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.