Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Illinois.

In the beautiful Chicago suburb of Romeoville. We have been pretty mellow, hanging out at Emily's, playing Guitar hero. I cooked some elk pasta for dinner tonight - pictures later.

The best part so far is a trip to the Ikea in Schaumburg. We met up with my friend Marci with whom I grew up! It was SO nice to see her and meet her cute, sweet and smart son! Yay for the reconnections of Facebook. We had lost touch for a long, long time.

I spent a teeny, tiny money at Ikea - on a table I plan to set up in the family room for working on crafts. A designated place to leave active projects out, that will make me happy, happy!

Dad is doing better. It would take a long time to actually report and Michael is ready to go back to the hotel and go to bed. Sometimes it sucks to have a health-conscious and body-aware teenager. He knows he's tired, so I am compelled to return to the hotel, harumph. AND we have a shared room and he can't sleep with the TV on. I may have to hang out in the lobby and work on my embroidery or read.

I could put him to bed and find some nightlife in the area. Hmmm.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gotta wash dishes

and shower and be ready to take Michael to cello lesson and then drive to Lafayette.

I am tempted to ignore the dishes, but I know how much I would regret it later.

I'd like to get a haircut somewhere in there too ha!

Nursing home crisis today. I will have my work cut out for me tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No work tomorrow!

Well, you know me... I will work tomorrow, I even have a list made already! No desk job tomorrow! That is much more accurate.

Walked 50 minutes at Wal-mart tonight! Whoot for me. I picked up the can of paint I wante and switched it from hand to hand so I had some resistance exercise thrown in for good measure.

I had a good day. I left a clean desk at work and it will be nicer to return on Monday.

Guess what. I am so sired I am going to stop now, not do the other things on my list and go to bed.

So there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I feel like I blogged already

because I couldn't get last night's entry to post until tonight. This will be short because I still have quote a few items on my list!

Dad is doing better. I talked to the nurse assigned to him tonight and she checked his charts and they have changed his pain meds and the anti-depressant. She said he seems better to her today then the last time she saw him.

Mom said the psychologist also did an assessment on him. I'm not sure if that's quite right because Mom said the assessment was for motor skill and that seems like a physical therapist thing to me. Mom said Dad was TOO warm last night and had to have blankets taken off of him, All in all it sounds like they are taking his needs seriously and working to make him more comfortable both emotionally and physically. Mom said Dad really wants me to bring cookies when I come. I think I will make some peanut butter cookies so there won't be any pieces of anything in them.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night because of my distress and it was the second night in a row for terrible nightmares. Nigt one included severed heads, running from bad guys and hospitals of horror (honestly and that was BEFORE I knew Dad was having trouble). Last night was even worse. In the dream my sister in law gave me a new house and it was decorated with colors and styles I did not like. Sounds very mild compared to somebody carrying a severed head around a hospital dripping blood all over the floor, but LAST night, in the badly decorated house were the dreams that made me yell and cry out loud and wake myself up! I was like - the bedroom is RED, I have a RED boudoir! I can't live here, then screaming - "GET ME OUT!" Haha! Shows what my priorities are I guess. I've always known I am completely selfish and shallow.

I baked Seth's birthday cookies tonight. They are only two weeks late. Joe is next on the list. I usually make his mama's oatmeal cookies for him. Those and pie crusts are the ONLY time I will use Crisco! This year he said he wants some of the foccacia bread. I am afraid it will mold on the way to Texas. I guess it could be a product test!

Deb remember the year I sent your birthday present or whatever it was for like eight months late? At least I am not that far behind yet!

Nieces o' mine: Please don't be hurt that I don't send you gifts. It's because you are all so much better at stuff than I am I feel inadequate. I love you muchly, I promise. Set and Joe, I know wouldn't get homemade cookies and Deb, well Deb is so super special and has been so wise and such a gift in my life that I had to gift her back.

Well off to wash one window - next item on the list. See how random I am...

Monday, October 26, 2009

What a day!

When the alarm went off at 6:30 I popped out of bed and right into the shower. I thought, "man! I am finally caught up on my sleep and this is the way it used to be!" After the shower I promptly lay back in bed and slept until after 8:00. I was half hour late on Monday morning, and on a day when Pam wasn't there.... Poor Joyce! I am going to repent and make amends to her somehow!

The day went well, except I wore a bad combination of slidey underwear (because I am a sexy, hot mama!) and tights...The tights kept creeping down the slidey undies... I had to be careful and not walk too far without doing some rather unusual hip shakes and reach under the waistband of the skirt tugs! If I hadn't performed the shaking and tugging the tights would have been down to my knees in a zip! At least I have lost more weight since I had the skirt altered and I had room to reach in and grab when necessary! It probably looked very rude and bizarre, but not as bizarre as it would have looked had I had to take little tiny steps and shuffle to the ladies room to take the tights off! Or maybe I would have done one of those graceful things like blithely slipped of my shoes and removed the tights right there, slipped the shoes back on and went on with, "And how much do you want to ask for your Harley Davidson, Mr. Deathman?"

Dad had a very bad day and threatened to commit suicide... I ended up spending the latter part of the afternoon calling his nurse, making sure things are in place to get some action taken on this. She spoke with him a good long while and here is the plan:
She will speak to the night aides about speaking to Dad more respectfully. She says they do not have have much medical knowledge and may not understand that he is only aphasic, but understands everything and is not brain-damaged, nor senile like many of the other patients.
She will speak to the physical therapy manager that Dad does not like therapy treated like "games" He wants to know the purposes of each exercise and what tasks he needs to accomplish in order to go home.
She will get with the dr. on increasing Dad's pain medication. He had already had prior chronic back and neck pain that may have been aggravated by the fall. She is also going to have the dr. consult with Dad's previous dr. about the steroid shots in the spine for helping that pain.
Dad complained that he is cold every night. She got him extra stuff and they set his bed up in a way that he thinks will be warm enough.
Dad talked to her abut how he feels "degraded" by having everything done for him, how he likes to cook for himself and the family and do things and be busy. She said she talked to him about how he needs to consider this temporary and how by cooperating he can get back to that sooner.

I felt much more positive after I spoke with her the second time. A different nurse is there tomorrow, but I plan to call and follow up on how the orders have been changed and make sure I don't need to speak with the dr. myself, etc...

I was pretty tragically demoralized after Heather initially called (she was there today) and said he had told them that he was just going to kill himself, don't bother to put any more pictures on the wall... My headache instantly returned and I was very distracted as I tried to go to Target and pick up my medicine. I forgot my glasses at work and had to drive without them and it was all just kind of shitty. Then when I got home Michael had said he would cook for me, but hadn't found anything he felt like cooking that was enough for both of us. I just had a can of soup, but I really like canned soup, so it was okay.

Now I have two more loaves of bread in the oven. Michael and I were BOTH jonesing for it tonight. Killer sandwich... slice the focaccia bread horizontally into two halves, mix some prepared basil pesto and balsamic vinegar into a sauce and schmear all over one side, fill with sliced fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes.... umm whatever. I could imagine it with pepperoncinis or onion or fresh basil or spinach.... then grill until the cheese is all melted. If you have a panini press, this is the time. I just have a skillet. I have thought of heating a second skillet and putting it weighted on the top. Oh - I put some olive oil in the pan first... it made that side of the bread nice and toasty. Yum. I know what's for dinner tomorrow night!

Okay all I'm going to do is take that bread out and get to bed! So nigthy-night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Time to Blog!

It has been a busy, busy weekend. I was up until after 4:00 Friday night (Saturday morning!) baking for the Farmer's Market, slept until about 7:30, got up and went to the market, set up - thanks to Michael's help - then was nice to people and all sales-persony until about noon. Yeah, it just about killed me. Being pleasant on Saturday is NOT my strong point. You know I love my weekends in solitude. I gave away almost 200 samples, got more names for my mailing list and have many people looking forward to the holiday market where they will be able to purchase full-size products. I am excited. The Tuscan Spice bread was a HUGE hit - everybody loved it. I have adapted the original recipe now so it is vegan and about 80% whole grain. I bet I sell a lot of it. Thanks Amber for the original! One guy tried the cookie and said it was the best he'd ever had, that the flavor just seemed to "burst" into his mouth. Yay.

After the market I went to Re-Store and Opportunity House, hoping for some perfect house accessory, pedestal sink and warm sweatshirts, all to no avail. I did buy one book at Opp. House. I couldn't resist, even though I have MANY I have acquired lately and have yet to read!

I realized I had not eaten all day except a coffee... bad, bad diabetic... nor taken medicine either. WTF! I was really out of it by then. I drove though Wendy's, made some poor food choices in my delirium of low blood sugar and fatigue, came home and ate and fell into bed with a movie on to calm my racing mind...started to sleep, phone rang. Sigh.... but it was a good call. A nice friend I hadn't really talked to in a while. We ended up spending a little time together before I finally got my nap in. Then I slept very, very well. I woke up after 7:30 and Scarlett's party started at 7. I sort of cleaned up and headed over to Scarlett's. It was pleasant, but crowded in her tiny place. I ate some actually nutritious food and drank some water, which made my body happy. Michael had gone to a bike race and party and he called, needing a ride home because he had worn out his brakes and had a problem with his hub. I left and retrieved him and when we got home I went BACK to bed, and slept late again this morning.

I called Mom and she really probably could have used me today. She is having a hard time emotionally as Dad is talking more and begging and demanding to go home from the nursing home. He is really not physically able and Mom cannot care for him so he has to stay. I called Heather and she said she was going up later this afternoon. I decided to stay home and rest and try to clean up some more here so I could start the week a little better. It was good I did that. I have slept on and off throughout the day for an hour or two at a time. I probably would have been completely useless as emotional support or physical assistance had I driven to Lafayette. Michael and I are going up on Friday and we will try to be helpful and supportive while we are there. Mom said Dad is starting to talk well enough to tell stories again. Maybe I can leave Michael at the nursing home to talk to Dad and take some time to go work at the house. We HAVE to get more stuff out of there to accommodate Dad if he improves enough to go home.

Michael and I were just talking. We agree that it seems to have been a long weekend and a short weekend at the same time. I did SO much that it seems like it lasted forever. I didn't do what I usually do, however, so it seems like it can't be over yet. I haven't cleaned, worked on the house and yard, gone to the dump, had much alone time (that I wasn't sleeping) read, etc... It is a short week because Michael is out of school Thursday and Friday and I am going to take off work, but with the trip to Lafayette and Chicago it will also be unusual. I feel some stress about all this, but I am just going to have to shake it off and keep plugging along.

I also remembered a bill I was supposed to pay with this paycheck and haven't done yet. I spent a lot of money on ingredients and stuff for samples and also made a hotel reservation TOTALLY forgetting this bill. I have to figure this one out. I hate hate hate living on the edge financially. Sigh. I don't know when it will ever end. I will just try to be my usually blissfully optimistic self and hope for the best. I looked up a bunch of good recipes tonight and told Michael we will cook good food at Emily's and not eat out. The only eat out I am planning is when we plan to get with my friend Marci and I have already told her we need to think budget.

Still need to work on some more "regular" weekend stuff and try for bed by midnight, so it's back to laundry and dishes for a little bit!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tonight's List

started out:
and then continued.

I am actually still working on the bakebakebake! I am trying to decide if I need to go to the store and get more butter and do some more. When we did Luna Fest in March I took about 300 sample-size cookies and ended up with a TON leftover. We were stuck way back in a corner and hard to find. At Farmer's Market there are no hard to find corners! I have made eight loaves of the Tuscan Spice Bread tonight and four batches of cookies. The first batch of cookies was BAD. I am tempted to absolutely throw them away! I think I will send them to Bike Project instead. Some of those kids don't get enough food, let alone homemade treats, even if the treats are not as pretty as I would like (they spread out too much) they still taste good! I would like to bake a dozen "real size" cookies also, to display what I really will be selling. I thought of taking my three tiered server and having one plate of a whole loaf of foccacia bread, one plate of normal c chip cookies and one plate of some other kind of cookies, just for display. I am still not sure what I am doing...

I am starting to feel like a store run is going to happen. I just popped the last batch of mini cookies in the oven. I still need to bake some big cookies, cut the bread into pieces, package everything, make sure my signs are ready, Feed the Fishies and take a shower! I think tomorrow afternoon I plan to sleep.

I may have done the ultimate of evils today and joined Sam's club. You know what... I paid $6.00 for a 4 oz. jar of yeast at Kroger the other day and I paid $4.00 for two POUNDS of yeast today. I have probably already saved my membership fee. One thing they didn't have, however, was whole wheat flour. AND I bought a bag of Kroger brand whole wheat flour today and decided that the Hodson Mill is much, much better. It is not as finely ground as the Kroger brand. If I am going to use whole wheat flour in my cookies and breads I want that grainy texture that kind of declares, "Hey! I am a cookie, but I have some really good, real food inside!"
So store brand flour will not be a place for me to save money in the future. Up go the production costs! Probably time to take a batch out.... yep. I fed the fishies too. They are happy. It's a very late dinner for them!

Well, I am going to get some shoes on and find a sweatshirt to hide my braless boobies while I go to the store. I will report back tomorrow if I regain consciousness after the Market.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tonight's bread...

But first, karaoke pictures! Heather - I love how the Budweiser frog is perched on her head.
Some random guy at the Office Lounge - no clue why we even took his picture!
See how wild I am with my Diet Coke!
An unnamed Hoosier fan, after they actually WON a football game.
Eric - the guy I worked with 20 years ago when I first started in banking and then met up again last year. He's a little younger and a little more wild than I am.
Ben and Michael at cello tonight. Ben doesn't look as pretty in this picture as he does in real life. You should go to his MySpace page to see some better pictures!

is Tuscan Spice foccacia subbing olive oil for the butter. I thought that would make it vegan, but then I realized the prepared spice mixture I am using has Romano and Parmesan cheeses in it. If the olive oil works well I will make my own spice mixture minus the cheeses so there can be a vegan version. It's on the first rise right now.

Michael LOVES the bread I made last night. I think it is a little too spicy, but he always likes things with more "heat" than I do. I love it too. I came home at lunch time just to look for something and couldn't stop eating little pieces of it. I meant to take some to Beautiful Ben at cello lesson tonight and forgot. So much for impressing him with my culinary skills.

I video taped Michael and Ben playing Michael's composition at the lesson tonight. It's pretty cool, but I am not authorized to internet it per Michael. I can't ever get a video to post on here anyway so he doesn't really have to worry!

I WILL post a picture as a compromise.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yay for Vickie!

Everybody go buy her book! Let me tell you - this woman knows what she is talking about. She was a single mother of SEVEN children, remarried and had three more. She and her husband are one of the most "in love" couples I have ever known. I cannot stand her husband's political views and can't stand to read hardly anything he writes, but he once wrote something that is one of my favorite things ever. Quoting very loosely... "People say marriage is hard work, but it shouldn't be. Raising children is hard, supporting a family is hard, maintaining a home is hard, but marriage is the joy that helps you get through all that difficulty together." I have thought to myself I will never get married again unless I find someone with whom I can have a relationship that is joy that makes everything else worthwhile. They have been through MAJOR difficulties in life before, during and after writing this book. Attending the Women's Conference the first year I went with some of my internet friends and meeting Vickie IRL was a wonderful thing.

Tonight I am making foccacia bread again. I am trying a variation with Tuscan spices. I tasted the dough and I think it's too spicy! It may burn everybody's mouth.

I tagged along with Joy while the Rep. from the State Board of Health interviewed her and watched her standard operating procedure to make sure she is compliant to retail her products. I learned a lot and he had some tips on interpreting the bill for Home Based Vendors. The legislature wrote and passed it without much consultation from the State Board of Health or food scientists so basically they had no clue what they are writing about. The best part is meeting this guy and feeling like he know me and I know him well enough to call or email and clarify meanings and procedures.

Michael had a concert tonight and it was pretty wonderful and I am feeling good. I've been fighting this headache off and on for around a week now. I woke this morning at about 4:30 and it was back horribly. I took three Excedrine and went back to bed and it felt better when I woke up. It's still kind of nagging me, but I am okay.

I had to miss "Glee" tonight for Michael's concert. Yay for I will watch it soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miracles/ Confusion.

Miracle: I ironed tonight. 2 skirts, 4 blouses and 2 of Michael's shirts.

Confusion: Indiana Bill 1309 concerning home based vendors says you can't sell goods in hermetically sealed packing and includes "paperboard containers" in there. How do you sell dozens of cookies, dessert bars, pies and cakes, then? Do I have to buy those plastic "clamshell" containers? They are mighty bad for the earth! Sell cookies in Zip-Loc bags? What the heck?

Tasting this Saturday: I think I will do my chocolate chip oatmeal cookies again. Maybe have a couple of loaves of the foccacia bread on display and take orders, and maybe do peanut butter cookies too. No more sunflower butter cookies until I figure out why they turn green! Pumpkin bread is a fall favorite, but we are debating it because pumpkin is on a list of low acid and possible hazardous foods. It mentions specifically pumpkin butter, however, and doesn't say anything about baked goods. As a matter of fact "fruit breads" are on the list of acceptable baked goods. It's so difficult at times!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good news

Somehow in researching the need for liability insurance to be able to sell my goods I came across the fact that just this year Indiana passed a law for Home Based Vending of baked goods. You can prepare goods to sell at a roadside stand or Farmer's Market in an unlicensed kitchen. You do have to follow certain guidelines for packaging and labeling, which I don't completely understand yet, but it tells where to find out. A Home Based Vendor can take custom orders, but they cannot be delivered, they must be picked up at the Farmer's Market or roadside stand. Bloomington has a Farmer's Market all year round! I could bake weekly and either rent table/ booth space or share space with other vendors from the Bloomington Kitchen Incubator Project. We had planned for Farmer's Market to be one of our main outlets anyway. We even have a tasting table scheduled for this Saturday. I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to participate without the insurance. In the state rules it sounds like you don't have to have insurance, but if they get a complaint abut you they will shut you down until they inspect you. It's probably safer to have insurance, but I think I can at least do samples this week without it. The goods you sell have to be within a certain pH range and under a certain moisture content. It lists cookies, cakes, breads, bars and a couple other things as usually qualifying. Cheesecakes are out, because of the need for refrigeration. Starting with these other goods however, can get my brand name out there and when I am able to purchase the insurance and rent kitchen time to produce in larger quantities they may become a reality! I think people will order plenty of candies and cookies and things for holiday parties. I will be a busy little bee, but limiting delivery to once a week, puts me at one all-nighter and it is ready. I really think this is going to be the way to go until Michael is out of school and I am more ready to decide my future!

Amber, ask Steve if I buy a new range if it or a percentage of it can be deducted as start-up costs next year when I plan to file all my start-up costs. Please? Pretty please with neon green and purple sneakers on top! What kind of cake do you use for the shaped cakes? Pound cake? It seems like it would have to be more dense than a sponge cake. I LOVE the sneakers. No wonder you don't have time to play Scrabble anymore. I thought you just got tired of beating me all the time.

I almost forgot to blog!

I have been so busy doing the physical things on my list that I ignored the mental, because I AM mental, sometimes, in the bad sense of the word. For example somehow "Clean off the coffee table" which had some wayward craft supplies on it, became "Work forty minutes on the craft closet and putting things in their correct boxes." A three minute task evolved into something much greater. If I would learn to put things away in the correct boxes each time I wouldn't end up with these problems. That's part of the difficulty of being half lazy and half OCD - those lazy moments come back and bite you in the butt when you just can't take it anymore!

And ouch! my butt hurts and it's tired too.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Heather is coming

and we are going out to karaoke, I think. Fun with no cover charge, just the price of an endlessly refilled Diet Coke and a couple of tips. Heather said she could afford for us to eat out if we want to and I hope she really wants to, because I really want to, but I can't afford it! I'd even go for a cheap dinner at this point.

I have been working on my ginormous list I made for today and I deserve a treat! I have also taken a nap and watched an episode of Lost, so it hasn't been all work and no play, but some of the work has been unpleasant stuff I don't really like to do. Ugh. I still have eight things on the list! Some are simple: Feed fish. Others are more complex and require finding homes for new objects or objects whose homes have been usurped by some other new items - in other words, or one other word, actually - organizing - neither my favorite activity, nor my best skill. Oh where is Emily when I need her? Well in Chicago of course! Huh. Okay, going to go work on it before Heather gets here... ummmm she arrived while I was typing that sentence. Too late!

Shameful Addiction.

"Glee." New show on Fox... sigh. I haven't really been watching TV lately at all. I'm over John and Kate Plus Eight. I keep forgetting Biggest Loser, even though I like it. ER is gone forever. I don't know what happened to Clinton and Stacy - did they get canceled? People at work kept talking about Glee and FB friends posted videos of some of the musical numbers and I LOVE a good production number. I went to Hulu and have watched every episode except episode one, which had already been removed. Now I am all caught up and at least I won't have to waste hours each night watching, just one little hour per week.

Another evil thing just happened, however. I discovered that Hulu has most of the first five seasons of Lost. A couple of years ago when I was SO sick I watched the first two seasons and really loved it. Now I want to get caught up on it! I will have to limit myself and exercise self-discipline. No marathons that last until 4am.

Here is a good thing. Three nights in a row of intentional movement. 20 minutes on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, 10 so far tonight with a goal for another 10, and now that I have told you I will be sure to do it! I've got to keep my metabolism revved up and high protein and movement are the way to do it!

I am broke right now. I spent too much money on THINGS for the living room. I think I was in a kind of financial denial because the liability insurance for the business seemed so overwhelming. Well, duh... let's see, how do we comfort ourselves that we will have trouble affording something necessary? Ummmm.... let's go shopping!! At least I didn't eat AND shop, although I have bought a lot of groceries in the past week! That's all healthy stuff, though. I won't have enough gas money to go to Lafayette to visit Mom and Dad this weekend. Heather might come down tomorrow. If we can work out a way to combine resources and schedules and drive one car, maybe we can go on Sunday, but she usually has church duties. We'll just have to see.

I cleaned out the fish tank tonight and I am psychologically more comfortable. The last time I did it I put each fish in the wrong side. It bothered me - not enough to change it, see I don't need medication - but enough that I am happier now! "Everything in its place" includes fishies for me, apparently!

Well, must go. I have a couple more things on my list, including that additional ten minutes. I've been rockin' to Aerosmith this week while I move, so get ready guys, here I come!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another project is complete!

Started as a plain, magnetic, dry-erase board.
I added a U.S. map and then cut outs of places I have been, or places I want to go, or feel otherwise significant to me.
A place to put my travel magnets! I decided a couple of years ago to get magnets as souvenirs because they are usually affordable, every place has them and they are pretty cool. After a while I felt like there were too many magnets on the fridge and it added to the cluttered look of the kitchen. I dreamed up this project and have had the materials to do it for a LLLOONNNGGG time. Completing it helped add in to my staying up until 4am one night this week. :(
These are two of my favorites. They are from one of my by myself trips. It was a good one. I ate Tennessee barbecue in a bar and listened to a live band on Broadway Street.
In North Carolina Deanna and I went to the Andy Griffith Museum and climbed up Mt. Pilot.
It was about 95 degrees and I almost died.
From the best vacation EVER and one of the best choices I ever made in my life was to take this trip.

I need to learn to buy smaller magnets. I can't wait until I need to make a new mapboard with a WORLD map. Need to get a Passport! I feel like I still have some magnets hiding somewhere. I am pretty sure I have a Utah magnet that is the same style as the Nevada rectangle one... As I clean out the craft closet (hell-hole) I will probably find more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I did it!

Twenty minutes of intentional movement tonight. I decided to make it a priority above dishes, etc.... I still didn't make my bed by midnight goal, but maybe the movement will help me sleep more quickly. Little bits at a time. I made myself do it by writing on my list AND by recording it in my log for the fitness challenge at work. Even though I have overcome the bad P WORD to where I don't feel terrible if I don't complete my list every night, I would hate to have to scratch something off that log once it was written down. I know how to work my psychoses to my advantage at times!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo Post!

Look! Spring is here! I found a crocus today. I finally got my wish and skipped winter.

It was so cold in the office today Joyce brought her Snuggie and wore it while she typed!
Ooohhh... scary! What is it?
It's Michael's first welding project. He wants to weld it to the handlebars of one of his bikes. He needs to weld to make his "Extra Cycle" and trailer. Don't ask me. I haven't looked it up yet and I know I'll describe it wrong if I try to repeat what Michael said it is. As to the welded design - He's not a Satanist, I swear. It's all very tongue in cheek with him and he thinks it's funny.
Per Katie's request - Dad's face, and not just wounds! This was this Sunday. The nurse is someone from church whom we have known for over 30 years. I didn't recognize her when I first saw her, but she said the first time she worked and asked Dad if he knew who she was he said it right away. He's better and smarter than I am even after a massive stroke and a big blood clot on his brain!
Julie and Dad again. Katie, Heather taped up all the pictures and stuff you guys sent and it really makes the room more cheerful. Thanks so much for sending it!
He's using his left hand and took several drinks and didn't spill at all (another thing he's better at than I am!). I was feeding him his pudding and doing it the way I would eat it - taking a little bit of the whipped cream with each bite and making that whipped cream last... Dad looked at me with disgust and picked up the pudding cup and ate all the whipped cream with one bite. We should have just brought him a can of Redy Whip!
One of my fellow Octoberfesters from Saturday Night, Dan.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smells good!

I am making more Focaccia bread. This time I kneaded chopped garlic into the dough. I also used a little less salt for the sprinkling on top. I thought it was pretty salty and I LOVE salt! It took more flour - I think because the garlic added more moisture. I hope it still bakes up nicely. Amber, I think you should try some and add some of your roasted tomatoes! I think that would be really colorful and tasty! I love colorful food as much as a colorful home, and colorful clothes, and colorful stationery and colorful, well everything!

I bought one more shelf for the living room yesterday. Michael started putting it together tonight and I just finished it and arranged. Earlier tonight I said, "Now no more buying anything for the living room!" now I realize I really would like a different chair in there... I am going to watch for a $5 chair! I ended up spending more on the build-it-yourself, cheap shelves from Target than I did on the sofa and REAL table/bench!

I have no clue if I am going to sleep at all tonight.... I got a sudden headache about 3:30 - 4:00 and tried to sleep it off after dinner, but ended up taking Excedrine AND Mucinex, because I think it's sinus. It got so cold so fast, then rained for five days, and all the pressure changes are really getting to all of us who are headache sufferers!

I feel strangely happy all the time lately, even though my house has been messy for weeks, Mom and Dad are having so much trouble, I am broke and can't afford the liability insurance for my business, I got a speeding ticket over the weekend....I don't know whence the happiness cometh. Maybe I am just in denial. I DID have a grumpy moment yesterday. I took a long lunch because I knew if I went back to work it would be dangerous for my job or my coworkers. I am lucky that I have the flexibility to do that. Even though we have to clock in now we still have a lot of freedom compared to retail or factory life. I am grateful for that!

Maybe the happiness is coming from the little things, finishing the record clock, baking the new kind of bread, new shelves, whatever.... I'll take it!

I'm still worried about Michael. We talked and I didn't make him drop an activity, but he only gets to do one thing per night, and nothing if there is a heavy study load. For example, if he goes to Science Olympiad, then no Bike Project that night... He told me tonight that he is still feeling crappy, though. I DID say no to a trip to Washington D.C. this week to a solar expo, and that was hard to do. I like him to do these things, but I just knew it would be too much. I also feel like the teacher had too high of expectations of what they would do on this trip, even though she has done it before, I just remember how the way home from S.O. Nationals turned into a trip from hell because the teachers were determined we would drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and picnic at this certain place and it was way beyond what should have been planned. The way he is feeling I may end up with him having to drop something anyway. I wish he did something that was foolish and would be easy to say, " _____ has to go." The problem is that everything he does is so WORTHY of time! Sigh...

After midnight....

We're gonna let it all hang out!

Naah - I need to get to bed soon. I have about a million things to do and my mind is racing so I have begun pharmaceutical intervention.

Quick report:

Saturday: Octoberfest, Polka Boys, Dancing with abandon, big burrito (yes, at Octoberfest, and no sauerkraut involved), Fire pit, talking, to bed pretty early and the best night's sleep in Lisa and John's guest room - King size, therapedic mattress all to myself!

Sunday: wake up not too early, went to Trader Joe's, first experience at Whole Foods (I like Trader Joe's better and I think the prices are better), drive to Lafayette, straight to nursing home, dad tired, me tired, Mom and Heather left for event at their HS. Dad and I napped, I woke up, started working on new project, Dad woke up, Helped Dad eat dinner, left NH, ate dinner with Mom and Heather, drove back to Bloomington, went to bed again fairly early... I'm not used to it.

I started waking up at 3 am. Sigh.... too late for pharmaceutical intervention so back to sleep off and on until time to get up. Up and showered, on time for work. Didn't eat a morning snack, sugar was low and depressed at lunch after finding out friends' house burned down... Kept myself from throwing a fit when the guy gave me the wrong sandwich. I knew he was new and I knew I was irrational. So I took an extra long lunch until I felt like I could be rational again.

Back to work. Finished work. Sold something good WITH prepayment.

Came home, rested a little, made actual three course dinner.

Cleaned up, played FB (Heather reported that Dad had a good day today), blogged, am crossing everything else off the list and GOING TO BED.

I want to make more of that bread tomorrow and take it to work. I also still want to make my chocolate bacon cake. I think I will set the goal at making the piggy tomorrow.

I LOVE that bread and it is SO easy. I want to make it and use the fresh mozzarella I bought at Traders Joes's and slice the bread horizontally and make a sandwich with it and tomatoes and basil or pesto.... I don't have a sandwich press. Do you think the waffle iron would work?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Probably the main focus of the front porch beautification project - the purple front door. It also has a new, brushed nickel knob and deadbolt. The frame has been cleaned, sanded and repainted. The mat is new.
A table with some of Michael's geodes. I have had this for a few years, but it was terra cotta brown and I never kept it nice. It always gets dirty when it rains hard.
New rug, new plant stand. This was a crappy time of day to take pictures and I actually took before pictures and want to post them as contrast. Mom wants to see the purple front door so I went ahead and took these even though the lighting is bad. It would be best in the morning when the morning glories are blooming, but they are almost finished for the year anyway.
One of my morning's labors. Rosemary focaccia bread, from a recipe Amber posted on her dinner site. I used fresh Rosemary from my garden and only one cup of white flour, the rest is whole wheat. One loaf I added chopped garlic to the sprinklings on top. That's the one I already ate a piece of! I am going to leave it for Michael and take the other loaf to John and Lisa's tonight. I think I will make it again soon and also knead chopped garlic into the dough. That will be yummy!
It's grape juice in my wine glass, which I promptly drank after taking this photo. Gee - too bad my sugar got low from working too hard and I had to eat a piece of bread and drink juice!
These are the last tomatoes from the garden (I think, I know I said that last week too), and I knew the picture would need some color... I love baking. I love growing things. I love eating things I baked and grew. I love taking pictures of them too. Happiness and a sigh of contentment.

I made a list that seemed long, but a lot of the stuff has to do with getting ready for the evening in Indy and tomorrow in Lafayette, so it's not really that bad, I guess. I still have to go to the dump and load the car. I wanted to start on my next art/craft project (Do I do crafts or am I an artist?), but it probably wait until I get home. I plan to take some embroidery with me to play with while I am in the nursing home. I can't stand having idle hands. If I am completely idle I will just sleep!

So now to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump dump (It's where the Lone Ranger takes his trash too!). Then I will get ready and leave for Indy, so I don't know when you will "hear" from me next.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Genius dinner, bruises, clocks...

Oh, and a Princess too! Emily do you feel honored? I finally got your picture out of that frame that made a funny spot on it and now you are amongst my favorite authors - right between Chaim Potok and John Steinbeck!
Music clock I have made for Mom and Dad. I have learned some good lessons on this one about making things appear more professional - like look at the number 4.
I should have taken an exacto and scraped the edges to make it cleaner.... I hadn't used the stick-on numbers before so this was kind of an experiment with them. I feel nervous that they will fall off.
Same with all the numbers... the instruments and other stuff was better. I think the figure are just higher quality plastics.
Michael and I both agree that the ClockQuirks logo should be in reverse type on this one.
I can still change it. I haven't Mod-Podged over it yet.
I had originally planned to use the instruments and larger musical symbols in place of numbers. Michael said he has trouble telling time without numbers (even though he's a genius, he's a strange kind of genius), and it made me consider that it may also be hard for old people so I put the numbers INSIDE, close to the hands, and the symbols and instruments on the periphery, just for thematic decoration.
At first I used this side for the front because it had some Sousa marches on it, but then I was afraid Dad would be upset that I "ruined" a good record with Sousa marches on it! That is one reason for the exact placement of the logo, although I did plan for it to be UNDER the hub, instead of on top, so the RCA Victor logo and Nipper would show. (Do you know we have a Nipper's Credit Union in Bloomington, right across the street from where the RCA TV factory was for decades?)
The entire thing.
This is the putting-the-heavy, old, English-bicycles-on-the-rack-and- smashing-my-hand bruise.
This is still the unknown-origin-but-probably-carrying-the-very-heavy-vintage-sewing-machine-cabinet-the-night-I-moved-furniture bruise.
This is my genius dinner. Quinoa is my new grain for experimentation. I had raging success with pasta salad and tonight I decided to make "Hawaian Haystacks" and use Quinoa instead of rice. Hippie Boy gets a more complete protein and I get closer to my fifty grams, and have a whole-grain, more complex carb. Also we both like them with lots of veggies so our fiber is even higher. Yes that is a huge pile of college recruitment materials under Michael's plate. When we bring in the mail I put his in "his place" at the table and he is supposed to take it and sort it and recycle or keep as appropriate. He finally did that with this pile after dinner. Of course I did not include the other end of the table where my un-put away art and craft stuff is. Hey! I'm still working on it!
Yummy! I cooked some chicken breast separately to add to mine. I used to use one can of mushroom soup and one can of Cream of chicken, because I don't really like it with straight mushroom, like many people use. Now I use one can mushroom, one can cream of celery so it's veggie and I still like the flavor.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Poo Poo on the big list!

The perfect shelf to go with my bench! Happy birthday to me!
When I came back to edit some typos I realized how crappy this corner looks except for the shelf. I need to touch up the paint and where the door is puttied and all that. Sigh.
I wonder if I should get one for the other side to put the record player on. I plan to ask my cousin Jimmy if he wants his mom's sewing machine anyway...
See the perfection in the woodtone and style... of course the shelf is nowhere the quality as the bench/coffee table.
How many copies of "The music of the Jews" does a woman need? Apparently eleven. How many should be in a language she neither speaks nor reads? Apparently five. This is not counting manuscripts.

I slept until after 11:00... got up and showered, took myself out to lunch, went to Target and shopped around found THE PERFECT shelf to go with my new Eames bench and couch. Then it was raining like crazy and time for Michael to get out of school so I went over to pick him up. Having forgotten my phone at home, however, I just parked near the bike rack and read for about 40 minutes. I just decided to give up and go home and heard thunder. I don't really like him riding in lightning so I decided to go upstairs (where the Science rooms are) and find him. We met on the stairs... So I brought him home, then left to the grocery. We were down to some wrinkled baby carrots and a few oranges as far as fresh.... I spent a truckload of money, but the veggie drawer is overflowing!

I made Michael put the groceries away while I rested. Who doesn't need a nap after getting up at the early hour of eleven o'clock, I mean it is before noon! Then I made some convenience food for dinner I had bought at the store, a pasta/broccoli combo in a white wine pesto sauce. I also cooked the wrinkled baby carrots! I thought it was pretty good, but Michael didn't like it very much. Then it was off to cello lesson with beautiful Ben. Michael has about 20 measures of his first composition complete and transcribed, but only the cello part. His next assignment is to write in the violin part. He is not used to writing in treble clef so it will be tedious for him.

After cello we went to meet Mrs. Beck. She is an eccentric old woman who had a stroke a few years ago. I have known of her or been associated with her in some way all my 25 years in Bloomington. At first I just knew of Mrs. Beck because my friend Eve worked in her laboratory which analyzed kidney stones. Then when I worked at the bank she was my customer. Now she is a customer at the newspaper. She wanted to hire someone to run errands for her and I told her Michael would do stuff for her, as long as he has time. They both really liked each other. Mrs. Beck said she could tell Michael is not like a regular teenager and as we left Michael said he really likes her. He likes that she is happier that he will run errands on his bike than in a car. She told him of her days in California and how in her community bicycles were a huge part of the culture and they poo-pooed people with cars. It's kind of ironic because out of the blue on the way to cello Michael had told me how he wanted to visit California, especially _______ area, I can't remember because of the bike culture there. I went through my list of Todd lives here, V & J live there, D lives there, Eve lives here... we could probably visit many areas of California and meet lots of hospitality! I will have to get in good bike shape.

When we got home we both ate ice cream with reckless abandon. It was my birthday celebration! I also had FRENCH FRIES with lunch. Yum. So now it's late and I have built my shelf, washed some dishes, worked on my current clock project and begun sorting the Rothmuller items in a way that makes sense to me for beginning. Soon to bed... soon to bed...

Bloggy Blog

I am off work tomorrow for my birthday, which is nice. I am lookingto forward to it. Funny thing is a have a list of things I want to accomplish, as usual. I think it will make me feel good because I haven't been able to do my own stuff as I like to for so long. Plus I have acquired new things which don't yet have homes and it makes me feel unsettled to have extra things sitting about.

One thing I would really like to complete is the front porch beautification project. It is really complete. It just needs a little cleaning up so I can take my after pictures. I am sad I didn't do it sooner because the pictures would have been nicer with the morning glories in full bloom and it has been so freaking cold that they are not so active anymore.

I have also started a clock for Mom and Dad. My mother got mad at me and said I took their only working clock away when I was cleaning. I had no idea. I thought it was just some cheap thing they got at someone else's garage sale, which it probably was, but I didn't realize it was the only working clock. I have a really cool clock started and I would like to complete it and get it up there this weekend.

I am having mixed feelings about this weekend because I need to go and take the clock and the clean laundry, but I also REALLY need some home time. Also Heather's school is having a reunion for people who were involved in music and she is going to sing. BUT Lisa also invited me to go to Indy and go to Octoberfest and then hang out, which I would really like to do. I asked Michael and it turns out he has another DATE Saturday night... so that makes me kind of want to stay here Saturday and have him go up to Lafayette with me on Sunday, but I don't want to drive twice so then I miss both activities to which I have been invited warmly. I feel very wishy washy and unsettled about the whole thing. I know I am letting minor things bother me, when there are much bigger issues in my life and the world. Maybe the minor issues are a welcome distraction from the real stuff.

I wanted MEAT today. I went to Golden Corral because I knew there would be meatloaf and I have been wanting it so badly! I had meatloaf AND pot roast. I haven't really eaten since then, though so I probably ought to eat something before I go to bed so I wake up in the morning! I can't even test my sugar because I am out of strips. Oops! I called the dr. today and I can go pick some up tomorrow.

I smashed my right hand last night loading one of the bikes on the bike rack. It had an impressive blue broken vein blood-bubble type bruise last night. Today it is only slightly blue, but hurts like hell.

Good-deed doing backfired somewhat. Casey was upset from "negative attention" she received about the Victoria's Secret Contest. She said people on some fora called her the "Cancer Bitch." I don't know where she is reading. I should google. Maybe people started boards specifically about this contest? I would have never thought of anything like that. In way I feel bad because it upset Casey and that is the last thing she needs. In a way (which is probably selfish) I feel a little hurt because I know that my friends and I were doing what we felt was wanted, voting for Casey, getting others to vote for Casey, and then protesting when the contest was unfairly judged. It's one of those things that makes me feel like sometimes you can't "win," no matter how hard you try.

Another sort of negative thing. Liability insurance for the business is at least $60/mo. More quotes are needed. Also there may be a nutritional analysis that has to be completed by a state certified lab for packaging and labeling requirements to be properly fulfilled. I don't know the exact cost, but I am worried about it - especially if I want to sell many different goods. If that is the case, I will have to give up for now, work on a more complete business plan that figures those costs into my break-even point and work on some of the minor issues, like my name change first. If Joy and I combine and form a partnership LLC - Hope and Joy LLC - :) , maybe we can reduce fees for state registration, trademarks, etc. We are looking into it. Joy is a good researcher and doesn't work an 8 - 5 job any longer so she has taken the brunt of the research. It makes me feel a little unreliable and flaky, but she says she enjoys working with me anyway.

I usually write my projected bedtime on my list for the evening. I didn't actually write it down tonight, but midnight was officially the goal. I am going to skip dishes because I will be here tomorrow, but I do want to start a grocery list so Michael will see it in the morning and add his desires. We're starting to get down to canned veggies...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

and when she was bad...

she was VERY, VERY bad! I went to the auction tonight. There were some opera scholars and fans there. Mike made jokes about the "opera" fans come behind the podium and look at the boxed stuff and the "Opry" fans stay out front and look at the collectibles. It was pretty cute. I felt like I was a little bit opry and a little bit opera... I did see some furniture I wanted to bid on, but the table I really liked went to double my price limit! From the opera side I bought a box of documents and books for $20. So far, I think I have found at least three handwritten manuscripts of compositions... by
I paid $2.00 for this box of opera scores, like one would take along to the opera to follow along if one were a true opera scholar and fan.
Part of the $20 box, a hand-written manuscript.

Typed and copied...
a mimeographed manuscript of his most famous book, "The Music of the Jews" with his hand-written corrections. It was originally written in German.
a piece of original art, signed "Love to Marko, From Carl" and dated. I need to find out who Carl is. The Rothmullers traveled Europe a lot I think, even after his performing days were over, so Carl could be anywhere in the world. Anybody recognize his work? I also found a postcard to the Rothmullers from Hans Fritz: One Book I got is "Encyclopedia of the Opera" Prof. Rothmuller clipped and inserted obituaries of musicians and performers in their pages of the book. I find it touching that after he died someone clipped his obit and inserted it in his page.
And Professor and Mrs. Rothmuller's bikes! Yes, my son is a bad influence on me. They are English made "Hercules" bikes. From Sheldon :
A division of B.C.C. until merged with Raleigh as part of the TI takeover in 1960, Hercules was a major competitor of Raleigh, with a strong sporting image. They sponsored popular racers, most partiuclarly Ken Joy and Eileen Sheridan. Hercules made their own 3-speed hubs, which were pretty-much identical to the older Sturmey-Archer AW. Hercules hubs continued to use threaded drivers long after Stumrmey-Archer abandoned them.

Raleigh-built "AMF-Hercules" models are fairly common. They were distributed by AMF (American Machine & Foundry.)

... so not big collector's items, but in very good shape and just plain cool with the fenders and nice seats.

I need someone who speaks German, Hebrew and Croatian to help me figure out what is of real value and what is just whatever that anybody can get. Heather's friend Melanie is (almost, test results yet, Mel?) a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology and studied music of Hasidic Jews, I guess. I think Croatian Jews are considered more Sephardic, but I bet she'd like to see them anyway. I want to find out if they are of value to a collection and I should donate them, to collectors and I should sell them or if I've just wasted $22.00.... I don't think I did. We'll find out.