My 1 Million Row Challenge

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Well I just wanted to let everyone know that Eric made it to his day program today. He really seemed happy to see his friends. John and I took turns training his new advocate. With any luck we did a good job.

I on the other hand I am just tired enough to make a knitting mistake that I have not made for at least 8 years. Although unlike 8 years ago I did not have to frog the entire amount I knit. I only had to tink back 3/4 of a row. I know it is still early but I am calling it a night. Hopefully a good nights sleep is all I need to recharge.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Stew

My body has been playing catch up with sleep and rest most of the week. I am almost back to 80% of feeling my best. This cold has left Eric and I with a cough that will last another week or two. I am feeling well enough to be tired of frozen meals and take in. So with John being my prep chef, yes he got to peel and cut up all the vegetables for tonight's dinner. He did a wonderful job too.

Chicken Stew

2 large Chicken Breasts diced
1 medium onion peeled and diced
3 cups of celery  cleaned and cut into 1/2inch chunks
3 cups of carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1/2 cubes
8 ounces butternut squash cubed. it is OK to buy the pre-cut package
8 ounces mushrooms cleaned and sliced
A large splash of White Zinfield or any open white wine you have
1 teaspoon of dried Rosemary
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 1/4 quart Le Creuset soup pot with a cover

In the pot heat the olive oil up on a medium low temperature. Add the diced chicken breast with a little salt and pepper. Cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add the Rosemary. Toss well and cook for another 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes. The chicken should no longer be pink on the outside. This is the time to switch out the stirring spoon and put the dirty one straight in to the wash.  Add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook down. Added the Butternut Squash and Yukon Gold potatoes. Cover with the carrots and celery. Add the White Wine. Cover and bring to a low boil. Turn down the heat and cook for at least 1 hour. 2 to 3 hours would be ideal for the perfect flavor blending.

If you do not use wine in your house you may substitute water. The flavor will be slightly different.
Serves 6 as a main course.

So as you probably guessed this is dinner tonight.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

We are all in the last stages of the awful of a cold. I might have gotten better quicker if I did not do a 21 hour work day while John was helping Teri move. All the things I had planned to do while John was with Teri went by the wayside. I just started to do some of the work today. Then became so tired I took a 4 hour nap this afternoon. My voice has almost recovered. The arthritis has kick in with gusto. The only question that remains is if Eric and I will be well enough to go to his day program Tuesday for a day of training for this summers advocate.

Now to the important thing about this weekend.

Please take a moment to remember why tomorrow is a holiday. It may be a day of picnic's and the start of summer. But there is more to Monday. Monday is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance. To remember all the service members that have given their all since 1776.  Please take a moment to think about what this means. If there is a Gold Star Family* by you check in on them. Bring some flowers or a light snack over to them. Ask if you can do any thing for them. Their families have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we all enjoy.

*Military families are considered "Gold Star" if family members died in service. The terms refer to official military service flags, which use star emblems to represent family members serving during war or hostilities.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And the Cold Marches On

What a week this has been so far. Eric's cold morphed into needing antibiotics. Eric also shared his cold with me, now I can see why he was so miserable. It has officially moved into my sinus and all I can say is ouch. So the house is the official infirmary.

John escaped this madness by going to help Teri move into her new apartment. Yes, John did bump up the schedule and from what I hear there are boxes everywhere in her new apartment. Teri thought that they would unload the truck tomorrow.

Between Eric and the cold I am just napping and working on very easy UFOs. One scarf got finished today and I made a lot of progress on another. Eric's dragon graciously agreed to be the model for the scarf I finished today. The decongestant is starting to work it's magic so it's time for the final spell check and then off to bed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sick Kido

Eric managed to get the cold that was going around his day program. This one was nasty with a fever that peaked at 102.7, yes it was a very long night. The cough was one of those that racks the whole body. I held him up so that he could bring up the junk so it would not land in his lungs. Keep your fingers crossed on that one. Also lots and lots of sneezing. The weirdest part of all is that it has seemed to trigger a thrush infection even though we used no antibiotics. His fever is still around 100 but he is calm and smiley.

I got to bed at 4 am this morning and got to sleep in until 7:30 am. I was dragging all day. I did manage to get a nap in though. I left John in charge of meal planning today. If it was up to me we would have had nothing but cheese and crackers or maybe some cookies for lunch and dinner. John did much better than that.

I managed to get a little spinning in tonight. I am working on the Lady Edith colorway in 80% merino 20% silk by Cloudlover . Natalie does not have anymore of this in roving, but she does have a few skeins of sock yarn left. There is a new colorway called Golden Roses that looks fantastic. Natalie does a great job of dyeing the roving so that there is no felting. This is one of my favorite shops for colored roving.

Well I am hoping for a very quiet night with Eric so I am going to call it a night.

Monday, May 20, 2013

29 Years and Counting

This is just a quick thank you to my wonderful husband John. Today is our 29th wedding anniversary. John has been everything one could ask for in a husband and father. I hope for many more years ahead.

To quote Robert Browning  from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra""Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,".  Since this is a rather long poem, I did pick my favorite line. Here is the link to  The poem Rabbi Ben Ezra .

My favorite wedding picture.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Lazy Day

It was another late night with Eric. I am really rooting for allergies, the palo verde are just yellow with pollen. I did manage to get to sleep a little after midnight and sleep in until 7:30 this morning. After multiple late nights I decided it was going to be a lay low day.

Since Eric was busy sneezing and coughing and I just did not want to watch a day of kids programing, Eric came with me to the living room to sit with me while I spun some yarn. After the first 2 trips to run and get supplies, it was just more prudent to bring a pile of bibs, napkins and swabs in with us. The only thing I did not think of was a laundry basket. Isn't it great that hind site is always 20/20?

After finishing spinning and plying some merino, it was time to try my hand at my first art yarn. I took some hand spun wool in blue, pink glass beads and a metallic thread in white. It took about 45 minutes to get the beads on the metallic thread. There were some bumps along the way but I did manage to get the wool plied with the thread and beads. It does look very wonky in my humble opinion. The end of the skein is better looking than the beginning of the skein. That being said the last time I saw this being done is when Kathy Withers taught me to spin a few years ago. Lisa said it was not wonky but artsy. This is my first try and I expect to try it again.

I managed to get a nap after lunch when Eric was sleeping. Not much got done after lunch.
Lisa asked Eric if I was any good at the art yarn and he signed no to her. Lisa then asked if mommy needed more practice and he signed yes. Not bad for a kid who can't see what I am spinning, but instead basing this all on what he heard while I was spinning.  Eric has also decided that I don't sing as well as Carole King when I sing Child of Mine. This is our song.
Tomorrow I plan on fixing my apricot shawl. I found 4 different holes in it a dinner that were not there last night. I will just scream if I find scissor cuts in it. I am hoping for plan old snags which are easy to fix.
I am hoping that Eric will sleep tonight. So It is time to go do Eric's finial bed time routine.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life with Eric

It was a very long night with Eric last night. First there was the asthma treatment at 10pm followed by the tummy ache at midnight, that lasted until 2:30 am.  I finally got to sleep a little after 2:30am. Then woke up with the headache from he double toothpicks at 5:30am. For a while the day seemed to go down hill from there. Eric's Kangaroo Joey pump bag broke leaving a mess of formula to clean up and requiring another pump bag be filled and primed.

On the good side I only had 3 loads of laundry today. Followed by 2 hours of house work. John joined in the house work effort today. I really don't know how he does it. He manages to stay in one area until it is completely done. While I am a blur of constant motion. We seem to get the same amount of work done but he is not as tired at the end of 2 hours of cleaning. After lunch I took a stab at the computer desk, it is only 40% complete, but there is a lot less paperwork on the desk. I also got some spinning and knitting done today.

While we were doing laundry and cleaning, Eric slept most of the day. John and I managed to get a short nap. Eric had another sore tummy this evening which has been taken care of, hopefully. It seems to be time to go give Eric another breathing treatment before bed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Chicken Chili

It has been a while since I posted a recipe. We are trying to cut down on red meat so I have been working on chicken dishes. Here is a new on that has been husband approved.

Chicken Chili

2 large chicken breasts - skinned , boned and rinsed
2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 pound frozen sweet white corn
2-15 ounces cans of diced tomatoes - do not drain this will be the liquid for the chili
1 - 15 ounce can or Red kidney Beans drained and rinsed
1 large sweet onion diced
1tablespoon of your favorite chili powder. I use The Spice Hunter Salt Free Chili powder Blend


1 - 15 ounces can of black olives

In a 4 quart cover pot. I use my red soup pot. Add the olive oil and chicken. Salt and pepper as desired, I like to keep it on the light side. Cook the chicken on medium low for 15 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until translucent. while the onions are cooking cut the chicken in to bite size pieces. Put the chicken and the remaining ingredients into the pan. Cook covered on medium low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

While that is cooking make your corn bread.

This recipe serves 5 as a main course.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Poor Eric

Poor Eric had a very bad night last night. The high pollen counts have flared his asthma. We were up until 2:30 am today before he could breath well enough to sleep. As soon as Eric was asleep I went to bed for a few hours before it was time to get the day started again.

Eric was doing well enough to go to his day program. So John dropped Eric off at his program then went to work out. I would have love to go back to sleep, but I had an appointment across town. The appointment went well. Since I was so far across town I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a few things on my way home. After an early lunch, it was time for a nap.

John volunteered to pick up Eric from his day program so I could pick up a few things at the mall. I also decided to walk around a bit to see if that would help me feel better. I did not realize how pale I can look during a flare up. The nice sales woman at the Clarine's counter gave me a quick makeover. It was amazing what a little blush and some lipstick can do. She was also trying to sell me the latest miracle serum at $85.00 a bottle. She said that now that I was in my 40's it was time to step up the amount and type of face creams that I use. I think I will keep to my current routine of sun screen with moisturizer and continue to wear wide brim hats outside. After 2 miles of walking I was beginning to feel better so I headed home.

Eric just seems to know when my flare up is a bad one. That compounded with me not picking him up to day left him sad and anxious. When I walked in the door he had on the saddest face you can imagine. He was afraid that I was upset with him about his asthma flare last night. I told him that I would never be mad at him for keeping me up when he was sick. You should have seen the huge smile that he gave me. Followed by Eric's version of a hug. Then it was time to watch some PBS with Eric.

Well it is time to get the red pot out of the fridge and warm up dinner.

Monday, May 13, 2013

It Was Really Monday

It has been a very busy day around here. A lot of projects are halfway through. The only thing I can really say I finished was the chicken chili stew I made for dinner. I seem to lose focus when I am very busy. I worked on 3 different knitting projects, 1 spinning project, laundry and house cleaning today.

Don't tell anyone but I am saving laundry, paperwork and knitting for tomorrow. I hope to be more focused tomorrow. Wish me luck. Maybe I should make a to do list? I wonder if it will help?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Great Weekend

It was a good weekend around here. I can truly say it was very relaxing.  I was overwhelmed by flowers from the guys this weekend. John gave me some very pretty roses. Eric made a vase of lovely construction paper flowers in a vase filled with buttons. He also had help at his day program making and painting a clay rose, which was also fired. He also made me a small knitting bag.  I also got a call from Teri.

Lunch was the traditional Mother's Day Dim Sum ( Dim sum (/ˈdɪmˈsʌm/) refers to a style of Cantonese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.*1 ) If you are in Tucson you must try the Dim Sum at China Phoenix at the corner of Ina and Oracle in the Safeway shopping center. We have been going there since the mid 1990's and the food is still wonderful. They server it on weekends only from 10am to 3 pm. We like to get there on the earlier side.

Dinner was a very light affair of Sushi at Shogun's at the corner of River and Oracle in the Denny's parking lot. Yes it was a weekend full of eating.

I also found some time for knitting and spinning. No projects finished though.

The current load of laundry is almost finished washing. As soon as it goes into the dryer it will be time to start the next load and go to bed. We had a formula spill tonight and it has to be washed before it drys, otherwise it leaves a stain and the laundry room smelling like formula,

*1 Wikipedia

Friday, May 10, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wii Fit can be a funny game at times. It has been 3 months since I lasted played. Well first it called me dad. Second it said I had lost 3 pounds and needed to set a new goal. So I figured 1 pound a month down was not a bad goal. Then it was off for 30 minutes of exercise with warning signs flashing saying that this move or that was an advanced move. I did not break myself and plan on trying again tomorrow.

Then it was off to knitting followed by  lots of errands. It was one of those busy days when I did not get lunch until 4pm. As per John I was my own fault. Don't tell him, but he was 100% right. A glass of tea does not constitute lunch. I also managed to work on a lot of charity projects, getting things ready to leave the house.

I worked on a lot of different knitting and spinning projects today. A little bit of progress on a lot of projects as I see it. As usual not a lot got finished, that usually goes in spurts.

Oh, a quick reminder please leave a can or two of food by your mail box tomorrow for the Mother's Day Food Drive sponsored by the great people at the USPS. Going into summer is the worst time for the food bank. Demand increases do to children not getting their meals at school. We are also a seasonal town with lots of layoffs in the summer months as tourism declines. If you don't live in Tucson and don't mind a little heat ( its a dry heat, we promise not to tell you when the humidity dips below 10%), this is the perfect time of year to come. The rates go down and there are still a lot of things to do in and around Tucson.

Well I have a very busy day tomorrow. So enjoy your day, I know I will.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Letting Go and Moving On

Today was a very productive day. After the guys left, I started cleaning the house. This was serious cleaning. The TV was off. My goal to get as much done as humanly possible. I can say the house is almost back to where it was before I got sick.

As an added bonus for cleaning I took apart the silverware drawer. Put all of Eric's special forks and spoons away in a bag. I guess I have come to the conclusion that no matter what I want. That is for Eric to sit down at the table and eat with us in a conventional way. It is never going to happen again. He is perfectly happy with the tube feedings. His tummy is always full and he has the energy to do other things. We are not sitting at the table 3 or more hours a day feeding him. Which gives him and us time to do other things.

I might have over done a little on the cleaning this morning because I took a 3 1/2 hour nap after lunch. I still have to work on balance in my life. After the nap I did one errand when I should have done 2. I did find time to work on Teri's blanket today. I got 2 squares finished and another one started. Followed by spinning after dinner. All in all I would say that it has been a very good day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Is the day over yet?

Ayer getting to bed at 4:30 am, I felt it was ok to sleep in until 7:00 am. After a cup of Tevana's Rasberry Riot I could not fall back asleep.  

Then it was off to check out a new aide for Eric at his day program.  By the time I got home I was too tired to eat lunch. So it was a 2 hour nap for me. Then a quick lunch and off to get Eric.  

I spent the afternoon spinning, plying and washing yarn.  I did manage to get dinner on the table, but not up to Cheif Ramsey's standards.  You guessed correctly if you think John found the Food Channel.  I am sure that if Cheif Ramsey were running on my sechdule he might make allowances for canned good and frozen food.  

Well Eric is quite and I  starting to drift off into a hopefully full night of slee. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Rules

While I was out tonight the guys tried to change the rules of the house. The original rules were.

Rule #1 Mom is always right.
Rule #2 If mom is wrong see rule #1

We have been living with those rules for a while and they seem to be working out just fine in my humble opinion.  Well not so much with the guys. Here is the change that they wanted.

Rule #1 Mom is always right.
Rule #2 The world revolves around Eric.

Not that we don't spend a lot of time with our lives revolving around Eric already, I was just not ready to give up Rule #2. So I came up with a compromise.

Rule #1 Mom is always right.
Rule #2 If mom is wrong see rule #1.
Rule #3 The world revolves around Eric

Just looking at that I think they need a further revision.

Rule #1 Mom is always right.
Rule #2 If mom is wrong see rule #1
Rule #3 If mom is not around Dad has the right to claim rules # 1 and 2 as his own.
Rule #4 Teri gets as much parental time as she needs. Teri has the right to claim this as needed over Eric's needs from 1 parent at a time in person. Both parents if necessary by telephone.
Rule #5 The world revolves around Eric.

Eric must have gotten wind of the rule changes that I will propose tomorrow, because I had to stop in the middle of writing this to give him a breathing treatment. When I told him of my counter proposal he signed a vigorous no. I will have to see how Teri and John like these changes. I still do try to run the house in a democratic fashion. Eric likes to think that he is the king of our little place in the sun. I think I like the golden rule better. Whom ever has the most gold is the ruler of the kingdom.

Well it is getting to late to think about they whys and wherefores of the new rules tonight.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Getting Nothing Done

I am hoping that this cold I have is the same one that Eric had this last weekend or we are toast later in the week. I woke up this morning with a stuffy head. It progressed to sore joints with wanting to sleep all day. It is still lingering tonight. The worst part is I know it is not over yet. There is a a diffident lack of swelling in my joints.

I have made very little progress in my stash down this week. I have been spinning a lot of yarn on the drop spindles for the last few days. When I fill up the spindle I just put it aside so I can ply the yarn later. This is the great thing about having more than 1 spindle. Well it's time to do more spinning.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


It was a typical day around here today. I had 3 loads of just Eric's laundry. The usual house work got done. Both spinning and knitting were accomplished. Newly spun yarn was washed and is hanging in the garage to dry.

There were 2 note worthy things that happened today. The first is that I went to a fundraiser to benefit Eric's day program. I have decided that I am not coordinated enough to do Zumba. Zumba is also hard on the knees. The music however was great. I think Eric has some of the songs played today on his pod. I also tried Hip-Hop. I wasp not fond of the music although the moves as shown today some what resembled techno.

I also found a use for Teri's childhood step stool. It makes a perfect foot rest for knitting. This is very appropriate because it makes it easier to work on Teri's blanket.

Well it has been a long and busy day. I am really hoping that Eric sleeps tonight, not only because it is my night, but I really need Eric to sleep at night.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

All About Eric

It seems that Eric is good at keeping John up too. So it is just not just me that Eric messes around with. Eric can also have his humorous moments too. Take this morning for example. We were watching CNET's top 5 for Father's Day. When the Belkin key board for the iPad came on. Eric got all excited. I asked if that's what he wanted to get dad for Father's Day, he signed yes. I told him there was only one problem with that. We do not have an iPad. He turn to John and glared at him. Like everyone is suppose to have one. So back to the drawing board on that one.

I later took Eric to Tucson Mall to look for some summer shorts in 16 slim. We hit every store in the mall. Every store had regular and husky in his size. One sales clerk even said kids don't come in that size, so we don't carry shorts in that size. Isn't it ironic that a thin young man can't find shorts in his size because he is not over weight. I guess they forgot to tell Eric. So I guess it's time to go surfing to find a couple of pairs of shorts.

I am hoping for a quiet night. To night is my night to get up with Eric.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sleep was No Where to be Found.

It was a very long night with Eric. I was up at least every 2 hours with him. More often if the wind picked up enough to rattle the windows and shake the house.

I did change his position every 2 hours. Each time I put his tv on a 2 hour timer. It seemed as soon as the tv turned itself off I was back in his room.

I had to be up at 6 am this morning to figure out what Eric's day would be like. I am happy to say that he went to his day program today, but with the understanding that he would not swim because of the wind. It turned out that it was to windy for anyone else to go swimming too.

I then started with one of many glasses of caffeine for the day. If I was not so tired that amount off caffeine would have resulted in something being very clean. As the day played out I knew I was on caffeine overload. That did not stop my body from taking a 2 1/2 hour nap after I picked up Eric from his program. John is on Eric duty tonight. I wish him lots of sleep.

Well now it is time to call it a night. I have a busy day planned for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let the Heat In

Ah, spring and summer are my favorite times of the year. My body tends to feel better with the heat. I just love to see all the cactus in bloom. My creativity usually goes up. I can't wait to ply the yarn I am currently spinning, I plan to add beads and a contrasting thread. I can already see how it is going to turn out in my mind.  Eric tends to be healthier. We made it in to the pool for the first time this season. I can say that my knee does not like treading water, but swimming and water aerobics seemed to be OK. I hope the pool is a little warmer next time we go in. It does not hurt as much to be active when I am warm.

Since I cant be totally enthusiastic about every thing about spring and summer here are a few things I hate. Swimsuit shopping. Who is with me here? It is also so nice that I don't like to slow down for anything. This leads to me being over tired and chocking on food. That is a whole lot less fun than it sounds. Dinner tonight was a nightmare. I made a turkey breast and stuffing. I would have been better off with soup. Oh well, there is always tomorrow.

Well I think I have Eric settled in for the night. So I am calling it a day.