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???