Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flying trip to Maine

(**the editor is not allowing me to do paragraphs again so I'll use asterisks)

Today I did one of my "flying trips to Maine" which means I get up at an ungodly hour, drive 3 hours to Maine, hang out for 5-6 hours, and drive back 3 hours. For those who would question why any sane person would do this, I'm allergic to my grandmother's house because she burns wood. Now, granted, my asthma has improved an unbelievable amount since I escaped from the practice of law, but I'm still leery of testing it. ER visits and prednisone tapers are not fun at all.
Anyway, my mother quit her job effective Friday, and I still had all her Pampered Chef stuff from a party I had in April, and I had ordered a new camera and some accessories for her when I ordered mine, so I decided to make a run up. Since Shawn had a male only LaRoche father's day pool playing event at Gillian's in Manchester, it was a good time to go, so that I would not complain about how vastly unfair that just the guys get to go play pool. I mean, what the hell?
Okay, so I've complained, fairly loudly actually.
I got to Maine about 10:30 am or so because I got a late start. (Yes, I know it is appalling that 7:30 am is a late start for one of these jaunts.) We hung out at Gram's for a while, chatting with Doug and Barb who are up from Florida. Doug is my mother's brother who looks like Abraham Lincoln. I am not kidding. He really does. It was good to see them. We played with Mom's camera and looked at her new Pampered Chef stuff, and then decided to go to lunch at Captain's Fresh Idea in Waldoboro.
On the way there, we realized that we might not have mentioned to my sister that I was up. So we called her and asked her to meet us there. Since we were there first, mom and I decided to split some steamers. Here's pictures of Mom and the steamers. I don't often get to have steamers now, because Shawn is not a fan at all, and I always feel like a glutton if I get a whole order by myself. I also got the lobster salad plate which was really good. I pretty much used up all my allowable protein for the day and then some, at lunch.
Here's pictures of Deb and Noah, with Noah making faces, and Mike and Wren. Wren's eyes are closed, but even with his eyes closed it always shocks me how much he looks like my sister and my father. DNA, who knew??
After lunch, mom and I decided to go to Rockland so she could look into getting wireless for her computer, but we were unable to find the store where she was supposed to go. So we checked out the sights and the changes in Rockland, and I was finally able to get some pictures of lupins. During the whole ride up, the lupins by the side of the road were out of control. I couldn't believe there were so many of them. We also took a little jaunt past the Samoset and I got some pictures of the bay. I headed out to go back to Manch Vegas around 3:30 pm.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Philosophic Musings and Progress

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982).

While I don't really believe in a Judaeo-Christian God, I think there might be a supreme being and/or a universal consciousness, and there are things like the color purple that are supposed to be reminders of joy. Reminders that there are bright and beautiful things in this world, and those little simple things are to remind you to rejoice. Maybe for other people, there's a different color or frequency that they respond to that reminds them, but for me it's often those simple little things, like an iris, a lupin or a violet. They scream to me, look at this, how can you not be happy when there are these beautiful things and these colors? Or when you hear a song, at the right time and the right place, and you get the shivers, not just because you like the song, but because it hits you the right way and the truth of it reminds you. Or watching the waves crash upon the rocks at the sea coast and watching the colors swirl with the white foam and bubbles of the wave. Or a beautiful hand-dyed skein of yarn screaming with color, soft and silky to the point that you want to roll in it (or maybe that's just me). There can be a hundred other things wrong in your life, that dim your consciousness to the beauty in the world around you, but every now and then for me, just when I seem to need it, a reminder pops up, that says look at this little spark of beauty, how can you not be elated? How can you not remember? How can you not laugh?

And now for something completely different...this week Shawn made a huge leap and cooked two recipes completely on his own without supervision. He made Greek Beef Stew with Feta and Turkey Chili. I now do not have to worry about him subsisting only on deli meat for the rest of his life if I were to get hit by the proverbial bus. It's the first time since we've been together that he has actually cooked anything from scratch. When we met, he had so few cooking skills that making alfredo sauce out of a packet by adding water, milk and butter was a challenge for him. I mean this is huge. Even if it's partially due to the fact that we now need to make diabetic friendly recipes, I am so proud of him for doing it and taking responsibility for doing these things for himself!

We met with the dietician today, and got Shawn a meter to test his blood sugar. She gave us another option for meal planning, the plate method, but I can tell you right now, that's not going to work. I think it would give us too many opportunities to cheat and ignore portion sizes. She seemed to be pushing insulin which was anxiety provoking for both of us. We'll have to have a further discussion with the doc, I guess, but I know we're both hoping to control it with diet and exercise.

In other news, Mya's Jacket pattern is in it's third revision. Several of my knitting peeps have agreed to test knit the jacket for me, and Gina's finished hers. Here's pictures:
Isn't it amazing how different it can look, just by changing the colors and the yarn? Her's is in two pinks, in wool and angora. Mine is in blue, made of cotton. I can't wait to see Jackie's and Lora's!!
I've got two projects on the needles, but I feel like I'm dubbing around until I can wrap up the Jacket and start the next design project.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

2009 World Wide Knit in Public Day!

Today was World Wide Knit in Public Day which is mean to promote knitting as a craft and to bring knitters together. Although as a group we've known about the date for months and months, we sort of blew off planning until 10 days before the event. So we decided to just meet on the State House lawn in Concord, NH. We also decided not to get a permit, because it was sort of the last minute, and we figured the worst they would do was ask us to leave. It never really occurred to us that another event might be going on in the park at the same time, as well as the farmers market going on next to us on the side street.

Apparently there was some sort of military thing possibly related to Flag Day. So there were rousing military marches going on, lots of people in uniform wandering about, as well as booths and military advertising going on. Gov. Lynch was there, and one of our attendees, Meg was apparently friends with his body guard and tried to sway him into getting Lynch to drop by our little WWKIP gathering, but no dice. The event was well attended, we had a lot of our regulars, as well as some people we had not met yet, and those who come sporadically. One of the new people has the coolest tattoo and she let me take a picture. If I were to ever get a tattoo, I would probably get something similar, but I can't stand needles and tend to pass out. That might not be good in a tattoo parlor.

Gabriel brought his mom, and of course stole most of the attention for the rest of the day. He looks so much like his mom, it's crazy. I also took a picture of Sarah in mother mode taking pictures of Gabriel.

Claire and Mary dropped by even though they were blowing us off and were only there to go to the Farmer's Market. I took some really odd pictures of Claire because she kept moving, and I think she may owe me for not putting them up here. They were really funny.

Traci and Linda ran over to Puppy Love to get us hotdogs for lunch, the sun was shining, it was cool (although somehow I managed to get sunburned anyway) and it was a perfectly lovely day.

Slacking off on the Blog and Relay Recap

**Because this won't allow me to enter blank lines today apparently, I'm inserting asterisks in between paragraphs, what is up with that???***
I haven't written for a bit, I seem to be running around all the time, with the whole biking thing, trying to plan our new diets, and general chaos. Anyway, many of you knew I was doing the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. (Here's the page to donate, if you want to do it after the fact :), there's still time) I did it with the Bianco crew. We had a good time, including some of us scooting over the Puritan for a dinner break, and drinks. But it was cold. Viciously cold. So cold you couldn't get warm in a sleeping bag cold. So cold you were putting the palm of your hand over the tip of your nose to warm it up, and it still chapped up and peeled two days later cold.
The whole premise of the Relay is that you start at 6:00 pm and walk around a track, in relays, until 10:00 am the next morning. So we planned to have two people on the track most of the time. You were supposed to sleep while others were doing their turn. This did not work out well for me. Let me repeat how freaking cold it was. And I'm only saying "freaking" to be diplomatic. You know which other word that begins with an F, I'm using in my heart of hearts. It was so cold I could not sleep and I think I got all of 45 minutes sleep at the track, between 3:30 am and 4:30 am ish. After running to the ladies room and returning to our camp site at about 4:50 am, we kind of all looked at each other and said let's get the hell out of there. We left Anna behind because she decided to stay as the kiddos were still sleeping (sorry Anna...).
It was kind of fun, but I may be approaching the age where I am just too old for this kind of thing. I got home around 6 am or so, and showered to get all the grass and damp off off me, and to warm up, and tried to sleep for a couple of hours, as we had Shawn's brother's family graduation party that day. Honestly, I was exhausted for three days afterwards. Next time, I'll just do the walk. You know, walk five miles in an hour and a half or so, and be done with it. No carting tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and other assorted crap around. You just walk and it's over. Plus they played music all night, which was fine, unless you were trying to sleep, and the D.J. was just pathetic, and needed to be put out of his misery. Again, some curmudgeonliness (is that a word?) is beginning to rear its ugly head, but I think that's pretty much been in process since I was six.
I woke up at about 10:00 am that morning, after having gone to bed at 7:00 am, to get ready to go to Shawn's brother's graduation party. I was really dragging, and continued to drag. It was nice to see everyone, but it was also a lesson for Shawn and I that we are going to have to plan to bring food to those kind of events to insure that there are things there he can eat, and not feel like he's being deprived. There weren't many good choices.
After the party, we then had to grocery shop so we would have diabetes friendly food for the week ahead. For those of you who don't know this about me, I HATE to grocery shop. Having to do it every week is an adjustment for us, since we used to do it about once a month, as that was about as often as I could stand it. (Honestly, I'd rather scrub the toilets.) By the time we got it home and unloaded, I had just about collapsed. There was a time when I could pull two all nighters in a row, and not collapse until 11:00 pm on the third night. Of course, I used to drink a hell of lot more caffeine then, but I digress. I'm getting old.
The next day, I got up to start two of the dishes from the crockpot diabetes cookbook we got, Mulligatawny Soup, and Morrocan Beef, and left them going while I went to guild. We make our own freezer meals. The hard part is now we have to weigh the whole batch, then apportion it by weight by serving, and then masking tape the diabetes exchange values on the top so we know how to count it. I'm doing a hell of a lot of dishes lately.
On Monday we went to the Windham Rail Trail with Gina and Ian. We were late due to traffic, and my optimistic view of when I think I can leave work. We caught up with them on the trail and Shawn rode 8 miles with Ian and I rode 6 miles with Gina (her fender was rattling and she didn't want to go on the unpaved part as it was driving her crazy.) I also got to see her version of Mya's Jacket which was so cool!!! It's so different than mine, but I love what she did with it. Gina has been really helpful with test knitting the pattern, she's a great editor!
Wednesday I went to Paula and Fred's. I love going to Paula and Fred's. Fred had a new cheese to try with an ash layer going through the middle of it. Apparently in that region, when they started making that particular cheese in the depths of time, they would take the cream from the morning milking, put it in a container, put a layer of fine ash over the top to keep the flies off it, and then put another layer of cream over it with the evening milking. They obviously don't have to do that now, but they do because it's traditional for that cheese. The things you learn at Paula and Fred's!! Fred also had some limoncello that he made from scratch which was just gorgeous. I might have to try to do it too.