Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
- It is cold and rainy. No bike for me today. Sigh.
- Likewise, the soggy weather is having it's usual effect on my Internet access - which is to say that it becomes spotty. Sigh.
- I don't actually mind the cold and rainy, though. April showers and all!
- I am, however, grateful that there have been no severe storms here.
- Trivia factoid about me: I am absolutely terrified of tornadoes...really for no good reason.
- Awesome news - since the surgery I've only been going to my gym's facility for women. It's smaller, more intimate, much less intimidating than the other locations. All of my training sessions have been there - but prior to the surgery I went to the bigger location next door on cardio days to keep my kids happy. (bigger playroom with a climb and slide!) Anyway, the news part is that I have a couple of friends who are now regularly going to FIT also. It's soooo much fun!
- I spent almost as much time talking to people this morning as I did working out....
- More good news - the vegetarian diet seems to suit me quite well. I noticed last week that after just a couple of days my sugar cravings completely disappeared, and by the end of the week I felt much better than I had since before the surgery.
- Remember that whole bit about how much I hate cooking? I actually don't mind it so much when I'm experimenting on my family.
- They have come to accept that random new recipes showing up on the table are just going to happen, and when they happen everyone is required to try.
- As a result, this week we had parsnip fries.
- I never have good luck with my diet when I go to my parents' house. It always ends up being a bit of a mess because of what they have available and our schedule while there. Saturday in particular was a huge lesson to me. Long story short, I did not fuel myself regularly or well and I felt LOUSY by the time we had dinner....and that dinner left me with a horrendous tummy all night.
- Lesson learned. If I'm going to make this work I have to plan better - and pack along food if need be!
- One of the new tricks in my food toolbox is the Green Monster. I do just the basic Green Monster in the early afternoon - around the time I was crashing - and sometimes I add a scoop of chocolate protein powder and/or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. It tastes amazing, and seems to be helping me me with my stamina.
- Isn't it amazing that at 36 I'm finally learning to listen to my body and am developing a healthy relationship with food?
- I managed to get a lot of knitting done last week.
- In fact, I should have another FO to show off later this week.
- Assuming I can make up my mind about how to finish it.
- I'm at a decision point on another knitting project right now, and I just don't know what I want to do about it.
- I'm not normally this indecisive....
- Funny story: I lost the battle with myself last Friday, and wound up packing a ginormous pile of crafting supplies for a 48 hour trip, during which I expected almost no free time.
- Among the items I took: the three knitting projects already in my knitting bag, a bag of knitting books, the yarn for four new projects (in case I wanted to start something), also the supplies and patterns for those projects, my knitting needle basket (which contains ALL of my knitting needles), the bag of cut pieces for my quilt, two books to read, three different spindles and four types of fiber.
- Oh yeah...I knew I was being crazy.
- So what did I actually work on while I was home? The three projects in my knitting bag.
- To be fair, I did also go through most of the knitting books I took with.
- Honestly, the Green Woman needed appeasement.
- She's been awefully quiet lately....
Have A Great Week!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
These are the two words I am trying to live by this year.
(Necklace by Lisa Leonard)
You've already heard the story behind my first choice - persistence - but I didn't tell you that I had added a second word in February. Patience...something I'm not really very good at. I heard a woman on a tv show speak of the fact that she'd needed two things to reach her goal - persistence and patience - and I felt the light go on inside of me. I absolutely needed both as well. What I didn't know was how very badly I would need to focus on patience in the weeks to come.
Goodness knows I've spent enough time bellyaching about my recovery process. As you've all been so kind and so patient with me, I thought I would share with you the good things that have happened. In fact, I have received some rather powerful - and completely unlooked for - blessings.
- In the weeks following the surgery, I missed my workouts badly. In fact, I missed them so much that I was able to let go of the slight bit of boredom/resentment/resignation that had started to creep into my weekly routine.
- When I got back into the gym, one thing was obvious. I LOVED being there, and I LOVED the feeling of capability that came with each successful exercise.
- Released from my goal-oriented workout schedule, I was able to allow myself to be fully present with each and every workout, enjoying every minute.
- With all of that, something magical happened. The focus on the scales has all but disappeared, and now I am focusing on how I feel. I want to work out and eat right because it makes me feel incredible...not because I'm focusing on a number on the scale.
- And because of that change in focus, I have also been able to let go of my anxieties about how slow my weight loss is.
- So what, my body seems to say....look at how much better life is now, and just focus on that.
As this post goes live this morning, I will be slowly walking a 5K with my parents and my girls. Rather than being upset at how much I lost to the surgery, I'm going to enjoy the fresh air, the time with my family, the energy and high spirits of the race, and the joy of moving forward in this world.
And then....then I'm going to go with my Dad to buy a bike.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Now, I'm probably the world's most layed back mom when it comes to illness and injury. My girls - at 7 and 4 - are still antibiotic free, only go to the doctor for their annual check-ups and never receive more than cursory attention for any bumps and bruises they may sustain. This isn't to say that I'm callous...I'm just very calm and believe there's no reason to trouble a doctor with the normal ailments of childhood.
However, Pixie's crush injury frightened me, and so away to Urgent Care we went. I was relatively sure she was fine by the time we got there as she had stopped crying and was surprisingly calm...but she wouldn't let me look at her finger. I'd also once heard on tv that crush injuries could be deceiving and should always be checked out. Silly goose was a perfect girl for the nurses and Dr. Jason, showing them her finger and answering every question. By the time we got in to the x-ray room, I was suspicious that she was starting to enjoy herself....a suspicion that proved true when the doctor came in to confirm that she was ok. Apparently my Pixie has a flair for the dramatic...and she likes being the center of attention. She also really liked Dr. Jason...although I believe the popsicle he gave her may have helped to sway that opinion.
I was both relieved and embarrassed when we left - happy to have proof that she was fine, but abashed to have hauled her into Urgent Care when my gut had told me she was ok shortly after the accident. I have to admit that I was also completely rattled, and was a little shaky all afternoon.
My Mom says that I probably reacted as I did because of my own recent medical issues, and she predicted that I may be skittish for a while.
I hope that she's wrong and that I become my calm self again! So no happy knitting post today. Instead I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of some happy singles. The first - my tri-colored suri alpaca. I took it off of the bobbin this weekend because I needed the bobbin.
Monday, April 19, 2010
- Is there anything more beautiful to a spinner than a batch of newly completed singles?
- I was able to spin the entire third - and final - bobbin of my blue merino on Saturday...with just a little bit of help from the ball of singles I spun on my drop spindle. I almost hated to transfer the spindle-spun to the bobbin, but I wanted a nice three-ply, and that was the only way to get three even bobbins full!
- I'm very glad to be done with the blue merino. It's gorgeous...but blue is not my favorite color and I was getting a wee bit tired of it.
- That was just one of the things I was able to accomplish on Saturday. I had a wonderfully peaceful day, and was able to accomplish EVERYTHING on my list! Including...
- I finished the first half of the Swan Lake stole,
- Sewed the buttons onto the Princess's new little vest and
- Fixed the buttons on her February Princess sweater.
- Things are definitely looking up in the crafts department!
- Sadly, part of why Saturday was such a successful craft day was because I managed to wear myself out at the gym earlier in the week....causing yet another crash and burn.
- Looking on the sunny side.....I decided to use this whole mess as an opportunity to change my life!
- Drumroll, please.....
- I'm in the process of transitioning to a vegetarian diet.
- Why? Well the current diet just isn't working for me...for a whole lot of reasons. I feel I need a change....a big one.
- And quite frankly, this time of year that's the way I tend to go anyway.
And that's all I've got this evening.
Have a Great Week!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
and so far, so good.
In fact, so far it's great!
Over the weekend I started reading Oh She Glows, on the advice of one of my trainer's other clients...who just so happens to be a vegetarian. It didn't take me long to become completely fascinated with the website - and inspired to try some new things.
And so, today I tried a Green Monster. I admit, I was rather sceptical. The last time I had a "green drink" it was a noxious combination of spinach, cucumber, parsley and celery juice that tasted like swamp water. Why yes, a nutritionist at my doctor's office suggested it.....yech. Given that experience, I'm shocked I tried it again. To my great delight, my Virgin Green Monster was FABULOUS! I will definitely be doing that again. (By the way - I don't have a juicer, and wouldn't use it if I did. I think it's silly to waste the fiber when that's a lot of what's so good about veggies! I used my blender, and wound up with a drink just a bit too thin to be called a smoothie.
This evening, my girls and I decided to make up the Raw Chocolate Chip Cookies. Now, I've had an experience making a so-called 'healthier' chocolate chip cookie before, and the result was nasty. That cookie - billed as flourless, sugarless and butterless - well, the only person that liked it was the dog, and she couldn't eat it because of the chocolate. Who knows why I decided to try this new recipe? I'm so glad I did. They are completely yummy, mostly guilt-free and very filling. The best part about them? Making your own chocolate chips - yes, you read that right, we MADE our own chocolate chips - with the kids is a total win! Everyone had fun!
Also...for breakfast, again inspired by the website, I had a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, a banana and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder all mashed in. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Just goes to show that experimenting with food is a very, very good thing!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I've been getting up at 6:20 each days - which allows me a good 30 minutes of quiet time to sit on the deck and knit before anyone else rises. (That is, of course, 30 minutes once I've let the dogs out, fed the diabetic cat who's very loudly demanding his breakfast, turned on the attic fan and made a big cup of coffee.) The plan is to gradually move up my wake up time so that eventually I get a full hour to myself. That will be very nice indeed.
You may remember that I started this early morning habit a year ago. (or was it two? I don't remember.....) It tends to be a warmer weather habit as my preference is to spend that time out on the deck where I can be one with the happy birds. (It was two! I started it while I was first experiencing the greatness of acupuncture! I knew I could remember....) (An argument can be made for three! As I trained in the wee hours for the half marathon I walked in 2007.)
Originally that time was intended for Morning Pages, but my journaling habits have changed in some interesting ways over the last six months or so and I no longer feel that the Morning Pages are an effective tool for me. To be honest, I never really was able to accomplish the total stream of consciousness which they are supposed to be, and so that writing time was always about standard journaling....which is not necessarily a great way to begin the day.
For a long while I also did a series of Sun Salutations, which I am planning on adding back in next week as that's something I really miss.
So what exactly do I do with that time? Well, for now I'm using it to record any dreams that require proof of their having been - a very quick and focused type of writing - and knit. Interestingly enough, I've found that my mind tends to be much more clear in the morning than it has been lately (I'm still fighting some brain fog in the late afternoon and evenings - my normal knitting times.), and so I've actually been able to work on a beaded lace project that's been languishing for quite some time. I do have one rule - no audio of any sort is allowed, which for me can be difficult as I'm VERY used to spending my alone time plugged in to my iPod. Also, the noise from the highway makes me crazy. However, I know that I need to rediscover quiet, and by sitting with the world as it is with a challenging project I am able to gain a type of active meditation.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Saturday night I allowed myself to stay up very late so that I could finish a wonderful book - Widdershins by Charles De Lint. Truthfully, I don't know that I would have been able to put the book down to go to bed on time if I had tried. Those last couple of hours flew by soooo quickly, and they were soooooo very satisfying.
You might remember that last year I decided to reread all of Mr. De Lint's books, starting with his Newford books, read in order from start to finish as a complete collection. Widdershins is the happily ever after for certain beloved characters, but I read it as a love story from the author to his audience. That book makes me want to dance.
All told, there are 24 Newford books - 18 of which I've read in recent months. (Some are limited edition chapbooks which I haven't yet gotten ahold of, and I chose to skip a couple which were not urban fantasy.) I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the things that came from my heart during this process.
- I know exactly where my heart home in the dreamworld is....and I visit it often.
- The concept of a shadow - the parts of a person cast off from ourselves when we are children, forming a new person - plays very strongly in the books. I wonder what my shadow is like....and I have a feeling this could be a very long journal entry someday soon.
- The most beautiful passage in literature to me is in Spirits In the Wires. And I quote, "Whatever I am is floating through a meadow, dotted with trees, that sits on the edge of a dark forest, but it's a confusing place because everything is made of words. The grass and wildflowers are narrow phrases, swaying in the wind, punctuated with blossoms whose wordy petals radiate from clusters of vowels. The trees are thick paragraphs, dense with description, that lighten into shorter sentences and finally simply words as they follow the natural progression of trunk to branch to twig to leaf. Small verbs and nouns scamper along the branches or in amongst the roots of the trees. Others sit in topmost branches, trilling sweet wordsongs, or soar by on wings of poetry." Mr. DeLint, that passage is pure magic.
- Geordie's explanation of music as job in Widdershins explains exactly my own feelings about my crafts. I won't quote the passage here, but rather will say that I agree completely. I love the creativity in knitting...but as soon as it becomes a paid job all of the life, energy and magic seem to drain away from it for me.
- There is a quote in Widdershins which I believe I need to make a priority in my life - don't let your decisions be made by fear. And as it's now been more than a month since I started the entry, I can't quickly find the passage. I know I've said it before - but I don't know that any of you truly understand the depths of the fears which have guided my life. It's time to break free.
- It occurred to me very early on in the process that half of the reason I've always been so attracted to De Lint's regular cast of characters is that most of them are artists who are making their way in the world through their passion. I don't know that I would have recognized that if I hadn't taken that personality test last summer that identified me as an artist. I think I've always subconsciously longed for a world that was closed off to me at a young age by the importance placed on academics. And look where that got me.
And that was as far as I got. I'm smart enough to know that now is not the time to try to recreate everything else I wanted to say. We'll save that for another day!
As you all know, I knit socks. In fact, I quite enjoy knitting socks....but only on my own terms, which are as follows:
- They must be plain socks, because sock knitting for me is a mindless activity which allows me to relax.
- The yarn must be not only pretty, but durable.
- As I knit plain patterns, self-striping yarns (while no longer really in favor with the general knitting population) are a big plus. What can I say..I'm easily amused!
I've tried a lot of sock yarns over the last 7 years, but I must say that time and time again I return to Opal because when it comes right down to it, it's proven to be my best workhorse yarn.
And so, when I found some on sale at Webs for half price...well, was there any question?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Life is good.
And I'm picking up the rest of the yarn tomorrow.
Many thanks to Jenny for giving me something to play with!
Monday, April 12, 2010
- I am finishing up the seams on my secret project this morning so that I can mail it off in a couple of hours. Once again, I'll be photographing it for my own records, but won't be able to show it to you until the designer has published it.
- The good news is that I can now return to regular crafting.
- The bad news is that it could be a long while before it's published and can be shared. The piece I did for her last summer is just now going to a photo shoot for the book.
- I had a bad moment at about 6:15 AM where I thought I had F'd up the sleeve shaping in a very bad way...losing a good 24 hours of work and possibly forcing me to miss my deadline.
- Turns out I was just fine, thank goodness. Apparently I'm a bit punchy from lack of sleep.
- More exciting news - I did give myself enough of a break on Friday to finish up the little vest that will now belong to the Princess. I'll show it off tomorrow.
- FO's are ALWAYS good!
- Knitting language is ALWAYS funny.
- I just got home from my appointment with my trainer. I'm quite happy to report that I actually ran today! It was only for a few minutes - and it was very slow - but it felt good.
- We upped the intensity of my workout again, and as a result today is the first time I felt like I actually had to work for it. That felt really good, too.
- My goal is for 5 days of exercise this week. I got 4 in last week (including all of the walking at the zoo...it counts!) and so I know this is definitely doable.
- And don't worry....my trainer is being very cautious because she doesn't want me to have a set-back. So far, so good!
- Who would have thought....my girly surgery has cured my tummy troubles. Remember I was thinking about going in to see either an allergist or a gastroenterologist? Well, I haven't had any tummy troubles at all since the surgery. (Ok, I had a few french fries at the zoo, which caused a bit of an urpy tummy for about an hour...but that's understandable as I don't ever eat fried.)
- Proof? Pre-surgery I belched my way through each and every workout, with a healthy (ha ha) dose of queasiness threatening to derail each and every exercise. It was especially bad in the month or so leading up to the surgery. Last week and today...only one or two slight burps as my body got moving. It's been an amazing transformation!
- More proof : with the exception of the aforementioned fries, nothing that I've eaten in the last month has made me sick.
- My guess...my walnut was pushing on things.
- Moving on...my trainer and I are going to run a race together after her baby is born! She's chomping at the bit as much as I am. I'm really excited that she wants to do this with me.
- I'm super-glad we went to pick up our race packets and shirts on Saturday, even though it made me a bit angry and sad.
- The sweater is in the mail!
- Why yes, I was taking mini blogging breaks this morning.....I still finished on time....
- Freed now from all deadlines, I find myself wondering what I should do next. I have several options.
- Actually, that was a lie. I do have that baby project...but the baby's not due until mid-June, so I'm not worried about it.
- Options include: learning/practicing embroidery, learning/practicing crochet, lots more spinning (a given), back to work on other knits (a given), the long-waiting quilt, wool felt (which I don't have, but like), beading, a reading binge, some light gardening.....
- I have an idea, but I don't know how I want to execute it. It bears some more thought. The Green Woman is happy because it will involve a Green Woman Mask.
- The Green Woman is also happy because I'm considering taking some sort of art classes. I think it would be really good for me to try something completely different.
- The Green Woman is ecstatic that I've decided to do something which is for me terrifying....I'm looking into getting a bike.
- Good News - with the warmer weather my cravings for sweet coffee drinks from a certain well-known national chain are dropping like a stone.
- More Good News - the warmer weather means it's now kombucha weather! Since I don't drink soda, lemonade or iced tea, it's my summer 'treat' drink of choice. Even better, one bottle usually lasts through three servings.
- Bad News - the Pixie is definitely hitting her terrible twos.
- More Bad News - the Princess's room needs to be cleaned again.
- Friday night I went to said national chain so that I could work on the secret project, having discovered that I was too distracted at home to get anything done. I ended up having a three-hour conversation with another woman who was also there to work. (Laughed out loud when I got to the car and realized what time it was!) Sometimes it's true - even though you don't always get what you want, sometimes you get what you need. It's been a very long while since I had an opportunity to share so much with someone else - especially with someone who has a very different type of life than I do. That conversation, which was truly wonderful, has given me a lot to think about.
- I'm happy today...really and truly happy.
And on that note,
Have a great week everyone!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Our trip to the zoo ended with a visit to the gift shop. The hats were hilarious - but didn't come home with us. (Whew.)
I've got two very tired girls and an exhausted husband.
It was a very good day.
PS. Why didn't anyone tell me about my massive spelling error!