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Archive for November 13th, 2006


Monday, November 13th, 2006

First, I have to say I’m thrilled to see folks chatting with one another through my comments. After over a year without comments this is a sweet turn of events… if you commented before, you might want to go back and see if someone came back at’cha, as they say.

Upcoming events for me: three classes this weekend, one at each of the Lansing shops where I teach.

1. Perfect Hug Shawl class at Little Red Schoolhouse, 11-1 on Saturday.

2. Polymer Clay buttons/beads at Rae’s Yarn Boutique, 2-5pm on Saturday.

3. Wristwarmers at Threadbear Fiberarts, 1-4pm on Sunday.

I continue my gratitude that in Lansing everyone plays together so nicely. I love each of these shops, they have very different personalities, customer bases and yarns. Yes, there is a bit of overlap but I celebrate them all. The owners of each shop I’m proud to consider friends.

Please consider joining me for one of these classes. Any one would be a good thing for a not-too-pricey, not-too-time-consuiming gift or two or three. Once you know how to make one item, it’s not hard to repeat a second time, you know?

I hope to see some of you there.

Learning from Dreams

Monday, November 13th, 2006


I woke up a little early this morning, having a vivid bad dream. I guess if ancient kings could learn from dreams, maybe I can too.

When I was a child my bad dreams included being chased. I had one recurring one, and as a young adult the dream returned. That time, I realized I was dreaming and turned around and told my pursuer that I knew it was a dream so I was going to do things differently this time. I never had that dream again.

This morning I woke up from a nighmare, the kind of my adulthood. This type of dream started for me when I was planning my first wedding at age 21. I would dream that the guests would come on the wrong day, the flowers went to the wrong church, the dress was wrong, things just never went all the way right.

With this sort of dream, the exact details never repeat but I keep having variations on a theme. It happens particularly when I get overbooked or am working toward a big deadline.

No Dress Rehearsal

In this morning’s dream, I was in a musical theatre production. I had a minor dancing part with a few lines (this reminds me of when I was one of the tap-dancing “angels” in Anything Goes).

I found myself at the first public show (thank goodness it was for children) not remembering what to do. I would forget if I had a line. I would forget where I was supposed to be for my entrance. I didn’t know what costume I was supposed to wear for the next entrance. I was so frustrated that I could not remember what to do next, until I realized that we had not had a dress rehearsal. At that point I got upset with the director that he(?) would have done a show thinking we could do a children’s performance instead of a dress rehearsal.

My Current Tools

Wow. No wonder I woke up. My life is full of things to do, and if I knew a good order in which to do them, things would work out better. As it is, my mind works like a tornado, going quickly in circles and touching on things just long enough to move them along a little bit, then on to the next thing. Eventually everything gets done because I’m determined to do my work, but it’s really inefficient.

I have a palm device (AKA palm pilot, but mine is not that brand) which coordinates with my calendar on my laptop. I don’t know what I would do without my palm. Those who know me best know that they should ask me to pull out the palm and write things on that, if they want me to remember an appointment.

I also organize with my email program. This works well for how my brain works… I never delete an email I might want to refer to again. Instead I have hundreds of folders by topic and I “file” messages in those.

If for some reason I filed in the wrong place, there is a good search function in the program which allows me to look up old messages. I’ve looked up messages that were 5 years old before. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to access that information when I want it! When friends/associates ask me if I can do this or that event or task, I ask them to send me an email. I lose sticky notes and other paper reminders… I can lose one in less than 5 minutes, have done it repeatedly. But an email is never gone.

The Essential Backup

Because of my absolute dependence on my gizmos to help me organize, I have very good “backup” procedures at my house. Every night while I’m sleeping (3am) my laptop wakes up and makes copies of everything I deem important, saving them to another computer in the next room.

I also occasionally make an extra copy of one of those backups in case the backup program goes funky. I learned in my years of computer consulting, that you often need the 3rd and last backup before you rescue your lost data. I make sure I have that. My calendar file is always in two places on my second machine, plus on my palm device and my laptop. I’m serious about how much this helps me. Rae learned it while my palm was not synchronizing and I was waiting for parts and finally a new device. I just could not function properly, and she even commented how I really needed that palm to arrive soon! I’m so glad I’ve found this tool.

But how do I give myself a “dress rehearsal?” I have so many little puzzle pieces to fit together every day now (until the weekend after Thanksgiving, when I’m in the “Art for the Soul” home show in Williamston).

Beginning a Learning Curve

I don’t really know what to do first, second, third. I do have my calendar program where I can fit tasks into timeslots. I try to do that as much as I can. However, sometimes I’m unreasonable about what I can really fit into that little square on the screen.

What I have not taken into consideration for months, is that there needs to be “wiggle space’ between my tasks/appointments. I’m human. I need lunch. I typically get lunch only about 3 or 4 times a week. I just do not make room for it in my schedule (I do get a good breakfast and a good evening meal every day). With my health already funky when it comes to the foods that nurture me, I need to make sure to nourish my body on a regular schedule!

I’m already cooking virtually all of my food, something I would have said even 6 months ago was an impossible idea. Now I need to plan enough to have foods ready to eat for lunch. I had made a lot of food and put it up in the freezer, but then I found that one of the ingredients I thought was working out for me (onions) seems to be making me feel crummy… therefore, much of the food I “put up” is now good for Brian to eat but not for me. Sigh. Start again.

Open Minds: New Foods

The cool thing is that we are trying new foods and it’s turning out well. The parsnip/sweet potato soup was incredibly satisfying, and I’m eager to add some new favorites to the rotation.

Last night we bought some unusual vegetables at Goodrich Shoprite (a place where many international students from MSU shop, so there are a lot of foods many “Americans” don’t recognize). It was sort of fun to open our minds to new foods.

I bought a fennel bulb and some plantains. Altu has told me how to fry plantain though I’m thinking of trying it in a soup. I don’t know much about fennel, found one recipe where you cook poultry with chopped fennel then throw away the vegetable, unacceptable to me. We bought an artichoke last night but neither of us has ever eaten one. I have some tomatillos, very good in salsa but I’m not sure what else.

Request for Recipes

If anyone out there has recipes (for these or other unusual veggies I haven’t mentioned here) I’d LOVE them. We are definitely groping around in the dark here with new vegetables. I can eat virtually any vegetable other than onions and mushrooms (or potatoes, which are not functionally a vegetable).

I don’t like to fuss. Some cookbooks say things like “if you don’t have a fish poacher, use a turkey roaster.” Some insist you use a blender or food processor. Ugh. I don’t have any of those (I do have a very small food chopper/processor) and don’t have room or the desire to add more “stuff” into my tiny kitchen storage space.


Off to deal with the squares/rectangles on my calendar…

Photos: Palm device I decorated for Altu, similar to mine. My calendar page from 2 weeks ago… this week is approximately the same.