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Archive for September, 2008

First, I have to say that I really like my therapist.  I had a bit of a bad day yesterday with a depersonalization episode and a whole lot of feeling like I don’t know who I am but talking to her really brought things back into perspective.  It’s not even the feedback, it’s just feeling like there’s one place I belong that isn’t my living room.

Second, I’m proud to say that we’re switching to cast iron cookware.  Unfortunately, we have banged up some of our nonstick, purchased before I was paying attention pots and pans but I did get to throw money at Lehman’s, which is always satisfying.  The need for new pans meant I could hem and haw and ultimately opt for the popcorn kettle.  We stopped with the microwave popcorn last year and frankly, I’ve simultaneously missed it and felt ridiculous for needing an appliance to make popcorn.  I also decided to jump with both feet into the homemade arena and ordered a beginning cheesemaking kit (Mozzarella.  We eat a ton.)  Yeah, I’m going to make my own cheese.  I might as well, right?

I’ve been shopping more lately and I can’t quite put my finger on why.  I’m not really buying frivolous things (unless you consider a huge bag of cat food or cookware frivolous.)  I just have this feeling like I need to stock up now.  I’m starting a list of meats and the like to order before our CSA extras stop coming, and I’ve located a beet recipe we’re going to try since it appears that winter CSA is a whole lotta beets.  The thing is, I don’t really feel comfortable in the world right now.  Not in that ‘can’t leave the house’ way, but in the ‘where do I fit in’ sort of way.  Couple that with the economic mumbo jumbo and the usual disaster suspects…well, I’m a little tentative overall and squirreling things away makes me feel better.

I am going to be tracking my 29 days of giving in a paper notebook instead of here on tha intarwebz.  I want to be able to look back at what I’ve given and how it felt without feeling like I’m doing it for attention.  I need to start focusing more on me and what I think so that I can start to feel like I know and trust myself again.  I’m so prone to focusing on one aspect of my personality that sometimes it feels false or dishonest when I switch the focus to something else.  I don’t want to pigeonhole myself or stuff myself into categories right now.

Cheeziz, I sound like I’m fifteen again.  I might as well break out the Plath and The Smiths and bust out a po-em about how dark my soul is.

Gag.

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Changing Things Up

I figured the old blawg was due for a new look so here it is.  I even updated my ‘About’ page to include Chico!  And in honor of the 29 Day Giving Challenge, I added a section where I list the organizations I support down there under my blogroll. Those are the places to which I have made donations this year.  It has been a great source of pride for me to make donations and I am pleased to have a reason to do so daily.

For Day 1of the challenge, I am stocking my bag with change for the buskers in the subway.

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This is not about baseball.  It is about the Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park, which was really cool.  We met up with my cousin and her husband and son and braved the crowds and rain for some righteous turkey legs and a good joust.  God, I love turkey legs.  I was a good non-consumer and came home with nothing but memories, although it was a tough sell keeping me away from the jewelry and velvet and flouncy skirts.  I love me some flounce.  I almost lost my willpower and bought a wooden sword (you know, for the kids) but in the end C convinced me that we can go to a park and find proper branches to use as such (again, for the kids.  Not because I really want a wooden sword or anything.  I want a metal sword.  A sharp one.)

There was bellydancing, and an old friend of mine was part of the troupe.  I introduced Lucy to her, and then Lucy spent the entire subway ride home staring at the troupe postcard.  It is so cute when Lucy gets all awestruck.

Hey, look at that.  Chico figured out how to remove his pants.  I should probably go see to that, eh?

I do want to state for the record that I think life would be a lot more fun if I wore more things that jangled.

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So it was Tuesday, right?  I sent flowers to my Mama for her birthday and went to therapy and picked up the CSA share.  And now it’s Saturday.  What happened?

Stocking up–C and I have been dried food-buying fools.  We have amassed a mighty collection of beans and grains and pastas.  The kitchen is a disaster but we’re never going to run out of food again.  I’m going to give finding space for all of it a go today.  Can I store in washed out sauce jars and the like?  I hope so, because I don’t wanna get any new canisters.

Canning–the jars and pot are sitting in the foyer awaiting this afternoon when Lucy and I are going to make up a mess o’ applesauce.  I impulse-bought a peck and a half of apples the other day so that we can do this.  And the best part?  Only the Bub and I eat the stuff so it’s all.for.me.  Huzzah!

Baking–today is apple muffin day, finally.  See above.  I’ve never made muffins before so wish us luck.

Drying herbs–we got some dill and parsley in our CSA share so I’m gonna dry ’em in the microwave.  I’m feeling pretty smug about saving old spice jars right about now.

Games!–we got Arkham Horror and we’re due for a big family game this afternoon.  Lucy stayed home yesterday with the beginnings of a cold mixed with terrible sleep and played all day with C and had a damn ball.

What did you do, Jen? Bub and I napped for most of the day, having the same cold coming on.  All feel better today, thank goodness.  Did some proofing for the nonprofit I help out.  Engaged in retail therapy for birthday present for cousin A and the Bub, who definitely needed some cutie Zutano suits.  The thing is, I haven’t done much of anything this week.  Some laundry, some cooking (spaghetti squash is my favorite evah) and lots of chasing kids around.  Wednesday was our 5th anniversary and C brought home falafel and shish kebab.  Today is more laundry, more cooking, more chasing kids around.  Nothing much to write about, all told.

Snuffle snuffle snuffle sigh.

Next week.  Next week all will be back to normal and I will be not writing because I’m busy, not because I’m boring.

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if, when you’re leaving an appointment with your therapist, she tells you you may have a future in stand-up?

Just wondering.

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Cleaning mah carpet

I am totally addicted to steam-cleaning the carpet in the living room.  I made the highly questionable decision to use off-white when we bought this apartment and in the past 4 years it has gotten progressively more and more yick.  I got a carpet cleaner a few years ago for Christmas but it has rotted away in the closet for quite some time since, let’s face it, slightly cleaner off-white rug doesn’t really do much in the way of gratification for the work. Plus I didn’t like the non-toxic solution I found, but mostly it felt like a lot of work for little result despite seeing how gray the dirty water was.

And then a month or so ago?  Lucy knocked over a cup of coffee right in front of the couch and it left a huge stain.  And Pickle’s IBS causes her to have farts wherein sometimes poop and/or leaks out.  And they both puke.  And I can’t always get the rug scrubbed right away, which causes smells and bacteria and the like.

So I got a SpotBot.  And I love it.  Lucy, Chico and I watched it motor away on some of the stains in front of the couch.  And today I got out the big Bissell and ran it not once but twice.  And the carpet may not look that much better, but you cannot even imagine how gross the water was when I went to dump it.  I mean, holy crap.  I may not be the most immaculate person in the world, but I do clean up stuff that falls on the carpet and stuff.  And then it hit me.

New York City is a dirty place, even out here in the Outer Boroughs.  The charcoal gray isn’t because I don’t clean enough, it’s because there is four years of city grime ground into the carpet.  Thus is born a new rule:

No more shoes in this house.  I mean it.  I had intended for this to be a rule right from the start but my complete mental freakout shortly after we moved in ended up taking precendence over the poor, poor carpets.

And I’m officially rescinding my no conventional cleaner rule to get this carpet cleaned up unless one of y’all has a hippy alternative that really works.  My machine is one of the cheapo Bissell uprights (and the pet SpotBot.)  I use Kids n Pets for spot cleaning–will that work in a machine?

I’ll tell ya, there’s this rule in NYC about having a certain amount of your space covered by rugs or carpet and this is one of those times I really regret being such a stickler for rules.  My life would be SO MUCH EASIER if we could just go with the parquet floors.

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The things I have not done

The thing is, I sort of have a one-track mind.  Which means that this whole trying to keep abreast of current events and affairs while running a household and caring for two children has had me at loose ends for the past couple of days.  And I realized this morning (or maybe it was last night and I ignored it) that I really want to be more comfortable with who I am.  And as long as I am running around in circles trying to do a million things at once, I am decidedly uncomfortable.

I need someone to simplify my life for me.  Or at least give me a schedule to follow.

It’s times like these that I toy with the idea of designating one day each week for various tasks.  Like Monday is diaper laundry.  Tuesday clothing laundry.  Wednesday greenmarket and bulk store.  Stuff like that.

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I started therapy a few weeks ago; my third appointment was this week.  And I’ve already hit the wall of ‘I don’t need to be in therapy’ coupled by the days after of being, well, a bit shaky.  Not badly shaky, just in my head a lot.  I hate this stage, where I feel strong enough and then spend hours in my head testing out what scenario would send me back to not feeling so great.  Which then renders me not feeling so great.  This is one of the most frustrating things about anxiety–knowing that I do it to myself in some ways, push myself to the edge and then have to reel myself back in.

It is in these times that I am most fragile, most convinced that I am constantly saying and doing the wrong things, that I am embarassing myself.  It is, to put it lightly, not very much fun.

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Today I am going to give the walnut and cheese raviolis a go.  I’m converting a bruschetta recipe so hopefully I can get the consistency right.  I’ll let y’all know.

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