Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Black/White Dog

Black dog
Monday morning brought the Dreads. An unsettled feeling about impending something. I had a work chore I was not looking forward to. The sky was grey and lowering. There didn't seem to be anything to look forward to.

White dog
Then the weather brightened, internally and externally. The sun shines, the sky is blue. I feel chipper and like good things might happen. I got to my distasteful chore eventually. And the world keeps on spinning.

Funky dog
Nod and youngest washed Snickers on Sunday. She reeked and it was finally above freezing. It brought a vast improvement in our house's atmosphere.

We did house cleaning on Saturday afternoon, prepping for having a couple over. But I realized about 4p that I couldn't hold up my end of the conversation and needed to simply veg on the couch. Nod went over to their place instead. I continued to be under the weather the rest of the weekend. Still, many things got done. I remembered how miserable it is to distrust your digestive system and to have not much appetite. I would make a bad ascetic.

This baked oatmeal with coconut milk, bananas and dried coconut was a great success this morning! I reduced the nutmeg and will probably omit it next time. I might add more eggs and milk to make it more custardy. It made the house smell wonderful and used up some of the bananas languishing in the freezer. Yum.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Waving weakly

First week of classes is tromping on us. The pace hasn't been terrible but it's compounded by losing our team lead. The rest of us are getting her responsibilities parceled out. It remains to be seen if we can complete them and how well.

Weather is icy and snowy and it's beautiful to see the snowflakes fly. Wonder if I'll ever be a lady of leisure who can admire them and put on the kettle rather than having to see them out the office window. Counting blessings and wondering about the modern world of work. Don't suppose scrimping would be enough to give up the rat race scramble. At least until the offspring are sprung.

End of the road
Just finished Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and followed it up with an article about an Australian couple in their early 80s who chose suicide as an alternative to dwindling in assisted care. Lots to think about: quality of life, relationships across generations, personal agency and control.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fud and stuff

We're going to have black bean and cheese enchiladas again tonight! Nod requested spinach enchiladas at some future point. Putting spinach together with cheese enchiladas blew my mind a little bit, it just isn't something I've ever assembled myself. This recipe looks good. But I'd use my favorite red sauce and I'd probably add some black beans to the filling too. Now I'm looking at Mel's recipe for baked manicotti hungrily now.

In the bag
Another Christmas era is passed. Nod got the ornament removal going on Monday night. I was wall-eyed tired but agreed that it was past time. Thought it would be done over several days but once we got going there was no reason not to get the tree out that night. The remaining boxing will happen on the weekend. I look forward to burning our tree when it's good and crispy.

Nod is driving down to Austin the next two days. Last night while I was preheating the oven for biscuits I heard a loud pop and no more display on the oven. It was dead. He flipped the breaker in the basement and then looked it over. Thinks the control board may be going but he got it up and running again. Biscuits were a little underdone but still delish. I will miss him over the weekend. I plan to console myself with football and possibly some chicken wings.
==update== It's dead after all. He's ordered the new control board but I'll be missing him and the chicken wings this weekend.

Alan Rickman has died and I woke up with fleeting dream thoughts of Snape. I know he kept a good sense of humor about his fame and his roles. He needed it. I once found a recording of a Canadian radio interview he'd done around the release of Robin Hood. The interviewer asked him about whether it was annoying to have to go out flogging the latest film. He repeated the word incredulously: "fuh-logging?!" and the interviewer dissolved in nervous giggles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Dry run
Had a workshop to lead at 8:00am this morning. Only one person signed up so I figured it would be a good way to get back into this teaching thing. They no-showed which was fine. I got the two monitors to show my powerpoint and my website. That's the part that worries me. Then I read my handouts for fifteen minutes. I'll get to do this again on Thursday. Maybe I'll even have some students.

Dividing line
Have talked more with the 8th grader about her high school dilemma next year. I moved house partly to get us into the nearby high school district. The other high school is 15-20 minutes away. And has a snootier reputation. But then, oldest child realized that 80% of her good friends will go to farHS. She is very sad about having to go to nearHS. I waver in my level of sympathy. What I told her is that she'll have to plan for nearHS during this spring's HS prep activities, because that is the district we are in for now. If we relocate over the summer then she can get orientation for farHS from all those good friends I guess.

Thin ice
My trickiest social contact just emailed me about getting down to brass tacks. It should be an entertaining conversation even though I can't figure out how we'd turn smoke into fire.

I'm reading a book about stargazing (literal stars in the skies, not celebrities) and pining for some fiction.

In other stargazing news, I notice this week that the sun is just above the horizon now when I leave work. Progress!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Feeling my way

Bad Morning
My spouse took possession of the bathroom right as I was about to shower. Thwarted, I stomped out to the kitchen, got the pets outed and fed and made coffee. While puttering in the kitchen I saw that I had left a full pot of rice out overnight and, the real heartbreaker, the entire pot of chicken broth I had made from our roast chicken carcass. Oh, my precious! Cussing and feeling the waste of time/care/effort, I disposed of the remains. I am still fuming that I will now have to buy chicken broth for the stew on Friday for our dinner party.

Reading Swistle and her commenters enthusing about getting rid of stuff. Made me realize that I still haven't brought up the boxes so we can put the tree ornaments away. Will I pose us in front of the tree for a family snap beforehand? My Christmas spirit fled last week. If I start not noticing the Christmas tree then it is certainly time to take it down.

I have a couple of bags of giveaway clothes in my bedroom. This morning I added a faux-leather blazer. It looks good which is why I've kept it so long. But it feels like wearing a big hunk of plastic because -- that's what it is. Off with its head!

Nice fist
I could become a knot nerd in my old age. Here's an instructables series on creating a monkey's fist at the end of a rope. After looking through the images I'm not sure I understand the magic that is going on in step 5 but I'll have to try with some cord or yarn.

NewYrs Reso I may steal:  create surprises. For myself? For strangers? For family and friends?

Irish Potato Farls from Sauce Pots blog

Evidence that the scientific name of the American Plains Bison is indeed:  Bison bison bison! I love this so much.

Monday, January 4, 2016


Folie à plusieurs
You're very kind, fellow bloggers. Onward into the new year of words! You may want to read Ursula Vernon's tumblr which is currently a blog by another name. She's a gem.

My yarn errand was a full out failure. After striking out at three stores I was going to resort to the craft store owned by the fundies who don't want to pay for contraception for their employees. But luckily it was Sunday so they were closed and I didn't have to go against my convictions. Have found it online for cheap enough. Now I will go home and decide if I need other colors or just the gray. The sweater pattern has been a good puzzle, distraction, occupation, and so on. I think I might like wearing the finished garment when I'm done. But I've been wrong about that before.

Bobbing along
Nod came through and gave me space age gloves and ear band (head warmer? topless hat?) to go jogging in. I have decided that after 4 years it's time to buy a new pair of running shoes. My neighbor and running partner told me what brand they were so I can do my research.

2015 was a good year for my jogging experiment. But my body has now acclimated to the easy routine I developed. Now I have to do something slightly more challenging to get the muscles and fat to go in the desired directions. I suppose this is an accomplishment -- my body can do more and requires more exertion to change. This fills me with resentment. Am going to try some short bursts of speed interleaved with my familiar slower-than-dirt pace. My kids have both been stymied by my slow trot. They cannot run that slowly and have to circle back or alternate walking in order to try and stay with me. When I started I had to remind myself to go slow in order to do the full time. "How slow can you go, how slow can you go, how slow can you go?"

And for a while that slowgoing worked, dammit! Exercise is the last resort for me. I have proven with careful, thorough experimentation that neither reading on the couch nor walking briskly will get me in shape. I can now cross extremely slow jogging off the list too.