Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A few LOL cats

A couple of my friends are in to the kittehs and seeing the LOL cats always makes me think of them.  Yes Baker, you are one of those friends.  So, another friend on Facebook had a lot of these posted and I almost peed in my pants looking through them.
Especially this one.  I think Raven and I almost fell off the bed.  Considering the week we have been having, it felt really good to laugh!
I really need to get to work and get my blog updated with the events of this last week, but for now, the laughing is good!
hehehe  gamer kitteh
I do also have to pick up a few things from the store today and I need to do some research for a friend, too.

*giggle* evil plotting kitty!

This one is for meg, and I hope it makes you laugh out loud!

So I will save some for another time, but I have just one more and Raven and I are both hysterical every time we see it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Disaster week woes

So, I was really concerned about my diet this last week when I went to weigh yesterday.  This has been a horrible week that I will write more about later, but I was pretty much forced to eat things that are *not* good for me almost all week.  I was also not able to drink the water I needed all week either.
I went with trepidation to the scales, emptied my pockets and took off my shoes, and waited for it to ding.  My heart sank.  I was back up a pound from last week.  Honestly, I almost cried.  I know it’s only one pound, but still.  I was so proud of myself last week having dropped two pounds and this week had to go so terribly wrong and I put half of it back on.  

Now, I should say that intellectually, I knew that it could be several things: gained muscle from all the manual labor I did this week with the disaster, water weight from my period, retaining water because I wasn’t getting enough.  Still, it was was heartbreaking to think that I had been working so hard and I had been sabotaged. 

I was however validated some today when I did, in fact, start my period.  Most women gain 3 to 5 pounds of water weight when they are on their period, so it looks like I have managed to stay on track after all.  I guess the real test will be to see how the numbers look next Saturday and the Saturday after that. 

Only time will tell…

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Having a Hard Time

I am not sure how much I have wrote about my sister before, and I know I have wrote some about my mom.  My sister is my half sister, we have different dads, and her dad has been dead for at least 10 years now.  She never really knew him. So our mom raised her.  Solely.  I have found that this is bad because it has warped my sister's sense of how the world works and given her a sense of entitlement.  She has a lot of the same feelings that mom had, in that she feels the world owes her something.  I know it sounds really shitty to talk about my sister this way, but I am  just being honest.  She was warped by just having mom raise her.  That is the simple truth of it.  That being said, she is very irresponsible, and she is selfish. 
Several years ago, she asked me about her father.  I didn't have nice things to say about him, but I knew that he had passed and I offered to try and find her father's family if she wanted me to.  She had only met any of them when she was an infant, and I was a teenager, so I had more to go on.  Mom had burned all the photos of him that there were, so Lindsey never even had a picture of him.  I felt bad, even though it wasn't my doing.  I set out to find her family for her. 
Her grandmother was a school teacher for Anderson County Schools.  Her grandfather did something for ORNL/Y-12.  I didn't know what her Uncle did.  I was sure that her great grandparents had passed on because they were old when I knew them.  Her grandparents lived in Norris, which is really small.  Armed with this information (and their names), I did some research and found that her grandfather had passed away.  If I remember correctly, he had passed away rather recently when I found them all for her.  Her uncle has a shop in Kingston and is married.  He looks just like her father.  I got in touch with her uncle, through his shop's website and that was the beginning of it. 
He tried to make up for lost time and gifted her with a fairly large sum of money.  She and her husband were living with my husband and I at the time.  They were driving one of our cars.  They didn't pay rent, didn't buy groceries or chip in on anything.  Hell, she got her GED because I showed her what to fill out and when to go take the test.  We had asked them to get jobs.  They hadn't even looked.  My husband and I were really frustrated with the whole situation.  Not to mention that they had either 4 or 6 cats that just *had* to come and live with them.  (yes I am rolling my eyes) It was very stressful and when we pushed, gently, to get them to pitch in and get jobs, they decided to go live with her Uncle and his family.  It didn't last very long.  I think they quickly found out the same things that we did- they basically wanted to mooch- and my sister and her husband went back to Kingsport. 
A few months ago, my sister came down to go to Norris to visit her grandmother.  I felt then, and still do, that the only reason Lindsey went to go visit her was because she was old and sick and "let's see how much I can make grandma like me and put me in her will" kind of thing.  I don't know that Lindsey truly loves anyone.  I think because of the way she was raised, in the conditions she was in that she doesn't really know what love is.  I really think she just wanted to see what she could get out of her. 
She recently vanished.  She broke up with her boyfriend (she's been divorced for a while now), she deleted her Facebook account, changed her phone number and doesn't respond to emails.  I got a message from her aunt a couple of weeks ago that her grandmother was sick.  I got a message from her yesterday that her grandmother has died.  So because I am the responsible one, I am left with trying to contact someone who probably really doesn't care that she died, and will only just go through the motions to see what she can get out of it.  I really also have no way to reach her.  I finally messaged her ex boyfriend and he gave me a few numbers that seem to be getting me in touch with her, at least that is the way it looks. 
I am faced with the dilema of knowing she doesn't care but feeling bad because I think she has a right to know that her grandmother has died.  *SIGH*  Sometimes I really hate being the responsible one out of our family. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Insomnia aides?

So I get bouts of insomnia.  I have for years.  It sucks.  I have tried almost everything to remedy it and had a little success, but not much.  The thing with me and insomnia is that though it sucks to not be able to sleep, it sucks worse if I don't get enough sleep because it triggers migraines.  So when I finally get to sleep, I need to actually sleep for at least 6 hours.  I did the whole never get to sleep for more than 4 hours at a time, and I did not do well with that at all.  Needless to say, it is important to me to be able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Until recently, the best success I had had was with a Yogi tea with Kava in it.  It worked pretty good for a while, then I had a really bad day not too long ago. I tried everything I could think of.  I tried a hot bath, double strength cup of kava tea, a shot of whiskey, sex, and anti-anxiety meds.  Hell, I may have tried something else, but I can't remember it at this point.  I should also point out that I can't use Valerian.  It gives me nightmares.

I had asked Raven if there was anything that he could think of that I hadn't tried yet.  He really hadn't come up with too much.  Then the other day we browsed through Earth Fare and I thought that might be a good place to find something that could help.  Let me add in here that I have tried pharmaceutical sleep remedies and I hate them, I would much rather go natural.  So, at the Earth Fare, we found some plain herbal extracts.  According to my reading, kava works best when it is paired with St. John's Wort which regulates sleep cycles.  I made the plunge.  I got a 2 ounce bottle of extract, half kava and half St. John's Wort.

I got home and smelled my little brew, and oh mah gawd, it smelled awful.  I approached it like I would approach liquor.  Ie: I don't want to ruin a whole drink with the taste of it.  So I had Raven drop it into my mouth, towards the back.  I cannot tell you how gross it was.  Like medicinal whiskey or something.  So that was approximately one dropper full.   We went to bed.  I dozed off while watching a movie, but I had to get up and move around to go pee and find the tv remote or I could have just went back to sleep.  As it was, I had a hell of a time getting back to sleep, even with another dose of extract.  So that was my first night and experience with it.  I got about 4 hours of sleep because I had to get up and deal with the landlord and I made myself stay up.

Last night, I took 2 dropperfuls diluted with a little water.  It totally kicked my ass.  I was asleep quickly after going to bed, and once there, I slept for like 14 hours.  It was a nice sleep too.  So, now I have to find the happy medium because I can't sleep for 14 hours every time I go to bed, LOL. 

I wonder if the thing that made the difference was the water...  I have yet to decide what I am going to do tonight, but if this helps me get to sleep.  It's the best thing ever!  That's my worst problem, getting to sleep.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peppers in my Garden

So I felt like my last post was getting really long, so I decided to make a new post to talk about the peppers.

For anyone who doesn't know, I got some Bhut Jalokia seeds for Raven's birthday this year, and it has been a project of mine to grow them for him.  When I started the seeds, I got a lot of seedlings and gave 2 pots of them away to friends.  I kept and planted 4 seedlings in the ground, and 3 of them have survived.  So three out of four isn't bad.  This is the little patch behind the apartment.

The bhut jalokias (ghost chile) don't look like much in their little patch, but I have some buckets set aside so that this winter we can dig them up and over winter them in the house.  In India, they plant these peppers as elephant deterant because they are so hot they hurt the elephants when they step on them! Really give that a thought- elephant deterrant and I know people who are going to eat them!  The middle one is doing the best and here is a close up of it.

Ghost Chile

I also picked up a green bell pepper at half price today and I have put it in one of my huge pots, because I don't have a "veggie" plot this year.  I will actually eat the bell pepper.  Raven won't, but that's why the spicy peppers are for him!  I'll take most of the jalapenos and ghost chiles and put them in the dehydrator so we can use them year round for seasoning.  I've done that for years, and I talk about doing it and what I use in my cooking blog, in case you are interested.


This is one of my humongous pots that I got Thursday.  I had found an old packet of lettuce seed and sown it loosely, but I needed a place to put my bell pepper, so I stuck him in there.  A few Marigolds as well, which will help keep the mosquitoes away.  No idea how old the lettuce seed is but if the lettuce actually comes up it will be a bonus!

The last plant I got today was a jalapeno.  It is going to go up closer to the house out of the way for Raven to mow.  I plan on putting in more up there next spring, but for now, the jalapeno can be a loner, LOL. You can't plant jalapenos with tomatoes or it will make the tomatoes spicy, and I don't want that!  I also couldn't plant it with my other peppers for fear that the jalapeno would get spicier!  

Garden Spot update!

Ok, so a few people know that I am super, super excited about my little garden spot that I am making.  It is thrilling me to no end to be able to get my hands in the dirt again.  This is the supplies that I picked up Thursday.  Yes, all in my little VW in one trip.  My car was driving a little funny with all that weight in the back of it (in addition to this stuff, there was a 40 lb bag of dog food and a bag of charcoal, LOL).  I got a 64 Qt bag of potting mix, a bag of mulch about that same size, 10 concrete edging stones, and 4 pots.  Two of the pots are big ones, like 15 qt I think, and the other 2 are like 5 qt or something similar.

I was glad I got the time to spend out with Raven, as we rarely get to do anything together anymore.  After we got to Lowe's and he was loading all this heavy stuff  he asked me what I would have done with out him.  I told the truth, I would act cute and get the Lowe's men to put it on my cart for me, then I would have them put it in the car.  Then when I got home, I would have unstacked the edgers in the yard and before he went to work, I would have asked Raven to get the two bags out of the car for me.  It wouldn't have been a lie either, LOL. 

The very beginning!

After we finally got home, I was so excited to get started on my garden and the sun was drifitng lower in the sky so it was a good time to get started.  Not as hot!  Raven unloaded my goodies and I got to work.  I had forgotten what a pain it was to get edging stones in level, having to dig out my area with a hand trowel, but I worked steady and had most of it done in about 2 hours.  I was happily filthy and had made a great bit of progress when I gathered my stuff up to go in for the night.  This is the first night's progress:

So after I got cancelled from work today, I had to go home, because the staffing was misread. There was an accident on the road home, so I stopped to browse at the Mayo garden center.  It had a bunch of plants for 50% off and a lot of them were ones that I wanted anyway.  So I made some more progress on it today.  This season isn't going to yield a lot since it is so late in the year, but next year will be a different story all together!  So in addition to what is in this entry is a green bell pepper and a jalapeno, I will talk about my peppers in another entry.

I got a few herbs for half price, on the left is a mint julep and on the right is a variegated pineapple mint.  The middle pot remains empty for a chocolate mint cutting a friend gave me.  I am just waiting for it to take root.

Chocolate mint cutting
 So the last thing that I have planted that I will share in this post are beans.  There are two varieties.  A purple bean that a friend gave me and some Blue Lakes.  They are both pole beans, since I freaking hate the bush varieties.  Here are their pots :

I am going to run some string from the lattice down to the pots so the beans have  something to grab ahold of and start climbing.  It won't take them long to get to the lattice and then I won't have any problems.  

So I have several things going on and I will leave off this post with a few pics od the garden thus far!  A closer shot of the little plot and a wider angle to show the entire area so it can be compared with the first shots I had up.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Building my altar

So my knowledge of my religion is growing, slowly.  In the house, we have a little make-shift altar that I am working on improving.  Right now it doesn't consist of very much, but it is getting there. It was just 3 little dinky candles on top of the television.  It just didn't seem right.

I don't have much to work with the altar on, and to me right now the one in the house is just a place to recognize God and Goddess on the solstices.  Nothing big.  Anyways, here is what we had so far...

Raven is picking up a plain red pillar candle in the morning on the way home to go in the middle.  I also have a jar of sea shells that Dalton and I picked up on the beach when we went to Panama City several years ago  that will do to represent water until I can get something that I like better.  I am just trying to figure out where to put them in the arrangement here. 

So for all my pagan friends, what do I need to round out the little family altar?  Most of my worship is done outside, not inside, where I can just feel grounded and connected to earth.  I don't even really know what all goes on an altar and what they are all used for.  I know that each of the 5 points is supposed to be represented: earth, air, fire, water and spirit...  but when I look through some of the pagan sites and search for altar things, I find also a knife and a bowl as well as altar cloths, incense and all kinds of other things.

What do you say about an altar and what it needs, or are the candles sufficient for the little family place in the house when you do most of your worship outside?   I need a little help and guidance here please :)


So, I have come to terms with the fact that we are going to probably be in this cheap apartment for a while.  With that said, I am giving a lot of thought to making myself happier here.  I'm looking in to making a nice container garden at my back door and what it will take to do that. 

I would like to start acquiring the materials to do this now, since most of it will be going on sale and make it more feasible for me to do.  Plus breaking the project apart in to separate little steps will make it easier financially too!  Breaking things up into smaller pieces is always a good thing!

So this is the space I am working with.  To the left you can see my two tomato plants that I am growing this year.  The space is about 34" wide by 50" deep. In addition to that, across the back, right next to the house is a ledge of concrete from the footer of the house that is about 6" wide, but is not entirely flat.  I want to take the new bed to the edge of the house, which will go right up against where my tomatoes currently are, but I can plant them farther out next year.  The bed will come just to the end of the concrete slab that is already there.

This is a picture of the entire area outside my back door.  The trellis and poles of the little deck on the right side I intend to make use of next year with some larger pots and pole beans.  I'm not sure about the area under the deck, just that I want it to be more usable.  I think that will be easier with the weed eater fixed because there is some kind of mutant weed in there that has really fat sturdy stalks.  And it's shady... I think I just want the whole area to be more attractive, and just feel like a special place for me.

This is the view of my back yard, which is to the left in the other pictures (in the bottom of the frame, you can see the tops of my tomato plants). It is really quite large and very nice and serene.  I think I would spend more time outside and enjoying myself and feeling more grounded if the space were nicer.  There are nice bones here to work with, I just gotta do it.

I need to take a trip down to the end of the back yard and figure out how to get down in to the creek back there. I know that there are probably some rocks back there that I can use to edge it with, and that would be free, but I am not sure it is the look I want.  I am thinking more along the lines of this edger I found at Lowe's for $1.46 each.  I figure I will need 9 of them, 10 just to be sure I have what I need.
I'll also need to get some landscaping fabric, but since I don't plan on actually planting in the ground, I think I can use some black plastic, which I already have, to keep pesky grass from growing up between my planters.  The next step is to find the planters I want to use and get them situated in there.  I really want to to a kind of tiered look, with larger pots up next to the house in the back and work out to smaller pots, with a smooth river rock poured around the base of the pots.  

There are some inherent problems with using big pots.  Number one, they are freaking heavy!  No matter how you slice it, once the containers are filled, they are so heavy and hard to move, and if I take the time to pick out things I like and enjoy being around, when we eventually move, I am going to want to take them with me.  The second thing is, they take a lot of material to fill.  I think probably the best bet for regular plants in them is to use a cinderblock or two to take up some of the space in there, maybe putting a plank on top of it to keep from having to fill the entire space with dirt or rocks and saving some on the weight factor.  

I want to use at least one big galvanized tub, like these, at the back of my little garden, and yes, I am aware that I probably won't get to take it with me when we end up moving.  I don't know where to find these metal containers though, I really kind of lucked up on finding this picture on the internet.  I wonder if they have them at the tractor supply store or something.  I also don't want to spend a whole bunch on them either.  So, if I have a big one of these at the back, and to the far left of it I plant a dwarf evergreen in another big pot, then I can size down my pots toward the front of the space and put a whole variety of things in them.  I want to grow a whole bunch of things here.  I am going to have a whole wish list of seeds and seedlings!  I can't wait.  The more I think about it, the more excited I get!  I don't think I realized exactly how much I missed having my own little space until just this moment!