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July 2016

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Jul. 23rd, 2016

curiosity

Party Week at the Lake House

I took a nap Sunday afternoon and when I woke up Jude had arrived, and so had Craig with The Cuteness. Craig could only stay one night buy Jude and The Cuteness stayed all week.

At this point most of the week is a blur. My family are mostly early risers. And the fact that the house faced east and go the full sunrise encouraged early rising. We would get up between 6 and 7 for breakfast. Then some activity would occur: hiking Watkins Glen, a Wine Tour, a shopping trip. Then lunch. Then I would usually take a nap. Then dinner on the deck and hanging out til everyone went to bet between 9 and 10.

I got spend a couple of hours in the jacuzzi almost every day. It was not very hot and we turned the temperature down so the kids could play. Although they also swam in the lake. I didn't go down to the lake because the path was too steep for me.

On Tuesday there was a full moon, which was beautiful in a clear sky. Jude built up a fire in the fire pit and we did a full moon ritual.

Wednesday we drove back to Ithaca to check on the cats, and have lunch at the Ithaca Beer Company Taproom. I took a picture of Jude playing dots and boxes with the Cuteness in the Taproom.

Friday was the big party day. Lots of friends came and we had a lovely picnic on the deck. We had spiedies marinated in my spiedie marinade, and dad's recipe for baked beans and german potato salad. And a nice spinach salad with mushrooms and artichoke hearts.

And Fran made two lovely Schwarzwälder Kirschtortes.

My friend Rauncie arrives early and we took a dip in the jacuzzi. During the party we closed the Jacuzzi so there wouldn't be to much screaming from the children. But after my family went to bed my friends and I opened it up again and had a nice cool dip. and watched the Delta Aquariids meteor shower.

I don't think I slept much last night. We got up at around 6:30 and were out of the house by 9am. There was a bit of excitement when I couldn't find my are keys. I thought I was going to have to ask Jude to drive back to Ithaca to see if I left them in my apartment on Wednesday. But luckily Song found them in my C-PAP bag.

We had brunch at Curly's dinner in Watkins Glen. Which was quite nice. But I was crashing by then and had to leave. Jude followed me home and brought stuff up from my car for me. Which I am very grateful for. It would have taken me all week to bring that stuff up.

I slept from noon til 7:30 pm. And I still feel a bit tired and sore.

It was a good week. Jude was a blessing. As The Cuteness declared "Jude is AWESOME!"

Jul. 17th, 2016

curiosity

the lake house

As usual I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped before I left for the lake house. I got most of the car cleaned out, made a trip to the recycling center, and did the shopping I needed to do. I got here by 6:30 in time for Pizza with the family.

After dinner. I made jello frogs with the boys. And started some ratatouille. And boiled 3 dozen eggs for pickled eggs. After boiling and shelling 3 dozen eggs, and pouring in 3 cans of beets, and one bottle of cider. I promptly dropped the gallon sized glass jug and it shattered into a million pieces. Maria, Dave, and Gaby cleaned up the huge mess. The eggs and beets were full of glass and had to be thrown away. I had reached the end of my rope. That is probably why I made the bad decision that led to me dropping the jug. So I called it a night and went to bed. It was about 9:30pm

I woke up at 3:30am when my pain meds gave out and every part of my body started complaining about how much I had abused it. But I stayed in bed for a while longer until I could hear the boys up and about. Forrest has decided it is fun to bark like a small puppy.

So, I've had my pills and I'm ready for another day.

Jul. 15th, 2016

curiosity

My Colonoscopy

I had my colonoscopy on Thursday. People warned me that the prep would be the worst part. And drinking nothing but jello, chicken broth, and laxative for a day was not fun. I usually drink a lot of water so I thought I would have no problem drinking the 4 liters of laxative. But I was wrong. I was not able to finish it. And I was not able to sleep because I kept rushing to the bathroom. I tried just sitting on the toilet but that got painful after a while.

By Thursday morning I was tired, hungry and not very happy at all.

My friend Anne had agreed to be my driver. But she had a class at the same time as my procedure so she needed to pick me up early and didn't want to come into the hospital with me. At 9am Anne called me and asked if it was Ok if her husband David drove me instead. I was just happy that I still had a driver so I was Ok with that.

David turned out to be a real blessing. He is a professional bus driver and has been trained to work with wheelchairs for his job. He was also able to come into the hospital and wait for me.

We made the mistake of dropping me off at the lower entrance to the hospital. It turns out they have moved the main entrance back to the top. But I snagged a wheelchair, and since David came in with me he was able to wheel me where I needed to go. Even if Anne had come in she would have had a hard time getting around much less helping me.

As David was pushing me down the main corridor I remembered the last time I had to go there for a procedure when I didn't have anyone to help me. I remembered how much pain I was in from walking in from the parking lot. And how painful it had been to have to walk to the intake booths, and down that hall to the waiting room for my procedure. Now I was travelling the same route and I wasn't in pain because someone was helping me. Thinking about how different it was just makes me cry.

I didn't cry when I was in pain because I don't like to "make a fuss". And I didn't ask for help because I don't like to be a burden. David was so helpful and considerate the whole time it just made me realize how much I suffer because I don't want to bother people, or make a fuss, or be a burden. So I just suck it up and suffer.

When I was checking in they asked me if I had a medical proxy on file. I didn't, and I didn't think I needed one. If anything happens, my mother is my next of kin and I'm sure she will do whatever needs to be done.

David gently encouraged me to reconsider that and actually fill out the paperwork. I listed my mom as my proxy and my sister Gina as my second if Mom was not available. David also encouraged me to call my mom and tell her what I had done, just so she would know.

He kept me company and chatted while I waited for my procedure and stayed at the hospital until I was ready to go home.

Another thing happened that made me think about how much I suffer because I don't want to bother people. While I was lying on the gurney waiting for the procedure my left knee began to hurt, a lot. I bent my knee until it stopped hurting and asked the nurse if she could put a pillow under it. She got a rolled up towel and put it under my knee but it was a bit lower than was comfortable. She asked me if that was OK and I said yes, because it was better than nothing and I didn't want to be difficult. Luckily for me she ignored me and put another towel under my knee until my it was high enough to stop hurting.

It just made me realize how often I put up with pain and struggle, rather than ask for help. I think it comes down to a fundamental belief that help will not be available. That I am alone and there is no one to help me. I don't want to make a fuss, or be a burden because if I do than people will be less willing to help me. So I don't ask unless I'm really desperate.

ANd this makes me really grateful for people who volunteer to help. People who can see that I'm struggling and offer to help without me asking.

The whole procedure went as well as such things can go. But I would have been struggling and anxious the whole time if David hadn't been there to help me. I'm really grateful that he was.

One more note about the procedure. Everyone said I would not remember it. They were wrong. I was conscious for the whole thing. I even watched the monitor. Afterward the doctor jokingly thanked me for telling him that that looked like a healthy colon to me. I was right though. I have a very healthy colon. No polyps. Just some green jello and a couple of tomato skin remnants from my BLT on Tuesday.

Afterward, I asked David to take me through the drive through at Arby's for some solid food. I was so hungry from the liquid diet. I had brought my wallet so I could pay. But David insisted in paying for my lunch. That was just another real kindness. He was such a blessing for me.

Jul. 10th, 2016

curiosity

My tweets

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Jul. 4th, 2016

curiosity

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Jun. 30th, 2016

Cogito Ergo Nom

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Except when there is.

For the past couple of years (I don't remember how many years) my friend B had been taking me out to lunch on Fridays.

Back when I had a job we used to take turns paying for lunch. But once I got on disability I couldn't even pay for myself to go out to eat. Those Friday lunches helped a bit with my food bills (especially toward the end of the month) and also soothed my desire to eat out instead of just eating my own cooking all the time.

But B had to stop taking me out when he changed jobs. So we haven't eaten out since the beginning of May.

We were also seeing each other for brunch once a month when J came down to visit. (J takes me out for brunch when he visits.) But that hasn't happened either for the past two month and probably not this month. For scheduling reasons that have nothing to do with B's job.

I miss our Friday lunches.
Excited

Three Weeks Til My 50th Birthday Party.

My actual birthday was in April, but summer is a better time for party.

The party is on July 22. But from the 16th to the 23 my family will be renting a lake house and hanging out. So, it's more like two weeks until the party starts.

Although, I'm having my first colonoscopy on the 14th. I'm not really happy about that. But I should be recovered by the time the party starts.

I don't have any other big things scheduled between now and then so I'm taking it easy. By which I mean I'm worrying about everything. I'm going to order some more of my anxiety meds.

Jun. 29th, 2016

curiosity

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Jun. 28th, 2016

curiosity

What's going on

I went to Pat Robert's Memorial service. Despite my best intentions I was ten minutes late to the service. But luckily I'm familiar with the UU church in Binghamton and I was able to get into the Sanctuary without causing a fuss. I arrived just in time for the reading from one of Pat's favorite books "I Could Pee on This" a collection of poems by cats. The UU minister, Rev. Douglas Taylor, did a great job. I strongly recommend him if you need to have a memorial service for a godless person. I have attended several Christian memorial services where I have left deeply offended by the behavior of Christians who use this captive audience as an opportunity to proselytize. Rev. Taylor does a wonderful job working with the family to present a service that honors the life of the deceased. I've attended two of his memorial services so far and both were very respectful. Also the UU Binghamton building is very pretty, the arrangement of rooms works well for all kinds of services, and it is handicapped accessible. They even videotaped the services and made DVDs available right after the service. My sister Maria gave one of the eulogies. She is an excellent speaker, both in content and presentation.

Then this past weekend Song and I went to the venue for her upcoming wedding and tasted cakes. They were delicious. The site is beautiful. The staff is very courteous and helpful. And the pond is full of water lilies and koi fish. I think we have the wedding all planned out now. I spent the weekend working on a project for the wedding. And I think I picked up a cold from The Teenager. It's a good thing I don't have to do anything in the next week.

There were two obituaries on the radio this evening, one for a 64 year old coach and the other for a 76 year old writer. I find myself subtracting my age from theirs and looking at how much longer I likely have to live. (14-26 years) That's the thing about turning 50, I'm unlikely to live to 100, so I have less time in front of me than I have behind me. Frankly, I never expected to live this long. People have been telling me my weight would kill me since I was a teenager.

But on a more positive note I have been working on my book! I hope to actually publish a version of it someday.
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Jun. 18th, 2016

curiosity

I'm feeling much better.

One of the insidious things about depression is that it doesn't just make you feel sad, it goes back over your life and finds faults in everything. It rewrites your life as an epic tragedy, or a horror story.

Anyway, I took my emergency depression medication and had a good night's sleep so I feel better today.

I want to thank everyone who sent me words of encouragement. It really does help.

Jun. 16th, 2016

Be Nice

I'm Feeling Disheartened.

In the past few days I've been feeling as if everything I try to do fails.

It sort of starts with the plants. I'm trying to grow bonsai trees, but the first couple of pots died. I was also thinking of trying to grow mint in the yard again. Several years ago Marilyn gave me a bunch of mint she thinned from her garden and we planted it along the front of my apartment building. It grew very well there. Until the landlord had to dig out the foundation to reseal the basement and filled it back in with gravel. Even mint needs more than gravel to survive. I was thinking about setting up a plant box next to the stairs and planting herbs there. But my landlord is not very supportive of such things.

I feel like every time I plant something it gets taken away from me. This sort of goes back to my childhood and when dad kept landscaping everything I liked out of the yard. But Even when I was living with Lynn, she kicked me out of the house a few months after I planted a Yew tree. That reminds me at the same time I planted the yew I bought a stone garden table. When Lynn kicked me out I took the table to my parents, and I just noticed that they seem to have gotten rid of it. *sigh*

I just feel like the guy in the song "I shot the sheriff: "Every time I plant a seed he said 'Kill it before it grow'". Not that there is anyone in particular persecuting me. It just seems like life doesn't want me to do anything significant.

I have always believed that everyone has something special that they bring to the world. But it just seems that no one wants what I bring to the world. It just feels like I try so hard to contribute but everything I do is just wrong or just not what anyone else wants. I just feel so alone, and unwanted, and unappreciated. Really unappreciated. People just don't want what I have to offer. But It's all I have.
curiosity

I spent a week with my dad.

My mom was taking a road trip with my sister Maria, so I stayed with dad. It went pretty well. We had visitors every day. I cooked most of the meals but sometimes dad made himself an egg and some toast. If he didn't cook for himself I made him an egg and toast for breakfast. For lunch we usually had sandwiches. And for dinner we had meat with salad, and rice or potatoes. The most complicated thing I cooked was sweet and sour pork. Although I also made cookies so mom would have a treat when she got home.

Mom had an adventure right at the start. When she got to the airport she found out she was scheduled to go to Portland OR, instead of Portland ME. She got that straightened out but it meant she arrived in Portland five hours before Maria was expecting her. If either mom or Maria had been carrying working cell phones they might have hooked up since Maria arrived at the same airport while mom was there. But they didn't, so they missed each other and mom spent four hours in the airport, until the nice lady at the information desk drove her to the hotel. Other than that they seemed to have a great time in Maine and driving home.

Mom bought me three little puzzles as presents from her trip. One of them is a rope and ring puzzle. I have a hard time with those. I watched a video of the solution and I can do it, but I don't understand how it works. Which is frustrating. I don't want to just solve it. I want to understand the topology of it! One is a bamboo puzzle that is a basic 3D sliding interlocking piece puzzle. Once you get the final piece out it falls apart and you have to put it back in the correct order. The third puzzle is a variation on what I call a Patience Puzzle. It has a simple solution but it takes time to go through the motions. I hadn't done it in a while so it took me a few minutes to remember the solution.

People sometimes compliment me on my patience, but I'm not a very patient person.

Jun. 12th, 2016

Cogito Ergo Nom

Martha Stewart's Stollen

Mom copied this recipe from somewhere

Makes 4 loaves

mix together:
11 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 pkg dry yeast

add:
2 cups warm milk
2 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 cup warm water
6 large eggs, beaten

Add fruit and nuts:
15 oz golden raisins in 1/2 cup OJ
10 oz currents in 1/2 cup cognac
1/4 lb chopped dry apricots
10 oz chopped almonds
zest of 2 lemons

kneed 10 minutes (add more flour if needed)
place in buttered bowl - let rise 1-2 hours
cut into 4 pieces - roll 12" x 8"
brush with butter and sugar - fold over
place on Parchment paper pans
let rise 1- 1 1/2 hours
bake 350 F 35-40 min
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Cogito Ergo Nom

Waffles!!!!!

I made waffles for breakfast this morning. They were surprisingly easy. I got the recipe from the 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking. My mom has the 1983 printing of it.

Ingredients
7 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs

Put the butter and the milk in the microwave until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Mix the milk and butter into the dry ingredients
Mix in the eggs (If you want to be fancy separate the eggs. Mix in the yolks. Whip the whites to soft peaks and quickly fold them into the batter.)

Heat the waffle iron and follow it's instructions. You shouldn't need to grease it because the batter is so rich. If you don't have the instructions for your waffle iron start with covering 2/3 if the grill with batter and cooking for 3-4 minutes, until steam stops coming out from the sides of the iron.

Should make 5-6 waffles
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Cogito Ergo Nom

Hershey's Cocoa Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

350 F
8-10 min

makes 54
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Jun. 8th, 2016

curiosity

Memorial Day Weekend

I have been very busy. After Jude and Becky left was the annual get together at Barb's for Memorial Day weekend. I made Spiedies again, because they were popular last year.

I had planned on going down Friday, but I was very out of it and Song called and told me Barb didn't have running water. So I postponed my departure till Saturday. When I got there the water problem had been fixed.

My spiedies were still frozen though. Song has pictures of me and Mowg standing around the kitchen with bags of frozen spiedies on our heads trying to defrost them and keep cool at the same time. Janise helped me put the meat on the skewers and we hung out on the porch for a while. Then we cooked half the spiedies for dinner.

Song had built a fire in the fire circle, but I didn't feel up to walking down there. So I went to bed early.

The next day more people arrived. We hung out on the deck some more. I had my new ipod and my new portable ipod speaker and I shared some of my music. Allen appreciated it but I don't think other people did. I really want to share my music, but when people get together they want to talk to each other, not listen to music. *sigh*

I took an afternoon nap so I would be up for evening festivities. I even drummed for the Maypole Ritual! And afterward I hung out at the fire circle.

Monday we finally roughed out the procedure for Song's Wedding ritual. It looks good. I have to write it up and send it to the participants.

People were very helpful carrying my stuff for me. And I was careful to take naps and not overextend myself. So it went very well. I had a good weekend. I like it that way.
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dismay

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! (Mammogram and Pap-smear)

Mammogram and Pap-smear today. Both painful experiences.

I took 2 Ativan and a Tramadol before I went to the appointments so I was very calm for the whole thing. But once the Tramadol wore off I was in pain. I will probably still be in pain tomorrow.

I don't have too much trouble with my tits being caught in a vise. It's the standing that kills me. By the time we finished getting all the pictures my legs had stopped working and I almost fell over trying to walk two steps to the chair. I may have to go to Sayre next year. They tell me Sayre can do them while you sit.

The Pap-smear is another matter. I was trying to think how to describe it to men. It's like anal sex without lube. I was bleeding afterward.

I was scheduled for 3pm but around 4pm my doctor came in and told me there was an emergency and she would be in later. I could hear some shouting in the hall but I don't know what it was about. I just put on my headphones and listened to my tunes while I waited. I think the Ativan really helped.

May. 31st, 2016

curiosity

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May. 28th, 2016

curiosity

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May. 26th, 2016

affection

Jude and Becky Came to Visit Me!!!

I thought Jude told me they would be here Monday and Tuesday. But Sunday at 6:24pm Jude called me from outside my front door. I was sleeping. But I quickly got dressed. I have known Jude for about a year but it feels like I have known him forever. I don't have as much contact with Becky, I'm friends with her on Facebook but this is the first time I met her in person. She feels familiar. Maybe I knew her in a past life, or maybe she reminds me of my cousin-in-law Karen Wald. They are both intelligent cheerful women with quick wits. That would explain why I called her Karen at one point.

We went out to dinner at Spicy Asian, my favorite Chinese restaurant. I told them to order from the Szechuan menu. They ignored my advice and Becky ordered the Chef's Special Shrimp w. Walnut. I had never seen that before. It was giant shrimp in a cream sauce with candied walnuts. Jude ordered some kind of tofu and vegetables in a brown sauce. I ordered the Fish Filet w. Special Tofu In Hot Pot. Which is my favorite.

Looking at this picture, Becky looks like she could be one of my Corcoran relatives.

After dinner we went to Wegmans for coffee. Unfortunately the coffee shop was closed! We hung out in the cafe for a while until we were kicked out. I'm going to write to Wegmans about that. There is no reason to close the cafe or close the coffee shop. The store is open 24hrs and if they sold hot coffee people would come in sit in the cafe, and buy food out of the coolers.

We retreated to their hotel room and hung out some more and looked over tarot cards. Then Jude took me home. I had a hard time falling asleep I was so stoked from hanging out with them.

Monday we went to lunch at Istanbul Turkish Kitchen. I ordered the Adana Kebab. Becky ordered the Urfa Kebab. And Jude ordered the Sebze Kebab. Jude doesn't like lamb, because of a bad experience. And every restaurant I took them to had lamb on the menu. There are only three entrees on the menu that don't include lamb. Jude chose the vegetarian option. I also ordered a Turkish Coffee. Where else can you get real Turkish coffee! Jude tried to order the Turkish coffee with artificial sweetener but they didn't have any artificial sweetener. Which became a theme of the visit. LOL. Jude and I split some homemade Baklava, and Becky had the Sutlac (rice pudding).

Then we went to the Foundation of Light to see the Stone Circle and the Labyrinth. We could not find the Labyrinth. I think they have not mowed it yet this year. But we saw some chickens at the little red school house.

After that we went to Phoenix Book Store, only to find they were closed and going out of business. :( We hung out on the porch and picked up some free books.

Then we went back to my house and they broke down some boxes for me so we could take them to the recycling center. I had been meaning to do that for a while. But it is hard for me to handle the big sheets of cardboard. They took care of it in a couple of minutes. After the recycling center we went to Wegmans for coffee and so I could pick up some medications. Then they took me home so I could take a nap.

For dinner we went to Tamarind. They were very crowded. In fact traffic was very heavy all day. Becky ordered the BBQ Pork over wonton and egg noodle soup. Jude had the Green Curry with firm tofu. And I had the BBQ Pork over rice and I got to have my Thai Tea. Jude tried to get a plain tea with artificial sweetener. But they didn't have any artificial sweetener. His Green Curry was so hot he ended up ordering a sweet tea, they brought him a Thai Iced Tea.

For dessert we had the Roti with Sweet Condensed Milk. Which is exactly what it says it is two flat pancakes with a drizzle of condensed milk. We also had the coconut custards, six tiny cups of hot coconut custard. Jude and Becky had never had it before. They were surprised when I told them they could keep the little ceramic cups because the restaurant would just throw them out. But the waitress agreed with me and brought us a container to take them in.

Then we tried to go to a bookstore but everything was closed so they took me home.

Tuesday we went to Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine for lunch. I had never been there before. It is on the Commons and parking is difficult for me. Jude dropped me off in front of the restaurant and parked the car in the parking garage. Which is all I really needed in order to go there.

Becky wasn't very hungry so she ordered the Avocado Salad. I ordered the Yebeg Alicha, which is a lamb dish. And Jude ordered the Doro Wat which is a chicken dish. I also tried the Sesame drink and the mint lemonade. The sesame drink tasted like halva, which I enjoy. A bit bitter, but since I'm used to halva it didn't bother me. The mint lemonade was green. I think they just put fresh mint in a blender. It was very good. They don't give you silverware at Ethiopian restaurants. The food is served on a giant sourdough pancake with a basket of extra pancakes cut into bits to use to scoop up the food. I had no problem with it. Jude asked for a fork. My dish came with Shiro, mashed chickpeas with Berbere spice. It was hot. And Yater Kik Alicha a mild dish of yellow split peas. Jude's dish came with Misir Wat, a lentil dish with red peppers. And Yatakilt Alicha, fresh carrots, potatoes and cabbage cooked with garlic and ginger. I also ordered the sweetened cream cheese wrapped in fillo dough and fried. Jude tried to get tea with artificial sweetener again, which they did not have.

We went around the corner to Autumn Leaves Used Books. Jude finally found one of the books he was looking for. He also found an anthropology book that had was very influential for him, and gifted it to me. I sat on the couch in the children's section and Becky read me a Dr Seuss book, "You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children". It is one of her favorite books. I considered buying it for my dad, but it might be to on-the-nose for him.

Then I took them to Taughannock Falls, and The Ithaca Children's Garden. They took pictures of themselves sitting on Gaia the Turtle. Then we took a drive around the new Namgyal Monastery: Institute of Buddhist Studies. It's not finished yet so we just drove around and waved at some monks.

Inside Ithaca's new Tibetan Buddhist monastery (pictures)
Buddhist Monastery rises on Ithaca's South Hill (text)

Then they took me home and left to return to Texas.

I was totally exhausted and I'm still sore. But they were very kind and considerate of my needs. If Becky hadn't been opening doors and taking care of my cane and hat the whole time I would be much worse off. I would not have been physically or emotionally able to do everything we did if they hadn't been so kind and helpful to me.

It was a great visit. I hope I was a good host and showed them a good time.

I swear Ithaca should hire me for the tourism board. I really love this town.

Now I need to sleep for another 24 hours to recover.

I hope Jude posts his pictures. He took some really fun pictures.

May. 20th, 2016

curiosity

Mostly OK

I have a cold. I think I got it from Song. Mostly runny nose and coughing up flem. So the only difference from allergies is the cough.

A maintenance guy came over today to fix my constantly running toilet. I was a bit anxious as usual. But he was only here for a few minutes.

I wanted to go shopping today. I was dressed to go out and everything. But I kept putting it off. I finally realized that my body (or possibly my unconscious) just didn't want to leave the house today. The last time I left the house over its objections things did not go well. I will try again tomorrow.

It was a beautiful day I did have open windows.
curiosity

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May. 17th, 2016

curiosity

A Cool Spring.

Things are going fine for me. Not much is happening.

I went down to Vestal for Mother's day I brought her some Thai food from Ithaca, and a bouquet. I also gave her some fabric samples I got from Sew Green that will make nice placemats and napkins.

I visited Song over this weekend and baked a cake. I've been crocheting. It was a bit cold over the weekend, but in general the weather has been pleasant. I've been opening windows. It's spring and I feel like cleaning.

My allergies have been bothering me. I've been sneezing a lot, and my eyes have been irritated. The congestion makes it dificult for me to sleep. And it plugs up my ears making it hard for me to hear people.

May. 7th, 2016

sorrow

My Friend Pat Died

I just found out that my friend Pat died. She suffered a stroke several weeks ago while she was vacationing with her family in Texas, and fell into a coma. They were not able to bring her home because of her condition. It has been very hard on her family taking care of her so far from home.

Pat was a friend of my mother. She had two sons, Max and Paul, who are around the same age as me and my sister Maria. She taught me that it is possible to befriend a child and keep that friendship when the child becomes an adult.

She was a very supportive and helpful friend.

She encouraged me in my art.

She was an amazing artist herself. She was a photographer and documented most of the major events in our family. She took several portraits of me. Such as this one


She had a distinctive style and a quirky sense of humor. I wish she had posted her work on the internet. I think she would have developed a cult following. I still have all the birthday cards she made for me. And the trophy she gave me when I got my driver's licence. I also have a safe sex poster she made.

My mother has a couple of her prints from a cookbook Pat illustrated. One was of a "vegetable oyster" which she illustrated with an oyster shell peeking out of a corn stalk. Another was for "alpine eggs" that consisted of three hard boiled eggs carved to look like mountain peaks.

She taught me about hand painting black and white photographs.

She was a good friend to me and she will be missed.

Pat's Obituary in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
breasts not bombs

Why would anyone support Trump?

I am a Bernie supporter. I knew who he was before this election and I'm glad I had a chance to vote for him.

I don't like Hillary. But I don't hate or despise her. If she were president I don't think anything too terrible would happen. She is a competent politician and would keep things as they currently are.

I think Trump is disgusting troll. He is racist, sexist, and a bully. And I don't think he is too bright.

And yet, late last night I was thinking if I had to choose between Hillary and Trump I might choose Trump. His supporters are correct that he is controlled by no one. He isn't part of the political machine that maintains the way things are.

Supporting Bernie means trying to create change from within the system. Supporting Hillary means staying the course and keeping things as they are. Supporting Trump means saying "F#$% it!" just burn the system down and see if that changes anything.

The traditional Republican elites (who have renounced Trump and say they will vote for Hillary) have never cared about the poor and disenfranchised. They are the ones who create the poverty and do the disenfranchising. They want that to stay. And they are afraid of Trump, because he might rock the boat and cost them all their power and money.

The traditional Democrats have become so entrenched and complacent they are no longer really working for the poor, or the disenfranchised. They are just working to maintain their positions, which are more and more conservative.

What we have now is unacceptable. Voting for Hillary means nothing changes. Voting for Trump will definitely change things. I can understand why people want to vote for Trump. When I put it like that I want to vote for Trump.

What keeps me from doing it is the lives it will cost. Trump's attitude will lead to wars and poverty and death. I imagine many of the good people who voted for Hitler initially just wanted change from their untenable situation, of hyperinflation and poverty. Like the Trump supporters today, they didn't take his anti-semitic threats seriously. And that cost thousands of lives. Trump probably won't get *me* killed. But you never know. And I would hate for other people to die because of my vote.

I haven't been this concerned about our future since 12 years ago.
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May. 6th, 2016

curiosity

Disability Products

This month I ordered some things to help me around the house. I already have 3 grabbers.

I got a stool for the shower. This is a very nice stool. It is sturdy and I might order another one for the kitchen. Although I don't think they thought through the "rotating seat". It has stops under it, so it won't rotate when you don't want it too. That is a designed safety feature. But in order to disengage the stop you have to lift the seat about half an inch. Which means I can't possibly turn it while I'm sitting on it. Since it is a stool (with no back or sides) the only purpose of a rotating seat is to turn without standing up, which I can't do because of the stops. So basically it isn't a rotating stool. Well, It's a good thing I don't really need to rotate in the shower.

The other item I ordered was a cushion for my seat on the couch. I am hoping it will help me get up from the couch with less pain. It arrived today. I feel very tall now. But also my chest hurts. It's like sitting taller has taken all my back support. Or maybe it's because I have to look down at my computer now.

I'll see how that works.
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May. 5th, 2016

meat

Meat! Meat! Meat!

The local P&C Fresh had a one day sale today. The meat prices were so low I had to go and buy some. I have enough steak, hamburger, bacon, and sausage to last me two months at least. Most of what I bought was just meat.

They also had some veggies on sale. I got vine ripened tomatoes and cucumbers.

I tried to be smart about this I wrote down everything I wanted from the flier with prices to make sure I got the deals I thought I was going to get.

When I got there I found out they had tasting tables every few feet and live music! It's a party! The cashier told me they do this every year.

I got to taste cheese from a new local cheese manufacturer. (Unfortunately I lost the business card for that company.) Tumino Cheese Company They have a couple of fresh young cheeses that were very interesting.

There were a lot of beer samples. I tried a new Yuengling Summer Wheat that was quite nice. And there was a Hazlitt's Cider Tree Hard Cider that I liked. I could easily have gotten drunk.

There were also a lot of spicy foods. I accidently got the really spicy sushi. There were a couple of salsa tables. A jam table with spicy pineapple jam, and hot pepper jam. And a jarred Jambalaya with sausage, just add rice. Some people from Goya were there with chocolate coconut milk and a shelf stable gazpacho that you can use to make Bloody Marys. And there was a table from Grainful a new company that makes entrees and sides with steel cut oats instead of rice or wheat. I liked their Unstuffed cabbage.

And when I got home I made a healthy chickpea and black bean salad for dinner. I think it was a good day.

Now I just need to process all that meat so it doesn't go bad before I can eat it. My freezer is very full.
Gardening

Bonsai Tree Project

So, Song had this Bonsai tree kit that Craig gave her. It had been sitting around for a while so I decided to follow the instructions and see if I could grow us some Bonsai trees.

The kit comes with three kinds of seeds: Silver Birch (Betchula Pendula), Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) & Mountain Pine (Pinus Mugo Pumilio). The kit comes with 6 Growing Pots, 6 Peat Blocks, 6 Plant Markers & 6 Sealable Propagator Bags.

I soaked the seeds and planted them in the pots. Then I let them sit for two weeks. The instructions say follow this with 4 weeks of refrigeration before they sprout. The Pine sprouted after just the two weeks. I put the Maple and the Birch in Song's Fridge for the 4 week "stratification" period, and brought the Pine sprouts home to watch them until they are strong enough to pot.


I just hope I can keep them alive. According to the internet the Dwarf Mugo Pine is hardy and works well for this. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

May. 1st, 2016

Make Magic

May Day! First of the Month Grocery Shopping Day!

Happy Beltain! I'll be celebrating with friends later in the month when it is warmer.

It is cold again. I had to close the windows.

I went grocery shopping today and picked up some fresh fruit, and some yogurt so I can take my pills.

For some reason when I shop at P&C Fresh I end up buying fresh cow liver. I had fried liver and onions for dinner. With fresh tomato salad.

Apr. 30th, 2016

curiosity

Back Home for a While

I spent some time with my dad while mom took a day trip to NYC to visit the new Whitney Museum and walk along the High Line Park.

Dad is well and cheerful. We had a quiet day. I finished my Nålebinding project. I got to meet two of his home health care aids. Very tall sturdy women.

Now I'm home again.

I have some aspirations of doing spring cleaning. ALthough that has not begun yet.

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