Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Where has the time gone?  The past week and a half have been very busy.

New couch, on order.....

First things first -- Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, both my honey and I had the day off, so we drove into Anchorage and ordered the couch pictured for the office/craft/guest room.  In all my adult life, I generally purchased all my furniture used, this was a splurge (I have owned cars cheaper than this leather sofa-sleeper with an air mattress).

As a Special Education (Sped) teacher, I had a rather quiet first half of the school year.  Since right before "Winter Break" I have been busy.  Got a new student in the middle of an evaluation which we finished days after returning from break.  Another new student joined our school from out of district, and that is a whole other bunch of paper work; he is due for re-evaluation.  Add to that, one of my "old" students is due for re-evaluation (every three years).  My schedule changed at work, and I lost my only large chunk of prep (now my prep is 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there, etc.)  Many mornings have been spent in the office/craft/guest room at my lovely desk!  This too shall pass.

I have managed to knit at least 10 minutes a day--it is a challenge of the knitting group I am on.  It works, I only "have" to knit for 10 minutes, and if time allows I usually knit more.  This morning I may end up putting in my 10 minutes before I head out the door. I have been focusing on my Every Way Wrap and am now on the 15th pattern repeat of 16, then 5 inches of a 2x2 rib, find buttons and a way cool shawl pin and it will be done.

I have not really done much on my Dalekanium Socks, and NOTHING on my Birch Leave Shawl.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My "Alaska 25", Weight Watchers, Healthy Changes

Office/craft/guest room gets "yoga room" added to its title
Way back when, in January of 1999, I went to Weight Watchers (WW) for the first time.  Three times in 1998 ADULT women asked me when my baby was due -- I wasn't pregnant.

I was not impressed when a friend excitedly informed me I could shop at Layne Bryant with her.  Mentally, I was not a "big girl" and squeezing into size 14's (REFUSED to buy the size I should --16) just didn't fit my image of me!  My 5'4" in frame is very small boned. Adult watches and bracelets are often too large for me, even when I have extra pounds on me.

A long story short, I joined WW (for the "diet"), lost the weight, quit WW, gained the weight and found I had to go back.  Back and forth, up and down, I went, and struggled until I changed my thinking and wasn't there just for the diet, but for the life-style change.  I refused to do anything to loose the weight that I couldn't see doing for the rest of my life.  The weight FLEW off, and before I knew it, I was down to a size 4!  I kept the weight off through a healthy and active lifestyle for many years.  Then I moved to Alaska.

Winters are long, dark, and depressing!  Five pounds became ten, then fifteen, twenty, and now I am twenty-five pounds, and three dress sizes, larger than when I got off the plane in June of 2010.  My entire world changed.  No horse riding, no mucking stalls, no endurance racing/training with friends.  My cholesterol was sky high, low iron, my health, a year ago (have to make that appointment soon)!

I rejoined WW last year, dropped 10 pounds, stress eating put it back on, along with another 5, and I've been struggling. 

I knew I couldn't follow the plan during the holidays, and have been slowly adding healthy activities as well as healthy eating (which is what the new WW 360 is all about--small changes that have big results).

This week's challenge was to make changes to your living space.

Yesterday I cleaned the fridge and tossed outdated foods, as well as unhealthy items.  I arranged the food I put back in so the healthy foods are right there in sight, easy to grab.

Part of the move to get my office/craft/guest room more organized was to also be able to do my yoga.  I guess there is no better time than the present, so this morning I did my yoga, everything is neatly in the basket by my desk, CD is now in the laptop, the real challenge will be to do it tomorrow before work!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One More Load.....

It was so easy for my Honey to move out of his condo, he had a deadline to be out of the house and everything came with him.

It has been harder for me as I have lived with my mom and our belongings have become co-mingled.  Add that I don't have  "deadline" for when EVERYTHING has to be out, and there is no rush, no hurry, I'll get it done when I get it done........ The "deadlines" I have set are personal, no one is going to take my stuff if I don't meet them!

Every week or so, I go over to her house to visit with her and to pack up what remains of my belongings.  Sometimes she has so much for me to do, I run out of time and need to return home without looking at my things, like the time her laptop crashed and I spent two hours updating software and her virus protection.

When I do get to packing, after filling the boxes I have, I will look around at what still needs to be boxed up and hauled home and believe what is left is only one more load.

I return for that "one last load" pack up items, load up my car, I will look around at what still needs to be boxed up and hauled home and believe what is left is only one more load.

Again, I return for that "one last load" pack up items, load up my car, I will look around at what still needs to be boxed up and hauled home and believe what is left is only one more load.

I am beginning to feel like I'm in some sort of Groundhog Day movie for moving, the only thing missing is the alarm going off to the sound of Sonny and Cher singing "I Got You Babe"!

No more ventures of how many more loads I have.  It is what it is and every load is one less I have to haul home!

Yesterday was another day of packing and hauling.  Have you ever noticed, when you move, the last boxes end up being a mish-mash of things.  Items you don't know what to do with.  Not trash, but not treasures either?  Things you don't really want, but also don't want to throw or give away?

The "Other side," usually out of the camera's view.  This area will eventually have a sleeper sofa, but for now, it holds my crafting stuff and other boxes of items awaiting a place to call home!
Everything that has a place has been put away, the rest is on the other side of my office/craft/guest bedroom.

Most of the items along the wall will go in a storage area off our bedroom.  All my beading is mobile, so when I bead I can roll it out and work on items.  It looks much better, much more organized in the picture.

Today, my Honey is going through those "last boxes" he packed, with the mish-mash of belongings he has left in our garage.  Things he doesn't want to throw away, but also doesn't really know what to do with them.

We have Monday off and are going to go shopping for a sleeper couch for my office/craft/guest room.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Swift Bag by Tom Bihn

Ever since I saw the 10th Anniversary Swift on Knitty Deep Fall 2012 pictured above from Tom Bihn, I have wanted my own Swift.  When I stumbled upon the Anniversary Swift, it was no longer available but they did stock the Swift in different colors, without the 10th Anniversary tag on it.

My current knitting bag is a super cute bright blue, fake patent leather, book bag I picked up at the local Fred Meyers for $14 on clearance.  It works, it's funky, it holds all my WIP,  but the "patent leather" has developed it's own life and the bag sits yawning wide open no matter how I put the books and WIP project bags in it, even when the bag is sitting on my shoulder going to my knitting group.

The bag is not cheap, and I don't normally spend money like that on myself.  I fell in love with the Forest/Hemp Swift Bag and after many return trips to the Tom Bihn website, I bit the bullet and ordered one!

Tom Bihn ships UPS, which normally means one of two things:  they don't ship to Alaska; or they ship to Alaska for astronomical prices!!!!  Not Tom Bihn, they ship to Alaska using priority mail, so I only had to pay $10 shipping and not "$38 to $65" stated on the shipping information page!

She should be here by Friday!

UPDATE:  January 17

When I placed my orderd I requested Forest/Hemp, so when I received an email from Trevor at Tom Bihn stating my swift in Kiwi/Kiwi was on back order until March and that I could wait or change my order, I was very confused.

I didn't order that color.  I replied with the correct information of Forest/Hemp and if that color wasn't available I would like to cancel my order.

There a "strange technical issue with" my order.  He went on to write:   "According to your order you have selected kiwi/kiwi/ultraviolet, and when I checked the product page I do not even see forest/hemp listed as an option anymore. This is very strange, and something I will definitely look into.

The good news is I have found a forest/hemp Swift i our store front. I have set it aside for your order, will make the needed adjustments, and will ship it out this afternoon!"

So, I should get it early next week, but WOW, what great customer service!

Monday, January 14, 2013

WIP on a Rainy Day in Alaska

Two of the three projects on the sticks - Every Way Wrap and Dalekanium Socks
We are experiencing rain here in Alaska.  Lots of rain!  We are under a flood watch.  When that much rain falls, it causes snow to melt, and then when it all hits roads, it tends to freeze.  So far, the drainage ditch is doing it's job and the water running down our street towards our house is going where is should go!

 We got our errands finished Saturday.  Sunday we stayed home, enjoying be house bound, watching TV and people slip and slide on our road.   I knit.  Even though I brought work home Friday from school, I didn't get to it.  It is really just and hour or two on the computer, and Saturday when I sat down to do that work, my laptop was playing hard to get.  It seems if I don't get it done Saturday morning, it doesn't get done.

I am a very early riser, figured I'd get done what I needed to this morning before I left for work.  But, that didn't happen (yes, it is still NOT done).

Due to the dangerous road conditions, they closed schools, so I have been able to sit in my jammies far longer than I'd like to admit and knit!!!!!

Every Way Wrap

Upon counting the pattern repeats, I am pretty sure I will make the March 30 "deadline" of completing the Every Way Wrap before the anniversary of it's cast on!  I just completed pattern repeat #11 out of 16!  I had been knitting on this almost exclusively and have learned how to fix those cable when I hold it to the wrong side, without frogging it all back to the error.  I am feeling pretty proud of myself of this knitting accomplishment. 

Then I got to thinking about this week in school.  I am "proctoring" mid year tests.  For the most part, I can't do anything other than walk around, keep an eye on my students and remind them "This is a test, I am sorry, I cannot help you on this."  With my ADD, I go stir crazy sitting there doing nothing and I got to wondering about bringing my knitting.  There was no way I could work on the Every Way Wrap, so I thought about my other projects. 

The Birch Leaf Shawl?  Uh, NOPE!  That is NOT something I can drop what I'm doing and help, assist students and will take far too much attention!

The Dalekanium Socks?  Hmmm, maybe.  I was almost to the heel, I've done enough socks that I can drop and go if I need to, but not these.  This pattern calls for short row heels, which I'd never done before and I just didn't want to be doing those in a drop and go situation!

Dalekanium Socks
If I wanted to even think of bringing them to work, I needed to be past the heel. 

Yesterday, I knit the remaining 1/2 inch of the foot, and moved onto the heel.  Try as I might to complete both heels before the end of the day, I had some technical difficulties with the heel and went to bed with one heel "completed, but in need of frogging and re-knitting.  This morning, with no school, I found my error, frogged back to that spot, and was able to get both heels done.  Pretty amazing and simple heel, I'll see how they were and maybe I've found my new heel.  We'll see!

Anyone who might be paying attention may notice no picture of the Birch Leaf Shawl.  Nope, she isn't frogged, just being a little camera shy!  She hasn't been touched except for pictures last time I posted WIPs!

Birch Leaf Shawl (sits ignored in the project bag)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sharing Space and Life

My side of the closet, top rack shirts/tops in order by color,
bottom rack jacket, sweaters, and top layers (with some
items he put away, in the wrong spot).
Learning to live with someone can be fun, but it can also be frustrating as you learn each other's little quirks.

Take laundry.....I try to keep up on laundry by doing at least one load a day so we don't have to spend the weekend doing laundry.

After folding a load, I put my clothes away and stack my honey's on the dresser or the bed.

Getting ready for bed last night he looks at his clothes neatly folded, set in piles, on the dresser, and laughed stating he doesn't get it.

Him: How hard is it to open the drawers and put it away?

Me: I don't put someone else's clothes away. I didn't even put my son's away (as he got older).

Him: You put them ON the dresser, how hard is it to put them IN the dresser?

Me: I have never put someone else's clothes away.

As I brush my teeth and get ready for bed and try to figure out why this is such a difficult thing for us.  It isn't a fight, he just doesn't get why I won't put his clothes away, and I don't get why he can't get I don't put other people's clothes away (and I don't want someone else to put MY clothes away).

I am a little anal retentive, I am picky with my clothes, though, right now, if you were to look in the two dresser drawers I have, you would think I am a slob. All my bras, panties, socks, PJ's, long underwear and the like are literally crammed into two drawers while I wait for my dresser that has been ordered. The drawers are a mess, but for now, I am dealing with and trying not to stress too much as I dig for a pair of socks, or search for the right bra.

Returning to the bedroom, the conversation continues. We both think the other is silly.

So, is it weird that I DON'T put his clothes away, or is he being goofy in thinking I SHOULD put his clothes away.

As I took the picture of my closet, I realized there are items in the wrong spot. Items HE put away. While taking the picture, I had to fight moving some of the clothes to the right spots.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Looking Forward into 2013

The following is what is currently (as of this very minute) posted on a new page titled:  2013 - Fiber Art Goals and FO (which while change as the year progresses, or as I see typos!):

As I look forward to the remainder of 2013, I think about my fiber art goals and wonder what will they be.

Right now, they are VERY simple and to finish current WIP:
I would also like to:
  • Get my craft room/office set up:  as of 1/7/13 -- "new" (used) desk purchasefd and working well, need comfy couch that can fold out to a bed (or futon, but having a hard time convincing my honey that a futon is comfy to sleep on!);
  • picture and record my entire stash of yarn/fiber (roving and yarn) on Ravelry;
  • find a nice yarn that will hold up well to washing and wearing for socks for my honey (worsted weight)
  • knit at least one item per month (12) for the year;
  • knit at least one item from each of the knitting books that I haven't already knitted from (as I type this, I am thinking of the book Arctic Lace by Donna Druchunas---but it is lace and I'm not fond of lace, but I own the book and I live in Alaska and that is what the book is about, so I should..........)

My Project Goals--WIP

It seems that "everyone" is making knitting goals.  Some of them are WAY lofty (do these people work out of the home?).

I looked at some of them.  One 13 13's in 2013, it sounded good, until I visited the group:  I am NOT knitting 169 projects!

Then there was Knit 13 Projects from 13 Books -- more doable, I can knit 13 items in one year.  After pulling out my knitting books, I realized I didn't have 13 and wondered if I left any at moms.  Could I count knitting magazines?

Hmm, what knitting goals for 2013?

I am going to start simple.

FIRST, get my WIP done before casting on others (maybe I will hold myself to getting at least one of the sticks before casting on a new project).

So, here is the first WIP I want to finish before starting a new project:

I want finish my Every Way Wrap -- I am on the 8th repeat out of 16, so I'm half done!  Happy Face!  So, my goal is to get it done BEFORE March 30, one year after I started it.


my Dalekanium socks, between 1/4 and 1/2 the way done (another 5 or 6 rows before I will start the heel).  They seem a tad wide for me so they might be a RAK and given to someone who likes knit socks (like my mom).

And then,

the Birch Leave Shawl.  This shawl is teaching me that I don't really like lace weight yarn, so glad I don't have any in my stash!

So, that is where I'm starting! other 2013 goal is to get my stash updated on Ravelry!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

and even more after......

My craft room/office set up continues!  So, here we go ...

Reminder, I started with this mess only 4 short days ago (okay, I admit, the REAL mess is outside of the smart phone camera's view).

I thought I really wanted this desk found on Craigslist.  The sellers never replied and when I shared the picture with a friend she pointed out all those tiny drawers looked like storage, but unless I was collecting paper clips, they were worthless.  Okay, point taken.

So, I ended up with this, but knew I needed more space as the card-table type table was NOT large enough. Add that I really liked the idea of closing up my desk area from view like you can do with a roll top, especially when I'm working on school work that takes more than one sitting.

I decided that one of three things was going to happen before I returned to work Monday:
  1. I would haul the old "distressed" and ugly desk I was using at my mom's here;
  2. I would find something and purchase on Craigslist;
  3. I would purchase a BRAND new desk!
Back to Craigslist I went for one last ditch effort!  There was one I saw way back before Christmas.  It was a desk armoire in a mission style much like the furniture we have.  Well, then I got side tracked with that pretty roll top desk.

the new desk from the angle of the other pictures

We picked up this little number.  I am told it weighs "a lot" not to mention, one of the people helping moving it up stairs informed us it would be sold with the house!  Yes, it is THAT heavy!

Here it is open and ready for use.  I completed Progress Reports for my students this morning and am sitting in that chair right there, with my dog, Abby, at my feet, typing this blog entry.

It's a pretty little thing DOES match our furniture, and will work well if my "craft room/office" ends up being the "craft room/office/guest bedroom"!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Before and After

 One of my goals for Winter Break was to get my things moved and a place set up for my craft room/office. 

Yesterday morning, my room looked something like this,

And now it looks like this!

craft room/office after being organized ~need a desk, and another bookshelf or two!

I really need to get a desk as my 1.5 x 3 foot card table like table is way too small.  As a teacher, I need more room, so I guess I am hauling my lap top, and my book bags to the dining room table to work.

Have continued to search Craigslist for desks but I am beginning to give up hope.

I did some research on the roll top desk I fell in love with.  The sellers claim they commissioned it to be made 30 years ago; the company that made the desk has only been in business 25 years.  The seller claims the desk is "retailed" at $3000; I can buy a NEW one here in Alaska for under $1500.

Add that the sellers are not answering their emails.

Another seller didn't post any pictures and then gave me the third degree when I asked for pictures.

Yet a third seller also is not answering emails.

The rickety old desk that I was using at my mom's is starting to look better and better!  And the price is very right...FREE!

The papers are not grading themselves, nor are the reports cards, progress reports, and lesson plans doing them on their own, so off to the dining room table.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Back in the Saddle, Day 2

My office/craft room -- Miss Abby looks on while I take a picture of the mess.
Note to self -- find my camera, the smart phone doesn't take the best pictures!
Yesterday was a good day -- Got a lot done before leaving the house and headed over to my mom's.  My goal was to clean out all my belongings out of my old bedroom, as well as get some things home from my craft/office area.  I probably have two more loads of items left and then I will be totally moved!
Upon arrival at home, I was able to unload everything and then got to go to the barn to visit my horse.  I had hoped to ride, but with recent warm temperatures and rain on top of snow, everything is rather slick.  I spent almost an hour at the barn grooming and spending time with Raven, my horse.  She's a great horse, and loves the attention almost as much as she loves her horse treats; add to my 2013 goals~spend more time with my horse!

Returned home to start unpacking and organizing my belongings before my honey got home.  We had a lovely healthy dinner - salad with grilled chicken.

This morning I have continued to organize my craft room/office.  I emptied a huge box of paper (mostly junk mail), seen in the above picture.  Anything that had personal information on it got shredded and I filed that which I need to keep, and tossed the rest in the recycle bin, along with all the shredded paper.

I  managed to catch up tracking my eating yesterday with my Weight Watchers etools.

Off to shower (sorry Flylady, I just can't seem to shower right away).  My goal is to be on the road to my classroom before 9 am.

Tomorrow, when I've gotten done all I want to, I will knit, knit, knit!!!!

Edited to add the following:

I want this!!!!


Roll Top Desk - Craigslist
She opens to this:


It is listed on Craigslist and has been there since the early part of December.  They don't answer their email.  Think of all the thing I could hide in all those drawers!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am back!

Yesterday we took down the tree and all our Christmas decorations.  The house looks bare and "just moved in" again (we need to put up pictures, etc.).  Poor Dennis, half way through our putting things away and cleaning the house, I was struck down by one of my migraines.  Off to bed I went to wake up a couple hours later to find everything clean and he sitting eating his lunch.

Today I feel like I am back to my normal self for the first time since I got sick way back on December 20!

Some of my goals this year are:
  • get back to flying with Flylady
  • back "on plan" with Weight Watchers
  • get back to yoga (part of being "on plan" with Weigh Watchers)
There are also knitting and reading, and spending more time with my horse, but those are the big three.

I am about to head out the door as I want to get one load of my belongings home before heading off to the barn.

It is just after 10 am here in Alaska, and the sun is coming up.  I feel like I've gotten a ton done already, laundry "rebooted" (two loads put away, two in the washer and dryer), dishwasher unloaded, bills paid (desk cleared off), beds made, the pile of my belonging created when I crashed with the migraine have been put away.

Wish I could have been this productive last week, but alas, can't turn back the hands of time, tomorrow I will head off to school to try to catch up on things I had wanted to do before break, but ended up staying home sick with the cold I'm working on getting over.