Friday, August 29, 2008

Couldn't get to sleep last night, so after having read about all I could on Reconstruction, I finished this* off.

This morning, I fired up the old innernet and found that McCain's chosen a running mate who could very well be a descendent of the women in that book. This is so exciting. I was going to vote for him anyway not because I'm a huge fan of his but because of my dislike of the opposition**. Now I have a good reason to be pleased about my choice.


* It was an okay book, not the best I've read, but okay. Some factual errors. A bit too politically correct for my taste. Did make me remember how much I'm jonesing for Maine, though. Haven't been up yet. Will have to remedy that.

** Guess that makes me a racist. Sorry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Truth and Soul.

Careful - not too safe for work.

Two things lacking in the political races this year. (How awful that I've had this song running through my head for like a week now? Beats the heck out of that new Eurythmics song, anyway.)
Pizza Night Tomorrow!

Yes, so Friday Night in the Big City is ordering a pizza and sharing it with my neighbor and her daughter. So what. They're fun. Never much liked going out to bahs or hanging around with people in my age bracket anyway.

We're thinking of maybe even barbecuing something over the weekend, too. Let other folks go to the Cape or New Hampshire. Somerville's fine with us.
Looked at myself in the mirror last night. Gosh, have I aged over the last year.

My smile lines have increased considerably and I seem to have constantly baggy eyes (not to mention multiplying crows feet.)

Went to the expensive Finnish cream site to see what I was doing wrong. According to them, I'm not doing anything wrong except not buying their product.

Maybe will get some Vitamin C stuff at CVS tomorrow.

Raphaella's 'non producing' tree ended up giving me a whole brown-paper shopping bag full of peaches. 1/3 of them ended up in jam - seven jars-ful. I ran out of sugar, otherwise there'd be a lot more jarred stuff.

I think that this, along with whatever I knit, will end up as gifts for Christmas this year, seeing as I have no income for the time being.
Spent yesterday here.

Was long, tedious, hard. Got 95% of what I needed, though, so am happy.

My class starts next Wednesday. Wish me luck.

(The other class has already started, as it's a self-directed study one. Have already begun the readings.)

Why am I doing this? Well: never took History in college. Haven't taken a college course in nearly 10 years. Really need to get back into the swing of things writing-wise. I took these classes last semester, but ended up dropping due to the hell my life turned into, too. It's personal now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Does anyone know if these are edible? Raphaella says that they aren't, that they're only good for seeds. I could have sworn that I'd seen something similar at the farmers markets around town, though.
Well, the money part's taken care of for the moment. I think I found, too, some fairly inexpensive health insurance (a similar plan to my company offered at nearly half the rate they're charging for current employees. It's less than 1/2 what my COBRA rate would be). Have phone messages left with a couple of my current doctors to see if they'll accept it. All that's left is to get me out to school to register for classes, which I'll do tomorrow.

Also need to really focus on packing and finding a piano mover. I guess that stuff's starting to fall into place.

I really like how they turned out, too.

Eventually maybe I'll get a pattern together (after knitting a couple more pairs, of course).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gardener's Companion.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- South side of the house, very sunny most of the day.

Marigold (Calendula officinalis) - front bed under the lilac trees. West side of the house. Sunny most of the day.

Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus). All around the house. These things grow like weeds.

Black-Eyed Susan. Rudbeckia hirta
Neighbors' house down the street. These are in a sunny bed on the south side of their house.


Dad: you will be getting seeds for all these as soon as the flower heads I collected are dried out enough. I know that you like to put your trust in blue, but trust me. None of these clash. (Nothing clashes in nature.)
My mom never got much into preserving or jellymaking like I did. She's a good cook; that just wasn't her thing. (Just like bread making isn't her thing at all, though she's a great baker.) One thing she did like to do at the end of the summer, though, was to make pickles. For some reason, we always had a surfeit of cucumbers. I'm too little to remember where they came from - maybe from our garden, maybe from the Grandparents, maybe from the branch of the family that has a farm out in Amish/Attica country. Regardless, there was a cucumber "problem" like many experience with zucchini.

Anyway, my mom's pickles sort of ruined me for the industrial ones. Nathans and Batampte make pretty good briny ones. No one makes sweet ones like she does.


One of the nice things the ex-roommate did while she was still lucid was to give me a subscription to Cooking Light. (It didn't cost her anything, I think it was one of those free gift subscription deals, but money was tight and her heart was in the right place. I'm very thankful for it, though I have to admit that I do get a twinge in the upper chest when I see it in the mail.) Very often, as it's gotten more into the lifestyle stuff (yoga retreats, green homes, etc), I don't find much of interest. The August feature on pickling and preserving was pretty nice, though.
All sort of interesting stuff I'd like to try, from a version of kimchee to gravlax (not to mention a sort of duck breast "prosciutto" which could be really nice if it doesn't kill one).

The cucumbers were coming in force so, pressed for time and energy, I tried out their refrigerator bread and butter pickle recipe. Very nice. I ended up with six cups worth.

Four cups remain. I think the smaller jars will go to the landlord and Raphaella. Am considering making more and freezing them in tupperware, too. We'll see.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hum a few bars-

Was straightening up the overflowing magazine collection in the living room the other day and happened onto an Idees Marie Claire from two winters ago. Generally, I don't like thinking about winter, Christmas or wool this time of year, but:

Idees douillettes et soins calins. Not enough of either of those in my life right now.

Okay, I'm in love. I want those gloves. I know I already made myself a pair of perfectly nice ones, but look at those. Look at that hat! Look at the sweater! I want a furry hat, I want a pair of thick, braided cable, fingerless lopi gloves. I want to be all elfin, peeping over the cowl of my oversized, tweedy sweater.

So, I started picking apart the cable pattern. It's not very difficult. Just the same, I'm rather pleased with myself for having figured it out.

Kind of reminded me of a past life when I used to transcribe stuff off of records or the radio either as a mental exercise or when sheet music for something I wanted to play wasn't in print. Come to think of it, taking that up again wouldn't be a half-bad idea. It's been ages since I've had the desire or emotional wherewithal to do anything musical. Used to enjoy it so much, too. Hopefully that'll come back.

Anyway. Though I really like the Marie Claire girl's white gloves, there's a bit of pink lopi in my stash that is just dying to be used up. This will look so nice against my new winter coat's lovely black tweed, I think. Don't know where I'll get a hat like in the picture, though.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There's been a lot of triaging going on in my stash. Essentially, there are three categories: What gets finished, what gets made into something else, what gets frogged. So far, the majority has been frogged; hopefully the yarn will make it into something that gets finished. I do have two sweaters and two shawls that I'd like to get finished before I move.

All this plus the scarf for Karen and a baby sweater for the Frenchie's colleague's little boy will probably keep me out of trouble for a bit, anyway.

Remember those socks I was knitting awhile back?

Well, I got sick of them being socks. They're fingerless gloves now.

They're a bit baggy around the wrists, but aside from that, they're pretty comfortable. I'm pretty sure I'll wear them, too, as the colorway cheers me up so.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meanwhile, in other garden news, Raphaella scores bigtime in the pumpkin department.

She's got five of these - one for each of her grandchildren for Halloween. Even if she isn't happy with the bean, cucumber, tomato, peach (&c &c &c) output, she's got her pumpkins. Oh, and the spaghetti squash. And eggplant. Oh, and don't forget the peppers. She's got sweet and hot.
The garden bug's really hit my dad.

I promised him some seeds from what came up this year: echinacea, marigolds, cosmos from my garden. Snapdragons and Sweet William from Raphaella's. Black-Eyed Susans from the guys down the street.

Have also recommended snowdrop, crocus and tulip bulbs. He seems pretty bullish on daffodils, as well. (I like how they look, but am *really* allergic to them.)
There's so much to get done:

Get the savings stuff squared away. I do need money, after all. This is turning out to be more complicated than I'd originally thought.

Find new health insurance. I'm not getting COBRA, as it's absolutely extortionate.
My knee's taken a turn for the worse and absolutely has to get looked at/worked over (not to mention the standing appointments with the shrink...the guy-know...the dentist). Besides, there's that new law in effect that'll have an impact on my taxes if I don't find some sort of insurance.

Start packing. I'm staying on Winter Hill for a few more weeks, as there was just no way I could get everything done by September First. I look around at the seven years of accumulated Stuff and think, Oh God, where do I even begin?

Talk to Tutoring and sign up for classes. I had to throw the courses, as I just couldn't function well enough to get work turned in. I don't know if I'm more upset at myself for not asking for more help or for letting work (and life in general) get to me the way it did.

Anyway, this stuff all needs to get taken care of and this is why I quit the job (aside from the lack of fulfillment, pay, respect, competent management, etc). Hopefully I'll right myself and then be able to move onward towards other things.
I put The Frenchie on his plane on Sunday, then came back to what would be an empty house if it weren't for the morose girl cat.

It's funny: the month long stay was proposed in order to make us good and sick of one another. Turns out it wasn't long enough.