Friday, January 29, 2010

It's a Start

Yesterday I told you that I was going to start spending at least 30 minutes per day doing something constructive. And yesterday, I did it.  If you aren't aware, Pat Sloan has a new radio show.  It runs on Mondays from 4 to 5, but you can listen at your convenience here:  If you haven't listened in on one of Pat's radio shows, give one a listen.  I learned quite a bit.  On this week's show, Pat visited with Bonnie Hunter.  Bonnie is what I guess I would call the "Queen of Stashbuster Quilts".  After listening to the show, I went to Bonnie's website:  and looked at the free patterns that she has there for the taking.  Wow, was I impressed!  I have quite a large stash, and want to whittle it down some, so I chose two of Bonnie's patterns to make as charity quilts.  As many of you know, I do quilts each year for a Saddle Up Trail Ride which benefits the children of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.  Most of these quilts are western-themed, but I try to do at least one each year that is not themed.

This is one of the patterns that I chose.  It's called "Boxy Stars" and I love the way it looks.  It's a 12" block, and doesn't seem to be that difficult to do.  It's bright and scrappy and I love it.

This is the second pattern I chose.  Bonnie calls it "Chunky Churn Dash".  Basically it's a churn dash block without the half-square triangles.  Those churn dash blocks are set together with hour glass blocks.  The hour glass blocks aren't scrappy, but don't they set off those beautiful scrappy churn dash blocks?  Daughters Mary and Pam both liked the Chunky Churn Dash quilt the best, but I'm kind of drawn to the Boxy Stars.  Only drawback for it is that it's only 6" blocks.  But if they go together quickly, I guess it wouldn't be too bad.  Guess I'll have to do one of each.  Which pattern do you like best?

If you are looking for a pattern to use up some of your stash, check out Bonnie's website.  There are about 30 free patterns on her site, and I'm sure there's one that will call your name.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grrrrrowl . . . . . .

Was that a good growl?  That is my best bear growl.  Why am I a bear today?  Because the snow keeps falling and I'm feeling like I should be hibernating.  Exactly what is hibernation, you ask? 

       Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. (Wikipedia) 

Oh, yea, I am definitely in a state of inactivity. I don't seem to have the ooompf to do anything right now.  And I'm hating it!!!  I have so many Works in Progress that I'm running out of space to put them.  I just learned that our neighbor (and Kristin's in-laws) will be sponsoring the yearly Saddle Up Trail Ride to benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital again this year.  Each year I make at least 4 lap-size quilts to be raffled off to raise money.  And so far the quilts are just in the planning stage. 

So where has my get-up-and-go gone???  I wish I knew.  I discovered Facebook, and now all I want to do is play.  So today, (and here comes my word for the year)  I'm determined to break out of this "play" mode and get back into creativity. First I'm going to put away some more of the clutter and make my room a more desirable work space.  Second, I'm going to start spending at least 1/2 hour in that room doing something constructive.  And hopefully, the snow machine will shut off in a few weeks, and the birds will start to sing, and I will feel revitalized, as spring is known to do for me.   But until then, I'll walk slowly, yawn often, and growl when I feel the need.  

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oops, I forgot.

Before the Disney trip, I posted a picture of the entwined rings that Mary had put on shirts for Rod and I.  Here's a picture of those shirts, although you can't see too much of the decal.  And I promised pictures of the other shirts she had made.  And then, tsk, tsk, I forgot.  Well, today I remembered!!  So hold onto your hat!!  Cause here comes the fashion show!!

These shirts were purchased from the Disney Store before the trip because they were a cute shirt, and on sale for a really good price.  This was the first time that Rod and I have worn matching shirts - same color and all.  It was really the thing to do when we were dating, but he thought it was sort of silly and so we never did.

Here you can see Bubby in the shirt Mary made us for our Epcot day. It shows the Monorail zipping around the Spaceship Earth.  Epcot was one of my favorite parks, but the rain sort of put a damper on one of the days we spent there.  Hopefully, the weather will be better for Epcot on our next trip.

 These were the shirts we chose for our day at Animal Kingdom.  Again the rain put a damper on that day, but we did get to do the safari.  We had breakfast at Tusker House with Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Mickey in their safari clothes.  When I did my quilt blocks, I did the appliques of Daisy and Donald in those safari clothes, and they seemed very pleased with them.

These were the shirts we wore to Disney's Hollywood Studio.  You can't see Rod's shirt, but he chose Mufasa - father of the Lion King.  Pat's shirt had Mickey dressed as a Jedi, and Pam chose Eyeore, I think.  I chose the Fairy Godmother, or the Bibidi Bobbity as they call her in Magic Kingdom.  Mary felt it fit me to a tea since I like to make everyone's dreams come true.

And here are Rod and I in our Steeler shirts.  We wore these the Sunday we went to the Magic Kingdom since our Steelers played that day.
And if memory serves me right - they lost.  Mary and Krissy had Steeler helmets with Tinkerbelle on the side, and Jimmy and Bubby had Steeler helmets with Goofy on the side.

When Mary first started talking about wearing matching shirts for each day, I have to admit that Rod and I weren't really on board.  We felt we would look so silly.  But it was important to Mary, and so we agreed.  Imagine our surprise when we saw families in all the parks wearing their special shirts.  Some were quite unique and we fit right in.  So now you've seen the "fashion show" of the shirts we wore for our Disney trip.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now I'm Smiling!!

Isn't this beautiful?  It's the new camera I ordered last night.  It's red -- the same red as my cell phone.  When Mary was here last night for dinner, we looked up the order for the old camera which is MIA.  What we discovered was that the old camera was a refurbished camera that I had purchased in 2002.  And so, I say goodbye to my old and out-of-date friend.  And hello to my new friend-to-be.  The new camera has many more settings, more magnification possibilities, and is just a better camera.  And according to the reviews we read, it can be operated by almost anybody.  (Sounds like the best one for me).  And if I can't figure it out, I'll just ask my 6 year old grandson.  LOL.

Not only did I lose the camera, but also the bag it was in.  So when Mary found the camera for me, she also found a bag.  I really wanted a new bag.  And Mary found this one with pockets -- and I dooo sooo love pockets to put my "stuff" in.  And it's even Steeler black and gold.

And so today my tears have been replaced with a smile, and as Mary would say, I'm "cheesin'".

Monday, January 18, 2010

Boo Hoo Hoo!!!

This morning I'm so sad.  See me crying.  It was a totally wasted weekend.  I started to clean the sewing room - just like I planned.  However, after a couple hours of folding fabric, sorting through boxes, and deciding what to keep, the room looked worse than when I started.  Not to be upset, Rod said, it always looks worse before it looks better.  Well, better hasn't showed up yet.  I did manage to revamp my blog, and love how bright and spring-like it looks.

But, my determination to find the digital camera, hit a brick wall.  After searching all the bags we had taken to Disney (twice), I found no camera.  I know it was on the table in our room, and I was sure that I put it into the cosmetic bag because the batteries were dead, and I didn't feel like messing with it.  But it seems that my camera, like my heart, stayed in Disney.  I phoned the Animal Kingdom Lodge yesterday to see if it had been turned in, but the lost and found department wasn't working over the weekend, and after struggling to understand the Cast Member on the phone, and trying to make her understand me, I think I left a message with my phone number for the Manager of Lost and Found. (Wow, is that a run-on sentence).

Rod moved the furniture in the living room, thinking that perhaps it had been taken out of the bags and fallen behind the couch, but still no camera.  I really loved that camera.  I knew how to use it, and loved taking photos to post on my blog.  Rod says not to fret, we'll get another.  But, what if it's more complicated.  What if I can't get the hang of it?  Oh, woe is me!!

But, I will not be beat down, I will persevere. (Did you hear that "determination?)  I'm going to go to the kitchen, eat my breakfast, and ride walk bravely into that sewing room.  I will  beat the piles of fabric down with a stick if I have to. And hopefully, I will slay the Slop Breathing Dragon.  So, wish me luck, and if you don't hear from me by tomorrow -- send in a rescue unit.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What to Post??

I have a few topics in mind, but which shall I post?  I decided to post about my sewing room.  Hmmm, what word would best describe my room --- disaster.  Yep, that would be it!  For some reason my sewing life seemed to stop with the Disney trip.  I don't know why, maybe because once we got home there seemed so much to do before Christmas.  And, each year after Christmas, I sort of chill and reevaluate my life and where I want it to go in the coming year.  So the sewing room should be condemned.  Before Thanksgiving, Bubby's bus driver gave me three bags of fabric.  Some is in fairly large pieces, and some is fabric I will never use.  Becky told me go through it and pick out what I want, and then she would take the rest to donate to charity. Those bags are still sitting there untouched, and I really need to go through them.  That's one of my goals for this coming weekend.

I wanted to take a picture to show you just how bad the sewing room is, but the digital camera is MIA since the Disney trip.  I know we brought it home, and think it must still be in one of the travel bags, but haven't located it yet.  That is my second goal for this weekend -- find the digital camera.

I really want to start working on some project, but have made up my mind that nothing gets started until that room is put back into a state of neatness. One needs to put one's life (or sewing room) in order at the start of each new year.  Maybe I should resolve to do that at the start of each new month.

And so here enters my word for  2010 -- determination.  I am determined to clean up my sewing room.  I am determined to find that camera, and I am determined to learn to use my embroidery machines.  Thus far in my life they have been a frustration.  But I am determined to show those bloody machines that I am the Boss, and they work for me.  I bought the PED-Basic software for my embroidery machine a few years ago, and have never used it.  Well, yesterday I got it out, downloaded the manual (which I couldn't find), and downloaded some embroidery designs.  It took me the better part of the day to accomplish that, but by last night the designs were on the card, and as soon as the room is rid up, I want to try those designs.  The designs are valentine bears, and I have already ordered and received the T-shirts for them.  But I'm going to practice these designs before I attempt to put them on the shirts.  And so, Cindy, get ready.  I feel you will be receiving some questions from me.  And if my goals are realized, you will see photos of the shirts when they're done. (since I will find that camera).  Hope your weekend is a  good one.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Weigh-In

Today is Monday, and that means it's weigh-in day.  As I stepped on the scale this morning, I was quite apprehensive since I haven't watched as closely as I should have.  I always have such good intentions, but I find that I sometimes don't think about what I'm eating until it's already chewed up.  But the scale smiled on me this morning.  My weight this morning was 326.5, down 5.5 pounds since Dec. 31.  I'm excited about the loss, but think I can do better.

Each Sunday night at 7:00,  I watch the dLife show on CNBC.  It's a very informative show for diabetics produced by diabetics.  I have learned a great deal from watching this show, but last night's show was quite different from most week's.  Last night's show was a presentation of the award-winning  "Story of Insulin".  This amazing saga tells the story of the struggle for diabetics before insulin, and how this drug was discovered and subsequently  mass produced.  Prior to the discovery of insulin, the life expectancy of diabetics was quite limited.    For survival, they were limited to diets of 800 calories or less.  Many died from starvation.  I usually record this show, and last night was no exception.  I watched in awe as they showed how early diabetics struggled for survival.  And, when the show ended, I was ashamed.  I don't seem to be able to stick to my 1500 calories, and yet these early diabetics tried to survive on less than half of that amount.  I didn't delete this program, and have made up my mind to watch it each time I feel like abandoning my eating plan.  Have a good week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How Goes the Battle?

You may be asking.  Well, let me first say that I am a chocaholic. No really, I have no control over my cravings for chocolate.  It's so bad that, when no chocolate was available, I have been known to search the cupboards for a chocolate chip that may have slipped out of a bag.  It's a sickness, for sure.  So on Monday, when I was so desperately trying to stick to my meal plan, Rod showed up in the living room with potato chips.  And my will power cowered to my chocolate beast.  I had a few potato chips with some chocolate covered raisins.  Now, raisins are healthy, and there's so little chocolate on them.  So I searched WW online site, and discovered that there is the same point value for raisins and chocolate covered raisins.  Can I hear a big WAHOO!!!  Did I fail Day One???  No, I simply slipped.

So, yesterday was a new day with new "determination".  (Notice how I stuck my word in there -- Pretty tricky, huh)  And I did it!!!  I was victorious.  (Notice my "Rocky" stance as I dance).  Had my oatmeal for breakfast with tomato juice and 1% milk.  For lunch, Kristin fixed egg salad and I had it with no bread, but added some grapes.  And last night for dinner we had beans and weenies made with turkey hot dogs.  And to be a good girl and get in my vegetables, I made coleslaw.  And it was good.  But the evening is my difficult time.  So when Rod asked what I wanted for my snack,  I didn't say chips --- I didn't say chocolate -- I said sugar free jello with whipped cream.  I love jello, and don't taste any difference in the sugar free.  And with just a little whipped cream, WW considers it FREE!!!

Tonight is meatloaf night.  I'm making it with ground turkey instead of beef.  And as side dishes, I'm thinking a skinnied up sweet potato casserole, with some brussel sprouts.  Haven't decided on a snack yet, but I have some Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, so that may be my choice.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day that I start focusing on my "determination".  Over this weekend, I have pretty much eaten what I wanted, but tomorrow that changes.  I have my scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons ready.  I have purchased more healthy foods, and have looked over some healthy recipes to use for lunches and dinners.  Yesterday, the twins and I made homemade cream of mushroom soup.  Years ago, I learned while following Richard Simmons' meal plans, that you can substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream with some pretty good results.  The mushroom soup was good and warming, and with the temperatures never getting out of the teens yesterday, it really hit the spot.

I  bought some ground turkey breast that I plan on using for meatloaf.  I'm thinking that I will put it into individual mini-bread pans, and use the extra for open faced meatloaf sandwiches on whole wheat bread with some ketchup and dill pickles.  With some grapes or an apple on the side, I have a yummy lunch which is totally "legal".

Krissy hooked up my Wii Fit Plus yesterday and showed me some of the "games". It looks like it could be fun, and not seem so much like exercise.  There are some step exercises,  a game where you simulate using a hula hoop, and some other "games".

So, tomorrow is the day.  Hopefully the sun will shine, because it will seem easier to start if it's not so gloomy.  What have you done to begin the New Year?