Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goodwill score for Ali

Ali had her inaugural goodwill shopping spree today. Around here the good children's clothes are found at specialty children's consignment shop, and we've shopped those her whole life as well as hand-me-downs she's real big on hand-me-downs. But she's outgrown children's clothes, and she's the same size as her cousin, and Sam-me-downs don't come as often as they used to when she used to live here. Soooo I took her to goodwill today.

The loot:
Fake fur full length coat (she looks like a bear)
a hot pink fun fur hat (to go with the bear coat)
6 wicked awesome shirts
a pair of shoes
a pair of slippers
2 belts and
a pair of corduroys

All for less than $50! And that included an overstock pkg of socks for yours truly.

Good Deal no?

So after we hit up Goodwill, we went to Jo-Ann's and got some coordinating material and some pretty ribbons to make some headbands. We also got a couple pants patterns - the fleece is cheaper at Ben Franklin so we'll pick that up later, but the pattern we got is suitable for both fleece and rip-stop nylon so her fleece pants and rain pants for the environment camp will be all set. It's a teaching pattern too so that'll be great for Ali to learn on.

It's not often I go shopping, and we got terrifically lucky, so this was a good day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last day of Vacation

I've got some mixed feelings about the end of summer. On the one hand, I'm glad we'll be back on a schedule. Quinnie has been missing her bus time - it's really the only time she gets a nap. Her mind is telling her she's too old for naps but her body tells a different story, and lately when she goes without a nap she gets hurt. Last Sunday (not yesterday), she fell off the playground equipment and got a concussion and three stitches in the back of her head. Last night she nearly toppled off the trampoline trying to get out of it (we have a safety net for the rest of it).

On the other hand, I don't want to give up days at the beach. We didn't have enough of those this year due to the near constant thunder storms and then when the weather finally cooperated Quinn's stitches. Today is, as I said, the last day of vacation and it's sunny and beautiful and we really should be hanging out at the beach, but Ali is off school shopping with Grammy and I don't want to go there without her.

They'll close the town beach after labor day, even though the weather still is nice. I suppose we could swim at the boat launch, or we could actually go to the ocean (it's only 1/2 hr away but we don't like the crowds of summertime people so we don't go in season).

Then again school sports have started and I'll have lots of trips to do, so I'll likely be busy most weekends, and we have Ali's special Pete Seeger trip coming up too.

Soon the weather will be turning cool and I'll have the energy to do all the yardwork I've been putting off since it got hot (I hate the heat). I have a chicken run to build and the rest of the fence to get in, and the winter garden to plant (gotta get going on that). Plus I've wanted to do some dyeing and canning and couldn't bring myself to run the stove (or bear the heat of cooking outside). Soon the leaves will change colors....Aaaahhhhh I love fall.

I got my bus back, and my new run, and I'm pleased with both.

Over all I guess I'm more pleased than not about the changing of the seasons. Still it's hard to let go of the beach.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Out of shape

Ugh! I'm too out of shape. I'm currently close to 100lbs overweight. Yup, there I said it. I admit it. I'm fat. I'm out of shape.

About 20 years ago, when I first had Sam, I was only marginally overweight and in very good shape. I would go for day long bike rides and not be bothered by it. I had energy galore. Slowly, after sitting on the sidelines watching the children play I got chunkier and more out of shape. It was imperceptible at first, but it became staunchly noticeable when we moved to Deerfield a decade ago. In Exeter, there were a few hills but none were prolonged enough to require walking, they were either a long shallow slope or a quick steep one. Nothing one can't handle with a granny gear even toting 2 toddlers in a burley. But here, OMG! The hills are steep and a mile long, and wouldn't you know we were stupid enough to buy the house directly on TOP of a big one! I pretty much stopped riding my bike when we moved here. I can barely get my fat rear up the hills with the granny gear never mind toting a 35lb dead weight (I'm referring to Quinn here) in addition to my extra 100 lbs. Dude I can't even describe how bad it sucks!

I hate it. Being fat and out of shape that is. I want to do all the things I used to do, but it's harder to do them because of weight issues. My hips hurt when I walk for long periods, and my feet too but that's 'cause I have old non supportive shoes, and I need to get some new ones. I've tried diets, but I hate, hate, hate feeling even moderately hungry, and I LOVE food. The only way for me to decrease my weight is to increase my exercise. That's easier said than done. First off I don't do heat well - that's great most of the year, but in August, even 78 degrees and sunny is enough to put me off climbing the stairs let alone going outside and tackling the hills. I have a small child too, so I either have to carry her, or exercise when my husband is watching her, which with our current schedules is the hottest darn part of the day. So we're back to square one.

My husband briefly mentioned the other day the possibility of going to the 8:00am shift at work (his current shift is 3 am so he has to go to bed at dinner time). It would be awesome if he did get this shift 'cause then I could exercise after dinner when It's cooler, and he can put Quinny to bed - hey that's only fair, I've had bed duty for 19yrs and 10 mos straight, it'd be a welcome change. Ali could join me, it'd give us some special one on one time and we'd both get in better shape (and she can't run worth beans so I'll be able to keep up). Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the mean time I've been intentionally increasing my exercise. The other day we took a 3 mile walk. That was nice, but I really need new shoes. I was able to free swim at the lake the other day 'cause my Mom was watching Quinn (usually I have to be right on her because our town beach doesn't allow PFDs and she's too daring and walks right out to her ears, and Ali needs the exercise as much as I do and I hate to call her in from the dock so Mommy can have a turn). The swimming out deep and for a long time felt really good (and I had fun with my nephew who I hardly ever get to see anymore). Yesterday we went to our "swimming hole" along the Swift River and I selfishly made Sean give me turns swimming upstream and riding the rapids (which isn't really exercise but the climbing over the rocks to get there sure is). It felt really awesome to do that too. I want to feel really awesome all the time. I want to get back out and enjoy all the things I used to. Hiking is a no brainer - Quinn and I walk at the same pace so I have a hiking partner already. We should pobably find some safty orange vests before hunting season though, Sean nearly had a fit when we went hiking last fall. Walking and running - should Sean get his 8:00 shift, won't be a big problem either. But I've got to really work on this whole biking thing.

Today I took Quinnie down to the local gas station (to add air to my tires and buy her a lollipop to bribe her back into the bike - "waaah no! Quinnie fall me!" - cherry tootsie pops smooth over the roughest of tribulations, but I don't keep them in the house so we always have to go somewhere to get one). It was a 3 mile round trip and I walked probably a mile of it - even with the granny gear.But my legs no longer feel like jelly and my heart isn't trying to jump out of my chest, and I've long since caught my breath, and I don't think this ride will affect my ability to mow the lawn later this afternoon, so despite the failure at getting up the hill ON my bike, I'll call this a win.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Green Autumn Mittens

Well they aren't green, and it isn't Autumn yet but boy are these fun!

I can't put them down. They're like a new toy. Thank you Jared! These are spun with Molly's fleece, and will be for Ali's camp layette. She wants them fuschia so we'll dye them after they're finished (I couldn't wait to get started on them). Oh fun, fun fun!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Please Lord, help me to make a prudent decision. I am weak Lord, I need the strength to stick with the decision you help me make....

Ok so it's not that bad really. Nothing earth shattering certainly. But I have a tendency to want to do everything and participate in every challenge that comes my way and I get overextended and beat myself up for not being able to do it all.

It's Barbara Chlorite-Ventura's fault. She was the one who sent the notification that the new site for the MS4 was up. I signed up this morning.

I already have multiple shawls in my mental queue. I have already committed myself to knitting Ali the Environment Camp layette, I have 1/2 a sweater another pair of socks, a hat and a pair of mittens yet to go and it all needs to be done before the last week in October. Poor Quinnie keeps asking "Quinnie socks?" and I keep telling her that when Ali's stuff is all done then Quinnie will get some socks and a sweater. Granted her socks will take me like an afternoon, and a sweater, maybe a week, but still...

Also, I tried the MS3 last year - I was able to keep up all right, but I never finished it. I didn't like how it went asymmetrical and I don't really like stoles anyway, I prefer big comfy climb inside shawls. And it was in the Summer, not the fall. Fall is traditionally busy.

I signed up for the Growing challenge and how many posts have I made to update that? Alright I did do the challenge stuff, but failed to post regularly about it.

It's lace...with beads! OH! how can I say no? We'll see how it goes. I can always just print out the clues and knit it later, but then it won't be a surprise...Oh I can't decide.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Growing challenge update

Soooo, long time no post. (On this subject anyway). My garden is doing well despite the late start. We have some flowers on a couple of our pumpkin plants, but sadly some one who is two removed all of the plant markers so I have no idea which ones are which.

My greenhouse is overflowing with green. True, most of it is in the form of weeds but the humidity has been so darn oppressive I can't seem to bring myself to weed it. I need to stake my tomatoes. I still have a month or two before I'll need to install the plastic.

I've been putting nasturtiums in my salads since they started blooming a couple weeks ago. Very tasty! Sometime this week I plan to retire all the cut and come again lettuce and plant carrots in it's place. I'll plant new lettuces and spinach in the greenhouse between the tomatoes once I get those staked properly. We'll see how the weather cooperates.

My summer squashes have turned out to be the most rewarding though. Despite being completely in the shade they are big and bushy and quite robust. I can only attribute this to the 16 wheel barrels of sheep poop that they are planted in.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Camp sock progress

Been plugging away at the socks Ali needs for camp. Let's take a look at the progress shall we?

As you can see I'm doing pretty well. I have to finish the second sock on this pair and then I have one more pair to go. The local hardware store has started carrying this new to me sock yarn. Let me just say that any sock yarn the hardware store sells is worthy of purchase, no matter what the brand or the material content of the individual yarn. I think it's wonderful that a hardware store carries sock yarn at all so I want to encourage them to continue to carry sock yarn and the best way to do that is to buy it. However, I've got to say it's not torture, nor do I feel I'm lowering my standards at all with this yarn. I normally dislike the Red Heart brand even among other acrylics because I find the yarn too squeaky and it makes me grind my teeth. This yarn, however is completely different from any Red Heart yarn I've ever used before and I really like it. It's 70% wool (that's probably why) 30% nylon - compared to Regia, 75/25 wool/polyester or Opal 75/25 wool/polyamide. It feels almost exactly the same. I love it! I'm not really feeling any effects of the aloe, but maybe Ali will have softer feet when she wears the finished socks. I mean come on, only the very tips of my fingers and the left hand ring finger touch the yarn while I'm knitting so it's not like I'd get baby smooth hands anyway. Herrschners has it for $5 a ball, in case your hardware store doesn't carry sock yarn (and if you ever see a ball for sale there buy it!). It's a real bargain.

Friday, August 01, 2008

All in a day's work

So this morning after having a nice look at the latest knit-zine. I went outside to fix the fence. It rained (hard) last night so the digging was easy. I had to move 4 posts. If you are going to dig post holes I highly recommend digging them when the ground is damp. It makes the digging so much easier. I finally finished around 6 (I took a 1/2 hr lunch at 2).

My feet and hands hurt, but the fence looks great.