Maine or bust!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quiet afternoon

I'm alone in the office, and I got a ridiculous amount of shit done so far today, so I'm taking a minute to blog ;)

Fitness - I'm loving having the treadmill operational again. Unfortunately, this has coincided with warmer weather outside (meaning sweltering hot in the apartment) so I've been doing more walking outside and other things. I've been trying to figure out how to make my kitchen big enough to do yoga in. I have almost enough space... this morning I was futzing around the back room - the one where the treadmill lives - and suddenly had an apostrophe! (cookie for the reference) The back room is TOTALLY big enough to do yoga in! It's carpeted, but that's okay. I bought myself a thick exercise mat at Walmart the other day, and I'll put my yoga mat on top of that and I'll be golden! I even bought some nice mellow yoga-doing music :) I'm tempted to bring my yoga mat to Maryland this weekend, but I'm sharing the car with two other people, so I have to pack light.

Knitting - TADA!!!!! I finished the fingerless mitts! I haven't taken a picture of them yet, but they're done, ends woven in and all! That's only my fifth finished project for 2013. *sigh* I restarted Rob's socks as soon as the second mitt was off the needles, and then goofed around row 6. So I'm putting them in time-out until my brain realigns with my fingers and I am able to knit on DPNs again *sigh* Work has been progressing on the Strawberries and Cream top. Once we're back from Maryland, I'll have to put it on two needles so Skye can try it on. I may try to cast Rob's socks on again tonight or tomorrow, since I'll need Maryland knitting. Oh, and did I mention that Sue, Kari and I are taking Two Tangled Skeins to MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL? That's right! We're leaving Friday morning, and we'll be recording an episode of the show at the hotel! I'm SO EXCITED!!!!! If you're there and happen to see us wandering around, come on over and say hi! We have buttons :)

Food - not much to say, other than to squee over these bacon "mats" we tried to cook on Saturday after recording the show.

Ours needed to cook at a higher temperature than we used, so I'll try again this week. They're meant to be road-trip food ;) I'm also in charge of lunch meats and sammiches. Tomorrow, I need to bake some muffins and pick up a loaf of bread for the PB&Js. Sue has bought veggies to snack on, some dried fruits and snack foods, and Kari is making us cinnamon buns for breakfast and a few other bits and bobs. We usually pack all our food to avoid eating out. We know how to road-trip ;)

School - Not much to say. I have Judaism class tonight, and I'm looking forward to going home afterward. It always seems to be on the night before I have a class that I can't fall asleep no matter what I do.

Everything else - I am absolutely fascinated with my pretty hot pink nails right now (Essence Color & Go in Ultimate Pink - cause apparently I'm a stealth girly girl). I discovered last weekend that I'm a coward and can no longer ride a two-wheeled bike. (I was terrified, and I only coasted about 10 feet). *sigh* To be fair, the last time I rode a bike that wasn't attached to a stand in a gym was when Zachary was ... um... three? I'm pathetic. Thankfully, I have a boyfriend who likes to build custom bikes in his spare time and he has a plan. I'm not sure what the plan is yet, but I'm optimistic! I hope I gave someone a bacon urge with that pic up there, because I definitely gave myself one!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WOOT! 12,000 page views :)

Now if only I could cultivate a few more followers / commenters!

Fitness - OMG I missed my treadmill! Last night, I was feeling lazy. Skye and I had been to the mall for my optometrist appointment (good news, blood sugar is controlled enough that my vision has improved back to what it was before, and I do NOT need new glasses!) and I had stepped wrong and hurt my left ankle. I didn't think I'd be moving again that night, but when I was talking to Rob on the phone after dinner, it felt okay, and he was kind of shaming me, so I hopped on the treadmill and did my 30 minutes! HOLY HELL, it's hot in my back room. The landlord hasn't turned the heat down yet, and the window is placed in such an odd location that I get no air circulation back there. I'm going to have to buy a fan :)

So I was reading the latest Martha Stewart Living the other day, and there was a short article about a resort I found interesting (in Maine). I sent a link to Rob after poking around on their site for a bit, and he was really interested in going as well, so he decided to challenge me. When I hit 240lbs, he will take me to this place in Maine for a romantic getaway :) So if you were wondering what the ticker at the top of the page was for, that's it.

Knitting - I've been half-heartedly poking at the fingerless mitts the last few days. I haven't really had any knitting time, so there's not much to report. I did manage to do one pattern repeat of the Strawberries and Cream (formerly Super Seekrit Test Knit), so at least that was something. There will be much more knitting in anticipation of Maryland! We leave in less than two weeks!

Food - Not much to report. I did falter last night and order pizza... but I'll admit that was motivated by my inability to get within 3 feet of my kitchen sink or counter. When the treadmill guy came last week, I told the kids to clear everything out of the back room. So they moved it all - five feet away to the floor in front of the kitchen sink *sigh* We just haven't been home long enough to really tackle the kitchen, so that's the plan tonight. I need to be able to move around the kitchen (such as it is) in order to be able to cook. I really wanted to make soup last night and couldn't. I also need to move one of the wall units that used to live in the back room into the kitchen to hold pots, pans and appliances (and get rid of the old kitchen table, since I now have the new one). Organization!

School - nothing new to report, other than I'm LOVING the more intense Hebrew classes!

Everything else - We reached 12,000 page views last night! Not bad, for a sporadic blogger with no traffic ;) I already mentioned the eventual trip to Maine. I've talked about Maryland, and Rob and I are also planning a trip to Hudson Valley, NY with the kids this summer, so I'm psyched about that! Skye starts her swimming class next week, so that's when Zachary and I will start going to the gym :) I'm really looking forward to his first time! Now if only the laundry fairy would visit my house...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm pooped!

Fitness - I have a newly functioning treadmill, so I did use it today! YAY! I did half an hour, and it reminded me why I only use the manual setting. I did "Hill walk" and the thing immediately jumped to 3.5mph. HOLY CROW. I can't walk that fast. I just about died LOL I ended up switching over to the manual setting for the remainder of the walk after the first ten minutes or so. My calves hurt now :) There was also some baby and toddler wrangling earlier today (more about that later) so I imagine I'll be a bit sore tomorrow. The kids and I had a great day though :)

Knitting - I started another hexipuff, and noticed I was missing two of the earlier ones. Not sure where they are, but I should find them when I clean my room. I've gotten to the point on Laura's Ribbed Mitts where I need to separate the thumb out. I was pretty tired when I got to that point last night at knit night, so I put it aside. Today, I've been working on the super secret test knit (which is now a pattern for purchase on Ravelry), and I've made a fair bit of progress. Unfortunately, after the designer put the pattern out for purchase... *sigh* BUT! Now I have pictures :) This is what I have on the needles right now:

The ubiquitous hexipuffs! - The Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits

Skye's sweater - the Cable Rib Pullover by Karen TenDyke in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

The Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman in Lang Jawoll 4-ply.

The Spiral Scarf (from a tutorial) by Staci Perry in Noro Maiko.

The test knit! - Strawberries and Cream by Amora Designs. in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Twists.

Laura's Ribbed Mitts by Carrie Barraco in Estelle Cadenza. Apparently, they match my couch.
The spiral scarf may be tossed, since my son's cat seems to love munching on the Noro. I don't know why. She's never done this to any other yarn I've brought into the house. If I leave an actual ball of anything else out, she'll chase it until I have a massive spiderweb, but this one? She hoards it behind or under furniture, and SUCKS on it. I don't know if they dipped the yarn in tuna or if catnip is one of the main ingredients in the dye they used or what, but she LOVES this stuff and will actually tear through bags to get a ball of it out. She ruined one ball completely, so I may just toss the whole thing. It's god-awful stuff to knit with anyway *sigh*

Food - I didn't think I was going to have much to say on this subject, but then my kids started badgering me for dinner tonight and OMG. I discovered something awesome. I had one small eye of round steak thawed (I meant to eat it last night and didn't), I had a package of naan in the fridge, I had some other odds and ends, so I ended up making this (sorry, we ate it all before I could take pictures):

Butter Chicken Naan Pizzas:

3 naan
6 Tbsp Butter Chicken sauce (we used KFI)
1 8oz eye of round steak, cooked and diced
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed (next time, I'd use cauliflower)
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella or mild cheddar cheese

Spread 2 Tbsp of sauce on each naan. Top each with 1/3 of the steak cubes and broccoli florets, and then sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. NOM.

My daughter is not a huge fan of butter chicken sauce, so I made hers with PC Chipotle salsa :)

School - Nothing new to say.

Everything else - Today was AWESOME! Today I went to the sugar bush with my kids, parents, brother & family, all the aunts and uncles, and some family friends. We go to Domaine de l'ange gardien in Ange Gardien, Quebec. The food is amazing - it was hard to behave myself this morning, but I did push the plate away after one small helping of everything because I truly wasn't hungry anymore. If nothing else, go for the "oreilles de crisse"... the best translation I can come up with for these is super-crispy fried bacon. I limited myself to two small pieces today, and I was very proud of myself. So the toddler wrangling... well, my sister-in-law recently had surgery, and she can't pick up either of her kids for a few weeks, and my brother was busy wrangling the baby, so I ended up running after my nephew (who is 2 1/2 and full of energy) a lot today. The kids got some maple toffee on a stick, my mom got her oreilles de crisse, and we all had a really good time :) I had such a good time that I had to have a nap when I got home (well, that and six hours' of sleep last night...). We've kind of taken it easy the rest of the day, and now I'm ready for bed. Goodnight!

Friday, April 19, 2013


Fitness - I'm sitting in my livingroom waiting for the treadmill technician to show up (my appointment was for first thing this morning - it's now 13:00...). Yes, after ONE phone call with the other store, my parts magically appeared out of thin air. The tech was supposed to be here at 9 this morning. Will he show up? I'm taking bets ;) I've had to call the store three times and I'm still not sure he'll show up before I leave for Temple tonight. But the parts are here. In this country! Remind me that when I'm ready to buy my recumbent bike, I am buying it from ANYONE other than these guys. HEY! He showed up :D Miracles will never cease :) He's in the back working on it while I finish typing this up!

Knitting - I have a confession to make... I did not unpick those four rows of my fingerless mitt. I haven't touched anything except hexipuffs in the last week. Now granted, I did stuff a finished one and knit two more of those, but even then, there hasn't been much knitting time this week. I've been too busy and stressed out with school finishing and work stuff. I have, however, started having lustful fantasies about spinning wheels... 

Food - Ongoing struggle, but overall, I've been behaving. I've also been logging on, so that's something. I bought a fennel bulb this week and a bottle of citrus salad dressing. I am so looking forward to a fennel salad! (Also got some gorgeous Boston lettuce and some lovely asparagus!) Add a ridiculous number of strawberries - they were on sale - and blueberries, some bananas, CACTUS PEARS (my favorite! also on sale) and the *shudder* grapples my daughter insisted on... there's a lot of produce in the house right now LOL Grapples are disgusting and whoever invented them should surrender themselves for punishment. A grapple is an apple that is supposed to taste like grapes. But it doesn't taste like REAL grapes. It tastes like that fake chemical "grape" flavor that is in everything purple. They smell like those grape scented markers we had as kids. DISGUSTING. And my daughter LOVES them. They're an occasional treat though, because four apples cost me five bucks. (Fricking fracking gold-plated smelly apples!)

School - It is OVER. I wrote my final exam on Tuesday and the boring-ass Documentation and Terminology class is FINISHED. I love the prof, really, he's awesome. But there's only so much interest you can infuse into that subject. In Judaism class, we started our second Hebrew textbooks this week, and it's awesome. WORD MEANINGS! CONTEXT! GRAMMAR!!!!!! I am loving this class :) We had a very thought-provoking discussion on the concept of justice and forgiveness. If you can find a copy of Simon Wiesenthal's book, The Sunflower, read it! I am not taking a class for the spring semester. I need a break. 

Everything Else - not really much else going on. I booked the cabin for our vacation in the Catskills, I got my car back, and the girls and I are making plans for Maryland. TWO WEEKS!!!! two weeks from now I will be driving by Utica on my way to West Friendship, MD for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! SO excited!!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's a funny story...

So on Monday, my red "check battery" light came on. I phoned Rob up (he's my own personal Car Guy) and asked him what up. He said, "Turn around, go to Jeff's and get his car. YOU DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR WITH THE CHECK BATTERY LIGHT ON. um... Well, I was almost all the way to temple for Judaism class, so I figured I'd drive the car to Jeff's afterward and grab his car before going home. So that's what I did. I drove the Toyota around yesterday, and then picked my car up this morning to drive it to the garage.

I get the kids off to school (there was some drama, but that's part of having teenagers), and headed off. Waiting to turn left onto the inter-provincial bridge. Waiting... idling.... suddenly the orange "check engine" light comes on and the car starts to shudder... oh no. Not now. Please?


The alternator had officially died. IN the left-hand turn lane. In the middle of morning rush-hour traffic. Oh God...

Of course, since the alternator died, there's no electricity to power small silly things like, oh, say LIGHTS? Like those emergency flashers you turn on to indicate that your car has broken down. You know, silly little unnecessary things like that. So I got out of the car, opened the hood (to show that the car was broken down) and called roadside assistance (and the local news radio station so people would know to avoid the bridge). In the first five minutes, it became apparent that most people were not paying attention, so I opened the driver's side door (which would be more visible from behind the car than the hood would be) and waited.

In the 95 minutes I waited for the tow truck, I shit you not, over sixty cars pulled right up to my back bumper (I wasn't at the light, I was a good ways back in the turn lane) and started honking at me. Mostly driven by little old blue-haired ladies (yes, I kept track). One, driving a BMW, got very irate and spent somewhere between five and ten minutes honking incessantly and screaming at me from her driver's seat. I motioned to the hood and the open door. I motioned for her to go around me, but no sir, she was NOT leaving that turning lane for love or money, and she just kept screaming and swearing at me. It probably didn't help that this struck me as absolutely hilarious and I was laughing hysterically.

One guy, stopped while going around me by a red light, rolled down his window and kept motioning for me to do the same. I kind of shrugged at him. My car has power windows. No electricity, no windows! He kept yelling at me to put my blinkers on. NO ELECTRICITY, I'd yell back. "EMERGENCY FLASHER, CALISSE!" he finally screamed in broken English. "PAS DE JUS!" I yelled back. He started swearing at me :) One policeman I've had the misfortune to deal with in the past drove by FIVE FREAKING TIMES and didn't stop once. I think he recognized me. This also struck me as hilariously funny and I'd giggle whenever I saw him drive past, studiously avoiding me.

Three kind souls stopped and asked if I needed assistance. Out of roughly a thousand that passed me by. Not terrible odds. This, however, is why I will always maintain my roadside assistance subscription. Totally worth the price of admission, and I don't have to get my hands dirty :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Middle of the night rambling...

It's 2:30 am... I've been sick as a dog the last few days, and I came home to get to bed early, slept a few hours, woke up for a bit, slept for a few more hours, and now I'm wide awake in the middle of the night. It won't last long, it never does. But for right now, I figured I'd pop on and share some of the remainder of my week.

Fitness - I'll confess that I haven't been too on-the-ball since I've been sick. I've been trying to walk a bit, but considering that I get light-headed and winded from walking to the bathroom, I haven't done much. I do have great plans to try doing yoga in my kitchen. Once I can breathe again and my brain is no longer primarily composed of mucous. Nice lady at the other store was at least able to tell me that my parts have shipped from somewhere in Europe. There is no ETA. And so I continue waiting. I've been lazy on the Yoga Body Diet thing, also blaming the sick factor. I will try to do better though!

Knitting - Not fully back in the swing of things yet, but I'm getting there. I finally bit the bullet and had Sue try Rob's sock on. She couldn't even get the cuff over her heel. I figured it looked kind of small, but I kept hoping I could keep knitting. No such luck. I frogged it today and I'm going to try it again on larger needles (2.5mm), but those are currently occupied in my Laura's Ribbed Mitts. So I've made a bit of a push to finish those. I'm at the second set of thumb increases and five rows in, I realize I did something wrong at the beginning of this set so I'm going to have to tink back 5 rows *sigh* This is what I get for trying to knit while exhausted and without glasses. But really, I'm in the home stretch. And the first mitt made an appearance on tonight's Two Tangled Skeins podcast! I should be able to finish it tomorrow.

Food - I've sort of been forcing myself to eat the last couple of days, because I'm not terribly hungry, but I haven't been forcing myself to eat the healthiest stuff either. Today was particularly bad and I'm not very proud of myself. But tomorrow is another day, right?

School - Tomorrow is also going to be final project day. I have studying to do, I have the project to finish, and once that's done, I can start thinking about the second book report for the Judaism class. We've started working on grammar and usage and actual word meanings in Hebrew class, which is AWESOME.

Everything else - I think I miss Rob most when I'm sick, not because I want to be taken care of, but because I feel much safer and happier when he's lying in bed next to me and I miss that feeling a lot when I'm sick. I'm supposed to take my nephew to his swimming class tomorrow, and since he's not quite three, I'm supposed to get in the water with him. This could be interesting... I have not worn a bathing suit in public for a very long time, and I'm not thrilled about this. (I'm taking him because his mom had surgery this week and his dad will be busy taking care of his baby sister.) Gonna have to suck it up though. My SIL has lost a lot of weight in preparation for this surgery and I'm really proud of her. I'm also envious and a bit bummed. I keep telling myself that if I had a stronger (more immediately present) support system, I'd be doing better at this, but the truth is that I can't rely on anyone but myself to get there. Rob can support and help all he wants, but until I get to a point where this is going to happen, I'm going to keep disappointing myself (and him).

My boss brought in an organizational specialist to help me at work because I've been having trouble getting things under control there. I had a great talk with her on Friday, and I'm very optimistic about working with her. I confessed to her that I was just as disorganized and lost in my personal life as I am at work, and she was very positive about it all, saying that the techniques she was going to teach me for functioning better at work would spill over into my personal life too and I would see a marked improvement there too. I've felt a little more in control with the Yoga Body book's techniques as well, so I'm starting to feel like maybe I can be a normal, functioning adult like everybody else! I am beginning to achieve a small measure of balance :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

And we're back!

Fitness - No word on the treadmill. I don't expect any. I have gone to another store in the same chain to see if I can get some answers. The other store's representative, upon hearing the issue, said he'd have the store manager call me back rather than try to deal with the service department, since three and a half months was a ridiculously long time to wait for parts. FINALLY. Someone gets that it's not NORMAL for things to take this long. :D

Here's the current six-month plan:

I've been on a downward spiral and I am disgusted with myself. The fact that it's shark week hasn't helped. I had to do some pretty rapid walking yesterday to get to a gov't office before they closed, and it just about killed me.

Walk at least 20 minutes every day, even if it's indoors at the mall.
April 9-30
May 1-31
June 1-30
July 1-31
August 1-31
September 1-30

Drinking at least 4 cups hot water (I'm trying the Yoga Body Diet book to a certain extent).
April 9-30
May 1-31
June 1-30
July 1-31
August 1-31
September 1-30

Go at least 3 days per week without having some kind of sugar or "treat" (because right now, it's a daily habit).

Do yoga and/or go to the gym 3x per week (trying to find a yoga class that will take me and my kids!). I'm going to need to purchase some props for that, so I need to go shopping tonight. I need a block and an extra mat (one mat isn't thick enough for my knees). Belts I have (my kids were in karate for a few years). My son is now old enough to go to the weight room with me, so as long as my daughter can do leisure swim (she's now old enough to do that unsupervised), we can go to the gym together. Yoga's a bit more tricky, because I don't have the floor space for that in my house. I'll figure something out. Maybe the kitchen :)

Knitting - I'm annoyed with just about everything I have on the needles right now. Skye's sweater isn't really a portable project anymore, it's gotten too heavy. I will have to pick it up again soon, because I did promise her. The test knit has become a disaster. There's no freaking WAY this will ever fit a 5 year old. I held it up to a friend's seven-year-old the other day, and it was way too big. Skye will just get another knit top out of it. The Baby Surprise Jacket is just hibernating because I'm at the point where I have to knit the back flap, and for some reason, I always hate that part. The spiral scarf? Well, the yarn is god-awful, I can't keep my son's cat out of it, and the plastic needles are irritating. The fingerless mitt follows me everywhere, but I never take it out. I need to print a new copy of the pattern, and I just haven't gotten around to it (gonna go do that RIGHT now). There. Now that I have a new copy of the pattern, I have no more excuses on that one. I also started Rob's socks on Saturday, and the first one is going well :) I think I'm just in a slump.

Food - I'm actually kind of excited right now. Kari and I went to this produce store near her new apartment (appropriately named Fresh Produce). They have bulk Thai peppers and lemongrass and all kinds of awesome things, so tonight, I am planning on making a pot of Thai chicken asparagus soup! I also bought all the stuff I need to make spaghetti sauce, which will be Wednesday night's project. My mom gave me a ton of ham on Sunday, so I might save half the asparagus tonight to make quiche cups with. I loves me some quiche cups (so do the kids). I have lots, so there shouldn't be a problems! I've started reading Yoga Body Diet. Kari gave it to me in her apartment purge :) I think that between that and South Beach, I should be able to find some balance. In consequence, I've started drinking hot water during the day, and I can already feel a bit of a difference in the way my body reacts. I feel more hydrated and I find it calming (I've always loved herbals teas and found them soothing. I have no idea why I don't drink them more often).

School - I'm nearing the home stretch for my uni class. Next week is the last class. I need to get my butt moving! As for Judaism class, we just got back from Pesach break. Last night's talk was on Yiddish language and culture, and it was fascinating! In Hebrew class, we've started our second textbook. The first book deals solely with learning the aleph-bet. The second book deals with grammar, usage, and root-words. I am LOVING this :)

This is the series of texts we're using.
Everything else - I flew to Chicago to visit Rob over Easter weekend. I helped his mom prepare the Pesach seder, and apparently next year, we're having it at Rob's house and I'm cooking! I'm excited and terrified and THRILLED :) I've always wanted to be able to do stuff like this. I have a bunch of ideas and I want to try to do the haroset differently (wine-free, since I can't eat it otherwise... I made it this year, but with wine in it, I felt SO horrible after the meal and couldn't figure out why. Moron.) The visit was too short, as always, but we're planning a family vacation (with all the kids) to the Catskills this summer. I'm very excited! Kari, Sue and I are heading to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival the first weekend in May. I will keep everyone posted, because there will be podcasting AT the festival and much fun will be had! I know I keep promising pictures, but I'm lazy. I can't take pictures with my phone and then send them anywhere, and I never bring my camera anywhere. I'll figure something out, I promise!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Treading water...

Surfacing briefly to whine that I'm insanely busy, I don't know when it will end, and I really don't have time to say much more LOL