Friday, November 30, 2012

Dirty 30s

Reminded by the recent Ken Burns documentary about this term for the dust bowl years.

Chilled at work, have put on two cardigans, thinking about tying the remaining one around my neck. Overheard someone next row over talking with her husband about taking their oldest daughter from school to the doctor as she had a sore throat and don't forget the strep test because other kids at school had strep. I haven't heard about strep at our school, hoping to side step that December insult. Kat is very pleased that she hasn't had strep for a couple of years now thus quashing all talk about tonsilectomy from her doctor. Am still surprised that our doc trotted that out, what a behind-the-times idea.

I may try to make pizza tonight. I have some dough that needs using. Yesterday I had Kat put my pasta/sauce/cheese casserole in the oven and turn it on. She followed my phoned in directions and everything was ready when I got home. What a win! I have minions who do my bidding!

Hard to get up lately and no exercise to speak of. The girls will go to the gymnastics open gym tonight and Nod and I will break out the space heater and have our own session.

Grumpy Cat in a sleigh. You're welcome.
Grumpy Cat Jingle Bells Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh

This is some great writing about how one person prays. She says her one great prayer is "I hate you". Maybe you can read it without tears but I am Madame Mushball and I cannot.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shiny Glitter Noel To Do List

Festival of trees is a local event where different groups decorate (artificial) trees. It's a big room of themed ornaments. I can't muster up much enthusiasm. I think maybe you're supposed to bid on them as a fundraiser? I think I'd rather make a paper nativity. I have in the past flirted with the idea of making my own. It would be fun to work with wild origami paper for everyone's cloaks. And oxen and sheep! We have a sturdy wooden one my MIL gave us when the kids were little. Sturdy or not the angel's wings and the stable had to be glued back together after toddler attentions. I'm trying to think of the xmas things I want to be sure to do. Am feeling vague. The horse-drawn xmas parade is Saturday and that's a for sure.  Kat will acolyte for Trinity's Lessons and Carols so I have that on the calendar. Travel will dictate some of the rest. I need to get a hold of Bee to check our Texas timing.

Little Drummer Boy Challenge -- I am in! Thank you WouldaShoulda. To play all you have to do is notice whether or not you have heard that (rackinfrackin) song. Once you hear it -- you're out.

I re-learned recently to make my links open in a new tab. I have a text file with the html and a note for where to put it in the link string. And today I noticed that Blogger has a checkbox in the link screen to do this! I'm pleased to have figured out the hand-made approach and pleased that I won't have to use it.

It's been very clear (and dry, koff) here. Last night I saw a strong star to the upper left of the full moon. Thanks you Nod for dragging me away from the stove to go see it. The Bandelier* National Monument people posted on Fbook that it was Jupiter up there. Go look at moonrise tonight if you get a chance. They will be a bit further apart tonight.

*That's a Bandelier picture on my masthead. Mmm northern NM.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Post no bills

Tuesday? never heard of it...

Dreamed I was supposed to feed my mother's dogs. I found a smoked turkey and a bag of dry food in a chest. But that wasn't the food I was supposed to give them. I left the chest open so when I turned around the dogs were slipping on the kitchen floor in a puddle of turkey grease and slobber. Then I was supposed to meet Nod at a major league baseball game. I was sure I knew where I was going until I got in the car and couldn't remember which team/stadium I was headed to. A classic frustration dream, unfulfilled responsibilities and not getting what I wanted.

Downtown zippiness. After going home for lunch and consuming some food I already owned, I drove downtown and went to the office supply store for an ink pad. I have stamps that I want to use for holiday cards. Last weekend I tried using a truly ancient stamp pad I found in the basement. But it produced a piebald partridge image, clearly new ink was needed for full stamping satisfaction. I've got a pad now and know where to get more ink if it needs refilling. On the way back to my car I peered in the candle store window. I shall stew and see if anyone I know needs candling. (I know they catch dust and are fire hazards and yet.) Then I stopped at the library to get the book Kat had reserved. The librarian on front desk duty answered my questions about whether I could foist a book on them. I recently had to get the second book in Ben Aaronovitch's series (Moon Over Soho) through inter-library loan. They need to grab that one because it's even better than the first! I got back to work a few minutes before the end of my lunch hour. I feel efficient *and* smug.

I will get this up on the wall in it's short sweet state. More later if there's time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Beurre Butter Mantequilla

Mmm, butter. I think I am a real cook now. I made butter crusts for a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. And they were good enough for company. I noticed that the dough I left in the fridge for a couple of days was so much easier to roll out. Time! That is the missing pie dough ingredient I have been looking for. My turkey was also good. It wasn't hard this time, I think I'm getting the hang of it. I've been wrassling turkeys since about 1998 so it's only taken 14 years. We had a roomful, it was about 35 people. I put on a boobtastic dress and wore my 3 inch heels because when else do I get to dress up? Three or four hours and my feet were done with those shoes.

Unstructured days can unhinge my children. Kat especially is liable to wig out a bit at the beginning of free days. On Wednesday morning she wanted to go outside and play an imagination game. (A popular one is Island where the kids demarcate an area to be their island and then make shelters and forage and grapple with wild beasts, etc. etc.) But no other kids were around and Bun refused to play. Bun had refused because Kat was ordering her around like a swabbie. I did a small amount of my own yelling that there would be no yelling and that they needed to not talk to each other for a while. After some ragey sniffling Kat consented to come outside with me. We threw our little hula hoops around and she leapt through the larger one. The tension lifted. Bun was ready to play and they both were fine for the rest of the day. Whew. To my surprise it held through the weekend. It's like they're getting more mature or something.

Nod is making a staff. He cut a sapling and has stripped the bark. He's letting out the woodworker within. hee. Which reminds me I have a rocking chair in the basement I mean to work on. It was in the common house until I found it by the trash corral. It had arms but they kept coming loose. Somehow the arms could not be reglued without removing the back which was in fine shape. So I've hammered the arm dowels out and am going to patch, sand and paint. Then I'll take it back to the Common House. I'll fix it up there and bring it back here, said Santy Claus.

Tried learning harmony part to Deck the Halls. Failed. Am thinking about general holiday season goals. How many presents am I going to be responsible for? What experiences do I want to give the kids? What's going to happen in Austin? We're going to decorate a tree at Elaine's.

November blog posting is still showering us with treats. Here's one you must not miss from Julia.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vervein

I just like that word, vervein. Look how pretty they are. The text says they are slender but erect, a model for us all.

Did you know you can get Baltimore Ravens themed lingerie? An etsy search for 'raven' items turned that up. Elsewhere, here's my favorite raven art print by Kate McLelland. This is a very charming raven Christmas card set by Rick Allen. Ooooh...Shiny (Raven's Bauble) Boxed Cards
If reincarnation is an option after I shuffle off the coil* I would like to be a bird, bring on the flying. I've always thought a raptor's life would be a good one, hunting and soaring seems plenty to hope for. Just realized a couple of days ago that a raven would be good too. The carrion eating does not appeal but otherwise the playful, clever and mouthy profile sounds good. I love the ravens of Los Alamos, NM. I can remember the sound of the croaks as they hopped from the top of one ponderosa to another. They like to swoop on the updrafts at the edge of canyons too, riding them over and over.

* 'Shuffled off this mortal coil' is hard to parse by a modern English speaker. This all-too-brief article helps. I thought it was poetical speech, something about getting out of life's wrapping tendrils. And maybe a little something about shuffling off to Buffalo. But no, it's about getting rid of the bustle, the tumult, the hurry and confusion of life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

That Is the Spell

Hugs and big sloppy kisses to the Into the Woods production. It was better than I expected, really strong voices in the cast and very technically polished. The orchestra was even better than the last production I saw. It was tiny when I peeked in the pit afterwards - it looked like only about fifteen musicians. I ended up taking Kat with me as a sort of birthday treat. I hadn't found anyone else who could go when I wanted to. It was a good experience we both enjoyed the show and I was glad to have the company. Bun felt very left out which gave me a pang. But we didn't get home until almost eleven and she would have been a wreck. Still humming songs.

The party was not very well organized but the younger generation didn't seem to feel that was a flaw. I endured it and felt regrets about not having 8 games ready for everyone to play. But there were almost 30 kids and it was going to be a mob scene no matter what. I baked cupcakes and made lots of frosting. It got too dry but they managed to spackle it onto their cupcakes. We sugared them up and let them run around the courtyard. There was a certain amount of moustaches drawn on with washable markers. The 10 and 11 year old girls were extremely civilized of course, if a little moody. If we do this again (big party with all the neighbor kids) I'm going to go out of town have more structured activities to fill almost all the available time.

We have an idea for bday presents for K, a digital camera and a face painting kit. Her sis wants to go shopping for her too, maybe we can get that done on Weds. In between cooking. I decided we needed more turkey and have committed to produce turkey and pies. Hoping this is not hubris. Glad we're not going to be driving anywhere for the hol. Sorry that Nod will have to work on Friday.

Sleepwalky here at work. Going to try another cuppa.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Swish

Jessa Crispin, the Bookslut, has a piece about masculinity in The Smart Set. Starting question: would you be the same person if you were the other gender? My answer is nope. I hope flighty flowery princess boys will be embraced in the future. We need the whole range.

I've finally started The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. (Wow, Wikipedia is stepping up their begging banners.) In the last chapter a boy was  castrated to make him a eunuch. Urgh. The poetry and mishmash of world lit elements is fab. I find I am a bit at sea so far with the alternative history constructed out of world history areas that I am not so definite about (Chinese dynasties, the Mongol horde). Either I'll get a better handle on it or not.

Chose not to make cupcakes last night. Kat brought home a loaner chess set with a timer too. We do own a set but it is small and a bit rickety. She beat us all one after the other last night. I hope it was good practice for her. Neither Nod nor I wanted to lay down our king piece in the proper conceding gesture. Need practice being good sports clearly. Kat and I had a good time making sound effects for our pieces. Her king screams a lot.

Back to cupcakes -- that means that I need to get the ass in gear tonight. If I can get them all baked then I just have to make frosting tomorrow morning. And do the rest of the party prep, no problem. (Vigorous suppression of party throwing anxiety here.) Then I get to go to my long awaited haircut appointment. And then the party starts! To celebrate the end of the party I am planning to go to a university production of Into the Woods tomorrow night. Hoping I can get there. It's one of my favorites.

Not sure what to get for Kat for her 11th. Nod suggested a digital camera which I am sure she would be excited about. Moving on to xmas -- I want to get new comforters for the kids' beds but that hardly seems like a fun present for a kid. I think I just get to enjoy that myself.

Kansas State football is currently ranked #1 in the nation. They have our respect and I hope they go all the way. Unironic statement of support for winning college football team, what am I coming to?


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deep

Trashy pop music makes my heart sing sometimes. The Neon Trees seem to have my number and Everybody Talks is probably driving you crazy but I still like it. Take me to your love shack, Mama's always gotta backtrack, when everybody talks back. The sense to nonsense ratio is good and the rhythm, happy sigh. The girls and I enjoyed last week's Glee episode which included a quick take on Blow Me by Pink.

Got some Santa stamps at the post office. Now I am committed to the holiday card sending. I may have to do some triangulation to get addresses. My address book is a bit sad, there was a stalling out after having kids and moving halfway across the country. Starting a new address book is tempting but wait, I will have to think about people I don't see and don't know any more and that will be no fun.

Oooh I think I get to buy the Cute Overload calendar this year, I know the perfect recipient.

Scarf is off the needles! I will secure the loose ends and take a beauty shot before I block it. It is about 68 inches long instead of the 100 suggested by the pattern. I'm happy with it. Kind of wish I had used 100% acrylic instead of a woold blend for the skin friendly factor but that feeling is not strong enough to be an actual regret. I still like the color which is in my default color field these days. I tend to gravitate toward things in the raspberry to plum range. Hope my MIL likes that too. Thank you Bun, for modeling.



Pie crust! It's time for my annual attempt and I have found another all butter technique to take a run at. I think I'm going to make an apple pie and a pumpkin pie. The grey cinderella pumpkin on top of the kitchen bookshelf needs attention before it rots to spite us. I think I'm going to make a pumpkin and an apple. I am not really an apple pie person but I was reading about cooking the apple slices for a few minutes which sounds delightful.

Goddamn now I have to make THREE pies because I cannot resist the Sorghum Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe that the Bitten Word boys tell us about. I figure I can substitute some other sugar syrup for sorghum if our local grocery shack doesn't have it. The Bitten Word guys also cop to enjoying Garden & Gun magazine which has a feature on sorghum in the last issue. Nod is a subscriber. I roll my eyes at the privileged southern folk enjoying their pretty living but it is fun to flip through it every month.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Flinging

Flinging something up. Not poo, a word that my brain thinks should follow "flinging". Here are some pictures of the Les Mis film cast courtesy of Vogue and our gay uncles.

Thirty minutes does not seem to be enough time out of bed for the girls to get ready in the morning. Alarm clocks here we come. Here's what I hate: the last minute lunch making frenzy.

Didn't make my tavern talk last night. I got ambushed by a friend who needed to vent at length about the attack her teenagers are staging on her. Lots of problems going on for that family. I had her drop me off at FSB but by that time all tables were taken and despite a good cruise of the room I did not see the person I thought I might meet. Walked home and knitted, it was a good evening nonetheless. I really needed the walk after hearing from that traumatized parent.

On the knitting front, am nearly done with scarf!! May almost be ready to take up my sweater sleeve again . Or the baby blanket! But that will take fiber shopping.

Skimmed the rest of the Hogarth book I had checked out on a whim. The writing didn't do anything for me but it was nice to see the paintings and engravings together with commentary. Having it both ways was Mr. Hogarth. Memorable faces and stances even if the huge satire seems out of our time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kayak lack

Walking on the not entirely lighted path after twilight in November. I think I need to dig out that reflector vest Nod had for biking in DC. Saw a bicyclist last night with the cutest little blinker on his rear pannier. Might need one of those too. I figure I can spend some money on shoes and walking/jogging accessories since I'm not spending it on classes or gym membership.

Fear about Katy's bday party on Saturday has struck. I need to crank out cupcakes for maybe 30 kids to decorate. Sprinkles and icing and so on. Bags to draw on and art supplies to draw/glue/sticker with. Will find my recipes and make the master list and delegate tonight. Do I want to use the flour, milk, butter and granulated sugar recipe PW raves about? I'll make a batch and see. Will try to think of this as fun. I am happy she's turning 11 I want her to have a great party. Honestly I'd be happy if someone else threw it.

Going to go out to Free State Brewery tonight for a pint and a talk about American mythology and specifically the Mayan 2012 thingie. Am meeting an acquaintance and think I should be congratulated for my outgoingness. I may even walk which shoots it into virtuous territory.

Our CA friend Jacquie has taken up kayaking and I'm jealous. She looks awfully cool in that little red boat.

If you are fond of the nerdy countries of Europe like I am then you should be sure to check on Belgian Waffling's new Belgofiles site. She's got memories and layers of city history and real recommendations for visiting. All with the languid, weird Waffle delivery.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Glow

Saturday was warm and windy. I took a late morning walk with Gen and we went into the southern wind on our first leg so we could get blown home again once we turned around. It was sunny and felt really good. On the way she told me about the Ft. Leavenworth Hunt and I was agog. Made me think of my friend Marian Not a Librarian in San Fran who would love the idea of a military fox/coyote hunting club that gets dressed up and rides to hounds.

I woke up at 4:45 on Sunday morning too warm. After the 5:10 clap of thunder I realized I was not able to go back to sleep. I went downstairs and put some potatoes in to bake and was able to drop off immediately on the couch. Taking the pots out and turning off the oven and timer was only a blip and then I slept til 8:30. It was raining and storming and a wonderful time to sleep. I don't think I am having hot flashes because those sound extremely hot and sweaty. But I am occasionally waking up during the night, too warm, and unable to go right back to sleep. I must be having warm glows.

I was going to make twice baked potatoes, that was why I was doing the pre-dawn tuber wrangling. Never got around to the rest of the prep, maybe today. I baked another batch of gingerbread bars, uncontaminated by tea leaves. It was a win. Everything that I need gingerbread to be.

I noticed when I took our post Hween pumpkins to the compost pile that it was piled to the top of the bin. We have three open stalls for compost but I've never bothered to learn what the schedule or plan for them should be. I asked two neighbors who garden about it and one rolled his eyes and made it plain that we were not maximizing our compost potential. Well duh. But he said that if I wanted to move the compost from the first stall to the next one it would turn the pile and that would be better than a compacted spillover. I worked for about an hour moving the stuff. The best and most smug part is that I got it done right before the rain started so both piles will get well soaked. I love composting scraps, the way it goes from slimy clutter down to almost nothing. I don't have ambitions to have a hot fast pile, just a place for that magic disappearance to happen. (Discworld compost tangent)

Took the kids to an indoor place with inflatable jumpy dealies yesterday. It was a neighbor's idea and we brought five kids to jump for an hour. It was a great use of time on a freezy day. The slide rules (feet first, on your bottom) were not appreciated by the younguns but they managed somehow. We will go back another time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bring on the libations

The kids have been out of school yesterday and today. When I came home for lunch today to thrust food at them they were busy outside, playing Island. The 5 or 6 kids were pretending they were camping out on an island, gathering sticks for their firepit and hunting. It's in the high 70s this afternoon so they could hardly make better use of their time. We're going to have rain (thank the clouds) on Saturday night and Sunday. There's been very little rain this fall. I was just reading a distopia wherein the middle of the country is referred to as the Corridor and has become desert. Wanting to know what things will be like in 25 years is an itch we can never scratch.

Trying to decide whether I'm going to go brave the old ladies at the nursing home to bring them communion this Sunday or whether I'm going to hang up my Eucharistic Visitor hat. (Note: there is no uniform and certainly no hat.) I was ready to give it up and live a life of sloth and then I thought that it's such a small amount of effort to visit these folks who can't come to church. And there I wobble, between sloth and compassion. Part of my reluctance is that I had got comfortable with our one little old lady that we visited. She is a retired librarian originally from the UK, in good enough health to live in her own rooms. Now there's a much more debilitated woman and I haven't yet met her and we will need to go upstairs to the Assisted Living part of the place. What a miserable thing to want to have these people visited but not want to make the effort.

Back to selfish satisfactions, there is a cocktails and hors d'oeuvres party at Delaware St tonight. I'm looking forward to it. I think we're bringing a local white wine as our contribution. Maybe I'll pop corn, that should go well with a Kansas wine.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vamping

I accused Nod of vamping too much the other day and he misheard it as ramping and it got very confusing. What I was referring to is his habit of announcing he has something to tell me and then thinking aloud about why I might not like it and generally making me want to slap whatever it is out of him. Eventually the point is reached and it's never as dramatic as I think it's going to be from the build up. Vamping is something the orchestra does when the singer misses a cue, just repeat the intro bars and give it to them again.

After a week and a half at his new job Nod is better rested already. He was up in the middle of the night but was able to go back to sleep until 7a. He would have been late getting to the old job but had plenty of time at the new. Thumbs up for new job. Hoping that income will be steady if a bit less than the old place.

Jumped through the hoop this morning for my state health assessment. For our health insurance discount (really good coverage I love you so much, mwah mwah mwah) the state has started requiring more action on an employee's part. I resent it but admit that I will jump through many hoops for this kind of insurance. My plan covers the whole family so it's just shy of vital and is the largest reason I started working at the university. The assessment is a height, weight, blood pressure and finger stick to do a cholesterol levels reading. I can tell they were sucking up because they told me I am taller and lighter than I thought. Perhaps it was to soften me up for the news that my good cholesterol is still low. Cardio exercise is what is supposed to bring that up. Insert good intention here. My hula hooping is good for my back and my belly but sadly does not elevate my heart rate enough to qualify as cardio.

Over the cubicle partition in front of me is a young man who smells of cigarettes and not enough bathing. My neighbor to the right has retaliated with what smells like perfume. So it's a festival of olfactory assault at my desk at the moment. I'm sorry I finished my coffee.

The children are on their own recognizance today and tomorrow. I gave them lunch and insisted that Bun brush her hair. She pouted but the hair was still on her head so she was working on it as I left to go back to work. I feel slightly hinky about leaving them to their own devices but they are somewhat responsible and there are a few other parents around and so far so good.

You should read the Waffle's choir memories. Here's to singing. I have resolved to learn the harmony parts to three Christmas carols this year. I am also going to think about some fun group participation stuff for our carol sing this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Summed Up

Watched a hilariously terrible movie with the kids last night: The Lady of Burlesque starring Barbara Stanwyck, 1943. The script was based on The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee. My kids were puzzled but kept watching it. I did too, it was watchable though it didn't make much sense at all. Definitely a B movie, it felt like a long series of screen tests. Decent actors in real costumes on a real set delivering mostly terrible dialogue. Barbara Stanwyck proves that she can't sing but can do the splits. I amused myself by imagining that the actor playing the police inspector was the voice of the Fractured Fairy Tales in Bullwinkle cartoons. But I was wrong. That delightful person is Edward Everett Horton. Our police inspector, who specialized in calling all the showgirls together for his interrogations was played by Charles Dingle, not a name for lights.

No wine but I did stay up to see that Obama was predicted to win by the mainstream media. The local stations were all carrying Claire McCaskill's speech, she won another term as Missouri's senator. Todd Akin pretty much presented it as a wrapped gift for her. I went to bed satisfied. If Romney had won the world would have continued to turn. But I would have felt like I lived in an America I did not understand. Locally our congresscritter Lynn Jenkins defeated Tobias Schlingensiepen. I couldn't vote for either of them as I don't share values with her and he hadn't any experience to speak of. But I loved hearing that name on the radio. The second 's' is pronounced 'z'. Via fbook I see that a high school classmate of mine who is a surgeon is convinced that the re-election of Obama means that American healthcare is set to get more expensive with less qualified doctors. I would like to know why he thinks that but am not sure I can stand the bitter.

My scarf is about half done, I think. I have to figure out what is a good length. The pattern calls for 100" which comes down to the model's knees. Will look at another scarf that seems easy to wear, to get a length. I'm pleased with the yarn and the pattern. For some reason my yarn overs only show as holes on one side. This is not ideal but as it's consistent I'm not going to worry about it. Looking at my set-aside-sweater, I found that the sleeve has pulled stitches off one of the double pointed needles --argh. It is in a bag and I am not going to worry about that right now. May try and finish the sweater with longer sleeves than I need in order to send it to Mom. That's assuming I can get the scarf done right quick and then whip through the rest of the sweater, probably shouldn't put money on that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pounce

This yogurt biscuit technique has changed my life. Now if I can't think of anything to feed the children I can at least slap some biscuits in the oven and in my mind that highers whatever else (canned refried beans) I throw in front of them. It's amazing! (Current recipe adaptation is to use half white and half whole wheat flour, low fat yogurt, less salt, and a tiny bit of sugar.)

Sometimes the cat is feeling playful and I am really sorry that I am not nine pounds of fur and teeth like she is so we could wrassle. She does like playing Gonna Get You which is a game where I peek out at her and then hide behind a large piece of furniture and then peek out again and try to surprise her. Generally the game ends when she sneaks up silently and pounces on me. I scream but she doesn't use her claws so I know she's playing. Last night I was sitting at the top of the stairs and Zing was at the bottom. I peeked out at her around the bannister and then started down the steps on all fours toward her. That was too much and she fled! The first time I have seen this cat run away except from dogs and flea medicine. Very funny.

Voted by mail last week. I am so glad this day has come! I don't plan to stay up late but may have a glass or two of wine and see how much of the election results coverage I can take. That'll drive Nod away. He keeps saying in reference to the candidates, 'How can they stand to lie so much?' I understand his dismay but on the other hand these people are trying to get the votes of a majority of American citizens. Proclaiming the unvarnished truth doesn't sound like a sure fire way to do that. I need to have political discussions with other people who maybe don't get so angry about the whole stew.

It is a good day for blog reading and I'd love to take a long walk or even a slow run. None of that is what I'm being paid for however. I've made it to noon. I suppose I can scrape up some concentration and achieve worky things for a few hours this afternoon. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nova Nov

Posting in November? Oh yeah I'm doing some of that. But not on weekends. Not while our pc is freezing every eight to twenty minutes. YouTube seems to be a trigger for the freeze  but not every time! We have not been able to tell what the trouble is in order to fix it. We're using it in brief bursts and anticipating disaster at every moment.

The time change reflects what we were already doing, sleeping later and staying up a bit later. So far it doesn't feel like much of an adjustment. But it did make for a succulent weekend.

I mucked out our living room on Saturday and threw out a bunch of things and demanded that people take their own crap to their own rooms. The kids found some books they are ready to part with. Nod bagged up many of our clothes that we are ready to pass on. Yesterday evening I helped Nod get the Subaru de-crap-ified in preparation for selling it. I suddenly realized that we are paying insurance every month for a car we don't/can't drive and we should stop that. I hear that a lot of other people were cleaning and sorting as well. It was a good weekend for all that.

I have never used a grocery store rug cleaner but I have plans to rent one at the new grocery store that opened in August. My reasoning is that a) I have a filthy carpet and b) their machines must be new and functioning. I'll have to report back if I actually undertake the experiment.

Speaking of reporting back:  Chai Gingerbread Bars. Achieved on Saturday and I have reactions. First I couldn't face putting two sticks of butter in there. Two eggs and one stick of butter seemed like plenty of fat to me. I used half white and half whole wheat flour but I guess all wh.wh. would work. Next there was no molasses in the recipe, horrors. In place of the dark brown plus white sugar I used a cup of white and added almost half a cup of molasses. I am not wild about fresh ginger in baked goods so I omitted that. They baked up fine, smelled like heaven on a stick. They are a good sweet treat but I feel that "chai", the milky tea with cinnamon, coriander, etc. is not coming through as the taste. The tea leaves give a little bit of a bitter/spicy aftertaste that I'm not liking. It was a good experiment though. I'm going to make it again soon as just Gingerbread Bars, no tea leaves, and I think I will love them very much.

One passive aggressive email set me on edge this morning. But I have replied calmly and the snarl is fading.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Petite

Teeny children is what I have. Checkup appointments today for both girls. While being very healthy and growing just fine, they are both in less than the tenth percentile for height/weight. Dr. M tells me that height is determined by a mess of genes, 10 or 12 of them and so it can be very unpredictable. Nod and I are medium sized people. I did have a grandmother who was about 5' 1", so maybe these girls are Mickles.

Kat cried when I told her Monday that she had an appointment at the doctor's office coming up. She's pointed her anxiety focus to medical matters. She used to be overly concerned about chemicals and "poison" (warning labels were a little too effective on her). That has waned and now it is medical matters that freak her out. I kept my temper and told her that I could tell that she was upset but that this was important for her health. I also mentioned that we would get the little bump of skin on her forehead looked at. (I should have stopped while I was ahead.) Before we went I called the nurse to find out if anyone was due for shots. No, thank gods. We all three got the flu mist instead of flu shot, that was uncontroversial. Per Kat's request I spoke with the doc in another room about vaccinations and what's coming up. Kat will be due for two or three injections next year so I will need to think about our approach for that. I am all for the HPV vax which requires three shots total over about six months. Dr. M says that it's preferable to get vax done early for a needlephobe. Because the older and more autonomous they get the more likely they are to skip it. I can understand that and am willing to be the bad guy.

The forehead bump was pronounced harmless and according to the doctor it shouldn't get any bigger. It can be removed using a topical anesthetic first if Kat decides she wants to in the future. For now I advocate ignoring it. No one is showing signs of scoliosis or scurvy. It was a good visit and no one cried while we were there. Success.

Staggering toward the weekend now. Have a good one and enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dressed up

Bun's alien princess was just what she wanted. Her dad helped her rig up a laser gun and holster. Kat was a well armed wood elf. And my jellyfish rocked the house. It was very gratifying to my crafty heart to hear "Jellyfish!" every where we went. Yay!