Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Bunny Bounces Once Again

Late in updating, but the holiday season madness has laid waste to my good intentions. The Bunny is once again bounding around the house - a little bit gimpy still in her back leg, but well on the road to recovery. Vitamin E, an extra humidifier going, and a really really good scrub to all the floors just in case and she seems to be mending well. We're still at a loss over how it happened, all our girls are housebound and she stays well away from the woodburner.

Thanks so much for the kind thoughts and well-wishes for our furry child.

Off to dive back into the Christmas Crazy - is it almost over?

Pretty please?

All I can say is, I'm glad we're doing a tiny Christmas this year - people are just NUTS when it comes to the holidays. It's enough to make the jolliest elf throw up their hands and yell Bah Humbug!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pet Owners... Help?

Not what I had planned posting tonight – that will go up tomorrow afternoon – but I'm running outta ideas here and am hoping some smart reader can help this worried nerd.

We have four furry children. Now, I'm nowhere near as nutty as my mother-in-law (one day, I'll let the world in on some of her endearing but surreal behavior regarding the fuzzier denizens of the world) about cats... but I am pretty fond of the furballs. We've been really blessed regarding their health. Other than the normal wear and tear: the occasional hairball, upset tummies (and the resulting ick) from snarfing their food too fast, and the recovery time from their little reproductive snips – they're the healthiest things in the house.

But now... Bunny* has the Prime Geek and I worried sick. Our littlest furball has somehow managed to dry out the pads of her feet to the point they are cracked, peeling, and bleeding – causing her to limp around when she has to move, and lay like a rug the rest of the day. I've taken her to the vet and run up against a sad truth – our amazing vet (sick and out of the office for the next three months) has been replaced by an idiot. Once he determined nothing was broken, I was told :

“Well, she must have gotten into one of your cleaning products....”
I only use natural stuff. I can drink what I use – nasty tasting, but harmless.
“Then it must be your carpets got her paws irriated....”
Wooden floors.
“Well, sometimes it happens and if you want to try and fix it, I'd suggest trying.”
Ummmmmm.... yeah. Love to – he gave no help though. That was literally all this moron said – if you want to try and fix it, I'd suggest trying to. Wow. That's just... wow.

I'm dosing her little pads with vitamin E and olive oil, I've got the humidifier cranked to “London Fog”, and have been ratcheting up the cuddles to high. We know it's not a burn - so the wood burner is out as a culprit. Litterboxes - cleaned daily and its the same old stuff. I'm outta thoughts here.

Any other ideas on how to get our meekest baby better quick? I gotta tell you, her little squeeks when I “operate” on her toes is starting to make my stomach knot.

Help this Kitty Momma?

*She has a “real” respectable name – Artemis. But due to her timid nature, her fear of daylight, and her tiny fangs... she quickly became our Bunnicula.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Life Saver

One day, if the fates are ever cruel... a very strange sight may meet the eyes of some hardworking firemen. Should tragedy strike, and our house go up in flames... well. I know my dear Prime Geek will get himself safely out of the building. Our furry children? Folks will understand our taking the time to ensure their whiskers get no more than singed – not charred. But what will confuse the lads (and ladies) in their dashing rubber pants will be the sight of a ash-covered woman – frantically trying to unmake her bed and wrestle her mattress pad out to safety with the rest of the family. Take my computer, my yarn stash*, my books**, but leave me my electric mattress pad!

Why am I spending a Sunday afternoon writing a love ode to a bunch of heated coils and some thin polyester? Simple. It's saving my pocketbook, my extremities, and very possibly my marriage. Allow me to explain.

The pocketbook is easy enough – through the modern marvel that IS Francois (re: weird habit I have for naming the objects in my life. As long as I don't go out in public with my underwear on my head, this small aspect of insanity is harmless. Judge not!) we are saving serious cash each and every cold month. Far cheaper to run than an electric heater, this little bundle of joy keeps my bed at a roasty toasty even keel... even when the bedroom itself is cold enough to generate icicles from the eaves. (Or at least a serious sheen of ice on the inside of our windows.) With the woodburner banked for the night downstairs, the electric mattress pad is our only source of heat in the upstairs. Proof its worth its weight in gold?

Our last gas bill (and with the wind chill, this part of the country is ducking into single and negative digits most nights) was a hefty – $32.50.

Impressive, yes? But that's not all my beloved bedroom buddy is doing for me nightly***, no no. You see... not only is our bedroom a wee bit chilly come nightfall, I have a slight problem with my circulation. Just a tiny little issue with being cold. Just a small... oh hades. Let's be honest here. I can lower the temperature of steaming bathwater with a single toe dip. I have to wait ten minutes after I shave to try getting dressed, simply because it takes that long to discover if I've cut my legs or not. It took my parents until I was 15 to realize a fever was the only way for me to achieve a “normal” temperature. Added to this – I have a severe case of monkey toes. You know... the ability to use my toes to grip and hold objects? Handy when I have to pick up a sock when my hands are full with a laundry basket... useful when climbing trees barefoot (something my mother wishes her nearing thirty year old daughter would give up, but it probably isn't happening this lifetime)... but not so much a good thing when coupled with a few other life facts. Like the ice cold feet I have. And the fact the Prime Geek is a blast furnace. And the fact we both have to sleep sometime. And that cold feet will burrow and travel great lengths to find nooks and crannies of warmth – completely without the knowledge of my working brain, might I add. Toss the whole ability to grip... and well. Once my dear husband stopped shrieking and flailing about, it was a week before he'd sleep with me again. We still wrap up in separate sheets because of that little incident. So to have my bed constantly radiating warmth helps me keep my limbs intact from threats of hypothermia induced gangrene ... and the threat of being hatcheted off by my desperately covering his shivering manhood husband.

Which leads me to my last reason for loving my mattress pad. The saving of my marriage. You see, I'm not the only one in this partnership with a few sleeping issues. The reason my feet got so frigid that fateful night had just as much to do with a certain bad habit of his. No one warns you before you link your life with someone to fully explore their personal tendencies – no one whispers “Hey, watch him sleep before you agree to the next 60+ years of bedside behavior”. You think about snoring, or talking in their sleep. You wonder about what side of the bed you are agreeing to stick to through thick and thin. But it never even crossed my mind to consider he might be....

A wrapper. AND a spinner. Shameless about it too. We may have started out those early nights with equal bedding, but it never lasted long. Yeah, an electric blanket is nifty... but it doesn't do you much good when it's completely cocooned around the body of your hibernating spouse. By three in the morning I would be shivering under nothing more than a sheet and one lone sock – staring resentfully at the snoring body of my blanket snatching husband. Gentle nudges garnered me nothing. Pulling and tugging just caused him to burrow deeper into his nest. One night in desperation, I pulled my robe off the floor and snuggled my feet under it in an effort to last until morning – only to be awakened by the sudden yank as it was stripped off my slowly bluing toes and absorbed into his warm shroud. Night after night found me struggling to remember I loved this Geek... and would regret smothering him with my pillow in the morning. Probably. Most likely. Presumably.

And then? Hark, the Angels! (Well, my mother anyway.) A present that saved my feet, my pocketbook, and my life outside of prison – my electric mattress pad. Constant radiating warmth – no matter how many blankets my ever loving spouse may steal. Ahhh... true bliss.

Now excuse me, does anyone know what insurance company I should talk to insure my little buddy?

Night folks.****

* That one stings a bit.
** Okay, a gut shot to think of that going bye-bye
*** I honestly didn't intend for that to sound like I was about to extol the virtues of a battery-powered pal there....

**** A little silly to ignore the stresses of the holiday season. I'll be greener in the morning. Althought, this IS on topic, mostly. Less gas heat = lighter carbon footprint = happier planet! See, I CAN wrap anything back to that if I try!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks for the (Cheap!) Bird

Well, its almost time to trot out the elastic waist pants and the company lounging pajamas – Thanksgiving time is here again.

I'm thankful for many things at the moment : a slowly (but finally) getting healthy family, a home that's staying warm and toasty without needing to sell blood to pay the gas company, and I'm thankful for the fact that this Thanksgiving the Prime Geek and I only have to trek to ONE family for the yearly gorge (for 5 years we've done double duty – my parents for an early lunch followed by a trek down to his aunt's place for a late lunch, then a 3+ hour drive through a turkey coma back home.) I'm thankful my sister in law is surviving her 3rd pregnancy with only moderate discomfort. I'm thankful for my husband, my parents, my friends. And... I'm thankful for cheap turkeys.

By this point in my greening battles, our meat is 75% locally/humanly/cleanly/they all get together daily to sing Koom Ba Ya while they get their daily cuddles from fresh faced young milkmaids raised and butchered. Inherent snarkiness aside, it does matter to me where my food comes from and how it got there. The one place we fall down, and fall down HARD is turkey. Once a year the sales all hit, and my pocketbook begins to yell a bit louder than my naturally nerdy tendencies. I'd love to buy local turkeys, gently raised – but have you PRICED the suckers lately? Unless they are coming to me wrapped in gold with promises to cure cancer while granting amazing carnal bliss to whosoever devours them, I don't have the ability to drop $60+ on what might be the dimmest animal on the planet. (I'll admit more than a slight concern over the fact I'm eating an animal too stupid and fat to get its own jollies without outside help.)

So – its a mad dash at Thanksgiving to greedily acquire all the turkey we may need for the rest of the year. I have whole turkeys in the freezer, turkeys dismantled into bits then vacuum sealed, broth simmering as it waits to be canned, and a ongoing search for the perfect turkey jerky. At $0.69 a pound... can you blame me for being thankful? Between these birds and the half a cow nestled into my freezer, I'm set for meat for a year. And with grocery prices soaring... I'm pretty darn thankful.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe, and love those you're with.

A small aside before I start packing – no matter your political affiliation, (and everyone who knows me knows there were plenty of things I didn't like about her - from religion to how she insisted on mugging for the camera) if you're sitting down to a turkey dinner this year with family – STOP BELLYACHING ABOUT THE PALIN PRESS CONFERENCE! Sheesh folks, what did you think happened to get those birds on your table? Depressed turkeys ending it all by locking themselves into the garage with a running motor? To every reporter wearing leather shoes, to any pundit fighting over a drumstick – grow up. This is a women who field dresses elk, why be surprised that she doesn't faint at the sight of a dead bird?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Civic Duty


How about you? Everybody else get their snazzy red, white, and blue sticker? Still plenty of time, but I'd hurry on down to the polls while the traffic is light.

Seriously, I don't care if your guy gets it or not. By not voting you agree to the complete removal of your rights to piss and moan about the state of the country for the next four years - and that just doesn't seem very American to me.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rain Rain, Go Away

Really. Seriously. I have stuff to do.

Come on, give a nerd a break... there are windows to seal, wood to split, shingles to fix, gutters to clean, shutters to hang, and doors to fix.

Ahhh... the glories of fall.

Makes a gal hope for snow to fly soon so she can take a few moments and enjoy a cup of cocoa.

Looks like I'll spend the day wrapping pipes and doing laundry instead.

Why, yes. I am deciding to ignore the last several bad months and move on. You noticed, didn't you. Crap. I was trying to be subtle. Here's the deal. My summer has consisted of : 2 deaths (one a recent murder of a cousin's husband's little girl. It just keeps getting more movie of the week.), a mother-in-law dealing with cancer, family "issues", family nuttiness (understandable, but still possibly certifiable), a ripped up roof from a natural disaster, school struggles, two more severe health concerns with other family members, and a partridge in a freaking pear tree. I'm expecting a lightning bolt to hit the bedroom in about 20 minutes and all my hair to fall out on Friday. Can it just be winter yet? This has been a rough summer. Still trying to do the "green thing" but its hard to get back into a normal groove of life and I'm a bit scared to say I'm back for fear of a plauge of locusts o'er the land.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In Brief

I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers for my family and a little girl you never met. This morning, a bit before 6am while surrounded by her parents and both sets of grandparents, Gracie passed.

She lived 20 days longer than any doctor though possible, 7 months longer than any conventional medical wisdom could dictate, she won't be forgotten.

Not going to say much else, and I'm going to try to finally get back into the habit of writing – better news, I hope – in the morning. Tonight? I'm going to cuddle my husband and my cats and try to turn my slightly battered brain and heart off for the evening. Toss a thought and a prayer to a pair of grieving parents and a little boy who's had to learn what death is far too soon.

Night all.

Monday, September 29, 2008


With a side of Ack.

Over a week without the bloody internet - shut off because we OVERPAID and their little neurons couldn't handle the excitement.

Behind in school work, behind in tons else... and just frankly wanting a solid day of rain to come along so I can catch back up.

Grumble grumble.

On the up side, I got a lot of knitting on my hopefully to be birthday sweater (here's hoping I won't have the wear the dratted thing as a tube top.) accomplished, the wood pile is now taller than I am (just have two more rows to go to be ready for snow), and we have tons of new projects on the hop.

Pretty please can I have a few boring weeks?

When I find the dratted person who laid this Chinese curse of an interesting life on me, I'm going to throttle them. Interestingly.

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Which I Try To Return To A Semblance Of Normality

Life is what it is, and in the effort to regain a bit of balance in my life... I'm moving on and just letting the extended family situation go. It is what it is and...

What is, is a massive windstorm that nearly blew this nerd's nest to bits last night. Over 300,000 in our immediate area alone are without power, and the electric company is saying it could be Friday before everyone is hooked back into the grid. More than a million in other parts of Ohio are without power as well, and even more in other states. The Prime Geek and I were incredibly lucky, he got home from working overtime on Sunday just as the storm was beginning (a long worried wait for this nerd... he'd taken the bike) and we were pretty much battened down in under 30 minutes. A month before we had severely trimmed back our old oak trees, and as such are the only ones on the street who don't have downed branches. We lost about a 5x5 foot section of shingles off the roof... but that was our only hit. The power stayed on, the cats hid, and we called it a night by ten – lulled to sleep by the sound of Mother Nature having a hissy fit and sirens roaring by.

The weather seems bound and determined to shake our planet this year, and I really don't see any let up in the near future. To that end... I'm going to take the next few weeks and start looking at and discussing the preventative measures the PG and I take, and perhaps convince a few others to join in prepping your homes for upcoming storms and struggles. I've lived through : tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, blizzards, droughts, financial.... flights of fancy, and even rains of frogs (long story). With government bulletins announcing that they'd love to help us should the roof fly off, but don't count on it – with Mother Nature seeming to have neglected to take her clozapine this decade – with the banks going down while the bills go up... maybe I can help a bit with what I've learned (and clarify it in my OWN brain as well!)

First. Not gonna talk about water, food, or shelter... something else comes first today.

Are you the kind of person who does laundry only at the last minute? Be honest. If the power went out in 20 minutes... no water or power for the next week, does everyone in your home have enough underwear, dry socks, and outer clothes for three days? (It takes at LEAST a full day to dry clothes you've washed in a bucket... more if its humid.) When the chips are down and you have to work hard to pull your life back together... squelching along in wet jeans you wore yesterday and dirty socks from last week just make a bad situation miserable – not to mention harder.

Go check, I'll wait. I've got cookies that need making. See you tomorrow.

Thank you for the kind words and prayers. As of this moment... she's alive. They talked someone into reventing her, and its back to its usual up and down she is/she isn't rollercoaster of hell. This weekend I had to admit that the whole situation was bringing up some painful personal past isues and I have to let this go. Too far away, I can't do anything... its just ripping scars open for the sake of watching them bleed. I'm praying for my cousin, I'm praying it just resolves itself however it needs to... and I'm done. I can't sit staring at a computer screen waiting to hear the next horrid installment in a story I can't affect. No more from or for this nerd.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Almost Over

She crashed this morning... flatlined, they brought her back.

The doctors have said no more.

She's off the ventilator, off the pump, laying in her momma's lap and they are waiting for the end.

Now its just a matter of waiting for the last call.

Doesn't Matter to Who or How

Just... say a little prayer today.

Pray for a family to be able to let go. Pray for rest. Pray they can see it isn't satan pulling, it isn't a spirital failing, it isn't lack of faith - sometimes... its just time to go home.

Six months of pain is enough. When the doctors say they won't do another operation, they won't cut in again, they aren't being blinded by satan's plan... they swore an oath to do no harm - and all you are insisting on is harm.

Gonna be a long day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Flip of the Coin

The good news about harvest time and the ability to preserve some of the local bounty? You know what you're eating, you know where its from, and it often tastes worlds better than anything a factory can produce.

The bad news? It has to be done now. Not tomorrow, not over the weekend, not when you get to it. Its just you in the kitchen against a mountain of tomatoes/peppers/corn/etc and the clock it ticking down to rotten town.

I'm a bit in the weeds, but starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel folks.

Until tomorrow, have a good night.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Diversion...

As the heat tonight has sapped both my will to be productive and my desire to move away from the fan I've decided to wast... I mean spend some time writing up a little piece of my past for you all to enjoy. The decision was helped along by a comment read over on Cranky Prof's site (her link is over in the corner, check her out.) regarding the popularity of Chinese symbols in tattoos.*

Several years ago, a friend stopped by my apartment one evening to kill some time and just shoot the breeze. Topics of conversation ranged from world politics to the previous weeks round of D&D we'd both been a part of**, but at one point he leaned forward a bit and flashed a bit of a tattoo peeking out from the edge of his tank top. I'd caught glimpses of it before, but never enough to see what it truly was. That night I finally decided to inquire – having a slight tattoo fetish and always wanting to know the story behind why someone got an image permanently drilled into their skin.

He turned beet red, grabbed at the neckline of his shirt, and gave a small laugh.

“This? It's what made me become a Buddhist.”

I was intrigued. I knew folks who got tattoos to show their beliefs to the world (heck, I've got a runic symbol on the small of my back to remind me of something important***), but I'd never heard of a tattoo changing a person's belief's afterwards. I asked him to explain. In his own words... more or less :

“Years ago I got into martial arts. Didn't do too bad either. Started fighting, won some rounds... thought I was tough shit. So one day I sauntered into a Chinese tattoo parlor and declared to the artist that I 'wanted the symbol for Ultimate Fighter, Perfect Warrior, you know the thing, in Chinese' on my chest. The guy looked at me funny, then asked to see what I had in mind. I got rather loud and brash and told him 'you know what I mean, what... don't you write Chinese? Just do it, I don't have all day.” The artist quietly went about sketching and finally handed me a page with intricate symbols scattered over it. 'This what you want?' Not really looking it over, I said “Yeah. Exactly. Make sure you get it centered.' ' You sure this is what you want? Why not have some friends look it over. Sleep on it.' At this point I exploded, 'Just DO it!' And 45 minutes later I sauntered out of the shop, proud I hadn't let any stupid artiste try to bully me.

Over the next few months I dated a lot of girls I picked up at the fights. Mostly Asian girls... to go with my new 'samurai ' mentality. Nearly got somewhere with all of them, but never could quite seal the deal. At critical moments when we'd start to get somewhere... but they always pulled back and seemed to look at me funny. Finally, months later I was working hard to pick up this one women I had met at the end of a fight, when she stopped and cocked her head at me.

'Why... why do you have THAT on your chest?' she asked me, pointing at my tattoo now clearly visible through my open shirt. 'What, this? I got it when I started fighting. Its my lucky reminder of what I am.' 'What you are. You WANTED that?' ' I'm a fighter and a warrior. Of course I do.' She seemed a bit startled, and then asked suddenly – 'What do you think it says?' 'What do you mean, what does it say. Can't you read it?' 'Yes, and that's why I'm curious.' 'Obviously', I said condescendingly ' it says Ultimate Fighter, Perfect Warrior... that kind of thing...' I trailed off as her head started to shake and the corners of her mouth twitched. 'It doesn't? What do you mean it doesn't... what does it say?' With a grin she said calmly, ' roughly translated? Stupid white boy should do his homework.' with that she walked away.

I was stunned. And shocked. Horrified. Angry. Pissed... but finally settled on embarrassed. With a little bit of digging, I found out she had been right. All this time spent beating my chest, proud of my superior standing... and I had been making a fool of myself. In more than one way.”

At this point in his story, I interrupted. “Why do you still have it? And how does an embarrassing tattoo equate a religious shift?”

“I'll always keep it. Helps me to remember two very important things in life.”

“What, don't piss off a tattooer right before he inks you?”

“Well, that... and when I start to think I know everything, I just looked down and remember. I'm just a stupid white boy who needs to do his homework.” he grinned. “And to always research anything I want inked onto my body beforehand!”

Night folks.

* And no, mom. I don't have one on me... any tattoos I have will be in languages I can decipher.
**Yup. I'm THAT kind of nerd.
***Sometimes my memory is a bit faulty and I need a reminder to get through the fog. Long story that would involve someone getting me really REALLY good mead before I tell it.

Making Hay

Well, September is here at last – bringing with it all the end of season desperation as the Prime Geek and myself try to figure out all that we need to get done before the cold is upon us. The chimney sweep has to be scheduled, the log pile must go higher, and only a few weeks left to get in whatever I can from the local farms.

Oh, yeah. I should probably confess to something.

My garden this year?

Sucketh the teat mightily.

Between a weather pattern controlled by Mother Natures schizophrenic sister Marge, multiple jobs that had us out of town at critical moments, and an infestation of some burrowing critter – I got a couple of bunches of basil, 2 tomatoes, and a whole lot of grief. We're going to plan better for next year, as well as see about some alternative ideas (staying home more of the summer is a big part of the plan!) to put into use... but for this year? Its farmers markets and whatever local produce I can find at good prices at the grocery.

At the moment I'm working my way through some gigantic green peppers from a local farm. I took a look through my grocery notes from last winter and one of the recurring gripes was the outrageous price of green and red peppers at the store. At one point hitting a high of $3.19 PER PEPPER (Green, to make it somehow even worse. I simply stopped looking at the red by November.) and staying there for 3 months. We use peppers 2-3 times a week, in everything from stirfrys to sauces, but I just can't justify spending more on a lone pepper then I do on a pound of meat! So, when the sale flyer on the doorstep proclaimed “Locally Grown Green Pepper – 2/$1” I'm jumping on it.

Today will find me slicing my way through about fifteen bucks worth of green globes. I'm slicing them thin – perfect for stirfrys but easy enough to hatchet through when I make sauce – and flash freezing them on cookie sheets. Then, its into ziploc bags until needed. As for red peppers?

There is a brand available at our local discount store that comes from Indiana (one state away). Nowadays, I'm trying to remember to chuck a jar of red peppers into my cart every time I shop. At $1.79 a jar, from only one state away, with 4 roasted peppers in each jar... I can't really afford to go for fresh.

Time to make hay folks, I'm trying to get as much put away as possible before the weather turns on us. Anything YOU remember wishing wasn't so expensive last winter? Because between transportation costs skyrocketing, weird weather, and tight budgets due to energy prices... plan on if it was high last year, its gonna be higher still this one.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

An odd question...

Not really what I planned on posting tonight, in fact I have a huge mass of stuff to go up this week – but I'm faced with a quandary and not sure where else to put my question. And after all, isn't the web here to find out weird answers to awkward questions?

I have an odd allergy. Several in fact, but the one that presents the biggest problem for me lately is this – Weed makes me sick as a dog. Didn't go for it in college (nothing kills the vibe at a party faster then having the girl you're offering a toke to puke on your shoes), and I stay away from it as an adult. The smell makes me ill faster then chicken salad left in the hot afternoon sun. Headaches, nausea, and a general desire to see the happy tokers heads placed on nearby spikes.

Now, don't get me wrong. Medically – its a great plant. I've always been of the opinion it should be legal and taxed to heck and back, and if you are choosing to smoke it and are willing to take the possible consequences of getting caught, go you. Just don't bring it into my car, my house, my tent, and we're cool. I'm not the police, I really really don't care. I have far too many other issues in my life to be worrying about what you're doing in your own home.


For the last month or so, some nit has been lighting up at dusk and as the wind blows this-a-way rather steady, I'm screwed. Head pounding, nauseous, wanting to either kill someone or merely curl up and die myself. Either could work at the moment. Closing the windows just seals what got in, in – as well as forcing the house temp up 10-20 degrees which really isn't all that great when its already a hot night.

Not sure who (we have a dozen or so houses to choose from and isn't THAT a fun little fact finding mission to enter into) and without a name the cops really can't give us any help. There is also the little fact that I'm not really wanting to get folks involved with the police – we already get looked at funny for reporting two domestics that had reached the street (as well as reached for blades) and a few plain jane street fights. Ahhhh... the city in the summer. I'll call the cops if I have to, but I don't have anything except “Yes, excuse me, can you come and sniff the neighbors to find out who's giving me a headache?” and I don't see that as a viable opening sequence for COPS, do you?

So. Any ideas on how to handle this? Suggestions on getting rid of the smell? Getting it out of bedclothes? I lived far too much of a straight-edged life as a kid, I suppose, 'cause I have NO idea how to deal with this little life irritation.


Could be considered a green post, I suppose. At least I'm the right color at the moment.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Reasons to turn “shuffle” off on the ipod.

15 minutes into meditatively digging in the bag yard listening to a long set of Enya, having Britney Spears “Piece of Me” suddenly come on not only causes a tragic gearshift of the mental facilities... it can cause some severe embarrassment in when your neighbor's children catch you singing along.

It also makes a person question what a grown women is doing WITH Britney Spears on her music playlist....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinking Towards Frost

There is something about the last long spate of August heat that makes me start working a little bit faster towards getting our home buttoned up for the coming winter. With heating prices rocketing upwards and a possibly long cold winter ahead (at the moment the Almanac and the Weather Channel are duking it out – the first warns of an abnormally frigid winter while the other claims it will be mild. The geeky side of me wants to believe the science will be right... but as I've often stared out a window at lashings of rain pelting down while the weather channel is cheerfully telling me its bright and sunny out – I have my doubts. And so I plan for the worst and hope for the best) we're trying to get the nest snug and ready for snow to fly.

To that end, we spent the better portion of yesterday felling an old tree in a coworker of the PG's yard and chopping it into luggable sizes. We've got two face cords and a bit already seasoned, split, stacked and ready to roll – with tons more to cut and carry.

While I know I waxed lyrical of my love of our soapstone woodburner last year, allow me to tell you all just WHY wood heat is the best heat.

It heats you
1st when you find and drag it out
2nd when you cut it
3rd when you split it
4th when you carry it to the trailer
5th when you unload it
6th when you stack it
7th when you carry it in
8th when you burn it
and 9th when you lug out the ashes....

Try and see how far you get with gas or electric! At the best you'll get three times with those - 1st when you use it, 2nd when you get the bill and go hot with anger, and 3rd when you get that second job to pay for it!

Oh... I forgot the 10th way wood heats you – the long hot bath you have to take to soak out the aches caused by 8 of the previous heats!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Results In My Own Unscientific Study

A brainblot tonight as insomnia is stalking this nerd again – and here I lay with no carpet left to rip.

Anyway. Like a lot of you, lately I've been bombarded with information regarding the fast becoming ubiquitous substance high fructose corn syrup. From articles blasting it as the food additive equivalent of Hitler and Mussolini to others regarding it as the newest item on a long list of greenwashing hysteria. After a few months of searching I finally have tracked down a copy of King Corn, I have several more tons of information to wade through before I get it all squared in my head... but I do have one tiny piece of research the Prime Geek and myself have concluded today to add to all the other you might have read.

One of the big vices PG an I indulge in daily soda consumption. (Hey, we recycle the cans at least!) Between acknowledged caffeine addictions*and allergies that make something cold and fizzy a requirement first thing out of bed in the morning (only thing we have found that cuts overnight drainage) we can put away a solid case+ a week between the two of us. Not so great on our stomachs, pantsize, or general health. As most of you no doubt know, HF Corn Syrup is usually one of the first ingredients in most sodas – Mexican Coke and Jone's Soda being two of the few who use simple sugar. Well, three weeks ago we both gave up regular soda and switched completely over to diet drinks (and water, juice, milk, etc.). We still can put away a case+ a week away, and there has been little other change in our day to day diets. (Very few other items with HFCS are eaten here, most of our food is home cooked from scratch anymore.)

I've always had.... tummy trouble. Let's leave it at that. More details aren't required unless I'm sitting in front of you in a paper gown. But pretty severe tummy troubles at times. Sometimes even socially unacceptable tummy trouble joins the rest.... still with me?

Three weeks – and its nearly nil. I expected the pant size to start sliding down a bit more than normal (I'm not dieting, just trying to get healthier so its a slow slide... but it IS a slide.) but I certainly wasn't expecting something like this. And as a bit more proof in my own mind about HFCS, yesterday I forgot for a moment and grabbed a non-diet soda while I was out and about running my errands.

I've been sick to my stomach since. I don't think its psychosomatic, as I honestly didn't realize what I had grabbed until I was doubled up in the bathroom wondering why my body hated me and my eye fell on the empty bottle.

Coincidence? Perhaps. I've got more reading to do... but I will say this. While I'm not going to get rabid about this yet... I am going back to diet and skipping the high octane stuff for now. Proof of the evil of HFCS? No, but maybe enough to make you try your own little test to see how the stuff affects you.

*Gee. Wonder if THAT has anything to do with the insomnia?
A slight warning if you haven't been following the trials and tribulations of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Its in just about EVERYTHING, so dropping it from your diet can be a pain at first.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not Exactly Green

But definitely nerdy.

Today, a box arrived for the Prime Geek. One he's been muttering and giggling over quite manically for the last few hours as he struggles to set it up.

After months of fiddling with building a projector tv, wondering about drop down installs from the ceiling, and crawling over various bits bobs and boxes I cracked. Anything to restore some form of order and space in our living room. I agreed to a suggestion he had made at the beginning of the year. I was weak.

And now? A new television arrived today. A big one. A really big one.

47 inches big.

Any idea how big that is, I mean really? Frakking HUGE. Larger than my mother in law. The thing is a monster... and while he will claim I knew how big he was ordering – I hold anything over a yard in size becomes a little too big to really get a grasp on until you see it in real life and not on a computer screen. And as I look at in in my living room all I can think is – Whoa.

There are good reasons for the new tv. Our old has been humming and whining at a high pitched screech for months, it won't be compatible with HD, and it takes up so much room on its cart that the space is too cramped for much company (at least the new one hangs from the wall out of the way). Its been months since we could watch a dvd on anything other than our laptops (the input receptor having broken at the beginning of the year) – fine for personal viewing, but not great to cuddle with your honey while watching. Heck, I'll even confess I'm kinda chuffed over knowing we can start having movie parties again.* Toss in the sad fact I can't really go to the theater (two hours in a cold dark room, in cramped seats, expensive and crappy tasting snacks, people crunched in around you, and the inability to get up and move when I need to makes both my fibro and my temper flare) anymore... and I'm kinda secretly pleased about our new toy.



Freaking HUGE.

I'm just saying.

*As geeky as it sounds, before we were married we would invite people over to his old place - with the Big Screen tv - and have theme movie nights. Yes, we even do fondue.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Homemade is Just Better

Because I have yet to find a grocery that sell me anything that will beat freshly made strawberry sorbet – made with local berries, lime juice, a touch of raw sugar...

and triple shots of pineapple rum and blue tequila.

Mmmm. Natural AND nutritious. Not to mention tasty.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Possible Profanity Warning – Justified Though...

As I wrote the other day, I pulled the nasty, white(ish) indoor-outdoor carpeting out of our dining room the other day – saving us from old stains and even older odors. Still have the trim to do (that's a next week job), but its out and its gone – happily disposed of and out of our lives. And I might have mentioned the nastiness continued upstairs in our bedroom.

I couldn't leave the job half done, now could I?

With the dining room finished and freshened, the master bedroom began to wear on my nerves even more. Toss in yet ANOTHER moment of rudeness by one of our cats directly next to the head of the bed and I was forced to act. (Waiting until the Prime Geek had safely left the premises so I didn't have to work around him asking awkward questions. Like – What are you doing, why are you carrying a steak knife, what's that smell, are your feet bleeding? Things like that just get in the way.) A quick pull of the carpet by the door confirmed the existence of tile and I even attempted to be adult about this whole deal by double checking a corner over on the opposite side of the room in case the “new” addition hadn't been treated the same way. A little tug, and I'd know enough to plan my assault over the next few days.

Well, I planned to plan it that way anyway. Instead of a little tug, it required two knives, a flathead screwdriver, several bitten back words of profanity, and two more broken nails. The &%*#^$ had GLUED it down in places. Result? Not a small portion of carpet coming up discreetly... no, instead a three foot chunk of carpet dust raining down on my head as I fell onto my ass from the sudden release. I'll confess, at this point the profanity wasn't so bitten back. More... hissed out. Carpet may also have been thrown against a wall as well. Just a bit. Let's just say I temporarily lost some of my “being mature” points.

With that, my day took on a whole new look. No more “looking”, no more “future planning”. That crap was coming out and it was coming out NOW.

I knew it would be bad. I knew what the cats had been doing. I knew it was old... what I didn't know was I would develop an overwhelming and burning hatred for whoever installed the damn stuff in the first place. Any guesses as to why the cats might have been marking their territory?

Some mother-loving jackass NAILED, GLUED, and STAPLED 1/8 inch open cell foam onto the tiles underneath.... ON TOP OF FRAKKING DOG CRAP!!!!!!!!!

Old, dessicated dog crap, but dog crap nonetheless. Yeah. No wonder my cats had become neurotics constantly feeling the need to mark their territory. If every moment you smelled a big invisible dog in your home, you might get a bit tetchy yourself*

Toss in a leaning towards Jackson Pollack when it came to staples (at least 100 in random swirls by the door as a start – not through the carpet mind you.. no no. Just through the foam-esque material.) hundreds of unfinished nails somehow sticking pointy side up – my feet look like someone took a meat tenderizer to them – an odd fondness for glue in haphazard patches, and more then 30 years of filth, grime, piss, and God know's what that had seeped through the padding AND what had been sealed UNDER the padding and you have one shudder inducing afternoon.

Five trashbags**, four scrubbings with everything from a green floor cleaner to bleach, seven showers, and unnumbered applications of medicinal rum to keep me from thinking too hard about what the PG and I have been breathing for the last year and a half, and its done. It's not pretty – the floor will be refinished in the spring and until then its just new floor strips and some soon-to-be knitted rugs tossed over the worse spots. Its ugly, its old....

and I love it more then kittens in springtime because for the first time ever – my house feels cleared and clean.

Where'd Smelly Dog Go?

Now... if I can just get a few moments with the souless doghearted imbossed carbunkle*** who put it in, I'd be happy. I may need a baseball bat and a few moments alone.

*I'm going with big due to size issues under the padding. The other option is too horrific to contemplate.
**I confess to failing my green leanings with this stuff. So nasty when the underneath was exposed, it simply got taken to a dumpster and left. I know I should have looked for the "proper" disposal place, but by that point I was cut, bleeding from hundreds of little stabs to the feet, nose and eyes running and burning from the dust and filth, and more concerned about the nosebleed running down my throat -which I still have -to really care all that much about Mother Earth. Just this once, she can be a big girl and deal!

***Shakespearian insulted substituted because my first three tries would have gotten me kicked out of a navy bar. That... and my mom reads this sometimes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Inspired Insomnia

Since early childhood I've dealt with constant insomnia and the curse of being a light sleeper. Like my father, I toss and turn and often finally give up completely and simply read the night through when sleep eludes my grasp. I've always been jealous of both my older brother and my mother who fall asleep as soon as their heads touch a pillow (the fact the Prime Geek can fall asleep in the time it takes to draw a breath in a sentence is a bit of a pain as well!). My usual routine during times of unrest is simple enough : 1- 3 hours of sleep for a week or so, crash and burn (often spectacularly) and sleep for 12 hours, repeat.

I've tried prescriptions (which I now know to avoid at all costs due to my wonky system), over the counter pills (not much good for the long term, once you find yourself taking 8 a night to sleep even 4 hours you know you're in trouble), teas that taste of horse piss, and herbal remedies that smell even worse.* Mostly to no avail.

No matter how tired I may be, how far nerves may be stretched thin and jangling by living on the border of exhaustion – it does have its uses. There will come a point (usually near the end of the cycle, often mere hours before the aforementioned crash and burn) when I can't take laying in bed staring at the ceiling for one second more and I end up propelling myself headlong into a massive project that had been left simmering on the back burner for far too long.**

To that end?

For months the Prime Geek and I have struggled in a losing battle against our carpets in the bedroom and dining room. From cats who have preformed some pretty horrid acts of social disobedience during fits of pique, to guests who honestly don't know why my jaw clenches as they casually spill soda onto the floor***, and previous owners who must have never cleaned it a day in its life - to name just a few reasons why our elderly carpets had reached horrific levels of grossness. I've steam cleaned, sprayed, scrubbed, and sobbed – all doing little to help in the long term. We've meant to pull it up for months and one project after another would stall out the plan.

Well, a few days ago, after staring blearily at a ceiling for what seemed like hours – I went into action. Leaving a snoring husband curled up in bed and armed with nothing more then a steak knife, a pair of old scissors, trash bags, broom & mop, and three cats determined to help in this new “game” I ripped through 40 years of nastiness. Three hours, two broken nails, and six trash bags later I had uncovered an old linoleum floor that will serve us until spring when we can replace it. Another hour spent scrubbing years of filth and ick off and we have a new floor. Not perfect by any means, I've already started the rag rugs we'll need to scatter over the floor to cover old paint spills, digs, and divots – but serviceable. Added bonus? The whole downstairs smells fresh and new. I shudder to think about what we've been breathing in all these months. Even better? Seeing the PG's face when he stumbled down the stairs that morning to be confronted by a remodeled home.

One day I hope to conquer this sleep cycle, but until I do... I'm getting a heck of a lot done!

* I've come to the conclusion that Valerian works not by helping you sleep - instead its smell (a lovely mix of rotting flesh and cat pee) simply renders its victim unconscious.
** What occurs is simple - I start a fevered project that I refuse to leave half finished and work myself into a stupor. But at least its productive, right?
*** Don't get me wrong. I love my friends and enjoy having company. Its just few of them have their own homes (many living in group dens) and therefore don't really care if they spill red wine or hot cocoa on the floor. No doubt to tweaks me more due to having a mother who owns her own cleaning business.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Anting Days of Summer

While we mostly refer to August as the dog days of summer, there is something about this hot and sticky time that kicks my anting habits into hyperdrive. As the humidity levels soar and my brain begins to melt, a tiny voice in the back of my head starts warning me of frost and snow... and wants to know what I plan to do to get ready. After months of waiting around for fresh garden goods and hungry for even one piece of local bounty, it all arrives in a heap – no time to think, no time to plan, just hurry hurry hurry before it all begins to rot around me.

This last weekend found me making like Lady Macbeth, wandering the house wondering how I was ever going to get the damn spots off my hands. Luckily, it wasn't the lifeblood of my liege, just the result of slogging my way through 42 POUNDS of cherries. The grocery store down the road had a sale on local cherries* - a miracle sale of 1.99lb instead of their usual 6.99. I love sweet cherries. Actually, I adore sweet red cherries, but I can never bring myself to spend so much on fruit – heck, my meat price cutoff point is $3.99 a pound and THAT'S only for special occasions. Usually, I'll allow myself a few ruby orbs as a treat – but to buy enough to put up? Couldn't do it. When I saw the sale I was wavering... when I saw they were local I caved. Hard. But can you blame me? Check out the size of these beauties:

(Yup, bigger then a quarter!)

We have cherry bounce, cherries frozen with raw sugar, cherries flash frozen plain, cherry bars, dried cherries, and enough cherries eaten out of hand I'll not need lipstick for a few weeks.
Not a bit is going to waste – cherry pits are cleaning as we speak for a project for tomorrow, even cherry stems are in the tinder box (they add a sweet smell when tossed into the wood burner).

More of my cherry jubilation tomorrow, I'm off for another bath. I seem to have gotten cherry juice in the oddest places.

* No organic this time. Frankly, the last batch I got was virtually useless – crawling with bugs, quickly passing fermenting to plain rotting. Sadly, the farmers market the Prime Geek and I had tried seemed to be cashing in on “organic” without bothering to try for “quality” as well. And at 9.99 a pound... not something I'm willing to waste cash on.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bringing Home the Pot Roast

Vegetarians might wanna give tonight a pass. Just a suggestion. Come back tomorrow, I promise this will be all over with.

(Looks around) They gone? Good. Nothing bad meant to my wandering leaf-munching friends, but this gal is stuck in her omnivorous ways and I really don't see that changing anytime soon. I've tried the veggie path – and to me it will never be more than just a side dish. I'll grant you, this last year nearly scared me away from meat – red and white, scaled or furry, I nearly walked away shaking in my shoes. One recall after another filling my nightmares with e. coli and salmonella, horror stories of unbelievable cruelty in slaughterhouses that belong only in slasher movies, mystery meat of unknown providence being brought in under inspectors unsuspecting noses. Too many aseptic packages of graying meat plumped with “flavor enhancing” injections, too many bundles of meat from who knows where.

The Prime Geek and I sat down one morning a few months ago and agreed it was time for some serious changes. A few weeks of searching (unnecessary in the end, my mom found our supplier. Ah well, at least we did the footwork for the future.) and we found ourselves waiting for a phone call to change our eating habits for the next year. Five weeks of slowly eating our way through mystery packages tucked into the standing freezer since our move in over a year ago, meals of “I'll tell you when it thaws!”, and wondering why in the world we had so many packages of frozen zucchini.*

A phone call at last, some shuffling of coolers, and we were off. A visit to my folks, a mildly strained back, and some seriously tasty cookies fresh from Amish country and we're back.

170 pounds of beef. If it sounds like a lot... and it is. 70 pounds of ground beef and the rest in roasts, chops, steaks, and stew meat – all the red meat we'll eat this year. Alright, maybe not all... we do entertain quite a bit (although you'd be shocked how far I can stretch a stew). But a good chuck tucked away for the winter. At 2.09 a pound (a bit more for hamburger than I usually pay, but a heck of a lot cheaper for ribeye steaks) it was a deal I couldn't pass over – good thing too. The corn crunch and fuel expenses have since made the butcher/farmer double their prices on meat. We squeaked by in the last two days of the old price.

Now. Is it organic? Nope. But I know the family that owns the farm (and the butcher shop) and according to the owner (who went to school with my brother, how much more local can you get? Gotta love a shop where if something is off you can call his mother to complain!) they can't afford to go through the whole “organic thing”. But he says with a shrug, “Its cheaper to let them eat grass while its growing, we only feed corn in the winter. Why give them shots they really don't need, its easier to treat if they get sick.” In other words, do the right thing, keep your head down, and you'll get some great quality product in the end. I feel pretty happy about supporting a family business, even better that its helping to keep a friend afloat, thrilled to know exactly where my meat came from, and even happier that I have that much more prepared for the upcoming winter.

I'll admit a certain... sadness? No, finality I suppose is a better term, for knowing I – me personally – helped to cause the life of a critter to end. My order tied up the last one needed on one specific cow, so as the phone hung up, J went out and brought the bull in for the final night. But... I've been to that farm, I know the boys who drop the hammer, I know the life that critter lead, and how after 10 years those farmboys still go quiet when its time to end it all. Quick and clean, a good comfortable life ended as well as can be expected.

I'll be doing this again, in fact I doubt I'll be buying meat from a grocery ever again. A good day all around, I think.

Plus... my mother just called. She tried her first hamburger today out of her order. To quote her -

“I didn't know THIS is what its supposed to taste like! What crap have I been shoveling in before this?”

Now she wants to start looking at this whole “green thing” a lot closer. With little steps the changes get made.

*I swear, I think the stuff breeds in there. That would explain the odd random sounds coming from my freezer at night........

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mind the Tumbleweeds...

And... we're back. Again.

Mostly. More or less. Alright, how about – I'm really working on it?

Sheesh, take a month or so off and the world thinks you've up and died*. This last month or so has found the Prime Geek and myself wandering around in a bit of a daze as we stumble around trying to gather our sadly scattered wits. We've been dealing with family “issues”, oddly driven ant-like behavior, and a mountain of projects to tackle.

To sum up for friends and family alike who wander through here in an attempt to keep up with hubby and I, the family issues in brief are:

Baby Grace – still alive, but clearly enjoying her ability to turn family members into nervous wrecks. I swear, this child has had more “She's Better!” followed by “Crap, what do you mean she isn't breathing?” moments then a year of soap opera hijinx. If/when she reaches 18, I swear I'll be joining a long list of family who will be sending her our bills for either the years of costly therapy caused by nervous tics... or our bar tabs caused by the same.

Prime Geeks mother – well. Let us just say that in a few months once things are resolved we may very well be having a sit down regarding her tendency to avoid doctors for too long and how I'm perfectly capable of drop kicking her 4'9 tuckus into a car and forcing the issue next go-round. Not going to go into details, but if your doctor has told you to get a colonoscopy and you've ducked it? Get off your rear and go. Seriously. Now. I'll wait.

School – both the PG and myself are headed back. Him to finish his Bachelor's, me to grab another Associate's (I seem to collect them like stamps and beanie babies.)

As for making like an ant and our projects? While it may be the middle of summer, for reasons known only to our hindbrains we've been scurrying around trying to nail down ever loose thread for the upcoming winter. I'm not sure if its the weird economy, the sad fact that hotter summers seem to lead to colder winters, or just a hardwired need to nest, but our to-do lists keep growing and the feeling of needing to get things ready is pretty pressing.

Luckily, the very projects and twitchy behavior are forcing us even farther into our green dreams. Now that I'm back, I'll be letting ya'll in on our successes AND our failures. (Frankly, I expect the latter will be rather more often then I'd like... but at least its usually entertaining.)

Tomorrow a few picture of our latest foray into local living... and how I now know exactly how many bodies I can stuff into my freezer.


*I've actually come to the conclusion I'm immortal. Between a dicky heart and a serious case of the klutzes, I've shuffled off the mortal coil a few dozen plus times – only to be rather rudely shoved back into a world I can apparently take taxes as my only certainty. Men with Scottish accents make me a tad nervous.**
** Sometimes, my level of nerdiness can scare even me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just Doing My Part

Sometimes, the search for steps to make a lighter impact is a tough one. Being green these days can be hard and often backbreaking work – from digging out the garden, to rerouting the rain gutters into water barrels.

And sometimes?

Its as easy as sitting on the front porch pitting cherries while you listen to a summer rainstorm.
This morning found me sprawled over my porch's beat up couch, idly working my way through a pound or so of local organic cherries I picked up yesterday at a new farmer's market the Prime Geek and myself checked out. With fingers stained a cheery red (I look like I'm about to go sleepwalking while plotting the death of my husband's foes – Out, Out, Da... well. You know.), I finished the last of the luscious orbs as the well trickled to a halt at last.

What to do, what to do.

Normally, I'll flash freeze fruit and have it sitting safe and chilly for the upcoming winter. Or perhaps make a batch of jellies to smear on homemade bread when the snow swirls. However, I'm desperately trying clear the freezer at the moment – in time for an upcoming delivery weighing in at a staggering 175 pounds* – and space is at a premium. Jams? Nice... but it was 93' yesterday, and while the heat has broken a bit thanks to the rain... I'm still not looking forward to a long haul in a steamy kitchen. Drying? That's a job for tomorrow (I'm picking up more of these lovelies in the morning – far too good a deal to pass by) I do believe.

Instead, I think I'll see what it takes to make a cherry bounce.

No, I'm not chucking them for distance – I'm getting them well and truly drunk. Two quart mason jars – complete with lids and rings, two pint jars – ditto, a bottle of VSOP brandy, another of white rum, a wee bit of raw sugar, and two lemons. That should get my fruit lit.

A simple formula to make yourself some holiday cheer. Just wash the jars good and clean (same with the lids) them into each drop a few inches of pitted cherries**. A handful of the raw sugar, lemon zest & its juice sprinkled on top. Glug into one quart and one pint the run, into the remaining two the brandy. Lid and shake until dizzy and your pets are looking at you oddly. Or at least odder than usual.

Keep in a sunny spot for two weeks, then hide your jewels in a cool dark place until the chilly holiday of your choice arrives. Strain – and... well. We'll see. Sounds tasty at least.

Ahhh. Just doing my part to make the world a little cleaner.

*More on this later.
**Okay. Fine. Mine aren't pitted, I sliced mine in half and dug out the pits. The one piece of kitchen schmeck I don't own happens to be a cherry pitter.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And.... We're back.

Sorry about the prolonged absence, its been a long month. As my brain is stilled crispy around the edges, I'll give a simple list as a snapshot of what the nerd has been up to. Normal updates will resume later this week.

1- The company the Prime Geek works for? Rocks. While I'll never book a trip on Monarch of the Seas myself* send my spouse and I for free and I'll be packed in an hour.

2- Ohio when we left - 92'. Mexico when we arrived – 52'. Some aspects of the global warning issues got joked about.

3- Children on airlines are often better then adults, I'm sadly out of my depth when a tween star from Disney sits beside me (seriously, I think I crushed a young soul when I had to explain I had no idea who the Jonas Brothers are. Still don't.), and some grownups need remedial lessons in manners when stuck in a confined space with other humans.

4- Pandas can bounce on their bums after 40+ feet drops, I now have far too many pictures of koala bums then is really necessary, and when confronted by any itty bitty of the animal kingdom I will still issue a high pitched squeal more in keeping with an eleven year old girl.

5- NEVER EVER book a trip through Monarch of the Seas. Repeated food poisoning and a pretty careless time sense (never a good thing when being left in a country not your own is a possible outcome to a late bus.) make for a difficult time. I WOULD however offer any of the people working on board from 26 countries a job anytime. Quite possibly the friendliest, best trained, highest educated bunch of folks this nerd has ever met. The blue hair went over well with most of the workers from Asian countries as well.

6- Attempting to camp for 8 days after being out of the country less than a week before is a game for younger people. This nerd is too old for that horse pucky.

7- When to leave the campout early = RAIN OF FROGS! Seriously. Hail, flood, rather harsh injuries on the field, lightening... all fine and dealable. When the locusts and the june bugs hit we were still fine. Frogs suddenly hitting our tent? Packed and loaded while keeping an eye out for a tall skinny dude carrying a farming implement.


*Okay, here's the issue. Monarch of the Seas? Beautiful boat. Service? Amazing. But here's the thing for me... the sheer mountain of cross contamination regarding food allergies was something that is going to get someone killed. We'd filled out the forms listing my allergies, I still got plate after plate of shrimp tossed in front of me. Everything cooked together, nothing posted (oh so fun to reach for some plain rice at a buffet and suddenly seeing a random crab claw sticking out), no warnings or options given. We even talked to the head waiter and was told “Oh yes. Some people where telling us they had children with severe peanut allergies as well” then they walked off. Okay.... so you KNOW you could kill someone, you just don't care. Greeeaaat.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Please.... Let's Not Talk About Global Warming Today

Honestly, I do believe. Really. But while one half of the country is staggering under the blows of a triple digit heat wave... this nerd is still sleeping with the electric mattress pad, three blankets, and a self-heating hubby wrapped around her. A low of 31 at night is just not something I had planned to deal with in late May.

I'm feeling a tad frustrated at the moment. My tomato plants (started several months ago) are beginning to wither under the strain of being kept inside, the farmers markets have been pushed back several weeks – if not longer - due to poor planting condition, we ran out of firewood for the woodburner a month ago (we have managed to keep the gas furnace off... using small electric zone heaters when forced), and the Prime Geek has been forced to use the jeep instead of the scooter to get to work due to frost covered roads and the occasional ice slick. What worries me the most is for a brief period of time, my town and surrounding areas was beginning to take a turn for the green – but the longer we drag our feet into summer the harder the sell seems to be for more self-sufficient choices.

Eating more locally is a hard push as well. One good week of warm weather is just enough for people to put their guards down and plant – only to lose everything to a hard frost lasting weeks. I have managed to finally source most of my families meat needs locally, so thats at least something. But I'm tired of stews and hot comforting foods. I should have berries, salads, and grilled items filling out our diets – this is not the time of year to be needing heavy comfort food.

Its not all gloom and doom of course. I have managed to score one local item that fills me with glee. During a recent visit from friends (who we are helping to find their perfect wedding venue) we stumbled upon a small local winery not more then 5 miles (okay, 4.71 if you want to be exact) from our front door where I found a marriage made in heaven. I'm a sucker for a sweet red wine and, being female, equally found of chocolate. Somehow the good folks at Viking Vineyard have managed to combine to two into a single glass. Locally grown grapes, locally bottled, heck... the proprietors are local as well. One bottle of Red Kiss is resting on our wine rack.... and if it doesn't warm up soon (and STAY warmed up) I'm going to start collecting this sole local fruit by the caseload! I'm either going to get warmed by the sun, or I'll start working on it internally.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

As the daughter of a retired Marine ( I learned at an early age to never say "former"... ) I grew up surrounded by the men who had become my father's brothers during his time in active service.

I've never served, and at nearly 30* I doubt I ever will. But parts of the military trickle through your subconscious as you grow. I can spot a veteran at 30 yards. Its the walk, the stance, the unconscious scanning of the crowd around them.

Heck. Almost every Marine pilot has the same dang hairline as my dad.

I've heard the stories - some loudly laughed over at the dinner table, others half heard as my brother and I struggled to still our breathing enough to hear the murmurs that filtered through our bedroom as my father tried to put his own ghosts to rest. The rest can be told in the stiffening jaw, the quiet grip on anothers arm, the ducked head and indrawn breath as a name from long ago is heard. I got really good at reading my father and my "uncles."

I've grown up in the thick of these men and women. I wish I had the right words to say how much I respect them, how much I treasure them...

No poetry, no flowery words, can really say what needs to be said. All I have is this -

Thank you.

And a promise to never forget.

Have a wonderful day today folks.

* Ye gods... that was scary to write. But the important part is nearly... as in almost 18 months. Now the Prime Geek on the other hand....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Insert Groan Here

There is an actual post that is struggling to be written coherently and hopefully with a touch of humor which should be up in a few hours.... but I just received a call and I thought it might be a good idea to pass it on.

Apparently a friend who's husband runs a gas station got the word that they could raise prices as high as $4.30 in the next day or so. ( its a large chain, so I'm thinking this is a universal) so if you're needing gas for your Memorial Day plans... now might be the time to move your tuckus.

I'm not saying stock up, we're all in this mess together and I don't see it getting easier for a while especially if folks are hording (not to mention great walloping cans of gas in your garage are not the safest things to have on hand) but if you have a long haul and needed to fill up anyway... might be time to motor.

Sheesh. Its gone up $0.20 this week already... now another $0.35.

Glad the bike just needs new headlights and then it can roll.

Off to fill up for the weekend. I have family coming into town and masses of dirt and plants to move.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Blue.... (In other words, a non-green, non-cheap, but plenty nerdy posting)

Da Ba Dee Da Ba Daa?*

Not mentally, I'm pretty cheerful today in fact. No, I mean literally.

Well, partially.

After two years of sticking to strictly “normal” hair experimentation, I finally cracked : called a friend, handed over cash, sat for far too long in bleach fumes, and walked out of the salon looking like the offspring of a drunken Amazon and a peacock.

I've always done odd things off and on to my personal appearance. I've been a blond, a brunette, a red-haired lass, and have done the raven temptress for the last few years. Frankly, at this point I'm not sure what color my hair is under all the assorted gunk I've thrown on it – even my roots come in with differing colors (season, sunshine, heck – even mood has been known to switch my genetic levers and mess with my hair and eye color.). I've streaked it with purple, tried a few weeks with hot pink tips, and had an unfortunate spate of green following a blond attempt mixed unwisely with a job at a pool. I'm blessed with obscenely massive amounts of hair, and genes good enough to mean its pretty much always healthy. Thus... when boredom strikes, the hair is the first to fall. I figure worse case scenario, I might have to chop off a foot or so - it hit the waistband of my jeans a month or two ago... so its not like I wouldn't still HAVE a ton of hair.**

But past experiments with colors not found in nature notwithstanding... what would make a 28-year old housewife choose to make such an odd change?

A few reasons... the first is simple, as is the second. Blue is my favorite color, wearing it makes me happy. So – easy call there. The secondary reason that the Prime Geek gets a goofy smile on his face when he contemplates having a “Blue Haired Chick” for a wife is a bonus as well.

Harmless and transitory, all make it seem like a grand idea for the summer. Toss in working the odd gaming and Ren Faire events and there are even good business practices involved in the call as well.

But... there are two other reasons that motivate my choices to amp up my appearance. First, well, we've covered the height and the busty issue in the past. By coloring my hair an eye-catching color I get to pick what folks stare at first. When the follicles are taking the brunt of the attention, I get far fewer “Hey, you're really tall! Did you know that?”*** or “Are those REAL?****” and the eyes tend to stay pretty elevated.

Secondly? Call it an overwhelming desire to mess with people's perceptions. This nerd is a chameleon who can switch in and out of social situations with relative ease. What I consider my everyday closet, many folks would view as a costuming room for a movie set. I hang out with the nerd and the geeks, mix it up with the preps and the jocks, can slide in with the earth mommas and the techies. I grew up around bikers and business men, suits and street-rats, and the odd governmental official. I hate getting lumped into a set box, and refuse to answer to most labels. Why limit myself?

Far too often people make quick judgments and snap decisions based on nothing more then the cut of a suit or a color of hair. My first intense brush with this was when, at 21, I had added some vivid purple streaks to my black hair. While out running an errand for my mother I came up against a wall of stupidity and malice that took my breath away. I had just opened a door for an elderly women ahead of me when the sun came out from behind a mass of clouds causing the purple to shine in the bright sun. The women stopped thanking me for being a “nice girl” who opened the door for me, and began to curse me out thoroughly. The terms “Slut, nasty, shame to my parents, and better for all if my kind would die so I could hurry up and burn in hell” came out of this vitriolic old women.

I stood there, stunned. Mouth open, frankly gaping, my mind attempted to reboot and got a guttural “What?!?” forced out of my then dry throat. She pointed at my head (ignoring the long skirt, modest button down blouse, and earlier help) as though she had made a triumphant point and rushed away.

I stood there for a moment and watched this women as she scuttled down the street and realized I had but three options. Sink to the street and sob (immediately followed by an emergency trip to the salon and a meeting with a dye bottle), get angry and rush after the odd biddy - shaking her until her teeth rattled (and then explaining to the police what I was doing holding her upside down and shrieking “Show me in the bible where purple is a sin!”), or make the life altering decision to say to hell with what people say and be happy with who I am and stick to it as loud and as proud as I want to be.

You've read some of my work... guess which way this nerd went? From then to now, seven years, I've made it a day to day point to interject a little bit of the odd into people's lives. To show you can be this... AND be that. I can be a nice girl... and a touch ornery. I can be green... and still be blue. I can say what I think is right, and listen to other ideas. Use a touch of chaos to help recreate a new sense of order. So... today is blue day, and a happy one at that.

I've gotten a bit stagnant lately, working a little too hard to be a good housewife, a good writer, a good... whatever. I've gotten a bit lost in what people's perceptions of me are, and now I'm reconnecting with that slightly ornery, sometime trouble making, rabble rousing, babbling bard (who will confuse, confound, but bring you cookies while you try to regroup) deep inside.

A new page is turning, and I think this next chapter is getting written in bright blue.*****

Pictures perhaps in the evening.

*Eiffel 65. Pat yourself on the back if you got the reference.
** Please don't tell me I should donate it. Too much dye to give it away, and I do my charity work in other ways. Thanks anyway.
*** No. Really? Thank God! I thought everyone else was shrinking!
**** These? No, I'm just holding on to them for a friend.
***** And this concludes a post that had absolutely nothing to do with the blog's main thrust, just something I'm working through in my head.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Staff of Life

After requests from a beleaguered big brother and a comment regarding a friend's possible bread and water fast... I figured I have tinkered with my daily bread recipe for long enough and its time to share. Bread prices are climbing steadily, and I refuse to pay $4 for a real loaf of bread (in other words... a loaf I can both spell AND pronounce all the ingredients inside). When even Wonder Bread – fit only for bread balls and ducks – hits $2.89 a loaf, its time to turn on the stove.

Or not... as it turns out for my newest obsession. I mentioned a month or two ago that I had begun to modify a recipe I had found in Rachel Ray's new magazine. A flatbread redolent of garlic with the nice chew of a loaf but the ease of a stove top model. Its a great basic recipe, a little salty for my tastes, but solid. I even made some pretty highbrow grilled cheese sandwiches for our dinner out of the bread. If a recipe with almost a whole head of garlic sounds promising, check out her site and search for Roasted Garlic Flatbread with Spicy Tomato Chutney. But however much the Prime Geek and I may adore the stinking rose... its not exactly multipurpose enough for my needs. Great for dinner, but after a morning when my brain hadn't popped on yet and I fuzzily tried to make a honey and jam sandwich with it... I knew I had to make some changes. (And brush my teeth. Garlic + raspberry does not a happy morning make!)

With some fiddling, I've finally fixed upon our daily bread. It can be tweaked to the needs of the day, can be flavored in any direction... and takes very little time and energy. Best part for my greeny side is the relief from facing a hot oven once the heat of summer begins. The whole batch takes maybe 20 minutes on the stove or electric skillet – this winter I look forward to trying it out on the top of the woodburner.

2 OR 3 Tbsp raw sugar or brown sugar (Heck, honey is great too.) 2 ½ tsp yeast* and ¼ cup warm water (bath tub temp). Mix these three ingredients and set aside to get bubbly.

Heat ½ cup milk (yes... you can use soy or rice. I don't... but I also DO know where its from and can drive to the dairy if I really wanted to. Use what you got, it even works with reconstituted dry milk powder.) with 2 Tbsp softened butter (again, margarine is fine, but I prefer to be able to spell what I'm eating.) How hot? Butter should melt, but don't heat it so high you'll scald yourself if it spills. Once the butter is melted, stir in ½ cup plain yogurt**. By this point, your yeast mix should be bubbling away so add it to the now slightly cooled milk mix.

In a stand mixer*** stir together 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour, 1 ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp baking powder. Slowly pour the wet into the dry, switching over to the dough hook as it all comes together. Let the machine knead the dough for 5 minutes while you get things ready for the rising portion of the day. Best place to let bread rise is the microwave. Wet a tea towel and stick it in the box on high for 45 seconds until it steams. Push to the back and close the door. Once the dough is done kneading, it will be sticky – but cohesive. Drizzle either a little melted butter, oil, or spray down the sides of the bowl with pan spray until you can freely spin your dough inside the bowl. Cover with a towel or a sheet of plastic wrap and pop into the microwave to rise. The dough will be ready to cook in as little as an hour or if you forget it and go to bed... should still be fine in the morning.

Up until now, basic bread recipe – right? Here's where things get a little different. Heat a large skillet or griddle DRY. No spray, no oil. You want it around medium heat but not smoking. Pull out your dough and roughly divide it into 16 pieces. (Half it, half again, half those.... you get the idea) Precision doesn't count here. Sprinkle some flour out onto the counter and roll out each dough ball – no perfect circles required, just roll it out however the dough wants to go to piecrust thickness. Pull up the first slice and drop onto the skillet. In about a minute, the dough will be puffing and easy to flip. Flip, cook another minute and then repeat with the next piece.

On my griddle I can cook two pieces at once and usually have time to roll out the next two pieces as the first cook. Takes a few tries, but the swing comes pretty quickly. All in all? About 20 minutes or less from dough to done. Let cool then store in a zip-top bag.

Best parts of this recipe? Makes AMAZING pizza dough (she said quite modestly). For ultra thick crust use the whole recipe in a pizza pan, for a thinner crust use a cookie sheet. I'll post the recipe I made for our dinner Monday night if anyone wants it – a reprisal of the Perky ones Buffalo Chicken Pizza. The recipe is also endlessly adaptable. Want a sweet bread for Sunday brunch? A bit more sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon in the dough (for extra pizazz toss the finished bread in butter then sugar and cinnamon. Elephant ears without much guilt!) Savory? Mix that 3 Tbsp of roasted garlic into the dough as the original called for. Change up the flours, use flavored yogurts, still in some cheese. Its a pretty bulletproof recipe.

Cheap? Yup. A little less then a buck a loaf (or pizza crust) and makes 16 slices of bread.

Green? That too, thanks to a local bulk food store and its quick stovetop cooking style. Give it a try and see if you can't make those white tubes of packaged goo a thing of the past. Let me know how it works out for you.

*DON'T buy those little 3-pack packages of yeast if you can avoid it. Not only is there a huge amount of packaging for a tiny item... the cost over time is enough to make this nerd swoon. Look for SAF-Instant yeast in a 1 pound package. They usually retail around $3-$5 and kept in the freezer will last more then a year.
**I'm finally jumping and am going to try making my own yogurt this week. If it all works out, that's one more thing I can knock off my grocery list.
***You CAN make this without the mixer... just know it adds another 15 minutes of kneading to get the dough together. I'm a lucky gal who won't be giving up my Kitchen Aide without a fight. Be warned... I'm armed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

At Least In A Mugging....

They don't expect you to smile. After a week of visitors and visiting, this nerd is feeling a bit like she's been dragged down a few miles of hard road.


In a gunny sack.

With a incontinent puppy.

Who bites.

Now, don't get me wrong. The time to see friends was wonderful, if a bit exhausting - three over for dinner, one all day tennis date, 2 hours each way drive to my parents for the weekend, another 2 hours further south for his family, a late night call and a whirlwind visit immediately following our own return home has me hugging my bed and swearing off leaving the house for a few weeks at least.

Which brings us to the unsettling feeling of being mugged.

Five hours in the car on Saturday, another six or seven on Sunday, a late night work call for the Prime Geek = a metric shit ton of gas. We were staggered over the $3.76 a gallon it took to fill and refill the tank for this weekend, but as I topped off the tank this afternoon a crowd began to swarm the pumps, all hollering in horror that this was the last station to turn its prices. Wondering what they meant I drove up the road to witness it for myself...

$3.99 – 4.19 a gallon. For regular.

I dropped a little over $24.00 to fill up the last quarter in our tank and I'm can't help but feel a little violated. And the truly sad news? No real end in sight... its just gonna get worse from here. Grocery prices are skyrocketing, fuel is going through the roof, and folks are getting a tad squirrelly over an uncertain future.

The Prime Geek and I are luckier then many. While he has a one hour round trip each day to work – he can use the bike on nice days*. My test for my own motorcycle license is fast approaching and once that's done I'll be able to ride the frog around town for most errands. Living in town gives us more options then a lot of people have these days. We're feeling the pinch, but so far we are a world away from the crunch that others are struggling with. Between our steps to gear down, going greener, and the sheer luck that we honestly enjoy figuring out alternatives and making things work we're doing okay.

There is going to be a bit of a change on this site over the next few months. No matter your political stance or view of the “greenies” out there, we're at a crossroads in our country. We all have choices to make, and less room for error in the decisions we follow. We're headed for Chinese Curse territory, and “interesting” definitely is the mildest way to describe the times ahead. There will be more day to day blogging going on from now on, combining the green with the cheap. We'll all get through what's happening, I honestly believe that. Just buckle your seat belts and head towards the nerdiest star on the right.

UPDATE - Three hours later the station has fallen in line with its brethren. $3.97 a gallon and rising.

* And “nice” covers far more time than it used to. Not actively flooding outside is now nice.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy To Be A Worm

Thank heavens for Green Beans! An oath I'm sure my mother dreamed she would hear her picky-eater daughter ever utter – but true nevertheless. One of the wonderful bloggers I read on a weekly, if not daily basis, is Green Bean of Green Bean Dreams. (Check out her link in the sidebar over to the right. This lady is one of a growing number of people I read who, if I'm being honest, frankly would like to grow up to be one day.) After months of eco-challenges ranging from how-low-can-you-go winter freeze offs, buy nada for a month, to the oddly stressful stress-less in March, there is finally a challenge tailor made for this nerd. What is it?

May is Be a Bookworm Month. (nifty picture up in the corner is also courtsey of Green Bean) How cool is that? Just agree to set aside some time and read a real honest to goodness, paper and ink, actual hard copy book! Well, an eco/sustainable book or two is the goal. But still. READ! A book!

I'm a nerd, my place is really nothing more then a large private library these days, how more perfect could a challenge be?

Frankly, I'm thrilled. A way to salve my guilty conscious about the long soaks I take with a book propped on a soapy knee at last. In the attempt to green-up my home, my life, get a garden going, get a career (of sorts) moving – reading has taken a back seat in my life for a bit. Now? It's an honest to goodness item to check off on my ever growing daily to-do lists. (And with a back still giving me fits and a case of the twitchies driving me batty as I try to hobble about my chores, the knowledge that reading really IS a required element of my day gives me at least a small sense of accomplishment.)

So, to start May out with a bang (and to continue in my overachiever attitude) I have two books awaiting me upstairs, propped against the side of slowly filling bathtub. The first is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – the second is Simple Prosperity by David Wann.

After this posts, I'm heading upstairs with my laptop left down in the living room (turned off, of course) so I'll have no interruptions in my evening ablutions.

Have a good night, and do yourself a favor – find yourself a good book, someplace soft, and something to curl up around with.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Its Not ALL Bad

Last nights post was a tad... well. I freely admit I was feeling rather low. I don't do still at the best of times, and apparently I also suffer from some kind of short term memory issues as I would lay immobile for a while, and then would somehow forget the white hot blinding pain from the last time I tried to move and reach over for a different magazine or to nudge Pandora off my foot – only to have my lapse in thought thoroughly explained to my addled brain as the wave of pain rolled over me. So in my suffering (I have plenty of experience in this type of thing, so allow me to state I would rather break both legs AND be in the midst of a PMS typhoon then do nasty things to my ribs. I know the first sounds worse... but at least you get a flashy set of wheels for a month and the terrified natives proffer chocolate in the hopes of appeasing your momentary demons. Ribs? Anything that makes you weep and shake at the mere thought you might sneeze – Worse. MUCH worse.) I may have given the impression that being a klutz is a truly terrible thing.

Not so my friend. In fact, there are some standout good points that make me happy to claim the slightly bruised and battered crown of klutzdom. Allow me to explain.

1 – When helping friends to move, they will only allow you to carry items like pillows and blankets – and these only to ground level rooms. The rest of the day they will give you “important” jobs, such as keeping the lemonade pitcher (plastic) filled and the cats (declawed) out of the way.

2 – When camping in groups any job involving axes, sharp pieces of wood, fire, tent stakes, rusty buckets, ropes, or decisions regarding the setup of latrines or water stations are allocated quickly – to anyone other then you. A friendly offer of help splitting wood for the nights fire will usually result in a panicked look from the offeree and a renewed vigor on their part to get the job done before you can wander towards them.

3 – Bravery. Sounds like an odd one, I know. But its true. Once you fully embrace your inner klutz, fear over hurting yourself fades into the background. You already KNOW you're not walking away from a task unscathed... but after a few dozen trips to the emergency room you know the worst that can happen. It might hurt, but it won't kill you.* Knowing intimately on a scale of 1-10 what a broken bone feels like means you know the risks and can compensate for them – so go ahead and climb that tree to get down the neighbor's cat. Worse comes worst? A klutz always has a stack of wheelchair accessible projects to work on over the next month.

4 – Rapid healing. Most true klutzes I know develop this. I don't know if we're all mutant freaks and thus are able to speed our healing, or if it is something our bodies develop in self-defense.** Whichever the case, I've never had a broken bone that took longer then a month before I cracked off my own cast or a scar that didn't eventually get reabsorbed back into my body. I bruise like a son of a gun... but they go from ugly to washed out sometimes in just a day.

5 – Medical Knowledge. This one comes under the heading of survival... but after tumbles, knock-downs, slices and breaks - I have learned how to put in my own stitches, slam my shoulder back into its socket, and reset a finger that just really REALLY shouldn't look like that. I'll laugh my butt off while doing it (some people cry, I giggle. The Prime Geek tells me my way keeps things moving and getting done... but is far more disturbing.) but I can put most of myself – and others – back together until someone qualified comes along.

6 – How to fall. A knowledge that has saved my skin a hundred times. Don't fight the graceless moment, don't try to prove you're cool, accept gravity is going to win and roll with it. Ignore people staring, dismiss the laughter, and just go with the zen of the fall. 95% of the damage folks do to themselves is done when they try to overcompensate for their own missteps. I don't mind the bruises - its fighting them that results in breaks.

7 – And finally – Angels and Fate watch over small children, fools, and klutzes. Something in our very makeup seems built to allow us an extra roll of the dice, often creating moments of serendipity in which the planets all aligned and the music of the spheres is allowed to ring.

What do I mean? An example – This morning was rough, very rough on this nerd. I had spent a restless night staring at the ceiling and wondering at what point should I stop being a hardass and call out to my husband that now – NOW was the time to carry my sad carcass to the ER. Nature had been trying to call for hours and I could no longer ignore the need. Gathering myself up to jerkily move – my feet got tangled in the bedsheets and I went down in a heap, slamming my back into the edge of the bed.

After the shock, pain, tears, cursing, and the wave of self-pity rolled back, I took a deep breath to survey the damage I had added to myself. Frankly, I was afraid that I had finally graduated from popped ribs to a broken back. There had been several nasty cracks coming from my back... this wasn't going to be good and my cell phone lay in the corner on the floor – thrown several feet away from me in the fall. With a shudder I tried to rise and...

Danged if I haven't popped the rib back into where its supposed to be.

Still hurts, but can breath now. Still sore, but I'm moving without crying.

Klutziness rules.

*Permanently. At least more then once. I find that oddly comforting.
**My mother also claims in my case it has something to do with the gallon of skim milk a day she used to pour down my brother and I's throats. To this day, I still put away a half gallon or so a day. Many health issues run in my family - osteoporosis tisn't one I worry too much about.

Monday, April 28, 2008

In Which A Nerd Confesses

Sitting uneasily propped up in bed, trying to type/breath/and groan at the same time, I feel a need to confess something. Just in case a few of you have failed to pick up on it in the last few months.

I, your natural nerd.... am something of a klutz.

I spent my childhood reassuring well meaning social workers that no, in fact my parents didn't beat me - daily bruises notwithstanding. It took me getting distracted in front of one women and opening a door into my face (blacking my eye and giving myself a nosebleed) to make her realize that the only person doing me any damage was myself.

Since reaching my 20's I've been given more cards for women's shelters/ divorce attorneys / and self-defense classes then all of the Lifetime Movie main characters combined.

My husband, the Prime Geek, married me and honestly thought he would be able to imbue me with a little of his own grace and suavity. Sadly, the force is far stronger in this one... and his own graceful star is beginning to look a bit tarnished. (Our wedding night was the first moment he came face to face with this possibility. My mother had bought us black satin sheets as a romantic/silly gift and he ended up slamming himself headfirst into the opposite wall after skittering across them when he attempted a sensual slide.)

I've broken bones that I hadn't realized I had, ripped/torn/and slashed most of the muscles and tendons keeping my bits together, and spent a whole lot of my life wondering if I should put down "bruised" as my skin tone.

I have found the more naturally I eat, the less chemicals I keep around the house, and the more time I spend wandering outside - the faster I heal up... getting me to my next pratfall all the faster. So my trials and tries are a kind of Good News/ Bad News scenarios.

This time? The furry troublemakers attempts to kill me dang well nearly succeeded, with me heading down the stairs head first. The noggin is fine, but the chiropractor is muttering something about "popped" ribs and possible cracks. Me? I'm just muttering "Owe." A lot. A whole lot. Okay... there may well be some profanity squeaking out as well.

The part that has me banging my head against a wall? I have an interview coming up this weekend regarding an option to start doing this whole writing thing as a proper real "grownup" job and I've been a tad stressed out over it. Couldn't write, couldn't sew, didn't know what to do with myself.

This.... is not the distraction I had in mind. Next time I yell out to the universe that I need something to keep my mind occupied, I'm darn well specifying PLEASANT time wasters.


One thing this has accomplished is make me all the more certain that when the time comes for the PG and I to build our green dream home - there will be NO RUDDY STAIRS!

Keep Bothering

A real post will follow in a few hours - the rain that is sitting on the house gives me free rein to putter on the computer without a drop of guilt* - but I found a link through a great blog I read daily and wanted to make sure to pass it along to ya'll. Michael Pollen has a rather good take on why we bother trying to be "green" at all when there are so many others around us saying to hades with it all. Why try, why fuss, what's the point? Check it out on the New York Times page .

Each little step, each little action does add up.

I'm spending most of the afternoon digging around for some info after an interesting and entertaining conversation I had yesterday, while out for lunch with the Prime Geek. A vegetarian served us at the steakhouse.... and a wonderful exchange was born.

Later folks.

*The rain, the 30 degree temperature drop, and a back completly thrown outta wack.