Gardening

Litmus test

I live in what it, for me, a food desert. It is, depending whether I choose "safer" (i.e. not littered with the corpses of deer to remind the unwary pedestrian what happens to pedestrians who happen to be unwary) or "closer," either one hour or forty minutes' travel to the nearest food store (there is a convenience store nearer my house. They sell liquor, bait, and macaroni, but not cheese or sauce, and occasionally they sell boxes of cereal for nine dollars a pop). I always get stopped by the police, who make it clear that by existing as a pedestrian, I make the people of my (wealthy and statistically speaking terribly unhealthy as a whole) community feel unsafe. I'm also pretty sure my income still qualifies for government food benefit suppplementation, although I am not currently using this resource.

So I think if people who didn't happen to share my kyriarchy-friendly pigmentation and close-enough-to-broadcast accent said, like I would, "Yes, that would be AMAZING, especially if you swapped out pouched vegetables for canned; and shelf-stable bagged milk, a la Canada, for the powdered stuff," on the proposal of delivered "harvest boxes," you would see a lot of hasty backpedaling to financial aid and WIC-style vouchers, maybe with the realization that, yes, these are far more cost-effective both in terms of getting aid to people and in terms of preventing and ending poverty (the statistics I have heard say every dollar spent on feeding high-risk kids and moms saves between seven and thirty dollars within about twenty years. Look, if you found an ethical and humane way to save your company, on the most-conservative side of things, 7% per annum, you'd probably be offered a vice-presidency. Cough.)

I know, I know. But teach a man to fish, yada yada yada. Refuse to feed a man who is too hungry to learn or concentrate a fish you weren't going to eat anyway because he doesn't "deserve" it, social Darwinism, invisible hand, and not only does your fish rot, you have to clean up a corpse afterwards.
Gardening

Bad news confirmed, but that's good news

CW: me rambling about my cat.

I have been terribly worried about my cat. She has been experiencing diarrhea and severe pruritis with hair plucking, made miserable and bald with itching and scabs. Worming and treating for mange gave her no relief, so I tried an elimination diet, which showed immediate results. Feeding her a bit of plain chicken breast from my evening meal for a treat caused her to flare up again, so my hypothesis is that she has a chicken allergy. This is a bit of a "wait a minute... where am I?" moment for a cat: I am willing to cook chicken for her, but the consequences of eating that chicken are unbearable even to watch.

But then last night, she was scratching with a vengeance. I was thinking with alarm that I might have to sacifice this move for vet bills, but when I went to get the mail, it turned out that my neighbor had kindly put some food out for the local strays. I suspect that my cat ate some of that food. She is awfully fond of chicken.

Knock wood, we'll be able to keep the itching under control with Zyrtec.
Gardening

That nagging voice that tells me to be healthy

For forty years, I've been wrestling with this: my mother, father, and stepmother all had mind-blowingly important jobs while I was growing up. And I was such a needy, hot mess, due to my LD and my over-reaction to my abusive nanny and stepfather, when it seems pretty standard for children to be self-sustaining after about age four, a financial and social net positive by eight, and most of my friends lived on their own and made their own living between the ages of twelve and sixteen and had paid off their houses before they turned twenty-five.

I'm pretty sure my dramatics killed people, because you can't work 75+ hour weeks and parent a needy, difficult, dramatic child without getting a little tired and distracted. So, kind of a murderer here. Voluntary manslaughter-er, at least.

But this morning, I thought, "But what if the jobs had promoted a healthy work-life balance, that allowed people to spend time with their families AND sleep, as well, hm? Maybe even have healthy marriages, too!"

I know, I'm such a burn-it-all down pinko. But maybe this is something society could work on.
Gardening

Small social victory

One of the things I looked forward to about moving to St. Louis was hanging out with a friend and occasional crush object from school. Where I reached out, though, I got a lot of soft nos, so I backed the hell off for a year or two. No blame--- I was pretty toxic in school, and this person was into some non-vanilla sex stuff, which freaked my college experiment with heterosexuality out, and I had to balance longing to talk art with Friend with, "OMG, what if my boyfriend thinks I miss the life that I once led? I have to cater to his insecure heinie!"

So. That happened and it shouldn't have.

But instead of going with my instinct of freaking out and writing long, impassioned, self-excoriating FEELINGSMAILS, I backed the heck off, and contented myself with a "hey, hope you're well, this article reminded me of you," about once a year.

And you know what? "I have no time to hang out, sorry," has become, "Hey! Yes, when's good for you? Wow, I work around the corner from the M. Hotel, and you take reservations there? Wild!"

I'm learning. Slowly.
Gardening

"And then you slap me on the back and say, 'Please...'"

I forced my face to turn and look at the grand question of to "what did I eat today?"

Calorie tracker: nothing. You ate nothing. You had a grand total of 232 calories yesterday. You're wondering why you feel so darned spacey and tired today, aren't you?

Temptation # 1: whip up an giant oatmeal whoopie pie with extra frosting, via the Sally's Baking Addiction recipe. I am very hungry and crave-y, and it WOULD bring me up over the 1000 kcal (1, 1 million calories, ah-hah-ha! :thunderclap:) that I find is the minimum for the functional Leewit.

Temptation # 2: just go bed and worry about this food nonsense when I wake up. (This is how I ended up not eating enough to sustain my brainmeats yesterday. The ghost of Zombie Bloke would like you all to know that I am still fat, and ANY food is too much food for a woman whom he deems too fat, plus it is monstrous for a person to eat at all, particularly a woman, when there are children starving anywhere. I'm pretty sure even the actual Zombie Bloke was never that harsh.)

I chose option 1.5: made oatmeal with almond milk (which is, by the way, delicious), a bit of butter, and a squirt of blackstrap molasses, and chased it with a handful of blueberries and an ounce or so of turkey. I may also do some salsa and eggs before I sleep.

I owe my body my life and that of my beautiful daughter. I don't owe body-shaming misogynists, even the imaginary ones that persist in rattling around my skull, anything but the back of my hand.
Gardening

Tiny house

Wandered over to Zillow. Yes, there is a kitchen there that makes me sigh, for a ridiculously low expected mortgage payment.

I don't think I'd be a good homeowner, though. I need safety nets. I also think my current apartment is wayyyyy too big for me at 388 square feet. I could do with a reduction of about 1/3 to 1/2 that space. They, um, don't really make houses that tiny. Which is a shame for me: one of the only things that could really sell me on a house would be not having to worry about bothering my neighbors with noise. Currently, I get my neighbor banging on the floor because I'm using my vibrator, which isn't all that noisy even if I don't muffle it with blankets, or watching Netflix on my phone at a volume I can't really hear properly from two feet away. Yes, brainweasels/ Ed-in-my-head, I know it's unacceptable to watch or listen to stuff on your phone or computer/ TV without headphones or a Bluetooth unless you are doing so socially, but maybe pipe down, the neighbor is tired of hearing YOU wheeze on about what a terrible not-a-person I am...

Another reason the apartment will be good: it's essentially a coach house, self-contained.
Gardening

PSA

Yo empecé a pesar la harina en mis productos horneados en lugar de medirlos de volumen. No hagas esto. Serás como yo: lo llevará su cocción a próximo nivel, pero escribirás publicacións de blog no gramaticales proclamando: "No voy a volver! Nunca! Nuncaaaaaaa!"

TL:DR: yeah, weighing your flour is something I've been resisting for too long. I thought adjusting on the fly would be sufficient to make things work, but it turns out there's a real benefit.