Friday, October 20, 2006

Yes, I can see how this is better. Not!

Okay. Are we ready for way too much information? If you are, keep reading. If not (or if you are eating), then click somewhere else for today. You have been warned. Not long ago we realized that the medications I am on were no longer doing what we wanted them to do. My blood sugar was creeping up, my blood pressure was creeping up, and my cholesterol was creeping up. Creep creep creep. Since I was on the lowest dosages of all, we decided to go ahead and double up. And whenever you increase a dose, certain things happen. First of all, the temporary side effects that you suffered long ago as rite of passage come back. Second of all, sometimes NEW side effects appear because of the higher doses, and these may or may NOT be temporary. How long to wait to decide this is up for debate. So for the first two weeks I felt absolutely horrible as I got used to the new blood pressure medication. I was anticipating this, because when I started taking it I spent two weeks feeling worse than crap. I made it the two weeks and it got better. However, the blood sugar medicine is being more of a brat. My stomach is in constant turmoil. It hurts all the time (like I was punched, but sometimes the pains are sharper, like gas pains). Anything I eat or drink goes right through relatively unchanged. You would think that means I have lost so much weight, seeing as my food cannot possibly have time to absorb. One pound. That's right ladies and gents, I spend most of my day in the toilette and yet only ONE POUND has left me. It seems so unfair. Anyhoo. For the first two weeks I thought I could handle it. It was an inconvenience, nothing more. Then another week, and I was getting tired and stressed out. Then another, and you know, it's really starting to piss me off. I made DD late the other day (after freaking out when she made us late last week) because I had to run to the bathroom ONE MORE TIME before we left. I hadn't even eaten anything, where was it coming from? Are aliens injecting my innards with green water as I sleep? Who knows. Stranger things have happened, I am sure. To add to it, the blood pressure meds are making me dizzy. Not light headed, not vertigo, and not all the time. I will be standing there, minding my own business when it feels like somebody violently grabs the world, turns it, then rights it again. I grab onto furniture so I don't fall off the earth, then my head spins so hard for a few seconds afterwards I can practically hear it. Apparently, that is my pressure dipping low. Finally, I am giving up. Throwing in the towel. Crying uncle. I have camping this weekend (unheated bathrooms, remember me as you use your nice warm powder rooms for the next three days). Next week I am Chicago for five days. That's two airports. I can't be missing my flight because I had to make an emergency bathroom run. The thought of being in that tiny airplane bathroom during turbulance, or takeoff or landing doesn't exactly thrill me either. I don't want to have to request an aisle seat so I can get up and sit down forty times during a flight that is less than two hours. I called the doctors office and BEGGED for an appointment so we can get this all fixed. "What do you want us to do?". I don't care. Give me something. A shot in the butt, an iv, sew up my patoot. We don't know if the dizziness is going to get worse, better, or stay the same. At this minute I could care less how we fix it all, but it has to be fixed. I asked if I could cut the meds back and see if it helps, or can we try something different instead. After a long wait, the receptionist called me back. He doesn't want me to cut back on the meds because we don't know what will happen if the dose is lowered again. It could be fine, it could be bad. He also doesn't want to give me something new to take because the other med has a higher chance of dangerously low or high sugars, and who knows how I might react to a new blood pressure medicine, and it scares him to send me away to Chicago by myself that way. "You don't want to be in a cab in a strange city and disoriented, or pass out". I refrained from telling her I am ALWAYS disoriented anyhow and nobody would know the difference - but they have a point on the passing out thing. Okay, they have good arguments. But I can't go on like this either! So I begged.....for the trip, JUST for the trip can he give me something to calm my stomach and keep me out of the little girls room for more than five minutes at a time? Nope. Eat binding foods. Nice. So what does a person do, when cheese, bananas, and plain saltine crackers cause a barrel-run? Sigh. Wouldn't it be nice to live with ME these days? Even better, wouldn't it be nice to celerbrate your 10th anniversary, and your chances of nookie are about zilch because bathroom runs are just not conducive to romance? I suppose you can send DH condolence cards LOL. But we did manage to go out last night. We had dinner at Red Lobster (DH loves seafood and so does DD, and in this city Red Lobster is about the only choice for that). Dh figured I wouldn't want to go, because of my "difficulties". I told him since it didn't matter what I ate and I was going to suffer anyway, why not make it worth the suffrage? Then again, I think his mind was calculating that this dinner was going to be one expensive bathroom trip. Meaning even if I didn't spend the entire evening in the bathroom, that was where my expensive meal was going to go, and pretty soon after eating it. Ew. LOL! But in better news, he gave me these flowers. Picked them out with DD and had them add the lillies (which DD chose). Then they had them delivered. Yesterday morning when I got DD up, she was blinking and rubbing her eyes and asked dreamily "Is today your anniversary?". I said it was, and she said "Okay then" and rummaged in her headboard for a bit before producing a card. DH gave it to her the night before to give me in the morning LOL. A small thing, but it was touching actually. And she kept telling everybody in the schoolyard it was "our" anniversary today. Cute. What can I say, the girl likes a good celebration! I gave him the weather station, which he seemed very excited about. He plans on setting it up this weekend while we are away camping. After dinner we came home, played a few hands of cards (some odd conglomeration of crazy eights and go fish and war that they made up and I certainly don't get. They had fits of laughter watching my face as I was completely and utterly lost, sitting there holding cards after they were done and having no idea what just happened). Then dd was off to bed because it is SURVIVOR night. And CSI night. And ER night. And was America's next top model yesterday or the day before? My television viewing days are running into each other. Anyway, it is a pretty intense tv night LOL. So that was our evening. To dinner, cards, tv, and lots of pressing the PVR pause button so I could make a run for it. Sound like fun?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lamb interrupted

So last night we didn't eat the lamb. No, I didn't screw it up or burn it LOL. DH came home and I really wasn't feeling well (stomach troubles, from my medication and we can't fix it right now and I am telling you, the whole running-to-the-bathroom thing is getting a little old). Broiling is quick so I knew I could get dinner done relatively quickly, but he said he was going to suggest going out anyhow. Where did the birthday boy want to go? McDonald's. That's right. McD's. Not because he loves the food. Not because he had a craving. But rather he wanted the monopoly game pieces, and one of the locations has an air hockey board and they both love to play air hockey. He invited his mother (insert eyeroll here), and off we went. I didn't order anything. Considering a glass of water and some unsalted saltine crackers sent me racing to the bathroom, I didn't feel that fast food was a prudent choice. Besides, my stomach hurts too much to eat. Dh ordered for his mother, and apparently "chicken sandwich" is confusing because she pitched a fit when she saw what she had. He offered to get her a burger instead, but she had meatloaf for lunch and didn't want that. Well, they have those subs now. For dinner???? Okay, your last choices are chicken McNuggets (those are for kids) and Filet O Fish (okay, I am sorry, but fish and cheese together on a bun makes ME want to hurl, I can't fault her for not wanting that). No point in offering a salad, that is like offering your best steak to a vegan. So she ate french fries and ketchup and sulked like a three-year-old who wanted an ice cream but had to eat dinner first. Then she got her nose out of joint because she didn't want to stay for DD to play. The only reason DD is allowed to eat that slop, is because she gets exercise on the play equipment after. Through it all, I knitted on the second sock. I am embarassed to say I am still on the ribbing, and considering I cut it down to one inch from the two in the pattern (and the six inches of sock down to two because I want ankle socks) I really should be farther along. I don't like to rush ribbing though, because one false purl and all is lost, right? Okay, that might be a little melodramatic LOL. MIL was not impressed anyhow. "What is that? A sock? What kind of fool knits socks when you can buy three for a dollar at the dollar store?". To which I replied with a wink "But are they THIS ugly?". She didn't have an answer for that and looked at me like I was a looney. Mission accomplished. I thought I had one more week before the birthday madness started, and I was wrong because it starts this weekend. So I still have my 10th anniversary tomorrow, then camping for two nights, then immediately to a birthday party without benefit of shower. Boy, aren't they all lucky LOLOL. Then home to finish packing for my trip to Chicago, and I will be gone the whole week. DH has to deal with a kids b-day party for a schoolmate of DD's (which may include buying and wrapping the gift), picture day, coat shopping (that kid grew so much over the summer, that the winter coat we bought two sizes too big no longer fits well), as well as getting her back and forth to a babysitter (who is getting her back and forth to school). He might have to get the halloween candy as well. That guy has a pretty busy week ;). The next weekend we have another school b-day and another family one. And we haven't even STARTED planning DD's birthday. She wants to bring the WHOLE CLASS five pin bowling. Boys and girls. Plus a few from other classes. Her father thinks it is a good idea (we can get a great deal on the bowling and the food, I will bring a cake). I think I am going to faint. The tentative plan is to divide the kids by bowling lane, and I might hire my niece and a few of her friends to be "team captains". That just might work. I still might faint, though ;). For camping this weekend, I am frightfully unprepared. I still need one more sleeping bag, and DD needs a jogging suit or two. She has to try on her rain boots and winter boots to see if they fit, and I don't even HAVE rain boots. We have flashlights, a million of them, somewhere in this house. And they all need batteries and EXTRA batteries once I find two suitable ones. Plus extra blankets, and more than extra pairs of socks. Wet feet are no fun when it is cold. I am praying for cold and snowy versus cold and wet, because very cold means less mud. I might also look for polar fleece pajamas for DD. Normally polar fleece is too warm for her to wear, but they would be just right for winter camping, I am thinking. I will be wearing my thick knit coat, which has polar fleece lining. And an old plaid flannel shirt to layer over a t-shirt. I keep looking at these fleece lined jeans Marks Work Wearhouse has on sale right now. I am too warm normally to wear something like that, but there is always toboggan season. And football games. And other times when I would like something warmer without the bulk of long underwear. We shall see. Just one last quick note, to let you know that Princess the Potato Bug is alive and well, fat and sassy, and looks pretty good - for a bug. DH commented last night that she looked SHINY, kind of like a dog will when they eat well LOLOL. The snail eggs, well, didn't fare as well. They disappeared one by one. I have no idea how, maybe they just fell in and got eaten. Then I noticed a second small cashe way up on the cover, at the other side of the tank. Maybe some of those might make it. The pet store told us they would take back the aglae eater, as I think it is too agressive now. I want to do that before I leave for Chicago. I won't get a new Dudley until after I come back though. OH! I ALMOST FORGOT! Guess I what I saw, on the way to bringing DD for a haircut? A YARN SHOP! A real, honest to goodness, yarn and knitting shop. Not the yarn section of Walmart or Zellers (mostly novely yarn and almost all acrylic, which is fine, but I would like some wool or silk or mixed choices). Not the yarn area of Michaels. A YARN STORE. I can't tell you how excited I am. The chance to touch and feel real yarn, real WOOL, real silk and yak and mohair. Sigh. I may have to leave my chargecards home for my first visit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sorry, Shari Lewis

Rest her soul, and bless Lambchop as well. Because that is what we are having for dinner! No, not a fuzzy sock puppet silly. Lambchops. For today is DH's birthday, and when I asked if he wanted to go out he said no, and DD suggested we make him a special meal. So lambchops it is, with those little round marble potatoes. Lily livered me, who still hasn't developed a taste for lamb, will be eating turkey cutlets but it will all be cooked together. DD and I baked a cake last night, and tonight she will decorate it so we can light candles and sing and generally make a fuss over DH, who will pretend not to want it but suck it all up LOL. No present, because we are still looking for the right one (a weight bench), but DD has made him a card. DD also suggested we make it "movie" night and get Nanny McPhee to watch before she goes to bed. Quite the planner, that little girl. So the muffins. Meh. Not sure I like a crunchy streusel topping on a blueberry muffin. The streusel was very tasty, don't get me wrong. But the extra crunch from coconut and macadamia nuts somehow just didn't meld with the tender muffin. The muffin part istelf was very good, even though I forgot the butter. Sometimes I am such a dork. I went to reheat veggies at dinnertime and found a small dish full of yellow sludge in the microwave, then suddenly remembered that I forgot the butter! Amazingly, considering the only fat was a tablespoon of oil and one egg (and some chopped macadamias), they don't taste like a low fat muffin and technically you don't miss the butter. I would add it for sure next time though, because I think it would round out the flavour more. I think I skipped it because the recipe called for the addition of buttermilk and butter in a row and my eyes saw butter twice and 'edited'. Darn my artificial intelligence. I don't like "adaptation software" in my word processing programs, I surely don't like it in my own thoughts thank you. In any case they rose beautifully (rounded tops on muffins, I am ecstatic). My frozen blueberries were another disappointment. I use frozen wild blueberries which are normally small like b-b's. These were the size of regular cultured blueberries, and their flavour was not very intense - which makes them very suspect if you ask me. They were okay in the muffins mind you, but not what I expected. So I would make the recipe again, but maybe with fresh wild blueberries and leave off the crunch. Picky picky picky. I have added quite a few more inches onto my mother's lace scarf, and I think I am almost at the 1/2 way mark. Okay I am being optimistic, it is closer to a third done. But if I keep plugging at it I hope to finish it sometime next week, while I am in Chicago. I am bringing three knitting and one crochet project with me. I could work on the scarf in the airport, but not the wrap. And certainly the sock. If I finish the second sock before I go I plan on starting a new one, I have a lot of ugly sock yarn to use up and still haven't found a "favourite" sock pattern for adult feet. I've already decided to go down a needle size or two for the next pair though, to get a smoother tighter fabric. And I want to try toe-up, because they seem to have a nice rounded toe and not that odd half crescent on a grafted toe. What is up with that? I prefer going around a few more times and doing a three needle bind off even with it's bulky seam, to that wierd horned look to the graft. And it ain't just me, because I have been peeking at socks on the net, and if the Yarn Harlet has horned toes, then it is the grafting because she is the queen of socks. Don't be looking to see me using two circulars though, I swear enough using one (even using it as a straight needle can make me a potty mouth). I have another scarf to make before christmas, but I haven't decided on a pattern. And a hat for DH, which I think will be the pirate hat, only using black and grey instead of black and white for a more subtle look. Hell, I love that hat so much I might just make it for myself instead! Oh, and I finally bought the book, Stitch and Bitch handbook (or somesuch LOL, I am too lazy to check the title) so I can see the alien illusion pattern. I won't be making a scarf but I want to adapt the pattern to a hat, mittens, or even a pillow for DH's cousin's son (did you get that?). Really into aliens right now, and I have been dying to try illusion knitting anyhow. I know I saw a pattern correction on the net, so I'll have to look for that before I start. So much to do, so little knitting time. As for something for ME, I have it narrowed down to two patterns in the Big Girl Knits book. One looks like a t-shirt, the other is more tanky. The tank would be easier and faster, but I am worried the baffled front might make me look pregnant. But then again, with this belly I always look pregnant. Or perhaps like I am smuggling a watermelon or small child under my shirt. At any rate, I'll have to check and see what kind of yarn I can get locally. I might have to order something. Off to look for a recipe for lambchops......

Monday, October 16, 2006

She wore her coat

I guess a week-end of punishment really does work ;). Actually, she wasn't punished. However, she was told she needed to EARN things. No TV unless you earn it. Want to play on the computer? You have to earn it. Do your chores, help when I ask, do as you are told, and be respectful. And that earning has to keep going, so being nice for three minutes and getting your gameboy does not mean that you can be nasty now. Nosirree, because that gameboy goes back in the china cabinet lickety split. You have to be nice the WHOLE time. I made an emergency call to the therapist (and thanks to all those who commented or emailed with support and advice, I really do appreciate it). He gave me permission to be "not nice". Meaning basically that I am not abusing a child by taking away priveledges and even if she dissolves in a heap and cries her heart out, she is not being traumatized. I think I spent so much time being hurt when I was a child, that I am oversensitive to the idea of hurting her. I remember what it was like to feel unwanted, unloved, feelings hurt. I guess I just go too far to try and keep her from feeling that way, and as many of you have pointed out - I am not doing her any favours. It was a hard, long week-end with a lot of crying and sobbing and hysterics (none of it mine this time). But this morning, she got up when it was time, brushed her hair when she was asked, wore the coat I pointed to, and put her shoes on instead of hiding. Despite an alarm clock snaffu (apparently I never really learned how to tell time and when setting an alarm clock that is really important) and getting up a little later than normal, we were ready in plenty of time. I just have to remember tonight that I can't let her get away with things, and hopefully I have learned my lesson. It will be a learning process though. DH surprised me. He said "maybe I haven't been paying enough attention to her. She wants attention, and you can't give her any more than you are so she isn't satisfied". He made breakfast with her, involved her in what he was doing. We all still need work, but I was gob-smacked that he came up with that on his own. Of course, we have been telling him that for months mind you, but perhaps it has finally sunk in. Her behaviour was like night and day. A little bit of validation from him, and she was compliant and obedient. Having to earn tv helped as well, and losing the priveledge (batteries taken out of the remote, and our tv doesn't have controls on it, you HAVE to use the remote), that was quite an eye opener for her. She went upstairs to her room and cried on her bed, and I didn't follow. Ruby did though, she is a sucker for extra loving, and a crying person is ALWAYS good for a cuddle or two when you are a soft, squishy dog with sad eyes. So that was our week-end. Retraining the child, and housework. I organized my yarn stash (mostly single skeins left over from projects, and it would make a pretty ugly blanket so no scrap afgans from that lot LOL). I have one basket of WIP's (works in progress) and assorted patterns, magazines, and pattern books that needs a home. But at least the rest of it is nice and neat and in stacked covered baskets. Remember when I said that we suffer from "surface creep"? Any bare surface area is immediately encroached upon by junk? My baskets had been stacked for less than an hour before they were hit. DH put some papers, a bag, and a picture he needs to scan for his mother up there. I warned him, if they are not gone by tonight it all goes in the trash. He needs some retraining too. Is anybody else finding it hard to get good chinese food lately? I used to LOVE chinese food. I can make most of it at home, but sometimes I like the greasy, fried, restaurant, only-non-asians-eat-them kinds of dishes. Like chicken soo gai (almond chicken to our US friends). I can make the chicken, but it is the brown gravy I can't duplicate. All recipe books talk of chicken broth and cornstarch, and I can tell you, that clear goop is NOTHING like the gravy you get at the restaurants. But lately, the chicken has been bitter no matter where we go (I think the oil needs changing). And the other dishes are not so hot either. Way too much cornstarch in the sauces (if there are strings from the food to the fork, too much starch. I didn't order a plate of snot, thank you). Too much sauce altogether, really. And the meats are stringy and fatty and gristly. Blech! I can't get the high heat I need for the flavour I want in a stir fry, but their sauces are grossing me out. And the last three or four times the veggies were so overcooked and soggy it was stomach turning. And egg rolls. I used to LOVE egg rolls, but suddenly the bean sprouts were oddly stringy and gross. So I switched to spring rolls, which have a filling of cabbage and noodles and other veggies. Now THOSE are getting icky. The last one was filled with so much cornstarchy sauce, it was like eating a deep fried snotty jello. Barf! The place I used to love love love was bought out, and it is all downhill from there. I may have to put in that high BTU wok burner after all. It would give me an excuse to get that fancy hand-hammered wok....hmmmmmmm. I think restaurant food in general has gone down lately. It's like they figure people will eat just about anything, and not complain, as long as it costs under $14.00. We have been served more undercooked chicken in the last few months than in my whole life. It is one thing to serve a dish that us uninspired, it is a whole OTHER enchilada to serve food that can make a person sick. And speaking of enchiladas, we don't have a mexican restaurant here. Well, other than taco bell that is. I think it might be time to have BIL (who works next to Mexican Town right at the end of the bridge to the USA) bring us home some flaming cheese and a couple of combo plates. Or I could wait until my next Chicago trip, the area where I go is mostly Mexican eateries and Greek diners LOL. The food is cheap, plentiful, and very tasty. Not so hot on the waistline, but somebody has to sacrifice themselves. Then I could wax poetic about chiles rellenos and enchiladas, my two favourites. See what I mean about the waistline? Today I am planning on trying a blueberry muffin recipe, that calls for both coconut and macadamia nuts. I am hoping they are great, because I had to jump through hoops for those nuts. I didn't want to buy a whole big jar (not at nine bucks a pop) when I only needed like five to chop. If I love the recipe I would go that far, but what if it is only so-so? Our bulk food store sells just about any other kind of nut, except macadamias. "They go rancid too fast, and we lose our investment". I can see her point. But then I discovered a health food store that caters to Low Carbers. Specifically, followers of the Atkins diet. And the Atkins diet apparently really pushes macadamia nuts. They had these small packets of them, perfect size for how many I need. BUT. You can't buy at that store unless you have a membership. And I am not paying 25 bucks for a membership to buy 99 cents worth of macadamia nuts. So I tried to sweet talk the guy into selling me the nuts, even without a membership. Take it from me, it is impossible to sweet talk a person who lives on artificial sweetener and protein powder. They aren't fooled for a MINUTE by sugar coating. I had to get tough, apparently, and changed my tactics. "Look, I could stand at the door and find somebody to buy them for me like an underage wino outside the liquor store. How would it look, to have a woman of MY stature propositioning your customers? Customers who come here to buy the products to help them LOSE WEIGHT. How would it look, to have a fat woman begging them to buy stuff for her? It wouldn't look very good at all. But if that is what I have to do.....". The guy practically tripped over himself to sell them to me. All is fair in love and muffins. I'll let you know if it was worth it ;).