Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 36

Oh, thankfully this day is almost over.

The kids have finished their testing for the year, yay! We shall coast through the last month of homeschool on book reports and documentaries. Aahh.

I walked my two miles after Mr. M's baseball game when it was starting to rain even! I got out and got going, and the rain stopped. I notice my pace is faster, so I think next week I need to add a half mile, at least, to my daily walk. Right now I'm just focusing on being consistent, not fast. When I have dropped these bags of potatoes I'm carrying around, then I can try to get faster. Did I mention my bursitis? No? Suffice it to say, I've been walking around with an ice pack stuffed down the side of my shorts after a walk. The hill, that blankety-blank hill! But I will persevere. Because I'm fat and I'm not happy like this.

What else, hmm. Hell Week is half over. The combination of having to leave the house with the kids every day and my dh working overtime every day equals an exhausted family. We still have five more days of stuff to do! I cannot believe how so much has been packed into these past 9 days. We had a choice in none of the planning, just the way things happened.

This weekend is camping with the Brownies for me and Princess O. I'm nervous and excited. I love camping, so I'm really hoping all goes well.

No ice cream tonight. Bummer. My willpower is amazing me!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 37 (Among Other Things)

Day 37, success! I walked 2.5 miles this afternoon, opting to walk to Mr. M's baseball game instead of ride. Not a real scenic walk, but the point was just to do it. So it was done.

I love how my Nikes and Shape-Ups are always out now. If they aren't buried at the bottom of the shoe pile, I know I'm doing what I need to do. Lacing up and kicking some asphalt!

Chicks in a box! These are a few of the chicks that hatched in the incubator that was at our overseer's house. The kids participated in this group project for the Ag Fair. I'm surprised they hatched! None of my projects like this ever turn out. I end up saying to the kids, "Well, what should have happened is..." and they have this disappointed look on their face. These chicks were so cute! They were peeping and making all kinds of little noises, running around their box, and pooping everywhere. Definitely a good time!

My little chickie was like a Chick Whisperer. She had a chick or two in her hands the whole time we were there. These little guys felt so cozy and comfy they fell asleep while she was holding them. Aww!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 38 (Random Thoughts)

Today's schedule was tight, but I squeezed my two miles in after dinner. Whew! I took some new turns through the neighborhood and enjoyed it much more than I did yesterday. I put on my running music from last summer and that was the extra boost I needed. But, I am avoiding the scale. I'm trying not to think about it. I think I will let my clothes do the talking, you know? Things might fit looser, less form-fitting, that kind of thing...

I'm trying to get my mind out of this rut. You know, where you think about the same issues, same worries, same old thing day after day after day. I imagine I have this groove in my brain that is so deep it's hard to break out. But I'm trying. I have been redirecting my thoughts more vigilantly, directing them toward positive things, good things. I think it's one of those I-Just-Need-A-Really-Good-Cry kind of things. Maybe a movie will do the trick. What should it be? I need an emotionally draining flick...

We got to see the chicks that hatched in the incubator. Princess O was in love! She held a chick in each hand the whole time. Both chicks fell asleep, so cozy and comfortable they were! I told her she has a gentle way with animals and perhaps she should consider becoming a veterinarian. She agreed, but that would be her second choice. Her first job is to be an artist. We then both had the idea of her doing pet portraits for people. She was really excited about that idea! Who knows...

Tomorrow is another day. The older kids are testing all day while I hang with Mr. M. I finally cast on the black and white bag I've been mentally patterning for the last week. Felt good to get it out, get it going. Speaking of going, I'm off to bed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 39

I am so stinkin' tired right now. This whole weekend was too busy.

I am sore, not sorry, though! Today I got my two miles done before church. This is a true accomplishment since getting up early is not something I endorse. The walk this morning was incredibly boring. I don't know why. I think I need to change my route. Although, maybe I'm comparing it to Saturday's eventful morning walk where I saw a Lamborghini parked on one street and a used condom splattered another street over. I'm not saying the two are related, but those cars tend to get some people pretty excited, so who knows. In comparison to that, Sunday's big event was seeing a bird grab a snail right off the sidewalk and eat it. Snail vs. Lamborghini, ha ha!

I squeezed in an arms and abs workout, too. I love this dvd because the teacher(?) is really encouraging, a lot of "yeah!" and "you're lookin' good!" and "don't you want to look great in a tank top all year? Let's go!" I feel like she's watching me and rooting for me so I perform. I did get tangled in my resistance band a couple times, but she never mentioned that at all.

Tomorrow marks the end of the homeschool crunch and the beginning of the standardized testing crunch. Basically, I will have a lot of time to knit while the kids are taking tests. I am a little nervous for them. I know there are gaps, particularly in math, but we did our best. I'm still searching for an outstanding math curriculum, possibly I'll find one for next year.

So, dear readers, here we go, off on another week. May your Monday be blessed and so the rest of the days ahead!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 40

I got up early and hit the asphalt. It was a struggle, no doubt. But I almost hit my 2 mile goal, missed it by .2 of a mile, so an evening walk is planned for later. I did it. I weighed myself. I knew I shouldn't have! I show a gain, not a loss. It's not muscle, either. It's fat from letting myself go during our anniversary getaway. Well, it was inspiring in a way, that kind of anger-at-myself inspiration, you know? I am determined to be more vigilant with my diet. I ate oatmeal this morning and dh was proud of me.

We are at the baseball field right now to watch Mr. M's Hot Rods take on the Thunder. The temperature is going to be near 90 today, love it! Bring on summer! I'm wearing a sleeveless shirt and sitting in my chair with its own shade. Good times!

We have so much schoolwork to finish this afternoon. Homeschool gives that freedom of lifestyle, but then there are always catch-up days. Lots of chicken work and Ag Fair stuff to finish, plus covering some vague math concepts, like mode and perimeter, that may be on next week's test. Not my favorite thing to do on a sunny Saturday, but it feel great to have all of it finally finished.

I hope your Saturday is peaceful and fun. Do something you enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 41

I got up on time, laced up my Nikes, and hit the pavement. I squeezed in a two mile fast walk this morning! So, I've already hit my goal for today (2 miles a day) and I am planning to get out this evening, too. I am resisting the urge to weigh myself, so hard! I know, I know, it's highly doubtful I've lost anything! I know.'s hard not to look. (you know I read the end of books right when I start them, right? Right.)

The funny thing about this run is that it served two purposes. Number one, it's part of my Be Sore, Not Sorry Campaign to lose weight. But, number two, the kids all wanted to go since Mr. M went with me yesterday. Now, this is not my usual practice, taking a short person along. Their legs are too short and their mouths are too active! Since it's been difficult to get motivated, though, I decided to let them come. Mr. M enjoyed the one mile walk yesterday. Little did they know, I planned to DOUBLE the walk for today so I could make sure I had a two mile path through the neighborhood.

Did I tell them? No! My evil plan was basically to let them walk with me and make it very long, with lots of turns back toward the house then away from the house, so they would not enjoy it and never want to come again. Muahahahaha! It worked!

By the time we got close to home, they were sweaty and tired and hungry. I forbid anyone to ask, "Are we almost done?" I forbid anyone to claim I was "leaving me behind." I said, "No, you're not being left behind. You're lagging. Keep up!" Honestly, I didn't mind them being with me, not really. I just don't want to make it a habit!

I need these walks to clear my head and rejuvenate myself. I need to keep getting out there. Day 41, success!

A Crazy Day

My plan for today was very simple, homeschooling. We have a lot to get done. The Ag Fair deadline is quickly approaching and we have loads to get done. Add Princess O's Brownies and Mr. M's baseball to the mix, and OMG, it's getting a little crazy.

Mr. M had a game and Princess O had a nature hike today, 50 miles apart, at the same time. Hmm. Okay, I'm thinking. Dh can pick her up on his way home if I drop her off for the hike and rush back to get Mr. M to his game. No problem. Right? Ha ha ha.

I got an email this morning with a list of who is going on the nature hike with the Brownies troop, what patrol each mom would have, all that good stuff. Waaait a second. Is that MY name on there as patrol leader? Oh snap. I totally forgot, blanked out, blocked it from my memory. Yes. I had to actually go on the hike, no dropping off. This I realized three hours before the hike, 50 miles away, and I had the boys with me who could NOT go. I laughed a little, like a maniacal, I'm-losing-it laugh.

Forget homeschool. That plan I had to spend time with each kid separately and do math, nah. That wasn't going to happen. I had exactly 30 minutes to get everyone in the van. I had to drive 40 miles to drop off the boys with dh at his work, in some ridiculous traffic, AND I got lost for a few minutes, which resulted in a panicked call to dh, "WHERE am I?!" I sent the boys into the office for an hour with dh. We've never done that before. They each had a clipboard of schoolwork to do, and it went well. I'll have to remember this for future emergencies, like when I need some Me Time or I find a yarn sale I must attend.

I left the boys, zipped through a fast food place for lunch (blech), and went 30 miles in a different direction to get to the location of the wilderness hike. We made it with 10 minutes to spare. Whew!

I assembled my patrol (the Killer Coyotes) and headed out to the trail. I love being outside. I love walking around looking at things and listening quietly. Birds are one of my passions. So this nature hike was a great time, for me. We had a list of things to check off, like squirrels, flowers, broken rocks, spider webs. It was fun! Most of the girls got into it.

There was one worrier who was constantly asking where the other groups were (about 5 minutes ahead of us), how much longer (I don't know), and if I really saw a coyote there once (yes, although I guess I shouldn't have told them that, oops). Another girl was the story-teller. If you told her we needed to find a chipmunk, she would immediately point (at nothing) and say, "I just saw one right there, but it's gone now!" She wasn't joking, unfortunately, because that would have been funny. (I thought of doing that once, but decided it would be mean and might scare them, especially if I said I saw a coyote, which I was planning to do). We made it through the 1-mile trail with everything checked off except a worm, which the story-teller claimed was "right there!"

I had my pedometer going while we walked, so when my phone vibrated a couple times toward the end of the walk, I ignored it. Hmm. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. The troop leader was calling me. Looking for us. Worried. We were gone a LOT longer than the other groups! I don't know how that's possible except that those other moms probably dragged those girls through the hike with no mercy! Probably pointing out animals and spider webs, "There! There! See it? No? Oh, well! Keep moving! Schnell! Schnell!" My group stopped to smell the flowers, literally, and we saw mushrooms, which no other group saw. Excellent.

Of course, when we finally caught up, the troop leader was looking at me with great concern asking if we got lost. "Did you take the 2-mile trail by mistake?" Uuh, no. I may not be able to read a map, but I can read a freakin' sign! I stayed on the 1-mile trail. I told her, "I really enjoy hikes like this so I made sure we took our time and saw everything."

She gave me a polite smile and a nod, then herded the girls into waiting vans and off they went. I looked at my pretty princess and shrugged. I asked her if she was worried about me, since she was in a different patrol, and she said no. So all's well that ends well.

We have the official camp-out next weekend. I can't wait to see what we get to do then! I'm sure I will get a schedule of time allotted for each event from now on.

Princess O and I headed home, so tired, but happy. And then we hit traffic. Ninety minutes later, we were home. The drive usually takes 45 minutes, tops. It was miserable. And then we did math. Fractions and decimals and word problems, more misery. And then we did science, I swear I don't want to see another chicken or egg for at least a year. And then the kids went to bed. Aahh.

A crazy day, no doubt.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Be Sore Not Sorry - Day 42 Update

I actually hit my 2 miles a day goal today, yay me!

Mr. M got up early and wanted to walk with me. I let him, thinking he wouldn't enjoy it very much and therefore stop asking to go, but not only did he really like it, so did I. There is something special about having a six-year-old perspective on the morning in the neighborhood.

He called a few punch buggies and even a couple out of state license plates. The plates weren't really out of state, just not the usual CA plates, and he called both of them as "Minnesota." Interesting.

I kept the pace quick and we did a 1.4 mile loop through the streets, no hill. I looked up the pain I've been having in my hips and it appears to be bursitis. Boo. The first cause is weight gain, the second is running uphill. Dang it! So I am taking a break from The Hill.

I ended up hiking a 1 mile wilderness trail with Princess O's Brownies troop, a total surprise to me, so there is my second mile. That experience is a separate post, ha ha ha! A wilderness trail with four 8-year-olds, unforgettable!

Be Sore, Not Sorry - Day 42

So last night I was checking out some fitness websites and nothing caught my attention. I noticed there were forums, but I am not interested in anyone's comments (except yours, my beloved reader) about my progress or lack thereof. I perused a few weight loss diaries, and I thought, hey, I don't need to start anything new, I can do it on my blog! I'm so smart it's scary. (But seriously, how dumb I didn't think of this before.) I am calling this my Be Sore, Not Sorry Campaign. I was inspired by this awesome pic...

Here begins Day 42 of a countdown to my trip to Washington state to see my sister. I have 42 days to do something about this extra weight. Numbers don't matter, except on my pedometer. I have weighed and measured myself, ahem, but I will simply log my day to day struggles and success (hopefully) here to share with you. I sure hope this gets me going! Maybe it will get you going, too, and you can tell me about it. I would love to know I'm not alone.

My plan is to exercise, a walk/run combo around the neighborhood and up the monstrous hill. I have a good handle on eating right, usually. My goal is to exercise every single day, on my own or with the kids, everything counts. I have no excuses! I have a new workout dvd with resistance bands! If I want to have fun and sweat, I can use Just Dance 3! I just have to move this bag of fat and bones!

I told my dh I needed a coach, and he laughed and said, "Don't look at me!" He's right! We are both in this struggle together. I need an outside influence to keep me accountable. So, dear reader, you are it. I am planning to start this day (Day42) with an early walk/run and then be diligent in what I eat.

Stick with me and cheer me on!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sick of Myself

I am so sick. of. myself.

Something has to change. I have no discipline to exercise anymore! What happened to me? Boo.

This extra weight is really disgusting me. I caught a glimpse of myself in a full length mirror and I thought someone was standing in front of me. Who is that person? Where did this extra chin come from?

I've never liked pictures of myself, but now I really hate them. My face is so fat! Something has to be done. Not just for summer, not for looking good, but for feeling good about myself. I need to do this for me.

I think I have found one key, more fitness-minded people in my life. I need to fill my sphere of friends with encouraging, active human beings instead of the lazy, lumpy ones I know and love. I love my friends and family, but dang it, we all look the same!

I was walking around in crowds of people and I noticed so many are overweight, lots of moms who look like me, paunchy, flabby bellies from child-bearing years ago. This can't be! I don't want to be in this club anymore!

I downloaded a couple apps to help me stay accountable to my DailyMile folks. I think that might help. I'm going to check out and see what I can find. I'm looking for encouragement, community for weight loss and exercise. I ain't getting it from Facebook. Maybe there should be a FatFacebook for people who are sick of themselves, like me. Sick of myself!

I walked/ran a mile today, that felt good. I know I can do it if I just discipline myself. Right? Boo.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goodwill Finds

Shopping at thrift stores is one of my very favorite pastimes. I love to peruse, to browse, to hunt through the store for some hidden treasure. Typically, I get lucky with clothes. I've found some truly terrific jackets, a red military style, a green corduroy, a fabulous long gray-black sweater. I am currently searching for funky t-shirts and bright colored jeans, along with the usual knitting needles and the like.

Tonight, being Thursday, is my weekly date with my hubby. I look forward to dinner out and some shopping, sans kids. We have adult conversation and have tried many of the restaurants in our area. Some good, some not, but the time out is always fun. We ate at a hamburger stand tonight. The food was exactly what you would expect from a hamburger stand, but since I was in the mood for a bacon avocado cheeseburger, I was satisfied. (Hubby researches all our outings on Yelp and then posts reviews, but that's another post.)

There is a thrift store near where we ate, so we headed in. Score! I found a pair of fabulously purple jeans! They're in the wash right now, so no pic yet. I want to wear them tomorrow to a big family dinner. They are gorgeous! I got them for $7 and then went to Target and saw a similar pair for $26. Yay me!

I also spotted this item, and being a knitter, I knew I had to have it.

Cool, right? I wondered if it was worth more than the $3 I spent on it, and lo and behold, after a little Internet research, I learned there should be a pair, not just one. Boo. Alas, I will not be able to go back to look for the second carder tomorrow! Hubby has volunteered to go search the shelves of the thrift store for me tomorrow. I want the other brush! I want the complete set! Not because they're worth anything, but I just think it's a cool thing to have, as a knitter, you know, with the wool and all. Someday I may spin my own wool, so, hey, I could possibly use them. Anyway, this is definitely added to the list of treasures discovered at the thrift store.

Here is a picture of a crazy bass fishing mug that I saw at the thrift store, but didn't buy. It was too expensive, like $6 or something, but isn't it awesome! I love the big open-mouth fish handle! Hmm. Maybe I'll tell dh to pick it up for me when he goes back tomorrow. There is actually a set, so maybe we can each use one. Ha ha! I was totally amused. I think I have to have it.

Tomorrow I will try to post a pic of myself wearing the purple pants. I'm so excited!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finished Projects, Finally!

I spent the weekend finishing up projects that have been staring at me accusingly for a couple weeks. I made a vow to not start anything new until these few projects were finished, ends woven in and all!

This is the market bag I made for one of my friends, not sure if she'll like it, but it's done! I crocheted a border and attached the I-cord handles. I love the shape of this bag, perfect for a library trip.

This is a green basket weave cross body bag, that is so stinkin' cute! I'm going to add a button, so...maybe this one isn't totally finished. Dang it! But it's almost finished, and it's so stinkin' cute! I may have to keep this one for myself.

This is another bag finished, the black fuzzy bag. I'm very pleased with how this one turned out. It's really big, but the stitches are tight so it won't stretch out to the floor. The top and bottom are gray, fuzzy yarn, not sure what it's called, but I love the variegated pattern.

I don't want to knit I-cord for a long time!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What I'm Reading

As always, I have a few books going right now.

I'm trying to finish Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman. This mystery is so complicated, so many running plotlines, it's been hard to keep straight. I read Hillerman mysteries so I can discuss them with my dad. He's read them all and I think he enjoys our coversations. So I'm continuing on, even though, sigh, this one isn't one of my favorites.

I'm also reading a compilation of Mary Stewart Arthurian novels called Legacy. Pure bliss to lose myself in this story, with a mug of hot coffee in my hand and nothing else to do. I have it on my Kindle so I can take it everywhere, but I'm savoring the reading. There are 4 novels in this compilation, but I have a tendency to devour what I love so I'm pacing myself.

I'm still getting through the Mark Twain biography and barely started Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I had high hopes for Spring Break, didn't work out that way.

Have you seen the Bookmarks magazine? When I can't decide what to read next, this is what I buy. The cover of the current issue is a colorful tree with owls, love it!

Random Thoughts

You know you have a problem when it's freezing outside, but you HAVE to get a $1 cone, even when the line is super long, and your hubby really didn't want to go. But he did. I just had to have it! The $1 cone has become the highlight of my Wednesday. I think that's a good thing.

Today I spent the day knitting and watching parts of movies, Hanging Up, Romancing the Stone, rainy day movies. It was cozy and comfortable.

This month is racing by! We are counting down to the end of the school year and our road trip to WA. The end of May marks both, soon!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Erupting Art - Volcanoes

The kids made clay volcanoes at the art studio last week. They sculpted and painted and finally got to bring them home, along with a suggestion from the teacher that they fill them with baking soda and vinegar. Instant science project!

Mr. M was so excited to do this. He nagged and nagged about it all day. I turned this project over to my hubby, with the promise that if he did the volcanoes and Easter egg dying, I would peel all the potatoes he needed for the mashed potatoes he is preparing. I think I got the better end of that deal, considering he only needed eight potatoes, muahahahaha!

I love this art studio. The detail and colors on the projects the kids do consistently blow my mind. Don't these look amazing?
We've set up our family room as an area to display all their projects since they are so well done.

These volcanoes did not disappoint!
Princess O had such a narrow opening that the vinegar was actually shooting out the top!
Art + Science = Fun!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bustin' Out the Backyard

When we moved into this house last year, we gained a huge backyard. There is nothing back there, except a couple ficus trees and a small avocado tree. Well, I should say, there is nothing worth keeping, except those trees.

Here is a list of what is back there: a square metal pole standing in three feet of concrete that was for a satellite dish that is no longer there, a concrete planter or something that is four feet square and full of weeds and an old tree stump, a dead bush, an old tree stump, and rocks. Rocks and rocks and rocks. A lot of rocks.

So, in order to fulfill my vision of having an outdoor family space, we have some work to  do. The funny thing is that I don't mind this work. I'm excited to get back there and clear weeds and rocks and demo some concrete if it means this summer we'll have an awesome yard. My hubby can't understand it. He hates yard work.

I asked him to buy some pavers (square slabs of brick) so I can make a cooking area, like an outdoor kitchen. I turned a 10'x10' area of grass and rocks and I had enough pavers to start, but I need more. Then, while we were at Home Depot getting those, I asked him to look at sledgehammers. Whoa! His eyes bugged out a little on that one! So, not only did we get the pavers and the sledgehammer, but also two pairs of work gloves.

I'm starting to like going to those kind of stores! I've always dreaded having to go to Home Depot or Lowe's, not sure why. Probably it has something to do with my childhood and having to assist my stressed out father with projects. I don't know. I've blocked those memories. But for now, I love to browse and get ideas for things I want to do around this house. This home.

Here us the area I'm paving. I had to start over in the corner, as per the Home Depot suggestions. It's been quite a process. I had to hoe all the grass out and then get all the huge rocks out. There's a slight incline here, too, so making it even has been a challenge.

This is the concrete planter/thing. I don't know what this was supposed to be, but it's completely unattractive. We demolished it! I started and my hubby finished. I think I will sleep better tonight knowing this thing is no longer lurking in the backyard. I loved using the sledgehammer. Definitely a great stress release.

I just love the way this yard is coming together. I used the weed whacker and cut back all the weeds and grass. There is a swing under an EZ Up and I like to sit out there in the morning and make my phone calls while I enjoy my coffee. As soon as we get some patio furniture, I'm making this my office/reading nook/knitting corner.

Just one more reason to love this house!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Knits, A Quickie

I spent some time in my LYS a couple weeks ago. I bought some new needles and splurged on some yarn.

I bought silk yarn for the first time, telling myself that it's time I had a really great something knit for myself. I've started a diamond eyelet scarf that looks much more complicated than it is. I'm in love!

I also bought some hemp yarn, just because I thought it would be fun to tell people what it was. It's a pretty green shade that will be perfect for a spring scarf.

If you haven't read the new Knit Simple, drop everything and go get it right now! Lots of amazing patterns for spring.