My 1 Million Row Challenge

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year.

At the precipice of this New Year, New Decade and a Blue Moon to boot. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. Join me in not making New Years resolutions to feel sad or angry about when we break our resolutions. Instead join me in striving for the best 2010 possible by getting through life one day at a time. Enjoy all the moments this coming year has to offer. May peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2012 The Movie Ending We Were Not Expecting

We rushed around this morning to get to an early showing of the movie 2012. We drove to the new Harkin Theater just off the I-19; this is one of the new multiplexes in town. If you have not been there it is a must go to at least once. We got our seats and our lunches. I had finished mine and had started feeding Eric.


We were 20 minutes into the movie when his connecter tube fell apart. In the semi dark I was trying to figure out just what had just happened. That’s when I noticed that the mic key button was in Eric’s lap. I promptly scooped up my purse and Eric’s bag, Yes I know I left my knitting at the seat. I found the nearest bench and sorted things out. I threw away the broken connector and tried to replace the button. I managed to get the button in again and added the 5 cc’s of water. Then disaster struck in the middle of the theater hallway. As I was trying to remove the syringe the button came out yet again. I tried for 10 frustrating minutes to reinsert the button. I left Eric in the hall momentarily and went to grab my knitting along with Teri and John. They had said the movie was just getting good. After briefly explaining what had happened I sent Teri to get a straw, I figured that if I could get a straw in we could skip the Emergency room visit. And head home to install a new button.

No such luck. So we left the Theater and triple teamed Eric to get him into the car. As we drove to the UMC Emergency room I tried in vain to reach the on call doctor but no luck, no one was answering. When we arrived Teri helped me get Eric inside at the rate they were asking question while I was filling out the intake form I thought we just might get back there fast, boy was I wrong.

The nurse and the doctor came in and I explained the problem and at every suggestion of what I should have done I replied I tried that. It seemed like an eternity but it was less than 5 minutes for the doctor to come to the same conclusion as I had drawn 30 minutes earlier. The upshot was that they did not have a button in Eric’s size. A failure that the Emergency Room doctor apologized for. Then John made a mad dash home and back to get out spare button. Teri and I kept Eric calm during all this.

John returned with the button and the resident got to insert her first button. We change Eric into dry clothes and got our discharge papers and headed out of there as fast as we could. But the adventure was not over just yet.

The first thing I did when I got home over an hour ago was to call Apria our supply company to request a replacement button. After waiting for over 20 minutes to talk to someone, I was told that I had called to late in the day to get a replacement button this year. I was told that they could get it here Monday or Tuesday. When I said that was not good enough that we needed it over night she said that her supervisor would have to call me back. At 5:12 the supervisor called and said that the button would be shipped over night and should arrive tomorrow.

So now it is off to the market to get what we need.

Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Day that Could Not Get Any Better

Today has just been a very wonderful day. I got the last of the holiday presents finished and mailed. This made John happy that there were 4 fewer hand knit items in the house. I really hope that Malie and her kids like what I made. I am always nervous when I send out hand knit items as gifts. I know that I do a great job but not everyone feels the same about handcrafted items.


Teri and I went shopping at Savers today and we got some great gangas*. Teri managed to get 2 pair of Seventh Generation Jeans that were lightly used and fit her like they were custom made for her. The best part was the tab was under $30.00. I don’t think I would ever have the spare money to buy them at full price.

We then headed to the dentist and got there 1 ½ hours early, but we were lucky to be able to get in early. All I had to do was to help the hygienist with her bobbles on a new pattern. By the way she had them done perfectly and did not need the help. They were even able to get Teri in for a filling before she goes back to school.

Then it was off to lunch at the 5th Street Deli. Teri has not had good deli food since she has been away. I am almost positive that they should have a good Kosher Deli in Santa Clara, but being busy with school she did not find one her 1st semester there. She enjoyed her corned beef sandwich and fries. I was nice to see her so happy and enjoying a meal so much.

We made a stop at Nadine’s Bakery for a sweet treat to take home. I still have not had the energy to do as much baking as I had planned.

While we were out shopping, John over saw the instillation of the new garbage disposal. The original one that was installed when the house was built was worn out. So now with the addition of the new kitchen faucet and garbage disposal I think I can put off the remodel of the kitchen till after Teri finishes law school.

Now it’s time to get back to work and organize under the sink, as you know this is never my favorite job and I have delayed as long as I could. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

*Gangas- an extremely good deal.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

To Yarn or not to Yarn.

Rubbermaid 3Q3600CLRVB Clear Storage Container - 95 Qt (Pack of 4)Yesterday I was sitting around the kitchen table with Teri and Eric. I had mentioned that all 3 local yarn stores in Tucson were have wonderful end of the year sales that started yesterday, and I just knew that they had yarn somewhere that was calling my name. I did mention to them that I had gone through 95 quarts of yarn since I had started my yarn diet and I was almost positive that I did not have much more than 500 quarts left. For the volume of quarts think those large Rubbermaid storage containers fill to the brim. I did not think that I had to count the yarn in my closet or the sewing room in that volume after all it is not in storage containers.
I have been knitting at a fast pace and going through lots of yarn I finished a scarf and a hat yesterday. I am finishing ufo's at a great pace so I think it would be ok to look at some new yarn. I really need some new yarn.
But both children in unison rolled their eyes at the thought of more yarn in the house. Teri made a great verbal argument as to why I did not need to buy more yarn and Eric joined in with a vigorous signing of no more. I really did not think that Eric was aware of all the yarn in the house.
So the kids won, I will miss the yarn sales this year. I will miss the adventure of finding something wonderful and cuddly and just kept knitting at a fast pace and hope that I have done enough knitting by next year to go to the sales.
To all of you that do not have as much yarn as I do please go and support your local yarn stores so that I can go next year. Please try to leave the shelf’s as I would, as empty as possible so that they do not have to count all that yarn in the year end inventory. It is the nicest thing we can do for the shop owners who do so much for us.

So now I shall go off to knit and see how much I can knit today. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Gift to You

This blog is a tribute to my dad who died December 26. I would like to share one of the most important life lessons that he taught me. I hope that you will find it as useful as I do and can incorporate it into your daily life.

The gift is called PMA or Positive Mental Attitude. I know that it does not sound like much of a gift, but let me explain why it is the best gift I can give to you. Yes I know that everyone has problems in their lives and everyone faces adversity sometime in their lives, sometimes on a daily basis. It is not the adversity in our lives that causes the problems but how we deal with the adversity.

Lets say that everyone starts the day with the same glass of water and it is only half full. We all know that a half full glass of water will not get us through the day and here is where the choices of the day start. We can take the easy way out and say that the day is going to be rotten because we only have a half full glass and have a rotten day.

Or we can use PMA to say that our glass is half full and we are off to a rotten day, then we affirm that we are going to have a rotten day. This is where the important part comes in, we decide to change that rotten day into a great day no matter what happens. We then tap into our positive energy and pull that day out of despair. Then with the positive energy manage to fill that glass so we have enough water for the day and if we are lucky enough we get more water than we need so that we can share with other people.

No matter what the situation is we all have the ability to make changes in out lives. Gd has given us free will. Your choice is weather you will make the most of your life or you will let everything fall by the wayside. With a Positive Mental Attitude you can make the most of your life and make the world better for not just yourself, but everyone around you.

So now that I have given you the gift of a Positive Mental Attitude, it's time to go play a few hands of Free cell which was dads favorite computer game and plan our day so "it is somewhere between great and fantastic" which was dad's favorite reply to how are you doing.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

This blog is about something near and dear to me. As many of you know I do have Sjorgren's Syndrome and it effects my life in various ways. This is a letter sent out by Steven Taylor of the foundation. I ask that you please take a minute to read it. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you know.

Every donation will help and no donation is to small.

Thank you and enjoy your families during this holiday season.

Dear Reader

We need your help to make sure the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation can support vital Sjögren's research in 2010!

That is why we have launched our 12 by 12 campaign: Raise $12,000 in online research donations by midnight on New Year's Eve! This $12,000 will help us get closer to the $300,000 we will need for our research grants this coming April.

By making a year-end tax deductible gift to research before 11:59pm on December 31st, you will not only be receiving the tax benefits of making a donation in 2009, but most importantly, you will be supporting vital Sjögren's research that needs our support.

With potential breakthroughs on the horizon with B-Cell Depletion Therapies as well as the acceleration of research into how Sjögren's develops, your support is critical for 2010. As you can imagine, every gift matters to help us reach our goal.

So please consider making a gift before midnight on New Year's Eve and help us raise 12 by 12!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sincerely,

Steven Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

Monday, December 21, 2009

Family

Well Teri has been home for a few days now. We have done the girl day of shopping and freebies on Saturday. It is nice to see how much she has grown over these last few months she was away, it is nice to have her back, if only for a few weeks.

Eric on the other hand is still giving us a run for the money. Last night he kept his father up till after 3, I could not manage to stay awake. I have had a hard time staying up late without my diet soda I find it hard to drink tea a midnight, where I had no problem downing a couple of diet sodas that late. On the other hand I have also noticed that my jaw is no longer in a state of permanent clenching. The weight loss has slowed down a little, but I am not eating all day either.

When thing settle down a bit I will try to write a review of the latest book that I finished The English American , Alison Larkin. I have included a link on my Amazon page and it is now in paperback. If you can't wait for the full review I will make this a must read book.

I am behind on my finishing work and when it is don I will get the last gifts out the door and add some new things to my Art Fire store.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Shopping

I know I prefer handmade gifts for the special occasions for those special people in my life. But lets face it some people are just plain hard to make things for. Either they don't like handmade, have everything you already know how to knit or have more than enough quilts for a small army.

Yes I do use gift cards for the special people in my life, like the nieces and nephews that I see once a year do to distance, I find it hard to shop for a growing child that I only see once a year.

Time is running out for shopping this week. Avoid the crowded malls and with just a few clicks. If all else fails get a gift card for that hard to buy for person.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00067L6TQ/?tag=hnadbysher-20

I have included a link to Amazon.com to solve that problem, that way they can get what ever their hearts desire is or you might just stumble on that perfect gift.

Happy shopping and enjoy your families

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It has been a while

I know it has been too long since I last blogged. We have had the usual ups and downs with Eric. I have finished 1 major and a number of smaller knitting projects, just 2 more x-mas gifts left to knit and I know that they will be late since I have to mail them.

The big news today is we now have a larger water heater 75 gallons and we can finally fill the new tub more than 1/4 the way up, yes the tub is big enough for a short person to swim in, well not really but it was made for a person much taller than myself. The plumber was gracious enough to install my new kitchen faucet, so now I only have water coming out of the spout instead of the spout and the base. I did not book an appoitment with him for the faucet but he installed it anyway, a very nice guy. We are still waiting for the new disposal to arrive, it was suppose to be here 2 days ago, I sure hope that the plumber has time to install it when it arrives, it looks like a nasty job.

Teri has finished here L1 first semester exams and will be here for the holidays. I hope that she has not over scheduled herself and has some time to spend with us. The house has been so quiet without her. I have spent the last week cleaning and have not finished, but at least Teri will have a freshly made bed.

I think I have come up with the worst combination for mood squashing in the history of motherhood. Tomorrow it will be 14 days with out any Diet Coke, or Aspartame, combine that with a week of house cleaning and I am ready to chop any one's head off. Although my Rhumatologist is happy I am off the Diet Coke and Aspartame, I wish I was not so tired. I may actually have to sleep when I am tired and not run around like a 20 year old all the time day and night.

I will do more cleaning tomorrow and also take pictures of 2 of my newly completed projects and blog about those. Well it is time to go back to work, so have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Playing Catch Up or As We Know it My Life.

OK so it has been quite a while since I blogged. So what has been going on in my life? Well here goes.

Since I blogged last Eric has been sick twice with two near all nighters, He is doing better today and I really slept last night. I have been playing catchup with the laundry. Did I mention that Eric can make 2 loads over night when he is sick. I want to thank all my laundry folders. In weeks like this I abide by my motto:
"Laundry is like fine wine, no laundry shall be folded before it's time."

I have agreed to teach knitting to Eric's friends at school, they will be making a wash cloth and a scarf. My inclination is to go for a square wash cloth and a thin rectangular scarf. I want the things to be useful for them. So today I went through my stash and picked out 10 skeins of cotton for wash cloths and 10 skeins of wool and rayon for the scarfs. I have 7 of the 10 set of needles that I will need, the knitting guild has not come through for me so I will take my coupons and buy the last 3 pairs. I will be using size 7 and 8 straight needles and am using metal needles so we don't have breakage to deal with.

I have gone to 2 white elephant holiday parties and have manage to get the white elephants I received out of the house. For the 1st white elephant I gave away 10 skeins of yarn and a knitting bag that I did not like, but the recipient was very happy with them. For the second one I gave away red mobius scarf that John did not like on me and I could not sell. For the Guild holiday party I might just do the same thing and fill another bag with yarn ( but don't tell anyone).

I gave up Diet Coke and aspartame cold turkey last Saturday and have had a few headaches and feel really weird, but so far this has been the only change in my diet and I have lost 3 pounds since Saturday. This is all due to my friend Kay sending me an article on the effects of aspartame/diet coke on auto immune diseases. It too soon to tell if it is making a difference, but I will keep you updated.

I finished the shawl pattern and got it to the beta testers and I still need John to take a picture of it on me, it does not look good flat, but on it's wonderful.

We have a new 96 Gallon recycling bin on wheels and it is very easy to fill so the house is a little less cluttered. Monday night we put out twice as much recycling than we did for trash. Yeah us!!!

So I think even thought it has been hectic I have made headway in de-stashing yarn(30 skeins by my count), and getting rid of clutter. Not much knitting has been done, oh, well there is always later.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Busy Weekend

Sorry I have not blogged for a few days its been a busy weekend. I hope to find more time to write on Monday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Last Night

I should have known something was going to go wacky. I had the urge just to get out of the house yesterday. I had no real errands to do so I went to Starbucks for 2 hours of knitting and relaxing.

While at Starbucks I did figure out the shoulder repeats for the shawl pattern I promised to give as Christmas gifts on Friday. So that was good. I have less than a skein to knit and then I will type the pattern for my beta testers. Did I mention that the Beta testers are from my Friday Fun Knitters group and have wanted me to write this pattern down for at least a couple of years..

After Eric's dinner he started feeling yucky and pulling my hand to his tummy. Well the eyrping started at about 10 pm and that did not seem to ease the pain. Then there was the 3:30 am total change, I am so glad that I put the extra chucks down around midnight otherwise I would have had a full bed change instead of just PJ's,blanket and chucks*. Basically what that means is 1 load of laundry instead of 3 loads.

I feel very proud of myself that I did not start the caffeine till about 4 am, but I am beginning to wonder if I should have started earlier. By the way that's when I started the laundry too. I was up so why not start a load or two and warm up the house a little.

So Eric and I are home today. He had 5 days off for Thanksgiving and only made it to school for 2 days this week. I wish I could figure out how to keep him well. I also hope that he naps today, I know that is a totally selfish thought, but it's not quite 8 am and a nap sounds good already. I think it's going to be a very long day.

I hope that you have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

*Chucks are those pads they use in the hospital under patients so that they do not have to change the bed as often. I consider them a resource saving device. They are less work to put on the bed then a total bed change. They require less water to clean than a complete bed change. Can you tell that I love them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

First I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I would like to make a short (maybe not) list of what I am thankful for today.

1. My Husband
2. My Children
3. My Family
4. My Friends near and far.
5. The wonderful world that G'd created for us.
6. My Yarn, I know it sounds cheesy but yarn really does have a calming influence on me. This also includes independent spinners and dyers and my local yarn shops.
7. The wonderful desert that surrounds my city.
8. All the people that help me get Eric through the day.
9. All the people who make Eric feel needed and part of the community.
10. The quiet times in my life, after all we all need down time.
11. All the people who are willing to share their wisdom with me.
12. All the people who make beautiful music.
13. Everyone who strives to make this a better world for everyone. My hope is that someday I will have time to join you in your endeavors.
14. The members of the military past and present who have and continue to make this day possible.
15. The people such as Police, Firemen and other public safety providers.
16. Everyone who has a smile or happy thought for me.
17. All of Eric's doctors throughout the years for being there when you were needed.

For this and all that I have forgotten to mention, Thank you so much for being part of my life.

Enjoy your families and have a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Runners Needed

The reason I am posting this blog on the Sjogren's running team is that I have this form of arthritis. So if you are a runner or would like to try a marathon or a half marathon please consider this run.

Recruiting Team Sjogren's Participants for the Nashville Country Music Marathon!

Do you want to make a difference for Sjögren's patients and their families?
Have you or someone you know every thought about running a marathon or half-marathon?
Do you have a desire to challenge yourself?

Then you might have what it takes to join Team Sjogren's and train to participate in the:

Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon
Nashville, Tennessee
April 24th, 2010

Team Sjögren's is a Marathon Training Program designed to help you train and prepare to participate in a marathon (26.2 miles) or half-marathon (13.1 miles).

In exchange for training and support, you help raise awareness and money towards research into a cure for Sjögren's, the second leading Autoimmune Rheumatic disease in the Country.

The Nashville Team Sjogren's Kick-Off Teleconference Call has been scheduled for December 2, 2009 at 8pm EST!

If you would like to join us on the call or have questions about Team Sjogren's, contact Elyse Jordan at
(800) 475-6473 ext. 217 or ejordan@sjogrens.org

Please feel free to pass this on to the runners in your life. You may also print this blog post for bulletin boards. Every one can make a difference.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We Made it Through the Day

Well we made it through the bitter-sweet day of Eric's birthday in mostly one piece. I know that this will take some explanation after all birthdays are happy days and are considered on of the sweetest days for a person each year. After all they mark the anniversary of our beginning of this life. And we consider it all the more sweet because we made it through another year in Eric's life.

The bitterness comes from the fact that while Eric is getting older his skills are not increasing. Almost all of his friends from the early years are freshman or sophomores in college. I hear about all there exploits from their parents and I am truly happy and amazed at what Eric's friends are doing. One friend has plucked himself down in South America in a semester long Spanish immersion program, this is a big wow. But this is not Eric's path in life. he will never be college material and will never leave the nest. I did let myself have my yearly 6 hours of grief over this, ate a carbo rich lunch and pulled myself together.

I am grateful that Teri and Eric still get along and that her birthday Skype call made his day. Eric made so many happy sound during the call, he was truly happy to hear his sister and can not wait for her winter break to get more Teri time.

I am grateful for having Eric in my life and I would not trade Eric or his quirks in for anything in the world. It is simply amazing the places a child like Eric can take you if you let them. But I do wish it was not so much work. This is the selfish part of me talking. I would like to be able to make long range plans like all my friends are at this point in my life but instead I plan and Gd laughs. So I continue to live my life day by day, hour by hour knowing that there are more challenges yet to come.

Well I have to go and get ready for day 2 of Eric's birthday, we usually let him celebrate for about a week. That is when we truly get tired of the birthday clown that I spent days looking for and he goes back on the shelf for another year.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Found the Birthday Clown


This is the object of Eric's birthday desires. It has not been a birthday since kindergarten when one of his friends gave this to him as a birthday present.

I tried a new tactic today. I brought the toy boxes into the house with the help of Joe, Eric's morning aide. I was going to go through the boxes one by one dumping them on the floor till I found him. He was hiding in the second box we dumped.

It is worth having to bring out the vacuum, to clean the rug to see the smile on Eric's face. I am not sure who had the bigger smile the clown or Eric.

Now I can get on with my day with out any worries about the clown or tomorrow. Dinning room table and filing here I come. No I will not show you pictures of the table till the table runner is down the middle and decorated with candles.

Have a wonderful and productive day. But most of all enjoy your families.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking in all the Wrong Places

Or where or where is the birthday clown.

Well we have a birthday coming up on Friday and we have not been able to find the birthday clown, the yellow one with the smiley face. The one that sings happy birthday. We have not seen him since we started the remodel last year.

Today with the help of Eric's aide we went through all the stuffed animal boxes, and no you really don't want to know how much we took out of Eric's room in order to redo the floor. Well after going through each box twice I am wondering if I put the clown somewhere else. It is very probable since the house got turned upside down for 4 months and I still don't have everything back in place.

I did how ever find all of Eric's extra blankets and have started washing them. I wonder how many load of laundry 90 quarts of blankets will be? This means one less box in the garage.

The question of the day is where or where are you dear sweet clown. It would be nice if you just showed up on Eric's shelf where you are suppose to be. I am off on a clown hunt, I hope to find him by Friday.

Have a nice evening and enjoy your families.

New season coming.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Tick off a Teen in Less than 5 Minutes

OK, I have managed to tick off my teen in less than 5 minutes after getting off the school bus. This must be a new record for me.

It all started before Eric got home. I could not get Tivo to bring up my i-pod music so I went to Eric's music file and started that while I was doing house work. There is nothing like up beat fast music to clean by.

With in less than a minute of rolling through the door the crying started. This is very usual for my happy go lucky party guy. So the 20 question game started.

1. did he have a bad day at school. he signed no.
2. did something hurt. again he signed no.
3. was there something in his eye. again he signed no.

The questions went on for 2 minutes, with Eric crying like the world had ended. I was almost at wits end. That's when the song change up came and I told him that I really liked this song, He just glared at me. Then the right question finally came,was mommy not suppose to listen to his music. A very loudly signed yes with a glare. OK I know sign language is silent but if you want to intone yelling you move your hands with slow large gestures to emphasize your words. OK time for PBS and Martha Speaks.

And this is how to tick a teenager off in less than 5 minutes, just listen to their music, who knew. This has never been in the parenting books or articles on parenting that I have ever read.

Well all is calm now, so I guess it is time to get back to organizing the house. I dared to enter a new room today and have filled up one trash bag so far. The room will definitely win today, but maybe sometime soon I will win the clean up wars.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And The Winner is ...

Well my judges were very busy this week and did not have time to get back to me so I went through all the entries, 22 in all. I read them and tried some of them, I have already done some of the things on the list of ideas... well enough rambling.

Shirley if you send me your choice of either $20 to spend at http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri or 4 skeins of yarn from my stash, your choice of cotton or wool. And most important how to get the prize to you.

Shirley said...
Every time you get up, put something away in that room. Every time you leave the room, take something that belongs in another room and put it away. Every time you enter a room put something in that room away.

Decide on homes for everything. Not only does it make it faster to put away, it makes it easier to find.

Good Luck!

Although he was not a judge John liked Regan's advice, so to get me a little more organized I would like to send you 4 skeins of yarn. Please send me your address and specify cotton or wool.

Reagan said...
Hello! My mom is super-organized, and so she keeps us on top of organizing. :) One thing that worked surprisingly well was once a month, she has us go through our rooms and pick 5-10 things that we don't need--even including yarn stash. I mean, really, do you REALLY need that wool/acrylic blend sitting in the corner of your stash? Another thing that works wonders on my yarn stash is hanging cubbie organizers, which look like mesh shelves, but at the top have a hanger top, so you can hang your entire stash in a coat closet or even in your regular closet. :)

Other Really great ideas were from
evergreenknits said...
I'm only semi-organized myself, so I'm not sure I have great suggestions!! But for me, I found that the most important thing is to be careful about what things I bring into the house to begin with, and to try to balance bringing the new with clearing out the old.

heather said...
I like the flylady method for organizing. Set a timer for 15 mins go through one bin or box for those 15 mins. Timer goes off you are done for that day or you can set it again don't pull out more than you can put back in that 15 mins. Shelves are great. Baskets that fit on them neatly help your items look nice without being busy. Rubbermaid plastic totes are my favorite for safe longer time storage items.

wenat said...
I suck at keeping organized because of a singular lack of time. But one of my favourite tips was to throw two things out every day. Even if they're little things, it helps you keep focused on the eventual goal.

Elaine said...
Pick a reasonable amount of time - maybe an hour or two, and focus on one smallish area for that time. Then, reward yourself with an hour of something you love doing - knitting, walking, reading, biking, baking whatever. You will be surprised how quickly the work will go when you have something to look forward to at the end of the tunnel.

Jean said...
I would tackle organizing 15 minutes at a time, trying not to do it all in one day or week. Takes longer, but you keeps your sanity. This became necessary for me after having kids, but was confirmed by www.flylady.com. She and her peers are the bomb. I think of flylady as therapy for perfectionists, and a savior to the slobs of the world.



And remember, your house did not get disorganized in a day, so don't expect it to get organized over-night. Don't be too hard on yourself.


Turtle said...
pick at least one small area each day, even if it is just 20 minutes time to sort through, then seriously resort and be tough.(have i touched this in the last 12 months...)Have you seen the show clean sweep? this truly is a great way to get organized... take everything out of an area and go through it, and then you can get organized without the shuffling of goods. ** lol, beware of over doing plastic bins!! Sorry, but i have ocd, and organizing is one of my things. Came in super handy when we did the big move across the ocean a few years back though


So if you are anything like me these wonderful ladies have a lot of great ideas. and I did not have space to list all the great ideas so feel free to read through the comment section.

Enjoy your families and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I would like to send a special Thank you out to all our veteran's and their families.

The following Veteran's have had an impact on my families life:

Jay * - my dad
Jack - my uncle
Alec * - my father-in-law
Harry * - my uncle
Genie - my aunt
Joe - One of Eric's care givers
Joe - Family friend and Rabbi
Linda and Brian - Eileen's sister and brother-in-law
Carol - High School Friend
Don * - Eric's school bus driver.

*Some of our beloved veterans have gone but are still here in our hearts and minds.

If you have a veteran you would like mentioned just leave a note at the bottom of my blog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Size of Plates

I was talking to a friend about a weighty issue today and the newest fad diet on the block. This miracle diet promises a dramatic weight loss, her friend has lost 35 pounds in 2 months, this seems a little drastic to me. She went on to explain that you have a restrict food list and eat 500 calories a day, but only certain foods are allowed. No fats, starches or starchy vegetables, in fact there are only 4 allowed vegetables on the list. Then there is the magic potion that the doctor gives out containing only who knows what. The quick answer to this question is no I will not go on this fad diet.

Then we got to the restaurant for lunch. My sandwich was served on what would be used as a platter in my grandma's day, in fact I might just have one hanging around the house. The cup of soup was served in another large bowl, we decided that it was the size of the bowls that was passed around the dinner table with the vegetables or potatoes.

The left overs that were brought home 1 pint of soup, which was suppose to be one serving. It will give me 2 meals. One half of the sandwich came home which will provide one meal. So to sum it up the left-overs from 2 meals out will provide 3 meals.

So my question is do we have a weight problem in this country caused by eating the wrong foods? Or do we have a weight problem caused by the wrong size plates? Do we need to eat as much as someone working on the farm from sunrise to sunset or do we need less with a less active life style?

A walk around an import store like Cost Plus might provide the answers we are looking for. If you look at the size of the bowls and plates from Japan meant for the Japanese consumer, you will notice that the soup bowls hold between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of liquid. The lunch plates are the size of our snack plates and the dinner plates are the size of our lunch plates. If you do find platters they are the size of our dinner plates.

On the other hand if you look at bowls meant for the American consumer the soup bowls hold at least 2 cup and the other plates seem to be getting bigger also. To accommodate the larger plates things like a slice of bread are getting bigger, so the bigger plates don't look so empty. I personally look back at the Wonder bread of the 1960's and look at the bread I just bought at the store today and the slice may be the same height but it is 1/3 wider. Which means the sandwich will have 1/3 more calories then the sandwich of the 1960's. Just try putting your sandwich in a Tupperware sandwich container from the 1960's or 1970's good luck fitting it in the container with out cutting it down to size.

If we take this across a whole day of eating that would be at least 300 calories a day. which would be at least 109,500 extra calories a year or a little over 30 pounds if we don't burn off the extra calories.

I wonder if anyone has done a study to correlate the size of the plates in a persons house with their body mass index. These are my random thoughts for the day. You never know what thoughts lurk in the mind of a mommy.

I wonder if it is time to go retro with my kitchen and down size all the bowls and plates? Well I think it is time to heat up some left overs for dinner.

Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chores

I really think I got it all wrong when I tried to teach Eric about doing chores around the house. Yesterday after school, which was an early release for him. I asked if he wanted to help fold laundry of any of the other chores around the house, he signed no each time I named a chore.

Then I tried a different tactic with him, I asked if he did any chores around the house and he signed yes. So having asked what chores I needed to be done I asked if he thought that making dirty laundry and messes were his chores and he signed a very vigorous yes. I was so glad that we were outside at the time because that would have been a knock my head against the wall moment.

I then tried to explain that making clothes dirty and making messes were not chores and he looked at me like I was crazy, this is what he is good at therefore they must be chores. Such is the humours side of life with Eric.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Contest

I am having a new contest.

Help me get organized. I would like your best suggestions for getting organized. We will have a 3 judge panel. Just leave you comment and you can win 4 skeins of yarn from my stash, it will be a natural fibre or $20 to spend at http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri my Art Fire studio. Each suggestion will be good for 1 entry into the contest. multiple entries are allowed. I have 6 weeks till Teri gets home and want to show some progress in zenning.

So lets get those suggestion coming in. You have till Saturday, November 7th midnight MST.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Enjoy your families and have a nice day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Destash Progress Report

Well dear reader I have made some progress in getting the stash yarn from my garage. I have knit at least a couple of dozen hats most for charity, although I did manage to sell 2, and at least 2 dozen scarfs all for charity. I don't send them all to the same places but when asked and I feel its a good cause I send things along.

The process is going slower than I thought it would be, with Eric being sick so much and have a lot of really long nights I have not done as many projects as I had hoped would be done by now.

Today I took 2 partial boxes in the house and combined them, that allowed me to move a box of purse yarn into the house. With more drawer space open in the roll aways I fill with yarn I was able to bring in the giant zip-lock bag.

That leaves me with a paltry 7 large storage bins of yarn in the garage.

I have noticed that strangest thing though the more I declutter and get things out of the house the more organized I am becoming. But I would not let the professional organizer worry over this, I still have a long way to go. We have been in this house for 15 years and I am a born pack rat, just ask my mom she still has at least 1 box in her garage from a move in 1965 that has yet to be unpacked. I started zenning the house a little over a year ago, it is a slow process but it is getting done. For those of you who are not familiar with the term zenning, it is simply a fancy word for decluttering.

When Teri gets home for winter break I will let her give an unbiased opinion in a guest column of how the progress is going. Teri is a very strong advocate for a clean and orderly house, she must get that from her dad. She is very good about getting rid of things and will drop almost anything to do a Goodwill run or a Bookman's run.

In honor of today's achievement I will be having another contest. Just give me your best decluttering tip and Again I will have a 3 person panel to judge the contest. The prize will be something from my stash that will help me decluter and give you an new project.

Have a good afternoon and enjoy your families.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sleepless in Tucson

Well this makes bad night 2 in a row for Eric. Eric is starting to look a little tired. I myself refuse to look in the mirror, I don't think the mirror will be very friendly to me this morning. Does anyone know where I can get one of those mirrors that say you look wonderful no matter what?

I actually held off on the caffeine till 8 am, I really was ready to start at 4 am, but figured it was a tad early for caffeine. No matter how much caffeine I have in my system I will nap when Eric does today.

I think I will take out my frustration on the grout in Eric's bathroom, something needs to be scrubbed within an inch of its life, so I choose the dirty bathroom floor. I hope my mood will improve as the floor gets cleaner, otherwise I will have to look for the next project.

Johns wonderful idea of keeping the lights on longer last night was great, we woke up to no post Halloween mess this morning. We did notice that the neighborhood is changing, we have less little ones than in past years and more teenagers coming after their parties breakup.

So I am off to start the laundry and the bathroom floor.

Enjoy your families today even on the post Halloween sugar high.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Contributing to the Delinquency of Grandmothers

OK, I am saying it out loud, I Sheri am contributing to the delinquency of some Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers in Tucson. It all started innocently enough. I took my finishing basket to knitting to day to get some finishing work done.

So the topic came up of where everything was going. I said the fingerless gloves were for an order and the rest I was going to list on my Art Fire studio. We talked about the hats and scarfs and how I was going to price them, what were they made of, 100% wool of course and how to wash them.

That's when the it would look great on my grandchild conversation came up. I sold 2 hats. And then one of the new knitters asked if she could say that she made the hat? Not being that vain I said they could tell their grand kids that they made the hats for them. I thought whats the harm in a little white lie, if they needed more hats they would come back to me for them.

As we were talking over our days at dinner I told John about this because I thought it was funny. John , however looked at it differently and said that I was contributing to the delinquency of both of the grandmothers, in a joking tone.

So, yes to take credit for someone else's work is wrong, but have we become so entwined in the nuisances of life that a loving Grandmother can't tell a little white lie now and again. After all how can the grand kids say but grandma can do everything and be in awe of her as they should be. This is something that needs to be pondered upon.

In the mean time I hear the washer calling me. When will those clothes just learn to wash and dry themselves and then go to where they belong in the drawers and closets.

Have a good evening and enjoy your families.

Lovin Spoonfuls - Tucson Arizona

Food is one of the wonderful touchy subjects. Everyone has things that they will not touch and things that they love. Some people are vegans other are carnivores, most will go either way. We have a wonderful Vegan Restaurant in Tucson called Lovin Spoonfuls.

The menu has a wide array of options not just salads. They have come up with some amazing vegan versions of the food grandma use to make. They will leave you wondering is this really vegan, yes it is.

One of my favorite Vegan lunches is called a Route 66 a mock bacon cheeseburger, you will never catch me eating a real bacon cheeseburger it just sounds like a greasy heart attack on a bun. I have yet to figure out what makes a Route 66 burger so good but I will never turn one down. The Route 66 paired with a mock milk shake, soy based of course makes a wonderful treat.

Other things I will not eat include shellfish. Shellfish for some reason does not like me, but give me a basket of mock shrimp with cocktail sauce and I am in heaven. Lovin Spoonfuls makes a wonderful version.

I will never turn down a milk and egg free cake either. For me the consummate chocoholic it would be a toss up between the Black Forest Cake and the Chocolate cake. If available I would not pass up a good vegan carrot cake either. Did I mention that they had creme pies too, when available the coconut cream pie is wonderful.

If you happen to be around for breakfast you have to try the french toast or the pancakes, yes you can make both with out milk or eggs.

All these treats and a host of other wonderful food is available at Lovin Spoonfuls at 2990 N. Campbell Avenue in Tucson. This is just south of Fort Lowell on the east side of the street.

I have not been paid to do this review but if you stop by and enjoy some of these treats it will insure that I can get my Route 66 burger and shake when I want them.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Very Good Day

After getting Eric on the bus for late start Wednesday, I headed over to the Honda Dealership to get an 1-A service and new wipers. I kept my self busy by organizing my coupon folder, throwing away expired coupons and filing the recently cut coupons. Once that was done I moved over to the TV area to work on some knitting. I made good progress I have almost finished the first fingerless glove, since they are black I will have to wait for good light to finish them.

The next choice was shopping at Target or going out to lunch. I choose Target and did some semi-retail therapy. I don't think you can really call it retail therapy if your basket is filled with food, sundries and cleaning supplies. Talking about cleaning supplies I cornered the market on the Mega Shower Foamer Scrubbing Bubbles, they had coupons on the cans, so I got 4 cans and saved 4 dollars. I will finish the bathroom floor later.

I had a great time with my coupons I saved $56.68 in coupons, and received a coupon for 5 dollars of my next visit, the cashier said I was the recession buster queen for the day. I guess she has not seen many people use the coupons to the max. I do have to say that it took almost as long to ring up the coupons as it did the items in my shopping basket. I do have to say that I left some coupons for other shoppers, I did not feel we needed 2 bags of chips and I had a better coupon on the toilet paper. As a bonus Target now gives 5 cents per bag rebate credit. Since some of my shopping bags are almost as old as Teri so I am sure that they have paid for themselves already.

I took 45 minutes to put almost everything away. I don't know how it got to be 3 pm. but I did make a sandwich for lunch and was still munching on lunch as Eric's bus pulled up. I really think it was colder when Eric got off the bus today, then when I put him on the bus, at least they covered him with a blanket to send him home.

I went a little teary eyed today when yet another one of Eric's doctors called to say that he was yet again at the top of their list for their limited supply of H1N1 vaccines. This was the second call this week. I think that there is a huge elephant in the room that everyone acknowledges but refuses to talk about. He did get his shot on Monday and I hope that it kicks in before the flu over takes his school.

I guess it is time to do a little cleaning and straighting before John gets home. I have an easy dinner planned, fish and chips with broccoli. I can open bags and boxes with the best of them.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Pretty Typical Day

Well after being up with Eric half the night I still managed to have a productive day. Of course nothing but laundry happened till after a nap. It is so wonderful that Eric naps during the day when he is up for half the night. I even got the first load in the dryer before 7 am, and no you can not ask when that load of laundry was started.

After starting and frogging my first pair of fingerless gloves, I found another pattern on Raverly and am halfway through the first glove. Being me I changed the pattern to make it a little fancier.

On a whim I tried the new Mega Shower Foamer Scrubbing Bubbles on Eric's bathroom floor. I have to say that I was impressed, it took off deep down dirt in the grout that a professional cleaner said was never going to come out. He said that we would have to paint the grout with acrylic paint to make the grout look better. I sprayed it on and let it sit for a few minutes and rinsed the dirt down the drain. I only did a small sample area in the middle of the floor, I know you are suppose to do it in a corner to try things out, but I am still foggy brained tired. It worked so well I had to do a larger area so it would not look weird and ran out of steam before I finished the floor. I tried to take a picture but it does not show the dramatic difference it made. I will have to added it to my shopping list and finish the floor. Why do I get these wonderful ideas when I am so tired? I would like to thank the wonderful chemists that made such a great product, S.C. Johnson & Sons should really give them a raise.

I also won a prize package from Nature Valley last week and tried the Granola Nut Clusters in roasted Cashew today, they tasted like a nut bar that I frequently bought in the 70's. It had a very good tasted and texture and the nostalgia value is wonderful. Good job General Mills.

Even though Eric was up half the night and I am beginning to wear down I still have to get the prizes packaged so that they can be mailed, plus I set a goal of a clean counter and table, things seem to pile up so quickly even with a recycle basket and a shredder right by where I open the mail.

Full disclosure statement. I used a manufactures coupon to buy the Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer. The Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters came in a prize package that I won through a contest. I have not received any money in exchange for my views in this blog. All views in this blog are my own.

Have a wonderful night and enjoy your families.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Picnics Are a Bad Idea

I have come to the conclusion yet again, that picnics are a bad idea with Eric. I am a slow learner on this one and will probably try again next year.

We went to a food festival at a park today for lunch. I thought that we were evenly matched John and I verses Eric, but I was wrong we were out numbered. So out numbered it is not funny.

The wind picked up the moment we sat down to eat and feed Eric. So all his supplies and napkins tried to fly away. Eric was playing with his mickey tubing and managed to untwist it. I did not notice till after I sent 10 cc's of food everywhere, wheelchair, boy, the back side of the bib. This type of mess is hard enough to clean up at home with a lot of extra kitchen towels and sponges, it is not fun to clean up with napkins that try to fly at me once they are coated with food. I think we gave a fine tribute to Soupy Sales with food everywhere. Did I mention the syringe got stuck and the food went flying straight up in the air and down on my pants. Why did Issac Newton have to be right?

We got to listen to the Catalina Foothills High School Steel Drum Band, under the direction of Dr. Tina Walton, while we ate lunch. They are wonderful and have a CD of there music available through the school. I think that might just be a present for someone this year.

Since it has not cooled down enough for the bees to hibernate for the winter they were everywhere. I don't think a lot of people know that you are not suppose to swat at bees anymore because of the risk of Africanized bees swarming in self defense. I am so glad that the bees did not swarm.

After lunch we did one turn around the park and headed home in almost one piece, hot and tired.

All in all a pretty good outing if you don't count the flying food.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

The Winners of My First Contest

Well folks, the entries were all read by a panel of 3 judges. I managed to pull Teri away from her studies long enough to get a few chuckles, John and I rounded out the panel.

The First Place winner is Turtle with the following:

My tofu mushroom stroganoff is as dense as a black hole.

We did add a second place winner, Beadknitter with the following:

The collection of lint in the bottom of my knitting bag is as dense as a black hole.

Although my science guy said the sentence should have read as dark as a black hole to be correct. Well were knitters not science guys so beadknitter will also get some yarn from my stash.

Please send me your mailing address so I can get these packages of yarn out. Thank you all for entering

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Very Funny Day

OK, it was really a very disjointed day, but I like to make the best of things. Eric went to school today, but the bus did not show up at all, so 20 minutes after Eric was suppose to get on the bus I loaded Eric into the mommy taxi and drove him to school. Every one was very happy to see him, apparently the bus driver that skipped our stop told everyone Eric was in the hospital, that was news to Eric and I. Why doesn't anyone give that pertinent information to me? Everyone was happy to see Eric and one of his friends said that Eric made her day better and threw her fist up in the air with a big WOOT that Eric was back.

I still had 6 hours before I needed to be home. I know 6 hours off sounds just a little like heaven. There was not time enough to go home and do any chores before knitting, so I did the next best thing. I did 2 laps around the mall before knitting. By the way I did get my 5000 steps in today. I worked on a shawl for myself in a hand spun orange sherbet wool. This is the 3rd time I have started this shawl to get it just right, I swear that I will get pictures up sometime soon.

At 11 am Natalie, Nancy and I went to BJ's for lunch. It took them 3 tries to get the salad just as I ordered it. What is so hard about making a wedge salad with no dressing or cheese? Just cut the silly lettuce and put it on a plate. They did much better with the potato, I only had to send it back once. I had ordered it with no cheese or sour cream and it came loaded with both. If the food were not so good I certainly would not put up with the service.

Then it was off to the mall to get a new hair dryer at Sephora. They had a sweet one from T3 , the Bespoke model was light weight and fit my hand just right. One more stop and then it was time to go home to meet Eric at the bus.

This is when I heard that the dispatcher said that Eric was in the hospital so that there was no need to pick him up today. I have to admit that I was 2 minutes late to the bus stop, but there was no reason for the driver to be peeved, after all he did not show up at 7:50 this morning. There was the usual hemming and hawing as to why no one show up this morning, I have one simple request of the bus company, do your job with the best interest of my child in mind. I know it sounds very demanding and unreasonable, but give me a break, you are getting paid to do a job.

I did manage to get the laundry done when I got home so I have the evening off.

As usual I have not received any monetary considerations for any product or place of business mentioned in this blog. All opinions are my own.

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your families

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 9 and Counting

Well Eric still has that darn cold, but he did sleep last night. As a result of Eric sleeping I have had 2 yes count em, 2 nights of sleep and I have energy today. The fussy laundry, dishwasher and roomba are all running.

I have put some yarn away and have decided that it's not quite time to bring in more yarn from the garage. I guess I will have to do a lot more knitting. Some of the drawers are decidedly more empty than full, but not empty enough. I am still waiting for my first sale on Art Fire http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri . I don't know if my prices are too high or there is just not a market for hand crafted goods.

Today will be spent doing more cleaning and dealing with the odds and ends. If I have some time I will do some finishing work and list more items in my Art Fire Studio.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My First Contest

OK so I have decided that I need a little humor in my life. So I am going to let you finish the following sentence for an entry.





_____________ is as dense as a Black Hole.






1. You must answer the question, as humorously as possible.


2. You must follow my blog.




For extra entries


1 Twitter and let me know that you did.


2. Add a Face book link and let me know that you did.





The prize Consists of 3 skeins of Berroco Suede in color 3754 dye lot 15. The yarn is 100% nylon 1.75 ounces and 120 yards long.


John and I will judge to see which one makes us laugh the hardest. In the event of more than 1 super great answer I will dig into my yarn stash and select a second prize.


The contest ends Saturday nightOctober 24, at midnight PST.

Sick Child Day 7 and Counting

We are at day 7 and counting with Eric home sick with a cold, no it is not H1N1 because you get a fever with that. This is just a runny nose and a cough.

So you might wonder what I do for an entire week at home with a sick child. First and foremost I do an incredible amount of laundry. Last night I was up with Eric most of the night so at midnight I threw in a load of laundry and by 5 am the last load of the night was in the dryer. I am told by the local electric company that this has a positive impact on the environment by doing laundry in off peak hours. I really believe it was a female employee trying to convince her husband that it is really OK to run the washer and dryer in the middle of the night when she was up with sick children. So she started a environmental campaign and probably got a bonus for it too.


There is also taking care of Eric. Which basically means that when ever there is a noise coming from his room day or night I go running. I tend to give him lunch in bed, because I find it to hard to get Eric out of bed and into his wheelchair. I also try to keep him amused with his music, DVDs and TV. I try to change his position every so often because he is in bed for so long.

Yesterday I also re-took all the pictures of the items in my Art Fire Studio and listed a bunch of new items. I will also list more items today.

Then there is the paper work that seems to go by the wayside when I have a chance to get out of the house. I have no idea when I will get to the post office but I will have a bag of mail ready to go. This of course leads to cleaning and a neater house. I try to do odds and ends chores that can be put down at any time to go take care of Eric. There are also regular chores such as running rumba and scooba. And once the counters and tables are cleared I might just try to organize the house a bit. There are dinners to cook although John is absolutely great when it comes to knowing when to bring home take away for dinner. The dishwasher to run and empty.

Some days I get a lot of knitting done, especially when Eric wants me to sit with him for hours at a time. All the knitting leads to a basket full of finishing work that needs to be done. Which will lead to more pictures and listings on Art Fire.

I also sneak away to Twitter and Face book to check to see if the world outside of these 4 walls is really still there. I try to find a few minutes for myself and today I am going to make a pan of brownies, because I really need the chocolate.

I know that I am getting tired of being home because I am planning some retail therapy and a lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. I printed out the lunch coupon and have decided with my new hair style that the first time in years I need a blow dryer for my hair.

So to sum up what it is like to be home with Eric sick for the week it is basically a busy week.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Tucson Wool Festival

After a long night with Eric and a sleep in till 8:30am., although I don't think you can really call it sleeping in if you are up with a cranky child till 2 am. I made it to the Tucson Wool Festival without John and Eric.

I manage to get a parking space in Kathy's new lot. Since I did not have Eric with me this time I actually got to watch the sheep shearing this year. I found it very interesting, with the wool from each animal going into a separate bag with the name of the animal. They also got there tetanus shots and nails trimmed at the same time. This is all very labor intensive and was a 2 man job. With all the work that goes into the process I personally think that we should probably be spending more for our lovely yarns.

I got to try my hand at carding some alpaca this again is a very labor intensive operation. I can see why the fiber artist had such trim arms. My timing was off for the wet felting demonstrations. It also look very complicated to get a loom ready for weaving. Almost everything under the sun that was wool including felted soap, jewelry, spinning, and supplies. were included.

Unfortunately for the vendors I went to the Wool Festival with less than $100 and did not pull out my credit card. After all I am trying to de-stash and bingeing on yarn would be counter productive. I did however come home with a little over 7 ounces of white baby alpaca yarn grown locally in Southern Arizona. I will add pictures later of this yummy soft yarn. I actually see a shawl in its' future. It will have to have it's own blog entry.

If you did not get a chance to go to the wool festival you can still get some lovely yarn from Kathy at her Etsy shop UniqueDesignsbyKathy. Kathy has a selection of patterns, finished products, and yarn, did I mention that she is a fabulous fiber artist in her own right. Kathy is one amazing woman not only does she raise her wool and mohair herself, but processes it, dyes it, spins it, kints it, crochets it , felts it and weaves it. Did I mention that she is an excellent teacher also.
http://http//www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5349708

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A busy yet fun day.

It is never all work and no play for long. Today and tomorrow Eric has Fall Break. I don't know why he has 2 random days off in the middle of October, but that is the way it is.

I took Eric with me to the knitting guild meeting today. I had 4 hats to drop off for the winter charity drive for low income children in Northern Arizona. I also finished 1 more hat at the meeting. Helga said that they still needed more hats and asked if I could make a few more and drop them off next week, so I said OK. The meeting started at 9:30 and we left at 10 am to go home and meet Eric's help for the mid day shift.

It was off to Jacob's Park where they have the Milagros play ground. The Milagros play ground is the only totally wheelchair accessible play structure in Tucson. Funded and built by the local Rotary Club. Those wonderful people just might not know what a wonderful gift that they gave to the community. Eric spent an hour playing with his aid. It was a perfect day for the park, the temperatures were in the low 80's with a slight breeze.

Then it was off to lunch and now it is rest time for Eric. The laundry is going, at least 3 loads today. I just love these totally mellow days, I wish I had more of them. The pace is just a lot slower than usual and it is so nice to have a mellow day. It does not matter that the arthritis is flared up and my body does not want to move or that there is a lot of laundry to do, bills to pay dishes to clean up.. well you get the picture. The work never stops around here.

I hope you are having a mellow day today too. Please enjoy your families.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A very long night

I could tell by the grimace on Eric's face that it would be a long night. Eric rarely signs I love you to me, it is one of the harder signs for him to do. I knew I was in big trouble when he sign I love you, gave me a kiss and choose pedilyte over formula.

There was the usual tummy ache followed by the now unusual bout of seizures. Eric had a little over an hour of on and off partial seizures. There is nothing that makes me feel more useless as a mom than standing by Eric's bed unable to do anything but tell him everything will be all right and holding his hand while he has seizure after seizure. By 2:30 am the seizures had stopped and he fell asleep.

OK, so I got to sleep between 2:30 am and 5:40 am so the day should not be that bad unless I run out of Diet Coke. I got 3 hours of sleep, I should be able to handle a sick child all day, I just need to keep moving and hope that he takes a nap so that I can take a nap too.

On the bright side there is one bowl of chili and some corn bread left over from last nights dinner, so lunch is made. Depending on how tired I am tonight John will either get chicken stir fry or soup, the only thing I know for sure is that it will be chicken.

It's not even 8 am yet, but I really want it to be bed time right now, so I guess its time to stop writing and go find the Diet Coke.

Did I mention that the garage door is being serviced today. The service tech is here right now. New cables plus what ever else is about to break.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Failed Shopping Trip

Today's shopping trip failed miserably. All I was looking for were 2 pair of men's cotton PJ's in size large by Dockers. I was told time and again that men's pj's are only stocked for the holidays. I must be missing something here. The stores stock pj's for women and children year round and men just for the holidays.

Can someone in retail explain to me why this seems to be a broad policy across retail. Now at dinner I will have to tell my husband that men's pj's are only a holiday item and unless I can get them on line he will have to wait till at least November for new pj's. This is just so wrong in I don't know how many ways. This was the answer at 5 different department stores.

I had my items that I needed to buy, and could not get them. How are we suppose to spend our hard earned money to buy goods, to get us out of the recession if the goods we want to buy are not there in the first place?

I also could not find Cal-King sheet sets for 22 inch deep pockets in cotton anywhere, not even for full price.

Has this recession made the retailers not want to carry what I need. Retailers, here's a big clue.. If you stock what I need and want, I will shop, otherwise I will keep my wallet closed.

Thank you for listening to me. I hope your shopping goes better for you.

Enjoy your families and have a great day.

A Quick Soup Recipe

One of our favorite quick soup recipes takes 15 minutes to make and serves 4.

2 cans chicken broth
1 pound frozen stir fry vegetables
12 frozen pot stickers ( we use chicken )

Add the frozen vegetables and chicken broth to a 4 quart pot. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.

Microwave the pot stickers.

Place 3 pot stickers per soup bowl cover with the soup.

For Vegan or vegetarian options use vegetable broth and vegetarian pot stickers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Children, The Good Side

I just got a direct message from Teri, it looks as if she has finally found her niche in this great big world. As a mother who promised her for years that she would find where she belongs, this is music to my ears. This seems more like an opus than any old song, but this makes me very happy.

Eric has also found something that makes him happy. He has started a community service project at school. He is collecting pull tops from cans for the Tucson Ronald McDonald House. I know this might sound like an oxy-moron to most people, a sick kid helping other sick kids, but the joy he receives for helping the other sick kids is beyond belief. Last month between his home collection efforts and his rallying people at school he turned in 2 pounds of tabs.

If you would like to be part of Eric making the world a better place for other sick kids by saving tabs please let me know. Lets all help Eric make the world change for the better.

As for me I am still knitting hats to help kids keep warm this winter. I am ripping through yarn at a good rate of speed and should be able to pull a box or 2 of stash yarn from the garage soon. If you need hats or scarfs for kids please let me know, I will try to help. They will be wool or cotton, because I don't do acrylic or polyester.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Enjoy your families.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

2009 Barkin' Ball

The 2009 Barkin' Ball "Fall in Love with Hope"

Will be on Saturday October 24,2009 from 6-9 pm. At St.Philip's Plaza.
The Cost For Tickets : $65 in advance and $70 at the door (50% is Tax deductible) To purchase tickets call Hope Animal Shelter at 792-9200

Food and Drink provided by: Acacia and Petite Pea

Pet Photography

Live and Silent Auction

Live music for your entertainment

I will have 2 purses available at the silent auction. These are both one of a kind purses that I will not make again.











http://hopeanimalshelter.net/news.html So go and have a good time, bid on some great items and help out some of our cute residents in need.

Eric's New Bibs

Every once in a while I need to make new bibs for Eric. I try to find some nice hand towels and add a half of a bandanna to make the tie. I have tried to find nice ones pre-made,but after about 4 years of age I had to start making my own.
Friday I made 6 more for him. 2 penguins and 4 octopus's. I would be willing to write up the instructions if anyone is interested in the pattern. The current pattern is the result of trial and error over the years.
Have an wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recovering

The tummy bug that is going around is a nasty one. We fell like domino's, starting with Eric. I followed a day later and it hit John today. I think the only reason that John got it was because he stayed home to watch Eric yesterday. This is where John would like me to add that no good deed goes unpunished. Sorry John, but with out you we would have been toast yesterday. There was no way on Gd's green earth that I was going to be vertical for any part of the day yesterday, horizontal was hard enough.

I am also wondering how many days my ribs will hurt from all the wild eyrping. Sore ribs make laughing hurt as in don't watch John Stewart or the Corbert Report on Comedy Central. Guys I seriously love your shows but do you have to make me laugh so hard? It also makes movement and house work hard too. It's really bad when you can't bend down far enough to start the roomba vacuum.

I am happy to say that Eric made it to school today and I managed to get 2 loads of laundry done. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the laundry pile grows in portion to how sick I am. The sicker I am the bigger the pile of laundry. I mean, how much laundry can one sick little boy make? Wait don't answer that I really don't want to know.

Food is still an issue, aside from crackers, grits, Popsicles and white bread nothing looks good enough to eat with out my tummy grumbling. I really should being enjoying taking a break from cooking, but some how its not the same as when I am feeling good and take a break from cooking.

On the other hand I am getting a lot of knitting done. I almost have a blue key hole scarf and cap set in blue done. I wonder how fast I can fill up the finishing basket?

I hope that you stay healthy and avoid this bug. Enjoy your families and have a great day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Long Night

Last night was a long night, I did not settle Eric down till after 1 am. Poor little guy was not feeling well. He had me back up at 5 am. I am seriously wondering whether a half a case of Diet Coke will get me through the day.

On the bright side I knit 3/4 of a charity hat last night while I was up with Eric. I probably would have done more, but color changes when I am half asleep kinda scare me.

I am much to tired to drive today and I am wondering whether it is to selfish to have soda delivered or just to brew a pot or two of tea as the day goes on? If I am too tired to drive am I too tired to deal with boiling water?

My executive decision is not to fold the laundry that I did last night. After all the laundry is clean and we can just grab what we need from the basket right. I wonder if it will fold itself? The answer is no, but when Eric's aide came this morning he folded all of Eric's cloths. Thank you, Joe.

Well It is going to be a long day of sick child care and knitting, I wonder how much I can add to the finishing basket today.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Wonderful Day After All

After spending half the night trying to get Eric settled down for the night and not wanting to wake up today, it turned out to be a pretty good day.

After a venti soy chai from Starbucks,I started to wake up. The Friday Fun Knitters group at the mall was just what I need today. I was to tired to work on anything that needed counting so it was a black wash cloth today. The hand knit wash cloths seem to bring nostalgia of a better time for most people. I always hear "my grandma used to make these and use these all the time." So I am happy that I can create good memories for a lot of people.

Karen brought us two treats today, she made the best cookies, but alas I stopped at just one, I had to share with everyone else. Then she yarned* us all, we all got to take home new to us yarn to make charity projects with. I can see lots of children's hats in the next week or so.

Nancy brought in a stack of patterns and I found a few helpful ones including one for baby hats.

If you are ever in Tucson on a Friday morning please feel free to stop by with your knitting or crocheting at the Foothills Mall food court from 10 am till noonish. All we ask is that you have fun and enjoy yourself.

After lunch with my husband and a badly need nap it was off to Eric's doctors appointment. I always get a little nervous about having to get Eric weighed. After a complete work out of getting everything off his chair they said he gained almost 11 pounds in 6 months, a big wow!!! I said that the scale had to be off and maybe Eric's will chair modifications earlier in the week were responsible for part of the jump. So Kayla, Eric's Aide manage to get Eric out of his chair and the wheel chair had lost 3/4 of a pound, which meant that Eric really did gain 11 pounds in 6 months. Now this does not even begin to bring Eric up to the 1st percentile for weight but for us it was huge.

So to celebrate we dropped Eric and Kayla off at home and went off to a quite dinner. I threw in a green tea boba for the celebration.

I am just so amazed at the highs and lows one not so little boy can bring into my life in one 24 hour day. What can I say this is life with Eric.

Now I think it is time to do some more knitting and watch a little television.

* Yarned- the act of giving yarn to a fellow fibre artist, that you hope they can do something useful with because you want the yarn out of your house.

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your families.

Looking for Summer

OK, I surrender. What do I have to do to get the glorious days of summer back? No I am not talking about the twice a day run to camp. I am talking about all those glorious days with the temperature above 100 degrees.

I woke up to the weatherman say cool temperatures are back. It's in the low 60's outside and that we may not even hit 90 today, its so sad. It is time to start making all those cold weather foods, turkey with stuffing, soups and stews. Anything that will warm up the house and requires to oven or stove to be on for hours at a time.

I have started layering clothes and trying to match socks and shawls to what ever outfit I am wearing. By the end of October I will be layered to the max. To add insult to injury The snow birds are back running around in shorts and t-shirts.

Bring back
oh bring back
bring back my summer to me.

Have a wonderful day and try to stay warm.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hard to be Cheerful

It is hard to be cheerful on a day like today that went through the blender called life with Eric. I had a nice leisurely day planned out a little knitting, getting caught up on some of my shows, errands and a quite lunch at Sweet Tomatoes.

10 am. the call came from the wheelchair clinic, silly me I thought that they were confirming his appointment for tomorrow morning, but no they had to see him today. They could see him at 10:30, now try making it to the high school and then to their office in mid town in 30 minutes, do they think I drive "Chitty-Chitty,Bang-Bang"? When I said I could not make that one they said that they had a 1:00 pm slot, that I could make and and even had time to cram lunch down in the parking lot before the appointment.

They were reluctant to help me get Eric from the chair, but I stood my ground and the tech finally figure he would not get the chair for the modifications till he helped get Eric out. That is when Eric's Mickey Button popped out. Eric has had a g-tube for over 7 years and this has not happened once. I did manage to get it back in, but had to change it when I got home. And then Eric managed to knock down my drink and there was that to clean up. At least the supply company was nice about it and could not believe that this has not happened before. Cross your fingers with me to hope everything will be OK till the spare button comes later in the week.

The new Sunflower Market at River and Orange Grove is very nice. We stopped by because I needed a little sane serenity dippity in my life to today. Did I mention that it was the grand opening today, definitely not sane but the staff was well trained and very nice. The Representatives from Harris Ranch Beef also gave a good tri-tip recipe. Use a salt and pepper rub. heat the grill to 350 cook the meat for 45 minutes turning every 5 minutes, Boy do those guys know how to cook a mean tri-tip roast.

The snow birds came out in droves for the grand opening and defiantly do not like to give the van accessible spaces to people with wheel chairs. There is nothing worse then waiting for a space and having a snow bird block access and practice hand jesters that they deserve time outs for. Where are their children when we need them?

Here to a quite evening. Sorry dad there was no way that this day was going to turn out "somewhere between great and fantastic" I really tried. Should I offer a bonus to Eric if he goes to sleep on time?

The comments and opinions in this blog are mine. I have not received compensation from Sunflower Market or Harris Ranch Beef.

Have an wonderful evening and enjoy your families.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Caught Between Two Worlds

My husband I and I were talking over dinner how we feel caught between the two worlds of parenting. We have come to the realization that we will never leave the diaper bag phase of our lives and yet we can not imagine what life would be like with out Eric. Yet at the same time we are going through the empty nest phase with our oldest Teri leaving for law school.

Each child has brought extreme joys and challenges to our marriage. Both of our children are so different they only way to know that they are siblings is by those gorgeous hazel eyes. We have managed to raise to the challenge of both children, lets just say that they both dropped off the pediatric developmental chart at 18 months of age but in opposite directions.

It is physically challenging to raise a disable child and the hours are long. The toll on the body is great. I love Eric's smile and gleeful chortle that seems to make it all worth while. Eric has taken us to places that we never would have imagined going to. He has gotten us special tours of places when we did not know that we needed to make reservations for a tour a year in advance in the first place. He has opened out lives to some of the best people on the planet. He has the knack of bring out the extremes in people either the best or worst, but mainly the best.

Teri on the other hand is the precocious child always asking, why, how, what. This can be harder then the challenge of the disabled child. While most of my friends were trying to keep their children from stuffing food into the VCR, Teri just had to know why when she put in tapes that looked the same on the outside gave her different stories, at 3 she just had to know how magnetic coding worked and how it was applied. We went through the same questioning with the solar system and volcanoes and just about any other subject. Her melt downs were usually because I could not explain how something like a laser worked. She did not like me to put her in time outs or to get in trouble so by the time she was in 1st grade she usually figured out on her own what she did wrong and anticipated what her punishment would be. She must have been one of the few children on the planet to utter the following phrase " leave me alone I in time out because I did____" with out being put in time out by an adult. So we taught Teri that you must look at a problem from all sides, that if you had 2 people in a room and could not come up with a least 3 view points that someone was asleep. This trend continued through out her life. I was at a speaking engagement once and had to excuse myself to take a call from Teri. Teri knew that I could not drive her home that day but called to see if she could go to a lecture on black holes with her friend and that her friend's mom would drive them home. It was the same day a highly anticipate CD was to be release and the malls were going to be packed. Some one had ask if she was asking to go get the CD, and I had to say no she wanted to go to a lecture on black holes. By the look on the persons face I could tell this was not a usual high school students reply, but it was typical Teri.

One would believe that with 22 years of experience with these two children that we would be prepared for this stage of life. We feel like empty nester's yet we have one child that will need care for the rest of his life. We would love to travel but you should see the amount of gear that Eric travels with, let put it this way, we fill the van to overflowing and yet everyone but Eric, only has an overnight bag for the week.

If you are ahead of us on this curve of life please let me know how you manage to handle things, otherwise we will just muddle through like we have for the last 22 years.

Have a good day and enjoy your families.

A Must Read Book

One of my must read books is being made into a movie, but before it happens you should read "Eat, Pray, Love: One woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Elizabeth is a very engaging writer and takes us through her post-divorce journey to wholeness. In Italy it's about the food, her flat mate and Italian language classes and her Italian tutor.

In India Elizabeth goes to a remote Ashram to try to understand her life and soul. Elizabeth goes into what life is like at the Ashram and the people she meets. By the time she leaves India she is well on her way on her new post divorce life.

In Indonesia, Elizabeth learns she does have power over her own universe and life. Elizabeth also learns to love again.

This is a unique book and the people Elizabeth meets along the way are awesome and teach her little life lessons along the way. I urge you to read the book before the movie comes out. It will have you laughing and crying and wishing that you could meet these people and make them apart of your life.

I have included a link to Amazon.com if you would like to buy the book on line, and use this link on the upper right corner of my web page, I will get a small commission.

Read this wonderful book and enjoy your families.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Low Fat Green Beans Almondine

I try not to use a lot of extra fat in my cooking and have finally come up with a low fat version that my husband likes. You can not be totally fat free because the almonds have some fat, but you will find no other fat in this recipe. Since we eat a large amount of vegetables in our house I feel this is a recipe for 2 to 3 people, however I am sure that it will serve more if you don't cover half of your plate with vegetables.

I cheated and used my steamer. It was fast and easy to do and would be a great recipe to let the children help assemble.

1 pound of fresh green beans rinsed and trimmed
8 ounces of fresh whole mushrooms cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup of sliced almonds, the slivers work the best

Layer the steamer tray as follows: the bottom layers should be the green beans , then spread the mushrooms evenly over the green beans. Finally sprinkle the almond slivers evenly over the top. I set my steamer for 10 minutes. Your green beans almondine are now ready to serve. There will be a large burst of steam when you open the steamer so do not let the children do this.

My husband did note that after dinner it was hard to get all the almond slivers out of the steam tray, but because the dish tasted good I should make it again and he would clean the tray out.

I use an Aroma Steamer, and have included a link to Amazon.com for the rice cooker and steamer that I use.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cell Phone Courtesy

I would like to comment on cell phone courtesy for just a moment. We are told not to talk and drive, well I think it should also be applied to pushing a shopping cart.

This rant was brought about by more than several near misses at Costco today. Also by cell phone users blocking aisles while they are busy talking.

Please think about what you are doing.

Please think about what you are saying, we don't care what your ex wore to the party or whom they went with.

Please remember that is a small world, if it is meant to be a private conversation, have it at home where no one can ease drop.

Please don't glare at the person you just ran into with your shopping cart or worse yet car, because you can not walk, talk and drive at the same time. Multi tasking is very bad for you.

Please don't feel you have to talk on the phone all the way through a meal at a restaurant, we go out to have a good time and for some quite time. It's OK to answer the phone and then move outside to finish the call.

It is really OK to not answer a text message and talk to the people you are out with, after all you are out with them and not the people on the other end of the phone.

I know that this is an uber connected generation with children as young as 5 saying that their lives will be ruined with out the prerequisite cell phone. With cell phones, as with all things in life manners are a must.

If you disagree with this please remember the rules that my house lives by.
1. Mom is always right.
2. If mom is wrong see rule number 1.

My rule of thumb on this is to make this the type of world you would like to live in. We are all in this together. Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

My Art Fire Studio

I have been thinking about my Art Fire Studio http://www.tinyurl.com/handmadebysheri a lot lately. I still have not had one sale. So maybe it is time to take some things out and put others in.

For fall and winter I was thinking about adding some wool scarfs. I hope with the weather getting colder they might be useful in other parts of the country. I got a good deal on some nice bulky Cascade wool at a tag sale so I can do a bunch an list them for about $10.00 each and still make some money.

I was also thinking about a line of semi home made felted purses and tote bags. I would knit the blanks and the buyer can decorate and felt as they please. This will give the busy person a chance to say I made it myself.

So look for the changes to come soon. If there is something in my Studio that you like get ti now before i start de-listing items.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Short poem

Fall's Here
The wind is
Playing with
The trees.



It was a late start day for Eric today, so it was warmer as we waited at the bus stop for the bus. The first sound Eric heard was the wind blowing through the trees, I think he liked the sound of it, because he was smiling. so the above poem is dedicated to Eric.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good-Bye Summer

Today is the first day off Autumn, a chill is in the air. It was under 80 degrees when I put Eric on the bus today, I stepped outside and had to run in to get a shawl for my shoulders. I am not one of those cold weather people, when it gets below 80 I cringe and below 70 well lets just say that I am counting the days to late spring and summer.

I know this is where the gaffes will start from those in colder climates where 80 degrees is a hot day, but I live in the desert and a slew of 100 degree plus days is what I love, It does not have to be record breaking shut down the airport hot, just above 100 is all I ask for.

For all you planning to visit Tucson this winter, I will be the one that has layers of clothing on, while those of you from colder climates will be walking around in shorts. Now really shorts in winter what are you thinking? I don't even wear shorts in summer.

So you will find me for the next 8 months or so cringing and under layers of clothing...maybe I should just hibernate for the fall and winter, but I don't think the house will run well with out me.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the first day of Fall.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tucson Wool Festival

It's that time of year again, Unique Designs by Kathy is hosting the 5th annual Tucson Wool Festival. The big day is Saturday, October 17, 2009, from 9 am to 3 pm. It is a great event for the entire family. The event is stroller and wheelchair friendly if you don't mind a bit of rough terrain and four wheeling it, I know because I have pushed 80 pounds of boy along with 180 pounds of wheelchair at past events.

Did I mention that the Tucson Wool Festival is FREE. This would be a good group outing for your group or school. Your can tour a real working ranch, Kathy gives a great tour and her animals are friendly. Kathy will have a prize drawing and I can not wait for the sheep to shawl event.

Kathy does a wonderful job of spinning yarn too. The yarn Kathy spun up and I knit into a shawl is still in use 4 1/2 years later. So be sure to check out Kathy's shop on the ranch for hand spun yarn, fibre to spin and very nice hand work done by Kathy too.

Kathy wrote out an elegant description, so in the interest of doing the event justice I will plagiarize her description of the event.

"Tour a working fiber farm and meet our llamas, angora goats, Shetland, Jacob, Border Leicester and Rambouillet sheep and angora rabbits. Their luxurious fibres are used in spinning, felting, weaving and knitting to create lovely and natural apparel and decorative work. Try your hand at a workshop or visit a selection of unique fiber artists from across the southwest. Of course, knitters and crocheters are welcome to lend a hand to the "Freeform Community sheep to shawl" event."

As of today there is still time to volunteer, call Kathy. Kathy also has some space left for vendors, to set up a vending spot for hand crafted items only, so if you spin, raise your own fibre animals or create your own hand made crafting supplies give Kathy a call at (520) 572-3758. or e-mail her at jmarckathy@aol.com or check out her web site at http://www.uniquedesignsbykathy.com

It is fairly easy to get to Kathy's ranch. From the I-10, Exit Cortaro Farms & travel east to Thornydale, north past Linda Vista to Palo Seco. This is a small dirt road just past some apartments. Turn left and the Ranch is first on the right. From Tucson if you are not taking the freeway take Ina to Thornydale and go north past Linda Vista to Palo Seco. Turn left and the ranch is on the right hand side. There is plenty of street parking, just be sure to pull all the way off the road.

This is a must go to event for fibre people and a good outing for children, there are not many working ranches left in Tucson. I hope to see you there.