That fitness streak worked out well, if by “well” one means not at all. Hawaii was great, though
Fitness kick #298,297,211 is currently in progress as I have a very real goal and a very real deadline in which to accomplish it. This is one of those life changing things…one of my BIG REGRETS in life, so I feel it’s something I have to do in order to regain control. It’s still in the Secret Squirrel Stage, but I might make a general announcement if only to hold myself accountable. There is a minute chance that something outside my control will sideline the whole project, so I’m going to play this one close to the chest.
My accomplishments so far have been exercising every day and becoming Mayor of the gym. It’s still early (week 1), but I’ve been putting in 1-2 hours of gym time a day between swimming and classes. I haven’t done a “group class” since I took ballet in 4th grade, so this is definitely novel. Speaking of which, it’s time to head out to my Body Sculpt class & then get in some pool time.
I know it sounds completely crazy, but I’m thinking about seriously knitting something during that thing starting in a week. It’s a hell of a lot more productive than playing flash games and pinning piles of stuff. Some other things I’ve been doing:
1. Selling jam, marmalade, cookies, and marshmallows at a local farmer’s market.
2. Getting my CDL so that I can go out on the road with my husband and be useful instead of just sitting around looking cute.
3. Aside for the week I fell off the wagon when our A/C went out during the heat wave, I’ve been very seriously kicking my ass doing HIIT for the past month and a half. I’m determined that this will be the time getting healthy works. I have a trip to Hawaii in January and I really need to not hate the photos when I get home.
This past Christmas season, I did something that I haven’t done in ages…I baked cookies. Now I don’t mean the usual chocolate chip cookies that I sometimes churn out a hundred at a time, I mean honest to goodness Christmas cookies…with frosting and everything. I made a few dozen here and a few dozen there. I doubled and quadrupled recipes to keep up with my family’s demand. My mother-in-law ended up taking six and a half dozen to pass out at work. My daughter took some to her friends at school. My husband requested a gift basket with cookies and jam for his boss and then a dozen were taken to a friend of mine.
Usually, when I go into production mode on anything, I burn out quickly and never want to make another whatever-it-is again. This time, I just thought ahead to the next occasion for cookie baking and wondered if I could use a few more cookie cutters. The recipes I used for regular and chocolate sugar cookies were delicious and cooperative, which is probably the single biggest reason I’m still making cookies. In years past, I would always be on the search for another sugar cookie recipe because there was something I didn’t like about the last one I tried. Also, I hate any recipe that wants me to chill dough.
Georganne’s End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe at her lovely blog, LilaLoa, is fantastic. I think this is the third or fourth batch I’ve made in the past month. Not only do the cookies taste good (which is, you know, important in food), but there is ZERO refrigeration (minus that one batch I made and tossed in the fridge a few minutes before doing some Christmas shopping) and these suckers do NOT spread. No more telling the family that you MEANT to make amoeba cookies!
Did I mention skipping the fridge part? Yes? Just making sure.
Because I need a new hobby like I need a (fill in the blank), I’ve decided to take up sewing. It’s purely altruistic, I swear! LilMDP needed a sewing buddy to help conquer her own issues with the machine. I figured since we’re both beginners, we could do quickie sew-alongs together so that we had a support system.
After a stop at the fabric store for some (more) fat quarters, zippers and interfacing, we settled on making a box bag using the tutorial at Drago[knit]fly.
My sewing machine is a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, so I had to do a little research to figure out the threading path and other operating specifics. My only machine experiences have been with Singers, so there is a bit of reprogramming going on when I try to reach for controls in the wrong places. Eventually, I prevailed and came out with something remarkably bag-like. I learned a good deal on this first project, like I should find a zipper foot and bobbins that fit.
I have a square-ish little bag because I had a 9” zipper, which was waaay short for this project. I compensated by modifying the pattern accordingly. I’m glad years of art, knitting, spinning and cooking have made me completely fearless about changing things to suit the materials I have available.
The tiny bag is actually a very good place to put the random sewing things I’m starting to accumulate as I work on mastering a new craft. After making the bag, I felt that I needed a cute pincushion, so I made one of those, too. I used souvenir fat quarters from Tipsy Star Quilts that we picked up during a run into Asheville while at SAFF in October. The pattern is Square Deal Pincushion, free from Heather Bailey.
Go see LilMDP’s bag & congratulate her on a job well done. I (we) are thinking of a little purse as our next project.
Just over two weeks ago, the constant companion of my entire adult life moved on to her next plane of existence. While the adult in me cherishes 14 wonderful years, there is a little girl just beneath the surface who is angry and hurt that her cat couldn’t live forever. This angry little girl stayed in bed crying for two days, only caring about her own loss and blocking out the rest of the world around her. Desperate to pull her back into the world, her family discussed how to ease the pain in her heart.
The little boy who loved her remembered that when she lost her Fuzz Monster, that the girl held tight to her Mocha cat for hours and it made her feel better. The little boy went off on a mission and when he found his goal, he returned to the girl. He took his love by the hand and gently suggested they go out and get some fresh air. He drove to a place he knew and did the only thing he could think of to help her pain; he put a little kitten into her arms and let her hold him as she used to hold her Mocha cat.
Although he was incredibly small compared to her Mocha cat, he was content to stay in her arms, occasionally pressing his cold, wet nose against her cheek and putting his warm paws to her mouth, as if to express that he understood her hurt and she didn’t need to say anything. The girl did feel better after cuddling the kitten, but she was wary of letting small fur balls back into her heart and went back to her bed.
The next day as the girl lay in bed, the little boy who loved her put the kitten back into her arms. He added a second kitten, because two kittens cause much more trouble than one and he wanted to see her smile while she watched the kittens play.
Even though both kittens were to make the little girl smile, one quickly became “her” kitten and the other turned into “his” kitten. While Leroy is without a doubt beautiful…
...and falls asleep in silly positions…
...the little girl can’t help but see shadows of her Mocha cat when she stares into the eyes of her Stitch kitten…
...and she can’t bring herself to move him off of her pillow when he falls asleep next to her head.