Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Synergy

In the immortal words of that guy George Peppard played on "The A-Team," I love it when a plan comes together. (side note about that link--seriously, a shrine? To the A-team? Seriously?) Or, more accurately, I love it when two previously unrelated things turn out to work quite nicely together.

I've decided to have a go at juicing. Health benefits, weight loss, blah blah blah. I won't bore you with my thoughts on the subject of nutritional healing. The problem with me juicing is that I do not have a juicer, and I am certainly not about to shell out big bucks for one until I know this is something I'm going to make a habit of.

So, last night I decided to see what the old Cuisinart could do with a couple of handfuls of baby carrots and an apple. What I ended up with was a mass of juicy pulp, which yielded almost a glass full of juice after I put it into a seive. Quite tasty, and solves my juicer dilemma. Cool.

And then I have this pulp, which is not a problem because I just dumped it into the compost container for later transfer to the compost bin out back. (You never knew I was so earthy-crunchy, did you? I still shave my legs, though.) Then, while the kids ran amuck played, I popped onto the computer to do a little reading about vermicomposting. And it occurred to me, as I formulated my diabolical plan to harness worm power in the service of my garden, that worms would probably love squashed up veggie and fruit pulp. I bet they'd dive right into it. Hmmm.

Synergy. I love it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Food, glorious food!

It's two days before Christmas, and we have a truly ridiculous amount of food in our house. In addition to the four kinds of cookies/bars I made yesterday, we received a cookie bouquet
yesterday, and this morning, when we were still in our jammies, a huge box from this fabulous company. Oysters and crab, and shrimp, oh my! And salmon and chocolates and gummi grizzlies and.... you get the idea.

For your reading pleasure, I thought I would share the following: Padilla order. That, my friends, is judicial whup-ass of the highest order. I love it.

In other news, I've been watching the BBC's version of "Pride and Prejudice." I've never been much of a Collin Firth fan, but that was before I saw him brood. Dude is totally hot when he's all moody and stuff. Yum.

I'm off for a couple of days (big shock there, right? I've hardly been *here* lately.) If you celebrate Christmas, may you have a merry one. If you don't, have a great weekend.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Just for the record...

I really should know better than to read blog comments concerning Christianity, particularly around Christmas time. It just makes me grumpy, and that's hardly the spirit of Christmas, is it?

But see, I was kind of grumpy anyway, what with being cooped up in the house with no power for four days, followed by going into work on the first day of my vacation, and my children being ... how children tend to be during the week before Christmas. So I dove in and read some comments that related to a post on the Yarn Harlot's blog (link in sidebar--in addition to being grumpy, I'm being lazy). Stephanie is spot-on in her comments about the people behind her. My knickers are in a twist about a couple of things I saw in the comments, which are the kinds of things you hear a lot this time of year. So, here I go, untwisting my knickers...

(1) "Jingle Bells" is not a Christmas carol. Yes, you hear it on the radio during the interminable "Christmas season" (beginning in late August these days), but listen to the lyrics some time. Not a single word about Christmas, presents, etc. It's a winter song, not a Christmas song. It is therefore entirely proper (and not a violation of church and state) for sweet little children to sing it during their public school holiday programs. I will stand right there with you if you want to protest "O Little Town of Bethlehem," but you lose me at Jingle Bells.

(2)Early Christians did not "steal" Christmas from the pagans. Seriously, if the early Christians had wanted to take over the pagan celebration of the solstice, don't you think they would have put the feast of the Nativity on the day they were trying to "steal?" Early Christians were many things, but stupid isn't one of them. (Well, some of them probably were. Every culture/group/tradition has its share of dim bulbs.) It's also worth noting that the Christian church (particularly the Orthodox and Catholic traditions) celebrate three births as major feast days: Christ, Mary, and John the Baptist. My point being that the celebration of Christ's nativity is not unique.

It is true that the early church encouraged (in varying degrees) former pagans to keep some of their rituals when they became Christians. That's where modern day Christians end up with evergreen boughs (although Christmas trees were an invention of German Christians, and are not pagan in origin). You will not, for example, find Christmas trees or evergreen boughs in any Orthodox church, or in most Orthodox homes outside the United States and Eastern Europe.

So, I'm really not sure what the problem is here. Pagans still celebrate the Solstice, and more power to them. Pagans who converted to Christianity celebrated Christ's birth instead, incorporating some of their traditions into the Christian celebration. I really don't see the problem, and more importantly, I don't see the theft.

(3) Easter is a pagan holiday. Well, you got me there. In my view, the manner in which Easter is celebrated in most of the world is far more pagan than Christian. Eggs and bunnies in particular, are not Christian, with one minor exception. Orthodox Christians dye eggs red at Pascha (Greek for "passover", a more accurate term for day in question) in commemoration about Mary Magdalene (I think) preaching to some muckety-muck about the resurrection. The contents of some eggs turned to blood in witness to the truth of what she was saying, and to this day eggs are dyed red in commemoration of this.

(4) Christians are oppressed because everyone has to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Fer cryin' out loud, get a grip. You are not being oppressed. If you want to know what oppression is like (for Christians or any other number of religions), there are several places in this world where you can experience it first-hand. The United States is not one of them (well, not for Christians, any way).

(5) "Here Comes Santa Claus" is the worst Christmas carol ever. EVER. Even worse than "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," which I loathe with the fire of a thousand suns. The reason is the final line: "Let's give thanks to the Lord above/'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight." Read that again and let it sink in. Feel the depths of the ... shallowness of it (oops). Don't be thanking God for the gift of His Son. No, no, no! Thank God for Santa Claus--he's the one with the presents!!! What did that Jesus dude ever do for us anyway?


There. I feel better, and I really hope I haven't grumped up anybody else's day. I'll be back later in the week with the tale of our weekend in the dark and a few pictures of scarves.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A haiku for you...

My Christmas knitting
Still a dream on my needles
No more sleep for me


Or this one...

Scarves for my parents
Go slowly--not enough time
Too bad, they'll be late


And one for Annie of the comments...

No pictures, I know
I do not have an excuse
Maybe this weekend

Thursday, December 08, 2005

On a lighter note...

I've always thought fish--particularly really, really big ones--are really cool. It's always been a dream of mine to go on a sport fishing trip for marlin or sailfish or something (strictly catch-and-release, of course). With that in mind, I found this site the other day... Fishosaur. I love it.

And there are a lot of cool pictures here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

99 to go....

I learned just now that it would take 101.58 cups of my current poison (brewed coffee) to kill me. Good to know.

I have to say that the first 3/4 of yesterday was really the worst day I've had in quite a while (and given the state of my life lately, that's really saying something). At 7:45 a.m. I heard a strange noise as I went through the intersection at Worley Road and Pleasantburg Drive. At 7:48 a.m. I pulled into a convenience store and discovered that (1) my tire was flat; (2) I had been driving on the rim for a good 1/4 mile, and the tire was now smoking; (3) I had forgotten my purse, in which was my cell phone and my trusty AAA card. Oh, and did I mention that it was raining? And cold?

So I called hubby, who arrived with Owen. Hubby waited for the tow truck while Owen and I proceeded to my office, where my boss was waiting for me to show up. This is never a good thing, and especially so when you have your three-year-old in tow. We go over a few things, I redo something I thought was done, and then I take Owen to preschool.

I come back to work and discover that (a) I have to redo the thing again; (b) I have a run in my nylons--a big one. So I redo the thing, and then I get a call and I have to redo it again. And while I'm redoing it I get an email from yet another person asking where the hell the thing is. To which I responded, "bite me." (Actually, I said, "It's on the way," but the meaning is the same and the recipient of my email knew it. He even sent me an apology. Nice guy, if a little too impatient.)

Later that morning, hubby and I discover that (a) he is not qualified to be a freaking bank teller (the local tech college actually offers a certification program in that!); (b) selling books requires a full-scale personality test (come on, people), and (c) handing out towels at the gym at the local university requires a degree in health sciences. So much for today's job search.

Later, we discovered that we are going to owe a ginormous amount of money for services we thought were going to be covered by someone else. Then, one of Owen's therapists--the one we really trust--tells us that she thinks we should have him screened for autism. Those of you who are familiar with the whole saga may remember that the very first person who screened Owen mentioned autism, and we pooh-poohed it on the basis that she knew nothing about Owen. Patti knows Owen, and she thinks he may be autistic. Crap.

So this is all by 3:30 yesterday. It's a good thing that I didn't have the information about death by caffeine yesterday at that time.

But then things improved. The tire, which I had been convinced was destroyed, was patched for a mere $20. My new ice cream maker arrived, as did my book on natural healing. The boys and I went for dinner and karaoke at a friend's house, and had a wonderful time. And then I got to watch "Grey's Anatomy" (we always tape it and watch it on Monday) and go to bed. And the cats didn't bug us and Owen let me sleep until 5:00 a.m. (very generous of him, don't you think?). And the sun is shining this morning.