Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just a Little Behind

I have cast on again (more times than I care to admit), my March socks.

I am only a little behind in my 12 Pairs in 2014 attempt.

February  - Husbands socks - still on the needles, they are for my husband and he has HUGE feet!!!  I am on the home stretch, doing a 2x2 rib for the leg.  Will stop when I run out of yarn!  And did I tell you, his feet are HUGE!

April - yarn (here and here) picked out.  Thinking of random stripes of semi-matched for my niece.

May - nope, but May isn't here, yet!

I have until the END of may.  Although it is almost the 5th month of the year, and I've only gotten one pair of socks completed, I'm really not that far behind.  Am I?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Can Only Hope

Last week I saw a doctor that specializes in hormone balancing.
At my first meeting, the doctor informed me it sounded like I was suffering from Estrogen Dominance.

Every concern I have, since BEFORE my hysterectomy, is on the list.

Foggy thinking?  Uh, ya think?!  There have been days it has taken me HOURS, and untold trips up our stairs, just to put on socks (that day, my FitBit recorded 25 flights of stairs!).  I will go upstairs to our bedroom to get an item, see something amiss, like a messy bed, fix it, and go down stairs, only to realize, sometimes hours later, I didn't get missing item.  I have gone to work without make-up!

Fatigue/lack of motivation?  WOW!  I have never been so far behind in my Special Education paperwork.  I work 10 hour days, go in on weekends and, between the mental fog, and lack of motivation, I will "work" for hours, and get nothing done. I come home, eat dinner and off to bed I go.  I have slept more than 9 hours a night. 

The combination of mental fog and lack of motivation have caused me to have periods of time where I am not sitting doing nothing, not taking a nap, but NOTHING gets done.  I used to get more done before I leave in the morning for work, than some people do all day.  A couple loads of laundry, dishwasher unloaded, school work completed, lunches made, dinner planned.  I have no clue where my time goes. 

Today I will get results of blood work and further information on treatment.  She prescribed progesterone cream, which I began Saturday.  I am already feeling the mental fog lift. 

Yesterday, at work, despite no prep time, I still got a lot of  "behind the scenes" things done.  After students left, I was able to clear my desk, straighten the classroom, prepare for the next day, pack up work to take home, and leave, in under an hour (a task that has taken me up to two hours, and I return in the morning to a messy classroom).  Last night, for the first time I can remember this year, I was able to sit at my dining room table after dinner, and work on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  This morning I finished the IEP, and it is ready.  The IEP meeting is scheduled for Thursday - I don't recall a time this school year I've been ready for an IEP meeting so far in advance!

I am so hopeful that the old me is back!  I can only hope!  I am going to take my shower early, and see if I can read the paperwork on a new student before I leave for work!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Day of Appointments and Knitting (a look at WIP)

I took today off from school/work.

Mom has had her driving privileges revoked due to a medical issue.  She has several appointments this week and was able to arrange most of them for today.  Tomorrow, my brother gets to play taxi.

I am not one who carries a knitting project with me at all times, today, I am wondering what I should bring as I'm seeing some down time between appointments.

I was am attempting to knit 12 pairs of socks in 2014.  I had visions of catching up on my socks during Spring Break, but dug out my wheel after acquiring a box of roving from a friend.

I think I should re-cast on my March socks.  They were frogged when I noticed an error in the lace pattern.  They were being knit two at a time.  I see them being completed on dpn's.

2014 - March Hawaiian Snow Daze
While envisioning getting back to my March socks, I realized I never finished my February socks.  They are worsted weight, toe up, heel has been turned, working on the gusset decrease.
2014 -  February - Dennis' green boot socks

There is always the Birch Leaf Shawl, which was started July 2012, or not!

Birch Leaf Shawl
 And then I have only the sleeves to finish on Lucy Cardigan.  It is far too large the haul around.......

Can't drag my wheel with me, so spinning is out.

I think the winner is my February socks, but the yarn from the March socks is so yummy and reminds me of our honeymoon in Hawaii.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

FO - Journey into Faux-lags

Last half of the faux-lags gray to blue
 A fellow fiber-friend had to leave the state of Alaska rather quickly due to a family emergency.  She was looking for someone to buy some of her fiber.  I purchased a large box from her, sight-unseen.  In the box was a container of what she called "faux-lags).

While opening the container, I dropped it and mixed up her lovely faux-lags, so had attempt to re-order them, having no clue what their original order was.

They were a dream to spin with and I got a lovely thin thread.  I had visions of knitting something that had the color shift from one to the other.  My only choice of plying was to chain-ply (aka: Navajo-Ply).

I had never heard "faux-lags" and had visions of her combing all the fiber and rollling into roll-lags.  Not so, my pretty! Very quick, Check it out here on youtube!

I got 357 yarns of yummy BLF from deep brown to teal blue.  Found an easy pattern on Ravelry, called Old Shale Smoke Ring, for the yarn (one of those wonderful knit until it's long enough or you run out of yarn, bind off patterns).

The yarn knit up into a lovely color shifting Shale Smoke Ring!

 Spinning and knitting -- is that two FO?!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Maybe an answer

Last summer, as you all may remember, I attempted to get in shape.

I didn't.

I found out I had uterine fibroids, had a hysterectomy, climbed back on the Weight Watchers wagon, and continued trying to drop weight and get in shape.

Weight STILL didn't come off.

Recenlty I found myfitnesspal.com and FitBit, and finally the weight is coming off.  I am surprised at how little calories I am eating compaired to how many I burn.

Twice since my hysterectomy I have gotten drunk on two drinks.  First time, I blamed my husband for making the drinks too stiff.  The second time, I was making the drinks and used a shot glass.  Two shots of alcohol, over the period of a couple hours should not leave me THAT drunk!

I went from stone-cold-sober to pig-drunk in a matter of minutes.  So drunk I don't remember much of the evening and was left with a mild hang over in the next day.  On TWO drinks!

My coworkers were joking about this yesterday when one of them told me that didn't sound right and to get my thyroid checked.  

As soon as I got home from work, I researched the issue.  There appears to  be a link between uterine fibroids and hyptothyroidism.  

The list of possible symptoms of hypothroidism contains several of the issues I have attributed to my hysterectomy.

I guess I am calling my doctor today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend in Pictures

After spending the day in the classroom, I arrived home to find mynew pair of Snowshoes!
Friday night we were under a winter storm warming, so we HAD to break in my new snowshoes Saturday, with freshly fallen snow.
The woods are so pretty with a cover of fresh snow.
Smoked Salmon on crackers for lunch.  Salmon I caught dip-netting and the hubs smoked.
I finished spinning and plying the gradient BFL.  
It turned out much better than I expected.  
I was going to give it away, but I am now looking for patterns to knit it into a smoke-ring.
Weekend shopping chores followed by a Hard Cider Ale at another of our favorite restaurants in Anchorage, Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria.

I will spend the last few hours of my spring break/weekend doing school work, and maybe spinning on this:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Productive Break

It is Spring Break in the Anchorage/Mat-su area.

If you can call this spring:

That's our dog, Abby, this past Saturday, on one of our snowshoeing adventures.

I have been busy doing things that I've put off for FAR too long. Boring things like name and address changes.  I should be receiving my new passport with my new name on it in the next month or two.  That took a very frustrating phone call or two, and more emotional stress than it really needed to be!  My poor husband got one text from me:  "That's it, I just am NEVER going to leave the USA!"  Might be a little hard as we are planning to drive from Alaska to the "lower 48" which means going through Canada!

I still need to make a trip to school, today Abby has a vet appointment and I want to plant my seeds.

Haven't been knitting much, but have been pressing the peddles on my spinning wheel.  A friend left the sate of Alaska and sold me a large box of roving.  In that box was a container of, what she called, faux-lags.  When I opened the container, the lid popped off, and faux-lags went every where!

About half of the faux-lags in their container
She had planned to do a gradient, and I am attempting to keep true to her plan, even if I might have the faux-lags in a different order than she had!

Some pictures of our progression:

It is growing. 
It is telling me it wants to be a gradient shawl or scarf.
I don't wear shawls or scarves.
My friend does; she's offered to give this skein a home
and help it  become a shawl or scarf.
The last of the little faux-lags.  I have a few of the gray and will switch to the last color of teal.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Weekend in Pictures

Drive home Friday, I have the most beautiful commute.
Let Spring Vacation begin!

Breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Snow City in Anchorage.
Got a chip in my car window on the way home.
That makes 5; they "sand" the roads up here with gravel!
Used to fix the chips,
now I just let them accumulate
 until one cracks and runs across my vision,
then I get a new window. 

Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt behind our house (burns around 500 calories!).

Sunday we had to wait for the moose to move along.
Our dog is such a good girl.
That's her sitting beside my husband, no leash.
She wanted a piece of the moose, until the moose charged her.

Spinning, lots of spinning.
A friend left Alaska, I got to purchase her spinning fiber.
This she made into faux-lags and I'm hoping to spin it so it progresses in colors.
I vision a shawl of some type, but I am not a fan of lace,
unless it is in the form of socks.
Will chain-ply to keep color progression.

Watched a good movie on Netflix with the hubs.

Got some reading time in for our school's "Idita-read".
My friend is the author of this book which is set in a remote Alaskan village.
It is odd reading a book when you know the author.

I have a long list of things I want to get done this weekend.
I am hoping to get most of them done Monday and then relax.
I always have grandiose plans for our breaks from school.
I usually only get a fraction of the things I want done!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Big Smile

If you have been reading my posts you may remember last year I tried to loose weight.

I walked 3 to 5 miles three times a week.  I joined a yoga studio and their 30 day yoga challange where I attended classes at the yoga studio five days a week.  Weekends, I hiked the wilds of Alaska.  I ate healthy following the Weight Watchers plan.

I lost NOTHING; I could not shrink my big belly.

You may remember my battle with uterine fibroids.  At the time of the diagnosis, I also learned I had high cholesterol and was anemic.  My doctor told me to stop the dieting, and do what ever I could to raise my iron levels.  After surgery, I could then work on my other health issues.

And then I kind of fell off the internet.

During the six weeks of recovery from the hysterectomy I was not allowed to do anything.  I couldn't walk my dog, vacuum, lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk.

In November, I returned to work, surgery, recovery, and 6 weeks of inactivity left me exhausted.

I returned to Weight Watchers and just could NOT drop the weight.  I often left meetings in tears.  They were not uplifting.  One member often managed to monopolize meetings.  When she attempted a 5 mile walk run (thinking it was a 5K), the members laughed with her and applauded her surviving the 5 miles.  The whole time, I'm hiking on weekends, anywhere from 4 to over 10 miles.  She'd drop weight and brag about how she shouldn't have as she'd cheated and ate this or that and didn't record it.

I quit going.

Last week a friend shared on FaceBook her loss of weight with the help of  myfitnesspal.com

I figured what did I have to loose?  I signed on, and started tracking.

I LOVE it!  I am tracking and recording EVERYTHING I eat.  I can pull up reports to see amount of calories eaten, as well as other nutrition information, like cholesterol and iron!

The only changes I have made in my eating (other than tracking, which means measuring food) is that I am working hard to get my 8 glasses of water in and avoid sugary high fat foods. I eat heatlhy in the manner I learned with Weight Watchers.

My first week:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Sadly, my 2014 - March - Hawaiian Snow Daze Socks were frogged Sunday night. As I was knitting the last row in the pattern repeat, I realized I was off a stitch or two.  I was tired, I could have figured it with a clear head.  But a clear head was not what I had Sunday evening and I ripped them out.

This decision did force me to pick up Dennis' green boot socks and I have finished heel flaps, turned both heels and picked up the gussets.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Week Rewind, WIP, and FO

School was better this week.  After ranting here, I ranted to our principal and my Special Education Supervisor.  Some changes were made, and I am being "kicked out" of my room if only for a portion of my "duty free" lunch.  I eat with my class, but those few minutes away from my students has made a big change.  My assistants are working hard to make sure that I have some time to prepare daily.

It is Fur Rondy time up here in Alaska, with the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod yesterday.  We usually drive into Anchorage and attend the festivities, but a headache kept me home. 

With the Iditarod, our school does Idita-read where students track minutes read and every minute equals a mile on the Iditarod trail.  I am on that committee and spend several hours every Friday "moving dogs".

Today we are working on chores around the house, as well as me getting things done for school.  I am hoping I will be able to squeeze some reading and knitting in (need to set a good example for my students so we can all get our dogs to Nome!).

Knitting?  You Ask.

WIP are:

I am attempting to knit 12 pairs of socks in 2014

Working heel flap, I should have no problem finishing these in a day or two or ten

Lost interest, need to finish sleeves-I am fearful it will GROW when I block it.
Fearful it won't turn out as great as I thought it would be!  :-(

Will this EVER get done?  I am not a lace knitter.....

I have managed to complete one pair so far
They have since been completed, ends weaved in and worn at least once.

Maybe over Spring Break next week, I will get my FO page for 2013 up dated, and start my 2014 FO page.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I am alive and well...

Yes, I am alive and I am well.

Upon my return to work, my energy levels were very low, requiring a lot of extra sleep; I would often come home from work, and be in bed after cleaning up dinner dishes.

November and December flew by and before I knew it, my husband and I were in Hawaii over Winter Break for our Honeymoon (it was great)!

I started the new year with two new students.  They have turned my classroom upside down as they test boundaries and try the patience of all the adults (and peers) in the classroom.

Since returning from break I have had no "duty free" lunch, and my prep-time has been almost non-existent as I have had to supervise students when they are not safe.

I have been working 9-11 hour days in the classroom, have been going in at least one day on the weekends, and often am up early to complete work at home.

There is no end in sight.

So, I am busy.  I have a wonderful husband; often dinner is "on the table" when I get home late from work.

On a positive note, I did receive tenure and I signed my contract for next school year.

I am trying to find balance in my life.

I have contacted my Behavior Support Program supervisor and she will be in the classroom to offer advice and support.

I have been knitting to relax, and started a knitting group at work!