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Showing posts from December, 2014

You can't look backward and forward at the same time.

But I'll try.

This blog covers four major areas of interest, with an occasional post/rant/photo about politics and/or social justice. Both of you already know what a blow Democrats in West Virginia took in November, so we. won't. go. there. As for the other stuff …

Knitting
I actually got a lot more knitting done in 2014 than I figured I would, it being an election year and all. I was busy, but turned out several projects, all of which ended up being gifts for grandchildren – doll sweaters, stuffed toys, a fuzzy scarf. I'm nearly finished with a scarf which will go to a friend "just because."

When I organized my yarn closet the last time, I created several kits – bags of yarn+pattern – and I'd like to get started on one of those when the scarf is finished. I gave away a couple of too-big sweaters last year and need to replenish MY wardrobe.

My granddaughter's dolls have plenty o'sweaters.

Running
As you both know, I don't run much any more. I'll…

Aaaaand … she's off!

We had a lovely day yesterday, quite busy, but lovely nonetheless. My husband's mother is pretty much housebound now, so we I catered her dinner. The whole deal – turkey and trimmings – transported from our house to hers.

My very first "real" job (other than babysitting) was working as a prep assistant for a caterer, so I know a little bit about how to manage such a task. But knowing how doesn't make it any easier.

She appreciated it very much, however, so it was worth it.

I'm leaving in an hour to visit my son and his family for a couple days, and then my husband's son and his family will be here for a couple days. The fun never stops!

Until it does. But when all the visiting and company is done and gone we've got … New Year's! And bowl games!

So, really, the fun never stops.

2015 is looking good for us already. We both feel well and are able to continue walking and appreciating what we have. We don't want a darned thing. My health insurance prem…

Wishing you …

the happiest of Hanukkahs and the merriest of Christmases.

My day week is scheduled to the hilt and I know I won't have much time to pop in with updates for a few days, unless it's on the fly from my phone. But I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for another year of sticking with me through thin and thick.

My plan is to make next year another thin one. If I did it once …

In the meantime,


Making a list

The holidays here in the Middle of Nowhere are generally pretty quiet. We're going to an open house on Christmas Eve day and will spend Christmas at my mother-in-law's. We're taking dinner in to her.

I'm leaving the next day to visit my son and his family, and the day after I get home my husband's son and children are coming here.

Leaving me not much time to get things ready for them, so I spent yesterday cleaning the house. And while I was at it, I rearranged the living room furniture. The couch now faces the [non-working but filled with white candles] fireplace. The outside view used to be lush and green, but now that it's just brown and bare, I thought it would be nice to change things up a bit.

Nothing like adding to the workload, right?

My mother-in-law finally got specific and requested homemade candy for her gift. Here's a tip: Do NOT substitute almond milk for cow's milk when making fudge. All you get is fudge sauce. I added a bag of leftover ma…

Thirty-one

In order to hit 1000 walking miles this year, I need to get 31 more done before New Year's Day. That's about three miles a day for the next week and a half. I'll be on the road for two of those days, and we're having company for another two.

So … we'll see. I'm willing to bet I come up a couple miles short. But I'm still going to try.

My husband and I started out yesterday afternoon, at what was supposed to have been the warmest hour of the day, but turned back after less than half a mile. We didn't take into account the cool wind, and neither of us had dressed warmly enough. I kept walking up and down our long driveway to get a full mile in (I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but  that's another advantage of living in the Middle of Nowhere: No one saw me!)

It's supposed to get up to 40° this afternoon, and no wind. NO EXCUSES!

In other news, the remaining handmade gifts are being completed on schedule. I finished up a couple things for my Big Ba…

My sleep number

Eight. I get eight hours of sleep nearly every night. Some times it's an hour or so more. More often it's a couple hours less. But it averages out to eight hours per night over the course of a week, generally.
HOWEVER … my eight hours usually begins at 8-ish in the evening, meaning I'm wide awake at 4 a.m. And last night things really caught up with me and I went to sleep at 6. Right after dinner. Before the news. BEFORE JEOPARDY!
And I've been awake since 2 a.m.
On the bright side, I'm cooking spaghetti squash to freeze for future use, and the rinds will be ready to dispose of when the trash truck comes later this morning. I hate when discarded food remnants sit in a trash bag for a week. Early to rise means you get things DONE.
Next on my to-do list is to wrap all the Christmas presents. I have one more thing I need to make, a sewing project, and all the gifts are stacked up on the sewing table. Soooooo, first things first: Wrap, then cut fabric, then sew.
And th…

Let the holidays be OVER. Please.

I seem to have absolutely NO self-control this year. Not only can I not resist others' temptations (I'll spare you the descriptive food porn, just insert treat of your choice here), I am even making (and eating) some decidedly NON-paleo food items using ingredients that cause severe pain.

I guess that makes me a masochist.

My previous post was all about eating crappy-for-me food because I was cold and needed comforting. Apparently the myth of comfort food has been busted by scientists, so there goes that rationalization!

I have NO excuse for going off the deep end now. The furnace is fixed, the house is warm, we didn't break the bank, the Christmas shopping is done, the out-of-town gifts are on their way. One project remains unfinished, but there's still plenty o'time before it gets delivered in person the weekend after Christmas.

Sooooo … if Life is so Good, why am I sabotaging myself and my success?

That's a good question, I'm glad I asked.

Because it'…

Insert title here

Because I'm all out of creative ideas for titles this morning.

We're attending an open house this afternoon, at which there will be food, of course. Not the best day to begin working on my personal infrastructure, now that our home infrastructure is back on track.

I will admit to some very not-good choices the past couple weeks, which have proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm an emotional eater.

Not everyone believes that

I AM COLD = I MUST EAT CRAP
but apparently I do. (In case you're new here, our home heating system went out on Thanksgiving and wasn't replaced until December 11.) And I really, really, really paid for it yesterday.
I walked in the early afternoon (and listened to the next-to-last episode of Serial for the first two miles). The first three miles went well. I noticed a slight twinge of pain in my right hip, but that's been going on for a long time now, and I'm 63+ years old, and who doesn't experience slight aches and pains w…

Today's the day!

If you've been following along recently, you know our heating system has been dead for two weeks. We've been limping along with a couple of space heaters. The inside temperature this morning hovered just slightly above 50°. It's 28° outside. I wouldn't want to be the crew who will be working outside and under my house. But I can't wait for them to show up! They should be here around 9 a.m.
I've done a lot of knitting the last several days. 
Pink Kitty is done (except for the eyes). Once I sew the eyes on all four of the knitted toys, that family's gifts will be finished and ready to wrap. We never know what they'll enjoy or what they might already have. The last time we visited we took school supplies, and the boys said, "But Mom already bought us school supplies." Which, of course, I knew she would have, and what we brought them were just little crafty things to add to their already ample supply of crayons and stickers and glue sticks.
At lea…

Down the home stretch

The good thing about having no heat (installation of the new system might begin tomorrow, and we're definitely on schedule for Thursday) is that I've had lots of time to knit. I park myself in my little chair in front of my little TV in my little den with my little space heater and knit, knit, knit my little fingers to the bone.

The pink kitty (mine is solid pink, not striped like the original) – the fourth of four gifts for one set of grandchildren – is nearly done. AND IT LOOKS LIKE A KITTY! I was having doubts during the process, as it's knit all in one piece and it wasn't looking very kitty-like there for a while.

Stuffing works wonders on a shapeless piece of fabric.

All that's left to knit is the front legs. Then I need to sew button eyes on all four toys and they're DONE. (The children are 4-1/2 and 6-1/2, so no chance of swallowing buttons.)

Next up is the pink-and-purple scarf for my younger granddaughter, and I've also found a hat pattern I want t…

Being there

You can gracefully decline invitations to some events. There may be certain parties you'd rather not go to, some reunions that aren't so meaningful, date nights where you'd really rather be alone.

Your daughter's law school graduation ceremony?
You want to be there. Trust me.
She wasn't even sure she wanted to be there, but after all was said and done, after the processional and the speeches and the, well, the pomp and circumstance of it all, she was happy to have the memories.
And so were all of us who were with her.
She graduated third in her class, and was asked to stand for special recognition with the others in the top 10 percent.

She spent four years taking classes (and tests!) at a nontraditional law school, with classmates who, like her, worked during the day, had families and friends and responsibilities outside of school. Some major MAJOR life events happened during her years of study. Events that might have derailed a woman with less energy, determinatio…

Brrr

And the hits just keep on coming.

We knew we needed a new compressor for the heat pump. And we need a new furnace. Because the new compressor would be incompatible with the old unit, you see. (It's more complicated than that; you'll have to trust me. Something to do with refrigerant and the ozone layer and space travel.)

The entire deal is going to cost way more than we originally thought, but we are blessed. Rainy-day funds are there for times like these, right?

In the meantime, it's cold in here. I have a borrowed space heater blowing warmish air on me but it doesn't do much good in the large room in which my desk is located. It does a great job in the den, so I think that's where I'll spend most of my day. Knitting!

Red teddy bear is done (except for eyes – all the eyes for all the toys will be sewn on at the same time). I'm now working on a pink kitty for the youngest granddaughter, after which I'll start a pink-and-purple scarf for the next-to-young…

Half-full

So with the heat problem we're experiencing here in Ye Old Middle of Nowhere, you'd think – nay, you'd expect – some grumbling, right? (See yesterday's post if you're not aware of our issue.)

But that hasn't happened. In fact, the most grumbling so far has been from me, listening to the furnace run constantly, in a futile effort to keep the air warm.

Yesterday I got tired of listening to myself and adjusted the thermostat downward until the fan stopped running. The inside temperature has remained at about 60° ever since. With wool slippers and layered clothing, we're not uncomfortable at all.

My mood almost instantly changed from mumbly-grumbly to A-OK.

Granted I went to bed early, because, um, blankets! But really? I've not found anything to complain about since that constant fan noise stopped.
We're fortunate to have the money to have paid for that weekend service call.We plan to check on our homeowner's insurance, which could possibly cover pa…