nanowrimo

やった

That’s right, y’all, I did it!! And two days early, too!

stats:
Title: It Sucks To Be You
number of sex scenes: 1
number of main characters offed: 1
number of extremely evil agent Smiths: 1
number of mid-size cities nuked: 1
number of zombies blasted in the face with a shotgun: a shitton

We now resume our regularly scheduled knitting programming.

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food · holiday cheer

Our First Gluten Free Thanksgiving

This is the first Thanksgiving since going gluten-free/dairy free/soy free, so planning the menu required a bit of research and creativity. Here are some post-Thanksgiving thoughts and notes for posterity. Sadly there are no pictures. The entire meal was devoured before the thought of taking out my camera even occurred to me.

  • The Turkey: This year, as last year, featured turkey from Trader Joe’s and gluten-free (at least according to their customer service) and delicious.
  • The Stuffing: Not technically “stuffing” since I didn’t cook it in the bird. I followed this recipe from Crockpot365. I will definitely do this recipe next year, but I think I’ll do all corn bread instead of a mix of corn bread and rice bread. I might also add some pecans and a couple of boiled eggs and possibly an apple.
  • The Potato Mash: Yukon Gold Potatoes + Hemp milk + Earth Balance (soy free) = delectable.
  • The Gravy: I followed these directions on Gluten Free Girl only instead of using the Earth Balance (soy free) like I should have, I used palm shortening. FYI: Do not, ever, use shortening (of any sort) for gravy. The flavor was okay, but the mouth feel was … odd.
  • The Cranberry Sauce: Since we are trying to avoid cane sugar, maple sugar, and molasses (on top of everything else), I tried this recipe, sweetening the berries with honey. Next year I will use more honey. Probably a lot more honey. My sauce was extremely sour.
  • The Pie: This one from eHow, only I used agave nectar in place of the sugar. It was just like a “regular” pumpkin pie, seriously. There was no difference in taste or mouth feel. It was absolutely wonderful. No whipped cream for us though. Luckily we didn’t need it.

All in all, it was a mostly successful dinner. Maybe next year I will remember that, even though the package says “never frozen”, there will still be a huge chunk of ice in the center of the bird which prevents the breast and everything below (and including) the wings from getting up to temperature at the same time. *sigh*

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, everyone! Now, I’m off to finish my NaNo. Only 4200 more words to go!

TAS

Saturday Sky — a thousand words.

This post today over at The Painted Sheep, reminded me of this extremely thoughtful and thought provoking post that my TAS (Totally Awesome Sister) wrote a couple of years ago about how she senses the change in seasons by noticing the color of the sky.

The sky begins to pale. At the height of summer, early in July, the heavens are a bright, clear, glorious cobalt blue, thick and saturated, soft like a velvet blanket. But come August, weeks after the Solstice, the velvet lifts, the blue grows thin, perhaps transparent. It pales to a weaker, whiter blue, like cerulean. The soft velvety thickness of the color is gone, replaced by a thin gauze: wispy and fluttering in the breeze–the blushing veil of Winter’s Bride.

My sister truly is a wonderful writer and I often think how her blog is so much better than mine. Do check out her whole post and savor the rich language as we head into the end of Autumn and winter’s silvery skies.

life

Wednesday Morning Link Roundup

Having a sick kid the last few days has given me an excuse to stay home, get the house back in order, sneak in some knitting, and get caught up on my NaNo. Yes, I could have done all those things yesterday, but did I? No. I surfed the internet instead.

This cat is stubborn. Very very stubborn.

Out and about and can’t decide where to pull in and grab a bite to eat? This handy dandy flowchart will help you out.

Bored with cleaning up the kids’ toys? (Lord knows I am!) Try this instead.

Will somebody please pull these people over and take away their Photoshop license? Seriously.

This is cool, but also depressing in a way.

off topic · politics · rant

Adventures in Health Care

I just got back from the ER with E4 who is having a bout of croup. While I was sitting there, I had a lot of time to think, mostly about how our health care system works, or doesn’t depending on your point of view.

I knew going into the ER what we were dealing with because croup has a very distinctive sound, but since E4 was having a hard time moving air into his lungs, and since his lips were turning blue, I figured he couldn’t wait until tomorrow to see the pediatrician. Luckily, the hospital is close and we were able to be seen right away. The PA came in and had a listen to his chest and throat. He said, “yes, it sounds like croup to me. We’ll give him some humidified oxygen, and some oral steroids, and I’ll do a throat culture to make sure there isn’t an infection. He’ll be fine.” So, imagine my surprise when, about 10 minutes later, 2 x-ray techs came in to take E4 for a chest x-ray. “Really?” I asked. “Yeah,” one of them replied. “The PA just wants to make sure his lungs are clear.”

Now, I have no problem getting tests done if they are warranted, but the PA just got finished telling me that E4’s lungs sounded clear and he was pretty confident that it was croup and not pneumonia. What bothered me the most is that he just ordered the test and didn’t even mention it to me, so when the x-ray techs came in to wheel E4 away, I didn’t really have much say in the matter. I would much rather have had the PA discuss it with me before hand. I probably would have opted out, saving a chest x-ray for if his cough got worse.

I know a large part of it is that the PA was covering his butt because we live in a litigious society, but the other thing, the thing most people don’t think about, possibly the real reason that so many tests are run, is that money for health care is largely seen as someone else’s. People say, “well, my insurance will cover testing, so go ahead and run every test imaginable”. But in my case, insurance will only cover 80%. Which means I’ll end up paying 20% of the bill on a chest x-ray I’m not convinced was needed. If the PA had just talked to me about it, made me a partner in our health care decisions, we could have saved me, and my insurance company, a little money. Not to mention, we could have spared E4 (and me!) a hefty dose of unnecessary radiation.

I admit to being a huge socialist when it comes to health care. I honestly believe that we need to have a national system similar to that of Canada or the UK. That said, I also think it would help a whole lot, even within our current system, if, rather than being mindless consumers of health care, we became educated, active participants. And yes, I mean health professionals, too. If they were to stop treating patients like uneducated brainless idiots and actually had a conversation with them about their options and the reasons for doing things (or not doing things) I imagine we could make the health care system just a little less of a money pit.

The good news: E4 will be fine. I can hear him in the living room right now, fighting with his brother.

Knitting · nanowrimo

Onward

UPDATE: The widgets are fixed, hurrah!

NaNoWriMo continues. The word count widgets are broken (as you can see in my sidebar there) but we all soldier on. Actually this year so far has been really fun for me. Not like last year which was pretty much like having teeth extracted every single day for about three weeks. Blech. No, this year has been a fun and wild ride! I’ve had one character get tazed and kidnapped by government agents, while another character got fired from his job at Starbucks, and last night, two of my characters boosted a car! My word count, as of this morning, stands at 16,833. It was the easiest and funnest 16,833 words I have ever written. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself by saying that out loud in public.

And, I’ve been knitting too! The other night, I wrote well past my daily quota by the time the kids were in bed, so rather than spending the rest of the evening writing, I watched TV with the hubs and knitted. Using my own handspun, my first handspun, I cast on Ganomy at 9 pm and by 1 am I was finished:

[ravelry]

How is your November going?

links · nanowrimo

Classic Avoidance Behavior

I need to do at least 3000 words on my NaNo before bed, but I’m procrastinating. I did the dishes. And the laundry. I watched The Daily Show on Hulu while knitting. I goofed around on the internet. I’m updating my blog. Why? I do not know. Hey look, a humorous adult novelty towel.