Thursday, December 25, 2008
"We are Santa's Elves...Filling Santa's Shelves...."
"Lots of toys for good girls and boys..."
"OHHHHH...We are Santa's Elves!!!"
And now I can't get that doggone song out of my head...meanwhile Honey and Spencer are merrily shooting the living daylights out of each other on the Xbox.
And off I go to cook our Xmas dinner while merrily humming that stupid little tune. It was cute last night...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Don't forget, most important!!!
- Monthly self-exams
- Yearly Mammograms
Why do I bring this up now?
Funny you should ask.
I'll tell you.
Mid-November I was doing my own self-exam and found a tender lump.
A few days later was my yearly exam/physical. Doc takes a touchie feelie, yep, it's a lump alright. Sends me off with orders for a diagnostic mammogram.
Day before Thanksgiving, I'm getting all squished. Wait here while we check the films.
Step this way for an ultrasound, we need a better look. Wait here while we check the images.
Cry on the way home. On the bus. It was raining.
Doc calls me back that afternoon with the name of some breast cancer surgeons.
Make appointment. J - That's where I was coming back from when you saw me going thru Heather Farms. I had just finished my consultation appointment with the surgeon and had found out exactly what I was up against.
Recommendation: Ultrasound guided needle core biopsy. We'll call hospital tomorrow and send over all your films and images. We'll call you when that's done so you can call them and set up an appointment.
December 18th, Honey and I bundled off to the hospital so I could have my procedure. It turned out a bit different than expected and now I have a small metal marker in my boob** - put there just in case they had to go back in for more. Oh, and we'll need to get a mammogram to mark the spot and record you have that in there. Gee. Thanks. You poke big fat needles in my boob and now you're going to squish it. Sigh. OK, you're all set - your surgeon will have the results at the earliest Monday.
Friday: soreness, occasional pain. Waiting.
Saturday: soreness. More waiting.
Sunday: We go out for a bike ride in the rain. The whole time this whole "is it bad or nothing" hanging over my head as I wait.
Monday: More waiting.
Tuesday morning: Results at last. I have good news for you. Nothing to worry about.
Easy for you to say. I wasn't the only one going thru this and my family, Honey, and a few very close friends have been waiting just as impatiently as I have. I haven't had a good night's sleep in a month.
I was in Target when I got the news. I cried tears of relief in the Target bathroom. And then again on the way back to the bus stop.
So Please, everyone. Do the needful and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Make sure everyone has all their yearly exams and tests.
Luckily for me, the news was good. There are so many others where it is not.
I am happy to say that on the 11th 'anniversary' of when my Mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, I was not diagnosed with breast cancer.
We've had full days since Honey arrived. Out on the bikes and going all about and stuff. Now I hope I can FINALLY enjoy things and get into the Holiday spirit. And maybe now I'll be in the mood to decorate for Xmas.
I just haven't wanted to do anything.
** My first reaction was...is it made of plastic? Will it dissolve? Metal?!? Will it set off security alarms at the airport? NO?!?!?!?! wtf. What's the point in having something metal in your boob if it doesn't set off the scanners and embarrass the hell out of the poor soul unlucky enough to wand you. THAT'S NO FUN!!!! At least I got a laugh out of the ladies poking me with needles and stuff.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Honey made it here in one piece and has been very patient as I work out this week. As of 5pm today, tho, I'm on Xmas Vacation! YAY!
Today we took a long lunch and walked over to our favorite bike shop and purchased a used bike for Honey. We got a great deal. Once Honey heads back home, Spencer will be able to use it to ride around with me on the weekends. It's a very nice bike and the same type of one that was stolen from the BART station, only a newer model.
Honey has been spending his time working on a loaner bike we got from Spencer's Dad. It's a piece of crap bike that needed some chain oil and some brake ajustments. Honey has wonderfully done that and will test it out tomorrow.
Tomorrow is filled with bike testing, taking some stuff for donation, Spencer's soccer game and if there's any energy left - we will put up the Xmas tree and decorate up the apartment.
Sunday morning will hopefully be weather friendly enough for us all to hop on the bikes and hit the trail for a morning pit stop at Peet's and then a stop at Sports Basement to get some more locks and see what other sort of essential bike accessories we just have to have. hee hee
I am just so excited to get us all out and on bikes together. Going to have lots of fun.
Now all we need is Mother Nature to cooperate with some lovely weather.
J: We don't mind the rain. And yes, I was riding thru Heather Farms last Thursday, hope I didn't cut you off or anything. Was my first time riding in the darkness. Yes, my hair is long and I had it in braids. Did you notice my bright coral pink jacket?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Gulp. So much to do still.
Still working on Pay It Forward Gifts. Yes they are late. But they are done, all I have to do is some finishing and I can send them off.
Finally back to knitting on SPencer's argyle double-knit scarf. God, I love this project! Definitely going to have to do some more - probably not projects as big as a scarf, but I just gotta do more! Four pattern repeats done, about 12 more to go...sigh.
Rode the bike a few times, then the rain started. I'm going to still ride in the cold tho. I'm still deciding on the rain. Oh, speaking of keeping warm on the bike, I found a club on Ravelry for bike riders. Lots of helpful advice and awesome ideas and patterns I'm definitely going to try.
It's been hard getting myself to do anything, but I think I'm getting back into stride.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some online donations to get to...
Monday, December 08, 2008
There was lots of stuff planned...most of it planned not by me...as in if I had a choice, I wouldn't have done it.
All potentially wearing me out (more like burning me out) before MY only choice for the weekend happened.
SURPRISE!!! I enjoyed everything. And I even got in an unplanned shopping event!!!
I'm a bit worn out now...but I sure had a wonderful weekend.
And, good heavens, I really needed it.
Weekend started Friday night with me totally cranking that the weekend was going to suck. I don't normally do stuff like that because, well, attitude is everything, right?
Saturday, up bright and early after sleeping like crap. Kitty makes noise, I yell at Kitty to shut her pie hole, kid takes that as sign Mom is up for the day. No...it's before 8am on a Saturday for criminy's sake. go away....both of you. Take this as a sign that the weekend is TOTALLY going to SUCK, moan, roll over and try to go back to sleep.
Epic Fail...get up 20 min later.
Once I have breakfast in me, feel much better, chat with Honey online, lunch comes round, time to head out.
Xmas party first, then Soccer game with Spencer.
Take early bus after hearing bestest friend complain about her bus never showing up...dudes...it never. showed. up. She waited over an hour until one finally came.
Thinking again...gah...today is totally going to SUCK.
Early bus on time, BART train on time, get to designated ride meetup time early. Emerge from Downtown Oakland BART station to the music of several marching bands.
hahahahahahahahahaha....Oakland's Holiday Parade!!!! hahahahahahahahaha
Quickly dial ride and say we have to meet on other non-blocked- off street around here, where you at? Craziness ensues, we meet ride, all is well. Much laughter follows.
Xmas party is a lot better than I thought - I knew more people this year, have good time chatting...and I even had a beer.
Head off to soccer game....beer wears off as we wait, and wait and wait for game to start.
Game starts, boys win 6-4. Happy kids, happy parents. Have accepted that we've missed last bus home from BART station...head off home.
Is cold out, but we only have to walk a short way to taxi stand, get lucky and get a nice driver. (Some of the drivers there can be c-r-e-e-p-y or just plain standoffish)
Get home snack, change, relax, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Up and at 'em early next morning...7am on Sunday people... It's time for SF Sock Club. YAY! And Spencer is coming with...hee hee.
We both really had second thoughts about going...we had to get up early after all, but we go anyway. Both of us have a total blast. AmpuT brought her son, another knitter brought her boyfriend, so the 3 "non-knitters" bonded over hot cocoa, pastries and video game discussion. (please note, that the boyfriend does indeed knit - just not yesterday - and had his eye on my Precious the whole time and is planning on making one - and you know I had my eye on him and the Precious!)
Spencer discovers Bike Shop across the street from the cafe, the boys head over to check it out.
Sock Club ends, we make a yarn run to ImagiKnit and head out home. Thanks for the ride home AmpuT and MyFK!!!! So glad to finally get the boys together...even if it was at a knitting club! How funny, cool, awesome, weird is that!!!
Both of us in an awesome mood...get home, Spence heads for the Xbox...he has a standing play time with a friend of ours from England. Some LIVE action shoot 'em up playtime. I chat with honey, Spencer gets his butt kicked and does some butt kicking as well.
Lunch is had, plans are made to meet Antonella for the afternoon.
Shopping ensues, awesome food eaten, Spencer gets some free goodies from the waitress, we walk to BART station and then taxi home.
Low and behold...it's the same driver from Saturday night! And he remembered us!!!
Hey you two!!! Same place as last night?
Back home now, tea is made, layers put on, homework completed, Tornado shows watched (hey AmpuT, we watched those same shows!!!), not much knitting went on, but it was good to relax on the couch all snuggled up with the kid and the cat and a cup of tea and a big, warm, handknitted blankie.
Satisfied sigh emitted.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go bouncing round my apt singing the Gummi Bear Song.
Job Basket? What Job Basket. Maybe this weekend. ;)
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Me: Where's Waldo?
Him: Waiting for the bus home. It's cold. Brrrr.
Me: I'm at the store, you want anything?
Him: Big chocolate chip cookies
(TJ's sells these totally yummy big choco chip cookies that totally rock)
Me: OK, anything else?
Him: Just wanna get home. Bus is late and it's cold out here.
Me: OK sweetie see you soon. :)
So I gather up what I was going to get, throw in some Big Oatmeal Raisin cookies - no more choco chip - they are totally popular and go fast. And on the way up to check out I remember that we don't have any more Hot Cocoa Powder mix. So I decide to get more and find...
The best sounding hot cocoa mix ever.
Trader Joe's Natural Mint Cocoa hot cocoa mix.
Oh. My. God. Made with Vanilla Extract and Peppermint oil. OOOOOOoooooooooooooooh...now THAT sounds good. Just what Spencer could use after waiting outside for a late bus.
Pop back to dairy and grab some whip cream for an extra treat.
texting the kid again....
Me: Are you on the bus yet?
Him: yes, just came.
Me: Let me know when you pass the high school and I'll put in some milk for hot cocoa.
Him: OOOh...that sounds great Mom. I could use something warm.
Me: See you soon.
Even if I can't finish his scarf like, yesterday, I can keep him warm in other ways. :o)
Now we're both sitting around with our mint hot cocoa with a squirt of whip cream on top. YUMMMMMMM!!!!
Well, I was cold too!
Ooh...Honey, can't wait to make you some! If the weather keeps up as it is, we'll be having some every night after dinner.
Speaking of dinner, time to go heat up some leftovers. Now that we're warmed up, we can eat in peace.
And I just might have to make another cup after dinner as I knit on his scarf. We keep the temp chilly in the Chaos - saving on the heating bill and all you know. That's what hand knit blankies and warm, fluffy kitties and all that are for...
Shouldn't M.A.T. have a helmet tho?!?
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
...I could just jet off to England like RIGHT NOW...
...Had lots of money to blow....
I would soooo go here!
A costume house selling off old costumes and jewelry. Sigh. Thanks Dress A Day for pointing me here...too bad I can't go!!! Love, love, love, love vintage clothing and jewelry. And love costumes...love making them and seeing them...and wearing them. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!
I would so recruit several people, give each one the £50 to do the largest bag and tell 'em all to GO FOR IT!!!!
Imagine, costumes, vintage clothing, uniforms...and OMG! The jewelry. Don't care if it's broken - would so love to get my hands on some of that. I could make so much cool stuff out of it.
Cos of course, I'd have money to burn, and all the time in the world cos, you know, I just picked up and jetted off to England on a whim.
Oooh...this is soooo much better than having sewage back up into my tub and shower (in two diff bathrooms).
And it doesn't smell as much either...
And mmm mmmm mmmm mmmmm....love the smell going thru the apartment right now...dusted off the bread machine...making a fresh loaf for tonight's spaghetti and meatballs.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Welllll.....sometimes...and it depends on how you define a ball. And there are Hanks and also Skeins of yarn as well.
These two little beauties are called Skeins (rhymes with reins), some people call them Hanks...I tend to call them...um Skanks. But that's just me. I read it somewhere and I liked the sound of it and well, there you go.
Most sock yarn tends to come in Skanks, which when un-twisted, open up to a big hoop of yarn which is then put on a swift and wound into a center pull ball by hand (as Cherry did) or with a yarn winder like my Hugo.
I have the ball winder, but no swift. Hence the huge balls of snot, I mean knots, when I try to ball up a Skank. Sigh.
There are also these types of balls, which can also be called as Skeins, but I don't call them Skanks. I only call the long thingies Skanks. They usually come center pull already - which is very handy I must admit. Although I will go ahead and wind them on Hugo, cos well, I like playing with Hugo and making balls. I will definitely wind them up when using acrylic from the local craft store because it comes in very large skeins and it's easier to handle several small balls than one huge center pull skein.
See the little round thing at the top of the paper sack? Well, that's another type of ball. I'm not sure if they come center pull straight from the store or not, well, cos I never give 'em a chance... Straight to Hugo with every bit of yarn that enters the Chaos!!!! I grab the first free end and start cranking.
Then there's the good 'ol standby the pure and simple ball. All rolled up, nice and purty and waiting for a Kitty to come play. Nothing wrong with a good 'ol fashioned ball, but they do tend to roll around a lot and get pounced on by Kitties, cos well, if it's rolling around and it's on the floor, it's fair game!
I prefer to wind up all my Skanks, balls and whatnots on Hugo into center pull "yarn cakes" (you can see an orange one in the photo of Hugo above). They sit nice and flat on the bottom of your project bag and just stay calm and non-rollie and then poof! they're all used up.
I hoped this answered your question J.
And now finally, off to bed. This was a wonderful distraction (thanks J!) and my decaf Yorkshire tea is all gone. Time for beddy-bye and sweet dreams.
As the program went on...it was hard to tell whether I was bawling cos of Pavarotti, or if I was bawling cos the balling of the sock yarn was becoming such an epic chore.
Ended up with a ginormous ball of a knot.
We all know the Chaos likes to have balls laying about, but not these kind dammit.
I was up until about 1am un-balling the knot and making a nice yarn ball out of it.
Tamed at last...
Really do need to wait until someone else is here to hold the skein for me...
Oh, and it is gorgeous yarn - a lovely, deep red with colored flecks...it goes awesomely with my olive denim jacket and my denim denim jacket...and my brown winter coat. I wonder if I could find a hat or lacey scarf pattern than uses sock yarn....off to Ravelry for some research!!!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
First we have "My Precious"....a Pay It Forward gift from AmpuT. The link will take you directly to her blog post about all the 'making it' details and what she put into it... go there first before you continue here...I'll wait...
And now for my photos....and what I think of the bag...
OK, so I'm calling it "My Precious" - does that give you a clue of how I feel?
I absolutely adore this bag.
It's a bag (and we all know how I love bags, purses, totes...anything that holds other things).
It's all made by hand.
It's Olive green.
It's filled with many wonderful goodies.
It's a handmade BAG!
Look at all the cool and awesome things inside. I was feeling a bit down at the beginning of the week, but then the Postman arrived with this...and well, I almost started crying - my hands were shaking at the thought of such a lovely, thoughtful gift coming to me. Seriously, just ask Spencer. My mood lifted and well, I was just so excited, I put it on my wrist and carried it around awhile calling it My Precious.
Today, I will attempt to ball up the sock yarn (Gone with The Wind "Tara" colorway - how awesome is that). The little tin of notions (LOVE the "crap" and "oops" markers!) have a permanent home in the Precious as does the crochet hook and the purple hair band. I think I will use the crochet hook and some sock yarn I inherited from AmpuT a while back and crochet myself a scrunchie.
And now for a little added something...it kept calling to me...as well as a few of my favorite single beads I had no idea what to do with....
I hope you don't mind AmpuT...I added some of my favorite beads that I've had for ages to the ends of the ties. I never knew what to do with them as they are singles and they were just begging to be put on the bag.
So I listened. And it's even more Precious to me. A wonderful handmade gift filled with goodies and now the new home to some cherished beads.
Right now, it's holding my PIF projects. I'm definitely behind on mine, but I'll be finished very shortly.
And once those are done, it will be carrying this special project for Spencer - until it gets too long that is...
As promised, the double knit Argle Scarf - shown on the cover of Son of Stitch and Bitch
Yes, Folks, I am knitting that scarf! And I am TOTALLY FREAKIN' LOVING IT!
I'm knitting it in KnitPicks Swish DK in brown and blue to match a hoodless hoodie that Spencer just loves to wear...like ALL the time.
It took me 5 or 6 frakking times (I totally stopped counting after 4) to get this darn thing started and to understand the damn chart and all, but it was definitely worth it!!!
Yes!! That's double knitted Argyle. On MY needles!!!
Comments Comment: yes AmpuT, the pockets on that dress are a bit much. They would be way too much for my shortness and wideness, so I'd totally either just make a blouse or would switch out the skirt to be something less pockety. Oooh, a sheath with a belt perhaps....I'm with you tho, it's the collar and all that that hooked me.
Monday, November 24, 2008
...I had the skills
...and I wore dresses...
I would SOOOOOOOOOOOOO make this dress.
It's modern, it's retro, it's awesome.
Oh, and I've corrected my spelling of gnat...knew it didn't look right, but I was too lazy to look it up. Thanks J for spelling it correctly and jarring my brain.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So I go out Saturday afternoon for a bike ride, figuring it will be a short one since I've had a slight fever the last few days, but I haven't been out of the apartment for 2 days now and I'm going crazy and if I don't get out soon I'll explode.
You know how it goes.
So I get into my gear, get outside, think to myself...hmmmm....maybe I'll go a bit longer cos the fresh air feels great and I think I can manage a nice leisurely ride for a bit.
Get going down the path and OMG!!!! Attack of the killer swarms of GNATS.
Check for bugs. I hate bugs - Cairo Prison Warden, The Mummy (movie)
DAY-UM...Huge, ginormous swarms ALL OVER THE FREAKIN' PATH!!!!
I swear, I almost wrecked several times just trying to make it thru - and I kept going thinking, there MUST be an end to this torture soon, they can't go for that long, can they?
Um, yes, they can - but with no place to turn around quickly on the path, I kept going right thru.
Only problem with that was that I had to come back thru.
Since I'm sitting here typing, I must have made it...
...to forge on ahead today with a 10mile round trip on Sgt Puff to meet Antonella for an afternoon of shopping and an early dinner while Spencer and his friend were at the house playing xbox.
I got the cutest ankle boots and a small olive leather Liz Claibourne purse ($9 - can't go wrong) and shared an awesome sample platter off BBQ with Antonella.
Honey, we'll be going there when you come, you will like it better than the usual place. Yes, you will.
Was going to post a picture of the only crafting project I can show for now, but I'm not far enough yet. Trust me tho when I say - it's AWESOME!!!!! Two new knitting techniques for me, but I seem to be catching on most awesomely. Argyle and double knitting.
Spencer says I rock.
As far as this project is concerned? Yeah, I do. Yay!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
and I get this...
We guess http://donnazchaos.blogspot.com is written by a man (53%), however it's quite gender neutral.
Guess there's too much talk about balls? Maybe not enough? Whatever.
So I take the little poll off to the side - was the Analyzer Correct? Um, no. Last time I checked, I was a woman. Just had my yearly exam last Friday, so my doctor thinks so too.
And I get this...
Yes 53 % 6603
No 47 % 5807
Guess the analyzer doesn't do too well with the guessing bit.
Anyway, Honey suggests I put in http://icanhascheezburger.com/
and I get this...
An error occurred
Sorry, we can only classify web pages written in english
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....omg. Guess dey don'ts understands kitteh speaks.
Oh, and to even make my blog even more butch - there will be more ball talk soon.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Good point too J. I learned not to overdo my activities a long time and many injuries ago. A little bit of effort can go a long way in building up to something bigger. We don't always have to be faster, stronger, go further "right now".
OK, now for the cool part...I have some rocks and I have some wire. Spence and I used to collect rocks, both polished from tourist traps and right off the beach or street. This has given me some awesome ideas with what I can do with them - at least the polished ones anyway. My rocks are all small and stuff, so I'm thinking bracelets, earrings and using multiples for some napkin rings - only mine will have the rocks going all the way around. Would be really cool if I could sell them for the $140 (set of 4) that this dude is asking. Booyah.
OOOOH...we have sea shells too!
If I ever get around to making anything, it'll all go in my currently neglected Etsy Shop.
I'm getting so many ideas now and finding all sorts of cools things as I work thru the Job Basket. If I actually sat down and made stuff with all this Stuff, I could really fill up my little shop.
Really going to have to schedule out my "free" time. Between general crafting, knitting, the Job Basket, etc...I can easily see myself getting overwhelmed. Again.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
See, TV is educational...I learned something important from Biggest Loser last night.
While out and about this morning I was cruising along wondering how well I was working my body.
Then I actually concentrated on what I was doing.
Hardly making any effort and I was moving right along. I mean, I was still peddling and stuff, but it really wasn't hard at all. It was mostly forward momentum down a bit of a slope. No effort required.
Then something Jillian said last night popped into my head.
Something along the lines of how much do you want to reach your goal? You can't get to it if you don't work for it. The more you want it, the harder you will work. Etc Etc Etc
Bottom line, get your ass in gear, cos that's the only way you will get in shape and lose weight, yada yada yada
So next thing you know...the gear thingy when up a few notches and I kicked it.
And I felt so good after my ride. So tomorrow, I ride harder and go more and more each day.
Today, I was about at the end of my ride when I got this revelation, so I didn't work as hard as I should have. Not that I went all out either.
"Working harder" and "going all out" for me is most likey a leisurely ride for everyone else. I do have to be careful as I don't want to hurt myself - cos how can I work hard if I can't get up on the bike? Add to that a bad knee, and well, I do what I can. Get my heart rate up and get myself almost out of breath...then go a bit harder through it. Then take it down.
It's a start. Oh, and I'm coming for ya grandpa!!!
I was angry last week, well actually the last few weeks, cos she was being all manipulative and the rest were just letting her and her husband roll all over them.
And I do realize that the editor powers-that-be will edit to their hearts content in order to show drama, and all that crap, just to get you to watch. All it did was piss me off.
This week tho, we're on to yes, Vicky is a 'game player', but also, everyone knows it and yes, there is tension, but it doesn't take over the show any more.
We're back to seeing all these people work hard to make their goals, and yes, I cried, and yes, it's inspiring, and yes, it helps me get the motivation back to ride as much as I can.
Was really sad I might have to give up one of the only shows I still watch, but now I don't have to worry.
My favorite part is seeing the before / afters at the end of the show. Seeing that is proof that yes, even tho they are not 24/7 with fitness, etc on the "Ranch" anymore, they can still do it at home. Which only proves that with a bit of hard work, I can too.
And I'm off for a ride at 11am today. Need to fill up that calendar with little icons again. hee hee
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
OK, now that I've got all the Gnats out from various facial places, from behind glasses and out from under my helmet...
Jeez...well, not that bad but DAYUM!!! Day of the Gnats today on the bike trail. A big swarm of them stretching across the trail about every 50 ft or so. Stupid knats.
It's been more than a week I think since I've been out on Sgt. Puff. Doesn't take much for me to talk myself out of going and to get out of shape because I'm such a slacker...and doesn't take long on Sgt. Puff to drive that point home.
Have been in a bit of a bike funk I guess since Spencer doesn't have one anymore (yet, but I'm working on it), and really missed going out this weekend with him. It was the perfect weekend to do it too! Wah.
No excuse though, why I can't go out at lunch time on my own - during the week - when he's in school.
Oh, I've got PLENTY of excuses, but you know what I mean... heh heh heh...
Today, I went out on Sgt. Puff to run some errands. A total of 35 minutes or so on the bike with two stops. Now I sit here after a few minutes back still catching my breath. Pa-the-tic. Sigh.
Definitely no slacking off now. Going to make myself go out for a ride at every lunch time. Spencer is off at his Dad's this weekend, so I'm hoping to get out again then as well.
And maybe, just maybe, someday soon, I can catch up to that old grandpa that zoomed past me on the trail today.
Still hanging my head in embarrassment...
Monday, November 17, 2008
Job Basket fun and frolic has slowed down a bit. I've been picking out jobs that are taking more than one or two sessions to complete, and between Work Work, the kid, crafting, and life, well, those sessions are down to one or two a day.
Crafting continues at a frenzied pace and panic has set in as deadlines loom...
Bank issues with new cards being sent out and old ones being cancelled adds to the chaos.
Now having to change all my stuff, well, that just pisses me off.
Spencer got a great grade report! We have our first family/teacher conference some time this week if only we can all agree on a time. (Not my fault, I blame the Ex. See AmpuT? You're not alone.)
Honey is coming to visit for the Xmas/New Year/His B-day Holidays. You can't tell, but I'm very excited. He'll be here 3 weeks. PANIC!
I can now officially enjoy my new glasses. Both pairs. I have this awesome tricked out pair for computer/reading work that I wear at (where else) the computer while I'm working. Most. Awesome. Things. Ever. Now I can officially say, I have my distance glasses as well. Got them, couldn't see shit, had to get tested again, got them updated and picked them up today. They work and I can see!!! Just taken me over a month to say, "I can see again". Sigh.
The official countdown has started: Honey says it's 29 days. I'll take his word for it as I'm too freaked out and panicked to count.
Speaking of panic...The Job Basket still looks full! Need to get moving a bit faster and get going on completing more jobs!!!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.
AntiM was kind enough to tag me.
OK, here we go with the weird or random facts. Although it'll probably all be random cos I was just telling Honey yesterday, I'm not weird.
1. I like when things are organized and in their place, but you couldn't tell that by looking at my place - all disorganized with things all over the place.
2. I can't comfortably knit with other knitters. I've been a lone knitter for so long now, it's hard to be a social one, but I am trying.
3. I don't wear makeup and quite honestly, don't know how to put it on without feeling like a circus clown or a whore. I have been known to put on some lipstick or lip gloss, but that's about it.
4. I have a thing for office supplies. Especially things to write with...
5. I can sleep any time, any where, just not at night - in my bed - when I really should be sleeping.
6. I like music and like to sing along and dance - to the point where I'll just start bopping and singing in a store along to the Muzac, totally oblivious to anyone else around. It can be very embarrassing - especially when someone joins in...
7. I don't own my own computer. If it wasn't for work, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this on a cool laptop.
OK, here's the even harder part than coming up with lame facts about myself. Finding 7 people I actually know enough to tag and think that maybe they'll participate - oh and have a blog in the first place. Oooh...time to hit all the bloggers I know that are doing the daily posting thing!!! This will give them something to write about.
AmpuT, Cherry Extract, Autumn's Mom, Thinking About... , No-Blog-Rachel .... and that's all I got. I would tag one other, but she's quite busy right now, she's got some important stuff going on - like a new job and a Mister going in for surgery soon.
Hope my laptop won't explode or anything since I can't come up with 7 people to tag... hah!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Gah. Now I have to think and write clever things about myself and then tag other people so they can suffer, I mean, participate too.
If I know you and you have a blog, consider yourself warned.
Heh Heh Heh
Sheez...this is gonna take me a while. Thinking is hard you know!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I had quite a bit to shred (really should keep up with it better), and the poor shredder started to get a bit warm, so I shut it off after a bit to let it rest and cool down. Not much left, so I will continue that Basket Job tonight.
If I feel up to it, I will pull out another Job Paper from the Basket. Most likely not though as Spencer and I are working on our special project tonight.
Oh, and the tray is not and never will "be". That little project failed in an epic way. Sigh.
The whole point was to take bits and pieces I got on the cheap and make a cool tray.
All I got out of it was some more stuff for the trash dumpster (not going to spend any more money on it) and a wee hole through the tip of my finger.
PS. The finger is fine, just a bit sore.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tonight's Basket Job is to shred stuff. And that means I get to play with our resident shredder, Jaws. Heh Heh.
But first, it's dinner, then after shredding, out comes the power drill!!! Yay tools!!!
And now for something completely different. Found this quiz over at Cherry Extract, and since we are having pizza for dinner...well, I couldn't resist. Think I will do what she did and list out the questions and my answers...
How many slices of pizza do you normally eat? 2
What kind of crust do you prefer? Pan
What kind of sauce do you prefer? Red Sauce
What kind of cheese do you prefer? Extra Mozzarella
What vegetable topping do you like the best? Mushrooms
What meat topping do you like the best? Sausage
What Your Pizza Reveals
People may tell you that you have a small appetite... but you aren't under eating. You just aren't a pig.
You consider pizza to be bread... very good bread. You fit in best in the Midwest part of the US.
You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.
You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.
You are cultured and intellectual. You should consider traveling to Vienna.
The stereotype that best fits you is guy or girl next door. Hey, there's nothing wrong with being average.
Heh Heh, this is pretty good. I was born and raised in Chicago, home of the best deep dish pizza ever.
And guess what kind of pizza is almost ready to come out of the oven... thick crust (quasi pan) sausage and extra cheese pizza. MMMMM...sure does smell goooooooooooooooooood!!!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tonight I drew "go thru 2 boxes under Spencer's bed".
Yes (hanging head in shame), I even stashed some storage boxes under my kid's bed.
Took me a lot longer than just 15 minutes...to tell the truth, I didn't even set the timer. I forgot. But, as all I was doing was sitting in front of the TV watching PBS and then Biggest Loser (this season is so pissing me off I don't think I'll watch it again until the finale), I had nothing to do but "work".
So I pull out two small boxes (as there are only smaller boxes under his bed) - the first box was quick, a bunch of stuff shoved in a box to "clean" for company, and the second took a lot longer, a box of photos. I looked at some, but finally had to cover it up and put it aside as "going thru photos and organizing them" is a humongous job for a future Job Basket. And what do I find in the first box, but 5 rolls of packing tape and my drawer handles!!! Among lots of other cool things. I've just been looking for that damn packing tape for, oh, 6 months now!!!! And you all know that since I discovered the cabinet door, I've been looking for the drawer pulls.
They are still cool, and I can't wait to put them on the door tomorrow night. I did all the measuring and have the doors marked for the holes I'll be drilling. Unlike my neighbors, I managed to restrain myself from making obnoxious noises past 9pm tonight - even tho, OMG, it was killing me.
I have the before photo all ready to go with the after I'll be taking tomorrow.
Speaking of photos, I had to get online to check out an email Spencer sent, and while I was on here, decided to post and to work on uploading all the photos from my laptop to my online photo album. It's going to take a while, but I figure I can set a few folders to upload during the day while I'm working and before you know it, they'll all be 'safe'. I can't tell you how many photos I've lost from work laptops. Since I don't have my own personal computer and I'm very bad at backing up my personal files anyway, I've been through some painful photo losing times. Sigh. But, I've finally decided to get this done. Long overdue, but worth every second of watching the progress tick off 1% complete at a time.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I'm finally getting some 'tougher' jobs out of the basket.
Last night I worked on one of our storage closests.
Tonight I get to tackle some boxes from the storage unit that are in the living area. Specifically two boxes. And I've freed up enough space in that storage closet to add in anything from those boxes that needs to stay. Can't wait!
Can't believe I'm typing that...about to go and check if I have a fever or something.
Now you see why I need to make another set of Jobs for the Basket once this set is done. Everything that I'm putting back into the closests will need a permanent home. And those permanent homes are yet to be determined.
Yeah, this is gonna take some time.
Holiday and Pay It Forward crafting continues...
Now what did I do with that thermometer...
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Think it's time to go pick out a Job. I'm bored, I'm hungry, and I haven't done one yet today. And I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to find those damn drawer handles so I can make my tray. Argh!
First, there was the Job on Friday night.
Then on Saturday, I was busy most all day and tired by the time I got home.
So I eat dinner and decide, OK, Rule #1: Must pick a Job every day.
So I picked one, and did it in about 5 minutes. OK, so it seems like I've got the opposite problem from making jobs so hard it takes me a few times to complete them. Argh...
So I pick another since I was already up and doing something and I hadn't felt that I had worked hard enough.
Seems I got "in the mood" cos I picked a total of 5 Jobs last night. Yes folks FIVE. Took me all of 30 minutes to complete them all. I KNOW there are jobs in there that take more effort than what I've put in so far. I tried to get a good mix of hard and easy...seems like I'm picking all the easy ones out right away though...
Anyway, one of the things I did was go shopping with Antonella, where I managed to pick up a few containers to help with the organizing. BOTH containers were used last night. One to organize all of our new xBox stuff. It was the original reason why I bought the container thing in the first place and the first job I drew? Organize the xBox stuff. Now that it's organized and we've got places for everything xBox-y, Spencer should be able to keep things in order instead of all over the living room floor.
One would hope.
The second was a good size canvas zip-up style "box". What I've done with that is taken out all the clothes in my closet that don't fit right now, folded them up all nice-like and put them in there and then put the whole lot on top of the set of drawers in my closet. Not only have I actually done part of one of my 'future' jobs, but I've also made it possible to actually SEE what I've got to wear. I have lots of clothes of all sizes, which can get very confusing to somone who is having some weight struggles.
How can you tell what you can actually wear if you can't see it? What a waste of time to dig thru it all and keep saying, doesn't fit, doesn't fit, doesn't fit, etc. It's also very, very depressing. Sigh.
So, in the interest of sanity, and curiousity to know just how bad the clothing situation is, I got the canvas box thing. Sigh.
Folded up some very nice clothes. 32 pieces total. A lot of it was bought about a year ago for my first trip over to England to visit Honey. Never ended up in any of it cos I bloated out and gained a bunch of weight right before I went. Almost all of it still had the tags on...and most of it was on Clearance too...(major SCORE)... But damn if I won't have one ROCKIN' wardrobe when I finally do fit into it all. All sorts of coordinating pieces that will really look nice. Someday.
And, I have figured out that I actually do have quite a bit that I can still wear as I'm on this latest losing weight journey - it was just buried in the midst of all the stuff I can't wear - yet.
Anywho, in doing the last Job last night, I discovered a few cool things.
First, a cabinet door I got at the IKEA scratch n' dent area for $1 - a long time ago. It had a really cool, balanced look to it and I remember seeing something somewhere that someone had made a tray out of a cabinet door by adding a few drawer handles. I know I found some really awesome handles at the hardware store on sale a few weeks after that, but can't find them. Sigh. I will tho, and when I do, I'll be sure and show you guys.
Second, I have to go back and update the rules. Need to add two more:
If you get the muchies and it's not time to eat, pick a Job.
If you get bored, pick a Job.
Think I'm going to try and figure out how to add "The Basket Rules" to the side of the blog. If you don't see anything over there, you know I wasn't successful.
This Job Basket seems to be having an effect on quite a few aspects of my life.
And that's just fine with me.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Fifteen minutes every so often I can do...spending an entire weekend starting/stopping/starting/procrastinating and ending up doing practically nothing....I don't want to do any longer.
Cherry, I've used a 10 minute timer with Spencer and his room, and it's worked wonderfully. Don't know why I haven't done this for myself sooner. Oh well, I'm doing it now, and it felt great to actually accomplish something and see IMMEDIATE results.
For this project, I've broken down various tasks. For example, going thru my closet. It's rather wide and filled to the brim, so that could be a rather daunting project. It has two upper shelves that run the length of it and then the hanging area that goes all the way across. So I've broken it down into 4 "jobs" left and right hanging areas, and left and right portion of the upper shelves. When done this way, it's not so scary to do the closet.
The reason I've finally broken down and done the Basket is because when Honey and everyone left after graduation in June, I used the last day of having the rental car to empty out my storage unit - to save money. The Chaos Annex is no more, and everything that was in there is now here and there all over my apartment - again. And I've done NOTHING since then to go through it or get rid of it, NOTHING!!!
Finally just got tired of looking at it all and decided something needed to be done. Thought for about a week over what I've done in the past that's worked. Not much, but the 10 minute timer for Spencer has worked, and I've done the 10 minute timer for chores as well. Why not make it 15 minutes and attack all the "Stuff".
But where do I start? Started going through my apartment doing an inventory of everything I needed to address. The list was long and depressing. There are quite a few jobs on it that I don't look forward to doing at all. I didn't want to do them first, and I knew for sure I would skip over them and leave them for last - and then they wouldn't get done. So I decided, the job choice would have to be random.
And there you have it, the Job Basket was born.
Oh, and to keep myself on track...if you guys haven't heard anything about the Job Basket in a few days, feel free to call me out. Hopefully, I'll just have forgotten to post and I won't be slacking off about doing my jobs!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Welcome to the New Improved Chaos Organizing Project of Fall 2008!
You know, this blog actually started out as an "organizing" blog but it's been covering so many other things - I am a master procrastinator. heh heh
I've tried just about everything else and nothing has stuck - it's worked for a bit, but I've never stuck with it - so why not try this....
Introducing the 15-minute Job Basket!
I took some old address book refill pages from a book I'm not using any longer (hey look! I'm recycling!!!), cut them up...
Broke down everything I want to do around my apartment into 15 minute "jobs", wrote them on the little bits of paper....this does not include chores. Chores are done on a daily basis or as needed. This Job Basket is just for my organizing or clearing out of things.
Folded them up and tossed them in a basket!
Rules of the "Job Basket":
- One job paper must be drawn every day.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes.
- Do the job.
- If you get hungry and it's not time to eat, pick a job paper.
- If you get bored, pick a job paper.
- If the job is completed in less than 15 minutes, pat myself on the back and put my feet up for the remaining time.
- If the job is not completed in the 15 minutes allowed, work on it again for the next 15 minute "Job Basket" time, and so on until it is. This should not happen that often though, unless I really sucked at estimating how long it's going to take me to do something.
- Repeat the above until the "Job Basket" is empty.
Going to have to make periodic runs to the thrift store to donate all the stuff I decide I don't need, going to separate my recyclables and dispose of chemicals, batteries, and electronics, and everything else properly. OOOH...and shred documents with personal info on them.
Very IMPORTANT Rules in case I wanna try and get around the REAL rules:
- The job written on the paper must be performed - no switching, no whining, no slacking off!
- Don't beat myself up if I miss a day or don't finish a job.
- If I miss a day, I'll just start over the next day.
- If I totally drop the ball on a job, toss the paper back into the basket - it may not get done today, but it will eventually.
- It's OK to do more than one job a day. In fact, it's totally awesome to do more than one.
- I didn't chaos the hell out of my life in a week or two, so I can't expect to get this done in just a few days or so. Have to be realistic and give myself some time. This is very hard work, especially since I'm pretty attached to my stuff.
- Figure out an awesome reward to give myself when it's all done. Or, maybe when I've done 10 jobs or whatever. Need to decide. I do need some new furniture...
Stay tuned to see how this all plays out. I'll try and post a weekly update on what "Basket Jobs" I've accomplished and how things are looking around here and how I'm feeling about it all. And if I'm REALLY BRAVE, I'll post before/after photos - don't hold your breath though, cos I am pretty much a chickenshit.
Oh, and when the Job Basket is finally empty...I get to fill it up again with organizing my stuff. This first round of Job Basket thingies are only getting me to the point to where I can settle in and organize everything I have left. Yeah, I know.
This is a huge undertaking for me.
This could be the most totally awesomest thing in the world...
...or just some dillusional waking whacked out dream I'm having.
At the very least, it'll keep you guys entertained...and distracted from all the gift projects I'm working on right now. I can only keep pointing out my cute little map with dots on it for so long.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Spencer came home from school feeling sick, looking terrible, and quickly warming up (as in fever). He was deligated to the couch with tea and dinner.
I'm not feeling all that well myself, so bundled up and headed out in the chilly darkness to vote, hoping that I could hold off anything germ-wise until I was done.
12 minute walk there, 10 minutes voting, 14 minute walk back.
Knitting never made it out of the bag as there was NO line.
So much for the voting entourage and our Family Tradition. Sigh.
And I sure as heck hope that more than 325 people in my precinct have voted. Maybe that's the 2nd or 3rd machine they've had today. I have no idea how it works, and I really wanted to get back home so didn't stick around to find out. And definitely didn't want to talk to anyone more than I had to so that I wouldn't pass on anything germ-ish.
Still.... Civic Duty Performed?
PS Oh, and Cherry, they finally shut down about half past midnight on Saturday. And the reason we're feeling icky? One of them had the sneezes while he was here. Gee. Thanks.
Monday, November 03, 2008
And what do ya know...it really is a raincoat. Repelling water and everything!!! Hey, I got it for a steal at Marshall's, no tags...could have just been a short trench coat waterproof jacket impersonator.
But, I am happy to report, it is indeed, the Real Thing.
Last time I saw the weather...about 6am-ish this morning, there were no predictions of rain for Election Day tomorrow. So maybe my short little trench will get a well deserved rest.
There will however, be quite the entourage going off to the local polling place.
First off, the son. Spencer has come with me to vote in every election since we moved to California - which was very soon after he was born. So after 13 or so years of voting (yeah, he's over 14, but had to qualify as a resident first), guess you can call it a "family tradition".
Next, the snackage and beverages. No telling how long we'll be in line and gosh darn it, voting is so exciting, we'll probably get the munchies.
And finally, the knitting. Just in case there is a long line or something. The needles will also come in handy if someone tries to cut the line or starts up any trouble. POKE!!!
We're all excited to go.
Next time I go for a Presidential Election, Spencer will be coming along as a VOTER!!!! OMG... where has the time gone?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Don't forget to vote!!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Perfect day for 3 teens to stay inside playing video games. Which is exactly what Spencer and two of his friends are doing and have been doing. All. Day. Seriously, all day. Only stopping momentarily for bathroom breaks and food consumption.
I've been doing a little bit of organizing here and there, staying well away from the 3 of them in the living room. It's been wonderful. They have just been amusing themselves and at this age, don't need that much supervision at all. Except for the occasional... "Why don't you guys take a break?" Every now and then.
Spencer spent the night at the one kid's house after the 3 of them went Trick or Treating with a few more friends around his neighborhood. Then they made their merry way over to our place and managed to get caught in the rain while walking home from the train station. Yes, they walked...they had just missed the bus and they only run every hour or so on the weekend, so they decided to walk instead. It's a 30 or 40 minute walk from there to here. And it started raining on them when they were about 10 minutes away.
And it rained and rained and rained until about 1ish...when we decided to make a run to the deli for lunch and then for some groceries for dinner and breakfast - yes, they are spending the night.
$80 later, and it's POURING again. We were all soaked just walking back across the street. Anyway, there was so much standing water, the puddles were HUMONGOUS - there was no way we were going to make it home and not be wet. We survived though and the kids have snacked and played their way thru the day.
I'm going to go help Spencer set things up in his room for the kids, then Kitty and I are going to go to bed. Think some quiet knitting or reading away from the shooting and mutants is in order for this tired Mom. They will tire themselves out about 11ish and then head off to bed. If not, time for me to go start unplugging things.
And yes, I have done that before, so they know if I say it, there's a good chance I will do it if they don't start shutting down.
Heh Heh Heh...
Friday, October 31, 2008
There, feel much better now.
Have made my phone call to the BART Police to report the crime. They'll get back to me. Sigh. Didn't expect much could be done in the first place, but had at least hoped to get it all done with one phone call and not drag it out with waiting for someone to call back.
And "we're very busy today" is not encouraging. Guess there's a big crime wave. Not surprising.
Transit riders are an easy target...grab something last minute before the doors close and hop off. Victim is trapped on the train. By the time you call someone, the thief is loooooooooooong gone and so is your stuff.
Those that park at the stations are easy targets as well. Their stuff is left all day. Obviously no one is watching it the entire time, cos things get stolen. Sigh.
Anyway, good news is that I have wonderful friends. Giving me support, listening to me drone on and on about how pissed off I am etc, and also giving me leads on good sources of used bikes. Definitely not going to buy Spencer a brand new bike for him to schlep himself back and forth to the train station - that's just asking to be robbed again.
If we hadn't gotten this really nice bike for free, we would have bought a used bike for him anyway. He is still growing and goodness knows how big he'll end up being. Not going to be buying him an expensive new bike every few years - not as cheap as buying him bigger shoes every few months or longer jeans - not like that's cheap either, but, well, you know what I mean.
I figure for right now, just a basic bike that can get him to BART and back that won't look too attractive to any asswipes trolling for goods. Hopefully, it will be good enough to also go riding about with me on the weekends as well. If not, Spencer and I can work together and save up a bit more after the Holidays are over and buy a second bike for our long weekend rides together.
I figure I can have enough put aside in a month to get him a good used workhorse for commuting.
Now, if I can just stop feeling guilty for having a nice, shiny new bike that I've just sunk a lot of money into... I know, no reason to be that way, but I can't help it. We did chat a bit about it last night cos I just couldn't shake the guilt. But Spencer understands, this is the first really, really, nice bike I've had and it's basically my car, so I had to make the investment to get a really, good reliable bike.
Oh, and now I also need to get over the fear of going anywhere and leaving it locked up. I'm afraid someone's going to take it and that would be just too much. Won't stop riding it tho - on my rides, I go out and come back. I feel OK locking it up out in front of the Safeway, very high traffic area, so anyone with big cable/lock cutters stealing a bike would be quite obvious.
Oh, and no, I won't be leaving it locked up at a BART station any time soon. Not just no, but HELL NO.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
What really upsets me is that you not only stole a thing, you stole something that we'll be missing for a while. Bike rides all round here together, enjoying each other's company and the outdoors, getting exercise, and getting around. That was one half of our transit you asshole.
We don't have a car, so this is how we get around.
I hate you and I hope that when you were riding off on Spencer's bike, that you hit a rock and went flying over the handle bars.
Takes a lot of balls to cut thru two heavy duty bike locks, in broad daylight, and take everything away, including his helmet. ...just watch your back asswipe extreme, 'cos if I ever see you riding around on his bike, know that I will get it back and I don't care how much pain I leave you in when I do take it back.
You just DON'T piss off a Mom who works hard for everything her and her son has...even tho this was a gift...I still spent hard earned money getting it tuned up and awesome for him to ride - and spending extra money on lock up stuff you weren't supposed to be able to cut through - and he loved it and the freedom it gave him. And I loved it for the time we spent together - that's rare between a teen and his Mom. You may have taken away his bike, but you've only delayed us getting back out on the trails and spending that quality time together again.
And now I've got to go and re-do my budget so I can get the money to buy him another. Things will be really, really tight now, 'cos we've got awesome plans for Christmas and need to fit everything in...because I WILL NOT stop living my life because you are an ASSWIPE!
GET A FREAKIN' JOB LIKE THE REST OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and ASSWIPE! One more thing... Tomorrow I file the police report, because I DID take down the serial number and I WILL file a report in the hopes that you WILL get caught red handed and get to make new friends in the County Lockup. You SUCK.
OK, rant over. I feel better. Seriously don't know what I would do if I came across someone riding S's bike. But it helps me feel better thinking evil thoughts towards the asswipe.
Time for dinner, then I'm going to go read the book that came today from Knitpicks and the yarn that came along as well. Probably the last yarn I will buy for a LONG time thanks to the asswipe. It's some Swish DK to knit Spencer the Argyle Scarf from "Son of Stitch N Bitch" - to keep his neck warm while he's riding his bike. Ironic, isn't it. Good thing I've got a healthy stash of yarn, fabric, beads, embroidery thread, etc.
And you better believe chocolate is involved in tonight's dessert. We both need some.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sewing costume pieces for Spencer...check.
Various chores and other such nasty things...check.
Work, and more work...check.
Making a to-do list for a major purging/organizing project...ummm....working on it.
Got the last basket for the front of Sgt. Puff. It'll take a bit of getting used to it being in front there, but I love it. Pimp My Ride - The Bicycle Edition has finally come to an end I think.
Oh, and TOTALLY loving the Fitness website thingy. I can even add my Push ups for the push up challenge thing I've restarted - cos, yeah, I slacked off when I got sick and then didn't start up again until Monday. Anyway, push ups put a little guy lifting a big dumb bell on the training log calendar. It goes along with the little cycling icon and the occasional walking dude icon. And I can even track my daily pulse, weight, calorie intake, and mood if I want. Think I'll only do that weekly since weighing myself daily is rather counterproductive.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Just got back from another ride. I'm doing quite well on Sgt. Puff. She's smooth and easy. Oh, and the baskets? They are wonderful. My ugly, plastic, reusable Trader Joe's bags fit perfectly in them.
I took off west down the Contra Costa Canal Trail and on the way home stopped at a Safeway that's right off the trail.
8.66 miles today! And I feel great. All the way home, I kept thinking: "why the hell haven't I done this sooner?"
Oh yeah, I wasn't ready. Even last year I wasn't ready. I got Ms. Puffy and when things went the way of not being able to ride her any more, it took me forever to replace her. The time was right now and I'm very glad I did it. I won't tell you it's all fun and games as yet. It still takes me a while to talk myself into getting suited up to go out. Heck, it's still hot out for criminy's sake! But, once I get out, I feel so much better - not including the occasional coughing/sneezing fits - but those will calm down after the first rain. The Bay Area really needs a good dousing of rain - um...just not when Spencer and I are out riding please! Thank You!
Oh. And now for some Nature. Brought to you by a dry summer, a slight wind and some very "regular" dogs. As in they like to crap on the path and their owners don't poop scoop. Sooo against the rules of the trail!
Anyway, my allergies are getting all worked up over all the dust and other natural things floating about in the wind (that would be evidenced by the sneezing/coughing fits). And I did manage to avoid all the doggie bombs, but I swear, I can still smell the more fresher ones that were out baking in the sun. It's just one of those heavy smells that get stuck in your nose for a bit. Blech.
Thank goodness for fenders. Just in case I don't avoid the doggie bombs. hee hee hee
8.66 miles! And here I was thinking I could only go 5 a day. I don't usually know how many miles I ride til I get home and map it out online. What I do go by, is the time...I ride for x amount of minutes, then turn back. First ride, I went 15 minutes, then turned back and came home - 5 or so miles. This time, I felt so good at 15, I decided to extend to 30 - which ended up as over 8.
Knitting and crafting continues.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
First off, let me introduce you to my new bike:
Everyone, this is Drill Sergeant Puffy Blue (Sgt. Puff for short)...
She's got a nice comfy, padded saddle - perfect for cushioning my cushy bum.
And, as of today, one very nicely balanced and perky Rack. (that one's for you Rachel.)
Spencer said she looks like she's armored up now and ready for battle...not quite, still need to get her a front basket.
And, in keeping with Military Tradition, she's even got some really awesome tatts. Check out her ink...
And there you are folks, my dream bicycle. Sgt Puff is Ms Puffy's older and tougher big sis. She's so tough (how tough is she?), I've ridden just under 20 miles on her and I've been riding less than a week. She's a real task master. Oh, and I've lost 3 lbs. already! YAY.
How do I know I've biked this many miles? Do I have a fancy on board computer thingy? No. I use MapMyFitness. It's a bit fiddly at first, but you can map out your route and it'll calculate mileage, calories burned and all sorts of wonderful things. All I have to do is keep track of how long I've been out riding (the stopwatch button on my watch is getting a real workout now) and remember where I've gone. This site will also search and list out favorite local bike trails! I've only just begun to learn what all it can do. Oh, and you can track walking, biking, running, swimming, various sports, etc all on the same site (a few years ago, it used to be just running). My favorite part is the activity calendar thing...you can pull up a calendar and see which days you've done what. So far, I've got a little biker icon on every day since Friday.
Spencer and I did so much riding this weekend, it was a blast. Think what we'll do the next weekend he's here with me is go onto the fitness site and search out one of the shorter bike rides, pack a lunch and head out. Now that I've got my baskets, we can fill those up with food - don't have to worry about having the weight the whole time as Spencer will make sure and eat everything up. He's going through another growth spurt...sigh.
Slowly, but surely, I'm building up my endurance and my energy is improving somewhat. Right now I try to ride a minimum of 5 miles a day. This weekend I did more cos I had Spencer chasing me around and encouraging me to go just a little bit further and faster. Yesterday and today were just short rides to and from the bike shop, but tomorrow, I'm back for a longer ride!
Cool little visitor location map thing...first spotted on Major Knitter's Blog and pretty much all over blogland about now.
You can have a list, or you can have a map. I like the map.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I got a few bucks unexpectedly (ok, so I knew it was coming, just not when), and I'm having a rack installed on the back. And I bought some folding (collapsible against the bike) baskets to hang on it, oh, and a small basket for the front.
Once I get it back, it'll be all kitted out and then I can take some photos for show and tell. Although with all the baskets, etc on it, you might not be able to see the poor bike. hee hee. Oh, and you know I named it.
In the mean time, know that I've set aside the socks and the suede bag and am working on some very important projects (2 to be exact) that are on a tight deadline. It envolves cotton - lots of cotton. Yarn or fabric I won't say...as you'll see soon enough.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Anyway...had fun torturing the wallet and riding all round the area with Spencer. We had so much fun!!!! We even took them on the bus, and then on BART too!!! Unfortunately, no pics of anything yet. We were just too busy today to stop and take any and by the time we got home... Welllll.... we barely made it before I turned into a pumpkin.
Actually, can't see well in the dark without my glasses, and I haven't gotten them back yet from the eye doc's office and the light was fading fast as we pulled into the driveway of our complex. We barely made it home. Too dark now for photos and stuff, so just be patient with me please.
Thanks goodness my guide boy was with me. Just followed him home. hee hee
Anyway, on to why the bum hurts. I kinda sorta had an issue with my bike after a short stop at a corner on the way to Antonella's house. Squeezed too hard on the brakes, slipped off the seat and kinda rammed my bum back into the seat. Should be a nice bruise there tomorrow. Already have small bruises all over my legs. I haven't forgotten how to ride a bike, but I've definitely forgotten how to do it gracefully.
Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I've got my jammies on, my new swedish wedgie shoes on (wallet is still wincing from that trip to Ross), and the pizza is ready to come out of the oven.
Time to relax with the boy, eat pizza and knit. I've got a knit deadline coming up.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I don't care. I can still keep up with him and we're having fun.
I rode 1.5 miles yesterday at lunch, and Spencer and I did 8.72 miles all totalled today.
Told him if he keeps calling me a dork, I'll gonna bust out the padded spandex bike shorts.
Wouldn't be caught dead in them at this stage in my life, but hey, he doesn't need to know that. And, yes, I actually did have some - I've done my share of long training rides and bike-a-thons (MS 150 anyone?) - but I gave them away a long time ago. Only thing I saved was the pink padded riding gloves. They're cool!!!
Oh, and we're back on our saddles again tomorrow. We're riding over to BART to meet up with Antonella for some more wallet torture, I mean shopping. Can't wait!!!
Now if you'll excuse me, I may have survived the ride today, but I'm tired. Time to chill and maybe take a power nap.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Firemen fabric arrived yesterday...hubba...hubba...
Survived another round of eye doc tests and new cool glasses should be ready next week.
Bought "The Bike" last night.
Would love to show you all everything, but I'm too busy riding round on it. Or thinking of where I want to ride round on it.
Will take photos of it all this weekend and catch you all up on stuff on Sunday, I hope.
Ooh, and I've decided to turn the Suede knitting handbag into a Suede knitting messenger bag...of sorts. Kinda. We'll see how that works out. Whatever I decide, I've definitely got enough suede yarn left to make both versions if I want - and then some. Only used just over two balls for the knitted part of the bag! That's almost 9 balls left. Sigh.
Tomorrow morning, Spencer and I are off biking to our favorite coffee shop...Peet's. It's just way too far to walk to it, but now that we've got the bikes...it'll be a nice outing for coffee/hot cocoa and scones.
In the afternoon, we are biking over to Kohl's - BIG SALE AT KOHL'S. Spencer needs some jeans and I need some clothes for biking round town. Ooooh!! And we'll hit Rubio's for either lunch or dinner - depending on where we go.
Somehow I think my wallet is going to start taking hits again now that I'm more mobile. At least I'll be in shape while I'm complaining about being broke. hee hee hee
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Lion Suede is a different gauge than Berroco Suede, so I do a swatch in the stitch pattern, do some calcumacating and voila! I have a number of stitches to cast on.
Cast on and happily knit away.....get it about 5inches long and step back a bit to check out my handiwork. GAH. It looks a bit small. Out comes the measuring tape. Um....5 inches too small. GAHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Next night...another swatch is done...more calcumacating is performed...I come up with another number....hmmmm...I think to myself...I think I did something wrong. I don't think it'll be big enough. So I measure the swatch again, calcumacate again...oooh...I must have made an error...I'll need MORE stitches.
Cast on and happily knit away...get it about 5inches along, step back and admire my calcumacating abilities. OOOH. Wait a minute...this looks a bit too big. Out comes the measuring tape. Um...10 inches too big.
Sigh. Now comes the pleading and begging bit.... I measured wrong, right? If I measure again and again and maybe even again, I'll get the measurements I was going for in the first place, right? Right? RIGHT?
Ummm....WRONG...and that would be NO. Away goes the knitting.
Next night...OK...I can fix this...reduce stitches down to a resonable size? ...only have about 7 more inches of knitting to do....I'll need to decrease about 50 or so stitches. Good grief, it'll look ridiculous by the time I'm done.
OK...think...think...think... OOOH. I know! Since I can't calcumacate worth shit, I'll measure out how much bag I really need and count up the stitches. Need a multiple of 3 for the stitch pattern... Oooh...lookee! 135 stitches. Perfect.
BIG, HEAVY, SIGH...RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPP
Yesterday morning as my hair was cooking (I colored it.) - Happily cast on 135 stitches (first attempt was 102 stitches, second was 180 stitches, yeah, I know, you think I would have at least been suspicious), start knitting away....first pattern row....I'm 3 stitches short. Gah...it's not a multiple of 3...it's a multiple of 6! DORK ALERT! Knit the last few stitches plain.
Heave a HUGE sigh and go rinse out the color from my hair.
Rinse...rinse...rinse...I REFUSE TO RIP IT BACK AGAIN AND CAST ON AGAIN!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHH
Oooh...Look...no grey hairs!
Ok...feel better. Anywho....add 3 stitches in the plain knit row that is next...next pattern row...perfect! YAY!
Last night....Knit, knit, knitting away...get to about 5inches (for the 3rd time), step back and go...OOOOH...this looks just about right. Out comes the measuring tape...just a wee bit shy of 20 inches. 20 inches is perfect, but what I've got is perfectly close enough for me.
Later tonight, I will knit some more on Honey's socks and then continue to knit on my perfect bag. hee hee. Funny part is...remember when I said I did those calculations again and thought...hmmm...don't think that's big enough I'll add more?
Yeah...it's the same number I ended up with...
First one was too small...second one was too big...last one is juuuuuuuust riiiiiiiight... I feel like freakin' Goldilocks.
Lessons learned? Plenty...
Don't calcumacate past 10pm.
Don't try to calcumacate with grey hairs...they really mess up your brain.
Don't doubt yourself.
Use yarn that's a similar weight in the first place, then you won't have to go thru any calcumacations at all!
Better yet, have someone else do it for you!!!!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Remember the other post when I said I stuffed my cart full of yarn? Well it was these 11 balls of Lion Suede in the Olive color. Have always wanted something made out of this and this is my fav color. And at that price, how could I resist (for those of you who don't have eagle eyes, it's marked at $1.50 per ball)? So...I...um...bought every Olive ball they had...
And I plan on making this. Cos a girl can't have too many bags...and a knitter can't have too many knitting bags. It's a win-win for me I think. YAY!
If I have some left over, well, I'll just have to make...oh, I don't know...another bag!
I win again!!!!
Edited to add: When Honey read the post, we began discussing my ideas about how I was going to line my knitting tote and put in inside pockets, and I'll have to go fabric stash diving and see what I can come up with, etc, and he said: Why don't you line it with some more of that Firemen fabric?
Guess what I'll be ordering soon.
Shopping! And Firemen!
I WIN!!! AGAIN!! wooooooohoooooo!!!!
Monday, October 06, 2008
Starting at the left:
From my last trip to see the Honey - Sirdar "Country Style" acrylic blend in rust, green and greyish browny sort of color to make Spencer another stripey ear flap hat. He, along with some opinions from Honey, picked out the colors. They had to make sure they were all "manly".
Hank in the middle is Claudia Hand Painted in the "John B." colorway, purchased at Imagiknit at the last Sock Club gathering - for socks - short ones...I only bought one. I can get a pair of ankle socks out of one hank of this yarn - just a plain ordinary ankle sock - toe up of course. Ooh, I did come home with something else, but I can't show it here in case the person it's intended for actually reads my blog. And I can't tell you what I'm going to make with it, cos that'll be a dead give-away as to who it's for...
Top Right: Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line, color 4251 bought on the trip and KnitPicks Essential "Shoreline Twist" just recently delivered to my front door. The Kaffee Fassett Regia will become a pair of socks for Spencer, and the Essential Twist will be a pair of socks for Honey. Both will be the Earl Grey Pattern by Yarn Harlot, which is the pattern selected for the Sock Club's latest knit-a-long. There are 2 balls of each, just didn't put them in the photo.
And finally, my favorite, the ginormous ball at the bottom right: also bought on the trip - James C. Brett Marble Chunky acrylic, color MC7 (3 big balls - only one shown in photo). It's soft and squishy and I want to make myself this.
Honey took me here (North Wales branch) to drool and purchase yarn. I was in heaven - lots of awesomely soft acrylic as well as regular wooly yarn. Had to stay away from the wooly stuff, but I was all over the rest. hee hee... Talk about a kid in a candy store. I thought I wouldn't be getting anything at all because the exchange rate was so awful. But, the prices at Abakhan are so awesome, I was able to get quite a bit...would have gotten more, but I had a limit as to what I wanted to spend and I can only knit so much anyway.
It's all just so soft and squishy....hee hee. I've had it sitting out on the table since we got back in August. Stopping to pet it and squish it and call it lovey names every so often. Ok, not that ridiculously corny, but I do love it.
Don't know if this is a good thing or not, but I seem to be able to handle Merino sock yarn quite well. Sigh. That, combined with the sock software I have now...well...look out wallet and better make room in the stash. Sigh.
On to 'normal' news... Got a call yesterday afternoon from the bike shop. One nice walk later and Spencer has his bike. He rode it to the train station this morning. I'll have to take the bus there later to pick it up since he'll be over at the Ex's for the next few days and there's no way I'm going to leave that nice bike at the train station for 2 days. Anyway, good excuse to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. It's a beautiful day...and I need the practice for when I get MY pretty bicycle next week!!!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
...as for the Cubs? Like Ozzie says in the article - we don't care about them.
I don't really follow sports as much as I used to, but still cheer on the hometown teams when I pay attention. hee hee.
YAY WHITE SOX!!!!
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
This link goes to the YouTube channel with quite a few tutorials. Must see if you've got some time on your hands. hee hee
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
While we were there, a very nice young man helped me look at bikes for me - and I found one! Sort of... Now all I need to do is finish saving up the money. Next paycheck, she is M-I-N-E. I still haven't test ridden anything yet, so I'm not even sure it will be my final choice, so I won't show it here just yet. After next paycheck tho, I will have something for you to see.
I'm very excited about getting a comfortable, sturdy bike - and riding it everywhere. Just in time for cooler weather and rainy season. But, I'm not afraid to get wet - and I'm going to have fenders put onto it tho cos I'm just not into the stripey-butt look.
Anyway, so far this bike shop is a keeper. The staff is friendly and knowledgable, and with a younger man (under 20) who was very courteous and respectful - it has promise. Once we get Spencer's bike back, we'll see how good of a job their mechanics did...if we like it, and I buy a bike from them, I'll let you know who they are, if not well, they won't get my recommendation.
I'm really looking forward to getting out and about to even more places than before...I have special plans for next month, but only if I get a bike, so you'll have to wait. hee hee
One year ago today, I stopped using my car.
Well, it pretty much stopped working. My 14yr old Toyota Corolla, a.k.a. Scooter, had finally had enough. There were several things wrong with him, all of which cost lots of money - more money than I could trade/sell him for...
So then the question became, do I fix him or get a new car?
I did neither and donated Scooter to one of my favorite charities. It was the best thing for him, and for me, and it took me waaaay too long to make that decision.
Bottom line, Spencer and I take public transit or walk everywhere we want to go. We are fortunate in that 2 different bus lines stop at the corner by our apartment to take us to many wonderful places - the best of which is the BART station - which in turn connects us to the rest of the Bay Area.
If we have visitors in from out of town, like Mom and Sis, or Honey, I rent a car. When I took the boys to Kublacon, I rented a car. If I ever need a car, I rent it - and it's not very often. The folks at the local rental car company are my buddies.
Several very awesome friends and even the Ex have loaned me their cars when they've gone on vacation. And those same friends, and others, and the Ex have graciously given us rides every now and then.
Once we sort out our bicycle situation, we'll have yet another mode of transport. Spencer's bike needs a tune-up and mine...well, Ms Puffy wasn't cut out to carry my weight (I've gained and it's too much for her to carry me and groceries), so I'm going later to check out some bikes while Spencer turns in his bike for the tune-up. Ms Puffy will be donated to my favorite thrift store where someone smaller will get much more use out of her and not try to kill her with weight.
And you just know mine is going to be tricked out with fenders ( I hate getting muddy stripes up my back when it rains), a back rack, and baskets all around! Cos I plan on taking my new bike everywhere. Just hope I can find one that can handle it.
Do I miss not having a car? Not really. I won't lie and say no all the way, because there have been several times that it would have been so much easier to hop in the car and pop here and there real quick like.
Not having a car though really makes you think. You really have to think about how you are going to get somewhere. Is the trip really necessary? How early do you need to catch the bus - don't forget to factor in if the bus or the train is late! Can you combine a bunch of things into this one trip out? Could you walk? Do you REALLY need that one something...is it important enough to take the bus all this way and take all this time...just for that one little something?
The benefits of not having a car? The obvious ones: no car payment, no insurance payment, no maintenance, no parking fees, no high gas prices, no registration, no smog check. The not so obvious ones: I spend less money since I can't just hop in a car and drive myself to a store because I'm bored, we only buy what we absolutely need because we have to plan our trip and then carry it all home, our carbon footprint is a whole lot smaller now, we get out and walk more. Ummm...that's not to say we don't go crazy and buy stuff we don't need though (i.e. all that yarn I stuffed into my cart today...and the xbox we bought a few weeks back).
Speaking of walking... I found out that within less than 2 miles of my apartment in any direction, is a total of 4 major grocery stores, a zillion restaurants, a post office, a pet store, 3 hardware stores, and so much more, it's incredible. And here, I've been hopping in Scooter and driving to all these places all these years. Sigh.
Speaking of bus rides...I can take the bus in any direction from my apartment and in 10-20 minutes I could be at 3 different BART stations, two local downtown areas, 2 different craft stores, 2 different games stores, movie theatres, our family doctors, a Target, new book stores, used book stores, the car rental place, and the list goes on and on.
I swear, Spencer and I go out more and see more things now than we've ever done before.
And you know the best benefit of not having a car? I get to hang out with... The. Best. Cart. Ever. Made....EVER!
And we won't discuss the very bad things she hears pouring out of my mouth when the bus is late. Yeah, that's a major down side, but not enough to make me go out and pay high gas prices, get a car payment, pay insurance premiums, get the car licensed and registered....or get stuck in traffic.
Will I ever get another car? Yes, eventually - and I do check out cars constantly so that I know what I want when I finally do decide to get motoring again. In the mean time, I've gotten used to using public transit and look forward to tooling around on my new bike when I get it. Oh, and what's really cool? The buses have bike racks and you can take your bike on BART. If I ever get tired, we both can have a ride. hee hee
I heart Dot, my BART EZRider Pass, my bus pass and my Translink card.