Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Late Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hope everyone's Christmas was lovely, mine certainly was! I got to spend some time with my parents, before the big day, which made Christmas feel much more whole for me.

I 'helped' my mom make donuts.  She does the actual making, and once they are fried, I shook them in the cinnamon and sugar combo to coat them -- that's always been my job since I was little. It is a help though, it means mom doesn't have to stop frying to coat them, cause if you let them cool too much then the sugar just doesn't stick to the donuts.

Last year I had a terrible cold the week before Christmas, so I only saw my parents Christmas eve, and part of Christmas day. I felt cheated. I barely got any rappie pie and not one single donut. When I realised after Christmas that I'd missed out on my mom's donuts completely I literally sobbed my dismay to Chris.  He totally didn't get it.  But mom only makes donuts at Christmas.  And they are fantastic! They're a 'tea time' donut, meant to be eaten the day they are made. The nutmeg in them is what makes them delicious, well that and the cinnamon and sugar coating on the outside.  They are kinda like Tim Horton's Old Fashioned Plain donut, only with a coating.  Though Timmie's has nothing on my mom's donuts.

So yeah, this year I got my fill of donuts. Or at least I had enough to satisfy my craving. I also got to have lots and lots of rappie pie. So very good! So very filling. So very strange, really, if you aren't used to it.  It's basically meat and potatoes. But it's about as close to shepard's pie as Quittach is to soccer. lol.

I really enjoyed Christmas this year. We didn't have to rush, and everyone pitched in to help my mom with dinner. Chris and I helped with some of the set-up, and my aunts helped with the clean-up, which meant my mom didn't have to do everything herself.  I haven't actually had a chance to talk to her since, but I'm hoping Christmas didn't leave her as drained as it did last year.  She seemed to be holding up pretty well when we left at 5pm, which was well after our Christmas dinner. Though we call it dinner, it's always a late-ish lunch at about 2pm.  That way we eat, we sit and talk, and about the time it's getting dark everyone is about ready to go home. Which works out perfectly for my young cousins who were there and my uncle who is in his 80s.  And frankly for mom and Pa who are no longer spring chickens themselves, though I think they do far better than many people their age.

Christmas, for me, is all about family, and getting to spend it with my family and my husband was very very happy making.  We even got to spend boxing day with our adopted family of Toronto friends, which was totally awesome!

This New Years Eve we are going to party held by our aforementioned Toronto friends. It's a theme party - tarts and vicars! I'm very much looking forward to it.  Thanks to Halloween's past Chris already has his costume, mine is more up in the air. I'm sure I'll come up with something sufficiently tarty. If I had more time/energy/money I would totally be tempted to buy an outrageous wig, and some fake press on nails. lol. But I think I'll have to make do with what's already in my closets.  I wish I had my tall boots in Toronto, but we had way too much to carry home Christmas day for me to bring them from Hamilton sadly.

And because I just can't not mention it, my mom gave us the most wonderful Christmas gift!!  I know it's not supposed to be about gifts, and it's not, really, it's the thought behind it that has me all gushy.  After we got married this last October, I confessed to my mom that even though we said no physical gifts, what I really wanted, was for my mom to buy me nice silverware.  I have absolutely no luck in picking out silverware. I've bought some before for work, twice even, and both times they so did not work out. They rusted! They tasted of metallic decay! It was awful!  My mom on the other hand has lovely taste in silverware.  And I still remember when I was quite young, and one of my cousins was getting married. Mom bought him and his new wife silverware and a lovely wooden case for it.  From that moment on, in my head, that was thee most perfect wedding gift.  Nothing more was said, time went on, Chris and I last week bought ourselves a set of silverware while at Ikea -- we've wanted something better than what we have for some time, but the wedding came first. Since we were there (IKEA) we thought we'd pick something up that looked good.  Thankfully we didn't get around to opening it as Christmas morning we found not one, but three sets of beautiful, simple, elegant silverware under the tree from my mom and pa!! Ironically the silverware mom picked looks almost exactly like the set I picked at Ikea that they didn't have any of. They had it on display, but we couldn't find a package of it. Mom said she'd liked another better, but they didn't have enough, so she got this one, remembering I like things plain. She picked perfectly. I love love love them.  I know, considering I told her I wanted her to pick them for me only two months before I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was! I really really was.  And what a wonderful surprise indeed!

It's a little morbid, but I know I'm not going to have my mom and pa forever. They are getting on in years.  And although they may be with me for the next ten years, give or take, I (hopefully) will be around a lot longer... And the idea of having something so lovely, that I will use every day, to remind me of her is just a wonderful thought. So she'll never be 100% gone.  I'm a physical person.. having a physical something that says 'mom loves me' around, is worth its weight in gold, as they say.

So yeah, Christmas was great! And I'm hoping NYE will be equally as fun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So Much To Do And So Little Time To Do It In....

Or at least that's how it feels.

Yesterday, Monday, I baked 10.5 dozen cookies.  Sadly about 2 dozen of those were oatmeal raisin (and pecan) cookies that just were not good. They weren't terrible, but they were hard, and just blah.  So I shoved them onto Chris' co-workers! :D

I'm almost done my holiday baking. Almost.  I still need to remake the shortbread that didn't turn out to snuff.  It's okay.  But it's for my mom, and she's every bit as picky as I am.  I want them to be amazing. Damnit.  So tomorrow, if I'm feeling up to it, I'm going to go searching for good lemons.  I think part of the problem was that I didn't have quality lemons.  I also need more Splenda brown sugar, and butter, and eggs for that matter.

I was going to visit my parents tomorrow, but if I want to get all my cookies done by this weekend, then I think I need to use tomorrow, at least a little.

Thursday I'm getting tattooed, so it's really very important, frankly, that I rest as much as I can.  So why am I up at midnight writing this?  Because I can't freaking sleep.  Damnit.  So annoying! I really should have napped today.  I was actually feverish with exhaustion.  I have been since last night. Going into a tattoo like this would be just plain idiotic.  So I'm hoping to get all the rest I can manage tomorrow.  Hopefully going for a walk to the nearby metro will, if nothing make me tired enough to want to sleep.

I have pictures of the cookies, and once they are all baked, I'll share. :)  Hopefully my recipients will like them!  I was thinking of baking cookies for my photographer, but I honestly doubt I'll have the energy... And for my uncle, though that can wait until next week.  I might just have enough with what I've already baked too. Since I have like half our freezer full of stacks of cookies.

The only real good thing about baking with Splenda (it is sooooo not appropriate for cookies! They just fall apart!) is that I have no desire whatsoever to eat them.  I can't stand the smell or taste of Splenda.  Thankfully Chris' mom and my mom both can't taste a thing!

GAH.  Trying not to freak out. There is time. I can even bake on Friday if I have to.  If I make the dough tomorrow and chill it, then I can just bake them Friday. Makes things sooo much easier. That's how I was actually able to bake so much on Monday, almost all of the cookies were dough I'd made and chilled days before.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Good with the Bad....

Life throws some curve balls.... Just about the time I met Chris my health issues were coming to a head, ie. I was at my breaking point.  I think I did break. I'm still trying to pick up the pieces.... But it's like I'm a blind cripple with one hand, and there are thousands of pieces... It's slow hard work.

Sometimes, when I'm in more pain than I can bare, I think 'what I wouldn't give to be pain-free!!', at that point I often feel like I'd give up anything, just anything.  But when I'm clearer headed. When the pain is there but not enough to fog my mind, like today, I realise, there are just some things I would never give up.  Like my husband.  If I had to choose having him, his love, his support, his presence in my life or being pain-free, I'd pick him. He's worth it.  What would my life be worth without him in it?  Who would I have to share my life with? I'm often lonely.  I'm not very good at being social.... I'm shy, and awkward, and I just.. yeah, I end up lonely... But without him, it would just be so much worse... If I was pain free, I'm sure I'd have some kind of job, and  such, but I'd come home to an empty apartment, I'd sleep alone... there would be no cuddles, no kisses...and so much more that means he's mine and I'm his.

The whole is greater than it's parts... That's the thing.  I'm a sap. I know it.  But life is just so much better with him in it.  Even with the pain.  And that's fucking saying something boys and girls!

I'm still no good at fighting the pain. I'm just not. I think I broke that part of me.  I don't know how to get it back, I just don't. But I think I'm slowly learning, or re-learning how to just get up and do something.  I'm trying to not expect superhero-ism from myself that I see in my friends.  I can't do that.  But I can do something. So that's what I'm focusing on.  I can't concur the world in a day, but I can say, go out and get groceries when the pain isn't too bad. I can get up and shower and do dishes on days when I hurt. Even if that's all I do, that's something.  And something is more than nothing. I'm fighting this battle in inches, in centimeters even.  Every little thing counts. So I'm trying to keep doing, even if it's little.  I feel better when I do something with myself every day.  So I just have to keep doing, and I've been doing rather well. Not huge things, but I got groceries this week, I've baked 6 dozen cookies, and I've done more loads of dishes than I can count.  That's not too shabby really.

I still haven't figured out how to get myself back to the gym. Honestly, I'm scared.  I don't know why. It's stupid. It's irrational. Totally dumb-ass. But I can't help it. I'm just scared to go in there. I'm scared that... that the few machines I know how to use, and don't hurt me will be busy and I won't know what to do with myself. I'm scared I'll get on something else and my knees will scream, and I'll push, and then I'll end up in bed for a month, again, crying, sobbing, unable to sleep, in absolute misery, and I'll loose what little hold on being a person I have.  I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to get on those bikes. I'm terrified of them.  But for some reason this fear sits in the pit of my stomach.  That and well, I'm the size of a house. I just feel really weird about going to the gym damnit. It's fucked up. But there it is.  Damn fear. I really need to just get over it. It won't be so bad once I go there once. I was hoping to go with the hubby, but work for him has been all hours, and he's exhausted. He has enough trouble just getting through the work day never mind going to the gym.

Today my goal is to get yarn for Chris' mittens. Tomorrow I want to go to the gym in the morning. It's all I am letting myself have on my plate. That's part of the trouble for me. If I go to the gym, I'm worried I'll use up all my day's energy and I won't be able to do anything else.... But I need to get back at it. I really need to get more active.  Hopefully I can manage. I don't know if my fibro will even let me.  But I have to try. I just have to.  I do not want to have surgery. I don't. I really really don't. damnit.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Phone Pictures, and Today's Challenge

I thought I'd share some pictures of my latest trip to my parents.....

Here is the Christmas Tree, all decorated, in our, well, I guess their, living room. 


I only just moved out completely before the wedding, so this September.  It's still really hard for me to get used to the fact that it's not my home anymore. doh.  I mean, I'm always welcome and stuff, but I don't have a bedroom there, or you know a place that's mine.  They still do have a lot of my stuff, simply because we have no place for it in our tiny-ass apartment.

And here's something that surprised the hell out of me: Roses hanging on in December!  This was the first week of December, before they got any kind of snow, but it was sill really freaking cold!

Rose, in December!

So, to my challenge today... It's a two-parter really. 

(1) Make it to the gym! 

(2) Get started on the cookies, make at least one batch.

I won't lie, neither is going to be easy for me today.  My lower back is just killing me.  I didn't get much sleep because I was in too much pain.  I spent most of the night trying to be very still and waiting it out until morning. My husband worked a maintenance last night (he's a techie), and he uses me as a teddy bear, so if I'd moved around as much as I wanted (I squirm when in pain), I would have woken him up more than once.  He might have even yelled at me (in his sleep).  And I didn't want that, any of that.  So I woke up really angry (from frustration I suppose), and really fucking sore.  Insanely sore.  I've taken some robax, and some ibuprofen, since that's all I have at my disposal, hopefully they will help. I am not holding my breath.  I just want to scream really.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ungredients bought!

So I totally accomplished all my goals today!

I went to the bank, got my online banking sorted, and the nice teller lady is going to have an account manager call me so we can set up an appointment, which we totally need to do, so yay!

I went to Dollarama and bought 4 more tins! They still have really cute tins! Yay! Bought ones with snowpeople families on them, and one with presents. So cute!

Got everything on my grocery list that my store actually carried.  I am totally impressed with myself for being able to carry it all home.  My knees, well my right knee was screaming at me on the walk home from the subway station, but I made it! Go me!  I think the bag of goodies must weigh 21lbs I think! Considering how much I personally weigh, moving around 21lbs is no small feat! Especially with all the damn stairs!!  Even down my knees scream...  But I did it!  Go me!

There are two things I couldn't get though: (1) Macadamia nuts,  (2) Orange Extract.

I think I'll need to go to the Bulk Barn for both probably, so that will be another day.  I'm honesty not sure which one is closest/easiest to get to. Might go to the one near Wilson Station just so I can check out the Michael's there. lol.  I want more yarn.. Like I need it.... Perhaps AFTER xmas...

I really want to get backing, but my knee doesn't like me standing, and frankly I'm exhausted, so it's nap time!  Perhaps tonight, since I seem to be a night hawk.  But definitely tomorrow...  I'll have to decide what to make first! So many choices!  Exciting!!


Okay, so like, I even asked my facebook peeps for help, and no one bothered to have a look.  I feel unloved!!

Anyway, I badgered my husband, and he likes the owls one, since I was leaning that way, I'm going with that. :)  Maybe I'll be able to at least swatch this week. I have a lot I want to get done, so we will see.

I'm planning to bake for both my parents and Chris' parents for xmas. So that means lots and lots of cookies in my future!  Maybe I should have picked up another set of bowls at Canadian Tire when they had them on sale! *sigh*  Though, honestly, I can stop at Honest Ed's like tomorrow or today if I have energy(yes I'm totally dreaming).

Today my goals are to get all the ingredients, which will likely take two trips, and to make it to the bank and get my online banking sorted out.  And maybe, maybe check out Dollarama for Christmas tins since I only have ones for Chris' parents.

I wasn't planning on making my parents cookies, until I realised just how bad my mom's eyes are and how busy they are this month between mom's eye appointments and Pa's.  They both have cateracts.  Mom had surgery on one of her eyes last week. It's still blurry, and she's having a lot of trouble seeing well enough to take pictures, never mind making cookies!  So I want to help out, take some of the pressure off of her, ya know?  So that's my hope. mmhmm.

As a result, need more pretty tins for gifts!  Gods, I really hope I don't go crazy making the... oh, hundreds of cookies I have planned. ha.  We shall see!

If I don't forget, I'll try to take some pictures of all the cookies I'm making, and link to recipes as well. :)  I'm not good at artful pictures though, just fair warning.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Yarn is Here!!

And now I'm thinking that perhaps I want to make an OWLS sweater instead of the Ruffled yolk one. DOH.

But when I look on Ravelry (knitters/crocheter's site) I find that of the 36 pages of projects for OWLS all but three were knit for skinny-ass chicks. I mean, super skinny.  Like, long, lean, small-boobed women.  *sigh* Of the three chubby women I found, none of them actually looked good in the sweater. BAH.

The ruffled one... well there aren't many projects, so naturally none of them of women of any considerable size.

This makes me seriously wonder.  WHERE are all the fat knitters?!?  I know they must be out there somewhere.  Do I just keep picking patterns that are totally inappropriate for my size?  Is my brain in dream land that a simple, fitted, long-sleeve pullover sweater with some kind of yolk design would look bad on me?!

I just.. I don't know. It's soooo strange. There are literally thousands of knitters that have made the OWLS sweater, and yet, none, as far as I can tell are women/for women of even close to my size.  *Sigh* Of the ones I've seen, only three are more than a size 16... 3 out of 760!!!! Three!

Bah. Bah I say.


Here are some non-small women in the OWLS sweater.. I finally found two that don't look half bad! In fact, they both look amazing. Though I'm bigger/lumpier, it kinda gives me hope.



This is the only picture I could find of the other sweater in the running:

There really isn't all that much difference between the two.  The cuffs/collar/bottom on one is ribbed on the other it's garter stitch.  The body's are the same.  The only noticeable difference is in the yoke, the bit around the shoulders.  I can't decide which will suit the amazing purple heathered yarn I have. damnit.  Help?  Please???

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freaking Out

I'm officially the heaviest I've ever been. And let me tell you, I'm one fat fuck.

I'm totally freaking out.

I think it might, in part, be due to my meds. I've gained ten pounds in the past 2 months maybe. Maybe a month. It feels fast. Really fast. *Sigh*

At this rate, in a year's time I won't be able to walk, or frankly, fit out the fucking door. No, I'm not exaggerating. I'm sadly damn serious.

I need to loose weight, desperately. But the only way I can see me managing it, is if I cut off a leg.


I'm so fucking sore. All the fucking time.

And if it's not one thing it's another. Either I'm sick, or I'm in pain. I have an infection, or a flare up, or something. There is never a good fucking time. Never.

I just. I don't have it in me anymore to get up when I'm exhausted and sore. I just... I don't have the gumption. Nothing can motivate me. All there is, is the pain, and all I want is to curl up in a ball and hide from it. Of course that doesn't help anything, but I do hurt less in the present.

I just... I can't live for some future that may never come. I'm not a believer. I know it should work. I've done it before. But I no longer have it in me, whatever it is, whatever it takes, to make myself get up and go to the gym when my head is killing me or when my knees scream at me.

And they scream. All the time now. But it's no fucking wonder with what I weight. And it will only get worse of course. Cause I can't seem to do anything to make it better, so it will only get worse.

My doctor is of no help. He's of the 'suck it up' camp. As is the RN. I 'just need to do it'.

What world are they from?!

Living with chronic pain for 10 years has sucked all the life out of me. I have no ambitions. No goals. No dreams for my future. I know what my future holds, and it's a fucking nightmare. Pain. That's what I have to look forward to. For the rest of my life. Pain. Migraines. Tension headaches. Cluster headaches. Jaw Tension headaches. Nausea. Fatigue. Depression. Aching joints. Aching muscles. If I've got it, it's going to ache at some point, yay FMS.

I don't know how to overcome this. I don't have a fucking clue how others do it. I don't know how they work full time jobs, and have families and just push through it.

My pushing days are over. I just can't. I can't.

How do people do it? I don't understand it. I don't understand how I ever did it.

I hurt. I hurt all the fucking time. No matter what I do, I hurt. So why should I expend time and energy making myself hurt more? I don't get it. I don't have extra energy! I use up what little I have just trying to survive day to day.

I wish I had that kind of motivation, that kind of stubborn determination. But I just don't. I've lost it. It's broken. Gone.

I think it was too many fucking doctors not believing me. Too many looking at me and clearly not believing me when I told them I was in pain, so much pain I thought I was going to go insane. They didn't believe me because I was holding down a full time job. I was going to the gym. I was going grocery shopping and taking care of myself. I was going out with friends, on occasion. I lived a mostly full life. I couldn't possibly be in as much pain as I said I was if I was doing all of that. I could see in in the snide looks. In their unbelieving tones. In their flat our refusals to help me. "I can't help you". That's what they all said. Every single fucking one of them. With the message that I should just suck it up and carry on.

No one believed me until I went to my doctor, years later, and told him the state I was in then. I was bed-ridden, like I still am. I was unemployed and incapable of holding down any kind of job, like I am now. I was in so much pain I was fucking suicidal.

All those doctors looking at me like I was lying.. that's what did it. They got me thinking, why SHOULD I just push through this? Why don't I let the pain show? Why don't I try to ease my own pain. They weren't fucking helping, what the hell else could I do? So I let it show. Over time, I stopped pushing as hard, little by little. And then my body fell apart all on it's own. Pain so bad I spent months in bed crying. Literally because I had nothing that could ease my pain for long, and no where to turn.

I still feel like I have no where to turn. My doctor knows I have fibromyalgia, but he's still unsympathetic. I have all kinds of drugs. They help. A bit. Sometimes. I feel like the longer I take them, the less effective they are. I just keep feeling worse and worse. *Sigh* I don't know what to do with myself.

I mean, I know what I need to do. I know. But that doesn't mean I'm capable of it. It doesn't mean I know how to get myself to do it.

I'm so fucking broken. I feel like I'm beyond repair.

I just. I can't do it. I can't. I know I can't because I've wanted to for months, but the pain wins. The pain always fucking wins.


I bought Yarn today!!!

So sells yarn as discounted prices, I'm not sure how it gets all the yarns it does. I think they are often discontinued lines or colours, or the last balls of a die lot.  Elann also has their own line, which I don't think I've used actually, but it is also really well priced.

Anyway, point is, I was looking at the speak peak, that tells you what they are going to get into stock in the next few days, this past weekend, and they had the prettiest purple merino.  Oh my goodness.  And a name that I know is good stuff!  I've touched it in the store, so I know it's soft.  I've read knitters reviews and know it's good quality. Research is important when you're going to buy enough yarn to make a sweater! Especially since you have to wear it at the end!

It went on sale today at noon.  I just looked at 1pm, and they only had 30 balls of the colour I wanted left!!  And how many did I figure out I'd need to make me the sweater I wanted with it?  30 balls!!  I'd just checked in time!

So, this is the yarn I bought, Berroco Merino Heathers in Elderberry Wine:

And this is the sweater I want to make with it (in my considerably larger size):
It's a free pattern! Yay!  I don't like how they did the neck though. I mean, I LOVE the look, that's exactly what I want, but I don't like their technique.  Using google, for once my google-fu was with me, I found another knitters blog and she made an adorable cardigan for a little girl with ruffles just like that. And bless her, she totally explained exactly how she did it! :D  So now I can do it myself!   I'll likely also be using Elizabeth Zimmerman to help me figure out the increasing in the neck, or decreasing, I haven't decided if I want to make it from the top down or from the bottom up yet. doh.

**Excited!!**  So very excited!  But first I promised my husband(squee! husband) some mittens for christmas.  I also really need to work on my NaNo story or I'll never get to 50,000 words. *sigh*  At least the yarn purchase takes a little of the stress off!  Though, at the rate I knit, I'll have a lovely warm sweater just in time for summer! LOL.  But, if we have a cool June, I just may need it! ha.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Helped!!

So I've been wondering since Thursday how my friend did on her test.  I just haven't had time to call, or rather, I thought of it when it was far too late to call or I wasn't in a good place to call. doh.  I thought it was strange she didn't call me.

Today I went looking in my junk folder because I was expecting an email that just never arrived, and I found a voicemail from said friend.  She said she passed!  Woohoo!

I'm so very very happy for her!  It's a huge deal for her career-wise.  I'm so damn proud of her!  And so very glad I actually helped!! woohoo!!!!!

I feel a lot less useless and broken.  At least for the moment.  As a result.

I'm still broken though. I always will be, I think.  It's depressing.  Though what really killing me is that I've had a fucking yeast infection for the past MONTH, and no OTC I've tired has actually helped!  Though, I should say, I think I managed to kill the yeast in my vagina, but the yeast on my vulva just will NOT die. :( :( :(  I don't know what to do!

I called my doctor's office today, to try to get some help.  I think I must have called like 30 times.  When I finally got through I got their fucking recorded message!!  So they aren't in.  Maybe not at all today. >.<  I really don't know what to do now.  **frustrated**  I want to have SEX again for fuck's sake!  It's seriously messing up my moods/mental health/general health.  *Sigh*

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Stress will fuck you up man.  For me, my stress is all in my head, literally.  As in, I get tension headaches big time.  Then, because I'm in pain, I start clenching my jaw, only I never realise I'm doing it until it's too late.  Too late being when my teeth start hurting from the pressure, and my jaw begins to ache. Then I get a TMJ headache from the jaw clenching and those are wicked bad. ugh.

I've been feeling stressed lately. Trying to keep up my word count in NaNo, being stressed about the time-line of helping Sabrina try to pass a test that will basically decide her future in the bank she works for, and being on antibiotics for a week there - they fuck me up! Also, my biggest stressor really, is the... way I've been feeling. I've been sore, but also really super weak and without energy.  For instance, they other day I did the dishes, cut up a giant butternut squash and put the oiled pieces in the oven for my dinner.  I was standing for maybe 40 minutes at most doing this.  By the time I sat back down, I was sweating, very weak and actually shaking from the effort.  How sad is that?!


So yeah, my inability to do much of anything is really stressing me out.  Every time I try to do something I realise I have literally no energy, and I end up even more exhausted. Boo-urns.

I want to be able to do things again. I want to not ache all the time.  I want to not get exhausted just by walking to fucking bay street!  Or sitting in a Second Cup for an hour. Blarg.

Today of course I'm planning to sleep.  Like, most of the day.  I walked around the Royal Winter Fair with Chris for 4.5 hours yesterday.  Then we went to a friend's place to hang out last night when I was already feverish with exhaustion.  My body is going to make me pay for that outing.  I knew it would when I did it.  But sometimes you just need time with people.  So oh well.

I have to go get the laundry at 10:10am because Chris has an appointment with a personal trainer at 10:30 and can't do it.  Yet I'm do fucking exhausted right now I want to go back to sleep.  Pathetic.  That's what I am.  Fucking pathetic.  UGH.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I had a nap today. While listening to an audiobook even.  I started feeling heavy, sore absolutely everywhere. It hurt so bad. Like sinking into a vat of mild acid or something... And then darkness. I woke up when my phone bugged me to take meds, but was still too tired, so I stopped it and didn't take my meds.  They're for pain, but I HAVE to take them with food. I'm heating up something for lunch, I'll take them then.

When I did finally wake up... I realised why I didn't want to make up. Realised why I let myself fall into painful sleep.  Besides the fact that I didn't sleep well last night and woke up too fucking early for what little sleep I got.... I'm depressed.  I just want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. Hide from everything.

I've got a child inside that loves Christmas more than anything else in the world. Because everyone smiles. Everyone comes home. Our home feels like the centre of the world. Hugs abound. Laughter. Yummy cookies before dinner!  Yummy turkey! Dinner with more than the three of us! Krokono (or however it's spelled) came out! We all played, no matter how bad we were. Family. Family all around. Talking all at once. Laughing.  The older I got the more the giving of presents has become important. Being able to give my parents back something. Being able to make them smile.  Still the kid. Still seeking approval. Their joy became everything.  Eating breakfast together. Roppie Pie... mmmm.. All the roppie pie I could eat!  Yeah, Christmas time was great.

Christmas hasn't really been like that in some time though.  There's fewer of us.  Most of mom's kids just don't visit.  They have grandbabies of their own now, now THEY are the ones being visited. A few still come, maybe three of the 7 or so that used to.  They don't stay long, but it's still very nice to see them.  Uncle Don is more quiet, less likely to smile now that his wife isn't here with us anymore.  But he comes.  There's no more krokono.  Everyone just lost interest I guess.  Aunt Gladis, uncle Don's wife would always play.  It would her, Pa, and Uncle Don beckoning someone to come play with them, but with just the two men... it wasn't the same.  But there was still smiles. Still laughter.  Still family.  Still goodies, and gifts, and yummy food my mommy made.  When I actually had money, and a life of my own, being able to shower my parents with gifts they way they always did me, was the greatest joy.  Their surprise.  Their joy.  They didn't always love what I got them, but they were grateful. That's how they raised me to be too.  They knew how much it meant to be, to be able to give to them.  I miss that sooo much.

As of last year, my Christmas was not my own. I was part of a couple.  Now I'm married.  I have obligations to both families.  We don't drive.  It's at the very least an hour and a half between them.  Because of transit, it takes as long to get to his parents from our home in Toronto, as it does to get to my parents. And the time to get from one to the other is about the same as that as well.  If we don't start at one of our parents house then we're going to end up spending six hours traveling Christmas day, and barely an hour or two with either family.  And then boxing day, instead of resting, we have to spend it with his extended family.  It's just not fair. His family always ends up weaseling more time out of us.  And we always end up leaving feeling depressed.  His family means well I'm sure but the constant barrage of questions and remarks that clearly say, "Why aren't you living like us? Why aren't you living up to our expectations? What's wrong with you? (and just for me: Why aren't you soldiering through, it's not that bad? Why aren't you working? Why aren't you in school?)"  It leaves us exhausted, grumpy, and at least me, sad.  I do not look forward to any of that.

Chris said we don't have to spend Christmas together. Lots of couples don't. We could go to our respective parents.  Yeah, cause that's just what I want to do. I want to abandon him.  I want to spend my once favourite holiday away from him. This is not what I want.

But I can't seem to figure it any way that will work.  My parents no longer have a spare bedroom.  Or, rather, I no longer have a bed there.  My Aunt Barb is planning on staying at my parents a few days before Christmas. That means she'll be sleeping on the couch or on the air mattress on the floor in the living room.  There would be no room for us if we wanted to sleep there. Just, literally, no room.  I so do NOT want to sleep at Chris' parents.  They're nice enough and all, but I would be so so so uncomfortable there. I wouldn't sleep a wink. I'd be sick and feverish the whole day as a result.  No, no, we can't do that.  So what?  We sleep at home and get up at 6am to catch the 7:30am bus to get to my parents by 9am... so we can get started on making/helping my mom make dinner.  Because I don't want her doing everything by herself this year. It's too much. I'm not a bad cook.  If she directs, I'm sure it will be fine.  Though I don't see why we'd need to get started at 9am.  I tried to tell Chris there was no way we were getting mom to not cook the turkey.  She's just going to do it, and we won't even know she has until we smell it cooking hours later (if we were to stay over).  We so don't need to start the veggies and such at 9am! pft!  Mom will bake the pies a few days before... I'm thinking I might come home and ask if I can help. Hell, I'll ask for lessons!  I'm terrible at pie crust rolling.  I wanna do it with her cheering/instructing.  She can peel and cut the apples.  Show me how much to add. I've never done it!  I want to help. I really do.  If I make it like she's doing ME a favor, she'll be more likely to let me in.  Especially if I'm there in the morning and ready.  So, we'll see, THAT might work.  *Sigh*  but then we still have to see his parents.... which would mean leaving before dinner was done, very likely. Or just after. And then staying late at his parents WAY past my bedtime like we did last year.  I was hoping we could invite Chris' parents to my parents.  That was HIS idea. It's a good idea. But that means a ton of people at my mom's house. If I'm not there to make sure she isn't doing too much I'll worry.  Like really worry.  And Chris will guilt me into being even more worried.  So yeah...

Christmas is now just a fucking nightmare and I want to hide under the covers and pretend I don't exist -- my standard response when things make me this sad and I feel just as helpless, just as useless as I do now to make anything at all better.

I mean, I have fibro.  I AM useless. And everyone around me knows it.  My mom worries I'll do too much, and does for me.  Chris worries I'll wear myself out and doesn't let me help even when I'm up and around.  I'm like morbidly obese, icky eye candy or something.  Not even good for looking at, but that's all I'm good for... =/

Hunger & Fibro

There's something seriously wrong with me.

Well, duh, right?  But I keep thinking/saying this. To myself, and to Chris.  I know I have fibromyalgia, but admitting all the ways that it fucks with me is really hard.

I get tired so easy now, and not just a little tired, but like, bone weary, wear the ache just seems to go all the way through me.  I hurt for no reason, and for me is, so very very frustrating.  I still say things like, "why do I hurt?  There's no reason for it damnit. I haven't done anything."  And Chris will respond, "You have fibromyalgia, that's why."  I know logically, that's all the explanation there is.  That's fibro's main symptoms.  And yet.  I still feel.....angry... frustrated...

The same damn thing seems to happen with hunger that does with other pain/touch responses.  My fibromyalgia actually heightens my sensitivity. Like I fucking need that!  Hello, fat chick here! And yet... for the past week now I've not been sleeping well, why?  Because I've been going to be a little hungry, I mean, eating just before bed is a bad idea right?  So I wake up at like 4am, 5am, 6am (today I'm lucky it was this late), and I'm starving.  I'm not just normal hungry.  I'm so hungry I'm curled up in a ball of pain as my stomach growls, and clenches, and it feels like the hunger is burning all the way up my throat. I've tried ignoring it.  All that happens is I lay there awake, for three hours, in pain so bad I want to cry or scream, waiting for Chris to get up, waiting for it to be a reasonable hour, so I can finally EAT something.

I do not like this pattern.  I don't know what the fuck started it.  I don't know why my stomach is suddenly so very very needy.  I've had acid reflux issues on and off over the past few years.  I think it's hereditary.  My mom (aka grandma) has it, and so does at least 2 of her children.  I also had antibiotics chewing through my belly, and fucking up my sleep patterns for the past week as well.  So I'm taking Nexium at bedtime, for the acid reflux.  I'm hoping it will eventually help.  3 days in, and the pain in my throat isn't as bad, but it's not better. I'm hoping that means I'm healing, slowly.  If things don't improve pain-wise in like a week or so, I have to give it time to work afte rall, then i'm going to bug my doctor.

What I'm really worried what has happened though, with all my meds, and the weird times I've ended up taking them, and almost all of them require food, or to be taken with food... that I've been eating at odd hours, and eating more than I normally would in some cases.... is that I've managed to stretch my stomach out even further. In less than a fucking week... Because I've noticed for the past three days or so, when I wake up hungry, it takes a lot more than it used to, for me to feel full, for me to not hurt from hunger even.  Like, two pieces of toast just don't do it.  That's a good breakfast damnit. There have been many times in the past where I couldn't even finish that! Now... Now I eat that and my tummy still hurts until I have like some yogurt and an apple, or two.  This is just ridiculous.

I know how to shrink my tummy. It's just will power and suffering really. You stop eating so much. And in 3 to 10 times as long as it took to stretch, your tummy will, eventually go back to normal.  I'm not big on suffering, as you might imagine.  I'm so not looking forward to this.  I'm not even sure I have the bleeding will power. I mean, I can't fucking sleep! I'm too damn hungry to sleep.  This is fucking insane. Grr! I hate my body.  But I know I need to try. Even for me this is excessive.  And I don't like it.

The hypochondriac in me is wondering if I have an ulcer, or some other real kind of stomach issue that would cause this much freaking pain.  But realistically, I'm pretty sure it's just my fibro finding yet another way to fuck with me. *sigh*

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mel's Minestone Experiment

  • 3 cups dried romano beans (whatever you can find/like)
  • 1 cup bacon fat
  • 10 cups chicken or beef broth 
  • 3 onions, diced 
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 head savoy or curly cabbage, diced 
  • 2 zucchini, diced (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped (can add up to 1 cup, if you desire) 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cans Italian style peeled plum tomatoes
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water, covered. Drain beans, rinsing until water is clear. Place them in a stockpot.  Add 10 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a gentle boil for 1 hour.
  2.  At the same time, heat oil in (separate) large stockpot.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and parsley.  Saute gently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Add remaining vegetables.
  3.  Using your hand, crush the tomatoes as you add them. Add remaining juices from the cans.
  4. Add 9 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a gentle boil for 45 minutes.
  5. At the 1 hour mark for the beans, remove from heat. Drain off water.  Transfer half of the beans to a food processor or blender and blend into a paste. If you don't have a blender/food processor, mash half the beans in another pot.
  6. Add mashed beans, remaining whole beans, and bacon fat to the vegetables.  Continue to cook at a gentle boil for another hour, or until both the beans and cabbage are soft.

Makes: A shit ton of soup. (I can't remember how much, but it was a LOT)

  • As always broth numbers are approximate.   Always add enough that soup is very...soupy at the beginning. If you have too much liquid in your soup at the tend, you can either take the lid off and let it cook down, or drain out some of the liquid.
  • I know 1 cup of bacon fat sounds pretty gross, but trust me when I tell you this soup NEEDS some kind meaty/smokey of flavour.  You could also fry a package of bacon (diced), and add the bacon and fat together. 

Chris did not like this one, though I did.  It took him three days of having it for lunch for him to realise this though. lol. That's because Chris does not like any soups with tomato bases.  Nothing against the soup, he's just not a totmato-in-soup fan.

Mel's Veggie & Lentil Soup

  • 3 onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 6-8 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
  • 900g green lentils
  • 6+ cups chicken stalk (possibly more) 
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ground pepper (to taste) 

  1. Put everything in a large pot. Cover with enough stock that it's easy to stir and fairly liquid-y. 
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat. Turn heat down, until boiling steady (will need 1/4 of max heat likely). 
  3. Cook until lentils are soft (very soft is good too) and delicious.

  • Again, stock powder or bullion cubes are a life-saver. 
  • Add whatever veggies you like/you have in your fridge you want to get rid of - the onions, carrots & celery are the base, add what you like after that. This is just what I usually have lots of.  
  • As far as herbs, add what you like really. I think thyme is nice and light and works really well with the veggies. Parsley or dill could totally work as well.
  • I don't add salt to any of my soups because stock/dry stock alternatives are super salty (unless you make your own stock). 

Lentil & Ham Hock Soup

  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 6-8 celery stalks, diced
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
  • 900g green lentils
  • 6 cups chicken stalk  
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (optional)

  1.  Put everything in a large pot. Add enough water to cover ham hock. Stir well. Cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook on low heat (just enough to keep it boiling) for approx. 2 hours, or until lentils are almost perfectly soft, and meat is falling off the bone.  You will need to add more water, lentils take in a lot of water when they expand.
  3. Remove ham hock, and allow to cool (20 minutes is usually enough).  Keep soup on low heat. Remove meat from bone.  Cut meat into bit-size pieces, discard the rest.
  4. Add meat back to soup. Heat through.
  5. Cook until lentils are soft. Remove Bay leaves as you find them (as eating or while potting).
Makes: over 20 cups of soup.

  • I always use chicken stock powder, bouillon cubes are just as good. Adding less instead of more is the best approach with this soup - ham hocks are salty!
  • Times are totally approximate. I usually just cook the soup until the lentils are almost done and the meat is falling off the bone, so I don't pay attention to time
  • Soups don't have to be exact. Sometimes I add the whole head of celery, it goes to waste otherwise, and adjust the carrots.  Sometimes I add more lentils (be careful with this, they expand like crazy!), and end up having two pots of soup. ha. 

This is Chris' favourite soup.  I don't like soup much, to be honest, so I don't really get it, but he just loves it.  Maybe it's the warm lunch in a cool work place. Maybe it's just the promise of solid food...I dunno.  But this is the one he asks for most often.

Recipes Still to come

I'm doing a kind of soup recipe dump, and I realize that the soup I make most often doesn't even have a text file - that's how often I make it, I just wing it. heh.  Others only have paper versions.  So when I have more time, and it's not so dang late, I'll add:
  • Lentil & Ham Hock Soup
  • Mel's Veggie & Lentil Soup 
  • Mel's Minestrone Experiment
  • Mel's Chili (okay not soup, but I might as well share!)

There are also a few (really, not many, to be honest) recipes I've found on the internet that I really like, and don't actually change! Imagine, my not tweaking!
  • Simply Recipe's Black Bean Soup
  • Smitten Kitchen's Red Kidney Bean Curry.  I LOVE this with raita (basically good thick plain yogurt with finely diced cuccumber & green onion in it).  So SO good.

This is all I can think of for now. More later.  Well, at least the recipes I promised.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mel's Decadent Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons chicken broth powder
  • 4 good sized potatoes, cubed
  • dash parsley
  • dash time
  • dash oregano
  • 1.5 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheese

  1. Melt butter in pot on low heat. Add chopped onions and stir. Add a dash of olive oil to keep butter from burning, stir.
  2. Fry onions until golden and translucent. Meanwhile, cube potatoes. Add crushed garlic, stir.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and 4 tsp of chicken broth powder. Stir until fully combined.
  4. Add potatoes and herbs. Boil until potatoes are well done.
  5. Take soup off heat, allow to cool slightly. Mash potatoes in pot. Add flour, whisk until fully combined. Take the cup of cream out of the fridge and allow it to adjust to room temperature.
  6. Add chopped broccoli. Bring soup back to simmer, and simmer until broccoli are fully tender.
  7. Turn burner to low. Add cream and cheese, stir. Heat soup through, until cheese is fully melted and combined, stirring often. 
Makes: ~ 3 servings!

I really love this recipe.  I bought factory-made Knorr cream of broccoli, and although it was good, there was no actual discernible broccoli! It tasted a lot more like Potato and Leek soup, in fact.  So good, but not at all what I was craving.  I sort of jumbled many internet recipes together to get this, and I'm pretty dang happy with the result. :)

Melissa's Beef Barely Soup Experiment

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lean beef, cubed
  • 1 beef soup bone (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 8 stalks celery, chopped (one whole head)
  • 5 carrots, diced
  • 2 cup frozen green peas
  • 500g medium pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce (& more to taste)

  1. Saute onions in soup pot with oil, until translucent. Add garlic, and beef. While beef is cooking add a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Cook until meat is nicely browned.
  2. Add remaining veggies, beef & chicken broths, barely, soup bone, herbs to the pot. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Sitr. Top up with water, if necessary.
  3. Bring to a boil, and cook on med-high heat for 1-2 hours, or until everything it tender, and soup is desired thickness. Add more water while cook, if soup gets dry (barely sucks up a lot of water).
Makes: ~20 cups

Tip: Instead of using actual broth, buy knorr broth powder or bouillon cubes, and add them plus water.

This is still an experiment, but a pretty yummy one.  My first time making it I realised I totally needed more beef broth than I added.  All that barely really exploded!  And without the beef broth to add flavour it was kinda bland. I ended up stirring in beef broth powder into every bowl of it I ate. Made it oh so much more enjoyable.  Also, this could totally work with ground beef.

Split Pea & Ham Soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups split peas picked over and rinsed well
  • 1.5 lbs smoked ham hock 
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cubed
  • 1 large baking potato cubed
  • 3 garlic clove pressed or minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock 
  • Enough water to fully cover ham hoc
  • 1-2 bay leaf
  • Dash of Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, saute onion, celery, carrots and potato over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add peas and ham hock and cover with stock & water by a couple inches. 
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook about 1-1.5 hrs until soup is thick and peas have almost disintegrated but not quite. 
  4. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove ham hock and let cool. Pull meat from ham hock bone, shred and return to soup. Once meat is warm through, soup is ready to eat!
Makes: ~20 cups

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 7-8 chicken thighs
  • 3-4 small-med carrots
  • 4 stocks celery (little better than equal parts with the carrots)
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 bag of extra broad egg noodles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • Ground Savory
  • Salt 

  1. Boil 7-8 chicken thighs in just enough water to cover them, with salt and savory. (I add 1 tsp salt, and ~1 1/2 tsp Savory.)
  2. Cook until chicken is falling off the bone -- approx. 2.5 hours
  3. Take chicken out, let cool. Reserve broth.
  4. Cut up the carrots and celery (~ 1 cm thick thick). Dice the onion. Mince the Garlic.
  5. Boil vegetables & garlic, with more savory, in broth until carrots are almost cooked. ( I add ~ 1 tsp Savory)
  6. Meanwhile, remove skin & bones from chicken thigh meat. Break meat into pieces. Set meat aside.
  7. Add egg noodles, 1 tsp salt, and chicken pieces to soup. (You may need to add more water here, I always do. Add water until noodles are fully submerged)
  8. Cook until egg noodles are al dente. (read packaging, ~12 minutes, underdone is good as they will continue to cook in soup)

Makes: ~ 16 cups of soup

  • Careful on the carrots! They can make the soup too sweet. No more than 4 small/med carrots.
  • Use lots of savory and salt - "until it tastes right".
  • Noodles will keep cooking once they are off the heat, so don't overcook.

This soup is exactly what I crave when I get sick.  The warm chicken-y broth. All that good fat (they've done tests, it can help when you have a cold/flu!), it's just the right thing!  And it's easy to eat when your throat is killing you.  And once it's made it's easy peasy, no work food while you are sick.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NaNo Time is almost here!

Once again NaNo is almost upon us, and it's caught me by surprise.  From the first time I heard about it, I've really wanted to do it, but... at the same time... I'm not prolific. I'm not really much of a writer to be honest.  But I wish I were. I'm more of a dreamer.  And man do I dream! I have some of the most fucked up dreams ever. Seriously.  Some of them are like movies. Heck, some of them would make pretty decent action movies! Most of them are just scenes, just bits and pieces. Not whole stories. I do not do whole stories so well.  I lack...... the ability to pull it all together... And yet..... it's really super tempting to try to write a novella length something!

I'm not sure what I'd write though. Everyone seems to have all their ducks in a row by now.  Me, I'm trying to think of something that would go on long enough.  There's the Alejandro story, or the disturbing one about an abusive possibly murderous mom....but I honestly don't know where that could even go.  *Sigh*  I just.. I don't know....

Well, I guess I have a week to think about it... Maybe I'll bug a friend who is doing this for the fifth year to see if I can bounce ideas off of her....

I almost want to start with an idea and keep writing and just see where it goes. Maybe it will go somewhere, maybe it won't..... But I just.....  I really want to try.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Frustrated with my Fibromyalgia

I'm so very frustrated.  So much so that I give myself a tension headache just thinking about it.

I've been bed-ridden all week. I went out Monday.  I got lots done.  Very early in the morning I met with my mother-in-law at St. Mike's after her MRI.  I kept her company, as she wasn't supposed to be alone for an hour afterwards. I guess they can do weird things to your head.  We had coffee and croissants. :)  She's fine btw, it was just a check-up.

I went home and changed (my pants died), then I walked to Young & Bloor. I bought myself a book along the way, and checked out Winners.  Some of the shoes in there! OMG!  My feet don't even bend that way. lol.  I went to shoppers, bought us toothbrushes (finally on sale!), and other toiletries.  I went to the Bay looking for some kind of purse/ bag, no luck sadly. I took the subway west to Dufferin Mall. I looked in all the stores I could think of for some kind of replacement messenger bag or backpack. I couldn't find anything I liked.  Saddening!  I did find something for my mom though.  I haven't been home, so I haven't given it to her. I can't wait! I really really hope she likes it! I also went shopping for me and actually found a pair of pants! With pockets!! And a zipper!  Proper jeans!! woohoo!

Then I came home and made ham hock and lentil soup.  It was the easiest soup I've ever made!  I LOVE my food processor!!

So, a very very very full day for me.  As a result the next day I felt like I'd been beat-up or run over my a Mack truck.  I spent the day in bed, sleeping for the most part.  I did manage to make muffins for Chris' work like he'd asked, but that's literally ALL I did.  I don't even think I managed showering. So sad.

Wednesday wasn't much better. I wasn't as sore, but I was still so weary.  And since I'd started reading an Anita Blake book, I was addicted, and spent the day reading.  I did manage to make a soup though. Roasted butternut squash, wedding pumpkin (as in left overs from the wedding gourds), and sweet potato, with caramelized onions.  I pureed the whole lot. Again, I just love my food processor!  Very delicious with crusty bread!  Me, I don't like it without...there just isn't enough chewing in that kind of soup. It's like my mouth/brain feels cheated somehow. I know, I know, I'm a weirdo.

Wednesday night Chris has a maintenance at work, which means he was working from 1am to 4am.  I stayed up, reading my book. Big Mistake. Huge.  But I just couldn't help myself.

So Thursday I again felt like I'd been run over. Only worse, because I was nauseous from sleep-deprivation.  I tried to sleep at much as I could, but my brain wasn't co-operating, and I spent the day in way too much pain for my body to even allow me to sleep for the most part.  My body is so angry at me I've had to take out my ear-rings!!!  I've not had to do that...since I stretched my lobes! o.0 I've also had to take my engagement ring off as the skin underneath it has also gone crazy... My face too. ugh. My body is just flaring and angry and sore.

It's really flipping frustrating! Damnit!

Today, Friday, I've done fuck all really.  I fed/made myself lunch, and showered. That's actually an accomplishment!  I didn't manage showering yesterday. I was too sore, weak and too shaky on my feet to chance it. How sad is that?!  Ugh.  I just really hate being so freaking helpless and useless.

I know I'm not useless all the time, but I've been bed-ridden all week!  Okay, four days, but it feels like a week, it's basically the whole work week!  I hate that I can't help Chris. I hate that I can't do dishes, or clean (at least the kitchen geez!), or get groceries, or make dinner.  I'm just a lump of pain.  Bah!  Bah, I say!

I know I can't change the fact that I have fibromyalgia.  I just didn't fucking rule my life like it does. Going from a useful active member, to a useless lump is damn frustrating I tell you!  I just want to not hurt so damn badly, and I don't know how to accomplish that. It's all so frustrating.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins!!

Okay, so, while preparing for my wedding, with all my spare time (HA!), I whipped up this pumpkin muffin recipe, and baked muffins for us to take to the hotel for snacks.  Clearly I'm a crafty over-achieving bride.  Geez.  It seemed logical at the time though, I swear!

Pumpkin Muffins

Anyway, I'm so in love with my muffin recipe I wanted to share it. It's just so perfect for this time of year.  Not just because of the pumpkin, but the spices warm it up, and feed the cold soul.  Anyway, here it is!

Mel's Pumpkin Muffins
Makes: 24+ cupcake-sized muffins, or 12 giant muffins & 2 cupcake-sized muffins

  •  2 ½ cups flour (cake or all-purpose - cake will make a softer muffin)
  • 1 cup instant oatmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ heaping tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup currents or raisins (plumped)
  •  4 eggs
  •  2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup oil

For the topping: 
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup instant oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 24 cupcake-sized cups.
  2. Prepare topping by mixing the topping ingredients together, cutting or pinching the butter into the dry ingredients to make a crumble. Set topping aside.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed. 
  4. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and milk. Add pumpkin, and whisk until fully combined. Stir in plumped currents.
  5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  6. Fill cups almost completely full. Sprinkle topping evenly on all muffins. Bake in a pre-heated 375° oven for 25 minutes or until tested done with a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin. (my old crappy apartment oven takes 30 minutes)

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're Married!!!!

We're married!  We did it!  Yaaaaay!

I don't have any pictures to share because I was too busy getting married to take any! ;)

All my planning and preparations paid off.  Everything went so very smoothly!  Only two tiny things didn't go as planned:

(1) We didn't end up getting my laptop set up so Neda could skype in.  We just didn't have the time.  Though oddly enough we were running ahead of schedule all morning until about 9am.  But then, that's exactly why I have us extra time!  On the plus side Sabrina and Brian were able to record the ceremony with their fancy schamzy new camera, so Neda will get to see it!

(2) The boutoneires I made didn't sit quite right. They were too heavy, in part, and as my Pa pointed out (he is soooo smart!) I put the pins too low, it would have worked better with them higher.  How he knew that I don't know.  I've got such amazing parents, I do!

And that's it really. Everything else went according to plan, or at least worked out just fine, so yay!  And really, as far as what could go wrong, such minor things as did, really aren't a big deal at all. Honestly, I'm thrilled everything went so very smoothly!

The catering manager said this was the easiest wedding she'd done, and I was the nicest,  least bridezilla bride she's ever had to deal with!!  This makes me very happy indeed!  Chris joked about me being bridezilla, but honestly, not so much.  I was my bitchiest as I was waiting for Chris to do up my dress, and while he was doing it.  Mostly because I felt to dang helpless. Doing up my dress, since it's a corset back was something I could most definitely not do myself.  Giving up control bothered me, but mostly being so helpless frustrated me.  Having to stand around waiting for someone to dress me was the oddest feeling ever! So helpless, so indebted.  I like being able to do for myself damnit. lol.

Everyone loved my dress, was impressed with my flowers, even more so when they learned I did them myself! :D  Chris was my cheerleader and helper the whole day through.  People kept complimenting the wedding, and the things I made, and Chris would pipe up 'She made that too', and everyone would be even more amazed! Heh.  I honestly thought people realised I'd made all the things I did, but they always seemed surprised when Chris told them I did it, so yay!  Go me! The crafty bride!  Judy, our photographer told Chris that I was the craftiest bride she's ever done a wedding for!!  How awesome is that?!

One of my oldest friends, Will, who is the other half of Will and Angie (two of my oldest and dearest friends), who has always been kinda like our big brother, and often 'one of the girls', was just totally amazing for us on our wedding day.  He took care of the music, helped up coral people, drove us out to the picture location, stayed and waited to take us back to the hotel.  Got me food and water when we arrived back at the hotel - I was just so thirsty, and really sad we didn't get to even try our hors d'ourves. I totally didn't ask, he just came out with a little plate and a glass of water! My hero!  Chris said then, he really is like an older brother, and he is.  I wouldn't feel right without saying how wonderful he was, he really made things so much easier for us.  He totally stepped up, like he always does 'cause that's the kind of man he is, and I love him to bits for being such a wonderful man. :)

Now to the events in the order they occurred...

The ceremony was an amazing blur for me.  I remember Carole our officiant reading the part about the teapot that I wrote, and smiling at me.  That was awesome.  She really seemed to get it, which thrilled me.

The pictures went off without a hitch, we got to use the most amazing backdrop of fall colours!  A pond, with changing trees behind, oh it was breathtaking!  The pictures of just us were fabulous. It felt like we got a lot done, and honestly, it really felt like we had three hours with Judy, not just the one and a bit we did have, so YAY.  I really can't wait to see the pictures!!

Dinner was lovely, just... lovely.  The tables looked amazing with all my ornamental gourds against the black table clothes.  Everyone seemed to like the hors d'ourves I picked!  Except for the spring rolls; they were not what I expected either, but that's okay, there was more than enough food!  Dinner itself was great.  The buffet worked out really well I think.  And the fact that we had extra space was awesome - the two and three year old had lots of room to play and run around.

Thanks to Sabrina, everyone signed my guest book.  I got smiles and laughs about my octopus comment (the sign I made said if they didn't sign the guest book, the guest book octopus would get them), and the actual knitted octopuses. The four kids, and their parents seemed very pleased that they each got to take one home! So yay!!  My cousin Malcolm, ever the sweetheart, asked me which one was my favourite, and that's the one he picked!

Everyone just loved the cake.  I received lots of compliments on how good it looked, how professional.  Then they ate it, and were blown away by my chocolate cake! YAY!  I cut the chocolate, bottom layer first, so a lot of people didn't get to try the coconut, but that's okay. Even Chris' shy cousin asked, in a kind of awed voice, if I'd made that chocolate cake, and if I made it often!  I said yes, it's my go-to chocolate cake.  He seemed really surprised and impressed! Woohooo!

The flying pigs, though some loved straight off, most didn't get until I explained - I always said I'd get married when pigs fly...  David and Alice have to be some of my most favourite people, they loved the piggies straight off, and didn't need an explanation to make them awesome. :D  David even mentioned that when I'd written on facebook that I was knitting octopuses for the wedding he'd thought 'this wedding is going to be awesome'!  It really well and truly makes me feel just amazing when people actually get my sense of humour and understand my... aesthetic.  So woohoo!

Everyone said there goodbyes after cake - it'd been a long day for everyone, I was totally okay with this timing!  And by 4:30 we were in a cab and on our way home.   We got to have a nice nap, then Chris made me dinner!  We had snuggles and TV in bed.  The perfect ending to our day - for us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Five Days till the wedding... FIVE!!

Well, considering it's evening, it's more like 4.5, but still..... FIVE DAYS!!

So excited!  I can't wait to wear these:

Wedding Bands!

I think Chris' band is the coolest thing ever!  Mine is simple, but it's perfect for under my big honkin' engagement ring, and the colour is very very close to that of my pearl, so yay for matching! :D  And best of all, me and Chris' bands match!  That's so important to me, though I don't know why exactly. Something about equality....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Engagement Pictures!

Since it's, you know, seven days before our wedding, I thought I'd finally share our engagement photos. Though, to be fair, we took them at the end of August and I didn't get them until the 22nd of September, so, you know, our timing is off in general here. ;)

We started out the session at Brookfield Place, because I just love love love the ceiling and atmosphere of the place.

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place
I really like this one. Too bad the damn slip of my skirt is showing! :(  For some reason that happens in a lot of the photos of me in this skirt that day.  I wish someone had noticed! =/

Brookfield Place
I really love how my turtle stands out and I look booby! :D

My favourite picture of us
This one's my favourite of all the pictures of us ever taken. Seriously.  I just love it.  I want it on our wall in the living room, like on a canvas, 3' by 4' or something. :D

Next we sort of re-created our first date.  We went to the ROM where we had our first date...

Outside the ROM

 Laughing at the ROM

Then we went to the pub where we had lunch...

At the pub we went to on our first date
This is a very first date shot, but I like it cause it's sweet.

At the pub we went to on our first date
This is a very... stuff white people like shot... and... I like it.  I can't help myself! lol.

Holding Hands
This one just.. speaks to me...

Then we walked back to the apartment, and stopped in the little park around the corner.

Kissing in the park
I really really love the trees and light in the back ground here.

There are more, but these were my favourites.  I liked the one on the subway platform, but again, stupid skirt slip showing. :(  And I'm so not skilled enough to photoshop that out!  Oh well, there are lots of other nice ones!

Soon I'll have wedding photos to show you all!  Seven more day!!  Gah!!!! Yay!!  Gah!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blood, Sweat, and Tears...

So yesterday I tried baking the chocolate cakes again. The first time I got the batter perfect, but my oven was very not level so my cakes came out having risen very unevenly.  Like, insane uneven - one side was half as tall as the other! o.0  So those cakes were cut down, and frosted with a test ganache, and went to work with Chris.  His coworkers seemed to enjoy the cake.  One said he could only have once piece because it was so rich.  Which makes me think he wanted a second but his sweet tooth protested. lol.  I'll take that as a compliment!

Anyway, attempt two saw me rushing slightly, and screwing up the amounts of baking powder to baking soda. Opps.  I tried to fix it, but I don't think that worked perfectly.  Add to that that, for once, I followed the recipe and baked the cakes at 300˚F, which left them dented in the centre!!  Like, the sides of the cake where higher than the middle!! That's never happened to me before!  Totally not hot enough in my oven, obviously!  Cause they didn't fall, they never rose!  When I tried to take one of the cakes out of the pan it broke in half!  That's when I got a good look at the centre and realised it wasn't baked fully or properly.  So in the garbage they went!

I was out of sugar, low on milk, low on flour, so I made a run to the local Metro, and then tried again.  I was setting everything up when Chris came home.  I had the coffee steeping,  the flour/dry ingredients mixed and waiting, and was chopping the chocolate.

I swear to all the gods I love, that I am always very, very careful when chopping chocolate!  I've chopped more pounds than I can count, and I know just how easy it is for the knife to slip.  Only... I was upset, tired, and just plain feeling low.  I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention because I sliced through the tip of my thumb but good. *Sigh*

Bandaged thumb
Here's the bandaged thumb, I'll save you all the gory detalis!

It hurt, I won't kid you.  But the heartbreaking part was that I'd fucked up yet again.  I felt like I couldn't do anything right.  I'd messed up the cakes twice now - cakes that I've baked perfectly many times before! It was frustrating, and depressing that when it counted I couldn't manage to get it right. And now I was adding my blood, and tears along with my sweat to the cakes. o.0  NOT  literally, they were just spilled in the making!  Just in case any of my guests find this. lol. I want to be very clear, the knife was washed before being used again and I didn't get any blood on any of the food.  For a clutz I have fast responses, and put pressure on it before it even managed to bleed.  I also wore a latex glove over my bandaged hand to make sure there was no way anything would transfer.

I'm really, really, really glad Chris was home.  When he realised my yelp meant I'd actually hurt myself - usually my yelp can mean anything from I've dropped a spoon, to I've burnt myself - he came over and hugged me while I cried and hyperventilated.  He was patient, and kind, and just let me cry.  He didn't pressure me, but let me work through it myself before I spoke again.  Then, like the trooper he is, he washed the knife, and finished chopping the chocolate for me, and helped me finish making the cakes.  This is made even all the more impressive by the fact that he'd just come off of a hellish week of being on call, where he was literally on calls almost the entire week; the man did not sleep!

So yeah... Third time's a charm!  The chocolate cakes came out perfectly this time! And I'm going to modify the recipe so it says 350˚F is what works in my oven!!  I also managed to get the coconut cakes done too.  They came out just amazing.  Yay.  So cakes are baked and frozen.  Next week I'll need to ice them, and find a way to keep them in the freezer... right now it's quite full (time to eat what's in there!)  Chris is going to have to help me with the chopping again, because, honestly, I'm not sure I'm ever going to chop chocolate again.

Wedding cakes in freezer
Cakes all wrapped up and in the freezer! Yay!

Time for a food processor!!!!!!!  If anyone has any recommendations for or against any brands/models I'd love to read them!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Really Feeling the Pressure Now

It's coming down to the wire, as they say.

I still have to bake the cakes.
And frost them.
I need to pick a menu and wines.
I need to do a bit of sewing on my dress.
Hell, I need to get thread that matches my dress still!
And somehow get my dress to Toronto unharmed.  No clue how I'm going to manage it.
I have to finish choosing reception music and burn the CDs.
I have to finish putting together the Wedding Programs. Just finished!! YAY!
I have to knit at least one more Octopus.
I need to rope my guests aka friends and family into working my wedding, just a bit.
I have to decide if I'm doing centre pieces. -- I even have the catering manager saying I need something now. o.0
I have to figure out what I'm doing for a bouquet!
I have to make my bouquet and a few boutonnières.
Oh! And I have to pick up Chris' suit from being tailored!
And iron his shirt... I promised...


And somehow I have to do all this in.....under 11 days.  Battling nasty headaches, insane nausea, and all the other crap FMS is throwing at me lately.

Gods grieve me a monkey....

I just don't know how I'm going to get it all done!  I totally should have got Chris to take more time off to help me. Bah. Bah, I say!

A Complaint Sent to Addition-Elle Headquaters

For some reason I feel the desire to share this...

I'm a pretty loyal Addition-elle customer. I've been shopping at your store since I was about 15-16 years old. I'm now 31.
Like all larger woman, I've gone up and down in size over the years. Due to health reasons, I've sadly gone up again. I'm now a size XX(I'm so not sharing this with the internet!), sometimes tall, sometimes regular length, depending on the style.
A few weekends ago I went into your Toronto store looking to buy a new pair of pants. I desperately needed a pair that fit. I'd looked on your website, and you had LOTS of styles that went up to my size, so I was in high hopes I'd find something.
I looked at EVERY SINGE PAIR of pants in your Toronto 'flagship' store, and found ZERO, that's right, ZERO pairs of pants in my size and length. There was ONE pair of XX size Tall jeans, but they were about two inches too long for me. 85% of the pants in the store were size 18 and under. There were only a handful of pants above that. I felt so dejected. I mean, if I can't find pants at a store that claims to be for plus size women, where the hell am I going to find clothes to fit me?! If Addittion-elle is telling me that 14-18 is plus size, what the heck am I? I felt so alone and alienated, and betrayed really. Addition-elle, over the years, has been the only store where I didn't feel like a freak for being so large, and now to learn your Toronto store no longer stocks my size?? Heartbreaking! I nearly cried.
Also, I need to say, I spent about an hour in your store searching the racks, and NOT ONE SINGE EMPLOYEE came up to me and asked me if I needed help. I stood in front of the dressing rooms for 15 minutes waiting to be let in to try on the pants that were one size down from my size (all I could find) that I'd picked out in desperation, and NO ONE even looked my way. I ended up letting myself in!
I, thankfully, grew up in Hamilton and knew about your Addition-elle/Penningtons superstore on Queenston road - my all time favourite store to shop in. I went all the way to Hamilton, a two hour trip one way to the store for me, thank you very much, to find pants. There I found MANY pairs of pants in my size. I found helpful employees that asked if I needed help, started me a room, checked up on me, and encouraged me to tell you my story. I ended up buying a whole outfit, that looks great, and made me feel good about myself again. More of your stores should be like the Queenston Rd Store! They have a wonderful selection of sizes, and employees that genuinely care about  their customers and the good name of your store/brand.

Melissa Hazelton

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wedding Bouquet Doubts

Since having my Bridal Photo session - which went wonderfully - I've been doubting my original plan for a wedding bouquet. *sigh*

I wanted to do something simple, in red roses, because those are the ones that call to me. Something like this:

I've bought this large crystal buttons to go between the roses and some smaller crystals from a bead sore to add in the centre of the flowers.

But..... When I had my photo session yesterday, Judy surprised me with a bouquet made by a florist friend of hers. It was fabulous!  Red roses with green and white orchids, pink-ish tiny flowers, golden gerbers, this deep red fuzzy flower, lots of green leaves, ivy, and little apples for pete's sake!! Oh, and there was a calla lilly in the centre that was orange tinged with red.  Perfect colour for the bouquet.  Altogether it had a very fall feeling, and totally complimented my red dress!  In fact, the red roses were the colour of my dress!

It was heavy though. OMG. I really don't want my wedding day one to be that heavy!  It was straining my arms! lol.  Clearly I need to go to the gym, but I kid you not it weighed more than my macbook(which is 7 pounds)!!

So after seeing the teaser photo Judy posted on facebook yesterday of my dress with the bouquet, I'm re-thinking my plan.  Judy also told me that her florist friend recommended against the red red roses I love because they are the colour of my dress, and this will just blend into my dress in photos.  *sigh*

Seeing the roses yesterday, in person and in the photo with my dress I know she's right.  I hate it though.  I was hoping the crystals would be enough to bring out the bouquet and make it a separate thing, but I think instead the crystals will just swim in a sea of red.  NOT what I want.

I've looked at black magic roses, which are darker, on the recommendation of said florist, but they are too dark for my liking.  This is a bouquet that uses them, and black-red calla lillies.  I like it on it's own. I like it for a bride in white, but with me in red, and my now dark red hair, I worry it's just too much dark.  Especially with me being so damn pale!

I'm torn between something very simple, and something full of fall colours and flowers.  I know both will look good, but I keep coming back to our theme, or rather non-theme.

We aren't decorating the banquet hall we are having the wedding at - it looks great as is frankly.  It has dark wooden walls, modern photos hanging, awesome modern chandeliers - it has a very European/urban/modern feel to it. It's very us.  Like a ritzier version of us.  The tables will be set with white table cloths, with black ones over top diagonally. Very modern. Very simple. Very timeless.  And that's me.... I always dress in a "classic style", as in, I don't go in for trendy stuff often, and I can't be bothered with fashion, and just want to look nice.  I want that feel for the wedding.  Honestly, I originally wanted a fall theme, but that's just way more work than I'm willing to put in or ask my guests to help me put in.

So, I want my flowers to fit into this modern, simple, timeless theme.  I want to be able to use the crystals I bought damnit! I spent like $20 on them! Shhh.. Chris will have a fit I'm sure.  But I love them, and I think they could totally work in another bouquet... I just don't know what exactly to do.

I've been looking at white bouquets, and all the ones I love have fiddlehead ferns in them, but can I find fiddlehead ferns in the wholesale flower shops I was hoping to get my flowers from? Noooooo!  I can't even seem to find any mention of them on the websites of local florists.  WTH Toronto!!

I love this:

And this:

Honestly, I love the first one the best, it's so eclectic! And bright and dark and fresh!  I honestly would not be able to do that myself though, and I really really want to do my own flowers damnit.

The third one I could totally do, if I could find some damn fiddle heads.  I would use more white and cream roses. I could add my crystals to them and it would look very nice I think. There's hydrangea in there, I could do that, I think I would also like to add some mums maybe, and a few dahlias.  If I couldn't find fiddle heads, and it wasn't a deal breaker for me - right now I'm not sure if it is or not - I could add some dark wheat stalks as a contrast piece, I saw them at the local florists.  I could even add some dark branch limbs, maybe...

I do love fall bouquets though. *sigh*  The bright sunflowers, the dahlias, the mums, the fuzzy flowers (whose name I don't know) that comes in such deep colours, the ornamental cabbages!!  Oh I love those!  But they open a can of worms, so to speak, that I'm not really sure I want to open. I love fall colours, I love fall leaves, I love  mini gourds and little pumpkins! Omg, so cute!  So if I had a fall bouquet I'd want to incorporate fall colours even more. I'd want fake (or real) leaves for the tables. I'd want mini gourds, and tiny pumpkins, possibly in vases, possibly just strewn about the tables.  I'd want orange, red and yellow everything!  I know me.

It would make me happy, but it would cost.  It would also ruin the modern/timeless theme we have going on that we didn't have to even work for! I like that.  I have fibro.  I have very limited energy.  I'm likley going to spend the next week struggling to get my cakes baked(a task that even I could do in a day normally) because I over-extended myself this week.  *sigh*  I really don't need to add more to my plate.

Judy gave me her florist friends email.  Judy said I should contact her and tell her what my budget is and see what she can do for me. She even offered to pick up my bouquet on her way to the wedding! How nice is that?!  Judy is awesome, seriously.

Part of me wonders if she just doesn't think I can do it.  She said it was one less thing to stress about.  But you know, I haven't really stressed about the flowers, until now.  I new what I wanted, and that was that. Now I'm re-thinking. I'm not stressed, I don't think. I have a few weeks, I'm just undecided.  I love flowers though. I'd really like to try my hand at a bouquet.  I don't have anything else planned for the 9th.  I don't think it will tax me too much...

Since I don't actually remember sharing, I thought this would be the perfect place to show off the bouquet I did end up making. I think my fall themed flowers went great with my red dress. I cannot express how much I loved my bouquet.

Bride before Wedding
Notice the crystal fiddlehead ferns, the pine cones, wheat, and large crystals interspersed with the flowers.

Chris holding my Bouquet
Husband holding bouquet. Notice the bling. I bought an M done in crystals and attached it with black ribbon to the ribbon around the base of the bouquet.

 Melissa + Chris
I had red roses, white roses, sunflowers, ornamental cabbage, and bright green miniature mums. Colourful, fall themed, sparkly, and so very perfect with my amazing red silk dress! And I made it myself in an hour or two the day before our wedding.
Judy keeps telling me I should get a pro to do my make-up.  I'm not sure if it's because she's such a traditionalist, or if she thinks I do my own badly -- that's my biggest worry.  I don't have much experience doing make up, it's entirely possible I don't do a very good job.  But when I see what I've done, I like how it looks, mostly.  I wish I could manage the foundation lighter, but otherwise I think I look good. The foundation isn't caked on, it's just... it feels like my skin is hiding, and I like my skin, other than the damn spider veins I'm getting, and I don't like hiding it, flaws and all.

Maybe I'm just more of a hippie than I ever dreamed I could be??

I seem to look okay in the pictures from our photo sessions though.  I don't know if Judy had to really photoshop me or what, but I seem to look fine... Here is an example I found quickly (one of my favourite from the session):

Kissing in the Park

I look fine right??

*Sigh*  I hate being so damn undecided! Bah! BAH I say!