Sunday, January 31, 2010

More on Jeanette, Haiti...and the ongoing saga of me trying to be more consistent

Yesterday was semi-productive for a Saturday. I got a lot of knitting done. When I say that, I mean I knitted a lot, then unknitted some, then knitted a lot. The baby blanket pattern I'm working on it interesting and not difficult but so easy to make a mistake you don't find for another two rows. I try to check each row but it gets away from me when I get focused on day dreaming or watching a show.

Jan talked today at church about Jeanette, Haiti and their needs. They need blankets and tents, food and farming implements. Our diocese is getting a container ready to ship so we have some time to get as much as we can. I found a blanket at StuffMart today for $6 so I went ahead and bought one. I priced blanket fleece but all they had was NFL and other decorated fleece that was $9 a yard. Not nearly enough. I talked to +Mary today about baby hats and blankets and she asked me if I wanted to announce another Lenten knitting thing but I told her I thought too much was going on and I would put my items in the Haiti basket. If other people saw it and felt like making some, great. If not, also great. Some of the ladies are knitting and crocheting for hospitals and preemies now so I would hate to take away from that area of concern.

The diocese is also getting a food package set up. Some of the food did make it to Jeanette (I took that some to mean not all of it did) but as they are getting a huge influx of people from Port au Prince and the surrounding areas, it's just not enough to go around. And as Jeanette is in the mountains, it's colder there and people are sleeping on the ground outdoors and are pretty miserable. Especially the babies.

If anyone reading this feels so inclined, I would ask that you remember the people of the outlying areas as well as the major earthquake areas. The relief funds are only for the Port au Prince area so the people of Jeanette aren't getting any relief except from The Haiti Project or if some other church or charity has them specifically targeted. Also...please make sure any charities you want to fund are legitimate. There are unscrupulous people out there taking advantage of the people of Haiti...and you. The video interview on the web page is of Jan Byrd who is the coordinator (the Jan I frequently speak of.)

I'm trying to stay offline much more so I can get more work done at home and get busy knitting. I have 2 hats done and one at the decrease stage. My goal is 40 hats by Easter. And two blankets. A lot of knitting especially if the two commissions come in and need to be done by then.

I'm not succeeding too well in staying offline though because I keep researching stuff. Then there are the blogs I like to read each day. And I get my news mostly online. And there are patterns to look for.

Still...I'm doing better than I was before and while it doesn't look like it, I'm making slow progress in getting more done consistently. Consistently is the key word. It doesn't do much good if I have one great day a week if the other 6 days I'm not able to get anything done because I will spend that one great day making up for the other 6. So... this is progress...even if it doesn't seem like it.

Fibromyalgia sucks big time. I know that some people in my extended family think I should just "get over it" and "push myself" and then everything will be fine. That the problem is in me not making myself do more. I wouldn't wish this on them...really, I wouldn't...but sometimes I think if they could walk around (or lie around) in my shoes for a day or so, maybe they would be more understanding.

Ah, well.

I see progress even if it doesn't show.

And now it's time to get some more knitting done. I have to unknit for a while to find the mistake I made while knitting at coffee hour today.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Three steps forward, two steps back


Not much sleep last night so I slept as late as I could. Tom took Professor out this morning so I didn't have to get up early. That helped a lot. But I have no energy again today so I'm doing the bare minimum...which isn't, I guess, all that minimum after all. I have three loads of laundry to do, dishes to wash and supper to fix: pizza casserole again. Easy to fix and wonderful to eat.

I did get some knitting done on a baby hat but I fell asleep during it so when I woke up it was time to fix supper. I'll finish up the hat and then go to work on the blanket. Tonight is a tv night versus dvd night and I plan on getting a bunch of knitting long as I can stay awake to do it.

I resisted temptation today. There was something I really wanted to buy, couldn't afford, but wanted it anyway. It was more than half off and the price would never be that low again, I'm sure. My finger hovered over the right click button on the mouse before I sighed and clicked the page off instead. I can get it at the library whenever it's in.

I felt better for it in the end knowing that I stuck to the principles of saving rather than spending. Anytime you say "just this once" it usually isn't. The next time there is something you want the mantra comes into your mind until eventually it's there all the time.

So even though it looks like I didn't get what I wanted, I really did. In the long run.

I'm almost done with one dog blanket. I have tons of old yarn to use to make more. That will free up some space eventually. I have some plastic cabinets I could use for gardening stuff if I can clear out the yarn from it. I'll need to move them down to the basement as soon as I clear it out...which I need to get busy with really soon. I've made very minor progress down there but if I continue at this rate I won't be done by spring...which is my goal. Because after spring planting, I tackle the garage so we can set up the wood stove in there and make room for Tom's workshop.

I swear stuff breeds in there. We clean it up and within a month it's full again.

I intend to get a lot of reading in this weekend as well. I need to study up and start taking notes from An Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery and my Tightwad Gazette books by Amy Daczyczyn (pronounced decision.) If I need any more information I can make a trip to the library.

I practically live there anyway.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brrrrr...again after a nice warm spell of temps in the 20s.

My energy levels are creeping back up due largely, I'm sure, to getting more sleep. However, more sleep doesn't necessarily equate to enough sleep. I'm still not there. I'm averaging about 6 hours a night now. It's not enough but it's a start.

I intend to tackle the house tomorrow and get some much needed cleaning done. I also hope to get some baking done: tortillas, bread, muffins. My eyes are usually bigger than my stomach when it comes to my energy levels so I'm not committing to's just what I would like to accomplish.

I've been reading a frugal blog that is pretty controversial and one of the complaints is about how dirty the woman's home is. I'm sure I wouldn't want anyone to take pictures of my house right now and put it up on the internet. So I intend to rectify that situation first thing tomorrow.

Tom has been sleeping in lately, which is good for him. It's hard to get to sleep when you get home after midnight. You just can't hop into bed and go to sleep. He needs down time and that can take a few hours so his nighttime cache of sleep is pretty empty, too. What I'd like to do is get up early (if I can get to bed early enough) and get some work done before he wakes up. I can't work when he's around because, as I've said repeatedly, it's a very small house and he needs the rooms I work in when he's up getting ready for work. So rather than try to work around him, it's best to find the time to work when he's either asleep or gone.

And since there is so much to do, I really should take advantage of all those moments when I can.

Of course, it all hinges on me being able to get to sleep early enough.

I got some baby sport yarn today...huge skeins of I can get started on some baby blankets for the newborns in Haiti. I've got plenty of small balls of baby yarn that I can make hats of but the blankets take a bit more yarn. I could wait until Lent to start but I've got the urge now so now is when I intend to start it. I've finished one hat and hope to get another one done today in addition to starting the blanket. I don't want to announce at church that I'm doing this. I'm really uncomfortable getting attention for what I do.

I've also got the two consignments coming up soon. One is crocheting a dress for a bed doll and the other is two knitted vests. The woman who wants the vests is tiny so it shouldn't take forever. But she seems to think I can get it done in a day. I told her a few times it takes me longer than that, but she still walked away thinking I could finish two vests in a week's time.


I wanted to watch the House dvd (season 1) that I got from the library last night but when I put it in the dvd player, it couldn't read it. So I put it in our other dvd player and same thing. I took it out and the whole side was sort of starburst-like. So weird. That was the only dvd in the set that looked like that. So I took it back today and showed it to them because I don't want to get blamed for it. It looks like it's been fried or something equally electronically awful. I suppose I could go back on the list for the show but my luck I would get the bad set again because they didn't take it out to fix it.

Oh, well...I still have I, Claudius to watch and we hope to finish Farscape this week. Then I'll put The Peacekeeper's War on order.

I'm still on the waiting list for a lot of other dvds. My luck they will all come in at once.

Oh...and it's bitterly cold today. Of course I would have to go run errands in sub-zero wind chills. But the property tax installment is made and so is the water bill (I killed two birds with one stone since I hate to go to city hall for anything due to traffic and parking.)

And now that the sun is setting a bit later, our need to race to get the errands done is less frantic. It's still setting before 5 p.m. though.

Supper just dinged in the toaster oven so I'm off.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

News from Haiti

I meant to write last night but I got busy baking (which turned out disastrously because someone (could have been me) left the toaster oven on broil and brownies don't bake well at all on broil) and cleaning up and then there was Farscape to watch with Zach so I never got back to the computer.

There was bad news on the prayer chain: we got word that the people of Jeanette, Haiti, are starving. Mary+ sent a money wire to them in hopes that it won't get lost in the mire and they'll get some food sent there. At the best of times they don't have a lot and one meal a day isn't a given for them. Now with the influx of people and being cutoff from supplies or having no supplies coming, things have become very desperate there.

It really puts things in perspective for me with my whining about my money problems. I would hope it would make me stop doing it but I'm sure it won't. It's one of the really bad sides of my personality. But maybe my Lenten practices should include working on complaining.

Today is another errand day but it's sunny in spite of being cold and a bit windy so I intend to enjoy it as much as I can. Sleep is still elusive but when I do manage it, it's deep and uninterrupted so that has to count for something.

I've not gotten a lot of knitting done but the mindless garter stitch of the dog blanket for the animal shelter is growing. I do want to get back to other things. I need to dig through my bin for baby hat patterns. I tried crocheting one and I think I prefer the knitted hats so I'll get back to that. Although for the most part I do remember the pattern so I might just go ahead without the pattern. I am going to crochet some blankets though as they come along much quicker than the knitted ones do.

I need to get caught up on reading and get some more planning done for the garden this spring. I also need to set Zach up with some insurance. I found a policy that won't break us but will certainly mean tightening the belt nearly to the spine. He's going to try to make the payments from his savings as long as he can. Hopefully he'll be able to start looking for a job soon.

It should be a productive day today.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

To my many readers from the Land of Oz, have a wonderful day and thank you for reading my blog. Don't be shy; let me know a little bit about you. :-)

It was another gray, dark day today. Zach paid for the program he needs for his last class and was pleased that it didn't break the bank. In a couple of months he'll be done. I just hope we can get the truck fixed by then so he can get out and try to get a job.

It's been spitting snow all afternoon which made me nervous driving the truck. I have to get home before I need lights on it and as it was so dark all afternoon we barely made it home at 3:30 when it was almost as dark as twilight. Plus the truck is so light that it's terrible driving in snow or icy conditions. I should have put the 80 pounds of cat litter in the back but I didn't think of it until we were already pulling out of the driveway. Next time I will.

Not much to report except I am sleeping again even if I'm not feeling rested so much. It's a start anyway. The way my bed is situated right now seems to be optimum for propping myself up to sleep and the pets have been very good at letting me sleep all night of late. I just hope it keeps up for a while. Maybe I can play catch up.

Baked macaroni and cheese and cornbread tonight and a veg. Something green to offset the yellow of the other foods. Color seems to matter when eating for some reason.

I knitted a lot on the cabled pullover during the church's annual meeting yesterday so I just continued with it last night. During the evening when Zach and I were doing a Farscape marathon, I worked on the puppy blanket for the animal shelter using the yarn that a lady at church donates pretty regularly. I need the space it's taking up and the animal shelter needs the blankets.

But it was All Creatures Great and Small for me after Zach went to bed. It's become one of my new favorites.

I taught Zach to crochet and he's doing a great job. I've got a pattern for a can cozy that I'm going to start him on as soon as I finish up here. It's making me want to crochet something as well. I need to get some blankets and hats made up for our sister church in Haiti so I might crochet them, as I can put them out faster crocheting versus knitting.

Off to turn on some lights as I'm working in the dark now that the sun has gone down.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday, rain, Haiti and the Super Bowl

Rain. Lots of it. The snow is going away and since it has to go somewhere, I'm pretty sure there's plenty of wet down in my basement. I may get my courage up to go down there tomorrow. Especially since I have a load of clothes in the dryer and one in the washer.

Yes, I have to use the dryer. My house is just too small for the wooden racks. And for now it's helping heat the house because I have it vented indoors.

And speaking of heat...the furnace didn't kick on at all last night. Zach turned it down to 50F before he went to bed, which is the perfect sleeping temperature for us and I found myself kicking the covers off a lot during the night. When I got up the temp was 55F. So the furnace couldn't have come on at all. Definitely needed to catch that break.

Church was very good today. Our numbers are still down. We've lost 3 young families in the past 15 months to moves so our church school doesn't always have any children in it. Today was one of those days. We did have a new person show up with the intentions of making St. Mark's his church. I was impressed that he sat through out annual meeting without looking bored. Not that it was boring to me because I'm interested in what's going on but to a new person who doesn't know all the ins and outs of where are money has been going, it can be a bit boring.

There was good news from Jan about Jeanette, Haiti. Only one cistern was damaged (they had just been repaired recently) and the buildings only had a few cracks but they expect an influx of people migrating from Port au Prince and the surrounding areas and are trying to anticipate their needs. Jeanette is already very poor and has limited resources. Still haven't heard about the school administrator and his family but Pere Gracia, the interim priest in Jeanette and his family are okay.

I'm off to watch some more Farscape, season 4 with Zach. I got All Creatures Great and Small from the library and watched it last night until I kept falling asleep. I took the hint and got to bed pretty early for me. It was a rare thing to have enough sleep before church. And it felt so good.

The Colts made it to the Super Bowl (I'm originally from Indiana so it's good to root for the old home team) but Tom's Vikings didn't make it. He's not a happy camper. I'm not too invested in the game but it was nice to hear that the Colts are back.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

If it wasn't so dark and dreary I might see light at the end of the tunnel

Yesterday was much more productive than usual but not as productive as I would like to be. Still, I am keeping up with my work which is a lot more than I've been able to do in the past. So progress is being made. I just need to remind myself of that. Often.

I shifted my bed by 90 degrees to make more room in my bedroom and give me access to my piano, which I intend to start playing again. I slept wonderfully last night, which is very unusual when I've rearranged my room. It feels too much like I'm in a different place and I'm not good sleeping away from home. But it was one of the best nights I've had in ages. Except it was too short.

I had to get up early this morning to meet my partner for Altar Guild. We had a lot to do so it took about 2 hours to clean and set up. We had to put the banners up and that is always a time-consuming chore. I had an idea for a new banner that I want to sketch out and see if it is doable. I'm not much of a seamstress but I do know my way around a sewing machine so it shouldn't be impossible.

Pork shoulders were on sale for 98 cents a pound yesterday so I picked up a family package of them. We'll have them for supper tonight along with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. You just have to have meat and potato meals once in a while. Casseroles and one-pot dishes are good but not forever. I also bought some chicken leg quarters that were on sale. and a roasting chicken. I separated the leg quarters out and can get another 3 meals out of the package. Two meals out of the chicken and maybe three meals out of the pork if I use one of the shoulders as a condiment rather than the main event.

My grocery bill is coming down in spite of having my prescriptions added to the bill. I've overstocked on some things and will keep up with that rather than use up what I've got. I won't get caught short should something catastrophic happen to us. I may not have seen the economic downturn coming but I won't be fooled into complacency again.

I worked on my cabled sweater last night for a couple of hours and I'm finally right back where I started at the beginning of the evening. I dropped a stitch and there was no way to fix it without going back. I reminded myself through gritted teeth that I am a process knitter and it's the knitting that's fun. It became my mantra.

Tonight I will work on the cardigan though. I'm not going to break up with the cabled sweater but I think we need to see other projects for a while. I need my space.

Zach wants to learn crochet so we'll start that tonight. His first project will be a can cozy, which I think would be doable for a beginner. He's done some knitting so he's not a total beginner and I've got plenty of cotton yarn he can use.

I need to get back to my spinning, too. I look at my kick spindle every day since it's on the piano right next to my bed. I've no idea why I put it off but I'm going to start on it again tomorrow. Tonight is for the cardigan and getting ready for church.

And finishing up three loads of laundry. I've given up on using the wooden racks because the house is just too small for them. I'll make up for it during the summer. I promise to use the clothesline faithfully.

The birds were swarming the feeders this morning. Both of them were empty when I got back from church. Since I refilled it...not a bird to be seen. I suspect it's like a progressive dinner. The start at one feeder and move as a unit all over town until they get to mine. That would explain why they're not here every day.

Well, the clothes need rescued from the dryer and I need to close the curtains so I can turn some lights on. It's been dark and dreary all day...but warmer.


Friday, January 22, 2010

On the mend

Yesterday was a difficult day for me and Zach but hopefully today will be better. On the plus side, I'm feeling a bit better. The past three days I've had nearly non-stop heart palpitations (I have a premature beat occasionally unless caffeine or stress intervenes) which leaves me even more anxious and a bit weird-feeling. I stopped all caffeine, which I had been drinking of late, thinking the problem had gone away...NOT. Today I feel better and haven't had any palpitations at all so far.

Sleep is still an issue. But I'm trying my best to piece together a full-night's sleep even if I can't get one all in one shot. So some sleep is better than no sleep. And I managed to get in some exercise time yesterday. Not much but I'll work on it and keep increasing it until it's at a normal level. I'm so out of shape.

I scrubbed down the bathroom yesterday (which was an aerobic workout on its own) all the while kicking myself for letting things get so bad. Not health standards worthy but not as neat and tidy as I would like it. I'm going to tackle the kitchen today but that one has been kept up with fairly well, just not the floors.

I made egg noodles last night for supper. Zach loved them and since it's not such a hard thing to do, I might do them more often. Zach hates potatoes. It's more than hate...the texture bothers his OCD and he just can't eat them. He can eat french fries but they've got a different texture. So he's eaten rice mostly as he grew up but now he's tired of rice and finding something else for him has been a challenge so it's a relief to find something else he will eat.

I am still wavering about going vegetarian again. It's mostly for health reasons. I need to get my cholesterol under control (the heart palpitations have really given me the impetus to get busy on the health issue) and also because of financial considerations. Especially this summer when I get my garden going and can eat out of it.

The problem, of course, is being the only one doing it and having to cook two different meals. I've thought about just adding meat for the men but that doesn't always work out. At this stage, I'm just looking at having a few vegetarian meals a week, which is better than nothing for now.

It's time to start getting busy outdoors. I need to prune my fruit trees and see about starting another vine from my grape vine. I'm wondering if it would be worth the investment for some pruning shears. I have nothing except a saw for pruning and I'm not sure that's either as effective or time smart. It would take so much more time to cut each feeder and wayward branch with a saw than it would with some shears. I think I'll price them today while I'm out and about.

I also need to start ordering my seeds for the garden. My biggest problem is I have no place to start them indoors. If I can save up enough this year (and get the basement clean) I can set aside some space and equipment for them in the basement. This year's garden won't be spectacular, I'm sure, but it would be nice to get enough in the freezer and storage so I can save a bit of money next winter. I just need to practice those baby steps until I can actually run with it.

I woke up this morning and opened up the curtain in the kitchen so I could see how the bird feeders were doing. There was a squirrel out there trying to figure out how to get to the feed. It's impossible, actually, but she tried to get what was available on the ground until the birds ran her off. I had a huge flock of them out there for a while. Later I looked and there were two crows eating off the ground. I know I must be weird but I love crows. I'm not sure why but I think they're great creatures. Maybe a bit bossy and a bit egotistical but still lovely to watch.

As long as they aren't being mean to the smaller birds that come to visit.

Today is a day of more errands. Zach has to buy his program for his last class and I have to transfer money from savings to make the first installment on the property taxes. I had to look around for some health insurance for Zach since COBRA will be over $400 a month for him. Yikes!!! I found one for $100 a month with $1000 deductible and no dental insurance. It would be cheaper to go with a larger deductible but if push comes to shove how would we come up with the money for the deductible? And why pay for insurance when you can't actually afford to use it? I've got until next week to decide on a plan but I think I've found one that will work.

I've barely done any knitting this week. Concentration has been difficult with all that's going on but I'm hoping to get back to my cardigan and the pullover. I want to start some baby hats for the wee ones in our sister church in Haiti. And I have some yarn set aside for another baby blanket. It's just a matter of digging out a pattern in the bins under my bed. Not a huge undertaking.

Well, I need to get moving so I can get things done before we need to head out for the errands. It's still a race against the sun since the truck still isn't fixed and with only one headlight we can't drive after dark. And dark still comes early around these parts.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life in the boring lane

Maybe I should just let you know when I do get sleep. It would be more newsworthy.

We had Impossible Pie for supper tonight and I made an apple/walnut cobbler but I will adjust the recipe next time. No sugar in the crust and it came out tasting a bit soapy. I thought it was just me but Zach said the same thing.

The apples and walnuts were good though.

Zach has his second dental appointment tomorrow morning. And the last one for a while. We'll keep up with the checkups and he's going to take extra care so he doesn't need any major work done but we won't be able to keep up on his dental insurance. I'm not so sure about COBRA either but we'll have to see. I need to start looking at insurance plans for him because we still don't have the truck fixed so he can't look for a job, which means no benefits. It's worrying him whether he'll even find a full-time job anyway, especially in his field.

I still don't know why Tom is so happy the health care bill might fail now but my need to keep this blog free from profanity keeps me silent on the issue.

Short and sweet since nothing happened worthy of noting today. I'm off to watch some television and not knit again. I'm not used to sitting down without something to do but I'm just too tired to wrap my brain around a pattern right now.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When nothing gets done because there's just no energy

Another sunny and warm-ish day. Okay it wasn't above freezing but it was above 20F so for us that's warm-ish.

But I got next to nothing done today. I'm still recovering from sleep deprivation, I think. Or the fatigue that goes along with fibromyalgia. Pain is under control, thankfully.

I watched the two Hellboy movies last night. They were good and I got a lot done on the cabled pullover. Including all the tinking because I had been adding two extra rows to one of the cable patterns. Every time.

It looks much better when you have the right number of rows.

It's coming along nicely and at this rate should be done by June. Sheesh! I need to get back to the cardigan since it is closer to being done.

Zach and I were going to watch the last season of Farscape tonight but I just don't feel like it. I think I'm going to bed as soon as the clothes are done in the dryer (yes, I'm using that now...there is just no room for the wooden racks and too cold for hanging them out.)

Just a wasted day all around.

I think I'm going to watch tv and go to sleep tonight with no knitting or projects going on. I need to catch up on sleep and rest. And I can feel the aches coming back so I'm off to take a tramadol and get the clothes out of the dryer.

I hope tomorrow is better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I fell asleep at the keyboard trying to figure out a title for this post

We finally got the much delayed sun today and its warmth was like a tonic. I'm feeling almost chipper at the moment. The snow is melting and sliding off the roof and I was able to get out back to give the birds their long-awaited refill on the bird feeder. There was a flock of them in the thicket up the hill and they were a bit vocal while I attended to matters of great import to them. When I got back inside, I shut the door and peeked out the window but they were feigning indifference. I can tell by the level of food that they waited until I left to go shopping to fill up.

I got another bag of yarn from a dear lady at church. I feel bad that I haven't really done much with all the yarn she gives me but it's Red Heart yarn and a bit too coarse for baby things so I had planned to start knitting blankets for the Humane Society. I'm just good at planning and not at execution, however. But I decided that I did need to start it so I'm knitting while reading blogs and while doing my step exercises. It's plain garter stitch, double yarn, on big needles. Mindless knitting but since I hate to just sit and not be productive, this gives me the excuse to take the time to read more.

I also want to start knitting baby things again. With the influx of people into Jeanette, the hospital might be overwhelmed with newborns. I've got plenty of baby yarn so I should keep something on the needles at all times. It's been a while since anyone has put anything into the Haiti baby basket so maybe if I do, others will follow.

I got about 6 hours sleep last night and feel much better. The sunshine does help a lot, too, but nothing compares to getting sleep. I woke up with a cat in my arms but I have no memory of him crawling under the covers to get there so maybe he's realized he can achieve his goals without waking me up.

I did the shopping today because I was out of enough things to make it worth my while and I got enough extras that I won't run out of anything until the weekend at least, and then mostly things I can do without. I feel better having things in stock rather than trying to buy for a week at a time. And I managed to cut my grocery bill nearly in half. Even though I had to buy Zach a new lamp for his bed table. A small one that didn't cost a lot. We'll repair his lamp because it was Tom's dad's lamp...a brass one, but Zach is storing up for his apartment someday so I don't mind helping him out occasionally.

I made pizza last night in the big oven. I could feel the heat leaking out from the door but we're talking about less than 15 minutes so it's not as bad as it could have been. It takes two people to bake, though. One to hold the door and not open it beyond a certain point and the other person to put in or take out the food. I'll only use it for pizzas. Everything else I can fit in the toaster oven.

Not sure what to fix for supper tonight. I didn't lay anything out but I've got some Polish sausage I could thaw quickly. Maybe look around online for a recipe or two. Or I could be lazy and just cook it and cook up some potatoes and a veg. Planning meals is one of my worst areas. I don't plan ahead much and so I find myself cut short when I want to fix something or what I want to fix is frozen.

Baby steps. I just need to keep taking baby steps. I've been taking them for over 21 years and I still can't walk well without help. sigh

Next weekend is looking lousy so I don't know when Tom will be able to fix the headlamp on the truck. It's so hard to have your life put on hold over something like that but what can you do?

Well, off to figure out what to fix and how to fix it.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trying to count my blessings.

Jan talked today about Jeanette, Haiti, where our sister church, school and hospital are. Their structures are good, no one has been injured. Jeanette is about 70 miles from Port au Prince so they weren't as affected. We were asked by the bishop to be generous toward either the Haiti Project, the Episcopal Relief and Development or a reputable charity of our choice. I chose the Haiti Project since I've been working on baby items that get sent there as well as our pennies for the school lunches. Since living conditions in Port au Prince are so bad, a lot of people are moving out of the city and into outlying areas, such as Jeanette, so their resources will very soon be overwhelmed.

Church was a somber affair today because of the news of all the losses in Haiti. Jan was crying throughout the service and I can't say I blame her. They haven't been informed of the status of the priest yet or his family. The family lived near Port au Prince but he was most likely at the school in Jeanette at the time. A group of people from the Haiti Project will be going down there in a couple of weeks. That's the soonest they could get a flight down there.

It really puts my life in perspective. I wish I could say I won't whine anymore but I'm weak and I know I'll do it again and again. I would love to be a more positive person. Are positive people born that way or do they learn it?

I'm still in a sleep deficit: two whole hours last night. I managed to just doze off when I woke up from pain. It takes a while for the tramadol to kick in so I was gritting my teeth and being very restless for a couple of hours. I didn't want to take two of them so I just waited it out. Eventually I felt the pain ease off and I was able to doze off. And the cat decided to wake me up at least three times wanting to curl up in my arms. The last time was 8 minutes before the alarm went off. I'm resigned to interrupted sleep the rest of my life.

I'm fixing pizza from scratch tonight but I cheat by using my bread machine for the dough. I only use it to mix up the stuff and let it go through the rising cycles. My house is way too cold for any dough to rise otherwise.

Woke up this morning to a beautiful sight of hoar frost on everything. It was very foggy on the way to church but that wasn't a problem. Zach had a vestry meeting so we were very late getting away and the hoar frost was still on the trees. It looked like we had some light and intermittent snow showers but it was hard to tell if it was from the trees or the sky. On the way home we drove through what looked like a snow shower and there weren't any trees around anywhere. But we drove right out of it in a matter of seconds. So who knows?

So we never got any sunshine this weekend. Nor did we get the warm temps that were promised. Lying liars.

The truck didn't get fixed this weekend. It was a disappointment but without sunshine and the lovely heat that was promised, it was too difficult for Tom to get out there and work. I swear I am cleaning out the garage this summer and being merciless so we can fit a vehicle in there next winter. And I'm going to see about setting up the wood stove in there, as well.

So we are limited to daytime driving next week again. Zach has to go pay for his program to finish up college and I need to transfer money from savings so I can pay the first installment on the property taxes. Sooner rather than later, too. Might as well get it done on Monday.

I'm off to chop up vegetables for the pizza. I'm debating using the big oven. We can shut the door although not tightly. It's the opening that is a problem since one of the brackets is broken and it tends to drop very suddenly when opened. Otherwise, I'll have to fix small pizzas times 3. The advantage there is everyone gets what he wants on his own pizza and all I have to do is lay out the dough and the sauce. They can do the rest.

And I still haven't done any laundry.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dr. Suess said it best

The sun did not shine; it was too wet to play so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. The weather forecasters were rotten lying liars. So it's a good thing I didn't hang my clothes outside yesterday in freezing weather. Unfortunately they're still in the basket waiting to be washed.

I just can't warm up today. I've got the thermostat on 60F like always but my internal thermostat is sitting on 39F and not rising. I'll take a shower later in order to prepare for church tomorrow but in the meantime...I'm cold. I went to the library because I had some things come in and if I wait too long, they go back but I never managed to warm up even in the car.

I'm thinking of taking a hot water bottle to bed and just read under my throw until I warm up. By which time I'll have to come out of the warm place and get cold again.

Tom's paycheck is down about $16 a month because our insurance went up. Property taxes went up over $200 this year. Our water bill is going up because they're adding fire protection on other words we now have to pay for the fire department separate from our other taxes. Before long we'll have police protection added to that and then just what the heck are those taxes paying for?

And the pay doesn't go up. Two years running at 15% below what was already about 20% under what it should have been due to miniscule pay raises in the past.

I've been mentally planning the garden. I'm planning on things that will freeze well, like corn, green peppers, onions, green beans, carrots and peas. Things that I will be able to can, like tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. Tobacco so Tom can process his own cigarettes. Salad fixings for the summer. And of course, zucchini and pumpkins and potatoes. I may have some other things that come to mind later but these are the staples. Things like broccoli and cauliflower take up a lot of room and aren't terribly expensive so those we'll just buy in the store.

I'm considering which herbs to grow as well. That's not as clear to me yet since I'm not sure what I want to do with herbs. I've not used herbs a lot in cooking so by growing my own I'm likely to overstock. I don't want to invest in a lot of equipment like dehydrators, which are expensive and cost electricity to use so I have to consider that, too.

Soap making and candle making intrigue me. I might look into that but I'm not sure what to do with all the excess. I'm not keen on internet sales based on watching others' experiences with fraud and ruined reputations by mischief makers...not to mention our paypal account was hacked to the tune of about $10,000, which was resolved to our satisfaction. So no paypal for us.

I've thought about flea markets, which mean I would spend the year making and gathering stuff to sell, hoping that I gambled right on what is selling and got the prices right. I'm so naive when it comes to pricing and figuring out profit. I feel so inept.

And then there is my knitting. Would people pay for knitted socks? They're much more expensive that any socks you could get at StuffMart because the materials alone cost more. And you have to make some money off your labors, don't you?

I'm at the point where I need to start scheduling my time better and try to fight against this awful debilitating fatigue. The pain I can work through unless it involves something physically taxing, but the fatigue is a barrier to accomplishing things.

I want to dig my pencils and acrylics and water colors out and work on that again. If I would just stick with it, I could improve but I get to a point where I feel like I'm not going forward and I quit. I hate that about myself. Part of it is my fear of failure. That particular fear has paralyzed me most of my life. I need to figure out a way to get past that.

My hands are cold and I need to jump into my jammies and curl up in bed. Tom's eating leftovers so I don't need to cook, thankfully. And it's always good to eat up the food so it doesn't go to waste.

I think a good night's sleep will make tomorrow brighter. I'm sure of it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I wuz confoozed

I went to bed last night with my usual difficulty sleeping although Professor didn't need to go out all night. Either that or he couldn't wake me up. But after only 4 hours he woke me up this morning and since it was Saturday, I stayed up because sleeping late makes it hard for me to get to sleep on Saturday nights for the Sunday a.m. turnaround.

Except it wasn't Saturday. It was Friday.

I couldn't figure out why Tom was making his lunch and asked him where he was going. He looked at me so funny and said, "no where."

I said, "You're making your lunch. Where are you going?"

"To work."

"On a Saturday????"

"It's Friday."

"No, it isn't."

"Yes, it is."

At which point it occurred to me that all the blogs I had read had Friday as the date.

I never recovered.

So I did get a little bit done today but dragging my tush after only 4 hours sleep, it's not a lot. I did some sweeping (broom on carpet and carpet sweeper on carpet) in the living room and my bedroom. And some minor re-arranging so I could actually move around in there. I need to clean off my nightstand which is so cluttered that everything falls off into the wastebasket whenever I reach for something else.

I did some minor knitting last night. We watched Farscape in the living room but I didn't have a light beside me so knitting on a black cardigan didn't work out well. I should have grabbed my log cabin baby blanket that will go to Haiti (Jeanette...our sister church and the school and hospital there) but I didn't, being incredibly lazy yesterday.

I'm going to work on the Heather Cabled sweater tonight because I like to alternate and because I don't feel like fitting the pocket into the cardigan tonight.

I also need to get started on my apron soon. And I have laundry to do tomorrow and I'm going to make a peanut butter suet for my birds outside. I need to refill the bird feeder as well. And I'm going to try to hang some clothes outside tomorrow morning very early. I thought about doing it today but that fatigue thing got in the way. I'll get some clothes washed, though, so I can start first thing.

Tom is going to work on the truck tomorrow so we'll be back to two vehicles again. It will be nice especially as I just got the paperwork for the clear title on the car.'s paid off...finally. I still plan on making payments to ourselves though so we can build the savings account back up because next week I've got to make the property tax payment. Partial payment, that is. I would love to make the whole thing at once but it would empty out our savings and that makes me very, very nervous. I like having a tiny cushion. We won't get a lot back on our taxes this year because Zach's loan and scholarship paid for his school last semester so we won't get the tax break. And this is the last year we can claim him on our taxes.


Supper is ready and I'm off to watch my Friday night shows.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sorry for the disappearance

So sorry for disappearing like that. Depression sets in quickly and overwhelms me so all I can do is ride it out. I've finally learned that trying to fight it only makes it last longer. I've also learned that blogging while in a depression pit alienates people and makes me look like an ass so I decided to leave the pity party private and just remain silent.

Believe me, you're all better off not knowing who was invited to my pity party. And so are they.

So now I'm on the other side and digging into clutter, throwing stuff away relentlessly and hoping to get back on track. I suspect having many cold, gray days with the curtains closed to keep the cold out and the heat in contributed to the depression so I'm enjoying the sunny and warmer days we've been having. Getting outside helps, too.

We're having tacos today so I'm soon off to make tortillas. After catching up on the checkbook and the bills (and after having a near otherworld experience when I wrote the check for groceries and my prescriptions Wednesday) it's obvious I'm just not doing enough. Since groceries are the only thing that's flexible right now, that's where we'll have to work harder. I did buy extras when I found a good deal so that accounts for some of the sticker shock. Also, Zach needed new jeans for when Tom fixes the truck and he can go look for a job. But that was only $8 so that's not a huge portion.

No, my prescriptions, even with using StuffMart, are still a major monthly bill for us. I saw the rheumatologist yesterday and she commented on the number of pills I take a day. I'm thinking that my doctor might possibly be overprescribing me. But it's also obvious that she thinks I need them so I should work harder on those things I can do to reduce or get me off of at least some of them. I know there are some I will take for my aromasin, for my breast cancer. And most likely the blood pressure meds. It's in my family history so unlikely that even losing weight will allow me to go off of them completely. But maybe I can reduce my dosage. That would help a lot. And of course, cholesterol meds can be reduced or eliminated by diet and exercise.

However, if I start a diet regimen, I know I will quickly gain weight. I don't worry about food except to try to cook cheaper and use more real foods instead of fast or processed food so that does help. The nurse weighed me and I was reluctant to look since I was wearing two pair of pants and three shirts (we layer at home so we can keep the temp down to 60F) and I had lost weight from my physical in September. Hard to say how much since I was in shorts when I went to the drs office then but I was still a pound under what I weighed before so that must be a change. Plus I had eaten for yesterday's appointment and hadn't for my physical since I have to go in fasting.

Now I need to incorporate activity. I've been wanting to walk since the dog needs the exercise,too, but we live on the side of a pretty steep hill and the sidewalks are treacherous with melting snow and ice. I've got a step so I could do that while reading or watching tv. And I've got some walking dvds I could use, too (although they are boring). I just need to get to it.

My computer desk is now visible. Various correspondence and bills were cluttering it badly and since that's where I keep my meds, it was hard to find them all the time. Much better now although it did take a considerable amount of time to clean it since every piece of paper had to be scrutinized in order not to throw away something important.

Last night we didn't watch Farscape but I watched some stuff I had on tape and I noticed that Evita and The Chosen were OnDemand (free) so I watched those while unraveling the left front of my cardigan. The patterns on the cardigan and part of the cabled pullover were similar: only differing on one row. Yep...I had been using the cabled pullover pattern for the cardigan so I had to rip back to the ribbing. Dang! I had the pocket knitted in and all the buttonholes so nicely spaced.

But, being a process knitter and not a project knitter, it didn't devastate me. I merely move on.

Tonight, though, will be Farscape if I can drag Zach out of his room. I also got Brides of Christ from the library. I love this mini series. Australian productions are amazing. I wish I could find more of them.

And I just noticed that the last season of Farscape is in at the library so I'll need to head there tomorrow. Just the library though.

I hope to make it to church Sunday. I must make it there. I hate it that I've missed two weeks in a row. I'm just not dealing with the cold as well this winter. I don't know why.

Off to make tortillas. Tomorrow will probably be egg noodles. I'm going to have to be more creative with meals, using smaller portions of meat. And I wish I could get by with fewer trips to the store. Or at least shop with blinders on.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to work

Finally, a productive day!

I attacked the pantry and kitchen today separating out the racks and putting one outside the cubby and the other in. Now I can get to all parts of the shelves. I also threw out some decade old stuff that I have no idea why I still kept. All that meant I now have all the food on one rack and my appliances and trash bags and such on the other rack.

I can get to the stove completely now instead of trying to cook from a cattywampus position. I stored some stuff I won't be using in the oven since I won't be using it much at all. I could still use it but it won't be as efficient because there is no way to shut it all the way anymore. It needs a new bracket because the left hand side one is broken. I'm not sure where I would be able to get another one, but when I have the time, I might do a search.

I also moved the island on wheels out of the kitchen and now have it right outside the kitchen with the television on it. It has storage under it so I've got some more stuff there. I moved the table I had the tv on and put a tablecloth on it so it now replaces the card table we were using for a dining table. It's not as big but is steadier. I found it in the trash many years ago when we lived in California. It used to be a drop-leaf table but the leaves were gone. Otherwise it was in good shape. So there is more room in the living/dining room/den.

Supper tonight is roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn. Easy to fix but a pain to clean up.

I still have much to do tonight but hopefully Ghost Whisperer and my other shows are back on again. I probably missed stuff over the holidays but reruns will take care of that.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nothing but snow according to the news.

It looks like we got about 6 inches of snow. It doesn't seem like much considering what we have had in the past. But I'm sure glad I don't have to drive up to Fond du Lac on a regular basis. I do have an appointment the 20th but if it looks like the weather is bad, I can afford to reschedule it. I'm okay with my prescriptions and the arthritis isn't so bad I need anything for it immediately. I just won't drive in weather like this unless it's inescapable.

Tom, of course, had to. Where he works is already over 8 inches and counting. The car tracks really well in snow, however, and he is a careful driver. I'm sure he's taking the main roads and not going the back way.

Bless his heart, he got out there before work and shoveled off the private sidewalk and the driveway. Our neighbor with the snowblower got the public sidewalk. So Zach and I can wait until tomorrow to get out there and shovel again.

I was busy catching up on sleep today so not much got done. Impossible Pie for supper and some corn. Not terribly imaginative but so tasty. Tomorrow I have to do some baking and I must tackle the pantry. It's hard to find anything and stuff gets shoved to the back which is too deep to actually find. The racks are on sliders so they're suppposed to pull out easily but there is no room to pull them out anymore so I'm rethinking how I'm going to do this. I have no room to really do any complicated cooking which is why I keep to casseroles and one-pot meals.

I did lay out a chicken from the freezer and cook it tomorrow. I can get two meals easily out of one chicken and I might stretch it even further.

But definitely baking tomorrow. There is a request for flour tortillas and I might make some egg noodles and possibly some muffins or something snacky and healthy.

Zach and I were watching the second disk of Half Blood Prince with all the behind-the-scenes stuff. It was the best they had ever done. And so funny. It was nice to have Zach out here with me. He has trouble occasionally with his wifi so he has to come out here and since I was in my room, he just joined me there. I had to pull the bed away from the wall because he can't crawl across the bed very easily. The box spring is broken but the frame keeps it in place as long as you're not putting a lot of weight at the foot of the bed.

One of these days I'm going to get a new bed. I've got two eggcrate pads on my bed because the springs are too prominent and I can't sleep because of them. And someday I'll have a real bedroom instead of the living room turned into a bedroom and closed off with curtains.

I ended up not knitting much last night because I couldn't concentrate enough. I did work on my wool socks that are looking pretty bizarre because I'm using some odds and ends and putting together colors that nature might not have intended to be in the same room at the same time. But they will be on my feet and under my jeans so who cares?

Off to wash up the dishes and crawl into bed to knit and watch Farscape season 3. If I can concentrate today.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My long weekend is staying at home and doing deep cleaning

I had another day of errands today but I managed to get them all done (except for an auto-prescription notice that was emailed to me while I was out) so I get to be contentedly home until church on Sunday. Bliss. Sheer bliss. It always feels like a vacation to me when I get to stay home and work. I really don't like running all over the place taking care of errands and such.

I got a load of clothes washed and hung up on hangars and racks. They are drying more quickly in the winter than they did over the summer. I'm guessing it's because the humidity is so low. My eyes are still dry unless I use my potpourri pot. It's odd how such a small thing can make such a difference. I should have another load tomorrow.

I stayed up late last night reading. I got so wrapped up in it, that I didn't notice the time. It was 4:30 a.m. before I turned the light out and immediately went to sleep. And of course, got up early to let Professor out to wee. The reading list is going back up. I realized I liked keeping track after all.

The birds have been back although I haven't seen them. But the bird feeder is getting low and will need to be re-filled by Friday. Which should be a snow day if the forecast is correct. It's not supposed to be a lot (considering a couple of years ago we had 108 inches for the season) but enough to make the grungy snow look pretty again. And us shoveling sidewalks again. sigh

Zach had his dentist appointment today. Our share of it was nearly $150 and that was for all three appointments so I guess it's not a bad deal. We've got the lowest rung of dental insurance so it's not like we get a lot off. Zach really likes the dentist. His experience with the orthodontist really soured him on dental check ups but he's motivated to take really good care of his teeth. Postive reinforcement is so much better than growling at someone every time they walk in the door.

I got Farscape season 3 today so I plan on watching a lot of tv over the next few days. I have a lot to knit on: my cardigan...I'm doing the decreases for the neck on the right side. And the pullover, which I haven't gotten too far on because it's a cabled/textured pattern and requires a bit more attention, which I don't have much of these past few days.

We had cheesy potatoes tonight with brussels sprouts. A meal Zach hates. I fixed him some tuna salad sandwiches, which is a soft meal and something he really likes.

I got the water bill today. Normally we get it for 3 months at a time. This is the last 3 month bill. Next month we start on monthly. Our bill went down $10, which is pretty amazing. I've only been washing by hand for over a month so that should mean a good savings from now on. Maybe enough to pay the rate hike for the fire protection we're going to be charged from now on.


I've been peeking at a blog from a family that is off the grid, which brings up a lot of questions in my mind. How are they blogging every day if they don't have electricity? I went through some old posts where she stated that she would be going to the library to blog. I though, okay, that's a bit of a bother to leave home to run to town every day but if you're not blogging daily I guess it could work out. They have 40 acres so I'm assuming they live a little way from town. They're in Amish country so I'm guessing we're not looking at a metropolis close by.

She has children, farm animals, baking from scratch and many other things she has to accomplish in the course of the day so how does she have time to run to town to the library 4-6 times a week?

Not judging. Just curious.

Not curious enough to ask though.

Also, I'm not sure I would open up my home for people to come watch me try to live off the grid and charge money for it. Just sayin'. But I'm a very private person when it comes to my haven. It's one thing to open up here on the blog, but it's quite another to have people actually see how I live in person. I like my privacy. I love feeling safe and secluded in my home.

Let's face it. I'm a recluse.

But a contented one.

Off to finish up the dishes and then knitting for the rest of the night.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another wasted day

Another unproductive day. I ended up going to town because I had some things ready at the library and because I wanted to get Zach started on the ACT II. Halfway there I remembered that my library card is on my key chain, which Tom has.

He lost his keys a few months ago so he takes mine and I take the truck key on the days he works. I forgot to take my card off of there so there is still a trip to the library awaiting me.

I'm thinking of replacing my card anyway because it's gotten so brittle the corner broke off of it. If I do that, I'll get a regular card instead of the keychain card so I've got it all the time.

What I'm really putting off doing is replacing the key remote because that is $40 or so. But you can't drive the car without it. I wish we could find his keys.

I need to start a load of clothes. I'm getting behind again but I don't want to use the dryer. I could have hung them out today if I'd been on top of things but there you go. Me, not paying enough attention to what is going on around me can end up costing us extra money.

I didn't lay anything out for supper but I don't want to use up all the meat in one week. I went ahead and bought groceries for next week while I was there. I had intended to just get milk, bread and sodas (the store brand) but the chalkboard list was getting pretty long so I went ahead and bought everything. We still haven't learned to just do without. I've got to work on that.

I've been having trouble with dry eyes the past few days. I suspect it's because of the dry heat we use and not having any humidity in the air lately. I was pondering it last night while trying not to rub my eyes and I thought about a potpourri pot I had from the 80s. So I got it out, used plain water in it and a tea candle under it and before very long I had steam rising from my pot and my eyes were less irritable. So first thing this morning I started it up again and since a tea candle lasts almost 2 hours, I figured it was a cheap date.

Well, off to start the laundry and try to figure out what to fix for supper that doesn't involve meat. I could make a tuna casserole but that really doesn't appeal to me at all. We had eggs the other night so that's not an option.

I just remembered that I didn't use all the hamburger I had laid out last night. We had spaghetti so I used only about 3 ounces of meat in the sauce. I've got at least that much left over so I can figure out some kind of casserole out of that.

But that won't happen at all unless I get off of here and get busy.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Wanting my routine back

I'm trying hard to get back into my routine but it's hard when I've got a day of errands and don't have enough time at home to accomplish what I want.

I had to get up early and get into town to take care of the library and banking. And of course, after I got home, season 3 of Farscape came in. I'm not going back to town before Thursday though. And when I got home I fixed lunch for everyone and then got ready to take Zach to the dentist.

He has four cavities, all coincidentally in the four teeth that held his permanent retainer. The doctor thinks that his teeth were damaged from the bracket and has advised us to use the ACT mouth wash stuff that re-builds the enamel. And gave us a coupon. We're racing against the clock to get this done before the 31st when his benefits run out. Sigh. We should have kept up with it better though.

Then we stopped at McSnacky's to get a $1 large soda and something from the dollar menu just to re-connect and spend some quality time together.

Then home to wash a ton of dishes. I got behind this weekend because it's so hard to work in the kitchen with Tom around. Whenever I would go in there to cook or clean, he would show up and start puttering. It's a tiny kitchen and just can't take two people in there so I just stayed away. He put the dishes in the dishwasher last night but I told him not to run it because I wanted to wash them by hand in the morning. I woke up to the sound of the dishwasher running.


It's really hard to do this when we're not on the same page.

I'll just have to start kicking him out of the kitchen when I'm working in there. He has plenty of time to do that when I'm not in there, that he doesn't have to run me out when I'm doing my job.

I really do hate holidays.

So I didn't get much done today or at least not as much as I wanted to.

Tomorrow I plan on working in the basement, clearing out and hopefully getting rid of more stuff. Wednesday is trash day and I hope to start making sure the trash can is full to bursting when we set it out from now on. I have one small garbage bag full of kitchen stuff to take to the thrift store. I gave up on freecycle since no one wants to take second hand stuff on our list. They want brand-new or nearly new stuff. Or they'll say they want it and not show up. So I just take it to the thrift store or throw it out. I can only do so much.

I have a carpet sweeper I bought many years ago that I use instead of the vacuum most days. I did finally get rid of the spider condo over my bed. I must say it was a very impressive web and I felt a little bit guilty destroying all that effort but this is my house and not hers so she's going to have to find another location.

I've got plenty to read from the library: still working on the Miss Read Fairacres series. I'm about half-way done. Our library doesn't have one of the books so I put a hold on it. I've got plenty to read while waiting for it though, including my own books: Encyclopedia of Country Living and the Tightwad Gazette books I've got. I also need to start planning my garden and maybe send off for my seeds. I wish I knew exactly who to order from.

I plan on sleeping in tomorrow because I do better when I sleep in and work late into the night rather than get up early and start working. I end up not being able to work past 2 or 3 in the afternoon. My inner alarm clock has been working on this schedule for years. Who am I to reset the clock?

Off to finish up the kitchen, clean up the bathroom and then off to knit on both sweaters. When I couldn't sleep last night I dug out some wool from my stash (odd bits that aren't necessarily color coordinated) and am knitting a pair of thick socks. I have another 100% wool pair that I love so I thought I could knit another pair for those times when I can't concentrate on more complicated patterns.

Off to get my work done so I can crawl into bed and watch Paranormal State and the dvds I got from the library today.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Feels like winter

It's chilly outside and chili inside.

Yeah, I know...corny joke, but I'm cooking chili right now because it's easy and because I can make a ton of it so we can pig out all night.

And I never say no to one pot cooking.

It's so cold it takes my breath away outside but I'm bundled up and wearing my sleep hat (which totally looks ridiculous but who cares?) so I'm doing okay. I watched some stuff I had taped and worked on my cardigan then got antsy and cast on the sweater I decided on last night. I'm using one size smaller needles because my choice of yarn is slightly thinner but my gauge isn't too far off. I just went up one size and will use the length measurements from one size down. I've done that with baby patterns before and it worked out really well.

I did some deleting of blogs in order to shorten my time online. I kept blogs I felt a connection to no matter how often they post but others seemed a bit redundant to me and I didn't feel like there was enough difference between what they post and the favorites to keep the redundant ones. I also un-joined some groups on Ravelry in order to cut down the amount of time I spend there. Way too much over the holidays. Way too much. And I don't want to get that habit started back up again so I kept the special interest groups and a couple of religious discussion groups but got rid of all the controversial groups that suck me in for hours and hours of reading and posting.

I'm still not sure about church tomorrow. I'm making plans to attend but will decide at the last minute if it's too cold to set forth from the house.

Off to eat chili and watch Signs and then more knitting and Lark Rise to Candleford and The Royal.


Friday, January 1, 2010

And the new year begins.

It's cold. Frelling cold (remember I've been watching Farscape the past few weeks.) The wind chill is in the minus numbers with it heading into the minus 20s very shortly. The dog raced outside and down the steps and right back up. I put his papers down for him in the kitchen. He knows it's okay if he can't get outside.

I've been searching all day for a new pattern for the olive green Caron I got yesterday. I found a pullover (jumper) called Heather Cables that I think I will try. This will be another nice thing to wear to church.

I frogged the balaclava I was knitting because it didn't look like it was going to be warm at all. I've got my knitted neckwarmer and my various hats including my lumberjack hat so I'll be okay. I can save the yarn back for something else.

I need to get back to knitting and watching Farscape. I'm not sure I'm going to town tomorrow so I renewed my library books. I'm hoping Monday will look better. If it's this cold Sunday, I'm not sure we're going to church either. I don't do well with wind chills like that.

I want to turn the heat up a bit but I don't dare. I'm not sure how we're going to handle the heat at 60 F so I'll just curl up under the covers with my hot water bottle. I'll be fine if I wear my sleeping cap and my knitted throw around my shoulders.

I've gotten nothing done in the way of housework the past couple of days. I've been eating badly and that affects my energy levels so tomorrow I intend to try to do better. No more sugar.

Short and sweet tonight because I'm ready to crawl into bed. I'm going to try to get more done tomorrow so I can feel more productive.

Happy New Year everyone!