of eggs, toast (or waffle), and milk. They've got some big activities going on at school, so I'm going to be sending them off for the day with enough of a breakfast that they don't get hungry really early. Cuddle Bear also has a field trip. I will be packing him a lunch that can stand up to being a bit warm. That means peanut butter-hazelnut spread sandwiches, chips, carrot sticks, and either a juice box or a can of soda. I'm not decided on how much I want to spoil him yet. Beloved is going to have the last of his chili for lunch Friday. Dinner Friday is planned to be pork chops with mashed potatoes and a tossed salad.

I haven't planned much for Saturday. But I'll get it figured out by the end of the week.

Friday, April 28, 2017

LARP stuff.

In the game I presently play in, I play a fae character. She is gradually going insane / regressing. When she first showed up on scene, she is more like a weird adult. That was because the 'adult' part of her brain was more in charge, but in the light of her rather ... depressing life, she is letting the 'fairy/child' out more.

I am reflecting this in a combination of things. One is that her mannerisms are moving towards those of a young child. The other is that I'm going to incorporate stuff a small child would like into my costuming and props.

Here's my hair for tonight. I'm trying to decide how I should adjust costuming. Pink t-shirt and denim jumper seems like a good idea, but I'm not sure.



Around the crown braid are a mix of flower clips, flower embellished bobby pins, and a few faux rosebuds just woven into the braid. At the approximate center of the hair style, there is a bow off of a box of Godiva chocolates that I turned into a hair bow for this character.

I also need to work on her little bag of supplies that she carries. It is goign to be a recursive bag of holding with an adjustable sized hole in the top where you could theoretically put a whole body (or a car) into this thing. but because of its magical nature, the bag doesn't get heavier and remains the size of a small child's purse.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Menu 4/17/17

I don't have a pic for you because I've just been running in circles for the last several days. So, my disorganized self didn't get that done.

Sunday was scheduled to have french toast casserole, bacon, and bananas with juice. Instead, breakfast was waffles with milk and bananas. Lunch was sandwiches, as I had planned. Dinner was supposed to be roast leg of lamb, salt potatoes, and asparagus (carrots for the kids). I forgot, however, to turn on the crockpot. Which meant that the leg of lamb had to get thrown away. So I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Cuddle Bear ate everything on his plate this time and told me that I had made him a 'special' dinner. Perhaps I have gone too long since the last time I made spaghetti.

Today's breakfast was cereal, I didn't have it in me to make eggs and toast which I had planned. Lunch was not mini pizzas but rather easy mac and cheese with some carrot slices. Dinner was hamburgers with pita chips and the last of the carrot slices. I am presently baking zucchini bread with chocolate chips and I am baking up a batch of homemade tatertots with spinach in them. my hope is that they will come out well and the kids will eat them with little complaint.

Tomorrow's breakfast is cereal. My plan for lunch for myself is leftovers. The lunch I am putting together for Beloved is a salami sandwich, cheese, and a bag of chips. I'm also going to add some of those peanut butter chocolate chips that the neighbors gave us yesterday. Dinner tomorrow is going to be beef fajitas with a tossed salad and some guacamole. The kids are going to be getting essentially nachos for dinner because they don't like soft tacos. Or I will make them quesadillas. I'm not fully decided on it.

Wednesday is scheduled for breakfast to be waffles with syrup and milk. I have a little bit of the strawberry jam that is more of a sauce left. I'm probably going to put that on waffles if they don't want syrup. Lunch for me is going to be a nice big taco salad. Beloved's lunch is going to be some of the leftover chicken curry that I had made for dinner Friday night last week. The stuff freezes amazingly well. I used the curry sauce from Aldi's. It came out really nicely. Wednesday is going to be tuna noodle casserole with peas. I'm pretty sure the kids are going to complain. I may just make them some chicken nuggets as I am cooking the casserole and do some plain noodles on the side.

Thursday is cereal for breakfast. Lunch is going to be leftovers. Dinner is going to be twice baked potatoes with ham and cheese, with a tossed salad. I am also going to start a pot of chicken stock simmering. I have most of what I need for it. I am going to be tossing in things like the ends of onions and what not. I am going to be simmering this stuff for a long slow while to get as much flavor out of it as I can manage. Then I am going to freeze some of it in cubes, put some into a jar in the fridge, and make a thing of homemade ramen noodles.

Friday is going to be pancakes, if I have the spoons to make them Thursday evening. If I can't get that far, I will be giving the kids cereal for breakfast. Lunch is going to be leftovers for myself and peanut noodles for Beloved with some diced chicken breast. I'm not entirely sure what sort of snack thing I'll include in there, but I'll figure something out.

I have cereal written down for breakfast on Saturday. I may just make eggs instead. Lunch is scheduled to be sandwiches. Dinner is scheduled to be meatloaf with tatertots.

Somewhere in the course of this week, I want to make a lemon meringue pie. Because I miss having them. I have some premade pie crusts and some lemon filling. All I have to do is make the topping. I'm going to think optimistic thoughts about this. I've never made this before and I remember my aunt Shawn telling me that meringue can be fussy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Vulgar witticism in Stitches.

I was going to embroider this on the t-shirt but I decided that I was going to draw it on with a sharpie. I'm going back and forth over the idea of embroidering over it. But, for now, the rough initial work up is done.

Here's the text. There is no image to go with it.

Error: 404
Page 4655434B21 Not Found

4655434B204655434B

4655434B204F464621

17

It is in code, obviously. Hexidecimal to be precise. If you're determined enough, you'll decode it.

I like to make t-shirts for Beloved that are a sly insult at some of the more unpleasant people he works with.

I confess, I felt a great deal of disappointment with humanity at large when it became evident that people can no longer read cursive.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Monday Menu (Week of 4/2/17)


This week's menu is featuring some batch cooking. On Sunday, I'm going to make a LOT of french toast and then freeze half of it for later in the week. I'll report back on how successful this effort is.


Sunday
  • Breakfast - french toast with sausage
  • Lunch - leftovers from Sat. dinner / sandwiches
  • dinner - lasagna with salad


Monday
  • breakfast - cereal
  • lunch - leftovers
  • dinner - hamburgers, fries & carrot salad


Tuesday
  • breakfast - french toast
  • lunch - chicken salad wrap with lettuce & fresh veggies
  • dinner - pork enchiladas with salad & rice / quesadillas for kids


Wednesday
  • breakfast - cereal
  • lunch - leftovers
  • dinner - moroccan beef & sweet potato stew with couscous


Thursday
  • breakfast - pancakes
  • lunch - shaped sandwiches with veggies and chips w/ hummus
  • dinner - bbq pulled pork pizza w/o onion and mozzarella sticks


Friday
  • breakfast - cereal
  • lunch - leftovers
  • dinner - curry chicken with rice and cucumber yogurt salad


Saturday
  • breakfast - pancakes
  • lunch - leftovers / sandwiches
  • dinner - meatloaf, garlic smashed cauliflower & squash with maple syrup


The recipes for the lasagna, enchiladas (well, the enchilada recipe calls for chicken but I have a bunch of pulled pork left), and the moroccan beef stew are on my Pinterest cooking page.