My 1 Million Row Challenge

Monday, December 30, 2013

Vegan Corn Chowder

As promised here is a brand new recipe to end the year. On top of having a wonderful texture and taste it can be one of your higher fiber soups for the coming year. With only 5 ingredients it is also very quick to put together. You will also note that it is slightly different from the Corn Chowder recipe of January 20,2011.  It does not include the carrots or celery, i.e. the marpoix mix. So here goes.

Vegan Corn Chowder

1- 32 ounce carton of Imagine Creamy Sweet Corn Soup
1 very large onion or 2 smaller onions peeled and coarsely chopped, about 2 cups
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Large Russet Potatoes peeled and coarsely diced between 2 to 3 cups
1 pound of frozen sweet white corn


In your LeCreuset 4 quart soup pot, heat olive oil over a low heat. Add the onions and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add the diced potatoes and saute until they start to stick to the pan. Add the Imagine Sweet Corn Soup and the frozen corn. Cook over a medium low heat for at least 1 hour stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. The soup is done when the potatoes are tender. 

This should make between 4 to 8 servings depending on the size of your bowls. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Good Day

It was a good day today. I felt well enough to start digging the house out of mommy being sick mode. There is still a lot to catch up on but progress was made.

I also got to teach Lisa how to use a drum carder. We worked on some of the buffalo fiber her dad gave is to play with. I was amazed at the difference between the under coat and the outer fiber, which was still very course even after all the guard hair was removed.  We almost got through the first carding. I think it will take 2 or 3 more trips through the carder before we blend in the silk. 

I made a lovely vegan corn chowder for dinner. I will try to get the recipe up layer in the week.  After dinner I managed to knit 2 more hats for charity. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mostly on the Mend

Eric and I are doing much better. The antibiotics are working their magic. John on the other hand has gotten what I hope is a milder form of what we had. 

I did figure out why I was running out of clean clothes. I have not done any laundry for John and I since Eric got sick.  Today I took care of that. Yes Eric still had more dirty clothes than we did. I have been doing at least 2 loads a day for him since he got sick. 

I did venture out today to Whole Foods for a few things we had run out of and dinner. It was nice to get out but it did leave me a bit tired. 

After dinner I finished a hat that I had started 2 days ago. Then promptly cast on the next hat with bulkier yarn. I did not get much spinning done today. It seemed that every time I got my rythem I got interrupted.  After 30 minutes and 4 interruptions I gave up. 

We'll it is time to call it a night. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An Update 1461 Days in the Making

If you were following my blog in December of 2009 you might vaguely remember the one from December 9th. That was the one in which I stated that I gave up everything with HFCS and aspartame. This is thanks to my friend Kay. As you might recall the weight came off very fast for the 1st 10 pounds and then seemed to slow to almost nothing. I have since dropped 3 dress sizes and as of today a total of  24.5 pounds.  Which is also bucking the trend for women my age to gain 1 to 5 pounds a year.

In the 4 years since I have give up HFCS and aspartame, I have found more energy. I am eating a lot less junk food, because lets face it those 2 things are in a lot of processed foods. I have also gotten more active. I have given up the house keeper, which is a huge bonus since I get more exercise time in and have a cleaner more organized house. I also have more money for things we need and want. Yes some of that money made it toward yarn and fluff. I am not an angle after all.  I have more time for the things that I love. I can now wear more fashionable clothing. I am getting sick a lot less. Yes, I know that as I write this blog post, Eric and I are recovering from a very aggressive cold that has put us on antibiotics.

The best news is that my body is changing shape and redefining itself. I am finally getting happier with my body. Not that I still don't have a long way to go, in my humble opinion. But  I am letting my body lead the way without the aide of crash diets or weighing and measuring everything. No more paying for rah rah sessions where I tend to pick up bad habits.  My body has reset itself. I now stop eating when I am full. This is a very good thing. I tend to eat more when I am more active and less on quieter days. Which with restaurant portions it often leads to boxes of leftovers or I just order an appetizer instead of a meal. I also tend to snack a lot less, even when Eric is sick.

I know that 6.125 pounds a year is not a huge weight loss in any ones book. The daily average weight loss looks even worse just 0.01676933607118412 pounds per day, yes I was playing around with the numbers. This just means that I will not look at the daily weight loss. I will try not to become to attached to the scale, but rather how my clothes are fitting me and how much energy that I have. I will let you know how I feel when I hit my next milestone. Just think you might not have to wait a full 1461 days to find out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feeling Yucky

The crud has invaded. Both Eric and I are sick. We will try to get into the doctors or urgent care this morning. Now to keep John from getting it, because I have so little energy even knitting seems to be a lot of work. I am drinking my hot tea with lemon and honey while I write this. It might be old school but it tastes better than cough syrup.

I do have to end this on the bright side thought. Just remember that the family that gets sick together stays together.

Update:

Both Eric and I are on antibiotics and will lay low for a few days and hope that John does not get this. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

101

No we are not talking about Dalmatian's. That would be a major copy write volition and I am sure the fine Lawyers at Disney would have a taken down notice out pretty fast. What I am talking about is the number of hats that I have knit for charity and people in need in Southern Arizona.

This adventure began on October 17, 2013 at knitting guild. There was a presidents challenge to knit 30 hats in 30 days for The Kids Closet, an out reach program run by the retiree's in Saddle Brook. So I came home from knitting guild and gathered some odds and ends. Since the pattern required 2 strands of yarn it did not matter on the weight or amount of yarn. After all I was using US sized 11 and 13 knitting needles. The thing that I learned about kids hats is that the more colorful the hat the better. I had the first 30 hats done in 19 days.

Since I had more yarn I kept knitting hats. I thought maybe another 5 or 10 hats with the yarn I had. Then John gently suggested that I remove all the yarn from Teri's room before her visit and add it to the yarn for hats. That added 5 more bags / baskets of odds and end yarn to the project. 2  bags have since been used up.

I then knit up 23 hats for the kids in the Flowing Wells School District. 2 weeks later I dropped off 28 more hats and 11 scarfs. Then there where 2 more hats knit for Eric's Day program charity event for a local shelter. Today I dropped off another 13 hats at a stuff the bus event for kids in need. 4 went to United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona and 9 went to Child Protective Services. Then there were another 17 hats that I can't quite remember where they went, but rest assured that they are out of the house and hopefully keeping some little head warm this winter.

There are 3 more things that I should mention. First I really thought that today's hats brought the total to 101 hats since October 17th, but in actuality there were 113, but 101 sounded far better as a title. It really made a better intro too. I also can not keep a running total in my head like my dad use to do. I Secondly at Thursdays guild meeting 2 dear friends sent me home with another bag of yarn for hats. Thirdly with every other project I finish there is a little more yarn that is going to the hats. So I will be knitting hats for quite a while. Even averaging 1 skein per hat I still have a lot of yarn to use up. At least during the colder months I will try to find them homes instead of a neat pile somewhere in the house.

For those keeping track of my stash down challenge, the sad news is that even burning through 113 skeins of yarn in the past 67 days it has not made much of a dent in the over all volume of my stash. Although it has added quite a few rows to The One Million Knitted Rows challenge on Ravelry.

Hats Away

These are just a few of the 113 hats that I have knit since October 17th. Just 67 days.  





Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eric Shared His Cold

Well if the cold is bad enough Eric usually shares it with me. Today was no exception. I did not even have enough energy to get the bare minimum of 2 loads of Eric's laundry finished. The last load is still in the dryer, its dry so it can stay there a few more hours or days. It is not like there is a shortage of chucks and face wipes.

The high light of my day was drinking Christmas Blend Black tea with honey. After the 5th cup I changed to Sprite for 1 bottle, don't worry it is the imported kind so it has no HFCS's. In between napping and drinking liquids my only real accomplishment of the day was finishing 2 charity hats and getting a 3rd one cast on.

Pattern Alert On today's hats I changed up the hats to a 2 x 2 ribbing for 8 rows, so the cast on was in multiples of 4 + 1. I do this because I knit the 1st and last cast on stitch together to elimate the jag that knitting in the round sometimes produces. Followed by 4 even increases in row 9. I then knit in the stockinette stitch for 4 more inches. For the decrease I evenly spaced the 4 SSK"s. At 8 stitches left the hat was finished and then weaving in the ends and casting on the next hat.

I am leaving John in charge of dinner and plan on spending the remainder of the day resting. I hope I beat this bug soon, tomorrow would be nice John is thinking longer grrr.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Usual

Eric has been sick and I have been knitting. Not to mention it was cold and rainy today.  I have only gotten 1 scarf finished today. I have been project jumping. 

Of course I have the knitting basket in Eric's room with a couple of ponchos in different stages. I have the hat project in the den.  I have my small 1 project to go bag, that was the scarf that I finished tonight after tinking 3/4 of a block because I ran out of yarn. By the way a new scarf is already on the needles so that the needles would not get lonely. 

I also went project diving in a bag of ufo's and pulled out a shawl that I had started last summer with sock weight yarn.  I had it halfway done before it landed in the UFO bag. Today I made  a lot of progress and knit another 1/2 skein of yarn, about 110 meters of yarn. I think that I will try to get it finished tomorrow.  

We also got a chair for the sitting area. I think it was in just about record time. Just 1 week shy of 5 years. That was the beginning of the remodel that added the sitting area.  

Well it is time to call it a night. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cranberry Chicken

Lets face it, it has been quite a while since I posted a new recipe. This one is a new family favorite. It has only 5 ingredients. Takes less than 5 minutes to put together. As a bonus it has 4 servings. It also tastes good cold.

Cranberry Chicken

2 Large chicken breasts, skinless and boneless about 1 pound
1 cup of cranberry sauce, I use the chunky kind
1/2 cup of water
a pinch of salt and pepper

4 quart LeCreuset Cast iron pot with lid or something of a similar weight.


Spray the inside of of your LeCruset 4 quart soup pot with Pam. Who ever is washing the pot can thank me later. Wash the chicken and place in the pot. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover the chicken breasts with all the cranberry sauce, you will have a nice thick layer. Add the water to the bottom of the pan. Cover and place the pot in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. The chicken will not come out dry. The chicken will also be very pink on the outside when cooked. 

Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes in the covered pot before slicing. Slice into medallions no thicker then 1/2 inch and arrange on 4 plates. It is also good to have a little extra cranberry sauce on the table in case anyone wants a little more cranberry sauce on the chicken.

I hope that you enjoy this quick and easy recipe as much as we do. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clare's Cafe

Today while I was out and about with Nancy she took me to this terrific little cafe called Clare's in Oracle.  The food was good. I had the hash browns and a bowl of fruit.  I could have gone for another plate of the hash browns they were so good. Nancy had the breakfast casadia with eggs, cheese and sausage. It looked wonderful.  There was a small basic menu and all the food that came out to other tables looked good too. 

On top of the great food there was wonderful art work on the walls. If you want to add some art work to your walls this is deffently the place to go. There are several different mediums from water color, oils, photography. Some local crafts people also had things like silk purses, totes and a viratey of hand crafted purses.  I also saw jewelry, cards, hand woven baskets.  

Clare's is deffently worth the drive.  Here is a poster from the ladies rest room that includes the address. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday

Last night was a long night with Eric. I managed to get to bed by 2:30 and John let me sleep in until after 7am so it was not the caffeine rich day I was anticipating. 

I did manage to spend time with Nancy and get some knitting and talking in.  Do you believe that I ran into someone who did not remember my name but rather my shawl.  I will add the link tomorrow. 

At home I got some cleaning in and finished 2 more hats tonight. Now that I refilled the yarn bag it seems that I have a long way to go again. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Small Steps

One empty bagay may not seem like much. But this is one of the bags that that was full of yarn for the hat stash down. This bag represents about a dozen hats for kids in need. This bag is also represents my long term goal of deep cleaning the house. One less bag of clutter in the house. Yes I know that I am am talking about yarn.  But even too much yarn can lead to clutter, sigh. I guess I will not be the one with the most yarn. I will have leave that to friends. 

Oh well it's time to end this blog and head off to the 4th avenue street fair.  It's a little too cold to take Eric so I am leaving the guys at home.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Scrapy Hats

I think I will be knitting Scrapy Hats for at least another 6 months. My goal is to knit through all my odd balls of yarn before I move on in my night time knitting.  I have knit 81 Scrapy Hats since mid October. Yes I have another one half knit. 

To give you an idea of how many odd balls I have to knit through, I am including a picture of just about 1/3 of what I have degisnated for hats. Take in mind that this is after 81 hats. This is only 2 bags. I have  at least 2 more to go after these are empty.  I have already emptied 2 bags. 

Thank goodness I have people lined up to distribute these to kids in need.  We'll it's time to get in a few more rounds before bed. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Really!!!

I really do think some people are very dense. Take yesterday at knitting for instance.  *I did edit out most of this paragraph to protect the truly dense. The bottom line is that is not cool to demand a designer give their patterns away for free. Also it is not cool to buy one copy of a pattern and make photocopies to distribute to friends.  All I can say is that it was a classic head desk moment.

Please remember that when you think of photocopying someone Else's work to copy and distribute for free you are depriving that person a small monetary reward for their work. Every designer and pattern maker loves what they do. Some rely on the money to pay for the basics like putting food on the table.
Some of the larger publishing houses have been known to go after people for copy write infringement. Is your check book large enough for this? So please think before you copy and share. Maybe even contact the designer to see if they are available to teach a class on their books or patterns.

Or another good one was later in the day. I was waiting for the last wheelchair accessible parking space at Trader Joe's. When I was the subject of numerous rude gestures. * This paragraph has also been edited to protect the rude drivers out there on the roads. Please Remember Manners are necessary when driving during the holidays and year round..

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything

A lot has happened since the last post. I got a request from Eric's day program for winter gear for the Primivera Men's Shelter in town so that the young adults from his Taglit program learn about clothing the poor. So I stopped knitting kids hats for a few days to make a couple of adult hats. Everyone is suppose to bring something, so I don't feel the pressure to make dozens of hats. I will add the rows and picture at the end of the blog. I have since gone back to making kids hats.  I enjoy these, they are like candy because they go so fast. I also found out that the kids who got them so far love them. Plus they said that they would take as many as I could knit.

We went to a marshal arts recital of sorts. Yes I know it is not called a recital but my Japanese is not good enough to remember the name of the event as well as spell it. My apologies to all. Eric's friend Matthew a second degree orange belt, did a terrific job. We were rewarded for the outing with a Saturday night of wild eyrping and laundry. Followed by a day of trying to get liquids into Eric. We are hoping to get Eric back on his formula tonight. Needless to say it was a lot of long hours and a very wild weekend.

Today I got some spinning done. All I have to do is spin 3/4 more of the next bobbin and then I will ply the yarn. Hopefully John can get the Lazy Kate straightened out before then. I also think I might have over estimated the time I have for the on line course that I am in the middle of. I hope to play catch up this week. I find it hard to get really creative things done when I am in a state of exhaustion.  Plus it is probably not safe to use certain carding tools while half asleep.

Well it is time to go make dinner.

2 hats for 88 more rows toward the 1 million row challenge. 



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Change is Coming and Things are Leaving the House

My deep cleaning spree seems to be over.  I got most of today's cleaning done in less than an hour. So it seems I must now come up with a routine that will keep moving between 2 and 4 hours a day.  I need to do this without getting bored. 

I did manage to get 2 more hats finished today. So tomorrow I will drop off a couple more bags of cold weather gear to the same school that I dropped them off at last time.  I wonder how many I can drop off before they say no more.  For those keeping track that's 71 hats finished since the 3rd Thursday in September. By the way I don't think sitting and knitting will not get me the excersize I need. Well it is time to try to finish hat 3 today.  Here is a picture of a few of the hats and scarfs leaving tomorrow.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Journey Has Begun

My body won today. After getting up very early with Eric and taking care of him, I started the laundry. I then took a long nap after he left for his day program. Not everything on my to do list got done or even finished once I started. With 8 loads to start the day I did stop after the 5th load of laundry. John was very nice in folding the last 3 loads of laundry and putting all the laundry away. He is a  keeper.

I did find the time to start on on line fiber course today. I am only 2 weeks behind on a 6 week course. I wonder where Teri learned to dig her holes at the start of classes? I did read both the 1st and second e-mails. I also think I finished my Pintrest board, but might go back and add some color. I also started the journal of my Journey for the Golden Fleece. Tomorrow I will start the next packet.

For now it is time to wave bye bye to the computer and get back to work. TTFN.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Busy Holiday Weekend

We were lucky enough to have Teri and Tej visit for the weekend.  They came in very late Wednesday after a full day of work.  We had a great weekend full of eating and talking.  

We hit most of Teri's favorite eating spots including Cafe Poca Cosa, Micha's, Eegee's, Blue Willow, Frost and China Phoenix.   We also had treats from 5th Street Deli and Nadine's. 

Yes we did spend a lot of time eating. We also spent a lot of time catching up. The long weekend went much to fast.  I will share one picture of our wonderful weekend. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bits and Pieces

I don't get to decorate the dead computer as a center piece. Apparently John and I had major differences in how to decorate it. So John boxed it up.  I guess I will have to go with traditional Thanksgiving decorations. 

I am still in the purging junk from the house mode.  I wish I had grown up in a house that did not have to hang on to everything.  I have managed to fill 1/2 the recycle bin since yesterday.  I have learned that once something is gone I don't have to deal with it again.  I am also finding more things that need to go, even in areas I thought were done. I am hoping that all this work now will give me time to play catch up with my on line spinning class next week.  

I also think that the new medical supply company that the insurance company assigned us to bid their contract price to low.  When we needed new supplies for Eric's suction machine they sent us parts from another machine. They also sent us trech supplies. No trech here. When I called to say that the machine was not working right with the wrong parts. I was told that the parts were no longer available.  That I had to kludge the parts together and try to make it work. My only question to the insurance company and the medical supply company is; why are the necessary parts available on Amazon, EBay and at least a dozen other sites.  My search was so exhaustive that it took all of 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes I did notice that the retail price of the wrong parts were between 20 and 40% less expensive than the correct parts.  Which brings me back to the first question, why did the medical supply company make their bid so low that they can not do the job that they are being contracted for?  This was my head desk moment for the day. 

Only one more day until Company comes for the holiday weekend. So the work that is not done tommrow will not get done until after company leaves.  We'll that is not entirely true.  I will try to keep up with the laundry. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Busy as Usual

Eric is sick again. I did the usual of being up late and waking up early with him.  After a trade off with John I took a nap. 

I managed to get 2 1/2 hours of more deep cleaning in. With 3 more baskets of recycling going out. No matter how much I toss I still seem to find more to toss.  John also started the repair job on the sewing table. 

Tomorrow I will get the the counters done  and the last bastion of clutter will be taken care of.  Although I am not quite sure that I know how to turn a dead computer that is in parts into a center piece for the Thanksgiving table. I am thinking pleanty of candles.  I will also try to get the last of the shopping done. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Wet Weekend

We had an unusual winter storm this weekend. We got 2.5 inches of rain in 36 hours. Considering that we consider 12 inches of rain a good year, this was an exceptional storm.  I am glad that it was a slow rain so that the cactus and trees had a good deep soak. I also do feel very badly for the riders in the El Tour de Tucson bike race. For those riders going the 111 mile route who did not make it past Sabino Creek before it was closed, I am truly sorry that you did not get to finish your race. I hope that you give us another chance in the future. We would love to have you back. 

Since it was a cold and rainy weekend we stayed home. I have a house full of company coming Wednesday for Thanksgiving so I am working on last minute cleaning.  I also took time to start the next batch of hats. I got 7 done this weekend. 

I also now know what John considers a reasonable yarn and fiber stash. I have a lot of knitting and spinning before I get it down enough. 

I am looking forward to this week, even though I will be super busy. Have a wonderful week. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Understanding People

Sometimes I really don't understand people. Take yesterday for instance. I listened to a speaker from a local charity. She talked about all the good work her group was doing helping children. this was perfectly acceptable. Then she went on to criticize the very people her group was helping use racial overtones just because the people her charity were helping were not like her.

I would like everyone to remember "That all Gd's children are special ALL the time." and that we are all Gd's children. No matter what your religion or race we all bleed red. No matter your economic standing we all bleed red.

I am not saying that you have to like or agree with all other religions or cultures. The really important thing is that you have to RESPECT all other cultures and religions. All cultures have provision for helping the elderly, frail and less fortunate among us. Not everyone can be the top 1 percent , the math just does not work out that way. So we do have to work together to make this a better world.

In an ideal world we would all have a roof over our heads, food on the table, enough clothing, heat or fire wood for a cold winters night. Even health care. But the world is not perfect and we need to help one another through life. We come into to this world alone and leave this world alone. In between we need to help and care for one another. "For no man is an island".

So as the holidays approach try to be a little kinder. If someone is looks great, tell them. A kind word or action go a long way. Donate things you no longer need to charity, its good for the environment, your closets and your wallet. Live life and treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Yes, it the whole Golden Rule thing. I am an idealist who has been tempered with reality, so come join me in my world for a while.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Busier Than a Bee

It has been crazy busy around here. I have holiday guests arriving on Wednesday. I really think that it was a very good thing that I started cleaning 3 months ago. It gave me time to really go through everything. I know that I have not reached perfection by any means, but I consider it a major victory to only have 2 boxes of things that need to be dealt with instead of a whole room going into the garage.  

I will have 30 hats leave the house tomorrow for the knitting guild challenge. I have also found a small local school district that is very willing to give out more hand knit items to their students through their family resource center. I have 5 gallons of yarn for that project. I have 21 hats finished for that project. That means I have finished 51 hand knit hats in the last 30 days. Sadly even with 51 hats knit this month, it has not made much of a dent in the yarn stash. Just to give you an idea of how much yarn was used. Each hat took the equivalent of 1 skein of yarn which equals about 51 skeins of yarn. Of course I used a lot of bits and pieces to make the hats more colorful. 

I have run out of some of my design mojo for now. I have been asked to design and sew up some project bags for other peoples knitting. I am really thinking that after Thanksgiving would be a better time  to start this project.  I will feel less rushed and will come up with something way better if I wait. 

We'll I have another crazy busy day tomorrow so it's time to call it a night. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Surrealism in Action

Today was on of those really surreal days around here. The day started off at 5:30 am with Eric needing everything from an early morning physical therapy session to suctioning and everything in between. I did manage to get the laundry started at 6:00 am. By 7:00 am it was decided that Eric needed another down day. He had the sniffles and was cranky all day. By 8:am I knew that I was really out of sync and not much would get done today.

I was really weird at the grocery check out line today too. There were some guys on what I presumed was a golfing trip behind me. What happened next was total rudeness to the max. It appears that everything that they forgot to pick up or looked good from my order they just took and added it to their order instead of going back and getting it off the shelves  for themselves.  I thought it was odd that the cashier said that my order was a little light today. Silly me, I thought it was just that I had a short list. Not until I got home did I realize that things were missing. So I checked the car again to see if I had forgotten anything in the trunk, well the trunk was empty. Next I started checking my receipt and none of the missing items were on the receipt. At least I did not get charged for grocery's that I did not get. The funny thing is that the missing items were scattered all through my order not just at the end. So I had to go grocery shopping for the second time today to get the bread and other things that were missing from the first list.

I can say that I am pretty used to the driving of the tourist's making right turns from the left turn bay and making left turns from the right lane. I answer all kinds of questions as to where certain stores are located. I even tend to steer them to locally owned stores when there is one that fits the bill. What happened today at the grocery store was a little out there even for the height of the winter season and the kicker was that they were not even snow birds.  I just wonder if am am the only ones that the nuts are attracted too?

I am hoping for a better day tomorrow so I can play catch up from today. Did I mention that Eric managed to fill his laundry basket again?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Laundry Math

The math just does not add up I did 4 loads of laundry Saturday with 1 load left over. I started doing laundry at 6 am this morning. I had 1 load from Saturday and 5 loads from today with all the laundry finished by 4 pm. So how is it that just 6 hours later I have at least 3 new loads of laundry. How does 1 boy make so much laundry? Is there an evil genie who goes around just pulling clothes out of drawers to be dirtied and thrown back in the laundry  before the fresh laundry smell is gone?  I sometimes wonder if Eric has a deal with Proctor and Gamble, he will make as much dirty laundry as possible if they agree to put Tide coupons in the Sunday paper once a month. The thing I don't want to hear is that you do only 2 to 4 loads a week. That is unless you convince my son that he does not have to keep mommy busy by doing laundry.

There are other things in life that I love to do. I have signed up for an on line course that I have yet to crack the "book" open or even completed the 1st home work assignment. I have another 6 classes that I need to listen to before next semester for my religious studies class. I can not forget all the yarn I want to knit up in to charity hats next to couch, I think it is about 4 gallons of yarn. Yes I count my yarn in gallons and quarts for the reason that 4 gallons of yarn sounds better than counting just how many skeins make up a gallon of yarn. Also how much  I have to knit up. Its a little less daunting that way. Did I mention that I have both spinning wheels in mid project with a few spindles busy too. Yes I am making more yarn too.

In the sewing room today I just finished a set of toddler bibs. I bought the supplies more than several years ago to go to a set of twins who are now in elementary school. So as long as they are finished, the bibs will now be going to a friends granddaughter. While I was at it I also made 2 more bibs for Eric. Now to get those project bag samples done. The work in the sewing room is part of my deep cleaning effort. Finish all work in progress that can be made relevant or get rid of it.

Now if someone can just get Eric to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. Sleep through the night and not wake up before the sun I would have it made.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Busy As Usual

I has been a busy few days around here. This morning was laundry/cleaning followed by tinking about 8 wash cloths. The yarn will go into some cotton hats. I have a better chance of finding homes for hats than wash cloths. A few more hats got done between yesterday and today. They are getting more creative as I get into the the smaller bits of yarn. Did I mention that I found more yarn as I was cleaning on Friday? I thought I was just about done with cotton hats and ready to move on to wool and other fibers.

Even though I still have a little more than a week to get everything done by Thanksgiving  I am still feeling a bit rushed. Tomorrow I hope to wrap up the work in the craft room by finishing some bibs and making a few project bags for people who have asked for some. The most surprising thing about the craft room was that I did not just throw it all into bags and into the garage. I went through everything piece by piece and found a home for it or recycled it. I still find this level of organization a bit unnerving, but it is much easier to be creative. Who would have thought that a cleaner space lead to more creativity.

Then it will be time to take care of the fiber creep and maybe put some in the garage. I am really trying to get the fiber stash under control, but I can't seem to knit and spin as much as I would like too. This is a case where my mind is working faster than my hands.

Since I have another busy day planned for tomorrow, I know this because the to do list has already been written. I think I will call it a night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cleaner Might Be Better

This might be my other self talking, the neat well organized one that I swear is just a facade.  I spent almost the whole day in the craft room today.  Cleaning, organizing, finishing sewing projects and yes finding more yarn hidden away.  Don't tell John or Teri, but the more organized and neater the room became the easier I found it was to create and get things done.  I even have pictures of 2 of the projects I  completed from start to finish today.  The pattern will be posted once I am not writing on my iPod.  

It seems that it might not be the power supply on the computer after all.  It looks like there are a couple of bad transformers on the mother board.  This I know is a very bad thing.  You will know when things get fixed, yes I will be on the computer more. 

The only other thing that got done today was a very short field trip that Eric and I took.  We made our yearly pilgrimage to Tucson's version of the Mayflower.  It is an event sponsored by our local radio station MIX-FM 94.9 along with Tucson Electric Power who double all the cash donations, the Mayflower Moving and Storage Company who donate the use of a moving van to stack and transport the food to the Tucson Community Food Bank.  It was so nice that they remembered Eric from years past and knew just what to do.  

Well it is time to finish making dinner.  TTFN.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finishing

Today was all about getting odds and ends done.  Chores that had been on the back burn to long. A scarf that only needed 10 more rows knit was completed.  2 more hats were finished and a 3rd hat cast on.  

I got yesterday's spinning plied and started some BFL from Into the Whirled on the Louet.  I am trying out a new to me technique to make the color ways longer.  This yarn will be a single ply and the yarn is all for me.  Notice how thin the  yarn i, it will be perfect for a shawl. See the wide color ways too. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Odd Day

Today was really on odd day for me. It started off early and well. By 8 am I had the dishwasher, washing machine and Roomba running.  For some reason it went down hill from there.  

After breakfast things went into the blender and emerged all strange.  I encountered people driving down the wrong side of the road, I landed in the dirt to avoid being hit.  A Van Tran driver blocking the wheelchair ramp when I was half way down with Eric in his chair.  I had to back him up and find another ramp. RTA what's up with the rude drivers lately? Then the idiot who parked right next to the ramp door in such away that I could not deploy the ramp. She parked about 6" from the door, ideally i need between 6 to 8 feet to deploy the ramp. In my defense all the handicapped spaces were taken so I parked at the back of the lot taking what I thought was 2 spaces and pushed Eric across the parking lot into the store. My reward for all this was be flipped off and glared at.  Including the gal who blocked the ramp. 

My plan is to go to sleep and have a better day tomorrow.  Who's with. Me?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Busy as a Mommy

It has been a very busy and productive weekend around here. Eric managed to fill the laundry room knee high with laundry 2 days in a row.  I did 9 loads of laundry over 2 days and very little belonged to anyone but Eric.  

Elsewhere around the house I managed to do the following:  Fill the huge roll out recycle bin to with in 2 inches of the top. Finish and get a taker for 4 dog pillows. Repair 1 bib for Eric.  Tried a new spinning ratio on the Louet spinning wheel, I did not think it was possible to get yarn of this weight, yeah. Make a major dent in cleaning the guest room for thanksgiving company.  In case you did not know it, the craft room and guest room are one in the same.  We just pull down the Murphy bed when we have company.  Finished 3 more charity hats.  Last but not least start my to do list for Monday.  If I start now or run all day tomorrow I might finish half of the list.  

I would like to thank all of our Veterans for making this crazy life of mine possible. You are some of the most caring and helpful people around.  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Power Issues

I woke up this morning to find a solid yellow light on the computer.  As per my in house engineering fellow aka my husband, we have a power supply problem.  We have ordered the part and it will be installed upon delivery of the part. So until then all my blog post and anything computer related will happen from my Ipod.  Since I have not figured out how to share this on Facebook my simple request is that you share this on Facebook and tag me in the post so I can share with everyone else.  

I am also have a low energy day.  Too bad I can not be fixed with a new power supply.  Two naps later and I am begining to feel better. I don't expect to get more than dinner cooked and a little knitting done today.  

So basically nothing much is happening here today. Also I am including a picture of the sick computer.  The power supply is on the lower left I think.  It's the shiny part. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On a Roll

Today was one of those truly exceptional days. I was not an object in motion but still managed to get a lot of things finished,  starting with scrubbing the stove top. I decided to opt out of scrubbing the inserts by hand and instead used the dishwasher. I did manage to get all 4 loads of laundry washed and all but 1 is complete. Don't worry I think Eric has made at least one load for tomorrow.

On the craft front I finished knitting 2 hats, sewing 3 pillows for Eric, found the vest and buttons that made it into the sewing room so long ago that I can not remember when it hit the repair basket. My hands were a little to stiff to sew the buttons on tonight.

John and I went out for some couple time and I think we were mistaken for snow birds. We also made it to the grocery store. John made a lovely salad for dinner and even cleaned up afterward.

I think that I am falling asleep and Eric sounds quiet so I think I will call it a very early night.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Exhaustion

Exhaustion has set in. I spent most of my day sleeping. My 2 major accomplishments of the day were voting and finishing 1 hat.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Being Productive

I seem to be in a finishing mood today. I started out the day by crocheting the edging on 2 wash cloths. They were going to be for a fundraiser that fell through. Once the fund raiser fell though I put them on the back burner. So they are now done so I need to figure out what I will do with them.  Any thoughts besides keeping them?

Because the next batch of hats is going to stay local, I gathered up some bits and pieces of cotton yarn and started another batch of 30 hats. I will also make some wool hats too. I think the pattern is so simple it is a little additive. One hat got completed from start to finish and the next hat is 2 inches in.

I did have John put one box of yarn into the garage. I hope to get enough knitting done to bring it in sometime around January. This requires that I actually do some knitting for myself and get caught up on pretty things that I want to wear.

I was on the tired side today so not much housework got done. I see the next big push out of the craft room is going to be pillows. I will make both positioning pillows for Eric's bed, his day program and some dog pillows. This should take out about 1/3 of the clutter.

Well it does seem to be about time to call it a day so please take the time to enjoy your families.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Cheated

The challenge for knitting guild was suppose to be to knit one hat a day for 30 days. The challenge started October 17th. I just finished hat number 30 an hour ago on November 3rd. So I did the challenge in just 18 days. This is not earth shattering cheating by any means. With as crazy as this house gets sometimes, I just wanted to make sure that all 30 hats were done on time.

These hats are going to a place in Pinal County called Children's Closet. Their goal is to provide clothing for children so that they have clothing and shoes to go to school. Before this program started children in some areas frequently missed school days because it was not their turn to get to wear the 1 set of clothes or shoes that the family had for school that day. Winter clothing was not part of the outfit either.  I know that this effort will barely put a dent in the problem, but at least 30 little
 heads will be a little warmer this winter.

So here is the picture of all 30 hats. Each hat was 32 rows on size 13 knitting needles. So you will notice that the counter will go up by 960 rows on The one million row challenge. Yes this is double dipping but I am sure it will be OK.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All About Fiber Part 2

Here is the picture of all that I dyed for my first dyeing experience. It looks pretty good in my very humble opinion. let me know if you want to see pictures of the hand combed top.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finishing off the Week

It has been very busy around here. On Thursday I did try to take some time off. Some of it was good like learning a new way to place the freshly spun yarn on a bobbin to get it much neater. I like bringing my wheel and just sitting around and spinning with other people. I learn so much about spinning and life. Lunch with everyone was nice too.

On the other hand I was deeply disappointed with a craft room appliance manufacturer. I got to meet the president of the company. I asked why my first service could not be performed on the machine without additional cost to me. After all the first service was included in the sales price. When I went in for the first service they were long gone. They said that the company that they were leasing space was responsible and you can guess what the lease holder said.  For the president of a consumer driven industry he sure does not understand the average consumer or really care if they receive good service after the sale. His regional sales manager was not much better, since I did not drink the current rah rah drink and disagreed with her I was in her eyes an awful person. She felt it was good business to yell at a consumer and to try to publicly shame me. Like that is ever going to work on me.  Also when is it a consumers responsibility to keep track of the inner workings of a company or know their policy manual inside out, really!!!  Also to tell someone that even though you bought the appliance less then 10 miles from home and they closed a company branch, in their opinion it was not unreasonable to ask a consumer to drive 100 or 200 miles to get the appliance serviced.  Do they realize that that would take 2 full days out of a busy life that I do not have. I will continue to use the appliance but no way in HE Double Tooth Picks would I ever buy another appliance from this company*.

Today was filled with more knitting and friends. I got a good start on the laundry, I should only have 2 loads to wash tomorrow, we all know that depends on Eric. I got about 4 pounds of fiber washed. The fiber was dirtier than I expected so it took longer to wash and did not manage to get it all finished today. I still have more in the garage to wash. I did not realize how much work it would be  on my hands to wash the fiber.

On the hat front number 27 is done. Hat number 28 is on the needles and after that there are only 2 to go. So it is time to call it a night even though I should be exhausted my body seems out of sync and I am not in the least bit tired.

*It is the policy of this blog not to publicly shame bad companies. There are lots of people that do that. So that is why you will not see the name of the small appliance manufacturer in the blog. Conversely if they are products or companies I just love and think you should give them a try like my Kitchen Aid K5-A mixer which I think everyone should have one ( yes mine is from the late 1970's). Or even my Le Creuset cookware (My first piece was bought from the Betty Crocker Catalog back in the mid 1980's) everyone should have at least one every day piece for cooking.  Even household cleaners like Scrubbing Bubbles, great for the bathroom tile in Eric's bathroom.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hump Day Do Over Please. Minus the....

I started out today already behind schedule before I even got out of bed. Eric had an early morning doctors appointment across town. I managed to get there on time, but by the time they were done with their cranky computers we were 5 minutes late.  Since I did not get breakfast before we left, I did stop off at Nadine's for breakfast to go.  Two shopping bags full of baked goods later we were back in the car headed home.  After some green tea and Danish the world was a little better place. At least in my corner.

I also managed to break 7 nails today and the strange part is that I did not do any laundry. The cleaning bug hit between appointments and I got everything done but mopping the floors.  Then it was time to head out across town again.  

We managed to get there on time. Since it is snow bird season ( not one of the 20 or so handicapped spaces we need to deploy the ramp were open) we parked at the back of the lot and walked across the  lot. We also saw an older man park his truck, taking up 3 parking spaces for 1 truck. Get out of his car to check his parking. He seemed very satisfied that his truck was in 3 parking spaces and headed in for his appointment.  The appointment took so long that I finished 1 hat, then cast on hat 2 for the day and almost finished it too. I did manage to finish 3 hats today so for those who are keeping track that is 26 hats finished so far and should be finished well before the November Knitting Guild meeting.  Oh, by the way Eric is fine.

On the way home we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up dinner and a few odds and ends. It took John's will power to skip all the goodies. Did you ever notice that they sample more goodies at dinner time than they do durning the day? I even managed to pick up the wrong cheese for Thursday nights pizza , since there was not a line the cashier went and traded the cheese out for me. Then it was time to head home.

Eric was very happy to be home for his percussion treatment. Since we were running so late we had canceled Eric's aide for the night.  John and I make a great team and shared getting everything for Eric done.

I also think that this was the first time that we had dinner close to 7 pm since John retired. It was a simple dinner of tuna cranberry salad sandwiches on the marbled rye that I got at Nadine's earlier today with gingered beets and butternut squash with glazed onions from Whole Foods.

I also looked at my current yarn storage briefly tonight and may not have to buy more yarn storage containers after all. I think I will handle that on Friday afternoon.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Mixed Monday

I had an odd feeling today. I swept it to the back of my mind when I went out to knit with the girls today.  As usual for our small group the food, talk and knitting were great. We had a visitor to the group today, it turns out that her husband works with Lisa's mom. I wish I could remember her name. It's such a small world.  She was also knitting the most increadable dress, I wish that I had the patients to knit swirls upon swirls, then sew them together. 

After knitting I did some errands and took a longer than intended nap.  In hind site that was a wonderful thing.  During Eric's shower the wild eyrps started.  I think I have decided if one is going to get sick the shower is the perfect place.  As gross as it sounds, it was a really easy clean up.  First rinse everything down the drain.  Then hit the barh chair, floors and walls with Scrubbing Bubbles. Let it sit for a few minutes then use the scrub brush on the broom handle.  Then rinse the entire floor and squeegee the rest of the water down the drain.  Only 15 minutes to clean up a very messy mess.  I am not sure the makers of Scrubbing Bubbles had this in mind when they went to project development, but it worked very well.

I did get hats 20 & 21 finished and am on the decrease rows for hat 22 on the 30 hats in 30 days challenge.  Thanks to Eric being home for a few days I might get them finished by this weekend. I only have 8 1/3 hats to go. 

I think Eric has settled down for the night. Since he is going to be home for the next two days it's time to get some rest while I can.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fiber Sunday

Not a lot got done that did not have to do with fiber today.  Since I was under the miss guided impression that filling my big red bag with yarn once would be enough to knit 30 hats.  I spent part of the day winding yarn and refilling the bag again. 

I finished 3 hats today and started a 4th hat.  I now have 19 out of 30 hats finished. I think it is entirely possible that I might just finish this challenge 2 weeks early.  I will give my row count for the one million row challenge when I am finished. I will also take a picture of all of them too.  

I am thinking that I should dip into my left over and odd bits of cotton to make hats for a local school. I will also use up the rest of the yarn in the red bag to go to that project too. 

Have a wonderful and productive week everyone.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Update 30 Hats in 30 Days

Just 9 days in to the guild hat challenge of 30 hats in 30 days I have almost used up what I thought would be enough yarn.  My only request is that you not send or give me any more yarn.  I will just go to another basket and pull ore yarn out.  

Just how many hats are finished 9 days in to go through that much yarn?  The answer will surprise those of you who don't know me well.  I expect everyone else to say "What your not finished yet."  I have 16 hats finished and number 17 on the needles. 

I will post a picture of the pile of hats and a row count when I am done. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

In No Order


In no particular order the following got done over the past few days.

1.  Eric brought in 27 pounds of tabs to the Tucson Ronald McDonald House.  Our goal for the year was 20 pounds. Eric now stands 37 pounds. Way to go Eric.  If you are in Tucson you can drop your tabs off at the Tucson JCC.  If you see me on a regular basis I will still take them. 

I just cast on hat #15 out of 30.  I am going through yarn much faster than I thought I would. A big thank you goes out to Barbara M. For her wonderful pattern. 

Eric has gotten into waking up at 5 am. So I am a bit tired by the evening.  

A lot of projects got finished in the craft room including positioning pillows for Eric's day program. 

If fiber is a _______ to spin, then it is equally bad to ply.  

If you are wearing my hand me downs that I shrunk out of, you have no right to call me fat.  It's a shame that the person who made the comment does not read this blog. 

If you want me to teach you to knit, you have to let me have time to show you how and explain things. In other words stop talking long enough for me to say something.  

I am the luckiest woman alive.  I have Great kids.  A wonderful husband.  The best friends a person could ever ask for.  With that my ramblings will stop for the evening. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BBD

I have been pusPhing myself a little to hard lately. Well it all caught up with me last night. I woke up to a BBD like I have not had in a while. 

So I slowed down quite a lot. Not that I had a choice. I did keep moving by doing more laundry. Eric made 2 loads over night. I also added house work  my goal was to keep working and moving even if I could not get out of 1st. gear. 

I am hoping for sleep tonight.  Wish me luck. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Getting Crafty

I made a lot of progress in the craft room today. I got 2 dog pillows out the door and delivered today so that they are out of the house. Made 3 new pillows for Eric's bed, although 1 will require some sort of modification to keep the pillow inside. Repaired the skirt that got torn at Disneyland, I can't quite remember when that was, but I think Teri was in her 1L year. Its not perfect, but it is wearable. 100% silk is sure hard to repair. Repaired 1 bib for Eric and put it in the wash. That means that 1 of the 2 repair baskets is almost empty.

Outside of the craft room I got 6 loads of laundry washed and 3 folded. The rest of the folding can wait until tomorrow. I also finished 2 more knitted hats today. Took Eric with me to Jo-Ann's after his day program to pick up some clean fiber fill for more positioning pillows for the kids. After making more than 80 over the past 6 years I am beginning to wonder how they walk so fast. Discreet labeling saying Taglit Program or Property of Taglit does not seem to work. So I got some permanent art markers. I am going to have Eric and his aide decorate them so the kids will like them and hopefully this batch will not sprout legs and walk away. It is not that I mind making the pillows for the kids. What I mind is that people know I make them for the kids, they like them and take them home with out payment to me or the program and expect me to make more for the kids. I really think that is very selfish on their part. I also don't get stealing pillows from disabled young adults.

Well if I am going to get more pillows out the door tomorrow morning it is time to call it a night.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Lazy Sunday

We had another lay low day today. Basically we did not leave the house, but that did not mean I was not busy. I have been doing laundry today and basically Eric made as much laundry as I did today so that was a wash so to speak. I got a newsletter article written. Knit 2 more hats toward the guild challenge, yes I plan on getting it done in less than 30 days. I see nothing wrong with getting something done early.

Speaking of hats, I organized part of my yarn stash today. I sorted the projects and yarn to make more efficient use of my space. I found among the stash yarn in various piles that just said "I need to be part of the hat project".  I just love it when the yarn knows where it is suppose to go and what it wants to be made into. Some yarns take longer than others to get to this stage. I put all my works in progress together, I have less than last time I did this. I also put new kits in one bag and shawls in another. I put in a solid hour and got this portion a little over 50% organized. I also now have 4 empty project bags, I know that I should not pull new projects out and refill them. Tomorrow the organizing should be finished.

Yes, the day of rest did Eric a lot of good. He is looking much better than he did at this time last week. I am really hoping that Eric has a really good week so I can finish organizing the craft room. Finish some work in progress sewing projects. I also need to find a time to work on Teri's blanket, ply some yarn and wash some wool.  Can someone please invent a longer day for me so that I can get all that I need to get done and want to get done, done.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and productive week.

All About Fiber

I spent the Saturday at Grandma's Spinning Wheel here in Tucson. I took 2 classes with Donna who is a wonderful teacher. If you have a chance to take any of Donna's classes consider yourself very lucky.  The first class was all about dying fiber. We dyed every type of protein fiber a beginner needs to know. We did use acid dyes which are almost all off my hands today.  We started off with adding a little color to a dark fiber with streaks of white in it. Then there were roving's, silks and yarn. With the yarn we did a dye over on an orange hank of yarn and had a blank hank of white yarn. Once everything is dry I will take some pictures.

While I had a terrific time and learned quite a bit, my fiber friends who dye my yarn and fiber need not worry. I don't think that I will be doing this at home any time soon. That being said I can't wait to see how it all spins and knits up.

After lunch I took the most wonderful class of the day. I learned how to comb fiber into top. I did  not realize how much physical labor combing was and can now understand why in the English Guilds the skill was passed from father to son. I also learned to use a diz. So now I can properly play with my dizes. A thank you needs to go out to everyone who has sent me dizes knowing before I did how much fun they would be to play with. I do have a small bag of combed top fiber to spin and I cant wait. Since this is so much fun yet so physical for me I think I might have to limit myself to about an hour a day. I noticed that when I got tired my quality went way down.

Grandma's Spinning Wheel also has a large selection of classes, knit ins, spin ins,  yarns, fibers, knitting and spinning supplies. For your first casual visit I would recommend planning to spend at least an hour in the store. If you are undecided  which spindle or spinning wheel to get, buy a bit of fiber and take a floor model for a test spin. If they don't have what you want in stock just ask either Vicki or Michael to order it for you.

If you are not from Tucson here is all you need to know about Grandma's Spinning Wheel. It is located at 6544 E, Tanque Verde #150, Tucson Arizona 85715. All the other pertinent  information can be found at www.grandmasspinningwheel.com.

This is my disclosure paragraph. John paid for my classes on Saturday and took care of Eric to boot. Isn't he wonderful? I did not get paid to write this blog. All opinions are my own. I did not ask permission from either Vicki or Michael  the owners of Grandma's Spinning Wheel to write this blog post. So I hope that they do not ask for a take down.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hats

Today was all about hats. I finished 4 of the hats that I mentioned in yesterday's blog.  I only have 26 to go to make the knitting guild presidents challenge of 30 in 30 days.  Since each hat is taking about 1 skein of yarn do to using 2 strands of yarn to knit with at a time.  I should have 30 less skeins of yarn in the house when this challenge is finished.  This might sound like a lot of yarn, which it is by any standard, but I doubt this will make much of a dent in my yarn stash. 

So here is a picture of the first hat I finished this morning. All 32 rows.  Mixing a white yarn with a variegated yarn has a nice look to it.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Really Good Day

I had a very busy day today. With Eric at his day program, I was able to go to knitting guild today. Barbara Moore gave a lovely talk about the history of hand knit caps. She also gave us a pattern for a quick hat for charity that is a real stash buster. It uses 2 stands of worsted weight yarn. With about 1 hour total knitting time this afternoon I am half way through with my first hat. John made a suggestion of making a whole bag full for the next guild meeting to burn through some of my stash. The question I should have asked was what size bag, before I said that sounded like a good idea and agreed to it. Since the hat is not my own design I can not post the pattern here.

I also think that I may have insulted a few people at lunch by asking one person at the table to use her inside voice when she started yelling at the top of her lungs during lunch. I was ready to crawl under the table because I was so embraced to be with someone that rude. Not to mention that the entire restaurant was staring at our table. Teri would have loved being a fly on the wall when another person who did not know all about Eric, commented that we should not let Eric be such a slacker (her words not mine). We needed to motivate him  to be more like his older sister. I told this lady who is new to our group that we were content to have Eric in his day program ( I could have not drop a bigger hint), and we had no problem with him staying home as long as he wanted. Not everyone has to go to college.  I think the final round of me insulting the world came about when the server came over to offer us desert and I turned it down for the entire table.

After lunch, but before afternoon car pool I also managed to get some lovely fruit for snacks this weekend and get a 20 minuet nap.

John and I also went to a retirement dinner tonight. It still seems odd at times to think that we are retired.  The speaker was a Retired Air Force Major General. It was a great talk, that was surprisingly short. I should have written down the name of his book so I could read it.  Afterward John and I went to Frost and had a nice walk to help me get to my 10,000 steps for the day.

It is time to call it a day so that I can fill my day tomorrow with knitting, cleaning, laundry and hopefully some spinning.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hump Day

The house is slowly returning to normal. Eric is feeling better. Which left me time to do some shopping today. What I found shows me that the economy is not rolling as it should be. I went clothes shopping and found sizes to be limit and less items in stock. This might make me change my policy of buying Halloween candy on the 31st.

I also found time for cleaning, laundry ( when do I not find time for laundry?) and knitting. Some days I think I put to much on my plate. I really feel that I should be able to get more done than I do. But I am also learning to say no.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Can I Have a Do Over?

First off we would like a do over of Monday here,that being said Eric had a better day today. John is hoping to get Eric out the door tomorrow. Me I think one more day.  

Every one slept well last night lets hope we can do 2 nights in a row.  Maybe I will get more done that way on Wednesday.  It is quiet so I am calling it a night.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

And the Answer Is...

We went to the doctors today and it is an ear infection. This is why Eric has been so sick and miserable the last 3 days. I was 100% wrong. I thought clammy kid with a fever, who was throwing up had a tummy bug. So we have changed course and started the antibiotics. He should be feeling better in a day or 2.

In the mean time I hope to have Eric sleeping through the night again in a couple of days. I promise not to give any sensible answer until I have had at least 1 full nights sleep. I will continue to try to knit until I can't see straight any more and after that all my knitting would result in is a lot of frogging...rippit...rippit....rippit...

I am not happy with myself for only hitting the 4 mile of walking mark today. With only 20 minutes of house work. With these pathetic numbers you would think some one around here was sick or something. But with it being almost bed time with me wanting to sleep tonight I will not partake in any more exercise for the day. I am also to tired to knit so I think I will find something mellow to do for the rest of the night.

Eric is Sick Again

This is night 3 that I am in Eric's room.  The first night was Friday, Eric was sick I managed to get 4 hours of sleep. Not enough by anyone's standards, but still doable. This was followed by a full day and a retirement party on Saturday. I was certainly not ready for another almost all nighter. 

Eric's plans were a lot different than mine. I got to sleep at 6 am on Sunday morning.  I cancelled all outside activities.  I also managed to keep up with most of the sick kid laundry.  It is now the wee hours of Monday morning. I am hopeful that I will be able to get some sleep soon. 

Even if Eric is still home on Monday I will need to get out and get a little shopping done. We are down to 1 bottle of pedialyte and out of children's tylenol. The fruit drawer looks a little on the empty side too.  

Guess what. Eric has fallen asleep. So I will end the blog here so I can get 6.5 hours of sleep.  At least that is close to normal. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Purse

How do you know that you have come upon a purse of a knitter?  There are a few major clues.  First it is usually easier to find a pair of knitting needles then the head phone buds of the MP3 player that resides in the purse. 

The second clue would be the small knitting project in progress. If that project is almost done you will also find the next project or skein of yarn for the latest 1 skein wonder. 

Then there is the small zippered pouch that has at least the following items in it. A small pair of scissors, a few extra stitch markers, darning needles, at least 1 crochet hook and a tape measure. Depending on the current work in progress you might also find cable holders, small bobbins for bits of yarn, dental floss for lace knitting and stitch holders.  

Then we can't forget about the nail file so we don't snag our work. Lotion and nail creams to keep our hands soft so we don't snag things like silk.  

I often wonder if our male counter parts keep their knitting in small backpacks. Do you have a knitters purse?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wheelchairs, Yarn Crawls and Dog Pillows

Well I did over do it on Monday. Tuesday I paid the piper. Absolutely nothing got done on Tuesday. I had to try to recoup some energy for Wednesdays Yarn Crawl. Nancy, Carolyn and I started out early about 8 am for the Phoenix leg of the crawl. We had a great time, but it was a lot of driving for me, I did not get back home until 10 pm. Next time I am going to bring a friend to do some of the driving. We went to a lot of yarn stores, some were fabulous and I would go to them again if I had reason to be in Phoenix. Others not so much, some look like they had seen better days and were in desperate need of a little sprucing up. There was one were the staff was down right rude and condescending, they seemed all about needlepoint, but had yarn in the store for some unknown reason. There were a few mix ups on the times when stores were open. Did you know that in downtown Carefree Arizona the streets roll up by 4 pm with the exception of a few places to eat and the grocery store? I would also like to thank the Gilbert Honda Dealer for taking care of a check tire light for me and suggesting the most wonderful locally owned place for dinner. I will do a review later this week.

Today we picked up Eric's new wheelchair with the custom molded back. Most everyone including Eric loved it. It weighs half the amount as the last chair and it is easier to move. We did get it in wheelchair green (that's an Eric colorway, we could not get anyone one else to name this shade of green with the same name). You will notice that the laterals are gone. The seat back was molded to fit Eric. We just have to remind him to lean back until he gets used to the laterals being gone. We have only had 1 aide complain so far about the new chair and the lack of lateral supports. Oh well you can't please everyone. I would like everyone to notice how clean this new wheelchair is because this is the very last time you will see this chair so clean. My conclusion is that even though it took 18 months to get through the process we landed up with a great chair for Eric in the end.

I also started to make some more dog pillows for the aides with dogs at Eric's day program. I think I will need a volunteer stuffer. Eric has also graciously agreed to hand them out 1 or 2 at a time until we either run out of stuffing or aides with dogs.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rocking It Today

Despite have a little arthritis pain in my knee last night and today I rocked my to do list. I did spend a little time in the craft room and a few things got done in there too.  I also got the kitchen floor mopped.  To relax after dinner I finished knitting one more scarf. Frogged a wash cloth re cast on and knit at least 2 inches.  

My plans for Tuesday are a bit more modest. A little knitting, sewing and shopping.  If my knee feels better a little spinning on the Ashford other wise it will be the Louet.   

Just in case you missed my to do list for today here is a picture of it.  John did the a/c filter.  Eric's wheelchair hopefully will be ready Thursday.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Recharging

It was a very quiet weekend around here. We all took the time to recharge. All that got accomplished was a bit of cleaning, laundry, knitting and spinning. I almost forgot, we wondered over to the Apple store to look at the colors for the new 5s. I am still not sure what color I will get, but the gold color is still not shipping and is not the greatest shade of gold around. I may just go with the black and get a very colorful case. Something that won't get lost in my purse. Apple that may be your next goal, a phone that won't get lost in purses.

I have time to do a quick to do list for tomorrow before I call it a night.

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Diet Secrets

As a lot of you know a dear friend, Kay from Texas convinced me to give up anything with aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and any other artificial sweeteners. She sent me a few reports on the subject. I did more research on my own. I started this about 1 1/2 years ago. If you need a better time frame you can check past blogs.

It started out with giving up diet soda. I did drink about 6 cans a day because they were calorie free.  I did have a lot of headaches with that one. I found it took more tea than diet soda to get my caffeine quota for the day. After a few months I also gave up my multi time daily soy chai tea, a very high calorie drink. At about the same time I purged the house and my body of anything with high fructose corn syrup. It took about 3 months for all the junk to leave my system. .

After about 3 months I started getting more energy. I started walking. At first I was lucky to do a walk up and down the street. The more I walked the easier it got, yes it took about 9 or 10 months to get easier. Around this time I dropped my 1st dress size and 5 whole pounds. As I started getting more energy I got rid of the housekeeper. At first I did doubt my sanity on this, but at this point I find housework provides most of the exercise I need. I also try to walk 10,000 steps or more a day. Sometimes it is less and sometimes it is more.

I find a little really deep cleaning a week helps a lot. To me this means pulling out a drawer or a shelf and emptying it completely. Take the linen cabinet for example. After every thing is removed for 1 shelf at a time. I wipe down the shelf. Go through all the linens on that shelf. I divide it into to 4 piles charity, rags, trash, then wash and fold everything that I put back. This might not seem like much exercise but being as out of shape as I was everything and all movement helps. Not to mention that with each project finished I felt better and was less likely to snack at random. I am sure that Teri and John like this too, since they tend to be more organized than I am.  I did start out with 10 minute projects and built up to longer periods of cleaning. After you tear apart and reorganize a whole linen cabinet let me know if you think it is enough exercise to skip the gym. I can now do up to 8 hours of deep cleaning at a time if Eric is having a good period.

About 18 months later I am down 3 dress sizes and 15 pounds. I seem to be building muscle because my body fat went from 50% down to 43% during the same time. I don't have a weight goal in mind. My goal is just to feel much better and have the most energy possible.

I still read all the labels. I think that you will find as I did, that so much of the very processed food that we eat are laden with this stuff. I started making more food from scratch and eating more fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts for snacks. You also need to know that I have not given up chocolate and have a little bit each week. I have not gotten rid of my chocolate shelf in the fridge. I still have a sweet tooth, but am less likely to eat a whole box of cookies in a few days. I am more likely to have some then forget about them and toss them out because they became stale. When I want a soda I go out of my way to find soda that is made with real sugar.

So to recap I eliminated aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and any other artificial sweeteners. I added walking with a goal of 10,000 steps per day. I also added a lot of house cleaning. I know that this is not the fastest way to lose weight but its better than a lot of diets I have tried. This is not so much of a diet but a life style change.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Free Fall

Last night was a very bad night. Eric started out the night with nightmares at 11:30pm. It took over an hour to calm him down. Followed 2 hours later by suctioning. Followed 2 hours later for more suctioning and positioning. By 6 am I was ready for pancakes.

I then tried to recover my day by getting all 5 loads of laundry washed, folded or hung to dry on the line.(don't worry Eric already has 1/2 a laundry basket filled for me.) Along with a little picking up. Some how that was not enough to turn my day around. By 10 am I felt like I was in total free fall and it went down hill from there.

Just the usual stuff like a call from his case manager, that she just got a promotion and her last day with Eric would be Friday. This is like a new one every 6 months. I swear I did not break this one she really did get a promotion. Eric's day program might not have their fall fund raiser that I have been working on for 6 months. I have tons of earrings and hand knit stuff so I might have to do a craft sale on my own. If anyone knows of a local church or non profit that is having a holiday boutique that has space, please let me know. I can do a table fee plus a percentage of the sales as a donation. It just seemed that today hit that rare day when things just hit the wrong way.

The best decision I made today was to take a nap at 4:30pm instead of hitting the kitchen and baking up a storm. It helped, but I am still out of sync. Please be patient with me tomorrow as it might take a day or 2 to get back into sync.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hump Day

The most important part of the day is that Eric got out of the house and went to his day program. He had a great time. John did double duty today, he did both car pool runs and all the cooking. I am at the tale end of the cold Eric shared with me. I rested a lot and took a long nap.

I did manage to finish one hat and cast on 2 more projects. The good news is that with this intense effort to finish things, the UFO / yarn pile is noticeably smaller. You can actually see some of the wood on the table that I piled things on.  I am also only working on projects that I like and want to finish. I want to do a little fancy knitting, the kind not suitable for most charity projects.

Now on to the odd thing that went missing this time. John went out to fix the solar lights on the walkway this afternoon after lunch. He made a list of what needed to be fixed. He went to the box of spare parts and extra solar lights that we keep in the garage. The box was cleaned out of parts except for the rock that he uses to pound in the stakes and put back into place.  It is my hope that the right kind of Karma follow the people who take things.

This leads me to one simple request to the solar lighting industry. Instead of saying our lights are 2 or 3 times brighter. Not mentioning what they are brighter than please, please, please just list the amount of Luminous intensity you lights produce. It would be so much easier for all of us. Best of all they do have sensors that can give you that information. With that request I will end the blog post for tonight.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We Made it Through the Cold

It has been a crazy couple of days around here with Eric sick, yet again. I almost kept up with the laundry. The most wonderful news of the day is that Eric is  back on formula as of 6:30 tonight.

I did manage to finish one knitting UFO project per day for the last few days. So my pile of UFOs is getting just a touch smaller. No big dent made here. Not a lot of spinning got done either because Eric needed so much of my time. I am totally exhausted so this is a really short post tonight.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday

Today was a slow day around here compared to yesterday. Only 2 loads of laundry got done verses 6 yesterday. All that really got done today was an hour of spinning. A little housework. The Flu shots for the guys. A haircut for Eric, and a lot of knitting.

I did figure out the problem I had with a beginner knitting pattern 6 years ago. The picture was right the pattern was wrong. Since the pattern was written incorrectly I wonder if I am allowed to show you a picture of my current knitting and give you the correct pattern as I have it worked out? Will one of my readers send a note on that? The pattern is easy peasy but I don't want to trample on someones toes if I don't have to.

Right before bed the wild eyrping started so I think that it is a wonderful thing that my plans already had me staying home on Monday just doing the usual stuff. Knitting, sewing, laundry, spinning and cleaning.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Looking Up

Things have turned around and I have more energy. I just finished the Marina Hunger Walk. I did miss walking with Lisa and Matthew this year. I am at 7,961 steps out of the minimum 10,000 I need for the World  UCP Challenge. Did I mention that it is only 9:40am. I am also almost 2 inches in to the wash cloth that I started this morning. 

When I get home my to do list includes washing 2 batches of yarn.  More laundry. Sewing at least 1 dog pillow and what ever else I can get done in the sewing room. Maybe even getting the guys out today, but I would not count on Eric. As a typical young adult he likes to spend his weekends relaxing and watching tv.  So I might just add more cleaning, sewing, knitting and spinning. 

It's time to get a cuppa of tea for the road and get this day moving again. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Change of Plans

After a busy day yesterday my body decided it was time for some time off. I really had a list of things to do, but I find it hard to get out of nap mode when my body says it's time to nap. So there was a change of plans and I took it easy this afternoon. My hands are also still a little raw from the 2 times I handled a polyester based craft project with in a few days of each other. I will either have to stop playing with polyester ( the wisest move ) or get some cotton gloves for when I handle the stuff.

I have learned something new about my Ashford spinning wheel. Although I can spin 3 ounces of single ply on to the standard bobbin, I can only ply 2 ounces on to the same sizes bobbin. After that the bobbin becomes messy and tangled.  It was too late to take pictures of the freshly plied yarn, so I will try to remember to take pictures tomorrow. I have decided that I will make a shawl out of this yarn.  I have also learned that until I know a spinner with more experience than me a little better, I should take their advice with a grain of salt. After all they are not all as good as Kathy Withers is.  Also I should not let them egg me on to spin more on my bobbin that I feel comfortable with. After all it is my project which will become messy, not theirs.

I am almost finished with a creative piece on the drop spindle too. Just 3 little bits to spin on before I ply the yarn. I will take pictures of that too. I am calling this one shades of Halloween. I have not decided whether I will keep it or not.

I am also walking this Saturday for the Marana Community Food Bank, the walk starts at 7 am. My usual walking group for this event has another commitment. So If you want to walk with me let me know. Here is the link to my donation page if you would like to make a donation instead of walking with me. Marana Hunger Walk 2013.  At this time I am at 27% of my fundraising goal. The local food bank is able to turn every donated dollar in to $9.00 of food. Most of the food in Pima county goes to seniors and children.

I have a busy day lined up for tomorrow so it is time to call it a night.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Poll

The World CP Challenge has given my body a kick start that it needed. I am finding that not only do I have to walk 10,000 steps a day but I need to add other exercise too, in order for the scale to go down and the inches away. In this challenge I am trying to keep up with a friends 8 year old son who does Martial Arts 3 days a week. As you might have guessed he is ahead of me. As of this blog post hes has 313,532 steps and I have 293,198 steps. So I am not that far behind him. Only 20,334 steps. We are at the end of week 3 and have one more week to go.

Since I have been really bad at fund raising for this challenge, I would like to run an informal poll. yes i know Polls are BORING. If you think my friends son will continue to out pace me and leave me in the dust, so to speak use the World CP Challenge button on the right side of this blog and donate $2.00 to Matthew's Team at UCP of Southern Arizona. If you think that I have an ice cubes chance of not melting on a typical summers day here in Tucson donate $2 to Team Eric.

As of this writing Matthew's Team has a fund raising balance of $0.00 dollars and Team Eric has a fund raising balance of $110.00. I will use these numbers as the virtual zero dollar starting point. We would like to raise at least $500 per team.  All money raised will go to help people with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities here in Southern Arizona. So with 1 week to go do you think that I can not only catch up to my friends son, but also manage to inch ahead by a few step or do you think he will continue to leave me in the dust.

The voting is now open.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A very Busy Day

Don't tell Eric but I am caught up on laundry. Yes, I know that I will have at least 2 loads to do tomorrow. I have also found the perfect time to get my house work done. Yes, there is a great time of day to do house work. It has only taken me 9 months to figure this out. Right after the guys leave in the morning. I still have energy, plus I can get a lot of things done in that hour or so before John gets back from his work out. I know that I am not going to the gym but house work is a better overall exercise plan for me right now and has the advantage of a cleaner house.

I am also ready to to ply my second spin on the Ashford spinning wheel. With a little help from some of the spinners at Grandma's Spinning Wheel here in Tucson I have a better relationship with the wheel. I managed to get 3 ounces of fiber on both bobbins before plying. I will post pictures after it is plied. This should be one of the thinnest yarns that I have ever spun on a spinning wheel. Usually to get the yarn this thin I have to use a drop spindle.

I think it is time to call it a day so that I don't wake up with the headache from he double toothpicks again.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Long Night and A Busy Day

I find it a toss up when Eric has a bad night whether to stay up all night or pop up and down all night getting badly interrupted sleep. Last night was one of those nights and I decided to pop up and down. The longest stretch of sleep I got was 2 hours and sometimes I would just close my eyes and be right back up.

Despite the hectic night I managed to get in a very good work out by doing the house work and laundry this morning. I was way too tired. I also knew that the house work would wait for me and pile up on Mondays chores. Which would cascade further into the week.

After lunch I did make it to Michael's Craft store with a friend for the Lion Brand yarn 135 year anniversary celebration. I came home with a nice bracelet. When I got home I was exhausted so I made 2 cups a vanilla chai tea. I find 4 pm a little late for that much caffeine but today I know I would have fallen asleep on my dinner plate if I had not.

I also got some spinning done while Eric was doing his breathing treatment this afternoon. I am hoping that I can finishing spinning this yarn tomorrow so that I can ply it. John also brought home dinner tonight and was nice enough to clean up too. I almost finished the cowl on my knitting needles tonight. That too should be finished by tomorrow.

I am going to try to call it a very early night tonight. I hope that Eric agrees too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Too Many Projects Advice Needed

It has been brought to my attention just today that I have a few too many projects going at once. At least 20 is my estimate. Followed by more pending projects ready to be started. Well over 50ish to be polite about it. This does not even include the un-designated yarn, which is yarn/fiber/material that I love with no particular project in mind.  My mind just races faster ahead of me than my hands can go. Throw in a few bad days and this is where the dilemma lies.

I find my self enjoying but rushing through projects on the knitting needles so I can cast on and start the next project, the yarn is calling my name saying use me next.  Often times ignoring the getting smaller pile of UFOs. I try to fill a bag with finishing work so that I can weave in my ends and do the labeling all at once at least a once a month. I just can't wrap my mind around doing one project from buying the yarn, casting on and finishing the project before the next one is started.

I have also been asked why I continue to spin new yarn when I have so much in my stash already. The truth is that I find it very relaxing on  stressful days. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

My question is does anyone else have this problem? If so how do you handle it? Should I just list everything to do style and cross them off before I go to the next. Keeping in mind that I take 1 small project every where I go. Yes I add a few rows here and there. I also have 2 projects currently by the couch, both should be finished before Friday. I also have 1 project in Eric's room with a spare skein of yarn.

For those of you with small or smaller stashes how do you keep things in check? I would like to start a dialog on this. So please feel free to send in your comments. If you don't want them published just let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feeling Inscure

I am feeling a bit insecure today about my weight. I know that I am down 3 dress sizes, since I gave up high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and the maid.  I know that I am wearing clothes that I have not worn since Teri was a Junior at the UofA, six years ago.  Has it really been that long? I know that with the exception of 1 spot that I am toned. I am also sure that will continue to slim down too.

Then why do I let myself be upset by one jerk who points out to his entire group at the supermarket the "fat lady over there". I know it would make no difference to a jerk like that to tell him he was rude, lacked basic manners and that I was down 3 dress sizes. He should have said something when I was really fat and out of shape.  I am now a member of the tucked in shirt gang for some of my outfits, including the one I wore today.

I worked really hard to get to this point. I know that I still am not perfect and never will be. I am just trying to be the best me that I can be. I should not be defined by my weight. That is so shallow. Or my inability to stay on a diet when I have found out life style changes are more important. I am a good wife and mother. I run a chaotic house with very few hiccups. I am a pretty good cook, but not perfect. I can spin a decent skein of yarn. I am a skilled knitter. I can write a basic knitting pattern. Give me a piece of fabric and I can come up with something original. I have a lot of good qualities so why do I let jerks still get to me?

My goal for tomorrow is to brush the crumbs off and go onward and upward.  And just to be on the safe side add a little knitting,spinning and cleaning.