Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And now, a conversation with my niece.

(Phone rings, caller ID says Mom)
"Hi, Mom."
(brief pause)"HI!"
say, "Hi Aunt Abby!"
"HI Abby!"
"Hi, Ruth! How are you? Are you having a good day? I love you!"
say, "I love you, Aunt Abby!"
Hey, Diddle Diddle, the--
and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the--
the little dog laughed, to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the--
Little Jack Horner sat in a corner, eating his Christmas--
He put in his--
and pulled out a plum, and said, What a good boy am I!
Ruth, P-I-E spells...

That's right, my two-year-old niece can spell Pie. Genius.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Do not read if you are squeamish or uninterested in "lady problems"

You've been warned. I can easily be accused of TMI here, but I'm furious and want to stand up for women for a minute.

Several years ago, I got a lump in a "lady area" that was diagnosed as a Bartholin's cyst. The problem was taken care of in the ER, since I did not at that time have a physician or insurance (this was two weeks before I started my job). A few years later, I got another one in a slightly different area, and then several more, one at a time. My CNP confirmed the issue as cysts, but not necessarily a Bartholin's cyst. She said there are other glands in there and they can get cysts or abscesses. She indicated that it wasn't a big deal, especially since my cysts were always small. Every summer, though, the problem recurs, and I have been attempting to learn more about it, not just to get rid of them when I get them, but to prevent them if possible and understand how they occur.

It is true that if one performs a search for "Bartholin's cyst" one gets lots of results, some of them from reputable medical sources. But as I mentioned, not every cyst is a Bartholin's cyst, and so I tried to expand my search. Instead of getting real information, one gets pages and pages of questions from other women who have this problem, and few answers. The Bartholin's cyst pages claim that lots of women get cysts. So why is everyone so confused, and why is there no helpful information on this problem?

I turned my attention to books, and started with the Wood County Library. As I looked through the stacks of medical books, I found lots of books on pregnancy, several on men's genital health, two on boobs, and ONE BOOK on general female health and emotional wellness, which had nothing on cysts. WTF? I thought to myself, profanely. Here I am, a woman with a delicate question, and no resource ready to hand to help me with this "common" problem that no one seems to know or care about. But I can tell you (and I really should have said this to my CNP) that if you were to take, say, a dried pea, and shove it under the skin of your labia, you'd not only know about it, you'd think it was a very big deal and want to get rid of it and prevent it from coming back.

A helpful suggestion was given to me to check out the Science Library here on campus, or the science books wherever they end up when the Ogg closes, which I will surely do. It just infuriates me that I lived twenty-five years of my life without knowing this problem was possible, that I had to be scared of whatever it was when it first occurred, and that now, when I'm seeking information, it is beyond difficult to find. To me, that's completely unacceptable.

End of rant.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I came across some truly amazing pictures today from Zena Holloway, who takes underwater pictures. These pics were posted on a bridal blog, and you should go look at them. They are pretty and frilly and ethereal.

Backstory--Guilty Secret:
One of my favorite activities, when I want to completely waste time without noticing how much, is looking at bridal gowns online. I'm not getting married any time soon, and to be frank, I'm beginning to doubt that I ever will have that privilege. That's a whole other topic. But as a person who loves fabric and dresses, who considers a purchase of dupioni silk on sale a major coup, and who often buys satin and brocade just because, I love bridal gowns. I want to try them on.
If I were a mite taller, say two or three inches, I would maybe have tried to be a model just so I could be a bridal model.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yay! Updates

I officially have a nephew. That's right, I now have a matched set, a niece and a nephew. Ruth and Nichol. Ruth can already say Nichol, and mididentifies herself as him in her baby pictures because they resemble each other quite a lot in this infant stage. I talked to Ruth on the phone last night and she seems pretty cheerful about it all. I'm told that thus far Nichol is a calm baby who is eating well and letting himself be held. I'm very excited to meet him.
I am also in a quilting tizzy because Nichol is two weeks early. I wanted to have the new quilt done and cleaned to bring when I meet the baby, but I don't know if that's happening. I am actually planning on leaving the office early so I can go home and work on it. I'm doing a tricky part of it just now, but it's coming out well.
I've been eating Little Caesars this week to celebrate the fun times. Yesterday, though, I made a vat of potato salad for a few lunches. Just like I did when Harry Potter books came out in the summers. All I need is some cherries, fried chicken, and Hawaiian rolls and it's just the same!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And now a message from Hallmark

I learned a valuable lesson today.
I was looking for a Father's Day card I could love. Amidst the cards was a Family Guy one with Peter Griffin on the front and a weak joke about doodie (ie "ha ha. I said doodie."). I didn't read the rest. Instead I thought, "Who would buy that for their dad? Whose dad would really find that funny? Or heart-warming? Whose dad would feel special after reading that card?"
Not ten seconds later, a woman came along with two daughters. She immediately saw the FG card, snorted, picked it up, and said, "This is funny. Your dad would love this." She gave it to her daughters to read; they giggled, and then handed it back to her. She asked if they wanted to get that one and, to their credit, they said No. She repeated that "Your dad likes Family Guy. He'd really like it," and they actually whined no, and continued rifling through the cards.
So I guess that's my answer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Most of the reality shows I bring myself to watch are procedural--shows that are based on a skill and that (hopefully) have minimal drama. That's why I was a little excited about Top Chef Masters. While top chefs can certainly be melodramatic, I had hopes that at least they wouldn't be immature and disrespectful of each other.
Last night's premier was perfect. It had Hubert Keller in it, first of all. The chefs were also given very similar challenges to those of regular TC seasons, including the dessert quick fire. And the four chefs were all nice to each other, pitted only against their own skills and egos. Perfect. It's possible the show will not have enough backstabbing and melodrama for some people, but it was just right for me and I felt like I learned a lot. I am skeptical of Bravo these days, but they did right by me with this episode.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pickled Garlic

Hey, peeps.
So, as one of my luxury items, I buy jars of olives with garlic cloves and pepperocini and so on in there...mainly as a result of a Christmas present from my brother-in-law which showed me how enjoyable pickled veg is. Salty, pickly, delicious.
My favorite thing in these jars, aside from the olives, is the garlic, and I want to try pickling some garlic. I'm looking at recipes online, but I want to know if anyone has tried this and if so what your recipe is. I like garlic a lot, but have issues with garlic breath that won't go away under normal circumstances; pickling removes this problem.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Laundry Poll

Today I dropped off the dry cleaning portion of my closet-incident-related laundry. I've been handwashing sweaters for days (3-4 sweaters per round, three days for complete drying before beginning the process again), and I think I have my method down pretty well by now, even if it is still pretty tiring. I guess I've found the drawback to having so many lush boucle sweaters, especially because they don't always go back into shape easily.

At the dry cleaners, we had a big discussion on three of my items--

  • My quilt made of special occasion fabrics, which isn't in the best of shape and which I told them I'd sign a release for...it has had so much food spilled on it over the years and is coming unstitched so if it gets ruined it gets ruined, but it needs to be cleaned.

  • My never-worn turquoise mesh top with beading all over. Once again, signed a release. It's a cute top, and who knows, I might someday go to a club again. This is the top that they sold me a silver strapless top to go underneath, and we all know what a great idea that was. I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't come through well, but I hope it does.

  • My Prince Edward Island ivory wool cable sweater. It's too big, but it's one of those sweaters that you wear over a thin sweater in the winter when it's blizzarded and above 30 degrees and you want to walk somewhere. Or you're going skating at an outdoor pond and want to move freely and accessorize with a cute hat, scarf, and gloves. The problem is the sweater got the worst of the water from my neighbor's toilet outflow, and the dry cleaners said they didn't think the stains would come out. This one might be relegated to working outdoors in February clothing.

And here we approach my actual question: How many of you have heard that A: You should not dryclean wool sweaters, B: You should not handwash wool sweaters, C: You can machine wash wool sweaters in a garment bag on cool but should not dry them, or D: Any other washing methods.

I'd read online that handwashing was preferable to dry cleaning, or at least that it was natural to do, that it was heat that shrunk a sweater and not water, but the ladies at the dry cleaners insisted that dry cleaning was the only way to prevent wool from shrinking. Said they'd had some bad experiences. I have a few sweaters that are part wool that have held up fine with handwashing, but I have several sweaters that are giant and are completely wool and often handknit. They are too big for me to do myself, which is why I was asking what the dry cleaners offered.
Now, I want to hear your opinions and methods. What do you do with wool?