Monday, July 8, 2013

no new news, and living authentically.

It took me a couple of days to realize that my manic knitting was causing severe aggravation of my rib strain. I didn't understand why I was in so much pain the last couple of days, but I've been knitting like a maniac... The Mister was sitting at the table at 11 last night making ravioli, and I decided to pull my knitting back out. My ribs had been so painful all day, but had finally started to let up a little. Within a moment or two of starting back on my project, the pain was surging. *sigh*

So, what else is new. Finishing the Noah sweater...all I need to do is sew on the front pocket and weave in about a thousand ends. Went out and got a pair of circulars with a shorter lead so I could actually finish the Baby Cozy, which is coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I SO miscalculated yarn yardage on that one. For some reason, I figured 2 balls of Chunky Mochi would do it. 4 balls in and no end in sight, I recalculated last night...I need 6. Now, if you've worked with Chunky Mochi, you know it's not cheap. $8-$9 gets you a mere 49 yards of yarn. I don't use it for big projects, or really, for many projects at all. It's hand wash only. It's gorgeous, and I happened to pick up several balls on sale some time ago. Unfortunately, I had to order more last night. Not on sale. So much for making most of my projects with stock yarn. Ordered buttons for several of my projects from Etsy. Next cast on will be the Old Man Cardigan, and I picked up some gorgeous, soft shimmery grey for it, and the bottons for it are wood, hand burned with a rose (nauseatingly cute, considering this cardigan is for Rosalie). Still haven't made progress on dyeing my blanks...

In the has indeed been a ravioli making extravaganza. The Mister is so tired of making them, but we had our first batch of chicken mushroom & ricotta ravioli last night, and man was it delicious. He's made a ton of batches, and a ridiculous amount of pesto. We shared some of his fresh bread with the new neighbors, one of which is also gluten free. No report back on what she thought of it, but I warned her husband that if she's not used to eating high fiber gluten free flour, it will make her fart. Man, I am a classy broad.

The woods have yielded a great deal of treasure this weekend, although Saturday's trip was mostly in vain. He'll be going out Tuesday to get the chantrelles that were too small for picking, as well as anything else that catches his eye. It was nice to have him home Sunday. I got to go to a mom's morning out function, and then laid in bed in the air conditioning (thank god for window units) and watched crap on netflix, knit, and napped. Speaking of crap on Netflix, I watched This Film Has Not Yet Been Rated. Very interesting documentary about the MPAA. My favorite parts were the interviews with John Waters and Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce.

So, going to tea yesterday morning was awesome. It wound up being only me and one other mama from our local community, but it was very pleasant, and gave me some food for thought. I'd hesitate to call this other mom a friend, she's more like a friendly acquaintance. We don't know each other well, but our community is a private closed one where everyone shares a lot. I really like her and have a lot of respect for her. She's kind and quiet and very real, in a completely opposite way than I am. Namely, she's not rude or offensive or in your face, which I know I have a tendency to be. We were talking about the way our lives are run, our priorities, and our long term plans. We don't have similar goals, but her life is no less authentic than mine. We definitely have a lot of shared principles, and probably some shared experiences that haven't been unearthed yet, and our conversation was a great reminder that not everyone has to want to do what we want to do in order to live authentically. For us, living authentically means a lot of DIY, it means being deeply connected to the land we live on and the food we eat. It means a return to traditional (way less technologically ruled) practices. Pretty sure The Mister would spirit us off to an Amish community if it weren't for that whole religion thing. It definitely gave me pause yesterday, and I spent a lot of time thinking about how authentic doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. I have a few really close friends who think our idea of perfect is an abhorrent way to live.

So, what does authentic mean to you?

Friday, July 5, 2013

sickness and a sense of place.

Oi. I posted on the 7th about having the cold from hell. Little did I know. It's been about 5 weeks since I first started to feel a tickle. This virus turned into the most severe case of bronchitis I've EVER had. I have truly thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it, both in terms of curative and palliative value. Everything from home made cough syrup to OTC crap with DXM to prescription cough suppressant. Every herb, every holistic remedy I know, homeopathics, and finally steroids and an inhaler. I've called on friends and herbalists alike for suggestions, been to my doctor twice and to the local urgent care when I couldn't BREATHE and my doctor was out of town. I asked to see another doctor...4 others in the practice were out of town too. COME ON NOW. In the throes of this death virus, I strained my left round ligament. I, for awhile, considered maybe having ripped it, and maybe my uterus was going to come tumbling out of my body while I coughed.

 As soon as that came close to healed (which required me to curl up in a ball every time I coughed to protect it), I strained rib muscles. Wound up in the emergency room. X-rayed, medicated for pain with heavy narcotics, and sent home with the instructions to rest and take tylenol. In the middle of the night, sat up to cough, coughed really freaking hard, and felt something pop in my ribs. In the back this time. Followed by blinding agony. If you've never had a chest wall strain, I don't recommend it. I was sobbing and begging the mister to call an ambulance. Got to go back to the ER for more pain meds. Told to alternate ibuprofen and tylenol and rest. THANKS DOC. At least one intercostal muscle is pretty jacked. I'm recovering slowly, and I have an entire new appreciation for how excruciating broken ribs must be....this is just muscular and I would easily take another 40 hours of back labor over this. The first day, I couldn't sit up or get up without help. I've improved significantly since then, but every time I move too far forward, I overdo it and wind up in a lot of pain. Which sucks, because apparently folding and putting away laundry is all that's required to "overdo" it. While that may sound like some woman's dream somewhere, rest assured, 5 weeks of being too sick and then too injured to unfilth your habitat, especially in the throes of pregnancy nesting, ESPECIALLY having a wicked type A personality, is a recipe for madness. And many many temper tantrums. And a lot of tears. I am so sick of being sick and run down and worn out. I am sick of coughing. I am sick of peeing myself. TRULY. I am sick of coughing until I vomit, I am sick of being in pain from strains. My poor daughter has watched so much Caillou it's not even funny. I am sick of wading ankle deep through toys on the living room floor. Of watching laundry pile up and the ants take over. And my poor partner is working 50 hour weeks, doing all the cleaning, laundry, shopping, cooking, and most of the child rearing. By the time he gets home, my poor little sprout is SO bored that she has turned very aggressive and is hurting mommy. I also learned that the dread pertussis is actually severe's just a bacterial kind there's a vaccine for. Similar herbal treatment protocols (minus addressing the bacteria) should have worked gangbusters for this....too bad I'm pregnant and so very many herbs are contraindicated. I would probably be bathing in lobelia right now, were that not the case. (Ok, look, I would never do anything with lobelia other than very, very small doses. I have no desire to take an emetic. I do enough vomiting on my own.)

In other news, our garden seriously went nuts. In two weeks it doubled in height and things are flowering. Our bunnies are growing, and the buck is going through puberty, which mostly consists of him going absolutely balls out bananas in his cage, running around and being aggressive. It seriously freaks me out. The mister tells me this is totally normal behavior. I have my reservations. Nothing is being picked and eaten yet from the garden, aside from herbs. And pesto. Lots of delicious basil pesto.

In the woods is a veritable feast right now. The mister has been out mushroom picking the last two days. Chantrelles are coming home in large numbers. A small early hericium. Plenty of chicken mushroom. He spotted a lobster mushroom too. Cinnabars are starting to pop up, as well as russulas and boletes, but we don't eat those. I know the boletus genus has some particularly tasty specimens, but it is a notoriously tricky family to play with. It is infuriating to be stuck at home nursing the cough from hell, weak as a baby from a protracted bout of illness, and in pain with various strains while my partner is out having a field day with mushrooms and picking yummy black raspberries. I know I will get to eat it all in the end BUT I WANT OUT. Also out of the woods came half a jar of cattail pollen. Don't ask me what's to be done with that...

Herbally, ghost pipe is starting to come up too. I know The Mister will be taking alcohol with him the next two days for insta tincturing. We've found ghost pipe to be incredibly useful for insomnia that nothing else is touching and horrific migraines. My mullein plants in the front will be flowering soon. I have a field of creeping charlie and plantain that need harvesting and drying and tincturing. Plantain is my answer to, uh, pretty much everything. Quick! What's your spirit plant? Plantain. And that's just in my tiny, tiny yard. I can't even walk to the end of the block and back without feeling like I'm going to die. And my left arm is still mostly useless, which makes me want to kick and swear, because I'm left handed. This kind of rules out doing most things.

Craft wise, you must be kidding. I am nearing completion of the Noah Sweater from What to Knit When You're Expecting. I'm really, really glad she posted all the errata on her blog, because criminy, there are SO MANY ERRORS in that book. I've made no progress with my blanks, other than laundering them. The Mister is supposed to help me get dye baths set up this weekend, so I can feel like I'm making progress. I made a pattern for baby pants that I'll be cutting out of t-shirts...since I use scissors with my right hand, maybe I can make that happen before I'm fully healed. I've also got a righteous pattern for sleep sacks/gowns out of t-shirts. It's on, if I ever become functional again. This spell of sick and injured is really breaking my spirit, but I know in the long run, that everything happens for a reason, and this too will prove out to be useful in some fashion. My main concern is mending up enough to have a home water birth.

In the kitchen...lots of the usual. Been getting a lot of green smoothies for breakfast from The Mister so he can make sure I am indeed imbibing minerals and nutrients. Lots of kale and berries and homemade raw milk yogurt. (Plus, if I cough until I vomit, green smoothies aren't so bad in reverse. I can't say the same for what we call "shut up and eat it", which is eggs, potatoes, local grassfed pork sausage, peppers, and onions.) We grilled a GF pizza with mixed results. Had an asparagus soup. That was tasty. Made some Against The Grain replica rolls...The Mister decided to ignore the recipe's advice to use LOW MOISTURE mozzarella, and used a blend with provolone was edible. I'd like to see a repeat, with the right cheese. For the solstice, we had cinnamon roll pancakes, which were THE WHIP. There was an attempt made at replicas of KIND bars at my insistence. Those did not turn out at all. Highly disappointing. I like KIND bars so much better than any other granola bar. Not complaining about the delicious food our kitchen churns out, but really, puffed rice with peanut butter and sun butter and chocolate and dried fruit and a hell of a lot of nuts does, indeed, get old. Too sweetly savory for me. Hard to explain, other than not being a sunbutter fan.

This evening's festivities were supposed to include dough making and filling making for a ravioli making extravaganza this weekend, but since it's already 11, and The Mister and The Sprout are still at the store, I'm thinking that's not gonna happen. This is one of my favorite and most dreaded times of the year....with such a large haul, The Mister usually whips up a bundle of gluten free hand made raviolis with our mushrooms, sometimes using recipes but mostly just winging it. I'm looking forward to actually sampling the honey mushroom perogies this year, since he ate them all winter and didn't die. Because I have one lame arm that needs to stay by my side from shoulder to elbow to prevent horrific muscle spasms, there's little to nothing I can do to help with that...that makes me miserable too.

So, we finally come to having a sense of place....I know I don't post much in the way of politics (mostly because it's a can of worms I don't typically open on the intarwebz), but I think it's vitally important to understand what you're celebrating. It's hard for me to sit back and watch people talk about America's independence from Britain without acknowledging the dark side of that, which was the systematic oppression of our Native people. I won't go into that much here, because I'm not ready to turn this into a long political ranting blog, but open your eyes, America. Wake up. Understand that the discrimination and oppression of others is built into our country. Do something to change it. Anything. Between that and some very well written blogs I've read recently about having a connection to where you live, it's helped me to realize that I'm very much connected to the land we inhabit. When we're finally ready to take our money and run off to some land, it will be just as important to me to know the mythology of the place, its flora, its fauna, the soil, the seasons, the winds, the weather, the rocks and the way the sunlight looks. If you can't know where you live on so many different levels, how can you live there? I can tell you why we can't grow food directly in the ground here, but will you listen? I can tell you what weather patterns to watch for so you know when the best flushes of mushrooms will come up, but when it comes time, will you notice? Do you live HERE, where you live, or are you occupying some mental faraway land where work and bills and putting food on the table and having the next best thing in technology and home decoration and culture is more important? This, sadly enough, is what continues to show us what oddballs we are, in what we want and where we're going.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my coughing, hacking, aching ass out to the front porch to watch the fireflies.

Friday, June 7, 2013

just a year. nothing new.

Oh wow. So it's been a year and a day. I figured June was a great time to take up blogging again. Not that I have anything particularly interesting to say, but...sure.

So! What's new in the last YEAR. Big moyashi went back to school in January. I sometimes wistfully wish to homeschool again, and then I have to think long and hard about my reasons for putting him back in school. Little moyashi turned 2. She walks, she talks (but nobody can understand her, huzzah!), I made and sold some really nice diapers and then stopped making them. We ate from our garden. We tore it down because we were going to move. And then we decided to stay here. Oh, right. And I got pregnant. 23 weeks this week, so over halfway there. I'm sure there are more things that are new. We'll break it out by area.

the garden - rebuilt larger, planned better. We've got all sorts of fun things in there this year. I was the one who picked them out and ordered them, but I'll be damned if I remember what they were. I know there's haogen melons and golden bantam corn, sweet peppers, strawberries, watermelons, purple potatoes, scatter casted carrots, beans, double yield cucumbers, some squash. Assorted herbs. Nothing fun or unusual this year, just culinary. Tons of basil, rosemary, thyme. I'm about to transplant some lemon balm. We are also the proud owners of three New Zealand rabbits. 2 does, 1 buck. They'll be ready to breed in August. The mister planned out and built their hutches. I knew that half finished engineering degree would come in handy some day. Too bad it's computer engineering.We're also growing oyster mushrooms. We started with one kit and soon had developed several other kits.

from the woods - well, we had decent mushroom foraging last fall, and the mister made some amazing honey mushroom perogies and gluten free ravioli with delicious mixes of wild mushrooms and herbs and ricotta. Of course, those are long gone. This spring has been pretty suck for least for us. His boss brought us a bag full of morels from his yard. Boss's wife swore they were poisonous and that they should be in the garbage. How about....get in my belly. Winter hunting was just okay. No deer. No turkey. A small amount of small game. A goose.

in the kitchen - Well, now that we're in full swing greens season, I'm going to dehydrate a bunch and crumble them into green powder a la nourished kitchen. I should probably put that on tomorrow's farmer's market list. The mister has been baking gluten free bread every weekend. I can only eat it sometimes. I don't know if it's the pregnancy or if I just find the blend he's using (his own blend, which I'm pretty sure includes millet and sorghum) to be overly offensive or what. But it seriously sucks that there's fresh baked bread in this house weekly and every time it bakes, or gets used, I want to barf. We also have a raw milk share again, and the mister has perfected yogurt and yogurt cheese making. There will be a fridge hauled downstairs and temperature controlled before too long, so we have cold storage for our cheeses. We're using the resulting whey in everything from beans to rice to bread to pancakes. I want to make whey lemonade, which sounds disgusting and amazingly tangy. He's brewed a couple of beers lately, having decent success with one, but I guess the other one needs to go through a second process because the IBU's were off the chart blah blah blah over my head i don't drink anyway.

We're not much for prepared foods, even gluten free, but every so often I get a big chip on my shoulder about not being able to run to the corner diner and get, say, a plate of onion rings. We don't eat perfectly, we probably get carryout once a week or so, sometimes more, sometimes less. It typically goes between our local mediterranean joint (which is actually located inside of a gas station...counter intuitive, yes, but local, delicious, and affordable? Yes.), the coney up the street, or cottage inn pizza, because they have serious delicious gluten free pizza. I can't even eat fast food, simple cross contamination makes me severely ill. So, I was reading someone's blog the other day, and saw they had made the Chebe cinnamon rolls from mix. Being pregnant and being subject to serious ludicrous cravings, the next day, even though I was sicker than hell (convinced I wasn't contagious), I dragged my daughter all over town looking for that same mix. Didn't find it, but found their cheese bread mix, which the mister made last night to serve with grilled rabbit. They were mini rolls, almost like donut holes. Delicious and totally devoid of nutritional value. Completely manioc flour and starch, plus some dry milk powder, and then the cheese and eggs we made them with. Sometimes it's comforting to eat something delicious that isn't made of rainbows and unicorn meat. Speaking of, while ISO this mix, I picked up a bag of Ian's GF Onion Rings. Guess what I had for lunch today, along with a heaping side of mayonnaise for dipping. It had been over 4 years since I'd had an onion ring. Like most things, either the GF replacements aren't that good, or the item in question wasn't as good as I had remembered.

in ye ol creative workshop - *snort* Like I've gotten ANYTHING done since becoming pregnant. This pregnancy has been rotten, miserable, horrible, and I am convinced it will be my last (although I keep saying that, and then I have another one). I had to take a leave of absence from my job. It's been that bad. And I mean at like 6 weeks pregnant I begged to be taken off the schedule. I have gained maybe 2-3 pounds. Total. So, anyway.

Here's what's brewing in the workshop - i bought a bunch of white long sleeved bodysuits from salvation army (don't even get me started on their horrible homophobic practices) for a song. I have some Dharma Procion dyes on order along with glauber's salt. When I am able to pick them up from the co-op runner, I will be hand dyeing all of these blanks and then machine embroidering them. I bought several design packs from Urban Threads when they were on sale. I also have a pattern for baby pants from t-shirts. Eventually I will drag myself upstairs And dig through my bin of clothes to be repurposed. I am hoping for white t-shirts, so I can dye them along with the onesies. I also have some diaper patterns for newborns and smalls I intend to construct. Better get crackalackin. I'm also knitting a few patterns out of What to Knit When You're Expecting. I've knit a pair of booties, I'm in the middle of a pullover sweater as well as a sleep sack. Ack, only 17ish weeks to go and SO MUCH to finish.

The last two weeks, or really, just the last 10ish days, have truly been the suck here. Little bit has had a nasty case of allergies and has been up all night coughing for weeks. Her cough has finally started to die off. About the time I finally gave up and took her to the doctor (the spectre of pertussis was lurking), the mister got a rip roaring chest cold. I told him when I got back from the doc with Little Bit that hers was just allergies and he probably was dealing with the same, but he looked at me crankily and said, I don't think so. Lo and behold, I came down with it HARD. I mean peeing my pants every time I cough (take that, internet), can't sleep, whole body aching from coughing so hard horrid nastiness. So, I had just taken Little Bit on Thursday. I hauled my sorry rear end into the doctor on Tuesday. Dx was just a nasty virus. I was honestly concerned because of how hard I was coughing that it had to be some major infection. This virus can kindly go back to the hell from whence it came. I can't remember the last time I had a chest (or head) cold this bad. And then, last night, my little lovely girl decided to lay on the wrong cat, and the cat promptly scratched the crap out of one side of her face. So, back to the doctor we went, because when it comes to deep cat scratches or bites, this momma don't play. 3 times. 3 times in 8 days we were at the doctor. And I can count on one hand the number of times we've been there since Little Bit was born. For pity's sake. The Mister and I are still coughing our idiot heads off, I feel like I should buy stock in Lemonade Stand postpartum mama cloth from all the cough pee, and now my daughter has some nasty scratches that I need to medicate. Awesome.

In other other news, Big Moyashi asked me last week if we were going to celebrate the solstice. Bless his heart. Of course we are. I just need to figure out how, and how I'm going to make it happen with a ridiculously low amount of energy. I am thinking sunrise breakfast of cinnamon swirl pancakes and orange juice and some other "solar food" followed by some rest, and then some fun crafts and a nature hike, and then at dusk, a big ol balefire (i mean tiny bonfire). Of course interspersed with lessons about what this time of year means, nature wise, science wise, spirituality wise, etc. And I have to pull that off on a shadow of energy, in two weeks. WOO LETS GO.

So what's new with you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

hand foot and mouth and other disasters.

So, we caught the dread hand foot and mouth disease. and by we I mean little bean only. Her doc thought it was scarlet fever. Oh hai, can you say terrifying? By the second day of the rash, it became apparent it was HFM. Thankfully she's recovered with no complications or anything. We had a few very rough nights, where eating and sleeping were in short supply. I don't know why this uploaded all jacked up, but here it is...

spots on the feet were a dead giveaway.

Let's see, what else has been up over here?

We've got our garden good and planted, ripped out some of the ornamentals in front and replaced them with cabbage, dinosaur kale, summer squash, zucchini, mullein, and sage. The potato box is up, the A frames are up, and the squirrels and bunnies are having a field day nibbling and gnawing. Damned critters. Clothesline hung, too. Finally.

small, but a start.

happy little clothesline.

The homesteading bug has bitten me once again, and I've been on the lookout for properties with 20 acres or more within about an hour of our current location. It would be nice to have another family or two to split the payment with. I keep thinking about all the food we could grow and raise and having a labyrinth to walk and having land for the mister to go shoot critters on...

Cooking wise, more of the same lately. Lots of chicken salad, which I eat obsessively and in large quantities. Roast a chicken one night, chicken salad the next. Believe me, there are seldom leftovers. I made some amazing gluten free naan the other day. It was demolished quickly. I am supposed to be making another batch today as well as some banana oat muffins, but the day got away from me, and I have to leave for work in an hour and a half, roughly.

mmm. naan.
Craft wise, I have again been driven to heights of creative production insanity. Three more diapers finished...

one day I will make a diaper with no screwed up snaps...

Made two of these super absorbent ones..
 about 4 more rows to go on my tunic, an embroidery project for hire finished...

 and a hand embroidery project as a gift also finished.

Also hung up a clothesline in the dining room for a magical idea for summer fun. It's going to get a bunch of activities clipped into it, like field trips and craft projects, all ways to have fun during the summer. My Tuesday work will be going away, so about the only day we can't do anything fun will be Thursdays, when I work from 11-9. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate blind sewing elastic? And how much I suck at serging around curves? I also used a bunch of my "worthless" nonabsorbent fleece to serge a bunch more cloth wipes. I love the grippy nature of the fleece for pulling poo from bums and for pulling purees and yogurt from small faces and hands.

Big moyashi is getting better at soccer, because we had to have a talk about his future with the current team. It pains me to say that he is one of the weakest players (we may be the only family on the team that does not eat, sleep, breathe, and live soccer), and I had to let him know that his current team would be moving up to another level, and we were going to try to place him on another team. It seems to have lit a fire under his rear, because he has been practicing like crazy. I'm hoping maybe the coach sees potential for him to advance with the rest of them...we'll see. That's such a sucky thing to have to talk to your kid about. I told him that we would need to see a lot more from him if he wanted to stay with the team...a lot more practice, a lot more work.

I pulled together a bunch of stuff for the start of Hogwarts Summer Correspondence School. All I need to do now is figure out how to print them from my dinosaur of a laptop. I probably have to take it downstairs and plug it directly into the printer. 

*sigh* There's a kitchen floor calling my name. It needs a mopping. With prejudice.

Monday, May 21, 2012

oh the projects we'll sew...

Isis, my matron goddess, is driving me into fits of creativity insanity. In her honor, one of the diapers I'm working on for little bean has a Nubian Queen print.

So! I'm currently working on:

+a fitted cloth diaper. I've got all three pieces for the body cut out, and I'm hoping to get it more put together tonight.

+ soaker is done. Don't think I'll do a double length snap in with 3 layers of fleece ever again.

+still working on my Winged Knits tunic. I'm getting so much closer to completion.

+just had a small embroidery project get dropped in my lap. It needs to be done by the end of the week. It's small, but I have some wizardry to do with the machine that I haven't attempted yet, and it's been a long time since I've busted it out and played with it.

+I am functionally knowledgeable about my serger now. I serged the soaker, and realized one of the threads was not, I guess you could say. So, I figured out how to thread it, tried to serge it again, realized I needed to actually run more material under the knife if I was going to get a good seam, and wound up trimming the soaker a bit thinner. Not terribly complicated, but it's not beautiful or anything like that. I only have one color serger thread...white. I am currently out of money until I sell off more of my pocket diapers, so white it is, right now. I had some excess in my paypal account from selling 17 diapers and buying material to make some fitteds, but after a class this weekend, wound up with two bottles of kava and some kava butter, so buh bye to the excess fundage.

What else...

The DVR in my bedroom is 98% full right now. About 75% of it is DVRed craft, sewing, knitting, and quilting shows. I'm watching them slowly. Like, whenever little bean is feeling cuddly and needing to eat. (Yes, for those not in the know, my nearly 13 month old is BOTTLE fed, and still pretty much only eats from bottles).

The mister and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary on Saturday (9 years we've been together, not 9 years of marriage). And by celebrated, I mean he came down with a case of sun poisoning and I watched Black Death while he slept. Not a happy movie. Seeing Sean Bean get drawn and quartered...pretty gross.Also tried Amici's GF pizza, and a delicious salad, and then farted my way through the rest of the weekend uncomfortably. Come to find out, the mister KNEW it was heavily cross contaminated and didn't say anything about it to me up front. ...Jackass.

Our measly raised bed garden has now been filled with dirt and compost and is settling. It will receive plants this weekend. Our potato box is also ready, but I am an idiot and didn't order seed potatoes. Gotta figure out what we're going to do about that. I'm still looking for a mid-town vendor for vegetable plants that are organic. And by looking I mean I posted, once, on an AP forum I belong to. So, in other words, not very hard. The mister already bought our tomato plants. I have a heat treated wooden pallet down at my neighbor's awaiting some landscaping fabric, dirt, and greens. I plan to hang it along the fence in a relatively shady spot so we can enjoy greens all summer long. I do not have a good track record growing them.

Took a class this weekend on musculoskeletal stuff from an herbal, physical, and energetic standpoint. The herbal part was awesome. The physical part, I had hoped for more from. It wasn't that there wasn't scads of awesome information, but it's information I by and large already had, and stretches and exercises I already recommend to clients. I asked a fairly in depth question, and don't feel like I got any new info from it. The energetic standpoint, there was information in the slides I was interested in about specific cervical subluxations and their emotional/energetic messages, but when the class broke into groups to play around with energy medicine, I hit the bricks.

Martha Stewart's show today featured a really wicked awesome project I'd love to just hang around my house - Yeah, that's right...I was watching the Martha Stewart show. Wanna make something of it? They had an Israeli chef on and the food looked delicious too...there was some polenta dish and he made it with lots of cream, and I was thinking about how it could taste so much better if the cream was actually used to rehydrate dried morels... *drool*

I'm about to embark on some sugar free gluten free baking, using palm sugar and stevia as replacements. We'll give it a go. I really would like to eat more baked goods, but I'll be damned if I'm not already a chubosaurus rex, and need to cut down on the garbage that goes into my body.

Speaking of, here come the boys, with ice cream in hand. Check please!

Friday, May 18, 2012

things i am not good at, part...infinite.

there are many, many things on this wide round earth that I am not good at. Remembering to drink water. Feeding myself. Returning phone calls and responding to emails. Dealing with chaos and loud noise for more than about 15 minutes (ask me about kid's birthday parties. They're my favorite.) Reading directions. Following directions.

Directions. ugh. I am not destined to be a great seamstress. It doesn't help that I broke my machine out for the first time in five years. I missed sewing (and quilting, which is really my first love.) I am that person that reads the directions thrice, and still needs to make several cuts and corrections. It's not that I don't want to follow directions...I do. I'm just...distracted.

Anyway, so I decided that instead of paying a ridiculously painful amount of money to swap all of little bean's pocket diapers out for fitteds and covers, I'd know, sew them myself. In my spare time. Ha. Haha. Hahaahahahaahahaa. I work 3-5 days a week, have two children, and a house that doesn't clean itself. The sucktastic part is my working hours. I don't work a full 40 hour week. Oh no, no thank you. I work Tuesdays for about 4 hours during the day. It's a 30 minute drive, one way. I work Wednesday nights for about 4 hours...another 30 minute drive, one way, to a different job. I work Thursday day AND night, from mid morning, until after dark, and that's the same place as Wednesdays. I work Saturdays (2-3 a month), and Sundays (1 a month). It doesn't sound like much, until one thinks about how much time it takes away from "family time" know, the time AFTER most people get home from work. So, I'm gone a couple of evenings and a few weekends. It is SO hard to get our kids to bed that when I *am* home in the evening, I feel terrible about sneaking off to my sewing room to put stuff together. Wait until after the kids are in bed? HAH. By the time I get little bean to sleep, it's all I can do to stay awake myself, and then there's the mister, and I suppose he'd like to spend some time with me too, although I've no idea why.

Anyway, back to this sewing, I've made two covers now. I'm wondering if the lady who made this pattern was perhaps smoking crack. In one of the steps, it talks about aligning the gussets with the arrows on the pattern before sewing them in. Uh, there's no arrow on the Large pattern pieces. Thanks. So, I make the large one from just a singular layer of PUL. It's an unmitigated disaster, probably due to the pattern and my long dormant sewing skills, plus learning how to work a snap press. I wind up putting 4 snaps on backwards, and damned near destroying the diaper cover trying to remove them to put new ones on.

Next attempt, I make a medium, because the large makes her look like she pooped in it, it sags in weird places and is just ill fitting in general. This is not surprising, I didn't stretch the foldover elastic as I was sewing it down. This was a mistake. So, the has the arrows for where the gussets go...cha ching. I sew it out of 2 mil black PUL that I got for a song, along with a cute cotton print, more of the dreaded white FOE (foldover elastic), but this time I DON'T use a contrasting thread color. Thank heavens. This time I also forget what a 3 step zig zag is and wind up doing some ridiculous stitches around the gussets, and am just having an absolute devil of a time doing...oh, anything right. It doesn't help that the instructions are SO not detailed, and there's nothing about having to sew gathers into the gussets so they fit the allotted space, or anything about stretching the FOE as I sew it (which I learned from watching a video).

So, I look for my sewing machine manual. Surprise! In the last 8 years, it's been misplaced. So I download one. ...oh, I've been winding the bobbin wrong. Oh, that's what those stitches are for. Oh! Wow! My sewing machine is actually pretty smart! Oh...that's what those dials mean. *sigh* And then the bobbin runs out of thread, so I rethread it....and it's acting all...broken. So I have to go and troubleshoot and read the same suggestion about 50 times before I realize I've been threading the needle with the presser foot down and apparently that makes a big difference....Problem solved. Even put the snaps on the right way the FIRST time this time! WOW!

Without further ado, cover number one:

and now...cover number two:

I mean, I know they don't look that bad in the pictures, but they're not great, let me tell you. My grandma is coming home next week. She is going to put her glasses on the bridge of her nose, purse her lips, and proceed to tear them apart (verbally, of course). The good news is, though, she will help me become a better seamstress. This is the woman who taught me how to quilt, and she always pushes me to new heights. She told me once I couldn't hang doing a snail's trail quilt. I did. (Of course, it's not finished).

I can rise to the challenge.

I hope she'll teach me how to use my serger, though, so I can actually make some DIAPERS, instead of just covers.

Monday, May 14, 2012

thoughts on autonomy...

So, before i get off of my high, preachy horse, I've been thinking a lot about personal autonomy, feminism, motherhood, and attachment parenting. Oh ho, dear readers...I can't seem to pronounce autonomy right, either. I'm not an idiot, I just play one on tv.

I definitely understand the validity of choice, and am thankful for those feminists who went before me who have guaranteed such a thing. I am just having a problem with the third wave mommyhood backlash. However...

I don't see how giving up your autonomy for your children is any different than giving up your autonomy for a career. Your boss tells you what to do, how to think, what to wear, what time to show up, when you can eat, when you can leave. My bosses tell me when they're hungry or bored, and don't give a crap what I do, other than that, don't care that I may have worn the same tank top three days in a row, don't care that I eschew a razor for armpit fuzz, don't care that I eschew a trendy haircut for a buzzcut, don't care that I can't stand makeup, don't care when I eat or go to the bathroom or how I think. They don't care that our day might be spent outside, or cleaning up, or doing nothing but lazing on the couch. They are happy to be with me (in the case of little bean) or happy to have their freedom to do as they please (in the case of big moyashi). I am background noise, which leaves me the opportunity to coexist, enjoy my time with them, and then enjoy my time in their proximity doing my own thing.

I don't get up and spend time in rush hour traffic, I get up when little bean decides she's hungry and awake. I don't have high powered corporate three martini lunches. I eat out of tupperware standing up in the kitchen or try to keep chubby baby hands out of my lunch. I may eat lunch at 11. I may eat lunch at 4. I eat when I'm hungry. And the housekeeping? Or the "woman's work"? Man, you're gonna do that anyway. You have to do your laundry, why not do some more? You're gonna have to clean your bathroom too. Or you're going to have money to pay someone else to do it, and frankly, the opportunity cost to make enough money to hire a housekeeper is far higher than what I'd gain. I don't do the cooking here, so I can't speak to that.

I guess it comes around to what you value. I *do* value being able to make a living. Trust me, I've done it. I was the breadwinner for our family for quite some time before the current arrangement. I like this a hell of a lot better.

Just some thoughts. Next up...a return to our regularly scheduled programming. Crafts, food, the usual.