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Showing posts from April, 2013

April 30 - Glasses

The rose-colored variety, courtesy of an app.

The heck with giveaways

Who knew all I had to do was CHANGE MY DIET to get tons o'comments? Heh.

Thank you all for weighing in (sorry, couldn't help myself on that one) on my adventures in paleo eating. If you haven't read gingerzingi's rant from a couple days ago, it's well worth reading and it was yet another piece of evidence convincing me that I'm doing what's right for me. I'm still at the convincing-myself stage, but I certainly agree with her that no one can or has or, probably, will agree on what causes obesity and what we as a nation can do about it. As Forrest Gump's mama might say, "Healthy is as healthy does."

And I'm certainly NOT trying to convince you that you should do this, as well. I'm a "live-and-let-live" kinda gal.

My favorite gingerzingi quote is "I think you DO have to be your own science experiment," which she wrote in a comment after I whined about not wanting to be one. That really made me think. Following the…

April 29 - I wore this today

So easy, even a cave(wo)man could do it

Warning: This is long. Grab your coffee.

This morning's weigh-in results are in, and I'm about to break a promise to myself. I was going to wait a month to tell you about the tweaks I've made to my eating plan, but I've decided today's the day. Why today? Because I weighed in this morning and lost three more pounds, for a total of 16.5 since December 26, 2012. I'm slowly inching up to the one-pound-a-week goal I set for myself the day after Christmas.

April 6 was the beginning of the end of sugar, grains, dairy and legumes here in the Middle of Nowhere, as my husband and I dipped our forks into the world of paleo eating. (There's much more to the paleo lifestyle than the menu. But that's where I'm starting.) A combination of factors pushed me to this point, and I'm dragging him along for the ride. (He has not given up his slimy sugar-free/fat-free yogurt, which I never cared for anyway and which never appears at mealtime, only for snacks.) Those…

And the winners are …

Cheryl, Mindy and Chelsea! Send me your addresses, ladies. (My e-mail is shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com.) Your packages will go in the mail as soon as I get your information.

To Rosie and Vickie, if you'll send me your snail-mail addresses, I'll gather up some oddballs and ship them off so you can donate them to your respective groups. Vickie, most of my non-wool yarn goes to the prison knitting group, but I have a great deal of cotton yarn, if your high-schoolers would use it.

I'll probably do this again in the fall. In the meantime … knit on!

April 28 - My Sunday

A dam good time AND last chance to win books/yarn

Yesterday morning I headed to town to participate in the inaugural 5K Dam Walk/Run sponsored by the local family resource center to help fund child abuse prevention services. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It's called the Dam Walk/Run because the start and finish are at the Bluestone Dam in Hinton.

I had registered as a runner, but ended up joining the walkers instead. The field was small, and the last time I ran in a small local event I came in last among the women and next to last overall, and I wasn't eager to repeat that experience. As it turns out, I watched the last two runners come in, so I wouldn't have been last after all. Ah, well. My not wanting to be last is simply my ego getting in my way.

I ran when I could and walked when I needed a break, trying to achieve three 14-minute miles, but missing the mark slightly. The walking route was slightly less than 5K. My result, according to the Garmin, was 3.06 miles in 43:57 for a pace of 14:21.

Today's mil…

April 27 - Earth

A quick reminder …

and then I'm out to weed for a while, and then walk for a while.

I'm cleaning my stash of knitting books and yarn. Three readers who leave a comment on the blog before midnight Eastern time Sunday, April 28, will win both a book AND yarn. Books are used but in good condition. Yarn has been stored in a cedar-lined, smoke-free closet.

You know how bloggers love, love, love comments. Do a blogger a favor and leave a few words of appreciation when you get a chance. It will make his/her day, I promise. I don't do it often enough, but it's one of the best ways to pay it forward in the blogosphere.

If you comment and your name is chosen and you don't knit or have no use for the book/yarn you receive, you can pay it forward by donating it to a 4-H group, charity knitting group or a women's shelter. Someone will find a good home for it if it doesn't fit in yours.

Paying it forward pays you back in ways you might never have imagined. How have you grown from passing […

April 26 - Childhood

April 25 - Life is …

According to today's Google doodle …

Ella Fitzgerald would have been 96 years old today.

(Fair warning: This post has nothing to do with knitting, running, reaping or eating. We will return to regularly scheduled programming mañana.)

You might be wondering why someone like me, who thinks Bob Dylan is the alpha and omega of music, would even think twice about Ella. I'm not a jazz lover AT ALL. (Approximately one percent of the tunes on my iPod are of the jazz genre.) But there's this one song she did for an old war movie that I absolutely love, and this version of it is my favorite:

I found another Ella example of the same song on YouTube that was very jazzy, indeed. But the one I offer you is the one that makes me melt when I hear it.
The song, written by Johnny Mercer in 1941, has been covered by a variety of artists. Country singer Frank Ifield's is my second favorite and might be the most familiar. Looking at the list in this article, I wasn't surprised to see that Tony Bennett and Diane Krall have rec…

April 24 - I saw this person today

Keepin' it short and sweet today, and a giveaway!

'Cause it's a work day. And 'cause I need to walk before work, which means, um, SOON!

Pop over to Aud the Broad's blog and leave a comment and you might be a winner. There's one condition: You have to promise, if you enter, that you'll pay it forward. Audrey's celebrating her 100th post by giving three commenters a handmade treat, to be delivered sometime before the end of the year.

Since I entered her giveaway, here's my offer to you:

I really, really need to reduce the number of knitting books and yarn around the ol' shanty here. To benefit from my excess, leave a comment on any blog post between now and midnight Eastern time on Sunday, April 29.

I'll choose three commenters' names on Monday morning. You'll each receive a knitting book AND yarn. My books are used, but not defaced or tattered. My yarn is stored in a cedar-lined closet in a smoke-free environment.

For the pay it forward part, well, you're on your own. I realize a lot…

April 23 - Time

Our tiny little Earth Day activity

So Lynne and I set out yesterday afternoon to clean up "our" part of Indian Creek Road. We've walked many, many miles together there, and for such a tiny little road – one-lane, paved, only about four miles long – there's an astonishing amount of discarded trash. We decided a few weeks ago that we would take a stab at it on Earth Day.

Our time was limited; we went about a mile and a half, filling four kitchen-sized trash bags along the way. We found nothing unusual or out of the ordinary. Lots of plastic bottles and soda cans. And beer bottles. Lots of beer bottles. I'm not sure why someone thought it was a good idea to toss the plastic bag from a package of hot dog buns.

Actually I'm not sure why anyone ever thinks it's a good idea to throw trash onto the side of the road.

We spent about 90 minutes honoring Mother Earth, from the time we started until we got back to our cars. As our bags became too heavy to carry, we tied them up and dropped them along t…

April 22 - Blurry

Down again

If you aren't a regular reader here, you might wonder what's so depressing after reading a subject line that says "Down again."

But I know that both of you are clapping and cheering and virtually high-fiving me.

This week's weigh-in was a two-out-of-three effort, since the first number showed an astonishing 3.5 pound-loss. I didn't believe it, and stepped on twice more, coming up with a more believable 1.5 pounds gone, gone, gone.

Strangely, I'm happier with 1.5 than I would have been with 3.5. The pressure … oh, the pressure … to stay there all week would have been agonizing and stressful.

Since I made the change in my eating habits on April 6, I've lost 6.5 pounds, or about half of the total loss since the end of the year. I'm beginning to think there's no going back. More will be revealed.

I'm disappointed in myself for just one thing this week. After the tragedy in Boston last Monday, I secretly wanted to log 26.2 miles (marathon dista…

April 21 - Fire

Do unto for others

It's no secret to both of you that I've been a volunteer at a federal prison camp for many, many years. I think it's 14. I've been more consistent with this activity than anything else I've ever done. Which means:

knittingreadingmaking artsewinggardeningcookingdietingrunningwalkingweight trainingbeing married
and probably many other interests have waxed and waned over the course of my life, while making that trip to Alderson has been a consistent commitment since the day I began.

(My current husband and I enjoyed our first date more than 20 years ago, and we've lived in the same house for 16 years. So he wins. But you get my drift; we didn't marry until we'd lived in sin for 10 years. Heh.)

That's not to say I don't miss a week here and there, due to illness (mine or my dad's) or weather. Various things have occasionally happened to prevent me from going. For the most part, though, if it's Tuesday evening, I'm in jail.

Yesterday was t…

April 20 - On your mind

April 19 - Button

Lowering expectations

I worked myself into quite a tizzy yesterday, trying to accomplish too many things but ultimately getting everything done WITH time for a little bit of a lie-down in the afternoon. I surely will never be finished working on taking things/life/events one at a time.

But I really should keep on trying.

Yesterday's morning walk-before-work was lovely. Work itself was crisp and dewy and shiny. The plants are doing so well, everything looks lush and abundant. It is a JOY to work surrounded by such beauty.

After work is when my brain started frazzling, but by the end of the day I had:

filled my car with gashad the transmission fluid checkedwent to the groceryfailed to go to the bank because I forgot to bring the check I wanted to cashtook my second two-mile walk du jour, this time with my husbandshoweredhad a little restprepared and ate dinner (that taco salad again, yum!)went to an evening meetingcollapsed
All of those things happened while my head was spinning about how I was going to m…

April 18 - Hello!

Yay, me!

Just did a fairly slow 2.25 miles BEFORE work. I've been thinking about walking early on work days, but just needed to kick my own ass to get it done.

Dwindling miles, a temporary state of affairs

I can see that working just two mornings a week is going to result in a reduction of my weekly miles, unless I'm able to tack a couple extra on when I do manage to get out there. I'd planned to walk after work yesterday, but I came home and collapsed.

It's not that the work is so hard. It's that I'm so old. Heh. And while walking almost daily for three months has been good for my health, it hasn't done much for my stamina, apparently.

I will become accustomed to this routine and I will continue to work toward my goal of walking 1000 miles this year. I'm ahead of schedule by about 25 miles. And if I don't hit the goal? Well, I've probably already walked farther this year than I did for all of 2012.

Hershey and I just chased seven deer out of the back yard. If I weren't such a softie I'd build a doghouse in the middle of the garden and let her live in it during the growing season. Dogs are excellent deer deterrents. Hershey, however, is a hous…

April 17 - Busy

Time's a wasting!

Here it is Wednesday again, a work day for me, and I have to leave the house in an hour. I'm still drinking coffee, haven't eaten breakfast or gotten dressed, and I need to Swiffer the floors. Instead, I've been cruising Pinterest, clearing out e-mail, catching up on Facebook and thinking about what (or whether) to write. You know, since I posted twice yesterday.

That run felt darned good. And I'm not especially sore this morning because of it. I could very well do it again this afternoon, weather permitting.

It rained overnight, and there's more rain coming in today, so the weather may not be permitting. Perhaps Mother Nature is trying to tell me I don't have to run two days in a row.

But. Still. It did feel good.

I planted one row of onions yesterday afternoon. The remaining sets will go in the ground in two weeks and again in four weeks. The really big gardening job is going to be simply going through the seed inventory to see what I have and what I still ne…

One. Run. Done.

As both of you know, I'm a walker these days. I still like to think I'll get back to running someday, but as long as I'm at this weight? Well, it's probably not a good idea to jackhammer my knees and hips any more than I need to. And the truth is: I don't need to do.

But today I did.

BlogHer tweeted this morning: Are you wearing a race shirt? Going for a run?

I saw it on Facebook and, to be honest, it hadn't crossed my mind. But suddenly, there was no way I wasn't going to run, and of course I'd be wearing a race shirt.

I ended up doing walk/run intervals, because it's just about impossible to go from walking regularly at 3 mph to being a full-fledged runner. You have to work up to it. Been there, done that. But I surprised myself by being able to run longer intervals than I'd thought I could, and more of them. I ended up finishing 4.6 miles in 1:06:27, a 14:26 pace, which is pretty darned good for this old lady.

The sun was shining, and there w…

April 16 - Favorite Color

Nowhere to run

A friend texted me yesterday afternoon: Did you hear about the explosions in Boston?

For someone who has run distance races in the distant past (not a marathon … yet), I'm ashamed to say I'd forgotten yesterday was the Boston Marathon.

[Aside: Runner's World is now delivered silently to my Nook and I have not read a word of any issue in a couple of months. Nor have I read any printed magazines in a couple of months. Perhaps I should stop subscribing to magazines. The reason I mention this is because they always have a big run-up-to-Boston issue. Which I missed.]

I stayed glued to the news until mid-evening, when I just couldn't take the senselessness of it any longer.

It wasn't just the senselessness of setting off bombs at the finish line of a marathon in Boston on Patriot's Day. It also was the senselessness of parsing the President's remarks, the guessing and second-guessing who might be responsible, the inaccurate reporting, the conjecture.

My last thou…

April 15 - Alone

April 14 - Water

On this day …

Abraham Lincoln died, the Titanic sank and it's tax day here in the United States.

Additionally, the articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War were ratified on this day, insulin was made widely available for the treatment of diabetes, Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, the B-52 took its maiden flight and McDonald's opened.

Aaaannnddd, it's Monday and that means a date with the scale. I stayed the same, which is pretty remarkable considering last week's five-pound dip. My mid-week check showed a slight gain, so staying the same is fine with me.

(Let's be honest, it's actually not fine, but that seems like what I'm supposed to say. Sigh. I really want to be at my goal TOMORROW. Heh.)

On this day I will well and truly take a rest day. I have some computer work to do and organizing the yarn closet has been on the to-do list for a long time. It's raining, and even though the rain is supposed to move out this afternoo…

If you've got nothing to say, don't say it

The title of today's post explains yesterday's absence from blogland. I posted the photo to keep the NaBloPoMo streak going, but not much else seemed noteworthy enough to write it down.

Today, there are a couple things.

First, beneath the ad in the left sidebar are links to blog posts. I think BlogHer randomly throws them up there, and my posts have been featured several times. Not because they're so great, but because they get picked randomly, and I write a lot. The one that's up there now (it will change soon, they don't stay up for long) has the same title as one from 2012. And probably the same title as a hundred other bloggers on any random day.

Creative title FAIL!

Next, Denise commented on yesterday's photo, not about the photo but about finding a printout of an old, old, old, pre-Knit Run Repeat blog post, back when I was the Shrinking Knitter. Ah, those were the days. I'm so flattered that she printed something out and saved it. I'M IN PRINT! H…

April 13 - View from your bed

April 12 - In the middle

300 miles: DONE!

Hit the mark yesterday afternoon, or at least I thought I did. The actual total is 299.81. DailyMile rounds its figures. Had I known, I surely could have managed another couple tenths of a mile (I think that would be one trip up and down the driveway) to make it officially to 300. Grrr.

But still. Let's just call it done and not be quite so OCD about it, 'kay? (And I'm sure both of you know I've walked more than 299.81 miles in my life. I only started using DailyMile at the beginning of this year. So those aren't lifetime stats, those are 2013 stats.)

The rain and pain kept me up last night, but I feel pretty good now. An Aleve at 4 a.m., along with the gentle rainfall from the tail end of the storms helped lull me back to sleep for another 90 minutes. The pain is temporary, as I become accustomed to working again. The IT pain I mentioned a few days ago has abated with continued roller and stretching therapy. It flares up toward the end of a long walk, but otherwis…

April 11 - Detail

The best-laid plans

I had every intention of walking yesterday afternoon when I left the garden center. EVERY INTENTION. All I had to do immediately after work was run to town to pick up eggs, a short trip that wasn't going to take more than 15 additional minutes out of the day.

If you look over there in the righthand sidebar, you'll see the Daily Mile widget says 296 miles. I SO wanted to flip it up to 300 yesterday, which would have meant hitting 300 miles on the 100th day of the year.

Obviously, it didn't happen. It doesn't mean I didn't get a good workout in. But helping to unload more than 400 plants from a delivery truck doesn't exactly translate into miles.

Oh. My. Aching. Arms. Back. Glutes. Calves.

I got to work at 9 and started watering shortly thereafter. We had a few customers, and I wasn't finished watering four hours later when this giant truck pulled into the parking lot. I wasn't expecting any deliveries. Turns out he was a day early. The owner showed up at…

April 10 - A place

'Tis a work day

And again, I got up a little later than I usually do and find myself scrambling for my "me" time before I go to the garden center.

The weather outside is DELIGHTFUL, and it will be a good day to be outdoors. The temperature should get into the low 80s by this afternoon.

As both of you know, I volunteer at a women's prison on Tuesday evenings. I kind of expected it to cool off last night, so I wore a long-sleeved top. When I got into the room where we meet, it was NINETY-TWO FREAKIN' DEGREES! I thought some of the women were going to pass out.

We got permission from the staff to meet outside. The prison has this crazy rule that they keep the heat on in all buildings until May 1. What's bad about that is that it frequently gets pretty chilly in May, when no heat at all is available. I'm quite sure I could save the government some money if they put me in charge of the Bureau of Prisons. I especially have some ideas on how to reduce payroll expenses. Heh.

I hope …

Photojojo University - Lesson 3, Lighting

Photojojo University - Lesson 2, Composition

April 9 - Tiny

A killer day

So yesterday began with an e-bill for our water pump electric meter that was seven or eight times higher than normal.

(One of the not-joys of country living is having a well. Our water is fine, and there's plenty of it, but you have to hire someone to take care of any problems that crop up. And problems will crop up.)

The well is located down a very steep hill and the meter is on a pole nearby. We get three electric bills every month, one for the pump, one for the garage and one for the residence, how fun is that?

I called the power company and spent an inordinate number of cell phone minutes on hold and ended up walking down to the meter to take a physical reading. Which turned out to be quite accurate, thankyouverymuch, but there's no way IN HELL we used that much water.

I finally talked to Jon, a very patient customer service rep, who explained that we didn't use that much water, we used that many kilowatt hours. Which is a whole different ball game. (Speaking of ball g…

April 8 - On your plate

Check this out

And check this out, too.

Last Monday I had lost seven pounds in 13 1/2 weeks. Today it's TWELVE, making my average weekly loss about eight-tenths of a pound.

Five pounds in one week? That's crazy-scale right there.

But still, can I get a yee-haw on that? Or a hot-damn? You know, since I live in West Virginia and all. Seems more likely I'd hear "yee-haw" or "hot-damn" than "well done, old girl." Heh.

Last week wasn't especially remarkable. I stayed below my calorie goal by about the same number as most previous weeks. I walked 17 miles, not the shortest weekly distance, nor the longest, by any means. So this mundane, average week of calories in/calories out somehow resulted in a way better-than-average result.
I've made one dietary change, which I've promised myself not to write about for a month. But I only made that change on Saturday, which surely couldn't have made that big a difference today.
I kind of feel like Maria in T…

April 7 - Dreamy

To answer your question …

Gingerzingi commented yesterday:

Are there really weekend crowds at Tractor Supply? :-)

Well, YES. I wish I'd taken a picture, I really wanted to but didn't have the nerve after all. There were crowds of …

get ready …


When you walk in the store, right behind the checkout area, there were three huge metal troughs with warmers set up in the middle of each and dozens of baby chicks all milling about and cheeping and looking adorable.

I cannot talk my husband into keeping chickens. Cannot, cannot, cannot. I've tried. We have tons of space, a shed that could be converted to a coop and I'm willing to do all the work (which, as I understand, isn't much). He won't hear of it. Especially when we can buy eggs from the Amish just a couple miles down the road.

There were crowds of a few people there, too, but way more chicks than folks.

I found the fencing tape I needed, but had to search a while to find the step-in posts I was looking for. Finally flagged down a …

April 6 - Air

What happened to yesterday?

A MASSIVE headache and intense dizzy spells, that's what. Not only did I not want to look at a screen, I didn't want to leave my bed. I tried, I honestly did, but it wasn't happening.

My blood pressure was normal, I had no fever. My husband (who is a doctor) listened to my heart and lungs and I checked out all well and good with a strong, steady beat and no wheezing.

The dizziness was especially disturbing. I haven't had a drink in 22 years, but it was like being spinning drunk. Without the booze. Ick.

Anyway, I was fine by dinnertime (OF COURSE!), and had no trouble eating a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, after not eating anything all day.

I'd planned to run some errands yesterday, but I wasn't about to risk your life by getting behind the wheel of a car. I feel like I can manage it today, and so am headed to Sam's and Tractor Supply. I need the usual – coffee beans, freezer bags, detergent – at the former and I need new fenceposts and fencing tape at t…

April 5 - Something good

April 4 - This happened today

Better late than never

So I woke up this morning a little later than I usually do, and since I had to be work at the garden center at 9 a.m. I didn't have time to write in the wee small hours. I only work two days a week, and then only from 9 to 1 p.m. I know, it's tough. Heh.

Here's the view from inside the sales pavilion, looking out on the Greenbrier River:

Listening to the rushing water, seeing the beauty of the growing plants, dragging the water hose around moving my body in new and challenging ways – it's good to be back. I only wish the weather would catch up. Early spring at the garden center is always iffy and there always are a few days where layering is A Good Thing. But it was SLEETING when I got home an hour ago. I hope the pansies can handle a little frozen rain better than I could.

Anyway, I'd thought I would have the energy to both work and walk, and I actually might. But since it's precipitating and cold, I will opt to take a little restorative nap instead. I walked …

April 3 - Something beginning with A

Oh, happy day!

It's the little things, folks. Big, stupendous events are great and all – winning the Powerball would certainly increase the excitement factor here in the Middle of Nowhere, for instance. But for everyday day-to-day happy, it's the small stuff.

A little more than a year ago I bought my Android phone. I'd been going back and forth about replacing my Blackberry with an Android or an iPhone, but it came down to two things:

My wireless provider offers great service, reliability and reward points, but doesn't have a contract with AppleInstagram for Android was introduced
When I learned that Instagram was going to release an Android version, that pretty much sealed the Android deal for me.

I joined Instagram a year ago today, one of those little actions that has provided a daily dose of serious happy.

As both of you know, I've been trying to complete Project 365 for years. Here's my first photo, taken January 1, 2008. It's still one of my favorites. Back then I ha…