It Ain’t The Gin

Because of our ongoing drought conditions, cotton production here in the flatlands is way down — like from an average of between 28,000-35,000 bales to between 3,000 to 5,000 bales (A bale is 480 lbs/218 kg of ginned raw cotton, and contains enough cotton to make 200 pairs of Jeans, 250 single bed sheets or 1200 T shirts). So, what’s ripping my sinuses a new one can’t be the cotton stripping and ginning (which throws all kinds of herbicide and defoliant laced organic matter and soil into the atmosphere).

Odds are it’s juniper. We have a lot of Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei) here and southeast of us, as well as some Oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) and Pinchot’s juniper or red berry cedar (Juniperus pinchotii). Winter/spring is not a good time of year because of a thing called “cedar fever” — which is like “hay fever” except caused by cedar and juniper pollen. We’ve recently had some rain, and that’s evidently set off another round of it, and it has been reading my sinuses the Riot Act.

It also gives me what I call “sniper sneezes” — Like you’re innocently and unsuspectingly going about your daily life, unaware that a sneeze sniper has you in the crosshairs. Then BANG! you’re hit with this massive sneeze without warning. Usually, with a sneeze, you get that inhale bit at the start, which is like cocking the thing and dropping a round into the chamber, so you have something to sneeze with (which is the whole point of the exercise). Not with a sniper sneeze. Your sneezer goes off whether there’s a round in the chamber or not, you gasp reflexively and that immediately sets off a second sneeze. I have actually banged my head on stuff . . . .

So, Walkers Shortbread makes Christmas shapes! — which go down just as easily and deliciously as their regular ones, especially with a pot of Twinings’ Christmas Tea, which is a nice black tea with cinnamon and clove spices. No, I did not eat the whole box of cookies at one sitting. I only ate half the box. I am exercising self discipline. Sorta. But actually, I’m not really into cookies in general (except shortbread and soft sugar cookies with icing), or cake (unless it’s got buttercream icing and squirty icing shapes), or pies (except mincemeat, cherry or pumpkin). Cheese cake, though. And ice cream. Those are my Achilles heels. (One on each foot. Fair is fair.)

I have to confess I’m not all that into chocolate, either. (Yes, I am a heretic and have betrayed my sex. Deal with it.) Rolos and Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate raspberry squares are the only chocolate I eat consistently, but I can take it or leave it.

I ran across this the other day and it’s brilliant. This is what the autism spectrum actually looks like. We all have all the traits, just in different amounts. I have a lot of a couple traits but don’t have much of most of the other traits, which means I can “pass” for neurotypical.

Speaking of which, the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year holiday season is an exhausting time of year for me. Parties, family get-togethers, dinners. I’m expected to mingle in crowds of people, do lots of group stuff and socialize. Crowds make me very claustrophobic; the babble noise of a bunch of people in a room is overwhelming; I don’t like to be touched, let alone get unsolicited hugs; and I am schmooze-impaired. For those of us on the spectrum, socializing is a “fake it till you make it situation,” except we can never make it. We’re the cat among the cows. All the cows instinctively understand how to be cows. We cats have to play it by ear. All the time. We never get to see the sheet music. Ever.

There’s going to be a party tomorrow from 4:oo-6:00 p.m. I’ll attend. There will be food involved. Since I’m not on chemo anymore, a glass of wine to make the spirit bright might be in order.

I saw a Twitter quote the other day that made me guffaw: “What do I want for Christmas? I want what every girl wants for Christmas: Death to the patriarchy and pockets in all my clothes.” Amen! Me, too.

I have a pair of fleece-lined snuggly house shoes but I can’t put them on without having to bend down and straighten out the back of the heel. I found myself opting to walk on cold floors in bare feet rather than take the time to do that. So I got me some house shoes I can just step into on those occasions when I can’t sleep through the night without a potty break. Eliminating life’s little annoyances one at a time.

In the knitting news, I have one bootie finished, one bootie that just needs the little green edging, and about 17 rows and sleeve edging left on the dress skirt. Gauge is 10 rows to the inch. Skirt is 9 inches long + 9 rows of seed stitch. Going to try to get it finished, blocked and in the mail by Monday. Good thing the relative humidity is 38% and it’s merino wool sock yarn.

C. S. Harris has a new Sebastian St. Cyr novel coming out in April, 2023. Oh, joy! Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have a new Liaden novel coming out in July, 2023.

Have you seen that Kraft mayo commercial that says there’s no such thing as too much mayo? I agree in principle, but not in brand. (Hellmann‘s mayo. Please.)

No such thing as too much tomato either. I make Christmas BLT’s — no L. (Think about it. It’ll come to you.) Just a slice of toast, mayo, tomato slices, four or five slices of bacon, tomato slices, mayo and a slice of toast. You will notice paper towel diapers on both sandwiches. Necessary. After one sandwich, the paper towel is too soggy to use again. Serious, if soggy, nums.

Woke up from a dream the other morning with the sad knowledge that Honduras is closed to me now. Sigh.

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Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

One thought on “It Ain’t The Gin”

  1. Nice play on words in the title. Now, it reminds me of the old joke: “What did Eli Whitney tell his houseguests?” “Keep your cotton-pickin’ hands off my gin.” I’ve wondered whether cedar season was starting. The past week or so, there’s been occasional sneezing and such in this part of the country; usually it’s January, but it’s been an odd year.

    Speaking of drought, this is interesting. It’s good news for us, and I hope you get some of the same sort of good news.

    I’ve never tried those shortbread cookies. I like shortbread, but the commercial varieties I’ve tried all have been dry and essentially tasteless. Maybe I should spring for a box.

    Like

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