My 1 Million Row Challenge

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I had a very busy day planned. I had filled the laundry room knee high after having very little laundry for the past couple of days. Then I decided to take part in the very difficult sport of walking while carrying my knitting in one hand and the rest of my juice in the other. I was less than 1 foot away from my goal. So close to putting my feet up for 15 minutes and knitting before doing more laundry.

Then it happened. There was a very loud pop and my left leg gave out from under me. I fell forward straight on to the couch. The pain was at 10+ on a scale of 1 to 10. I could not scream because Eric was just feet away doing his morning percussion treatment. I only spilled a few drops of cranberry juice on the brown carpet, thank goodness it does not show. My yarn on the other hand unraveled all over the place.

I managed to pull myself into a some what composed position on the couch. With no pod in hand, a fairly new aide for Eric and John at the back of the house there was nothing to do but wait for John and try to will the pain away.

Willing the pain away was not working very well. This being Easter Sunday, my big decision was to choose between urgent care and the emergency room. We decided on urgent care.

My next big decision was how are we going to manage with Eric in his chair and me not able to walk. I knew that I did not want to call my friend Lisa, because it was Easter Sunday. Teri was a whole day away. I was in the middle of going through my list when Lisa called and said that she would be here in 20 minutes.

Then it was off to urgent care. The good news was that there were no broken bones. The bad news is that I may have torn a ligament or tendon. So my leg was immobilized and we came home. We as in John will get me into an orthopedic doctor as soon as we can get an appointment.

In the mean time John will be doing double duty with Eric and I. Plus he will have to run the house and do all the driving. Did I mention I can't drive for a few weeks? So if you can do anything to help John through this I would be very grateful.

I will keep you posted on how things are going. If you would like me at any activity please call me and arrange to pick me up. Thanks in advance for your patience during this very difficult time for us.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Little Too Busy

I know it has been awhile since my last blog post. We have been very busy since then. The antibiotic that Eric is taking for his LRI gave him a thrush infection. The good news is that I now know what to look for and we got him on an anti fungal before we landed up at the hospital. Score one for me.  I have had a lot of long nights in the past week so I am very glad that everyone slept through the night.

While I have been sitting with Eric, I have been getting a lot of knitting done. With the exception of the finishing work I have gotten 3 projects finished in 3 days. I have my knitting mojo back which has come at a perfect time. There is another fundraiser for Eric's Taglit Program coming up. I am using this as an opportunity to use up a lot of cotton, rayon and sock yarn from the what was I thinking drawers. If I can keep up this pace I will be able to reorganize my primary stash and possibly bring one box of yarn out of the garage in the coming week.

It has been firmed up that I will be teaching 2 classes at Eric's summer program. One will be a weaving class. This means that all my little scraps of yarn will go towards that project. The other is making a beaded bracelet. I think I will be working with the younger group of high school students.

I have also decided that it is time for a new lounge chair by the pool. The one we bought in 1995 is getting too hard to sleep on. We have only had it for 18 years and I was not ready to part with it. So we will keep that one and buy 1 new one for the purpose of napping. It's time to start looking for the sales. I was so close to buying one at the end of last summer but held off, darn I really missed that call.

Eric's aide is almost done, so it is time to end this blog and get back to work. Have a great day everyone.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Passover

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Passover. If you happen to celebrate Easter, please enjoy your holiday too. I think. With that out of the way. Eric has a LRI and with no day program tomorrow the best we can hope for is a Wednesday back to everything day. I am mostly over the cold that Eric shared with me. Although the flare up has started.

I did manifest destiny shopping for the holidays today. Yes just 6 hours before the start of Passover I was at Safeway looking for the things I needed for Passover. The result is that I bought a lot less, do to the fact most of my favorites were gone. Along with 2 of the 4 special tables. So no Passover coffee cake for breakfast this year. John said that it was probably healthier that way. My favorite macaroons and egg kichel cookies were gone too. I guess we will eat a fairly normal diet this week sans the leavened items.

I will be modifying our holiday dinner this year. With Eric sick and just the 2 of us eating we will not be doing a Seder. However I will still take time to read the Hagadah. Yes I think that was where we were at last year at this time too. I did however make charossets with John's help. Although he said that he would deny that he took Teri's job from her. I have also made a roast with potatoes, carrots onion and celery. John is getting so good in the kitchen, he now knows what size to cut the vegetables for a particular dish. I love spending time in the kitchen with John, he has brought the fun back to cooking. He on the other hand thinks I just like to make more messes.

In the I can't believe that it actually happened category. Teri's shawl is now in the hands of the post office. I also mailed another package today, I could not believe that the postage cost more then the yarn costs to knit my portion of a memorial quilt. This has got to be one for the books.

Well it is time to go take some yarn off the spinning wheel before dinner.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Teri's Shawl is Done.

It has been 3 days since I last blogged and guess what? Eric got a head cold that morphed into a sinus thing. So tonight I tried a little sinus massage to see if that works. We have just been trying to keep up with laundry and Eric's needs. Yes, this week it was a losing battle. We are hoping for a projected day of Monday for Eric to get back to his schedule.

The Big News of the week is that Teri's shawlette of hand spun natural black baby alpaca is packed and ready to ship. The above picture is the full shawl. This was taken on the patio table. I tried to capture some of the pattern in the second picture. Even in full day light I find solid black hard to photograph.

Well it is getting late and I am really hoping that Eric will sleep tonight. If not I will try to finish the laundry tonight. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 3 of Very Little Sleep

I would like to let everyone know that Eric had another bad night last night. That being said he has seemed to turn the corner late this morning. He is now back on formula, currently at 20 mils per hour. When I get him up to 30 I hope to call it a night. Heaven knows we all need a little sleep, caffeine only goes so far.

John sent me out shoe shopping today. I think I needed a little break from the very long days. So I am down 1 shoe size and 1 width since November. I did manage to find 1 tall pair of shoes. 1 medium heel pair and 1 kitten heel pair. The only thing I did not find were some Ariat sandals, may be later in the spring or at the western store.  It was a lot harder to find shoes that I did not slip through.

I would like to thank the large cosmetic company's for pairing down their product lines. Because I could not find what I usually buy and like at gift time, I saved a heap of money on product that I would have bought to get the "free" gift sets. I really do understand the need to get back to the basics or the bread and butter for the lines to save money and increase profits in this down economy. I do personally think that it will cost them customers in the present and future.

I did cast off Teri's little black baby alpaca shawl tonight. I had 24 inches of yarn left over that I will save for repairs. I think I cut it pretty darn close. I have a few ends to weave in before I take some pictures. Of course I am showing it off at guild tomorrow then letting Lisa take a look before I mail it off. I am almost ready to check that off my long term to do list. Yeah!!!

Well it is time to go check in on Eric. Also there is a slim possibility that I can go to bed tonight.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Could Use a Slower Pace

I was all set to blog last night when the wild eyrping started. So let me back up a few hours.
Most of Monday was spent resting and napping because Eric had a really bad night Sunday too.
 I started the final skein on Teri's shawl, silk-moon-crescent-shawlette. I currently stand at 130 rows knit, with 6 of those rows knit last night. Please remember that the patterns first few rows are 3 stitches each, which morph to 9 before the real adding starts. the increases are 2 stitches every other row. Plus a mega increase every 10th row. So I am well beyond 300 stitches per row right now. It is so soft and squishy that I might just have to spin some baby alpaca and knit my own.

Most of last night and today was spent with Eric. I got caught up on laundry when Eric dozed for a few minutes at a time. I am running on caffeine and chocolate plus the healthy meals that John is cooking. I am knitting a charity scarf in Eric's room, I love the yarn, but hate the color so I want to get it off my needles asap so I can start something new.

I managed to get to Trader Joe's to pick up the ingredients for dinner. John and I put it together and we will eat as soon as Eric is through with thump.

The things I need to accomplish before Thursday are getting a new pair of summer heels. Its really awful when I shrink out of everything in one clothing category at once. This time it was shoes. Also make a few more stitch markers and earrings. If Eric sleeps tonight maybe he can help with making the jewelry and stitch markers tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Keeping Out of Trouble

The longer that John is retired the more we seem to be doing. We worked together on Thursday and Friday to clean house for a party and get the jump on passover cleaning. About all we have to do is clean the stove and polish the cabinets. John and I make a great team. I also got some spinning done and a few more rows of Teri's shawl done.

Today I walked with a friend at the walk for the cure. It was no very well organized, but we had a great time anyway and plan to do it next year. I had 9,000 of my 10,000 daily steps done before lunch today. I am also over 10,500 steps for the day so I am I a roll. I thought I would have some energy after the walk to buy some new summer shoes, since I have shrunk out of all of mine. Can you believe that I lost weight in my feet? There is a little bit of a need to rush this, because all my pants are getting longer again. Even the new ones. YEAH!!!

You will notice a very big jump in my counter as I have finally logged over 1000 more rows to my One Million Row Challenge. Most of it went to fundraising for Eric's day program so they could plant a garden. If I have not mentioned it before, we did make our goal.

I am still a little to tired to tackle the chores. John and I will get them out of the way early tomorrow. Well Eric's aide is here so it is time to get things moving.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Short Catch Up

It has been a busy couple of days around here. The days have been long and the results are amazing despite Eric not sleeping well.

Tuesday was a day full of appointments. Followed by an afternoon of making jewelry and packing up for Wednesday.

Yesterday was a big day for Eric's Day program, the Taglit group. The fund raiser was to try to earn enough money to fund the garden and nutrition program. The very good news is that the goal was achieved. There are still a few plants and hand knit cotton soap bags available. So Just drop by the JCC between 8 am and 3 pm. Monday through Friday.  Stop by the front desk and say that you would like to buy a plant or a soap bag to support the Taglit program.  Sixty three items left my stash of handmade items to help the cause. Just think about how much yarn was used from my stash.

This means I have a chance to create more items and will have a lot of room for them. My to do list will  go as follows:

  1. Teri's shawl ( a home project ). 1 1/2 skeins to go.
  2. Project Gratitude scarfs ( my on the go project )
  3. Teri's queen size blanket that I started her 1L year. This project has gone a little slower than I would have liked. Yes Teri has finished 3 years of law school and passed the California Bar. But in my defense I did finish the pair of socks that I started when Teri and I were looking at law schools. Yes a very poor defense. ( a dining room table project ) 2/3 left to knit.
  4. Some things for me that I have wanted to knit for me.
  5. Adding some more shawls to my inventory. ( knitting with girls friends)
  6. Knitting a few different style hats.
  7. Make some more pretty jewelry and possibly make some shawl pins.
  8. To card some of my own batts.
  9. Type up and take photo's of new pattern designs.
  10. Finish a few new designs.
  11.  Last but not least to find some time to spin.

Since I spent the entire day at the Tucson JCC yesterday house cleaning started at 6 am today. I am so lucky that John did the windows and all of the polishing. This let me do the laundry and other work that I needed to do. I got the last skein of Yarn for Teri's shawl wound, but I was much to tired to knit today. Tomorrow will be full of cooking and cleaning. Since Eric is asleep I think I will end the blog post here tonight.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It was another busy day around here, with no stop action. The only time I had to sit was in class, making earrings and blogging. Everyting is just about ready to go to the JCC tommrow from 10 to  2. . I just have a few things to tag so back to work I go. TTFN.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Very Busy Day

Well after another long night with Eric, it was nap time this morning when he went to his day program. After a few hours of really deep slumber it was caffeine with sugar time. After that kicked in, I spent the next 2 1/2 hours cleaning and throwing.  Finding a few things I needed but a lot that I did not. At least 4 loads went out to the recycling barrel today. Thank goodness the trash company emptied it this morning or it would have over flowed and they just don't like that. I even inspired John to add to his to do list getting rid of papers we don't need. He now has to keep up with me in the cleaning.

 After being married for so long I never thought it would happen. John has always been the neat organized one. I come from generations of pack rats. Keeping everything because you never know when you will need this gizmo or that empty jar. I am now finding that the neater and less cluttered the house is the more time I have to craft. Plus it takes me a lot less time to find things. I have more free time too.  I have not told John this yet but he is right and has been right all along.

I also had time for some finishing work today. I wove in and trimmed all the loose yarn. When I manage to get everything tagged and photographed I can add over 1,000 rows to my 1 Million Row Challenge.

I did find time this afternoon to start making the earrings for Wednesday. So far 4 pairs are finished. Since I will not have time to make all the earrings that I had hoped to, I will be adding a new component to Wednesdays fundraiser for Taglit. For a donation of $25.00 to the Taglit Day program, I will make you a custom pair of earrings on the spot. You will get to choose the components and no one else will have anything like it. So be sure to stop by the Tucson JCC on Wednesday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. There will also be plants for sale, along with Mothers Day Soap Bags, greeting cards and various hand made items. The majority of the money will help pay for the gardening and nutrition project. Any left over money will be used to cover things that the state does not cover. There is also a wish list of things that the program needs. For cash donations use this link. You can choose other and write Taglit in the box below.

Well there have been a couple of long days in a row. So hopefully Eric will sleep tonight or I will start the day with caffeine.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Pain in the Arm

I have been having trouble with a sore shoulder for the past week or so. I have had pain to the point of tears. I have tried ice, massage and anything I could think of or find on line. I have been doing a lot of crocheting for the past 2 weeks. I mean massive amounts by my standards. Well really about a gallon of yarn. I have been making useful objects for a fundraiser. I do crochet faster than I knit so, I thought I would get more done. Until tonight I did not realize the cost was the unbearable pain in my right arm that would not go away.

So you might be wondering how I came up with this answer? That was not found on the web. I had originally thought it was moving wrong one night,when Eric was having a rough night. Wrong. After crocheting various coasters and wash cloths today. I decided to pick up my knitting needles which have not been in use for 2 weeks. Yes about when the problem started. After just 2 hours of knitting the pain in my shoulder and upper arm was reduced by 50%, which is huge.

I just managed to do a solo change of Eric for the first time in a week and a half. So those of you who know me well. You have a new job. If I complain of upper arm pain ask me If I have been using a crochet hook? If the answer is yes just remind me how silly I am being.

Thanks for listening. Most of you have probably figured this out already and don't need the post. It’s just a reminder to me that I do have limitations. Did I mention how much I hate limitations? Well that is a blog post in itself.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Can You Donate Your Spare Change?

Eric uses the services of United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona, UCPSA for short.  Since before I hurt my back oh so last century they provided rehab services for Eric. Since I have hurt my back and can no longer lift, they provide attendant care to help Eric with the things that I can no longer do for him, such as dressing, transfers and personal care. We also rely on them for respite services so John and I can have some couple time. With out the help of the wonderful people at UCPSA, Eric probably would not be living at home now.

Since we have been with them a very long time let me tell you what they have done for us recently. When Teri graduated Law School and got sworn into the California Bar, they provided round the clock care so we could both see Teri accomplish these wonderful things. We usually just do the parent thing with Teri one at a time. Eric's case Manager Lisa thought we should both be there for those 2 special occasions. Lisa moved heaven and Earth to make that happen. When Teri need help back in July and I was gone for a week they helped John get through the week.

For the the past several years the state of Arizona has cut back on the money they pay to providers such as UCPSA. Here is where the simply wonderful people at Circle K come in. On their counters they have canisters for spare change. I know we all have spare change laying around the house and in car. What I am asking you to do is gather the spare change from your car and drop it in the canister when you drive by Circle K. Go through the couch cushions and old purses. We all know that we are all guilty of this, and since you were not using the money anyway why not drop it off at Circle K.  That jar of pennies, nickles and dimes that you pull out of your pocket or wallet would make a good donation too. That spare change laying around in your desk would work too. The canister is right on the counter. You can say hi and say that I told you about the canisters or you can sneak in and just drop it off.

Please don't worry that it is only a few coins. A few coins from a few hundred people really add up.  With Washington at odds with one another right now we don't know if this vital service will be trimmed further.  So please do you part and drop that spare change off a Circle K.  There are over a million people who live in Southern Arizona, just think what we could do if we all dropped off our spare change at Circle K.

If you live outside of the Southern Arizona area and would still like to help here is the link to Support UCPSA.

Please feel free to pass this on to friends and family. If you can post this blog at work please do so, but ask first. Feel free to tweet,  face book or use any social media the link to this blog too. We as a family would like to thank you in advance for all your support.

Full disclosure time. I am not employee of UCPSA or Circle K or receiving any compensation for this blog post. All money raised by Circle K  will go to UCPSA.  For the foreseeable future Eric will continue to receive services from UCPSA.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stash Down

Yes, the title is right. About 30 skeins of yarn left the house today. No not bare naked yarn, that would be just silly. I modified the knit along of a few months back to make it more efficient to knit. This is a very good thing, because 30 finished Soap Bags with I-cord ties left the house today.  I tried to get them all in the picture. They went to the Tucson JCC Taglit Program for a Mother's Day fundraiser this coming Wednesday. We will be right outside the front door. There will also be plants, greeting cards, and earrings for sale. This will fund the Taglit garden project.

In case you were not aware of the Taglit program, I will tell you a little about it and what it means to our family. The Taglit program that Eric goes to is Monday through Friday during the Day. The young adults range in age from 18 up to the low 30's.  Eric gets to hang out with his friends, some of them from as far back as pre-school when they were 4. He also has friends that he went to school and new friends too. They hang out, go on field trips, do community service, work on life skills and have a great time doing it. Eric is learning to ride a tricycle, which is a big wow to us. He also get to go swimming once a week. We on the other hand get a break from the non-stop care and attention Eric requires daily.

Even before the sequester hit money was tight for the extras the young adults like to do. This is where the fund raisers come in. The sale gives the young adults life skills, raises much needed cash and gives them a chance to show off the greeting cards they have designed. With the soap bags they will be doing the finishing work by weaving in the I-cord and putting in the soap. Lastly they will be tagging the bags for sale. Eric hopes to see you there on Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inches Away

My body has decided to shed a few more inches this week. Some in the usual places, 3 shirts are now to big and headed for the charity pile this week. I am trying to shrink a few pairs of pants by putting them in the dryer on low until they are mostly dry. I hope that this works.

The one area that got me though is my feet. I was not expecting them to slim down too. The general conscience is that our feet get wider as we age. Not mine. The summer shoes I bought in November at the sales were a perfect fit when I bought them. Now they are just too wide and I slide right through them. I want to scream no fair. I was really enjoying wearing a B width shoe. The reason is simple; everything comes in a B width. It is the industry standard. I will go along with my feet, but my only hope is that I do not go down to a AAA width again. With my high arch and narrow feet, let’s just say shoe shopping is not quite as fun. You can add as many funny symbols as you would like to here.

Just to remind everyone, I am not dieting. I am making life style changes. My lunch and dinner plates are now 7 to 9 inches across with a useable area of 5 to 7 inches. As opposed to the usual dinner plate size of 12 to 14 inches across with a usable area of 10 to 12 inches. Even if I pile my plate high there is much less food at meal times. I am not an angle when it comes to sweets and bread my 2 down falls, but I try to hold it in moderation. I no longer use anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame or other artificial sweeteners.

We are also trying to eat more real and whole foods. We are using less prepared and ready to cook or made items. This works out well with John being retired. We do not have to rely on my hands to decide what we are going to eat on any given day. John is always there to peel the carrots at lunch and chop the celery too. He is great at opening cans too. John is becoming quite an accomplished souse chef, he is learning quite fast on how the vegetables need to be cut and chopped for each dish. This results in less eating out which not only saves calories, but we think we are eating better too.

I also try to get 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. Although on days like today when I did not get Eric down until 11:00 pm last night and was up again at 4:00 with him this does not happen. My sad total today was 3,300 steps or about 1.5 miles verses yesterdays 7,500 or about 3.75 miles. I also try to thrown in an hour or so of house cleaning a day. I have no regular schedule, but instead look around to find the area that needs to be cleaned most. Yes, house cleaning is enough exercise for me right now to avoid the gym.

Well it is time to call it a night. Please enjoy your families.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Lessor Evil

I am not sure which I dislike more. A. When Eric is sick. B. When I am flared up. or C. Taxes. All the items are on my plate right now. Since Eric is asleep right Now, I will try to catch a few hours.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What Not To Do

Today was a hard lesson on what not to do. Last week while Eric was sick, I strained some muscles in my right shoulder. Yes, the shoulder has been sore and I have been trying to give it a break. I have cut back on knitting and using my right arm. I have been doing  my range of motion to loosen up the muscles. I even tried a massage on Saturday. So I do not know what ever possessed me at 8:00 am to do over 2 hours of cleaning, polishing furniture, doing 7 loads of laundry, and changing all the beds. Did I mention that I cleaned and polished my spinning wheel too. I also got Roomba to do odd jobs around the house.

By the time lunchtime rolled around it was starting to hurt. By 1:00pm I was in tears and giving myself a stern lecture of the value of slowing down a bit. I must be a very slow learner because by 2:30 I was back cleaning. My arm did not let me do much, I could not even fold the laundry.  So I went through old mail and recycled most of it. I also did some picking up and putting things away.

Thanks goodness John was home to help me make dinner. He opened all the cans, and jars. He also sliced the chicken sausage. The only thing I could do on my own was cook the sausage, skim the broth and add the frozen vegetables. My wonderful husband also served and cleaned up after dinner.

So tomorrow I will try to take it easy on my arm, but still make headway in the house. If you see John please tell him you heard it through the grape vine that he did a wonderful job today. Thanks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Catch US if You Can

Eric and I had a very busy weekend. We started out Saturday morning with a friend and her son. We went to the Mix Fm Women's Fair just up the street. There was just everything there. A great time was had by all. We were in such a good mood that we decided to have Frost for lunch. As an occasional treat we decided that it was a very good lunch. Frost has an incredible new sorbet flavor called Green Apple. It is the flavor of the month so please go in before the end of March to try the green apple sorbet you will not be disappointed.

That wore Eric and I out so while Eric napped I did some house work until I could not keep my eyes open. I landed up taking a 2 hour nap. Followed by dinner out with John at Beyond Bread. I had just enough sun to get an extra mile of walking in before sunset. By the way the sunset was very beautiful yesterday too.

Today Eric and I pulled a fast one on John. We got him to go to Phoenix, to shop at the Mills Mall off of I-10 at the Baseline exit. Our main mission was getting John to buy a new pair of shoes. We had that done and then some before lunch. The and some was that he actually bought 2 pair of shoes. We then added steps to our step count for the day by walking around the mall. The mall was not as robust as it was last time we went several years ago. There were at least 12 empty shops. They added an aquarium to the mall with took up what would be an empty row of shops.

After a quick lunch it was off to IKEA, because John had never gone. All I can say is that it was very crowded today. John drove home while I caught up on my knitting. I am down to the last 2 of the 30 special order on soap sacks.

Well I am starting to fall asleep at the key board so it is time to call it a night.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Random Life Events

There are just some activities that are much better to do with Teri. Yesterday I went to the new Lush store in Tucson. The store seemed to be about a third of the size of the one in San Jose, where I shop with Teri. I think I really needed Teri there.  If you ever want to have a great time just try shopping with Teri.

Some times it is very hard to have a child leave home. I miss her at odd moments. That being said, she has blossomed into a very wonderful young woman. She is working very hard to get her legal career off the ground. This leaves me proud and in awe of her at the same time. In my heart I know that she will soon have the job of her dreams, its just those darn speed bumps called the economy that get in the way.

Me on the other hand have a bad case of what I like to call Eric Shoulder, a repetitive injury from moving Eric very fast when he is coughing, chocking or in need of urgent intervention. My knitters elbow is acting up a bit from knitting an average of 120 rows a day for a few days. I must get this latest charity project out of the way so I can give my poor right arm a break.  The break will consist of crocheting some what nots and making earrings.

Well it is going to be a busy day tomorrow, so I am calling it a night.