Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gays in the Boy Scouts

Gay pride, image from clker.com
It has been a sore spot for me that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has a policy that 1) does not allow gay troop leaders, and 2) also discriminates against gay boys in the program.

I have continued to support Boy Scouts, however, for a couple of reasons. One is that I believe they provide excellent opportunities for young men in this country. Another, more crucial reason, is because I know many people -- both current and former Boy Scouts -- are pushing for gays to be accepted. If it weren't for the latter, I would probably have abandoned BSA as a lost cause.

You can imagine that I was delighted to hear that BSA is considering removing their policy of discrimination. I became slightly less delighted, however, to find out that they are only removing it halfway: although there will not be an official policy to discriminate, it will be up to the troops whether to allow gays.

There's no need for me to point out that this is not enough, and will likely be almost as bad as where they are now. Even so, it's baby steps in the right direction. Which is something, at least.

At any rate, it's a good sign if they're admitting their current policy may not be 100% right.

I know of two websites with info on how to encourage BSA to accept gays with no reservations. If you are interested in helping to make the world a better place for LGBT persons (and for everyone else, actually) you may want to visit glaad.org/tellbsa and hrc.org.

Next, to really serve as many young men as possible, maybe BSA can consider allowing atheists into their organization.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who can you talk to?

When I arrived to my volunteer work today I found someone who was excited. She had just received some of the best possible news, and wanted to share. It went something like this:

"I'm organizing a retreat for my church. It's in the fall, in old growth forest near Mount Hood. And I just found out that we're getting monks. They can lead the meditation and yoga, and..."

...there were many more details, and it sounded amazing. I almost wanted to join her church just to go on the retreat, it sounded so fantastic. There wasn't much for me to contribute to the conservation, but I was definitely an enthusiastic listener, and I made it known that I thought the retreat sounded amazing.

And then, she said something that shocked me.

"Thank you for being someone I can tell about this. Most people would look at me weird when I mention meditation and that sort of thing. But I knew I could talk to you."

As a Pagan, I'm used to being limited in who I talk to about my own practices. I don't tell people certain things unless I know them pretty well, or unless I find out that they are themselves Pagan. (Actually, mom has already told this woman things that I wouldn't have chosen to tell her myself. Luckily, she took it really well. And it may be why she was open with me.) Yet it never occurred to me that this person, who is Christian, might not be able to speak openly to just anyone about her own practices.

It still seems strange to me that she can't talk to some people about meditation, and having monks at her retreat, without getting bad responses. Yet I don't think she would have thanked me if she didn't have personal experience with that.

Could it be that having someone who you can talk to is more rare than I had thought?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken casserole

Yummy

Allow me to introduce you to my mom's recipe for chicken casserole. I finally learned how to fix it, and figured I may as well share it.

Ingredients

Chicken
Stuffing
Cream of mushroom soup
Chives
Basil
Minced onion
Olive oil

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°f. 

Chop up your chicken, and cook it on the stove with some olive oil and the spices. I used a lot of basil, and less of the onions and chives.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the stuffing as directed. (Actually, I ignored what the stuffing said about butter, and only used water in it.)

Once the chicken is done, pour the cream of mushroom on the bottom of an ungreased pan. Evenly spread the chicken on top of it.

I may cook more chicken next time, although this was pretty decent.

Chicken and mushroom goodness

Spread the stuffing on top of it all, and cover. I used a glass lid, but you can use tin foil.

The glass lid got steamy from the freshly cooked stuffing

Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and enjoy! :)

Fresh out of the oven

I know the above shot isn't great, but I thought it was so funny. You want to know why? The food was so hot that it steamed up the lens on my camera.

On the plate

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sabine

For lack of anything else to talk about (other than the fact that I am now the only healthy person in this household...AAAH!!!) I wanted to share some pics of Sabine.

I'm getting into the habit of sitting at my computer while I've got her out. As such, the following photos are all taken at my desk.


Here she is between my monitor and printer. She's taken to hanging out behind my printer...also, behind my monitor.

And yes, that's a rock I painted up as a mischievous lady bird beetle, and a drawing of a sun that I taped to the side of my monitor.


Sabine may have ran off with part of my pop tart, and I may have let her. Here she's hiding out with it behind the monitor.

I may be slightly spoiling her, since I feel bad about her being all alone at the moment.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Norovirus and vomit

Have you heard of the norovirus? I have. I learned about it a couple days ago, and wish that I were still blissfully ignorant of it.

First mom got the norovirus on Thursday evening, and then spent the night throwing up. Luckily she began to feel (sorta) better the next day.

But now Tall One is throwing up. And I am afraid that he will continue throwing up the rest of the night.

Bad news: I am not good at dealing with people throwing up.

Good news: I haven't had to do cleanup duty (yet).

More bad news: I'm afraid I may yet become a victim of the norovirus.

In an attempt to not be thoroughly horrified, and in trying to keep a sense of humor, I turn to the Vlogbrothers to see what they say about vomit.



I am glad to say that neither my mom nor my brother have thrown up in anyplace that John Green mentioned. Or anyways, to the best of my knowledge they haven't. Though I think mom did throw up in a parking lot.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Distrac...hey, squirrel!

Since I'm easily distracted...

Squirrel by Anna Langova
For the last several days I've had a hard time focusing. Left to my own devices I would flit between my computer and my iPhone, between different websites. I could sometimes focus enough to write a blog post or do something else. (Actually, I didn't write any of those posts in one setting...nor this one.) But unless I was interacting with another person I kept going off into my own little world. Heck, I didn't even try to read, despite being super excited about the reading the next Dresden Files book.

(I'm just starting book four, by the way.)

I seem to be coming out of it, whatever "it" was, and am trying to figure out what was going on with me. I figure it's one of two things. Either 1) a "flare up" of ADHD, or 2) dealing with losing two pets in two days last week. Maybe it's both together.

If it's the second, time will help. If it's the first...perhaps some research will help, as well as talking to others with ADHD/ADD. And considering my history with ADHD, I suspect that it's at least partially to blame.

I first noticed ADHD "flare ups" sometime in the last year. The first may have been last October when I mentioned that I was having trouble with impulse control, which resulted in me annoying/ticking off more than one person. I hadn't heard about "flare ups" though, so I was puzzled. But I didn't ask too many questions. This time I decided that questions needed to be asked, and perhaps research done.

I turned to Facebook as my starting point with questions, asking if anyone else with ADHD/ADD has experienced something similar. And guess what? I was told by someone else with ADHD/ADD that it's normal.

It's normal. Normal. Whew. I'm not just the weird one. Well, maybe I am weird, but I have a bunch of other weird people who share my weirdness. Which is good. We can be weird together.

So now I need to figure out how to cope with future "flare ups". I guess it's time to put my research skills to use.

...it's so weird how I still don't understand everything about my ADHD, and am still learning how to deal, despite having lived with it my whole life.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'm sorry for fact checking...?

There's this thing that a few of my friends have been sharing on Facebook. It's totally fake, and I've found myself directing several people to Snopes.com about it. Here's what my friends have been sharing:

Photo from PublicPhoto.org
"On Sunday a family went to picnic with a few drinks in tin cans. Monday, two family members were admitted to the hospital and placed in Intensive Care Unit. He died on Wednesday. Autopsy results concluded it was Leptospirosis. The virus was stuck to the tin cans and consumed, without the use of glasses / cups. Test results showed that the tin was contaminated because mice urinated on them, and then it dried. The urine contained Leptospira. I Highly recommend to rinse the parts evenly on all soda cans before drinking it. Cans are usually stored in the warehouse and delivered direct to retail stores without cleaning. A study shows that the top of all beverage cans are more contaminated than public toilets (full of germs and bacteria.)So, clean it with water before drinking in order to prevent this from occurring. Please Share!"

This is bogus. If you're interested, you can read the Snopes article about it here. So of course, I shared the link with my friends.

People normally don't get all excited when I point out they've shared a fake story. Often they don't respond. Maybe they take the story down. Occasionally they thank me.

But yesterday, someone seemed to get ticked off, and she may have taken it personally. Her response was a little vague, and I would like to think that she was angry about the hoax getting started in the first place. But her wording seemed to suggest that I have too much time on my hands if I can bother doing quick (and simple) fact checking.

And, um...

...I have no idea how to respond.

The suggestion that I have too much free time is quite amusing, considering that I didn't actually fact check this one myself. Someone else did so before I had the chance to ask Google about it.

But you know what? Fact checking things like this is simple. It doesn't even take much time. I'm sure the research for this one only took a few minutes. Maybe not even that.

I'm still amazed that someone got angry. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be.

EDIT 1/25/2013: Just found out that she was irritated by people starting hoaxes in the first place. Yet I don't want to delete this post...just because of the time I spent writing it...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surprising the delivery guy

People in this household are in the habit of ordering things online. So, even though it's not (usually) a daily occurrence, it's no surprise when a UPS truck pulls up in front of our house.

Of course delivery trucks are big and have their own sound, so I can usually tell that it's not just a neighbor I'm hearing outside. And it just so happens that my bedroom is located towards the front of the house, where I can easily see if the delivery is for us.

This means I can sometimes meet the delivery person at the door before s/he has a chance to knock.

It's always fun to see their surprise. I don't think they're used to people answering the door before they can knock. I admit, their amazement is why I like to do it. It's so fun to see their faces.

Jewellery Box by Anna Langova

This photo has nothing to do with the post. But I couldn't find a relevant pic that I liked, and this was too pretty to ignore.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sugar waffles

Deliciousness

File this under probably unhealthy, but delicious.

Ingredients

Sugar, lots of sugar
Butter (I used the real stuff)
Waffles

Directions

Spread some butter on the waffles.

I used frozen waffles, and didn't bother defrosting. But I don't think it matters whether they're frozen or defrosted.

Buttered waffles

Put a pan on the stove, and turn the heat up high. VERY high. I set it about as high as it would go. Add a little bit of butter, just to be thorough with the buttery goodness.

Once the butter in the pan has melted, add the waffles and put some sugar on top of them.

With sugar!

When you flip them over, add some more sugar. I added some sugar a few more times.

Hey, there is a very good reason I call these sugar waffles.

Sugar!

The sugar will start to brown. Once this begins, it won't take much time for them to be finished. You'll also have to keep a close eye on them because they can go from nicely browned to overdone very quickly.

Beginning to brown -- pure eye candy at this stage

It'll be done when there's a decent amount of brown on both sides of the waffles.

Done

...and the sugary goodness is ready to be enjoyed!

Yummy...

Tips
  • Be sure that you soak the pan and plates afterwards. The browned sugar likes to stick to things, and can be a pain to cleanup if it hasn't been soaked properly.
  • The waffles sometimes like to stick to the plates, which can make eating them...interesting. One way to avoid this is by lifting the waffles off the plate immediately after putting them on, and then setting them back down again.
  • If you're more of a bagels person than a waffles person, try this with bagels.

EDIT 1/23/2013: I just have to add this pic of sugar bagels. :)

Bagels...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beka

I want to share some photos of Beka, just like I did for Socks. And then hopefully this blog will become less depressing, and I'll stop writing about losing two pets in two days.

There are fewer photos to share. Partially because I've shared some already and would sort of like to avoid repeats, and I also don't have 18 years worth of photos for this one. (She was only born in June 2011.) Also, I'm trying to stick to photos that don't include Sabine, and a lot of them do include both rats.


How often do you find pets climbing the artwork on your walls?


Beka went nose to nose with Kokopelle through the cage wires. I was quite impressed.


I had to share this one of both Beka and Sabine. Beka's on the right.


Beka was quite fond of coffee. And alcohol. lol Oh dear girl...

I also want to share a video I made of the two girls when they were about three months old. You can tell them apart by looking for a white tip on Beka's tail and a stripe down Sabine's head.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Furry friends

I guess I'm dealing with losing two pets in two days this week by focusing on those we've still got.

There's Saphira, but she's my dad's cat, and since I'm not her favorite person I don't see much of her. I definitely hear her though, especialy when she made more of a fuss than usual about dad going out for dinner with mom a couple evenings ago.

And my kitty Kokopelle has been sticking close to me. He doesn't spend every minute with me, but he's there an awful lot. As I type he's sitting my my window, a few feet away from me. Pretending to ignore me, but still here.

The one I'm worried about is Sabine. She's perked up some, but she's spent her whole life with her sister...who's now gone. And even though I'm going to spend as much time as possible with her, Sabine is still spending an awful lot of time in her cage alone.

Being all alone for more than an hour or so is a new experience for her.

In an effort to make Sabine feel better (and to try to make myself feel less guilty) I've moved her back into her giant rat cage. I destroyed an old towel to make lots of hammocks, and I hid lots of treats throughout her cage.

Now I want someone to pamper me with bacon and chocolate. *sigh...*

Rat mansion

ps. Yes, I think it's safe to say that I abandoned my plan to be sharing Pagan music every day this week. Maybe I can actually follow through on it some other time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And now Beka

Beka gave up sometime yesterday. I'm not sure exactly when it was that she gave up. But she pretty much nibbled at her food in the afternoon, and then had zero interest when I tried feeding her the prescription canned food last night. And that's when I knew.

Even though I didn't entirely expect her to be alive today, it was still painful to confirm it. Especially since I thought I saw her breathing a little, just before I touched her and realized she was cold.

In a way this is harder than Socks' death because I have so many questions. Questions about what I could have done differently for her, since I had still hoped she would recover. Yes, I knew I might have to make the decision to help her on her way, like we did with Socks. But there was still one more medication to try her on before making that decision. And we didn't even get to it.

Presumably it's the ear infection that got Beka in the end. Mom thinks there may have been something else going on, and I saw one or two symptoms that I thought might suggest that. Things I was going to talk to the vet about tomorrow. (Do you know how much fun it is to call the vet and say "Sorry, I have to cancel because Beka is dead"? It isn't very fun.) But I don't know if there was also something else in the picture. All I know is that an ear infection is all it takes with rats.

I took Beka to be cremated today. On the way I kept half expecting her to jump out of the box she was in, fully alive and healthy. I've no idea why. And I have no idea what I'll do with her ashes.

...and in this all I have to figure out what to do about Sabine, my surviving rat. Rats are very social critters, and they really need playmates. The obvious solution is to get another rat, but I'm not really in a position to do that. So I guess I'll have to give Sabine extra attention and hope it's enough.

Beka, eating an acorn she stole off my altar

Down in the Garden

I've been thinking about the song Down in the Garden, since realizing that we might be about to lose Socks. Exactly what my own views on death are is another matter, but I think it is a very beautiful song. Unfortunately I couldn't find a decent video of it on YouTube with the song and just the song, so instead I'm sharing the song where it is interrupted with an explanation of why the songwriter wrote it.



I also wanted to share some photos of Socks. Most are mine, but mom took one or two of them.


I don't even remember when this was taken. He had found a sleeping bag that hadn't been put away yet.


More than five years ago. Dear Socks was helping us unpack for Christmas.


Socks was quite fond of one of my dolls.


Never fear, there is a glass door between Socks and the squirrel.


Close up mug shot. He pretty much always looked grumpy.


Yes, I'm so sorry that the food bag was empty. But it's not like the food bowl was empty, and we got more food before it was in any danger of getting empty. No need to go shoving the empty one around on the floor.

...actually, Kokopelle was in on this one, but I wasn't able to get photographic evidence of that.


As I said, Socks really loved this doll.


I recently mentioned that Socks started sleeping on my bed. Well, after a few days he switched to sleeping under my bed. I figured that it was just because it's warmer under my bed since that's where the vent in my bedroom is.

We got a bed for him that we placed under my bed, so that it would be easier to drag him out for his pills. (He even used it, more than half the time!) He was so frail I worried about hurting him, and it was easier to drag the bed out than to worry about how to hold him.

Kokopell is keeping Socks company in this photo. Socks is on the left, Kokopelle's on the right. Yes, I really can tell them apart.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Socks is gone

It hadn't occurred to me 24 hours ago that it might be time to help Socks on his way. It was sometime in the afternoon that it first occurred to me. In the late evening that I started trying to prepare myself for it. And now he's gone.

I haven't written as much about his problems as I have about Beka's. Partially because he is my parent's responsibility, not mine. So I didn't have to stress about making the decisions myself. (True, he was bought for me before I started 1st grade, but he eventually attached himself to my mom.) I did share last June that he probably wasn't much longer for this world, but then he managed to hang on, and he even improved. He's stubborn that way. And since he was improving, there wasn't much to bemoan about him on this blog.

But we finally decided it was time after he went downhill in the last few days. He'd lost a lot of weight suddenly: over a pound in 10 days. He was getting weaker, even his meow was weak. And he was having respiratory problems.

When examining him, the vet said that his organs were failing him. She also pointed out that he had lumps all over his body that weren't there when she saw him 10 days ago. He probably had cancer that didn't show up in his blood tests.

I'm amazed at how quickly he went, once he was given the injections. First to sleep, and then the overdose. We'd been warned that he might jerk or that other things might happen with the second shot, but nothing did.

It's amazing how quickly he died, once the decision was made to help him on his way.

And part of me still can't believe he's gone, even though I was there. I feel like I still need to say goodbye. Or maybe I just need to let go.

I've never been with one of our pets when they were put to sleep before.

At least he lived to be 18 years old. That's a pretty decent age for a cat.

Socks at the vet, with mom

The Cauldron Born

Here's a song that is either dedicated to Ceridwen, or to her followers. I'm not sure which. Perhaps both? The musician is Damh the Bard.



Yeah, I like Ceridwen. I wanted to share the song "Ceridwen and Taliesin" which is also by Damh the Bard, but can't seem to find it on YouTube. Dangit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Morrigan: part II

Here is the second song about the Morrigan that I wanted to share. It's by the awesome band that is Omnia.

I think the Morrigan would like this song.



I shared this song back in June, but figured that it was worth sharing again.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Morrigan: part I

I don't seem to have much to write about with the new year, and keep going a few days without writing anything. So I've decided to share Pagan music this week, and I'd like to start with a couple of songs about the Morrigan. She is an Irish goddess of war, and one who I've been known to turn to when I need strength.

This first song is by Heather Dale, one of my favorite musicians.



More songs to follow soon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

My altar

The latest from Pagan Blog Prompts...

Show us your altar, or at least describe it for us.

What items are always on it?
How often do you change it up?
Where do you keep it?


If you don't keep an altar, tell us why.




Show us your altar, or at least describe it for us.

I have a candle for Brighid, a certain bit of needlework, two important bits of jewelry, and two things that are for people I love. I also have some spearmint essential oil, but that's just there because it's on loan from Tall One and I don't want it to get mixed up with my own stuff.

One of the pieces of jewelry is a pentacle ring that I wore constantly for several years. I only took it off recently because it was getting worryingly lose. Ah, the joys of weight loss...dangit.

There are also the three things I mention next...

What items are always on it?

There is always artwork hanging over my altar. Precisely what it is changes, but it's always significant and it's part of the altar.

I have a tall lovely candle that I tend to light when I'm doing any work at all with my altar. Or anyways it used to be tall. It is now rather shorter, and will soon be gone.

The only other thing that seems to be a permanent fixture is my aromatherapy thingy...I'm not even sure what it's properly called. But I love it for how good the essential oils I use with it smell.

How often do you change it up?

I change it up whenever I feel like it. Sometimes not for a while.

Where do you keep it?

In my bedroom. That's my only private space right now, but even when I had my own apartment I kept it there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why I volunteer

I started my volunteer work again, after about two months of unemployment.

Since figuring out that my schedule is pretty much open, the place I volunteer at started asking me to take some random shifts that needed to be filled. It seems I may have a regular time to volunteer weekly now, which is awesome. I have also become an on call volunteer, which means I don't mind them asking me to come in if someone calls in sick.

I'm only doing one or two days a week, and each shift is three hours. It isn't much, but someone has told me that I'm giving enough of my time that I ought to get paid for it. Their opinion has made me think of all the reasons I volunteer.

1) It can look good on a resume
2) It's good experience that might help me in future jobs

These are the two reasons I would hand over to the doubters, but volunteering goes beyond that.

3) It gives me something to do
4) I like the people
5) I love the place
6) It's good to feel useful
7) Sometimes it feels good to give something without expecting anything (in monetary terms) back

I admit that it certainly would be awesome to get paid for what I'm doing as a volunteer. But it wouldn't be called volunteering then, would it? Also, reason #7 would disappear if they started paying me. (Not that I would refuse a job if offered one...)

Do you volunteer, or have you volunteered before? What were your reasons? Were they the same as mine, or different?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Salmon and shrimp sandwich

Sammich!

I am pleased to bring to you my first recipe from my "fish diet," the diet in which my doctor basically wants me to eat fish and avoid red meat. This is supposed to raise my HDL cholesterol.

I've found fish/seafood that I enjoyed before now, but nothing great that I cooked myself. And by cook, I mean more than just throwing pre-seasoned fish in the oven for 20 minutes. That doesn't really take any work, or artistry. Making this sandwich does require those things.

Before getting on to the recipe, I do want to point out a new page that you may have noticed in the last week or so: it's the recipe page. It has all my recipes that I've shared so far, and everything I share in the future will also go up there.

The ingredients

Ingredients

Shrimp (I used frozen precooked)
Salmon (I used precooked)
Garlic powder
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Parmesan cheese
Bread

Instructions

Put some olive oil in a pan, along with some garlic. I put my shrimp in before the salmon so it could thaw.

Shrimp

Add the salmon once the shrimp seems decently thawed out.

Salmon and shrimp, heating up

Add lemon, to taste. And toast the bread while the fishy stuff finishes heating up.

On the bread

Once the fish/shrimp is decently heated up place it on the bread. Add Parmesan, though I'd recommend using less than is in the photo. The best bits of the sandwich were with light cheese.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Life isn't fair

Today's post is going to be partially a rant about how unfair life is, and partially to cry. And, although I'll keep it clean, I really can't accurately describe how I feel without resorting to profanity. And I'm normally not the type to use profanity.

About a couple months ago the vet told me that Beka's front teeth are crooked, and that they needed to be trimmed. He said they'll need trimming...I forget exactly how often. Maybe three to four weeks. But I was supposed to be ok waiting three weeks between a trim.

Turned out three weeks was too long. Beka's teeth grow too quickly, or something, and it wasn't a good situation when I brought her back in for a trimming.

I wound up deciding to aim for every two weeks.

On the two weeks schedule I was supposed to bring her in for a tooth trim this Wednesday. Then last night I noticed that her upper teeth were hurting her lower lip due to their length, and realized that they really need to be trimmed several days ago.

Are they just growing more quickly as time goes by?!? That's what it seems like.

I've called the vet and will bring her in late this afternoon for the trimming. That's the soonest they could get her in.

(I should acknowledge here that it is possible to trim the teeth at home. But I don't have the necessary knowledge, and from what little I know I'm not sure that I have the tools either. And I'm afraid I would just hurt her worse in my ignorance.)

Good thing she's already on meds (due to her ear infection) that will help with the pain, and they'll also keep any hurts inflicted by her too long teeth from getting infected. And from what I'm seeing, they'll both be be helpful with her tooth situation as it is at the moment.

At the risk of sounding self centered, when this post is really about Beka's situation...my emotions are a mix of upset, anger, and guilt. I know that not all of these emotions are reasonable. Anger isn't helpful, especially since it's with the situation instead of being directed at a person. And there's no reason to feel guilty when I'm already trying to do my best for Beka.

I hope that Beka and I both feel better after her tooth trimming today. And her next trimming will be less than two weeks out.

Really, she doesn't need to deal with this in addition to fighting off a lingering ear infection that still has her crawling around on her side. She doesn't need this.

Rat in coffee cup. Because it's too cute, and this post is too serious.

Found at clker.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Shopping in the wrong aisle

If you don't want to hear about clothes, skip this post. Because I love a nice pair of blue jeans.

When I recently went shopping for new jeans I was disappointed in my findings. Fashion had changed yet again, and the styles I liked were no longer available. I found a couple of things that worked, and I even liked (one of) them, but nothing I was wild about.

What I like

From Amazon.com


The style I love is nicely fitted on the upper half, and flared on the bottom half. As pictured. Instead, what I found were pants that fit snug at the hips, but are loose everywhere else.

Then, I happened by chance across exactly the style I like. Online.

Normally I don't buy clothes that I can't first try on. But I liked the look of these, they were a good brand, and they were inexpensive. Hey, if I could do free returns with refunds, I was willing to give it a few tries to find jeans that I will adore.

Then I noticed something: they were juniors jeans.

I had obviously been shopping in the wrong aisle. Not only do the juniors have what I want, they cost less too.

Since I'm buying online (I don't want to wander down the junior aisle in a real store...I just don't) there was a little trial and error in figuring out my size. But I finally got a pair today that fit. Now I just need to wash and hem them.

Since these still need a bit of work I may be counting my eggs before they're laid, but I am pleased. Very pleased.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rat teeth

Yeah, a weird title for a post. But it's what this post is about.

Stay tuned to learn about rat teeth, and about what can happen when they go wrong.

Funny thing about a rat's front teeth is that they keep growing, always and forever. This means that rats have to continually chew on things to keep their teeth a reasonable length. But...sometimes they can't.

Beka's front teeth have somehow gone crooked, and she can't gnaw them down anymore. One of her lower front teeth is actually pointing back into her mouth, and that's BAD. That tooth was already poking a hole in the roof of Beka's mouth when the problem was discovered. You can imagine how horrified I was when the vet told me that.

Luckily, there's an easy solution: we trim Beka's teeth for her.

I'll be taking Beka to the vet to get her teeth trimmed regularly. I guess I could learn to do it myself, and part of me feels like that's the truly responsible thing to do. But I know it can be tricky, and I would be too scared of cutting her tongue.

In addition to routine tooth trimming I now have to break Beka's food into bite sized bits for her. It turns out that rats use their front teeth to do that job, and that with her teeth so crooked Beka can't do that anymore

This will be a life long thing for Beka. There is no way to fix her teeth. Yeah, I could have the problem teeth removed, as the vet suggested, and it's not like they're doing her any good anymore anyways...but I don't want to put Beka through dental surgery unless absolutely necessary. And it isn't necessary, so long as they can be trimmed.

I'm just glad we caught this problem, and that I don't have to do the trimming myself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolutions?

Last year I didn't bother coming up with any resolutions. This year...maybe?

I do have some things I want to do, but they are just normal "well yeah duh" stuff.

1) Get my HDL cholesterol up where it needs to be
2) Find full time employment
3) Move out of my parents home
4) Get healthy, if at all possible

...that sort of thing. You know, things that were already on my to-do list. So I'm not sure that I could call them resolutions for the new year.

Maybe my only really proper new year resolutions are my reading challenges. (In which case I would have had resolutions after all last year, since I also did reading challenges then.) I have a page on my book blog about my reading challenges this year, and I also have a reading list of books that I intend to read this year.

Do you go for the whole new years resolutions thing? Or do you not really see the point?

So delicious...

Totally off topic I know, but BROWNIES!!! :) I made Balrog Brownies last night, which are delicious and have several kinds of chocolate in them. So yummy...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year

Just minutes to the new year, and I was on Facebook. I suddenly realized that I did not want to enter the new year on Facebook, so I closed down the browser and picked up a book of poetry. I was on "Birches" by Robert Frost when people started making lots of noise in my neighborhood. I assume that marked midnight. I don't know, I had my eyes on a poem and didn't want to look up. :)

It's less than 24 hours into the new year, but already it seems pretty good. At 1am I got cozy with hot ginger tea and heating pads on my cold feet, and started reading The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. The first book is on loan from my boyfriend, and I intend to read the whole series this year.

...and that was about the extent of my celebrating, aside from eating steak (in oyster sauce!) at a nice restaurant that I went to with mom and dad last evening. Mom and Tall One decided to go to bed early, so I was pretty much left to my own devices yesterday, and they don't seem to have plans today.

Though, I did get to see Murray yesterday afternoon. We watched a couple of Glee episodes at his place, determined that I still don't have a taste for beer, and I cried over a Glee song. Murray isn't used to seeing me cry, and asked if he hurt me. Gosh I love that man. ♡

Happy 2013!