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Archive for July, 2008

It’s the day. The day a lot of people have been waiting for. The day when, at midnight, the bookstores will start selling copies of Stephenie Meyers’ last book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn.  In the spirit of the series, I’d like to leave you with this cartoon.

Now, if you’re Mormon, you already know about CTR rings. Lots of Mormons wear them to remind themselves to Choose The Right. So here’s a little twist on the CTR ring theory to amuse you Twilight fans. Enjoy! I’ll be back with a book review sometime Saturday.

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Mamma Mia!

This has been such a sucktacular day that I wanted something to cheer me up. So I called Joe and asked if we could go see Mamma Mia! after I got off work. He cheerfully assented, and we did. Loved it!! There’s only one ABBA song that I love that wasn’t in the movie, and I understand why–it doesn’t fit. But I was singing along with all the songs and having to restrain myself from getting up and dancing.  I loved the sly allusion to the Greek chorus. I loved all the village women throwing down whatever they were working on to go dance along with the Dynamos and be dancing queens.

Okay, yeah, I cried during at least half of it, but I’ve been crying all day and it’s nothing against the movie.  Every now and then the knowledge that I do not and will not have children just gets into me and twists my guts inside out. I’ve already reflected today about how joyously happy I am for one of my friends who is most likely pregnant, but how at the same time I feel that wrench inside for myself. So during the movie I was enjoying the mother-daughter interaction while at the same time wishing desperately that I could understand that from the mother’s perspective. My two children never lived longer than a few days inside my body. I never got to hold them, to look into their eyes, laugh with them or weep with them. None of that. And I’m usually okay, but on days like today when my emotions are all over the place, it hurts.

I’m home now, and took my meds early, including a sleeping pill, so I’m hoping for a good night’s rest. I wish you all bundles and bushels of joy.

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The Tuber Tale

In other words, I yam what I yam, and I yam where I yam.  Please be patient with me.

I’ve been told that it seems that I’m withdrawing, isolating from my normal activities. I remember one night when I definitely was doing that, but otherwise I haven’t felt that way. Things don’t always fit into my schedule, and I have to work within my priorities. If Joe’s home, for example, chances are that I’m going to want to be with him. He’s gone so often that he and I need to be together when he is in town. That’s not an excuse. That’s a priority. That doesn’t mean that I love anyone else any less, just that I have to take advantage of the time my husband’s home.

I’ve also been told that even when I am there, I’m not really there. That stung a little bit. I don’t even know what to say. When we do get together, I have a good time and enjoy being with my family. If I seem like I’m not all there, or if I’m not bubbling over with enthusiasm, that’s nothing deliberate. It may mean I’m tired. It may be attributable, directly or indirectly, to the medications I’m on. It’s been very difficult working out all the medication issues, and I’m having a very rough time with it. I’m not sleeping well, not sleeping much, and feel tired and groggy a lot of the time. Some days (like today) I could cry all day. That’s attributable to the medications which are supposed to help stabilize my moods, to the side effects of the medications, to the lack of sleep, to the fact that the pressures in my life haven’t decreased even though my mood is somewhat more stable.

When I was a CPS caseworker, I heard frequently from clients who were bipolar that they had quit taking their medications because they didn’t feel like they were themselves on them. They might have been on a more even level, but they missed the highs. Perhaps they even missed the lows, in a weird way. I didn’t get it then. I get it now. I’m paying a price here. I don’t feel like myself all the time. But I cannot tell you how nice it is that 95% of the time now I can control my temper. When I get provoked into a situation that would have had me screaming at the top of my lungs, drop-kicking a 6-pack of Wolf brand chili, wanting to kill myself, kicking a hole in the drywall, etc., I’ve been able to stay calm. I can express my feelings without having to go nuclear. I haven’t wanted to kill myself since I’ve been on these new medications. I have to tell you that going from feeling suicidal three to five times a month to having no suicidal ideations at all is a huge blessing.

So if you’re feeling like I’m leaving you out, or dumping you, or isolating myself, it’s probably not at all what’s going on in my mind. Talk to me about it, and if I tell you that I’m not isolating, please believe me. Maybe you’re missing my hypomanias. I miss them, but I’d rather miss the hypomanias than have the suicidal thoughts. If we get together on Saturday evening and I have to leave at 9, please know it’s not because I don’t want to be with you–it’s because I have to be at church at 8:30 on Sunday morning and I have to get a decent amount of sleep or I won’t be able to wake up on Sunday. If my husband is in town on one of his rare visits home, he wants me to be with him, and that’s not anything against anyone else I want to see. He supports me in my friendships and in my activities. He loves that I have such an awesome group of friends, and that we get together and do things. He’s really pleased, especially if we do things when he’s not home, that I’m not hiding out by myself. He supports these new cooking and baking challenge groups I’ve joined.

Please be patient with me right now while I’m dealing with all these new things–learning new things about myself and my mental health, coping with the effects of these medications and trying to figure out, with the help of my doctors, what I need and how to best get it, losing my hypomanias and being more even-keeled. It’s so hard for me that I can hardly find the words to express it. I’m not shutting anyone out of my life. I’m just dealing right now. As I started this post, I’ll end it: I yam what I yam, and I yam where I yam. Doesn’t mean I’ll be at this spot forever, but even a yam takes a while to go from being a little yamling to being a full-grown beautiful delicious vegetable.

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a.k.a., my first ever Daring Bakers challenge!

My completed gateau. Isn’t it a work of art? Snort. I’ll explain the problems in a sec.

 

My flimsy attempt to show what the cake looked like after cutting out a wedge. It’s a little out of focus, and I’m too tired and too annoyed to mess with things anymore.

I’ll put the recipe below the break, in case anyone wants to attempt it. As I mentioned above, this is my first Daring Bakers challenge. I’ve never made a genoise before, never made pralined pecans before, never made buttercream icing before, and never made a ganache before. I honestly feel pretty confident with my abilities in those fields now. I actually made two genoises; when I attempted to remove the first one from the baking pan, a goodly portion remained in the pan. So I made a second one. With the second, I knew what I was doing, so my batter didn’t deflate when I was folding in the nut meal. The pralined pecans were wonderful. The buttercream was a little difficult to work with in this heat (around 100 degrees today), but it tasted fantastic. And the ganache-oh my gosh!–this is some seriously good tasting stuff.

What went wrong? Well, the first genoise didn’t want to come out of the pan. I used parchment paper on the bottom of the pan for the second genoise, and it came out just fine but my edges were messed up. If I were to make this again, I’d probably try it in a springform pan. When I sliced my layers, they were very uneven, and the top and middle layer were so thin they pretty much fell apart. Because of that, it didn’t matter how creamy and glossy my ganache was, it wasn’t going to be a pretty cake. I couldn’t trim any off the top or edges because there wouldn’t have been any cake left.  And the praline paste clogged up my decorating tips, so in the end I had to just pipe the icing through a bag without using a tip.

How does it taste? It’s amazing. Fantastic. Rich. I could only eat a few bites, although I will confess that I sampled the icing and the whipped cream and the ganache, so that might have something to do with my inability to eat more. Joe cleaned out the rest of the bowl that had the icing in it, and he ate the ganache drippings, and he ate the remainder of the slice I cut. I’ll take the rest of the cake to work tomorrow–they won’t care how ugly it is, and it tastes just incredible.

(more…)

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Getting used to these new medicines is definitely of the suck. Apparently there’s just a prime time for me to take them. Unfortunately, I haven’t found it yet. If I take it too late, I sleep all morning the next day (or, if I must go to work, I sit there in a fog all morning until I can crawl under my desk at 11 and take a nap during my lunch break). If I take it too early, I sort of don’t go to sleep at all, so I’m tired and foggy the next morning.  Last night I took it too early, and I was really mondo tired, so I gave up and took a sleeping pill as well. I slept the sleep of the dreamless, and was stunned to open my eyes and realize that I should have been at work 5 minutes previously. And that was when I was just thinking how nice it would be to stretch, roll over, and go back to sleep.

So I got to work at 7:30 instead of 7:00. And I’m really tired and groggy, and will probably nap under my desk during lunch today to give me the energy I need to make up the half hour I missed this morning. I also, before the end of the week, need to make up the hour and a half I missed yesterday afternoon while I was getting my annual checkup at the doctor’s office.

The older I get the more complicated my annuals are. I remember when it was just going in, getting lab work done, getting the well woman stuff done, and I was out of there. Now it’s two tons of paperwork, order the mammogram, get the EKG, blood work, bone density scan, etc.  The nurse started talking about colonoscopy–I hope I’m still a few years away from needing that! Eeuu!

I remembered to bring The Ugliest Cake In the World (TM) to work with me today. I’m hoping my co-workers will devour it. I mean, yeah, okay, it’s heinously ugly, but it’s also incredibly delicious. You get to see pictures of it tomorrow. You can’t wait, can you? Admit it!

The Incomparable Izzybella will not be blogging today or tomorrow.  She told me she’d hoped to get online in the evenings once everyone’s settled down in their dorm rooms, but alas! She was unable to connect to the internet. Things are going well, though; one day down, two to go. Think happy thoughts for her. She needs them.

Joe went to the Journey concert the other night. Their new lead singer, who’s absolutely marvelous, is the cousin of some friends of ours. He’s got the Steve Perry sound, and Joe described him as energetic and dynamic. Joe watched you-tube all night last night comparing performances. I can’t believe I turned my husband into a you-tube junkie. But there’s worse things he could be addicted to, so I shouldn’t complain.

You know, going back to the doctor issue, it’s pretty sneaky of them to refuse to refill my hormone prescriptions unless I went in for a physical. Because I wouldn’t have otherwise. But me without my hormones is just so not a pretty picture. I left his office yesterday with my prescription, the mammogram order, and a tracker for my blood pressure. My blood pressure has never been high, but yesterday it was as high as it can be and still be considered normal. So I’ve got to check it regularly now, and if it stays this high I have orders to call my doctor about it. He did say it could be due in part to the new medications I’m taking for the other thing. And yes, I need to lose weight. He’s nice about it–always has been–and has never made me feel bad about my weight problems. So I’ve got to bite the bullet and start WW up again. I’m not going to go to meetings, but I have all the information at home from when I was going before. I know how to do it and I know what to do, just need to do it.

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Movie Night

So after last night’s stressful evening at the movies (I had to come home and wach Narnia so I could relax enough to go to sleep), I slept in a bit this morning. And then ran the usual Saturday errands–grocery store, get a prescription filled, etc.–before coming back home and watching some documentaries.

Tonight was movie night with my sisters. The incomparable Izzybella hosted, and Elle and Jehara were there. The movie was Penelope, starring Christina Ricci and the beautiful James McEvoy. It was utterly delightful. I don’t want to say too much about it lest I spoil it for someone who’s planning to see it. And if you weren’t planning to see it, you might want to rethink your position. It’s a charming modern fairy tale. The sets and costume and makeup are just delectable.

And if you think I’m exaggerating the depths of my love for the movie, I will tell you that I had to stop at Target on my way home to pick up some nylons. I bought the DVD. Yeah, it’s that good.

It’s always nice spending time with  my sisters, too. We played a brief round of who would you do, which is always entertaining. And we made Elle blush, again, always entertaining. 

Poor Baxter is just skin and bones. He’s lost so much weight it’s a little scary. He still seems cheerful, though, and it was nice to get to spend some time with him. He’s such a sweet dog.

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Not For Me

I know this is an unpopular opinion. I hated the new Batman movie. Hated it. Hated it with the fire of ten thousand suns.

Objectively I can stand back a bit and tell you that the acting was brilliant. It was. Heath Ledger’s performance was incredible.

It was such a painful movie to watch, so full of darkness. And I need more light than that.

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