Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Butterfly Wonderment

I went to a butterfly "zoo" with several friends two weekends ago.  This was the most amazing thing EVER!  There were butterflys everywhere, they flitter about, often landing on people, hitching rides on us very warm humans.  They keep the room around 80-ish and its very humid.  Even cold all the time me, was happily warm and after a while trending towards hot.

There is a display case showing the cocoons, where the conditions are perfect for them to hatch, but neglected to snap a photo of that.  Hopefully this next weekend, TH and I will take a trip and  I'll snap a photo of that.  They also had a bee area, which was actually cool, as the bees had a "tunnel" to the outside where they gather nectar and then return to their hive within the "zoo".  Also on had were ants and scorpions and shudder spiders!  Needless to say I gave these last three insects a very wide berth.  They also had a fairly large aquarium which didn't seem to mesh with the insect kingdom thingy, but twas major coolness.

The blue one landed on my back, and my friend's hair and sleeve.  I have no idea what each one is named, I had their brochure which lists them, but alas lost it most likely the last time the clutter patrol was on duty I filed it into the trash. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rose Colored Opposite Day

This will be our first Christmas alone, no children, no family, just us two.  Our first Christmas we spent the day with TH's family, his sister, brother and his family and the parents.  The next time Christmas rolled around we had Eldest, he was 18 days old.  TH and I were both so tired that it was hard to get enthused about the holiday.  What excited TH the most was that his grandmother came for a visit, a rare occurrence.

As the years spooled by, and our family grew every few years, the holidays began to be held at our home, so no travel but much much more work.  But it was enjoyable, the run up to Christmas, tiring but exciting!  The list of "must haves" for dinner kept growing until it took nearly 3 full days of cooking to get everything everyone desired to eat on the table.

We don't have the funds to travel back to Alaska, sigh, it was a pinch to send the boys and their wives small gift cards.  And so the Great Holiday Discussion began.  It had to be both different and cheap.

We could pack a lunch and head out to a park!  Wander about and then find a great scenic spot to enjoy a nice lunch.  So, TH gets on the phone, and all parks are closed for the holidays.  Which really when one thinks about is awesome for the employees.

Go to the movies?  In some weird sense it felt rather lonely to us, so that was quickly discarded.

How about having an anti-holiday?  Let's not do anything that is sorta kinda even remotely Christmas-y.  No decorating, as all our tree trimming items are up in Alaska.  Only send out a few cards, which I need to do tomorrow......  No pies, cookies, hams, prime ribs, etc.  If it's traditional for us, then its out the door this year.

Our tentative plan is to head over to the video rental store a few days before Christmas Eve, and rent an entire raft of movies.  I would like to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" which is one of my all time favorite movies, but one can't get a much more iconic Christmas film.  We can't decide between trilogies, or stand alone movies.  In the running for the trilogy column is X-men, Back to the Future, Iron-man/Avengers.   If we do single movies the category is wide open.  If you have any movie suggestions, pass 'em along as none of our movie choices are cast in concrete.

Dinner will be hamburgers, baked beans, ruffled chips with ice cream and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.   Ok, technically a chocolate chip cookie is a, umm well, cookie, yes I know that.  But its not a holiday cookie, so thats how it slips thru the anti-holiday food barrier.  Buy TH some killer great root beer, and some grapefruit soda for me.  Stock up on ice, and junky foods, make sure we are well stocked for burger trimmings and the food angle is covered. 

I brought a few of our favorite board games from home, so if our eyes and minds get tired of watching movies, we can laugh like crazy beings while we play Yahtzee, or Parcheesi, or a card game.  I'm not sure what alchemy occurs when we play board games, but we usually end up laughing ourselves sick.  The last time we played Parcheesi, we laughed so long and hard when we finally calmed down we had forgotten whose turn it was! 

There you have it, our plans for our first annual Rose Colored Opposite Day!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Hickory, Dickory, Dock

'Tis been quite a while, but time has gotten away from me once again.  It seems that each day whizzes by on winged feet, and before I know it, time for sleep.  Here is a snapshot of whats been going on.

Went back to volunteer at the library, and was knock me down with a dust mote surprised when I was greeted with hugs.  I have no idea why people feel the need to hug me, but what is awesome was how much they seemed to have missed me!  w00t!!!

Been going out every other weekend with my meetup group.  Have invited TH, and he hasn't felt either well enough or comfortable enough to go.  He feels like the odd man out, and I can understand his feelings completely.  He did come for coffee with me and another lady during the week.  They had a good time chatting about this and that, they invited us over for dinner in the future, so that should be fun.  

TH has begun physical therapy 3 times a week, and it leaves him in pain and wrung out.  He has about 30 minutes of stretches and specific motions he has to do once a day, and a few other that need to be done 2x a day.  Then he rides a recumbent bike for 20 minutes and walks 4 miles a day.  This is all for his recovery.  At this point in time, they aren't sure he will be able to return to work at all.  He needs to lift 50lbs to do his job and the therapists aren't sure he will be able to do so by the time he has to report back to work.

Uncertainty about his ability to return back to work has led to long and frequent talks about what we'll do if he can't.  Due to the crushing debt the surgery has deposited, if he can't return to work our only option is to go back to Alaska, pack up the house there when the lease is up and move here full time.  It's much much cheaper to live here than there.  And while thats fine with me, TH isnt happy about it at all.  How well he will handle the triple digit heat is a worry.  After the debt is paid off will  open the can of worms again as to where we will live.

Still being unable to lift more than 5 lbs leaves me doing everything.  From carrying all the groceries in, trash out, and moving the gallons of water for drinking in.  He cant wash dishes, even emptying the dish machine causes him discomfort.  Laundry is impossible as well as reaching into the washer/dryer causes pain and difficulty.  Added to all this extra work, is the realization that even using natural dish machine soap causes me to feel like crud, shortness of breath, painful joints, tummy unhappiness....  When we moved me down here, I bought dishes and silverware in a group of four.  I'm doing dishes more or less non-stop to keep the kitchen clean and so we have something to eat off of.  I had forgotten just how much the guy eats and how often!  We bicker, believe it or not about my "over use" of vegetables in our meals!  He would rather eat meat every meal of the day, every single day.  I would rather eat more veggies than meat, so there isnt a great deal of grey for us to meet in. 

The bright spot in our meals is that TH is totally supportive of how I have to eat.  He only eats sandwiches out, and hasnt had any shellfish when he's with me.  He does eat eggs and cheese, and has a separate toaster for his waffles.  He eats my crackers and the few successes I've had with making edible gluten free, egg free bread.  Chicken is something he misses, so until he can do the washing up we will have to buy those toss away foil pans as I cant even wash up chicken without reacting.

When Thanksgiving rolled around I made a vegan pumpkin pie, and he eagerly dug in.  Talk about surprised, the pie was some of the best pumpkin pie we've ever eaten.  The lack of eggs and milk were unnoticeable!  If you want to make a pie for someone who is allergic to dairy, eggs, gluten,  are on a diet or has high cholesterol, they will love you forever!  This pie is killer good.  Here is the linky, and yeah mine looked exactly as it does in her pictures.  'Tis simple and mega tasty, give it a try.  I still have masses of work on the pie crust, but I don't eat pie for the crust.

Third son and wife called us on turkey day and told us they are expecting a wee one in June!  Yesterday TH sat with me and helped me chose yarn and patterns for sweaters and booties for the wee one that Third Son is calling "Blue".  Why?  Well the doctor told them on their first visit that the baby was the size of a blueberry, so the name stuck. 

Due to weather and finances we will be staying here for christmas.  We do have free tickets and one free night at a hotel, so we could go visit Second Son.  But heading home is out of reach.  We are still trying to talk Second Son into coming for a visit, but his wife's schedule is crazy and she cant give an answer as to when she could come down.

Last Monday night I went to the grocery, bought two bags worth, and filled four gallon jugs with water and headed home.  Things were okie dokie until I attempted to get thru the gate.  The gate swung back, and when I went to kick it open again, it didnt open very far, I caught my foot in the gate, got totally off balance and took a hard tumble on my knee on the sidewalk.  Lost my glasses in the dark, TH went down and found them for me.  I've missed all this week of library "work", and my knee is quite the grumpy gus still.  Yes,  TH took me to the doctor, and no, its not broken nor any sort of ligament tear, just good ol' fashion bruised to hell and back.