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.