Saturday, October 13, 2012

What I'm Up to Now

Hey, dudes, it's been a while, and I don't even know if anyone is still out there, but if anyone is interested (and has a reasonably open mind) I thought I'd just let ya know that I'm hanging out at my new blog, The Swamp, which is all about my adventures in writing and publishing attempting to get published.

Back in January of 2011, the desire to write just sort of roared back into my life with a Vengeance.  Characters appeared in my head and started yelling for their stories to be told, just like they did back before the Bogus Bipolar Diagnosis and the Dark Times when I couldn't write at all. 

And I've been writing steadily ever since.  I've got a huge fantasy novel in its second draft right now.  And I'm first drafting a sci fi series that right now looks to be five books long.  Once I've got something in final draft form, I'll be sending it out to The World to have a look.

I don't have the new blog open for comments, and I'm not sure I will, cuz I'm not into hate mail, not in the least... But if y'all are interested in coming by and having a look, feel free. 

Just don't tell my mother what I'm up to...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bipolar Off Meds Success

If it hasn't become apparent by now, I'm pretty much done with this blog. It served it's purpose, which was to get me writing again and to help me figure out just what it was I needed to do with that whole "bipolar incident".

I wanted to finish off on a positive note, though, and here it is:

A couple of weeks ago I went to my regular doctor for a "med-check", and as he was going through my records, the conversation went like this:

Dr. R: So are you still seeing the psychiatrist?

Me: No, I haven't seen him in three years.

Dr. R: And you're not taking any of the psych meds any longer.

Me: No, I went off the mood stabilizers and antidepressants five years ago…and I haven't taken trazodone in over two years.

Dr. R: And it doesn't look like you've had any mood issues in that time.

Me: No, I haven't. I've had fewer mood swings in the last three years than ever. I'm pretty sure they were caused by the aspartame in the diet soda I was drinking.

Dr. R: Really? Not the caffeine?

Me: I don't think so. I still drink tea, and it doesn't cause me any trouble. But the mood swings started when I was nineteen and started drinking gallons of diet soda a day to stay awake to study. When I stopped the diet soda, the mood swings stopped.

Dr. R: Wow. That's really interesting. So this bipolar diagnosis we have on here really isn't relevant any more. I'm going to take it off your records.

So that, my friends, is that. I am officially undiagnosed.

No prizes for guessing whether or not the psychiatrist would agree with that assessment…

I'm going to leave the blog up in the hope that it might help someone else in a situation similar to mine begin to ask questions and seek answers. While we all have to find our own answers, we don't do it in a vacuum. The people who helped me come to terms with what happened to me and helped me during the journey of figuring out just what that was all about are the authors of the blogs listed on the sidebar. Thanks to all of them, and thanks to the people out there who read my entries and asked insightful questions, provided comfort and support, and were just good blog friends in general.

Adios, dudes!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's the Little Things

So, we are dealing with The Chief being unemployed for the next little while. Hopefully a very little while, but in this economy, who knows?

And the worst thing about this for me is not the big stuff, like how the hell are we going to make the mortgage payment--which is big, but between severance benefits, savings, and retirement funds, I think we've got that covered for a while--but the little things. The things that impact my day-to-day existence.

Like that I probably shouldn't be paying $4 a box for chai concentrate. Which, at 5 servings a box, is definitely a luxury...but which I really enjoy having every morning when I sit down for a few minutes and revel in the peace after the kids have taken all their teen angst and drama out the door and off to school.

Rather than give that up, I decided that I was going to have to figure out how to make it myself. How hard can it be? It's just tea and spices. Reading the back of the box to find out what spices, and checking some recipes online gave me a starting point, and I played with amounts over the first half a dozen batches until I got something I like. One of my knitting buddies says I should share, so here is my recipe for chai concentrate:

Jazz's Chai Concentrate
3 C water
8-12 tea bags*
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves
15 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, boil the water. Add the tea bags and spices and reduce the heat. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and simmer another five minutes. Strain through a wire sieve or cheesecloth, and squeeze excess liquid from tea bags. Add vanilla. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge. This makes about 18 oz. I usually make it up 3 oz concentrate:8 oz milk or for a real treat, vanilla soy milk (yum!), so I get six servings out of a batch.

*depending on how much caffeine you want and how much tea taste. I've been using 12 Tetley tea bags, which are pretty strong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Patriotic of Them

So it's been a while. September, it looks like. Well, to be perfectly honest, not a lot has been happening. What with the constant stress of the threat of lay-offs, 2009 was pretty much a crap year, and I was quite glad to see the hind end of it come December 31, and don't let the door smack your ass on the way out, 2009.

Unfortunately, 2010 is not shaping up to be a whole lot better. The Chief got laid off a few weeks ago. The Big Bad Evil Corporation he works for decided that four guys in India could do his job a lot cheaper (but much less efficiently, apparently, although the Big Bad Evil Corporation is more concerned about bottom line than it is about efficiency, or about doing its patriotic duty by keeping our jobs in America, but that's another rant for another day), so it's adios muchachos, here's some severance benefits to tide you over for a bit, and have a nice life.

So, long story short, The Chief is here. Job searching. At home. In my office. All day.

Which is okay in a boy-it's-nice-to-get-to-spend-so-much-time-with-you sort of way, but somewhat less okay in a how-the-hell-are-we-going-to-pay-the-mortgage-when-severance-runs-out sort of way.

So I'm debating starting my own job hunt. While this mom-at-home gig I've had for the past fifteen years has been extremely rewarding, it doesn't pay awfully well. At least, not in ways that will enhance my bank account balance.

Hmm. I wonder if there are any knitting jobs out there…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You Know They're Growing Up When...

You know they're growing up when they no longer want you to come to the bus stop with them on the first day of school. Little Mouse, who is in her second year of middle school, said it was all right if I waited down the block, but the Barrister, who is a freshman in high school this year, directed me to wait on the back porch. "You can see the bus through the trees, Mom," he told me patiently.

Yes, but...

I still remember his first day of school, and how tightly he squeezed my hand while we waited for the kindergarten bus. I still remember the "kissing hand" sticker he wore to school--I was to kiss the sticker before school, and then all through his first day of school, he could press the sticker to his cheek and get a kiss from Mom whenever he felt the need. I stuck the sticker in my journal after his first day. It's still there.

I know he's fourteen now. I know that he's only a hair shorter than I am. I know that his feet are already way bigger than mine, and that he will be a man in only a few short years. But I really wish he had a kissing hand sticker to take with him today.

Or maybe I wish that he still wanted one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Does being quiet mean no crashing and banging, too?" --Little Mouse, about five minutes ago.

Yarny Goodness: Works in Progress

After promising knitting pix months and months ago, and not really delivering, I've finally got some! Okay, first up is the Embossed Leaves socks. The green is actually much deeper in real life--it reminds me of the deep, dark forest. This is Malabrigo sock yarn, and I love it. One sock is finished, and the other is barely begun.

This next one is a shawl called Queen Anne's Lace. I love the pattern, but I'm just not sure about the yarn. Although the individual colours are gorgeous by themselves, it reads as a sort of barfy orange, and this particular vareigated yarn is not thrilling me with this pattern. The yarn is Dream in Color Baby in the Flamingo Pie colourway.

This is the Rippling Rainbow shawl from the book "A Gathering of Lace". It is actually finished now, and was a birthday present for Little Mouse. She adores it, and it turned out so well, I am making another one for me, only I'm using hand-dyed yarns (dyed myself in my crockpot) for the rainbow colours.

Here's my first yarn ever, spun on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I really like spinning--it's very relaxing, and I'm seeing improvement every time I sit down with the spindle. Eventually I'd like to be able to spin lace weight yarn, but as you can see from the picture, I'm not even close!

Here are the hand dyed yarns I'm using for my Rainbow shawl. I tried several times to get a red that I liked, but everything I was able to achieve was either too orange or too pink, so I am using the same red I used in Little Mouse's shawl, which is Knit Picks Palette, in Pimento. I'm also using their Palette yarn in Black for the main part of the shawl.

So that's what I've been up to lately! With all these fun new hobbies, summer is going by really fast (which is a good thing!).