Back to the fields, you peasant!

Published January 3, 2019 by Malia

This Christmas, I received one of those 23 & Me DNA testing kits.  I hadn’t ever planned to get one, because I know that I’m not guaranteed super accurate results.  However, since it was a gift, I figured it didn’t hurt to give it a try.

Now, as far as ancestry testing goes, I’m expecting to see results that place me as being mostly European.  I’m definitely built like someone you’d expect to see working the fields hundreds of years ago.  From doing genealogy research, I know that there’s German, Czech, English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish in my background.  I’m curious to see what results I get regarding Jewish, Mediterranean, and African ancestry.  I have my suspicions, but so far haven’t turned up anything concrete in my own personal research.

I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the health report.

I sent in the kit last week.  I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally spit that much in my entire life.  As of yesterday, according to the app, my specimen is currently in the genotyping stage.  Sometime between January 14th and the end of the month, I should have my results.

If you’ve done this type of testing, I’d be curious to hear what your experience was.  Did you find out anything surprising?  Meet any new family members?

I’ll fill y’all in once I get my report back.

A Colorful, Crafty Year

Published January 2, 2019 by Malia

I’m diving into 2019, throwing all my energy into my crafting.  There’s a possibility that later this year, I’ll be trying to sell some of my creations at craft shows.  However, if I do that, I have to have some inventory.  Which…at present…I don’t.  Over the next several months I’ll be slaving over a hot iron, as I make piles of fuse bead key chains, magnets, and ornaments.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I’m also wanting to make myself a blanket.  Earlier this fall, I was on Pinterest, and I discovered something called a temperature blanket.  Basically, over the course of a year, you put a blanket together.  You use colors to indicate the daily temperature.  I decided to crochet a granny square blanket, because it’s an easy and beautiful pattern.  It was a bit cold yesterday.  Supposedly, it was only 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but it felt so much colder!  Here’s the start of my blanket:

IMG_20190102_103908.jpg

I’ll be updating the Temperature Blanket section of this blog daily so that everyone can see my progress.  And if you’d like to join in, I’d be thrilled to follow your progress as well!

It’s the end of the year, as we know it.

Published December 31, 2018 by Malia
photo of fireworks

Photo by Anna-Louise on Pexels.com

Here it is.

New Year’s Eve 2018.

Oh, 2018, what can I say about you?  You’ve not been a particularly good year, but you definitely haven’t been the worst year.  I’ve learned a lot this year, and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ve definitely grown as a person.  I’ve learned so much about myself.  I’ve stepped up and taken ownership of my life.  It’s been a scary, exhausting experience, but something that needed to happen.

I’m looking forward to 2019.  I have plans for this blog.  I have plans for my life.  I have plans to drink a ton of coffee.

You may notice a few changes to this site.  I’ll be documenting my jigsaw puzzles, and I’ll be keeping a daily log as I try my hand at making a temperature blanket.  I know that every year I make the pronouncement that I’m going to keep this blog more up to date, but this time I actually have a plan.  Crazy, right?

Finally, we’ve been talking about it for years, and have finally tried it. We have a podcast! Tom & Malia Have A Podcast. That’s right, the Boy has a name, and it’s only taken me almost five years to reveal it.  There’s only one episode, so far, and I know it’s a bit rough.  It’s fifteen minutes of us talking about the new Aquaman movie, and because I’m easily distracted, Spiderverse comes up as well.  This will be a learning experience, but should be a fun journey.

And that’s about it for now.  It’s almost time for the annual New Year’s Eve Diablo 3 gaming session.

See y’all in 2019!

The blog isn’t dead, but it may be moving.

Published September 21, 2018 by Malia

I realize that over the last couple years I’ve written less and less. By some miracle y’all have stuck around and read my long rambling musings. Thank you for that.

I’ve actually been writing more, but I’ve been experimenting with a new platform. One where I make a few pennies whenever people like the things I write. There’s a Katamari game coming out for the Switch and Fallout 76 in my near future, and I’d like to be able to buy them when they’re new. I’d also like to contribute in a small way to the general income of our home. I realize that’s more important than video games, but currently I’m more excited about the games than I am the water bill.

So, if you want to read my most current writing head over to Medium, and check out my latest.

Bonus, here’s some adorable, sleepy animals:

You may be weird, but are you ‘make a fake baby announcement to celebrate your new instrument’ weird?

Published July 17, 2018 by Malia

I’m so exhausted right now, but the house is making weird noises, and the dog is restless, and it’s all very unsettling. It was really unnerving when she sat on the bed and stared at the door and refused to budge. Thanks, dog, I need more anxiety…

Here’s a fun fact about my youth that quite a lot of people don’t know. I mean, the people that were around in my youth know, but anyone who met me after summer of ’03 is unaware of this. Actually, I just realized I have to start this story back before I was born.

I was born into a musical family. My mom plays piano, drums, and autoharp, and she has one of the most beautiful voices in the world. My dad played the tuba in the Navy band, but he was also in a country western band that the Navy sent out to play gigs. He and my mom had their own band as well. This all was years before I was around.

Growing up my folks played and sang together a lot. Once I got old enough, their duo turned into a trio. Mom played autoharp, dad played guitar, banjo, and mandolin. We’d sing together at all kinds of things. Churches, town festivals, nursing homes, etc… After I moved out to go to college, we didn’t really play and sing together anymore. Every great once in a while we’d do a number, but it was a rarity.

Recently, the instruments have come out, and we’ve been practicing again (with a few new additions to the group. We’re now a quintet).

Dad rocking the banjo

Mom makes it look so easy (it’s not)

A little over a week ago, I got to rehearsal early, and I was watching my dad play the banjo. A thought suddenly struck me, in my nearly 34 years of life, I’d never asked to try the banjo. I’d tried every other instrument in the house, but the banjo always seemed almost sacred to me. I think it had something to do with it being such a part of my dad, I didn’t want to accidentally damage it. Besides which, I’ve had years of epic fails trying to play stringed instruments (I have fat, small, stubby hands which doesn’t help at all). The closest I get to even minor success is the piano. I’m a brass and woodwind girl. Give me any of those instruments and I’m golden. I’m not tooting my own horn (pun definitely intended), I really do have a gift when it comes to brass and woodwind instruments. They just make sense to me.

Anyway, back to my story…I’m sitting there, and I asked my dad if I can try the banjo. He handed it over to me, equiped me with picks and gave me a very brief lesson on how to pick. And y’know what? My fingers understood. My parents were thrilled.

I didn’t think much more about it, until last Saturday. Last Saturday, I was given a precious gift. My own banjo. I was given it, with the explanation that “You need to get the music back in your heart.” Which was much more true than I wanted to acknowledge. I’m realising that I’ve tried to purge almost everything to do with music from my life, which would probably shock those who knew me years ago. I don’t handle emotional pain well, I box it up and hide it deep inside myself.

I’ve been practicing everyday. There’s something very soothing about practicing the picking pattern dad taught me. Trying to play the assbutt C chord is less soothing. D isn’t much better. A7 is awesome, but open G is my current favorite. Yesterday, in an attempt to be funny, I posted the following image to Instagram:

Kermit, of course, is in honor of Kermit the Frog; and Martin is because of Steve Martin. Two very important banjo players (apart from my dad).

So, now I play banjo. 2018 has definitely had it’s fair share of surprises.

Let’s redo the floor ourselves, we said. It’ll be fun, we said.

Published May 30, 2018 by Malia

I am not skilled when it comes to any kind of house or auto maintenance. Fortunately, I married someone who is.

Years ago, when we got married, we discussed eventually redoing the living room. There was a pointless wall, and awful carpet. The goal was to remove the wall, pull up the carpet, and lay tile. We’ve never had much money, so this whole plan fell into the category of “Someday.”

Then came the Saturday, early last fall. We had gone to the ReStore (think thrift store meets Menards). We needed a doorknob, and as we wandered through the store we stumbled across our dream tile. The tile we’d spent years planning to place in the living room. Not only did they have the tile, they had enough for us to be able to redo the living room, and maybe even one of the bedrooms. Even better? We could actually afford to buy it.

We made several trips with my father-in-law’s pick-up, and brought the tile to our garage. It would spend the next few months sitting there, collecting dust. During Thanksgiving weekend, the wall came down. Then we ripped up the carpet.

The furniture all got moved to the dining room and the basement. The piano moved into the kitchen.

The boy’s job takes him out of town for 3-5 days every week. The only time he’s typically home is on the weekend. His job is exhausting, so by the time he gets home he has little energy to do anything. Which means progress on the floor has been slow.

Six months of this has been a bit wearing. Fortunately, though, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. We spent all of Memorial Day weekend grouting. I can best describe it as feeling like we’re icing a cake we’ll be looking at for the next 15-20 years.

The grouting isn’t perfect. There’s so many mistakes, you can definitely tell it was a diy project. There’s one spot that’s so bad, we spent hours trying to fix it, and eventually agreed that we’re going to put furniture over it and never move said furniture.

I’ve taken numerous showers, and am still covered in a layer of grime that I fear will never come off unless I figure out how to shed my skin like a snake.

The cuts, the dirt, the sore muscles, and the exhaustion are all worth it. We’re going to have a beautiful living room. It won’t be perfect, but neither are we. I wouldn’t feel at home if it were perfect.

Drumroll Please…

Published March 24, 2018 by Malia

To quote Professor Hubert Farnsworth, “Good news, everyone!”

I had my fasting blood drawn this morning and after several stabs…

(That’s four, four painful sticks of a needle. I’m a nightmare draw.)

…my blood was drawn. And this afternoon I got the result of my A1C (and of my chem 14, but I wasn’t nearly as anxious about that result).

At the end of December, my A1C was 10.2. That was the A1C that got my surgery cancelled. The A1C that legit scared me.

I’m pleased to report that as of this morning, my A1C is down.

It’s not 9.5.

It’s not 8.5.

Wait for it…

….

It’s 7.8!

You have no idea how excited I was to see that number. Especially since I know I didn’t apply myself nearly as much to the getting healthy process as I should’ve. But, as much as I blame the flu for me falling off the wagon of eating right and logging of food & blood sugar numbers, I’m thinking the flu actually deserves my thanks. See, I spent almost all of February sleeping, and when I ate, it wasn’t tons.

Now, I just have to try even harder to be good.

The only bad news? I’ve lost no weight. Zero. So, I’m sure that’s not going to thrill my doctor, but she should be happy about that 2.4 point (really hoping my mental math is right) drop of my A1C, right? Hopefully, this’ll keep me from having to go on insulin. Plus, since I’m below 8.0 my ob-gyn is going to be willing to consider doing my surgery again!!!!