Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I had a very moody day. In fact, I think for a time I was each of the moods carved into the above pumpkins. And then some.
I'm not quite sure what is going on. Please tell me it's something about planets lining up or something and that this too shall pass...and all by itself.

MyFavoriteKid hung out with some friends at a gathering at the local park. TheMostImportantGuy was at the new house, dressed in costume, sitting on the front porch handing out candy. I stayed home at the old house tonight and handed out a very small amount of candy (gated community, the manager doesn't open the gate for the night, and 80% of my neighbors are retired and had their lights out anyhow). The dogs had a blast barking at anything that moved, and I got a little knitting done in between things.

It worked.
But for the first time least 14+ years?? We didn't have a carved pumpkin!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

is fair isle a new teen trend?

I took MyFavoriteKid to the mall today so he could pick up a couple pairs of jeans (have I told you that since his last growth spurt he is now taller than me??!). He's outgrown everything lately.

While he was trying stuff on in PacSun, I spotted these little shoes for sale on the girly side of the store:

Knitted fair-isle fabric stretched over fuzzy-line ballet flats.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

snaps on saturday

So much for "dressing my age" (that didn't last long, did it LOL):

for the knitters out there, yes I am
sporting a
hot pink Hallowig

I am dressed up as lead singer of....of....of....ummmm.....

ThePegLeggedPinkPirates! Yah!

Me, MyFavoriteKid, and TheMostImportantGuy, are on our way out to an all ages costume party where four bands are playing, all made up of teenaged kids. The headlining band happens to be four kids that MyFK goes to school with.

So really, I am not dressed up as the lead singer of ThePedLeggedPinkPirates, at all, am I?!!
I am dressed up as MyTeenageSon'sEmbarrassmentOfaMother.


Friday, October 28, 2011

delayed reaction.

This is the photo that would have went with yesterday's post quite nicely...

A few project bags and a small pile of yarn waiting to greet the new members of the High School Knitting Club.
I was expecting 4 0r 5, and figured I had more than enough. We had 15 new kids, in addition to the 4 from last week!
Time to rally up more supplies!

...except that my migraine brain forgot that I had taken the photo. And so here it is tonight, which is perfect, because I am exhausted.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

just call me migraine jane

I'm going to do this post in bullets, since I sort of feel like shooting my head off.

* I woke up with a migraine and popped over-the-counter migraine meds to try to nip it in the bud.

* I also woke up from a strange dream where there was this very artsy looking black and white photo of a woman in an space suit, on the moon, tossing her head back, while shaking hands (well, the trunk) of an elephant. When I looked at the photo more closely, the woman was me, and whomever I was talking to in the dream said TheMostImportantGuy was the photographer. If someone out there is into decoding dreams, have fun with that. LOL

* Today was the 2nd meet-up of the High School Knitting Club, held during their lunch period. Last meeting was 1 advising/curious teacher and 3 kids. Today there was the 1 teacher again, and about 18 kids (it was such a blur, I couldn't keep track). 2 of the kids were guys, who sorta slinked in behind a girl who said, "they're curious, but not sure if they want to join." Of course, I told the boys how some of the coolest knitters and designers I know guys.
The boys sat down at another table, and when I said, "So, what...are you going to make a 'boys table'? Or are you going to join us," they both popped up and moved closer and one said, "I thought you'd never ask." When I sent them over to the table where the yarn was piled up so they could pick a color, I said, "Don't worry....there's some manly stuff in there like camo green, denim blue, and I think there is still some black left," one of the guys got up to get the yarn, and the guy who stayed seated said, "Hey, dude. Toss me that hot pink over there."
The kids were amazing. Last week they learned how to cast-on. During the week some of them had learned to knit from friends or family members or the internet. Some learned to knit just in the first few minutes of today's class. All who got it immediately helped the ones who were new today. Two of the kids that showed up already know how to knit. And the teacher came and knit a couple of rows and then asked for 2nd ball of yarn (a yarn-ho in the making).

* Florescent lighting at the High School and 18+ excited teenagers cancelled out the OTC migraine meds.

* I went directly from the High School to the teach the Senior Center Knitting Group (talk about whip-lash--haha). One experienced knitter that we haven't seen in awhile showed up for the first time with a walker. And we had another lady that came needing help with her crochet. I don't crochet. The other ladies actually talked her into ripping out the crochet lap blanket that she was working, and they offered her knitting needles. I kinda can't believe she did it. The blanket was almost done! But I think we have a new member. She picked up knitting right away.

* Florescent lighting at the Senior Center and 6 seniors and the migraine was getting so bad, I thought I might be heading for the tossing-my-cookies sort of migraine.

* I am home now, and have just taken a second round of OTC meds. I'm trying to avoid taking the prescription meds because the zonk me out, and I am supposed to teach dance class tonight. And back-lighting from the computer screen might re-cancel the OTC meds, so I am just about outta here.

I believe the migraine is because a) Aunt Flo has come for a visit, and because b) I've been dicking around with the caffeine again.
You'd think I'd learn.
No wonder MyFavoritedKid doesn't learn from his mistakes! hahaha

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

vintage me. and mom.

Me trying to like a giant icicle. I assume this is in front of our own house, because I recognize the electric menorah in the window ;-)

Photo says December 1970 which would put me at 3-1/2 years old.

note to mom:
so, is that sort of hat you are wanting (and by want, I mean nagging LOL) me to knit you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

an entirely different post than what i had planned for today.

Well, I was about to sit and type for a bit, but drama and teen-angst are ever pervasive.

At the beginning of the school year, MyFavoriteKid fell behind right out of the gate. He met and worked with each of his teachers individually, submitted the late work, and pulled his grades back up. Quite up. Straight A's.

After that, I spent a few weeks of monitoring him, but then he asked me to give him the benefit of the doubt and let him try to stay on track with less supervision. He wanted to prove he could do it himself and said that he wanted to move into feeling more independent. I've limited my checking in to just the general, "So how much homework do you have today," and, "Are you on track in all of your classes?"

I should get the DingBatMomOfTheYear award for not quietly supplementing that line of questioning by continuing to check the school's homework reporting website on a daily basis. Nooooo, I just figured MyFK's word was good as gold, considering the lesson he'd learned only just several weeks ago.

WELL. I just logged on to the school's website. He's not doing baaaad ....but it is painfully clear that he is headed down the wrong path again. MyNotSoFavoriteAtTheMomentKid has been lying about the amount of homework he has and skipping a few assignments here and there, and it's starting to bite him in the ass. Which means, not being responsible, and not telling me the truth (which pisses me off just as much, if not more so...although I'm trying not to take it personal. Ha.). He even told me that if I logged on and saw some assignments missing, that he had already spoken to his teacher, and she said it was a glitch in the system with her entering grades and she said she had reported it and it was being fixed.

I mean, that is not even a little white lie. That's a big fat convoluted let's make up dog-ate-my-homework type shit, and I am pissssssed off.

So. I have to go hover for awhile, in between searching for some articles to read about parenting teenagers and teaching them to be more responsible.

Any suggested reading materials, peeps??

Monday, October 24, 2011

fall cleaning

I'm a little busy here this week. I am determined to power through some fall cleaning. Purging, to be specific. It certainly didn't happen as a spring cleaning, that's for sure.... construction/remodeling, hospital visits, doggie/vet drama. There was definitely no time for the annual cull of the closet.

But today has been productive. I now have 3 paper bags worth of clothes ready to go to the donation shop. I have another large, over-flowing bag that I am going to try bringing in to a consignment shop and get some cash flowing my way. And then there is a small bag of things ready to be the new "rag bag" or just go out to the garbage (the clothes are ripped or stained or worn out).

I'm getting rid of more than I usually do, but it's warranted: I am changing my look.

This is more of what I am going for.

me, last Saturday night
out to dinner and a rock concert

I still want to be fun and spunky, but....well. Let's face it.
I'm in my mid-forties.
It's time to tighten things up just a bit. hahahaha

In other words I am letting go of (most) the things that make me look like a 40 year old who is trying to be 20 (I say most, because some of it I still have fun wearing when I'm cleaning house or working out, or whatever)

But I need to move these things out so I make room for things that are fun and spunky but....

...dare I say it??

Clothes that make me look my age.

Ok, well maybe 10 years younger.
Just not 20.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

because sometimes we just need to vent.

A random list things that caused me stress this week:

* Videos depicting the last moments of Muammar Gaddafi's life. It made me sick (and yes, I know I can turn off the television, and yes, I did...but in only one viewing, the damage had been done, trust me). I don't care how bad a person is, it freaks me out to know someone's last moments were spent dying with that much anger surrounding them, and I am guessing equal parts fear within them. The reason it makes me so sick is because it touches the part of me that was also near death, and I experienced much fear during those moments myself. It sucks.

* Photos of all the dead escaped/wild animals that had to be taken out in Utah**. I watched an interview of Jack Hannah who was there on-site as it was all happening, and it made him sick too. From the sound of his voice, I think it maybe scarred him for life, actually. At least Hannah explained why the animals needed to be taken out, given the circumstances and resources. But by that point it had really messed with my head.
(**OOPS, I meant Ohio, not Utah...thanks thestashattacked for pointing out my error. That's what I get for typing so late at night. Four letter states beginning with vowels all become one LOL).

* Earthquake central. We had two earthquakes here on Thursday (which, oddly enough, was Earthquake Preparedness Day), and both quakes were centered in Berkeley. The first one I was at home for, and I did not feel it, but the second one....whooo boy. I was in Berkeley that night to teach dance class. We were doing something like a meditative mat warm-up and there was this smacking/crashing sound and it felt like a truck had hit the side of the building, and then there were several small shakes, big enough to rattle the racks for the studio lighting made out of solid metal pipes. We freaked out a bit, had to make a circle for a few in the middle of the room and have what I refer to as a KumbayaMoment together. Then we found ourselves unable to continue as planned. What we had planned to work on was just too linear, and none of us were feeling it, so we had a night of improvised movement for almost and hour, with some instructions to work with color (in our imaginations) as if we were painting with our feet or hands, or whatever other body part, while dancing. Much better.

* Being called a bitch, by someone I care about. Tell me I'm being a bitch, tell me I'm acting like a bitch, but do not ever call me, "a bitch". No matter how mad you are at me. It makes me feel like I cannot trust you, and it makes me cry. Lots. Thank you. The end.

* The cookie fiasco. Written about here. It was definitely a low point in my week, no matter how interesting of an experiment it was. It stressed me out.

* PMS Overload. Ooooo, it was bad this month (and probably explains why I was craving cookies), including things like getting in the car and crying my eyes out to music I normally find uplifting.

Lots of good things happened this week, too....but most were time consuming or draining emotionally. It was just an energy suck sort of week for me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

snaps on saturday

My new favorite thing....

....roasted radishes.

I'm not a big fan of raw radishes, but boy, does their flavor change once roasted! Something more like a turnip, maybe.
Deeee-licious :-)

Recipe found here, although obviously my first run at this was sans carrots. Actually, I served them along side roasted asparagus, and roasted fennel (recipe found here, but I had to skip the parmesean, which is a little sad to go without, but I'm not eating dairy right now).

Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite things about fall.

Friday, October 21, 2011

one more example of why knitters are so damn cool

Click and read the story: New Zealand Penguins in Need of Sweaters
Per chit-chat on Ravelry boards, over 100 have been collected and they have enough.
For this spill.
But over 15,000 were collected for another spill that happened earlier in Australia (f I am understanding the sequence of events correctly).

Knitters are so. damn. cool.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I don't know what came over me, but today I ate a (big) chocolate chip cookie.

A doll I got that is supposed to remind me what it feels like when I eat crap.
But she was high on a shelf, out of my line of vision.
I have moved her to sit with me where I work on the computer.
~to remind me~

I haven't had processed sugar since mid-September, and I've had on a very miniscule bit of wheat or gluten.

I felt nauseous almost instantly, and even a little itchy. Within an hour I also had a little heartburn, the beginnings of a headache, and I even felt slightly dizzy. I instant messaged TheMostImportantGuy online to tell him what I'd done and how I was feeling, and that's when he reminded me that the cookie had eggs--which I am allergic to.

Ayyyyeeeearrrghhhhh!! In my cookie crazed moment, I knew I was making a poor choice with the sugar and wheat (which I am not allergic to, I just haven't had it in so long)...but I didn't even consider the eggs!! The eggs!!!!!!!!

I'm not happy at all to be feeling like crap, yet at the same time, I am sooooo happy to be feeling just like crap.

Instant feedback, even when it's negative feedback, is a very useful thing for me.
And this reaction is so noticeable, it's highly motivating to not want to pull that shit again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a bit of a knitting diversion

Well, I really want to be working on the sweater....which I am...but only a row here, a row there. I'm also really wanting to finish the shawls I have on the needles, and I'm also now feeling like I might want to knit a few holiday gifts this year too, which I never want to do.

But I have something else I need to whack out right now. Like, right now.
More fingerless mitts, and out of this yarn....

These mitts promise to be super-duper easy and fast to knit, though. I hope.
And I must do them because these mitts are the first project chosen by the new knitters I am teaching. AT THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL!

The mitts are just a simple garter stitch rectangle that will be seamed up with an opening left for the thumb. Eas-peasy. Of course I have seen this done before, and a rectangle and a little sewing does not at all require a pattern. But this designer added on a cute little strap with a button feature, and of course she had photos appealing enough to charm the girls into wanting to knit something other than a scarf (not that I'm against scarves, I just think the kids might need more instant gratification than a scarf can offer). Even their advising teacher, who is my age, like them enough that she is going to try to learn how to knit!

The girls picked this as their first project together to learn on, but from there they have some big ideas. You see, they are going to be knitting as a way to satisfy their required community service hours. They are going knit things for charity. Or knit things to sell to raise money to donate to charity. Neato, eh?! Knitting to satisfy a school requirement??? How cool is that?! And in the process they will be forming a new school club, complete with officers and voting, too.
Fun :-)

So, today's meeting was scheduled with very short notice, and it was arranged to be during the free-period the kids get once a week to go to the library or to go get tutoring help from the teachers of whatever classes they are having the most difficulty with. A few of the kids that wanted to join us today could not because they had to go to a classroom instead. There should be more kids coming to next meeting which will be during a lunch period, though.

Three kids made it today, but that's perfect because none of them have knit before. I taught them the long-tail cast-on, and we sadly ran out of time to even start knitting! But I left with links to knitting videos and "these kids today" are so used to being on the internet I am hoping they'll give it a try until our next meeting. I'm hoping they will all be joining Ravelry so we can get a group going there, too. If I can get these first three knitters going a bit ahead of the next batch of kids, they'll be able to help the next wave of kids. I brought yarn and needles for all of them. I'm happy to do that for the first go-round, but then we're going to have to start looking for yarn donations.

So, the girls so far:

We have one girl who started off so shy she could barely talk...and then I realized she is one of the school cheerleaders (and so she's usually yelling, right?!). Once she got yarn in her hands, she loosened up substantially. Of the three, she had the most difficulty learning the cast-on (maybe because she's a lefty, but I've taught lefties before), but once she got going, she was on a roll! She was the first one to get all of her stitches cast-on. She was worried about what some of her friends were going to think about her joining club, but I am so positive that once their friends see the mitts, they are all going to be wanting a pair.

The second girl is the water girl at the football games, bringing squirt bottles out onto the field and such. It seemed like she got a little discouraged at first that it wasn't coming to her intuitively, but was happy to hear it's something you have to learn to do, like most other things in life. Then she perked back up and she got it. Like TheCheerleader, she also seemed a bit concerned about what other people would think, but she also had the greatest ideas about things that could be done with knitting (she wants to knit a bunch of snowflakes to hang down from the ceiling for their winter dance) and she was already forming a list of cool things she'd like to make. Her grandmother knits and lives locally (bonus!), and the last thing she said before she left the room was, "I'm so excited to be learning this. My grandmother is going to be so happy."
Indeed :-)

The last girl I haven't quite got a pulse on. I have a feeling she's more in the straight-A student crowd, and maybe a bit by the books. When the advising teacher asked who would be willing to fill out the application to have a campus club, she was the first (and it seemed only) one that offered. She picked up the long tail cast-on right away. And whenever the other two would comment that they were embarrassed to knit in front of their friends, she was the first to say something like, "Whatever for? I'm going to knit wherever I want. Who cares." Yay! I agree, sister! I told them about going to Sock Summit and how all the "cool kids" are knitting (and backed it up with proof on Ravelry LOL). But as we were leaving, when the WaterGirl said her grandma was going to be so happy she was knitting, StraightA said, "I'm not going to show my parents." Hmmm! Curious! I wonder what that is all about! I didn't have time to ask what that meant, but now I am dying to know! I'll have to ask next time. I'm hoping that maybe it just means she wants to wait to surprise them with a really cool FO (Finished Object, for the muggles).

There was one other attendee at our meeting, at that was the advising teacher. Who I ADORE. MrsG used to be at the Middle School and MyFavoriteKid had her classed for a full year. She is one of the best teachers I have ever known. She's so great that when I was trying to prove to the kids that knitting is current and awesome by showing the kids some yarn bombing photos, the teacher immediately whispered loudly, "Oh my god! That is SO cool! We need to do that around the school!!"

Anyhow, MrsG said she'd like to try to learn to knit, but that she'd tried to learn once before, and she failed (maybe because she chose a queen sized afghan as her first project---even I might fail that!) She also said that she doesn't have a creative bone in her body at all (which of course I do not believe for a minute). But then she tells me that her husband, who also works at the high school (and who MyFK also had in middle school), laughed at her when she said she was going to help the kids set up their knitting club and that she was also going to learn.
He laughed!
After school she and I went straight into his room and told him that he'd better watch it or he was destined to never get anything warm or fuzzy. From either of us! Ever.

We all laughed.

And I will teach her.
In fact, she's my pet project ;-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

she finally knits. she finally finishes something.

I finally finished off some fingerless mitts that had been sitting at the bottom of my knitting basket for months. I had done all but the 2nd thumb (and it's not even a complete thumb, for crying out lame is that?!)
I'm particularly proud of them because they're out of my own handspun.
More details about them here.

Now I have something new to wear at the football games so I wont freeze my ass off, but fingers free so I can knit.

Now I'm finishing up the sweater. After that, a couple of shawls that have also been languishing at the bottom of the knitting bag.

Feels like I'm on a roll. I'll bet it's the fall weather coming in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

kntting like a crazy lady

Sorry, but I've stayed up wayyyyyyy too late tonight finishing some fingerless gloves that have languishing at the bottom of the knitting bag for months.....and I only did that because I was waiting for the sweater I am working on to finish drying while blocking mid-project (the pattern suggested blocking the sweater before picking up and knitting the shawl collar). I ended up getting antsy and working while the sweater was still a little damp (not so pleasant)....and I picked up all 230 stitches (*gah!*).

And now I cant see straight enough to type well.

And it's too dark to take photos of the mitts.

So more tomorrow!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

first of many, i hope

We had our first little party at the new house today.

We invited KarenTheDancingLurker (my co-dance teacher), and her not-so-new (but new to me---I hadn't had the opportunity to meet him yet) boyfriend. Karen is artsy. She dances and paints. Her boyfriend is a chef and restaurant owner. Then we also invited Tracy, my hairdresser, who also artsy and paints, plus she used to be a guitar player and singer in a band with TheMostImportantGuy. With her was her hubby, who is a restauranteur.

Pretty good, eh? Party matchmaker, I am. I can be a bit of a yenta when it comes to putting together a guest list.

Anyhow, it worked out great. No odd gaps in conversation because there was just enough in common. It was also nice to show the house in progress to people who've been listening to us babble on about it for the last ten months.

As usual, I made way too much food.

Well, I didn't really make too much food.
I mean, just how much food can you make with no stove and only one electrical outlet, eh?
Let's just say I assembled way to many cheese and mezza platter-ish sorts of things. None of which I was able to eat, mind you....given the list of things I am allergic to. Not to mention the wheat, dairy and sugar that I am also staying off of for the time being.

So for me, I had some pistachios and gluten free crackers, and then I had also brought with me (made at the other house) a couple of sheet pans of roasted vegetables and some herbed quinoa. Of course I made enough for everyone (because I'm not the type to sit there eating something different from what I have offered my guests), but I figured everyone would go for the other goodies, ya' know? I mean, why would you go for roasted brussel sprouts and curried carrots and cauliflower, right? When you have olives and cheeses and hummus and marcona almonds and and chocolate....

Well. I have enough cheese left to feed an army, and zero roasted vegetables ("Oooo! Are those brussel sprouts?!! I looove brussel sprouts!"......"Ok, so are you going to tell me how you made these carrots, or what?!")

So now I have a pile of leftovers I can't eat. Hahahaha.
Want to come over for a cheese platter?! Hahahaha.

Great little party. I hope the first of many. Most of which I believe will be after the kitchen renovation, so it may be awhile.

For those who were asking how Riley is, he sure seems great. He's healthy (except for really needing a teeth cleaning), and is recovered. His hair is growing long again finally, covering his scars (wish I could do that!!). He's been out to dog parks and such, and doesn't seem to be leery of other dogs.

The face he was making in yesterday's photo, was due to this (another photo also taken yesterday, same time):

Teeny wants t0 play with him.
All the time.

Sometimes Riley does not.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

snaps on saturday

doggie close-up

Sent from my iPad

Friday, October 14, 2011

things i learned today

I learned that....

1) The IKEA restaurant opens 30 minutes before the rest of the store, and the coffee is free until 10am (oooooo, I sinned!!! Decaf coffee with a splash of half & half and a dash of sugar---I've had none of those things in a month, but who can pass up free).

Who cares if I'm having a coffee. Sheesh. I'm amazed I was able to talk myself out of the lingonberry crepes, for crying out loud.

2) Why I woke up with a stiff neck and little headache: last night in dance class we were improvising, and I did this wonderful ever so graceful arch over the back of my wheelchair (while seated), when I completely flipped myself and the wheelchair right over. I landing flat on my back. My dance-mates were of course concerned, but one of them joked that I had also just invented the wheelchair version of a Turkish Drop.

I would have never even attempted that maneuver when I had two legs.

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, October 13, 2011

what made me laugh today

And I thought I was The Queen!

Guess I am not alone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Perfect, perfect day for a day trip to the hot springs, lemme tell ya'. It was in the upper 70's, and just after a rainy weekend. I got off to a bit of a late start, because MyFavoriteKid informed me that morning band practice had been cancelled because the older kids are taking their PSAT's this morning. That meant he started school at 8:30am instead of 7:00am.

Oh well.

Short visit. But good visit.

I packed fruit and a thermos of hot oatmeal for the ride up, plus some hot tea. The drive through the valley was lovely. The leaves in the vineyards are just beginning to turn. I got past the valley and started to climb the windy mountain road up and over into the next valley, and the road was "smoooooth like buttah" because it had just been repaved. Nobody was behind me for the entire climb or descent, so I was able to drive like I do (like a grandma).

The hot springs was pretty quiet this morning, but it got a little crowded and chatty by the time I left (ie perfect timing), and I got to soak and hit the sauna, and sit on the redwood deck under the fig tree and guessed it....steamed vegetables.

Good day, all in all....except for arriving back home to a house that is covered in dog hair and a pile of laundry.

But I'm trying to ignore that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

preparing for a spa day

I got sent home from the NewDoc's office with the homework of doing something good for myself over the next couple of weeks, bonus points if I can do something healthful and detox-y for my body at the same time.

So tomorrow I'm headed up to one of my favorite places, Harbin Hot Springs. It's one of my favorite places to go, but I sadly have not been a really long time. It's got great warm spring water pools, plus a sauna. The place is rustic and relaxed, and nature abounds all around...but there's still all the amenities, even including a community kitchen so I can bring, you guessed it-- steamed vegetables. It's clothing optional around the pools (which squicks out some of my friends, but one I'm there and nekkid the bodies just sort of blend into the rest of the surroundings).

I'm going to drop MyFavoriteKid off at school, then head up. If I drop MyFK off at 7am and get right on the road, I should be happily soaking in a hot pool by 9am...then if I leave by 2, I'll even beat him home. The cool thing is that they have a mid-week rate of only twenty bucks for a 6-hour visit. It's the most affordable spa day I know of.

I'm getting myself all packed up so I hit the road at 7am, and I've downloaded Rachel Herron's new book the kindle (yay!!!) so I can have something fun to read while I relax between soaks. I am off now to steam veggies for dinner (woo hoo!...not!!) plus enough extra to pack to bring along with me tomorrow.
Maybe my veggies will be more exciting poolside :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

the whooooole month of october??

If I follow the "doctor's orders", I am to eat a piece of fruit in the morning, followed by a bowl of very simple grain (rice, quinoa, oats) for breakfast. Lunch and dinner are a bowl of steamed veggies with a little butter and olive oil, and I can add a little lean and clean protein to dinner if I feel I need it (which I usually do; so far I've had lentils and chicken, and tomorrow I'm going to have some fish).

I'm supposed to do this routine for the rest of the month to clean out my system and re-set the allergy button, so to speak.

It's Day 6, and I swear I might cry if I have to look at another steamed vegetable. I love them, they're tasty, and I'm switching it up to keep it interesting....

....but I'm bored to tears.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

double duty

Spent a good chunk of today cleaning the new house....only to come back home to the old house and have to clean that up, too. *sigh*

One of the better part of the weekends was yesterday, when we had a preliminary meeting with the design/build contractors that we are hoping to use for our kitchen and bath remodel. It went well, and I cannot wait to see their proposal in a couple of weeks. If it's good, we're off and running towards a design process and finally....a place to cook over there that isn't a microwave.

I was going to say, "Phase Two, here we come..." but it sorta feels like Phase Forty-Seven.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

snaps on saturday

Teeny burrows in the warm laundry when it comes out of the dryer and I plop it on the couch to sit and fold it.

And then she looks like she's going to cry as her nest gets smaller and smaller and becomes a stack of folded clothes.

Sent from my iPad

Friday, October 07, 2011

i cannot believe i didnt think of this myself.

Thank you VERY much to Fuzzarelly for cracking me up when I needed it most (the last couple of days have been hectic and challenging).

Fuzz sent me a link to another amputee's Halloween Costume, inspired by the move A Christmas Story (and you haven't seen it, you can click here for the reference...."Frah-Jee-Lay! That must be Italian!" ..."I think that says FRAGILE, honey." hahaha)

Anyhow. Get this:

epic win photos - Halloween Costume WINEdit post
see more WIN - Epic Win Photos and Videos

Leg lamp.
I almost died when I saw it.

And I totally cannot believe I didn't think of this myself. (I even own the same exact shoe she is wearing. What a trip.)

Although I think my hips are a bit to "hippy" to make a good harp for the lampshade ;-)

Thursday, October 06, 2011


(two posts in one day, sorry---but it feels necessary)
I had hoped to spend some time with my dad today (it's our normal day to go shopping), because my dad actually knew Steve Jobs and worked with him back in the day...but dad's busy....doing work. On the computer.

....continued from yesterday.

(This is Part 2. Part 1 was just yesterday. I am sooo sorry to have left a cliffhanger, peeps! Really! I only divided it up because the post was getting so long, and I knew that what was yet to be written was going to be even longer, and I also knew that it would need photos and links in order to be...well...bloggy LOL. So here you go: Suspense suspended. xo )

So I guess I do have one more thing to say about the past couple of weeks before I move on to talk about the doctor's appointment Tuesday, and it is basically this:
What a whooooole lotta effort, for very little return.

I mean, I stopped eating a whole bunch of everything, and for what. The rash returns. I actually see myself actually getting itchy a couple of hours after eating certain meals, but I can't figure out what component is causing it. My stomach is also bugging me after certain meals. I am left feeling fatigued. And so what happens is that I get a little defeatest-depressed about the whole thing. I suffer from the whole notion that no matter what I cut out, or take, or don't matter what I aint gonna work.
That's the pity-pot I tend to climb onto in my darker moments.

Well. It turns out I wasn't feeling so hot because what I cut out is not what I am sensitive to at all. Nope. Not even close. Even the NewDoc seems a little surprised.

I am highly sensitive to:
Green beans.

Kidney beans.

Hard to believe.
Here. See for yourself.

Green beans. Now, I like green beans. I am not going to feel deprived without them (there's enough other green veggies on the planet I like), but it sure is interesting to me that I roasted a huge sheet pan full of green beans for myself last week.

Kidney beans. I also really like kidney beans, although I usually only eat them if they're at a salad bar or something. I rarely buy them. However. It turns out that there are other beans in the same family, like the cannellini bean for example (which is a *ahem* white kidney bean) which I DO buy all the time, and in fact, over the past couple of weeks, I must have used 3 or 4 cans in soups and mixed in with sauteed veggies. I have to double check with NewDoc, because I see conflicting things online, but I think this also means I have trouble with pinto/refried beans or black beans, which I also eat fairly regularly....and possibly garbonzo and maybe even soy. And I have to say this: look at those test results! Kidney beans are all the way OFF THE CHART. I'd thought I had heard it all with food allergies, and I have never in my life heard anyone say they are allergic to kidney beans. Ever. I know some people say they have a hard time digesting them, but I always thought they were complaining about being gassy. But allergic? Sheesh.

Eggs. Now, Eggs are a whole little mess in and of itself, because eggs hide out in all sorts of weird places that I am now going to need to watch out for. Fortunately, in my 20's I was a vegan for long enough to know how to get around all the no-egg-nonsense and still be a happy camper. I know how to find products that use egg substitutes, and I know how to make them, too. I don't ever "jones" for a scrambled egg. But I what I am going to miss (and by miss, I mean mourn with occasional woeful sob) is my favorite poached egg breakfast. *sigh* I should also point out to you that I have eaten eggs every weekend these past three weeks, thank you very much. NewDoc said what was most interesting about my test results is that I am more sensitive to the white than the yolk. For most folks it's the other way around, and they can still have scrambled egg whites. Once again, I amaze the medical community LOLOL

So those three foods are in the "Avoid" category, but I had 4 other items show up in the "Moderate" category...and NewDoc says I should avoid them, too (at least for now). These are the ones that are Blowing. My. Mind.

I am moderately sensitive to:
Brewer's Yeast.

Yah. I know.
You can blink, but it won't go away.
Let's discuss them individually. And yes.
Let us save the best for last.

Pineapple. I like it, I often love it, but the best one I ever had was in Hawaii and it kinda ruined me for all pineapple after that anyhow, big loss. I will not feel deprived. There's enough tangy tart sweet fruit in the world. I'm over it.

Brewer's Yeast
, not to be confused with Baker's Yeast. This means no beer, no alcohol, and most importantly (for me), no wine. Now, I don't drink all that often, but I really do dig having a glass of wine from time to time (not to mention some bubbly), so this is gonna get interesting. It's not going to kill me to forgo it, but having just watched 6 hours of programming about Prohibition, I'm a little peeved about this one.

Almonds. Almonds???!!! Are you insane?! Well, it's also another thing I can live without. Like the greenbeans and the pineapple, there are plenty of other substitutions out there that I can eat and be satisfied with. But do you know how often I eat almonds?? Almost daily. I keep little bags of raw almonds in my glove box for a healthy snack on the run! I drink almond milk! I top hot cereal and salads with almonds! Because peanuts are typically more of an issue than almonds, I've been using almond butter instead of peanut butter! I even use soaps and lotions that have almond oil in them!! Smear my allergens all over my body---yay hoo!! woot!!

But nothing compares to what is for me the real kicker.
WHO THE F#%& is allergic TO GARLIC?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Well, apparently AmpuTeeHee is, that's who).

Can I just get this out?????????

1) Do you know how much garlic I have had just in the last 3 weeks alone?? LOTS. Garlicky greens, garlic in dressings, garlic in vegetable juice smoothies. I even ate more garlic than usual because I was sick and garlic is supposedly good for a cold...NOT TO MENTION (yes, I am yelling, I know, sorry) that garlic is supposed to be one great natural anti-fungal, and I was told THAT MY RASH WAS A FUNGUS.

2) Garlic is awesome, and there is really no suitable replacement for it. None. And I went to culinary school, and got an "A" for creativity. There is no suitable replacement for garlic. Nothing compares. That being said, you are going to see me experimenting like a madwoman with things like raw horseradish and maybe some different peppers or wasabi, just to get that "nose heat" thing going in place of raw garlic...and maybe I'll be using shallots more often when it calls for cooked garlic. I'm open to suggestions on this one, if you have any. Please prove me and my belief system about there being no suitable replacement wrong.

3) Not only do I use garlic a lot, but it's also IN a lot of the things that I love and prefer to buy prepared because there are only just so many hours in the goshdanged day. Salsa? Hummus? Pesto? I could go on and on. It kinda makes me cry to think of what I will have to make from scratch if I want it. I know how to make all of those things, I just lack the time some days. Who doesn't. And eating out?? Ha! Garlic will lurk in everything, including stocks and sauces. By the way, do you know that when I go to a chinese restaurant, one of my favorite dishes is Dry Fried String Beans, which is green beans with garlic and ginger (I guess next time I just ask for the bowl of rash, yah??).

4) Garlic, sweet garlic. OH THE IRONY. Ok. I used to be a professional chef. I used to work for Whole Foods, and I used to work in a restaurant, and I used to work for several catering companies large and small, and let me tell you something about chefs. When we'd get a request for "no garlic please, I have an allergy" we would cover our mouths and cough, "Bullshit!" into our palms. We all knew that no one was EVER truly allergic to garlic (because who the fuck is allergic to garlic). Those people....those people...they don't have a garlic allergy, they just have a preference for no garlic.

That is what we all said.
All of us.
And we'd take the garlic out of the dish, and maybe curse you a bit if you were inconveniencing us during the evening rush.
And then we'd laugh at you.

Which is now: At me.
Yah, that's it. Curse me and laugh at me.
Because I am allergic garlic.

I cannot even tell you how long it is going to take me get over the fact that I have become exactly what I cannot stand about people. Hahahahahaha. And this aint the first time, lemme tell you. For every finger I have pointed, I have walked a mile in those shoes. For real. But to have it happen with the garlic is just truly unbelievable. I mean, I feel like I might need to carry around a copy of my test results with me so that if I go out to eat I can storm into the kitchen and prove that I really am ACardCarryingAllergicToGarlicFreak.

So where does this leave me.

Well, I cannot believe it, and NewDoc seemed like he kinda couldn't believe it either. Because, OH! The results of the stool test showed NO CANDIDA. A huge hooray for that, but he and I both think that refined sugar is probably not doing me any favors and I should avoid it. But where I thought I was going to have to stop all sugar, even natural sugars...nope. I can eat fruit and things like dates and agave, etc. He even says a little caffeine is fine. And I'm not allergic to dairy or wheat, "so bring me mah slab o' bread an hunk o' cheese, please!"

Well, okay. Not for awhile. He actually wants me to do another course (a stronger and longer course) of the diflucan, just to whack this out of my system. And meanwhile, he wants me to do a Detox Diet for 3 weeks to clean myself out and hit the reset button. Basically it's a fruit and a simple grain in the morning, then steamed veggies for lunch and dinner topped with a healthy oil.
I can do that.

red potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, bok choy, bell pepper,
with a dab of a blend of some really good butter and olive oil

Hell, I can do just about anything for 3 weeks. After that, the goal is to eat healthier in general, avoid the foods I am sensitive to, eat more whole foods and less processed ones and even though I am not allergic to wheat or dairy, eat them less frequently than I used to. Eat more veggies, basically. Then on an ongoing basis, maybe do another round of simple detox-y type eating session as the seasons change. Just to hose myself out. He hasn't said this to me yet, but I have a hunch that some day, when my system calms down, I might be able to rotate those moderate allergens back in on the rare occasion. We'll see. But for now, I'll at least hold on to this thought, as it will bring me much happiness:

I'm not allergic to chocolate!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

updates from the newdoc

So I went for the follow-up with the NewDoc yesterday, but before I tell you what it turns out I am allergic to, let me recap (because I feel the need to have this saga all in one place for some reason):

I have had an odd skin rash for almost 10 years. It started on the top of my foot. BigBoxMedicine first told me it was athlete's foot and to use a topical. When it spread to the inside of my calf near my knee, so BBM gave me an oral anti-fungal (diflucan) to clear it up. Which it did. Until it returned. This happened over and over again for a couple of years. BBM then sent me to the DermatologyDepartment, where I was told it was tinea. She gave me a new pill to pop and a new topical, but when that did nothing at all and I complained, she wrote me a prescription for the diflucan. Like, a huge prescription with a kajillion refills available to me, so I'd never come back and complain, I guess. For years, the rash would come, I would do a short course of the diflucan, the rash would go, and then eventually several months later, it would come back.

A couple of years ago, I started noticing that I would crave sugar right before the rash flared up again. And by crave, I mean shove-your-face-full-of-cookies-and-skip-dinner crave. But right after taking a course of diflucan? No cravings. Oddly, no cravings. Like no desire for sugar at all. But as it would flare up, it literally felt like I had a monster inside me and, put that together with too many episodes of daytime doctor television, and I "gave myself" parasites, and a kajillion other conditions. Now mind you, over these last few years, I've also developed migraines, joint issues, and I'd wake up just feeling like my gut was full of sludge. And a few other things. I've "given myself" all sorts of diseases...hahahaha.

Anyhow. I finally decided to switch docs (still within the BBM system), to one closer to home. I chose a doc who was an osteopath, who said she believed in alternative therapies such as acupuncture, and said she believed in food as medicine. She looked at my meds and said I had to stop the diflucan because it was really bad for my liver (thank goodness liver tested okay), and she had a guy with a special camera take a photo of the rash on my calf and send it to the dermatology department. It came back that I had psoriasis, and I was ordered a topical ointment that I put on twice and the rash flared even worse.

And this is where I flipped a little bit.

I didn't take the oral meds anymore, and I didn't use the topical, and my rash was ON FIRE. Dealing with my dad's and my dogs' medical issues all summer, happily kept me from dealing with my own issues (because to be honest, I was little freaked out to go get help. I just weird like that. It's like, I wanna know...but I don't wanna know...ya' know??).

I remembered purchasing and reading a book called Diet For All Seasons about 15 years ago, and it was written by a guy who was a doctor, but he really believed food and diet was a hugely ignored part of the deal. All summer, I looked and looked online to find a doc that would be like him nearby, and I always came up empty handed...or back on the NewDoc's webpage. I figured I could never afford to go see him (out of pocket) because it turned out he had written a bunch of books since that last one I got 15 years ago, but I finally just called the office, and to my surprise, his rates were reasonable.

So I saw the NewDoc 5 weeks ago, and he ordered bloodwork and the every so crazy stool sample, which took longer to complete thanks to missing parts. And he sent me home with two more of his books, and he told me to read through the chapters about detox and about sugar sensitivity. I of course, read more than just those chapters, and decided I was allergic to everything (because that is just my way, apparently), and the rash was the worst it had ever been....ever...because I had done nothing for it since the spring.

I wrote him asked if I could take a course of the diflucan, he said yes. So I took it as prescribed by BBM which is one tablet, then a second one a week later. The rash went away, as expected. And then I wrote NewDoc again and asked if I could make any dietary changes until I was to see him next, because I was getting antsy to DO something. He wrote back:

Dear one,
We can talk a few if you wish, and you can begin a diet off the big three of wheat, dairy and sugar--the white foods--and that will make you more colorful. It's a start.
And yes, you could do supplements, but it's not mandatory. Let me know. We can also wait until I see you.
Dr E

I love this guy.
Remove the white foods. Make me more colorful. Not to mention calling me dear! :-)

So. As you know, I did just that. And then some. I actually not only cut out wheat, but I cut out all gluten. I stopped dairy, except I had a couple of eggs, and I also had the occasional wee bit of butter mixed with olive oil. I stopped all refined sugar, and even most "healthy" unrefined sugars...but still ate a small amount of fruit, a wee bit of agave and stevia. I also quit caffeine and alcohol entirely.

And I sat. And I waited for follow-up with him. I got online and read everything I could tolerate about candida and the misery I was sure I was about to suffer diet-wise, because honestly, how could I not have candida. I ate brown rice with almonds, and I roasted green beans, and I made vegetable soups with hearty beans. I made sautes of garlicky greens, and....I just kept feeling like crap (but how crappy, I couldn't really tell, because I also had the head cold, which was probably intensified by detoxing off all the crap I had been eating). And then.....the rash came back.


Well, at least this now brings us to yesterday.

And since this post is already looooong, I'm going to stop here and post at least this much now....but then keep typing away....and then I will post Part 2 first thing tomorrow morning (sneaky blogger, but hey...tomorrow is a busy day. Shhh!)


Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Tomorrow. A real post. I swear.

In terms of the cold, I am not 100%, but I am improved. And I have stories to tell. No doubt about that. But tonight I'm watching the last of the Prohibition thang, and then tucking in. I'm whooped. The whole day was spent running to three different doctor's appointments, and then researching what I have learned about my health (part of the stories).

Tomorrow on my calendar I got nothin'.
Except to get this all down on "paper" (the bloggy paperless paper, that is LOL).

Goodnight for now ;-)

Monday, October 03, 2011

i stink at this!

Horrible blogger these past couple weeks, am I. Sick. Tired. And sick and tired, too. LOL

Tonight I planned on watching part 2 of the Prohibition show (8-10) and then writing a post. Instead, I fell asleep on the couch around 8:45. Sheesh.
I'm still sick, I'm exhausted, and the rash is coming back. DAMN!

I'm going to bed. I'm recording the show on the dvr. I'll catch up when I catch up, and that's that.

I'm so glad the follow-up with TheDoc is tomorrow.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

short list

Just a quick list of what I did this weekend, because I am quite sucked into the first episode of the Prohibition series on PBS tonight.

On Friday I felt like my cold was on the way out. On Saturday, I felt sicker than I had since mid-week. Today I ran a couple of errands, but I spent most of my time quietly and slowly fiddling around the craftroom at the new house. Quite pleasant.

I've managed to stay on track food-wise, and I haven't had any real cravings (to my great surprise). Until today. I wanted chocolate cake and a hot cup of coffee so badly I almost cried. I'm not even sure where that craving came from. It's not like it was being waved underneath my nose or anything. It wasn't anywhere to be seen! The craving came and went pretty quickly (also to my great surprise). Tuesday is finally my follow-up appointment with the NewDoc. I cant wait to see what the tests point to as being food sensitivities for me.

Off to lay flat in bed with more tissues and boobtube.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

snaps on saturday

Lots o' graffiti on the side of a little truck.

Sent from my iPad