Sunday, December 28, 2008

YARN!



Well, I've done it! I made my first ball of yarn! It only took me like 5 years.

I bought the wool back in 2003 or 4 at the local SCA "FFF (?not sure if it was this one or not)" event. 

It came from Ursula's Alcove out in Canonsburg, PA. It was 4oz of 'super wash 100% wool" color:' midnite' for $4. I even made myself a little drop spindle out of a wooden dowl, a small J hook and some old CDs. I had no idea what I was doing though. It never dawned on me that I was doing nothing more than the original technique that I used when i was spinning random threads and yarn together with a hand-crank drill. 

Fast forward to September this year and add Aurora and you've got me spinning. I've spun about 8oz of yarn so far (it's only 2 skeins, but hey. I just started). Enter Aurora's tips and explanations along with a book to refer back to, and I managed to ply the woolen spinning and get it ready for the not-quite-boiling-simmer, allow it to dry and tah-dah! I made my own centre-pull ball of yard.

WOOT!

now what to do with it??

-d

ps- yeah. the fingernails are problematic when typing. I need to cut them back....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Things continue much the same with CJ. They removed a litre of fluid from her lung, and a little has come back, but she's looking better and feeling better. She was even able to come off the O2. She's still in the hospital and we don't have a firm date on when she can come home. At least things are not as critical as they started out! =-}

Other than that, I don't have too much to report other than I've made some decisions about the other current issue (some of you know what I'm talking about, others can guess). It's mostly on hiatus until after January 1, but it's definitly in the queue.

I leave you with an article from the Collegian. It was only a matter of time till someone came up with the OhMiBod or Naughtibod... the article has been out for a while, I admit, but I just came across it and almost laughed cookie crumbs all over my laptop....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

less than good day

I don't even know what to say. CJ is still with us. She's not well. She had congestive heart failure earlier today and is back in the hospital. CHF is not a good thing. No, that's not right... In the scheme of things, it's pretty bad. Prognosis for it is not good. I am worried. MetalManiac isn't doing well, and I understand.

I'm just in a stupor, trying not to think about the next 5 - 10 years. 

Went with Q to his Dr. visit and had my list of things he needed to talk to her about. He's supposed to lose 20lbs by January 20th. We'll see how things go. 

I see PainDoc tomorrow morning. I think we're going to talk about a cortisone epidural again. If I stand for longer than 10 minutes, my left thigh goes numb.  If I don't sit down and stay off it for a couple hours, it gives out. Then I have no other option than to stay off it.

At this point, I'm tired of being around hospitals, doctors and anything dealing with medical stuff. It just doesn't seem to stop this year.

My bruised arm still has a goose-egg and it's some shade of green that doesn't match anything. The proverbial 'They' say pain reminds us we're still alive. I can sit and poke my bruise all day just to distract myself from the mental turmoil and pain. Don't worry. I'm not.

**fierce HUG** -d

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Today's song - Eminem's "Mosh" or Stone Sour "Omega", your choice

There's little interesting happening in my life, over all. There's mostly just normal the daily trivial things that most people do. I've been driving CJ and her son MetalManiac around, keeping myself busy with spinning wool, pen & ink work, sewing and embroidery in random amounts and order. Intersperse that with listening to music (back to a Covenant/VNV mood with some random other things added.)

I visited A&G last night. I had a really nice time! I got to meet Lacy, the angora bunny. A. made a 'drafting bracelet" for me. One winds their wool that's ready for spinning on it so that it's neatly 'organized' and yet stays out of the way while drop spinning. It's genius! It looks quite beautiful too. Thank you again A.! Of course, the klutz that I am, I missed a step while leaving last night. I fell and bruised my left forearm, bottom side. There is a nice goose-egg too. *embarrassed look* I'm such a dork at times. =-}

There's a lot I don't write about (I think I've talked most of you about the subject and you've given me good advice I just find hard to implement for some reason...). In the 'long, long ago' I wrote a good deal more about what was going on in my head. I find myself writing more about the facts than about me. Hell, I think there's more a medical history here than a overt mental state history. Sure, a lot can be inferred and gleaned from the blog, but I gloss over the mental part of it, a lot of time.

I've begun to wonder about the 'why'.

I think part of it is the fact (see! more fact...) that knowledge is power and exposing something that raw gives everyone, with good OR bad intentions, insight on how I work. In a way, I feel more raw and naked now than I did back then. I don't know who all reads this. It can be both liberating and frightening to know my words can be interpreted a multitude of ways and used in twice as many ways. A little paranoid perhaps, but as an ex-admin who once helped give a class on personal internet security (*waves to Ducky*), I *know* the kind of trouble ID theft can cause. Most, if not all of you, do too. I love the internet and I also don't quite trust it. It's our baby. Most of us remember the Before Time when we used Card Catalogs in libraries, encyclopedias to look up information, and when you might have only 3 news papers to choose from. Now, the Net is a full grown adolescent who doesn't always make it home for curfew and occasionally tells you 'Fuck off". It's no longer under our control (not that it ever truly was, but the illusion made us feel better). 


Another aspect of why my writing topics may have morphed is I know or suspect some specific people DO read this. I'm either not comfortable with how I'm feeling on various topics related to that person, or I want to talk to them 'at the right time' about the right things and worry that things I write can be misconstrued without interaction and inflection setting the tone. We all have probably had instances where email was read completely wrong by someone else. It's a rather uncomfortable feeling.

That second one is a biggie. I don't like the fact that I've begun to self-censor, but that's how it is, how the posts grow. Mostly it was an interesting trend I hadn't realized until recently.

well, everyone have a happy rainy Wednesday (or as happy of a Wednesday as you can...

hugs
d

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Finally! A day with nothing scheduled!

I forgot how much I liked doing B&W photography in high school. My camera and computer make it so easy to modify the image. No more doing contact sheets and messing with an enlarger using red filters! Push-button publishing, indeed!

It's Saturday the 6th. The single day in about 2 weeks where I have nothing I have to do. No where I have to go, no business phone calls.
LIHEAP will wait till Monday, and so will my prescriptions. I'm out of Nexium, but I'm making do with chewable Malox and generic Zantac as well as watching what I eat and drink.

I owe a number of people calls, and there's a small mountain of things I need to get done (such as the damn LIHEAP thing). I've been so tired when I get home the last while back. Achy, hungry and just plain exhausted. Most nights I get home and nap for about 4 hours, get up and eat something, then back to bed 2 hours later, only to get up again at 6AM and start all over.

The best thing is that CJ came home yesterday!!! *does happy dance* It's still going to be a slow recovery. She's not allowed to lift, pull, or push anything over 10lbs. Because of that, she cannot walk Lady, her pudgy, little terrier. That falls into my (or prefrably Rykujin's) baliwick for a while. She lives on the second floor of her apartment, so she's going to have to be careful going up and down stairs for a bit, as well as bundle up well, covering her nose and mouth. Getting pneumonia or even a cold right now is Very Bad. Let alone coughing making her chest hurting from where they sawed her sternum apart, her immune system is very weak and must be built back up. She's not allowed to drive until sometime in February. Walking and even standing make her very very tired. Even yesterday's stop at Wal-Fart and her riding the motorized scooter thing wiped her out (and caused her no end of discomfort because it sometimes takes more than 10lbs pressure to steer them!! Things I never thought about.) It's a pushed wheel chair for her for a while.

I still amazed at all the ramifications of having heart attacks. Our medicine is still barbaric in so many ways (eg hacking open your chest and sewing veins 'harvested' [their word, not mine] from your thigh onto your heart). Triple bypass surgery. Something you hear about but usually don't get too close to. Seeing her post-op with the trach, a cut down on her neck (ask me and I'll explain, but it's a little gruesome for here, at the moment I feel.) and tubes just coming out from everywhere on her body, it seemed. A moment where that dawing understanding of just how fragile we are. So soft and squishy. Something I've not seen up close and personal in years (since my mom stopped taking me to accidents with her [no babysitter at the time] since she was a first responder for PEMS. I was 8-10 at the time. Head on tree collision, DUI, no seatbelts. 30 feet back and you can still see what happened.)

Now she's looking better than she had for months, aside from pain associated with the operation itself, she's feeling better, still weak, but I think that's to be expected. She flew through the whole process on wings. To think, though, that it was a matter of life or death. *shudder* I push that part out of my mind 99% of the time.

Ok. Time for food. *hugs and love* to you all.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I really do get an 'I told you so!'

Over at Bloomberg.com, the economy entered a recession one year ago this month. It's a horrible feeling, knowing that when I wrote about the economy tanking back in October 2007, I wasn't wrong, no matter how alarmist I may have seemed. Today alone, the down dropped over 650 points. Most people I talk to or read about (and that does include people in stocks, banks and other financial places, not just 'left wing wackos') say that the worst still hasn't happened.

Sadly, I believe it.
-----------------------------------------------------------

overall, it's been a sedate day. I've not felt too great, really exhausted. I've spent almost all day sleeping. I think the big event for the day was taking a shower. woo! how exciting.

Mulling a number of things over in my mind, possibly relocating to Pittsburgh next summer, Q, cats, feeling run down, feeling isolated.

The last one factors into all the other ones. This feeling of isolation is becoming rough. My day consists of watching snippets of Angel (Rykujin's latest watch-fest), wanting to do something and having no idea what. Never getting time ALONE exactly (when I'm most likely to clean/redd up), but not really living IN anything either. I feel like I'm one of those Sims characters that just goes back and forth between the kitchen, the bathroom, and bed. All I have to do now is wait till my stove catches fire, I guess. No life really to speak of. Transportation and a serious lack of cash factor in but I have very little ways around it. I'd love to save up for a car, but when I scrape the change out of the jar 1 week after I'm paid just to buy a 1/2 gallon of milk, well, saving for Pennsic, let alone a car becomes difficult. wah wah wah. Sorry for whining.

going back to sleep. *HUG* to you all

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A relatively nice day. It was about 40 degrees. I got to go with her son and rykujin to see CJ. She had a small setback today during her physical therapy. She had chest pains part way through her walk. Aside from being very tired and still requiring her O2, I've not seen her look this healthy (pink faced) in months. I realize that like all events of some greater magnitude, (or the frog in the slowly heating water), we often can see indicators before the denouement occures, but at such a late point in time. 

Although, sometimes you DO see the train headlight bearing down on you and know that Bad Shit is coming... 

I'm not sure what I want to do. I'm so very tempted to move to Pittsburgh next year. I got a chance to catch up for a little bit with C&J. It felt so... comfortable. I always wind myself up before I see people. I get all this anxiety that I'm going to be an idiot, say something wrong. It almost always completely wrong. *sigh* I'm a wacko, but 'meh' anyway.

I'm starting to entertain theatrical costuming as a college direction (with at least one language, maybe 2). Just sorta popped into my head. I need to talk to Joy. lol. The other things that still float around in my head are video processing (video graphics), photography/photo journalisim, some path leading toward radio DJ.... I wish I had a better head for mathmatics. I secretly wanted to be a botanist when I was a little kid. I can still remember riding in the car by the Philipsburg Library telling my mom this. Botanist, I could study fungus and how it relates to human skin and immune system. 

I wonder at times if my feet fungus is part of the systemic problem. As long as I take Lamisil the pill fairly regualrly, I feel better after a while. It's just when I go off it that I start feeling achier. Though I should look through journal entries and see if daily events and weather play into it too (because I know rain and snow nuke my knee and shoulders.)

ok. enough babbling. hugs and love to you all
dory

Thursday, November 27, 2008

feeling 'can do'

Well, aside from the fact that I feel physically exhausted and achy, I had a good day over all. I drove to Danville and brought CJ home from the hospital. She was supposed to go into rehab tonight (we got back in town just about 9pm) but decided to spend one night comfortably in her own bed before going to rehab locally for a week or longer. It was really nice, I think, for her to be able to spend Thanksgiving at home with her SO and son.

I have to admit I was scared to drive all the way to Danville by myself. I was worried I was going to doze off or my attention would wander and I'd wreck. Once on the road, I played the mental game I always used in the past on long trips. Find a 'buddy' and tag along with them until they either went way faster than 65 or got off on some exit. It worked pretty well. No mishaps of any sort. That gave me a bit more confidence. 

Walking though the hospital all by myself was another freaky thing. I bleached and dyed my hair (fuschia and electric purple) yesterday, so obviously I was going to stick out like a sore thumb. Everyone was really nice to me (with the exception of CJ's rather cranky nurse, but CJ assured me she had been pissy all day). One nurse told me her dad would LOVE my hair since bright, electric purple was his favorite color. =-)

CJ and I had a lot of time to talk and it ranged all over the place, from what she first remembered after the surgery (she was missing about 30 hours), her medication list, her son's teeth (long story =) and what I wanted to do about schooling.

I found out something interesting about myself through all this ordeal. When push comes to shove, I can rise up and take charge of a situation. I CAN drive by myself almost 100 miles. I CAN put a dressing on a wound that looks rather icky and painful. I CAN deal with strangers in an elevator. I don't know that I like to do any of them particularly, but I can muster the wherewithal to do them. It's like feeling a glimmer of that indomninable(sp?) spirit of "I can do anything I want." I WANT to go back to school. I don't know how I can deal with a central campus class change at noon with the massive crush of humans, but I can do it if I have to. Somehow.... now, if I can just figure out what it is I want to do, I'll be one big step closer to doing this all. 

It's very hard to stay in that mindset, however. Sometimes I cannot believe I used to do what I did without thinking about it. That I lived the lifestyle I had. It feels like it was a dream that I will never see in actuality again... 

ultimately right now I'm just glad CJ is doing as well as she is.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and can visit with all their loved ones!

cheers

Friday, November 21, 2008

a week of ups and downs

Well, on Tuesday the laptop came back feeling much better. Yay!

The down side was that my neighbor and close friend has had a number of heart attacks over the past few weeks, including 4 on Wednesday. Thursday (yesterday) she had a cardiac catheterization where they found 2 serious blockages. One was 99% blocked and the other was 70% with secondary involvement. Dr. Henry decided to send her immediately to Geisinger in Danville for double bypass surgery. I drove her son there, which in and of itself was an ordeal. We drove through a squall that dumped 1 foot of snow, with visability of 4 car lengths or less. I80 was closed behind us. We stayed the night. This morning they took her in for surgery before 6AM. We were finally able to see her around 1, though she was still sedated. By 5:30 this evening, they had taken the trach out and she was breathing on her own. We had a chance to talk to her (she was still very tired and groggy, which I would expect after someone cracked open her rib cage and fiddled around with her heart!). 

Talking to again her did wonders for her son, who had been quite beside himself. I, of course, kept the stoic 'she's going to be fine' face on for the better part of the last two days. It slipped a couple times, but I held up, as best I could.

It was both horrific and enlightening of an experience. To see someone with so many tubes and and on a ventilator was humbling. That was the hardest. To see just how fragile the human condition is. In real life. Up close. Personally. It was wrenching, especially knowing that I am powerless to do anything other than stroke her hand and forehead, just *being* there for her. At the same time, I see just how resilient of beings we are. She's a feisty woman even on her worst day. On her best, she's a power to be reckoned with. 

Simply being able to talk to her after everything she went through today.... It was so hard to leave her side. I wanted to just be there as long as I could. To soak her in  and know how happy I was to be able to talk to her and know that she's going to be even feistier than I had ever known her.

Think kind, healing thoughts for CJ.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NO LAPTOP for a week or so...

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to be without my laptop (and therefore with out net access) for a week or so.

My disk drive will no longer burn any sort of disks.  (Magic Box [my laptop's name =-] had been one large partition running 10.4. I backed everything up, reformatted the HD to have one 25gig partition for the OS and the remaining 160gig for apps, photos, iTunes library, etc. Then I did a brand-spanking-new install of 10.5 just on the off chance that an upgrade would fix the problem.

No dice. still won't burn any disks using any method I could think of. Turned about 6 DVD+R disks into nice coasters, though. Toast, making a .dmg and burning that to a disk, using Apple's innate Desktop Burn Folder system. Nothing worked.

I had bought the AppleCare service when I bought the laptop so I'm getting a mailer, stuffing the laptop into it and sending it back to Apple for them to fix. Not sure when the mailer will arrive or when I get my laptop back. Apple ships though DHL and of course, DHL just laid off 9500 US employees in an attempt to close down domestic door to door shipping, overseas only.

whee! 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Boyz from the Dwarf are back?!

OOH! I do the facebook thing and came across this stating that it's no longer a rumor, there WILL be a little more Dwarf! I hope that it really is true. Red Dwarf has long been a favorite of mine, after being introduced to it years and years ago by a friend (Ed). 

Anyhow, back to your regularly scheduled day...

=-)

Monday, November 03, 2008

long time no type!

Well, it's been far longer than i thought it would be. I always mean well, mean to update my blog, but for some reason I just don't do it. Excuses, excuses. (well, actually I didn't supply any, so I guess I have  no excuse =-)

Things have been... going. I feel like I'm on an emotional see-saw. for part of the day, I feel pretty good. I get a few compliments on things, I feel great. 6 or 7 hours later - BAM. I feel like shit. I don't want to deal with the world any more, everything I do or touch falls to shit, I loathe myself... ugh. All bad. I don't understand it. (ah more personal guilt about being a flake. heh. At least today I'm able to recognize all this and look at it clinically.)

Clinically - the world is so much easier for me to deal with when I can sort and quantify things. To look at everything in a detached, clinical way. The minute you throw in emotion... Watch out. Who knows what direction I'll go with it. =-/ I've decided that if i could have my Emotion Chip removed (Data rocks!), I would be much less erratic. Seeing that I can't....

I've been spending a lot of time in the sewing room (or studio [BWAH ha ha ha! NOT.] or craft room, or Dory's hideout room when the boy's come downstairs to cause chaos, or whatever you want to call it). I've discovered that I like to work in blobs of time. I'll work for an hour on one part of Allo's dress, then maybe 2 hours on some part of my dress, then I go play PS2 for 1/2 hour and hangout with the cats. Rinse and repeat. 

Work on Allo's dress is coming along better than I thought. I need to update the photos to show the progress. She did such stunning couching work on the sleeves. I was mortified to start sewing them, but sew i did. They came out pretty good! Her underskirt is done, but for the hem. The outer skirt has the trim sewed on, is gathered and sitting behind me on her kitchen table for her to couch more yarn in the pattern along the bottom of it. I have to admit. It's looking pretty good. I can mostly live with it. perfect, it is not (at least not by my standards. I feel that I've done sloppy, haphazard work) but it's passable. My dress is all cut out and I've got the pieces of the bodice done, the layers just have to be put together now. The skirt has been started (and I even cut both pieces of velvet in the correct direction!) and the underskirt is next on the list. Once again, not perfect, but passable (by some weird set of conditions I've set in my brain).

My Biggest Quandary is what to do about the lacing holes. Do I use the standard Dritz quality rivet crimp? Do I whip stitch button holes (dear gods. that will take   f o r e v e r . . . cut the hole and just leave them raw (or set with fray-check?) 

Beyond that, I've talked to Phaila about teaching at the FFF on the 15th. GULP. I'll be (attempting) teaching Introduction to Finger Weaving  and Italian Renaissance Beads culminating in a beaded brooch with pearls.

Beyond all this, I've been playing Doctor for various people in my neighborhood. Cuts, scrapes, ingrown toenails, burns... a wide variety of things that I'm apparently able to do for people. There's even been some counseling for people. Of all people, they talk to me. I'd say they're out of their mind to do it, but, well, they are... No one better ever drop a baby on me 'cause there's NO WAY I want to be Goode Dory, the midwife. It has to stop somewhere!! Honestly, 'being there' for the kids and some of the adults takes a LOT of energy, especially mentally. Perhaps that's part of my emotion roller coaster. It's a scary day when I'm the Rational Adult.

Lastly, the final follow up to the Syncope Issue. After the Tilt Table Test, an EEG, and some balance testing, we have come up with... nothing exact. I've been ordered to not stand up too fast, as well as increase my fluid and salt intake dramatically. Yes, I need to add A Lot of salt to my diet. Dr. Hyman (no, I'm not making his name up. That's really what the poor guy had to deal with through high school) the neurologist agreed that basically I need to drink gatoraid. Lots of gatoraid. *sigh* 

That and I've added Mira-Lax (by golly it works!!) and swapped out the geodon for abilify. 

*HUG* love you all (as best as I can understand 'love') take care and ttyl

Monday, September 15, 2008

a nice Sunday...

QUICK NOTICE: my phone may be unreachable till sometime Wednesday 9/17/08. sorry about this

So much to type. Most of it probably rather droll, but here goes!

My Lyrica has been increased to 150mg BID. Between the increase in it and the terbinafine (generic Lamisil pill), I'm feeling surprisingly pretty good! It's a little scary. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, to flog a dead cliché. I've been off the fungicide for about a month now and my feet are looking as normal as my feet ever look, I still have the cracks along the ball of my feet, but they're not as deep and don't hurt. Thankfully, my blood-work came back normal for the liver profiles, too. 2 months on it and it cleared up (as far as I can tell for now) the Fungal Infection of Doom. It seems that I'm going to have to do this once a year. My feet are simply the perfect home for some sort of fungus that's common in the air, but is uncommon for the average person to actually catch. Because of the PPK, apparently my feet are a theme park for it. Killing the fungus from the inside out seems to help stamp out some sort of (mild/moderate) systemic allergy, and I start feeling physically better. I do find the medicine to be a little scary because of it's potential side effects. I've spent the past month, after getting back from Pennsic, unable to taste 'sweet'. Soda tasted horrendous, a lot of packaged foods also tasted terrible. 'Sweet' is finally coming back after a month or so. 

I spent a wonderful day today hanging out with KlrWombat. I got to go to Colyer Lake (fall is fast approaching, but the wind and the trees were just amazingly beautiful), and the see his house and garden. Homegrown pears, red raspberries, dill, tomatoes, concord grapes and flowers galore! Aside from the occasional siren off in the far distance, it was such a tranquil delight. I had a super dinner of home made mac and cheese with bacon. YUM! We talked a little about Demented and I was glad to hear that he's doing ok. I wish he was happier and things were going better, but I'm relived that at least things aren't bad. 

I continue to spin wool with an improvised top drop spindle I've kludged together with a couple hard drive platters, a large wooden bead to wedge them onto and then slipped that over a dowel with a small hook on the top. The first one I had was with 2 CDs and it was just a bit too light. The HD platters seem to be just about the right weight. When I'm not working on that, I've started doing a mock-up bodice on a duct tape mannequin I was able to make of Alló. I have some more minor modifications to make before I take it off the dummy and actually make paper pattern pieces. I need to start mine too. I'm feeling a good bit better now that I've got some actual fabric stitched up. I can see that it's going to work, and I feel a little better, but as I've mentioned to others, I'm still a bit afraid that somehow it will all end up crap-tastic in the end. I keep ignoring that voice as best I can.

Just a side note for certain droids from Redmond: Vlad has finally turned me 'into one of those Ren-Faire loving elf people'?!?! *look of indignation* I dress a hundred times classier than they do and they couldn't figure out real Old English if they had foot notes. ;-)

ugh. more more more. so much other stuff to type about but I think I'm mostly done at the moment. I'll leave you with a recipe I made earlier this week:

KlrWombat's Hawaiian Spam Futomaki (or 'sushi' for the average American =)

Ingredients:
  • Nori sheets (seaweed)
  • sushi rice (1 cup dry for about 6 full size rolls, 2 cups for up to 16 rolls)
  • water
  • rice wine vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2-3 carrots
  • green onions
  • 1 can regular Spam
  • ≈ 2-3 Tbs soy sauce
  • ≈ 3 Tbs honey
prepare in whatever order works best for you:

RICE
  1. rinse rice until the water runs clear(using a strainer works best)
  2. put it into a pan that has a tight fitting lid
  3. fill it with enough water that when you put your finger in and just touch the top of the rice, the water comes up to your first knuckle, roughly.
  4. put the pan on 'high' until it starts to boil
  5. turn the burner down as low as it will go and put the lid on.
  6. Let it set until all the water is absorbed (about a 1/2 hour)
  7. once done, add ≈ 2-6 Tbs of rice wine vinegar, to taste. start with a little and add a bit at a time

CUCUMBER
  1. use a carrot peeler to clean off the outside of your cucumber
  2. slice it in 1/2 length-wise and then gently use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds
  3. slice it into long thin strands less than 1/2 inch thick. thinner is better
  4. set aside

CARROT
  1. use a carrot peeler to peel the carrots
  2. continue to use the peeler to peel off long strips of carrot
  3. set aside

GREEN ONION
  1. clean off the green onions and then pull them apart.
  2. you want to have long lengths of them that are thin and generally hollow.
  3. thicker/solid pieces are a bit over-powering
  4. set aside

EGG
  1. scramble the eggs together as well as you can
  2. add a little salt and pepper
  3. fry it as one thin omelet-like sheet, flipping it only once the top starts looking congealed and not watery
  4. once done, roll it up and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch wide strips
  5. unroll them and set them aside


  1. blop out the Spam and cut it into 5 slabs ≈2x3 inches large
  2. put it in the frying pan, pouring the soy and honey over it
  3. over a medium heat, flip it back and forth for a while until it becomes glazed and somewhat sticky
  4. be careful not to cook it too hot for fear of burning the glaze
  5. pull the slabs out of the pan and slice it into 1/3 inch thick strips
  6. set aside


Construction:

- Have a small dish of rice wine vinegar set off to the side
- I prefer to use full sheet nori as opposed to 1/2 sheets since you're putting so much into the maki.
- I prefer to loosely wrap the bamboo mat with cling-wrap. The rice doesn't stick and it makes clean-up easier.

  1. set out your nori sheet on the mat
  2. cover 4/5's of the sheet with rice in a thin layer. I use the back of a plastic rice paddle and 'smear' it somewhat, leaving the exposed seaweed on the side farthest away from me
  3. lay a slice of egg, 1 or 2 slices of cucumber, a couple strands of carrot, spam strips and green onion along the edge closest to me (rice edge)
  4. pull the mat edge closest to you to gently roll it over upon itself, rather tightly, compressing it every so often as you roll
  5. lightly wet your fingers with the vinegar and dampen the un-riced edge of the nori so that it will seal against itself

continue making your rolls till you run out of something or get tired of rolling =)
Using a clean (even somewhat wet) very sharp knife, cut them into the expected circular slab shape.

enjoy!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Green Day has it right...

like my father's come to pass
twenty years has gone so fast

Actually it's 27 years today, but I still hold with the sentiment. Tomorrow will be no better for me. I hate September.

A death day...
A birth day.... 
Days of destruction...
Days of insanity...

Seven years HAVE gone so fast,  and it feels as though very little  has gotten any better.

Perhaps it is why I don't really celebrate any holiday or special day anymore, at least as a general rule.

The weight of history is a horrible albatross to wear at times. It never goes away.

Wake me up when September ends....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

tired. not quite a Monday in disguise

Well, at least it felt somewhat Monday-ish. I saw Dr Head-Shrink today. We talked about how Pennsic was a lot better for me than I anticipated, and how I have some sort of direction to go the next year or so (eg research, sewing and arts [which may or may not include trying to 'teach' said artsy things, so to speak]). We also talked about medication. I'm going to go back on trazadone to help me sleep. As for the other ones I currently take, no change for now. 

After I saw her, I went and saw a cardiologist to get a 'Tilt Table Test' because of my "syncope" [SINK-o-pee] problem (read: light headed and fainting). Oh, and first I had blood work done... Today's count: one fishing trip on the back of my right hand, another one on the wrist behind my thumb, and finally she was able to get the cannula into the vein the phlebotomist used earlier for the blood work. A total of 4 holes and lots of arguing with my veins. After an hour of watching my heart squiggles (ekg), blood pressure, O2 saturation, respiration, etc the final diagnosis is.... orthostatic hypo-tension. In other words, when I stand up too fast, my low blood pressure gets even lower, bringing on the fuzzy spells. So I am to increase fluid intake, add salt to my diet (!!!), watch the stress level and lay down as soon as I feel the fai
ntest indication (haha. puny) of feeling faint. The 'add salt to diet' caught me off guard. Doctors spend years trying to get patients to cut back on their sodium (and other salts) intake, here I'm told I need more. Life is full of strange little ironies.

Amusingly, I took my portable kumihimo disk with me to occupy waiting room time. I had nurses, staff, other people waiting, and my van driver all ask me what I was doing. It was kinda cool. If anyone has any way of finding out who actually taught the intro class at Pennsic, let me know. It was added on-site
 and was not in the guide. I owe her a world of thanks. =)

oh, and I said I would post photos of the New Granger's quilt. They're not great, but you can at least see sort of what the quilting looks like. It was pieced and finished on a sewing machine, but I did all the quilting by hand after drawing the patterns on in sections. I started with the circle in the center and the traditional New grange symbol. Then I added the outside ring and the spirals around the circumference etc. the corners were last. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

13 years on, I finally did it!

I joined the SCA officially today!

I did my application on-line, so I have my member number and everything. Woot! It's been 13 years (I think... Vlad?) since my big brother first suggested I join. I'm actually pretty psyched about it. After some suggestions from Vlad and others at Camp Vanguard (what a sucky camp. So horrible, I hope to be in it again next year!  ;-), I think I have a direction to develop in. I've been doing some research on-line for late 15th through early 17th century northern Italy. It's been fascinating. It's one part of Europe that I've never really studied. I only know a little as related to Venetian and Murano glass working, especially beads (and the initial creation of what is now known in America as 'The Mob' =-)so it's a great reason to fill out the details of the time and place. 

I was able to find an approved list of names and for now I think I'm going to be 'Lena'. My dad's father's mother's name was Lena, and I always thought that was a nice name. I think it's kosher to use it since she was actually from turn-of-the-20th-century France. There's no tie to my family because it's a different time as well as place. It just made choosing a name to start with easier. (As far as I know, I have no Italian in me at all =)

Well, it's been over a week since I got back from Pennsic. WOW! It was awesome. My sunburn is almost completely healed, the sores on my feet from my Birkenstocks rubbing have almost completely healed, and I'm tan as all get-out. I have some of the better photos available for perusing. Feel free to correct any comments or just add info etc. to the images.

I had meant to write more tonight, but I'm feeling sleepy. I'll post some more tomorrow... 

**HUG!**

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vanguard camp: Hic castra combibo

Well folks, my big brother will be here in an hour or so to get me for hanging out with the family and Pennisc! This will be the last post for a week and 1/2 or so. I'm taking the phone, so calls and text messages will be received, I'm not out of communication completely. I think I have everything I need; 40lbs of dresses, sun screen, beads, and even a foam sword (thanks Alló!! =) ! 

I'm a bundle of nerves. I feel bad that Vlad is stuck hauling my butt up there. I wish I was in a better position, both physically and financially to help the camp. I'm excited about getting out of town for a while and best yet, I get time to be with my niece et al. I wish I had more $$ to spend, but realistically, all I would end up buying is lots of fabric and beads, anyway. 

well, everyone take care for a while and wish good weather for us!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A sense of accomplishment

I just finished the quilt I was working on for my niece. It feels really good to look at it and know I made it. Sure, it's not perfectly square, the border is varying widths and the quilted design isn't exactly centered or perfectly symmetrical, but that doesn't really bother me, oddly enough. I had been most worried that I wouldn't have it finished by the time I see her again. I proved myself wrong and I'm rather proud of myself. *kicks toe in dirt* It's just a little quirky (which, given who made it, no wonder =-) which gives it 'character'. 

Aside from some of the piecework stitching being done with polyester thread, it's 100% cotton. Even the actual quilting thread was 100% cotton. And it should be really sturdy and stand up to lots of washing. That was really important to me. I wanted it to be used, not a show piece. Good wishes with every stitch to be wrapped around someone I love. Corny, maybe, but there you have it. 

I will wait to put photos up till after she gets it. I don't want to spoil the fun. 

----
Pennsic. It's approaching rapidly. I'm starting to get that 'wound up with crazy energy' feeling you get when you're just waiting to go somewhere really awesome like an amusement park. It's that 'countdown to X-mas' feeling kids get, if that makes sense. =) I wander around the apartment grabbing this and that and put it in the pile on the kitchen table. It takes the stress out of packing, since I just put things in the pile as I think of them or see something. 

Aurora dropped me a note (*wave* it really made my day! =) about hooking up to go bead shopping at Pennsic. Woo!! While my blue/pink/purple hair is decidedly NOT period, I'm feeling more confident about going out and being around 10K+- people who, realistically, are probably just as quirky as me. My big Brother has this way of making things seem better. Calmer. easier to deal with. Aurora's shopping date give me something specific to look forward to (not that the Bridge Battles and food don't count too! =). 

I always mistrust feeling like this. It's been a VERY long time since I've been.... happy.... and excited....
 Especially to this level. They're rather foreign emotions but I'm just running with it. Finishing the quilt, getting ready for Pennsic, family, sun, food, photography... today it just makes me bouncy. *snort* being afraid to be happy. silly, huh?

As an aside, I'm on a Mac using Safari to post. It kept telling me that 'Pennsic' was misspelled. It's suggestion? "Penis" I thought I was going to pass out from laughing. I've since told it to learn 'Pennsic'.

I leave you with a photo of Havoc I took the other day:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not so shy violet...

'not so shy violet' is the color I did my hair today.

It's been almost a month since I last updated here. I didn't realize that so much time has passed. Hell, it's almost August! Where has 2008 gone??

Soon I'll be at Pennsic. It will be my second time going. I'm excited & freaked out all at the same time. It will get me out of State College for a week, but there's tons of people, and I know so few there. I can feel myself starting to get anxious just thinking about the crowds walking through the markets. It's silly, I know. So much to see there, so many beautiful things, so many supplies to pick over (sadly, so little $$$ to spend =-) and so much good food to eat. I can identify somewhat where the anxiety comes from. I think I'm afraid to be lost, alone in a crowd of people. I'm also afraid of looking like an idiot. 

Both my psychologist and psychiatrist are telling me that I need to not be so down/hard on myself. Everything is not my fault (sure, probably some things, and sometimes it takes 2+ people to make some messes, but not *everything*) contrary to how I feel most of the time. Everyone around me is allowed to bend rules when needed, but I'm not.... I must do everything perfectly, and I never do, therefore I'm a fake. At least, in my head that's how things work. There's so much in here rattling around. It's been a rough couple of weeks, honestly. There's been a lot of 'why aren't I doing XYZ? I can do a better job that what I actually did. I haven't done PDQ, so I'm a lazy, irresponsible person. I'm not doing anything that contributes positively to the economy/humanity/the world.' etc. It's an ugly, ugly mess in here at times. 

While my beads vex me at times (they stare at me and say "ooh! something pretty is in here, but I won't tell you what! neener! neener!" I have a bag of lapis chips that have been especially taunting me.) I have done some work. I took a bracelet I made somewhere around 2002 and charted out how the stitching runs. I then made two of the bands and joined them into a larger cuff bracelet. It turned out pretty cool, I have to admit. I've since done 4 more in different colors. I've also started doing graphic illustrations of how to replicate the stitch. It's slow going (using the tablet and pen is still harder than I thought it would be) and my hope is to eventually have a project I can submit to one of the bead publications. That's a goal I've had for months now (doing instructions in a sketch book I use for other projects involving silver wire). It's one of the things I keep beating myself up over. *sigh* 

Alló went to the beach and brought me back some purple and green crackle beads and a large fluorite teardrop that's drilled. I want to do something with it, but it's also not coalescing into a project yet. I think about a macrame hemp necklace, but I'm not sure yet.

Health-wise I'm doing ok. My BP was 120/70 this morning, so that's good. The only bad thing I have to report is I've had an upswing in my 'fuzzy spells' when I stand up too fast or stretch. Unfortunately, an hour or so after I took the above photo today I had an episode... I stood up, stretched, felt ok then about 2 seconds later it hit me. Leaving out the details of what it's like, I fell and whacked my face on the steel shelves here by the computer. I have a bruise on my right eyelid and the area between the eyeball and the brow is a good sized goose egg. Usually I can steady myself, or 'gracefully' plop myself down on the floor or a couch. This one... It's a little scary. I haven't had something like this happen for quite a long time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Farewell George. I'll miss you

If you haven't hears, George Carlin passed away yesterday. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to have seen him here at PSU's Eisenhower Auditorium when I was a teen. My mom took me and I remember having a great time. I picking up a poster with 'all the words you can't say'. I still have it. Farewell you old, feisty curmudgeon! You will be missed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

transportation woes

Ugh. I was supposed to go to PT today, but there was a mix-up with my transportation, so, no go. I don't think I would be allowed in the pool for aqua therapy anyhow. My right foot has a fissure that's down to the point where it's kinda raw and... well... oozing platelets. In an effort to fix that (by slathering it with Porter's Liniment Salve and a 2x2 of gauze and paper tape), I inadvertently ripped a chunk of skin off the side of my foot about 1" x .25" x .25" when I was changing the dressing. Stupid medical tape. grrrrr. It's right over the pinky toe lump that rubs against the strap of my sandals (both Birks and Tevas). Figures. I'm pretty sure I would be the runner-up (if not winner) of the "ugliest feet in the world" contest. 

I saw the pain dr. yesterday. I have my prescriptions for flexerall and lyrica, I just have to get them filled. I can't wait for the flexerall. My right shoulder and elbow just won't behave. I'm guessing the weather doesn't help. We at least had mild thunderstorms here last night.

Ever realize just how hard it is to type when you have a cat laying on your arms and wrists?? Havoc is so sweet, but this is silly. Guess she's telling me it's time to sign off.

I got to hang out with Alló and KlrWombat the other day. It was quite nice (until I crashed when I got home, but that's another story) but Alló and I thought about canoeing. I'm hoping we can do that maybe sometime this week.

cheers

Sunday, June 08, 2008

getting outside

Well, the last couple of days have been insanely hot here in Central PA, but most of you probably already knew that. I've been trying to get outside more (and get rid of the farmer's tan, but I think I'm stuck with it for another year =) We still haven't had any of the thunderstorms that the weather gods keep predictiing, sadly, but there's always this week! We did have rain early last week and it's made things greener and flowers bloom, so that's nice, at least. The heat has me somewhat puffy, but nothing too bad and the McKenzie exercises help with the pain and stiffness a great deal. Nothing's FIXED, but it's helping me cope better.

I'm still having problems with my battery recharger and it's irritating me to no end, but I've started using Rykujin's so I know I have at least one set of batteries for my camera. *sigh*


Friday, Alló took us grocery shopping. Poor thing. Rykujin and I nit-picked each other till I think she wanted to seriously maim both of us. Neither one of us grabbed the shopping list (though we managed to get everything off it we needed and waaaaaay too much soda, though I have to advise the 3 new flavors of Mountain Dew with ginseng are good, if not a throwback to College Era mixers. Rykujin doesn't drink alchohol, but the new 'Dew flavors are almost like energy drinks and he's been zinging off the damn walls. Yes, more than usual. hehehe. 

We also got the new 'mystery flavor' of Doritos. OMFG. It's as if Doritos and Froot Loops had a love child and you're eating breakfast cereal in a chip form. Over all, they're some sort of bizarre lime flavor. I just can't shake the feeling I'm eating Froot Loops and Tucan Sam is going to come tell me to follow his nose. I don't recommend buying them unless you're going to take them to the office and say, "OMG, you have to try these! It's the weirdest flavor of Doritos ever!" while your unwitting office mates are subjected to that horror of something not evil, but certainly not good, but must be tasted at least once, all the same. Something along the lines of Meet the Feebles. I truely want to know what their taste testers were thinking (or stoned on)  when they decided to market this new flavor. The 'Burger King Whopper flavor' was better than these!!

Later that evening KlrWombat too my out to Colyer Lake while Shasta played retrieve. It was a nice evening and I got to try out my new knee brace some. Even as warm as it was, my leg hardly sweated at all. It's really comfortable, all things considered. I'll leave you with photos from Friday evening. Cheers!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday gibberish =)

Not a stupendous day, but I've had worse. Mostly, I've been fighting a headache again. This has been haunting me the better part of a week. My back and shoulders are goofy too, but the weather has been really humid and raining all day. I chalk a lot up to that. I know my hair is crazy wavy/curly from the humidity, at the very least.

It was a busy day, regardless. I went with Alló to her diabetes check up. She fiddled with basal rates a tad, but over all, she's doing really well according to the PA. After that, I went to my physical therapy session. I worked on my neck which is supposed to help my upper back and shoulders. After that, lunch, then back to the MedSci building for Alló's other Dr. appt. and I went downstairs and picked up my new knee brace. This one is a dark metallic plum and it's a lot lighter (and cooler with less neoprene) than the old one. Yay!! I can use the stepper now without being wobbly! Well, at least the ACL issue won't cause wobbly-ness, just jello muscles =)

Tomorrow I see Dr Head-shrink early in the morning. After that, I'm done for the week. It's been a busy one.

Mostly, I'm really tired. Beyond that, doing ok. I'm taking it easy and watching Kenshin (in English =).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

haircut!

It's amazing how good you can feel when you get a good haircut! My neighbor has 39 years cutting hair and teaching. She is an artist with hair and I'll tell you what, she did a great job on my hair. It feels great, seems to behave (as well as my hair ever behaves =) and seems pretty easy to take care of. Getting all the frizz off the ends feels sooooooo good. She said that considering how I bleach and dye my hair, it's actually in pretty good condition, which made me feel better too. woo!

Hung out with Alló for a bit today too. It was nice to see her. I'm going with her tomorrow to her appointment for the diabetes doctor. After that I've got aqua therapy. That's going to be rough.

It's really warm and muggy. I couldn't figure out why my right shoulder and elbow were hurting so much. It's the weather. Thunder boomers. I love thunderstorms but my body seems to feel otherwise. Oh well. Crap happens, you know? 

I think I'm taking it in stride as well as I am because I got really good sleep last night. I still have to take meds to sleep, but when I can sleep for more than 2 hours consecutively, it makes a huge difference. I may ask for Ambien when I see Dr. Head-shrink on Thursday. I don't really want another med, but the sleep problem is a pretty big issue. I also have started seeing my therapist again and that seems to have made me feel better too.

I've been off and on anti-depression meds since 14, but never had any sort of psychiatric care/therapy during all that time. I was always prescribed meds through my GP doctor. I still have the depression. At this point, I figure if the meds alone didn't work in all this time, *shrug* it can't hurt to have people poking around in my head, you know? Just think, I won't be a Scientologist any time soon. ;-)

I talked to Ralph yesterday and, like usual, I felt lighter, better when we were done. Thank you! I'm slowly trying to formulate some sort of plan for the future. I need to talk to some people at OVR and perhaps PSU's office for disabilities. I'm still trying to figure out where I fit in. Between hands and other aches and my interests/abilities, what do I want for a second career? I banter around the thought about Video editing (lots of computer work though), photo-journalism, metal working... I don't know. If you have any thoughts, let me know! I can use the input. =)

*sigh* just had to pull 1/2&1/2 off the JVC receiver. She loves sleeping on top of it because it's warm even if it's really bad for the electronics. I'm watching a Farscape marathon at the moment while I bead. I forgot just how funny it could be.

Hope everyone is doing well. *hug*

Sunday, June 01, 2008

been a while

I realize it has been a while since I posted. *sigh* time slips by and I often feel like I have little to show for it. I have been beading and knitting. I actually have a number of new pieces done. I'm still mentally stuck on how to finish off the quilt corners on my niece's quilt, though. It will come to me. It just hasn't formed yet.

Last night I watched Diary of the Dead by George Romero. If you like horror flicks, or like intense social commentary and have a strong stomach, I heartily recommend it. True, it has some 'shallow characters', but I feel that they were created intentionally to be stereotypes in order to account for various American viewpoints. The movie is driven by what it's trying to say, not who's saying it, per se. Granted, a little more back story might have bolstered it more, but as is, it's a good movie. It fits in extremely well with (either the 1968 original or 1990 remake with Pat Tallman) Night of the Living Dead. Night, Day, Dawn, and Diary all converge on the beginning of the outbreak, just looking at it from different places and archetype reaction. Each one, the new one included, have a stinging look at just what people become in extreme situations. Honestly, even the first one still makes me cringe. Being from rural Central Pennsylvania, I, unfortunately, know people and places that would stoop the the base 'fun and games' with the dead depicted at the end of the movie. Like the other movies, 'Diary' leaves the viewer with shocking images that make you stop and wonder what DOES comprise being 'human'? Some humans simply are not. In this day of global wars, insurrections, and civil unrest it pokes into the prickly area of our behavior in times of crisis by looking at the good and the bad. As a typical Romero flick, it ends without really answering any of the questions, leaving you the viewer to come to your own opinion.

Who says horror is all shock and blood? You just have to look a little deeper and see the real horror.

Monday, May 19, 2008

minor update

I started MacKenzie Therapy today. I'm amused to learn that the 'laying on the stomach' thing is actually one of the few postures that actually makes my back feel better. I just need to do a lot more of it. Low on Effexor again and I'm noticing it. Grrr. Supposed to be stuck at some impotent 225mg, but only have the 150's...

Anyhow, today's gift is a background I made. I've played with a program called ArtMatic for years. Every now and then I get something I really like. This one was fun. I did some black paper and silver ink work a while ago and then scanned it in. I can load it up in Artmatic and do random things to it and so I give you 'Bountiful Harvest'