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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The best part of 2009

As most years go, 2009 was no different than others with all the highs and lows that come during a year.  However, one major event happened that outshines the rest.

Say hello to my 3rd grandson!

Although we received early test results that he may not make it full term and if he did would probably not live very long, the test result was wrong!  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to find out he was normal until he was born and this is the photo of my step-daughter with her new son when she received the news that he was perfect in every way.  If you look closely, you’ll see a tear running down her cheek.

I’ve never experienced full-term childbirth for myself, so I felt lucky & honored to be present during my grandsons birth.  It was an indescribable experience & one that I won’t ever forget.  It was also amazing to watch my other 2 grandsons see their baby brother for the first time.  I love those boys like they were my own flesh and blood.

It’s been fun & interesting to watch him change & grow over the last few months.

They grow up so fast!

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Resolutions

I think over a year of blog silence is quite enough, so surprise surprise …. I’m back.

I’ve decided to begin my first post back with my list of New Years Resolutions.  I haven’t done this in about 10 years I think, so this is a big deal.  I plan on revisiting this list every quarter to check my progress in hopes that it will keep me on track.  I should check it monthly, but I know myself.  It will never happen.

2010 Resolutions:

  1. Lose 25 pounds
  2. Exercise 5 times a week
  3. Walk the dogs 5 times a week
  4. Quit smoking (again)
  5. Save $5,000.00 and don’t spend it
  6. Blog once a week

Weight Loss & Exercise: In essence the exercise & walking of dogs will help me lose the 25 pounds I gained after going off the Nutri-System program.  When I stopped eating their food, the weight quickly crept back on.  My current plan along with exercise is to use the Volumetrics Eating Plan.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but it seems like I’ll be decreasing my protein a bit, incorporating a small amount of healthy carbs & concentrating on adding a lot more fruits & vegetables to the foods I already eat.

Smoking: I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m currently smoking, but I feel I need to make it public in order to acknowledge it & stop it.  I picked it up again during a very stressful vacation with the family in June and just didn’t stop when the vacation ended.  I’m concerned that if I stop smoking I’ll eat to replace the cigarettes, so for now it’s not going to be on the back burner a bit until I get going with my new eating plan.

Savings: My savings plan is a bit more aggressive than I’m comfortable with, but I need to have a larger emergency fund & so I’m going to set up an automatic transfer each month from my checking account to my emergency savings account.

Blogging: I am really looking forward to this resolution because knowing that I can look back on past blog posts for a type of record of things I’ve done is gratifying.

For those of you who’ve hung on & waited for my return, I’d like to offer my deepest gratitude of thanks.

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Still Quiet

We interrupt this blog silence for .. more of the same.  Although I have no excuse for lack of blogging the last half of October, my mother-in-laws unexpected hospital visit and subsequent death has had us wishing November would just end already.  It’s been a very trying month and we are ready for it to be over.  However, she’s not having her burial or memorial service until December 12th, so maybe we’ll be wanting to skip December as well.

I hope that my desire to blog and read blogs will return again soon, but for now, I’m just trying to help myself and my husband get over the grief.  He says he feels a little bit like an orphan since now both of his parents are gone, but thankfully we’ve got a great support network of people here.

Any knitting I’ve worked on or completed is on my Ravelry projects page, and although I’ve got a huge stack of FO’s that just need to be blocked, even my desire to knit much has slipped a bit lately. Hopefully all mojo will return soon and this quiet blog will see some action again.

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On Thursday, July 10th, I took another step on the birthday hill and I can see the top so clearly, that I’m ready to start walking backwards. No really, I must admit I’m a bit sad to hit 39 years old, but that’s only because my 30’s have been my best years ever!

Since my father’s retirement party was in southern Idaho the day after my birthday, we left on July 8th for our drive from Southern California to Southern Idaho. The drive through southern Utah is so beautiful and I just love this red rock that is everywhere.

Originally I was very worried about the 14 hour drive to my parents home and since fuel costs are so high, we really couldn’t afford to stop and stay at a hotel. I was especially concerned because with my fibromyalgia, you just never know how a lengthy car ride is going to be. Thankfully, my most amazing friend Laura came to the rescue and allowed us use of her timeshare points to stay at the Cedar Breaks Lodge in Brian Head, Utah.

Miraculously the lodge was exactly the midpoint in our trip, so we stayed there the night of the 8th and woke the following day to this beautiful view.

The lodge sits at the base of the Brian Head Ski Resort and I can just picture this all covered in snow. It must be beautiful.

The following day, July 10th, had an auspicious start (that’s a whole other story), but at noon I was surprised by getting to visit the local fiber farm, Hartwell’s Lazy PJ Ranch.

Hubby gave me a card with a bunch of money in it to spend at the fiber farm, and so I got some superwash merino and soysilk fiber, a latern moon spinning basket, some back issues of Spin-Off magazine and a beautiful Gita Marie orifice hook.

Of course the batteries on my camera died. So, I was at the mercy of my mother’s picture taking skills. I won’t humiliate myself with showing the photos of my eyes closed and my tongue sticking out, but I do have this photo of me with a suri alpaca.

After the fiber farm, we had lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and later that day I received a few gifts. My favorite one was this “cake” my sister made me.

It’s a pile of the most delicious chocolate frosting ever with 3 balls of marzipan yarn in the center. I know she was disappointed that she didn’t have time to make me a “real” cake, but she was so busy making the retirement cake for my dad, that I asked her not to make one for me. After that candle was blown out, I asked for a package of graham crackers and scooped up piles of frosting on them. Mmmm …. my favorite.

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Friday was an amazing day at Stitches, especially since I attended an all-day class taught by Cat Bordhi on the Foxglove Sock Architecture as explained in her latest book. It was amazing just being in Cat’s presence, but watching and listening to her information about sock construction was very enlightening. Her visual aids and her method of explaining techniques were so great, that I really feel like I have reached a whole new level of understanding regarding sock design and sock architecture. She was extremely patient, and was available to anyone at anytime for one-on-one attention if they needed it. It’s really hard to put into words just how amazing this class was.

My baby sock design

When class finished in the afternoon she asked to see the baby sock I designed and I was shocked when she said it was one of the better designs she’d seen. Since I didn’t plan the design and it was just created as I knit, I realized that sometimes I over-think things and that just going with the flow sometimes produces the best results. By the way, I hate this photo of me, but since this is the only photo I have or will probably ever have with Cat, I will treasure it. And yes, that is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan.

Me & Cat Bordhi

When class ended that afternoon I met my wonderful husband in the market for more shopping. I only picked up a few items, and although it’s barely worth mentioning the stitch markers I purchased at Ellen’s Half Pint Farm, it is most definitely worth mentioning the Full Thread Ahead booth. Normally I prefer to not shop at these types of vendors since they are a LYS from the local area. I personally would rather give my money to my LYS, but Full Thread Ahead had two items my LYS doesn’t. An over the ear light for knitting in low-light conditions and the new Cookie A sock patterns. I ended up only purchasing the Trystero pattern, but I’m sure the others will be added to my sock patterns fairly soon.

Stitches West

The Ravelry booth had a few fun things to purchase, but I decided on the Raverly pin and the Bob pin. I really wanted the Ravelry canvas bag, but honestly I have too many bags as it is, although on Saturday I forgot this fact. Other than meeting Jess & Casey, the Passport was the best thing at the Ravelry booth. Several exhibitors had their logo imprinted on a page that looked exactly like pages in a passport, and the idea was to go around to each of those exhibitors and get a stamp or sticker from them for your page. When you filled your passport, you then returned it to Ravelry for inspection and you were then entered into a drawing of prizes donated by the participating exhibitors. This Passport got me into lots of “trouble” on Saturday, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see why.

Ravelry

The marketplace closed at 6pm, so hubby and I went to dinner with Laura, Barbara, Cindi, and Rhonda. Since both Laura and I had a vehicle, we got to leave the horribly overpriced food at the hotel, and went to Red Robin since it was affordable for everyone in the group. The food, drinks, and service were wonderful although little did I know that later I was going to later regret eating the Bonzai Burger, fries, and large beer.

Back at the hotel, nobody wanted to “call it an evening” so we sat in the hotel lobby to knit and got lucky enough to have both Michelle and Rebecca join us as well. Hubby sat with us for 2 rounds of drinks. He ordered us Bailey’s Coffee and that was another item I regretted later on. He left us to our own devices around 10pm and went to the room to watch a movie. We all stayed up until 1am and then decided nobody was going to be useful the next day unless we turned in for the evening.

Back in the room, hubby was in bed soundly sleeping (so cute) and as I leaned over the weird sink to wash my face, I felt a rumbly in my tumbly and it wasn’t good. But that’s not the worst of it. While the rumbly continued in my tumbly, and the horrible feeling of “worshipping the porcelain god” was going on, I had an intense fibromyalgia flare. It was so painful, that even wearing my jammies hurt like hell. It went on for hours until I took a second dose of Flexeril and finally fell asleep. What a day!

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Where do I begin? I know that many of you have been wondering that since the middle of November. I can’t believe it’s been that long since I blogged. I kept meaning to, but it seems like “life” just kept getting in the way. I have been dealing with “stuff” (how’s that for vague) and my blogging & emailing seemed to be the thing that suffered because of it.

I know I should have done a quick post to let you know I was going to be absent for awhile, but to be honest, I really didn’t think it was going to go on for this long. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights of my life:
  • Weight Loss: To date, I have lost 15 pounds in 2 months. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this weight gone, and I’m almost halfway since I only have 21 more pounds to go. Yes, NutriSystem works …. even around the holidays! (Then again, I only allowed myself very few “cheats”)
  • Fibromyalgia: The medication I started 2 months ago is definitely working and all of my symptoms have improved by 50% or more. I still have some “bad” days, but they aren’t more than twice a week and it used to be four or five times a week, so I’m thrilled. I now feel like I’m in control, instead of the fibro.
  • Knitting: I have been knitting quite a bit, and I definitely got a lot of knitting complete while driving from Southern California to Southern Idaho for “vacation” the week before Christmas. At one point, I was up to my elbows in scarves, hats, and gloves, but since all these items have been gifted now, I’ve realized that I missed out on photo documenting some of these items. I will try to get photos of the items I’m missing and post a holiday knitting recap as soon as possible. By the way, all of the knitting on the road was accomplished in our new 2008 GMC Envoy.
This is what my husband wanted for Christmas, and since our mechanic stated my husbands car was only going to last another 3 months or so before we’d have to start replacing the major items, I reworked our budget so we could afford it. The evening we drove it home from the dealer, my husband had the same smile on his face that I last saw 4 years ago ….. when we got married. I’m still not sure what to think about that.
  • Family: As I stated, we recently spent some time in Idaho to visit my parents, siblings and their families. The main point of the visit was to get a photo of all of us together which is only 20 people, but logistically, it’s still tricky to coordinate with every ones schedules. The photos went pretty well, but a situation presented itself that evening that really messed up the rest of the trip. I don’t want to get into the details here, but I will say that the thought of what happened still brings a pang of hurt to my heart. As a side note and personal recommendation, when you are hurt, upset, or mad, please take a moment and think before you open your mouth. Sometimes words said can be very hurtful and it can time a very long time to heal the wounds the words left behind. Enough said. It’s difficult to admit, but I was never so happy to leave and come home.

We spent Christmas Eve & Day with DH, my step-daughter, son-in-law, grandsons, step-daughters mom, and her husband. We made some wonderful Christmas memories and although that would’ve been enough, I was still thrilled when I received this:

Image
It’s a brand spankin’ new MacBook Pro. “Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus”. Now I can blog and email and everything else from anywhere. This hopefully means that you’ll be seeing a lot more of me. I’m still getting used to my new “toy”, so bear with me if I don’t get to all of your blogs this week.
I also received quite a few other wonderful items for Christmas, but I bet you’ll be most interested in this one:
History*Technique*Design (Vogue Knitting)
When I was visiting family for a week, each day I looked forward to stopping in at the Barnes and Noble bookstore since it had wonderful gift ideas, and it was the only place I could find decent coffee since my family doesn’t drink it. I flipped through this book several times and hinted to my husband that I would like it. He shared that information with one of my sisters who ended up gifting it to me. Yeah!
I guess that’s enough of an update for now. Since I haven’t been at your blogs for over a month, I hope your holidays have been wonderful and I’d like to wish each of you a happy and prosperous New Year. For now, I best be getting around to each of your blogs and catching up on your lives.

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Do you charity knit for the holidays?

Last year I participated in Knit Unto Others, which is hosted yearly by Carole & Margene. The concept is to charity knit during the last two weeks of November. At the end of the month, you send them an email stating what you knit & where you donated it to, and your name is entered into a drawing to win a prize from either Carole or Margene. Last year, I did win a prize from Margene, but honestly, just knowing that someones head was kept warm because of hats I knit, was gift enough.One of the charities I’ll be knitting for again this year is Christmas Knits to help One at a Time Ministries, and Lynda just reminded me on her blog post that it’s that time of year again. I’m sure there’s a hat pattern or two I’ve been wanting to try that would be perfect for this charity. How about you?
On the health front, my doctor asked me to try some medication for the FMS and after being on it for 2 weeks, my pain levels have dropped by about 40%. YEAH! I’ve had a “bad” day here & there, but my overall daily pain is much improved. I’ve had no side effects from the medication (that I’ve noticed) so that’s great, and DH has especially noticed a change in me since he can now give me a squeeze now & then without me screeching in pain.

The other good thing is that the NutriSystem diet is working. My body resisted for the first 10 days though, but now that it knows I’m sticking with it and not cheating, it finally gave up some pounds and as of today, day 15, I’ve lost 5.5 pounds. Some of the food is great and some of it is not so great, but I’m sorting through it so I can customize my next order. The best part is that I’m not ever hungry. That is definitely a first for me. I’ve never been on a diet where I haven’t been completely miserable, and honestly it barely feels like I’m on a diet right now.

In actual knitting project news, there is actually quite a bit going on.

Recently Completed:

  • Cable Wave Scarf (my own design)
  • Thuja anklets originally knit for DH are now Thuja anklets for me
  • Exact same hat as I knit last year for my nephew, but now in a larger size
  • Practice baby booties from Cat Bordhi’s latest book

In process:

After seeing this list, I think it’s time to buckle down and get things blocked, felted, and photographed. Sheesh.

Jillian shared this on her blog and I’m passing along to all of you as well. There’s a Veterans Day yarn sale going on over at Sonny & Shear. Use the coupon code VETERAN to save 20% off of your yarn purchases now through November 17, 2007 and all orders over $40 have free shipping. There are a lot of wonderful things that are unfortunately sold out, but I did snag some Lorna’s Laces & Dream in Color. How could I not?

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