My 1 Million Row Challenge

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Life in Retirement

John retired at the beginning of the month. My assumption is that life would get a little slower. After all we started sharing the chores including car pooling for Eric. Wrong. I am now busier than ever. As a team we are getting more done. We now have to keep track of each others calendars. We still have to time everything around Eric's schedule, but we knew that from the start. We still keep up with our friends and have individual friend time. We are also starting to go out with other couples, although this still revolves around Eric's schedule and respite care. There is a nice balance in life.

What I enjoy most about Johns retirement is that we have more time to spend together. To me its like being back at the beginning of our marriage, but with a few years of experience under our belts.  We will not be doing a lot of traveling like a lot of new retires, the boss aka Eric would have none of that.

Life was good before Johns retirement and now I can say with certainty, that it is even better. To steal a little line from the Robert Browing poem "'Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be." Each day is a new adventure. With a little more sleep for the both of us, which means for me That I am more alert and getting more detailed things done. Look for more patterns soon.

Well I am off to start another busy day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Silk Moon Cresecent Shawlette in Black Alpaca

I was working on Teri's shawl tonight. The first row I worked on was an increase row..I added 36 stitches in that particular row. Plus and additional 2 stitches on the 3rd row I knit tonight. It is now taking me 2 hour long shows to knit 3 rows. The 4th skein will be added in tomorrows knitting.  We will see how many rows the next skein of baby alpaca will take me. I hope this will finish the shawl. If not I will spin the 5th and final skein and just go with how ever far it takes me. Yes I only had a pound of alpaca to start with and will not order more of this color for this shawl..Then I will declare the shawl done.

Well it sounds like Eric needs my attention so good night all.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Busy but Good

Well I finally got my new glasses adjusted to perfection thanks to Lloyd Talbot at Lens Crafters at 4545 N. Oracle Road in Tucson. It is just amazing how well I can see in well adjusted glasses. On the drive home I looked at the Catalina's.  The lines and the details were very crisp even below Orange Grove. I can now read the fine print on the coupons in the Sunday paper too.

I was a very busy day with laundry. Today was the day to change all the beds and wash all the towels. The last load will go into the dryer before I go to bed tonight. Not that I will have time to fold it in the morning. Yes, tomorrow is another training day for a new advocate in Eric's day program. Eric and I also had a date, so we went to get his hair cut. There was a little difference of opinion of what constituted long hair on top. All I can say right now is that Eric has a lot of caps to keep his head warm.

I finally got into the kitchen to cook a beef stew. This was my first venture into the kitchen since the tummy bug hit. Other accomplishments today included winding the 4th skein of yarn for Teri's shawl. The next row is my second to last increase row. I only have about 25 rows to go.  Hopefully I will not have to spin the fifth skein as it will involve carding the fiber first.

Well it is time to call it a night.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Spinning Baby Alpaca

I am beginning to think that spinning 4 ounces of baby alpaca in on secession just might have been a bit too much for on sitting. My shoulder is sore, and after a few minutes of range of motion I think I have release most of the tension in my shoulder tonight. That does not mean that it is no longer sore. Quite the opposite, sore with more movement and less funny noises when I move it. Even better news is that the yarn is off the wheel, skeined, washed and has been moved from outside to Eric's bathroom to dry a lot faster. I am hoping that it will be dry enough to wind up by tomorrow. I know it usually takes 2 days to dry on cold damp days, but I can at least hope. By the way this is skein number 4 for Teri's shawl.

Just in case you wanted some of this super soft and squashy alpaca for your self here is a link to NorthStarAlpacas . Did I mention that it spins up like a dream. Just in case you don't spin Maple has some hand spun baby alpaca ready to buy. Also a selection of hand knit items.  Please consider supporting our small family farms.

All this spinning was my treat to myself for taking one dental appointment instead of 4 to do the same amount of work. The good news here is that I don't have to go back for 2 weeks. Even better news, I can still eat and need no pain meds.

Since Eric stayed up until the wee hours of this morning and is now almost asleep having an asthma attack. I think the prudent thing for me to do is to follow suit. So much for my early night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goodbye Old Friend

Over the weekend my Kitchen Aide K-5A mixer died. There was that awful noise of gears slipping while I was making some frosting. Today I got confirmation that Kitchen Aide does not make or stock parts for K-5A's anymore. This made me very sad.

I bought K-5A about 35 years ago. I got K-5 before I got married almost right out of high school.  I spent an entire paycheck on K-5A. I would have to say that it was one of the best ways I have ever spent an entire paycheck. It has been a big part of my kitchen since then. K-5A has made birthday cakes, other cakes, numerous wedding cakes and part of every holiday dinner since the late 1970's. I have made bread and cookies too. K-5A did what ever I asked of her.

I guess I will take my knitting money that I had been squirreling away for a new loom and put it towards a new mixer. I can live with out a loom. Yes, I can also live without a replacement mixer but I don't want to. That would mean I would have to go back to mixing, slicing, shredding and what every else I asked K-5A to do by hand. Please believe me that it is much easier to use a mixer to make frosting then it is by hand. Yes it can be done and I would burn more calories, but it would be harder on my joints.

Yes, I forgot to budget for it. After 35 years of faithful service I never thought that she would die. Lesson learned add a small appliance replacement line to my budget in the future. In the mean time with the code K5AFREESHIP I will give free shipping for any item sold in my shop to up my mixer budget. The link for my etsy shop is at the side of my blog. Thanks for listening to me tonight.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I am Still Recovering

I am not quite back to full speed. This bug has really knocked me for a loop. I slept a good part of the day. If you know me well this will tell you where I am on the road to recovery. I have a homemade spice cake with butter creme frosting just sitting on the counter and I really don't want a slice. My joints are still swollen and my rib cage still hurts, so please don't try to make me laugh.

I have been listening to books on tape and knitting when I am awake. I am finishing little odds and ends. I am also writing a pattern out. I figured if I am still liking the pattern on the 6th one, it is time to write it up.

John is doing a wonderful job taking care of Eric and I. This is a very good thing because I am still very low on energy. 2 loads of laundry with help equaled a 2 hour nap for me this afternoon. Well its time to call it a night.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eric Shared

Eric has shared the tummy bug that he had.  It hit hard and fast last night.  I spent the day in bed trying to recoup. I finished both books on my pod. I will probably spend the day in bed tomorrow too. I started feeling the on set of a flare today  so if I am grumpy for the next few days, all I ask for is a little slack until I am 100%.  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Husbands Beware

Here are my top 6 reasons why your husband should not let you borrow his car. Please remember that this post should not be taken to seriously. So with out further delay.

1. I along with most wife's will adjust your seat. I see no reason why the seat should be all the way back. Now we all know how hard it is to get the seat just right in the first place. I think it should be left in a more forward position, even if I drive your car only on an occasional basis. That explains why I don't always move the seat back.

2. I will adjust your mirrors.  They seem to be adjusted for someone about a foot taller.

3. I will take the dirty car to the car wash. Yes, I know you feel the dirt and grime hold the car together, but I just want to see out the windows. I also know that you feel a dirty car is less prone to have problems.  I also know deep down that you will like the cleaner car.

4. I will return the car with a full tank. As a good friend put it, "now you can't get out of running to the store for that last minute thing." Me I just thought I would be nice.

5. Fear of breakage. Now that I have driven your car I am pretty sure it won't break. Just don't hold it against me that I once drove home from the airport on a flat tire. I really was sure that it sounded like a fan belt was going out. Beside have you driven the roads in this town lately, driving on railroad tracks would be a smoother ride.

6. I will change the radio station. I go by the theory of drivers choice and since you weren't driving, oh well.

If you have any reasons that I left out, please let me know. I know all couples have their quirks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How did It get to be Wednesday?

We are still in recovery mode from Eric being sick. Not a lot got done around the house today. I was caught up on laundry so I only had 2 loads to do today. I also think the worst of the cold snap is behind us. Although I do find it very curious that Eric was home sick during the cold snaps of the last 2 years.

I have hit row 101 on Teri's shawl and really think that I will have to spin a fourth skein to get the project finished. I should start spinning that tomorrow. I am almost finished with my current hat on the knitting needles. After that one get done the monochromatic one is next.

I also got out to the new Whole Foods store at River and Craycroft. I have never seen that parking lot so full. I do like the way that they transformed the interior of the store. If you have seen the other stores that this replaced you will know instantly what I mean. It is very up-scale with a bakery, the small snacks did seem a bit pricey to me, but then again I am very competent in the kitchen and think nothing of throwing a quick something together. If You are Gluten Free they have a whole lot of little areas although the store for you. The produce section was nice, I really liked the golden beets that they had. The beets made a nice addition to dinner. The wine section appeared to be quite large, but then again someone else will have to drink our share. I could not get very close to the meat or deli counters but they seemed worth another trip back in a week or two when things slow down a bit. I like that they still carry dairy free because a lot of stores are dropping dairy free to go gluten free. Now if we could just reclaim some of the ice cream section and get rid of everything coconut. Yes, I know it is for the Paleo Diet but do you really think cave men ate ice cream?

Well I have to go break apart the ginger and cashew chocolate bark I made for tomorrows guild meeting. I will be there even if Eric is home. John said he will stay with Eric so I can go.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What to do on a Cold Day

We are in the middle of a cold snap. It was in the mid 20's when I woke up this morning and it it a low of -3.5 degrees Centigrade, it just sounds colder that way. I decided it was not the day to take Eric out of the house even for a movie.

I did manage to keep busy and work up a sweat today. I managed to get in 3 1/2 hours of house cleaning. All but 2 loads of laundry done and put away. I was even debating hanging the hang drys out side to see if they would freeze dry tonight, and take less time to dry.  I guess I am not that brave. So it will take a couple of days to dry on the line in the garage.

This afternoon I kept equally busy. I used a drop spindle to spin 3 mini skeins in gray for a custom order. I am looking forward to knitting a monochromatic hat, but fear that I do not have enough shades of gray wool. I check most of my stash, not much gray, but lots of black and white wool. I even got 3 more rows done on Teri's shawl ( this should read that I knit for 1 1/2 hours tonight ), yes the rows take about 30 minutes a row to knit now so it will be slow going from here. I also got the knitting done on a cotton cowl, now I just have to sew up the seam.

I failed to get the serger threaded properly so modifying Eric's sweat shirts will take place tomorrow. Let me know if you want me to write up directions to modify an over the head sweat shirt to fit easier for someone in a wheel chair. I think it might make a nice change up in the blog.

Well its time to go get Eric settled for the night.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 the Year of Change

A lot of things are changing in my life right now. Our life is being lived at a different pace from the past. I still need to wrap my head and arms around this year. When I figure out where I am going I will let you know. So far the changes seem positive.

The things I still need to do are:

1. Look at my calendar more often.
2. Become a better communicator.
3. Work out a new routine. Yes my old routine was set aside with the new year. With no new action plan in place.
4. Organize the garage.
5. Organize the sewing room.
6. Get more organized in getting my patterns out of my head, pod and word processing program.
7. Make more to do lists and learn to go through them without getting distracted.
8. Get more projects finished.

There is probably more but it is time to get dinner going.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Queit is Good

It was a very quiet weekend around here. Little odds and ends got done such as the third skein of yarn for Teri's shawl got spun. I will take it off the wheel tomorrow to wash and dry it. I think it might just go straight to the bathroom to dry, we are expecting cold wet weather tomorrow.  Speaking of Teri's shawl the rows are now almost 200 stitches long and 66 rows have been completed. I think it is almost half way done. She wants hers the same size as mine so I will have to lay one on top of the other to be sure.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Big Event

Our big event of the day was the purchase and insulation of a new printer. This replaced the 7 1/2 year old printer that died earlier this week.  Yes I am very surprised that it took less than a week to purchase a replacement and install it the same day.  John is totally wonderful and full of surprises.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Another Needle Worn Out

I got a lot of knitting done today. Another hat got finished along with a dpn that bit the dust. This is the second dpn that I have worn out in the last 2 months. I guess that I have been doing so many hats that the dpn's are actually wearing out.  Yes I also started another hat. They are my current small project addiction.

I also got another 10 rows done on Teri's shawl. I am up to 130'ish stitches per row. The shawl started out with 9 stitches so good progress is being made. I will have to wind the next skein before I can go on. Which reminds me I need to spin the next skein of yarn for the shawl.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Where Did It Go?

Even though I managed to sleep in until 6:20 this morning, I have no idea where the day went. Although I do have a very long list of things that got done today.

That list includes:
1. Mixed up a bowl of Matzo Balls to cook later in the day.
2.  Driving Eric both ways to his program. Yeah he got out of the house.
3. A quick breakfast followed by a trip to Trader Joe's.
4. Making a 7 1/4 quart pot of chicken soup from scratch. I would like to thank Lisa and Mark for helping consume some of the soup. I did clean up as I went.
5. Lunch with John
6. I hit a few sales and got a few needed items. I also learned that each store has it's own sizing scheme and that no 2 are alike. So hence forth I will go by fit not size. I am finally able to fit into the clothes at Lucy's. Did you know that Lucy's size XL is has the same fit as J.Jill size medium in t-shirts on me? I bet Lucy's is closer to the sizing of way back last century.
7. Scrubbed the metal screen for the exhaust fan over the stove.
8. Got rid of expired coupons. Cut new coupons out.
9. Did one load of laundry and got everything put away. A side note. I did rescue 3 pairs of socks from the odd sock basket.
10. Got in 19 minutes of yesterdays Rose Parade. I also did a little knitting during that time.
11. Ran and emptied the dish washer.
12. Had dinner with John
13. Watched a few old episodes of The Big Bang. Yes more knitting got done.
14. Did some random cleaning.
15. Got a short walk in.

I am sure that I have left a few things off the list. If you want a copy of today's recipes please let me know and I will type them up. Yet I have no idea how it became 10:00 pm and time to call it a night.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to 2013

My only News Years resolution is to remember to write 2013 on every thing I have to sign and date. I decided not to go after a long list that I will review later in the year to feel bad about. I think daily or weekly to do list are better for me. That being said I was asleep by the time the New Year arrived.

We had a very slow day today.  Only 3 loads of laundry and a little picking up got done. I did start spinning the 3rd skein of yarn for Teri's shawl. One skein of yarn is still drying. With the 1st skein I am 40 rows into the 130 or so rows of the pattern. Did I mention how soft the alpaca is? If it were not promised to my wonderful daughter, I would keep it myself.  I am making it a little larger than the pattern calls for. If you would like to knit along with me I am using the silk-moon-crescent-shawlette by Jaala Spiro Designs. I know the Pattern calls for Noro Silk Garden, but the hand spun alpaca, spun to the same weight is working out well. By the way the shawl does look fantastic in Noro Silk Garden.

When I got tired of working on the solid black shawl for Teri, I started a new scarf in a lighter color. Well sort of, dark purple with a purple and pink carry along. Well I need to go mix up the Matzo Balls for tomorrow night dinner. I will give you the recipe tomorrow.