Friday, November 23, 2007

One of us feels crappy, the other one doesn't.

I would be the feeling crappy one. Mike would be the other. It has recently hit me how unwell I have been feeling, increasingly worse as the year goes on and my viral load climbs. Borrelia was also increasing, but that seems to have subsided for a while as a result of the broad-spectrum antimicrobial I was taking for the viruses. I realize that the worse I feel, the less I write and shoot photos, and the less frequently I blog.

But, enough about me. Let's get to the more important part of our program: Mike!

He has been feeling heavier over the past several months, but I figured that was probably me feeling increasingly fatigued and weak. But, really, he felt heavier, truly. So I took a detour when getting ready to put him in his bath, and got on the scale instead.

He's 25 pounds now. Yup. Heavier. Maybe it's his jowls that added the 4 pounds...

...or maybe that belly...

He is also getting ready to shed again, and my hormones have apparently cycled into the "almost receptive to breeding" zone, so he's been hunching over my shoes and slippers a lot again, and tongue-flicking my feet for several minutes every late afternoon.

Many non-herp people ask me if Mikey (and other lizards--or reptiles in general--) can hear. I point out the tympanic membrane. Here it is in pre-shed state:

One of the joys of lizard parenthood is picking off the ear, eyelid, and spike shed when the skin is ready to come off. C'mon, ya'll, I know it's not just me who finds the concentration and focus relaxing and therapeutic, and the attention and removal of loosened skin that's been waving around when they move making for a a relaxed and generally contented iguana.

I have been doing some knitting around the enforced rest required by my right hand (my four usable digits now reduced by one more). I finished a pair of soldier socks out of a yarn I never thought I would hate: Regia Stretch. Love all the other Regias, hatehatehate their Stretch. These socks and extra yarn will be dyed black before being sent off to Iraq in a Socks for Soldiers shipment.

Underneath the socks is a tote I knit. I put the information on it at my new
Ravelry page. I am going to make one in a red & black twist to carry my Red Cross stuff in.

I will end, for a change of pace, with a recipe. I love cranberries any time of year (and prefer them on hot roast turkey instead of gravy, and on cold turkey sandwiches), and I love pomegranates.

Cranberry Waldorf Salad

8 servings

12 oz package fresh cranberries

2 cups sugar
4 medium tart green apples

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup purple seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup mayonnaise (optional)

Wash and pick over the cranberries. (I always have an extra bag or two of cranberries on hand, so if you end up picking out a lot of unripe or mushy ones, you can fill in from another bag.) Drain well.

Coarsely chop the dry cranberries in a food mill or processor. Stir sugar into berries; cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight in fridge.

Place cranberries in sieve and allow to drain well (takes 1-3 hours). (Save the resulting liquid to mix with plain soda for a cranberry soft drink, or, uhm, with some triple sec and tequila for a cranberry margarita.)

Mix the chopped apples, celery, grapes, nuts and mayonnaise together. Fold in the cranberries.

My changes: I made this the first time with 2/3 c. pourable Splenda, 1/3 cup sugar. I got lots of drained juice this way. The second time I made it, I made it with 1 cup Splenda, no sugar. Both taste fine. I had no tart green apples, just crisp Fujis, so I used those. No purple grapes, so I used the red/green seedless I had on hand. I also added a Packham pear. Finally, I mixed in seeds from a pomegranate for added crunch. Yum.