Random (but not really)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday. Ugh.

Still here.

Still sickly.

Going to try work today.

Meanwhile, you could amuse yourself reading my recent book reviews.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Physical Health & Mental Health

How do I know my mental health hasn’t been the best recently–because I’m home right now with a cold.

Here’s the thing, physical health and mental health are closely linked, even if people don’t always recognize that fact. I take good physical care of myself–I exercise, I eat well, I try to make sure I get enough sleep–in other words, my immune system should be in good shape, since those are the things you need to do to remain physically healthy.

But since this last bout of depression, I’ve gotten a cold or the flu about twice a year. Why? Because mental health has a huge affect upon physical health.

Stress, anger, frustration, all of these things affect the immune system negatively, and when subjected to high levels of these stressors for a long period of time, the body often reacts by getting sick.

To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten sick sooner than this–I’ve been under a lot of stress this summer. I’ve tried to deal with it in a healthy manner, but apparently it got the better of me. So now I’m sitting at home feeling awful, which is my body’s way of saying, “slow the hell down!”

OK body. I heard you. I’ve slept about 18 of the last 24 hours. I realize that my manner of dealing with the stress in my life has not been productive. But I’ve changed my anti-depressant and will make sure I exercise every week day.

So can I go back to being healthy now? Because this laid up with a cold thing really sucks.

Written by Michelle at 1:28 pm      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Depression,Science, Health & Nature  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday

Y’all better know what to do by this time.

cat

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (20)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

“Dear Non-Computer People”

This is my life, in flowchart form.

tech_support_cheat_sheet

Written by Michelle at 7:16 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Computers & Technology,Family  

Tasty Tuesday: Drunk Peaches

Since I was little, when we grilled out my Mom would often make something called “drunk peaches” for dessert.

Combined with a couple recipes I found, I’ve refined the recipe. It’s perfect for late summer grilling.

Drunk Peaches
3 or 4 fresh peaches
1/3 cup brown sugar
fresh grated nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dark rum or bourbon (depending upon your mood)
Vanilla ice cream

Drunk Peaches

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the peaches. Bring the water to a boil.

While the watering is heating, wash the peaches, and then make an “X” in the skin on the bottom of the peach.

Butter a grill safe pan large enough to hold the peaches. You can use a disposable pan if you like. I use an old bread pan.

Place the peaches in the boiling water for one minute.

Drunk Peaches

After one minute remove the peach from the boiling water and drop it into ice water.

Drunk Peaches

Starting at the “X” you made, peel the peaches. The skin should come right off, although you can use a knife if you prefer.

Cut completely around the peach, then twist slightly along the axis–the peach should come apart in two pieces. Remove the pit.

Place the peaches into the greased pan.

Drunk Peaches

Place butter slices atop the peaches. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Grate nutmeg over the brown sugar. Pour bourbon/rum over the peaches.

Cover entire pan with foil. When you remove dinner from the grill, place the pan of peaches on the grill over indirect heat.

Drunk Peaches

Once dinner is over, the peaches should be finished. The peaches should be soft, and sitting in a fair amount of liquid.

Spoon the peaches into bowls.

Add a scoop or two of ice cream.

Pour the remaining liquid over the peaches and ice cream.

Drunk Peaches

Eat!

Drunk Peaches

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Food,Photos  

Monday, August 24, 2009

Math & Jana’s Wedding

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Math & Jana’s wedding and reception:

Liz

Liz

Grandmom and Ben

Grandmom and Ben

James

James

Helena

Helena

Sunset

Sunset on our way back to the hotel.

Celebrate!

In case you can’t tell, that’s a bottle of Mountain Dew. It’s a long story.

Jana

Jana

Math and Jana

Math and Jana

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Family,Photos  

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Flower Pr0n: Sunflowers!

Sunflower

(more…)

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,House & Garden,Photos  

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Congratulations!

Congratulations to Math & Jana who are getting married today!

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Family  

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Cat Blogging

Cats on the window seat

Apparently it IS Kat’s window seat, and Kit isn’t really wanted.

Lazy Kit

I can’t decide if she looks extremely lazy, or slightly dead.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Cats,Photos  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What You Should Be Reading: Nina Kiriki Hoffman

I started reading Nina Kiriki Hoffman when I came across A Fistful of Sky in a bookstore and picked it up on a whim.

I read it in a single sitting.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman writes what I consider Urban Fantasy, which is very different from Supernatural Fantasy, which is full of vampires and boinking. Her stories remind me a bit of Charles de Lint. Her characters live in our world, except that they can see or manipulate magic. In A Fistful of Sky, Gypsum comes from a family that can manipulate magic, only for Gypsum, the powers she receives are neither simple nor easy, and she must come to terms with those powers, as well as her family and herself. It is a coming of age book, only without the angst–well, without too much angst.

But what makes the story for me is that Gypsum is a real woman. She is plus sized. She likes to eat. She considers “Ultimate Fashion Sense” a horrible curse. She has a difficult family, yet loves them despite the problems. I love Gypsum, and wish she was a real woman, because I bet she’d be a lot of fun to hang out with.

And that sums up most of Nina Kirki Hoffman’s books. Her characters are teenagers or are coming of age–she also has this in common with Charles de Lint, but although these may be categorized as Young Adult books, they are most definitely a good read for actual adults, though you should share them with the youths in your life.

Although she as written multiple books in similar worlds, books that occur in the same world are not necessarily part of a series, but may contain characters that recur in multiple books–in other words, you can pick up any book and dive in, and not have to worry whether the book you are reading has a sequel or a prequel.

She also writes short stories, and her stories have appeared in many of the anthologies I own, including Swan Sister (2003), The Repentant (2003), Children of Magic (2006), and The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007). Like her books, characters may or may not appear in multiple tales, and the worlds she creates may or may not appear in multiple tales, but what you can count on is that she can build a world and create complex characters in a short story just as well as she can in longer stories.

She has also, apparently, written Star Trek books, but I have not read any of those.

If you are looking for an author who consistently writes excellent stories, in both the long and short form, then you won’t go wrong reading Nina Kiriki Hoffman.

The Thread that Binds the Bones (1993), The Silent Strength of Stones (1995), A Red Heart of Memories (1999), Past the Size of Dreaming (2001), A Stir of Bones (2003), A Fistful of Sky (2004), Spirits that Walk in Shadow (2006)

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  
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