Friday, July 31, 2009

The return of discipline

When I was in college, I was a machine. I worked two jobs and took mostly full class loads. I walked everywhere. I interned. I exercised. I cooked at home. I stuffed each day til the seams burst, and I got up the next day and did it again.

Since then, I have gone soft. I work one job and take no classes. I drive everywhere. I think about volunteering and going back to school, but have yet to sign up. I get no exercise. I force myself to cook - sometimes. And I get up the next day and I do it again.

So I need to get it together. I need to get busier, and back to the discipline that I used to practice. I think goals are a good place to start (and I don't mean watching soccer).

Goal #1
Plug away on my embroidery project, which one day will be a beautiful throw pillow. Also, master the stupid french knot! (Embroidery is not like kissing. The french version of "knotting" is "knot" more fun than our regular old kind.) (HA! Pun intended, obviously, or I would have spelled it right.)

Goal #2
Make peace with my sewing machine, which hates me.

Goal #3
Clean more regularly, maybe on Friday mornings, so that I'll quit freaking out about what a mess my house is. (Poor Abe. Someone give him a cookie.)

Goal #4
Make jam out of the blueberries in my freezer. Mmmm. To do this, I will first need to actually win an ebay auction for a pressure cooker. Please pray for me.

Goal #5

Five is good for now. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me

and to my most wonderful husband, who I married a year ago today. As he said this morning, "I've never been married this long before."

Here I am, making the best decision of my life. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

5 Things with Pictures

5 Things I did this past weekend:
  • Blueberry picking, where I spent my life savings on blueberries for jam, and learned everything about a retired man in the blueberry patch who could not stop talking, even though it was 7 am. (He plays classical guitar. He can play anything that's ever been written for the classical guitar. He swims five miles every day. He walks ten miles every day. He was the best sight reader in Virginia. He flew to St. Louis every week for his job. He thinks the military should shoot up DC and not the Middle East. Then my head exploded and grew a sunflower out the top.) (Please look past my grimace and my disgusting man-hand to admire the bucket of blueberries I picked.)
  • Celebrated Abe's (belated) birthday all Saturday long, 7 am to 11:30 pm, with all of his siblings. Among other things, he got a cooler. Let's go car camping!
  • Shower babies (Have I mentioned I'm going to be a real Aunt? Abe's sister has a little hot cross bun in the oven). I embroidered onesies, and finished just in time for the shower-- and I was flattered when my sister-in-law did not even know they were homemade. (Or maybe she was being kind. I have to be realistic - I cannot draw, and I came up with those bad boy baby animal designs with no assistance or supervision.) (As a side note, that little rubber Mighty Duck turns white if the bath water is too hot. The technology!)
  • Ate a fast food breakfast that I'm fairly certain was entirely fried in lard. Gross, Jack in the Box, gross. My arteries scream in protest of you.
  • Finally put pictures on my computer from our trip to Raleigh a weekend or so ago. Here, Abe is pictured standing upside down on one hand by the Kerr Lake, so you know we had a good time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mostly I am just too tired to blog

On Wednesday nights, I sleep at work. (It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.) I get off at 7 am, and drive home to go back to sleep. (Mm, sleep.) And every morning as I pull into the parking lot, I see a man with a beard and a backpack, running up the hill and into the woods. I imagine he's running to catch a bus - but I'm fairly certain there's no bus stop where he's headed (isn't that the way to Grandmother's house?).

So that was this morning.

This afternoon I left my house a little before 2:30 pm. I was listening to NPR and sweating like a fool, waiting for the a/c to kick on. It was about a thousand degrees outside. And then I see this man in his running shorts and a sweatband running down the sidewalk, juggling. That is called Showing Off.

I was wondering - what's with all the crazies? And I thought maybe it was work-related. Like, maybe I'm hallucinating.

But then I got to work, and it continued. At dinner, my crazy client was acting Normal, and all my "normal" clients wanted to fight each other. This culminated in a giant meeting where all the residents yelled at each other until they worked out their issues, and I needed a tylenol the size of a desk chair.

And then we really lost it.

That's what it equals, when you have 1 minor client + many mental health issues - all medication due to her pregnancy. So this girl runs to her room, where she starts by throwing all of her stuff, and when she's exhausted her belongings, starts throwing furniture. She calmed down a little, crawled under her bed, and then refused to communicate or come out.

And then someone flashed me.

Now I need Behavioral Health to send an ambulance for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You say it's your birthday

Happy Birthday, Abram Kovach. Of all the men I've ever met, you're my favorite.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

a little "help" from my friends

Finally, my Kina makes her solo internet debut! Which means she finally stood still for half a second so I could get a picture to show y'all her pretty green eyes and little white chest freckle.She's been very helpful lately, as a matter of fact - today she "helped me" wrap Abe's birthday gifts -- by which I mean she ate the paper, and then the ribbon, and then got her fur stuck in all the tape. In this picture, she was helping me bake.

What else? Zucchini muffins! When I lived in Portland and cooked for one, I used to make these and freeze them. If you take a muffin or two out of the freezer the night before and put it in the fridge, it will be perfect by breakfast (and warm if you toaster oven it for a minute!) This recipe calls for lining the muffin tins, so it gets bonus points for easy clean-up and minus points for wasting paper.

3/4 c. flour (I use a mix of soy and white flours)
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
about 1/2 c. sugar (I used less - bonus health points and minus delicious points)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini
several handfuls of chopped pecans

Stir together: flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Add dry ingredients and stir only until everything is moistened. Gently stir in nuts. Bake in a lined 12-cup muffin pan at 375 degrees for 20 or so minutes.

Then try not to eat them all in one sitting (it turns out zucchini muffins are nearly as good for lunch as ice cream sandwiches).

*I do have to issue caution for those of you who are now inspired to bake with your pets. You should really never bake with anyone (friend or feline) whose hair you're not willing to eat. (This may be why Abe and I rarely cook together these days. His beard hairs have gotten far too long and coarse to go in my couscous.) I took pictures of my muffins this morning - because looking at the pictures is the bulk of the fun - and I was especially proud of one shot in particular. So I emptied the camera onto the computer, ready to post it here - and then realized that there was a long white kitten hair sticking straight up from the top of the muffin in front. Like a birthday candle, saying "ew."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I realized before work as I was eating ice cream sandwich from off my laptop (don't judge. Let he without paper towels cast the first stone when he drips ice cream sandwich on his laptop.) that I have been inert. (That, folks, is the word of the day, because just like me with a cold, it's short and it sounds hilarious.)

July has so far been a very uninspiring month, something that I blame on the virus that clobbered me last Friday. Since then, I have:

  • Forced my (fantastic and visiting) friend Millie to stay in with me on July 4th - if you see her, please give her a prize for being so nice about it, and for purchasing cookies.
  • Watched all twelve hours of 'Lord of the Rings' on DVD...
  • ...and subsequently dreamt 'Lord of the Rings'-flavored dreams two nights in a row.
  • Coughed, sneezed, and slept more than I should probably ever tell.
  • Purchased two boxes of expensive cold medicine for only 1.97 at CVS, thanks to convenient clearance sales and a $2 off coupon on one of the boxes. (Good thing they were cheap, because they are now also gone.)
  • Eaten ice cream sandwiches for lunch three times.
  • Stayed in bed until noon nearly every day.
  • Forgotten to call the Mazda guys about my Mazda maintenance.
  • Forgotten to check the mail for the power bill.
  • Forgotten altogether about car insurance; mine may have expired. (Does it expire? I may be too stupid to be this grown up.)

Today I finally dragged myself out of bed (do I need to tell you that it wasn't until 11:30? Maybe I'll leave that part out), went to the store for eggs, and made zucchini muffins. Tomorrow I will probably tell you the recipe. And maybe work out, because I have renewed motivation for that, too: one of the (otherwise hilarious) women I work with decided to be funny and start a rumor that I'm "not feeling well" because I'm secretly pregnant with twins.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mail order brides not sold here

Ring, ring...
Me: Florence Crittenton Services, this is Karen.
Caller: Florence Crystal? Who?
Me: Florence Crittenton Services.
Caller: Oh. What? Is that a maternity home?
Me: Yes.
Caller: Does that have to do with marital um, status?
Me: Excuse me, what?
Caller: Does that have to do with marital status?
Me: No, it’s for pregnant women.
Caller: Oh! So it’s women who are expecting?
Me: Yes.
Caller: Oh. I’m sorry. I thought maternity was like, about marital status.
Me: Nope.
Caller: Okay, well, sorry.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Just Relax. This Won't Hurt."

Well, I'm "back."

And with chiropractic news, so that pun was most definitely intended. On Tuesday, my back hurt so badly that at one point I threw up, and at another point I may have told my husband that I "just wanted to die." Yes, when it comes to pain, I am spineless. But now I have an excuse!

Abe tucked me in on the living room floor, and tried to keep me company while I writhed there in pain (Someone please give the man a medal. He was trying so hard to be nearby and comforting, but I was Highly Unreasonable and kept changing positions as I rolled around on the floor in an effort to alleviate the pain. Every time I moved, he was in the way, so I think he was relieved to have an excuse to leave when I needed something to puke in. That, friends, is Love). At 3:00, Abe's chiropractor's office opened, so Abe picked out some clothes (that is Really Love) and took me over. There, I was dressed in a gown, felt up the back, and body slammed by the good doctor. (Do I get extra pity points if I mention he outweighed me by probably 100 lbs?) The doctor found a sprain in my back, which was causing the pain, and discovered from my x-rays that my back is broke.*

(Abe called me Evil Knievel, and then called all his siblings to brag about how tough his woman is: backpacking and kayaking with a broken spine! I can't exactly take this credit, because I had no idea. Also, it's been broken for a long enough time to make my pelvis grow lopsided to compensate. Someday, when I'm feeling especially meek, I may even tell you the embarrassing story of how my back break might have happened. Maybe tomorrow.)

*This is now a good excuse for all sorts of things. "No, you client who can't stop complaining or getting on my nerves, I cannot go on a walk with you, because my back is broken." "Abe, can you please wash the dishes/get me an ice pack/make the bed? It's just that my back is broken." "Your power over me is broken, exercise DVD collecting dust in the corner! I can have nothing to do with you, what with my back being broken."