Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is this thing on? How do you make it work?

Hello Dahlings! I'm taking over this blog thingy while Donna is busy with other stuff.

First, you will notice that the ticker at the top of the page has not moved again. This has Donna a bit upset. She is wondering why she cannot make herself do the exercise things. She knows how to do it, she knows she can do it, and she knows that when she starts, she will enjoy it. She mentioned the other day that maybe she should find a drill Sargent - maybe that would get her motivated to get off her tushie and get moving. Oh my, I'm starting to have naughty thoughts about big buff men in uniform drilling...ummm, nevermind. Is it warm in here or is it just me? Maybe this computer machine is at fault. It is rather warm to the touch...

Anywhoo, back to Donna's issue with the exercising thing....I can't for the life of me think of why that gal just can't start up. That girl's got the moves, she can do anything she puts her mind to - she's lost weight before - I've seen it. She danced, she biked, she did it all! And had the body to prove it.

Hmmm....could she be afraid of changing her 'look'? I don't think so. She's not afraid of change at all. She changes her hairstyle, she changes her mind, and most importantly, she changes her underwear. I don't think that's it. She really liked the way she looked the last time she got herself healthy and feeling good - and I know she'd like to get close to that again.

Is she afraid of the work? Like I said before, she can do anything she puts her mind to - anything!

I think I've just figured it out. She's lost her mind! I'm sure of it. If she had full cognitive abilities, she would be able to get started no problem. Oh, the poor dear. I need to go help her find it.

TaTa lovies!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Having a guest blogger is great...

Hey! It's Boobie Tueday and I'm still really busy, so take it away Rachel:

Would I like some cheese to go with my whine?

It was a low mileage week for me. I usually walk 5 days a week, including 2 long workouts on the weekend. But this thing called Stitches West got in the way. Doors opened at 10:00 so I could have walked beforehand, but I needed to save my energy for my all-day yarn crawl, right? (This is where you all nod in agreement – ‘yes, of course’.) I took Friday off from work, got to the Santa Clara Convention Center around 10:30 and spent the next 5 hours wandering the floor checking out all the fiber. A lot of the booths had standard run-of-the-mill yarn, some had huge bins full of bags marked 75% off – but upon closer look I realized it’s stuff I’d never buy anyway – and then there were a few that had some absolutely lovely stuff at reasonable prices. Not cheap, but definitely great value. I picked up some roving (I’m about to order my 1st spinning wheel), a huge hank of 100% rayon from Interlacements, 2 nearly-as-huge hanks of 100% raw silk from Tess’ Designer Yarns, and a skein of Socks that Rock sock yarn in a really cool peach/brown/cream combo from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Oh yes – and a bag of Lana Knits 100% hemp that was on the half-price wall at Full Thread Ahead.

The next day I went back to Stitches to work in the Yarndogs booth – we were winding yarn in exchange for donations to raise money for our Avon walk team. Holy cow was it busy! I got there at 2:00, and there were already bags of yarn lined up for winding. A few skeins we received were pre-tangled, which really slowed us down – we had to deal with those by hand. I was supposed to leave at 5:00 but it was pretty crazy so I stuck around until a little after 6:00. I even took home a bag of yarn to wind at home, and I’ll drop it off at the shop tomorrow. I don’t know how much money we raised – I’ll get to find out then.

So. Walking. I’m supposed to be talking about that. Yes. Well. My walking partner had been sick all week and decided to lay low for the weekend, so I was on my own. I got up Sunday and spent most of the day dragging around. Tired, tired, tired. And sore. And stiff. After all, I probably walked 417 miles on Friday, and another 182 on Saturday, not to mention the eleventy pound bag I carried around. That should be enough of a workout for the weekend, right? I really was going to cash it in – I’m ahead of the game in training and a break isn’t a bad thing. After all, I was really tired. And sore. And stiff too, did I mention that? Then I started thinking about the walk – and how in July, no matter how tired and sore and whiny I am that Sunday, I’m going to have to suck it up and walk 13 miles that day anyway. So I might as well get used to walking even when I don’t feel up for it. Crap. I hate it when I think of things like that. But off I went. And it wasn’t that hard! Actually, it was easy – I started out slowly but picked up speed after the first half-mile, and managed to do just over 3 miles at a decent speed. Less than my usual Sunday trek but so much more than I thought I could do. I came home feeling pretty damn fine. Then of course it was back into soft clothes (after a shower, I swear) and time to park on the couch with the laptop. And latte instead of whine.


Good for you for walking on Sunday anyway! You're right in thinking that way - and once you start the walk, there's so much adrenaline around you, there's no way you can stop anyway! There will be enough time to feel the soreness over the week after it's all done.

Sounds like Stitches was fun. Some year, I'll spring for a hazmat suit and hit the Market. If I can't touch, I can at least look. But I have a feeling in the next few years, we'll see even more non-wool choices. How exciting!!!!

Well, that was easy. See you all later.

Oh yeah! I picked up the needles again this morning on the way in to work. They felt good in my hands. It's going to be a good day.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Let's go over the list, shall we?

OK, so here I am. I've been busy. Very. Busy. It's so suck-u-lanti-christ I can't stand it. This weekend was great. I could have used an extra day. Once again, NO KNITTING! I can't stand it.

So let's take a look back at the list and see what I did this weekend, shall we?

1. Sleep in - hell yes - done!
2. Go for a walk - ummm...nope
3. Make a run to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility - not quite ready for this so that would be another nope
4. Paint toenails - nope
5. Color hair - nope
6. Vacuum - yes, yes, yes!
7. Take a nap - can you believe another nope?
8. Hit the elyptical - d'oh, another nope
9. Watch a movie or two - can't believe I'm saying this - nope!
10. Stay up way too late - again, miracles never cease - nope
11. Play my guitar (yes, I do this - have started up again now that Spence is taking lessons - didn't realize how much I missed doing this - and yes, there is singing involved) - unfortunately nope - Spencer broke a string on Thursday night and we have yet to replace it

Sunday was spent with friends out and about.

Hmmm...only 2 out of 11 items done. Ask me if I care.

What exactly did I do on Saturday?

  1. Dishes
  2. 6 loads of laundry
  3. Took out trash and recycling
  4. Dusted
  5. Bargain hunted and captured again. I just love my local thrift stores! All things necessary (if only temporary) and small.
  6. Knitty, crafty (tatting), and guitar books brought home from the Half Price Book Store.

Kitty now has her own bed ($8 at the thrift store - and surprise! she's using it!). I have more materials to make up stuff to sell (different thrift store having end of the month 50% off everything sale). I found some cool vintage (1960's) knitting patterns (25 cents each booklet) that I actually think I'm going to have a go at and I found a Bass guitar instruction CD and poster with booklet. The poster shows finger positioning (we've been looking for one of these for a while now) and the CD has "Karaoke" music. The band plays and Spencer would provide the bass guitar part. Sounds cool. Can't wait til he checks it out and gets to use it. (Over at Dad's of course - snicker.)

I see the ticker at the top and smile. Only 49 lbs left to lose. Looks and sounds so much better that 50 lbs. And super dooper gigantically better that 61 lbs to lose.

The ticker at the bottom freaks me out. Still need to lose 8 lbs and I've only got 23 days left.

So what am I gonna do? Keep doing what I am and keep trying to get myself moving more. Right after I go home and collapse into bed.

I'm exhausted from work. If I had a physical job, I don't think I'd feel so bad. These mental jobs are something - they can make one - well - mental. My brain is tired. It wants to go home and go to bed. When the mind's not into it, it's really hard to make the body do what you want or ignore discomfort. Know what I'm saying?

Good thing tomorrow is Boobie Tuesday. You know you'll have something to read from Rachel.

Someday I will post about seeing the Mythbuster guys too.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Crazy Go Nuts

I know it doesn't make much sense. But that's OK. Nothing much does now-a-days around Casa de Chaos.

The ticker shows another pound down.

Life is crazy insane.

I got a haircut last night. I now have a dark brown mane. Can you say "Carrrrrrne Asada"? hahahahahahaha

Seriously though, I love it. It's shorter and sassy and just a bit wild. Just like me.

There has been no knitting content. There has been no knitting. I'm experiencing mojo crash. It's gone. All gone. I still have my list of projects I want to do. Maybe I'll knit this weekend. Maybe I won't.

This weekend Spencer is with his Dad.

My to-do list for the weekend:
  1. Sleep in
  2. Do nothing
  3. Take a nap
  4. Do nothing
  5. Take another nap
  6. Prowl around the apartment til all hours of the morning

Oh wait, that's what the cat is going to do.

Here's mine:

  1. Sleep in
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Make a run to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility
  4. Paint toenails
  5. Color hair
  6. Vacuum
  7. Take a nap
  8. Hit the elyptical
  9. Watch a movie or two
  10. Stay up way too late
  11. Play my guitar (yes, I do this - have started up again now that Spence is taking lessons - didn't realize how much I missed doing this - and yes, there is singing involved)

Lather, rinse, repeat on Sunday. Except for #'s 3, 4, 5 - those are Saturday only deals.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It sucks! And that's a good thing.

Before we get into Boobie Tuesday and Rachel's latest update...

I bought a new vacuum and it sucks! I love it. We won't, however, discuss how much stuff it picked up that was left behind by my old, suckless vacuum. EEEEwwwww!!!!!!


And now on to today's update...


After our training walk today, Deborah our team captain showed me the stitch markers that Donna made to help Knitters for Knockers raise money for the Avon Walk. They’re fabulous! And so nicely packaged. They’re going to be in the booth at Stitches West (Santa Clara Convention Center, Feb. 23-25) and then at Yarndogs in Los Gatos. Check ‘em out. Thanks Donna! I’m going to be working in the Yarndogs booth at Stitches from 2-5 on Saturday – I’ll be winding yarn. I’m pretty pleased about that – not only do I get to help the team raise money, I get to vicariously enjoy yarn that other people have bought as I wind it for them. Maybe that’ll help me curb my own spending. Or not. Heh…


So my little beagle Trouble had to go to the vet today – she seemed to be in pain. Long story short, it seems she has dislocated her tail, and with the help of painkillers she should feel better in about a week. I’ll tell you, I was scared though – I was convinced they were going to find a tumor in her tail and that they’d be telling us she wouldn’t be around much longer. I know it sounds alarmist, but let me give you a little history.

Until the late 1990’s, Cancer almost literally had never touched my life. My stepmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the late 70’s, had surgery, and has been clear ever since. That was it. Then my oldest brother Peter called me one day to tell me he’d been diagnosed with Lymphoma (Cancer of the lymph nodes) – Non-Hodgkin’s, to be exact. Well even though it had never been in our family before, it did make a little sense – not only did he smoke, but he was also a chemist by profession, so the chances of him being exposed to all sorts of nasty things were pretty high. He went through chemo, and the Cancer disappeared, though he still had ongoing autoimmune issues, which slowed him down a lot.

Fast forward 5 years. Newly divorced and escaped from an abusive marriage, I was thrilled to finally have some peace in my life, but found myself lacking energy to do the things I usually did – walking, gardening, snowboarding, etc. Then I started itching. Then wheezing. My doctor thought I had allergies and sent me to an allergist. Who couldn’t find a thing. Finally she told me I had no allergies, and had better start considering other possibilities – like maybe mono. She told me to get some tests, including an x-ray, which I did that day. That afternoon she called me. There was a soft-ball-sized tumor in my chest, and I needed to get a CT scan. In the meantime she pulled some strings so I wouldn’t have to wait for the hospital to schedule me for a biopsy weeks or months in the future. The day after the CT scan, I had my first visit with an Oncologist, and 2 days later, a biopsy. End result – Lymphoma. The kind I had was Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin’s Disease. The doctor was thrilled to tell me that it was highly curable, and that I’d be fine. But between now and the cure, life was going to suck. The next 3 weeks were the worst – test after test, needle after needle, and a lot of it hurt like hell. All I wanted to do was get started on chemo so I could get better, but of course they needed to find out everything about the situation before they could map out the treatment. Not fun for an impatient person like me! Starting chemo almost came as a relief – at least I was doing something about it.

Nine months of chemo, and month of radiation, and I was done. Tired, pale and pretty weak, but hey, I was here. And I had managed to keep working full-time during the whole thing. I also met and married my husband in the same time period! My last radiation treatment was in November, 2003. I thought from there on out, it would be easier. Apparently not so much. That Fall, 2 of my friends died from cancer. Then my brother’s Lymphoma returned, with a vengeance. In his mouth. They removed his tongue, and in a 23-hour operation, replaced it with some muscle from his stomach. After a month in the hospital, he went home to start radiation. Which for him was agony, and did no good anyway. Within a few months the cancer came back, and he died in July of 2004. A year later, my sweet little hound dog, Shirley, was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and died shortly thereafter. Fucking Cancer.

So I guess that’s why this walk has come to mean so much to me. If I can help anyone deal with this sucky disease, if I can help contribute in any way to a cure or prevention, then I want to do that. My personal experience having Cancer wasn’t so bad. But people close to me went through hell and a bunch didn’t make it. This is for them, and in hopes that as a result, there will be fewer and fewer people like them. If they have to go through it at all, I want everyone to have the same happy outcome that I was lucky enough to have. I may still be tired, I may have gained over 30 pounds from treatment and my metabolism is blown to hell, but damnit, I’m here and awfully happy to be able to say that!

Ok. Enough depressing stuff. I’m fine, my dog is fine (and hogging more than her share of the couch). Tonight she’ll hog more than her share of the bed, and I’m okay with that. I’m so happy she’s alright!

Next week – I don’t know what but it’ll be more cheerful, I promise. If you’re at Stitches, please stop by the Yarndogs booth and say Hi – I’d love to meet you. Have a good week!



WOW. Cancer sucks too (in a bad way) - and we're glad you're better and able to make a difference because of the money you are raising for the Walk. Thanks for doing it! (Glad you're Beagle is doing ok too. My Mom has Beagle. His name is Dexter.) I'm honoured to help you and the K4Kers. If I can't walk the walk, I will do what I can to help those who are walking meet their fundraising goals.

And now for some "Fresh off the Holiday off" eye candy...

Picked up this little number in the "Treasure Spot" under the stairs at the apartments (therefore it was free.

Don't you just love free?).

It's fabulous. I think I'll use it for a knitting bag... holds quite a bit.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and those of you who had the Holiday off had a great 3-day weekend! Much bargain hunting (and capturing) went on in my neck of the woods these past three days. I'd share, but:

1. You wouldn't believe me when I tell you how much I didn't pay.
2. You'd all be totally jealous.

You'll eventually see it all as I will slip it in every now and then and it will be worked up and put out on my Etsy site.

OH YEAH! Spencer and I saw Jaime and Adam from the Mythbusters TV show this Saturday. Spence got their autographs and even shook hands with Adam. He was so psyched, he was speechless! Now that's star struck...more on that later in the week.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fly Who? Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?

OK, so the FlyLady thing isn't going so well. Believe it or not, it's too regimented for me. So....I'm going to stick with my haphazard (can you say psychotic?) way of organizing. It works for me, so I'll stick with it 'til I find something else (maybe). Besides, the 10-15 emails a day were driving me nuts. I got off the mailing list, but will continue to reference the website as I need it. I do that with another organizing website as well. They are quite helpful. I'll continue to update my organizing attempts on Fridays. I'll have to think of something else to call my Friday posts now. Any ideas?

Anyway, on with the fun. I've got lots to tell you today.

First off, my Chicago Bear stuffed bear has finally come out of his funk to let me know exactly how he feels about the Bears losing to the Colts in the Superbowl. Let's just say he's finally changed his expression....

...I know how you feel my friend.

Next, we have some flowers. Got these from my friends for V-Day. Aren't they pretty?

Something else I got on V-Day...a package from our very own Walking Rachel!

Kitty is checking it out. And now for the fun part. What was inside. A very sweet note and some goodies. I felt like I was playing with some nesting dolls...

Inside the FedEx bag was...

A ziplock bag of goodies! Inside the ziplock bag was...yarn and another sandwich baggie.

The yarn is SWTC Bamboo and the tan colored yarn is Karabella cotton. Gorgeous! And such a sweet treat.

And finally, inside the sandwich baggie was the original purpose of the package. Some old jewelry and beads for me to use to make stuff. (Rachel pays attention...)

Lots of fun will be had from this small, simple, sweet package.

Which leads us into the reason why I didn't post about all this yesterday. I was making tags and packing up a few sets of these...

Pink Ribbon Stitch Markers.

I think they look great all packed up. Thanks to my Font Consultant (Antonella) for helping me pick out just the right one to use for the tag.

Four Pink Ribbon Marker sets are on their way to Deborah at Yarndogs down in Los Gatos. Deborah is another walker on the Knitters for Knockers team doing the AVON Walk in July. I contacted her earlier this week asking to donate the markers for fundraising. She is going to take these sets to Stitches West next week and sell them at the Yarndogs Booth (#'s 824, 826 and 828) to raise money for the AVON Walk. (Each walker needs to have $1800 minimum of donations.) They'll be winding up some skeins for Stitches attendees to raise money too. Stop by and show them some love - and buy the markers - and get your yarn wound up. Rachel says she'll be there for a few hours balling up yarn, so stop by and say HI! Wish I could head down there, but it's not in the plans this year. Besides, I can't touch anything anyway!

Anywhoo, I plan on using the jewelry bits and beads that Rachel sent me to make more stuff to help them raise funds. I'll be sending it all over the next few weeks to the Yarndogs store, so if you live close by, go check it out, and help these ladies raise some dough.

And last, but not least - actual organizing content. I went through several boxes Wednesday night looking for supplies to make the tags. Instead of just rifling through the boxes like I usually do, as I went through them, I threw out, recycled, put away, and bagged up for donation a whole bunch of stuff. YAY ME! Damn that felt good.

Lookee what I found!

Isn't it gorgeous? An abalone shell tatting shuttle. Found in a bag 'o "sewing things" that I bought at the thrift store for $1. I love it. Now to learn how to use it...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Somebandy loves me...Happy V-Day everyone!

This rubber band has been hanging out in my parking space in the garage for about a month now. When it's messed up (as in not heart shaped anymore), I fix it. Every morning it greets me with it's cute heartedness and every evening, it says "Welcome home". I don't know how it got there and I don't care. I hope it stays a while...

Happy Valentines Day little rubberband heart.

Oh yeah, it's Weigh-In-Wednesday. The ticker did not move - but then again, neither did I, so I'm grateful for it staying just the way it was... The only reason I did not gain weight (I'm really grateful for that), is that I've added more manual stair climbing (as opposed to walking up the escalator). And yes, my hips, tush, and knees are complaining. Wimps. I have yet to press "PLAY" on the new DVDs or any DVDs that are exercise related. Seems I don't have a problem pressing "PLAY" when it involves movies.

On to some other stuff.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... this little guy entered my life for a mere 45 cents. It was fate.

EGADS! These entered my life because of a two for one sale at Kohl's.

Comfy, warm, and cozy Stewie PJ bottoms - from the men's department of course, 'cause they don't have anything near as cool in the women's section. The second pair was a plain pair of plaid for Spencer to wear to school today - it was "Pajama Day". Since he doesn't wear conventional PJ's, we went and got him some. He got lucky they were on sale, otherwise he wouldn't have gotten anything.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If you insist...

You Are 29 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Yeah, I'm 29. My Dad celebrated his 29th b-day every year. Dad was a very smart man.

Big Bird? BIG BIRD?!?

You Are Big Bird

Talented, smart, and friendly... you're also one of the sanest people around.

You are usually feeling: Happy. From riding a unicycle to writing poetry, you have plenty of hobbies to keep you busy.

You are famous for: Being a friend to everyone. Even the grumpiest person gets along with you.

How you life your life: Joyfully. "Super. Duper. Flooper."

Hmmmm...I wanted someone more exciting. Oh wait, this is Sesame Street we're talking about here...

Gee thanks Cherry, now I have to go and do MORE quizzes. Dammit.

Hello Mr Sunshine!

Such a nice sunny morning in San Francisco today.

Welcome all to Boobie Tuesday.

And on we go to Rachel's update:

Miscellaneous thoughts:

The Sore-Bun isn’t just a university in Paris

I didn’t get as much mileage in as usual this week. Part of it was the rain – I actually like walking in the rain, but a lot of my shorter (2.5 mile) workouts are done during my lunch hour and I don’t want to come back in the office drenched and cold. The other part is that in preparation for those San Francisco hills, my walking partner and I opted to get a good workout today on some much steeper terrain than we’re used to. It was really pretty, a lot of fun, and there were some great views. But holy crap, my butt hurts!

Apparently I want to bitch-slap know-it-alls (though I didn’t)

I went to an injury prevention workshop this week, given by a local chiropractor. She works the Avon walk, both at the event and by leading training walks. It was definitely time well spent – I learned a few things, and I plan on going on a few of her walks so I can learn more about stretching. I also learned how very much I appreciate my team. A few people at the workshop who had done the walk last year acted incredibly superior, and quite frankly, obnoxious. I’m glad the women I’m spending my time with compete only with themselves, and they’re nothing but accepting and supportive. And damned funny. I think I really lucked out!

Some things I learned this week

My GPS can withstand a full round in the washing machine, including soap and spinning. Don’t ask. Let’s just say I’m thankful.

If you hold a stretch for more than 30 seconds, something changes physiologically in the muscle and it is MUCH more effective. I noticed the difference today. With the exception of the sore buns – but I don’t think I stretched those.

I shouldn’t try to knit lace in the dark.

Fundraising isn’t as scary as I thought

I have wonderful friends. The minimum amount you have to raise to be able to participate in this walk is $1,800 (my personal goal is $3,600). I made the minimum in less than 3.5 weeks! I knew most of my friends would donate – they just completely blew me away with their generosity. I’ve even received donations from people I don’t know – maybe someone who reads this blog. Who knows! It is very much appreciated. I haven’t even acted on all of my fundraising ideas yet; it’s entirely possible I’ll meet my goal – wouldn’t it be cool if I had to raise it? Maybe I’ll talk sometime about some of the things I did to raise the money.

Well that’s it for now. I’m going to re-knit the lace I screwed up so royally in the dark last night. I thought I was capable of counting to 10 but apparently not.



Don't know about you guys, but I enjoyed reading this one. Congrats to Rachel on her bitch-slap self control. Loved the Sore-Bun part. Hee Hee. I discovered a whole lotta muscles I didn't know I had or hadn't used in forever when I was in training. Just when I thought I had it covered, I did the walk and discovered a whole bunch more...

Here's another tip - this one from my doctor. When I was thinking about doing the walk and my doc gave me the pre-diabetic news, I asked what should I do for a sports drink? On the walk they have Gatorade and that's not exactly a good thing for a diabetic. They also provide water - which is the best thing ever for everyone. She said substitute V8 for the Gatorade, eat the fruit they give you at the rest stops and if they have peanut butter snackage, go for it - and don't forget the water. If you have a good support system - also known as family and really good friends who would give up their weekend to meet you along the route with fresh V8 and possible other more diabetic friendly snacks - this will work great. Otherwise you've got to work with what they have or, carry it yourself.

Oh and one more thing Gatorade related that I remember from past walks. Figure out your Sports drink of choice ahead of time. Start walking with it. Get used to drinking it and get your body used to processing it. I actually diluted the Gatorade 2/3 to 1/3 water - I don't like sports drinks at all - yuk. That's the only way I could handle drinking so much of it. I also had a fanny pack that carried two bottles. One of the mix and one of water. This also helps you get used to carrying the weight on your hips.

Which leads me to something else I did to prepare. About a month or 2 before the actual walk, load up your fanny pack with the stuff you think you'll be taking with you. Walk with it, switch it up, add, subtract - by the time walk time comes around, you'll be used to carrying it all.

Take it easy folks and enjoy the sunshine if you've got it. ~D~ out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Taking action

Well, now that I've got the pity party off my chest...

Anyway, thanks everyone for your suggestions and encouragement concerning my "Overwhelmed" post yesterday. It helped a lot. If you haven't already, click on the link AmpuT put in the comments. You'll feel so much better too. I know that the clutter mess I've got is nothing compared to what other people have. All I have to do is remember some of the houses of Spencer's friends and I feel so much better about mine. What's bad is when I think of the houses that look like I want mine to look, that's when I get a bit down about mine.

Believe it or not, I have done everything that has been suggested and have been doing it for 2 years now - slowly but surely. I would love to take a week off of work and work on it all 24/7 for said week, but then I wouldn't get very much done. I'm not only a pack rat, I am a procrastinator. The week would be over and I wouldn't have gotten very far at all. So I take it on a little at a time. That's what works for me - for now.

All I have left now though is stuff I supposedly wanted to keep when I went through it all the first time last year. I'm pretty sure I can get rid of 75% (hopefully more) of that as well. And I will. I haven't opened any of those 'keeper' boxes in over 6 months. So out they go. Along with the stuff in them, of course. The stuff I think I still want to keep will get photographed or scanned and then out it goes too.

I'm pretty psychotic when it comes to going through my stuff. Sometimes I'll be totally brutal and just toss, toss, toss for an entire weekend at a time. Other times, I'll feel overwhelmed and just sit and look at it all wondering what the hell am I going to do now?

The main reason why I'm staring at boxes in my living room and bedroom, is that once I went through everything and pared it down, I put it all away. My cabinets, closets, storage shelves, and under our beds, were all completely full. I didn't like that. So, I took out everything and only put back what we REALLY needed to keep. I considered getting a storage unit, but figured if we don't really need it, why should I pay to store it?!? So, I've been looking at these boxes for about 7 months now wishing that they would all just disappear. I had not swung over to the brutal, toss, toss, toss, mode for a while.

Until yesterday after my little rant.

I started with the storage dresser in the living room. On the top is the pathetic plant collection. Culled through that pretty quickly. Leaves were trimmed, and one 99% dead plant was sent to the 'compost pile' under my balcony. Face it girl, you can't bring it back. Next, the drawers. Emptied them all out. What is left fills 3 of 6 drawers. I think I will use the remaining drawers to store Spencer's art supplies until I can find a better solution for those. Ultimately, I want to get rid of that dresser, so I am always on the lookout for double duty furniture pieces to replace the storage and get some other funtionality as well. Until then, it has to stay.

I also went through some paper piles. I don't care how organized and de-cluttered I get, I will probably always have my paper piles. I don't know why. Maybe when everything else is said and done, I'll have nothing else to do but take care of my paper right away. Only time will tell - I'm hopeful.

Tonight I will spend 30 minutes on paper and then start up on a stack of boxes. I'll work on that until 10pm or I get tired of it. Whichever comes first.

When I first went through all my stuff, I filled up my Toyota Corolla with boxes and bags for the thrift store about 6 times (that's a full trunk, a full back seat, and a full front seat), filled the recycle bins several times (big giant rolling bins), and trashed about a full dumpster of stuff. I live in an apartment, so there is no leaving it out 'free', or having a yard sale. I hate having yard sales anyway, so that was never a saving option for me. This wasn't all in one day, just accumulative over about 9 months of work. Hard work.

Well, that's about it for today, I'm done spilling my guts, tomorrow is Boobie Tuesday and we get another update from Rachel.

Edited to add: I did the dishes too.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Well, here I sit online doing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I am typing and I am doing laundry.

Outside, the sun is shining - after a few days of some much needed rain - and what's left of my poor struggling 'jungle' is out on the balcony catching some much needed rays. Eleven plants left - less that half of what I had last summer. The winter was hard on them and the cat harder. Little bitch amuses herself by shredding leaves all day. Argh.

Inside, the place is a wreck. Everywhere I look, something needs to be put away. The damned sink is full of dirty dishes and the damned dishwasher is full of clean dishes. I need to vaccuum and dust. The paper piles are growing again. There are boxes and piles of crap everywhere. I still have not pressed "PLAY" and have yet to go to the exercise room in the complex here. There is so much to do, yet I don't know where to start. I just want to sit here on the couch and cry.

But what will that get me? Nothing! Nothing but red puffy eyes - and those will look great with the big black circles and the bags I'm working now. Sucky sleep will do that to you.

If I had the money, I would back up a dump truck and toss it all over the balcony. Start over. Now that's a thought. Small loveseat? Bye bye. Large ass 16-yr old TV? See ya! Too small dining table with mismatched chairs? Adios suckers. Stacks of boxes I haven't opened in 3 years? Nice knowing ya - I don't even know what's in you anymore. Ahhh, that is my fantasy. And what a great fantasy it is.

But I don't have the money to buy it all over again, so guess I'm stuck with all this...ugh. The only consolation I have right now is that the dumpsters got emptied yesterday along with the recycle bins. At least I can toss the boxes...heh heh heh...

Plan of action? I don't really have one. Yet. FlyLady says one baby step at a time. Yeah, whatever. I can't even handle that. Guess I can try again tonight to make a list of things I need to do in the apt and things I want to do in the apt. For every 2 things I need to do that get scratched off the list, I can do one thing I want to do.

On to more fun things now. I went shopping yesterday and bought some cool stuff. Came across an extra $30 and decided to go to IKEA and get myself a quilt insert. Long story short, the things I originally looked at cost twice that, so I went wandering around. Ended up buying a chopstick set, a coordinating spoon set, a citrus zester, 4 medium size soft storage bins (for the yarn), 8 small size soft storage bins (also for the yarn) and SURPRISE! Found a queen size quilt insert in the "AS IS" section for $10! I spent $28.13 for it all. Damn I'm good.

The yarn has been moved out of the dresser and into the storage bins/bags. Now the dresser sits empty and the bags sit next to the piles of boxes. Need to get rid of that dresser. And a few other pieces of furniture as well. Time to call the furniture consignment place to 1) see if they'll take it and 2) how much it will cost for them to come pick it up. If it's worth it, that's where it all goes. If not, time to call the local Thrift store charities I contribute to and see if they'll come pick it up for free. Looks like there is day off from work in my future to get all this done.

Next up, put all those new storage bins on the storage shelves in my room or in the hall closet and out of my dining area. Got to clear out other stuff first. Oh yeah, and I'll be making covers for those damn shelves too. Tired of looking at all the boxes on them. Oh yeah, I intend to get rid of so much stuff, I can reduce it down to one shelf instead of two. I would like NO shelves, but my closet space is minimal to non-existant and I have no extra storage areas. Maybe I'll just throw that all out too. Grrr.

I feel like it's a never ending war. But every small battle won gets me one small baby step closer to having the simple, clutter free apt I long for... But it is one war I am determined to win. Dammit.

Oh, and I'll be making a duvet cover for that new quilt insert - from fabric stash only. (Yeah, I've got one of those too.) As soon as I can clear out the dining room, and part of my bedroom, and.........

Well, the timer just went off - the laundry is ready to come out of the drier. Time to get started on all this I guess...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Time for some distracting stuff maybe?

Would you care to see the Vintage bags in my purse collection?

Or perhaps my complete collection of tea cups.


'Cause today is FlyLady Friday and I've got nothin'. Shined up the ol' sink a few times this week. But last night's dishes are still there this morning. It's that whole "you need to empty out the dishwasher first so you can load it up again" thing.

OH! I know, how's about this?!? Thanks AmpuT for giving me something to post today.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Say it Sexy! RRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

So how many other of you guys loved the SuperBowl commercial from Taco Bell? I must admit, I loved it. It was my favorite. Maybe because I like kitties and lions are just big kitties? Whatever. I think it's funny. And so is this little ditty from the Taco Bell web-site. It's all interactive and stuff. Enjoy. I like the lions much better than that dang Chihuahua they had a few years back...

ETA? We don't need no ETA.

I have discovered that Spence doesn't really get the whole concept of the passage of time as well as he thinks he does. Therefore, the whole 'estimated time of arrival' (ETA) thing is moot. Case in point:

Following conversation takes place via cell phone texting while we are trying to meet up at the train station after karate/work yesterday...

Me: How close are you?
Him: About 10 minutes maybe 7 or 8
Me: Gud I'm here already
Him: OK

16 minutes later, he shows up. In the meantime, my ears are bleeding because I am being subjected to the WORST EVER SAX PLAYER (Suxman) at the train station. And I'm hungry. And now thanks to Suxman, I've got a splitting headache. And in case you didn't realize it, I'm cranky.

We've really got to work on his ETA estimation skills.

On to today's knitting content...

Only two projects on the needles right now. Gerson's Kittyville hat and the Phoenix Shawl. I haven't really touched the Phoenix in weeks. The Kittyville hat needs the Kitty ears and it's done. I've been trying to start up the Knucks, but can't seem to get going. I tried yesterday at lunch with my metal dpns but they kept slipping out, so I went and bought myself some bamboo dpns after lunch. I've got some periwinkle colored cotton that I want to start something up with, but I haven't found a pattern yet. Haven't really looked all that hard though.

I'm back to the hands wanting to knit NOW, but the brain can't figure out what to knit. It's very frustrating.

And No, Cherry, I haven't hit "PLAY" just yet.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gettin' Jiggly With It

Hey Folks. Today is Weigh-In-Wednesday! Weee. And the ticker on top's a wee bit past halfway to the test goal of 20 pounds! And 50 pounds to go (overall) looks a hell of a lot better than 61 pounds to go... Yay! So once again I tell myself it's time to kick it into high gear - 'cause I still want to do this 20 pounds down in 3 months - no point in dragging out the torture of re-taking that test. Am I ever gonna listen to myself and get going?!?! Ugh.

And now for some reviews of sorts:

OK, so last week I mentioned that I bought some Winsor Pilates DVDs at the local Big Lots! store. Cherry asked me to let her know if they were worth checking out. Here's what they look like (photo courtesy of

This set on Amazon is the same set of 5 I bought. Big Lots! had the cookbook too, I just didn't bother with it. Amazon lists them for $34.00 and up new and used. I paid $2.99 per DVD and was able to pick and choose which ones I wanted. That makes around $15 + tax total spent since I bought all 5 DVDs. I need all the help I can get and I figured at $2.99 a pop - what the hell.

Were they worth it? Don't know yet. Still have yet to do any of the workouts. I have been watching them and so far here's my opinion: They are gonna kick my butt. And it's gonna hurt. A lot.

In general, Mari Winsor is easy to listen to, explains everything quite well and keeps things flowing smoothly throughout the workout. The music works well with the movements, but is not overpowering. She does not do the movements herself, but has a good mix of men and women of every shape and size working the movements while she explains and shows us what to do. There is also one person (the Modifier) who is doing modified movements for those of us who need a gentler workout. Overall, I think I'm going to enjoy it once I get going. I do recommend watching them through once without actually doing the workouts. There were a few moves and terms I didn't recognize, so now that I've seen them, it's not all too new and it won't be hard to switch between movements or keep up with the program.

There are no warm up or cool down sections in the body area specific DVDs, so I intend to warm up and cool down on my own. A little extra stretching never hurt anything.

Let's start with the DVD pictured on the top left and work our way clockwise...

DVD #1: Bun & Thigh Sculpting (running time 21 minutes) - Just watching this one burns. This combination of moves will definitely reduce the saddlebags and get rid of the junk in your trunk. It concentrates on exactly what it says. I can see myself doing this one a few times a week.

DVD #2: Accelerated Body Sculpting (running time 57 minutes) - I had to take a nap after watching this one. An entire body workout (on the mat) lasting almost an hour. Definitely going to do the modified version of this one until I can get through the whole thing without calling 911.

DVD #3: Ab Sculpting (running time 22 minutes) - Good heavens! I think I lost 3 inches from my waist just watching this one. Mari really knows how to target a specific area and work you like a dog. This one is a definite must for me. I do this workout for a few months and pretty soon when I do a belly roll you'll be able to see the belly muscles working. Yalla! And a Zagareet too! (That's my bellydance talk for Giddy up and woo hoo!)

Next up in the photo is the Diet Cookbook thing which I did not get.

DVD #4: A combined DVD of Maximum Burn Basics (25 min) and Fat Burning: Sculpt Your Body Slim (50 min). Burn Basics is awesome. Take your basic Pilates mat work and add weights. I think she has a warm up session with this one, but I can't remember. A good idea since you will be working with the weights. I'm definitely going to work out with this one. My upper arms and my chest wiggle just a bit too much...she has some great move combos for these areas. Fat Burning is almost an hour of torture. The moves didn't look that difficult. The music was drums - and anyone who knows me, knows I love dem drums (hello, I'm a belly dancer/student). This part of the DVD is about 30 minutes or so of an aerobics class with some Pilates thrown in, then 20 minutes of Pilates mat work. There is a warm up and cool down for this workout. That seems easy enough Donna, what is so torturous about this? I'll tell you. Mari's workout ensemble. I can't get past the bell bottom capris with the Minney mouse shoes. Mari Winsor is a very petite woman. The pants swishing about 3 inches above her giant shoes are just too distracting for me. Don't know if I can do this one. No worries though. I have plenty of other DVDs with aerobic workouts - most of them Belly Dance related - and I'll have a lot more fun doing those. The Weight workout alone is worth the price of admission, so I'm not complaining.

DVD #5: Power Sculpting with Resistance (running time 28 min) - I really love this one. I think it's my favorite. Pilates movements using a resistance band. This one will be alternated with the Pilates movements using weights. The best part is that you have 3 choices of music to go along with your workout. Actually four. New age, Jazz, Pop, or you can mute the music, but keep Mari's instruction and play your own music. I think I'll be playing my own music for this one.

Better keep the phone handy. I'll be needing some mouth-to-mouth and some oxygen after these I'm sure. For a few weeks anyway. I've got a feeling these will be quite a bit advanced for me right now. BUT...My body still adapts pretty well despite my age, and I'm still quite flexible despite my size, so I'm sure it won't be too long before I can make it through without too many sore muscles afterwards. It helps that Mari always has "the Modifier" to adjust the exercises for us Pilates virgins/wimps.

All I have to do now is pick a DVD, put it in the machine and press PLAY. Not too hard, right?

Rachel's Week #3 Update

I really love Boobie Tuesdays...I get to rest a bit - and lately, I've needed it.

And now without further ado...Rachel's Week #3 Update:

Well. Over nine miles today – 9.2 to be exact – walking with Knitters for Knockers. My friend Nathalie and I got ahead of the group after about 2 miles, and figured they’d catch up with us – until about 30 minutes later when we realized they’d turned around. We just kept on going – and were really tired by the time we got back, but I have to say it was a great walk. I had to stretch a couple of times early on, then I felt everything loosen up and I basically cruised along for most of it. Next week we plan on walking in an area with more of an incline – we need to acclimate to those San Francisco hills!

So – equipment. I said I’d write a little about that. When I made the commitment to join this walk, I already owned some good running shoes that were still new enough to provide decent support. I prefer running shoes over walking shoes – just because of the way they fit my foot. Other than that, I didn’t have much to work with; I moved here from Vermont about a year ago, and most of my workout clothing tended toward the woolen and warmer, so I could use it outside in sub-zero temps. Plus I’ve never trained for anything big like this, so having appropriate clothing wasn’t as important. But it is now! So off we went to find some gear. I picked up some good socks, under-things and 2 shirts that will wick sweat away from me. I also got a fanny pack that holds 2 bottles (hydration is super-important) and thought I was done. But apparently not – my techie husband thought that I would make good use of a GPS. So I got a really good one (a Garmin Forerunner 205) – it fits on my wrist, and tells me how far I have gone, the altitude, current speed, max speed, calories burned, and a bunch of other things. I thought the GPS was overkill but damn, I love that thing! It’s so cool being able to see how far you’ve gone, and you can also download it all into your computer and map out your progress. And I’m totally loving the high-tech clothing – I am so comfortable during each training walk, and so far, no chafing or blisters. Can’t beat that!

Oh yeah – the crowning glory? A few weeks ago I helped my husband with his business, and spent a weekend working his booth at the home show in Santa Clara. As a surprise thank-you gift, he bought me an iPod! So freakin’ cool. And a lifesaver. When I walk, I tend to keep the same tune in my head – it can last for hours. Which is great if it’s a good song, but have you ever had ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ worming its way through your brain? It’s hell, I tell you! : ) My Nano takes care of that. I don’t use it if I’m walking in a group – I’d rather talk to the people around me. And for safety’s sake, when I do use it, I keep the volume pretty low. I still want to be able to hear what’s going on around me. But it’s a fun, fabulous little toy – and a luxury I never expected to own.

So that’s it. I’m pretty tricked out when it comes to walking stuff. Not all of it is crucial, but I think it’s all going to help make my walk the best experience possible!

See you next week. I am beat!


Don't forget to check out her personal AVON Walk Fundraising Page and make a donation today. She's almost raised half her goal!!!! Go Rachel!

One last thing you might want to get....a personal mist thing for those training days when it's going to be HOT HOT HOT out. I bought one for the last walk I did. Back when I did the AVON Walk, it was walking from San Jose to SF. That first day in the South Bay was like walking in an oven, but I was fine - and whoever was walking in the same general area with me. Those mist things are awesome. Your own personal A/C. Oh, and the San Jose bike cops just loved it. Sigh. I'm really gonna miss those cuties...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Check it, yo.

How many of you knew this was coming?

Bears came, saw, and lost to the Colts. Funny how he still has the same expression, isn't it?!? Sigh...

Now on to something completely different...


Yes folks...the Cigar gloves for my friend Gary are finally done and gifted yesterday. But they look more like Knucks - only without the embroidery (I discovered I don't like making fingers). Check 'em out...

Just in time for 70 degree F temps on game day. Oh well.

I think he likes them...Oh, and he asked me to stitch some silver stars on them (he's a Dallas Cowboy fan and they are the perfect shade of blue for that...)

I said, "If you want to wait 3 more months, no problem..."

"Check the gloves, yo."

Almost FO:

The Kittyville hat for my friend Gerson. I finished the base hat during the game yesterday. Now on to the cat ears, the ear flaps and the ties. Giddy up!

Next up on the needles? A few pairs of Knucks. Although I don't know how far I'll get. Dark blue gloves, black Kittyville Hat, 3 pairs of black Knucks. Dark, dark, dark...don't know if I can handle it. Time to find a pattern for all that light colored yarn I've got and start something up before I go wonkers. Hmmm, I did find something special at the thrift store a few weeks back I can use. But that's gonna be a surprise! Snicker.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

I'm not a poet, but you knew that, didn't you?

Today is Cyberspace Poetry Reading day. Read about it here.

Here's my contribution - found it here.

0084 The Power Of A Single Touch

I am starting to learn of the power of a single touch.
Yes! It has taken twenty five years (sorry!) .
A single touch, skin to skin,
Can set a soul on fire.
A single touch, say one word,
Can devastate a life.
A single touch, a simple glance,
Can set a mind a racin'
I wonder where this power comes from?
Is it they who touch who gives the power?
Is it those that get touched who hold it's potential?
A mixture of both I guess,
Bet some don't even notice.

~Moya Levy

All Together Now...


The weekend is here - well, almost - and folks, I'm ready for some football!

Saturday is filled with lots of stuff to do - so I can have Sunday free for the SuperBowl of course - most of it involving getting the car worked on and waiting for said work to be complete. In other words - lots of waiting room knitting. Work continues on the Phoenix Shawl, the Kittyville Hat, and all I have left on Gary's gloves is the last thumb. Booyah!

And now on to FlyLady Friday stuff: can't see my sink again dammit. Guess that about sums it all up, doesn't it?

Edited to add: I remembered to get the info on The Stretch Deck of cards my sis gave me for Xmas. I highly recommend them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do #'s 20, 21, and 24. I pulled a back muscle on the train this morning. If I don't stretch it gently during the day, I'll be in quite a bit of pain this weekend, which means no SuperBowl party. And that just won't do, now will it?!?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Private Party...

Excuse me while I hold a private pity party for sucks. 'Nuf said.

And now back to our regular programming....

...It's almost time for the Super Bowl!


Sure wish I could find his hat. It's not a complete outfit without the hat! argh... Guess I know what I'm doing on Saturday.

Still working on Gary's gloves. I did another finger last night. Hope to do the last finger tonight and maybe the thumb? If I can, I can spend tomorrow's train rides weaving in ends. Yay! I really really really hope I can finish them up for Sunday. We're going over to Gary's to watch the Superbowl, so he will be smoking a cigar at some point during the day. They are blue too. Maybe I should duplicate stitch a big "C" on them in orange...heh heh. Just joking G. Maybe.

Moving right new train project is a Kittyville Hat for my friend Gerson. Second try started yesterday. First try, I decided to use a different yarn, didn't like the fabric, so I switched back to what I had used to make mine. Just once I'd like to start a project and not restart and restart, etc etc etc.

And yes, the knitting mojo is still in high gear, so it's going quickly. Once Gary's gloves are done, I'm going to start up on some Knucks - 3 pairs eventually. One for Spence, two others for Xmas gifts - and yes, I know, Xmas is way past. Better late than never and they've got b-days coming up soon, so it'll just be a combined kind of gift thing. Whatever.

Sure wish I would have just done Knucks for Gary. The gloves turned out to be the same as them anyway. I hate doing full fingers. The tips looked like nipples on the end of the fingers. Nuf said, pattern changed, nipples tinked. OK, I'm going to stop now. This could get, well, very naughty...and I'm not going there today...really...I'm not.

Anywhoooo, Spence and I have been working on some 8 letter word combos to put on the knuckles of the Knucks. He hasn't been very helpful.

So far, I've decided on "ROCK STAR" for Spencer to match his "Rock Star" Homer Simpson hoodie.

I'm still thinking of the others. One recipient is a 10 yr old, the other is his Dad. This is gonna take some thought...