My 1 Million Row Challenge

Sunday, November 29, 2015

An Amazing Haircut

Today I took Eric in for a long over do haircut. Yes depending on where the hair was cut, 2 to 3 inches came off. He looks all nice and handsome.  I have to admit that this was a pretty ordinary haircut. What happened while I was putting Eric's wheelchair back together was extraordinary.

A gentleman went up to the cashier and paid for Eric's haircut and tip. He asked for Eric's name and wished us a Merry Christmas.  We as a family are extreamly greatful for this random act of kindness. As a family we would like to ask you to help us pay this forward.  This can be done at your convince. 

Eric's main charity that he likes to help is the Ronald McDonald Hospility House, which is a lot like the Children's Inn at NIH which we were a frequent visitor when Eric was in elementary school. Eric currently collects tabs for the  Tucson Ronald McDonald house. If you are in Tucson you can give the tabs to me or drop them off at the Tucson JCC for Eric to drop off. You can even drop them off yourself. If you are not in Tucson you can drop your tabs off at your local Ronald McDonald House.  The tabs are sold for scrap metal and go to pay for the utilities with excess funds helping out families. If that is not possible you can drop a few coins in the collection box at your local McDonalds. 

If you are in the Besthda,Maryland area you can drop off can food items, new toys, toiletries or a check to the Children's Inn at NIH. The Children's Inn is a godsend to the families that have to travel across country for treatment. 

Another charity that Eric likes to help is our Community Food Bank.  If you can give a can of food to the food bank or your Temple or church pantry, that would be another great way to pay it forward.  We would like to thank you in advance for all your help. Working together we can make the world an awesome place.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

More Progress

Today I figured out that I can have too many large bags to store small craft project bags. I emptied a whole bunch of bags and found at least 5 projects per bag.  John put he smaller projects on the shelf. I should have the craft room finished this week.  I also found more yarn for cotton hats while I was cleaning today, enough for at least 8 more hats.  I figure that if I complete at least 1 project per week, I should be finished in just a few years with the bulk of my projects and a few more tubs of yarn.  Did I mention that I also found 1 bag with at least 4 hats in progress.  Below is a picture of the 5 bags that I emptied this weekend.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Candles and Cleaning

Today I helped on a 5th grade history project. I got to help Lisa's son Matthew learn to make hand dipped candles. We almost got 50% of the project finished today. I think a good time was had by all. Although I did forget to take a picture of the finished project.  Hint, hint Lisa. 

The unpacking the kitchen is still going on. Another box was emptied today, and I will finish putting it away tomorrow.  I also went through my weaving supplies with a realistic look at the warp and some weft.  Lisa left with some. Some more is going to Jody and I kept just about 50% of it.  Although more might leave with Jody. I have already re pourpsed one of the boxes for my shrinking box of candle making supplies.  

A nice chunk of of Teri's floor was cleared and more things are finding their way to a new home in the house or out the door.  I am working on knitting UFO's too. I am hoping to make a lot of progress on all my knitting and sewing  UFO's. The Zennig of the house is going very good, but the pace has slowed down a lot.  I still believe in the 5 minute method. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving today. We had a laid back day. I got to use the oven for the first time since we bought it. The good news is that it was easy to turn on and the tempature  was  spot on. No more guess work and an separate oven thermometer.  The only problem was when dinner was finished, I could not find the off button.. Maybe I should have read the directions that came with the oven.  John was great and came to the rescue, he found the off button.   I might have to read he book before I use the other features. 

I forgot to cook the green beans, so we used the stuffing as our vegetable.  Before you say stuffing is not a vegetable, mine is made with a ratio of 80% vegetables and 20% bread. We had freshly baked sweet potatoes instead of whipped sweet potatoes. Since we used luncheon plates we did not over stuff ourselves. We saved some room for a slice of apple pie with ice cream. 

John added another shelf to the craft room. We will work on filling it this weekend. We are busy doing the little projects around the house. The kitchen is still in flux as we decide what goes where and then change things up yet again.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

To Spam or Not to Spam, That is the Question

This is an open letter to all the charitable organization's out there.

How To Land In My Spam Box

I know that raising funds for your charity is very hard work. Lets face it there are millions of charitable organizations out there. You do everything you can ethically to raise money and you are still not reaching the goal that your board of directors has said that you need to reach this year.

So you cross the ethical line. You think that because our parents or grandparents supported your cause that I should too. Is this because the letter addressed to them, but sent to my home address are regularly put in the recycle bin? So you start sending out fundraising letters to my e-mail account addressed to them. In fact I receive multiple e-mails a week, because it does not cost you money to send them out.

I really want you to think about this. Would you call my phone or ring my doorbell asking to speak to the person you know is dead. Probably not. So why then is it your new mission in life to clog my e-mail account by sending letter after letter to people in my life who have departed this world for the next? You organization has been told multiple times that they have passed. If you don't beleive me just Google their names.You do know how to use Google, don't you?

My generation thinks that my e-mail address is my own, albeit it may ultimately belong to my Internet Service Provider. Only a copywrite guru knows for sure. It does not belong to a family line. My parents or grandparents were not allowed to use my personal e-mail address when they are alive, even more so now that they have departed this world. If you must really send out letters to our dearly departed on a regular basis, please contact me once by snail mail asking for the name of the cemetery and the plot number. I am quite sure that they would enjoy the attention, as they currently don't receive much mail.

In the meantime just know that all e-mail sent to dead relatives via my e-mail account will be put in my spam box. No exceptions to this rule. If you still do not understand this, please send me your home number and what time you eat dinner and I will call then to explain it to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Results.

I meant to spend the day finishing with the cleaning and organizing of the craft room. I got distracted. I instead spent the day working in the living room.  So far I managed to fill 3 boxes for Goodwill. Hopefully we can get it out of the house tomorrow. With each bit of decluttering I do, I feel a little lighter. The space around me seems to be getting larger, with more room to move.

The things that I pared down today were baskets, about 50% are leaving the house. Flower vases seemed to be another thing that we have too many of, so far 7 are leaving the house and I will still have a nice selection of vases.  What are the odds of me finding anymore vases? How did I land up with so many vases? Also since we went to a new drawer storage system, all my old dividers are leaving the house too. Some things that seemed so important to me in the 1980's and 90's just don't seem to be necessary anymore.  I am a lot more casual when we have company over.  Can we all give a collective bye-bye to the individual butter plates. Yes, special plates just for butter, the thought of having a proper table and pulling them out then washing them by hand both before and after a party is gone.  

As a family member of generational pack rats it seems at times very hard to do all this decluttering. I think back to one of my grandmothers houses and my parents house and have made a conscious  decision to change my ways. It is a long and slow process. I strongly suggest that family members be patient and not do any pushing. You might cause a stalling of a project that you so dearly want. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

If One Nap is Good then....

Today started out very busy with 2 errands before Knitting Guild.  We had a lovely yarn tasting with Vicky Konecky from Grandma's Spinning Wheel here in Tucson. I so wanted to break my yarn diet and head over to Grandma's after the meeting, but I was so tired that I headed home instead.

I took some homemade chicken soup out of the freezer for lunch. John cut up some fresh carrots and celery to add to the soup. Before it had finished thawing and was warm enough to eat I had fallen asleep. Two hours later, I did not have time to eat the soup, but instead went and picked up Eric at his program. I did manage to cover a person's desk in yarn, knitting needles and knitting books before I left the building. I do love to do a good yarn bombing every once in a while.

We were not home for 30 minutes before I fell asleep again for another long nap. It is my hope that these naps today will help my body heal from both the cold, which is still lingering but also the arthritis flare up that it has caused. John served the soup for dinner along with some fresh bread.

After dinner I packed up some more charity to leave the house tomorrow. This time hats, scarfs and special needs bibs. They will head over to the Flowing Wells School District Clothing Bank.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three's

Today was a day for 3's. I worked in the craft room cleaning and decluttering for 3 hours. I managed to fill 3 full bags for the recycle barrel. The last chore I did today was fill, you guessed it 3 boxes for a Goodwill pick up on Friday. So today has been brought to you by the number 3. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Place for Projects

John spent part of the weekend putting up a shelf in the craft room for me.  I filled it up with projects waiting to be started. It took me less time to fill up the shelf then for John to install it.  I think I have enough projects to keep me knitting for a while.   By moving some of my projects off the first rack, I have more room for larger items on the first rack.   

Slowly things are either finding their way to a better place or out the door. We finished the rest of our Bookmans runs today. The rest of the books will go to Goodwill on Friday along with a few other boxes. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Tink I Must

While I was reorganizing the craft room today, I found a sweater that I started over 5 years ago. My plan was to finish it. I thought just for the heck of it, I should try it on. Well it was 2 sizes too big. So I decided not to finish it.  So I think it is time to Tink the sweater.  For those of you who don't knit, tinking  is knitting spelled backward. So it is time to rip it out. So tonight I will rip out my first sweater in progress and start it again.  Hopefully I will finish it before it is 2 sizes too large again.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Really!!!!

Yesterday Lisa and I did a craft show. The promoters promised music, food trucks and lots of traffic. Well it was not exactly like that. My total sale for the day were $5.00, not even enough to cover gas. There were less than 200 people from 9 am to 2 pm. But I did take away a lot of laugh lines. No names will be attached to any of this randomness.

On the subject of WiFi. A vendor near me could not find a free wifi hot spot. So she asked if she could use my WiFi,. I politely said no, but wanted to say hell no. I told here just to use the one on her phone and offered to help her get her wifi working. So out comes a phone style from so last century, It looked like the phones I had in the 1980s and 90's. Someone told her that it was an android phone and did not get apps or have wifi. Thank you AARP for the basic phone, but you might want to tell people it is not an android phone.

Know your audience. I have one of my spinning wheels up for sale. So I took it with me. A man approached me wanting to buy it. The Lendrum is a complete package with with both a high speed flyer and a plying head,  with extra bobbins. I had a sign asking for $600 or the best offer. He said it was too much. So I asked what he was going to be using it for. So he told me he worked with a day training program for the disabled and seniors at a ranch down the road.  So I told him that I would sell him the basic wheel for $450.  He said it was still too much, would I trade the wheel for 1 bag of alpaca fiber (not skirted or or washed). I said no. He then went on to tell me how tired he was at the end of the day when he left work to go home (really!!! he gets to go home at the end of the day, how lucky). How I just did not understand how hard it was to work with the disabled all day, trying to get me to give him the wheel for free. I said I did not think my husband would go for it. A very good try though.

No, to be honest, I did not tell him about Eric or about the week from he double toothpicks that we just came out of. We were all sick and we still had to take care of Eric 24/7. What got me is that he felt that he was entitled to a free spinning wheel just because he took a job working with the disabled. One person I know used the Yiddish "S" word when I told the story. This is a family friendly blog, I will not use bad words here.

Will I undercut Walmart's prices. A mother was shopping with her daughter. The daughter liked one of my $18.00 scarfs and wanted to buy it. The mother said that if I would sell it for less the she could buy the same scarf at Walmart her daughter could have it. Do I look like a Big Box store using low quality materials and sweatshop labor?

Speaking of Big Box stores, a lady liked my hand spun art yarn which I sell for $5.00 per ounce. Not a bad price for using yak, silk, mohair, camel, different kinds of wool and other high end fibers. She then went to to say that she could get 8 ounces of yarn (heavens only knows what fiber) for $5.00 at here local Big Box Craft Store. She could get 12 ounce for $5.00 when it was on sale. Would I sell her 12 ounces of Art Yarn for $5.00? Really!!! Do I look like a Big Box Craft Store?

Sending out the scouts. I really liked the mother (not) who sent her children to scout out other booths taking pictures of things that they like so that she could duplicate other people's work. Really, with sites like Pintrest and Raverly which are free to use, is is really necessary to send your kids out to rip off the creative work of other people? Lots of people are will to share their ideas and patterns for free.

To top off the day I was offered a spot at another craft show next weekend. The promoter would take the 1st $15.00 in sales, then I could keep the rest. This was not really a craft fair but a promotion for a charity in town. She just wanted people to have something to look at after they dropped off their donations. Oh and she wanted a special order too, but refused to put money down. My booth was filled with a lot of special orders which people requested, but did not put money down for. Then after the hand knit was made they said no to making the purchase. So this has prompted a new policy.

Special Orders require a 50% non refundable deposit, which will be applied to the purchase price of the finished object. No exceptions.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Good Day

Today was the annual "Stuff the Mayflower" a Tucson tradition host by our local radio station 94.9 Mix-FM. It benefits the Tucson Community Food Bank which serves all of Southern Arizona. The cash donations are double by our local power company, Tucson Electric Power. Other stations of the E. W.  Scrips broadcasting Company also join in this very worthy effort. 

After I picked up Eric from his day program we headed over to the Sam's Club parking lot to drop off our donation.  The same Ticson Electric Power employee that has been collecting our donations for years recognized Eric and took his donation. Eric really enjoyed being recognized.   Eric really enjoys helping other people.  This really made his day.  

So I would like to thank everyone from 94.9 Mix-FM and Tucson Electric Power for all you help in the Southern Arizona Community and the joy you brought to Eric. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's Here

Yesterday we finally got the last piece of the kitchen remodel puzzle. The wood panel for the dishwasher door was finally made right. The third time was the charm.  Don't worry about the red light on the floor below the dishwasher, it is there to tell us when the dishwasher is running, yes it is that quiet. The picture is at the bottom of the blog post. 

I started the day with running the first load of laundry and running the dishwasher at 6 am. Then at 8 I dropped Eric off at his day program. Then I did a drop off at Goodwill. Then I ran to Frys to pick up some protein bars for Lisa, the ones that they did not have at Target yesterday.  Then it was more laundry and more loads of Tupperware through the dishwasher.  Not all the Tupperware that I packed before the remodel will go back into the kitchen.  I will pick out the pieces that I want, then Teri will go through and take what she wants, followed by Lisa.  So far it looks like I am elimating some where between 50 to 66% of the Tupperware.  I will also start another box for Goodwill.  

At the same time that I am putting away the kitchen, I am getting ready for the living room remodel. I think it will mostly be the carpet but might include some new doors.  So I have to pack up yet another room. Would anyone one be suppressed if I said that I found more yarn and fluff in the living room? I just don't know where all the furniture is going to go.  I would also like to thank Teri for letting me use her room for a staging area for all the boxes again. 

Now I either must wind down for the night or get some more unpacking done. My gut feeling tells me that I should try to get some sleep.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Change of Pace

I am making a lot of progress in reorganizing the kitchen. I have almost all the boxes empty, which is a good thing, because I need to pack up the living room next.   As I am putting things away I am still paring things down. I have enough drawer space to see exactly what I have.  Since I have started putting things away I have managed to fill an entire box for Goodwill. 

Eric went to program today. I took part of the day off and found sometime to knit with friends.  I also found some time to do some shopping. I found a perfect gift for Eric's birthday later this month.  I cut my shopping trip short so the remodeler could put on the new dishwasher panel. It is finally right.  I will take a picture tomorrow when the light is better.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Inspiration Comes at Strange Times

Eric is still sick. Eric is tired of being sick and I am tired of Eric being sick. I am exhausted. So I started working on a new knitting pattern to try to relax.  Yes, there is a large disconnect to most people between Eric being sick and a new knitting design. Sometimes I just find it very relaxing to play with yarn. Sometimes it just gets ripped out. Sometimes I put it in the charity pile. Very rarely does it result in a pattern. Yes it is a very easy one with lots of texture. It is a one skein project. This one might just be a little out there for most people, but it is very fun to knit. I just have to finish up the sample and add the narrative about how this pattern came about. Take a picture or two. Then edit the final draft.  Hopefully it will be out sometime this week.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

More Progress

Today I started out very early. I emptied 4 more boxes. Then found homes for most of it. A number of things made it into the Goodwill Box. Some even made it in the trash, it was beyond reuse. I now have a diaper box of things ready to go.  Amber also came over and started packing up the living room.  I know it's really weird. I am unpacking the kitchen stuff and she is packing up the living room stuff. This is to get ready for the next stage of remodel. The new carpet in the living room.  After lunch we went through my shoes, there is a good reason for this. Ambers fianc├ęs unit at the base is having a shoe drive. So John and I gave Amber 27 pairs of shoes for the shoe drive.  Yes most of them were mine. No I will never get back into the Aa and A width shoes.  I have lost enough weight so that the wide shoes no longer fit.  So the bright side of this is, the shoes will find new homes, and I have more room in the garage and my closet.  This is what 27 pairs of shoes looks like. Yes that is a large outdoor trash can bag.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The New Kitchen

I am showing the mostly finished kitchen.  The dishwasher door will be changed and 1 shelf is still missing. Meanwhile I unpacked 5 more boxes and found new homes for everything.  I still have not found the box with the kitchen knifes. Sorry Lisa it was not in the box with the baggies. We also have way too many wine glasses, so the running joke at dinner was how were we going to break some, we are a little behind in breaking them.  We have an even dozen that we still have from wedding gifts.   

The kitchen came out well.  It looks like it might have come straight from Pinterest. Everything was a total colabration, give and take on all sides.  We are a great team.  

Friday, November 6, 2015

I Made My Goal Early

The big news today does not have to do with the house.  Nor does it involve everyone being sick, which we all are.  Not even knitting, spinning or weaving.  It involves a long term goal made when I went off one arthritis medicine which caused me to put on 50 pounds in 6 months.  For those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis I have now lost 1/2 of the weight I put on with the medicine.  Slow and steady is winning the race for me.  

So after much research I went off aspertame and high fructose corn syrup. The first 3 months were very rough. I started using smaller plates for almost all my meals, I still use a soup bowl for cereal though. I eat a lot less fast food. Most of my cooking is now from scratch.  When Eric is home sick and PBS is on all day, I do the excersice breaks with Hooper, which are much easier now. I walk more and do more of my own house cleaning. I set a goal of losing 5 pounds a year, because most people my age put on 5 pounds a year.  I figured that this would put me ahead of the game.  It was a few big changes and a lot of small ones. Today almost a full 2 months early I have hit my 5 pound weight loss goal for the year.  This means that I can now start using my Wii fit again, I am now under the maximum weight. 

The plates below are as follows: The daisy dinner plate ( this used to. be our dinner plate )was the standard size Correlle dinner plate of the 1990's, which is now used as a serving platter.  The yellow luncheon plate by Fiesta is now our dinner plate. The clear glass desert plate is now our lunch size plate.  Usually divided into 25% protein, 25% starch and 50% vegetables.  

Since I have no medical degree, I would recommend that you check with your doctor before making these or any changes to your diet or excersice routine. This blog is not meant to replace your doctors advise.  This is just about my life and what works for me.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Patching and Painting

Today the master bathroom and sitting room wall were patched and painted.  I have the before pictures but not the after pictures. The paint fumes were to strong.  They did not use the low fume paint as requested.  I think I will be sleeping in the den to escape the fumes.  

I found one shelf missing when I went to put away today's boxes.  So the work planned for today did not happen.  The bright side of that is that we are all sick and it gave me time to rest a little more. I think that we will all be laying low until Monday.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Finishing Work

Today the bathroom sink was finished. The floor boards were also finished.  The only thing left for the kitchen remodel is the new dishwasher front panel. The repairs to the master bathroom and a little dry wall in the bedroom start at 7 am tomorrow.  Followed by repainting of the bathroom. 

Meanwhile I am starting to put the kitchen back together. I also cooked dinner for the first time since the start of the remodel today.  A nice pot of chicken soup. The only glitch I ran into was that I could not find the kitchen knifes. I forgot to note which box that I put them into. So I put the soup together with only a paring knife and peeler. Three other boxes were emptied and put away.  

Mean while Eric and I continue to try to recoup from this yucky cold.  While we did not give John permission to get the cold, he got it anyway.  So we will try to stay away from everyone until we feel better.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Recoup Time

Sometimes there is a down side to sharing.  I landed up with Eric's cold.  It woke me up at midnight and I then understood how miserable Eric was.  The good news is that with my immune system in a very hyper state I was feeling better by this afternoon. Just a warning for everyone, I will be expecting a bad body day for a few days as I am already very stiff.  

There was no construction work today. So Eric and I took it easy today. I set my sights on UFO's.  For those who are not craft people UFO' are unfinished projects.  While I was resting I managed to get 6 UFO's finished today.  I then looked for a few more UFO's to finish.  So after all was knit and done I have 1 more empty project bag and a free set of knitting needles.  Plus I can add 727 rows to the million row challenge on Ravelry.  

Tomorrow is suppose to be the last day for the kitchen remodel. Thursday we are suppose to repair the water damage to the master bathroom caused by problems with the last remodel. After 5 years we finally finished fixing the mistakes on the addition. Fingers crossed as I say this.   Then next week we move back into the craft room. When that is finished we will move onto the living room.  With completion before mid December.  Hopefully I can make a honey do list for a few more things I want done like the back door, I want to keep this energy moving forward.   

Monday, November 2, 2015

Today's Progress

Eric has the crud de jour that is going around his day program. He was up until the wee hours this morning and then was up again at 5am.  The thing that I don't like about this bug is that his fever is still going up. There is also a lot of congestion and coughing. At least he slept most of the day. Unfortunately I could not nap as work was going on in the house.  

I spent part of the day decluttering the house.  I managed to get a nap when John came home.  Afterward we started deciding where things are going to go. One of the first things we did was put all of Eric's breathing equipment in its own special cabinet.  The Scoba also got its own special place in a cabinet, so he is no longer a tripping hazard.  John is great at finding the boxes and up packing.  We started with dishes, cups and spices.  John worked on the dishes and I did the spice rack. 

The last of the construction should be finished on Wednesday.  Including the fixed dishwasher panel.  The panel as it is now does not match the rest of the cabinets. 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Not as Planned

A little more house cleaning got done today. John found a glitch in the Comcast cable connection for the new cable line we are using.  He managed a patch that should work until we can schedule a service appointment. I did laundry, cleaning the craft room and taking care of Eric.  

I look forward to an interesting week. Eric has some kind of bug with a low grade fever and a wicked cough. The house should be finished this week. Although I do have to ask the contractor why one kitchen panel is not beveled and the color is not like the rest of the doors and drawers. It looks like it is from someone else's kitchen.  The replacement bathroom sink was not the same model so the drain we ordered did not fit. A replacement will be here Wednesday, so that is when the guest bathroom will be done.  

I can't wait until I start putting everything away. There will be major changes.  The old pantry will now be a storage closet. Eric's smart vest machine will no longer be in the middle of the floor. Formula will have its own storage place.  The box clutter will be gone, so will the temporary plastic storage container we have had for a decade.