Monday, March 19, 2018

Ahhh....that's better...

Waking up this morning was rather unpleasant.  I woke up around 4:30 or so, whimpering.  Not sure if it was my own owie noises that woke me, or if it was the searing pain in my lower back because I was twisted around like a pretzel.  It wasnn't as bad when I got up just before 7:00, but it still wasn't good.  Instead of moving back to my desk immediately, I ended up spending three hours in my recliner, with the soles of my feet braced on the foot rest, and my lower back pressed into a heat pad. 

Things are a lot better, now.  Lower back is only stiff, not still screaming in pain...and I'm back at my desk, where it's possible to use my ergonomic keyboard, instead of the laptop's keyboard.  Which I used all day yesterday, and wrote nearly 5,000 words with...for which I paid last night with extra time to get to sleep because my forearms and hands were throbbing.

We also managed to get the the bookcase we've had the materials for (since October, or so) done.  And moved in.  And loaded up.  We've only got about four more boxes of books out in the garage. 

I do still need to actually organize and inventory the books, but that's doable, now. 

In any case, I have books in my peripheral vision on both sides, now.  Two six foot tall bookcases, with every shelf loaded down.  And this makes me incredibly happy--at peace in a way that's really hard to describe. 

My next project will be figuring out a furniture configuration that permits us to access all the bookcases without having trouble getting behind chairs and stuff.  I think I may have that nailed down, though.  We'll see.  We'll see as soon as I find the papers I wrote down the room measurements on, because I found the graph paper.  After a lot of effort.  Which turned up five more boxes of books. 

In any case, I do feel better.  My back isn't really hurting anymore, and I'm surrounded by books.  Which is a huge boost to my mental/emotional well-being. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Leftovers coming up!

I love corned beef.  Yes, I am fully aware that yesterday was St. Patrick's Day.  Yes, I'm aware we should have had that corned beef brisket I've been saving yesterday. 

However.  Mom insisted that, since we traded our 7 cu. ft. chest freezer for my mother-in-law's 21 cu. ft. upright freezer last weekend, she wanted us up yesterday to do a pot roast and rye flour spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  And when she told me this, she'd already thawed the roast. 

So yesterday was spent eating ourselves sick at my mom's house.  And half a cake came home with us.

And I had a corned beef brisket that's been waiting for a while, so tonight's supper is corned beef, boiled and buttered potatoes, green beans, and likely rolls of some type.  Maybe even some corn on the cob. 

I'm going to have a LOT of leftovers.  It's a 4lb chunk of meat.  When we're done with supper, the rest is going into the fridge so that it's easier to slice thinner than it'll go when it's still hot.  And the slices will go into individual serving sandwich bags in the freezer.  Not much better than a roast sandwich--or rather, a bit of corned beef on a rye flour cracker with melty  cheese of some type.  And spicy brown mustard.  And saurkraut.  Can't forget that (even if I did when we went to Walmart for bigger sneakers for both the kids yesterday). 

Friday, I went to Sam's Club, and cleaned 'em out of quite a bit with the orange sticker--6 lbs of round steak (my kids love my recipe), 4.5 lbs of steak, 2 chuck roasts (8 lb pkg*), and a 4 lb package of stew meat.  Most of that is now in the freezer--but not the stew meat.  Not yet.  I want to cut the chunks smaller. 

After this weekend, there's likely to be a bit of a mark-down on corned beef again.  Yeah, I bet you can guess what's going to be coming home with me to go into the freezer.   Because corned beef is great, and leftover corned beef is almost better.

*8 lbs of chuck roast makes a lot of really good leftovers.  The rest, not so much--the kids won't leave much of the round steak when I make it, and they like steak, too.  But they can't eat enough of the roast to prevent me from freezing a lot of it. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Kids...part whatever the hell this is.

So, yesterday.  Yesterday was 71 degrees.  The imp refused to take off his coat when I picked the kids up from school.  Went to put it back on when he started to run outside to go play. 

I got...suspicious.  I asked him why he wanted to wear his coat outside.  His eyes slid away from mine and off to the left.  "I just want to." 

Uh huh.  I told him I was going to search his coat pockets, and did he want to revise that statement.

He'd had one of his little friends "give" him some monster trucks.  And didn't think I'd let him keep them.

He's damn right I wouldn't.  Friendship isn't for sale, assuming he didn't ask for them outright (bad manners, but possible) or demand them (bullying). 

They're going back today. 

And he's in trouble. 

He knew it.  And when I explained exactly what was going to happen, he started...well, keening is the only way I can describe it.  Huge fat tears, wailing, and hunched in on himself.  And looking at me like he expected  me to either reverse the decision, or feel bad for making him feel bad.

Thing is, I don't.  I don't ever feel guilty about fixing their behavior.  I don't care if it hurts their feelings.  Yes, I care that they're sad, if they're just, y'know, sad.  But if they brought it on themselves with behavior correction, I want  them unhappy.  I want them so unhappy that they won't do it again. 

I may have to figure out something else to do, though.  This is, like, the third time he's tried pulling this, and the punishments aren't making an impact. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cherry delight

The blog post from Sunday, the one where I mentioned being out of butter?  It was because I was disappointed I couldn't make one of these instead of a cake for myself.  I love Cherry Delight.  Grew up eating it every so often, because many of my aunts preferred this to cake or cobbler.  I asked permission, thinking it was a family recipe, to post it here, and found out that it's from an out-of-print cookbook they'd been using. 

Cherry Delight

2 cans cherry pie filling (I've used other fillings, but something tart works best)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350.  2. Pour the pie filling in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan for cakes or casseroles (my family uses pyrex).  3.  Pour the dry cake mix on top of the pie filling.  4.  Melt butter, and drizzle over the top of cake mix.  5. Sprinkle cashews on top of everything.  6. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Serve hot from the oven, with or without ice cream.  Be careful not to scorch the cashews.  That's just nasty. 

I can't eat cashews anymore--they're one of the triggers for my CFS to have a flare up.  This is almost as good without those, though. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Can we just...pick a time? And stick with it?

I hate the start and end of DST.  Having the time set one way or the other doesn't bother me, but the changeover, both ways, knocks me really off-kilter.  Badly. 

If I can nap today, I'm going to.  My body would love it.  But my brain's too busy.  And too foggy to actually focus on work, damn it.

Beef.  And bacon.  And eggs.  And massive amounts of coffee. 

It's not just me, either.  I know a lot of people with auto-immune disorders, and the couple weeks after time shifts--both of them--are really hard.  Stress triggers flareups of whatever they have, for most disorders. 

There's been almost a century of medical records showing that the rate of heart attacks and strokes spike around the time shifts.  Both of them. 

My kids are cranky as hell--they can't go to sleep, and they can't wake up.  The only thing that has prevented an ADHD meltdown in the imp is that his daily schedule has not otherwise changed.  But both kids are overtired, and oversensitive as a result.  And I know it isn't just my kids. 

Mornings have gotten a lot more dangerous for public school kids riding the bus--the sun's not all the way up, and they have to wait out in the dark or half-light, depending on where they are.  In the country, that increases the danger of animal attacks; in towns it increases the dangers of attacks by critters both four and two-legged, and also increases the likelihood that one of the kids is gonna get hit by a driver drifting too far toward the curb while they're texting, as the kid's waiting too close to the road for the bus.  And a lot of the kids are so groggy that they're not paying enough attention to the multi-ton murder machines driven by morons. 

I don't care if we pick standard or DST to stick with.  I just want to stick with one.  The twice-a-year shift is too hard on too many people.

Just another example of politicians trying to fix a non-existent problem, and creating real ones. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Best laid plans of mice and men...

We've had a 7cu ft chest freezer for about five years, now.  My mother in law had a much bigger one, but isn't using it to capacity anymore.  She decided she wanted to trade (and yes, we do need the bigger capacity, especially as imp and pixie head toward puberty in a few more years).

So, I've been cooking out of the freezer as much as possible.  We got it done earlier this week, and we planned to rent a pickup and make the trade this morning.  We'd planned, actually, for Odysseus to take the kids up to his parents' and leave them there while he brought the other freezer back here.  And then I'd go back up with him (pickup seats three, and charges by the hour). 

Only...the pixie woke up sick.  Running a fever sick.  Not running enough of a fever to be easy to take care of.  But running enough of a fever that we don't want to take her up to get her grandparents sick. 

So, instead of three hours to myself, this morning, I get the wonderful gift of trying to write and make sure the sick pixie stays still on the couch. 

I think I am going to have to figure something else out for supper, too.  Because with her sick, I can't go get the few things I put off getting from Sam's Club on Friday, since what we still need is stuff that goes in the freezer.  Other people may drag their coughing, sickly, germ-y kids out shopping, but I don't. 

Today has been a house of cards for plans. 

Oh, and I'm out of butter, too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I've recently joined a special interest group on facebook--a group discussing fountain pens.  And I learned something really interesting. 

The discussion that caught my interest was someone who'd bought a TWSBI vac-fill was complaining about writing for a few lines, then it drying up and skipping until they'd "primed the pump, so to speak."  They got a response that floored me. 

Vacuum fill pens are designed that way.  If you want to write with them continuously, you have to unscrew the fill knob just a little bit.  Otherwise, it seals the ink away from the nib and feed.  That fill method was designed for businessmen that flew frequently: it's safe to fly with a fountain pen that's sealed shut. 

Cool as hell.  I want one, now.  Between the massive ink capacity (2.3 mL ink) and the fill method, I want one.  Someday. 

Oh, and I finally found a pen that likes the Noodler's Bad Belted Kingfisher (water/fraud resistant navy blue ink): my Parker Frontier.  Pen and ink work together like a freakin' dream.  The ink actually settled the pen down (laid down too much of other inks, but is perfect with this one). 

Thank God.  I love that color of blue ink, and I have a 90 mL bottle of it.