Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wintry Mix

Today:  first there was sun, now there are clouds.  And there could be snow--1-3" worth--beginning any minute.

Tomorrow:  The overnight snow will change to rain and sleet and ice, at some point highs will reach in the 40s.

Thursday:  by the time the afternoon comes, there will be more snow, maybe even 1-3 more inches.

So, that means maybe a delay AND an early dismissal tomorrow, or just a cancellation?  And then a delay or cancellation on Thursday.

Who knows.

But I have food and activities for all of us regardless.


I've made a decision:  I'm not a vegetarian anymore.

In truth, after almost exactly seven years, I haven't been a vegetarian for awhile now, nipping some chicken here, eating fish there.  But in my mind, I always reverted to vegetarianism.

But I've decided to give up the label and just focus on good food for all of us.

Which is to say, I'm not running out for a McDonald's burger or a hot dog.  In fact, I don't imagine I'll add that much meat to my diet.  And when I do, it will be pasture-raised, free-range, organic when possible, "happy" meat.  (And still no veal, or lamb, or rabbit.)

But I've been overwhelmed with trying to feed two totally different audiences:  me, the vegetarian, and everyone else, the omnivores.  In the end, I made a lot of mediocre meals that satisfied none of us fully.

And so, a new chapter.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Flip Side

For a few years now, I've noticed that sometimes I can hear and understand everything someone says to me, and sometimes I can't.  I've been to two ENTs about it--one said it was my advancing age, another said it was a vacuum caused by my little nose, teeth, and little ears.  Neither had any real suggestions.  And even with two hearing tests, neither said my hearing was anything but average.  Maybe not as good as it had been, but still regular.

Well, I finally did less than average on a hearing test!


Average is to about 15 or so, and I'm closer to 25, if I understand the explanation correctly.

I went to a new ENT, recommended by a friend, last week.  He ran tests--audiology and x-ray.  And I have a bit of a hearing loss in each ear, more on the left, particularly in the high frequencies--all of which means I don't hear all consonants, especially if it's noisy or if the person's voice is higher.  It's not ear wax or build up, not sinuses or infections, not TMJ or jaw pain and inflammation.  Probably the very common sensorineural loss.


And the only treatment is hearing aids.  Which can run expensive.  And aren't covered by insurance. So, they were asking me if it affected my life?  Well, several times a day I have to ask somebody to repeat something, usually Sis, who gets tired of it and says, "Never mind."  So yeah, it affects me.

Still, we're checking into some things.  Trying a nasal spray just in case it helps, though he didn't see fluid or pressure (my ear drum functions normally.)  And I'm practicing trying to always look right at people to hear them better.

But in the end, it'll probably be hearing aids.
Sis said, it's a good thing I'm taking sign language.


But I guess at least I heard her.


So, I saw The Vagina Monologues on Saturday with the monologue about different names for the vagina.

And on Sunday, apparently, during OWL class, the kids talked about different names for breasts, vagina, and penis.  And all the kids in class decided that was GROSS.  But at least they learned the appropriate names and also the ones they should never use.  Apparently, they came up with all the ones I could think of, and many more.

Can't decide if that scares or impresses me.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


What a wonderful, exhausting, frustrating, fun first 24 hours.
  • Kids' Service Team event.  The kids' service team is a great combo of community building and helping others.  We shared pizza, salad, and brownies at church, and then the kids made fleece blankets and the adults tried their hands at knitting.  Sis and a few of her friends joined us and we practiced casting on and knitting . . . and fixing our mistakes.  I learned a few new techniques--the one needle cast-on, how to prevent curling edges in an all-knit piece by dropping the first stitch of each row, how to rework dropped stitches with a crochet hook (over-under, over-under), and how to pull stitches off a needle and put them back on (very carefully, making sure stitches are facing the right way)--with the help of one of the experts.  It was all fun.  But now I have a scarf to finish!  
  • Ice skating!
  • Kung fu!
  • Cookie booth--oh, the stories I could tell.  And so I will.  Of course, the GS cookie booth troubles started a couple of weeks ago when the store that had agreed to host several troops selling cookies changed their minds and we all had to scramble for new times and places and reschedule everybody!  Then today, we our people showed up at a different store, they said we weren't supposed to be there, though we had registered and our contact was on her way to smooth it over.  Well, don't mess with Cookie Moms!  And so we stayed put.  Until we had to move--our shifts were split between two stores because of the aforementioned schedule change.  THEN, a GS mom stationed at the store we'd just been at came over and harassed us for being at our store, saying we were competing with them and ruining their sales and that wasn't supposed to happen (though, there had been another troop at the store all morning--the troop of an older sister of one of our girls.) It happens every year.  EVERY Year.  Novice.  Again, don't mess with Cookie Moms!  But all of our girls worked their shifts, even in the cold, and we sold 40 cases of cookies, which is excellent.  We are very proud of our troop and very grateful to all of our volunteers.
  • The VAGINA Monologues:  Our old church sponsored a fundraiser reading of the Eve Ensler play this evening and I went with a bunch of friends, who first gathered for dinner together.  Veggie lasagna, salad, garlic bread, flourless chocolate cake, and almond cake.  Yum!  And the show, oh, the show was amazing.  I'm ashamed to admit, as both a feminist and a lesbian, that I had never seen it.  But this production was perfect because I knew 95% of the cast, from old church and around town, and there they were saying things like vagina, cum, cunt, orgasm, hair, coochie snorcher, folds, clit, lips, wet, etc etc outloud in public!  And talking about rapes in Kosovo, female genital mutilation, repression, and even dry cotton tampons and cold duck lip specula!  We laughed riotously--at the Angry Vagina and the dominatrix who curated moans of her female clients (and demonstrated several of them, like the WASP moan and the exhausted Zen moan!)--and sighed at the "cellar" and "tulip" and lack of self-awareness (and cheered at the painful, glorious discovery of such), and choked up at the memories of violence.  It really was a wonderful evening.  So proud of the cast of wonderful, talented women, and of the UU church community that brought them together to benefit a women's outreach center nearby.  Well-done!  (It was also great to see so many old church friends, whom I miss often.  Took me awhile to hug my way out the door.  Haven't felt that much love and support and energy in a space, like that, since lesbian coffeehouse in Chicago.)
  • I got home to discover that my BIL had been called back to work a hospital shift tonight.  He was with the kiddos and his sis for about an hour.  They were very sorry to see him go and quite subdued when I got home.  We know he'll try again soon and we'll have a good time and besides . . . . . 
  • It looks like the weather is turning ugly earlier tomorrow than we expected, with anywhere from 1-6" coming (depending on whom you believe) plus ice, and so it is probably best that he won't be on the road tomorrow night.
  • And so we'll see what tomorrow brings weather-wise, along with church, Soup Sunday, and the arts and crafts party.

Solo Almond Bundt Cake

Almond Glaze Topping
1 cup confectioners sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoon light cream

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
3  eggs
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 can Solo Almond Cake and Pastry Filling or 1 jar of any other fruit filling
1⁄4 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze Topping (no chocolate on the one at church)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoon buttermilk or low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond filling until blended. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt until mixed. Add to almond mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Beat until blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on rack. To make glaze, combine ingredients in small bowl, and stir until blended and smooth. Spoon or drizzle over top of cake. Let stand until glaze is set. Or top with fresh fruit and whipped cream!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Friday, February 27, 2015


I'm not sure this is the kind of weekend people look forward to when they need a rest, though it will be fun.  Besides the 5F degrees tomorrow, we have this weekend:

  • a kids' service team event
  • ice skating
  • kung fu
  • Girl Scout cookie booth
  • dinner with friends and a play
  • church
  • an arts and crafts party
  • and a visit from Goo.

I am the Champion!

The kids have finally found a video game I actually don't mind playing:  Just Dance!

You hold the Wii U controller in your hand and follow the moves of the dancers on the screen as they dance to current popular songs.

Kinda like aerobics videos, but with better outfits and soundtracks.

And you don't feel like you're exercising.

It's fun.

We even get karaoke credit for singing along!

And I win, most of the time.

My secret?  Just worry about the hand with the controller, not all the fancy footwork--the computer can't see your feet, just the controller.

The only downside:  this is a game I will only play with my kids with no one but Mama watching.  Ever.

As Sis says, "It makes you feel a little bit self-conscious."

So only the kids will ever see my Nikki Minaj moves!