enduringplum: (Blush)
( Jul. 14th, 2008 01:28 pm)
I went to a childbirth education/yoga class yesterday at Wild Lotus. Both the yoga instructors who took us through the routine during the second part of the class were personable and well-educated, although I do think they should have made it clearer that none of the women should push themselves to the point of discomfort, as a couple of the women in the group seemed to have a lot of trouble with some of the postures.

The doula who conducted the first half of the class, which focused on the process of labor and the various positions that may make labor easier, quicker, or more comfortable, also made a good impression and has even worked with Esther, my midwife. She had brought a hand knit model of a uterus, complete with cervix and a representation of the amniotic sac, but I didn't get a chance to ask who had made it for her.

I enjoyed both portions of the class, but I would have liked it if they would have discussed possible interventions in greater detail, why they might be necessary, and how we can respond when they are offered both out-of-necessity and unnecessarily. The doula did hand out a lot of pamphlets on that topic and others, but I think would be more beneficial to discuss it in class and then read up on it at home later.

I discussed the student class rate with one of the instructors after our class had wrapped up and they offered me the student discount, so I think I'll sign up for regular pre-natal yoga classes with them; I'm not sure what position helped, but the tightness and pain beneath my right shoulder blade loosened up completely sometime during our yoga routine. There were a couple positions I couldn't ease in to completely, because of my enlarged left ovary, but overall it was a great routine for me.

The only thing around the house I've felt really motivated to do since I got back is cook. I've been eating great and bringing food to my dad, too, so it's actually working out well. When I'm not cooking, I've been thinking about cooking or baking. Tonight it's black eyed peas, brown rice, fresh kale, and corn-on-the-cob. Tomorrow I'm making chicken soup with escarole and, if I get crazy, I'll make biscuits, too (but hoe cakes are way easier). I made some tasty peanut butter cookies a few days ago, but they don't keep very well.
Freezer Meals, Prepared Meals, and Staples )

I think about food almost constantly on any normal day, but I think my list-making is developing in to some form of "nesting."

I've done a good job of lowering our food bill by making cheaper meals and making them in bigger batches, but the cost of fruit is still way too high. I've never had any success growing strawberries (they have either rotted due to too much moisture, been devoured by "potato" bugs, or I have let them dry out too much between waterings), but growing blueberries sounds a lot easier and we get so much sun in our front yard that I think I'll order two or three blueberry bushes when I get home, then have Carl stick them in the ground by our front window and the office windows; I know I need at least two for cross-pollination, but they don't need to be of the same variety, so I think I'll get all different types, which should create some fun (or possibly terrible, but that's part of the fun) hybrids over time.

I want to plant some citrus trees, too, but Carl's right when he says we'll never get to harvest them ourselves if we don't fence in the entire front yard, so we'll probably do just that. I know I want at least a Meyer lemon tree, a tangerine tree, and a grapefruit tree; I prefer tangerines to oranges because they're easier to peel. I'm considering trying to grow a fig tree from cuttings of my mother's big fig tree, which was grown from cuttings of one of her grandmother's fig trees, but the only place to plant it would be on the side of the house, right on the street. That probably won't be a problem, because when they eventually do produce figs, this variety makes more than any one family can possibly eat; in fact when I get home, I'll probably have plenty of figs to harvest and freeze from my mom's tree, because it's just about the right moment of summer!

I have the perfect spot in our backyard to plant banana trees: right between the small drive way and the pool patio. They would be completely surrounded by cement on all sides, so they won't be able to spread all over our yard, turning it in to a jungle. I won't plant any shell ginger or bamboo in the ground, however, no matter how thick the concrete may be, because I've seen how both those plants grow in our subtropical climate and there's just no stopping them: my mom's shell ginger was never even planted, she just leaned it up against a patio railing and it took root right on top of the cement, never to be moved again; now it's taller than a one story house and at least eight feet wide and five feet deep, despite freezes, hurricanes, and our best attempts at murdering it.

I'll never grow apples, the climate just isn't right for them, but I know I can get easy citrus, figs, and bananas. I'd like to grow pecans, too, but I don't have nearly enough space for two full grown pecan trees on our little lot. I bet I could also grow a mango tree somewhere around our pool, so I'll have to start trying to sprout mango seeds whenever I buy an especially tasty fruit.

I've gotten several of Bedstemor's elder tree (hyldeblomst in Danish) recipes since I've been here and I'll be excited to try them out when I get home. There should still be plenty of blossoms on the trees all over our neighborhood when I get back, so I can make the elder flower tea right away. I also got a couple recipes for the berries, although Bedstemor has never tried those herself: one is for an elder berry drink of some sort and the other is an apple and elder berry marmalade; the apples are no doubt included because elder berries are so awful-tasting on their own (yes, I was one of those children who would just eat berries off of any old bush).
enduringplum: (Gush)
( May. 23rd, 2008 01:17 pm)
The only not great news I got yesterday is that my iron level is on the low end of the normal range, so I'm going to make sure to get at least three servings of iron-rich foods every day. I thought I was doing pretty well, but my iron level may be a little low because of all the fresh fruit I've been wolfing down.

List of Iron Rich Foods )

I guess the next meals I make should be sweet potato stew and then black-eyed peas, greens, and hoe cakes. In addition to red beans and rice, both the stew and peas and greens are fantastic to make when one is totally broke, which we are right now; hoe cakes are not health food, but I love them with my peas and greens. I'm glad my favorite foods, aside from sushi, are all peasant foods. :)
Aside from binging on Oreo cookies, I had a pretty good, quiet day. The Oreos binge was also quiet, but now I'm feeling disgustingly full of cookies; I don't often eat sugary, processed foods, especially since I began trying-to-conceive and then became pregnant, but I went a little bit crazy with it tonight.

I worked on my mom's sewing machine yesterday while I was at her house doing our laundry and that went well, aside from some difficulty I had with the bobbin; I was loading it incorrectly and trying to use the machine like that was tearing up my fabric and locking the machine up, but it was just a small piece of cloth and my mom showed me what I had done wrong.

I stopped by the Marigny Brasserie for the end of The Pfister Sisters' set and stood in for Debbie for the last half hour, so she could take off early and bring her kids to the mini festival at the park on Dauphine Street. I dropped her pay off to her afterwards and ran in to a lady I took Tai Ji after Hurricane Katrina, while I was living with the Hackett's and then while we were in the FEMA trailer. She was there selling her beautiful knitting and we talked about her work and Tai Ji, which she is still studying at the Liu Institute. She took up Tai Ji in an effort to save her hands from carpal tunnel syndrome, since she knits for a living, and she feels that it's helping a great deal and she's really enjoying it - in fact, she's also taking Kung Fu now! Her work is great and she's able to support herself solely on her knitting income, which I really admire. Check out Lauren Thomas' work if you have the chance! For her online catalog, you can e-mail her at handknitstyles (at) hotmail (dot) com, but you can also see her at the local New Orleans' art markets and exhibited at local galleries.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Apr. 29th, 2008 09:14 am)
I have a few unopened food items around the house that I'm just not going to eat, like a box of organic, strawberry-flavored rice crispies and a couple boxes of "motherhood/mother-to-be" tea my mom bought me that I'm never going to drink again, because I drank both copiously while we were trying-to-conceive and now I can't stand the taste; they're both nice, refreshing drinks as iced tea, but the whole TTC ordeal was terrifically stressful, so I just don't like them anymore.

So, if any of my friends like rice crispies, or wants to make strawberry flavored rice crispy treats, let me know and I'll get a box of cereal to you.

Likewise, if anyone wants to improve the health of their uterus and other female reproductive organs, let me know because I've got a couple boxes of tea for you. The nicest thing about those teas is that they did seem to make my periods less painful and each bag is individually sealed, so the tea stays very fresh.
enduringplum: (Psychedella)
( Apr. 10th, 2008 11:15 am)
Last night I cooked for the first time on my new stove! It's great to have a giant bowl of my dad's chili in the 'frige. Until last night I hadn't been able to feel truly "full" for a couple of weeks. It's just been difficult for me to get enough to eat, even though I've kept plenty of food in the house; if it weren't for my huge appetite, it would be easy to believe I'm not pregnant, because now that I'm in my second trimester I'm free of the irritating pregnancy symptoms, like tender breasts and "morning" sickness. Honestly, my pregnancy symptoms were reassuring, so I didn't mind them at all, but I am also glad to be over them.

Getting back on topic... Aside from being my favorite comfort food (it's right up there with chocolate pie), my dad's chili is also great for when we're living on a tight budget, because the only expensive ingredient is that ground beef. When money is tight, I just add another handful of rice and cut the amount of beef in half. It's also a fairly forgiving recipe, because last night I accidentally poured in a whole can of diced tomatoes thinking it was my tomato juice and it still turned out great. I also forgot the black olives, but I think Carl might have picked all of those out, anyway.

I can't wait to bake in my new convection oven. It's by Frigidaire, so it wasn't overpriced and I know it will be reliable, but most of all I'm thrilled that it's a true or "pure" convection oven, so I can get rid of hot and cool spots while baking with the touch of a button. I'm thinking molasses cookies and chocolate chips would be nice.

I'm going to reheat some chili on the stove, then bag some up to freeze before I run my errands. Carl's down to his last pair of clean underwear, so I've got to head over to my mom's to do a load of laundry and collect our hanging clothes, which are still hanging around her house. I also need to buy a microwave, because, unlike Carl, I don't think it will irradiate me to reheat meals in one.

Names )
enduringplum: (Default)
( Nov. 25th, 2007 02:20 pm)
It's a beautiful, gray rainy day and my birthday is next week! I think I'm getting to the age where I'm going to begin feeling "old," the way so many of my older friends seem to feel. Whatever, it was still a lovely morning, I had been up all night, Sunday brunch is a long held New Orleans tradition (although I had coffee instead of an endless chain of mimosas) and birthdays should always be celebrated for at least a week, so I made myself a special meal for brunch!

Dutch Baby )

I stayed up all night watching episodes of Avatar: The Last Air Bender and playing WoW. My sleep cycle has been so out of whack that I decided to stay up all night to force myself back on track. So far, so good: I'm sufficiently awake from a nap I had this morning, but still yawning, so I should be able to sleep tonight. The problem I have is that around eleven o'clock every evening, no matter how tired I feel before, I perk right up and don't get sleepy again until three or four in the morning. Yes, I should obviously try to go to bed before eleven, but I just don't wanna.

Avatar is such a wonderful show! Carl doesn't care for it, but he still appreciates the quality of the whole production and the messages it sends to kids. I love the complex characters, the comic bits, and the simple sweetness of the program. The few DVDs I own are animation and Avatar is absolutely one I will add to my collection and watch again and again; it's the type of show that I find comforting and I wouldn't hesitate to compare it favorably to any of Miyazaki's work, because it is just all-around that good. Being a Nickelodeon it, obviously, does not have the same production values, but I think it demonstrates that nearly the same amount of thought and love have gone in to its creation.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Oct. 1st, 2007 05:54 pm)
Yesterday I began my third cycle of Clomid, which I am taking on Cycle Days 3 through 7 at 150mg a day. I was supposed to have done my third cycle last month, but the pharmacy filled a lower dosage and then failed to fill the correct dosage before I left town for Dragon*Con. It's just as well, really, because I've had a lot of interstitial cystitis pain all this month, so having sex every other day would have been difficult and stressful for me; I'm hesitant to take the muscle relaxers Dr. McSherry prescribed because they are extremely relaxing, so much so that I feel wobbly, dizzy, and weak. It was also just nice to have a break from taking my BBT each morning, peeing in a little cup every afternoon, and all the general pressure of trying-to-conceive.

We're trying again this month, without any idea what the future will bring, but I still feel comfortable with the decision to try to conceive now, rather than later, for a multitude of reasons that I won't re-examine right now.

On a different note, I really want to make cinnamon rolls! I found a couple recipes on All Recipes that I think I can modify to be less sugary and with fewer carbohydrates, but still delicious. I think I'll try the home economics teacher's recipe first.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cinnamon-Rolls-I-2/Detail.aspx
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Ninety-Minute-Cinnamon-Rolls/Detail.aspx


I'm taking a perspective class this semester and I need to buy myself a graphics tablet for it, but I have no idea what brand I should purchase or what size, so I have a lot of research to do before I can start doing my class work. I'm going to order my text book tonight, so I can at least start my assigned reading as soon as possible. The more "real" assignments won't be due until the second week of classes, to allow the students time to collect all of their materials.
It's unlike me to go without updating my LJ for so long, but I've got several good excuses lined up just in case.

I had a wonderful time at Dragon*Con and will post pictures behind a cut here. I spent most of my time gaming with friends and total strangers who were lured to our little group by how much fun we were obviously having! Oddly, we met one guy this way who happened to speak in exactly the same tones as another friend of ours, who we know through World of Warcraft.

I'm enjoying my knitting group a lot, especially since we got some new members, including a fabulous, curly-haired gay boy from Chalmette who's glad to have "knitting bitches" again. The thing I like about my knitting group is that it's pretty diverse (at least for a knitting group). The group is mostly female and mostly white, but all of the women there are from different walks of life and in very different stages of their lives, and all are friendly, open-minded, and helpful. One friend suggested that there must be a knitting group in New Orleans that consists of a more "hip" membership, but I'm not really interested in that and, as far as I know, the hip, primarily young Stitch-N-Bitch that used to meet in the Carrollton area has been defunct for a while; at the very least, their Live Journal has been stagnant for months; I suppose I just like to surround myself with really down-to-Earth people. It's also just nice to get out in to the night in a neighborhood I love, then to sit down to a peaceful cup of tea and catch up on whatever excitement has been going on in the lives of the other members.

A few months ago I bought some candy from a local Asian grocery store and I only have one piece left! It doesn't seem to be something they stock regularly, so can anyone tell me if they've seen it before and where? It's red bean paste/gelatin candy that I just love, especially with my tea in the morning, although it's too sugary for me to eat an entire piece at once.



Some Dragon*Con Pics )
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