21 of 52….Updates

Not much has happened since my last post, except that my energy levels have bumped up again with the elimination of almonds and grapes. Yeah, that means wine.  And since malt is also off the table, no beer either.  It’s been a dry 10 days for me, and I really don’t miss it.  I feel good and I’ve lost another 1.5 pounds.

I’ve added occasional pasta and a decent amount of dairy back into my diet with no adverse effects thus far.  Pasta Alfredo anyone?  I ordered that at a restaurant last Friday, and ate from it four times over three days with no ill effects.  Yay me!

Crafting has consisted of knitting.  I am still working on the same never-ending scarf.  I plan to work on it until it is done, with the  exception of two pre-planned weekend quilting adventures.  However!  I am in charge of my craft time, and there are no rules, only suggestions, so we’ll see.

I did not write 10,000 words this month, but I did write more words than I had in a minute, so I guess that is a win.  More importantly, I started thinking about blogging again.  Bigger win.

Okay, that’s it until next time.

20 of 52….So what happened was

I basically eliminated the foods I am sensitive to by accident.  Because I am not sensitive to yogurt and other dairy, except for mozzarella cheese.  But I am sensitive to grapes, a prime ingredient in fruit juices and smoothies.  Grape juice concentrate anyone?  And I’m not sensitive to wheat or gluten, but I am sensitive to malt, which is an ingredient in most baked goods and grain products, along with processed meats. Also, shell–I can’t even.

Here’s the list of not-to-eats: crab, chia seed (what is this related to, because it’s not a food I eat?), clam, almond (great, I’ve been using this as an occasional milk substitute in addition to near daily mixed nuts), shrimp, grapes, mozzarella cheese, malt, cola (aka kola nut, so it wasn’t the corn syrup), and black pepper (what the actual fuck?  who can’t eat THAT?!?  Me, along with white and green peppercorns, but pink is okay).

I thought having results would simplify things, but I’m not sure that’s the case.  I’ll still have to read the ingredient list of everything I eat, only now I’ll be scanning for m-a-l-t, along with the infamous “other natural flavors,” “modified food starch,” and “vegetable gum.”

17 of 52…. My Belly Hurts (Not For The Squeamish)

So yesterday, we went out to dinner at the local Chinese buffet, which is a long time family favorite.  I only ate food I thought was safe.  This morning, my guts were in an uproar and my belly hurt so badly that I almost turned around on the way to work.  I decided to press on, because hurting is hurting and where I’m located doesn’t really matter unless I start throwing up.  Then it matters quite a bit, but I digress.

At my doc appointment last month, I got a referral to an allergist….in DC–four hours away.  I have not been successful in getting a Health Choice option for that.  But! As I was rolling down 30 West with a painful belly listening to podcasts, one of the sponsors was, which offers a food sensitivity panel covering 96 foods for less than 200 bucks.  I bought one almost as soon as I sat down at work, which may not seem like a rational choice until you consider that I would have to miss an entire day of work AND burn an entire tank of gas to visit the “free” allergist in DC.

Soon I will know:  was it the yogurt in my breakfast smoothie that I needed to eliminate…or one the fruits?  And is it all bread…or just the bread with a bit of corn meal?  I don’t even have to visit a lab for a blood draw, just use the included lancet to poke my finger.  Yeah, I know this sounds like an advertisement.  I guess it is, but only because I am excited to get some answers.

That link up there will save you money on your own tests.  They have more than the food sensitivity one, but nothing else I needed.

10 of 52……A new car

So.  Item number one:  My friend Patti invited me to a 10,000 word challenge.  And for some reasons that I am still not quite sure of, I agreed that this was a great idea and accepted.  Therefore, you can expect 10,000 words this month.  Most of them will probably be random, but whatever.  Words.

Item number two:  I am 10 seams away (7 at 22 inches and 3 at 88, but who’s calculating?) from having another finished quilt top.  Expect to see it soon.

Item number three:  My bowling season ended last week.  What the hell am I supposed to talk about if I am not bowling?  Oh, I remember!  I signed the whole fam damily, kids and adults, up on the kids bowl free site.  If you’d like to take your family bowling all summer check them out at kids bowl free.  Yep, that’s  referral link.  I didn’t get paid for it, but may win a prize if you use it.  Kids must be 18 or under, and shoe rental may or may not be included depending on what your local bowling center decides.  The program is nationwide, but it’s up to each alley to participate or not.

And, FINALLY, item number four:  I took delivery of my new car yesterday.  It’s a 2018 Nissan Versa SV Limited Edition in Blue Pearl.  The interior is charcoal.  This is the very first time I have decided “It’s time for a new vehicle,” done my research, gone to the dealers, conducted multiple test drives, picked out an actual NEW vehicle, financed it myself, and registered it only in my name.  I feel like such a big girl now!

I did have a bit of help from my partner, who is substantially taller than I am– to wit: he sat in my final two contenders to ensure that he and his equally tall son would fit comfortably in the vehicle.  If they fit, anyone else I care to let me ride with me will also fit.  Done deal.

I love that this car drives very much like the Nissan Sentra I’ve been driving, minus the shifting part.  I was comfortable right away and able to reach intuitively for the major controls.  Also, it integrates with my phone via Bluetooth.  Also, I can retire my seat cushion because the driver’s seat is height adjustable, praised be Freyja!  Also, check out the last picture to see the average MPG on my way home last night.  WHOA!  Not quite sure how that happened, since it’s rated at 31 city/ 39 highway and the way home is a combination of both, but I’ll take it.  The Sentra gets 38ish, so this was a nice surprise.

I’m not sure what her name is yet.  At first, I thought it would be Jane, because the car is rather plain, but after driving her a bit more, I don’t think that’s quite right.  She does not drive like a Jane.  Previous vehicles have been named Beatrice and Matilda.  Any suggestions?

9 of 52

It’s Monday, and I should be working.  But what I am thinking about is sewing.  I’ve got a queen size quilt top that I need to lay out for final assembly.  I’m anxious to see it all together.

In other, less successful, news, my youngest daughter asked me to make her a kilt and I agreed.  We went to the fabric store, where kilt patterns were in short supply but skirt patterns were readily available, and she picked out two.  She chose a lovely dark grey floral cotton for her amazing skirt.

Yesterday, I started on it.  I laid out the pattern pieces, and cut out the skirt.  I struggled to understand the yoke instructions on this pattern that is labeled easy, but finally got past that.  And then I looked to sew the skirt front to the skirt back, and realized I had miscut the front.  Oops.  But no worries, it would be shorter that we planned, but still an amazing skirt.  So I had her try it on.  And it would not go over her hips.  We had cut (yes, she’s helping) a size 10 and she wears a size 14 in this pattern.  Guys, it’s pretty difficult to come back after you just cut the whole thing TOO SMALL.  We’ll be going back for another copy of the pattern, and more fabric.  And I have 1 7/8 yards of wonderful grey floral in assorted sized chunks for quilting.  Yay me.

The 3rd Fourth Doctor scarf is still in the basket.  I pull it out now and again and work a few rows.  There are three books on my bedside table, none of which have been opened in the past week.  But I’ve been sewing, and I’ve been spending time with people I love, and ….

I’ve been realizing that I really can do it all, everything I want to do.  I just can’t do it all at the same time.  And what I want to do most right now is connect with people, cut, and sew, so that’s what I am doing.

7 of 52

In which we have no pictures, because we haven’t finished any projects or books. Work has not been any “busier” but it has required more of my non-working time brain power, and I’ve been doing more things with the family. All good stuff, but it does cut into crafting time.

But. Let me tell you. I started learning a new skill this weekend. And finding out I’m good at something I’ve never tried before makes me happy. That’s all you get. Muhahaha!

5 of 52

In which we confess the things we aren’t giving a fuck about, but later

Does this look vaguely familiar? It should. This is a mini Fourth Doctor scarf, suitably sized for my five foot frame. It is going a bit quicker than the last one, being approximately half the size. I’m a hair over half way done with it.

Guys. I am bored with garter stitch. And these are not even colors I particularly like. But I am fangirling hard, and I NEED this scarf in my life, because reasons. Therefore, I am knitting on. There’s one more left after mine, and I am just gonna grit my teeth and plow through.

Here are the books I am reading. I broke my unannounced reading rule of one book at a time, because February got here before I finished Anansi Boys, and so I needed to start Sarah’s Cousins Book Club selection in a timely manner. I’m two chapters into both, and you can see from the post’s tag line that I am taking the material to heart already.

Now then, a discussion of things I now find worthy and unworthy of my personal fucks. I know you can’t wait to read this part. HA!

So, near the end of December, I decided that I wanted to do the following things on a daily basis in 2018:

  • Create things
  • Express appreciation to others
  • Haiku
  • Make music
  • Read
  • Write stories from my days

I even made myself a handy-dandy year long tracker for each item in my bullet journal.

Here’s what I notice I give a fuck about, because I do them at least five of seven days: Create, Express appreciation, Haiku, Read. I do not make music or write prose. I want to be a writer and musician, but I am not willing to consistently put my energy into these things. Perhaps because they aren’t concrete goals like knit 12 items and read 12 books. Perhaps because I have limited resources of time and find other things more enjoyable. Perhaps because I could do these things, but it would require running through my evenings with a timer in my hand and not interacting with my family and this is unacceptable to me. Maybe after my tangible creativity goals for the year are met. Maybe not. Maybe what I am getting around to on a regular basis is an accurate representation of what is actually important to me. And that’s okay. I can practice giving and not giving fucks any way that increases my personal life satisfaction.

I might be a narcissist if

I won’t write in my paper and ink journal because it’s too much effort, even though I carry it everywhere I go except the bathroom, but I will journal at the computer where all my friends and family and seven billion strangers have access to it. Nonetheless, I noticed the other day that I haven’t posted since the fourth day of February, and this blog needs to earn it’s keep, so here we are.

I read not long ago that if you devote an hour a day to reading about a certain topic, you’ll be an expert in that field within seven years. And I wondered what fields I would explore if I decided to do that. I haven’t, you know. Decided, I mean. I just wondered. But I’d like to be an expert in social work. And I would like to be able to render a picture in my mind into recognizable form. Not using words, that is–just lines, color, shading. And I would like to be able to differentiate one classical composer from another without needing to look at the cd label. I need to choose wisely. At forty-eight, I have time to become an expert in only five areas assuming I do them one at a time (and die at the expected time with my mind intact–a pretty rash assumption). I won’t do it singularly, if I do it at all, because that’s how I roll, but still. That’s the maximum amount of time I have.

Then, I read that if you write three hundred words per day, you’ll have a book at the end of the year. Just three hundred. Man, that’s kinder and gentler than the one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven that NaNoWriMo requires, isn’t it? I think I could do three hundred. You’ll notice that all the numbers are spelled out here, and THIS is the three hundred and twelfth word. So I am there. Not that this is novel material, but it took less than fifteen minutes from deciding to blog to get to three hundred and twelve words.

I’m once again confronted with the difference between what I say I want and what I actually do.

Want. Do.

I’ve been presented recently with the opportunity to pursue a thirty-five year old dream, with minor alterations in details. And by minor I mean less than 500 miles. It’s a thing I can’t not do. Because thirty-five years. Offered at a time I am financially, mentally, emotionally prepared to do it. To not do the thing would be stupid. Even if I am terrified.

Remember this?
fearless tat

People ask folks with back tats what the point is. Why would you get a tattoo where you can never see it? I do see it. I can look in the mirror. Or at photos. But more importantly than being able to SEE it, is knowing it’s there. Every day. This is a useful thing for me. Every time I have an opportunity that scares me, I remind myself I am fearless. I am so fearless that I paid good money to have it painfully etched into my skin.

Do you remember when I got it? I do. Three years ago. One year away from my BSW. After four years of single parenting. After putting more demons to rest than I care to re-visit today. I’m fearless. And so I’m moving.