Friday, February 17, 2012

Run For Your Lives

I have a small confession to make:  I have a tendency towards zombie related things.

Enough, in fact, that I actually have a label for blog posts about zombies....and a pinboard for zombies...

So the other day, I posted the link for Run For Your Lives on facebook.


I am a woman fortunate (or cursed, depending on how you look at it (lol)) enough to have a husband who enjoys zombie themed things as much as I do.  The next race is in Atlanta...but only 2 weeks away.  And we're in no shape to do anything except very quickly be turned.  And =that's= no fun!  So my honey offered up a goal and a challenge:

To sign up for the Austin Race in December!

I woke up this morning with this on my mind.  I have 9 months to get ready.

As I was getting dressed, my youngest son woke up.  And I invited him to join me.

So this morning, my 6 year old came with me for my first run in almost 6 years, as I start trying to train for my first 5k ever.

1/4 of a mile.  I know, it's pretty sucky.  But it's a start.  And my boy held my hand the entire way and kept me going (:

...I always said that I'd only run if someone was chasing me... Looks like I'm going to get my chance (;

Enjoying the Silly Moments

I love drizzly rainy days when I have to be out and about, but I don't have to be in a hurry.  To be honest, it's why I have an enormous golf umbrella in rainbow colors.

When I headed into class yesterday morning on my way to my first exam of the semester, I entered the building and started up the stairs and a professor coming down commented, "That sure is a brightly colored umbrella!  All the colors of a rainbow!"  And I said, "Thank you!" with a smile as I headed up.  It hadn't rained on the way to class.  But I knew it was coming and I tend to be prepared.

And it started to rain as I left.

I smiled like a little kid about to go play.

Except that I'm a grown up.

And was still about to go play (;

I stepped out of the building under the eave and unfurled my giant rainbow.  Placed it over my head to keep me dry and started my walk back across the length of campus.

Spinning my umbrella as I went.

I love watching the colors fly by.

I love stopping at puddles and reflective bits of sidewalk to watch the reflection of the colors spin by.

I giggled off and on the whole time.

I'd stop when other people got closer-- not because I was embarrassed-- but because I know a spinning umbrella throws water and they wouldn't enjoy getting wet.

When I got to the stairs, I had the entire side all to myself.  Foot traffic was low.

Have you ever hopped down stairs with a golf umbrella?  Each steps makes a funny and satisfying "humph-a!" sound.

"humph-a" (giggle)
"humph-a" (giggle)
"humph-a, humph-a, humph-a, humph-a, humph-a, humph-a, humph-a" (outright laugh)

When I got to the bottom, a young man in his late teens or early 20s scowled at me disapprovingly as he walked towards me.  I cleared my throat and watched him pass out of the corner of my eye with a barely contained smile on my lips holding back the next round of giggles.

So if you saw a spinning rainbow covering a whole lot of giggles in the rain on the way to or from class yesterday morning, it was me.

Or someone else who was also enjoying the silly moments (;

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Taking It Personally

When I heard last summer that Mississippi was passing laws to arrest women for murder-- for miscarriages and stillbirths, I was in total disbelief.

Today, there's been an entire rash of similar news-- things that make you ask, "How?!? How can this be REAL news? How can this be passing? What the hell is going on with our politics?!?"

Like Virginia working to pass required penetrative probes for abortion seekers.

Like Foster Friess suggesting that women should use aspirin between their knees as contraceptives.  Completely failing to take into account that contraception is about a whole lot more than not having sex.

Like not having a single woman on the witness panel for the House Contraception Hearing.  Not one.

If contraception is being used for medical reasons (like controlling endometriosis, cysts, abnormal periods, etc.) it should be made available.  I absolutely agree with that.

If it's the difference between not getting pregnant or having an abortion-- I can agree with that as well.

If it's about having the same sexual freedom as men without being required to start a family until you're ready, I can agree with that as well.

It's a medicine.  Of course it's for a medical reason.

It pisses me off because it's the assumption that the only reason women need contraception is because they're having sex--and so what if for some of them, it's true?  These people aren't saying -men- should stop having sex.  They're saying that women should accept pregnancy as a consequence of doing so.

And we're not just talking about who should pay for contraception.  We're also talking about if it's even available.  Watch that first link for Virginia all the way through.  They, and a couple of other states, as we speak are considering legislation that doesn't have anything to do with health care-- and everything to do with making birth control illegal.  I'm of the opinion that if a woman pays for her health insurance, she should be allowed access to birth control if she needs it.

I'm one of those women who pays her insurance-- and still pays $200 every year for a contraceptive because it isn't covered by my insurance.  My husband has had a vasectomy-- we're not even worried about getting pregnant.  We're worried about my bleeding out.  Last year, talking with my doctor, I had three other 'options' available to me: 1.  a hysterectomy.  At 34.  2. a medical procedure equivalent with microwaving my uterus... And not only is it a new enough procedure that they're not sure of the long term results and side effects, it has no guarantee of working.  or 3. doing nothing and hoping that when I pass out again with the next clot, I'll survive...and the next one...and the next one...all why trying to make the best of the iron deficit anemia.

I went with the non-invasive medicine.

These are decisions that will affect over half the population of America.

I'm taking it personally.  This matters to me.

I think it should matter to us all.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Mix-n-Match

I actually planned dinner tonight while driving home from school this morning.  It's the one on-top-of-things I was doing this morning.

I started my day with a 9 year old alarm clock-- because I'd apparently ignored my electronic one.  Fortunately, it was about 10 minutes to 7 so we still had plenty of time to get them ready to school (:

Well, apparently my whole, start my day an hour late thing, skipped my mind and I started my own day for school very late.  Let me say that finding parking at Troy is a very different experience if you show up 30 minutes before your class...versus if you show up -2- minutes before it.  Amazingly, I was NOT late to class (:

And I had tonight's dinner firmly in mind.

So I decided to make lima beans... from dried.  I've never made -any- beans from dried.  And I've never cared for lima beans.  But I'm trying to work around that.

So!  Tonight's dinner began with a game plan of lima beans.  And figuring out what to make with that.  That's where mix-n-match comes in.

I was thinking about the day Mom and I made pork chops.  I was also thinking about the absolutely fabulous onion rings.  So I figured I'd combine the two ideas.  Just follow the directions from the first link, but use the breading mix from the onion rings in the second link (:

And serve it all with rice.

The lima beans were delicious!

Lima Beans Janin (and her kids) Will Eat

Ingredients

1/2 lb of dried green lima beans
1 small onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic
4 slices of bacon

Directions:  Thoroughly rinse the lima beans.  Then put them in a pot with enough water to cover them plus 1 inch.  Bring it to a good boil, then cover and simmer on low.  When it's cooked for 40 minutes, cut the bacon into about 8 pieces each and lightly fry.  When it's cooked but not overly crispy, toss the bacon in with the lima beans.  Toss the diced onions and minced garlic in the bacon fat and sautee until the onions go clear.  Then toss the whole mess in with the lima beans.


I think these have also made it onto the 'regulars' list in my cooking repertoire (;

20 to 40 Minutes

One of the other things we do in life drawing, after a series of quick three minute drawings, is a couple of 20 to 40 minute drawings.  I shared the first one already.

Here are the rest, so far.

We've been trying to get comfortable with foreshortening.



You can probably tell this was the first week, second day.  I was NOT going to try doing a face at all!

For our second week:



And last week.  I'm trying to improve on hands and faces.

Below is the latest 20 minutes.


Fortunately, we were given the option of either continuing to work on it, or to choose a particular portion to work on in detail.  I went with option # 2.


I think it's a pretty good attempt.  Life drawing isn't -nearly- as scary as I thought it was going to be:  I'm getting faster!  And he gives us plenty of time (:

Three Minutes

One of the most fascinating things about life drawing are the daily 3 minute drawings.

I figure that come the end of the semester, we'll have completed between 100 and 140 of these things!

We're just about to start the fourth week, and I can already seen my own progress.

Week 1 (Or, "Ack!  How can I draw -anything- in three minutes?!?!")







Week 2 (Or, "Three minutes isn't so bad.  I think I'll try adding shading now.")





And week 3 (Or, "Lets try doing the things I'm NOT good at...hands and faces!")







(:  See?  Progress!  It makes me excited to see what they're going to look like in 16 weeks!

It's a Cowl!

I finished my knitting practice last night!

I've previously mentioned that I wasn't quite sure what it was going to be.

I realized earlier this week that it was NOT going to be scarf-- I was quickly running out of yarn...and 1. I no longer had the paper to tell me what it was called or who made it and 2.  I'd bought this yarn almost 2 years ago.  So I wasn't anticipating getting anymore.

What to do?  What to do?!?

So I decided to turn it into a cowl.

But I'm still a very new knitter, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to 1. seam the 2 edges together, and 2. join and continue them at the bottom where my head would come in.

So I crocheted.  Yeah, I'm still really new to that too, but that I can figure out easier.

So here's the final result:




It looks a little silly all by itself with me in an off white sweatshirt with a white background, but it keeps my ears warm and I wanted it to stand out and be easily viewable (;  I figure that mundanely, I'll wear it with my leather coat.  And can wear it as is for SCAdian events (:  Woohoo!  I made a two-fer!