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Showing posts from December, 2010

Friday Quote Day

I love it when the last day of the year falls on a Friday. It feels like we get the weekend off before we really have to begin working on those resolutions.

Heh. Kidding!

Does a resolution "stick" better if you call it a goal? I hope so, because I'm setting a few goals for the coming days, months and year that I hope will be achievable.

First, though, everyone pop over to Elora's place and wish her a happy birthday! She was the inspiration for my bookmark today. The design of it is very "happy birthday"-ish, and the quote – especially the first part – describes my friend perfectly. She effortlessly finds the best in everyone around her. Elora, I hope your special day is the best one yet, and may the coming year bring you many blessings.

Okay, back to the goals.

Our tax dollars have paid for this project, and I'm going to begin my year by taking advantage of the research that's been put into it. All of us in the U.S. learned about the four food group…

Sock it to me, part two

Thank for your comments about my husband's sock. I've already started the heel on the second one. Worsted-weight socks go quickly!

The yarn is an ancient one that's been in my yarn closet for a very long time. It's by Neveda and is a blend of 70% wool, 20% acrylic and 10% alpaca, with 90 yards per 50 grams. With a 12" size 6 (US) circular needle, I cast on 48 stitches and worked 8 rounds of 1x1 ribbing. I switched to a size 7 needle and knit 49 rounds (about 7 inches). Then I switched to a size 4 for the heel and foot. The larger needle for the leg portion means that part goes a little more quickly. The smaller needle for the heel and foot makes the fabric sturdier where it's needed.

I should finish the second sock today and then it's on to the rest of my list.

Some knitters don't care to knit with the short 12" circulars, but my hands are small and my fingers are short and they fit me very comfortably. I'd much rather use a circular than dou…

Oops!

No rain forecast for today after all, and while it's gloomy right now, the forecast is calling for sunny skies this afternoon. Guess where I'll be?


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Sock it to me

That's what NC State did to WVU in last night's bowl game. So sad.

And here's what I finished during the game. My husband has resisted wool socks (who knows why) for years, but this year decided they were the only thing that would keep his feet warm. This thick boot sock is the first half of the first pair.

And, lest second-sock syndrome set in, I've already completed the ribbing on sock #2.

Have a good Wednesday. It's supposed to be a bit warmer and might rain today here. I guess that makes shiny days like yesterday even more special.

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Merry Christmas to me!

My husband is smart enough to not give me a piece of exercise equipment as a gift. This year he tucked an envelope from the bank in my card and said I could buy something for myself.

He then further demonstrated that he does, indeed, listen to me - occasionally - by suggesting a mini-laptop OR an elliptical machine.

Both of you longtime readers are aware that our treadmill doesn't like me. It spontaneously quits after about 20 minutes, emitting a burning smell at the same time. It doesn't do this for my husband, who weighs less than I do. (At one time I thought that would be the worst thing in the world to admit. Clearly I've evolved. Heh.)

The recent inclement weather tipped the scales, so to speak, in favor of getting the elliptical, so we got out yesterday to look for one.

The only place around here to purchase reasonably good quality fitness equipment is Sears. Lemme tell you, Sears ain't what it used to be.

We bought the treadmill there, which was delivered and as…

'Tis a bit windy

The lid from the recycling trash can we keep on the porch is nestled in a two-foot snowdrift, and my favorite harvesting basket is gone with the wind.

I paid scant attention to the weather advisories I kept getting over the weekend. I'm signed up for Weather Channel alerts, and I bet they've sent at least half a dozen daily since last Thursday. It's kind of like the little boy who cried wolf.

Well, the wolf showed up early this morning, waking me at 2:30-ish with its whistling and howling. I *thought* I heard the snow shovel skittering down the driveway, but it must have been my half-bushel basket.

It's an excellent day to stay indoors. We'll play Scrabble, I'll knit and cook, my husband is rereading _Truman_ and, eventually, winter will be over.

One day at a time.


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Mmm, mmm good!

The snow is blowing sideways (not in huge amounts, thank goodness) and it's a great day for soup. Four kinds of beans (including cranberry beans from this year's garden), a meaty ham bone, onions, carrots, herbs ... Hope you're having something warm and delicious for dinner tonight!

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Merry, merry AND a Friday Quote

Wow, a double-dose of wonderfulness, right?

It occurred to me yesterday, after I published my post, that I could have been hilariously funny. Not just ha-ha funny, but side-stitch inducing! How, you may ask? Well, remember I said I was two pounds lighter this year than last? That means by the time I'm 85, I'll be at my goal weight!

Awesome, don't you think?

So, today's bookmark is a vertical, just to shake things up. Hope you like it, I had fun with the collection of digital scrapbook files taking up space on my hard drive.

Before I leave you to your holiday madness, I have a tiny confession. I wasn't sure if my friend Elora would be reading the blog or not, so I couldn't talk about my real knitting project for the month of December. You saw the Red Riding Hood poncho but I was teasing you about mittens. Now that it's been delivered, you get to see what I've been working on.

The pattern is in the Fall 2010 issue of Vogue Knitting. Waaaaay back when it wa…

Tempus is fugiting

I don't feel a lot of holiday pressure this year, thanks mostly, I guess, to the need to mail most of my presents. When you have to ship packages, the pressure – such as it is – happens earlier in December and mostly involves the dread of lost shipments. Fortunately everything has been delivered and only a few mitten-shaped cookies broke in transit.

The decision to not make a lot of handknit gifts this year eliminated most of my usual tension-filled evenings. I don't often sit-and-knit during the day, because I like to watch television when I knit, and there's only so much HGTV I can stand. (I do like Color Splash, but it comes on about the time I'm usually starting dinner.) Evening television viewing around here is mostly MSNBC, which I like in much smaller doses than He Who Controls The Remote.

Sigh.

Thank goodness for college football bowl games! (Live sporting events are my programming of choice, my own personal reality TV.) While I have trouble staying awake until…

It's a Christmas miracle!

Today is weigh-in day, and – drumroll, please – I stayed the same again!

You have no idea how miraculous this is, actually. A weekend of restaurant eating, followed by a cookie-making/dinner party Monday night and homemade persimmon pudding (Oh. My. God! How delicious!) last night – sorry for the food porn, but this week of eating followed by a maintenance weigh-in illustrates so perfectly what the Fat2Fit guys talk about on their podcasts: Eating the number of calories you need – even if it looks like an outrageously high number – doesn't lead to weight gain.

I'm astonished.

I'm glad I had a couple months of closely tracking my food intake, because I now have a pretty good idea of what that number is without being obsessive about it. I think I'll try to journal a couple days a week for a while, just to keep myself honest.

In the meantime, I'm not restricting but not overindulging. I'm sampling, tasting and even (in the case of the persimmon pudding) digging in…

Pop-up Paws Update

I decided, after all, that I wouldn't have time to make a pair of Pop-up Paws for my daughter-in-law. Instead, I wore mine and made sure she saw them, to get an idea of whether she would appreciate a pair or not.

Turns out she would – she immediately said how handy they would be when buckling children into car seats. So I'll add them to the to-do list. While I was in Ohio, two other friends said they'd love a pair, as well, and I also promised two pairs of felted clogs. That should reduce the yarn stash a bit!

It's been more than two weeks since I've walked outdoors, but guess what? Today's the day! Temperatures will be above freezing (it's almost there now) all day for the first time in who knows how long? I got a Christmas card from one of my cousins yesterday and she wrote about how inspiring my walking program has been for her. (She's been following my progress on Facebook; you can, too! Just click that FB link on the left side of the page to add me…

Did you read Part 2?

CAP followed up on the great post I referenced last week. One of the lines that stands out and is so relevant is this:
Each new year I resolved to be less of myself.To me, that is brilliant! In resolving to be "less of myself," I inevitably became less genuine, less mindful, less … fill in the blank, while at the same time becoming physically bigger, fatter, more!

In this second post, she responds to some comments from the previous one, with depth, thought, detail, heart and soul.

She is blazing the trail I'd like to be on. I'm still hung up on calories in/calories out, I still think sugar is "bad" and whole grains are "good." I have a long way to go, but I feel like the insanity in my life with regard to food is somehow fading away.

We had to eat out quite a bit this weekend, as we were traveling. My husband and I have completely different food philosophies, and that makes things difficult. He has managed his weight by eating one meal (dinner) a d…

Friday Quote Day

A bookmark designed especially for the runners out there.


I'm so anxious to start really running again. The quote says it all. I almost always feel better after I run – accomplished, strong, confident, kick-ass, strong, capable and did I mention strong?

And if you think you're too old to run, think again. (I've never thought I was too old to do anything. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.)

Forgot to show you ...

our mixed veggies from dinner last night. Carrots, green beans, corn, edamame and peas, all plucked from the freezer *after* they'd been plucked from the garden. I lost the peas for a while, so glad I found them again! Heh.

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Suh-lammed!

Well, not really, but it seems like winter just won't go away. And it hasn't even started yet!

I've gotten multiple advisories and warnings over the past week, each one more dire than the last, letting me know that I'm going to freeze my extremities off and I'd better not drive.

Great time to plan a trip to visit grandchildren, eh?

I was talking with a BlackBerry techie yesterday who happened to be in Halifax. That's in Canada. And it was 40 degrees! They hadn't seen the first snowflake yet!

I do believe in climate change, I do believe in climate change, I do believe in climate change, I do, I do, I do!

Anyhoo, it looks like I'll get a workout in today – shoveling the driveway! We're going to have to get out, come hell or high water wintry mix. If we do leave tomorrow, it will be very early, so we need to get to the bank today.

Yes, we're dinosaurs. We've never had ATM cards. Hey, we just started paying bills online, so maybe there's hop…

Not much from me this morning ...

I didn't sleep well last night and think I am either coming down with a cold or have a massive sinus infection. I hate not being able to breathe. Breathing? Good. Not breathing? Painful.

So anyway, how cool is this? Think I'll go do some right now. Or maybe right after breakfast. And laundry. And mopping the salty/snowy footprints off the floors. Again.

Today's weigh-in was not what I wanted to see. Up a couple pounds this week. I'm not worried about it, though. I've been playing with these two pounds since early fall. Like I said yesterday, I need to give the metabolism a break and I feel certain that next year I will be able to report slow-but-steady losses on a regular basis.

Finished ...

In the last week I've finished knitting three hats, none of which were for me. I may still have time to whip out a pair of Pop-up Paws for the daughter-in-law we're going to be visiting this weekend.

All of the goodie packages have been mailed, and all of the to-be-shipped gifts are on their way. What a huge load that is to have off my shoulders! The remaining gifts will go with us to be delivered in person.

It feels good to have all of this done. The only thing left on the holiday to-do list is finish making and mailing the Christmas cards. Should be able to knock that out in a couple hours.

Looks like I've finished exercising outdoors for a while, as well. With wind chills down to ZERO and below, it's not even safe to spend any significant time outside. Food is good – I'm tracking what I eat and feeling like I'm maintaining.

I've done so much damage to my metabolism over the last mumble-mumble years of yo-yo dieting and calorie restriction that I think th…

Welcome to the 21st century, Debbi

This past June our wireless phone contract with AT&T expired and we got to switch carriers. AT&T is fine for some folks, but we couldn't get a signal at the end of our driveway. Not that we made many calls from the end of the driveway, but still.

I asked local friends for recommendations and most people around here use U.S. Cellular. So I went to their store, listened to their pitch and when they dangled a BlackBerry in front of my nose, and said I could tether it to my computer for faster-than-dial-up internet service, I signed up.

The salesperson also casually mentioned this little USB plug-in thingy that would offer true 3G service. As long as my phone works here, he said, the USB thing would, as well.

Fast-forward to yesterday: Merry Christmas, Debbi.

I knew this was coming from the moment I left that store in June. Now I'm wondering what took me so long! Baby steps, I suppose.

For the past week or two I've been downloading the Fat2FitRadio podcasts from iTunes…

Friday Quote Day

Merry second Friday in December!

Sacrifice … something our indulgent selves have trouble with sometimes. I would sacrifice anything and everything for my children or my husband, but what am I willing to do for myself?

That's what I'm thinking about today, but I'm not really coming up with much to write about in this season of excess. More. Thinking. Required.

I might be finished with the baking and making. I still need to decorate the mitten cookies, but when I finished the Snickerdoodles yesterday and took an inventory of all the food gifts I've made, I think I'm done. There are lots more sticky notes popping out of my cookbooks, and printed recipes piled up on the counter, but … well, see the previous paragraph, particularly the phrase "season of excess."

I was able to get outside for a walk yesterday – the temperature was only 25 and I went five miles (looooong, slooooow miles), but I did it. And felt like crap when I got home. I was plumb worn out! T…

Every picture tells a story

Okay, first things first: I'm nearly healed. It's hard to imagine that a fall like mine can send some folks to the Emergency Department – or worse – and here I am with only a teensy bit of residual soreness in my neck and a scrape on my elbow. I must come from sturdy stock. Really, I wish I could milk this injury a little bit longer. I haven't had to lift anything heavier than the coffeepot all week! Heh. But, alas, there are Things To Be Done and I'm the one to do them.

So some of you don't know what buckeyes are? Mmmmm, I wish I could send you some. You'll have to be satisfied with a virtual batch. They're as easy as pie to make, but they do take a little time. You combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar, roll it into little balls, dip the balls partway into melted chocolate and they look like the useless nut Ohio (the Buckeye State) was named for.

Next, I've been working on a very cool project for my teen-aged granddaughter. I saw a p…

Progress report

Or, rather, the "stayed-the-same-and-I'm-grateful" report.

When I slipped on the ice on Monday and subsequently couldn't run, walk or lift anything, I took that as a license to comfort myself (with Aleve, a heating pad and food), stop journaling and generally slide back into my old, familiar ways.

My new healthy lifestyle isn't my go-to position. Yet. Add to that the mountain of cookies and candy I'm making for Christmas and I'm sure I don't have to spell it out for you.

Today is a new day, though, and I feel renewed. Also too busy to worry about it. We're getting flu shots this morning and replacing the hand mixer (a cheap one I've had for years) I broke making the peanut butter part of Buckeyes. (In Ohio we called them Buckeyes. Here in West Virginia they call them peanut-butter balls. I think.) I still have gifts and treats to finish making and the oranges I ordered last month came yesterday, which means … marmalade! I love marmalade, and s…

Well, since I can't exercise ...

I'll need to be a little more careful with food. So I woke up early and made ... are you ready? ...

Knitter's Sugar Cookies! Can't wait to decorate them. And then mail them to my grandchildren. 'Cause they're NOT staying in my house.

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Crap, crap, crap!

Okay, so I hopped on the treadmill this morning and did 1.5 miles at 4.5 mph, which is a pretty good clip for me. And the treadmill only spontaneously stopped once during that period of time. I wasn't interested in fighting with it, I'd done my 1.5-mile run and I got ready to do the remaining three miles outside. Walking.

Two minutes and seven seconds after I hit the "start" button on the Garmin, I was flat on my ass in the middle of the driveway, having slipped on the sheet of ice hidden beneath the snow.

I broke my fall with my right elbow. Thank goodness I didn't break my elbow. As it is, it's quite tender and very badly bruised. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), I didn't walk any further.

I will not be compulsive about this.

I will not be compulsive about this.
I will not be compulsive about this.
I will not be compulsive about this.
I will not be compulsive about this.

My husband and I did some errands in town after I settled down a littl…

And now for the real Monday morning post

I'm afraid my December goals may have to be downsized. I'm not saying they will for sure, as I may – depending on the weather – be able to make up my lost mileage later in the month. But so far it's not looking good.


Well, actually, it is looking good outside. Very pretty, see what I mean? But very difficult to walk in, impossible to run in and geez Louise is it ever COLD!

I'm going to try doing some running on the treadmill today. It still stops suddenly after 20 minutes or so, meaning I can do one mile and part of a second. I'm not quite up to a 10-minute mile yet, although that's not as hard to do on the treadmill as it is outside.

What I need to do is quit worrying about it. As the young folks say, "It is what it is." As long as I do something every day, other than sit on my ass, I should be okay.

We're under a Winter Weather Advisory until tomorrow evening. I don't think we'll get much more snow, but it's supposed to stay windy an…

Testing, testing

I had a knitting pattern on my old blog that dozens of people were able to click-and-save with no problem. I uploaded it as a .jpg, just as I did with the bookmark, and I can even view it on the tiny BlackBerry screen. One person is having problems, so I'm testing Google Docs to see if it works.

Blogger doesn't let you upload .pdf files, so this is a workaround. By hosting the file on Docs, you can point people to the file and they can download from there. Does this work for you?

Wee Santa Hat

Shoot me a comment if it does or doesn't. Thanks!

Friday Quote Day

So where's the quote? I just know both of you out there reading are thinking I've really lost it. It's Friday,  and there's supposed to be a quote at the top of the page.

I put it at the end today, and will do so for all of December, because I think this month's presentation looks good at the bottom of the post. Call me crazy. Oh. You already have.

I need to answer Jane, who wanted to know what sorghum is. Here's the Wikipedia article about it. The first time I saw it growing at the Amish settlement, I thought it was corn. It looks like corn when it's young, but the tassles have little beads on them. I asked my dad if he knew what it might be and he immediately said they were growing sorghum, to make syrup.

When Dad was a boy, it was part of the community entertainment to gather and press the cane, releasing a sweet liquid which was then boiled into a molasses-type syrup. It's a multi-day process for the Amish, who sell both the syrup and the stalks whi…

On the 62nd day, she rested

If you're a Facebook friend, you already know that I didn't run or walk outdoors yesterday any longer than it took to get from the car to a store. Three stores and a mall were involved, as well as three hours of purposeful shopping (after I left the dentist's office). I don't count yesterday as a bust, but I also am not counting it toward my December mileage goal.

Sure wish I'd thought to grab the Garmin on the way out the door! Heh.

I can already see that not having a daily mileage goal, as I did in October and November, has managed to trip me up. I know the average number of miles/day I must complete to meet the monthly goal, but I didn't set a daily goal. And now that average number is a little higher. Two-tenths of a mile, to be exact. Compulsive? Who, me?

On the other hand, I wasn't ambling from aisle to aisle. I was striding. And forgetting things. So there was a lot of backtracking. It was blowing snow, 27 degrees (with a wind chill of 15) and I was …

New month, new goal

First, though, Leslie wanted before-and-after photos of the clogs. Here you go!
I spoke with my fitness-oriented son-in-law yesterday. He called to tell me his plantar fascia tear has healed and he's out of the walking boot. He's been sidelined for a couple months and has been very anxious to get active again.

He helped me work out a reasonable (I hope) goal for December. I told him I wasn't as interested in increasing distance as I was in increasing intensity. (By the way, mileage for November was 132 and a fraction.) So the new challenge is to do a total of 135 miles, which is an average of 4.5 miles per day, but make 35 of those miles running. This seems both practical and possible if the weather isn't totally crappy this month. I can always do the running miles on the treadmill if I have to. I have no problem walking on icy or snowy roads, but running – because of the hills and uneven terrain – wouldn't be safe.

Thanks for the input on wearing mittens in North C…