Thursday, November 28, 2013

To turkey or not to turkey?

It seems that most people are surprised when I say that my family doesn't eat turkey for Thanksgiving. Sure, I guess it's sort of traditional. But why bother when no one in the family is really wild about it? We used to serve it regardless, but there were a couple things that made us give up on it.

Tall One stopped eating turkey at a young age because he chased one on a school field trip, and apparently decided that they're too nice to be eaten. He doesn't remember this, but maybe that incident had more of an impact than anyone realized since he's now vegetarian. Not that this stops us from putting meat on the table, but that's one less person the delicious dead animal flesh (actually, muscle I think) would be for.

I guess I'm the one who started the whole vegetarian thing, though. Not that I'd intended to start anything. I was the first to turn vegetarian, for ethical reasons. Then mom and Tall One converted, and though mom tried it twice she couldn't stick with it for health reasons. Eventually my own dietary needs changed and I also gave up being vegetarian, so now my brother is the lone vegetarian in the family. Still, there was one Thanksgiving during which all three of us were vegetarian, and since dad wasn't overly concerned about turkey I think that was the first time without it.

Since then, we just haven't seen the point of it when other things are yummier. You know, like roast beef. Yummy roast beef served with baked potatoes and plenty of seasoning, especially garlic...dangit I'm making myself drool. There was also macaroni and cheese that mom cooked today, but I wasn't interested in any of that.

What do you eat for Thanksgiving? Why? Do you stick to the traditional food, make your own traditions, or just eat whatever the you feel like eating?

Spoiled rotten princess

Apparently it isn't Thanksgiving unless Saphira is on the table. Dad spoils that cat, and both of my parents were feeding her meat during the meal.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and were lucky enough to get the day off!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Migraine check list

When I'm having a migraine I often don't remember exactly what will help me the most. This is probably because my migraines vary wildly...from mild ones that I might not mention to my supervisor, to those that put me in bed for the day. As such, my treatment methods change depending on how bad it is, so I think it's understandable that I don't remember what to do at times. After having one of those "why didn't I think to do this earlier???" moments during my last migraine I decided to make a check list for future reference. Here it is.

1) Caffeine. Caffeine is my friend. It can help migraines, and if I don't get my usual caffeine fix that can make matters worse.

2) Warning: possible TMI. Eat plenty of protein and some red meat before my period. Although I am also getting migraines at other times in the last several months, they have come without fail during my periods since May. As such, it's been suggested to me that giving my body exactly what it needs during this time may help with the migraines. Additionally, it's a good idea to actually pay attention to when my periods will be so I can actually remember to do this.

Side note: All my body is doing is getting rid of an unfertilized egg. Why does it have to be so darn dramatic about it? Dangit.

3) Massage peppermint oil into my temples and the back of my neck. Even if it doesn't always help it still smells nice.

4) See the chiropractor if the migraine isn't a mild one. Or even if it is. This guy has proven that he can help. Also, if I'm too miserable to go, that's a sign I really need to.

5) That nice prescription strength Ibuprofen the doc gave me, and/or regular Tylenol. They aren't always necessary and may not work as well as the caffeine, but are useful when the headache pain is bad.

6) Dark chocolate and wine. It seems like I ought to be avoiding alcohol while I've got a migraine, but I tried it once out of desperation and it seemed to help. Also, dark chocolate helps everything.

7) A heating pad for my forehead and/or neck.

8) When lying in bed with a pounding headache that makes any movement a bad thing, getting plenty of water is still important. Even if it hurts to sit up enough to drink. Minor dehydration is never fun, and is even worse on top of a migraine. Getting this lesson once was quite enough.

9) The vitamin B and magnesium pills daily. Too early to say if they'll help, but they certainly aren't hurting me.

10) This one is easy to remember if it's an issue...sunglasses when I'm sensitive to light. Which sometimes I'm not. It's unpredictable. But it's good to always keep them on me, just in case.

11) Never try to predict how a migraine will go, or what symptoms I'll have. Though seeing little blue lights and having some sort of headache are pretty much a given. Odds are it'll be mild, but the migraines seem to delight in surprising me.

Don't tell me that the last one isn't a tip for how to deal with migraines.

You may notice that meds, other than the regular pain medicine and the supplements, are completely absent from this list. I've tried three medications -- two prescription and one over the counter -- and all had bad side effects. After the last one gave me minor chest pains (sad to say it's not the first medication to do that) I gave up. I just seem to be having bad luck with medications in the last couple years.

Do you do anything for migraines that isn't on this list? I'm definitely open to suggestions.

Staggered Swirl

This photo seemed appropriate for a post about migraines. I was going to go with a kaleidoscope, but decided that an optical illusion seemed like a better idea.

Monday, November 25, 2013

New goal

My new goal: to read a novel in a single day more often.

It doesn't have to be every week. It doesn't have to be every month. But I need to find time, or make time, every few months.

In my last post I mentioned I was reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. What I didn't mention was that I was trying to read it as quickly as possible so that I could finish it before seeing the movie on Sunday with the boyfriend. This translated to me starting it Friday evening, finishing it at 1am Sunday morning, and then watching it about nine hours later.

Then today I realized that I was in an unusually good mood, and also that I was greatly enjoying telling people that I'd spent half my weekend reading. I sort of suspect that there's a connection.

By the way, although I am usually not a huge fan of movie adaptations, I do like what they did with this movie.

Old Books by Petr Kratochvil

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Embarrassing songs and Whispersync

Last evening I was talking about how to share music and (what really interested me) audiobooks through iTunes with my brother. This came up because I wanted to read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and found out that Tall One has the audiobook through iTunes on his iPhone.

Ok, so we sort of like iThingies in this family.

While discussing whether I could get the audiobook from Tall One in a way that doesn't involve stealing borrowing his iPhone, we both wound up pausing to try to remember if we have any embarrassing music that might be revealed through sharing. After a moment of thought, I said that I think the only embarrassing song I have is The Vegetables, which is one I know he already has. Because, Hank Green. Mom was unfamiliar with this song so we played it for her, and then I figured I may as well share it here as well. Because...well, no real because. Other than maybe Hank Green, again. Let's just say that that's a good enough reason.

After determining that the only way for me to listen to my brother's copy of the audiobook would be for me to steal his iPhone, and after an offer from my mom to let me borrow her iPad so that I can read her (actually, dad's) Kindle copy of it, I decided to just buy my own Kindle copy to read on my iPhone. (Writing this post, I realize that there may be too many iThingy devices in this household.) That is when I discovered Whispersync.

With Whispersync you can buy a Kindle book, and then get the Audible copy of it at a serious discount. Then, to make it even better, Kindle and Audible can sync the book and audiobook versions for you to easily switch between reading and listening.

I've been wishing for a while that something like this existed, and I may have gotten a little overexcited when I discovered it. Or maybe a lot overexcited. Um, I actually dreamed about Whispersync last night. Does that tell you how happy I am?

Happy enough to take a break from listening to Catching Fire to write about how I found Whispersync.

Now back to my book. Which, by the way, has already made me cry once. You know a book's good when that happen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

For some reason it's always been awkward for me to say thank you on Veterans Day. I don't know why, it just always has been. But since dating a vet it's become more important for me to figure out how to deal with that awkwardness and say thanks.

So, all vets, thank you.

Maybe I could write a longer post, but I'll keep this one short and sweet.

Detail Of American Flag by Petr Kratochvil

The above post is what I wrote last year. Since I wasn't sure what to write this year I figured I may as well copy and paste.

And yes, I know this post is rather late in the day. But I've been a bit busy spending the day with my favorite vet, the boyfriend. Let's just say that I've learned some restaurants give good discounts to vets on this day, which I think is really nice of them.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Visiting OMSI

Into the bowels of OMSI...

The bowels

Ok, so the public isn't actually allowed down there, as far as I know. But there's a hole in the floor so we can see it, and they've painted most everything bright colors. So even though we're not allowed down there our eyes can go visiting. Wait, that sounds creepy...

OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and I used to go there a lot when I was younger. Once my brother and I went there three days in a row, actually. Why? Because mom's computer crashed, which sort of got in the way of her lesson plans in homeschooling us. So, of course, her short term solution was daily field trips to OMSI. The staff started to recognize us that week. :)

I hadn't been there in a few years, but went yesterday with the boyfriend. It was as fun as I remembered. I got just a few photos (not the ton I would have taken when I was younger...I did tend to get trigger happy with the camera back then) that I wanted to share here.

It wants to give you mouth hugs

A certain someone managed to guess that this was an allosaurus skull while I was still looking the black paint on the teeth. What I found most fascinating was that you could see that new teeth were growing in.

Side note/question: why does the spell check want to change "allosaurus" to "stegosaurus"?

Kitty skulls

I'm not sure what the one on the left is, but on the right is a bobcat skull. I love cats, and want to cuddle a bobcat, so I had to get a photo.

Of course, if I ever did get to cuddle a bobcat, the end result would likely be highly unpleasant...

The Falcon!

Not sure why they had Legos creations of Star Wars ships and fighters, but I'm not complaining.

The bowels, again

I got more than one photo of the bowels of OMSI. Just because they're so pretty. :)

More bowels

The boyfriend and I also saw a planetarium show about what's going on in our skies right now. I'd forgotten, there's currently a comet up there. It's visible on the horizon close to dawn, but you can't currently see it with the naked eye. I'm hoping it becomes more visible in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Some people think that Barbershop music is old fashioned, something that those old people do, or as  a bit eccentric. Ok, so maybe the last one is true. Ok, maybe I should change that last one to Barbershop being a lot eccentric, and then it'd be true. But hey, eccentric can be fun.

I haven't done Barbershop music in a few years, but in talking music with someone today I found myself trying to explain that it is fun. I eventually said I'd find some good YouTubes of Barbershop music, which I'd like to share here. Because, why not?

It turns out that I made this playlist a few years ago and then forgot about it. This evening I pared it down to the best, and I think it's a pretty good introduction to Barbershop.

Dang I'd forgotten how much I love the music...I'll probably be finding more excellent music to add to this playlist. It really needs more than a mere seven videos.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I admit it, I'm one of those Pagans who requests time off from work for Samhain. And this year I decided that I may as well make it a four day weekend, so I also requested Friday off. Happily, I got off the days I requested.

As I said yesterday this was perhaps the best Samhain/Halloween I've had. Which may be a little strange since we didn't get any trick-or-treaters at my parent's house, and I didn't dress up. However, I did spend the day with my wonderful boyfriend. We watched some movies, including some old Halloween episodes from the Simpsons. He'd also said that he wanted to read me some Edgar Allan Poe poetry, and I said that I will not argue with my boyfriend wanting to read me Poe on Halloween.

Of course, Samhain is also a time to remember those who have passed in the last year. And this year I remember...

Socks, an elderly cat who finally needed to be helped on his way in January. He was a very interesting cat, who liked to bite yet somehow was very sweet. My parents got him for me when I was young, but was eventually more attached to mom than to me. Still, towards the end, he took to sleeping on the foot of my bed and then under it.

Beka, a pet rat who had been very sick and who I'd still hoped to save. We lost her the day after Socks. I remember her stealing an acorn off my altar and bringing it back to me before munching on it, and also that she would lick my face when I cried. She was absolutely lovely.

Grandma, who passed just a couple weeks ago. She'd been in hospice so it wasn't a surprise, and we had known she was in her final days. Still, I'm not sure how to deal with it. I've finally realized that mixed in with my grief is resentment, since she'd never seemed really interested in meeting my brother and me, though she said she was proud of us and loved us. Regardless, it's hitting me hard, as evidenced by the fact that my migraines started within a week after she first went into hospice last May. It took me until the migraine that developed when we knew she was in her final days to make the connection, though.

Great-grandma Sadie, who died before I was born. Towards the end grandma said her mom had visited her and told her that she would be home soon. I also want to mention that I was the first girl born in the family after grandma Sadie died, and am named for her. I've got the name Sarita instead of Sadie though because she apparently hated her name, and both of these names are forms of Sarah.

I also spent some of Samhain spinning yarn. I don't know why, but it somehow seems appropriate to create things on that day. Maybe because even though all lives eventually end the world still goes on, and making things is a good way to remind myself of that.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Solar Eclipses

I had been really excited to know that there would be a solar eclipse Sunday...but became somewhat less excited when I found out that it won't be visible to me in the Pacific Northwest. Dangit. However, if you're in eastern America, south Europe, or Africa, you're probably in luck.

In my disappointment I decided to check out where the solar eclipses should occur in the next 5,000 years, but was appeased by what I found by 2017 and looked no further. First of all, I found out about a partial eclipse I will likely see almost a year from now on October 23rd, 2014. Even more happily, there will be a total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017. This one will not literally be visible from my backyard, but in terms of travel it's almost in my backyard. Assuming I'm still living in Portland then, I'll only have to drive a few hours to see it.

The hard bit about seeing a solar eclipse will be reminding myself not to look directly at the sun, unless I have special eye wear. I may use the pinhole method for viewing the eclipse, which is what I did on June 10th, 2002 for a partial solar eclipse.

And now, just for kicks, and because I dug it out (ok, not much digging was involved, it was easy to find) to check the date, here's what I wrote in my diary that day about the eclipse. I won't spare you my horrid spelling, but I will skip over the non eclipse related stuff, including my major crush on Aximili from the Animorphs book series.

June 10th, 2002 Monday

There's going to be a partel solar eclips today!

It will start at 5:00pm, an hour from now.


I made two pin-hole cameras to watch the solar-eclips through. I'm going to see multipul imiges because I've made more than one hole in them. I've made one with elunemin foil, & one with white paper.

I can't wait for the solar eclips. I wish it were a total solar eclips. I plan to take pictures of the imiges I get. It starts in just under 40 minuets! It'll last just 2 hours. 

Anything to do with space amazes me.


The Partial Solar Eclips was so beatiful!

I took lot's of pictures of it's reflection in some water, although none of those pictures came out. It was the pin-hole pictures that did come out.

Mom says that she once took a picture of a partial solar eclips reflected in a swimming pool, but but she lost them. 

Back to today...

Maybe I need to find other excuses to share excerpts from my old diaries. For some odd reason I find it hilarious to type out my horrid spelling mistakes from when I was 13. It was also amusing to read that one hot dream (actually not so hot in retrospect) I had about Aximili in which we were talking music.

In other news, I probably had the best Samhain ever yesterday. The post about that will go up tomorrow though, because I just felt like writing the solar eclipse one first.

Partial Solar Eclipse