Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Letter

There are certain persons in our extended family, who exult in the "Holiday Letter." You know what I mean, those holiday missives sent to your family by relatives you hardly see the rest of the year, to impress upon you how perfect their lives are. In reality, their marriage might be falling apart, and one of their kids just got out of rehab for their addiction to Ritalin, and the other one is about to be suspended from school, but everyone is deliriously happy, well-adjusted and successful. Often, I have threatened to send out the "anti-Holiday Letter" but I really doubt the people who participate in the Holiday Letter ritual would get the joke.

Unfortunately, I am in a situation this year, where a straight holiday letter is not only a good idea, but is almost necessary. This year has been such a busy one, that an update for distant family is pretty much necessary.

But that doesn't mean that my first draft was my best one:

"As many of you know, we usually don’t do this “Holiday Newsletter” thing. Mostly, because I lack the time, interest or motivation to write one of these self-aggrandizing tomes every year. BUT, 2009 was a banner year in our Household (what we have been calling “The Lost Year”), so here we go!

The oldest son graduated from college this year, immediately moved home and is now camping out in our basement. He does have a job (working for daddy), but shows no sign of moving out. He has come in handy as a Nanny a time or two however.

#2 son (otherwise known "as the hole into which we pour money" graduated from high school and headed off the the hinterlands of the Midwest for college. Apparently, freezing cold, tornadoes and an appalling lack of Starbucks held an attraction for him somehow.

Our youngest son continues to amaze us. Sometimes it's hard to believe he is from the same gene pool as the other two boys. He is a straight "A" student and is shaping up to be a brilliant musician. We should get the DNA results back next week.

My darling husband has taken up homebrewing his own beer. Homebrewing goes excellently with his other hobbies, fishing, shooting guns, motorcycles and fast cars.

I am in the full throes of menopause, complete with hot flashes and mood swings. Or as hubby calls it "peri-menopausal and semi-homicidal." BTW, his broken arm is healing nicely......I TOLD him not to touch the thermostat!

We are really looking forward to the Holiday Season this year. Everybody will be home for Christmas (everyone made bail) and we have made it through another year without any "surprise grandkids" showing up.

Wishing you and yours a Joyous Holiday and a Successful New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Final Stretch?????

I controlled my ornament knitting urge long enough to finish another pair of socks.

These are the next to last House Socks I need for Christmas. I'll likely do a couple of hats, and perhaps a regular pair of socks for my oldest son. But Lord knows if I'll get them done in time....he's got size 14 feet. He appreciates a good pair of socks, but he is hell to knit socks for. I'm also on the second sock of a pair for my hubby. (Otherwise known as "he of the cold feet").

I may be on the final stretch, but face it, you know I'll find someone I need to knit an elaborate gift for, two days before Christmas. We all do it, don't we?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

So Easily Entertained

These little ornaments may become a problem! I LOVE knitting them! I have other stuff to do, to knit, to clean, etc., but all I want to do is knit these little puppies!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friggin' Cool

I am unreasonably pleased with myself over this........

I entertain a fantasy of one day having a Christmas tree with nothing but knitted ornaments (it may one day evolve into having a knitted TREE, too, but I need a lot more free time for that one). I have searched for the perfect design. The one that strikes my fancy, is easy to do over, and over, and over, and over again, but looks like it is SUPPOSED to be knitted. That it is meant to be no other way, but knitted. Well, I finally found it. This lovely little ornament is a snap to make, uses leftover from sock yarn(of which I have, well, I have a lot), and is clean, simplistic and just my style.

I am going to be making LOTS more of these, I swear!

On another note..........

I am unreasonably amused by this......

This is lingerie by Vera Wang, for Kohl's. 'Nuf said!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Missing, but lots of Action

Yeah, so I have neglected by Blog for more than two months. But it doesn't mean that I haven't been knitting. I got a wild hair a while back and decided that EVERYONE needed house socks for Christmas. You know what I mean by "House Socks," right? Socks meant to be worn around the house to keep toesies warm. Not for putting into shoes and wearing around. So following the purchases of MANY skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash (and any other kind of superwash wool I could find), I have embarked on a house sock knitting frenzy!

For Mom:

For One of the Nieces:

The Nephews:

For a Niece:

And Another Nephew:

And there was a little crochet Christmas decoration action, too:

Yes! Crochet!! I know, I know, near blasphemy, but hey.....Snowflakes are more like crochet than knitting, anyway. And I can tell you even this kind of simple crochet takes me to the ragged edge of my crochet skills. But it is going to be the perfect finish to a tree that will be auctioned off for a scholarship fund.

Last time I wrote, I was on the road, taking my middle son to college. Well, he will be home for Thanksgiving in a little more than a week, apparently sporting a rather rugged beard and mustache for "No-Shave November." I PROMISE pictures....this should be really good. #2 son is the one who really can grow some impressive facial hair (something he can be quite vain about BTW). He has sported a beard of sorts for quite a while, now, but never a mustache. THIS should be fun to see.

I'm about to take off on another trip tomorrow, to a REALTOR convention in San Diego. My biggest consideration when packing....what will I take to KNIT!! My latest house sock....check. My snowflake garland.....check. Back up sock knitting....check. Why do I always travel with this fear of running out of knitting? They DO have yarn shops in San Diego.

Well, still some things to do........

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Things I Have Missed

Things I have missed while on this God-forsaken roadtrip......

1) my Husband
2) my youngest son
3) my dogs
4) my BED!!
5) Kate Hudson at the Mariner's game (apparently)
6) eating decent food
7) being able to sleep past 6am
8) decent quality toilet paper (do NOT ask)
9) not having heartburn on a daily basis
10)my knitting stash (I have been working on the same socks for 4 days straight, and it's beginning to drive me batty!)

Things I have discovered while on this God-forsaken roadtrip......

1) there are a number of clean bathrooms in gas stations these days
2) there are no Chevron gas stations east of Idaho
3) because of #2 the balance on my AmEx is going to be HUGE this month
4) although the drive is boring, Wyoming has some awesome geology
5) Wyoming also has awesome wind farms
6) contrary to popular belief, most of Colorado is FLAT, and I mean F-L-A-T!!
7) the world needs a vegetarian fast food chain of restaurants
8) lightening storms are cool in Kansas (as long as you're in your comfy hotel room)
9) I'm really dreading the return trip
10) next time my of my kids decides to go out of state for college.....He's FLYING there....ALONE!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eastbound and Down!

Tomorrow, we begin the great trek East to take #2 son and his esteemed girlfriend (the one who decorates cake with Fondant!) to their home away from home for the next four years - Wichita State University.

Wichita State University!!??!! What's up with THAT, you may ask. Well, with an across the board 17% tuition increase at Washington State Colleges and Universities, and the $3000 academic scholarship he received from Wichita State, it is actually CHEAPER for #2 son to go to college out of state, than right here in Washington. Besides, they have an awesome baseball program (we're keeping our fingers crossed for that one) and an amazing business program there.

OK, so that's the positives of the school, but no matter how you cut it, this drive is gonna SUCK....BIG TIME. Nine hours a day of driving for three days, across half the dang country!! Only good thing to think about is that when I'm not doing my driving shifts, I can be knitting. Maybe I'll get the mate to this sock done............

Absolutely sucky picture, I know...but hey....Ansel Adams, I'm not. Sock #1 was finished on a road trip to San Francisco via the Oregon Coast. How beautiful!! How Romantic!! You may think......Not so. First it was for a business trip (although the drive in the Corvette WAS nice)...and second, this is mostly what our views of the Oregon Coast looked like:

Beautiful.....but kind of, um.....foggy. All the way down the coast!

I would show you all the pictures I took of San Francisco, but - um - well, it would be pictures of one hotel meeting room after another. Finally got more than 5 blocks away from the hotel when we hit Fisherman's Wharf for lunch, on our way out of town!

So tomorrow, it's on the road again...........

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Still Hot.
Still Uncomfortable.
Getting grumpier every day.
Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler.
Yeah, right.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot! Hot! HOTT!

Ok, I will admit it. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and we are used to beautiful, pleasant, mild summers. A place where we consider brief periods when the temperature goes over 80 degrees to be "heat waves." But for the second time this summer, we are experiencing an extended period of 90+ degree weather. This, my friends, is flat out intolerable. You see, we Northwesterners don't usually have air conditioning in our houses. Why??? Honestly, hell if I know. Being used to rather mild weather most of the year, we aren't used to heat even for a few days during the summer. Ao don't you think we would make air con a priority? Unfortunately, Pacific Northwesterner practicality tells us that having air conditioning for just a few days of unpleasant weather is just ridiculous! That argument sounds really good in April when we are just getting out from under months of rainy, overcast gloom. But during the last week of July...that argument is just plain stupid!

I am hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, and can't manage to wear little enough clothes to make me comfortable without causing a scandal. And I tell ya, menopause does not make this summer any more tolerable. I have begun thinking that moving to Iceland would be a good idea. I've heard the men are tall and handsome there. And have names like manly man Viking names like Gunnar and Gudrun. To hell with's cooler there! That's all I care about at this moment.

Sorry, two posts and know pictures. But I don't think you want to see pictures of melting middle-aged women.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Support the Harlot!!

Pardon me while I step up on Soap-Box for a moment........

There is some crazy person harassing The Yarn Harlot via her own blog and attacks on Steph’s blog - see the deets here - If you haven’t done it already, tweet your support on your Twitter, or any other venue you have. Personal attacks (and actual threats!!) on a blog just meant to entertain is flat out WRONG!! The community has to put pressure on cyber-stalkers!

Steph herself is trying really hard to take a rational and reasoned approach to this person’s vitriol - which apparently started with Steph’s latest Canada Day post (which I always find enlightening and hilarious!). The “stalker” decided Steph hated Americans (yeah…..right) and proceeded to attack her at every opportunity. I believe only an avalanche of love and support will silence this hater. Let the hater know she is allowed to have her opinion, but personal attacks will not be tolerated by those to love/respect/admire/like to laugh with/ the Harlot.

This blows me away totally, because I see knitters/crocheters/crafters as totally caring and giving people, but apparently there is one giant hater out there. It’s scary!!

I now open the Soap-Box to others ...........

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dorkiness - Puppisonified

My big old 90-pound lab, Otto, is a supreme dork.......

And I'm being driven slowly insane knitting this.......

Miles and miles of garter stitch. I've committed to doing this for my son heading off to college, but damn! It's really starting to drive me batty! And I'm only half-way done! It will look beyond cool when it is done however:

And I've begun to cheat......I've been caught crocheting......CROCHETING....headbands!

It's so girly, it almost makes me Puke!

Monday, June 01, 2009

NOT on the Road again!

OK, so I am such an effing slug about Blog entries lately, but hey! I've been busy! Not one, but TWO business trips since my last post, a Sock War (and noble death by a fellow knitter), a kid graduating from college, one that graduates from high school on Monday, and oh yeah.......a job and family, too. The only good thing about the business trips was that those long plane flights provide lots of knitting time.

First up, the mere beginnings of a project I had a lot of help on. The Doctor Who Charity Afghan! Tons and tons of my Ravelry friends knitted up and sent me 4x4 bias squares made from fingering leftovers.......ah.....last year! I finally got around to starting to sew them up. I spent literally months procrastinating on this project, paralized by the fear that I would start sewing the squares together and I would ruin the hard work of many kind people (that, and sometimes my color theory doesn't work so well). So one day, I took a flyer and started sewing. It seems that there really is no "wrong answer" with this project! (Thank God!) Every arrangement looks great. Haven't gotten too far on this, as yet, but check back for progress. Eventually this will be offered for auction on Ebay to benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Next, my "weapon of choice" in Sock Wars. The wonderful Air Raid pattern done in Brown Sheep's Wildfoote luxury sock. Great yarn, and a great pattern. I killed my target promptly, only to be exterminated myself by a novice sock knitter and her Barcelona socks.

The neophyte sock knitter, Openbook, sent me a soft and comfy demise. I'm looking forward to wearing socks that I didn't knit when the weather gets cooler again.

And finally, my current labor of love...The Grad Ghan for #2 son done in Wichita State University's school colors, black and gold (Woo!! Shock!!) Granted it looks like a giant bumble bee at the moment, but when it is done, it will be the wonderful Wooly Thoughts >"Long and Winding Road" pattern. Woolly Thoughts patterns are easy enough, yet creative enough to keep a confirmed anti-ghan knitter like me deleriously entertained! I love the miles and miles of mindless garter stitching combined with the absolute knowledge that this thing is gonna be AWESOME when it's done. It's what keeps me knitting on the darn thing!

So I have officially updated you on all the interesting things going on. OK, so there is business stuff, but really, that is so much of my life right now, I don't want to talk about it here. Knitting is my joy, my kids are a constant source of amazement. The realization that I will soon have two out of the house and only one at home is just starting to dawn on me. I really don't know if I should be happy about it, or sad. Right now, I just take it as it comes.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

MORE Knitting Content

Pair TWO for my SIL's Mom's birthday is complete:
Not bad production following such a slow spell. Work just had to intrude, ya know. I am now on pair #3 of three planned pairs. Her birthday is May 14th, and I am leaving town on May 11th, but if all else fails, I will mail Pair Three from the road.

Only two more days until the dossiers and pattern is emailed out for this year's round of Sock Wars. I know some folks grumbled about the lackluster ending of last year's competition, but come poor woman trying to organize an event that grew nearly 500% from the previous year....give the gal a break! I had fun....was killed in very short order and enjoyed every minute of it. I think it's too late to sign up for this year, but think about it for next year. One refinement over this year is that the dossiers are emailed out on May 9th and 10th, but the "killing" or maybe "knilling" starts on May 15th, to ensure everyone gets the dossiers before any killing ensues. Technology is great, but allowing for SNAFU's is even better!

As I mentioned earlier, I will be heading out on May 11th to once again journey with hubby to our great nation's capitol to hob-nob with our legislators and fellow REALTORS. I'll be hanging out at Russia House one night....stop by.....first round of infused vodka and a Baltika #9 is on me (that is, if I'm still sober enough to remember I made the offer!).

Can somebody stop by my house next week to make sure my kids haven't killed each other? Now, before someone goes off on me for leaving my kids home alone for a week, may I remind you that only ONE of my kids is under 18! And I'm leaving the one who is actually responsible with money (and has no criminal record) in charge! OK, OK, so none of my kids have criminal records, but you know what I mean!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Actual Knitting Content

Strangely enough, there has been some knitting going on around here! But as usual, work is getting in the way.
These are my first successful toe-up socks! Hubby loves them. I learned that toe-ups work best with a sewn cast-off (well, at least when I'm knitting them). I've also learned that I love knitting toe up!

As you can see from my second pair of toe-ups - started immediately after finishing my first pair.......
There are also third and fourth pairs in process. Part of my enthusiasm for sock knitting - not that it ever really dims - is that my sister-in-law's mother absolutely loves my hand-knitted socks, and she turns 90 in just a couple weeks. I hope to have at least 3 pair all knit up to give her by May 14th. Normally, I wouldn't be so enthusiastic about knitting socks for someone who is not my husband, but Phyllis loves my socks so much, and I can't deny a sweet little old lady her heart's desire.

And I've added more stitch markers to my burgeoning collection. I'm still trying to figure out exactly WHEN I'm going to use all these stitch markers I'm making........since I really do try to use markers as little as possible. Another reason for liking knitting toe-up. I can do it without using any markers at all!

The exercise thing has not been going well, mainly because I had to have a bit of surgery on one of my toes last week to remove some nastily ingrown toenails and a bone spur. Had to get this done before going to Washington DC in May. Walking around in DC (and there is ALWAYS walking in DC) and bone spurs do not make a good combination. So the surgery was a priority, so I am healed by May 11th. Please God, let me be healed by May 11th. Of course, snotty regular exerciser Hubby pointed out that I could still use the stationary bike.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A second day of SUCCESS!

As promised, my second declaration of devotion to my exercise program. Really, the Couch to 5K program is likely one of the easiest programs to get into, and the podcast downloads make it really easy to keep track of what you're doing. I did break down the other day and buy myself a new iPod Nano (in pretty green!) For the workouts, it is far superior to my old (and now thouroughly dead!) iPod Video. Much lighter, by far.

But I have begun contemplating knitting a Nano cozy/armband. For some reason, I think sticking my Nano in my sports bra is not a very good idea. I have a good supply of Cascade Fixation. I'm thinking that would be exceptional for an armband.

Loved the work out again today. Strangely enough, if you do this on a treadmill, you can see your progress pretty quickly. My comfortable jog speed already increased from 4.5 mph to 5 mph. Granted I could go slower, but my stride shortens up and my legs cramp.

Still liking the feeling I get. And I KNOW I am doing something good for my body, so I do start feeling a bit righteous.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Here begins the "self-talk" portion of our show, wherein I try to convince myself that regular exercise is a GOOD THING!

A while back, I started the Couch-to-5K program. Did really well for three weeks. Then Our big Better Homes and Gardens launch project started and the first thing that went by the wayside was MY exercise time. I will point out that hubby is far more dedicated and his exercise routine never lost a beat.

The busy-ness subsided, and it took me two weeks for my desire to exercise overtook my lame excuses NOT to exercise. So I am back to day one, week one of the program. I didn't even let the imminent demise of my iPod (which holds my interval training program) stop me today. So while I was alternately walking and running, I hit upon the idea of declaring my reasons for liking exercise every time I hit the gym! So here goes.......


I feel better......
my back hurts less....
the temporary tired is soon replaced by more energy and a better attitude.....
my posture is better.....
I make better food choices all day long.....
I think more positively about myself......
I start to believe I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

I apologize if this little exercise is a bit boring for you all. But a public declaration of what I am doing and why is going to go a long way in making this a part of my life.

Tomorrow, I get to take a rest-day - after only ONE day of exercise, not a bad deal! Friday is day two of week one. I plan to be checking in with you then.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

New Obsession

I've developed a new obsession. I suppose it is a natural extension of knitting. But still, considering that I only rarely use them, it IS kind of weird.
It started innocently enough. A little giftie for an online friend..........
Then a little trip to the bead store.......

Then a $50 shopping spree here. I can feel trouble brewing already. But on the other hand. They're fun and only take a few minutes to make.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Doin' the Parental Thing

The Big Project, took a lot of time away from the kids in the past month. #3 son felt the brunt of it. Being the youngest, and the one who has always wanted more attention from the 'rents than the other two, the past month has made him feel like a demi-orphan, sometimes. So DH and I have been trying to spend a bit more time with him, and reminding him that he is a priority in our lives. To this end, we took our budding little concert violinist to his first classical concert. Boring, right? Not at all. Violinist, Tasmin Little, presented a mid-afternoon concert called "The Naked Violin" at our otherwise Hoity-Toity symphony concert hall. It was thouroughly enjoyable, and #3 son was enthralled. Ms. Little, played, talked about her violin and the pieces she played, answered questions from the audience - adult and child alike; and a good time was had by all. Best of all, the concert was free for the kids and their parental escorts. A free classical concert you could attend in your jeans, what better way to introduce a kid who loves his violin, skateboarding and baseball, to classical music.

You can even download "The Naked Violin" for FREE on Ms. Little's website.

Now, there has been some knitting going on....not as much as I would like, though. It seems that I can't get more than a few rows done in the evening without thinking that a little snooze is just what the doctor ordered. A couple of weeks ago, I started - for no particular reason - a baby blanket. I do this occasionally with no specific baby in mind; having faith that one will pop up from somewhere. Well, no sooner had I cast on, when my boys came home announcing that several of their teachers, or teachers' wives were expecting. So now the question has gone from "where will I find a baby to give this blanket to," to "which of the dozen babies soon-to-be-born will get the ONE blanket I have to give." Ya know, that Teacher's strike in September is reaping some unusual benefits.

Still slogging away on hubby's toe-up socks. They go with me everywhere, but lately, when I have kid-wait time, it is spent making or returning phone calls. I spent an entire two hour baseball practice the other day talking to our agents who had not heard about our big change. I would have much rather been knitting on those socks - but no such luck. And just the same, I have been wanting to start a dozen other projects, despite the fact that I have a dozen UN-finished projects patiently waiting their turn in the limelight.

Friday, March 06, 2009

WANTED: My Own Cabana Boy

OK, so the big project that has kept me away from the blog for over the month is finally over, well, mostly. THIS is what has kept me busy, building spreadsheets, making lists, double-checking those lists, changing the lists after the double-checking, planning, emailing, more planning....and doing all this in SECRET!

I understand, to most of the world, this is no big deal. Just another real estate company (and in a down market, are we insane!?) But we've been around for 19 years as a proud, independent, non-franchise company, and we took the big, BIG step of going with a franchise. A new, amazing, totally worth it, wonderful franchise. We expect big things of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and they expect big things of us. Even in a down market, there can be great opportunities, and this is ours.

But putting everything all together was a lot of work. And most of it fell on my Sister-in-Law and me (Oh! did I mention that we are a FAMILY business?). We have been scurrying around like a couple of squirrels on RedBull for a month. The launch was last Tuesday, and now we are in the honeymoon stage. Checking in with all the agents, smoothing out all the inevitable blips, making sure that all is going well. I have been in constant "Customer Service with a Smile"-mode for a month, and it's wearing a bit thin. I'm tired. Physically tired, and tired of running and being "on" all the time. I'm not complaining, really. I'm excited about our new venture, and I'm excited that I am playing such an important role in them. But I am in desperate need for a bit of "Me Time."

Actually, a lot of "Me Time." I haven't read more than a few pages in a book, or knitted a few rows, or done one of my Couch to 5K workouts in a month. I don't wind down at the end of the day any more.....I collapse. And I've developed this nasty habit of waking up at 2am. Yeech!

But there is a glimmer of hope. DH and I get to go on a little business trip to San Diego next week. Well, it's supposed to be a business trip. We are going to try to make it a mini vay-kay, with a tiny bit of business attached. I promise the "Do Not Disturb" sign is going to get a workout.

That's where the Cabana Boy comes in. I want someone to take care of me for a bit. Fetch for me, carry for me, bring me drinks with little umbrellas in them, massage my tired feet.....and if he knows the location of all the good yarn shops in San Diego, so much the better. He doesn't have to be cute, or sexy....I got a man for that....I just want to be a little lazy and selfish for a while.

Then I'll be ready to go back to the real world, and deal with work and the kids, and meetings, and schedules..........

Well, Maybe, I'll be ready to go back to the real world.

Friday, February 06, 2009

In Memoriam

We witness this day the passing of an old of my first pairs of handknitted socks. Granted, it was not the first pair I knitted. Those, I hate to admit, were done in such a hideous color of self-striping yarn, that they are destined to live in my sock-drawer forever, since I so seldom can bring myself to wear them. But rather my recently departed socks were worn so often, in all but the warmest of summer weather, that they served me long and hard for three winters before finally expiring at the toe. But they lived a good and useful life, providing their final day of service in a new pair of Dansko boots.

These socks, my dear reader (yeah, I know there's only ONE of you out there), went out at the top of their game!

There are new pairs of socks on the horizon (there is
always a new pair of socks on the needles somewhere around here), and they may be fancier than my old blue, aloe-impregnated, top-down socks - I have progressed to lace and toe-up patterns - but they will always be my first. Among the first made, the first loved, and now......the first lost to old age. Rest well my old friends.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cave In!

OK....I admit it. I caved and bought a subscription to Handknit Heroes.

I am so weak!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I've Seen Everything

It's Official.....I have NOW seen everything when it comes to knitting. Was visiting my usual rounds of my favorite blogs and found this on Mason-Dixon Knitting. A graphic novel for knitters! I am simultaneously incredulous and thrilled. I want a copy of this comic so badly.......but I don't want anyone to know I would actually buy it. Geez, talk about dirty little secrets. I have a couple of swaps to buy stuff for.....Hhhhhmmmmmm, hey swapees, how do you feel about "modern art?"

Also finished my Clever Shawl for the school auction. O.K., so the pic is a bit fuzzy. I'm still trying to learn how to control my new camera. But fuzzy is good.....the shawl is all fuzzy and soft, just like a nice bit of wool and alpaca should be.

Oh hey! one last thing.....I hurt not at all! from my first week two workout. That ROCKS! I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow's workout.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Week Two, Day One

Well, I successfully repeated week one of the Couch-to-5K program, and confidently (this time) went on to week two this morning. This week, it's six 90-second segments of running interspersed with 2 minutes of brisk walking. It went surprisingly well, considering that one of my knees was giving me fits at the end of the week, last week. I was afraid for a bit that this running thing might not be for me. But it became clear that the knee pain was more a result of too much high-heel wearing and not too much running. So less of the high-heel thing, in future.

I also finished a second Carol's Clever Shawl. This one is for the upcoming school auction, done in a lovely blue-grey wool and alpaca blend (Berroco Ultra Alpaca).

I'm starting to come up with ideas to modify this pattern with different lace edgings. A trip through Knitting On The Edge can really get the ideas flowing. I have a feeling that I will be doing several of these over the next year for the females of my family. SIL has already requested one for her birthday. Fortunately, her birthday isn't until November, so there is hope that I will be able to knit something besides shawls all year.

I'm going to try to knock out a Little Arrowhead Shawl for the auction, too. I've got a month, and it shouldn't take too long. I've got this much so far..... I'm using Jojoland Melody Superwash. I think the way it's dyed will make an interesting and versatile shawl. Not that the picture is any indication of the color....looks kind of indistinctly salmon-y to me. It WILL get better as it progresses. Until I pinned it out, I wasn't all that impressed with this pattern. Now......I LIKE it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week One, Again

So I mentioned before that I'm doing the "Couch to 5K" program. I completed week one last week, but I am repeating it this week. Mostly because I decided that since I am still pretty much out of shape that running in a hilly neighborhood, when it is below freezing! is a bad idea. The local gym with the nice treamills is MUCH better. My lungs don't do that nasty freeze-thaw thing at the gym. Granted, it can be a bit overwarm, and way sweaty, and I am displaying my out-of-shape body to the great unwashed, but I know what I'm reaching for, so I'm cool with it. Besides, it hurts less, and I can actually finish a workout without thinking about dropping dead in the street.

Really, this is a pretty cool program. Free, lots of support online - almost anywhere you look - and achieveable. Workout three times a week following the program and that's it. In fact, the program insists on a rest day between workouts. Just what I like, a program that encourages vegging out. I'll keep you updated......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Auction Stuff

It is again "Auction Season" here at the Ranch. For me, that's means deadline knitting, and driving myself crazy wondering if anyone will actually want to bid on my bits of yarn. For my means a new pair of socks for him has been put on the backburner, again! Funny, hubby complains about my knitting, unless it's a pair of socks for him.

So I made a pig purse for a scholarship auction. The "why's" of the pig purse, is a long story, but suffice it to say, it fit with the occasion. I think my little piggy girl was adorable, and a way easy knit. It was a Noni pattern, and done in a flash. A couple years ago, I was on a real felted bag kick - so much so that I totally burned myself out. But this little piggy might get me started again.

The second piece was actually for me, but a test knit for an auction piece. This is my version of Carol's Clever Little Shawl. Really an easy knit, and endlessly different depending on the yarn you use. I used some Noro Kureyon that I had "repurposed" from a shawl I had made when I first picked up knitting again. It's shortened width and slight short-row shaping, make it an excellent everyday wear accessory, guaranteed to keep you warm. Don't let the short-rowing scare you. This is very much a "short-row 101"-type thing. I only finished my first one the other day...and I've started my second already - the "offical" one for the school auction in a wonderful blue-grey wool alpaca blend. Just going from a long-varigated to a single color yarn, really changes the way it looks. I already have a couple other ideas for playing with the pattern. We'll see what happens!

A little sift through my stash revealed at least three other choices in yarn I could make one of these shawls from. I think I may end up knitting this shawl so much this year, I could end up hating it. But for now, I'm in love!

In other news....I have completed the first week of the "Couch to 5K" program. The program trains you to go from being a couch potato (pretty much me, now) to being able to run a 5K in NINE weeks! I plan on repeating week one, next week, mainly because it was so cold last week, that although I did complete the three workouts for last week, I think I would be well served if I repeated it. I have also decided to either train at a local park with a flat walking track, or if it stays really cold like it has been, at the gym. That's the beauty of this's adaptable to treadmill or outside training, and there are supports for the program everywhere. Itunes has several free podcasts that provide music and verbal cues while training. (free.....I do love me some free!) And if you're on Ravelry and following the program, there's a group there, too.

Speaking of Ravelry....if you haven't joined, why not?

So wish me luck on my repeat of week one. My goal is not to have my lungs scream at me at the end of the week.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The year in Review

Honestly, 2008 was not a stellar year in some respects (real estate, 'nuff said), but in others, it was quite good. DH and I are zeroing in on year 26 of marriage - and we still talk do each other (among other things)! All of our boys are happy and healthy (when they aren't trying to kill each other). #1 graduates from college in May, #2 graduates from high school in June and is already accepted to his first choice college. The youngest......well, he's still alive.......and considering every member of the family has threatened to kill him at one time or the other in the last few months because of his current Tech Deck obsession....that's a huge accomplishment.

Despite problems with tendonitis in my wrists and elbows, my passion for knitting has not dimmed, even though my production might have been a bit reduced. There was a lot of quality knitting time in 2008.

Wow! so the year was more productive than I thought! That's only barely half the year's production. And I was thinking my "Hall of Shame of UFO's" was bigger than my FO's. Silly me!

I have been contemplating a New Year's Resolution for 2009. I'm one of those who tries to make a valid resolution every year and fails misrably by January 5th. So I have been thinking of an achievable resolution. I came up with this, "to take better care of myself, physically and emotionally." That sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Not too vauge, not too specific (for me, specificity is the killer), and any positive move forward can be perceived as success. I like it.

So that's it....I'm going to go with "taking better care of myself, physically and emotionally." Next to "I resolve to make no resolutions," I think it's the most fool-proof.