Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Concert

Today was the kiddo's "Holiday Concert". It was interesting to see how he interacted with his mom, and how he acted when both parents were together.

This is probably only the second time all four of the "parents" (natural or chosen) were in the same room. The first time was his last birthday, in a restaurant, all five of us.

When the kiddo is with us at a restaurant, particularly when there is other adults, we are completely fine with him finding ways to entertain himself. I realize that when I was a kid, entertainment meant the back of a paper place mat and a pen out of my moms purse. For this kiddo, it means his 3DS until the battery is dead, and then either his dad's phone or my kindle fire. He kills plants and zombies, or giggles at Mario's anger at Luigi, he's even started trying to play the solitaire I always have on the front screen of any Android device. I think it's unreasonable to expect a 9 year old boy to be interested in whatever the adults at the table want to talk about. If he's asked a direct question, he answers. He puts away the game when the food comes, and he eats politely (something I've been working on is table manners). When the food is cleared and the adults keep chatting, he gets his game back out and continues collecting Mario Coins. Everyone wins. My parents would never have allowed anything like that back then, but my parents had THREE kids. Not one. Us kids would entertain ourselves together. We always had someone to talk to. This kiddo is an only child.

Having said that, and pointing out that some of my step-parenting rules are pretty relaxed, it was very strange being at a table with kiddo's mom and step-dad, who parent him in a completely different way. His step-father is a multiple felon who has spent time in prison. He goes male-ego, then corporal punishment. He's very much a "woman, go make me a sammich, and fetch me a cold beer" dude. For the kiddo, that means that being a man is the most important thing in the world. Don't cry, only pussies cry. You fell off that scary loud motor bike I bought you to show you how men play? RUB SOME DIRT IN IT. Dogs are for protecting my property, not for cuddles. Any other protection I need comes in the form of closed circuit tv cameras all over my property. I can't have a gun because I'm a felon, but I probably do anyway. And thanks to the those prison tattoos, I have hepatitis, so I scored a card so I can grow my own. Don't worry, my pit bulls will guard my grow room.

While he step father is easy to sum up in a paragraph, his mother is a bit harder for me. Don't get me wrong, I could say plenty about her. I have a lot of details that I could spew, but I have a hard time with that. I guess it's because I love the kiddo so much, and I had a less than stellar relationship with my own mother, and I don't want to think that the kiddo is going to have to deal with that as well. I can sum it up by saying that she seems happy to be "the little woman". He calls her that, in fact. I say she "seems", because I have enough experience with abuse that I recognize that sometimes, the "seeming" is what allows you to get through the day with your abuser. If she were less pushy and snotty in general, I would think that she was being submissive to avoid violence. But she is SO pushy. She pushes everyone. Kiddo, Rob, her own stepfather. She hasn't tried to push me yet, and god help her if she ever does.

So all this word salad to explain the dynamic at the table at the kiddos birthday.

Rob and I got there first. On time. They sauntered in 20 minutes late. They live five minutes from the restaurant, Rob and I live about 25. Kid sat between his dad and his step-dad. Mom sat across from him, I sat at the other end of the table, next to Rob. Step-dad ordered his mothers and his food. Rob and I each ordered our own. Rob and step-dad proceed to "shop talk", as they are in the same industry. His mom paid attention to that conversation, I looked around the restaurant. Kid is dying of boredom, and asks me for the kindle he knows I have in my purse. His mother grunts "No, we are here to visit." I did not see the kid smile again the entire night. Instead he was fidgeting and getting yelled at by his step father.

There are more details, of course. I'm having particular trouble tonight keeping my writing tight. Well, as tight as I can normally keep it, which is not very tight at all. I'm tired, and I'm stressed out, and ok, I'm going to admit it, I took an advil PM just a little while ago.

Anyway, the holiday concert was just as interesting. It was pretty much the same thing. Rob and step-dad started shop talking. His mom started talking to another mom. This time, I just went straight for the kid. We had a nice conversation, talked about what we will do tomorrow when he is here with us. He then went and started helping his teacher break down the chairs from the audience, stacking them on the carts. He didn't even have to be asked, he's a good kid.

I joined the adult conversation for a few moments, was informed by step-dad that I shouldn't worry next time if he's going to be a few minutes late getting home (we had "an episode" a few weeks ago, but I'm pretty sure that the kiddo told the story wrong. I'm pretty sure that I allegedly was upset at Rob and kiddo because I was taking kiddo home and he wasn't ready to go when it was time, but REALLY I was angry because I too was very tired and my "stomach hurt", was taking kiddo home because Rob had had less sleep than I, and I wanted to take him home so I could go to bed. All the men failed to understand that one. hmmmmm). I smiled politely and changed the subject.

On the way home, Rob taught me how to sing like the lead singer of Metallica  which was the most hilarious thing ever. He adds syllables to words. "remainssssssssssUH". We should start our own band. I can be the lead singer. We'd make SO. MUCH. MONEY.

Monday, December 3, 2012

So, yea, it's been a while.

Let's make it a list:

  1. Thanksgiving went off with a hitch. My car had to be towed to the garage for some tire problems, after dark, in the middle of no where, and the spare was flat. I really thought it was something worse at first, because the spare didn't seem to be a problem when we put it on. But then it went flat too. 
  2. I've been sick on and off. Partly the 'beetus, partly just the weather, I think. One day it's frozen outside, the next day it's 60 degrees. Have I pointed out that it's December?
  3. My father is coming over on Wednesday to take a look at our furnace. It doesn't wanna heat anything. Pilot light is on, gas is going, blower turns on....NO HEAT. This is the first time dad has seen my new house. Of course, right now, the kitchen is a freakin mess. So sometime between now and Wednesday afternoon, I gotta make it spotless. 
  4. I've been knitting socks. They make my hands hurt. Which scares the shit outta me. 
  5. I keep posting my closet purges on the Facebook Garage Sale site, and omg, it's a pretty steady flow of things leaving the house forever. YAY. I have just a small stack of clothes, and then I'm going to start the Ebay madness. Knitting mags, books, some yarn, and random odds and ends from the house. I think I have a 200 piece Coke jigsaw puzzle, even. Let's get rid of this shit. 
  6. I've been cookin' up some stuff! There's things I want to make for Giftmess treats. I'm pretty sure Rob is rubbing off on me, though. He's a last minute Christmas kinda guy. I vow that this is the last year I will be such. 
  7. I promise I will not forget this blog again. :( 

Friday, November 16, 2012

List 11/16/2012

  • My 9 year old stepson apparently has a girlfriend. I don't even know what to say about that. I have to get more details from his dad, first. 
  • I got to go hang out at the yarn shop for a bit tonight. I hadn't been there in a few MONTHS, which is some sort of a sick record for me, especially when I point out that I consider the owner an actual FRIEND of mine. 
  • Also at the yarn shop tonight? The chick that ran for the school board that I told you I voted for, and made Rob vote for, and she's a cop, and she apparently lives down the road from me, and she's SO COOL and we're gonna be facebook friends. 
  • I hit McDonald's on the way home. I only wanted some fries and a tea, but then I saw that they are doing that "seasonal cool glass for free if you buy a large value meal" so I caved. I LOVE those glasses. Last year they were coke glasses, this year they are "vintage McDonald slogans" or something. Also, bacon double cheeseburger! 
  • But then when I got home, the kid was all "Can we make the pizzas now? I waited for you". So then I felt bad. And I lied, and said I'd only gotten a tea.
  • The kid found a new show on netflix that he LOVES. It's an anime called "Sgt Frog". As far as I can tell, Sgt Frog channels Stewie a lot. I think it's a little old for him, but hey, he has a girlfriend, so yea, apparently he gets the bewb jokes. 
  • I have to clean this house tonight. I have no idea how it got to be Friday but I'm having company this weekend and I'd rather Ashley not see Robs underpants in the bathroom. 
  • We have a colony of semi-friendly feral cats living under our trailer. 
  • We also have an infestation of CAMEL CRICKETS living in our bathroom, apparently. Do not google them, they are UGLY. I call them "alien bugs". They are harmless though. Except when you die of fright when you walk into the bathroom and turn on the light and OMG WHAT THE EFF IS THAT?
  • Rob is STILL working 12 hour shifts, and he has no days off in sight. Rumor at work is that they will be working over Thanksgiving holiday too. Hello triple time, and a 12 hour shift. 
  • I miss him. I knew about this when we got together, so I cannot complain. I also told him several times that he didn't have to worry about me, because his ex-wife cheated on him when he was working shifts like this, and ended up leaving him and marrying the guy. I'm NOT that girl. I like time on my own, so this is fine. I just miss him. And I feel bad because he's the only one working, and I'm pulling no weight on the bills right now. 
  • Also he's not used to being taken care of, so he is weirded out by my constant refrain of "what can I do to help?" and "here, let me do that for you", or "what can I do to make it easier?" I lived with my father for what, five years? The entire time I was fetching and cooking and carrying and running errands for him. And yes, maybe that shouldn't have been my life, but it's what I'm used to. I get here and I feel useless, and bored. JUST FUCKING LET ME HELP. 
  • Last year I started some cactus from seed. LAST YEAR. They are now like, half the size of a dime. No kidding. Could you GROW any slower? They just got these little baby spines, and this last time I watered them, it looks like they are getting some little buds going, for the next segment. I have no idea what KIND of seeds they are, they were part of a "cactus garden" variety packet, and the other two type of seeds didn't even germinate. I have like, eight of them, in a planter, next to the window. 
  • Would it be wrong to move the entire living room furniture lay out just so my plants can have a southern expose (more sunlight) this winter?
  • Imma go knit now. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beer Bread

It's pretty rare for me to have beer just sitting around. Rare because I usually go straight for the Vodka aisle, and rare because when I drink all my vodka, I go straight for the beer in my fridge.

But lately I've seen a few of those "beer bread mix" holiday gift boxes at the local Voldemart, and wondered if this was a "thing" I've been missing.

Oh man. Was I missing it.

I saw a recipe online the other day, and saved it. And since I'm a comfort eater, and a comfort baker, and I had a rather bad day yesterday, and I slept like crud, and it was cold and not very nice out today.....Beer Bread. Really, though, I don't feel anyone should actually need a REASON for beer bread.

Check out the sweet tupperware cannisters! Vintage?
They are as old as I am, I stole them from my pops when he moved. 

Seriously, those are all the ingredients. One twist was that the recipe called for "self rising flour". Uh, I have AP flour, and I have Bread flour. So I looked up self rising flour and found this handy dandy, nifty web site where you plug in how much self rising flour the recipe calls for, and they give you the formula. It's simply AP flour, some baking powder, and salt.

There is no rise time. There is no kneading. There was no bread machine. There was only one mixing bowl, and melting some butter in the microwave.

Mmmmmm, butter!

The butter is not mixed into the dough, it's poured half into the bottom of the pan, and half on top. As you can see, I used my BEST breadpan (sarcasm).

The dough was a VERY wet and sticky bread dough, but thicker than a batter. It wasn't exactly what I expected. And with the honey added, and on top of that I used Honey Weiss beer, I was really expecting a sweet bread. Normally I'm not all that into sweet breads, but hey, I'll try anything once. Maybe twice. I don't care what rumors you've heard. I really AM that kind of girl.

About 30 seconds after this picture was taken, I could hold back no longer. 

I take really shitty photos with my shitty phone cam. But really, it was a thing of beauty. Trust me. And thank god that I took that pic before I tried to take it out of the pan, cuz once again, it stuck. I think it's me, especially in light of the fact that I dumped melted butter into the bottom of the pan before the dough.

Didn't matter, I ate all the bits that broke off. OMG. So good. And then I cut two hunks off while it was still warm, even though I told myself I'd leave it alone til it cooled more. The only place you taste the honey is on the crunchy outside, and the whole outside is crunchy. Thanks, butter. The only place you get a hint of beer is the moist lovely inside. I was worried that the beer would overwhelm everything, but it doesn't. If you really really hate beer, though, you probably wouldn't like this. If you are just not overly fond of beer, you'd probably cave and eat a whole lot of it. Also, if you are Paula Dean you'd like it, cuz.....butter.

Anyway, thought I'd share. If anyone else has made beer bread, or has recipes for beer bread, or recipes you'd like to see me try, or just wanna tell me to go fuck myself or something, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. Cuz I know ya'll are out there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


When I say I'm leaving in ten minutes, I mean that I'm leaving in ten minutes.

And I'm not going to have a 9 year old tell me to "relax" when I'm upset, not in that tone. 

So go ahead and swear as much as you want. I didn't swear once. I was ignored, disregarded, and then sworn at. AND told to "relax". 

Not cool. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I almost threw them away....

Rob works a VERY physical job. He works in an aluminum die-cast plant, making huge parts for the automotive industry. In the summer it's very hot. In the winter it's very hot. He burns himself a lot. He has yummy arms from lifting heavy parts and molds and such. He talks about things like mold screens and crucibles, and I just smile and nod. I have some experience in manufacturing, but I was a weld and laser cut quality inspector, we didn't do die-cast, so sometimes he's speaking Greek.

In addition he doesn't eat very well. I'm having a hard time a) finding things he will eat with no substitutions because he doesn't like an ingredient and b) finding the TIME for him to eat. He basically gets up an hour before he goes to work at 10:30 PM, and he doesn't want to eat as he's waking up. So I'm pretty sure he doesn't get the good stuff he needs to make his body run at 100%.

So he cramps up a lot. Sometimes at work. Sometimes when hes dead asleep. I'll hear him pounding his leg on the ground, he'll come staggering out of the bedroom blinking in the sunlight, go straight for the fridge, grab a gaterade, and stumble back to the bedroom. I've long ago learned NOT to say anything to him, because he's basically still half asleep and if you talk to him he wakes up fully and he really gets grumpy about that.

So instead I make sure that I buy things like bananas, gaterade, and his vitamins. I make sure that there is always a gaterade in the fridge, and try to feed him actual meals, instead of just "grab and go" food. I'm still working on it, there's definitely a learning curve to this. He's also pretty stubborn, and doesn't like change. Apparently my way is "change".

He's working a lot of 12's right now, so I don't see him much. Apparently the bananas don't see him much either, because for the first time ever, there were bananas on the counter that went bad! Rob loves bananas. I like them, but I probably don't "love" them. I LOVE red bananas, but those aren't exactly mainstream OR cheap, both of which is pretty much how Rob shops.

So I was about to throw them away, when a thought popped into my brain.

Banana Bread.

Of course I've heard that you COULD make banana bread from scratch, but I grew up in a very "from a box" house. I've come to this game late. And I just realized that basically EVERYTHING is on the internet. I know, duh, right? But really. EVERYTHING. IS. ON. THE. INTERNET.

So I typed in "easy banana bread". And about a thousand different recipes came up. Pancakes, muffins, fritters, frozen pops, foster, cookies, smores, ice cream, milkshakes. Seriously, people apparently love bananas, and they also forget about their bananas and they go all mushy. I AM NOT ALONE.

So I threw this shit together. Seriously. I love that I have all the stuff I need to bake something on the fly. Except I need cream of tartar for some cookies I wanna make, note to self. Anyway. I mashed up some 'nanas. Here's the recipe I used. I only needed one egg, so that was the winning recipe.

It came out seriously ugly, unlike any other bread I've ever seen before. There was no graceful bread "top". I'm sure it's something I did, like use spray to lube the pan. Also it stuck a little in the bottom, but when I sat it on a plate, one would never know. So it was probably the lube.

But OH MY GAWD was it good. And then Rob was all "eh" about Banana Bread. Yea, my dream man! More for MAMA!

Yes, I called it lube.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dirty Little Secret?

Partly inspired by my visit to my brother's house, and partly by just sheer disgustedness in myself, I've spent the last few hours doing something called "unfucking my habitat". No, this is not just another reason to show off my potty mouth, I didn't make this up. You can find it here: UFYH. It's basic premise is that real people can sometimes get messy, and here is a good way to fix it that won't be overwhelming.

I have used some of their techniques a lot, namely the 20/10 (20 minutes of unfucking, 10 minutes of break). It works SWELL. Lately it's been 20 minutes of cleaning the kitchen, and then using the 10 minutes of break to look up stuff on the internet like "how to get the burnt ring off my glass top range" on google. I don't always stick to the hard and fast 20 minutes and 10 minutes. Sometimes it's just loading the dishwasher and getting it running, then I can watch the next segment of Lark Rise to Candleford (usually about 12 minutes) on youtube, THEN get my ass up and take out the garbage and sweep the kitchen. Lather Rinse Repeat.

In fact, I am writing this blog over the course of a few of my 10 minute breaks. I'm rather proud of myself about that.

It's funny though, this whole "work hard then have a few minutes to chill" thing...we do that with the kid and his spelling lessons here at home. He's getting a B+ in his personal "hardest" subject. His dad breaks up the 20 words into 5 word mini lists, and the kid takes a "test", then he writes all the words he got wrong five times, and then he gets 5 - 10 minutes to chill and watch his cartoon. Then it's pause the cartoon and back to the next list. So apparently there's something to this.

All I know is that I just moved the microwave to the place I've wanted it since we moved in here. Then I moved the counter top ice maker to the place the microwave was, which is conveniently located next to the keurig (a.k.a the iced tea maker), which frees up the peninsula counter nicely. Once I get the all the dishes run through the dishwasher it will look pretty damn good in there. A few more 20/10s and I'm going to post a note in there:


Sunday, November 11, 2012

I just got home...

....from taking the kiddo home to his Mom. We spent basically the entire weekend together. I love him very much; much more than I thought I ever would. And mostly with just me, he's getting better. He's learning what I expect of a kid I'm in charge of, and I'm learning how to wrangle him a bit better. 

My dad has really taken a liking to him, so it's always easy to take him to my dad's house for a while. Dad lives with my brother, and I'm pretty sure I could leave the kid with those two boys and he'd be just fine. Today was "yard work". It was SO nice out, quite warm for the time of year. My brother just bought his house, and also bought himself a fancy new yard tractor, and then added the leaf-sucker-upper thing (technical term). He also has a dedicated brick ringed fire pit in a corner of the backyard. Yadda yadda yadda, I now REEK of smoke. So did the kid. So at 4:30 I realized that he was wearing his mom's jeans (i.e. the ones i have to return him in) and that the kid ALSO reeks, so I jetted the 30 minutes home, THREW him in the shower, put his jeans on the "quick wash" and then put them in the dryer by themselves. We had just enough time to consume a frozen pizza and work on spelling words for 20 minutes or so. I got him home THREE MINUTES late. 

Another reason for hanging at my dads? Everything is so easy there. My brother is very no nonsense and low drama with his home furnishings. Simple. I made the kid some hotdogs, and when I was done, you couldn't tell. I made a sandwich, and everything went into the "dirty" dishwasher. The counters never have clutter. You can always find the milk in the fridge. The kid ate at the table and I didn't have to move a bunch of shit so he had room. Like I sometimes have to here. I guess when you START from "spotless", it's easy to get back there. I don't think my house has EVER been spotless. There's clutter and it's definitely not simple. 
Sometimes when I freak out and have an anxiety attack, my brother's house is the FIRST thought in my head. GO TO BROTHER'S. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY THERE. If Rob and I get testy with each other? FUCK OFF, I'M GOING TO MY BROTHERS, I DON'T NEED THIS. Sometimes the ONLY reason I can think of to not go hide there is OMG, I DON'T WANT TO MOVE ALL MY STUFF AGAIN!!!

Also, of course, I love Rob very much. And the kid. And times like last night, when Rob's alarm went off, but I could tell he was not really waking up, so I sent the kid in there to "cuddle", and then I went in a few minutes later and we all laid on the bed together and snuggled and I was part of the family, finally. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bitch and Moan

I worked on those slippers for more than a few hours yesterday. I think it's going well, but it's not done. I will have plenty of time to continue working on them because....

Rob just got home from his overnight shift, and told me that the ONLY day next week that he does not work a 12 is Tuesday, when he works an 8 hour shift. He has no days off. At all. Until Thanksgiving. And he doesn't even know for sure that he has that day off. Have I mentioned that his father is coming into down for the Holiday? And that Thursday morning we are going to my dad's for the big meal for lunch, and then trying to get to his sisters for dessert after their big meal dinner? Fun fact, my father lives half an hour EAST of us, and his sister lives 20 minutes WEST of us, and in between that, we have to drop the kiddo off at his moms which is 30 minutes NORTH of us so that he can eat a big meal with her, and then pick him up on the way home from Rob's sister. And then his extended family is going to come to town on Saturday - a ton of aunts and uncles and cousins and such? So yea, he really sorta needs that weekend off.

The silver lining of all this working...well, the TWO silver linings are: a) I'm doing a bang up job of being a stepmom. b) this is gonna be amazing for giftmas money. On the other hand, we have no idea what the kiddo WANTS for giftmas. Last year was easy, he got a Wii. He got a 3DS for his birthday this summer. So what's left, as far as "the big present"?

Okay, so my very awesome blog post for the day was me bitching. Trust me, I held back. It could have been much worse. Sorry.

Friday, November 9, 2012

To pattern, or not to pattern....

So yesterday I just sat in my spot on the couch and crocheted. All Day. Which was apparently what I needed.

In the meantime, I sorta "designed" some slippers. And I might take that opportunity to, like, post them on Ravelry.

Which is something I've never done before. The whole posting them on Ravelry bit. I make my own stuff all the time, but I've never really ever written them up and posted them as an official PATTERN for actual other people. This time, I knew what I wanted, and there were no other patterns that even came CLOSE to what i wanted to make. Paid or free.

Basically I wanted to crochet myself some granny squares, and sew them together in such a way as to cover my feet. I've seen patterns like that before, but they've always been the sorts of granny squares where there were a lot of holes in the squares (classic granny squares). But needing warm slippers doesn't translate to having holes in the squares. I've been crocheting granny squares for over a decade, and I know there's a lot of modern granny square modified patterns that don't have a lot of holes. The second thing I remember from seeing these older patterns was that they were VERY sixties or seventies in their overall look - think orange and brown acrylic. I wanted nice contemporary granny square slippers.

So it took me a few hours to put together the first one, what with figuring out sizing and how to put the squares together to get around my foot. And when it was sewed together it looked sorta silly, a weird shape. But once it went on my foot? Oh heavenly Bob. Perfect. It's the most perfect slipper EVER. Bonus that I made it with my favorite yarn in all yarndom, squishy Malabrigo, which is 100% wool and so warm. The second slipper worked up in about an hour and a half, no kidding. Maybe less, but I was watching Nick Nickleby from the BBC, and I kept getting distracted.

So here's my conundrum  Do I put this up as a paid pattern? As I said, I've never done that before. If i did it as a free pattern, I'd fill out some info on a page on Ravelry, and then link it back to a website/blog page where i could post my pattern for everyone to use. As a free pattern, standards can be lower - I've never really written out patterns for anyone but myself, and if it's free, I have the whole "i'm new at this, be nice to me" excuse if they aren't very clear.

But if it's a paid pattern, I'd have to do things like: figure out how to link my palpal account to Ravelry, make sure the pattern is PERFECT as written, take REALLY good pictures of the finished product, figure out modifications for different sizes, fill out a LOT of Ravelry stuff that I am completely ignorant of, make the pattern a PDF file, which i have NO CLUE how to do, and probably the hardest, figure out how much i want to charge.

Slipper patterns run the full spectrum of prices, the ones that were similar in technique (but not quite what I wanted) were anywhere from 3.50 to a mind boggling 6 dollars. I have no intention of charging 6 dollars for my pattern. I don't know that I could charge 3.50 for my pattern. I probably could charge that much if it was VERY well laid out in a pdf file, with good pictures and good pattern language. I'd need to find someone to test knit it for me. If i charged 3.00 for the pattern, four sales would pay for a month of Netflix.

I have nothing else to do this weekend. I suppose I should give it a shot.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

List 11/08/12

  • Rob got his schedule last night, for next week. He's got to work 12 hour shifts through Monday. This means that I'm in charge of the Kiddo this weekend. I really wanted to go to my dad's on Saturday, but taking the kid there is not fair - he gets SO bored. 
  • We are still out of eggs
  • The house looks decent, but I still feel like I should be up and cleaning something. 
  • The Halloween candy bucket is getting REALLY low on chocolate. Sweetarts are NOT chocolate. 
  • I think winter is probably the worst season to replant houseplants, but I have two that really need it, and I'm itching to do it. 
  • Glass fronted kitchen cabinets are NOT as good of an idea as they sound. They just look messy. 
  • The no knead pizza dough that was in the fridge "turned" on me last night. I discovered that two bites in. 
  • There are no job listings online that I am suitable for. 
  • This weeks project? Putting that plastic stuff on the windows. Especially the ones in the bedroom and the master bath. 
  • Kiddos parent-teacher conference is today, Rob has to get up early to go, after only 6 hours of sleep. 
  • I feel like getting my spindle out and spinning some wool. I'm afraid it will make a mess. 
  • Thank you, Netflix, for Marilyn Monroe movies. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Today has not been a good day.

I just wrote this long, extremely pissed off ranty blog about me, and about Rob, and about...stuff. But writing it did not make feel any better, and I'm pretty sure that reading it would not have made YOU feel better, so instead, I deleted it.

What it boils down to is...this is work. this relationship that I am in. Rob admits that he is "somewhere on the spectrum". I admit that I am stubborn and set in my ways, and I have OCD like a mutha. I also don't think that Rob "gets" me sometimes. And instead of asking questions or working to make it better, he just backs off and sticks his head in the sand. Meanwhile, I start thinking about my brother's spare bedrooms...he has MANY.

I have a lot of things I'm dealing with right now. I need a job very badly. I feel like shit MOST of the time, mentally and physically. Right now I don't even have the gas in my car required to get to my brother's house, frankly. Rob doesn't see that, and I feel shitty for asking. I'm not good at admitting that I need help.

Oh, and I totally fucked up my socks that I was knitting. And we are out of eggs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A LIST, 11/06/12

  • I voted today. I waited in line for over and hour. I don't like people all that much, so this was not fun. Luckily no one was coughing on me. 
  • Today is the LAST DAY for political commercials. This is the best part of the election, serious. I'm tired of those damn commercials.
  • I missed posting yesterday, so I probably am an epic fail on the whole NoBlowhateveritis. I was sick, so I slept like, ALL DAY. I'm still not unsick today, but I feel lots better. 
  • Is there anything more delicious than a black and white movie with Edith Head listed as costume designer? No. 
  • I raided the kids Halloween candy just now. I feel like crap, so it pretty much tasted like sawdust. So I stopped eating it. 
  • The kiddo is sick, too, at his mom's house. She called yesterday to tell Rob. He was sleeping, but I woke him up. She called again just a little while ago to tell him that the fever was dropping. I wonder if  Kiddo and I have the same germs right now?
  • I offered to make cornbread for Rob with his dinner, and he said no. HE SAID NO. I think i'm crushed. He said he likes my cornbread but it's not something he should eat right before he goes to work. I don't like this answer, but I guess I accept it. I might make it anyway and just not let him eat any. 
  • I made those nutella brownies to take to my dad's house on Sunday for family dinner. My brother kept trying to trick me into admitting they were made from a box. They weren't. Nutella is one of my dad's weaknesses, and he loved them. I'm now out of nutella. 
  • I made Rob vote for one of my friends who was running for the school board simply because she's a KNITTER. Really. That's the reason I told Rob. He found this amusing, but says that he did in fact vote for her. 
  • I'm worried about my houseplants. It's cooler in here, and I'm afraid they won't make it a whole winter in the cold. On the other hand, it's not like I want to blow extra hundreds of dollars on gas for the furnace just so my plants won't die. 
  • I'm knitting more socks. Yes, I caved. 
  • I got like two bins emptied that were in the office. Baby steps. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

On wearing socks....

I knit.
I have, in the past, knit socks.

For those of you who do not knit, socks are typically knit with tiny needles and thin wool. So it takes a while. Also, you knit one sock, and then it was such a hassle, and you only have one sock, but you feel done, and you never make another one. I speak from experience. Also, it has a name: Second Sock Syndrome.

But as a knitter, there are certain standard things that a knitter must master to be considered "intermediate" or "advanced". They don't exactly publish this stuff, but it's very much part of the culture. At least it is where I am. Snobby women who vacation in our area from larger cities like Chicago come to the Local Yarn Store and turn up their noses at beginner knitters. Also crocheters. Don't get me started on the hypocrisy associated with crocheters vs knitters. (For the record, I can do both, and they both rock, in their own special ways.)

So one of those unwritten standards is Sock Knitting. Don't get me wrong, the first time you turn a heel on a sock, that's a moment. A Moment. You feel like you just cast a Patronus charm. It's magical. Summer is usually "sock knitting season", mostly because when it's warm out, you don't want a heavy wool sweater in your lap. You wanna be knitting mittens, or socks - something small, and not likely to make you sweat.

But every summer, I'm like, "eh, I don't even much like wearing socks". But then, inevitably, in November, when it turns cold out, I'm like "where the eff are all my effing socks!?!?" And then you slide them onto your feet, and they feel so yummy. And your feet are WARM. I wore a pair to take the kid trick or treating, and my feet were the ONLY part of me that was warm that night. I used to just wear them in the house, under my slippers, afraid that wearing them in shoes would mess them up or something, after all those hours of work I put into them, no way was I just gonna wear them in my tennis shoes. Oh, how quickly I changed my mind.

Three pair is all I have. Three lovely pair of wool socks. I have yarn to make more, but I just never have. And of course, now, in the season where I'm supposed to be making things for other people for Giftmas...NOW I want to run into my yarn stash and grab my sock yarn and make more socks FOR MEEEEEEEEE.

Life is so unfair.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Unchocolate "Brownies"...

I remember very few things from high school. I've sort of blocked it all out, I guess. I was Ally Sheedy's character from the Breakfast Club. Minus the dandruff.

I also went to two different high schools. In my Junior year, we moved back to the town where I'd attended Kindergarten through 5th grade. My inner Sheedy really shone through at the second, larger school where I finished high school. I was absolutely uncomfortable in that school. Hence the blocking it all out.

One of the things I do remember is lunches. Yea, you could say it was all about the food, if you really wanted to insult me. But it was way more than that. Lunch was the ONLY time I had to spend with people I really liked, and who liked me! My friend Tony that I still adore to this day? Met him at the lunch table. He's gay, I was an outcast....good times. No one appreciated us, or his fashion sense - the best friendships are founded on things such as this.

One thing I do remember is these things they called "brownies". Except they weren't brownies, they were peanut butter. Most days, I'm not very fond of peanut butter either, but for these I made an exception. So image my surprise when someone on facebook posted a recipe for them! Still no chocolate in them!


The recipe:

• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 cup butter
• ¾ cup peanut butter (creamy)
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg

Cream together everything but the flour, then slowly add the flour. Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9, and bake at 375 degrees for 15- 18 minutes. Do not overcook or the bars will be hard.

The changes I made:

I used two eggs (on accident, I read it wrong, I blame NO WINE), and here's the biggie.... I used NUTELLA instead of the peanut butter. And I sorta eyeballed the Nutella amount.

Also, yea....chocolate. But mostly hazelnut.

They actually look like brownies. They smell like heaven. They taste like baby angels singing the Hallelujah chorus. The edges are crispy, the center is fluffy. I may not give Rob any.

And hey Angie? NO BOX.

Friday, November 2, 2012

On selling out....

As I've mentioned before, we just moved. Well, a few months ago we "just" moved. The living room is pretty much put together, but in every other room, I have a LIST of things I need to get taken care of.

One of the biggest problems is the lack of space. Our new trailer has three bedrooms, so it's quite large. But we combined two complete households, and THEN my dad decided to move into my brothers, and a lot of his stuff got "inherited" over here. I was very overwhelmed by everything, so I pretty much just stacked the stuff up higher and didn't say "no".

Now I'm trying desperately to dig out of it. We really really just have too much stuff.

So I started with stuff that was directly in my face. Everyday when I opened my bulging-full walk in closet, I was confronted by the ghosts of clothes I haven't worn in forever, shoes I have never worn, and stuff I forgot I owned. I made a huge pile and started taking photographs. Those got uploaded to a site on facebook for plus sized clothing "online garage sales" and so far, I've done pretty well. Yea, one can always use the extra cash, but mostly I'm just glad I'm getting it out of my closet.

I found that I somehow ended up with some of my sister's old stuff in some of my bins of "winter clothing", and it was from before she had her gastric bypass surgery, so they are, um, in a word, HUGE. Some of the rest are clothes that I actually no longer fit, which makes me VERY happy. Except for the jeans. I'm basically down to two pairs of jeans that "fit me", and really, they only fit me when they are straight out of the dryer and are shrunken a little. If i try to wear them that second day, they are so loose that I really could take them off without unbuttoning them. I'm not complaining, I'm just nervous about being able to afford really nice new jeans. If I can find my belt, I can probably get through another few months.

I add a few things to the facebook site every day, and after I get a little further down my pile, I'm going to start in on the spare bedroom. This is sort of panic inducing for me. There's really a lot of stuff in there, including a lot of yarn. A LOT of yarn. It's a small room, and I need to eventually put a bed in there. Hah, I say eventually, when really, I need a bed in there ASAP. And then my own bedroom needs to look more like a bedroom and less like half a bedroom and half dumping ground. And with poor Rob working so many 12's, it's really up to me, and no excuses should be made.

Okay, I should probably get off my butt and get to purging. If I'm not heard from in 24 hours, send in the rescue squad.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On getting my cut of the candy...

We took the kiddo trick or treating last night. He was a character from a cartoon called Dragonball, and basically no one had any clue who he was.

He told me he wanted to be a character called Gohan. He had to explain to me who that was, but his dad knew. His father being the King of a place called Last Minute Land, I volunteered to take the kid shopping for his costume last Friday. We first went to one of those Halloween stores, with all the costumes and such, and even though I warned the kid that they probably wouldn't have a Gohan costume, he was still disappointed when the girl looked at us funny and said "who?". They did end up having SOME anime costumes, just not a Gohan, and nothing from Dragonball. So Plan B it was.

What did we ever do before smartphones? I did a quick google search and came up with a picture of Gohan. Before we left, we headed over to the wig section of the store, and I grabbed a spikey brown wig. When he'd left our house last, he had actual hair, brown. We were planning on just spiking his hair up, but his mother apparently had other ideas, and she shaved it all off! Wig = 10$. Then the kiddo informed me that he had to have a TAIL. Apparently, in part of the cartoon this character has a tail, like a cat. Okay. Tail = 5$. Then off to walmart, where we grabbed a navy blue pair of sweat pants and a matching blue t-shirt = 9$. But he really need a pair of "around the house pants" anyway, so they are worth every penny. I ended up buying an extra t-shirt, red. I cut the bottom off to make that red "belt" and then cut off the short sleeves to make the  cuffs.

Apparently I'm the coolest sortastepmom on the PLANET! This is the best picture I could get...

We went to a Halloween event on Sunday, and he got SOME candy. It was warmer, we had ice cream cones, it was fun. LAST night, omg, it was cold, it was rainy, it was miserable. We went to his great-grandparents house (Robs Grandparents, the most ADORABLE old people ever, I LOVE them) because they have a much better neighborhood than we do. And we walked around while the kid darted from house to house. I kept joking with him that he better go get me some good candy, and he kept saying things like "No, I'm doing all the work here" and he was SERIOUS.

Uh, no little dude. I put that costume together, your father paid for it, I drove you in my car to this neighborhood, and your dad and I are standing here in the cold so you can get candy. I'M EATING SOME.  That's just the way it is.

Also of note, filed under "I told you so"....NO ONE knew who he was. Out of the two days, boys of about the same age were like "GOHAN!" Bu at every house we went to, someone asked. There were some "are you a lion?" He got a few "rockstars", but mostly it was "who are you supposed to be?" AND HE HATED IT. Once, when I giggled a little at his indignant reaction, he turned to me and said "OK, JENN, I don't need your comments right now" like a TEENAGER. Oh, god help us. That right there is gonna cost him at LEAST some milk duds.

And then I asked him, "What are you going to be next year?" and he said "GOHAN!" So apparently he didn't learn his lesson.

On the way home from Candy Grabbing, we had to drop him back off at his mom's, and he really thought he was taking his bag of candy home to her house. UH, no. Instead we did a quick check of some of it, he picked the cream of the crop, Great Gramma gave him a zipbaggie, and he took home SOME of the candy. I just now put all the rest in a big bowl in our living room. I haven't eaten any of it yet, but chances are good that I'll be picking through it later tonight. Rob took off a few days so he's home tonight, and we are going to catch up on Dexter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On being cold....

I'm known to not like heat. I had an ex who would construct fanciful stories to share with the small children in his extended family about how I kept penguins in our bedroom, and the hi jinx they'd get up to. There were ice slides and raw fish and the training techniques of our young pets.

The problem is, he wasn't far off. When I lived with my father, we had base-board heaters, and in the winter, mine was never on. The rest of the house would be suffocatingly hot, my room was wonderfully cool. It was easy then, there was no shared space. I could decide whatever temp I preferred.

We moved into this house about three months ago. We bought it, but it's a trailer, and we bought it "as is" inspections. I'm decently handy, as is Rob, so we did a cursory look over at  most of it, and it didn't seem so bad. It's also so cheap that honestly, if nothing worked, I wouldn't be all that surprised. So far, both hoses that go into the back of the washing machine appear to be "hot". The toilet in my master bathroom doesn't flush all that well, and the shower in the main bathroom appears to need some work. But the biggest problem so far? Furnace doesn't work. It turns on, pilot light is going, no heat comes out of the vents.

Now, if I'm decently handy, my father is the fix-it guy. Yea, he's disabled, but really, I'm used to being him being the brains and either myself or my brother being the brawn. All i need is him to come tell me how to fix it. He is also the first call whenever anything goes wrong. So when I described the problem, he was all "oh, that's the thermal coupler, that's an easy fix". That was two weeks ago.

The last few days, it's been COLD here. And dreary, thanks to hurricane Sandy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I recognize that we are really lucky that all that we got was the dreary. Rob likes it WARM. We have one space heater and he's planning on going this weekend to get two more, one for our bedroom and one for the kid's bedroom. We have a blanket on the couch, we have my down comforter on our bed. He's always saying he's cold. My response is usually to point out that he works in a foundry, and EVERYPLACE is cold compared to that.

But this morning, I was so cold after I got up that I went back into the bedroom, got my fuzzy pajama pants, my hand knitted wool socks, and a long sleeve t-shirt. Then I went BACK into the bedroom and got my electric heated throw blanket. Then I turned on the space heater in the living room. And I was STILL freezing. I didn't feel warm for at least an hour.

So my only conclusion is that I'm coming down with something. And yes, a few hours later, I notice that my throat hurts. I think I need to call my dad again and whine about being cold......

Monday, October 29, 2012


I need to preface this post by admitting something.

I'm not overly fond of chocolate.

Especially chocolate CAKE. Given the choice between chocolate cake and eating vegetables, I'd pick the vegetables, any day. I don't know why, exactly. Most chocolate cakes seem dry to me. I really don't get it, honestly. I've never had a really GOOD chocolate cake. On the flip side, I'd cut a bitch for a good piece of lemon, yellow, or strawberry cake. CUT. A. BITCH.

Now, let me veer slightly off topic for a moment. It will all end up making sense, trust me. Holidays are not fussy in our family. As kids, we definitely looked forward to Giftmas, but my family has very few hard and fast traditions that we stick to. We aren't church folk, although I do remember a creche in fine bone china and a less than rustic wooden stable that my mother would set up on a table in the living room by the tree. Our holidays were mostly about FOOD, with a hefty serving of football (Da Bears), and a lot of lazing around the house. Especially as we grew older.

And there again, my family is not the typical Norman Rockwell holiday meal painting either. My FATHER was the cook in our house. Especially anything related to a turkey. Oyster dressing, green bean casserole, a ginormous turkey, a vat of mashed potatoes, another vat of homemade turkey gravy...these are the delicious memories I have of the holidays. These are the traditions that we carry forward. My brother and I, strict disciples of my father's kitchen ways, are hell bent on continuing these lovely meals, even as my father's interest has waned, probably because of low energy levels as he becomes more and more disabled.

My brother works management in retail, however, at a large international chain that is a huge draw on "black friday's", and we have therefor had to adapt our Thankfoodsgiving tradition to accommodate him. I'm glad to do it. I know that it's way more fun to cook WITH my brother, and he's a whole hell of a lot more fun after the stress of one of the busiest shopping days is behind him. In past years, I've had most of it ready, and when he comes over on Saturday or Sunday, we get down with the eating. This year, the meal will be at his house, and I plan on going over there early to start the turkey at his house, and prepping as much as i can here at my house.

Trying to find my own niche in the mastery of this holiday meal, I've started trying to come up with some desserts that I can make to wow my family. Past years have involved cheesecakes and pecan pies. I've had some mixed results, honestly. One of the things I've realized is that practice makes perfect. So this year I plan to do just that. Practice.

Today was trial run ONE, something called a wacky cake. Several online friends have pointed me to this recipe, raving about the simplicity/yummy ratio. I was hesitant immediately. CHOCOLATE.

Apparently, this is a cake made during WWII, with few and simple ingredients, and with NO EGGS, something hard to find for many a mother desperate for chocolate, for cake, and for giving their kids something good for tea. That part of the story appealed to me immediately, even over my whole dislike for the main ingredient.

Here is the recipe that I used, although I admit that I doubled the cocoa, on the advise of a friend. Also, knowing that Rob really likes chocolate cake, he deserves a treat. He's been working a LOT of 12 hour shifts, and he's tired and grumpy and short tempered. It WAS very easy to put together. It makes a rather small cake, only 8x8, so that is something for me to consider for the holiday. It bakes rather quickly, and it looks very impressive coming out of the oven, all risen and chocolatey. I did the whole toothpick to check for doneness thing, and while it passed at that time, after I cut into it, it was still not done in spots, which was disappointing.

I sprinkled some powdered sugar on the top, as suggested, although if I make it again, I'll probably frost it, or do something with melted chocolate or cherries.

Taste wise, I wasn't completely impressed, but I think I missed the frosting. But you have to remember, I don't like chocolate cake. It was okay for chocolate cake. Which might just translate into AMAZING chocolate cake to a chocolate lover. I'm sure Rob will have an opinion, and I might update after he gets home from work and has some.

I do think that it has possibilities, though. It was amazingly cheap, quick, not from a box, and easy to make. I bet the Kiddo would REALLY dig it, and I could let him lick the bowl without having one bit of guilt about raw egg in the mix.

Next up I plan on auditioning a version of a Victoria Sponge. I specified VERSION because I know that it won't be spot on, and I plan on messing with it a bit, and I don't want any crap from anyone about it. I'm an American, after all.


My World

Welcome to it.

So, a few things I should get out in the open, first thing...

1. I tend to ramble. A. Lot.
2. I can be very random. One day I'll post about knitting, the next about heavy metal music, the next about weather, and the next about cooking.
3. Due to the two above, I have no actual direction planned for this blog. Continue at your own peril.
4. I was motivated to start this for NaBloPoMo 2012, but I have really always loved being long winded and random, and have had blogs before, and am hoping to get back into the habit.

So, as long as I'm making lists (I really love lists, too) I should make another one, and maybe give you some background info on me.

1. I live in the Midwest. That's the USA, for those lucky enough to be "international". Upper Midwest if you want to get technical, but that's probably as specific as I'll get about location. I'm sure that some of my potential readers know me personally, and they will know exactly where I am.
2. I have a large, but complicated family history. This comes into play mostly during holidays and such. My family fractured: father, brother, myself in one direction, my mother and sister in another. On top of that, there were several complicated relationships with Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles, and some of those continue to this day, in my Adulthood. Some of the situations fill me with regret, some of them fill me with anger, most of them have yet to be resolved. I don't know how different this is than anyone else on this planet, I can only speak for myself and my situation. I can only tell you that several people in positions to make comparisons have stated that my family is an absolute mess. My mother and I do not speak, same with my sister and myself. I will not speak OF them in recent terms in this blog, and for the record, most of my "wish to remain anonymous" is directly related to them and this situation.
3.  I am currently in a relationship with Rob. We own a trailer and live together. He was married previously and has a son, who we see very often; officially we have him every other weekend, and every week Wednesday and Friday, but we usually have him much more than that. I really like the kid, and I think that Rob is a great dad. I have issues with the kid's mom, but mostly I keep them to myself. I'm hoping to use this blog to vent a little, once in a while. I understand that I need to keep a good relationship with her, but sometimes, you just need to vent in a safe place. For anyone keeping track, Kiddo is a 9 year old. He's totally into Dragonball, Pokemon, Riding his Bike, and watching Family Guy. He prefers my homemade pizza to just about any meal ever, but when we go out to eat, he prefers Subway, or anyplace he can score Chicken Strips and Fries.
4. My father lives with my brother. He and I used to be roommates, but when I moved in with Rob, he moved in with my brother. My brother has just bought a house, and it's very nice. It's a good situation for my dad. He has trouble with steps, and there is literally two steps to get into the house, and everything dad needs is on the first floor, including the laundry. He now lives closer to the specialist doctors he used to make long trips to visit. I see them pretty often, it's a lot easier for me to just go and "hang out" now.
5. I love yarn. I'm tri-craftual, which is a word that makes me giggle. I knit and crochet. I can sew decently, but currently don't have a machine. I don't remember a time when I did not know how to sew or crochet. Knitting was a more recent thing, and even then, I've been doing it for probably over ten years. I don't consider myself an expert, but I do think I'm pretty good at it. I don't get to do as much of it as I'd like, or as much as those around me that would like me to make them things would like, either. I'll get into kicks where I make things just to learn a new technique, or just to prove that I can, and end up with an object that is not something that I'd wear or use. Sometimes it's just about the challenge.
6. I have a few medical issues. I am recently diagnosed as a Diabetic, which is not something that most of even my friends know about. I'm not insulin dependent. I'm rather in a sort of denial about it, still. I am taking medication for it, and right away, I could tell the difference. I can focus much better, I recognized times where my sugar was high, and the effects of that on my body. My father is diabetic. A lot of members of my mother's family where/are diabetic. I recognize also, that it's my own fault. I am overweight, for example. I don't eat all that well sometimes. I'm not sugar crazy, but I am carb crazy, and that's pretty much just as bad. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, neither of which I'm treating right now, chemically or medically. I'm sure I will discus those a lot more in the future.
7. I am Agnostic. If you don't know what that word is, go look it up, because frankly, I'm really tired of explaining it to people. I'll tell you what it's NOT: satanic, atheist, or an organized religion. I am not religious, but I am spiritual. I tend to get irritated by anyone who says they will pray for me, or anyone who "blesses" me in a overly condescending way. There are a few people who can get away with it, but not many, and definitely not someone I've just met. I grew up Lutheran, in a very conservative private school. I know the bible front and back. I know all the arguments that the super religious use to feel smug and superior. I also know amazing and open people who go to church and use their powers for the good of human kind. I salute that variety of the god-fearing. I just don't feel the need to joint them.
8. Politics. Uh oh, here it comes. I grew up hard line conservative Republican, and I considered myself one for many many years. But with age comes knowledge. IF I was going to define myself (something i loathe doing in any situation) I would probably define myself as a liberal republican. I have a lot of issues with both major political parties, but i have probably have more issues with Democrats. Instead of labeling myself, I'd rather just tell you where I stand on some major issues:

  • Gay(in the general sense): I am not gay. I sorta wish I was, sometimes. I think that everyone should be allowed to: marry, have kids, adopt kids, share insurance, share rights of survivorship. I think that this is a civil rights issue, and we all know what happened in the past with civil rights issues....I just wish it weren't such a long and arduous fight for people that I love, people I am friends with, people who deserve the same rights as I currently take for granted. 
  • Fetuses (also in the general sense): I was once a fetus, I'm really grateful that my mother carried me to term. I have been pregnant, I have not carried to full term, against my specific wishes. Again with the labeling: I'm pro-life. I am also REALISTIC. Women aborting fetuses does not make me happy, but there's not much I can realistically do about it. Make it illegal, and it's still not going to stop. I have no issues with women who were raped getting abortions, although I wish they would/could have taken Plan B instead. Basically I just wish there was LESS abortions, and more birth control. Abortion is not birth control, in a moral sense. How much is an abortion these days? How much is a condom. Or the bill, or an IUD, or a vasectomy? I know accidents happen, and that's why I'm not completely anti-abortion. I recognize that my stance does not fit into EITHER one of the major political parties. I consider it just common sense. 
  • Government (again, general sense): Get the fuck out of my life. Leave me to live, pursue happiness, etc. I'm definitely for smaller government. 
  • Guns: yes please. 
  • Drugs (of the illegal variety): if it came out of the ground, it's probably okay. If it came out of a lab (or an RV mobile meth lab, I'm looking at you Heisenberg) I don't think I want it in my life. I'm all for legalizing marijuana, as long as it's regulated. I'm even okay with it being taxed, too, to help pay for the regulation. To cover my ass, I do not currently indulge in anything harder than an occasional bottle of wine, but there have been times in my life where i needed the refuge of numbness, and I found it growing in the ground. 
I think that about sums it up. Generally I'm laid back in most things. 

Yea, I told you I ramble. Good God. 

More tomorrow.......