Monday, November 21, 2011
We have found another house and are hoping to rent until next summer with the intention to buy. It is quite near us and has a gorgeous 40 acres of wooded land as well as a garage and a shop. I've been staying up nights redecorating it in my head as it needs some cosmetic updates: painting, cupboard painting, and eventually new flooring. We will be starting December 1st by emptying our storage unit into the garage and starting to clean carpets and paint. I can't wait to have a space to call my own again as I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels here at Mom & Dad's. I am looking forward to having some creative space for my yarn and fiber crafts as well as a homeschool preschool area for lilj.
Speaking of yarn and fibercrafts, I am steadily working on my Giftmas list and am finally on my last project: Dad's socks. I'm trying out a new pattern for these using an afterthought heel, which means you knit a tube sock and then add the heel as an afterthought. They are moving along swimmingly but would have more progress if I hadn't recently sunk in the hole known as Pinterest. More on that later.
I've decided to make 2012 the year of selfish knitting and not knit for anyone but me! That's right, no birthdays, no giftmas, just me me me! And, I am going to try to knit a few sweaters for me while I'm at it. I figure if each one takes about three months I can knit four sweaters throughout the year. I have patterns in mind for all four so we shall see how that turns out. Of course I also have yarn and ideas for many small accessory type projects for myself: shawls, socks, mittens, hats. I am just so much happier knitting for myself than for others. It does make me happy to give the gifts I've knit, but in progress I HATE it. So, other than sweater yarn, I'm going to try NOT to buy yarn or fiber and instead to knit up what I've got so there is room for new yarn by the end of 2012. I also picked up a drop spindle at WI Sheep and Wool Festival so I would like to try to conquer that during 2012. What are your creative goals?
As I mentioned above, Pinterest has caught me and is giving a good fight. I'm happy we won't have any internet access at our new place as I spend way too much time online doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. There are so many cool ideas out there, but really when all you do is spend hours looking at them, you never get anything done!
You may wonder why I call this time of year Giftmas and so I'll try to explain it. I don't believe in God or Christ as a savior, I believe he probably was a pretty good guy back in the day. I believe the Christians have rewritten all the traditional pagan holidays in order to get the pagans to fall into line. Those who didn't were killed which is somehow Christian. I believe in celebrating the return of the light on December 21st or Winter Solstice and I think Santa is an ok belief for lilj. As far as exchanging gifts with others, well, I really do enjoy exchanging small heartfelt or homemade gifts, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. The big hullabaloo at this time of year I think is a lot more related to Gifts than Christ and therefore, Giftmas. But as a good raised-Christian girl, I think everyone should be free to believe what they want and we should still all get together and enjoy each other this time of year.
So, happy giftmas shopping!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
It has been a busy couple of weeks driving all over Northern WI and MN for nursing inservices and training: Breastfeeding, Wound Care, Trauma Nursing. We are such well-rounded nurses here in Shell Lake! I am glad they are all over and I can stick around home for a couple of weeks.
lilj's Birthday sweater. He even tried it on last week, and it fits!
I cast on BigJ's second sock so hopefully it will be done before Solstice or his birthday. He is a size 13 so on little tiny needles and little tiny yarn it takes FOREVER. I hope he enjoys and cherishes these socks for many many years; yeah right!
On the home front: BigJ has been looking at other houses as it seems with the economy now days you can buy a lot more 'house' than building it. We're still thinking about building, but looking while we think about it.
Newsflash: I found my camera, apparently I had asked my cousin to hold on to it while we were playing in Bayfield and she forgot to tell me she still had it. yippee! I feel so much better knowing I didn't loose it and I don't have to replace it. It came home with about 120 pictures that she and her kids had taken that needed to be promptly deleted and my fun pics remained.
We also took a daytrip to Bayfield and Madeline Island and *gasp* started Geocaching. BigJ had not been to Madeline Island so it was fun exploring together. I though geocaching was really cool. It was like a scavenger hunt, although I couldn't find anything without BigJ and he just rolled his eyes and laughed at me. Fall is beautiful in WI.
I finally finished A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin and I'm really relieved since Game of Thrones is all I have been reading for months. Now I'm listening to Dracula and Sleepy Hollow on CraftLit. Gotta love the fall and Halloween Holiday reading... oooohhh spooooky!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Fiber-wise, September was a big month: Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival! I enjoyed a great day with my Aunt talking sheep and yarn and fiber. I mentioned that we were interested in getting some wool-breed sheep when we move again and get settled. Coincidentally my Uncle picked up a flock that weekend! By next spring we'll be set to have our own sheep! In that spirit, I bought some Shetland fleece and a drop spindle to try (again) at spinning yarn. This is a pretty low investment ($30) and I can learn at my own pace. I also picked up some fabulous yarn from Sun Valley Farms its a single-ply in dark purple for a winter shawl for myself. One of the other things I wanted to try is knitting from stretched silk cocoons so I bought enough for a lovely pair of mittens. Silk is purportedly warmer than wool, we'll see! I haven't made a lot of progress on my giftmas knitting... bigJ's socks are huge and taking forever, probably because I'm begrudging knitting them! I have a self-imposed rule that i can't knit for myself until after my holiday knitting is done and there is plenty still to knit--Aggghhh!
You may have noticed my eluding to settling again and yes, there is an end in site! BigJ and I have pondered and pondered and decided that building just isn't necessary, so we'll be renting with the intention of buying. The place is actually my great-grandparents' original farm and is only about 1 mile up the hill from my parents. Its a 20 acre piece with a home that we both really like. We can't wait to move in October 1st! There are outbuildings galore and pastures for horses, sheep, cattle or whatever we decide to have. So, wish us luck on another move. We plan to live pretty simply and enjoy a peaceful farm in the country.
Disclaimer: I apologize that i don't have any pictures to share but I've lost my camera... bummer!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
The biggest loser is over! The numbers are not in, but everyone who participated did awesome! It was a great way to encourage so many people all at once to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I really think that if we are going to overcome the obesity epidemic and make major changes to our country's junk food lifestyle we need to start at home: health care workers, children, families, hospitals, clinics. We need to be examples to others and push for changes in the system that is encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices. I came out 5# ahead of my low. I was disappointed that I had gained some weight over vacation, but with all the eating and not a lot of regular exercise it was inevitable. I debated just skipping the weigh in and going with my pre-vacation low, but that's not really honest and I'm the one who couldn't say no to EVERYTHING while we were gone. I was actually pretty surprised it was only five pounds. I think that all the skiing and exercise I have built some lean muscle which helped burn through the junk food. I'm still hoping to stay active and get rid of another 10 pounds or so. I did notice that while we were gone on vacation and I was eating lots of sugar and other junk food I felt awful. It is so true that you are what you eat. I feel so much more energetic when I limit myself to sensible portions (no lunch coma) and less sugar and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). I have been trying to be much more cognisant of HFCS in my (and lilJ's) food choices as they seem to rev him up and make me eat and eat and eat.
Exercise-wise, I tried running. It has been a goal of mine since I was a teenager to run a 5k race. I have trained probably 5 different years and always have the same outcome: no race & sore feet. After working so hard on weight loss & exercise with the biggest loser I decided to give it one more go... I just ran and ran and ran, then I stopped and walked, then I felt a blister, then I walked home. The next few days I was sore and my knee swelled back up and I decided: my foot dr. is right--I'm not a runner. Instead, I started Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred, which Hana loaned me. Its funny because the workouts are pretty intense, but only 20 minutes. I like her style and its quick to get through in the am before lilJ and I get on the move. I ramped up to Level 2 today as I didn't think level 1 did the job Friday, we'll see how I feel tomorrow. I'm definitely feeling the burn!
I finished my Skew socks before we left for Savannah as was my goal. On the trip down, I cast-on a Traveling Woman shawl and a pair of plain vanilla socks. I'm not loving the shawl and I think I need to frog it (rip-it) and start on smaller needles or find a different project. The socks I LOVE! I finished one and have a good start on #2. I have officially reached my goal of three pairs of socks for me this year and have a half a pair beyond that! I made my list of birthday and giftmas knitting to start in July. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it but my self-made goal is to knit for myself Jan-June other than a few special birthdays and knit for others July-Dec except for maybe socks for me. I think I have most of the yarn I need for most of the July-Dec knitting so my stash should continue to shrink shrink shrink. My goal is to knit from my stash exclusively unless I have a specific project I need yarn for that I don't have in my stash AND its time to cast on that particular project. Exception: travel/souvenir yarn buying is ok. If I can loosely stick to this plan I can buy buy buy at WI sheep and wool festival in September. I'd like to get some blue sock yarn there for me as well as two sweaters' worth of yarn for ME!
This morning I heard the news about Osama Bin Laden's death. Since I can't word it any better, I'm quoting K.C. on this, "It seems so unnatural to celebrate the death of someone. Rather than focusing on revenge, lets remember this is about peace and unity." I was unpleasantly surprised how many of my facebook friends were so ecstatic about this assassination. Its interesting how the tables turn when we are the hunters instead of the hunted. I'll end with a favorite quote of mine, "War is not healthy for children and other living things!"
Friday, April 1, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
I figure that today is a good day to evaluate how the year is going, as its a quarter of the way gone by the Wheel of the Year.
- One of my goals was to celebrate the Wheel of the Year in some small way on each of the eight special days... I have to admit I failed miserably on Beltane which was supposed to honor motherhood. So I was really set on doing something today: Ta Da!
- Pay off the credit card: well, I transferred the balance and it now has no interest so I'm thinking it will be paid off this year. Josh will be putting some of his profits on the balance so I'm not too concerned it is definitely doable as we are trying hard not to spend money frivolously. We have limited ourselves to a biweekly allowance and only going out to eat on payday (once every two weeks). We enjoyed a "date" going out last week to Spooner Market and Grill while Jameson stayed home with Lolly & Papa for pizza. It was a much-needed break and time to reconnect. Betsy, the chef at SMAG, even came out to see why we weren't chasing a little boy around.
- Loose 25# and stay below 200#I'm happy to say that I am officially below 200# and have lost a total of 21 pounds since starting biggest loser. However, since I unofficially started after Christmas I've lost that 25 pounds afterall! Yeah mee!! I told myself I would buy a small gift for myself when I reached my goal but nothing comes to mind. The other thing is that Biggest Loser continues another 6 weeks! We're only halfway there so I have to continue this momentum and keep losing! My team: the Mom Squad is doing really well, we've been in the top few teams each week. The great thing is that so many people at the hospital and clinic are participating we've really improved the salad bar and healthy meal options as well as limiting snacks around the nurses' station. Overall everyone is doing really well which I think is a great inspiration to our small community: if WE can do it, so can you! It also shows that we are commited to the same healthy lifestyle that we promote to our clients and patients.
- Knit myself 3 pairs of socks close... I have 2 1/2 pairs done and many more waiting in the wings! I finished the first sock of the third pair this morning and was so excited. It seemed to take forever as I had other projects to work on while it was in process. I was feeling very overwhelmed by so many projects. I only have one other project OTN (on the needles) which is Flo, a bright green elephant for Jameson. I plan to finish the knitting on this before I start sock #2 of this pair. Hopefully both projects will be done before heading to Savannah.
- Go on one vacation together as a family. This kind of fell together as a fluke. Josh's mom and grandma are driving down to visit John & Zhenya for Easter and invited Josh as well so we're going! It will be a long drive = 22 hours each way, but we'll borrow a DVD player and I'll knit! We are also planning to go to Mexico in Feb '12 with Terry and Patrick, I think both trips will be great!
I have so many things planned as it warms up... my fitness goal is to bike a lot. I bought a used bike trailer for Jameson and Lucy to ride in last summer so I'm glad he can join me on my adventures--makes planning ahead less important. It also removes my excuse for NOT going. There are lots of places to go and things to do this spring and summer. We have trips planned to Savannah, Omaha, Michigan, as well as some local favorites including Minnesota Zoo, Pattison Park, Copper Falls, MREA Energy Fair, and Madison. Josh and I have decided Jameson is old enough to start camping so off we go!
This was the first year that I am sad to see winter go as it means no more skiing for now. I'm really looking forward to improving next year in my technique and stamina. I don't think more racing is in my future although I would consider the Book Across the Bay again if its not glare ice. I'm thinking Jameson will be ready to ski by next winter so I'll be keeping my eye out for a pair of beginner strap on skis.
How are you doing on your goals for the year?
Did you do anything special today for Spring Equinox?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
- I can tell that I've lost weight in most areas of my body: boobs, back, belly, thighs (I sound like a chicken at the butcher) but there is just more FAT where that came from. I keep picturing those jello-mold fat samples jiggling about on my love handles and thinking jeez, I have dropped 20 of those things, how many more are there? Lots, lets just leave it at that. Will there ever really be a time when there isn't? Do skinny people still have flab? Well, I will never know the answer to that as I'll never be "skinny" but I thought I'd ask!
- I got my "skinnier" jeans on today that haven't been buttonable since last summer. Now, even then they weren't exactly wearable but thats another story. The problem: they look awful, they are totally not flattering in the least. Bummer!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
- shawls can be knit large or small, long or round, one size fits any/all
- shawls can be knit on anything from laceweight to worsted or probably even bulky (like for a prayer shawl)
- knitting a shawl is quite portable if its on a lighter weight yarn (lots of yardage per skein)
- shawls are multipurpose: they can be used as a blanket, sweater, nursing coverup, baby blanket, accessory
- And last but not least, in the following selection from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy please replace the word towel with SHAWL and there you have it: The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.