Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clearing Cobwebs

After some thought, I've decided to take a short break from blogging. I feel dry and am working on some semblance of order in my life and I'm having trouble setting limits for myself in several areas. I go through times of giving too much of myself and find there is little left and thus need to refuel. Many times blogging has been that refueling, but I feel I've not had my heart in it and I want to rant - and no one needs that.

Ha, I probably won't be able to stand it and will be back quickly - but for a few days anyway I am paying bills, cleaning up study, getting organized, working on a few simpler maintenance things with the house long postponed and no one else will do them, so rather than see the place fall down around me, I'm it. I also have junk I don't need that I need to sort and clear out. I also need time to think some personal things through....meditation time, not obsessive thinking time, hopefully!

Be back soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sins of the Flesh

This is it - FINALLY! Running well. Grandson runs and runs. Daughter runs. I make it to .3 miles and try again. I've spent my life on my butt in a career my mother chose for me. How weak is that! I did have some exciting positions though throughout.

Anyway a person that sits on their butt for a living should really work out a few times a week. Should. Actually my middle needs the whittle the most. The walking and elliptical, according to Doc. Lovely makes the cortisol disappear. (New theories out about that nasty cortisol, lack of sleep, stress causing weight gains on the middles.) The "Suburban Sprawl" has more than one meaning.

One thing I loved about Europe - people actually went out strolling in the evenings, lovers, families, what fun was that? When I lived in Baltimore, I walked miles per week. But ended up in Suburbia, USA.

Have deleted posts today, one after it made up to "publish" - I was full of gloom and dread last night and this morning. I'm better now. I had a very long post. A long gloomy post.

Today didn't turn out like I thought. I've been reading Stephen King's "Song of Susannah" and am falling back into the worlds he creates. Would like to read the whole series. Better add this to my reading list, huh?

Signed grandson up for baseball, last minute. Then I bought myself a set of stadium cushions on sale - quite elegant ones! We'll see. He needs some manly things to do instead of hanging around with Nanna all the time. Lots of testosterone hanging around the ball fields. Anyway the folks seemed nice and testing will be next week so they will be on a team with similar capabilities. He'll go to a camp to give him a general idea how to play. The coaches told me this is just good sportsmanship anyway. Actually I didn't tell him other grandson played and I observed parents acting like asses quite often, embarrassing their children.

I hungry. I wants chocolate candy. I wants steak, a huge baked potato slathered in butter and sour cream, greens of every kind, cornbread slathered with more butter, and pecan pie for dessert (with whipped cream), yes I do. And about half a bottle of a delicious red wine. And maybe a lots of spaghetti smothered in Feta cheese and Parmesan, with Eggplant Parmesan on the side. Mmmmmmm. I am having to stay out of the "Valentine" isles in the stores. Certain destruction lies on the chocolate covered aisles.

One bite could lead to more and more and more, to where I finally ended up homeless, lying in the gutter with chocolate smeared around my lips.

"H" bought me home lamb chops, that I have loved dearly since childhood, and I can't eat those either. Tonight he is trying to get me to eat buffalo chicken strips. Yeesh. Alright already. I have read about these things, what are they called - manage au twa, triage, uh...you know that threesome thingie - him, me, the lamb chops.....

The only times I have fallen involved popcorn. So it could have been worse. See, I have my illicit times like anyone else. I have LUSTED after those lamb chops.

Received a call from the school art teacher. They want to know if I would display some of my paintings during the art fair and also set up a demo of oil painting. I need some fresh work. Grade school - nothing big, but who knows, maybe a budding artist will get inspired and be famous some day!

Enough - tomorrow church (confession of the thing with the lamb chops will do the soul good) and then getting my planning out and painting too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where have all the Endorphins Gone?

I have lost two posts - the "save now" button seems to be non-functioning. I much preferred the old "save as draft." At least that one saved.

Have been mired in technology traumas which are shredding my nerves. My new camera has a problem with adjusting for lighting - or I do. Needs lots more practice. I spent two hours downloading drivers for my scanner that quit working, checking connections, etc., and it still won't work. I have been trying to saw a copper circle for hours on end and am 99% convinced jewelry making is not my forte. It makes me mad though, because there isn't one artsy, craftsy, creative thing I have tackled that I have not been able to conquer and be good at it. Not the best, but pretty darn good. The metal and the saws laugh at me. The heat from the torches and lights in the studio make me feel ill. The class is overcrowded so it takes five times as long to achieve something than it should.

The elliptical hasn't arrived. I called the store and threatened to bring the receipt back for refunding. Just received a call though that the delivery guy is on his way. I'm thinking I probably made a mistake. The evil side of me is saying, just go to bed, eat and watch TV. The channel lately holding my fascination is Discovery Channel and the battles of the extremely obese. I'm thinking, "oh my gosh, that could be me!" Then I think, no it couldn't - these people obviously have someone in their lives that would be extremely codependent because they weigh so much they can't even get out of bed or roll over. Now, that would exclude cooking and grocery shopping - so what is going on THERE? Love gone wrong? Actually feeding someone to the point of death is not love exactly. I'm afraid to have back surgery because I won't be able to take care of myself. No codependents here. Well, maybe there are - just not the overfeeding type. And "J" cleans up enough poop at the hospital, I would not have any luck there. No one here to feed me until I reach 800 pounds. Hey, how's that for an impressive bout of morbid compulsive thoughts?

In regard to the folks on the Discovery Channel, I have to admit to some admiration - I realize eating can be an addiction as well as anything else. I struggle. At some point, they made a decision to regain their lives, and against all odds began the climb back to active, whole lives.

Next, aren't the above pics wonderful? I love the water - I love it so much. It soothes my tortured soul - mountains scatter it. The crawfish - not so wonderful - but thought y'd get a kick out of seeing them. Maybe.

I made rice crispy treats with a thick chocolate crunchy top. The boy likes a treat when he gets home from school. He would live off of sugar if left to his own devices. He has to be rationed. I wanted one. Didn't.

Yas, I'm in a weird mood. Give me an hour on the elliptical and i'll report back in! Hopefully I still have endorphins waiting to be released somewhere!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Great Start for the New Year

Nice birthday gift - a jewelry making workshop! I get to pick which one I want to take. The artist giving the workshop does work of the type that evokes an emotion of awe. This morning I just dropped in his studio to pick up a pair of pliers and see HIS work and the studio setup, and ended up with a most pleasant visit and even more excitement about jewelry making. For such a dubious start, I am now gung-ho!

Stopped on the way home and purchased a pound of crawfish for the boy who had been asking for months now if it was crawfish season yet. Beats me how he can eat them outside of a nice etouffe. The deal was that he peeled them. I think I was taken for a ride so to speak, as I ended up buying them AND pealing them. Ick.

I'm feeling tired - need to adjust the diet I think - have to call the doc Monday and report in.

So cold (43 F) outside, with a cold rain, and that cold, cloudy look. I was really hoping for a snow so the boy could see what snow was like. Anyway the cold is invigorating still and not unpleasant, like in snow cold with 70 mph winds.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Its happening today....

Making metal jewelry - I've wanted to solder and work with metals for a long, long time! After finally getting the metal and the saw in my hands, I think I'll love it. But I should paint. Just sitting on the painting. Off to another adventure! Looking at books, I'm finding beautiful art in the metal smithing.

Watched the news this a.m. I know I promised I wouldn't anymore. BUT I fail. Found out that Tyra is interviewing Hillary about Bill's indiscretion, supposedly today. Not everyone will like this, but I think she would make a good president. Anyone that can go through that with their husband without killing them or leaving them will make a great President - especially with keeping their cool in heated situations. I'm also proud that she is fighting back against Obama. This is an exciting election. Anyway, I will hang around the house for the interview. I love Tyra anyway.

The only health care proposal I like is Dennis Kucinich's. And he doesn't stand a chance in whatever of winning anything.

I'm allowing myself a lazy day, a do anything or nothing day. The only pressing thing is to find my absentee ballot and get that mailed in and to go pick up some metal pliers.

The press is like a huge vulture waiting for Britteny to die. What would it feel like in such a screwed up condition, obviously contemplating suicide, knowing the press was lurking - waiting - . Child stars pay a high price for the money and fame.

The President is proposing giving low income people an "advance" on their tax refunds of next year. What if a refund isn't in the making next year? Owing IRS is about like owing one's soul to the devil.

The sun is shining today, a switch from our gray, raining days. But its still cold - 50 degrees F on the average.

My back doesn't hurt this morning. I love my new shoes. I wait anxiously for the eliptical to be delivered.

Well, to the ballot search....perhaps I can figure out how to get my new cameras photos to the computer as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Pain, No Gain

Haven't posted much - its been a frantic week and gone by too quickly - OR not quickly enough. Some things going on at home I just don't want to talk about on the internet leading to a couple of sleepless nights, even though I know I can't do problem solving while worrying.

The first jewelry class - arrrghhh. Don't know if I like it. It will be challenging. However my main challenge is in putting myself back together now. I went to class today, then forgot my drawing so I couldn't cut metal if I had to, so I went to the Sports Authority store. Me, the bookworm who hates sports and physical activity, sticking out like a sore thumb in a sports store. I actually bought a pair of walking shoes that are sooooo comfortable. Much less pain when I walk. I hate lace up shoes as badly as I hate exercise. But I hate pain even more. I am finding the shoes are lessening my discomfort. Will I succumb to always wearing athletic shoes and leave my Birkies behind? Dunno. Might. That's a beloved freedom of not working - don't have to dress up!

Yesterday I visited the YMCA and found it to be a really cool looking place, which I would love to hang out in. There were some fit old men in there too that weren't half bad looking. Just kidding. Maybe. I was hurting so bad, I could barely take the tour.

While at the sports store, I tried out five different eliptical machines. I liked it when I found one that didn't hurt my knees. Amazingly enough, the movement didn't hurt the back or aggravate the sciatica. The doctor was right!

I started testing machines. I started shedding clothing. I started sweating. The nice salesman stayed with me. I found a machine in a decent price range and loved it. I calculated "Y" membership fees and a 30 mile round trip everyday to get there and decided to do some wheeling and dealing and hope beyond hope my credit would pass. My income level makes most creditors laugh at me. But - it went through! I should have my machine by Monday or Tuesday next week. It will be a living room fixture. Or maybe the study. Goal: 3 miles a day eventually. It has cool gadgets - calorie counter, mileage counter, heart rate monitor - you can hold onto stationary bars or the handle bars that move. Go Granny, go!

Next, I feel horribly guilty spending much money on myself. Even the shoes.

Then, there is a phenomena that seems to happen when I try to get in shape. It is the reason I am sure that Satan really exists: Crises happen, deep crises! Discouraging crises. Or I get sick. Or let someone sabotage me. Or I can't afford the extra vitamins or supplements or whatever it takes. I am carving out a niche in the wilderness - no pain, no gain. Determined. Hit me with sticks, I am "sticking" with it. Twelve pounds off in a month now. Yay! I'm feeling more well, except for my back, than I have for some time. Hooray! Life, here I come--full steam - uh, soon.

Gotta go pick up Boy, and then get ready for evening class. Lucky for me they are interchangeable. The classes, not my grandson.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Its that time of Year again! or (Politics and Religion are dangerous subjects.)

Interesting! This year it was time to renew my driver's license. Fabulous to have the option of completing that task online. But, I was wondering if "checks" were in place to see if I were still alive and still really me. Also on the license were
"new, advanced, security features."

I moved on to the government website to find out what "they" were doing now. It was ok by me, advancing security issues upon the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. At least this one is being acted upon. There was no information that the database from the State might be connected into a national database for uniformity, but I think it indicated this was probably so.

During last voting season, I noticed that foreigners had driver's licenses issued in the U.S. No problem there, but there was no way to identify that they were U.S. citizens qualified to vote. Of course, we had the option of sending them home to gather up a birth certificate. Some appeared to not have returned when citizenship ID was insisted upon.

I often wondered what would prevent a person from voting several times from State to State or a group of persons? Sure, there are laws to prevent that, IF one were ever caught up with and the question came up AFTER the election.

Also the new voting machines, without a paper trail, seem to provide no method of verifying accuracy should a recount be needed. It seems odd to me that after one we shall not name got elected, or rather managed to take the election, that THEN the U.S. government decided to change long standing voting methods.

Notwithstanding, I admit to being kicked out of a voting booth the first time I tried to vote in Florida because I was "taking too long." The poll worker informed me I had five minutes in which to vote. I'm telling ya there is a huge ballot in any place in Florida and it takes a while to vote responsibly, and not purely by name recognition. (Now I have learned to do my research on voting records, etc. etc. and mark my choices on a sample ballot so I can complete my duties at the poll within a five minute time frame.) This year I got around that by requesting an absentee ballot. I can sit in front of my computer looking up candidates records for three days and nights if I have to.

At first I like what Obama had to say, but then realized that what he is saying now, is far different in some areas than what he was saying in an earlier book that he has written. He has very little experience compared with others. Next, my "gut" - (don't they say "vote your conscience") tells me he might be a bit deficient on foreign diplomacy skills. "Gut" and from listening to speeches while he was in Africa. I do think we will have either a black or a woman for president next. Which is far overdue. However, I would prefer a person that had less reputed ties to the radicals who have threatened to "take America down." Even a tiny hint of such associations is enough to scare many of us away. But then some of our presidents have had mafia ties. However the mafia never took down the World Trade Center and thousands of our citizens in one fell swoop.

I've had my fill of persons who claim to be Christian to get the conservative vote. A rock in an egg carton does not turn the rock into an egg just because it is in the egg carton. I believe morality extends far beyond the abortion issue.

We never really get a person we think will be 100% fitted for such an awesome "job" and our checks and balances system is supposed to pick up that failing. However it has become corrupt--filled with good old boys fond of "pork" politics. Still, our country remains, if not somewhat tattered, one of the more "free" countries about the world.

Sure, I have my worries - lots of them. Tons of them. Mostly because we don't live in a vacuum. Because its such a delicate balance of trade, war, and peace, and diminishing planetary resources.

God help us all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Cats Rule Here

Parchment sent to my sister:

Hail! Just to let you know Kronus is now demanding not only breakfast, lunch, and supper, but a bedtime snack. However this has precipitated a miracle, "H" is buying the cat food but do not let him know that I sneak two extra meals in. Kronus has adopted the true posture of a King, and refuses to eat in front of his subjects, the people and the other cats. However, he has now claimed the Head Serf's bathroom for an official banquet hall and beats up any furry interlopers into aforesaid territory, despite his history of being run over badly in the servant's kitchen and left to dwindle away. The bedroom serves as a moat, and Kronus has installed himself on the tower to watch - Lady Serf put a blanket there which clearly had to have been for him and has now been converted to the tower throne.

In the meantime, Sir Pssssycho, refuses to be disciplined and runs willy nilly and somehow manages to sneak into the banquet bathroom for plunderment of the garbage can that contains fumes of liver, tuna, and salmon. And other items. Miss Meowi, now under the curse of the Hag of Harmouth has lost the fur about her private parts and tail and up over the tail. She is doing penance for prior food snatching and will be taken to the Healer 17 days before the next moon phase.

The serfdom is slowly being set free from the gargoyles of pasttimes, however the knights have not been in the castle for a long time.

The Lady Serf has decided to make jewelry to fill in the hours that her secret lover, Knight Begone, has left her to. She shall sing much Plainsong in hopes the shaking of the hands will cease.

In the meantime, King Kronus has issued an edict that the hunters be sent far and wide as he anticipates snacks in between the meals by the fortnight.

By your liege,

Lady Sislebehere-Serfdumb

Cats send Birthday Card

Speaking of cats, I got a birthday card from my three. I've been eating a lot of salmon on this diet, and the front of the envelope was addressed to "Hey You!" "Lady!" "Yeah, you, the one that smells like salmon!"

The front of the card had a picture looking like the above cat fiend and it said "Happy Birthday to one of the most thoughtful, sensitive, and lovable people I know." Just when my head blew up with some pride, I opened the inside and it said "Normally when somenoe pays you a compliment on your birthday, you're supposed to feed them."

Signed, "Love, (yeah right)Psycho, Big Meowwie, and Miss Kitty.

Signed up for the jewelry class. I'm excited. And crazy, probably. The supplies were expensive and I have all these hobbies I never quit get finished as well. Oh well, life is short, lets go for what we can, when we can.

Going to have a Greek salad with a friend!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Aren't I Just the Most Boring!

Ok. Even the cats think I'm boring anymore. No more political intrigues. No new art recently, no vacations, no dancing with drunk drillers from the oil fields, no landlord stealing panties anymore, no car sliding across the icy highway in a blinding snowstorm to rest in the barrow bit, no surgery, all my blood cells are now there and intact and carrying oxygen to my brain which is now catching up but still not thinking too deeply. No cute little (a foot shorter than me) guy with huge brown eyes stopping by my office to chat of politics and the human race being started by aliens from outer space. No employees telling me where to stick it, no coworkers sabotaging me. No pressure to get 50 years of land records on line by March.

Do I miss working? No. Yes. Maybe. I love sleeping in when I want to. I love not having to juggle twenty things at one time. I love solving problems on how to put a painting together rather than what to do with two custodial staff trying to get each other fired or driving to meetings out of town in white out icy windy snowy conditions. I miss the paycheck. I miss the challenges. I miss the routine. I love the idea that if I can travel, I can pick up and go and not worry about when I have to return. I love the fact that I can volunteer and pursue hobbies like reading, art and photography which I don't do often enough.

Actually, I don't care if I'm boring if I'm not boring myself and I am getting dangerously close!

Perhaps tomorrow I will amble out to the college and see if there are any openings in the silver jewelry class and get back into the art building and the excitement, I don't know.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Puzzling Pot

Finally! I found something about my mysterious cooking pot, Iwachu Nabe or Mabe or Nebe.

Eating from this pot which is placed on the table over a heater usually, and dipped from by the whole gathering is supposed to bring relationships into being and bring folks together as they share from the pot. What a cool present.

I baked a chicken in it and the wooden lid infused the chicken with a delicate wonderful flavor, the skin browned nicely and I was so tickled. Can't wait to try to traditional Japanese fare now. But no Pufferfish, (a prized fish that if prepared carelessly can kill the diner), I promise.

The cast iron is great for anemic people as the iron leaches out into the food.

I waded into reading some of the history of Japanese cooking and its really quite interesting. Nationally, I am told the Japanese have a low incidence of overweight individuals. Looking at some of the dishes, I don't wonder why! But some look incredibly delicious, so I definitely need to make a visit to the Japanese warehouse market for ingredients and begin to put the pot through its paces.

Monday, January 07, 2008

To Puppy

Did you know your blog is down? I miss it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Birthday at Hibachi

The grill starts up....

Onion Ring Volcano

Trying to catch rice with mouth

We had a great time at my daughter's house. I got a Imachu Mabe for Christmas - if anyone knows how to cook with one on an electric stove, please let me know! Or any recipes?

My oldest grandson turned 17 and we all went to his favorite hibachi restaurant. He and his friend had their first try at sushi -that was cute to watch. The hibachi cook decided to throw rice at the boys to see if they could catch it in their mouths. We had a good time laughing.

We have had some serious cold snap here - it froze two nights in a row. Now, I need to get out and trim bushes (at least try) and put the trumpet flower trimmings in a bucket to reroot and plant in the spring.

Youngest daughter and I went to see Sweeney Todd last night. It was a good movie, except for the graphic blood scenes - the horror was in the graphic murders. As usual, Depp was brilliant and whoever played his daft girlfriend was good as well. In fact the whole cast was rather good I thought.

Don't know what I'm doing today. Not successful in my planning as I had determined to be. Maybe I need to order a filler for my Franklin Planner - well, I'm not THAT busy - that would be a waste of money.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Over the Bayou and through the Woods to Daughter's House We go

Bays, Bayous, Estuaries, Springs - the South has water, lots of it. However the past few years, planners are gathering to devise ways to share the water with states north of us. Predictions are that even drinking water might have to be rationed. Hopefully there will be enough publicity around the meetings that the public will be able to know what is planned and the time frame surrounding the plans. If all the artic sea ice is almost melted, where did it flow to?

I'm also reading that corporations are buying water rights and water systems in the future will most likely be privatized. Which I expect means, we will be paying a bundle for one of life's very basic necessities. How long in the future? It's happening now.

We're getting ready to go to my older daughter's to deliver Christmas presents. She called early to warn me that her "other" is in a foul mood, so it will probably be a short trip. This holiday season has disappeared in a hurry.

Cleaning lady is coming, thank heaven, so I am trying to put anything that I think I might never find again if I don't put away, away! All the laundry was done yesterday with the help of "H" because this pain in leg grinds on, difficult to walk. Tomorrow will seek some relief from a doc or health provider.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Meant to post a photo of firecrackers and not finding any truly inspiring ones, I thought about symbols for New Years. What is the meaning of the old man with the scythe? I did some research which I love to do and will probably bore most to death, but anyway here it is:

Santa Claus tied to the Old Man? Holly King / Santa Claus: There are as many theories of a "historical" Santa Clause (or "Saint Nicholas") as there are ethnic cultures. As an Keltic folk archetype however, the old man wreathed in holly is the Holly King. He represents the "waning year", the "old year", or the "dark half" of the year. At winter solstice the Oak King (or the Sun, or the New Year) is born, and the Holly King's reign is over.

In Masonry:
Other authors consider Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius as the three murderers of the sun, inasmuch as Osiris was murdered by Typhon, to whom were assigned the thirty degrees of the constellation of Scorpio. In the Christian Mysteries also Judas signifies the Scorpion, and the thirty pieces of silver for which he betrayed His Lord represent the number of degrees in that sign. Having been struck by Libra (the state), Scorpio (the church), and Sagittarius (the mob), the sun (CHiram) is secretly home through the darkness by the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces and buried over the brow of a hill (the vernal equinox). Capricorn has for its symbol an old man with a scythe in his hand. This is Father Time--a wayfarer--who is symbolized in Masonry as straightening out the ringlets of a young girl's hair. If the Weeping Virgin be considered a symbol of Virgo, and Father Time with his scythe a symbol of Capricorn, then the interval of ninety degrees between these two signs will be found to correspond to that occupied by the three murderers. Esoterically, the urn containing the ashes of CHiram represents the human heart. Saturn, the old man who lives at the north pole, and brings with him to the children of men a sprig of evergreen (the Christmas tree), is familiar to the little folks under the name of Santa Claus, for he brings each winter the gift of a new year.

Next in mythology we have:

Pictures of Saturn are always portrayed an old man. This comes from the idea that Time is old and eternal. Often Saturn is also seen carrying a scythe, which was depicted in the Greek myth as the implement used to castrate Uranus. The story also in mythology represents the live cycle of plants as well as people. Here, with the curved scythe tells of the harvesting of the crop in spring. Although this may seem the end of life, the set aside or unused seed from maybe replanted for the next generation of crops.

I thought these comments were rather interesting. The first notion left my head fuzzy, but both summarized, it seems the Masonic view is that of a religious point of view anyway - the sun as a God, Hiram? Mythology appears to arise out of a need to explain what is going on in the earth around the man. Well, I'm far from a philosopher but when I celebrate something, I want to know what I'm celebrating!

Today - I will have split pea and ham soup in honor of the old year 2007 passing away into history and the new year beginning with some hope. "H" will watch ball games all day, that is his celebration. We've never once gone out on New Years. Odd. (Maybe I will go see Sweeney Todd.)

This year is supposed to be challenging according to some, and others are saying it will be the year of new beginnings for many. We'll see. No matter what we think, it comes!