Monday, April 24, 2006


Entering the third straight day of grey skies and rain here in NY, and I'm fighting the Blackness again. Just moods, y'know. I tell myself that it's just the chemical imbalancing in my brain, and that the Boy's so far away, and sometimes it helps. My dreams are haunted this week for no good reason that I can tell.

On the plus side of the equation (you knew there had to be one) my Boy called today and left a message on my MILs answering machine. And I might get to talk to him tomorrow. Tiffy's laughing and giggling and dancing on my feet when I hold her hands, and she's the cutest baby on the planet (still). She's nearly a year old; it's not possible cause it sure hasn't been that long since she was born. A year ago. Doesn't time play tricks on a person?

I'm still tired. Still waiting. The sun will come out tomorrow.
Or else I'm going to go quite noisily mad with a large crochet hook and several pounds of beige yarn...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Soon. I'm going to get on a plane tonight and see my BABY again. Can barely contain my glee. This tempers out the other point of not being able to talk to my Boy for the next two weeks. It's going to be hard. But I shall persevere. I must. I will. And then I'll be home again and we'll burn up the 'Net with tons of messages.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

At some point today I'm going to get motivated. I will finish putting away the clean dishes, I will sew the stack of flannel NICU blankies that I cut out this afternoon, and I will get around to painting my nails. Tomorrow I'm going to stop at Long's and possibly Ralph's on the way home from therapy. Then I'm going to get around to getting ready to leave town for another two weeks. I won't have 'Net access at all during that time, and I'm going to have to live with that somehow.

It's going to be easier because I'll see my Baby again. I'm looking forward to it. A lot.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I don't know if it's the rain or the company that I'm expecting tonight, but I'm cleaning up. Making this place look presentable again. I'm trying not to look at the crib, because if I do then I'll go into the nursery and look down at the empty place where my baby girl likes to snuggle. And then I'll get all sad and depressed again. She'll be back in my arms soon, and then I'm never going to let her go again.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It rained. At the moment I'm sitting in a darkened room, with just the light of my desklamp to fight back the shadows. Wet, damp, shadows. With a murky quality to them. I don't like the rain much at the moment, can you tell? The depression has been enough of a bitch to fight off this week, I don't need this.

I started the pot roast just before I sat back down at the computer. The reasoning: because the way I'm cooking it, with seasonings, marinade, and method of slow-cooking, I have no idea how this is going to turn out in the end. And if I need to consign it to the Great Trash Can in the Sky, then I'll still have time to make something else yummy for Simi.

Last night I curled up in bed and ended up reading the three books of the Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett. Truckers, Diggers, and Wings. It was better than I expected, given the cover. A good example of Pratchett's work. After thus distracting my waking mind, I managed to get a lot of the crap out of it. Today we received the Ram Rebellion, recently released in the 1632 series by Eric Flint. This bodes well for the rest of this rainy, miserable evening. And maybe I'll make something really bad for me but good for my soul... real soul food doesn't have cholesterol, fat, sugar, or any other nasty stuff.

Costco Day

Today he gets paid. Today we have fundage, and today is the Day of Doom and Traffic at most base exchanges, commissaries, and Wal-Mart. Knowing all of this, I decided to go to Costco anyway.

Tomorrow Simi and her Mom-in-Love are coming over for dinner. I'm making pot roast. This is going to be Yummy, I promise. Tonight I get to look up all my beef recipes and figure out which marinade I'm going to soak the beef in. I also want to bake some bread later.

It's raining. Something should be Wrong about rain in Paradise, especially at this time of year. But I guess I can't complain that much- I don't have to go out in it. And I bought more of the Yummy Alfredo sauce that tastes so good on ramen. My special treat for being a good girl? I bought a big jar of Red Vines. Sortof like twizzlers, only better.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I was depressed today, so I did what I always do when I'm so depressed that I'm wandering around the apartment like a zombie. I fiddled with my computer. I cleaned up adware, spyware, checked for trojans and updated my virus settings. PC Scanned my hard drive, ran windows updates, and otherwise killed time. Spent a lot of time staring at walls and my shins, not necessarily in that order.
I did two loads of laundry. The effort of this made me stumble back to the apartment and fall face-forward across the bed. Somewhere I found the strength to pull the blankets over my head, and there I stayed until half-way through the afternoon. Then I figured that I'd better make something to eat, and since the leftovers from last night's dinner didn't really appeal to me, I rummaged through the cupboard and pulled some stuff out, threw it in a pot, and cooked it. Two bowls later, I was very sick. The combination I came up with evidently is not a good one. I've dumped it in the Great Burial Ground in the dumpster, and we will never speak of it again. I'm now cooking a pot of rice, salted and buttered, which is bland and nutritious and will sit much easier on my tummy. I still haven't put the laundry away. It's sitting in a clean heap in the hamper where I set it down before my face-plant.
Maybe I'll get the motivation to do something productive later. The day started with all these good intentions of Stuff to Do. Watch me be Productive! Betty Crocker ain't got nothing on me. Or is that Martha Stewart? Whichever, I was going to embrace my Domestic Goddess Self and let the crinolines poof around my shins. Speaking of which, I'm dreading going back to my oncologist in June. Of the many things wrong with me at this point in my life, one of them is thrombocytosis. High Platelets. Not dangerously high, or anything where they'd have to act, but I've definately got high platelets. One of the things I have to be aware of are blood clots, and another is if I suddenly start bruising more easily. So here we are. Since KittyCat came home I've been getting lots of mystery bruises on my shins- mostly from whacking the baby carrier into them walking back and forth from the car. The mystery bruises on my thigh are from either my knitting needles or, again, my Wiggly Squirmy Baby Girl. Whichever, I'm fine with. Doesn't bother me at all, except there's got to be a screening somewhere for mothers who get beat up by their babies in the process of perfectly normal playing. So tell me, how did I achieve my latest spectacular mark? On the shin, when Baby is across the country, that was so bruised it was literally dark purple at first and is only now a week later approaching "normal" yellow-green tones of a healing bruise. It wasn't small like most of my mystery bruises, either.
This Space For Rent

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Today marks the start of the Great Baby Stuff Hunt. My mission: to obtain a highchair of the better quality for the least money. My first stops: the two thrift stores on Broadway between E and H streets. Unfortunately, nada. While the second one had an excellant baby and kid section, including several recent model car seats, no highchairs. I saw a tray-like object on a top shelf, and contorted my body into a position that revealed how long it's been since I shaved under my arms, but alas. It was only a Johnny-Jump-Up. Not a high chair.

I want to get my butt in gear and get this done before the KittyCat comes back home. It would be a hell of a lot easier to do this now, instead of later. Especially since she's more nosy and mobile than ever.

Last night I gave in to temptation and ordered a pizza. Not just for the garlic sauce tub, but in part because I have a Plan. A New Plan. One that will prevent me from eating nothing but pizza and aggravating my stomach into a bout of horrible gut-wrenching pains that make natural childbirth seem laughable. Uh, there's a reason that I had a c-section, folks. There's another reason, besides the breech presentation and the fact that my cervix was tighter than a nun's chastity belt, why they cut me open. And why they gave me lots and lots of Nice Drugs to help with the pain afterwards. Um, right. The Plan. I'm going to pack up about half of the pizza to freeze in nice snack-size portions. This way I'll only eat half of the pizza with it's yummy pepperoni and spicy sausage. mmmm. sausage.

I need to go and take some more prilosec now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

crouton update:
Yummy. I'm having trouble *not* eating them, since I put them in a big bowl on the table. Crunchy garlic toast bites.
Went out for lunch with Julie today. We went to the little chinese place down the road, and I indulged in honey walnut shrimp, which has got to be the closest thing to pure ambrosia since, well, since buffalo chicken strips with ranch dressing. I like the chicken strips for a little spice, I like the honey walnut shrimp because they're sweet and succulent, offset damn near perfectly by the steamed white rice. Fluffy goodness. I just can't eat it all at once or I'll make myself sick.

I've got a little bit of a headache, because I was up most of last night and did not take my no-doz this morning. This is just like a coffee addict going cold turkey for a day. My body protests, but I'm absolutely exhausted and tired of the insomnia kick that my head's been on this week. I Will Sleep Again. This is not an option. If I could only figure out how to make my body listen.

Also on the list of things I need to do: figure out why I want another baby so much. Is it me, is it my wierdness, is my husband right when he tells me that we're done reproducing or is he acting from a deeper and more deniable reason? I did some research on the long term effects of preemie parenthood this morning. I think that part of it is guilt, part of it is that mixture of insane emotions that get all shook up riding the NICU rollercoaster. Somebody stop the ride so I can get off, before I'm sick in my shoes.
Today I'm trying a new way of making garlic toasted croutons. I'll let you know how it turns out: lightly toast several slices of bread, spread with the contents of a papa-john's garlic sauce tub (readily available with any pizza, and if you're anything like me you start feeling bad about always throwing those out), cube the bread, retoast in the oven until crispy.

This costs pennies, maybe 10 cents total, as opposed to the $1.50 that a lot of stores charge for croutons. And this way you *know* what's in them, oil-wise, preservative-wise, etc.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I seem to be entering the world of the functioning depressive again.

While this is vaguely disturbing, it's nice to be able to function normally in society at the moment. I can pass for "normal". It's just when I'm alone, when the sun goes down, when the walls close in again that I find myself staring at the walls and wandering through the apartment. I have lots to do. Just no energy or desire to do any of it.

Sometimes I feel like such a big fake.
I simply must refer everyone who sees this to read today's Dooce. It makes one ponder the many unponderables of life. Can you really buy ammo with a gift card?
Everything tastes better with soy sauce.

Okay, not *everything*. But that seasoned rice I posted about the other day sure does. Maybe I'm just pms-ing. I'd hate to get my sodium levels checked, or be graded by a nutritionist this week. If it tastes good, if I feel like eating it, it's going to get eaten. Viva la Hormonal Chick over here. And pay no attention to the lady behind the curtain.

Today I got cut loose from my individual therapy. The LT thinks I'm doing fine without it, and that it'll help me to meet my goals. It makes sense. I'm just not that depressed right now. It's turned into situational instead of hormonal depression, and I can deal with the whole thing when my Baby Girl comes back home. My arms are so empty right now that they hurt. When I see her I'm going to run off the plane and swoop her up in my arms and smother her in kisses.


I have the sneaking suspicion that this is how my husband feels about me and her. Not that he'd admit it, no, cause he's a big strong Man. Still. That's just another reason why I love him so much. One more to the long list of reasons why I am thrilled every morning to wake up and remember that he's my husband and the father of my child.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Seasoned Rice is really easy to make. It's a variation on oven-baked rice which has got to be the easiest way I've found to make perfect rice. Take 2 cups of liquid (anything from water to seasoned broth) and bring to a boil on the stove. Turn the oven to 350degrees when you put the liquid on to boil. When it's boiling, dump in one cup of rice, cover the pot, and slide it in the now-preheated oven. Do not open the oven for 20 minutes. At the end, you've got perfectly cooked rice.

Last night I experimented a bit. I had some leftover french onion soup that I made last week, and used that for my liquid base. I diced up a carrot and added it to the boiling soup along with the rice. When it came out of the oven the carrot was tender, sweet, and it had a nice oniony flavor.

Soups are becoming easy for me to make. It doesn't take much, and as long as I follow the steps it should be a simple matter to make my own cream of mushroom soup for use in recipes. Or in eating. Yum. We'll see; and when I try it out I'm going to cost out the recipe and post it here.
I feel like I'm coming out of a lost weekend. Yesterday was very slow and methodical, between the crafting and the library run- I picked up an interesting book that sucked me right in. It's called There Will Be Dragons, by John Ringo. Sortof an alternative history theory, mixed with sci-fi. Some of it reads like the 1632 series by Eric Flint. I think it's safe to say that if they try to tell me that there's a sequel when I get to the last page I'm going to rip out some of my hair. Patience does not come easily or well to me.

Yesterday I tried to get my butt in gear and go out with Tam. I meant to, I really did, and then my eyes started closing and I got that wierd lethargic feeling. Naturally by the time it wore off so that I could do something, I was awake until 1 am. Now here I am, off to church, and with luck I'll get to the library again soon afterwards. Hopefully they'll have that sequel. At the least they'll have a comfy chair where I can curl up with a book and read in company for a while.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Last night I started reading the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. I found it interesting on a number of points, but I need to digest the thoughts a bit before I post them here. I'll let you know.

In other news, I bought a car yesterday. It's Blue. I'm in love with Her from the lines of her sleek roof to the firm yet supple support of her seat cushions. I've never been so in love with a car.

Friday, April 07, 2006

One of my greatest ambivalences is that I'm going to become my mother one day. I always knew that I had tendancies towards that, yet it didn't become apparant until a nice young family moved in downstairs. Before I knew what was going on we were (and I mean the females, cause that's our job) getting together with our kids for playing in the park. If the days grew too long while our husbands were at sea we were there to lend a shoulder or provide quick daycare. Then there were baked goods. Bread, mostly. Desserts are a showpiece. An elegant ending to the banquet and they can be as fancy or simple as needed. Cassaroles are less formal. The comfort food of a mother's kitchen although the recipe has changed a little each time it changes hands. Moving across the country I find that much of what I took for granted in foods and recipes are more regional than I had ever suspected. Thank God my dear mother taught me how to cook.

One thing that does not change much is the baking of bread. It is the staff of life. Every culture that ever was has bread in some form. So now when I see a woman who seems depressed and in need of cheering, I'll make her a loaf of bread.

Someday when KittyCat has grown older I won't have as much time to spend baking and punching down dough in the traditional ways. It's a shame. Somehow I must find the time to teach her this. Maybe it was instilled in me as a good Christian Thing, but it's also a caring Thing. Homemade bread is just different. Different from store bread, even bakery bread. I'd like to think that it's a blessing on all of our heads.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Few Random Thoughts:
Change is inevitable, so take it with a sense of humor and a few slices of lemon.
Navy wife or navy widow? Doesn't really matter; either way you'll spend a lot of time alone looking out to sea.
Soft colors have their place in decorating. I prefer them in flowers, and in quiet accents. I'd rather have nice solid jewel-tone colors on my furniture. It hides the dirt better.
Cheese is good. Especially Easy Cheese, in a spray can, with a big box of crackers. Heck, in a pinch I'll even forgo the crackers.
*While cheese is good, cholesterol testing is bad. No good can come from that. Eat cheese and red meat, die young, leave this world with a lot of yummy meals. Isn't that better than a century of rabbit food?
There are a lot of morons in this world. They are the ones who tailgate, slowpoke, and otherwise annoy the drivers who understand that turn signals are standard on a car for a reason. Use them. Also, *try* to obey the posted traffic signs and signals. Even the solid red light thingie.
I know just how ludicrous I must have looked this afternoon. I have my doubts that more than two of the people who saw me understood the discrepancy, but let me just say that I'm a product of my culture and a child of my generation. Let us hope that I never have my reality check bounce for insufficient funds.

So there I was, dressed in the long green skirt and white shirt, very Plain (for those of you familiar with the term) and white net covering. Hair properly pinned underneath the covering. Sensible shoes. Driving through town in a little red car with the radio tuned to some modern rock station. I must have made certain of my foremothers turn in their graves. If anyone hears about seismic activity in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, I'm truly sorry for this.

To celebrate my newfound culture I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon knitting peacefully in front of the tv. Maybe I'll be watching Sex and the City. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll read my devotions instead. Who knows? Only the cat who sits on the windowsill of the apartment across from me, whose discretion can be counted on. And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

When the going gets tough, the tough go back to their roots. Whether it's by eating mac'n'cheese or by snuggling under the blankets with a flashlight and a good book, we've all got something that will make us feel better somehow, no matter how life throws up in our shoes. I've been toying with a major decision for a while now. No, I'm not joining a cult or taking up recreational drug use- I'm going back to my roots in a few ways. From now on I'll likely be sporting a devotional covering while outside the house. This is not from any implication of holier-than-thouness, but because I'm trying to reconcile my independant moderness with the concept of traditional good wifeliness that I grew up with. It's by way of a personal reminder of faith and the respect that I owe to my husband. As an added bonus, it's intended to help me remember who I am and what I am, so that I don't need to try and define it in other, non-healthy ways. Oy. That's a mouthful. Anyway... catch you later.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What should I take as my ideal of the 'good wife'? Proverbs has it's points, but the rest of it is a bit too preachy and subservient for these times. I have to balance the modern and the classic. The submissive and the dominant. How do I act as an independant and free-thinking woman while respecting my husband and his wishes? There's got to be a way to make everybody happy. Most of the time I do. It's just when the shit hits the fan that it's hard to make these decisions... indecision threatens to hold me hostage to my own fears and insecurities.
Tonight this is all just pointless rambling. I don't have anything to say, I don't feel very wordy. I just wish that somewhere there was a script that I could follow to make it easier.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm beginning to consider the alternatives to moving. I really don't want to move. I want to stay put right here in this cozy little apartment where I'm at home and comfortable. I want to put down a few roots, and let our savings account accrue interest for a change instead of draining it in a move. Maybe there's a compromise that can be made so that I can stay put. I hope there is. I like this apartment.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What I'm reading:
The Great Mortality: by John Kelly
I've just started this one; picked it up because it's about a pandemic. As I said a while back, my history quirkiness is that I'm a Spanish Influenza Buff. The two historical events are not unrelated. So far it's pretty cool. As an added bonus, I turned the tv over to the history channel this evening, and they're repeating the series about the Little Ice Age, which occurred around the same time as the Plague years.
Why am I so fascinated with these things? Maybe it's the empath in me. These were times of horribly enhanced emotions. Grief, and loss, and pain. The guilt of survival. I know these things as they relate to another set of circumstances. I know the survivor's guilt of both childhood cancer and child abuse. It's not easy; hell- the hardest part of any lifechanging event is living through it. The easy part is giving up and dying, and I guess that I'm too stubborn to ever lay down and quit. I could have a worse fault than stubbornness.
What's wrong with me today? I should be resting, should be trying to gather emotional serenity to deal with the week ahead. I miss my Boy. I miss my Baby. The house is too empty right now, and I feel too lonely.

In the end I'll fall back on all my normal methods of coping. I'll drag out some immensely complex needlework project that I haven't touched in ages, and I'll get so involved with that that I'll give myself a migraine by bedtime. In the meantime there's leftover stew and garlic bread to munch on. Hot tea to make and drink. Books to read and drown my loneliness in.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

As part of reclaiming my roots, and thriftiness, and general all-around fun, I've just made over a sundress that I first put together two years ago. It's been hanging in my closet almost that long, because I screwed up the bodice darts. Not entirely my fault, mind you. It's a mixture of my sloppiness in marking and sewing, and my Really Big Boobs. It skews the entire fall of most of the clothing I wear if it's fitted. So to fix this dress, since it really is a lovely fabric- watercolor violet bouquets, with glitter accents- I took off the bodice and sewed an elastic waistband into the skirt. I paired it with a white tshirt and maybe some silver earrings when I go out for today's round of errands.

Okay, I checked with KittyCat. I called my mom this morning and we had a nice long chat. The KittyCat is fine. My mom's fine. I'm fine, knowing that they're fine. I've suddenly got an entire day in front of me without baby wrangling, and I am so tired... or is that wired? It's a case of me not feeling able to relax, and in part not remembering how to relax more than a given amount of time.

I just remember to breathe, and to have patience, and to have Faith. Serenity. Now.