Sunday, December 30, 2007

Progress

Well, I'm making progress on the basement sewing room. I revieved a $30 gift card from Lowe's for Christmas from my Mom & Dad. I went yesterday and bought the primer and another sanding sponge. I had 2 cans of blue Dutch Boy paint that I bought to paint the store room, which didn't get used because I used a pre-wallpapered drywall for that. So anyway, as you may remember from an earlier blog entry, I have decided to paint the sewing room purple. I bought the blue paint at Menards, so I took it to Menards to see if they could change the color. And they could. And they didn't charge me which was even better. This morning before I came to work I worked on sanding the drywall joints. I got the 2 longest walls done, which makes me about 1/3 of the way done. Since my plans for New Years day fell through (everyone has the flu) I'm planning on working on the rest of the walls. I will have to apply a little more drywall mud to a few problem areas, but there are not a whole lot of those. Should be ready to start priming soon.

On the knitting front, I mentioned last week that I want to make the Denmark Gefjon jacket by Elsebeth Lavold. While, waiting for my turn at Elisabeths copy of the Knitter's Winter 1998 magazine, I found a copy on Ebay and bought it for $8.50 (plus S&H). It arrived on Saturday. I have been thumbing through it and reading over the pattern. I have to do some practice cabling before I start. And of course I have to buy the yarn too. I can't decide whether I want to use 100% wool or 100% superwash wool. After a bad experience with felting a vest I made, I am leaning towards the superwash. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Weight Loss Milestone!

Just wanted to share with everyone my exciting news from this weekend. Please bear in mind that this information is PRE-Christmas. I didn't dare weigh myself this morning, even though I think I did pretty well yesterday.

I CROSSED THE 20 LB. BARRIER THIS WEEKEND!!!!

I weighed myself bright and early Monday morning and I lost 5 lbs. last week. That brings me to a new grand total of 22 lbs. lost. I am just so excited about crossing that 20 lb barrier. Also, on Saturday, I was visiting with my friend Teresa and we were discussing some of the different exercises that I have learned from both Jim Karas and Heather at Pinnacle Gym. Ones we hated versus the ones we liked. I told her how I had been unable to do the side plank exercise. She was unfamiliar with that one, so I got down on the floor to demonstrate it to her and OH MY GOD! I could do it!! When I first started working out with the Cardio-Free Diet, I could barely lift my butt off the floor for this exercise and had to struggle to do it from my knees, because there was no way in hell I could do it from my ankles. I was blown away that I could now do this exercise!

I cannot believe how much I have benefited from all the strength training. I never got this much success when I was huffing and puffing on the treadmill or elliptical or stairmaster or stationary bike. I whole heartedly recommend this book and exercise program to anyone who is thinking they need to loose weight or to just strengthen their muscles. Personally I think calling it a diet is a misnomer, because to me it is not just a diet it is a lifestyle change. It has taught me better ways of eating, and yes I still occasionally have something "bad" to eat, but I don't beat myself up about it (at least not too badly ;o) ), I just do some extra exercises and eat better the next meal. I find that I think more about what I am going to eat now than I used to. I just don't go running through the drive thru or have a cake snack to tide me over. And when dining out, I really look through the menu and ask myself 'what would be better for me, the grilled salmon or chicken versus the fried chicken or pasta or whatever?'

So anyway, I just wanted to share this with everyone and to let everyone who has been cheering me on know that I really appreciate you comments of encouragement.

Merry Christmas!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I spent the night at my parents house on Christmas Eve. They actually still had snow on the ground, so it really felt like Christmas. We didn't have a big Christmas, but based on the amount of food Mom made you would have thought that about 20 people were expected. My Aunt Margaret and cousins Emily and Becky came over and then my cousin Kylee and her 3 children came over just before we sat down to eat. Oh but the food was good! We had ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, corn, 2 kinds of gravy, cranberry sauce, veggie tray, salami/cream cheese roll-ups, sliced cheeses, 2 kinds of salsa & chips, rolls, and several cheese dips. That doesn't even take into account all the Christmas goodies my mom made: fudge, peanut brittle, cookies. She made my favorite cookie too, which I haven't had in years. My great Aunt Ella used to make me Potato Chip Cookies every year for Christmas. I finally found a recipe for them, but I had just never gotten around to making them. Oh man were they good.

So anyway, I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An uneventful week, sort of.

Well, this has been a pretty uneventful week. Although I did finish 2 of my knitted gifts. I have to get those wrapped and boxed tonight, so I can mail them out tomorrow. If they don't get where they are going by Christmas, I guess that's OK. I'm still working on the 3rd gift. Hopefully, since I work on Sunday, I will have at least 1 whole day to sit and knit on it and get them done. I do have a back-up gift sitting by in case I don't get it done, but I am planning on getting it done!!!

Once of the ladies in my knitting group (Jessica) is working on a Celtic/Aran sweater and I find I have been bitten by the celtic bug. I have yet to try my hand at knitted cables, but I just love the look of them. I have done 3 quilted wallhangings with appliqu├ęd celtic designs on them. So I have been looking and browsing and I think I have finally found the one I want to do. It is the Denmark Gefjon jacket by Elsebeth Lavold. It was published in the Winter 1998 issue of Knitters. Elisabeth brought the magazine to Bella Vita last night for Carol, who was looking for the A-line Aran Sweater. I took one look and fell in love with the jacket. I will have to shorten it, as I'm not too sure the long jacket style would look good on my pudgy body. Elizabeth and Chris assure me that once I have my gage swatch done, I should be able to figure out how many stitches to leave off the cast on. You know, in the quilters world there is the handbook called "Taking the math out of quilting", well I think someone should do one of those for knitters.

B100 Fit Club Update: Well the B100 fit club has officially ended, but I still have 2 bootcamp sessions left. My totals so far are: 18.4 lbs lost and 19.25 inches lost. All the weight training is making me feel stronger and hey, I've shrunk 19 inches! I love it. I still have quite a ways to go, but I don't seem to be struggling as hard as I always did before. I plan to join Pinnacle Gym, because they are going to be starting up the bootcamp workouts again after the new year. Today I am actually wearing a pair of jeans that I tossed aside this summer because I couldn't get them on. And I really mean "on", not just couldn't get them fastened. YEAH ME!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

Snow, Snow and more Snow! That's what we got last night. According to the news broadcast, I got 7.5 inches of snow. Glad I don't live in Buchannan though, because they got 10 inches!! It took me 45 minutes to shovel the driveway this morning. And another 15 minutes to clear off the car and reshovel the area around the car where the snow from the car fell. Note to self: next time clear off the car first so you don't have to shovel twice!

I made sure I wouldn't get too chilled by dressing in layers. But why is it that immediately after you get all the layers on you realize you have to use the bathroom?? So you have to unpeel and then re-peel. By the time I was ready to go outside, I had already worked up a good sweat.

Just for the heck of it, I'm going to do a little math and figure out approximately how much snow I shoveled this morning. The driveway was 9 bootlengths wide and 46 bootlengths long. Yes I walked toe to heel the whole length/width to figure this out. I had to chuckle when I thought about what the neighbors probably thought when they saw me with my arms out for balance looking like I was trying to walk on a tight rope. So, my boots are about 11 inches long from toe to heel. That makes the shoveled portion of the driveway 99 inches by 506 inches ( 8.25 feet by 42.16 feet). And if the snow was 7.5 inches deep (.625 feet), that means I shoveled 375,705 cubic inches of snow (217.3875 cubic feet). Well, I know I shoveled more, because the snow plow had buried the end of the driveway and I had to clear off the porch, around the car (twice), and a path to the mailbox for the postal carrier. All in all, I am pretty confident I got my exercise this morning! About 7000 calories worth right??

I actually remembered to take pictures this morning, but forgot that I have no way to upload them right now, because I took my computer to work to have one of the techs upgrade it; to Windows 2000.

Hope you are enjoying whatever weather you are experiencing in your part of the world. I love the snow and Christmas never feels right without the snow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Beat the Winter Blahs Swap

I have decided to sign up for another swap. I had so much fun with the monkey swap, that I am planning to join the Hot Cocoa Swap. Sign-up starts on December 16th. The Hot Cocoa blog was nice enough to supply instructions on how to add a linked button to my blog page, so there it is over on the right. I tried it out to make sure that the link works. I can't wait. This sounds really fun. And honestly who doesn't love a good cup of hot chocolate on a cold winters day??

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Multiple Updates

I know, I have been neglecting my blog lately. It seems that at first there will be nothing new to say, then I have too much to say so nothing gets said at all.

I have been working on Christmas knitting. I have 1 item done, 1 a little over 1/2 done, and I just started the 3rd today. I'm not going to be posting too many details of those until they are sent out. I had to set aside my Cascading Leaves Shawl until I have the Christmas knitting finished. It's getting down to crunch time and I really need to kick it in gear. I have some Christmas sewing to do also, but those items are going to be "belated" gifts. I will be working on them during the Christmas break.

Last weekend I went to the Frog Pond Fiber Arts group's Christmas Party. It was such a blast. There were so many people there and so much yummy food. I brought knitting along with me, but didn't do any of it, because there was so much chatting going on, I couldn't tear myself away from the conversations long enough to remember where I was. Thank you Elizabeth for opening your home and letting us all in. I hope we didn't make too big of a mess and it wasn't too much trouble to re-re-arrange the furniture. Oh and the Chicken Tortilla soup was scrumptious. We had both a door prize (knitting related items) and a White Elephant gift exchange. The white elephant item did not have to be a knitting related item, although the one I received was. Here is what I got. I did not have either of these books. And Aubrey showed me this really cool cabled hat in the SNB Nation book. PS I also got a true "White Elephant" gift. I got an outdated Exel 97 computer book. I mentioned it to one of the 'computer' geeks at work and he said he still runs Excel 97 at home, so guess who getting that!!! I had a really nice Stanley Thermos in my hot little hands, but it got stolen. :o(


On Tuesday night, I went to a Christmas party with my former quilt group (BTW this is party #3 this week). The Tuesday Night Crazy Quilters meet in Hartford, MI, but the ladies travel from all over; Niles, South Haven, Bangor, Coloma, St. Joe, Dowagiac, Hartford, Decatur. I joined that group in 1990 at the ripe old age of 18. I have grown up with these women and love them all. I never really realize how much I miss them until I we all get together. Because of the distance, I just don't get to see them as often as I would like. I do go to their quilt retreats ever year though. I think I have only every missed 1 since they started having them. Originally it was just a fall thing, then we added a spring one and now they have added a winter one too. (Can't wait for January!) They are always so much fun and so productive. Since I learned to knit, I think I get more sewing at retreat then I do the rest of the year. A big Thank You to Teresa who hosted the party. And Nancy really needs to give me the Pomegranate/cranberry salsa recipe. Oh man was that good!!

B100 Fit Club Update: I keep missing the radio broadcast that announces the team loss totals, so I'm not too sure where the Dazzling Divas stand. I will see if anyone knows tonight at the bootcamp. I lost 1.8 lbs last week, which brings my total loss to 17.8 lbs. If I loose approx. 6 more lbs, I will have hit my 10% goal. Then I will set my next goal for another 10%. I learned in weight watchers once that you'll feel better setting the smaller goals and that each one will be a milestone once you hit it. It's better than saying I need to lose like 90 lbs total and seeing what a huge difference there is between 90 and 17.8. Also, last week I donated blood. When you do that, the blood bank tell you your total Cholesterol. It is of course a non-fasting test, and I think that is supposed to mean that it would normally be higher than a fasting one. Someone please correct me if that is wrong. In October when I had a fasting cholesterol test done, my total was 157 and the results from the non-fasting test was 136. SOOOO, I pretty sure that means my Cholesterol has come down as a result of this diet. I can't wait until January when I go back to have the blood work re-checked. I want to know what has happened to my Triglycerides!

Tonight is Christmas Party #4 of 5. I am going to bootcamp beforehand though. And I am brining a salad to eat for dinner, since I know I will be hungry after the workout and I don't want to pig out on all the goodies that I know will be there.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bad Aunt! Bad Aunt!

I totally forgot to let everyone know that I finally got Landon's Toddler quilt done AND got it delivered. Here he is with his quilt, which he really liked. We had to spend several minutes going over the meaning of all the different street signs and identifying the different types of vehicles.


And of course Brenna could not be left out. She brought out her toddler quilt which I made when she was 1. Lovely rubber duckies and bubbles. Poor Landon's was a tad bit late. I overshot his 1st birthday by approx 1.5 years.


While trying to take a picture of the both of them together, I accidentally pressed the button and got a picture of Landon's feet, but Brenna thought the photo would be much nicer if all of our feet were in the shot. Their Mom was across the room, so sadly, her feet did not get included. I couldn't believe they were running around barefoot. My tootsies were chilled, so I wasn't removing my socks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow!


I woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning. I just love snow. At least when it first falls. Once it starts getting grungy from all the snowplow dirt, then I want it to go away. But the sun was shining this morning and it was the light fluffy snow. The picture above is actually my car parked across the street at work. It would have been a bigger impact if I had taken the photo at home where the car was still covered with snow.

B100 Fit Club Update: I am a bit behind on the statistics for the Dazzling Divas. At last count we had lost a total of about 83 lbs. There are 8 members on the team. I must have missed it this morning in between the school delay/closing announcements. I had mad cravings this weekend and ended up gaining .4 lbs (damn that new digital scale). That makes a total of 15.6 lbs lost. I also did my bi-weekly measurements, and the news is that I have lost a total of 17 5/8 inches. 10 1/8 inches of that amount was lost from my midriff, waist, and hips. I have slacked off on counting my calories and actually writing down what I eat so that I can track everything better. So, I have decided I must get back into the habit of that. Wish me luck this next week, because starting tomorrow, I have 5 (yes I said FIVE) Christmas parties to go to. There will be 2 catered and 3 potluck style dinners. Tomorrow is my company party and we will be going to Reggios Italian Restaurant. Very YUMMY. I will be going to exercise class before the party starts though. I figure I need all the help I can get.