Archive for ‘family’

July 25, 2015

At a loss

I need help. Serious help.

Little Cat Z is like her mommy in a lot of ways. One of them being that she overeats. In particular, she sneaks food. (She’s ten years old, and I think she’s 120 pounds, and probably not five feet tall yet.) She’s also got my body type: skinny legs, big belly, a type 2 diabetes dream.

I’m not putting her on a diet. I refuse to put her on a diet. She’s ten, for fuck’s sake. I started getting put on diets when I was nine (thanks to the doctor). It did absolutely nothing for my weight, and ruined my self-image, adding to my weight problem, I’m sure.

For a long time, I got mad when I’d catch her, or find the evidence after the fact, and I’d yell. I’m so worried about her having self-esteem and health problems that I’d just lose it. (My mom never did that to me. I think I thought that if I was more serious about it, it would impress her more?) After I calmed down, I’d try explaining to her that the problem wasn’t so much that she was eating, as what she was eating (she doesn’t sneak veggies, in fact, until I moved the sugar bowl out of her reach, she was eating sugar straight from it), and the fact that she was sneaking it, which was like stealing. I’d tell her that before she took something, she should ask herself if it was hers to take, or if she should ask.

Naturally, the freaking out and yelling didn’t help anything. I decided that if the big problem was that she was sneaking food, I’d tell her that if she wanted a(nother) snack, all she had to do was ask. I don’t know if that just hasn’t sunk in yet, but she never asks for an extra snack. And she still sneaks food. Candy and cookies type food. So still, the problem isn’t so much that she’s eating, but what she’s eating, and the fact that she’s taking stuff she knows isn’t for her, or at least not for snacking.

Then tonight, I picked the good spouse up from work, and we came home. When we got here, around midnight, someone was in the bathroom. It was Little Cat Z. When she came out of the bathroom, she had a mouth full of something. Turns out it was Extra Strength Tums. I opened that bottle about a month ago. The other day my stomach was upset, and I popped a couple, noticing that the good spouse must have been having real trouble, since the bottle was over half-empty. Nope. It’s been Little Cat Z, sneaking medicine. And not particularly candy-like (although it is the fruity kind) medicine.

I’m at my wits’ end. Am I going to have to move the refrigerator, and all the food from the kitchen cabinets, and all the medications that might be almost candy-like (cough syrup, chewable vitamins, chewable pain-killers, antacids) into the pantry, and put a padlock on it?

I should add that Little Cat Z has some learning disabilities. She’s “graduated” from Early Childhood Education, and she’s doing well in school (she’s one year behind), but her thought processes still sometimes seem a little different from most people’s.

I know I need to work on my own bad habits, and having less sweets in the house would help, too, but she’s sneaking Tums. There are snack crackers and potato chips in the pantry, but obviously this isn’t about being hungry. Am I too late? Is she already a compulsive eater?

I could really, really use some good advice, if someone has any to give.

August 24, 2012

Hey, good-lookin’, what ya got cookin’?

(Another post I can scratch off my mental to-do list.)

I am not a great cook. I’m not a bad cook, either. I just have a limited repertoire. This is largely due to the fact that I’m an insanely picky eater (although I’m a lot better than I was before I got married), and I don’t do a lot of cooking-things-that-I-don’t-eat. I’m trying to work up my courage to make tacos for everyone else. Not for me, because one of those things I don’t eat? Is meat. No, I’m not a vegetarian. I just don’t eat meat. Don’t ask. It’s complicated.

But, one thing that I’ve got down pretty good is chili pie. Which is also something that you wouldn’t have gotten me to even try fifteen years ago.

We bought a can of Westbrae Natural Golden Corn many years ago, and there was a recipe on the back of the label for, you guessed it, chili pie. I think the good spouse made it once as it was written, and then started experimenting with it. Here’s what he came up with:

3 large eggs
1/2 can creamed corn (all cans are 14.5 oz. cans)
1 can whole corn, drained
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c margarine, softened
1 sm. white onion, diced
1 4 oz. can green chiles, diced (we actually use crushed red chiles, but I think diced green are easier to find)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound grated authentic Mexican cheese blend (Colby Jack works, also, or even cheddar, but I like using Queso Quesadilla, Asadero, Manchego, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 3-qt. casserole. Break the eggs into the casserole and beat. Add creamed corn, whole corn, and corn meal; mix well. Mash margarine into corn mixture. Add onion, tomatoes, chiles; mix well. Add sour cream, cheese, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Sprinkle paprika over the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until it’s firm in the center. Remove from oven; let sit for ten minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream on the side.

This feeds the six of us, sometimes with nothing left over. Everyone really likes it. I need to start making a salad to go with it, or something (refried beans, maybe?), although that would make it no longer a one-dish meal. It’s great reheated, or even cold, when there is anything left. Also, it’s a pretty flexible recipe. If you try it and make any changes that you think work really well, please let me know!

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June 29, 2012

The State of the Knitting

I’m making a pair of Paraphernalia socks (Ravelry link). I finally got really started on them around the 16th. Last Friday, the good spouse bet me $19.05 that I couldn’t finish them by the time we left my mother-in-law’s house on Monday. I wasn’t yet finished with the first sock. I took the bet. I might have made it, even, except my cousin died, and her funeral was on Monday, and that took precedence. But, I figured I could at least get them done in time to turn them in for Nerd Wars last night. But then it became an everything that can go wrong, will situation. So, I am not yet finished with them, but I feel pretty confident that I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks, if I put my mind to it (at least, a pair of socks with no colorwork), and I will have them done by the real deadline, which is someone’s birthday.

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My pattern didn’t get into the Knit Picks Late Winter/Early Spring collection. Which just means I have to finish it so I can submit it to Knitty for the Spring & Summer issue next year. The sooner I get it done, the more likely that I can take season-appropriate pictures, but submissions aren’t due until January 2, so I’ve got time. Just so I don’t keep saying that and don’t get it finished.

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I am doing a dissertation for Nerd Wars this tournament, and it is a design that I’m working on for the Design Along group. At first, I was working with the idea of Medusa, and her snakes. I wanted to do a cowl on the bias, but the Medusa angle (heh) wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and I moved from there to the Midgard Serpent, and from there to Yggdrasil and Nidhogg. So I added leaves to the bottom of the cowl. This is what I came up with for my first sketch:

Cowl sketch #1

The clown colors are what I thought I was going to use, because I had it on hand. Then I did a little swatching, and found more yarn, and came up with this:

Cowl sketch #2

The proportions are off, but the colors are a little less clownish.

Then I kept thinking about it, and realized that the number of leaves was the same as the number of tails on the oldest and wisest foxes in Japanese folklore (Kitsune grow more tails as they age, to an apparent maximum of nine), and decided those weren’t leaves after all.

Cowl sketch #3

I’m still working with the pinks and green, because I have them, but I think a combination of reddish-oranges and browns would be perfect.

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Twist Collective has a call for submissions out for their Spring/Summer 2013 issue, and I’ve got an idea that I think would be good for that, too. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for at least a year, but this might be the kick in the pants that gets me doing more than doodling and thinking.

March 2, 2012

Archie Comics: the Controversy

And I’m not talking about the ill-fated revamping of Betty and Veronica.

The group One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, is trying to get Toys ‘R Us to remove Life with Archie #16 from their shelves, because it depicts gay marriage in a positive, non-threatening light. Of course, according to that blog post I linked there, they’re out of luck, since the issue sold out.

I’m not really a big Archie fan, but maybe I should be.

I really like the response from the team at Gutters.

October 23, 2011

In Loving Memory

When I finally finished the D4 Bag of Dice Holding, my mom told me she was very proud of me for doing it. In her memory, I’m offering a half-off sale on the pattern, through Ravelry. Just enter the coupon code “lovemom.”

I’m also trying to think of something I can design for her. I have to decide what she would have liked. Something for her? Something she’d like to knit for someone else? She was very proud of her Swedish heritage, but I don’t think I’m up to doing something Bohus style! And I haven’t tried tvåändsstickning yet, but maybe this is the impetus I need to do it. I actually had a pattern idea several years ago that I might resurrect now, something with some traditional Swedish motifs. We’ll see what happens.

October 16, 2011

It was time to go

We took Mom off of the respirator and the vasoconstrictor she was on around 5:00 tonight, and she was gone in less than twenty minutes. It was a hard decision to make, even knowing that she didn’t want to be kept alive by machines, but since she went so easily and quickly, we’re sure it was the right one.

Thank you for all your kind words and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

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October 15, 2011

A very sad day.

My mom is in the hospital. She is, as they say, gravely ill. Basically, any minute, I could get a call from my sister saying that she’s gone.

Mom is 82. She raised ten kids (four from my dad’s first marriage, the rest her own). She has sixteen grandkids (I think I’ve counted right), and I don’t know how many great-grandkids.

She taught me how to knit and crochet (even though she really didn’t like crochet, herself). She taught me how to bake.

She told me last week that I’m her favorite.

In fifteen days, it will have been six years since my dad died.

Maybe she’ll pull through. It seems unlikely, but, maybe.

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