Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2010

The buckle

No time for the Friday quote today, but for Elizabeth, who commented yersterday, here's the closure on the belt I used for the bag handle.

Have a great weekend; quote will be up Monday, if I remember!

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Done, done, done, done, done. Finally.

I give you, the NeverendingEverlasting Bagstopper.

 Now it's on to the dream project. Questions about the bag? Leave me a comment!

Almost done, done, done!

The Neverending Everlasting Onandonandon Bagstopper is almost finished. I changed the top of it a bit. The pattern suggested sewing a heavy ribbon on to the top for a handle. I was inspired by my drawstring-top kitchen trash can liner to create a channel with a couple openings. Eight more rows to knit and I'll be ready to insert an old canvas belt to use as a handle.

Pictures soon … maybe as soon as tomorrow!

My knitting to-do list keeps growing. I need to make a Christmas stocking and a blanket for our newest granddaughter. I want to make some flip-top mittens for her mother (can't remember the name of my favorite pattern for these but I'll let you know tomorrow), I think they might come in handy for her (at least as handy as they are for marksmen and photographers!). I also want to make some Mr. Flurry toys for that family of grandchildren. (The link takes you to a page of several patterns; you'll need to register – it's free – to download them.)

And, of course, …

A morning rainbow!

What a surprise! We hardly ever see them before 4 p.m.!

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

I write like …

Stole this idea from GS. I just can't seem to come up with anything original these days!

I write like
Cory Doctorow I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!
Now I have to go look up who Cory Doctorow is. I'm pitiful. I wouldn't have to look up E.L. Doctorow, I even have some of his books.

Okay, Cory is a science-fiction writer – my least favorite genre. I used my blog post from July 22 for analysis. What's so creepy about that one?

For a not-much-of-anything post, I sure have a lot of links today, don't I?

Look! It's a cloud!

I totally stole this from D, and I love it! I kept hitting the random button until I got a color combo I liked, then printed it and it's hanging on the wall behind my monitor.

I love that the words "plan" and "like" pop out right away, while you have to look hard to find "work" and "project." Heh. "Energy" carries the same weight as "husband" and "marathon." There's certainly some hidden meaning there, eh? "Uninspired" and "inspired" are equal in size. Apparently they're equal in importance in my "life," which is the same size as "uninspired" and "inspired." And "comfortable," which is odd, because my life motto has always been "Comfort is my racket."

Wanna make your own Wordle? Go here.

We got some real clouds, along with real wind and real rain, yesterday afternoon – a welcome sight, indeed. Less than a quarter of an inch of rain, but…

Friday Quote Day

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Of course once you make the plan it takes more energy to carry it out.

You can wish to run a marathon, put it on your bucket list, add it to your goals, blah, blah, blah, but creating a training schedule moves the marathon from a wish to a project. Once the plan is down on paper (or smartphone or spreadsheet, but I like paper), then you have to do something with it. No more wishin' and hopin' – it's time for doin'!

Same with knitting, but you don't burn as many calories. My dream project is still in the wish stage. I haven't even pulled a stitch dictionary off the shelf yet. Soon, though, I'll be casting on, making notes and creating something beautiful and interesting and even, maybe, useful. I've decided I really am a one-project-at-a-time kinda gal, so the bag will be finished before I even pull out the yarn for the dream project.

I'm not quite there with the marathon or, obvi…

Decisions, decisions

My life is a whirlwind of activity right now. My husband and I (mostly my husband) decided the guest room should be a Guest Room – get rid of what doesn't belong there and keep only what makes it look, feel and work to make visitors comfortable.

I had a hodgepodge of stuff crammed into a Target modular storage unit, all of which has been discarded or relocated. The storage unit will be heading to the Amish bakery (or perhaps to one of the Amish barns) so they can cram their stuff into it. (I thought it was trés cool to show the girl in the bakery a picture of the storage unit from my BlackBerry. She didn't bat an eye about the technology, but loved the storage piece!)

I decided to divest myself of some yarn. Don't worry, though, I still have a lifetime supply, and there's always, should I run low. Heh.

I decided running up and down the stairs multiple times at my mother-in-law's house counts as a workout, and not eating all day until dinner counts as a di…

When you've got nothin' to say …

say nothing.

I was MIA yesterday because I was comPLETEly uninspired. I'm not much more inspired today.

It's raining. And raining. This looks like an all-day soaker with flash-flood warnings on the tail end of the day.

My agenda? Shampooing the carpet in the guest bedroom. I'd originally planned to move the furniture to the patio outside that room. Now it looks like I'll have to do one side and then the other.

We donated the twin beds that used to be in there to the Alderson Hospitality House. We're moving a queen-sized bed that has been stored at my mother-in-law's house in to replace it. (My exercise for Monday was moving furniture.) The transfer of sleeping accommodations should be complete by the end of the day tomorrow, just in time for visitors!

Actually they won't be here until the end of the month, but why wait? Deadlines make me crazy.

Still working on the Everlasting Bagstopper. At this stage it should be called the Neverending Bagstopper. The pat…

Before and after

Hah. The hits I'll get from that title! People are always looking for before-and-after weight-loss photos. Won't they be surprised?

On Sunday, in addition to all the other things I did around here, I turned this (I actually began with half a bushel):
 into this!
All the little lids popped, creating a tight seal, and I now have more pickles than my husband and I will eat in a year. I threatened to send some to my oldest granddaughter for Christmas. She thought that was a dandy idea. My dad is coming for a visit from Florida soon, and I told him to make room in the RV for a jar or two.

Elora suggested eating a pickle whenever I felt the need to snack. She said that was one of her weight-loss tricks (she's managed to shed 27 pounds this year!). And I've read (because I read every word of weight-loss advice out there), that eating a dill pickle when you want something sweet is a good way to get rid of the craving.

Of course, you first must convince your mind that a dill pic…

Friday Quote Day

Life is all about timing ... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable becomes available, the unattainable ... attainable.
Have the patience, wait it out.
~ Stacey Charter

I would add: The inedible becomes edible. Heh.

One thing I've learned in the past 59 years is patience. Of course, it took me most of those years to learn it!

But patience is serving me well these days. A change in attitude (weight loss is not the ultimate goal, although it has been a nice by-product) mixed with a cup of patience and a pound of energy and you've got a recipe for peace and serenity on an almost daily basis.

(For someone like me, not drinking helps, too. I believe the root of my serenity is my abstinence from alcohol.)

Gardening and knitting are both excellent exercises in patience, or at least in delayed gratification. (So, according to my daughter, is making Jell-O.) Becoming more process-oriented, rather than product-oriented, allows one to enjoy the journey, rather than simply focusing…

Did I tell you I ran the other day?

And I'm knitting, too?

And the knitting is not for the baby! I found a pattern on Knitty a long time ago for a mesh bag (perfect for the farmer's market) and started it a couple nights ago. It will scrunch up small enough to stash in my purse. Even though I have cloth bags hanging on a hook in my garage, and a couple cloth bags in my car, I still forget to carry them in to the grocery. Eventually I will remember; perhaps this bag will help.

It won't, by itself, be large enough for a load of groceries, so I'll have to either leave the check-out line to get a bag from the car or buy only enough to fit in one bag. (That won't work very well because the nearest grocery is 12 miles away and I'd be driving to and from the store every day and we can't have that, can we? We're trying to cut back on fossil fuel consumption, not add to it!)

The running wasn't really running, more like jogging, but definitely faster than walking. Or trudging. The first mile of…

It's come to this

I hate having to moderate comments, but I also hate getting comment spam. Someone (or more than one) has been leaving foreign-language comments for months now, mostly on Fridays. But there were two yesterday and I guess that put me over the top.

I don't get a lot of comments, and I look forward to the ones I do get. Except for the ones from China, Japan or Korea – I don't know the language.

So comment moderation is on. Fortunately, I'll be able to approve comments pretty quickly, thanks to the BlackBerry.

Since I've gotten this phone, I'm only online on my desktop computer for about an hour a day. I get up in the morning, fire up the tower, read/print/delete and turn it off. But the BB keeps my e-mail coming all day long. It's just on a tiny screen instead of a 22-inch flatscreen monitor.

I. Love. This. Phone.

I love having a camera that fits in my pocket. I send garden pictures to my dad and my oldest granddaughter almost every day. Dad is very interested in m…

Mother and daughter are doing fine

Because our daughter-in-law's first pregnancy ended in a C-section (a foregone conclusion with triplets), the second one was, as well. No complications, everyone is fine. The baby weighed a healthy 7 lb. 8 oz.

All of our children are internet-shy when it comes to their children, so I don't post photos or name names. We love her name, and are looking forward to meeting her.

I got rained out of doing beet greens yesterday after the first batch. My porch isn't covered enough to work outside, and I don't have anywhere near the room I needed inside to sort a laundry basket full of greens! The rain was most welcome, though, after the last couple weeks of dry, hot weather, no one around here was cursing the rain.

I made a lovely batch of cottage cheese, which we'll have with dinner tonight. Also made chili for dinner, because on a coolish rainy day, chili just sounded good.

The garden is taking less and less hard physical labor these days, so I need to get my mind back in…

Today's the day!

Between the two of us, my husband and I have six grandchildren, but by this afternoon, we'll have seven! Our triplet grandsons will be big brothers sometime this afternoon, when their little sister is delivered by C-section.

Nowadays, when it's customary to find out a new baby's gender early on in the pregnancy, the mystery seems to be the name. When my children were born, we chose names for a boy and a girl and told everyone who asked. My daughter and her husband shared their children's names (they are 13 and nine) prior to their birth days, but we didn't know my three-year-old granddaughter's or the triplets' names until they made their way into the world.

I'm anxious to learn the new little one's name, can you tell?

I've made her a tiny seed-stitch sweater (which still needs buttons, you'd think in the vast collection of buttons I've amassed over the years I could find six perfect matching buttons, but NOOOOO), and I'm nearly fini…

Friday Quote Day

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
~ Winston Churchill
Well, duh.

This applies to sooooo many things going on in my world right now. But since this blog started as a vehicle for my blathering about weight loss and fitness, let's start there.

My husband thinks taking a long walk every day is the path to enlightenment, both mental and physical. At one time I would not have argued with him, because I read all the popular literature and watched all the health segments on the news that say walking is the path to enlightment.

And I walked. And ran. And didn't lose any weight. (Because we all know that enlightenment means thin, right?)

The outdoor work I've been doing this spring and summer have produced more weight-loss results than the last three years of aerobic activity. This 'work,' if one can call it that, involves heavy lifting with a purpose. It engages my body and my mind. It doesn't bore me and it takes a lot of time…

Worm karma

I hope, hope, hope the worm karma gods will look kindly on me and my ignorance.

I have five healthy dill plants in my little herb garden. I have no cucumbers right now, but will eventually, and I've also agreed to trade dill for cucumbers with my gardening guru. So when I walked past the dill yesterday and saw some little worms munching away, I admit I panicked.

I grabbed a glove, picked those suckers off and squished them. Then I left a message for my friend, asking her what might be eating our dill. Just for good measure, I also took a photo and e-mailed it to her.

She called back, too late to save some of the worms, but in time to rescue at least one, and probably more today.

These "dill worms" are swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. They eventually travel to Mexico, because it isn't hot enough in West Virginia, apparently. The last thing I would ever want to do is single-handedly decimate the butterfly population in southern West Virginia. Or Mexico.

They remind m…

The Finished Product

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

It's not the heat. It's the … heat.

Yes, it's the humidity, too, but damn. This heat is relentless and miserable and I don't even live in Florida! My morning garden-perimeter walk leaves me sweaty at 6 a.m. I'm so glad I don't work on a road crew. I'm thrilled that I don't have to look forward to putting a roof on someone's house today. Thank God (or the Goddess, or another deity of your choice) that my afternoon will be spent at the garden center, under the cool shade of the sycamore trees, next to a river.

The zucchini and onions have been sitting in a salt brine overnight, and while canning relishis a hot job, at least I'll be doing it in the air-conditioned comfort of my kitchen. My summer kitchen is the same as my spring, fall and winter kitchen, except the windows are shut tight and the AC is humming.

In the olden days, the summer kitchen – a separate building just for preparing food – was built away from the house, so the heat from cooking didn't build up in the main dwelling. …

It's that time of year ...

Once zucchini starts coming it doesn't quit for a long, long time. There are tales of people locking their car doors when they go to church to ward off gifts of zucchini from generous neighbors. So far this year we've had it grilled and sautéed; tonight I'm scooping out a couple of bigger ones and baking them stuffed with a sausage/bread crumb/zucchini/onion mixture.

My favorite thing to do with excess zucchini is to make relish. I've lost my favorite recipe from years ago, and am searching Chef Internet to find a reasonable substitute. Most of the recipes I've looked at so far are very similar … grate a bunch of zucchini and onions, mix with salt, let it sit overnight, drain, mix in chopped red and/or green peppers and spices, cook for half an hour. Ladle into jars, process in a boiling water bath and you've got enough relish for a year. And it's practically free, if you don't count the time you spent preparing the garden bed, planting the seeds and we…

Holy energy savings, Batman!

I installed a retractable clothesline about a month ago. We have plenty of space, sun and gentle breezes, but it just never occurred to me to put one up until I visited the Green Festival when we went to Chicago in May. Not only was line drying something of a mission there, clotheslines were used in a couple of non-clothesline vendor displays.

So I figured if clotheslines were trendy (heh), I might as well jump on board.

I knew, of course, that line-drying is gentler on your clothing than machine-drying. That's why the tag on your delicates suggests you "hang" or "lay flat" to dry. And I read somewhere recently that the clothes dryer users a huge amount of energy in the whole appliance scheme of things. I figured I would not only extend the life of our garments, but might just reduce our kilowatt usage, as well.

I had no idea how much.

We get three electric bills every month, one for the house, one for the garage and one for our water pump, because each locatio…

Friday Quote Day

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Sounds pretty straightforward … until you don't have one of the elements you need, or, in my case, what you have is a slow metabolism that wants to hang on to every pound you've piled on for the last five years. Heh.

I was so pleased to report yesterday that I'd lost eight pounds in six months. That's a minor miracle, considering the amount of time, effort, planning, blood, sweat and tears I've put into The Losing Weight Project during my lifetime. (Sounds like it should be a Facebook page, doesn't it?)

However, I woke up this morning thinking, 'If I could lose five pounds a month for the next six months, I'll be thisclose to my goal weight!'

The obsession doesn't go away just because you write a sensible, realistic, grateful-for-the-eight-pounds-lost blog post.

Along with the Roosevelt quote at the top of the page, I need to say the Serenity Prayer a little more often.

Like …

Nailed it!

Not only have I lost a pound a month since 1/1/10, I've now lost EIGHT pounds! I'm not sure what happened in June to rocket me into the weight-loss stratosphere, but hey, I'll take it.


Anyone else would be jumping into a strawberry shortcake by now, wouldn't they? Eight pounds in six months is nothing to brag about. But if you've destroyed your metabolism as a result of a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, eight pounds in six months is … well, I used that title yesterday.

One of my commenters noted that I'm living a life that "automatically includes healthy food and lots of activity." I hesitate to say this, but maybe this is how normal people maintain a normal weight. When they're too busy to eat, they don't eat. And they don't make up the missed meal at the next eating opportunity.

During half-marathon training, I paid strict attention to my food intake, lest I run out of gas on a long run. Or even a short run. I now find myself eating when …