Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm Tsking Myself, So You Needn't.

Hi all,

Sooooooooo. Saturday night we went to Lala Rokh. It is a Persian restaurant, although my mom ordered a "Scheniztel" or something, that was, indeed Schnitzel. However, the food and the beer were delicious. We then decided that we should have a night cap. Preferably some Hennessy. So, after wandering a bit, we ended up in an Irish pub. Which only served beer and wine. Very disappointing. So we hiked up a few more streets and found a tavern. We made it back in time for the shuttle. Which then didn't show up. After a long and drawn out situation involving 15 passenger vans, budging and my mom almost losing it (and justifiably so), we finally got back to our hotel room.

Sunday morning we got up and started hiking the Freedom Trail. We did the cemeteries, the churches, the old state house, and a few other monuments. We had lunch at a great little Italian family restaurant - which I have a picture of but you can't see. Ha. Anyhow, we then went and got gelato. I also picked up a t-shirt and some sunglasses, because I 1. Didn't have any and 2. They Match my Houseshoes - and I enjoy the irony of that.

After some more walking we ended up back at our car and went to a special treat - a movie! We say "Despicable Me" and it was pretty cute and funny. We then drove back to the commun(e)ity and settled for the night. My parents left Monday morning and flew back home on Tuesday, and I hope they had as great of a trip as I did!

The next day I met one of the German's brother's and mother. They all looked alike, spoke similarly ("I'm TOTALLY confused!") and had good senses of humor. There was a dinner for one of the German girls who was leaving, and afterward we had a game night. Since there were about 14 people, I suggested 1/2 play the fun "Jungle Speed" game, and the other half play spoons. No one else knew the game, but soon our half were laughing hysterically - everyone ended up enjoying when we switched games! So that was a super-late night. Or felt like it, anyway!

On Wednesday, it marked me taking over the co-op as my workmaster started his month-long vacation, although he'll be back for a day or two next week. It seemed to go smoothly. Connie also left on her month-long vacation, so that has been a big energy shift. On Thursday I finally got to have my chiropractor appointment, which was great. I know there are things from Wednesday and Thursday...ah. Thursday I found out that the inventory that we did months ago was actually this upcoming Monday. Good thing it got recycled last week finally, huh? I did manage to get all the bills out though, and last night Bean helped me do most of it while I concentrated on ordering. Phew. Plus, I'm now done with cooking for the most part, and will be switching over to the co-op in the mornings, and hopefully the glass workshop a bit too. See how it shakes down though initially.

However, during cooking yesterday, there were some good quotes.
The older child saw me carrying a giant zucchini and proclaimed with awe:
"WOW! That's a giant bikini!!!"

Also, we had pancakes yesterday and the younger child (less than 1.5 years) ate 4 pancakes. I was good with 2...She then ate a second breakfast when Hather came back from the farm. He put some peanutbutter and jelly on it and she said (imitating her brother) "Oh my god!" - she loved it so much. Pretty much her longest phrase yet.

In other exciting news, it was my day off today. I was up around 9 and ready by 10 when Bean came to pick me up. We went to the Claverack library and then out to Love Apple farm in order to get me some food. So then we naturally had to pick 20 pounds of peaches. Of course, because we're going to make jam now. But I am really excited about it...just need a recipe!

When we got back I had a phone message from D'Artagan. He was planning on exploring Rhinebeck, only to find out that today Chelsea Clinton was getting married there. Poor timing. Everything was a mess, so we ended up going to New Paltz, where he ended up spotting Paul Sr from Orange County Choppers. Since his hometown is listed as Yonkers, NY, it could be? Anyhow, I'm going to extend my movie watching (and a day-off activity marathon!) to seeing Inception tonight. But I figured I owed a blog post first...

Hope all is well,

Monday, July 26, 2010


Hi all,

No, no. Although it's true that I managed to fit a good amount of wine, beer and even Hennessy in, I do remember everything from my family vacation. I just was looking for the fuse box tonight and accidentally shut off the power for the house. It explains why the "opening mechanism" on the "fuse box" was so complicated. Whoops.

My parents arrived at about 5 on Tuesday. I swept them off to Hudson where we ate at Baba Louie's. Great salad. We chatted a bunch and I got back in time to help Maria go to bed. My mother had brought this ultra-light cot, which I elected to sleep on. Yeah, so that didn't work out so well and I spent my nights on the couch. It's brand new, so it was hardly a burden. I also went to Pix's going away affair in Hudson. It wasn't too hard, since I'll be seeing her in Germany in just under 3 weeks!!!

Wednesday morning they met everyone in the house and observed their first house meals. Then I shipped my dad off to the Co-op and my mom stayed in the house to cook. We got done in plenty of time between us and Okiwa. That afternoon I shipped them off to the Norman Rockwell Museum. They came back for dinner and I took them out for another walking tour of the village. I also went to Pix's going away affair in Hudson. It wasn't too hard, since I'll be seeing her in Germany in just under 3 weeks!!!

Thursday my dad went to the Healing Plant Garden and my mom stayed with Hum to cook. Hum was full of fun facts from the time spent with my mother. Nothing too embarrassing, I hope! They then went to the FDR estate in Hyde Park. They were getting pretty worn out at this point. My dad didn't have the energy to go out to Karaoke, by my mom tagged along. She even had a rather wasted man urge her to sing. She came up for a group number. It was a pretty fun time, even though it was a small group that went that evening - we were missing the German contingency!

After pancake breakfast, the garden/meat market and a quick gift shop stop, we were on our way to Boston! We checked in with my dad's friend when we got there in the afternoon, and discovered the apt that she'd thought would be empty wouldn't be. So we found a hotel. We had just enough time to go out to dinner - to have it absolutely pour on us. My shoes just dried out today! We at dinner at The Barking Crab, which must have no over-head - you got paper plates and a roll of paper towels as napkins! It was crazy to see lobster for sale for 23 dollars a pound, when I'd seen it for 3.99 in Maine! However, we went with other seafood options and I had some great shrimp scampi!

We went to bed early and were up by 7:30 to start off the next day. We took the Charlie to the Boston Commons and picked up the Old Town Trolley Tour and rode that for about 1.5 hours. Our tour guide, "Eck", was great. It was hard to snap pictures from the Trolley, but I managed on Friday. We took the Harbor tour as well, and wound up wandering around the USS Constitution - "Old Ironsides". USA's oldest warship. Nice.

We had lunch at a local cafe, and it was nice to get out of the blazing sun at that point. However, as it wasn't raining, we certainly weren't going to complain. We went to the Museum of Fine Arts, and spent about 2 hours wandering around. It was nice to see some of the masterworks. The mummies were interesting, as were the cylindrical seals. It was also interesting that I was able to pick out some Turkish tiles. I wish I'd had more time to spend in the Chinese publications section, and the musical instruments as well. As it was, we had just enough time to zip through the gift shop.

Well, I'm beat and need to go to bed now. I'll continue with Saturday dinner and hopefully get some pictures up tomorrow...

Hope all is well,

Friday, July 23, 2010

You Can Has Blog Post?




My parents are here and I'm on vacation.

See you Monday!

Hope all is well,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, I'd Never Done THAT Before..

Hi all,

Today I ended up falling asleep (like I do nearly every morning and afternoon rest hour), but set my cell phone alarm to wake me up in time to send people off to work this afternoon. Uh, yeah, it was on vibrate. So I woke up at 2:50 and was extremely confused. At first I thought I was late for breakfast. Then it was a "SHIT!" moment. Luckily, everyone had gotten to work except Beau, who was happily sleeping still. Luckily, I'd already made his snack, so I just had to send him and myself off. I think I looked a bit frantic, as I was quickly assured that it was fine, and no problem that I was a half hour late. But I still felt bad.

My workmaster took yesterday afternoon off to do other things, but forgot I'm coming later now and that he should open up. I had to help do Beau's feet (a bit scary, some of those toenails!), and so I was a half hour late to let people in. I then discovered that a whole "tote" from our order hadn't come. So I tried to call the workmaster to see who I should call...So, remember that whole "Steph learned how to pay bills" on Wednesday? Well, one of the bills was the second month phone bill (as the last month got shuffled in some paper), and apparently they don't give notice. So I was only able to call the company and emergency services. Whoops. So I called, found out I didn't have a pin and talked to a lady who had to call the administration office (because I couldn't, duh...), and had a 1/2 hour runaround. And never got the order sorted out.

I had to walk to the cafe today to do it. Our phone should be up and running on Monday or Tuesday. Crossing my fingers...

So yesterday was eventful even before got home to make dinner with no bread (hello bakery...good thing they had extra!), and then attempted to go to Barryoke. We ran a bit behind, and then found out that he wasn't there! So we came home.

Hum finally got "tested" for giving meds and can do them now. So now I have a total freedom on my day off, because she also watched me help Maria through her evening routine and can do that now too. When I told her I thought maybe I should get tested for lymes because it seems I'm always exhausted - and not keeping insane hours - she said it's just because I'm doing so much, and assured me that would change. It's a nice sentiment, and I hope it's true. However, it probably won't be anytime relatively soon. With the new baby, a new co-worker and other variables in the future, it will definitely be busy.

Steph really needs a vacation!

Luckily, I'm getting one. My parents are coming next week and in August I'll be going to Germany. So that should be really great. Of course, it means lining up more stuff. One day at a time. My personal triumph today was running errands and managing to schedule a chiropractor appointment for the 26th...

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hi all,

So, yesterday I welcomed summer by getting my first sunburn in a swimsuit. It may be the first summer in 2 years, but I did it. Monday afternoon Hum asked if I would take a group, including the new villager, to the neighboring community for a waterpark outing. Sam can't drive, so I felt semi-obligated to say yes. It was pretty much what I expected. Except for someone having to go to the hospital (one young person's father after a rollercoaster ride...hopefully ok...) as a precaution.

It was pretty disorganized, but I only really had to keep tabs on Maria and Connie, as the new villager was assimilated back into his old friend group. We first went on a kiddie train and then on a "gondola". Which was pretty much a ski lift. I sucked it up and sat next to Maria, who after a first 15 seconds of nonstop questions decided to really just go with it. I was just happy she didn't wet her pants and me by default. This thing moved SO SLOWLY, about 1/5 as fast as your typical lift. However, when she started bouncing around to YMCA, I told her no bouncing. Then she turned to me and said: "Sissy! Sissy!" while laughing.

This is the same girl who wouldn't go down a waterslide 5 minutes later. Frustrating. So We had to park her at the bottom so I could do rides with Connie. We did something called the "Tornado" which was awesome. Shaped like a large funnel, you get dropped from about 15 feet to build up momentum and then careen back and forth as you go down it. Crazy.

It was a long day though, but we made it through with no major hitches. I went and watched Amelie with Bean and a few other co-workers and enjoyed it. Funny to realize that I'm now supposedly older than Amelie. Sigh.

Today Okiwa came again and as it was raining this morning (and everything was soaked...), neighborhood lunch was canceled. This makes thing easier, not having all the deals to try to manage with just Julia. We were both relieved. So I taught Okiwa how to cook millet and we made a variation of the millet cakes with zucchini. They fell apart and hissed in the oil a bit more, but were really good. Frankin had an appointment this morning, so I watched the oldest child (who ran next door to visit and freaked me out...) and managed the other villager who comes in. She had one of her days where she cries because she says that her house has no food, so I taught Okiwa the trick of pretending to call her house and have her overhear me affirming that they have food.

Neighborhood meeting was fine and pretty short. Connie's still having a really rough time, and everyone has different advice. I know that once the neighbor house parents come back from vacation that things will level out a bit. I hope.

Anyhow, I'm really tired and am going to bed!

Hope all is well,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Survival Mode

Hi all,

It was a bit of long day, but I made it through! Due to the fact that our new co-worker won't arrive until August 20th, (Sam's replacement) a mere 10 days or so until Sam leaves, it was decided that we would temporarily get another co-worker to come in and learn how to cook. So, we got Okiwa. Okiwa has been here a mere 3 weeks, but is older than a typical co-worker (late twenties) and seems very nice. Her English is better than she thinks it is.

I thoroughly enjoyed the irony of "teaching" her how to cook the tofu recipe I use. There was another older co-worker who visits during the summer (her "vacation" from the village she comes from!) who was going to help her out - apparently they missed the notice that I would still be here until she felt comfortable. We discussed the tofu a little, and she expressed her surprise in finding it in America. Considering the fact that I'd never cooked tofu until just months ago, who exactly is teaching who?

So cooking will not be a problem for her. We worked together and I tried to give her space, I think she was the most anxious about me possibly getting upset with her. Not going to happen! Anyhow, I think the toughest thing is just learning how to run the work crew smoothly and going with the weekly rhythm. So hopefully within 3-4 weeks I can transition over to the co-op. This was good news for my workmaster, and helped to let me ask if I can have tomorrow to take a group from my house to a waterpark with a neighboring community.

We got our newest villager today. I don't have a nickname for him yet. However, he seems very nice, and Hum and Hather know him from living with him before . So that's great. He, Maria, Connie and I will go tomorrow. Connie has been in a real snit lately and terrorizing Maria, who has been working in the mornings with her because her house is gone. The concept of the golden rule of doing unto others is something we're slowly trying to pound into her...

"You have to stop being so mean to Maria"
"Why do you say I was mean? I wasn't mean..."
"You told her to shut up and made her cry. Is making someone cry nice?"
"Uh. No..."
"Is it mean?"
"Ok then."

And so on and so forth.

So, the theme of our work is "Soul Growth" and social niceties. Also including that lying in wait for someone outside of a bathroom door for 5-10 minutes is not appropriate. And that knocking is imperative before entering someone's room. And the whole sacredness of Steph's resthour thing too. That's a bonus one.

Anyhow, tired tired tired (detecting a theme here?)

Hope all is well,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"I'm Sure You're Pooped..."

Hi all,

Those were Hum's parting words to me tonight. Then we both laughed, even though it wasn't actually funny. Since I'd been up until about 3:30 last night/this morning cleaning up a poop trail running over 2 floors. So that was fun. Poor Sam had to come get me at 1:30. I think he was slightly traumatized as all he could initially spit out was: "I have a huge's so disgusting...". Honestly, it was gross, but I just felt really bad for Beau.

So while Sam cleaned him up, I started on the rest. When we finally finished cleaning up everything as best as possible, I left a note for Hum and Hather. And then slept in. So I got about 5 hours of sleep, maybe.


I did brunch (Clafouti and corn muffins) and did some calling during rest hour. We did some house stuff shopping in Great Barrington and had a nice, but rather late dinner. And then I went swimming with Julia (divine) before discussing the new villager's diet restrictions. Many and varied. He arrives tomorrow. More chaos.

Hope all is well,

PS I still love my job. Repeat.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mostly Not a Day Off

Hi all,

But of my own choosing. I slept in (amazing!). It was wonderful to wake up to the sound of pouring rain...although it's still really hot now! I was finally able to leave with Connie at about 12:30. I decided we should have a good time together in order to make her feel loved (which is hard to remember during all this stress!) and supported and to keep the house as pulled together as possible. So we went to the library, out for lunch (my treat), and then on a crazy hunt for a yarn store. But we got there and home with only one short turn-around. So, a successful venture. And some good bonding time.

We had about 1.5 hours before the house left to go out with our closest neighbors. We went to Baba Louie's (urg, another eat-out...need to do some more walking!) and then bowing. Beau really loved it, and had his own granny-technique, but carefully didn't go over the line. Unlike my previous experience of bowling with Germans (maybe only Bavarians are bad at it???), Sam whomped us all - the only one out of 11 to break 100 - although Julia was at 99. Oh, and we were using bumpers... : p

When we got back, it was late. And everyone is gone saying goodbye to Dusty and another co-worker. I hate goodbye parties at this point, and also the bar they're at. This, with everyone already being gone and no car available = Steph is not going out tonight. Just popping a movie in for a bit until I fall asleep.

Hope all is well,

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Pushed the Button

Hi all,

But that is not why my internet is working. Hather called the local tech guy who ascertained that he'd plugged it into the wrong port. So apparently he didn't put things back where they were. Which led to the last 6 days or so with only internet stolen from the neighbor's network in 5 minute chunks. Although the 2 Macs in the house managed just fine.

Yesterday evening Sam decided he would drive a friend's car to Hudson, so I asked if Bean and I could come with. We could do a craft night with Schmee. Although it didn't really work out that way. Schmee was a bit shellshocked (and not surprisingly) because a deer had attempted to jump their yard fence and gotten it's leg horribly mangled. They called the police (it was about 8 pm) and it took them a long time to get there. When I called, they still hadn't arrived, so I volunteered Sam and myself to take care of it if the police didn't come. I felt even worse when I found out the poor thing had probably been there since dawn, but since it was in a secluded corner and quiet, no one on the street had noticed. Although I think we could've put the poor thing out of it's suffering, it really is better that the police finally came, and brought a back hoe. They had just dispatched it when we drove up.

Today I didn't have much time to think about it, however, as the morning was slightly chaotic. I tried to make yogurt, but the milk must've been a little off. When I cooked it, it turned all spongy. I strained it and decided to try anyway. 7 hours later it was a mess. So, luckily I have some reserved in the fridge and can try again Sunday with fresh milk. However, I think the cake I made for the fundraiser dinner tonight turned out ok (turned out that we made too many, and mine wasn't even cut up!) and the pesto was great. I did a lot of non-stop cooking, and the biggest challenge was the 3.5 year old who always wants to "help". But then won't keep doing what you find for him to do. Which, ok, not much of an attention span there. Not usually a problem, but when the morning is super-tight, definitely.

Luckily, he idolizes Sam, who is great with him.

Lunch was a nightmare. Connie was in full-out tyranny mode even before I served her. After countless reminders and then warnings - from all of the co-workers..., I finally "pushed the button". When I asked her to leave the table, she made the fuss I knew she would. Unfortunately, the amazing neighbor houseparents closest to us are on vacation. So I had to call someone else. Connie followed me out of the kitchen and trapped me in the pantry. I wasn't as intimidated as last time, even when she made a grab for the phone. Luckily, Hather came quickly and told her to back off and backed me up. Hum came too and took the phone (which made me nervous, I didn't want Connie to unthinkingly harm her...the whole pregnancy thing makes it worse...) and we got her to go up to her room. Sam stayed with and kept the table calm - Beau had been scooting his chair back during the meal and was perturbed by Connie's behavior. And then Connie took it out on Maria.

After a talk with an intervention person, Connie was saying she wanted to switch houses and not share a room with Maria. When I talked with her morning workmaster (Maria has also been there in the mornings this week because the house she goes to is on vacation and didn't set up something different for her!), I found out that Connie had been in a mood all morning and made Maria cry several times. So this made it even better. Sigh.

I guess no one said it would be easy.

Obviously moving houses isn't an option, I'm afraid no one in the village could/would take her - it's a delicate balance. The combination of post and pre-next-vacation stress, new houseparents, broken listening habit and the baby and new villager coming is taking its toll. So tomorrow on my day off we're going out to lunch and to the yarn shop. I need her to see the effort that I'm trying to take with her, and that I'm not trying to be mean. I want her to have the same peace that she was having before. She's so tightly wound right now that she can barely get her words out. It must be so frustrating to be trapped like that...

Tonight was the benefit dinner to raise funds for a truck repair. It raised about 600 dollars and was well received. Even better, it really pulled a lot of the volunteers together in a show of camaraderie and support -and with zero percent involvement of house parents. Although, a lot of them are on vacation now, or stayed home with those who didn't go.

Anyhow, tomorrow must be better,

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

No Internet = No Blogging

Hi all,

I know you have been feeling bereft of my presence, but I must blame Hather. Saturday I found the router unplugged (why???) and when I asked him about it, he said “oh, yeah”. So I asked if he might re-connect it…ok. Anyhow, I’ll probably have to mooch off of the neighbor’s internet in order to post this. However, as I’m typing in the kitchen, I will see how things go in the aftermath of cheesecake baking – workmaster’s birthday tomorrow!

Saturday I kept the house to task with cleaning – pretty easy because we only had our two most capable villagers around. We got a lot done. So that was nice, but ate up the morning. I heated up leftovers for lunch and we had a long resthour until they went to the café for goodies at 3. I then threw the hamburgers and all of our picnic stuff together. Hum still wasn’t feeling very well and had decided to stay home with the younger child. We were ready to leave at about 5:05, although the neighbor’s car wasn’t properly gassed up. We could’ve made it there and back no problem (ahh, the wonder of Prius’), but since I was going on to Albany to pick up Sam I didn’t want to take any chances. I’d already reduced chances by taking Pegasus with – a big thank you to Bean!

At the picnic, the hostess (it’s a separate but related property, and she runs a workshop in the village), came up to me and warmly greeted me: “Schmeeeeeee! It’s great to see you!”. The look on her face made her immediately realized she’d screwed that up. I had to tell her in the end. Keep in mind that I’ve interacted with her many times in the past 6 months, especially when I was almost sent to her workshop! It got better as the evening went on, as a villager also mistook me for her. In all fairness, he asked about her houseparents and didn’t know either of our names when we stood side-by-side.

The gathering was good fun. Hather did our grilling and there was music, lots of conversation and I even (with another girl) dared to join the pick-up game of soccer. And I scored. Good for my ego. Anyhow, the fireworks were lack-luster as the “Great view” we’d been promised turned out to not be. The tree-line obscured all but the highest fireworks, and even those partially. Luckily, I don’t think anyone had set extremely high standards.

Afterward, I used Pegasus to plot the course, but then got caught in small-town-post-firework-traffic. So I was 10 minutes late picking up Sam. I’d gotten a frantic message from him when my phone was off – as if I’d forget! He was full of chatter and anecdotes, and I’m glad he had a good time – including meeting my next-younger brother. Apparently they’d hit it off as well as I’d predicted. Good deal.

I had Sunday off, which was nice as we didn’t get home until 12:30. I was up at 9, as Bean planned on collecting me at 9:30. She got held up while delivering papers (sometimes “help” is not really all that helpful…), and made it around 10. She’d also forgotten that I’d moved my room, so I got a confused text. We went out to Golden Harvest to pick berries, although only ended up touring the distillery there, as they only have pick-your-own apples in fall and just sell other produce. So we wound up at Love Apple Farm, where we both picked a pound of black raspberries. Yum.

We made it back to Schmee’s house in time to have brunch with them (and freeze most of our berries) and picked up Pix. We went to the Saugerties Lighthouse, which due to the 4th of July, was actually closed. Bean had researched some local highlights the night before, because I was busy with picking up Sam, and so we moved on to the next one.

We wound up at “Wing’s Castle”. It’s pretty hard to describe, so check out the link. The bottom line is that 40+ years ago some non-conformist (OCD) guy and his wife dug a big pit in his father’s picturesque field with a borrowed bulldozer and then spent the following years scavenging treasures and building supplies from wrecking companies in the Hudson Valley area. Very interesting, but very imperson-able. I believe his wife usually runs the tour. But, they were open and willing to do ($10…!) tours on the 4th

Then we found some ice cream for me.

We went back to Hudson and dropped Pix off. We went out to dinner at Baba Louie’s – whose lunch menu is much better than dinner… - and went back to the village. We watched most of a comedy show and then called it a night.

Talk about a full day!

Today I because a Twilight vampire again – I was grinding down pieces for my next piece. I managed not to butcher any of the pieces. Nope, I lied…just 1 this time…I’m improving. Anyhow, I’m trying to learn what amount of space between pieces is ideal. Not that I can always make it happen. One piece is a bit too small. Luckily I have a tendency to cut big as a rule.

I went to the café for lunch and finally had a really good meal. Well, I ate everything anyway. Since I’m also making pesto pasta for the neighborhood lunch tomorrow, it wasn’t quite perfect…

I had my massage at 2 and got to work around 2:50. It was SUPER hot today. About 95. Yuck. Luckily the co-op stays pretty cool. We had a rather productive day and got a lot of things bagged. Sam did dinner and so I got to relax after work a little bit. After my walk with Connie, I went to a Young Co-worker’s meeting. It was a much smaller group as many couldn’t get away, but still had some great discussions. We will be hopefully having a dinner Friday night…

Anyhow, my cheesecake is done…hopefully this will post!

Hope all is well,


Friday, July 2, 2010

I Get Around...

Hi all,

No, no no...not in that way. Far too much gossip happens in this village for me to be even tempted to do that. Anyhow, I spent a majority of my day in the van today. After making pancakes by myself - : ( - I did the garden market/meat run and got back to send Connie off to work. Then I took Franklin with me to the doctor's office, then we zipped into the IGA (or Eye-ga as poor Hum thought...), post office, pharmacy and bank. And we got back before 10:30. Nice.

After a tea break, Franklin did some jobs while I whipped up a really good spaghetti sauce. I browned a garlic shoot thing, onion and then the hamburger, and the 3.5 year old helped add the mushrooms (and was very put-out later when he couldn't find them in the I sloshed some red wine in and put a cover on it. Then I browned some zucchini, added a little wine and fresh herbs from my pots outside. Several forms of basil, oregano and rosemary found their way in. And some garlic powder. Then I added the crushed tomatoes with basil, tomato paste and finally 6-7 chard leaves. Then I added the meat. It was pretty darn good. I didn't do bread today, but I'm saving my sanity.

Lunch with Connie was a disaster. We had 3 guests and she wouldn't stop talking, breaking her just 'listening' rule that we've had in place successfully for months now. Some of it is post-vacation stress, some is the new family I'm sure. However, it was very hard. Hum thinks it's kind of mean (but I am making time for her in the evenings now, and she wasn't here for the bad months!), but it's truly a slipperly slope. You can't just have one meal where you engage her and expect her to go back to listening. Or ask just 1 question and not open the flood gate. Unfortunately for me, Hum seems determined to learn this lesson the hard way. Maybe she'll find an even better solution though, I'm trying to look on the bright side!

Dinner went little better. I was late, as Franklin had a routine doctor's appointment over an hour away. So we both missed afternoon work. We had time to got to Target quickly and have a tea break at Barnes & Noble. It was nice to get out and we had a good time. Mostly because of Pegasus - Bean let me borrow her GPS again. I'll need it for tomorrow night when I go and pick up Sam from the airport in Albany. Urg. Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. Hum is feeling a little better, but the younger child has lymes. Not good, but she's been on treatment for a while now. Although if I get lymes, I'm going straight for the allopathic drugs. Sorry.

Anyhow, it's been another long day.
Enjoy the pictures.
Hope all is well,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Too Busy to Blog

Hi all,

For sanity's sake, I let it slide the past few days. Hum has been getting sicker and sicker, throwing Dather and myself together. Tuesday morning she managed to get a cake made for a neighborhood house father's birthday, and also ran the morning crew, but I think that's about it. It must be frustrating to be such a go-getter and be stuck in body (with another body...) and unable to do whatever you want. On would argue that a child is pretty good for recompense, but we all know that's debatable. : p

Really though, there are benefits to living with children. Like when they drag in the single flower that they cut and need a place for it, likewise for the wriggling worm. Pretty darn cute.

Anyhow, Tuesday morning I attached the chain I made to my piece. It took a little wrangling, but it now hangs almost absolutely straight. Not that I have anything to hang it on, but it will look nice in my window eventually. It's nice that they let me keep it, but I'm pretty sure it's not sale material...But I'll get there.

I also started on my new piece, which will feature an agate slice in the middle, and various shades of purple. One day I'll hit the warm colors...

Tuesday afternoon I brought Hum's cake and some peaches I'd cooked down in syrup to the neighbor's. The house had cafe lunch, and I'd made a delicious feast of noodles with garlic, greens and chard sauteed in butter with some parmesan cheese after I'd done the peaches. Yum.
I wasn't able to stay long, but appreciated Franklin and his friend's ridiculous vibrato...longest rendition of "Happy Birthday" ever.

I then had my first "rhythmic massage". It was less then idyllic, however, as the basement it's in is currently under construction and it's not reassuring to have dust falling through holes in the ceiling when all you're dressed in is a sheet! I'm not sure about the method either, but it definitely didn't hurt anything!

When I got home for dinner at around 5:30 - things always run late on Tuesday - nothing had been started for dinner. Dather seemed surprised at the thought that he could've started the proceedings. Sigh. It's going to take some time. I whipped up some pesto and had everything ready by 6 anyhow.

At 7:30 we had a mandatory meeting about some events that had transpired, but it was relatively painless. We had a good group discussion afterward, and I think we have a chance of getting a series of monthly (/bimonthly?) meetings out of it along with planning community events. We hope to have a karaoke night within the next 2 weeks. It could be ridiculously awesome...

I had a chat next door, due to some house drama and then went out with Julia. We were going to do a walk...but that was transformed into "Let's drive into Cupcake and get icecream!" Unfortunately, the drive was blocked off and the restaurant was closed. However, we realized that the restaurant was being filmed in - a commercial perhaps? - but since it's such a neat restaurant (think 50's diner), it could definitely be for a movie. We suppressed the (very mild...) urge to go and ask if they needed extras.

We returned and got ice cream at the co-op. Supporting the village and organic ice cream. Probably for the best...

Wednesday was interesting from the start as I'd planned out the day, only to have it broken to pieces when I found out that we'd be having a neighborhood lunch. I ended up making Mexican millet for 20 people. Long story short, I also threw together Julia's vegetable stir fry as she was cleaning up projectile vomit that also happened to hit her. It was a tad bit crazy. The lunch went fine, however, and the meeting as well. It was a gorgeous afternoon, with beautiful clouds.

Last evening I took a walk with Connie, and we've decided to make it a weeknight tradition (minus Thursdays, because of activities) for the summer. It's easier to listen to her when we're walking, I think the movement helps and she's more relaxed. She's also not disturbing me when I'm trying to concentrate on cooking or doing meds or such, which is also good.

Then I went and said goodbye to S&B friends (not Bean...who's finally back from vacation again...), and we had tea and made s'mores in the toaster oven. They're leaving by one...

I then popped over to another house around 9:30, and had good timing - they'd just began the film "The Perfume". I didn't think it could be as disturbing as the book, but I have to say that they got close. It was good to be out and around people last night, even if it was almost midnight by the time I got back. Tonight I really need to work on and finish some tomato planters, so during the activity night I'll be with Bean.

Hope all is well,