Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Eli's a commin.....

Well, he's actually here. Whatcha think of him?

He's quite the little squirt and finds lots of trouble to get into. Isn't his tail cute?! He's 4 months old, and full of spit and vinegar. His paws are really big so I'm assuming he's going to be a big cat. We'll see.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bar Method Challenge-one month in

So, I've joined the Bar Method Portland fitness challenge, and now that it's been the first of three months I decided to take stock in where I am. I've been frustrated because it doesn't feel like I'm making any headway, and those damn thigh exercises are as impossible as ever! My eating habits have sabotaged some of my efforts, but I'm working on that. So, as I was walking on the treadmill at the gym yesterday I made a mental list of the good and bad of my progress:

  • I can do 30 pushups consecutively, 50 within the one hour class. On the other hand, I still can't do a guy pushup yet
  • I can make it all the way thru the arm, buns, and (most of the time) the glutes without stopping. The abs and, as I said before, thighs are still a huge challenge
  • Coming back to walking/jogging on the treadmill, I am improved in speed and length of time I can jog
  • My flexibility is much better, but still a ways to go
  • The scale is the same, but I was able to fit into a pair of jeans I haven't been able to button up in the last few months (there is still the muffin-top scenario though)
So, all in all I'm getting progress, more than I thought, but really need to kick in the better eating habits so I can feel I'm making better headway. I also need to remember that being in my 50's makes the whole process really slowwwwwwwww. I do feel great once I'm out of the class, so it's a good way to start the day.

I've been knitting a bit, trying to make a few pairs of fingerless gloves. I have a ton of stashed yarn, and am dieting with that too. Hopefully I can make better headway with that than my fitness challenge!

Here's another picture of yummy stash I've recently accumulated:

                                    (I said nothing about a fiber diet, now did I?!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fitness challenge

Ok, I am committing to a fall fitness challenge at The Bar Method. I've been exercising there for a month now (very killer workout) and decided to join the challenge as a way to stay on track. They took my measurements at the beginning (9/15/10) and will take again in 3 months. It was a bit embarrassing having this totally toned and fit person record my measurements but I figure that should encourage me to do well. Hopefully!! I've committed to going to class 4 days a week so we'll see how that all pans out.

I've been spinning a lot lately, and able to get my yarn a lot smoother and thinner. I bought a bunch of roving from CJ Delights and have been having a lot of fun with it. I think these are all rambouilet and, of course, the colors are much more delicious in real life.

Look at all those sample braids; I can't wait to see what they all spin up like!
I also got a bump of fiber from Rogue Adventures that is really pretty:

I've started to spin this up and I really like it; I'm stuck, however, until I find the end of the yarn I lost! I'm hoping to get most of this spun up before next weekend; this will be the first year I've attended OFFF so I'm excited to see all the fiber for sale. Whoo Hoo!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I don't have a specific blog planned for today but wanted to acknowledge the day and all it's meant to our country since 2001. Here's a nod to the people who lost their lives, and the others who have helped clean up the aftermath.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seen Astoria lately?

Hubby and I joined another couple for a weekend trip to Astoria; haven't been there in years. It's still gray most of the time and it has it's influx of tourists along the main drag but it also has some new places to explore. The views of the city and river are still the same, gorgeous in their own right:

Lots of old buildings lining the river's edge, with some picturesque ships in the water behind. There's a wonderful sunday market downtown, with fresh fruits and veggies along handmade crafts and other things to look at.

Vodoo Lounge is a great little place to hang out and have delicious pizza and check out the neat displays all around the room. It has a lot of little mexican figurines often displayed during Day of the Dead. It's a fun place to visit.
Vodoo Lounge

If you're hungry for a great breakfast or lunch, pop on over next door to the Columbia cafe. Prepare to wait in line a bit as it's a tiny little place and very popular. Scrumptious breakfast and drinks.
Columbia Cafe      

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Yes, I finally took some spinning lessons, 4 to be exact, and was spinning away to my heart's content the first night. I'm not saying I did anything worth bragging about, but never the less here is my first officially spun yarn:

It's the kind of thing only a mother could love, but I will keep it for posterity. Below is what I was spinning after another lesson and a lot of practice:

Still not perfect but I'm happy with it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good Bye to Pops and time for a breather

The last several months have been crazy; I've been busier than I think ever before. A sick in-law in Florida meant 3 weeks away from home and my honey. Get back home, only to go back down there two weeks later with my honey, only to see his father pass away. We now have mother-in-law living with us temporarily until her apartment becomes available. Moving an older person across country (to Oregon) is one hell of a project: re-establishing doctors, changing medicare, packing the important papers, working with her through her grief, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and I'm also taking 3 online classes through all this: 2 accounting classes and economics! Is it any wonder I can't sleep at night?! 

 In between all that I had a pre-scheduled trip to visit my mom in California. We drove down to Pasadena, her and my dad's old stomping ground, to see what we could see. Pasadena is a lovely town, beautiful and quaint old houses, wide streets with tall canopies of huge old trees, lots of history and memories. One of the things I enjoy the most is going to their arboretum. It's very unlike the one here in Portland, much more polished. The best part of the arboretum are these:

I love peacocks, have always been fascinated by them. Anyone who's ever read the Nancy Drew books will remember the one with peacocks wandering around the grounds of the house she was staying at. Ever since then they fascinate me (see, books are a big influence on kids!). They are funny creatures to watch and follow around. They also love to steal food off your table while you walk away for napkins!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

several days in Heaven

Hubby and I just got back from a few days in a town near John Day, located in the high (?) desert of Oregon. The place we stayed at had million dollar views out every window and scenery that went on forever.

Most of my friends wouldn't be able to call this beautiful, instead enjoying less dry climates like the beach. I'd take this view over the beach any day, even a Florida beach! The smell of juniper is breathtaking, and the colors change constantly.
We hiked, cooked, played Tile Rummy, knit and took lots and lots of pictures. The sock I'm working on was attacked by this munchkin:

but fortunately, he just chewed the yarn from the sock, so all I have to do is re-attach it. How could anyone be mad at this gorgeous face?!
Even though the altitude was only 2000+ ft, it felt like the Himalayas to me as we're at sea level at home, so we were huffin' and a puffin' when walking around. Give me a month in a place like that and I'd be so much healthier!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Long time no blog

Yes, I've been away for awhile; I was in Florida for 3 weeks tending to my in-laws who needed some extra help for a bit. It was really tough being away from my honey for that long; that's the longest separation we've had since we first started dating; 30+ years later, it was hard! The plus side of all of this is that I got to know my mother-in-law really well and we hit it off with a bang

                                              (I don't let just anyone sit in my lap!)

So, while the circumstances were not the best there and I didn't like being away from home that long, I did get a lot out of the trip. Unexpected pleasures in unexpected places.

The second treat I've had lately was a nice dinner prepared for me and Hubby by my baby boy. He swept thru the kitchen like a hurricane, leaving damage and destruction in his pathway, but the food was excellent!

Here he's trying to look goofy but I missed his best effort!
It's crunch time so he's serious now!

I also went out to lunch with my lovely daughter but didn't grab any pictures.
Two sweet kids that any mama would be proud to call their own.

Now it's back to some serious knitting; I'm making a couple of display socks for Craftsmeow dyer Gwen to show at her next fiber show (can never remember which one it is!) Both patterns are from Chrissy Gardiner's book "Toe-Up!" The first one is Peace Lily knit in limon-swirl and the other sock is Spring in Oregon in Ariel's choice (it may be a new color as I haven't seen it listed in her etsy shop). The yarns are nice and smooshy and make soft comfortable socks.

Once these are done, I have a host of single socks I need to make the mate for. I got in a sock frenzy one week awhile ago and knit a bunch of singles in a few days, reasoning I would go back and knit the second sock and not get too bored doing so. Then Florida and mild chaos came, so that went out the window. But, since it's spring and I'm not wearing socks then I have plenty of time to complete the pairs!

Happy friday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lots o' socks

I'm on a crazy sock knitting craze, but only for knitting one sock of a pair. I have 2 socks completed, each of a different pattern and yarn, and 2 half finished socks, again in different pattern and yarn:

The sock on the left is Cat Bordhi's
Lemon Leaves and the sock on the
right is Cookie A's Wanida

The sock on the left is Embellishing Hilda socks by Heli
Heikkila, the one on the right is
Wearin' O the Green by The Twisted Hare

I'm having fun trying new patterns and not getting bored by knitting the second sock. Once I finish the Hilda sock, I'll at least finish the green socks as they are due by the end of the month. The others I'll finish along with making other socks. I'm trying to use up some of my ever-growing stash but I keep sneaking a look at Etsy and finding something new and gorgeous to buy.

Speaking of gorgeous, our friends gave us this beauty the other day.

Why would I be so excited to get a vacumn cleaner and an old one at that? I destroy vacumns, or at least wear them out much quicker than they should and I'm tired of having to buy a new vacumn every year. Even the more expensive one we bought last year just bit the dust. Our friends promise us there's no way I can break this one. We'll see!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sarah's Gloves

I finished a pair of fingerless gloves for my hairdresser, Sarah. She is the one of the kindest, most pampering hairdresser I've ever encountered. She serves me tea, heats up a backwarmer for me while she's coloring my hair, reheats it while I'm under the dryer, makes sure there are plenty of good magazines at hand,  even gives a hand massage while my hair is processing over the sink. It just doesn't get any better! Anyone ever seen Tabatha's Salon Takeover ? She finds the nastiest salons out there. Every time I watch her show I'm reminded how lucky I am to know Sarah.
Here are her gloves, a small token of my appreciation. The color really is a dark pink, and so reminds me of Sarah's flashy nail color!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My two little valentines

Here are my favorite valentines: 

I could post a picture of my hubby but he's kinda in the doghouse right now so I'll show my kitties, who never fall out of favor! I have two grown kids but they have their own honeys to give them valentine-y goodness so I can't really claim them anymore. How am I going to celebrate with my valentines? Give them lots of kisses, of course. If I'm really good they may give me some back!

Happy Valentines day!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Perfect weekend

Well, maybe not perfect but pretty darn close. Our friends invited us down to the beach for the weekend. We stayed in a really nice house that is right on the ocean. This is what the view is like from the back porch:

Yes, those are real blue skies, a real rarity on the Oregon Coast. Sunday was a beautiful sunny, windless day. We walked the beach, watched the Super Bowl, and had a fire in the back yard. Can't beat that!

I had lots of time to knit, which was heaven. I made a hat but the yarn wasn't right for it so I frogged it. I also finished my Peaks Island Hood scarf; I still need buttons but that's the easy part:

Next I want to make a valentine's present for my hairdresser, who's the best of all. I need to find my #2 needles to get the right gauge but they're nowhere to be found. I'll have to buy yet another pair, I guess:

The yarn is really more pinky-red than the picture and will look great as sweetheart glovelets. So I anticipate I will be heading to the yarn store tomorrow to get the needles to get this started.

Finally, a picture of my hubby and I on the beach. I'm wearing a hat I just made Plymouth Boku yarn.

The perspective is a little off because my hubby is holding the camera. Have a great weekend!

ps. I was able to mend the shawl without too much trouble.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Disaster strikes

So, I've been working diligently on my niece's shawl, which was supposed to be a christmas present. Finally I got it done last night and started the blocking process. Here is is drying:

So, then I get up this morning and look at the shawl and find this:

See that slightly larger hole? It's not supposed to be there. Hmmmm, how did that happen. Surely I would have noticed it last night, right?

Could this be the problem?

My cats have sat on my knitting before while it's drying, even lace things, with no ill consequences. So, the mystery remains. In any event, that's several rows back on the shawl and I will see if I can mend it so it won't show. Lace and I have a strained relationship at the best and I'm glad to be done!

Shawl Pattern: Luna Moth Shawl  (free in ravelry)
Yarn: Frog Tree Sport

p.s. What did I do to punish the probably culprit? I gave him lots of kisses and scratches; that'll teach him.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Falls

My hubby surprised me by taking the day off yesterday (yes, I'm still off in my ever-lengthening "vacation"  of unemployment. It really is hard to find a job these days). We took a nice drive up to Multnomah Falls. Pictures of the falls have been posted over and over again but it's still awesome to see in person. Very refreshing to be outside and smell the water and moss and plants.

Nothing like a beautiful breath-taking view to clear the cobwebs out of the mind.

And then there are the bumps on the bed:

What can I say? They have the right idea......

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Forward

2010 promises to be a good year. I'm looking forward to moving ahead with the new year and seeing what I can accomplish. 2009 was a bit tumultuous in that I lost my job, but in many ways it was a blessing. Working in a negative environment is very hard on oneself,  and while I wouldn't have asked to be laid off in this economy, it does have its positive outcomes.
Things are looking up: this year my hubby and I will have been married 30 years!! Believe me,  the time goes fast.    

 I'm  also on my way to an improved weight and health, which is a great feeling. Being laid off means I have lots of time to go to the gym; no excuses for me.

 I'm also continuing to home my knitting skills and challenging myself to more complicated projects: sweaters, stranded colorwork, maybe even figuring out what the brioche stitch is that everyone is talking about.

As everyone looks forward to the new year, I'll also be remembering the past I visited while in Virginia this past summer. Looking at Civil War battlefields and monuments was a good reminder of how little people survived on and how passionate they were  for what they believed in. Whatever side they were on, they were dedicated to fighting for the life and world they wanted. My life, in comparison, is full of little luxuries they never experienced nor dreamed of. I am likely never to have to live with as little or lose as much as those families did, so it keeps things in perspective for me. Things are good.


                                                          GO DUCKS!!!!!