Sunday, August 26, 2012


I wonder sometimes just how much of an effect the food I eat has on my moods. For example, I wonder if consuming high amounts of sugar causes a feeling similar to actual depression.

Today I had birthday cake and ice cream and I started feeling really sad after that. I'd also eaten potato chips and cereal earlier today, but the cereal was frosted mini wheats, so I feel like I've been eating straw to the breaking point. Stuffed. Like a scarecrow.

Ah, you can't really count the potato chips against me though, since I made them in my microwave and the only oil that touched them was the olive oil I brushed on the cooking plate to prevent sticking. Just the tiniest amount of salt in the seasoning as well. All in all, fairly healthy for a potato. I'm considering trying sweet potato chips, because those really are good for you and I don't like them. Something in my brain tells me something isn't right when I eat them. Maybe as super healthy crunchy chips I could tolerate them.

I haven't been drinking my water at all. Not at work, where I've been trying the sweet tea, and discovered that by adding two-thirds water to the tea, I like it. No water in my classroom, because I spend the day running back and forth to a distant bathroom. I think that and not eating oatmeal for breakfast has caused the stuffed feeling. I really must make a serious effort to not eat cafeteria food as well.

What to do... Become a vegetarian, I suppose. My body certainly can live off its fat storage for a while. Bring back the weight training to strengthen my legs which hurt me so. :). Running would be great if not for my involuntary two steps back, one step forward approach. Prep my oatmeal days in advance and have it ready to take to work in glass jars. Get a microwave for my closet so I can heat my oatmeal. Cut down on the coffee before work.

More than anything else, I get the feeling that I am bothering people when I talk to them. They want to talk when they have time to talk about what is on their mind, and I understand that. But sometimes I feel like I am imposing on their attention. That may even be my imagination, but I really can't tell. I certainly don't want to ask. I'm wondering if maybe I should apologize for my behavior of a few days ago. I don't think I did anything wrong, but you never know how someone else may take what you do.

Next week I'm adding a couple of extra hours to my work days. It's not so much the money (though that does help) as it is to keep myself busy and keep from bothering people. I know that when they want me around, some may let me know. I just don't like spending do much time alone with my thoughts. Those who know me best understand that I really don't need as much time as I already have to sit and think about my life. It's not a good thing. I figure out a lot of things and sometimes ignorance would indeed be better.

Keep busy, and don't bother other people so much. That's the key.

Well, I've had two of my eight glasses of water today. I think I'd better stop there, though, because drinking tons of water too fast for my body to acclimate causes it to all pool in my lower legs. :). If I slowly increase the amount, maybe my water levels will regulate themselves properly. So tomorrow, on to three glasses of water And so on.

I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow after work. Maybe that'll help clear out some of my owwies and improve my mood.

Maybe I should just put myself to sleep for the night... It's not 10:00 yet, but there is hardly a good outcome to me staying up any later.

Monkey Ears and Burgundy Dilemmas

I'm a bit puzzled this morning. I woke up feeling well-rested and relatively pain free (well, until my feet hit the floor and my legs screamed hello. LOL) but a few minutes later, my back started hurting. The same problem area between my spine and shoulder blade, and running down under my shoulder blade feels like it is crawling within the muscle. Yeah, that's a creepy feeling. Haha. Oh, but there is a new detail. That patch of skin makes me think that it is itching, it when I reach back to scratch it, it's numb. Oh dear. And here I thought the nerve problem was restricted to a pinched nerve in my lower back that's now troubling both of my legs.

Well, the neurosurgeon DID tell me that though my spine is healthy, the nerve problem is a degenerative one and there is nothing I can do about it but take pain pills that will make me gain weight.

Eh, no thanks. I'll go with the smile and pretend I'm not hurting approach. :D That's what makes everyone else happy, anyway. We aim to please.

Since taking time off from the gym hasn't made any improvement and I'm still freaking exhausted from work, I'm going to have to make a better attempt at going every day. It certainly couldn't hurt more, right? LOL

If I could act on my good intentions, I would get up at five, spend an hour on the elliptical trainer (before anyone else is even at the gym) go to work, and then go back to the gym for weight training and more elliptical time. Somewhere in there I might become strong enough to pick up my 5 k training again. I only wish that it wasn't becoming more painful as I progress. Doesn't make any sense, does it?

In any event, I can't do anything that might make me sore until Tuesday afternoon. I'm being observed Tuesday morning, and being too stiff and sore to move wouldn't be good for my evaluation. It would probably be absolutely hilarious, BUT I will restrict my humor to the instructional objective. I already dreamed that I totally fouled up the lesson, then I woke up and laughed because I still have two days to prepare for it. It wasn't a scary or even stressful dream; I didn't really care what went wrong. Hahah and that's the way it should be in real life. If I lose my job, I'm quitting the profession, moving away, and going to art school. Yeah, that's it. Okay, I would stick around if I have a good reason.

I never can tell about these things anyway, until, of course, that moment when my fiancé tells me he is soon marrying the woman he was dating behind my back the whole while. Yeah... that really happened. Actually, I dodged a bullet with that situation. They got a divorce and I got my eyes opened. I'm okay, really. :D. Really!

This is a tad random, but I'm watching Love, Actually, and I just noticed something. The teacher at the Christmas pageant with the big monkey ears? He turned to the side and I could see there is something in place behind those ears to push them forward deliberately. :D. So I'm not being evil to snicker at his ears after all. Guilt alleviated. Oh, I'm sure he hasn't got a problem with his ears.... After all, he's been in a lot of movies and I'm a nobody sitting alone on her bed typing her thoughts on an iPad. He has an audience of millions, and mine is an audience of about seven. Ah, seven, what a magical number. Heheh Hey, I appreciate my tiny handful of readers.

Happy moments... Had some of those lately :) , though perhaps not exactly the ones someone might expect if I told them all the details. Of course, I'm not about to. I just hope I have a chance to smooth over my rough edges, so to speak. Ah well, imperfections are what make us human after all.

Christmas is dreadfully close for people who are creating handmade gifts for their loved ones. That would be me. If not for the requests that have already been made, I could make one each year and not have a problem. Oh, but in my family, I get three requests at once! For crocheted blankets... A lot more solid, time-consuming, and expensive than afghans, the way I make them. Oh boy... I haven't even gotten materials ordered for one, and for the other two, they can't decide on colors. Well, my dad has, only he chose colors that the yarn isn't manufactured in whatsoever. Argh.

I mean, who would have thought that they don't make the yarn in burgundy, of all colors? It's not an unreasonable color to expect to find.

What to do?

I may create a woven effect with red and grey, and hope that the overall effect equals an impression of burgundy. Hey man, that's all I've got, and it's very important to me that I make him happy in this. He's 76, and I worry, though I can't let it show outwardly. Need I spell it out?

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Apothecary Attacks

My poor dog has scabs between his shoulders. I don't know why, but I've notices recently that he goes into total scratchgasm when my long fingernails stroke him there. He keeps making those twitchy, jerky attempts to bite himself there, but he can't reach the place. It's not quite to the point of being a hot spot, but I gave him a very thorough bath yeaterday and saw not the first flea anywhere, nor any flea dirt (blood) on him.

I suspect that his recently acquired fetish for being scratched there has led to some abrasions. Hey, we've all done it, right? Scratched an itchy place until the nerve endings there were so aroused only scratch-till-you-bleed will satisfy you.... And yet, it never really scratches that itch, as so many activities fail to do.

I do have a bottle of Sulfodene to use in him but I wanted to try my herbal skin healing spray on him first. After all, it's more soothing than the doggie first aid antiseptic. And it smells better. It did make my skin grow back faster after that horrible sunburn.

So I was scratching his back and got up to go to the bathroom. I swear, that little furball can read my mind! While I was gone to pee and grab the spray bottle out of the medicine cabinet, he ducked under the bed to hide.



So I went to the kitchen for some Pupperoni to lure him out. It didn't work. He waited until I left the room to dart out and grab the bite I left to bribe him with, and went back under the bed.

He waited on the bed for more treats, but was afraid to come forward and get it. He probably smelled the combination of aloe, tea tree oil, and lavender in the spray bottle.

Yeah, I like mixing up things like that. What of it? I'd have loved Professor Snape's potions class. It's a fact. Well, maybe for more reason than the chemistry.

When he was a puppy, he rather spitefully chewed through the wires of an expensive headset I used for Ventrilo guild chat when I played World of Warcraft for hours each day. He also yanked the plug on my computer more than once. I watched him do it. He walked in nonchalantly, went under my chair to the plug-in, looked up at me to see if he would get caught, then yanked out the master plug to my entire computer system.

Without a doubt, he knew what he was doing. I had to rub tea tree oil on the wires of my next headset. He got one taste and learned his lesson. Ha ha ha. He has run from the smell ever since.

Mommy the Apothecary did get hold of him and doctor him up with the homemade healer, but I don't think it did enough to soothe the irritated scratchgasm nerve, so I did treat it with Sulfodene as well.

Poor fella.

Shivering Under Feathers

I slept under my new down comforter last night, albeit without a duvet cover, which made me nervous. I was shivering, and though it is late August, I felt like I had caught a chill.

I think I have found a place to buy one though, without having to get an entire set of matching shams. I just need the duvet cover. Last night I was shivering (and it was a hot August day) so I decided to put it on the bed and relive my night trapped in London, sick with a sinus infection.

I sort of did relive it, probably just fighting off another sinus infection. My nose left bloody little telltale signs when I woke up. Apparently I developed fever at five am, because I remember getting really hot and wanting no bedding on me. Still, I'm loving this down comforter. It's like getting a full body hug from a Puffalump. Comforting. So I must protect it before it gets stained.

My dog already burrowed between the real comforter on top and the down comforter underneath. I'm just glad I'd given him a bath last night. This morning he didn't want to come out from his cuddly little burrow. Mean Mommy toted him to the door despite his grunted protests and promptly deposited his adorable butt on the doorstep.

I slept very well last night, so when I got to work and discovered that 4 of the 6 teachers in my department were absent, I felt like the googly-eyed Gremlin. I wanna know who forgot to send me the memo that it was departmental skip day!

Despite the chaos that today very well could have become, it went well. My boss admitted that he laughed at me when I got onto some kids about cutting line at lunch. As if... He didn't think I had it in me? :D Sure I do....

Always have, but wasn't always backed up on it by my superiors. Sometimes the lack of support was disheartening... Do my job correctly, and for my troubles I got my knees cut out from under me.... But that hasn't happened in a few years, thank goodness. Once way back when I even was told to let the rich folks' kids off the hook because they were "prominent members of local society." REALLY? Reinforce their mistaken notion that the rules just didn't apply to them? Being of the plebeian class myself, that attitude really disturbed me. And I couldn't do anything about it.

Well, I shouldn't be surprised, because after all, the same person called me a spinster to my face, and didn't seem to think there was anything discriminatory or insulting about it. I suppose some people only discern injury when it happens to them. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Today's hyper vigilance kept me wide-eyed and pressured to smile and be sweet about every little challenge that came along. Pressure from myself... It wasn't so much a plan as a coping mechanism. I felt better about my day at quitting time though, and that's what matters to me. I was the person I wanted to be, in other words. Some days I don't get to be my best self. I'm glad today was my preference. :)

Still, I felt like that googly-eyed gremlin for a lot of the day. Lol

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Worrying myself sick

Have you ever worried yourself sick? Really? Not the silly half-joked about expression, but actual physical nausea.

During my first year after college, I had trouble sleeping one night. Having neither the crutch of over-the-counter sleep aids or even an all-night drugstore to buy them from, I literally worried myself sick. As the night grew longer I worried about what would happen if the morning came and I did not get any sleep. Oh what in the world does one do when one has to teach a full day on no sleep?

I worried about it until my stomach was churning and by the time I was supposed to get up and get ready for work, I was vomiting uncontrollably. At that point, I had to call in sick. And I wound up staying in bed all day anyway, so I got caught up on my missed night of sleep.

Was I sleepless because of an incubating stomach bug? Or did I worry about the sleep I was missing so much that I irritated the nerves in my stomach? Either way I barfed a lot and missed the whole day of work. Lovely self-fulfilling prophecy there.

That's my superpower... What's yours?!?

Tonight I find myself fighting an 8 pound dog for dominance of my bed, as I worry about multiple situations. I'm sad, my back hurts, and I'm on the verge of throwing up once again.

It's ridiculous because one situation I can't control and the other situation I shouldn't try to control. I really need to stop overthinking everything and just relax. If I set aside the worry, the stress will certainly do its own thing, and maybe my nausea will go away.

I think I'll do something constructive. I think I'll make a lovely cotton washcloth that matches absolutely nothing in my house. A nice travel sized one in the colors of a Southwest sunset. I can always donate it to the next silent auction if nobody wants it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't Forget the UnderArmour

As our students were outside for their required recess, I decided to exercise with them. I walked a fast mile (fast compared to them) in black pants and a black top. Sweating my makeup off. But it's okay. There's nobody for me to impress at work anyway. I just needed a little exercise for my own benefit as a slightly desperate attempt to arrest the downward slide of my general mood this week.

A couple of times I decided to test my shins by jogging a short distance. Yay, no pain. I didn't run that far though. Here's hoping that they don't get sore tonight. The stabbing shinbone pains and swelling that happen now even when I'm resting make me suspect that I' didn't have a simple case of shin splints. I've conceivably stress-fractured both tibia, and I'm afraid to go for an x-ray to see cobwebs appear in my bones.

I'm just not a bone-breaker. Never have been, really, other than a couple of toes, my collarbone, and my tailbone. And to be honest, the amount of calcium I've gotten since my last officially noted break have probably prevented several. On the other hand, quite literally, is my left thumb that continues to insist it is cracked. It shows all the signs, but it was an extraordinarily hard force that hurt it in the first place. Stupid washer door. I slammed it extra hard and felt the impact travel all the way down to the base of my thumb.

When I sat down after my short exercise today, my colleagues kindly suggested that I shouldn't be doing that particular activity without my running bra. *cringe* I hadn't even noticed, but apparently it was pretty bad. So note to self: Never jog without the UnderArmor bra. I suppose it helps keep things under control, even if it doesn't do anything for my actual shape. *sigh*

Seriously, I need a running coach. Someone to keep me motivated and understand what it is like to be in this body trying to train for running and never really dropping a pound in the process.

It irks me that people all around want to make excuses for why I should give up, like they have.

"You're too old to run." Research those old folks who run marathons better than my 5k.

"You have broad shoulders." Absolute BS - I am not "big boned" or "broad shouldered". I'm just overweight. I have fat padding my arms and the rest of me. And I want to get rid of it. Can you believe a doctor told me that? Give my "broad shoulders" a poke -- that's not bone. No sense sugarcoating it.

"You aren't running right." So how about some helpful instruction on improving my gait?

"Running is hard. I don't know why you even bother." Because it's an accomplishment, and I love to feel the wind in my hair. Cardio will mean the difference between living and becoming a zombie snack. Moving fast is a powerful feeling. I haven't forgotten that from my childhood.

Supposedly, at the five miles per day point, I will begin to lose weight. If I can get to that point. I need encouragement.

Moods and Changes

We all have our moods and different things cause them. I'm not sure what causes mine, other than maybe hormones, but I'm fully aware of what prevents them. Other people. It does me no good to be alone all the time.

Oh, the benefit of maturity, in that I have figured a few things out. Some will remain a mystery because my only source of information died after basically refusing to advise me on anything.

My mother got all pissy with me when I asked her about menopause, and said she didn't remember anything about it, not even how old she was. Why she got mad at me for asking I'll never know. I just wanted to know how much time I might have left for having children.

Maybe she was mad because I was healthy and she wasn't. Hey, I nagged and pleaded all my life for her to stop smoking and take care of herself, and as usual, what I wanted didn't matter to anyone but me.

Children? Well, it's too late now. I've given up hope there. As you do.

My fingernails are still growing and getting stronger. Maybe it's some magical hereditary thing. Maybe it's hormonal. Maybe it's the nail polish making them stronger. Who knows? Lol I'm waiting for then to break off any day now. Not that I want it to happen, because my long fingernails distract from the otherwise ugly appearance of my hardworking hands. They've been overworked and abused, and they are ugly. At least my feet aren't gross-looking. They're cute, if you have a thing for feet, though rather imperfect as well.

I've had a headache for a couple of days that won't go, and my happy mood is slipping away. I slept all last night and most of the day. I thought it would help with my head, but really, my tiredness and hyper sleeping are the harbingers of a downswing in my mood. The lack of exercise hasn't helped either, but it's a catch-22. I'm too tired to do more than sleep, and skipping exercise makes me tired and depressed. Right now I'm actually afraid to go to the gym. It's a totally irrational fear of failure. Yes, I want someone to hold my hand. Of course, exercise is good for relieving stress and depression, and I'm feeling an unhealthy level of both starting up.

How to deal with this, I don't know. Maybe I need a little sun, but I'm terrified I'll get another nasty sunburn, and I'd like to put off wrinkles for a while yet. Perhaps I'll do what my doctor suggested years ago: sit near the UV light, just not in it. Vampire style, I guess.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Manicotti Thoughts

I'm cooking lunch. And dinner. And probably lunch and dinner for a few days hence. Whatever. This is what happens when you are single and cook from scratch. You either eat it for days or throw it away when you get tired of it.

I know there is a way for me to reduce this recipe to single servings, but right now I don't want to think about the math. Freezing is an option, but all I want to think about right now is eating.

Too bad there isn't someone else who wants to share this meal with me. Or maybe there is. In the spirit of tennis, the ball is in his court and I'm trying to be patient, rather than pestering. I'm not even sure if he likes pasta.

I haven't made this dish in about ten years. The last time I made it was for a guy I was dating, and I associated the dish with that whole unpleasant situation.

I'm at the age when I enjoy quiet cuddling on the couch. Going out to noisy places makes me a little nervous. Screaming men who try to drive the car into a tree or stab huge holes in walls with blunt instruments are not my cup of tea. Really, I can do without the drama. I get a full day's serving of it at work with my students. :)

Moving on... I mixed up the mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses with some herbs and spices. I have no idea the amounts on any of it... A couple of cups here, a couple of cups there, the entire bag of shredded Parmesan, and shells cooking on the stove.

Ah, there's the debate. A purist would tell me that I should be using only manicotti tubes, and I am NOT. They're hard to stuff with the cheese mixture unless you break out the equipment. Then there are those who cut the tubes open for simplicity, stuff them, and hide the cut place on the bottom of the baking pan. Of course, when you serve the manicotti, those open tubes want to open up, slither out of your grasp, and spill their guts all over the place. This is not a plan for a happy and satisfying meal. Lol

So I bought pasta shaped like giant shells. Easy to stuff, and obviously the open side has to go on top anyway, but won't open up and dump the filling everywhere. Unchallenging food is important to me. :)

I cooked a few too many shells, which was fine because about that many tore while cooking. My dog loved getting to eat the torn ones. I wonder if he missed the cheese filling and tomato sauce? Oh well, moving on. Hopefully my memory served me correctly and it will be tasty.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Slush and Sympathy

I'm not sure why I feel yucky right now but it feels like someone tried to pull my arm off while I slept last night. I probably slept on it wrong and hurt my shoulder again in the midst of my active dreaming last night. I did pass out almost fully dressed in the minute between removing my makeup and removing my contact lenses, which is why I slept in them.

Well, it's nice to wake up and not be absolutely blind. But I could seriously pass on the shoulder and chest pain which are making me feel rather nauseated.

True, I have a sore throat and strained vocal cords all of my own doing. :) I'd really like a slush and some sympathy, though.

Ah, the slush was easy. I just returned from Sonic with a cherry slush and a realization of why I feel so overdone. I gave blood Thursday afternoon and did NOT take it easy or drink lots of liquids that I knew I should. Then I went to a high-energy concert with two great friends less than 24 hours later in about four hours' sleep and danced my butt off for two hours. Add a pulled pectoral muscle and strained shoulder and that adds up to a whiny me that just wants to be taken care of. Well... Ain't THAT just too bad? Lol

So here I am, back in bed rather early for anyone else's Saturday night, and thinking wistfully of someone I wish I could spend some time with. Sippin' my slush. Hmmm. Mmmm. My throat says a humble thank you.

Lemme Explain About the European Tours

I was enlightened the other day regarding some misunderstandings about the trip to Italy and the upcoming trip to Ireland, England, and Wales (summer 2014), so I thought I'd take the opportunity to clarify....

... Because I would love for more of my friends to go! I did the math on the Italy trip and realized the cost was actually a bargain because we got the package at group rates. As you do. Well, not if you try and arrange all the details yourself! The airfare alone was a killer when I checked the price of booking it myself.

And there were unforeseen benefits. Iberia lost the luggage of most of our group for close to five days. (This is where I get to scream "I told you so! Never check your bags!". Lol). I am a carry-on-only person and I have figured out how to travel light yet still have all of my stuff that I'll need. (And share with lost-luggagers if need be!) Questions? I can give you excellent advice on packing light. :). We were given free gondola rides in Venice for our entire tour group of 49 for the lost luggage trouble. We had extra tours added to our trip if we wanted them. Rome by night, Pisa. :)

Okay, here are the clarifications:

1. It's an educational trip, designed for student enrichment. Parents / grandparents of students are welcome, too, as well as spouses of teachers traveling. I don't have children and I went, didn't I? :D (That's why students get a lower price for the trip.)

2. Of course we didn't go for free on the condition that we got others to go. This isn't a pyramid scheme. It's just a travel company. Lol. I paid my way and I went. It was worth it, too.

3. The price will go up after September (beginning or end, I'm not sure). That's typical of any kind of travel plans. The earlier you book, the cheaper the price.

4. You can pay in monthly installments or pay whatever you can as you go, as long as you get the deposit in and have the rest of the trip paid for 100 days before travel. (That has to do with getting the actual airline tickets.).

5. There is a cutoff date for adding people to the tour sometime in the far distant future, probably around 100 days before the trip. No last minute additions because all the reservations will have been made.

6. The food was excellent. I tried some new things and there wasn't anything I didn't like. :). And I'm a picky eater. They fed us well, too. (I even ate cooked spinach... Which I don't eat at home. I put Parmesan cheese on it. Lol. Worked for me!) I'm still not going to eat squid though.

7. It's not open to the general public to come along. Why? Because teachers are going to be supervising your kids, and are just as protective on the tour as at school. Group leaders need to know the travelers for safety's sake. No random strangers allowed. It's a student tour group, of course.

8. Kids and adults do not share rooms, except for parents. No brainer there. Lol. Student rooms are all same-sex, too.

By the way... This is not a trip for small children. You know they wouldn't get it anyway. :).

Duran Duran in Memphis

Wow! That's all I can say. Ok, I'm done.

:) Just kidding! Saw D2 at the Memphis Botanic Garden for the first time in my life and it was a terrific show. I danced the entire time, except for a few moments when I had to catch my breath.

Today I'm hoarse from all my screaming and sore all over like I've taken a beating with a stick. My chest hurts because a couple of my screams seem to have caused an injury at the time. Yeah, ow. In short, I loved it. Lol.

I even overslept so late today that I missed lunch with the friends I attended the concert with! I didn't mean to. :(. I wanted to go. It just happened. No alcohol involved, I promise. :). I fell asleep almost fully dressed and had the most crazily active and detailed dreams of a place that exists only in my mind. It was colorful and I was there for hours. I believe that's my brain telling me to "Stay down!" and rest. Yeah, I should have gone looking for a certain fellow in my dream. Bet I would have found him.

According to comments the band made on Twitter after the show, we weren't supposed to be dancing at that venue. Oh? Well, TOUGH! Simon LeBon even went into the table area a couple of times to get people to sing and do intros. I wish I'd been at one of the tables to get a better view of the stage, but I think those tickets sold out pretty early. Still, they had lots of big screens broadcasting close-ups, and that was helpful.

Lots of energy in the show and even a few jokes. Several drunk-monkey dancing people in the audience that were hilarious. :).

Ah, but they didn't play "The Man Who Stole a Leopard" and I wanted them to. Maybe some other time. I love that song and "Too Bad You're So Beautiful" but I knew they wouldn't play it. Ah, maybe some day. :). No clue about how they choose set lists and I'm sure there is a great discussion and reasoning for every song played.

To be edited and added to later... My brain needs a little catchup time.

And maybe a few more hours' sleep. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Forget the cheesecloth!

Someone paid me a very nice compliment today. I was wearing the new shirt I made, completely handpainted and glittered over in red, black, and silver, with slashed and tied sleeves and hips. She said that I had missed my calling and I should be selling my designs. :)

That started my day off well. I like to feel that other people admire my handiwork rather than snickering behind my back about it. Or even to my face. Yikes. I need others' approval because my fashion sense has always been a bit shaky.

When I was seven, I found a bolt of material in our house and proceeded to make a few items of clothing with it. Most memorable were the tank top I wrapped up as a Christmas gift for my sister's boyfriend and the dress I made for myself. I was so proud of my handiwork I wore the dress over my clothes to school.

I suppose here is where I should tell you that the fabric was a bolt of cheesecloth. :D. As in, for straining cheese and not for making actual garments.

My brother took me to school that day and probably tried to warn me off wearing that raggedy thing into the school, but ended with an attitude of "it's your funeral" before I got out of the car. He still gives me hell about that dress. Lol.

Hey, I was just an ugly little girl who wanted to look pretty. Dress = pretty, right?

At this stage of my life I really didn't yet understand how basic components like atoms were put together to make materials and structures. The best I could figure was that names of things were written on paper and put together and they just magically made... Stuff. I certainly didn't understand that certain fabrics were appropriate for making evening wear and some were appropriate for making rags to wash the car. :D. Live and learn. Eventually.

I began to understand later that year that substances could be extracted and put together to make new things. I started learning how to cook and that was my introduction to chemistry. Aha put stuff together, make new stuff. Buy the stuff you need in a store if you have to.

This was really the beginning of my realization that as I learned more and more, the world around me started to coalesce into a connected structure for me. I started to understand things. Eventually, even what I heard on the news started making sense, along with grown up jokes. When it all finally clicked, the fog had cleared and I was an adult.

Bye bye childhood? Not on your life. Though right now the adult me is using a very fancy sewing machine to recreate a taffeta bed skirt that needed a functional redesign. Taffeta is a pain. :) But with Velcro, such success shall be possible. After I sew all these small pieces on. Then spinning my mattress should no longer cause chaos only appropriate to a 7 year old amateur seamstress's bedroom. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Other People's Perceptions

Many adults will tell you that they don't care one bit what other people think of them.  I can't speak to the veracity of that point of view, and though I wish I could embrace it myself, that's not how I think.  I do care what others think of me, probably far too much. It has always seemed to me that people who don't care about others' perceptions of them often don't care about their effect upon other people.  In other words, they don't care what you think of them, therefore they don't take care about how they treat others. 

Some of these people want to make sure that they appear benevolent on the surface, while just beneath the skin they manipulate and hurt others just for their own self-satisfaction and perceived powerfulness.  They often view such activity as an amusement  Their success is greatest when they can cause the maximum amount of damage while seeming to be in a highly trusted position.  

Others often want to give them a pass by saying that the devil is making them cruel and twisted.  Possibly, but there is that old sticking point -- free will.  Inspiration may belong to the infernal one but the follow-through is completely by a person's choice.  We all choose how nasty or nice we will be to others.  We also decide, if we don't ignore our conscience, that perhaps apologies may be in order for a misunderstanding that may have arisen by accident.

Why do apologies often fall on deaf ears?  How sincere are empty words, actually?  They come at no cost to anyone, and there's no sacrifice in saying that you're sorry.  How do you make someone believe you when anybody can say words without effort?   A few years ago I heard a speaker say that if you want to make a true apology, words are not enough.  Reparations must be made for the wrongdoing, even if it was unintentional in the first place.  

If you're truly sorry, let the victim know.  Then make reparations -- make it right.  Fix the damage in real terms.  Then decide within yourself to make the change.  When you wrong someone, you injure them, but you damage your character as well.  It's a part of what makes you, YOU.  Perhaps it is a part of your soul -- erode your soul and character at your own peril.   

I'm not much of a philosopher.  I'm a daydreamer at best.  Whether the world thinks that I'm right or wrong, I do care what people think of me.  I also care about my effect on others.  I want to be a beneficial part of their lives and I want them to care about me in return.  I was that silly little girl worrying about whether or not my pets were happy, and if cutting down a tree actually hurt it.  After all, when you chop down a tree, it will usually die.  

Maybe I believed too many of the myths about gods and goddesses testing the character of humans by hanging out with them to see how they would treat the downtrodden and dirty strangers who crossed their paths.  But then again, aren't there Bible stories as well, about angels among us to test kindness to the less fortunate among people?  Then again, what's the harm in being good to someone just for the sheer satisfaction of making someone else happy, or maybe because they need it and it's in your power to do so?  Even if nobody else ever finds out that you have done A Good Thing.  

As an adult, I say these things and then cringe because sometimes it seems as though I have nothing but negativity to show the world.  Isn't it strange that some people have such a horrible case of tunnel vision when they are sad?  We can have a stretch of happy and peaceful times, yet one errant negative rock comes crashing through the shiny little glass house we were safe in, and all of the walls shatter.  

Then we have to start over, because though the glass can be repaired, the cracks will always be there to threaten us of memories when we believed we were safe, yet proved horribly fragile.  

I am most definitely flawed, which is probably why I haven't been able to create for myself the life I had hoped to have.  I quite literally couldn't do it alone anyway.  Some things absolutely require the cooperation of others.  Some would rather leave you in the dust and forget you if it would take the slightest effort from them.  The best they can do is toss a cliche down to you on the ground, and they think it should make it all better.  :)  "Just cheer up."  "Just stop looking."  "Just be patient."  LOL  Words are free and mean nothing, remember?  We're emotionally lazy as humans.  We want what we want, and we want it to be showered upon us while someone else makes the effort.  Love me unconditionally, but don't ask me to be around you when you're not making things sunny for ME.  "Don't bring me down!  Just keep me happy!" 

I pray to improve, though I'm careful to not pray so that I grow by trial.  Lord, please teach me patience.  Wait!  Can you just GIVE me patience, please?  I don't want to have to learn it the hard way!  (That one is actually mine.  My mother taught me patience when I was six.  She taught me to crochet because I wanted to learn to make the beautiful lace she created.   35 years of practice… Yeah, I've learned that kind of patience very well.)

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

All Tied Up

I wish right now there was a man here to answer the door the next time my next door neighbor's creepy tenant comes banging on my door wanting something.

I would like for him to go to the door looking all scary and say I can't come to the door because he has me tied up in the bedroom and he's still having too much fun with me like that.

Would he get the message THEN?!?!?!?! I shivering in my dark bedroom, and I'm not even sure I'm cold.

Then there's the fact that he interrupts my sleep in the afternoon. Unless I actually want to hear from that person, I don't want anyone ELSE waking me up. Cuddly fellas and family, ok. But strange creepy neighbors? Very angry, hissing cat. Better be worth my while if you wake me.

My politeness, when he forced his presence upon me, seems to have been mistaken for openly interested friendship. Now he comes over weekly wanting to use my phone. He offered me catfish. Eww. I didn't take candy from strangers as a little girl, and I sure as heck ain't gonna take strange food from strange people. Keep your roofie-catfish, man.

There's a phone next door. Why does he want mine, when he doesn't even know how to use it? I get the feeling he likes a captive audience, and making people wait around on him.

Lest you think I exaggerate, on our introduction he tried to hit me up for cigarette money and to mow the yard for him. Good grief, I hate mowing my own yard. His only trade for his room is to keep the yard up, yet he is trying to pawn it off on me. Bonus if I can do it scantily clad?

That reminds me. I need to go buy some more locks for my fence and my shed. Just in case he is trying to mind my business from my property. Idiot want anybody in the privacy of my backyard without a specific invitation from me.

Maybe my paranoia is working overtime, but this particular instinct of mine has never been wrong. When the warning bells start clanging, I ignore them at my own peril. I've learned it I'm never wrong about this.

That's it. I think I'm going to go get the makings for a Hurricane.

Picking Up the Pieces

I feel like whining. Too many minor owwies have ganged up on me at once. :(. I tossed all night (and I have the sleep chart to prove it) and some moron was hammering something loudly at 6 am outside. It sounded like it was on my fence right beside my bedroom window, but I think it was actually creepy new tenant next door.

My migraine is coming back with a vengeance, but at least I had the presence of mind to find a heating pad for my tummy to get some semblance of rest. Yay for that. It was still warm this morning when I got up. I'm dizzy from the migraine. *sigh* My upcoming two hours of standing are going to be awful. No amount of Tylenol helps lately. Grr.

Today is my dear youngest nephew's birthday, and he has already had to deal with something awful for today. Not at all his fault, just his cross to bear. He's really too young for that kind of burden, and it keeps me anxiously worried for him. If I think about it too much it will really upset me, and I still have to finish my work day. (Lunchtime, if you were wondering.)

I feel like I let him down last night when I couldn't keep taxiing him around, but I started feeling wretched and I had to go home to lie down. Sometimes this problem is easy to get through, and then some months it is a real horror. This one is pretty much holding me underwater. Can you see the bubbles yet?

It's the sort of thing that makes you think, oh, I wish I had my mother to hold me and tell me it's going to be all right. Problem is, I don't remember my mother ever being there when I was sick. When I was sick as a child, I was alone in my bedroom until it was time for medicine, temp check, or feeding time. As far as the babying goes, I remember sitting in her lap watching the Wizard of Oz one time, scared the witch was going to come through the TV and get me.

Don't misunderstand; I don't mind affectionate touching. But I'm probably not as used to it as most people are. Affectionate, close families always make me wonder how I screwed things up in my own family. It's gotta be me, right? After all, things didn't go to hell in a hand basket until my arrival in the world.

Or it could have just been coincidence, right? No need to take the weight of the world on my own shoulders, especially if I don't want anyone else to try to assume a similar yet equally misplaced blame.

I guess things just fall apart sometimes. All we can do is figure out how to pick up and rearrange the pieces, and not blame ourselves for other people's choices and mistakes.

With that said, I need a hug. And somebody else to rub my tummy. ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Morpheus, you jerk.

What's with the sleep full of nightmares? From being trapped beyond a Russian border pretty much alone to one awful day at work, I didn't exactly rest well. I took Tylenol PM and couldn't wake up, so I was stuck there in nightmareland for hours.

I dealt with the Russian part okay, even when the very armed soldiers showed up and took us away to something like a concentration camp for execution. My dog whined in my ear and I finally woke up.

I had a hard time with the middle section because I was at work, completely underdressed and unprepared. My "apparel" kept changing from short pajamas to a bed sheet to nothing. And that's just not cool when you're a middle school teacher. Gets the wrong kind of attention. I wanted to sneak home and get some appropriate clothing, but I was being evaluated on that day.

Added to that was the fact I had no idea what my lesson for the day was to be, I couldn't find the right page in the book, and I was in an unfamiliar classroom.

Interspersed through the whole set of dreams were people walking around, going about an otherwise normal day, covered in blood. A closer look showed they had all had their skin ripped off, hence the bleeding. Ew. But once I got close enough to really see them, they kept clawing at me, screaming for me to help them.

Ok, I tried calling 911, but what else could I do, sew them new skin?

So Morpheus, you're a jerk for sending me nightmares when I needed a good night's sleep. Even no dreams would have been better that that horror movie. I guess I was hurting too much to remember I have the ability to alter my dreams. Headache still going strong, and I have my nephew's birthday dinner in a couple of hours. I won't even discuss where else hurts. You can probably guess.

This is not an official complaint, about anything other than the nightmares. The rest I deal with all the time. I'd better be allll better by Friday though. I'm going to see Duran Duran for the first time, and I have literally waited 30 years for it!!!!

Hmm. Maybe a nice caramel latte will help. I only have to stagger to the kitchen.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Headachy blues

This headache actually started Thursday morning, when I jokingly called it a semi-hangover. So now it's Saturday evening and I've put up with the pseudo-flulike symptoms long enough. Aching, cramping (ok, that's not entirely flulike. Lol), headache intensifying, fever, tired, general malaise. I took a three hour nap this afternoon after waking up too early and unable to go back to sleep. Okay, I'll admit that it's purely a hormonally driven problem that will only take a week, yet strangely enough it doesn't make me feel any physically better tonight. :)

Yes, a hot bath would be better, but my water heater has never been up to that task. I should just have it replaced. *sigh*

I didn't get nearly enough done today, though I took care of the laundry. I've been sitting here on a bare mattress, weaving in a few loose ends (and glueing them) on the last blanket I made. There are hundreds of ends because this one is incredibly scrappy in nature. I hope the fabric glue works. I'd hate to know those ends popped out again after the first wash. It gives a bad impression.

Ibuprofen and Tylenol haven't dented the headache, so I think I'm going to take a hot shower with my favorite yet completely discontinued Tranquil Mint body wash. It usually helps my migraines. If only the clean bedding would put itself on the bed while I'm in the shower.

You know that when I like a Bath and Body Works fragrance, that's the kiss of death, right? *sigh*. This is what I get for liking the cheap stuff. One of these days I'll just buy some Poison and get it over with. It's been around for a long time now, and I don't think it'll go away anytime soon. I suppose it's a classic fragrance.

I just want to be asleep right now and have some sweet relaxing dreams. It may take a double dose of melatonin to make it happen, but I think it will be worthwhile to get one good night of sleep in this condition. Sometimes I really hate being female. :D

And if you were wondering, my problematic femoral nerve has been bothering me all day. Mostly numbness though, for which I am grateful. Lol

I was told today that I should count my headache as a blessing because *they* have migraines every day, along with a host of other problems. I'm sorry they are in ill health, but acknowledging that someone else is worse off doesn't minimize my pain for me. Does it give them relief to engage me in a contest over who has it worse? I don't wanna play. They win. I hope it sends them some pain relief. I've got the owwies.

I understand what it's like to have multi-day migraines. I'm not immune to them. Nothing really works to stop my migraines anymore. But I did discover that the Topamax my doctor prescribed for daily prevention not only caused worse migraines, but also cognitive impairment. Mmmhmmm. Not kidding. It made me stupid and forgetful and I didn't have those warnings way back then. I believe taking a host of drugs for everything that ails you causes worse problems, so I hesitate to take any drugs at all on a regular basis.

If I HAVE to, I will. But I'll avoid that stuff if possible. Thanks so much for understanding. Can't solve my problems with a pill! They have to be worked out through relationships with other people. (Nobody told me that. It's just something I've figured out for myself.)

So the plan for tonight is this:
Hot minty shower.
Clean sheets.
10 mg of melatonin.
Another dose of Tylenol. Hmm. Could just take Tylenol PM and no melatonin.
Glass of water bedside for dehydration.
Ice packs for my head, waiting in the freezer.

Hear ye this: everyone is forbidden to call me, unless it is to say they are coming over to stroke my hair while I try to feel better. Yeah, unlikely, but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case. I need a house elf. Lol

Meralgia Paresthetica

Today the pain in my leg became really bad, though it started with a "catch" in my tailbone. The same problem I've had since I broke it when I was 19. If I'm lucky, when this happens I can brace my feet, press outward, and whatever is stuck audibly and painfully pops apart and releases what is likely a pinched nerve.

This is the first time that I've associated the numbness and electrical fire in my right thigh with breaking my tailbone all those years ago. I broke it, then ten years later the numbness set in. Eight years later the numbness has been joined by a fiery electric pain underneath the numb section of my thigh. And for the last three years, that pain has intensified enormously.

Ah, at least it isn't constant pain though. There is a bright side. :) I get a few moments of standing in the hours I have to stand every day, in which my leg is merely numb and the fire takes a short break. And it doesn't always hurt when I'm lying down. Lol. (Though it is plaguing me right now and I am in bed. Hahah. Figures.)

I'm sure there is someone at work watching with a critical eye every time I sit down during my nearly two hour stint daily in the cafeteria. It was bad enough today that if anyone had criticized me, I probably would have burst into tears and hobbled out of there in injured fury. I parked on a table for five minutes and manage to twist my leg in the hip socket in both directions, which blessedly gave me some temporary relief from the pain, though not the numbness. Still, I will take that tiny crumb for now. :). I just need to find a way to reliably twist my entire leg whenever I need to. Or maybe an assistant to hold it while I do a slow motion imitation of a roundhouse kick.

Make no mistake-- it hurts a LOT, every single day, most of the day. There's no point in telling anyone how badly it hurts. Everybody has their own aches and pains, and probably wouldn't understand just how bad mine has become because I just tough it out. I don't think there is anything else I can do, really.

Unfortunately, that irritated genitofemoral nerve connects to more than just my thigh. It branches into another area which has a high potential for problems. Hmm. Maybe it's a bigger problem than I thought.

So, the neurologist told me I have the spine of a healthy 19 year old, according to my MRI. Yay. But the problem is in my nerve. The big question is, where exactly is that troublemaking nerve trapped? He said if I lose weight, it may release the nerve, but given that it pinches in my lower spine (I think?) I wonder if being anorexically thin will even help a little bit. Not what I'm aiming for, but it's beginning to seem impossible.

He offered to prescribe painkillers which will undoubtedly cause weight gain. I politely refused because the pills wouldn't fix anything, which means I made the choice to be in near-constant pain rather than become a fat slug.

If only exercise and dieting actually made me lose weight. But I've got the old survivor metabolism that doesn't burn fat for energy. :D I'm such a lucky person, aren't I?

Silver lining: if I ever decide I want a tattoo, my thigh will be the perfect place, since it's numb most of the time anyway. LOL

Friday, August 10, 2012

No, they're not fake. :)

My fingernails got a lot of attention today. Maybe it was the totally clashing shade of lavender polish I wore that got them noticed. :D. Well, I wore black and tan today, so there was little chance of matching. I don't have tan polish and I haven't gotten up the nerve to try my gothic oil-slick black polish just yet. Hmmmm...

I was asked many MANY times if my nails were real. Yup, I grew these all by myself. And I'm expecting them to break any day now. Actually, one cracked down in the quick, so I had to repair it at least until it grows out enough to trim it down without injury.

My mother was known for her seemingly effortless ability to grow long and ridiculously strong fingernails. They were TOUGH and kind of thick. She said that they just grew that way, but that she always kept polish on them and they just became really strong. And she worked with her hands, so it wasn't sitting around watching her nails grow.

Hmmm.... There's her secret. No naked nails. So consider this my experiment to see if I can make mine stronger the same way. I know I'm not lacking healthy nail growing nutrients, because my hair still grows vigorously.

Ah, but I do miss having auburn hair at times. :). Though doing myself it in my careless way did make my hair fall out at one point. Oops. Lol I know better now. Besides, red shades are unstable and high maintenance. Wanna see what I look like with auburn hair? Check it out during late afternoon and you'll get the idea.

No, THOSE aren't fake either, though I will admit I regularly hide my silvery locks. It's just a little early to rock the silver hair yet. It was too early when it showed up at sixteen too. Hahaha

Utter Drinking Confusion

Growing up in our house, alcohol was so rarely consumed that I was always quite scandalized when I saw it. Once in a while, my father would drink a beer and it completely freaked me out.
He even tricked me into tasting it a couple of times, which may explain why I don't have a taste for the stuff. :)

Once in a very great while he and my stepmother might have a strawberry daiquiri. Possibly twice in a summertime that I ever knew about. Maybe a glass or two of wine during Christmas, and a couple of tablespoons of whiskey in a cup of boiled custard, also at Christmas.

A side note: I'm the one who makes my grandmother's boiled custard recipe every Christmas. It takes HOURS! It's not cheap to make, and very labor intensive, not just because of the constant stirring over a steaming vat of liquid, but because it can't be stopped for a solid hour. Then I have to strain it, decant it, and all that.

Perhaps that's why I get I'm insulted every time Dad asks me why I didn't put any "flavoring" in it. Well, I'm just not going to pour a pint of whiskey in, because that isn't how it is made. Do that, and you'll have eggnog. Maybe it's not that simple, but when I was a teenager, I put way too much whiskey in my custard and it made it taste awful. From then on, I stuck with a little vanilla extract. Besides, boiled custard is supposed to be enjoyed for its delicate... Uh... CUSTARD flavor. I work hard to make it taste good as it is. Believe me, it's flavored.

I always had the impression that "good" people do not drink alcohol, at least not at any time other than Christmas. My skewed childish perception probably came from knowing that my maternal grandfather had a drinking problem. I never knew him. Add to this the fact that my mother's boyfriends always reeked of some kind of alcohol, and drinking, even just one drink, seemed rather seedy to me. My mother laughed the rest of her life about the time I got in one boyfriend's face and told him flat-out "You're drunk. I don't like you!". I was six, and he was both creepy and obnoxious.

When I was a teenager, I found out that my mother had a drinking problem too, and with the suspicion that alcoholism is hereditary, I didn't want to take any chances.

I still haven't found the humor in the weekly accusatory lectures my father delivered about my presumed drinking while I was an hour away at college. There's a good chance that someone was telling him some lies about what they think I was doing at school. Yes, every once in a while on a weekend, I did drink a wine cooler at a party. And one New Year's Eve at a party I had a glass of champagne that was so awful I don't think I finished it. I kept the cork, because I'm one of those goofy people that was looking for a craft project to make with it. Can I help it that I was fascinated by the shape of a real wine cork, not having seen any around my house, uh, ever?

A few days later I found that my stepmother had gone through my coat pockets, found the cork, and left me a snide little note saying "Now we know what you do while you're at college."

Guilty by stupid and totally incorrect assumption. I suppose that's why I got lectured on drinking and screwing around every weekend when I came home and every weekend when I went back to school. I just wonder how sensational and fictional a story was relayed to my father over one simple wine cork. I was angry that my pockets were searched, with the lame excuse of "It was the top coat on the coatracks when I went outside." Yeah, sure.

If only my social life had actually been that exciting. Ha.

I've always associated even a single beer with absolute guilt, which is ridiculous, because I'm not one to be out of control. I still worry about the alcoholism gene possibility. That's why I came home from Italy with a bottle of strawberry wine and a bottle of Nocino, feeling like I had a shameful secret in my checked bag. I know, that's absolutely ridiculous. Lol. People like to make me feel like an absolute lush because I have a bottle of rum in my house! Oh, for about five years now. :). Yeah, it takes a while to use it when you're making rum cakes with it almost exclusively.

So I'd say I will never have a drinking problem, though I may have one heck of a misplaced guilt problem. ;)

Strawberry Leather

Made in my oven, rather than the dehydrator. The appeal of rectangular sheets was just too much too resist. My dehydrator has the ubiquitous round trays with a large hole in the middle, and I wanted a finished snack with symmetry.

Yes, really. Ha ha ha. A bit OCD about that, are we? Oh yes, I do believe so.

So with the first test batch, here is what I learned about making fruit roll-ups in my pathetic oven which hasn't worked quite right in the twelve years I've owned this house.

I puréed strawberries and applesauce in my blender and poured the purée out onto a silicone baking sheet on a stoneware baking sheet. I tried to keep the fruit spread to a uniform 1/8inch thickness, but I think 1/4 inch thickness would be better.

I set my oven for 200 degrees, but that was a little too high, because I got some lightly browned parts on the slightly too thin leather that were crunchy strawberry chips at the end. Still tasty, but not the effect I was going for, as they had to be put in a jar to accommodate the small brittle pieces. Next time, I'll just use the "warm" setting, which should be around 180 degrees and create the heat for drying without cooking the fruit. It took about 5 hours to cook at 200, so 180 degrees may add a couple of hours.

Mostly a bit too thin, cooked rather than dried, and crisply brittle, this leather is still delicious but not quite substantial enough so I'll alter my method next time. :). The chips aren't bad, though. Even my dog likes them.

On my second batch, after I spread the purée too close to the edge of the silicone baking mat I used, I felt purée splattering my feet. Oops. I hope it doesn't roll off the edge of the baking mat in the oven! I'd rather have used a pan with a lip on it, but the silicone sheet I have was too big to fit.

I suppose I need a smaller one. Oh well, no problem with having two, right? On the brighter side, if I get one to fit inside my bar pan, I can always make a few jelly roll cakes, right? Then there is only the problem of finding someone to eat the stuff, instead of me doing it.

I think I might need to make some tomato leather too, with the wealth of tomatoes my dad shares each year at this time. :). I do love tomatoes, but after I've eaten them for a week, I get heartburn that lasts for weeks. Then I have to stop eating the tomatoes and someone gets angry that I'm no longer able to consume three or four tomatoes a day. Hey, I wish I could! I'd be ultra healthy! :) I just can't handle the nauseating tomato overdose effect. Eww.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The week that was

In the midst of my snarkiness I did consider all that I accomplished this week at work. Many evenings I stayed late to finish my tasks, and I don't really regret it.

After all, it was nice to come in to an uncluttered desk. I made my gradebook and binder match my toolbox, curtains, and posters. :) Happy about that.

Not too happy about my last class of the day thinking they can come in and act like they are all full of sugar, and furthermore that I'm going to be delighted by their rambunctiousness. I'm going to have to be harsh with them if they don't calm down.

10 days after my last run, my shins are still hurting pretty badly when I'm simply sitting on my bed. The pain wakes me up out of a deep sleep. I don't know if I truly have torn tendons, damaged muscles, or stress fractures in my tibia. It might even be a combination of the three. I don't trust my doctor to really know what he is doing enough to check into it properly.

He doesn't seem very up on medical advancement over the last twenty years. He'd probably order a (useless) X-ray and proclaim my persistent pain a figment of my imagination, like my "imaginary" diabetes that he told me I didn't have for nine years. Oh wow, and then I turned out to be right after all.

My dog is expressing his anger and jealousy that I have gone back to work by peeing on my stuff indiscriminately. Most noticeable this evening was the freshly washed (today) afghan I was re-weaving in the ends on. On top of my bed and flat. He sprayed it. I had to wash it again. If those ends come loose again, I'm going to resort to glue. Any crocheter can relate, I'm sure.

After much thinking over a very depressed week, I think I will keep myself away from the world as much as possible from here on out. It doesn't seem to want me anyway,
:-/. Seems very much that people don't want me around.

Oh, don't mind me...

I was thinking about how so many don't keep their word. They say they'll visit, but they never show. In the middle of the night when you have to work the next day, they say call me so you can do me a favor, then they blow you off and say they'll call back, though they never do. Sometimes they dangle some "possible" future in which they will finally pay you some attention. Or they ignore you for long stretches of time and expect you to be panting, waiting for them to beckon.

Hey, sorry to tell you this, but I don't have an on/off switch and I won't wait in a closet for the charity companionship you seem to be offering.

All of these scenarios are real, unfortunately, and they all have a common trait.

My role is apparently to provide an ego boost, because it gives the old psyche a nice stroking to believe you have someone waiting for you to drop them a few stale crumbs. Flattering, is it, to think that there is one person out there desperate for you to let them serve you?

Don't misunderstand, because complete adoration for the one I love really IS a trait of mine. I realized, finally, that when people care about you, they don't show it by using you and ignoring you. If you care about me, you'd better show it outwardly, because my interest fades quickly when I realize I'm being used once again. All I'm saying is -- prove yourself.

Don't waste time with excuses for why you are acting like a total jerk to (ha ha) protect me. Oh, doing me a favor by by being cold and distant while you spend your time with someone else?

Got it. Stick with them.
I'm fine on my own.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Stromboli Experiment :)

Last night I made something new. I wasn't sure how it would turn out because I was making up the recipe, once again, as I went along. Ham & Cheese Stromboli. Mmmm, it was yummy. I didn't need to worry after all.

1 package of bread frozen bread dough was what the original recipe (in one of my "Dinner's in the Freezer" Kindle cookbooks) specified, but there wasn't any in the store, so I bought refrigerated traditional pizza dough instead. I didn't have to thaw it out and it didn't need to rise like the bread dough would have required.

I unrolled the dough flat on a stoneware baking pan and cut it in half, because I'm the only human in the house and I wanted to freeze some for later. (If it freezes well, I may double the batch next time and have four small loaves to work with.)

Then I chopped up smoked ham and sprinkled that liberally over the dough. I used 1/2 a pound of ham. Over that I sprinkled shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and some rosemary herb seasoning. Last, I drizzled a liberal amount of honey Dijon mustard over the fillings. (Next time I'll go a little lighter on the rosemary seasoning, because it tasted great but didn't seem to agree with me. )

Then I rolled each Stromboli up, tucked the ends under, and pinched them shut to seal. Baked them at 350 for 25 minutes, took one out to thoroughly cool, wrapped in plastic and then foil, then froze it. The second loaf I cooked for another 10 minutes while it browned a little. When I cook the frozen one, I'll need to thaw it completely and then cook another ten minutes or so. We'll see how that goes. :). It made a tasty cold lunch today though.