Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another Year Gone...and Quickly!

Am I the only one who thinks 2012 has sped by?  I can't believe we are back to another year gone.  Hopefully, 2013 will be better than 2012.  This year has sucked financially for me.  I can't believe how awful shop sales are.  It has never been this bad and it had me seriously thinking of walking away from doing what I love.  I love my job but, here lately, not so much. 

I am working on crocheting a blanket for my darling hubby.  He has been pretty understanding when I haven't wanted to share my blanket that I made for us.  I grab it and go outside to sit on the bench and soak up the heat from my fire pit.  He finally got me one for Christmas after about 8 years of begging.  I think he finally enjoys it with me.  He is the one who has supplied me with lots of wood to burn and he even cut some of it up for me to start the fire with.  Nice guy.  He also bought me a fabric cutting table.  I have wanted one forever but, I knew with the price tag of the thing, it wasn't going to happen.  Then I was asked that question I positively hate..."what do you want for Christmas?"  and after hemming and hawing about what I wanted, I didn't know, it hit me, a fabric cutting table.  I love using my sister's.  She was given hers by her neighbor but, that doesn't matter, she has one.  So, I am ready for it to be put together and I can use it. So happy! 

We were given a huge recycling can by the trash people and let me tell you, I never knew how much stuff we were pitching into the trash until we started to use the recycling can.  I am not throwing away as much now, I am recycling like crazy and every week that huge sucker is full of recycling.  Pretty good if I do say so myself. 

I have been good, I haven't bought yarn on line in a month.  I had to buy homespun for his blanket but, nothing pricey.  My goal for the new year besides work on my diet some more, to not buy yarn and to use up the yarn stash.  Let's see how well that goes.  Should be fun to watch me try and do this. 

If anyone else wants to use their yarn stash up, you are welcome to knit along with me.  I had wanted to see if I could knit with all the yarn in one bin each month.  That didn't work out so well because I was sucked into crochet.  One of my on line friends is a crocheter and she does the most amazing work.  She made me yearn for my crochet hook.  Here I am now, sleeping in a wrist brace to keep my hands alive at night and I am on my 3rd blanket and yes, there are plans for a 4th blanket.  They seem to be very popular with relatives and friends.  :)  They are warm and snuggly. 

I have sock yarn galore around here and I want to knit more socks for myself.  Notice, I said myself and not others.  Those days are over since people can't seem to say thank you.  Two little words that mean the world to a knitter.  Another two little words we love is:  How much?  Yep, we like to be paid for our work.  Who doesn't? 

Have a safe and Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

I fell behind and only managed to send out 4 cards this year.  Yeah, I know, time just got away from me.  So, for those people who did receive a are so lucky! 

Today has been lazy day here, which is nice.  We went out for lunch and then Gary had to get me the last of my Christmas presents.  He gave me a fire pit and had to get me some wood for it.  We used the fire pit tonight and finished off a bottle of red wine.  It was a nice romantic evening. 

I am crocheting a blanket for the hubby for his Christmas present.  He knows it will be his when I finish it.  I am on the 4th skein of yarn.  It is turning out really nice.  I am doing several shades of blue Homespun by Lion brand yarn.  I love the stuff, it is so easy to crochet with on a big hook.  This is my 3rd blanket to do.  I might even be doing more than this.  People seem to love having a hand made blanket from me.  They are so comfy and snuggly. 

Our family Christmas was a blast.  We had a great time and I came home with tequila and a tool set.  Yep, my own tool set.  I love it.  Gary came home with a set of towels.  He was happy with it.  I was shocked.  They are nice towels.  He said he had plans to use them since they are nice and soft.  Okay! 

I have drank more in the past few days than I have in 2 years.  I had several shots of my tequila with my brother and niece, then I had the wine tonight.  I have beer in the fridge and some on my kitchen table.  I was going to take the 6 pack of long necks with me to the family Christmas party but, forgot them.  Oh well, I guess, I can save them for another time. 

Stay safe and I hope everyone gets what they want this year. 

God Bless our men and women who are serving in our military. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Lemon Water on a Cold Day

I have my hot lemon water for this morning.  I am doing a two week liver detox.  It works well.  I have done this before and it does help me feel so much better.  At first, the bitterness was overwhelming.  Not so much anymore.  I am getting used to it.  Another great thing from this, it helps me lose weight.  Love that part, even better than the first. 

Today I will be working on the blanket.  I will be taking pictures and posting later.  Maybe tomorrow if I feel like it.  The blanket is very intense in colors.  Hubby says it is opulent.  Okay hubby.  I worked on it some last night in front of the tv.  I did manage to get two Christmas cards written out.  I know, I am slow going with them this year. 

I have to check to see what the high temp is supposed to be today and then decide if I am going for my walk or not.  Right now, no.  Not feeling all that up to it.  I was digging in my pantry for fig preserves.  We have so many jars since the tree went crazy with fruit this year.  I am sick of seeing the things.  So, I am now giving away fig preserves to all of my friends and family. 

I have to pick some lemons today as well.  I think one of my friends might be headed this way.  She doesn't know it but, she will be leaving with lemons and fig preserves.  She said her hubby loves the fig preserves.  I hope they like lemons since they will have those, too. 

I put the fleece sheets on the bed last night and realized quite quickly hot freaking hot they are.  I had to pull the top sheet off and put on a cotton sheet and then put the fleece top sheet on top of the cotton sheet to use as a blanket.  It worked out nicely.  We were cool and warm at the same time, not sweating buckets.  I am not a fan of sweating and then freezing from it.  Doesn't work for me.  I hate being really hot and I hate being really cold.  I like it temperate.  Yeah, I know what am I doing in Texas?  I wouldn't be any other place in the world.  I love Texas!  We are a friendly bunch of people but, don't cross us because we can get mean, fast! 

I had to battle Scavenger Kitty last night in bed.  She seems to think that the bed with the fleece sheets is her domain and she proceeded to make my life a living hell.  She crawled on me, tried to sleep on me, and kept head butting me most of the night.  That black and white bowtie nearly did me in.  She is a 15 pound cat who is very determined.  Crazy as can be.  If she doesn't want to move, kicking her off of the bed is not an option, she bares down and makes sure that no one is moving her with their feet.  Nope, not going to happen.  She has been known to bite toes.  Last night, she tried to bite my nose, which was it.  I booted her fat ass off of the bed.  She wasn't happy but, who cares. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Today I woke up freezing.  It was freaking cold in this house.  We have not turned on the heater yet but, this morning warrranted it.  I woke up to a 64F house.  Cold but, not too chilly then my hands started to cramp and hurt.  Not a good sign, I was thinking the arthritis in the left hand would kick into over drive.  I gained this arthritis in high school when I injured my left hand playing my trombone.  Ouch.  It acts up during cold weather and when a bad storm is coming.  I knew I had to turn the heater on.  I came downstairs to let my dogs outside and then went upstairs to put some laundry in the machine.  I was out yesterday running around with my sister so, I have to do my Monday chores on Tuesday.  I looked and the temp was down to 63F.  So, I turned on the heater. 

I came back downstairs, checked to see if my coffee was brewed, yep it was, grabbed a Glucerna shake out of the fridge and had my breakfast.  By this time, I was ready to bundle myself up to go see what the temp was outside...34F.  Cold by South East Texas terms.  Being a Native Houstonian and Texan I knew it was bitter cold for me.  So, I grabbed my sweatshirt hooded jacket, put on my hand knit wool neck warmer, I am a knitter, you can bet I am going to have hand knit wool anything, and geared up for a walk.  I have to walk as my exercise.  I can't ride a bicycle with long pants on it, isn't going to happen with me getting my pants stuck in the chain.  Try to deal with that when the hubby is away from the house for work.  He is in Houston at a conference and comes home each night.  Usually he works from home by telecommuting.  I put on my mittens, they are a mismatched pair right now since it seems I managed to lose one of each.  One half of the pair is a flip top mitten and the other is a plain wool mitten.  The flip top comes in handy to change the selection on my Ipod.  The other, for warmth. 
I let the dogs back into the house, with a chicken twisty raw hide each and headed out the door for my mile walk.  I was all nice and warm.  I realized half way back from the second leg of my walk how wonderful it felt to be outside watching the birds fish, seeing my favorite chicken hawk all fluffed up on the light post hunting in the cold.  It is a beautiful bird that we look for every day.  It is still around and we think it has a partner and a nest around as well.  We are happy to see that bird.  Usually the bird is on the light pole next to the bridge I walk to.  It was across the street at another pole this morning. 

I left Ody home since I just didn't feel like dealing with all of his stops and I didn't feel like picking up dog poo in the plastic bag and then having to haul it with me the whole way to the bridge and back.  We have no trash cans along the route.  They should install some for the residents to have and this way, we can pitch the poo.  If they install a recycle bin as well then we can throw away our plastic bottles, etc.  It would be a nice addition. 

My back started to hurt half way to the bridge and then on the way back, it was really starting to kick into I don't want to move any further, I ignored the pain and continued back to my bridge.  My walk starts out at home, across the one bridge and then to the other bridge.  I then take a small rest break, stretch my muscles and then continue back to my bridge, check out the turtles and then head home.  It works out for me.  As I was watching the egrets and herons fish today I realized how much stress had been lifted from my body and my mind.  I hadn't been walking since last week.  I have been so stressed out that I feel like a damn teenager, my face is breaking out seriously bad.  That walk did me wonders.  I came home, all sweaty and stripped off of my extra layers, ran upstairs to deal with the rest of laundry, sat down to read a book on my touch pad.  Then I fixed myself some lunch and had a coconut water to replenish.  For lunch, I decided to add another cup of coffee to my meal.  I needed the warmth and the caffeine will help me deal with the rest of my chores for the day. 

Who knows, I might even find the time to crochet on the blanket I am making.  I was working on socks, finished one, and started to work on the blanket.  I need to finish that second sock.  I am doing better than usual since I do have the cuff part done.  Usually, I don't even do that. 

I have to water the lemon tree today before our freeze for tonight.  It is so big that we have to water it before a freeze to keep the sugar up in the tree.  We can't cover it anymore.  No way.  We also have a huge crop of lemons again this year.  I am giving away lemons and I have asked my friends to bring their 5 gallon buckets to come pick.  I am serious.  We have frozen lemon juice in the freezer from last year's crop. 

I also want to take the time to knit a friend's son some socks.  They won't be at her house for Christmas but, it will help her out some.  I have to paint the yarn and get it ready to knit.  I have his shoe size so, it will be a nice present for her. 

I have given up on charity knitting for other people these days.  I have no energy to knit mitts for anyone.  I can't force myself into action.  So, the groups that require these items...sorry. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Crud

There is a seriously vicious virus going around and fortunately I didn't get the really bad version of it.  Mine was bad enough for me but, family members have it worse than I did.  I guess all that exercise has paid off.  :)

Today I was well enough to add more yarn into the shop.  Not that anything is selling.  The economy is in the toilet once again and it is killing off small business owners, of which I am one.  So, I am trying to get new yarns into the shop and there are yarns on sale, at really great prices.  I can't afford to lower them anymore than I already have. 

I have been knitting on a birthday sock for my niece.  I am on the toe of the second sock for her.  So ready to do something else.  Yep, I have the it needs to be off the needles already syndrome.  Or I am sick to death of it. 

I have other projects in mind for the next month or so.  I have conquered the must start a new project every week and have multiple items that need my attention.  Something has changed in me.  I don't want to have extra crap needing my attention.  No more. 

One friend wants me to join another item on line but, I don't have time. I wish I had the time to sit down and deal with it.  Notice I am posting on the next to last day of this month.  It has been seriously a weird and incredibly fast month for me.  I did order sheets for our bed and I thought it said flannel...are you ready for what I received?  I ordered in fleece sheets.  Yep, navy blue ones. 

We will have to save them for a REALLY COLD night.  I have no idea what I was thinking at the time.  Maybe it was because I was tired.  No idea.  I think it was because they were cheap! 

We have to pitch our family room furniture.  I think Gary got his money's worth out of it.  The springs on the couch are shot as is the fabric.  It has holes.  The love seat is cat peed on so, it has not been used for a while.  We are so poor that we have to use the living room furniture as our family room furniture.  I guess that is why we have it.  The living room furniture used to belong to my mom.  It is in great shape for it's age.  My sister and I figured out that it is about 22 years old and it wasn't cheap when it was bought.  So, we know it should last another good 10 years or so, until we can afford to buy new furniture.  Since everything nice is out of this world in price, it has to wait.  That is just how it is. 

I have to get busy and clean off the cat pee love seat and get it ready for the curb tonight.  The trash people can have it with my blessings. 

We still haven't turned on our heater.  It has been nice in this house with it off.  Those thermal backed curtains have really worked out well.  They are saving us money.  So, yes, they have paid for themselves again.  I guess we are seeing how long we can go without turning it on.  It saves us money by being off. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sock Knitting Time

I am almost finished with my first pair of socks for the season.  I am happy that they are almost finished!  yay!  I have plans to knit socks for my niece's birthday this year.  She is going to be 10.  I am getting old!  Sigh! 

I am teaching a class on earring making on Thursday night.  Fun!  If it helps people learn that they can make their own earrings and save a bunch of money, then I have done my job.  I don't spend a lot of money on dangly earrings when I make them myself.  So easy to do and it gets to be a custom job for you and only you.  Love that part.  If it makes them money, fine, no problem with that either.  In this horrible economy, it does help to know how to make extra cash if you need it.  It may come down to bartering as well.  Hey, I can survive...I am crafty. 

This morning on my mile walk, it was freaking cold and my poor hands suffered, I am going to wear my hand knit wool mittens tomorrow on that walk.  Last week was bicycle riding this week is walking.  I have to alternate my exercise or get really bored.  I thought about heading to the big pool at the rec center but, that would mean taking the cover off of the pool and putting it back on unless other people are doing lap swimming in the heated pool. 

I like my pool water a little on the chilly side but, my pool water is freaking cold.  Not worth the heart attack to get into that cold water.  That would probably finish me off. 

I was looking at my garden and it is fallow right now.  I am letting it rest for the Spring season, or should I say late Winter season.  I have plans to put in more broccoli this year and  I do believe kale would be nice.  I never thought I would like kale but, I love it.  I made home made chicken egg batter soup today for lunch with kale and spinach as my two greens.  It was really good.  Tonight is chicken parmigiana with a whole grain pasta I found at the grocery store, it has 38 grams of carbs for 3/4 cup.  Works for me.  I haven't had pasta in ages.  So, I thought it would be good tonight. 

Since my return to normal and no longer diabetic, I am trying to be good and keep to my diet.  I found some kefir at the grocery store and bought it in the Strawberry but, didn't check the sugar content...20 grams of sugar, holy smoke!  That is way too much.  So, I went back and bought the plain. I figure if it is too nasty, then I can add fruit to it to make it more palatable. 

Now I need more of the Ideal confectioner's sugar...I nearly fell completely over when I saw that someone had jacked the price up to $20.97 per bag!  I will find a way to make my own powered xylitol before I pay that rip off price.  I used the last of my bag making pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, it can be done with better ingredients that won't kill your blood sugar.  I took the recipe and used spelt flour instead of all purpose, I suggest Bob's Red Mill for your baking needs if you are diabetic.  Love those alternate flours that actually have loads of fiber and are low carb.  I used my Xyla for my sugar substitute, it is American made.  I do not trust Made in China for my food needs.  I am picky that way.  The Xyla does not trigger insulin release.  Love that but, be forewarned, you will need to up your probiotics if you use any form of sugar alcohol, it messes with the beneficial bacteria in your gut.  There is also that bad side effect, diarrhea if you eat too much of the xylitol.  I suggest fiber to help that one out.  It seems to work well.  I gave some of my sugar free pumpkin bars to my best friend when she was here and she loved them.  She said she couldn't even tell that they are sugar free.  It tastes just like sugar and I find it is sweeter than sugar.  I find myself cutting back on the amount of xylitol I use in a recipe.  So, if it says 2 to 3 cups of sugar, I will use 2.5 cups.  That 3 is just too sweet.

I have blood work coming up in January to make sure that I am not falling off of my diet.  I hit a sale on my fish pills.  I have to take the ones that are lemon based because burping nasty fish is just too much for me.  They are at and they are by Nordic Naturals and they are the Ultimate Omega-3.  Not cheap but, well worth every single penny.  I have to take 4 of those things a day to keep my cholesterol happy.  I have started really reading more and more about my health and the things I can do to get me off of prescription medications.  I am happy that swimming helped me rid myself of the super expensive corticosteroid inhaler. Gone.  I still have my rescuse inhaler but, I know I will need that until the day I rid myself of asthma, likely never. 

My next pair of socks will be knit with my favorite yarn, the merino/silk sock.  I love how well this yarn knits up. 

I am having a yarn sale and right now, I am not inclined to put anything new into the shop until the sale yarns sell. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Headache, Tire Warning Light and Pictures

Here is one sock finished.  I am working on the ribbing of the second sock.  I can't figure out why the person who wrote this pattern wanted the heel yarn cut and then pick up the stitches for the gusset.  Nope, I don't work that way, I never cut the yarn, I just continued onwards like I normally do with socks.  So, I changed that in the pattern.  I also don't like knitting through back loops, a freaking waste of my time so, I didn't do that.  I did follow the chart and I have knit these bad girls before but, those socks were for a gift.  This pair is for me.  As you can see, the kids had to get involved with this picture, the black and white cat is my oldest child, Pickles.  The ear on the right side lower picture is my Ody, my corgi.  He is the sweet little monster of the house. 

I also went ahead and changed the heel flap to k4, instead of k3.  I wanted to add something to it and it worked out nicely.  The yarn is a super wash merino/nylon.  It is one of my own paints.  I needed a change from my usual colors and well, it isn't exactly my color palette but, who cares, they will keep my feet warm this winter. 

I have had a killer headache all day long.  I went to get myself some dinner and my car decided to let me know that my back tire was almost flat.  Grrr!  So, I get him home and check...he was low but, not flat.  So, I have to fill the tire up before I go anywhere in the car.  I am so ready for those new tires.  I am to the point where I have to fill the tire up every other day before I go some place.  I think it is coming down to filling it every single day. 

The socks will need to be blocked but, I am not doing that until I get the other one knit.  The pattern calls for a total of 7 repeats but, there is no freaking way...I did 6 and that fits my 8.5 shoe size.  I also implemented the 3 needle bind off for the toe.  I was bored and wanted to do something different.  This changed the tune of the sock.  I am using US 3 needles for this pair of socks, I think the pattern wanted a US 2.  I have no idea where those needles are right now so, I used what I can find, the US 3's. 

Hopefully, the headache will go the way of the dodo and leave sometime soon.  I need to shampoo my hair and hopefully the hot water will help with the headache.  I think something blew in again because my face is killing me.  So, I know some funky plant pollen is getting to me.  I wish it would all just go away. 

I did do some beading today but, that will have to wait for a later date, I am thinking it might become a Christmas present.  I might even keep it for me.  It is just pretty. 

Great News!

I went in for my blood work results and found out that my A1c is normal!  Yippee!  My doctor took me off of my diabetic meds and said we will try 3 months off to see if I can stay off of them and keep to my diet. If I lose more weight then he said no more pills.  I am normal!  I did it. 
I am walking 1 mile a day.  I take to the sidewalk and walk from one bridge to another and home.  It is one mile even.  I can add more to it when I get stronger.  Last night we went and took an old loaf of bread to feed to the turtles in the creek.  Oh my word, there are two huge soft shell turtles in the creek.  They are massive and aggressive.  There are also some huge pond sliders.  One or two snapping turtles, they are smaller.  We also have a healthy fish population in the creek.  We have to to have those huge soft shells in there.  I have seen a bass in the creek, he is pretty good sized, there are some gar as well. 
Today is clothes washing day, and I am doing well on more load to do and that is it for the day.  Yay! 
I finished one sock and I have ribbing going on the second one.  I am trying to conquer my second sock syndrome...or SSS.  The first one is pretty but, it isn't my color.  I guess it will be a pair of funky colored socks in my drawer.  I have plans for more socks after the first pair.  I have been digging in my pattern books to see what socks to knit next.  :)  I have several options. 

Today's forecast is rain.  I am happy about having rain.  I won't complain after last summer's drought and this summer's partial drought.  It hasn't been good.

We have lemons galore on the tree again this year.  No idea what we are going to do with them all.  I am thinking they are going to make some seriously great Christmas presents for people.  Along with jars of homemade fig preserves.  My tree is still producing figs.  Who knew it would keep going like this and into the fall?  Mom's tree never did that.  So, I guess I will have to find something else to do with all of those figs. 

Last night was swimming pool maintenance.  We have a small air leak and trying to find it has been next to impossible.  I think one of the Jandy valves is the problem.  At this point in time, I am replacing seals and o-rings like crazy.  If nothing else, we will have all new plumbing on the pool above ground.  Gary has replaced several pipes and it might mean more replacing but, we will deal with it if we have to.  I have to see how much a new jandy valve will cost and go from there.  It is always something with that pool. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frozen Toes and Feet

Yesterday I broke down and started knitting socks.  My feet were cold so, I knew it was that time of the year again.  As to the shawl, do not even ask me what went wrong, just know it went badly wrong.  No idea when it happened but, I am not happy with it.  Grrr!  So, I threw it across the room.  All that work and it has severe issues. 
  I had to go get blood drawn two weeks ago for my 6 month labs.  Well, the tech they had do the job, hit a nerve and I fainted.  I have never fainted in my life.  This was a first for me.  I am generally pretty sturdy.  Not that day.  I told her that I wasn't feeling good and would she please get me some cold water.  I was dizzy and nauseous and sweating like crazy.  She gave me half a cup of water and I closed my eyes for a bit, that is all that I remember.  I came to with my doctor squeezing my neck and calling my name.  I couldn't see a thing.  It took me several tries to get my vision back, it wasn't pretty and at that point, I was in a severe cold sweat.  My doctor managed to get me to my feet and walked me to a room to lie down.  They called Gary to come and get me.  I lay in the room and what was supposed to take 5 minutes took 2 hours.  It was completely awful and to make matters worse, she tried three different spots and could not get a drop of blood.  The first thing I told have to use a butterfly because my vein is shallow, she told me it would take too long.  She tried the left side, and wiggled the big ass needle in my vein, it hurt badly, then when she couldn't get blood out of that vein, she went to the right arm and did the same damn thing.  That vein refused to give blood so, she tried the top of my left hand and wiggled a butterfly in the vein on that hand.  It was completely awful.  Then I told her I wasn't feeling well and the fainting happened. 
  So, I get home with Gary and I get a prescription for anti-nausea meds filled.  My left arm is killing me.  I was hoping and praying it wasn't nerve damage.  I don't need that or want that. 
  I get back to my doctor and he prescribes some antibiotics because he thinks I managed to get an infection in the arm.  So, I am on 10 days of antibiotics.  He wanted to do a doppler on the arm to see how the blood flow was...that started a whole new problem.  I was supposed to go on a Friday but, I cancelled since I was out with my sister.  Then I had the hospital move it to Monday.  Well, they called me to let me know on Sunday how much my portion I would have to pay for the test...are you ready for what they told me? 
  My portion of the test would be $674!  Excuse me?  I said that is just stupid and I am not paying that for a damn test, cancel it.  We can do a payment plan is what I was told next.  No, I refuse to drop that kind of cash on something that wasn't even my damn fault.  If the doctor wants it done, then the lab needs to cough up some cash because it wasn't even my fault that this chick decided to torture me.  It was her damn fault. 
  So, I am not doing the test and the arm is doing so much better.  No pain in it right now.  It was so sore that I couldn't even knit.  It was awful!  I knit every single day.  I couldn't even hold a knitting needle.  That wasn't pretty. 
  I had to switch to crochet.  I crochet right handed, not left.  I am left hand dominant and that sucked.  I don't want to feel that again.  No thank you. 
  Last week, while I was getting my script of antibiotics, his nurse drew blood while I was laying down.  So, I am going tomorrow to see where my numbers are and if my A1C has returned to normal.  I hope so.  I want to be normal again.  I hope my cholesterol is normal as well.  I am still taking my lemon based fish oil.  Those suckers are expensive but, so worth it.  I do not belch nasty fish, I belch lemon.  My sister takes the same ones.  My goal is to become pill free.  Yeah, I can dream. 
  Since the weather has turned cold, it is candle making time over here.  I was looking for my wicks for my jars.  Can't find the damn things so, I had to order in more wicks.  It never fails.  I looked and UPS says they are supposed to be delivered today.  I have pint jars waiting for me for those candles. 
  I have plans to make candles as soon as possible.  I did a batch of watermelon tea lights.  They turned out really well and they smell like a Jolly Rancher.  Yummy!  I did a test burn of them yesterday and it lasted for a long time. 
  I bought a pink sweater and it came in...I tried it on in front of Gary and he tells me it looks nice.  He needs to learn some more adjectives other than nice.  It has a seriously low neckline.  I didn't realize that it was so low cut.  He tells me that I can't wear it to the grocery store.  What?  Apparently, it will attract the wrong sort of attention.  Okay honey...calm down.  It is pretty though.  I am still debating what to pair it with.  I could wear my long black skirt with it or I could wear some nice pants with it.  I have to dig through my closet to see what I have.  I am down one clothing size and my goal is to be able to fit into my Rocky Mountain Jeans.  Yep, I have several pairs.  I want to be able to wear them again.  I love the red ones, they are just so pretty.  I also have a smoking hot black fringe shirt that looks great with them.  I still have my ropers so, I am ready to go when I get down to that size. 
  We aren't staying home for trick or treaters tomorrow, we are headed to my sister's house for that fun.  I am going in a medieval maiden costume while Gary will be a Centurion.  I have a wig, he has a Thor wig and I so want him to wear it.  You know the sexy guy with the incredibly gorgeous chest?  I keep telling my sister she needs to watch that movie....she will enjoy it.  She won't listen to me.  Her loss. 
  On November 7th, I am going to a ladies night down at the Langham Creek Hardware store with my best friend, Michelle.  It should be fun.  I have been sent invitations every year but, never had time to go, I am making time this year to go.  I asked her if she wanted to head out with me and she agreed.  This will be the first time in a long time that we have been out on the town together without a man in tow.  Usually she has her boyfriend and I have Gary.  I think the last time we were out was before I was married.  So, this is going to be fun with just us two. 
  I am so hungry right now and I am waiting for Gary to get off of a call so, we can go get something to eat.  Hungry!  I need to test blood sugar to see where I am at. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


This morning, I was up early, I was hungry and knew that sleep wasn't in the cards so, I went downstairs, took my blood sugar, and made myself breakfast.  I then decided to go ahead and get my laundry for the day started.  I am finished with laundry already, pretty good since it is only 10:17 am.  I emptyed a can of cola into the wash since it is supposed to get grease stains out of clothes and if you have a hubby like me who manages to get grease stains like crazy, then this is worth trying out.  I guess when it comes out of the dryer we will see how well this worked. 

I even managed to make a necklace this morning with a cross that I have had for a while.  I have two more to make necklaces is green and the other is white.  I guess after I dig through my bead boxes, I will figure out something striking.  I have enough beads to do this. 

I am still working on the shawl.  I am ready for it to be off of the needles.  Yep, bored with it.  I still love the yarn.  It is so pretty.  Pictures will follow when I block it.  I have half of the last chart to do. 

Yesterday I worked on it some but, not much.  I was being lazy.  Gary made us chili last night and I made the cornbread.  It was good.  Even the dogs had chili and cornbread.  They enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Tomorrow I am headed to the fabric store to buy curtain material for my back door.  It is time for that spot to get a set of curtains.  I noticed the decorator fabric is 50% off.  Hey, the best time to take care of it. 

This morning Gary managed to get two baby bull frogs out of the pool.  He relocated them to the creek.  I have no idea why the things think the my pool is their home pond.  Nope, not staying or welcome in my pool.  I have no idea how they can stand the chlorine in that pool.  I even shocked that pool last night since it poured here yesterday.  Yay! 

I am so ready for Halloween over here.  We went and bought our pumpkin on Saturday.  I bought two of the things.  One for carving and the other for planting.  I have the big one...the carving one and then the small one is for the planting...I saw this idea on FB and knew I had to try it out.  Take a small pumpkin, cut the top off, add potting soil, stick it in the sun and water.  If nothing else, I will have a pumpkin patch in the backyard next year.  If I can grow my own, hey, even better.  :) 

My garden is fallow right now.  I am letting it rest before planting it in late winter.  I have plans to put in more radish, kale, spinach and broccoli.  We enjoyed the broccolini this past Spring, it was so tasty and amazing.  I have to find my lettuce seeds because I will be planting those as well.  I love fresh lettuce out of my garden, it is sweeter than the store bought stuff. 

Wednesday is labs for me.  I get to find out how well I am doing and if my A1C is back to normal.  I hope so.  I am trying to be good and do what I am supposed to do for my diabetes.  I am so ready to be normal.  I know I will never go back to my old ways, it isn't worth it.  I will stay on my current diet.  Since that tendency to go back to diabetes will be with me, I have to be good and stay on my diet.  I don't want to go back to sugar, it is hell to get off of it.  No way.  I can't put myself through the shaking and hunger ever again. 

On Friday, I ran into a man at the grocery store who was having issues with his new lifestyle change, he was just diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic and was trying to decide which ice cream to buy.  Yes, there is ice cream for those of us who are sugar challenged.  I love the Blue Bell No Sugar Added, the Dutch Chocolate is the best freaking stuff under the sun.  He was eyeing the sugar stuff which they have many yummy varieties, I know, I used to love eating them.  He asked me when I had looked at all of the other sugar free ones, I picked up the Dutch Chocolate and he wanted to know if it tasted good.  I said yes, it was my fave.  He told me he had to get off of sugar and he was dying for it.  I told him that it took me two weeks and it was pure hell.  He was starving because his doctor told him what he could and couldn't eat.  I said go see a dietitian, it will help out so much and get on a low carb diet if he could, it helps out so much when you can eat low carb, I have lost 30 pounds so far.  I need to get down more but, I have plateaued right now and I have plans to get my body back into weight loss mode.  I started this morning with my 2 week detox.  I had my hot lemon water to help me out.  I had that instead of coffee this morning.  It really perked me up and I was ready to clean my home.  I know, it sounds truly awful but, it helps me feel good.  It also helps out that the meyer lemon tree is ripening early.  I had a fresh lemon plucked from the tree.  :)  I need to go pick some more today for my water for the rest of the week. 

I didn't think I would like kale before I had it but, I am now a fan.  I love the stuff.  I made a lovely chicken soup with it in it earlier in the year and oh, it is amazing stuff.  I might have to make that same soup again soon.  I will have to hit the grocery store to pick up some mushrooms.  I didn't buy any this time around.  I will put it on my list for Friday. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worn Down to a Frazzle

It is killer ragweed season here and every one that I know and others I don't have some sort of allergies and the sore throat from hell from this stuff.  I had to go to the doctor last week and get a cortisone shot in the ass for this crap and do you know, it didn't help.  Nope, not at all.  Poor Gary is sick with it now. 

Today was girl's day out and Melinda and I headed out to run her errands.  We came back early and I came home.  I decided to do some much needed dusting with my vacuum cleaner.  I had no idea my blinds were covered in so much dust, well...that was taken care of and the ceiling fan in the family room was covered, too.  I took care of that as well.  I need to clean out kitchen cabinets tomorrow and put all of the items I haven't used in the last 10 years into boxes, garage sale time. 

I was asked to knit for charity again this year.  I said it would take me some time to get some mitts ready for the charity.  I have no energy to knit other people stuff.  I know it sounds really awful but, it is the truth.  I have one pair of mitts complete and I am working on a second set for the charity.  When I get 4 pairs finished, I will send them off to the charity.  I am not doing any more after that.  I don't know if it is the diabetes making me really tired and worn down or the crap allergy.  Either way, I don't feel like knitting all that much. 

As for my shawl, it is slowly getting worked on.  I am on the 2nd chart and have been there for some time.  I will post pictures when I have a chance to take some.  It is pretty yarn, I really do love working with it.  It has stellina in it and I love the bits of sparkle here and there. 

The oven had to be cleaned today.  It had issues that involved butter and burnt xylitol.  Don't ask.  It was one of the worst smells ever.  So, I had to break down and put it on clean.  It took it a couple of hours to clean and then I went to check it and it smells so much better.  No more stink. 

I didn't make it to the family reunion this year, I was sick.  I stayed home and slept on the couch.  Gary said I was a grunch on Saturday morning.  I was sleeping on the couch and had been there since 4 am...I couldn't sleep in our bed so, I went downstairs and got comfy on my spot on the couch and fell back asleep.  I was woken up by him at whatever time he made it downstairs and I read him the riot act about turning on the tv when I was trying to sleep.  I am such a pleasant individual when someone wakes me up in the morning and I have been known to throw right hooks in my sleep.  Not a good idea trying to wake me up.  I slept until 10 am and then decided to get up and take my blood sugar and grab a shower before we headed out for lunch.  Chinese food and soup helped out so much. 

I am trying to organize my beads into color coded containers.  I never knew I had so many of the things.  I need more containers.  Maybe I should have done this project about a year or so ago.  I did make a pretty necklace yesterday, it is really cool because it has some glow in the dark beads on it.  So cool.  I would try to upload pictures onto this post but, my damn computer isn't cooperating with me right now.  So, that will have to wait when I can figure out what is going on with this damn thing. 

I can't wait to get rid of this sore throat and all of the misery associated with this crap.  I am praying for a nice rain storm that will wash down all of the allergens.  I know everyone else who has it is thinking the same thing. 

We are back up to temps in the 90F and higher range.  It is freaking fall and we need some cool temps.  That would be so nice. 

I have my next shawl pattern picked out and I just need to decide if I should paint the yarn or dye it.  It is a complicated question.  I will have to think on it for a while.  I might just dig in my yarn stash and see what I have in the yardage that I will need.  I have loads of yarn to choose from.  I also have a gorgeous skein sitting on my desk.  There is another one sitting on my kitchen table that has been begging me to use it.  I have to decide which one will get used.  Who knows, I might try several projects and then both will be used.  I want to challenge myself to start emptying containers of yarn.  I don't want to order any more.  My goal is to see if I can use up a container of yarn a month.  Gary says no, he doesn't think I can do it.  I think I would love to see how far I can get with this challenge. 

Who knows, I might issue a challenge to other knitters who have a huge stash to see what we can do to use all of our yarns up.  It might be interesting to see what we can come up with and if you are feeling particularly generous, maybe donate some of our projects to charity. 

Oh, for those of you who do not know great nephew has Down Syndrome and I was asked to mention something about it on my blog.  It is Down Syndrome awareness month.  If you are on facebook, go check out the Down Syndrome Foundation of South Texas page  and read what they have to say.  You might learn something new about it.  My great nephew has the most beautiful smile and it lights up a room. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Shawl on the Needles

I cast on for a new shawl two nights ago.  So far, it is pretty simple and straight forward.  The yarn is performing like a dream.  What am I using?  One of my own hand painted sparkly lace yarns in Candy.  I will have to take pictures when I get farther along.  I plan to paint more skeins of this particular color way.  It is really pretty and I have had many compliments on it.  I managed to get one chart done and I moved on to the second chart. 

This morning I went and helped my sister wash her Volvo.  She washes that thing more than any one I have ever met.  Now, I need a nap.  I am wiped out.  I have plans to sit on my butt until it cools off and then I think I will get on my grubby tennis shoes and mow the front yard.  I need to wash down the pool grids.  They have been soaking in their caustic chemical for a while now.  They were really nasty and full of crud.  I hope their long soak time will have helped them.  I hate having to clean the things but, it is easier to clean a cartridge filter than a DE filter.  I do not miss that old monster for anything at all.  I hated it.  Then it was so freaking old that parts to it were completely obselete.  It blew. 

It is still hot down here and I know several people were telling me they had cold weather already up north.  Gee, rub it in, why don't you?  We are still in the 90F range.  Rain is supposed to be coming on Saturday.  Oh yay!  So, the yard has to get mowed before then.  We missed it last weekend since we were in Corpus Christi, Texas on our romantic weekend.  :) 

Yesterday, I was on my way home from my sister's house when I happened to feel eyes on me. I was stopped at a light next to a high school bus filled with boys and they were all staring at my car.  Oh boy.  I get more male attention with that little car.  It needs a bath but, with the rain coming, what is the point?  I am lazy anyway so, it isn't going to happen. 

I have no idea who the dude in the cement truck is but, whenever he sees me, he honks and waves.  So, I have another admirer.  I am not rude, I wave back.  I know the hubby is thinking I am encouraging  I am not high maintenance and I am easy going.  Someone once mentioned that I was driven...who me?  No!  Not at all.  They don't know me at all, if they said that about me. 

On my way home today from my sister's house, I was doing the speed limit, will wonders never cease?  When the cop that patrols the road that I always travel spotted the guy speeding next to me and he whipped his big old SUV around and was coming after the guy.  I wasn't in the mood to go fast.  I had a feeling and I am glad my cop senses were working otherwise, I would have been sitting on a nice fat ticket.  I don't want one of those, I can do without that kind of attention.  The dude next to me freaked out.  He slammed on the brakes.  Stupid, don't you know, you don't do that, take your foot off of the gas and your car won't dip.  If they see that dip, they will know you have been speeding.  I didn't date a cop for 5 years without learning a few things.  One of those things...don't ever date a cop. 

I also took the time today to make some stitch markers.  They are really pretty and I hope the recipient will love them.  I do make stitch markers if asked.  I did two custom sets a while back on a request.  Most of the stitch markers in the shop.  So many people make them and they must buy their beads in bulk because the beads I buy aren't cheap.  I hit as many sales as I can but, still, they aren't cheap. 

I just gave my niece, Maribeth some of my old beads...her bead habit is almost as bad as mine.  My sister was complaining to me about that today.  She has to buy her some more containers for all of the beads.  She told me her daughter is a bead junky now.  Oh well.  At least she doesn't have a yarn hbit to go with that bead habit.  I admit it, my yarn habit is out of control and it is time to go through the stash and start donating to schools for some of it.  I have a box of yarn ready to be mailed out to the DAR school.  It is listed on their website as a needed item.  I need to send them more than what is in the box.  I wonder if they need straight knitting needles?  I can send them a bunch of those things.  I hate those things.  I prefer to use circs when I can. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

North Padre Island National Seashore

Gary and I headed to the beach this past weekend for our 12th Wedding anniversary.  We went down to Corpus Christi, Texas for a nice weekend on a gorgeous beach...North Padre Island.  The day started out wonderful, Gary was putting up his beach cabana, he has to with that skin of his, he will burn like crazy if he doesn't have a cabana for shade.  I have learned that about him after 13 years together.  I tan.  The top three pics are of Gary and his cabana, I have one too.  We both like to read on the beach.  This time around, I did some knitting.  The second to bottom pic is the rain that was offshore and the last pic is the clouds before the rain. 

When the rain hit the beach, we were out of there.  We went back to the hotel. 

I did get to play in the waves for a couple of minutes before a medusa jelly fish hit my leg and then we moved into shallower water thinking we wouldn't see any more of the things...wrong!  So, out of the water we came.  I took along the shawl thinking I would get to finish  It is being finished tonight, I am doing a picot bind off which is such a pita.  It freaking takes forever. 

I think next year instead of Vegas, we are going to do a week at the beach.  I love the beach.  It is so much fun to play in the waves and to relax listening to the ocean.  I have been known to fall asleep on the beach, too. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Beading

Today I had to hit the bead store to find something to go with a pendant that has been giving me fits.  I didn't have anything in my bead stash to put with this particular pendant since I am not a fan of browns.  I had to break down and get brown.  So, I was able to hit a those sales, I admit it.  I won't be bead shopping for some time since I am in the need of getting the beads organized by color into their appropriate bins.  I want to see what I have before I go shopping. 

The top photo is the pendant that I have had trouble finding beads for.  You would think with fall around the corner, this would not be impossible but, it is next to near impossible trying to find the right colors to compliment this pendant.  This is what I came up with in the second photo.  The beads that look purple are deceptive because they are coated Czech druks.  The coating is a metallic copper and it doesn't photograph well at all.  It looks completely different with the coating showing through.  I used copper accents where I could.  The wire is copper colored, the toggles are copper, the jump rings are copper colored. 

As to the frogs in the turns out there was a family of 4 in the pool and Gary took them down to the creek and dumped them in.  So, they should be happy now, in the creek. 

We get to tear down the filter tonight and put in the new grids.  It is time.  The pressure gauge is pretty high on it right now.  So, that is tonight's fun job.  I am also making a frittata for dinner.  We enjoy them and it is a nice change of pace. 

Now, back to vacuuming my home.  I took a break from that just now to finish the Highlights of Autumn necklace. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rain and Bull Frogs

It has been raining here lately which I won't complain about ever again since our drought situation of last year and a slight one this year.  I love the fact that we have it now.  Then there is my other situation that I can't deal with...a frog in my pool.  This is where the hubby comes in, his job is to get rid of said frog.  This frog can't seem to take a hint and just stay out of my pool, no, he comes back all of the time.  We have pitched him over the fence several times and still he comes back.  He seems to think my pool is his home pond.  Think again dude, this is my pool...not yours.  He even has earned a name and brought a friend with him.  His friend isn't a bull frog, just a normal everyday, slimey fellow.  The bull frog has earned the name Mr. Ploppers since he plops into the pool and out of the pool.  Nasty thing! 

I am not a fan of the things at all.  Ick!  They are champion swimmers, I will say that for him.  He has to become sympatico with the net.  That is how I get him out of the pool.  When he sees the net, he doesn't realize he will be air borne in minutes...oh no, we mustn't let him think he will be leaving on a fast moving rush of air...we must surprise him.  Little does he realize that tonight he will be leaving on a different path...via bucket.  Yep, we have the little trip planned for him tonight. 

I grabbed an old pair of socks that I had been working on last year and put down.  I am now making them into tube socks.  Easy knitting, nothing major required, just knitting.  I am still working on that damn shawl and have plans to finish it this weekend.  I am sick of looking at it.  The yarn is getting worse and worse as I knit with it.  Absolutely detest it at this point in time.  Now, I can see why it was on sale.  I would have put it on sale to get rid of it, too. 

I washed clothes this morning and that is about all I want to do.  I want to go sit and knit along on the sock.  I also have plans for more socks after I finish the tube socks.  I have yarn that I saved specifically for me..I painted it into a luscious color way.  I can't wait to create with it.  Mine, mine, mine.  :-) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Little Jewelry Making

Today I hit a bead sale.  I had to make a birthday present and since I didn't really want to knit any socks for a present, I decided to update the birthday girl's jewelry collection.  So, I used my bits and pieces to create this necklace for her.  It is called Rocking Roccoco.  Believe it or not, it is very hard to work with reds.  I have no idea why I find it so difficult in necklaces and not yarn.  I love using reds in my is so passionate.  This necklace has reds, it has browns, it has astral pink and it has beiges.  I am hoping it will be well received. I know she wears a lot of reds so, I am thinking this will be perfect.  The pendant I created with a hot fix flat back and some E6000.  The pendant came blank and needed that little bit of red to tie it into the necklace. 

I used copper wire and copper accents to make the necklace feel more like an Autumn color palette plus it is something different.  My first pendant wasn't working out and so, I tried another one and that didn't work with the rest of the necklace, it was too plain so, I settled on making this one and I think it came out great. 

I am slowly working on getting my beads into boxes and it is going to take forever.  I didn't realize I had so many of the things.  Apparently, my niece, Maribeth has a bad bead habit as well.  Oh and my sister blames me for it.  Oh well. 

I am still knitting on that shawl and I am really starting to hate the yarn.  It is so unforgiving since it is mostly cotton with a little bit of wool.  It blows.  My fingers are starting to cramp from working with it.  I can't stand stiff yarns.  I love how well wool stretches and gives, that lovely amazing fiber. 

I went to lunch and shopping with my sister today.  It was fun to get out of the house.  I hit the grocery store on my way home from her house and bought what I needed and I was out of there mucho pronto.  I wanted to beat the rain.  I made it.  I came home and the dogs were so happy to see me.  I love my boys, they are wonderful doggies.  You know how much you are truly loved when your dogs greet you at the door and their tails are wagging and they are squirming to lick and love on you.  Yep, I have to say...dogs are the best. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Found Camera

I finally found my camera, the couch had eaten it and I decided after tearing my way around the house that it was the last place I saw it.  So, I stuck my little hand into the couch and yep, there it was.  Damn couch! 
Top photo is a hat out of merino/alpaca, it is gone.  My SIL took it.  It actually fit her nicely.  The second hat is going to be a gift for a friend, and the bottom one is the hat that I knit for my friend's son. 
Currently on the needles, a shawl out of Knit Picks Main Line in Red Velvet Cake, no pictures of it yet.  I bought the yarn on sale a couple of years ago and decided to use it for the shawl.  It is such a pretty color and yes, it does look like red velvet cake. 

I am reading a book about designing shawls.  I want to try my hand at that next.  I also have sock yarn sitting around waiting for me to get crafty with it.  I am doing one thing at a time, I have learned that lesson well.  I no longer try to do two projects at one time.  Too chaotic for me. 

Tonight found me in my pool.  I love cold pool water and well, it did cool down some.  I was able to do my 30 minutes and I killed one water proof watch within 2 minutes of dunking it in the pool on my wrist.  Apparently, the people who sold it to me lied.  It wasn't water proof at all.  So, it went to the trash.  I realized that something was wrong when there was water underneath the bezel.  Okay then.  It killed it dead. 

I am trying to change up my work outs since the end of pool season is almost upon us.  Unless I find a pool that is heated for the winter season.  I do not like hot water so, this is going to be a big challenge.  Unless I go with bike riding and dog walking like I had intended.  I need to do something.  I can walk the boys one at a time and it is 1 mile.  They really like going for walkies on the leash.  I know Ody can use it since he is so damn fat.  Tell me about a Corgi that is skinny and I will tell you that dog has worms.  Mine loves to eat.  We have him on a frozen veggie diet to help combat his over zealous eating habits and he loves them.  I share my bananas with the boys, too.  They love bananas.  All three of them start drooling when I break out a banana.  I also let them lick my yogurt containers when I am done.  That helps out so much with stink.  They don't stink if they have yogurt. 

Today I had to head back to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner.  Gary made bbq ribs and I needed some items for my side dish.  I decided to try my hand at asparagus with a cashew butter sauce.  Oh my word!  Talk about fantastic...that was so good.  You have to love cashews and we can't seem to get enough of them over here.  It complements the asparagus quite nicely.  I found myself wanting to lick the food processor container.  Yummy!  1/2 cup butter, softened, 1/4 cup of salted roasted cashews, process in your food processor until smooth, cook your asparagus in a cup of chicken broth, until fork tender, remove the woody stems before cooking, then drain the chicken broth and spoon the cashew sauce over the hot asparagus and serve.  We didn't have any left.

Tomorrow is a curry sauce asparagus.  That one involves capers and mayonaisse.  We needed a new jar of capers so, I had to get those when I was at the store.  I can't wait to try that one out.  I am making pork chops with the asparagus and bulgur will be our grain.  I am thinking a lovely rosemary gravy over the bulgur.  I might even skip it since we will have the curry sauce over the asparagus.  I do love to cook and my one thing is that I have to have a well stocked pantry and fridge to do it.  If I am missing items, forget it, we are going out. 

I need to get myself back to work and get the new sock yarns into the shop.  I am really having a hard time getting movtivated this year.  I think with the economy being as awful as it is and then with the heat we have been suffering through this year, it just has worn on me.  I can't seem to get excited about much of anything.  The only thing I want to do these days is stay inside the cool a/c and then go for drives with the top down on my car in the cooler evenings.  It is very nice.  I did find myself driving with the top down this morning with the Judas Priest blaring on my way to the grocery store. I had convertible hair by the time I got to the grocery store and of course, I happen to attract every man in a 10 foot radius with my little car.  I get more dirty looks from me, I don't want your hubby, I have enough with the one I have.  I couldn't handle more than one.  Last week it was an old Marine talking to me at the traffic light.  I am nice, I talk to them.  It was just how I was raised.  If someone speaks to you, speak back and always treat them like you want to be treated. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What The...Hey!

I know it has been ages since I have posted but, so many things have been happening and blogging isn't chief among those things.  I lost my camera and I am tearing my house apart trying to find it.  My wallet was stolen out of my purse and that made me feel completely awful and violated.  I had to cancel credit cards and thankfully, I was able to cancel them before said individual went on a buying spree.  I found out from my bank that those lovely aluminum wallets are targeted by thieves.  Since they can't scan the cards through them, they steal the whole damn thing.  So, I don't have one anymore. 

I also learned that you want a purse with a zipper and a flap if you can find one...something to make their miserable lives even harder.  Why make it easy for the damn thieves? 

I have been knitting like crazy and I even managed to paint yarn for the shop but, since I am without a camera, it makes my life harder.  Where did I put that camera?  I thought it was in one place and no it isn't.  Dang! 

I was thinking life was going to get better since I had found skinny sticks down at the grocery store, come to find out, they do not have room for them.  I had bought 4 bags of the things and when I went back last room for them.  The guy was talking to me about them and when he mentioned things to do with grocery stores, I tuned him out.  Gary was stuck talking to him.  I admit, if it doesn't interest me, I tune it out.  Yep. 

Gary has decided that my bead collection needs to be organized and he is right, I am trying to get them all sorted and separated, talk about a chore.  I have lots of beads.  They make pretty things and those pretty things make great birthday presents.  My sister tells me I am a shopping ho.  Well, okay I can accept that.  I found a new place that sell purses and accessories.  Melinda and I have spent way too much time in that store.  Yesterday was her turn for a new purse.  After perusing the whole store, she finally found the one she wanted and then the search was on for the matching wallet.  Oh boy. 

It has been so damn freaking hot here that it is next to impossible to go outside in the middle of the day, the heat will drop a cow.  So, we have been staying indoors more often than not.  I was talking the dogs for walkies in the morning but, that stopped when the sore throat started.  I am not happy with the amount of ragweed in the air.  The crap is about to do me in this year. 
I was asked to make something pretty for a relative.  The first thing that was mentioned was a blanket, oh yeah, can you see me doing that?  You would have to peel my ass off of the ceiling.  I don't do big projects, I get bored so easily.  I am currently working on a shawl for the family reunion, we do a silent auction each year to help out with the cost of the hall rental, etc.  So, this year, I am taking a shawl with me for it.  I may even take a few necklaces to it this year.  I took a necklace and a bracelet last year and raised money from those pieces.  I have to look and see what I have this year to go. 

I am not doing Rice Harvest Festival in Katy this year.  My health wasn't the best when the sign up came to me.  I decided to skip it this year.  I don't want to deal with the stress of it.  It is a huge stress filled weekend.  Not for me right now.  I don't even have the yarn for it.  Someone contacted me for it and wanted to sell me signs and business cards.  I declined since I will not be going. 

I am about to start cleaning out my kitchen cabinets and selling stuff that I haven't used in years.  It is going bye bye.  Why keep it when it hasn't been used?  I have some seriously expensive cake pans that are going to be sold.  If I make a cake now, it has to be sugar free and I have to use spelt flour since regular white flour is so completely awful for me.  I made xyla short bread the other day.  I will say this...they are wonderful if you need a good cleaning out.  I call them the laxative cookies.  With the amount of fiber I eat, this isn't such a bad thing. 

I am making pepper steak tonight with either quinoa or bulgur instead of rice.  Rice is off limits with me.  I can't touch it.  I need to find a Spanish rice recipe and convert it to quinoa.  It should work.  The family recipe of mushroom gravy and steak turns out really well with the quinoa.  The original recipe calls for rice but, if you can't have rice, you need a substitute and the quinoa is my substitute.  I use bulgur on pasta days.  No pasta is allowed in the diet, either.  I miss having lasagna.  I think what I am going to use in place of the noodles is zuchini.  Gary read about that.  I hope it will turn out well.  I love bolognese sauce.  I have found that chicken parm with bulgur works great. 

I know it doesn't sound great but, if you can't have the bad stuff, then you must find a way to have your favorite recipes, with other things.  The one item I draw the line at is lentils.  Oh my God, those are the nastiest things I have ever had besides those icky no calorie or carb noodles.  Your taste buds would have to be completely dead before those things would taste good.  I guess if you smoke and can't taste much of anything anyway, they would be fine. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ready for the Weekend

I am taking a break right now from knitting.  I might pick it back up tonight.  Currently on the needles, a hat.  I am at the crown of this particular hat and it is the third one I have done this week.  More hats will follow this one.  The shawl that I started in the middle of the week is resting.  I will pick it up later.  I have found that if I do continuous projects of one variety I get bored really fast.  So with that in mind, I am going to work on hats for a bit then move on to something else.  This will get my hat quota out of the way and someone always needs a hat for winter.  Never fails. 

I have a ribbon yarn coming in that I snagged on sale.  I can't wait to get it.  It is a cotton/nylon blend.  It should be fun to work with.  I have plans for it.  I chose a pale pink mix for it. 
I have yarn sitting on my desk for mitts and mittens.  I have my color combinations worked out and I need to create a new pattern.  My software is on my laptop downstairs.  I will have to sit down and work out my charity mitt pattern for the year.  I have several options that I like.  I just have to work out what I want it to look like.  I haven't retired the original charity pattern, I will still use it.  I just like the idea of a new one. 

I still haven't started to paint the fall line up for the shop.  I am being lazy and I really don't want to start until I have to.  I admit, I have the procrastination gene.  It is rampant in my family. 

I worked on the chapter scrapbook and managed to get it caught up.  So, I am ready for the first meeting.  I just have to get the box tops and soup labels taken care of for my schools.  I am behind on this but, I will sit down one day and work on it.  It is a pain because they want the labels and box tops in stacks of rubber banded 100's.  It is ridiculous. 

It is big points for our chapter if we get them into the schools.  We get a nice big credit for it on our end of the year report card. 

My camera has pictures on it, I just haven't had the time to bring it upstairs since I am in the middle of the hat.  I want to get it finished then take more pictures of it.  So knitting candy Friday is on hold this week. 

I am washing laundry right now.  Yeah, it is supposed to be on Mondays but, my schedule is screwed up right now.  I have no idea what happened other than being lazy.  Yes, I have that in spades right now.  I am firming up nicely with my swimming and my diet.  I have actually noticed improvements on my body.  Okay so, I still have the turkey fat under the arms and the thighs need help and of course, I still have the spare tire around the middle but, the rest of me is looking good.  I am in a smaller size and working to get into the next smaller size.  I can't wait to get back down to the size I was when I met Gary.  Let's face it, if you are happy in your marriage, you get FAT.  We both did.  Gary has lost about 40 or more pounds.  I am behind him at 30 pounds.  He has been at it longer than I have.  I am slowly getting there and I was at a point when I couldn't get past my last weigh in number for about a month.  It was terrible.  I plateaued but, I am starting to lose that number.  Yay!  I got on the scale the other day and I had slipped past that number.  By the way, I still hate that damn scale and I did read that if you have lots of fat...the water in your body is hidden in the fat.  Lovely.  So, if the scale says that you are dehydrated, technically you aren't it is all in your fat.  I never should have bought the fat percentage scale, it is depressing.  I just want to slam it against the wall when it tells me my fat percentage readings and it is just damn wonky because it says a different number each time.  One day it is less fat, the next it is more.  I don't think it knows what it is talking about.  Or it could just be me.  Who knows.  I have some great advice, if you think you need the body fat percentages on your bathroom yourself some heartache and anger and don't do it!  You don't need that kind of misery! 

I would love one of those doctor's scales but, I am not parting with about $2000 for one.  No thanks.  I can live without it. 

I really want to have my body back to normal at the next blood work in October.  I really don't like being in the pre-diabetes stage but, it is better than being a full blown diabetic.  It has taken a lot of hard work on my part and a major lifestyle change but, I will tell you this, I no longer crave hamburgers and greasy foods.  I get sick looking at a fat laden burger.  It just sickens me.  I know it sounds really weird but, I drool in the produce department at the grocery store.  All those yummy veggies just look so damn good.  A good ripe juicy peach will have me drooling like mad.  We had some great ones in the fruit bin of the refrigerator.  I had one last night and it was so juicy, the juice was running down my hand. 

I am still collecting figs for my next batch of preserves.  I have to say that tree is going mad with fruit.  I think with the heat we have and all of the sunshine with some rain thrown in here and there that tree is going crazy.  I am sick of figs.  I can't wait to see the end of them fruit producing for the season.  I pulled up my green beans, the heat was killing them and they stopped producing.  The tomatoes are dead in the garden and I need to take the time this weekend to rip out the plants and pull all of the grass out and get it ready for my fall planting.  I am thinking we are going to do broccoli, lettuce, carrots, radishes and kale this year.  I hope it will be a big harvest.  I have one okra plant right now and it is slow going, it still hasn't flowered.  I planted it too late this year.  It is sympatico right now with the last of the cucumbers. 

I do enjoy gardening and producing my own food.  It is very stress relieving and restful.  It is a lot of hard work but, I do enjoy it.  The tall grass has taken it over this year.  I will chop it all out.  It also harbours lizards and geckos which I hate with a purple passion.  Ugh! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Knitting Candy

Vlad is completely finished and blocked.  The top photo shows the shawl in it's entirety.  The middle photo shows a close up of the stitches and the yarn and the last photo is the hat I am working on for my friend's son. 

The shawl was fun to knit except for the 7 repeats of the body pattern, if you are one of those knitters like myself that gets bored on repetitive patterns, then avoid it.  If you love repetitive patterns, try it out.  The yarn was an absolute dream to work with and I think this is what kept me sane.  It stretched quite nicely as well.  I would definitely use it again.  I have several more skeins of this yarn in different colors.  Who knows they might be used to make simple shawls.  I didn't even use the whole 450 yards of this skein.  I have a pretty huge skein left.  I will be able to make someone something with it.  Who knows, it may become a smaller pair of socks.  The yarn is a lilac blend, not gray as many people think.  It just doesn't photograph well. 

The last photo is the hat that I promised my friend I would make her son.  I decided to give it more of a spiritual motif since he is highly spiritual and this will represent his beliefs quite well.  I love knitting Fair Isle.  There must have been someone in my ancestry who was seriously in love with this form of knitting because I can't seem to get enough of it.  I am using a bulky weight wool from Elann for this hat in Navy and the white portion is not white but, oatmeal and I chose to use Brown Sheep's worsted weight Oatmeal for this one.  I love Brown Sheep wool because you get a lot for a nice price.  It never fails, either.  It is a seriously good wool to work with. 

I am still trying to decide what the next project should be...I have loads of yarn in my stash that needs to be used up and I have many patterns to work with.  My goal, use enough yarn out of the stash to get rid of one plastic bin out of my house.  Next year I will try and get another one out of here.  The stash is out of control. 

I have to find my size 10 dpns to finish the hat and then on to the next project. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ramblings by a Mad Knitter

I sat down last night and managed to knit two rows of Vlad.  I just find that I am losing patience with this project.  I want to start something else already.  I was asked to knit a throw or blanket for a family member.  ugh!  Do I really have to?  I am not one of those people who does those things.  I said no and sent her on her way to my MIL.  She will gladly do one for you.  I do not have the patience or the time for that.  You would have to peel me off of the ceiling for one of those.  Gary shook his head when I mentioned that tidbit.  He said "there is no way you could do it, you would be insane and I have to live with you."  Oh yeah, he knows me.  Quite well. 

Right now, I am trying to figure out postage to Nova Scotia for a customer.  American shipping is outrageously expensive to other countries and yet, other countries do not charge much at all to get their items to us. 

With that thought in mind...I am having a yarn sale.  Yep, if you want lace weight yarn, hit the shop, I lowered the prices to get ready for my fall paintings.  I am only carrying lace weight due to the high cost of sock yarn from the wholesaler.  I can't afford to purchase it right now since it is out of this world.  So, with this thought, I won't be carrying it until the prices come down.  I pass on my savings to my customers and honestly, charging someone $33 for 440 yards of yarn is too dear for me to deal with.  If you don't like lace weight yarn, sorry.  I am doing the best I can. 

It looks like my knitting stack is getting bigger.  I have to start the hat project as soon as I finish Vlad.  I promised and I also want to knit him a pair of mitts for the winter season.  I have the pattern I want to do and I just have to sit down and do it.  I want the hat and the mitts to match. 

Also in the planning stages, a stole pattern will be forthcoming from my needles.  I have my pattern, I just have to sit down and knit it.  I have the yarn to do it, just finding the time...that is the problem. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Yeah, I Know...

I was supposed to finish the Vlad shawl this what happened?  I slept on the couch.  Yep, lazy the whole entire weekend.  I fell asleep sitting up watching some tv with the hubby.  I have no idea what happened, one minute we were talking and the next, I woke up a couple of hours later. 

We did our major grocery shopping on Friday night and then Saturday I was going to be good and finish the shawl, fell asleep.  Didn't even pick the thing up.  I did make homemade beef enchiladas...recipe as follows, simple and it is quite tasty. 

Beef Enchiladas...what you will need before you make them.  Package of corn tortillas, get a package big enough to feed your family and make sure that you get enough for everyone to have 3 or more, they won't be able to get enough of them.  Ground beef, I use ground sirloin, less fat.  Again get a package big enough to feed your family, ground chuck will work as well.  2 bottles of Pace Picante sauce, I have the huge jumbo bottle because it is a staple in my household but, if you can't find the huge one, then get two of the regular bottles, if you can't stand the heat from jalapenos, get the blue lid, if you can handle the heat, grab the mild green lid or if you want to vamp it up, by all means the yellow or red lid.  I use the mild for the most part, you never know who is going to come to dinner.  Gary and I love it spicy but, since family comes by every now and then we use the mild for just such occasions.  A huge tub of sour cream, not for the lactose intolerant, shredded cheese, I use the Mexican blend since it melts nicely.  I usually use 2 packages of this cheese.  One package of taco seasoning.  One baking pan big enough for your family. 

Turn your oven on to 350F.  Grease your baking pan with cooking spray.  Or if you use Temptations stoneware, you don't even need to add the cooking spray, you can just put the tortillas in and not worry about the extra calories. 

Get your cheese ready and stir your sour cream. 

Season and brown your ground beef, add the picante sauce, let it cook to let the sauce mix in quite nicely with your beef.  I usually turn it down to 4 on the stove and let it simmer for a bit.  Mix it so it won't burn.  Take your corn tortillas and put them in a sauce pan of hot water to soften them up so, they won't tear, do not leave them in for very long, they will turn to mush, do a dip in the hot water and then start the process of filling and rolling.  Before you work with each tortilla they will need a nice dip in the hot water bath.  Take your newly moist tortilla and place it in the pan, take a spoonful of your ground beef mixture and place in the tortilla, then add sour cream and cheese, roll it up and place the seam on the bottom of the pan.  Take another tortilla and give it a dip in the hot water, then start the process all over again, but, this time, as you place the seam side down, press the tortilla up against the first one and repeat the process all over until your enchiladas are sandwiched in the pan.  If you have any sour cream and cheese left over...sprinkle and liberally apply to the top of the enchiladas and if you have any of the beef mixture left over do the same.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes in your 350F oven. 

Let cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy.  If you can't let them rest for 10 minutes, I understand completely, they are fabulous and quite yummy. 

That was Saturday night's meal and I was going to be good and grill chicken breasts for Sunday but, I fell asleep on the couch and woke up cranky and not willing to cook.  So, we headed out the door to a new Cuban restaurant in the area.  It was okay, we have a few more things that we want to try out to see if we will be going there more often than once in a while. 

I was bad and had more rice than I should have.  The guilt kicked in when I got home.  So, today I have to be good and yes, we are going to have the chicken breast tonight grilled with some fresh corn on the cob and a salad.  I am using a Trinidad lemon marinade from Penzy's spices.  It should be quite tasty. 

I also want to go swimming at some point since I have been out of the pool for 3 days but, I have a wicked rash from my pool right now.  Specifically the meds I am on are biguanides for the diabetes and my pool has a Nature 2 Express on it and it says do not use biguanides with it.  Well, it sucks but, my skin is covered in the rash from hell and so, I have had to stay out of the pool so it could heal.  If I swim in the morning, no problems but, in the afternoon with the sun beating down on me, rash...big time.  Lately, I have been swimming in the afternoons with my sister and niece.  Now that I know better, I need to fix the problem.  I coat myself down with zinc oxide ointment to protect all of my spots and hit the pool.  No, it isn't a wonderful thing but, I still am able to get in my exercise.  One great thing besides being a pre-diabetic is that I was able to lose one of my inhalers for my asthma.  Oh that is such a great feeling...this was the freaking expensive inhaler at $249 per pop.  Ouch, right.  I know. 

My goal is to lose enough weight and get the blood sugar so under control I can go back to being normal and off of the meds.  My doctor seems to think that in 3 months time if I keep up what I am doing, I will be back to normal and off of the meds.  Will I ever go back to sugar?  NO!  I was telling one of my nieces about what is happening and she asked what I was sucralose for this girl...too many bad things associated with it.  I use xylitol.  Tastes like sugar, but none of the awful side effects with it.  Although, I do have to have a cup of yogurt every day since the sugar alcohols do mess with the good bacteria in the gut.  Good thing I like yogurt. 

One of my friends when she found out I was a diabetic told me I wouldn't be for long...she knows I am a fighter and not willing to go down without working out something to get myself better.  I refuse to let this damn disease win.  So, when I told her that I made it to pre-diabetes status...she was happy and asked how I did it.  Lots of changes, is the first thing and I know I am on the right track because those hamburger commercials no longer make me a drooling idiot when I see them, I am frankly quite disgusted with them.  They do nothing for me.  I was drooling in the produce department the other day...I noticed the fresh ears of corn on the cob and the green veggies and my mouth started to water.  The fruit also did the trick.  I knew I could mow through it and it wouldn't make me feel bloated and weighted down.  If you are ever diagnosed with diabetes, do not sit down and take it, go to a dietitian and then start a low glycemic low carb diet.  Get rid of all of the pasta and sugar loaded crap out of your life.  I gave all my bad foods away to my nieces.  I discovered that I actually love kale.  It makes wonderful soup and it works well with eggs in omelettes.  I refuse to give up my eggs, they are full of so many wonderful things.  I used to love bacon, not anymore. I have lost the taste for it.  I prefer turkey these days over ham.  I never thought I would not like bacon but, I really could care less if it is in the house or not.  I don't have to have it.  Invest in a fish pill...I have one that is a special order down at GNC.  It is lemon based and when you burp it, you don't get the attacks of the ick from the fish oils...nasty!  It is a nice lemon burst.  It does help with the bad triglycerides which is another item the diabetes likes to contribute.  It is a terrible disease.  It also contributes to heart disease and if you aren't willing to help yourself, there is vision loss, the possibility of losing your feet.  I love my feet and I am willing to fight for them.  I am not going down with out a fight.  Someone asked me why I was doing what I was doing...why not let the disease do it's thing...oh no..I don't want to be a statistic in this thing.  I am willing to research and see what I can find out about it. 

I will admit it...I am the food police.  I know my sister has been telling me this for a while.  I seem to be affecting everyone around me.  Sorry people, I know how much you love your breads and fat but, I am trying to be good.  I honestly do not want them to go through all the hell and issues I am dealing with.  If you had the chance to change your life with your diet being changed, would you do it?  I did.  It is amazing what I find to be less than tasty these days and what I used to think I couldn't live without.  I can live without it and I have. 

My biggest down fall used to be cake...don't even think about it much these days.  It doesn't thrill me the way it used to.  I would look at one and be salivating like crazy.  Not anymore.  I don't need it, nor do I want it.  I can't stand the sugar burn anymore.  It hits the back of my throat and it burns like crazy.  I bought some cola the other day to use in the laundry and my sister told me that I would be on it like a duck on a june bug.  Nope, haven't even opened a can yet.  It is sitting in my kitchen waiting for me to use it.  I read an article that it will help get grease stains out of clothes.  I am more than willing to try that out.  I guess we will see if it works or not.  The rest of the cans will be saved for our next swim party.  I know several kids will be after it.  They can have it.