Monday, February 11, 2019


I have posted on the fbook about our rental house search. I think personal network is the way to get something to happen. I strive to believe that someone wants us as tenants. Would like to get my bedroom organized to prove that I can make progress. First target: clearing dresser tops and the clothing eddy at the foot of my bed. Next step: under the bed. Somehow I have to work up to tackling the basement.

Med stuff continues, I'll be starting a prescrip for thyroid replacement. Sigh. I'll be interested to see if I feel different after a month. I will leave a message for the nurse and ask for my labwork numbers before and after surgery. Seems like I should know them and not just let the doctor drive.

Went to see The Favourite with Nod yesterday. We both enjoyed it a lot. It was more sexual than I expected. Guess it's a good thing it hadn't opened in Albuquerque when I was visiting my mother. I would have dragged her to it and then been embarrassed. Good writing and acting and costumes and design and all. My sympathies for all three of the principles went through several changes during the course of the film. Ah, Olivia Coleman. Long may she reign.

30s and raining today which is crap weather although it *is* washing away all the snow remnants. And it's not ice which is a bit of all right. Hoping for sun tomorrow. I can see more daylight in the mornings which helps. Jogged yesterday. Will try to jog tonight.

Power struggle at the moment with oldest and her arrival times when she goes out at night. Nod said he dreamed last night that he was telling her that she had lost her car privileges. Uncomfortable meeting tonight!
(Update: it was uncomfortable but went pretty well. We ended up letting girlie go to a concert on Monday night so clearly she didn't lose any privileges.)


Milk chocolate malted mousse

Thursday, January 31, 2019


I have made things happen this week. I am going to take a victory lap and enjoy the glow before I forget all of this accomplishment. It's picayune and humdrum stuff. But I did it all!

Identity cards
Yesterday I went to the DMV and applied for my own upgraded card and my daughter's replacement permit. They will come in the mail in the next couple weeks. I knew I could get my card but wasn't sure about L's. Initially the staff said we'd need to return with the full phalanx of her identity documents. But later they decided to make an allowance and accept the one month old temporary permit as proof. When the cards arrive in the mail we will concentrate, as a family, on not throwing either of them in the trash. I've spoken with each family member so everyone knows their duty.

Contacted doctors
I had two doctors offices to call this week and I wasn't looking forward to doing either one.

First I needed to get a change for the antibiotic I'm taking for acne. The pills I have a prescription for cost $90 for a month's supply and I was hoping for a cost of maybe $20. I decided at the time that I could pay it once but then would need to switch to something cheaper. When I called, the physician's assistant was equally shocked and found me an alternative.

There are next steps that I haven't taken yet. The bargain price is through an app so I have to download, find the med, get the coupon and go to a different pharmacy. Those feats of strength and persistence may feature in a future list. I have a week left of my pills so the clock's ticking.

Next I needed to lodge an inquiry with my thyroid doc as to when and where I should get my thyroid levels checked. It's been six weeks since surgery and it's time. I was foiled yesterday by calling five minutes after the office closed. But today - tiny victory! - I succeeded in leaving a voicemail for the surgeon's nurse with my question and contact info.

Not freezing
Our little city was just brushed by the polar vortex. We had just one day flanked by two nights of sub zero to single digit temps. I heard from our landlady who asked us to leave taps dripping, confirmed there were no outside hoses attached and to leave the kitchen sink cupboard open. I did these things and no pipes froze.

I issued my two extra pairs of gloves to my disdainful teenagers. I told them to take care and return all of my glove children to me soon. I'll take roll tonight. The kids had yesterday off school as the district didn't want anyone outside waiting for a bus at -3F. Nod and I still went to work and deserve medals along with the other adults who put on all the layers and survived. And no, as a matter of fact, I don't think I could live in Chicago.

Mailed a card
It's been a while since I mailed anything to my mother. I got it together and sent her a thank you for our xmas present (Blue Apron subscription, I have thoughts). I might could do it again some day. I even found the flag stamps and didn't have to put a Santa stamp on the envelope.

Followed up
I think a lot of being a working professional today is about responding and following up appropriately. My ability to do this waxes and wanes. Sometimes I'm reading the entire internet and avoiding what feels like conflict. Other times I'm super efficient while offering information and resources and explaining clearly what we can and cannot do.

I wrapped up the first week of the semester and only felt a little flattened. There were a lot of inquiries as expected. There were a few that required extra effort and concentration during a hectic time. I answered one particular phone call with a sense of anticipatory dread and shame about not knowing the answer. But in that case I was delighted to be wrong. I had an answer and the caller was satisfied with it. Glory be. And I just remembered another question I should research and craft an answer to.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Crunch thud

We got snow last Friday night and it stuck around. The snow stayed on branches, twigs and all other surfaces. There must have been a freezing mist with perfect timing to make it stay. Usually that beautiful white outlining only lasts a little while and then the wind blows and it's gone. Monday it thawed a bit and chunks dropped on the road and on cars.

As we strongly requested, K stayed off the roads Friday evening except for an iHOP outing. She spent the rest of the weekend days with her boyfriend. I gave her money to buy some winter hiking boots. I hope she will be able to use them for years. Vigorous individuation continues.

I sat in the doorway to L's room to 'help' her clean her room last weekend. I specifically required under the bed excavation. Much progress was made. We need to get that room smelling less like a middle school locker room. The closet is the next frontier. I must admit that my underbed grotto could use a sweep out as well. Maybe I'll do some motivational baking and once it's in the oven go to with the broom.

Speaking of challenges, I wrote down some required activities that have to happen so we can move this summer. We've got to sort, clean, pack, and move as well as find a rental house and sign a new lease. It's quite a mountain of effort to contemplate. First step is to tell our local network that we're looking and what we hope to find.

More crummy weather including possible ice this weekend. But the forecast has gotten milder from the first arctic emergency that they were warning about. Good time for doing all these things that need doing. Struggle, strive, attempt, repeat.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ups and downs

Better crumb
I have been making versions of this no knead bread for a long time. Usually I make half a recipe which makes one loaf (plus some stolen dough to eat raw!). Recently I tried an adjustment in the prep: when ready to let the dough rest before baking, put parchment paper in the baking pot, dust with cornmeal and rest the dough there. Then follow the baking steps: cover the pot and bake for 25 min., uncover and bake for another 12-15 min. This skips the recommended pre-heating of the pot but it results in a much better crumb than I was getting before. 

We went en masse to the Spiderverse movie last night. Including grandma which I thought was bold of her. I requested the closed caption assistive device - it turned out to be glasses that showed her captions and she said it worked great. Not for the previews, just the main show. The animation was great and the multiverse was pretty nice. I got a little lost in the fight sequences (as I tend to do) but was genuinely shocked by one reveal. SpiderGwen's balletic style was lovely. The hip hop soundtrack was great. I liked PPB's reorientation toward being a productive member of society.  

I think I'm going to skip Mary P in the theater but will watch it later. Am chomping at the bit to see The Favourite which gets to my town on the 25th of Jan.

Recovered from surgery and I seem to be fully functional, with no pain. But I'm having the worst acne around nose and chin. I fear this is hormonal disruption and means that I will need to take supplemental thyroid hormone after all. Trying to buck up and be patient until my levels get tested at the end of this month. The acne is a minor thing except for the fact that it keeps me from feeling cute or even all the way healthy. Pisser of a confidence hit.

Murderbot dreams
Luckily I have distraction in the form of the final novella in the series in hand. Yes! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recap 2018 blogwise

I was inspired by a thoughtful writer on twitter to look over my blog posts for the past calendar year and see what I could harvest. I have to say it's not a rich deep seam of wisdom and gems of art. Mostly found objects, books, food, grumbles and weather. Which is why I do it after all, that's my brain. Here are three of my favorite remembrances from blog posts this year:

  • The name Vesto Slipher who was a US astronomer and winner of the name game.
  • A reminder to make heart shaped frosted cookies and paper heart hangings in early Feb because I like them even though most heart shaped things do not interest me. 
  • The feeling I got from some scenes in Avengers Infinity War - 'my friends are coming to help me fight'. It's such a joyful viking kind of a feeling and I'm almost sure there's a specific spot in the brain just for it. 

Bonus: here's a Catherine Newman recipe for meatballs which includes some tofu:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Light and twilight

I left my office yesterday in the  twilight, the sun had just gone down. I saw wisps of cloud that were fuschia in the western sky and a thin crescent moon. I briefly considered trying to take a photo with my phone. But when I'd tried to get a shot of the new new crescent two nights earlier, my phone had laughed at me and refused to recognize the importance of that blurry little light in the sky. After I'd been home for a while the kids came in from a photo shoot. Oldest was shooting, youngest was being her model for a surrealism project. And with the really quite good school camera K got very nice pix of the sky I had been admiring an hour before. 

Getting ready for my half thyroid removal next week. Trying not to be overwhelmed by the idea that I'm going to prepare for Christmas before next Wednesday. But I am feeling a bit holiday helpless/frozen already. I'll try and list some smaller concrete steps to take. And try to cook some soup for my recovering future self.

Jogging at the indoor track last night and I was hearing from several discontented body bits and pieces. The tailbone would like to lodge a complaint. There is a twinge and it's not comfortable. Now that fades and the left knee is unhappy. Or ankle, foot, belly. I try to remember to observe these discomforts and see if they will resolve in the jostling warmth of the slow jog. So far I haven't had to stop. But I do think about it.

I recommend Nick Lowe's xmas album Quality Street. He has such a talent for songs that use nostalgia and sentiment but end up as something more playful, spare and sincere than I would expect. And that voice is still a treat. Los Lonely Boys xmas album had a couple of tracks I liked but overall it fell short of my hopes and dreams. I hope I can get my ears on the Old 97s xmas album soon.

Good wishes to all at midwinter. See the lights twinkle and share some cheer as we peek out into the future.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


We have had some sweet punchy color this fall. And all against that strong blue high pressure sky. The leaves are flying now and I will miss them when they're gone. The gingko across the street is turning yellow and I think of it as one of the later trees. I've collected a few and put them in a big book with wax paper around them. I like to string them up on thread by our dining room

We carved pumpkins on the front walk on Saturday afternoon. I got a mosquito bite on my right elbow but those bugs have been knocked back, it's much more pleasant to be out. I've been composting - I find the impulse is strongest in spring and fall when the trip across the yard seems short. Still not sure if I'm going to go get a new capsule one from the city. Ours is currently chicken wire and rotted planks that are subsiding into a low heap.

Yesterday's jogging was hard, glad I have a day off today. I am celebrating one whole month of spite jogging four times a week! Mom tells me that her blood pressure rose as soon as she hit menopause. I'm not there yet, wondering if I'll see that same change during The Change. I have felt like the process started as soon as I was done with 49. But there's miles to go. So mysterious, too bad it's not the fun kind of mystery.