Saturday, September 30, 2006

Better day

Today is really quiet. I went to the dollar store to buy a one dollar journal in order to copy an Akathist that I really like: Jesus, Light for those in Darkness

I know it's sort of weird but I like to have stuff written in my own handwriting sometimes. It's a slow process but helps me to own it, and to pray.

A bit of work is coming dh's way this week, so that is encouraging. And, upon looking at the classifieds again yesterday we saw something that was totally missed upon first perusal. Who knows what may yet pan out, eh?

Friday, September 29, 2006

One more thing

Chilly house. Furnace did not kick on when we adjusted the thermostat. Just. what. we. need.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bad bad day today

Nothing bad happened, but I'm just stressed about the joblessness. And tired. And hurting (fibro: stress makes it much much worse). I had a nice hard crying jag this afternoon. Then I prayed for a bit. Then I went shopping.

I got groceries. Chocolate sugar free ice cream: necessary. I wonder when I'll be able to go grocery shopping again. Thinking about the widow that the prophet stayed with, whose food did not run dry. Trying to find opportunities for giving. Seeking to obey God in all things. Will God care for me, too? Not like I can "earn it"...whatever. Often I think I must either be being tested like Job, or beneath God's notice. Why is life so often hard, and so often (pardon my french) shitty?

Dh says he'll go and try to get a 2nd shift warehouse or factory job tomorrow, and keep up his job search during the day.

I took dd in for her check up yesterday and then when I dropped her off at school got to witness her being teased in the office, right in front of me. Middle schoolers have no shame. I asked her about the incident later and she told me she just thought the girl who was teasing her was weird. She totally didn't "get" that she was being mocked and laughed at. The good thing about AS is that since her brain is wired differently, the things that bother her are not the things that would bother me. But it broke my heart. Her comment: "Those kids are just weirdo aliens!" OK, deep breath...I did not want to get upset over something she's not upset over. But the very nerve, teasing a kid in front of that kid's mother. Of course if I'd have said something it would have exacerbated the situation. I spoke with parents of another AS kid today and they confirmed everything I was thinking and the choice I made not to say anything to the rude girl.

I, for one, like kids with AS. They are so honest. It's refreshing these days, in a way. There are several in our homeschooling coop, and I had a nice conversation with one kid today about professional lawn-maintenance vehicles. He was wearing a John Deere sweatshirt, and my guess is, that's his current fascination. I helped him make tea. Styrofoam does not go so well in the microwave.

But back to my observations about dd1 yesterday: When I went to pick her up to take her to her checkup, some of the kids in her cluster/class were sitting with her, sharing their lunches and were very friendly to her and one girl even looked me in the eye and said: "Hi B's Mom!" That was so welcoming. Made me glad. For most of the day, these are the kids dd1 is with, so that is good. A blessing.

I can tell I'm sinking into depression. Can't take St. John's Wort because it counteracts some other meds I'm on and the stop gap health insurance we are getting is for emergencies and does not cover pre-exisitings, so I'm screwed if I get a scrip before this weekend, and I'm screwed if I don't. Oh, well. I've done depressed before. I'm being meticulous about my prayers, about exercise and good with my sleep and eating.

I think I'll go fetch a tall glass of water.

I hope whoever reads this blog is feeling better today than I am. Say a prayer for us, and especially that W would get a sufficiently paying job. I hate being chronically ill. We both know that I don't have the stamina to work full time.

God bless.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dreams of German Food....

I had visions of a nice beef and mushroom hunter sauce over linguine noodles.

Instead, the results were less than stellar. I made a few mistakes, and the sauce ended up a grayish color, like a bad-weather day in the land o' bland.

Components:

onions
mushrooms
spoon full of minced garlic
oil
salt
pepper
wine
pre-cooked ground beef
dried herbs from my friend's garden
flour for thickening
water

What I did:

sautee onions, add in mushrooms, beef, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, cook until hot and onions tender, taste, be dismayed, add more salt and pepper, add some wine, watch onions turn grayish purple color, decide it needs more liquid so add some water that had flour whisked into it, watch it turn into grayish elmer-glue-like concoction with onion and beef.

Oh, disaster. I remembered something from a cooking show I accidentally watched in a motel room one time (we are on the road trip cable plan) that said fat brings out flavor, so I added a few pats of butter to the meaty glue mixture. More salt. That helped render it at least servable. The butter really did bring out the flavor...somewhat.

At table I added parmesan cheese and more salt and it was decent. Not like I had to worry about the kids eating it, anyways. Green beans on the side.

What I SHOULD HAVE DONE:

Use a bit more oil and actually let the onions caramelize before going on the the next step. Add garlic and let it cook with the caramelizing onions. I was too hasty.
Use fresh mushrooms, AFTER the onions are brown and sweet.
The herbs were good, etc.

The beef I used had been cooked and drained and rinsed so it was fairly tasteless and very low in fat. But that was the point, I guess (at least the reduced calories gained by rinsing.) How to rinse without getting rid of flavor?????

Skip the wine and use boullion instead, to perk up the flavor...

Ah, forget it! Next time I'll just go buy some Knorr or Maggi hunter sauce mix and be done with it...

No way down from this cross

...and I"m tired
in a purple funk/depressed
I pretty much hate myself.
I try to bear up under the load that is my life in a saintly and prayerful way, but I fail miserably time and again.
I'm:
tired of uncertaintly
tired of being in pain
tired of functioning with not enough resources (physical, financial, energy, space...you name it)
tired of stupid people who have known me for years and still don't GET that while they go on to the next fun thing in their lives, I go home and crawl into bed.
tired of stupid self who treats me like I'm well when I'm sick
tired of dh not having a job
tired of getting up in the morning to cook breakfast
tired of the way it's like pulling chicken teeth to get people to take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves
tired of my hair
tired of the way I look
tired of the fact that each time I bend over to pick something up off the floor I can palpably feel my energy levels draining out of my body (and once it's gone it's gone for the day, forget whatever else I'd like to do).
tired of my lack of solitude
why does it have to be so hard to follow Christ?
I'm
tired of this cross
but there's no way down
so here I hang.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Word-uh of God-uh for You Today

For some reason "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." is going through my head.

A slight contrast to my sing-songy "I hate fibromyalgia!" that was going through my ungrateful head earlier. Not that the verse of Scripture is actually making my heart more grateful...but at least I know that the Holy Spirit is not neglecting to show me where my heart SHOULD be, eh?

So, I get to choose....choose....choose. {Forces self to be grateful for many obnoxious things...doh!}

ah....that's better. {checks her fingertips}...still not glowing. {Checks the ground}...still not floating yet.

{Checks her knees}...still not calloused, either.

he he he. Who am I kidding, right? Lord have mercy on me a sinner.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tofurky Report

Bratwurst-style meatless product....

Is very bready. Like bread with bratwurst spices in it. Not worth the steep price tag (we had a gift card and decided to do an experiment).

If you are vegan have have been forever, this product might be just the thing if you are at a cook-out or somesuch.

If, however, you enjoy meats of all kinds on a regular basis, tofurky will most likely be less than appealing to you and the beans you made as a side dish will gladly get eaten instead.

While eating tofurky we had an interesting lunch time conversation/debate surrounding the possibilities of nanotechnology building better meatless meat products by way of atomic rearrangement. Call it nanomeat. The peta crowd might actually approve. My husband, on the other hand, would rather eat beans and critters, as appropriate.

My thoughts: It might actually be the pharisee phood of the phuture that would enable this hypoglycemic to take Lent to a whole new level....who knows?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

May Contain Traces of Nuts

Seriously...

I was at a gathering on Friday night (the ill-fated contra dancing) and got a store bought chocolate chipe cookie off the snack table (way major sugar free diet cheat!). I've eaten store bought cookies before and even though some of them have that little allergy warning, for some reason I wasn't thinking.

Well, for some reason, before biting into it, I turned the cookie over and looked at the bottom. There, right there in the middle, was about an eighth of a peanut. Guardian Angel working over time, I guess.

I need to be more careful.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Call it like you see it....

Paragraph two is particularly "funny":

"Firebombings left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of Nablus' Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches. At least five firebombs hit the Anglican church and its door was later set ablaze. Smoke billowed from the church as firefighters put out the flames

In a phone call to The Associated Press, a group calling itself the "Lions of Monotheism" claimed responsibility for those attacks, saying they were carried out to protest the Pope's remarks in a speech this week in Germany linking Islam and violence.

Later Saturday, four masked gunmen doused the main doors of Nablus' Roman and Greek Catholic churches with lighter fluid, then set them afire. They also opened fire on the buildings, striking both with bullets.

In Gaza City, militants opened fire from a car at a Greek Orthodox church, striking the facade. A policeman at the scene said he saw a car armed men inside flee the scene. Explosive devices were set off at the same Gaza church on Friday, causing minor damage. "

Friday, September 15, 2006

In which she becomes a wallflower

I fell in love with the idea of contra dancing when I danced at Joy and Josh's wedding in July. I had so much fun.

In August Dh and I had a date to go out dancing but my rib was out of joint and my back generally out of whack so we stayed home.

Tonight was the night. We went. I only was able to dance the first, sit out the second, and then on the third I got pretty dizzy, and by the fourth I had to bail, several minutes into the dance I went staggering towards the nearest wall and just clung to it for a few minutes. I got so dizzy and nauseous that I just about threw up. Dh had fun, though. Everyone else danced for hours. Sigh. Some of the experienced dancers were a true pleasure to watch.

Next time there's open band night, I'm bringing my guitar.

So Much for the American Lifestyle!

I've been thinking about how our food choices affect our lifestyle: fast food, deli meats, sandwiches on the go (even if self righteously made at home), sliced bread, etc. etc. Go go go.

It's been nice this week, with my husband at home, to not have to pack sandwiches for him every day. Now, honestly, I'm fervently prayering for a return of sandwich packing when he gets a job (oh, please God, soon!) but in the mean time it's been lots of soup. Soup is good. Soup is cheap. Soup lasts and lasts...

Soup is not portable, because who keeps a thermos around these days? Perhaps that is an investment worth considering. WHY does all our food need to be so portable? That's what I'm asking.

So, now I hear, speaking of sandwiches, via a New York times article, that bacteriophagic soup is sprayed on deli meats to kill certain bacteria, in lieu of cleaning up processing plants...and this is supposed to be good for us HOW? I think not.

The salmon patties I promised to blog about were just sort of there. They were good dipped in ketchup. Only half my kids ate them. Par for the course. Next time I think I'll make them with cracker crumbs instead of just flour. Or perhaps with less flour. They were too bready.

You think you can have your starbucks and your cute figure? Think again. Same NYT article...those 20 oz. things are loaded. Thanks be to God I'm a starbucks virgin. I have not even had those bottled starbucks coffees that can be got at the grocery store. By now, it's a game with myself, not to have any. I have, however, over the course of my weight loss journey started drinking my coffee black. It's one of those permanent lifestyle changes...a few hundred calories a day chopped off by surrendering that real cream addiction developed in my low carb days. That, and walking, and portion control. And walking. an portion control. The jeans don't lie.

And I realize I'm rambling, writing poorly and saying nothing. So, let me at it again: Food. How does our eating style reflect our values and our lifestyle and our (dare I say it?) theology?

We orthodox, strive to have certain days when we don't eat meat...for all of the reasons people don't eat meat. Resect for life, preservation of resources, spiritual discipline, taming of the flesh, opportunity to give to the poor, increased prayer and fasting, etc. etc. etc. So, there's some theology packed in that package.

But I"m hearing a conversation now, that has lots to do with sustainability, organic stuff, preservation of the earth...there's overlap, but it's not ALL the same. And there is some good theology there, too. Some careful thinking.

But there's one thing that keeps coming back to MY mind that I think needs to be said: How can this food theology be presented in such a way that it is accessible to ALL? Even to all in this very rich country. Every time I start thinking about it, I start looking around, sometimes into my own pocketbook and pantry, and at other times at my neighbors, and I start wondering: in an urban poor or semi-poor setting, how is this conversation relevant? How can a "food theology", if you will, that enshrines a new sort of organic free-range holiness be accessible to the "common person"?

Because this would cause division within in body of Christ along class lines, once again. "We are holy because we embrace the new holiness, we make holy organic free range food choices, and you are poor so you get the white bread government cheese castoffs that we reject as being to good for US....." I've never actually heard anyone say this, but I really believe the danger is there for this sort of division to develop. Do we speed past the guy with the carboard sign while we are headed to the farmer's market? Or Walmart? Whatever....just what's bouncing in my head.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Know your Food

In the spirit of sustainability, living and eating closer to one's food sources and due to the fact that we've been studying early American history/lifestyles in our home school, I have composed the following endless ditty: (Really I just wanted an excuse to make chickin noises while picking my guitar):

Chickin in the barnyard
Farmer with an axe
Chickin in the barnyard
Farmer with an axe
Chickin in the barnyard
Farmer with an axe
...Farmer wins

Veggies in the garden
Junior has a hoe
Veggies in the garden
Junior has a hoe
Veggies in the garden
Junior has a hoe
...Bring some in

Chickin in the crockpot
Mama rolls the dough
Chickin in the crockpot
Mama rolls the dough
Chickin in the crockpot
Mama rolls the dough
...Put it in

Dinner on the table
Chickin dumplin stew
Dinner on the table
Chickin dumplin stew
Dinner on the table
Chickin dumplin stew
...Call the Kin

Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
...Begin again

Buck is in the forrest
Junior has a gun
Buck is in the forrest
Junior has a gun
Buck is in the forrest
Junior has a gun
...Venison! {Prounounced Ve-ni-sin}

Veggies in the cellar
winter comin' in
Veggies in the cellar
winter comin' in
Veggies in the cellar
winter comin' in
...check the bin

Meat is in the pan
while Sissy makes the dough
Meat is in the pan
while Sissy makes the dough
Meat is in the pan
while Sissy makes the dough
...Roll it thin

Pie is in the Oven
Daddy says a prayer
Pie is in the oven
Daddy says a prayer
Pie is in the oven
Daddy says a prayer
...Dig right in

Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
Mama's in the kitchen
cleaning up the mess
...Begin again

etc. etc. etc.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hillbilly shoppin' and cookin'

Well, going with the pantry method of keeping the kitchen stocked, in the interest of saving as much cashola as possible (that is, making the amount of grocery money I have budegeted to spend last as many weeks as I possibly can) I have been getting inspired at hillbillyhousewife.com, as I mentioned before.

I thought I was frugal, but there was so much fat to cut! Now, granted, I have lots of meat I'd bought on sale in the freezer still, but today, planning on cooking all from scratch but NOT planning on mixing my own milk from dry milk powder, I only spend $57.00 for food. That's for six people for a week. Many basics we are stocked up on like oats, and meat and flour and sugar, etc.

I also learned that I can make really yummy split pea soup: sautee an onion, rinse and sort the split peas, add them and eight cups of water. 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. cardamon, 1 tsp. sambhar masala spice. Bring to boil and simmer until tender and...you know, split-pea-soupish. Yuuuuuumy! I was worried about it tasting not so good without any boullion or meat, but it was really good.

Later this week I'm gonna try making salmon patties. I'll blog about how those turn out.

Might I recommend....

..the Onion Dome? Of course readers of this blog saw it here first...but still. Proud as a peacock that some of my humor got published there.

Also, page 47 of the current Handmaiden isn't half bad, either....he he he.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Just Life

Nothing much to write about.

Homeschooling....check
Dh job hunting/starting his own business....check
Sunday School starts this Sunday and I'm the teacher....check
Way majorly stressed out about everything....check
Trying not to be....check

The matins psalms have been a comfort lately.