Sunday, December 11, 2011


 Really just a short note to catch you up.  If you facebook with me you know I just had gallbladder surgery.  It was stoned man, I needed to get rid of the worthless bum.  I'm trying to pull everything together here and get Christmas gifts made.. I have almost finished the first knitted ball of three that I need to complete for my very young nephews.
It's taken longer than I thought I would.  It always does.
And I need to start on Madie's doll. 

Still, I'm happy with how the ball is turning out...  This one I did in Old fashioned, muted colors, left overs from my wash cloth cotton yarn, and I like how it looks so vintage.  Let me know what you think.  I love that this pattern comes from Knitty. (the online knitting magazine) and that the woman who came up with it is a mother of four boys who lives in Ireland.  Knitting makes the world smaller.. brings us all together right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Random Thoughts again..

1. When I'm knitting, and starting a new project (baby hat right now) and it requires ribbing, I find myself thinking about each stitch as I go around the cast on.. as long as it takes to get the stitch on the needle... knit... puuuurrrrrrrl... knnnit... puuurrl.. knit...purrrrrrrrrrrrrl.. knnnnnnidangit... purrrrl.  all the way around the beginning.  I do it every time.

2. When I weigh myself in the morning.  I always exhale as much breath as possible before I step on the scale.

3. It never really makes a difference in the weight, I still do it anyway.

4.  I love listening to Ben laugh over something on the Internet he's watching, because, like his father, laughter sneaks up on him and is torn out of his body, almost against his will. It sounds wonderful.

5. I always think about the Christmas gifts I'll make for people starting in August, but I never get around to starting them until December.   I think it's a knitter thing.. or a crafter thing.  I don't want to appear elitist.

6.  My spelling has continued to suck throughout my life, regardless of how many books I read, thank God for spell check. 

7.  I keep thinking, "I could be cutting out Madie's doll right this moment, but I'm typing instead"  I know that I will some time today, but I still feel guilty about typing now. 

8.  I will always have scads of yarn and sheet music strewn about. 

9.   My house may never, ever be clean.

10.  There is no real # 10, it just felt wrong to stop on # 9.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Old Things.

Do you have an old article of clothing you love? One that you've had longer than your children?  I do.  It's a shirt.  I bought it in college I think, the late 80's, just a standard Henley T, long sleeved.  It started out pink.  It's traveled with me, not always fitting me, it's one of those skinny clothes that I just cannot part with, because I'll be in it again.. I will.  Now, of course, I am.  Over the course of these many years, I've had to dye it, black, to cover the amazing amount of stains that can accumulate on a light pink shirt.   When I dyed it black, like 10 years ago, I changed the buttons.   One of the two buttons that was still on it fell off in the wash today, and I thought
"I have to go to Joann's and get buttons."  Then I thought,
"Crap, I can't really buy buttons right now, John's just been laid off." 
Yeah, it's true, actually his last day will be Dec 2nd.  He has been working at THE newspaper in Oregon for 28 years now.  He is working really hard to figure out how to reinvent himself at 50.  This is not really what this post is about.. just background.. bad couple of weeks for sure, anyway.
Then I thought.
"Mum's buttons!"

You know, the buttons that I have, in old glass jars, I grabbed them out and started looking for the right ones.   I found them, actually Ben helped me finish the last choosing, the "Do we go with the black or the grey?"  We went with black. 

But this is the thing, this is the connection, once again.  The reason that we cut the buttons away from the clothes that are too worn to wear.  They can be used again.  They can come in handy and dress an old piece of clothing up. The saving done 50 years ago, can give a granddaughter a new lease on an old, beloved shirt.  I know that it sounds strange to so many people out there, but I believe we are all coming to this more and more with our economy, I see this at work all the time, (I work for a credit card company) people's habits are changing, a lot of people, and I am glad of it.  I'm thinking more of the things that I can make this year for Christmas, and I'm looking at the pantry for dinner fixings more that a quick trip to the store.  Old story, new generation.  Old buttons, new shirt.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Poems with Sam

Once upon a time, I was a poet.  You know, really a writer and stuff... not a blogger and a mom.  Sam had an assignment to write a poem for Freshman English.  His teacher, being wise, and listening to me when I told her to give him a choice of two topics not any choice he wanted gave him the choice of a poem about his mom, or game design.   He chose the latter, and of course needed help with it the day after it was due.  This is my world.   However tonight Sam and I spent several hours on this.  I hope you like it as well as we do.

Game design

The scent of Sour cream and cheese wafts up the nostrils of Creator, the smell sickens his stomach, but he is addicted to the taste, the crunch.  The sweetness of sarsaparilla deluges down his throat making his tower smell of a children’s brewery.

The screen of the computer bursts with the genius and failures of Creator.
Reams of parchment and piles of incandescent chroma quills are scattered manically with renderings of Creators madness.

Gentle depressions driving alphabetic wonder willing Creator’s thoughts into being. Drum, Drum, Drum rhythmically tapping imagination into reason

Creator grasps a parchment, who pops with joy, as it was chosen by creator to preserve his thought.  A quill is frantic with elation as it is cradled with love, knowing it will preach Creators decree to all corners of the world

Tortured by a full bladder, Creator knows that if he leaves for even a moment a stroke of brilliance could be forever lost.

Creator scrutinizes his cosmos; does it need a behemoth serpent ruling like an emperor over his tundra?   Should trees murmur mournfully as the sun sets in the south?  
There should be rain… there should be glowing hearths in the homes of the good hearted… there should be little brothers to plague the hero, and to lead him into sacrifice.

Creator gazes upon what he has brought forth.
Bushes baring fruit, sweet as that of a first cherry, tear wrenching sunrises to burst the heart with beginnings.
Gliding, glimmering sand slips from the dunes. Dunes collapse into an ocean, cascading with the fury of the overlord within.

Creator stretches, his back cracking with a familiar chorus of sedentary aches, his mind reeling with unparalleled conceits. The seventh day approaches. 

Time to journey to the World Of Warcraft.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween costume

I just have to say... the scarf is for my niece, but we put it around Sam and there you go... Hogwarts in Hillsboro.. 

Now I have two more Griffindor, and one Hufflepuff scarfs to make.. before Halloween.  yeah, okay, chunky yarn.. so I can do this right?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Did I sign up for this..

You know.. I'm trying so hard to get back into shape.   And in the last 4 months or so, I've lost 30 pounds.  This is a huge amount of weight when you are 5' 1".  I still have another 15-20 or so to go, and I've stepped it up a notch by putting running back into my life.  I used to run long distance in school.. High school, and College.  Not on any team, just going out for 3-5 mile runs a day.. whenever I felt like it, because in that day and age my lungs did not feel the need to explode at this type of exercise.  I've just started a 1st day to 5K podcast trainer on my Ipod.  First day today, went really well, and as I cool down, and listen to my children haggle with each other about whatever it is that they feel is worthy of argument at this moment, I wonder if I understood that parenthood would include this kind of constant refereeing. 

Another random thought for you.. I started playing the violin July 2010.. still working on this daily.. loving it, and with the running and the losing weight, my very sweet (and young) neighbor commented the other day that she is sure I'm going through my midlife crisis.  

Apparently I'm old enough now that learning new things, and getting in shape is not to be taken at face value. 
This must be a milestone in some way... right?  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

E-mails to an Asperger's mother from the new High School teacher and the response...

Subject: sample for biome poster

Hi, Michelle,

Here is a sample for Sam’s biome poster in Bio. He can do a powerpoint instead of drawing on the poster he was given. He can just swap out the pics in this one and replace them with others he finds on-line. Would also be helpful to reword things.

You were on the phone at the PERFECT time today! Not only did he not have the algebra assignment when he came down here, but his English teacher reported he was sleeping in class. So he couldn’t take the notes which will be used for a quiz on Friday. I let Sam know about this, and he said he would take the quiz anyway. We also talked about solving the problem by asking for a copy of the notes. But again, the perception of the teacher who doesn’t know Asperger’s could be that he is capable of taking notes and has chosen to sleep without seeing it as being overwhelmed.

Wanted your thoughts on whether or not Sam shuts down by sleeping. Is he overwhelmed when we see this?

Thanks, Kristina




Sam would like to discuss options for staying focused during classes that bore him (his words not mine) he did let me know that the lecture today was on plagiarism.. and that he was awake, just had his head down .. take that with a salt lick, but anyway.. I have let him know that I expect him to be putting his very best foot forward to make his high school work a priority... and that I will yank all things computer away if he does not.. also he will not be getting a job when he is old enough if he cannot handle his school. He is just finishing work on problems on math now.. he thinks he remembers them all... and if you could just check that he has them all done 1st period tomorrow, that would great. Also.. I'm not sure I understand the biome poster assignment. He is expected to do a 64 page power point assignment? Is that what you intended to send me? I have nothing on what the biology poster is supposed to be about, and I couldn't find the assignment in any of his folders. I have separated all the folders into subjects.. Sam has them color coded.. Do you think we can encourage Sam to use the damn things (I'm reading out loud to him :) ) and place his assignments in each folder so we can find out what needs to be done, and when... I would love a planner and would pay if needed....

gasp... deep breath..

I swear by all that is right and holy and I intend to have him go forward and do this work that is required, because I know that he is capable...

gasp... another deep breath...

Also, is there a web site where the teachers place the homework on? like a site on the school website where they will list the homework for the night so I can double check it that way? Just a thought.

Thank you for listening to my rambles... by the way.. no, Sam does not deal with being overwhelmed by sleeping.. he just goes off by himself for awhile. (he was just reading over my shoulder and corrected my spelling of "awhile".. and confirmed that I was correct)

He was laying his head down because he was irritated and bored.. not due to being overwhelmed...



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another project to finish

So, years ago, when my mom and aunt went through my mum's things, after she had been placed in a facility, as she needed 24 hour care, my mom brought home some of mum's things to me.  Some old buttons that were collected over years, that I treasure, and then quite a lot of these..
These transfers are for flour sack towels. Now, many people today do not know why flour sack towels are called that... let me explain, because it's a rant that I've been meaning to share, and this is my soap box, damn it. so.. 

Flour used to come in sacks, not made of paper, paper was very expensive to make, flour came in "sacking" you know, white material.  This was not wasted, it was used, for undergarments for children (my mom for example) or, they were cut out, and hemmed for use for drying the dishes.  Who had dishwashers after all?  This is where the rant begins, hold on.
Women had much work to do, but humans have always wanted to surround ourselves with art, with beauty, we crave it.  Women especially have tended to fill their everyday, practical possessions with beauty.  Not art to be hung on the wall, but art that was used, worn, covered our children's and our husband's bodies, and their beds.  Quilts, socks, sweaters, shawls, blankets, we've made them from new materials when we could afford it, and out of scraps of old things (old dresses became quilt pieces when the dresses could no longer be worn) so as not to waste anything.. who could afford to waste? Striped socks, after all, were striped only because you needed to use up bits of yarn that was left over from other projects. This is a rant, because so many of my friends, when I make things for them, don't want to use them, they want to frame them and put them on a wall... or I see these flour sack towels at antique shows.. like old furniture.

And we made our flour sack towels beautiful too.. my mother told me that my mum used to take seven towels with her during election day, when she and my mother's aunts would man the polls for the town, and she would take the embroidery floss, and each woman would get a towel.  By the end of the day, mum would come home with a new set of seven, the colors chosen by the woman doing the work.  I imagine that they discussed this with each other casually.  I bet my mom could tell, when mum got home, which aunt did which towel.. knowing my mom, I bet she tried to guess. My mom learned to embroidery on flour sack towels.. for that matter, so did I... After my first, laborious cross stitch, I still avoid cross stitch.

Circling back to the point, when I got those Aunt Martha's stamps, I tried to iron on the one in the picture up there (before the rant) and it was in red, and too faint to see.  I was so disappointed, I set the towels aside, they've been in a box for years.  The day I got home from my mum's funeral, John wanted to go to Joanne's for some gold ribbon for his Knug Fu belt... I went to the embroidery section (not my usual section as you know.. I was called, I swear) and I found this... just one was there...

It looked more modern, but is the exact same stamping... So instead of knitting lately, I've been working on these. 

 I've been asking various people at random intervals to pick out colors, people at work have gotten used to this, I had someone gripe at me the other day.. "HEY! it was my turn to pick the color for the guy's shirt!" (true story!)  My thought was to try to duplicate the different color choices that would have come that election day with my mum and all of my Great Aunts.  I'm starting the 5th one today, I've promised Sam that he can pick the color for the lettering (I always start there) but I'm going to be picking up my mom soon and we are going shopping today... I want her to pick out colors for the last one.  It's only fair.  

I will be using them, of course.  The ones I did way back in 2008 (you can see them in the history of the blog) have been well used, and need to be retired, they are stained with strawberry pop, and something greasy that John was cleaning up (God help me).  But these are to be USED, to be a part of every day. And I will save the old ones, maybe send them off to my quilting friends, they can use the old panels for quilting blocks.  Waste not, want not.. and everyday life, even doing the dishes, should be beautiful.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Gave the blanket to Rebecca this morning... she cried.  She's decided that she is giving it to her first grandchild.  Who is on the way. The beat goes on and on and on and on...and that is exactly what I was talking about, you know?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Finishing what's been started.

Do you know what this is?

This is Michelle, knitting on an afghan in 85+ heat, in a car, see?

Why you may ask?  It's kind of connected to the last post.. kinda, you see, I have been 3 times honored.. I have had people come to me and say,

 "My mother started this blanket, and she didn't finish it before she died, Michelle, do you think you can look at it and see if you can finish it for me?"

Actually one of the times was a man who's grandmother had made him an afghan for his high school graduation and it was unraveling.. Les is a grandpa himself now, mid 60's I patched it up, and I hope he will have it for the rest of his life.  He treasures it for what it is.

Anyway the point is that a friend handed me this garbage sack with a blanket in it (they have all brought them to me such... I wonder why?) and Rebecca-- who is a master baker, master canner, and master gardener.. among other things (I admire her greatly, I can tell you) said that her mother had it almost finished and just didn't quite get it done.  I opened this up today on the way to a family birthday party, knowing that I would have at least an hour both ways to work on this with no thoughts of "I should be doing the dishes" getting in the way, and I found that Rebecca was right.. there was only one row and then the casting off.. I wonder if she knew how close her mom really was to done.

As I finished this, I thought to myself, over the centuries, how many women have quietly picked up their mother's unfinished work, and stitch by stitch, completed it for her.  Not just because of the waste of the unfinished work.. that would be bad too, but because of the connection of the loved one.  The shared effort of the completed work. Mom would have wanted it to be finished, she was still working on it after all.  How stretching out over the time of humanity this compulsion must have happened again, and again, and again.  As a very private mourning between mother and daughter, or even father and son, they had work to be finished too. This compulsion is so strong, that even when the skills are not known by everyone, and every house no longer has a work basket, people reach out to someone who does have the skill to see the work completed.

I'll tell the truth here, tears slid down my checks as I cast off that last stitch today, and I prayed for Rebecca and her mother.. I don't even know what her name was, but I found one of her hairs knitted into the afghan and smiled.  I came home this evening and washed and dried the completed blanket. 
I feel a deep and true satisfaction that nearly no one can tell where her work started, and my ending came. 

After all, it was mother's work, and I was just finishing what she started, honorarily.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Amuma (Grandmother)

Amuma is Basque for Grandmother. (pronounced a moo ma--short a sound both times) This was my mother's mother, and June 1st she died.   We had gotten a call the day before to let us know that her kidneys were shutting down, and my mother called to let me know that she and my dad were going to drive to Eastern Oregon the next day.  I really wanted to go, but my husband was supposed to go to North Carolina for a Knug Fu Testing.  (He is a 6th degree black belt and was to sit on a testing board)  My wonderful husband cancelled his trip, and told me to go to the funeral.  So within an hour, I had called work let them know I would be gone, told my mom to pick me up on her way out of town, and had started to pack.

You see, my Amuma had a really rocky path of a life.  In a time when mental frailty was just not spoken of, and handled even worse, my Amuma had to deal with everyday life with what would have been called "having had a break down"  (my other Grandma Alice always used to say of the subject  "What did we know?  We knew nothing about mental illness, and we still know very little--Grandma Alice was very wise.)

Don't get me wrong, this did not define my mum (pronounced moom) She was in so many ways the most generous of women.  She loved fiercely, but often did not show it as easily, mum's way was to make sure that you had peaches when they were in season, or some money to take to the store to buy candy.   This, of course, was my perception as a child.   When I was a young woman, Mum and I went to the movies together, and my perception changed.  This is the story I told at her funeral.

After my Ichica (I-long sound cheecha) (grandfather) died my mum and I went to see the movie Ghost
and when the scene with Patrick Swazyee and Demi Moore came on with them working with the pottery wheel.. you know the one right? I was getting worried.  I thought to myself.  "Geesh, this is a little hot and heavy for my mum." and I looked over at her to see how she was taking the scene.  She had tears running down her face.  I was really worried, I said
"Mum, are you okay?"  she answered me without taking her eyes from the screen.

"I had the world's best lover."

This was spoken so softly, with such passion. I was completely floored.  My perception of humanity changed at that very moment.  Grandparents had lovers.  Mothers and Fathers had lovers.  Not just the knowledge of this that our heads have.. that in our minds we know this must be so because we ourselves are here.. but the heart felt, soul touched surety.  That before I felt the pull of passion, before I cried tears of joy from the beauty of my lover's embrace, my grandparents felt this same desire, the same pull toward each other.  I have never looked at any one person in the same way.  That moment with my Amuma changed my entire world view.  Every one of us, Grandparents, Parents, everyone you meet has had hopes, dreams, aspirations, despairs, and lovers.

My Grandmother lived  23 years after the death of her lover.

I had said to one of my cousins the day before the funeral that I was feeling guilty that I wasn't more upset (of course I started crying then when I said that at the funeral) but what came to me the next morning, and what I said at the end was that I knew that at the minute of my mum's death, my mum and cheech shared a kiss that shook the universe.  How could I be sad for that?

This isn't exactly how I said it of course.. I didn't write it down, and I was speaking to family, they all knew the love that my grandparents shared. At that country funeral, with their best wrangler jeans on, and their Stetsons covering their hearts, many of those still there witnessed that love from beginning to end.  What did I know?  I came in kind of late in the game after all.  But on that very windy hill, with the sun just peeking through some fluffy white clouds in a little town called Jordan Valley, Oregon it seemed the right time to point it out again. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Almost Summer

Tomorrow is the last half day of school... I am so very ready.  I think I'm more ready than my boys. 

summer, summer, summer, summer, SUMMER!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take that you lacey blue thingy...

Well.. I do hate to lose.  

Now I just need to run it to my friend Melissa.. and be done with it.   I think I just stuck my knitting tongue out at it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

So you think you can knit??

This is for all of my readers (the two of you) that always go on and on about my ability to knit absolutely anything, and with the apparent thought that I never, never get frustrated with it.  I envision you thinking that I serenely sit back, knitting, without looking at my hands, with a beatific smile on my face, and a glow to my skin.  


I have been knitting for over a week to try to work on a little lacy cowl for a friend of mine.  She has a Bar Mitzvah to photograph at the last part of May.. the 20th to be exact.   The family is Orthodox, so she will need to have her head covered in Temple.  This will be perfect for her.  A cowl will lay around her neck outside, be lovely over her head inside, and is so, so light that she can wear it, even on the hottest days of the summer. 

I hate this thing.  It is a very easy little lace pattern.  Really it is. Two rows, one pattern row, one knit row, and every damn row I was off on the stitches.   I HATE to count stitches on each row.  In my arrogance I checked the errata on line to see if the pattern was written wrong, you know, missing a step?   I found out that I was reading the pattern wrong, and then was okay.. like, "All right, I was just reading this wrong.. I'm such a goober, but it happens." 

So I sat down to work on this again, and yet again... YET AGAIN I am off on the stitches... I was so mad, so fire breathing dragon mad that I did this.....

I cut the whole thing off the needles and recast on the damn thing.. 90 new, long tail cast stitches.  I will start working on it again tonight sometime,  but I had to knit on some socks just to settle my nerves.      

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update on Grandma.. and stuff

Just to let you know  Grandma Betty is doing really well, she had a couple of pins put in, she spent 3 weeks in Rehab and is back home... that woman is my hero.  Actually she is stronger now after 3 weeks of forced labor.. no rest for the wicked I told her.  Things are really great around here, except that I have had no time to pick up my violin, and I have to be the homework Nazi tonight,  helping the 14 year old Sam write "Six and one half paragraphs" (the original assignment is 8 paragraphs, which is an insurmountable task for any spectrum child) this was due on Friday... Last Friday... it's Tuesday.  He has not started this assignment, and will not until I go over, start yelling, cajoling, threatening.  Frankly I'm ready to drowned my angst in the copious amounts of sugar left over from Easter baskets.. I am really looking forward to summer.  No homework.  I bet Pam is looking forward to Summer too.  OHHHHHHH   I am being called into the dark void of homework.. the excuses are starting.. ("I cannot read the notes" is the big one right now) and "Mom, do you know what this says???" was just yelled from the other room.. 

Let us bow our heads and pray for the sanity of  Chelle.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catch up

I have to take some pictures.. I have a new green hooded sweater.. that is all "Lord of the Rings"-elven like, and I'm making new slippers. I've got yarn on order to choose for another sweater.. I'm on a hoodie kick lately. I'm sure it has nothing to do with Oregon weather, and I've made some adorable hats for my photographer friend.. Oh.. I can show you those.. see..
She is an amazing photographer.. and a really nice lady too. She laughs at my jokes, which is kind of a prerequisite for being my friend.. my ego being what it is..
I'm still learning the violin.. and will be forever. Learning what my instructor calls the "monster instrument to learn" LONG TERM PROJECT.
I had another skype session with Joan.. and I would do a little cool linky thingy to her blog.. which is on the side of my blog.. Joan's Good Life.. if I could but, I'm not a good geek with computers..
I really love Joan. What a great person, she laughs at my jokes a lot. And I totally almost made her spew when I told her she was a chicken shit... but you kinda had to be there. Joan's great for my ego too.
Do you see what you're missing Pam? We need to have a coffee date on Skype.. I love this day and age. When I was a child, the women of the neighborhood would come together and have coffee after all the children went off to school to start their day.. I call it "Coffee table counseling". In my family it is still the best therapy out there.. With skype, my neighborhood now includes Nebraska, and Sody Daisy, Tn. (I love the name of that town).
On the more serious side this morning.. I would ask for some prays for my Grandma Betty, who just turned 93 last month. She fell last night and broke her hip. She has surgery in one hour. She is, far and away, one of my heroes, what a strong, amazing woman, who still has the sense to laugh at herself, and the rest of us-she keeps me humble, she does.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Skyping with my homies

Well, maybe just with one of my homies.. or maybe with Joan.. you know of Joan's good life? Out of the blue on Saturday I get this call from Nebraska.. you know on my caller ID? and my husband says "Nebraska?" like "Really?"

Anywho, it was Joan, saying "If I have to spend one more hour puzzling out this sock heel alone I may just commit sock Hari Kari (that is loosely translated of course.. I'm taking my usual fictional license here) I was thrilled! I was so excited to talk to her, but trying to "show" someone how to knit a short row heel over the phone is more than even my own vocal overachieving self can manage.

She pushed me into it.. (Actually I've been wanting it for ages, it was the perfect excuse!) I went and got a computer camera and set up Skype. And by Sunday afternoon, we were hanging out and I was contorting around to show her how to knit a short row heel..

There were ooohhhs and aaahhhs.. a general all around gushing over the technique ---the only way I do my heels by the by. I was feeling great about the whole thing, until Joan e-mailed me later to confess that she spent her time watching instead of doing and needs to see it again... Now I've been teaching knitting for years and all I can say is "D'OH!"-- because I know better, always, always, always have the student doing most of the work.. not the teacher.. geesh. Sorry Joan, my dear.. my own personal epic fail... I can only blame it on my overwhelming sense of being a Jetson and having video telephone stuff.. I felt all Star Trekkie..

I'll be calling Joan soon.. She has socks to finish..

Oh and Pam, ready to move on past scarves? I'm there for you homie!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Food thoughts

I've been listening to this book..."In defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. I have to say. I really like the main premise of the book.. Basically... and with much simplification, our bodies are not anthropologically ready for all of our Western, processed food. Maybe, someday we will have super insulin ability that will process all that extra glucose without the fiber we need now.. but we're not there yet. Looking around my house I see nothing but processed food.

Oddly enough, I was raised in a very traditional household. (pre 1950's even... my mom grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon.. very Eastern.. she did not have running water or electricity until she was 10 years old. Very pioneer upbringing...) Traditional upbringing in the cooking/crafting department that is.. (Mom is a very modern woman.. boys better clean toilets too darn it!)

Apple Pie was still considered breakfast, thank you.. Along with corrizos, eggs, bacon, toast; the normal fare. Everything.. nearly everything was made from scratch.. Store bought cookies? Whatever for? You cannot buy oatmeal date cookies anyway (my favorite, by the way)

I have found my health declining these last several years.. slowly, Thyroid is low, blood sugar up, weight on. Frankly.. I'm tired of it. I have a great sense of humor damn it.. But my vanity has only allowed me so much leeway on this. So this year, I'm trying something new. No diet.

This is the thing.. It is all about what goes in has to be less than what goes out. I know this. If I measure every calorie, I will lose weight very quickly. But I have no time to breathe lately, and no energy to expend on measuring every single morsel. I, instead, purpose to try to be sure that what enters my body follow a whole foods approach. What if I only eat food as we used too? My own whole wheat bread (not slabs of it with loads of butter...but a piece with an egg in the morning for breakfast) -- This, in itself, is an experiment, I've been avoiding wheat (processed) because it's been making me sick for months. What if I have some cheese and a piece of fruit for a snack.. not pudding in a plastic cup? Wrap up some tuna salad in some lettuce leaves.. not bread.

To my foodie friends out there, this may seem an obvious thing. But I am really coming to the realization that I am not able to continue to eat all of this processed crap and still maintain a healthy body... but I am tired of trying to analyze every single morsel that I chew.

I just want to eat without the freak out.

I'm going to bake some bread now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

slightly mad..

I have 5 children in my house right now.. from 9 to 15.. watching Disney channel. I spent all afternoon grocery shopping (Costco, then groceries) then putting away the groceries.. cleaning the fridge (kinda) and then doing the resulting dishes. Then making dinner (it was late). There are now dishes to do again.. I need to get up to go to work at 4:00 am (yeah, I work every other Sat.) and right now, while I write a very short post this day.. this day in which I have not touched either yarn or violin.. the kitchen sink is drip, drip,drip,drip,dripping because the last child that but his dish in the sink from dinner did not turn it all the way off..... I'm off to save the earth by finishing the dishes and stopping a drip. My sanity will be a bit harder to save I think...

Can I get a witness??

Monday, January 10, 2011

Silent Crafting.

You may know that I work in a call center.. I like my job, even given all the jokes out there about customer service.. I've had horrible service too... But I've been doing this work for 20 years, and frankly I'm very good at it. It's an acting job really. Improv. One call there is a woman on the phone whose son just died, the next call a young woman is calling to change her name because she just got married.. you need to keep up with the emotions of the caller. Not everyone is made for this job, and many, many reps are there for 6 months to a year before they just walk out. True story.

Today however, I am not at work because I have a bad chest cold that caused me to have laryngitis. The only way to treat this is to shut up. Do not speak, do not yell at the children (nasty looks and a coach's whistle are what I resort to for scolding...) Lots of hot beverages to soothe your voice box, and with any luck.. peace and quiet. Once your voice box has been damaged, it will react quickly and swell up to protect itself from more damage.. one of the most reactive muscles of your body. This is why, when I get a chest cold.. I always end up silent.. It almost kills me, every time.

Today however I am going to be working on crafting. I have this huge list of things that need my attention. Some big projects, some small.. The list is on my dry wipe wall.. see?

I may try to get some of the little things done.. like "fix Monica's slipper", that wouldn't take long. I am, however in a race to finish a baby blanket for the neighbor lady, who is expecting a baby girl after 3 boys... here it is so far.. And yes, there is a cat underneath it, who can find a surface in my house not used by a cat?

Here is a bit of a close up on the pattern.. If you want it Joan let me know.. I'll mail you a copy. Wait until you see it done.. It has a fancy lacy edge too.. I have 3 little girls to make gifts for, so I may do another of these too.. frankly I started this yesterday morning. It goes quickly.

And then, last but not least, and as comedic relief.. I finished a dog coat for a friend of mine. I'd never done such a thing before, and wanted to make sure that it would work.. So I grabbed someone close to size and tried it on him..

I know that it was not kind.. and he was not amused.. in the royal sense of the word. But the family got a really big laugh out of this. And hey.. it fit, so another success.