Archive for October, 2007

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I’m a mess

October 31, 2007

I’m sick. I have the full blown cold thing going on.  Painful eyes.  Stuffy nose.  Sore throat.  General feeling of “GO to hell, all of you, now.”

But it’s Halloween.

I promised my kids that we’d watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown this morning — and then couldn’t find it.

I attempted to dye Duck’s hair with Kool-Aid and managed to do it – but also dyed his forehead, neck, ears, back, my hands, my wrists, my forearms, several towels and quite possibly our bathtub.

We still haven’t carved our pumpkins and aren’t really sure when we’re going to pull that off.  Maybe before our Halloween party today at 1?  Maybe after?

I have made arrangements to have some alone time today so I can hit a couple of stores for yarn for Christmas projects, but now I cannot remember what I’m making for the few people I’m knitting for and thus don’t really know what the hell I’m looking for, either.

I’ve made a vow to start eating better (which is pretty hard to do ’cause I’m somewhat of a food freak and obsessively read labels anyhow,) but last night we took the boys to Chuck E. Cheese’s to celebrate Duck’s ability to tie and double knot his shoes.  I’m telling you, there is not one decent ingredient in that pizza. NOT. ONE.  So of course, the boys win a zillion and twelve tickets and choose to turn them in for Cotton Candy to share.  Stealth eats all of his, Duck eats part and declares he’s done.  Now, I love cotton candy.I LOVE IT.  But healthy? Not so much.  Not wanting to load my 5 year old up with more sugar and not wanting to waste it, I ate the rest.  And, for good measure, came home and compensated for that by eating 2 tiny boxes of Nerds.  I’m on a fucking roll, ya’ll.  And I’m sure there will be loads of candy tonight, too.  Damn damn damn damn damn.

Hank won’t stop licking Duck’s head.  Guess dogs like Orange Kool-Aid

Stealth keeps asking me to make him a REAL lightening bolt scar for his forehead.  I keep telling him that I REFUSE to cut his head for a damned  costume.  I refuse.  But I have to tell you, if that kid doesn’t get off my ass soon, he might just get his wish.

I tell you, it’s turning out to be a spooky enough day.  Thank Elvis this happens only once a year.

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Trick or Treat

October 31, 2007

Halloween

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Slap your Grandma Salmon Chowder

October 30, 2007

I love Salmon. And I love Soup.  More specifically, I love a good chowder – something about a thick creamy soup with lotsa chunky ingredients makes me smile for hours and hours.  I googled around until I found the best recipe and then modified it a bit. So good it makes you wanna jump up and slap your Grandma.  Or, well, slap something ….

I found the original recipe here

Salmon filet (about 3-4 inches long), OR 2 single serving frozen salmon portions, thawed.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove skin from salmon (if using fresh filet.) Brush both sides heavily with olive oil and sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet on high on the stove. When the skillet is hot, put the salmon in the pan and cook for 2 minutes – do not move the salmon during this time – it will fall apart.. Then flip the salmon over, put the skillet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Flake into small pieces when cool.

1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, cut into ¼-inch rings
4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 cup water
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon dried dill
¾ teaspoon salt
Course ground black pepper
2 cups frozen corn, thawed

flaked salmon
1 cup half-and-half

Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, until vegetables are tender (about 5 min.) Add potatoes, chicken broth, dill, salt, pepper, and water. Heat to boiling until potatoes are fork-tender.When potatoes are ready, add corn and salmon to the pot and cook 5 minutes. Stir in half-and-half; heat through, but do not boil. Serve. 

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Woman + hair shears = BANGS!

October 29, 2007

Yep, sat there knitting today and realized that I want something new and different.

So, I did this:

Now, if only I could pay myself the $35 I’d have spent on that trim ….

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Cycles

October 26, 2007

It’s getting colder.  Down into the 40s at night.  The sun sets earlier and rises later.  I walk Hank in the dark in the mornings.  It’s raining a lot.  We’re wearing a lot more clothes.

Putting on my layers this morning made me feel as if I was winding myself up in a cocoon.  Layer of lace, layer of cotton, layer of wool.    I hold the layers close to me, wrap them tightly around me.  I feel the warmth, the smoothness, the beauty and function.  They are my protection -protection from cold, from discomfort, from exposure.  They keep me safe and warm and together so that all my insides can keep doing their jobs.

I kind of cocoon myself every Autumn.  I realized it this morning – I have a very specific pattern.  Starting in the Autumn, I find myself withdrawing into myself.  I feel the need to focus internally and on my family.  I feel the need to be home,  to rid myself of the minutia that tries to force itself deep into our lives without invitation, to choose my words and my actions very carefully – almost as if using any energy unnecessarily is detrimental to me. 

I do a lot of inner work during the colder months.  I discover what parts of me I like and what parts need some work.  I think about my children and my husband and the family we make together.  I think about where I have been and where I want to go.  I think about what I’ve learned and what lessons need to revisit me a few more times.  I think about nourishment nearly continually – nourishment of the body, of the mind, of the heart, of the soul.  I eat a lot of soup – some with my mouth, most with my mind.

I do this every year.  In the past, I have thought something was “wrong” with me when I started to step out of my active social life.  I used to term it “Seasonal Depression,” this need to stay in, stay warm, stay with my family.  I used to think it was something that needed fixing.  And that was the problem.  Buddhists believe that life is suffering – it’s the attempt to avoid suffering that equals pain and misery.  It’s actually a much deeper and more complicated theory than I care to expound on here, but what sounds like a decision to give up and live a life of misery is actually the door to complete happiness.  This morning, putting on my jeans, my camisole, my long sleeved shirt, my sweater, I allowed myself to see the open door and I stepped right through.

I need to bunker down.  I need to semi-isolate myself and do all the introspection that I do during the Autumn and Winter.  I need to do it for the Spring, when I start peeling off the layers, when I start coming out of the cocoon, when I emerge lighter, more beautiful than before.    Then I will fly again.

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Little things

October 25, 2007

I got some second hand speakers, a monitor, and keyboard a little while back.  No reason, really, other than someone got a new computer and didn’t need these parts anymore.  If you know me, you know that I blow my keyboards out at least once a year or so (okay, sometimes they last 2 years) because I’m always spilling coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening and something is always making my keys get funky and sticky and gah.  SO anyway, the parts that I have now are from a different company than my tower, and yet they seem to work better with my system!  The hotkeys for skipping tracks actually work with iTunes!  The refresh page actually refreshes, the cut and paste buttons actually cut and paste, and get this – I hit one button and the calculator pops up!  I know I know I know, this will not cure cancer or the common cold, but it sure as hell makes me happy.

It’s the little things, you know?

 I went to lunch with JP yesterday.  We’d been talking about where to go and we both found ourselves dumbstruck to not be wanting sushi.  What we wanted, in fact, were burgers!  We went to W’s, even though B had already left for the day.  We arrived and were greeted with the typical “MAMAKOHL!” response ala Cheers!, and before I even had taken my purse off my shoulder, one of the managers and our dear friend arrived with cocktails (it was a late lunch, ya’ll – 3pm!)  After he left, the owner arrived and gave me a huge hug, talked to me about some knitting business, then told us lunch was on him.  Fantastic!  While we were eating, I looked at the corner of the bar and saw our manager friend and the owner “schooling” the 2 new servers and new bartender on who I am and what I like and how I should be treated.  Completely and totally unnecessary, of course, and that’s what makes it special.  That’s why I keep going back.  Little things.

I’ve been really unhappy with my wardrobe lately.  TOTALLY displeased.  Jeans don’t fit right, the cords seem to have no personality, there’s no art, no passion, no gypsy wildness in my clothes.  This, as you can imagine, will just not do.  I got frustrated because it’s not really in our budget to go and buy a zillion new things.  And then while I was writing in my journal this morning, my brain started buzzing about how to take what I have, cut the shit out of it, and stick it all back together in new and unusual ways.  That embroidered belt that I’ve had for ages but never manage to wear because I’m too curvy and it’s too big?  Well, shazzam, that little belt is now going to be the decorative cuffs on the too long jeans that will be cut off and cuffed to be worn with boots.  Dad’s old jean jacket that I’ve had since Jr High will be getting new life – the sleeves have been ripped and resewn so many times it’s nearly unwearable will be no longer.  It will get new fiber sleeves – cannot tell if I want to do something with Ozark or this really fab purple boa type stuff I have.    The “Too Stretchy to Be Jeans” jeans will be converted into a mid-calf length skirt with random stripes of retro fabric.   The embroidered jeans that have seen too many washings to be wearable will have the embroidery cut out and reapplied on a very typical button up white collared shirt with the sleeves cut off.  I could go on and on and on and on and on.  New wardrobe, no money spent, reduce reuse recycle. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.  And it’s a little thing.

B and I had a date night last night.  NO kiddos.  We were going to go out.  We were going to dinner and to watch a movie.  We were going to do all of that.  What we ended up doing, however, was eating a pizza and hanging out in the dark on our back deck, wrapped in blankets, drinking hot cider, and enjoying a fire in our chiminea.  There was wind and flames and night sounds and the biggest brightest moon.  I want to do it again and and again and again.  It was perfect, simply perfect.  And it was a little thing.

Sometimes just saying something can make it so.  Happened to me this morning.  I just sat there, writing my Morning pages, and said out loud, “Life is an adventure.  Life can be an enormous explosion of creative expression.  Life can be a party!”  And just by saying it aloud, I convinced myself it was true.  And once I convinced myself it was true, it really became true.  Try it for yourself – it’ll work. I promise.  

Little words, little action, huge results.

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The Gospel According to Bobby

October 24, 2007

Oooh..Ooooh

I tell you it will shake the earth beneath your feet

The light that shines will redefine your old beliefs

What you reap is what you sow and so it goes

Where you plant your needs is where your garden grows

Before you think about yourself

Think of someone else, it will make you feel

Each day ain’t wine and roses

I doubt it’s meant to be

Always a cross to bear salvation don’t come free

A heart that beats is a heart that bleeds

And you know that’s true

So don’t deny yourself of something good for you

Before you do it for yourself, do it for someone else

That makes it real
[Chorus:]

‘Cause when you love someone

It don’t matter what you say

When you love someone

You will dance the night away

When you love someone

There ain’t nothing you can’t do

Ain’t that right

Yeah I want to love someone tonight

Will you believe in love or just sit around and judge?

Can you forgive someone or will u hold a grudge?

Cuz above selfishness there lies a bright blue sky

And wealth and happiness can be a long and lonesome ride

Yes it’s hard to steer yourself

Without that someone else to take the wheel

Take the wheel
[Chorus]
Do you believe in the art of growing old

Do you believe that rock n roll can save your soul

Do you believe in everything you do

Cuz when you do that’s when it all comes back to you

Before you think about yourself

Think of someone else

Do it for yourself

And do it for someone else
When you love someone