Out With The Old (2012) – In With The New (2013)

I’m not a big fan of the whole new year’s celebration thing – never have been.

Particularly this year, the arbitrary demarcation doesn’t have much meaning for me, since my “first year” is running from 7/5/2012 to 7/4/2013 – almost directly opposite to the calendar year.

Nevertheless, I found the below on FB and it spoke to me, so I’m sharing it . . .

May your year

My wish for all of us . . .

Advertisements

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday What Are You Reading

The It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? meme is hosted at Book Journey.

*****

Analog (dead tree version), at home:

The Winter Palace

From Goodreads:

From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates, as only fiction can, the early life of one of history’s boldest women. The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.

With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia.

Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tales.

*****

Digital (Audiobook) through the iphone, in the car:

The Crown

From Goodreads:

When novitiate Joanna Stafford learns her cousin is about to be burned at the stake for rebelling against Henry VIII, she flees Dartford Priory. But when she and her father are arrested, she finds herself a pawn in a deadly power struggle.

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): December 22-25, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Saturday:

[So, this morning I wake up to kiss Hubby and send him off to work.  You see he is off moving his company, all day and into the night.

Which means I have the house all to myself!]

– knitting in bed

[It took me Three times of doing this gauntlet, before I got it right to half the thumb gusset, and then I did the last part of the thumb inside out!]

– brunch
– knitting in bed
– watching Hart of Dixie on Netflix – one episode right after another – marathon style
– dinner

Sunday:

– kiss Hubby and send him to work…again!  🙂

[I do love my man And (not but) I also Love Another day All To Myself!]

– coffee in bed
– more Hart of Dixie, in bed
– more knitting, in bed

[This time I did the second/matching, well, technically they’re called Hand Warmers, completely correct, including the whole thumb!]

– nap (a nap day is Always better than a non-nap day)
– cleaned up kitchen
– loaded/ran dishwasher
– washed dishes
– reorganized freezer
– made cranberry sauce

[This time I used 2 of the organic oranges from my organic produce delivery – this batch came out really good with organic cranberries & oranges, and some local Buckwheat Honey I had found!]

Monday:

[Woke up to find Hubby at home, yay!  (There was some chance that he would have to work Monday.)]

– coffee in bed while
– reading in bed
– nap

[Um, where did the morning go?]

– hanging with Hubby for a few

[We decided to keep our Christmas Eve tradition, and so headed out to the mall (see  “Thoughts – Week of December 26-28, 2012.”]

– visiting the iPad Mini at the Apple Store (well meeting each other for the first time actually)
– shopping at Old Navy
– dinner at Macaroni Grill

Tuesday (Christmas Day):

– coffee downstairs together
– opening presents

[Santa must have realized I wasn’t a little girl anymore, since he got me liquor, chocolate and the yearly traditional sparkly for Christmas this year.

It had to be Red this year...

It had to be Red this year…

The yearly sparkly tradition began years ago with a set of diamond earrings showing up in my stocking – they were wadded up in tissue paper stuffed into a pyrex measuring cup (we had broken one that year and this was a good excuse to replace it).

Since then, I almost always get something sparkly for Xmas.  When life allows, it has been a Piece – something fantastic and expensive (like one year’s platinum and natural sapphire necklace), but most years it’s something for the jewelry box – something that gets worn continuously for a few weeks to a month, then goes into the jewelry box to be rotated in according to wardrobe.

Most years it is sapphire something (because of course, navy blue is my favorite color).  Last year, while Hubby and I were doing our Christmas Eve thing, just as we were about to buy that year’s sparkly (together – it happens that way sometimes), we got the call to go to the hospital Now – Grandma was being admitted.  New Year’s Eve day – after the devastating family decision to let her go to Grandpa – Hubby and I went back and completed that purchase.  It felt like the right thing to do – to bookend her with it somehow.  Well, it makes sense to me anyway.  Please see “I Missed You Last Night, Grandma – Single Malt Scotch and Election Returns.

But this year had to be red (see “I’ll Take Red Please.”) of course.  And the shape is no accident either.  My Hubby happens to have exceptional taste in jewelry generally (or at least taste that matches mine), and he’s very good at choosing jewelry with messages (I may hafta post the beautiful Piece he brought me back from Australia when he went there this past January for work – partly because V-Day was upcoming and partly as solace for the fact that I couldn’t go with him  😦 – it was chosen to convey a message too), and this year’s message is obvious.  :-)]

– breffast (outta the freezer – neither of us felt like actually cooking)
– hanging out with stuff recorded on the DVR and napping

[I actually was prepared for Hubby to sleep all day Monday after the hours I know he worked Sat/Sun, but he surprised me and wanted to do our usual thang, so when his eyes started closing , I didn’t mind – we didn’t have anywhere to be, so just hanging out together was perfect.]

– dinner:

marinated beef fillet
premade nuked mashed potatoes, with way more than necessary sour cream added, plus some of those organic green onions ‘cuz we had ’em and could
nuked frozen veggie blend

and

2008 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel
(Hubby got me two bottles of this for Christmas – one to open now and one to save for later – this was a wine we had found on one of our motorcycle trips where we challenged the sommelier to pick a wine that would go with what we All were eating, and this is what he came up with from their cellars – we’ve loved this wine ever since.)

– dessert:

homemade punkin pie made by Hubby last year and frozen since then, newly rediscovered when reorganizing freezer and one moved to fridge to thaw (other left in freezer for later, since no new pies were made this year), and canned real whipped cream I had picked up at the market the other day (I realized once I rinsed the cranberries and cut up the oranges and put them all in the pot that the two cups of orange juice my recipe called for would drink Hubby out of OJ – and that was Not something that would end well, so I grabbed the keys and headed out to the market to avert disaster – whew!).

Yeah, all in all not a bad Christmas, or at least it certainly Could have been a Whole Lot Worse, but Wasn’t!  🙂

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

I’ve Been Eating More Dirt Lately – Organic Produce Delivery 12-22-12

AHO 12-22-12 1 of 2

AHO 12-22-12 2 of 2

Yep, you read that right.  I’m of the era (and I can’t find the post on Facebook that spells it out though I’ve shared it on my own timeline) that talks about being thrown out of the house in the morning to play until I got hungry enough to come back for lunch, and then again in the afternoon until the streetlights came on, at which general time it was getting dark and time for dinner.

[Updated January 10, 2013: I found it on FB yesterday – this is the graphic I was thinking about:

When we grew up...

Yay!]

Part of growing up in that era is that as kids we ended up eating a little dirt.  Our moms didn’t hover to the point that anything dropped on the ground was scooped up and washed with soap or alcohol before being given back.  We picked it up again, put it in our mouths, and consequently ended up eating some dirt.

Well, I’m Back to eating some dirt and it’s a good thing.

For years I’ve been seeing these organic produce delivery services generally in Southern California.  Unfortunately, I live enough on the edge of town (but still actually In town, mind you) that nobody has yet been willing to deliver to my house.  Hopeful click by hopeful click to each new website promising to bring organic family farm veggies to my door, and nada . . . until Abundant Harvest Organics.

Found them a couple of weeks ago.  Turns out they have a Saturday distribution center at a local community college, and Even Better, some enterprising lady has decided to make few extra bucks ($5 per week) picking up at the distribution center and delivering to local homes – including mine!  🙂

So, for $22.xx (plus $5) delivery per week, every Saturday morning a small box (supposed to be enough for 2 people for a week) shows up on my porch.  I’ve been very impressed and wanted to share.

Both of the photos above were what I got last Saturday –

Top Pic:
– oranges
– bartlett pears
– potatos
– carrots
– sweet potatoes
– butternut squash
– beet

Bottom Pic:
– thyme
– lettuce
– green onions
– collard greens

Each delivery also comes with a single, double-sided flyer talking about the items in the box, which farmer grew what, and offering up recipes to make with them.  This post is not meant to be an advertisement necessarily, but if you’re interested and live in CA, hit up their website and see if they deliver near/to you.

Looks great, right?  First thing I did was have a slightly gritty salad.  I took half of one of those heads of lettuce, carefully washed and dried it (I can see I’m gonna need a salad spinner and soon!), cut it up, added some other stuff and chowed down.  I swear I washed it carefully and still had a couple gritty bites and I don’t care.

I really love that this food Looks like it was in the ground where it was grown probably no more than a couple days before it landed on my porch.

I’m glad to be back eating some dirt.

As time goes on, if I’m so moved, I’ll share some of the dishes I make with my beautiful, organic, local-family-farm-grown produce.

This Must Be The Worse Before The Better

thumbs-down

December 11, 2012: Breast Cancer Support Group Holiday Potluck Party – otherwise known as the once-a-year gathering where those who no longer need the group on an ongoing basis bring something to eat and join the rest of us for a quick munch & gab & catch-up.

This event lands in my last week of Radiation Therapy.  To say I’m struggling is an understatement of epic proportions.

When I’m asked how I’m doing, I can barely (and sometimes not quite) keep from losing it, both with people I know from group, and those I don’t who are coming for their once-a-year appearance.

Maria is one of those people I meet who doesn’t come regularly, but comes to the party, and to whom I confess how hard things are for me just then.  It’s been years since she was in active treatment, yet she remembers seemingly like it was yesterday – I think we all do/will.

She tells me when radiation ends it gets worse, then it gets better.

I was told that the radiation is still active in my body for about 2 weeks after the last treatment.  I assumed when Maria said there’s a further dip and then things start to look up (I’m paraphrasing), that the worse would be about two weeks long and then end.

My last treatment was Friday, December 14th – 12 days ago.  I don’t feel like better is going to show up in two days.  I think I made an assumption and just realized it’s probably not a valid one.

Last weekend, Hubby had to work all weekend moving his company.  My office was closed Monday/Tuesday, as was his (providing the moving was completed enough).  When he told me he was working Saturday and Sunday (and that they would be long days), I was thrilled.

I don’t get really any meaningful time alone in my house these (general) days – with the way our schedules interact.  Being an only child (and Hubby a first-born), we both need alone time – maybe more than folks with more siblings.

Now that the absolutely overwhelming schedule of Radiation Therapy has backed off quite a bit, lots of things are flooding in, the chatter seems to have intensified:

Work: revise this, draft this, file this, fax this, answer this phone, schedule this meeting, cover for this person on vacation, etc.

Personal: check in with Mom, check in with Dad, listen to Hubby, (and with Christmas yesterday: buy this, wrap this, send this – do it all On Time), etc.

Household: dishes, laundry, pay this, stop for this, buy this online, descale the coffeemaker, clean out the fridge, manage the grocery list, etc.

And of course, everybody’s happy right now – taking vacations, giving and getting just the right gifts, opening their hearts to family and friends – and looking forward to the “fresh start” the New Year provides.

I’m not happy right now and the new year is Not a fresh start for me (as I’m only mid-way through my active treatment)  – I’m still fucking tired, on So Many Levels – physically, emotionally, FYI in case you were wondering my last pain-free day was August 12, 2012 – the day before my first surgery.  So I either feel guilty about not sharing everyone else’s joy for/with them, or am further exhausted by faking it for/with them.

I was thrilled with Hubby having to work because right now I just want to be alone.  I feel like the last six months have been a blur of overwhelming input and I just need quiet.  To get that quiet, I need to be alone and let the rest of the world’s demands go away.  I had two days of that.  I need more.

I imagine this crawling into a hole period will have some people upset – I’m going to have to try to not care.  I need to walk my talk of being selfish.

I need that quiet to process – to transform another part of the journey toward “after the first year.”

I imagine some people in my life are going to notice this difference and not like it.  Because what they think about what I’m doing is not actually about me, I’m going to have to try to not care.

I don’t know what that means for this blog in the near future, I actually don’t know what that means for a lot of aspects of my life in any (insert short-, mid-, long-term word here) future.

I guess I’ll be sitting with quiet as much as I can create it while waiting for…

thumbs_up_bciy

Thoughts: Week of December 17-19, 2012 (No Thurs/Fri)

Monday:

8:15am-9:30am Drive from Home to Work

[Extra late, thanks to the rain, which now means a shortie lunch to stay on track timewise.]

Work
Lunch
Work

Fatigue:

[It showed up at about 1:45 today.  Ah well, I knew it wasn’t gone.  I was hoping some small miracle would happen.  Well, I guess it kinda did – I didn’t really feel the fatigue until afternoon.]

Acupuncture
7:15pm-7:50pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

Tuesday:

[General post-radiation weirdness item: today is the second day in a row I left the house wearing a necklace.  I couldn’t do that for the past 7 weeks.  Well, I could have, but since I couldn’t wear any neck jewelry during the treatment, I’d have had to take it off then put it back on after.  Instead, I took necklaces in my bag and put them on after treatment (if I remembered) which sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t.  Now I can get back to doing this in it’s proper place in my day – at home, when I’m getting dressed in the morning.]

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to Work
Work

Fatigue:

[Yeah, today it arrived at about 11:30am.  I still had a few hours this morning where I could forget about it – but fewer than yesterday.  Good thing I have tomorrow off!]

Lunch
Work
5:30-6:30 Drive from Work to Home

Wednesday:

Physical Therapy
Whole Foods
Egg Plantation
Nap
Dishes
Laundry
Reorganize a Freezer
Make Dinner

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– put gas in the car
– made Saturday nail appointment
– moved RSurg appt (to not conflict with follow-up ROnc appt)

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): December 15-16, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Saturday:

– coffee
– reading in bed
– bowl of cereal, also in bed
– first nap

[Okay, this was really just getting my ass through to morning.  I only half-intentionally did an experiment last night – fell asleep without taking my meds.  No Benadryl.  No pain meds.

I woke up at 4:30am for no reason that I could think of.  The great news about that is that I Did Not wake up because I hurt (which tells me I don’t need to take the Norco at night anymore to sleep through).  The good news is that it was Saturday, so who cared if I slept funny.

In fact, I was up for a couple of hours, then had First Nap, which if it had been properly tacked on to my night’s sleep might have gotten me through to about 7:00am.  As it was, separate from the rest of my night as it was, it took me through to about 9:30am.]

– coffee
– reading in bed

[If this looks familiar, it is actually Not a typo, but rather “Second Verse, Same As The First!”  Yep, I did it all over again.]

– brunch with Hubby
– Second Nap
– empty/reload dishwasher
– take trash out/replace bag
– do dishes by hand
– clean out refrigerator
– clean up grocery store list in app
– make dinner

Sunday:

– coffee
– reading in bed

[Yeah, I know, there’s a pattern here.  I am Not a morning person.  Let me just put it this way – stay out of my face until the first cup of coffee is completed and nobody gets hurt.

One of the hardest things about Radiation Therapy was having to get up and out of the house in such a short time, so when I don’t have to, I’m Enjoying Not.]

– brunch with Hubby (mmm, cage-free eggs!)
– vaping & hanging with Hubby
– watching accumulated music programs recorded on the DVR with Hubby, while knitting the poncho from here.
– snack for dinner

Things Not Accomplished This Weekend (That I Had Planned to Accomplish):

– clean up bedroom, put clothes/shoes away
– do laundry
– decorate mini-pumpkins with supplies purchased a while ago

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.