Tuesday, September 30, 2008

k-brow: in which Facebook has me drinking nettles

I've been spending a lot of time messing around on Facebook, a phenom I attribute to DisKnit, and ALL my other VA friends, who've seemed to join en masse, thus tempting me to while away my hours writing on everybody's walls. Most of this facebooking has been fritterlicious, but a couple of useful things have come out of it. One, finding out that my best friend from high school is a huge Sarah Palin fan. Not such happymaking news, that. But we've been pretty committed to staying out of judging each others' politics; we both are well aware of why we took our separate politico-spiritual paths. The other result of all this internetterie is an ongoing middle-age-lady-health discussion I am having with a college friend, Nancy, who has recently taken up the Susun Weed doctrine of nourishing herbal infusions and herbal allies. Nancy was making and drinking daily doses of nettle tea, and had a friend who swore by this, as a means of raising energy levels, and general feelings of well-being. Now I've been a fan of Susun's, myself, and like her writings, which come to me in a little monthly e-zine. So I decided to join Nancy in her experiment in nettle brewing. I've drunk infusions of raspberry leaf and red clover before, but not for long periods of time; just a cup or two, here and there. Our experiment is going to be a month long, through which we'll note any results.

I ordered the nettle leaf from Mountain Rose Herbs (no link because I'm lazy - go google it yourself) and got 1/2 lb. for about $8, which may or may not last me a month.

I brew it up at night, a quart at a time: that's a quart of water, boiled, with a handful of the leaf tossed in. Covered and left to infuse all night at room temperature, then strained and refrigerated in the morning.

It's a beautiful bottle green that just doesn't show up in these pix. I mean to photo it in the sun, but we've had no sun to speak of, or at least when I am at liberty to take pictures.

It doesn't taste bad. I've been drinking about 3 cups of the stuff a day; it has a nice green taste. I don't sweeten it, but I read somewhere that one can add honey, or go the other route and use it as a base for a bit of miso paste.

Yum. We love the precious nettle elixir.
Of course this test is also coming at a time when I'm taking feverfew and magnesium supplements for the migraine madness, so the study isn't exactly scientific, but I'm told it can improve sleep, and can also diminish some aches and pains in the joints. I know nettles are very high in vitamin C and calcium.

In other news, I finished knitting all the parts of Minimalist. Which turned out to be a sort of nettle green. I need to stitch them together, a task which, thus far, I have not worked up to. I started a sock, but it just seemed like too much work, too many tiny little stitches, so I frogged it. I'm itching to start something, but suppose I'll just apply myself to the continued chugging along on the UFO pile. Next up; finishing the Must Have, which lacks 2 sleeves from being done. Aran sleeves seem awfully long when you're looking at finishing 2 of them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

DisKnit: Nine minutes and Nine things

1. Pasta on for my homemade pesto sauce, first cooking in days. So it is the limit on my posting.
2. Legs has over 19 mosquitoes bites from chatting with the neighbor. Apparently the mayor didn't want to spray for larvae this year, so it is quite amazing.
3. Crafty Bastards is tomorrow and Kim is not going to be here for my first time since I returned to Washington.
4. I am demoing knitting and crocheting for Craft Mutiny tomorrow and am mostly worrying about what to wear.
5. The condo rat project has started. The holly tree is in pieces, the back area shrubs are gone. Rats are displaced and hopefully finding new homes.
6. Carrie Fisher's show, Wishful Drinking, is good and funny and if it comes to your area you should see it.
7. I finally have an interview for a promotion after 4 months of waiting on the short list.
8. I might go to Portland for thanksgiving.
9. I might have time for some pictures of fall things and the tree project and knitting if the buzzer doesn't go off.
Not very late night photos:
The Tree is Gone
The Mum's are in the Windows.
The Lovely Solitude Wool Scarf is ready for Winter

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

k-brow: right action, right thought

Spice, spice, baby. I love these colors, sambal oelek, and chinese mustard from our dim sum lunch the other week.

Fall is here. Even here in Nuuanu, which is as verdantly green as ever. But there's been a delicate nip to the air the past couple of days, and the vog has blown off. It just feels fresher. This time always catches me by surprise; I find myself looking for fall leaves, and instead smelling ripening guavas on the trees in my neighborhood. Dissonance aside, I'm happy.

The mojo, it is gone. I'm suffering a bout of tendinitis, in both wrists (it seems to alternate) and along with the little twinges, totally lack the desire and drive to knit. I do a row or two a night on the Chevron Scarf, or one of Minimalist's sleeves, and call it done. I am spindling, though. Probably what's triggering the aches and pains in my wrists, but I'm compelled to do it anyway. I spun up the rest of the yummy cafe latte colonial that I got from Ms. Opal, over a year ago, and am plying it with some of the Devil's Own yarn, in hopes that it might make more than the sum of its parts. Meh. But fun, nevertheless. Was wondering what I wanted to do with my yarn, since I have an ample stash and am none too pleased with my spinning. I think I will always be a pretend spinner. I voiced this to Opal and Arianna the other week and I got the chorus of "Oh keep your handspun, your early spinning!" And so I will. At some point, I'll be able to look at it, and hopefully see where I've improved.

The 5th graders' honeymoon is over. It's all hormones and attitudes, now. Stink-eye, rolled eyes or teary eyes. I'm told, by wiser upper-grade teachers than I, that "oh that's 5th grade for you." Drama, drama, drama. I pretty much treat behavior and social relations as another subject in the curriculum. But it takes its toll. My friend Clary and I used to joke about wanting to just yell at kids and adults "Just act right, dammit!" Funny. I still want to yell that.

I share this link with you, to what I consider to be a progressive, levelheaded, sanity-saving take on the upcoming Big Decision For Our Nation: Lunaea Weatherstone is a priestess, teacher and artist, who keeps a blog, commenting on the spiritual and the mundane. I've fallen prey, recently, to that fear and obsession over the current political situation, and appreciate the chance to stop and reframe some of where it's coming from. At work, the other day, the Techie and I were talking about how quickly we give away our power sometimes, especially when that power flows from a place of hopefulness. I don't want to drown in my fears and misgivings about the McCain-Palin ticket, and the current media field day. I think it's time to just not go there; focus on what work I can do for the upcoming election. To that end, I'm participating in some phone banking work over on the Windward side, for the local elections. I'm also going to take Lunaea's advice on putting my energy, prayers and workings into hopes for change.

Beyond that, little mojo. Cooking. Teaching. Surviving. One. step. at. a. time. I feel the temptation for a hiatus, but wonder if I called one, if I'd ever come back?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

k-brow: King Corn fights back, and a pitiful whine about the weather

Well now this is something new....

via videosift.com
Guess Big Corn is fighting back.

Spent yesterday at a union training at Dole Cannery. Good stuff, mostly interesting, about Hawaii's history of teachers' unions, and strikes, and our upcoming contract negotiations, which are sure to be exciting, given that we're already at loggerheads with the guv'mint over drug testing (a feature of our current contract - please don't discuss with me how my coworkers voted THAT in) amongst other things. The food at the training was good. Tons of fresh fruit and buttery little pastries at breakfast, and the BEST grilled tofu in a salad, at lunch. Back home, walked dogs with the help and company of P, and then had a weirdly gratifying mac n' cheese dinner with leftover grilled sausages. Knitted and watched the Food Network for hours afterward, which is where I saw that crazy pro-corn syrup commercial.

I have too much to do today, most of it on the domestic front, and some of it should be at school.

To DisKnit: I envy your storms and changeable weather, with all my heart. The pleasant sameness of the weather here is one of the things that grinds me down here in Hawaii. Now there's no way to say this without sounding like a complete ingrate, but you regular readers are long-accustomed to my whingeing about how life in HI ain't paradise. As a woman who is obsessed with the weather, I say 365 days a year of sunny, breezy with a soft morning rain, and one that comes at 5pm each day, and a temperature that usually hovers around 84 degrees is damned monotonous. Now I don't want to invoke another 43 days of steady rain, which happened my first winter here with all this complaining, but the weather is boring me to tears right now. I'm sure that Moon would chime in here with the same pitiful whinge. It's hard to grow up in a land of seasonal change and then do without it. I think it contributes to that vaguely ungrounded state I find myself in, more often than not, here. In VA, I always felt anchored to the rhythms of earth, maybe because it was the geography of my childhood. I know that I read the same longing for the landscape of the familiar in Mokihana's writing, even as she lives in rural Oregon, getting all the seasonal change she can stand, LOL.

Time to get movin'. Gonna clean out my nasty car, and do some laundry.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

DisKnit: Surrounded by Hanna the storm

I'm nursing a cold picked up during the end of my 10 day jaunt to California. Fortunately, there is no desire to go outside since DC is covered with the rain and wind of the tropical storm Hanna. Curtis the dog would probably like me to be less lethargic. And I would like to be knitting but I can't seem to be properly worked up about it. Perhaps taking the equivalent of Nyquil all day has something to do with that.

As usual the combination of mixing work with pleasure while traveling had its ups and downs. It was great to be selective in Sacramento and see only three sets of friends. One set has a new dog (a younger sister for Ana who used to play with both Ella and Curtis). Another set, a new baby. The other, enough work. Mostly people seemed good there, and I loved walking through my former neighborhood. It is hard to answer the question of when will I move back since I'm not sure if the answer is ever. I wouldn't go back to my old job and the allure of the salary at the job here is very strong. But Curtis Park is definitely my favorite place I've ever lived.

After Sacramento, I was 6 days in SF for a conference. It was mostly overwhelming and until the last night not even marked by that much good food. Downtown SF just isn't the best place, I much prefer the outer edges of the city. Three of us from Ravelry did cut out on Wednesday to go Artfibers where I rationalized the purchase of some green silk yarn on the basis that it could make a gift for my stepmother with the wool phobia. Somehow it is in my favorite aqua-green color, so something else may happen to it.

Still after a very full day on Friday, August 29, I did go with two friends to Zuni Cafe which was marvelous and luxurious at the same time. We scored a table without reservations and got to watch people oogle us with desire as we ate lovely food. Perhaps the best Salmon I've ever had. Saturday, I had a great walk over to North Beach for sandwiches and gossip with a wonderful conference friend (I rarely see her except at conferences, but she and I just enjoy each other when we are in the same place).

I escaped to Richmond for some days with another friend who had had leg surgery and was glad to have a personal chauffeur to take her away from her two boys and her husband. picked up some useful shoes going shopping in a soulless outlet mall near the Oakland airport. But having her company made it worth it.

Work is very busy, so even though I felt this cold all week I couldn't succumb until Friday and even then went in for two hours. I am grateful that this weekend I can just slouch. Indeed, I think it is time to pull the knitting out for a little while and see if it and some chamomile tea will allow me to sleep yet again. I am trying for my own personal records of endless sleeping.

I am still a bit amazed that KBrow is not going to be here for Crafty Bastards 2008 in three weeks? perhaps she will make sudden travel plans? Perhaps some will need to place orders.