Thursday, September 29, 2011

I finished the slipper that I posted last week.  I love how it turned out!  Unfortunately, since I'm using leftovers, I won't have enough red and cream yarn to make the second and exact match.  I did, however, make sure to make another cord and pompoms before starting the second slipper and using all the red and cream yarn up.  Since the red and white pompoms and candystriped cord are my favorite part of this slipper.  The second will be, I think, red, white, and gray stripes.

I have been cleaning this week!  Ben got me a new vacuum, which I so love!  It's the Shark Navigator Lift Away, and honestly, this is the vacuum I've been wishing existed forever.  I love the way it coverts to the hose and the canister is so easy to carry around, and it works pretty well as a regular vacuum on my laminate floors too.  Anyway, I been finding out that without a vacuum, I've been opting to not clean, rather than have to do it the hard way!  It's so much nicer to get things clean and not have to do it the hard way either.

The washing machine broke the other day.  It will neither spin nor drain.  The repair guy is supposed to be coming sometime today to check it out.  I sure hope he can fix it right away!  I washed whites yesterday by stomping them in a big storage tub, and I don't want to do laundry like that again anytime soon!

Other than some fall cleaning, and knitting, this week has been pretty quiet.  I've been working out with Exerbeat on the Wii.  It's a pretty fun game, and I'm still trying to unlock a bunch of stuff, so it's been keeping my interest fairly well.  I do find some of the animated instrutors pretty humorous though.  Like the samba teacher recommends that I "use your muscles to move your arms up and down."  I ask you, how else would one move their arms? :)

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Cozy Slippers

I started a pair of slippers for myself. I'm using Pattons. Classic Wool leftover from Ben's Mario mushroom hat.  The pattern is from the new (posthumous) Elizabeth Zimmerman book, Knit One, Knit All.  So far it's gone really easily and quickly, and I'm enjoying practicing some two handed color stranding.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Birds

The chickens have decided that the free-range life is the life for them.  They've taken over my raised garden beds, the deck, the mulch path to the coop, and everything in between.

 They preen and groom on the deck, like I'm running some kind of chicken spa out there.

It's been beautiful wether lately.  At least by my definition, which means cool, gray, damp, and mild.  My favorite time of year is the fall, and I've been trying to enjoy every minute of it.  These little chickies also seem to be making the best of the green grass and unfrozen dust baths while they last.  I've let most of the lawn get long and go to seed because the chickens really like pecking the seed heads.  And because I just can't stand the thought of breaking into the quiet peaceful post-rain days with the lawn mower.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Busy Week

I've had lots of things to do this week!  I've been doing the monthly newsletter for the county extension.  I just finished putting together my last flyer (there is so much going on, it has so much info this month! That time of year, I guess.) and tomorrow my helpers and I meet to fold and tape and label all 300 of them and get them in the mail.  It's a relief every month when I finally finish this project.

There was a meeting for my local unit yesterday, and I was one of the "hostesses" so I made molasses cookies.  I did have one, because... well, what's the point if I can't even have one of my own best recipe cookies?! :)  Luckily, they were a hit with the ladies, so there were none to bring home and have tempting us.

I'm afraid I might have pantry moths, since I keep seeing little gray moths in the kitchen.  I'm planning to empty and sort the whole pantry today, and I might be ruthless about what I do away with.  I also ordered some traps, which are on their way now.

So, things have been busy here, but I'm afraid I haven't been doing all that much bloggable activity.  Just a lot of newsletter editing!  I did draw the little apple grapics on this post yesterday to make some table cards for our refreshment table, and a sign welcoming the group back after the summer break we've been on.

I hope everyone else is enjoying this early fall as much as I am!  It rained all day yesterday, and I loved it!  This morning is beautiful, so cool and bright.  I can't wait for my bike to get finished at the bike shop.  I want to ride!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

In Training for an Active Life

We've been doing really well the last couple of weeks.  We started weight training and conditioning with the trainer, and despite being so much more sore than I knew I could get, I'm really enjoying it.  I never played sports in high school, so I haven't ever had a practice session that involve more than jogging around the field and some catching drills.  It's been cool for me to get a taste of how the more athletic half lived.

It's really motivating for me to work with the trainer, simply because I have no idea of my abilities or limits beyond simple cardio and yard work.  I had no idea that I could do 180 crunches in one work out session.  I would have sworn I wouldn't be able to.  But because she broke it down into different kinds and parcelled them into a circut, I did it without counting them all till later.

And it's sort of fun to just have someone tell you what to do.  It wouldn't have occurred to me to work out like that, because I would have thought I was too out of shape, or wouldn't know what weight, etc to use.  But because she tells me to do it, I figure I must be able to and I just do.

I've been thinking of this period of more intense training and calorie counting as being a sort of a boot camp to switch modes in life.  I'm not training for anything in particular, like a race, but rather training to live the sort of life that will help me gain health and be fit in the long run.  We've been trying to add more active recreation to our weekends the last couple of weeks as well.  In addition to the training sessions, we've gone to the Zoo, walking through Forest Park first to get there, and this weekend, we enjoyed family day at Purina Farms, which is a really awesome attraction in a beautiful landscape.  I've got some great pictures of the Pro-Plan Preformance Dogs to post later this week.

Of course, I'm not going to pretend that I like the idea of walking a mile to the zoo, only to then spend the day walking up and down hills at the zoo, and then walk a mile back to the car.  But I did it, and I'm convinced that eventually, that will sound like my idea of fun.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Calling It

I sounded the retreat for the garden at 6:45am this morning, Wed September 7.  The battle is a defeat, but the war will continue next summer.

There are a few stragglers who have yet to be called in from the field; sunflowers and a bushel gourd vine are valiantly protecting the retreat.

Other than that, all troops have been recalled or, sadly, left to fend for themselves in enemy territory, and the land they once occupied has been ceded to the chickens.  They quickly tried to establish a sovereignty, but got distracted when a moth flew by and they chased it en masse off the deck.  They then forgot that they'd meant to start governing anything and fought over an apple core I'd tossed behind me while surveying the troops.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I've gotten a few concerned emails from readers who worry that our trainer may be taking losing weight to the extreme, by reducing my daily calories to 1300-1400.  I want to assure them that though I agree that this could be extreme, I have been feeling fine, and as long as I'm sure not to skip any snack or meal, I don't get hungry or ill feeling at all.  Also, please know that I am completely in charge of the process and will always have the final decision of what our food buying, meal plans, recipes look like.

I would like to make another point that's been so important for me lately.  I don't care how much I weigh.  I don't care what size I wear.  Not objectively anyway.  I care, of course, in as far as those numbers enable or limit my ablilties, but it's the ABILITY, not the number that's important.

To me, this is an important distinction, because I want to start out, and continue, working with the trainer and learning about serious working out positively.  To me, always talking about what you can't have, what you have to give up or lose is just so sapping.  So depressing.  So un-nurturing.

Here's what I do care about:

How far I can walk - whether I can make it up a hill to see a scenic outlook, or hike back for gas if we run out, or if I can spend all day on my feet--spring cleaning or at the zoo
If I can pick up heavy things - carrying feed to the chicken house, moving wheelbarrows of compost, watering fruit trees by the bucketful
How hard I can work - hoeing, tilling, bending, planting, digging
How much fun I can have - biking new places, learning new things like hiking or backpacking, being fit and able to volunteer outside my home without feeling too tired to finish my work inside it, attend any event, not worrying about whether we have to walk a mile or two to get there, have the energy for site seeing, vacations, etc.

The whole reason I started talking about fitness/diet in the first place, and got really serious about it, is because I could see I was losing things.  Losing my health, a little at a time, so it was hardly noticeable.  Losing my physical abilities, so I was surprised to find myself out of breath walking terrain I'd walked easily before.

I'm not going to be losing anymore.  Now I'm gaining.  I'm gaining stamina and endurance.  Gaining skills I'd lost in high school, and the energy to enjoy dancing fast and having fun again.  Gaining peace of mind, knowing that I'm not sick or too tired, knowing that I'll be up to the task, whatever it is.  Gaining skills and tools to do my job better and live my life more fully, helping others and giving of myself.

I'm simply just not interested in losing weight.  What I'm really after is being awesome.

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