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What do all these foods have in common?

1) They are all yummy.

2) They are all foods that I like.

3) They are all in season and available at my local farmers market.

4) They are all in the same family: Nightshade Family

Some people have problems when eating those foods in the nightshade family and sadly, I am one of them.  From experience, it is the alkaloids in the nightshades that causes my arthritis to flare and my sore hands are the testament to that.  What does this mean?  That I seriously limit my intake of the three foods above and also eggplant…off-season.  While I lived in Alaska, I had nary a ripe tomato so while they are available in the market or from my own plants, I indulge during the season and deal with the stiffness and soreness in my hands.  The most difficult part of it all?  That I am 31 and have arthritis.  Darn that perfect genetic storm of Nana and Grandma!

In honor of my sore hands, I give you a recipe that I created yesterday:

Stuffed Pepper Soup aka Sore Hands Soup

1 onion, diced

1lb mild Italian sausage

2 sweet peppers, diced

1/2winter squash, your choice, diced

1 14oz can stewed tomatoes

water

Bay leaf

Vegetable bullion cube

2 cups cooked rice

 

In a large pot, warm a small amount of olive oil over low and slowly cook the onion to brown.   Add sausage and cook completely.  Add peppers and squash and heat to slightly softened.  Add can of tomatoes and 2 cans of water, bullion cube and the bay leaf.  Cook over medium for 1 hour to let flavours marry.  Turn off heat and add rice, stirring to mix and let sit for 10 minutes to soften rice and warm thru.  Serve and enjoy!

We LOVED this lunch and, despite my sore hands today, I’ll have the leftovers for my work dinner tonight…with a Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen chaser!

Good Things are happening around Chez Sisu just lately.

#1:  I am nearly done with school for this term.  Hoo-bloody-ray.  It has been a VERY long 3 months and I’ll be so glad when this Saturday, finals day, is over.

#2: We had a lovely visit from M’s dad, M senior, and step-mother L.  Joining them were M’s sister B and her kids E and S and it was a nice visit with them all for 2 days.  Luck for us we had good weather so we were out and about in downtown PT for a while with them.

#3: The fur-babies are getting along famously.  While we have yet to see them cuddled together on purpose, we do see this scene quite often.

Sisu is still wondering how to get Pepper out of her favourite chair however and that is a source of…confusion…for Sisu.  She looks at the cat, looks at M on the couch and whines, looks back at the cat…eventually she gives up trying to stare kitty into moving and just moves to her spot on the couch with a huge sigh of resignation.  Poor baby.

#4: Mum gave me an early birthday gift that arrived on Friday.

It was well packed, and I mean VERY well packed.

I got new dishes!  For the first time in my adult life, I have a real set of dishes that match each other and I LOVE them so very much!

M and I put them to good use right away and we are loving using them greatly.  They are heavy and square and white and fit just perfectly into our lives. 

We even used the party platter yesterday for snacks (Perfect!) and the canape plates for chicken (just right for snacks!)  We love the dishes Mums, THANK YOU!!  We can’t wait for you to come and visit and try them for yourself 🙂

#5: I took Saturday evening “off” and was lazy after my Microbiology final and then Sunday I spent 4 hours weeding the property before taking a well-deserved break and setting things going for M’s Fathers Day dinner (Venison Stroganoff for dinner, strawberry shortcake with real, fresh whipped cream for dessert) and watching movies on TV (end of Cars, The Blind-Side, Prince of Persia, part of Beetlejuice (I can see why mum wouldn’t let me see it as a kid…ick!) and then switched to The Day after Tomorrow) while knitting on blanket squares.  You can see the knitting in the above photo if you’re interested.

What with work and school, there really hasn’t been time for anything else and knitting and spinning have gone by the wayside for a while now.  With the last month I have been tired and stressed and just plain worn-out all the time and I am so grateful that there is a light at the end of…well, this week.  I’m looking forward to being able to re-center myself with fiber and finally finish my Intentions project, getting back out on the road for running and just being able to take some time for myself to breath and not feel pressure.  I think that July will be about reclaimation:  Reclaiming the property from weeds regularly, Reclaiming our Saturday ritual of Farmers Marketing, Reclaim my knitting and spinning and running time and friend time from class work…just reclaiming myself from other things.

You know…there was something else I was going to tell you about…Now what was it…

Oh yeah…

#6:  In the morning of a random Tuesday, in the quietness that we both cherish, M asked me to wear something for him and I agreed, knowing full well that it would change our life forever.

A Good Thing indeed.

But its ok because I put him there.  This lovely rubber duckie is actually a tea duck, no, not a special breed but a tea ball…See:

He was part of my Easter box that my mum and sister sent to me and I just love him.  Very cute and makes me smile every time I use him.

In other news, that tea duckie is in a travel mug because I have to go to a A&P2 lab in a few minutes but I thought I’d leave you with a few photos of what we’ve been up to:

Skimming stone and thinking better of fetching them…

Finding inspiration everywhere, including bathroom stalls…

Posing for family pictures…

Trying not to get pounced on but loving to play together…

Working on knitting super secret projects being held for ransom…

And enjoying life in general, especially these past few beautiful days!  Running in the sun is fun and I’ve got 8 days until my first race of the season.  I’ve got quite the container garden going now, complete with tomatoes and basil.  If only mozzarella grew in pots we’d be totally set!  School is going great and we’re over half done, 2/3rds actually!

Lots going on and lots more to do today.  Enjoy it!

Instead of launching into a mass of reasons why I haven’t posted, what has been going on with me and my general life status; it should suffice to say that I have been floundering in an ocean of depression, have taken many mouthfuls of brackish water, dodged the flotsam and jetsam of plans, saved all the wool, planted a long awaited garden and finally, finally learnt to swim again.

 The Wool:

A trio of socks; blue for me, boy colours for the boy.

     

A shawl.  More specifically The Jubilee Year Shawl

…which I am calling “Happiness” both because it is making me very happy to use this skein of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn (188) which I have had in my stash since 2008 or so and happy because I finally feel like I have found the true calling for this yarn.  It has tried to be socks and mittens and a hat and none of those things looked…right.  And then I found this pattern purely by chance and it is perfect.

What you aren’t seeing in this wool section is something that is done and gone and I, being the forgetful Auntie that I am, forgot to take photos of said items first.  I made my new nephew (RGB) 12 single socks from KP’s Imagination and then knit him blanket squared with the remaining 22g of the skein.  Actually, what I did was a bit more complicated than that…I wound each 50g skein into a ball, knit a single baby sock using my standard baby sock pattern, weighed the remaining and split it into 2 22g balls.  I then used 22g to knit RGB’s baby blanket.  What you see here is the second 22g knit into mitered squares with a bundle left over on top.  As I finish this project, I’ll give you more details on it but the general plan is that this will be joined by 12 more colours (24 total), yes, I know you only see 7 here but the other yarn isn’t squared yet, and become a blanket and more baby socks.

Also in Wool is the beautiful Intentions yarn that I have been spinning and thinking through.  This project became so much more than I thought it would and while life got in the way and derailed my plans for doing the project in a year, I am so happy to still be working through it.

   

This is Patience and is perfect for the lesson that I am learning.  Thats part of what makes me love my Intentions project.  Though it is nothing like I planned, it is exactly what I needed and has been fitting into my life exactly as I needed it.

The Garden:

6 years ago, I made a plan.  I wanted a herb garden in a strawberry pot.  I knew I wanted rosemary on top, cilantro (coriander), dill, thyme, marjoram, oregano, chives and sage, all the herbs I love to use, in the pockets.  The only problem was that I was living remotely and the getting of said pot, herbs and soil was an insurmountable challenge due to cost and logistics.  Since then I haven’t lived long enough in a big enough town to have my dreamed of herb garden.

Until now.

I can not tell you how happy it makes me to have this wee garden.  Something that I have wanted for ages is finally mine and just the thought of it makes me smile.  And salivate because I can’t wait to use the herbs along the way.

I also planted Orange mint and Spearmint with a Chamomile between them:And two of a crazy plant that I couldn’t resist because of my love of and for them:

Artichokes.

Swimming:

In other parts of life, I have gotten back into running almost by force.  I say “force” but what I really mean is that I registered for the Rhody run (12k) on May 20th, the Seattle 10k at the end of August (again) AND the Seattle Half Marathon the Sunday after Thanksgiving and if I don’t “get back into running” then the registration monies go down the toilet and I embarrass myself when I try to complete any or all of these events.  So running it is and I feel great doing it.  Makes me wonder why I was foolish to ever let myself stop.

In all parts of life…I feel like I am…getting there.

Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally.

I’m not quite sure where “there” is but, as always,

“It is the Journey, Not the Destination”.