Sunday, March 30, 2014

A perfect Sunday morning...

 The sun is shining. It's relatively warm, and getting warmer.  Not quite warm enough to hang clothes on the line to dry, but maybe next week.  The skies are a brilliant blue with some fluffy white clouds lazing on through.  The chickens are out scratching in the dirt, making their contented noises, the birds are singing, and the sounds of spring are in the air. Neighbors doing yard work, children playing, dogs barking. Ahhhh...

  I have laundry going. One folded and put away, one in dryer and one in washer. I'm debating about changing the sheets on our bed and washing those up too. I opened a few windows and turned on 2 ceiling fans. I went out back and picked what little bits of chickweed and dandelions I could find for the chickens. I pulled up the old stalks from the chives bed and saw new chives coming up, maybe 2-3 inches tall. Spring !!  Lots of work to get started on out there.  The Irishman started digging in the bed where we'll put this years potatoes. He also cleaned out the cold flat, and I'm going to get out there today or tomorrow and plant some lettuce and some kale. There is spinach that somehow survived the winter, and it's about 2-3 inches tall too.  I'll plant another bed as well of greens and such, but this one is going in now in hopes of some early greens.

 There is wonderful music playing on the Bose ... cd called Celtic Dreams. It's serene and lively at the same time. I love Celtic music. It speaks to my soul...

 Bread dough for rolls in the bread machine. One batch already out  and formed into little balls and in the 9x13 pan to raise.  Taking them to a birthday supper at my nephews tonight for my brother. He turns 59 next week.  It will be fun. Decided the bread machine would save my poor hand from further hurt. lol

  The hand is paining me some...across the top and up the arm. Swept the porch a couple of days ago, and it's been giving me fits ever since. I was careful (I thought), but I guess you twist your wrist more than you think in that sweeping motion. It's more my hand that hurts from the sprain than the broken wrist.  It's healing...slowly but surely.  Why do I always want everything now ?  lol

  I am going to a one day womens retreat next Saturday. I can't wait. They have lots of cool stuff going on...little mini-workshops, precious stone healing, chakra clearing,  crocheting, massages, journaling, dreamwork...just neat stuff. It 's going to be at an old Girl Scout camp about 20 minutes from here. We'll be there from 8 AM til 9 PM, and everybody is bringing food and we'll have 3 meals together. I'm taking a vegetarian soup for lunch. There will be several women bringing soups, salads, etc.  I am so excited to meet a new group of women from this area that I haven't met before !

 Feelings of energy shifts keep washing over me the past few days.  I know that there have been solar flares (big ones) and there is an eclipse coming and lots of other planetary things happening.  I spent Saturday night out on the bluffs overlooking  the river for Earth Hour. About 17 of us, watching the night sky with all the lights off for an hour.  Do you know about this ??

  It was really a wonderful thing. The quiet that engulfs you when it's really dark is something we don't get to experience very often.  Then we had a bonfire and sang  and discussed a movie we watched to start this all off. About the impact of all the light that we use on the planet, the problems it causes in nature, in electric bills, in circadian cycles.  About cities like Bar Harbor Maine, where they passed ordinances about light pollution, because ..."we live here for the night skies" as one resident said.

  At any rate, the experience changed me in some small way. Looking at the constellations was breathtaking.  Picking out the constellations with 2 men from Zambia and one from India was interesting and educational. Being part of a like minded group of people was exhilarating and comforting.

  Time for lunch. The last little bit of the quinoa/chickpea soup mixed wit some of the leftover Caribbean pork stew I made the other night. And a half of a giant soft breadstick.  Yum.  I stripped the bed after all.  The second batch of rolls is nearly ready to put into pans for the second raising. Now I have NPR on the radio and eating and will jump in the shower as soon as I have finished that batch of rolls.  After that, I will bake the rolls and finish up the laundry and then maybe go sit in the porch  rocking chairs if I can fit that in.  I've been home alone since about 9 AM and it's been peaceful and relaxing.

  This life is good.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rainy and about 45 degrees today...

 I feel a little like Rainbow Woman today.

 I'm not leaving this house.  I have no dr appointments, no commitments, no nothing. WOO HOO !!!

 I do have a plan towards some cooking though. A stew of some sort. Either a Hobbit Stew (roasted root veggies) or perhaps a Caribbean Pork Stew.  I want to bake some yeast rolls.  I want to make a dessert of some sort.  Pie, maybe??  Coconut custard maybe, with toasted coconut on top?   I need to make some granola, himself has finished off the last gallon of it I made, and put the jar out IN PLAIN SIGHT so I wouldn't miss it. lol   

  That sounds like a day full of householding, doesn't it ?  I have no intention of venturing any farther from the house than the chicken coop. It needs cleaning and the regular egg check.  The rain is supposed to stop pretty soon, but so far it starts and stops.  So...I had a sandwich.  lol

 I feel lazy. And tired. And  am going to take this day slowly and mindfully.  I have a new book, a crime thriller from the "Queen of Scandinavian crime fiction"  Liza Marklund.  I'll be resting on the couch off and on reading too. I've been traveling to town 3 x a week for chiropractic care for my poor neck and shoulders It's getting better.  I had acupuncture on my knee yesterday too. Don't know if it has helped or not.  But it isn't worse.  I have also been hitting a LOT of meetings and appointments with people, and you know how I get when I am not home enough.  Crabby.  Irritable.  Discontent.

 Yesterday the only things I had to do were the chiro and then meet up with my niece and sister-in-law for lunch. Then I came home  and read a little and lay on the heating pad. I had some chicken thighs in the freezer, so I got those out and put them into the oven and made a Paprika Chicken for supper. Smashed up some red potatoes with the jackets on and stir fried a big skillet of vegetables with Italian seasonings on them.  Voila!  We watched an old movie called With Honors  as we ate...starred Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Patrick Dempsey...quite good.  I must have picked it up in one of my thrift store deals, because I don't recall having ever watched it, and it was marked 75 cents. lol 

  Well, it looks like the water has stopped, so maybe I'll head out to the girls and get cleaning.  Maybe some fresh air will get me going, because honestly, I could sit at this computer all day.

  The wrist is still sore, but getting a little better every day. I still have a bit of swelling and bruising that you can see, but all in all (even though it isn't healing fast enough)  I feel optimistic.  Sort of. Truthfully--last night I started writing this and was an emotional wreck. Wrote and wrote and wrote and will never publish it.  But it was cathartic, apparently, and that's what I needed. Having a ..."life hasn't turned out like I'd planned and now I'm old" kind of moment.  Boo Hoo.  Thank God I have some tools today to help me through times like that.

 Alright chickens, here I come...


Sunday, March 23, 2014

A quiet Sunday morning...

 There is magic afoot.   Always this time of year, even though we yo yo in and out of chilly and warm weathers. In a matter [of what seemed like] hours, green started showing up in the grass, tiny bits of green here and there.  At the same time, trees in the backyard started budding and there are already little casings and seeds falling to the ground. As you can see in the picture, the surprise lilies are popping up too.  Spring...finally.  2 days ago, it was 76 and I sat in the back in my favorite old metal lawn chair with my shoes off and my feet on the dirt.  Yesterday I went to our annual Spring Equinox celebration and it was too cold to plant the peas. lol  We all were bundled up and trekked over to the community gardens and went into the greenhouse to see the seedlings and listen to a young man talk to us about permaculture and sustainability. A young hippie looking guy. lol I talked with him a bit about hugelkulture and  made sure he had our phone number and later in the spring we will have him out for supper. Oh..I am so sly in my old age !  lol

  I am still fretting and fussing about the honeysuckle and my better half says not to worry, " can't kill that stuff".  But I've never seen it all look so brown. Todays high is forecast to be only 41, but at least it's sunny out there.  Tomorrow will be 50, back to 35 on Tuesday, and then it looks like a warming trend from there on out.

  People asking asking--if I have my garden in yet. A resounding NO as usual. I just do not ever plant (except maybe potatoes and usually not even them) until mid to late April.  It's just not worth the risk of losing them to frost (or flood, lol), which is entirely possible here until mid-May.  We have such a great long growing season here that there is no reason to rush it.  Besides, the gardening/canning/preserving season goes on plenty long enough for me. lol

  I have been doing some fun-ish stuff since my cast came off and I have a little more freedom. I bought about 8 pounds of strawberries the other day for 99 cents a pound and  made strawberry shortcake with about a pound and a half of them.
Lovely, isn't it ?  I used Mary's scones recipe, sweetened it up a bit more, patted it out a bit thicker and then sugared the tops before baking. O.M.G.  It was so good.
 Then the rest of them got the stems taken off, washed well and then individually quick frozen on a large cookie sheet. This morning I took them out of the freezer and put them into zip lock bags. All ready for smoothies or dessert or whatever.

  Earlier in the week I decided to try a recipe I found for fermented carrots. Along the line of the kimchi, but only carrots, garlic, a little red pepper and rosemary.  Aldi's had organic baby carrots on sale and that was perfect because I didn't have to much chopping. (Yes--my right hand is still pretty weak and sore).  They LOOK beautiful, I just can't wait to taste them They are on Day 4 (I think) of the fermenting process.

 Other than that, it's been a cycle of chiropractor, orthopedics and trying to get my house cleaned up. 

 I am feeling pretty anxious for the season to change and hoping some of this arthritis pain will go away when it warms up.  I'm tired of not feeling good, and hurting all the time. Way tired. This has been a rough winter. 

  These are the visions I have in my head:

Sigh....soon enough....soon enough...


Monday, March 17, 2014

drumroll....and the winner is ...ME !!!!!!!

  Ain't she purty ?  A saucy little number in basic black.

  Looks a little like a medieval torture device though. But--THE CAST IS GONE !!!!!  And that's all that matters.  He said the bone is good,  and that I am to be out of the brace as much as I am in it, but might be a good idea to sleep in it for a while, and if the wrist starts feeling weak or painful to get it back on. The sprain is very bad and may take months to heal. He said it's probably going to hurt for quite some time,  but it's looking good.  I go back in a month. He said to keep moving it, but don't lift anything too heavy for a while.  He said that I don't need to worry about the bone re-breaking, unless I fall on it again like I did, otherwise, it's tough and good to go.

 I have to admit, I was a little worried. It was(is) still hurting enough, I was afraid I'd done too much, (blah,blah,blah). He said one of the problems  with casts is that at some point they start causing as much problem as they're helping.  Anyways...I am so relieved to have that darn thing off. I was having small muscle spasms in my arm and thumb and general weakness in my arm and hand. I have tendinitis in my thumb.


 I came home straightaway and started on the St. Patrick's Day feast.. lol  I considered making a loaf of Barm Brack, a lovely yeast tea bread, but it seemed like much more work/time than our favorite old Irish Soda Bread,  and I wasn't sure when I would get back from my appointment. So I elected to sweeten up the soda bread a tad more than usual and add raisins to it for the festivities. (Boy--do we know how to LIVE or what ??)  lol   I put that together and then started the main dish of colcannon and sausages.  That is a lovely supper, akin to a New England boiled dinner, sort of.  Potatoes and cabbage and onions and carrots all cooked together until soft and then mashed up with some butter and cream. Lightly mashed and chunky. Then put the cooked sausages with it and Voila! you have the Annie Kelley version. I used big sweet  turkey sausages.  It was delicious altogether. It's one of the Irishman's favorite dishes.  Last evening I made him a pitcher of blackberry lemonade from the concentrates I'd made and canned last year.  He was in heaven.  We ate and watched  a few episodes of Ballykissangel, one of our favorite BBC collections.


So it's late and I'm tired --been a big day.  I'll be heading to bed soon, but wanted to check in with some good news for a change.

Ta Ta For Now !


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We sprang forward...

  The past few days have been warm and sunny. Those kind of days make me feel like I'm coming out of hibernation. I wake up enthused and full of energy. Big plans to do lots of stuff.  And then I try to get the cord out of the coffee grinder with one hand, or fasten my bra or...sigh...and I get so frustrated I just want to go back to bed.

  Today was better.  And it was almost 80 degrees. Yikes.  It's thundering and lightening now, with big wind and rain. It's nearing midnight, and it's still 65 degrees out there.  They say a cold front is going to move in when I go to bed, bringing a wintry mix and up to an inch of snow.  Sheesh.  I'm hoping it blows on over and goes somewhere else. I have to take a woman to the food pantry and the grocery store in the morning, and then I have a chiropractor appt in the afternoon.

  I'm worried that this wrist isn't healing. Still a fair amount of pain in it, though it is better. I think. 6 more days and we'll know.

  Went to my nephews house for supper on Sunday, a little surprise birthday supper for his mom that h put together at the last minute. It was a good time, his cooking is wonderful and my sister in law was very surprised to see us there. She's still taking the chemo once a month, but seems to be doing pretty good.  Thank you, God.

  I had some women over on Friday so I got a little cleaning done with the help of my son.  Baked up an Amish Cinnamon Loaf and it was good.  The house is a complete disaster again, of course, but I might get some stuff done tomorrow and Thursday. I did get laundry done today before I went off for my twice a month office volunteer stint.  Monday night we had discussion group: we're reading 2 chapters at a time in a book called Spiritual Ecology. We've got one more night of it and then it's finished, and we have to decide what we'll be doing next.

 I'm going to have a busy April, and possibly throughout the summer. April 5th, I am attending a women's one day retreat, full of all kinds of exciting things. I'll be helping with the food there, I think.  April 12 I will be facilitating a night called The Welcome Table, attended by our local CSA members and also some Earth day participants from the Sierra Club and Nature Institute (they have some kind of shindig going on during the day and will join us in the evening).  I will prepare several soups and breads and we will talk about food. What to do with certain things in their shares, how to prepare nutritious meals and any questions they might have about anything related to this.  I am going to be doing some food preservation workshops for the Sierra Club and maybe a couple of others as well,  as they offer a series through the summer on Living Well.  I'm very excited and particularly honored to be asked to do them.  Later in the summer I will probably do another canning workshop at La Vista and then in August, I will be cooking for the retreat again.  Great fun.  I'm just hoping I will have 2 good arms to use.  lol

 Well, the sound of the rain is putting me to sleep, and I'm going to head for bed. Sweet dreams...



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Happy Housekeeping !

  Hello !!  I slept like a baby last night until I was awakened this morning by some tremulous dreams. I was running a restaurant kitchen again and being wooed by a tall dark handsome man who was intent on getting me to run away with him. lol  I woke up remembering how exhilarating and exhausting that kind of work is, and how much I miss it sometimes.

  I woke up with a better attitude than I had yesterday. Though I must admit, my massage and chiro appointment helped too, once I finally got there. It was late in the afternoon, giving me plenty of time in the early parts of the day to have a hissy fit or two and a near meltdown. Nothing big. Just me hurting too much and being frustrated and depressed at all this. AND...the steroid shot in my knee seems to be wearing off already, and I am back to limping and hurting.  A couple of times it just got to be too much and I came a little unraveled.

 I have some women coming over tomorrow morning and was trying to get the house cleaned up a little. Ha.  I made a valiant start--set a time to start and turn off the computer. Made a list (a reasonable list with only 9 things on it). Ate a healthy breakfast of granola, banana and greek yogurt. Had one cup of coffee.  


 Then the boy came in and said--shall we do the fridge transfer and I said yes. (It was actually on my list, since he moved the new one into the house yesterday from the garage and it was sitting in the middle of the walkway).  Oh.  My.  Goodness.

  Let me qualify what I'm about to tell you by saying that there has not been a working light in that refrigerator for months. I have been in a cast/splint for 5 weeks now. The dog ate my homework.  Oh,

  What a freaking mess that fridge was.  Stuff way in the back that you couldn't see (and it has deep shelves--I've probably lost 1/3 of my refrigerator shelf space with this new one).  Some really OLD stuff. It was also a side by side and the new one is the freezer at the top. So...Most of the freezer stuff made the cut--a few things so old they had to go--and a few things went out into the big freezer.  So I composted, threw away and washed a gazillion containers and jars. And it has taken me almost all day. In between here and there I have managed to make supper for my beloved, make a pot of vegetable beef soup for my friends coming tomorrow for lunch and get my desk cleaned off.  I still need to clean the bathrooms, dust, run the vac, empty the dryer, clean the birdcage and clean the kitchen.

  I am supposed to go to a meeting tonight in about an hour and a half--I may not make it. I'm getting a little tired.

  On a VERY bright note...I hooked up with an old friend on Facebook last night that I had lost track of  for about 20 years. I called her today and we chatted and caught up for about an hour. It was so wonderful to hear her voice !!  I was feeling a little teary talking to her and missing my old home on the north coast of California.

  Well--gotta run. One of the dogs just puked in at least 3 places in the hallway and living room. Sigh...oh well. At least I hadn't cleaned that yet.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Big girls don't cry...

Had to get another cast. The bone has slipped down--he said probably a combination of overuse and the swelling going down and loosening the cast.  He thinks it will still be alright, after another 2 weeks in a cast and then a splint. I am really really really trying hard to not use it at all.  I am back in the sling, as well, which is causing the whiplash in my neck and shoulders to worsen. I have an almost constant slight and steadily worsening headache.  The neck muscles are hard knots. The back of my skull aches from it.

 I went through a few hours of  self-pity, then anger, then crying.It's just too much. 

  Then I pulled up my big girl panties and went on with my life. 

  Until yesterday, when I got a letter in the mail from Medicare, saying that they understand I have other insurance that should be paying before them...blah blah blah...with FOUR pages of forms to fill out about this insurance that I supposedly have.  Of course, they are talking about the driver who hit me and HER State Farm Insurance. They even have the claim number written on the letter and the State Farm address and everything.  WTH ???   I cannot fill out 4 pages of forms WITHIN 10 DAYS
with no right hand. I simply cannot.  Tomorrow I shall call them and see if I can resolve this over the phone.

 I did have a wonderful massage last Wednesday. When she used the hot stones on my neck and upper back, I almost cried from the relief.  It was so nice to have an hour of respite from the pain, even though she had to tread lightly and not go very deep into the tissue. She kept poor thing...until I wanted to cry for myself. lol  Just the reassurance of healing hands on my body was enough to soothe me.   I have another one scheduled for Wednesday, and am seeing the chiropractor twice a week. 

  Today is Sunday. We were supposed to have a storm come in last night, and it did sleet and put a nice layer of ice on everything, but only about 1/4 inch of snow. They are still calling for 4-6 inches today, although it has been barely spitting snow, so maybe it will all miss us for a change.  It's almost 1:30, so I guess there's still time.  But I shall keep my fingers crossed and my hopes high that it will go around us.

  This morning we had a big breakfast of ham and bacon and eggs and potatoes and everything bagels...the boy and husband did most of the work with a little supervision from me. Then they [mostly] cleaned everything up too.  Why is it men can not ever wipe down the stovetop when they clear up ??  lol

 Alright...I am going to get my ice pack for my neck and a book and perhaps a cup of chai tea...and go into the bedroom away from the tv (husband is marathon movie watching--all LOUD action movies) and alternate the ice and the heating pad and that will help. It's basically a quiet lazy day here and I should be doing some laundry, but first things first.  This headache needs to go away...

  Enjoy your Sunday dear ones...