Monday, October 12, 2015

I F****ing Did It!

So I figured since I am walking 10,000 steps a day, then a 3 mile race (which is actually a 5K race) would be, well, just 'ramping it up' a bit.  I put down my $30 and signed up for the Sun Run yesterday.  After all, the money goes toward solar panel for the library - good cause - and I get to run in a race.

So my training coach was a bit flaky for this endeavor.  Actually, there was no 'training' whatsoever.

Yesterday dawned clear and beautiful with about 10,000 mile an hour winds.  No, really, the wind was out to promote wind energy in Montana.  And it was cool, especially since the day before we had gotten to the low 80's.  But Texter and Lady K accompanied me to the race start and pinned on my number.

I was "official" and had a number and everything!  And this was one of those tags with the chip to accurately record my time! (Of course, Texter was zealous in her pinning and I couldn't remove my jacket during the race.)

The start of the race was a roller coaster of hills, but we had a tail wind.  Unfortunately, I don't think it really helped me much.  But the view from the road we were on was great.  There was one small part we did an 'off-road' portion and hit a hiking trail to connect to the road.  The funny part was the route went a couple of streets over, but passed my house twice.  I could have bailed at any time.

So I huffed and puffed,  trotted, jogged and walked through the 3 miles of the race.  I just wanted to finish within the 45 minutes scheduled for the race.  While I didn't quite do that (my time was 46.20), I learned at the start my 3 mile race was actually considered a 5K.  So now I can say I ran a 5K!  And my average pace was 14.57, so under 15 minutes a mile.  

After I made the turn and headed back to the finish line, several things hit me and hit me a bit hard.
  • I was actually running a race!
  • I have lost 3 people in the past couple of months, one of which, if he had been around, would have been giving me hell the entire race.
  • It wasn't as bad as I thought.  Not saying it was easy, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
  • I have some great family and friends who were cheering me on via text messages.  Texter and Lady K came out and waved me on as I passed the house on the last leg of the race.
  • I didn't hydrate enough prior to the race.
  • I didn't 'train' enough for running.

BUT I DID IT! And have the t-shirt to prove it!

Of course, as I looked at my fitbit count for this morning, Christine, who had been at a library convention all weekend, must have hit the elliptical early and really racked up some steps.  So no rest for the weary!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week in Review - October 4 - 10

  • Attended Tizer Botanic Gardens Apple Day
  • Walked 70,097 steps or 32.06 miles
  • Attended "Mentors and Drunks" lecture for Big Read at Triple Divide
  • 8 blocks for QAL
  • 2 books read (1 was audio)
  • 7 posts written
  • start 3 sets of pj pants for Texter

This is the Wide Awake Pirate I had at Triple Divide during the lecture/book discussion.  Cold-brewed coffee, coconut milk, simple syrup and spiced rum.  Actually, I had two.  And we did discuss True Grit a bit.

So today I will be in my first run - a 3 mile one.  It's to raise money for the solar panels for the library.  Part of the reason I'm running is to be a proponent for the solar system for the library and the other is to challenge myself - to see if I can do it.  Luckily, I have 2 days off after this!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Wardrobe in a Capsule

Much has been written over the past couple of years about a 'capsule wardrobe'.  Since I have little style sense and not much of a wardrobe, I didn't give it much thought.  Until I moved and the closet poles fell down.  Also, I had seen a couple of items in the store recently I would like to own.

According to Wikipedia, a capsule wardrobe has been around since the 1970's and refers to "collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons".  Lately, it means having 37 items for the season in your closet.  This is suppose to include accessories and shoes.  With my collapse of my closet and the state of my daughters' rooms (they  have 37 items per pile), I decided to see about creating a capsule wardrobe of my own.

Now I don't have a lot of shoes and accessories, so I didn't count those.  My t-shirts, which are this point are basically my NaNoWriMo shirts, I didn't count.  Neither did I count my yoga pants/sweat pants/pj's.  It was just confined to my 'stuff' hanging in my closet.  I also omitted my jackets/coats.  I didn't think it would be difficult at all to have 37 pieces for winter.

Boy, was it harder than I thought!

First, I ditched the old jeans and pants which were either (1) so old I only wore at home, or (2) paint covered.  I also ditched some t-shirts and sweat pants I had painted in.  Then I removed a handful of t-shirts which were freebies from things I had done.  A couple of them are being saved for a future t-shirt quilt, but the rest went.  Then I dumped my 1 dress which I never wear.  That left non-t-shirt tops and sweaters.

Out went the sweaters which were too short.  Being tall, I hate it when tops end right at my waist.  I want things to cover my tummy at all times.  (Although I should hold onto them to make stuffed animals from!)  Then the other shirts and tops which are several years old which I just hold onto to 'have something to wear'.

I got my closet down to 37 items for the winter.  There are a couple of sweaters which I didn't count because they wind up in Savvy and Texter's possession most of the time.  This freed up a lot of space in my narrow closet.  Now, when I buy clothing (which isn't often), it will be (1) quality over quantity and (2) one old item will be removed and donated as the new item comes in.

Who knew I was so trendy!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Mandala Monday

Loving my black and white quilt blocks.  Only 98 more to create this year.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Week In Review - September 27 - October 3

My plans today - NOTHING!

This past week -
  • One writing meeting with collaboration writer
  • Finished unloading boxes in bathroom
  • 50 eye patches crocheted
  • Had cable installed (yes, I succumbed)
  • 7 felt vests for the Big Read
  • Completed 300,000 steps in September
    • So far, for October have 41,000 steps so far, 80,011 for the week
  • Wrote out October goals
  • Signed up for Sun Run
  • Have menu set for coming week and the grocery shopping done
  • 1 set of blocks for the QAL
  • 7 posts written
  • items for NaNo goodie bags purchased
For the coming week:
  • Sunday - relax and do nothing (well, almost nothing)
  • Get front closet 'organized'
  • Take some of the blankets downstairs to store
  • Make menus for the coming week
  • More Big Read Events
    • Monday night a lecture at Triple Divide (drinks!)
    • Saturday - another couple of hours of assisting at the kid's activities and subbing at work for an ex-co-worker
  • Prepare for my 3 mile Sun Run - or in my case, my 3 mile huff-n-puff
  • Get tires on car
  • Get my 1000 words a day written
  • Finish up blue wool skirt
  • Finish 3 pair of pj pants for Texter

Friday, October 02, 2015

September Goals Review and October Goals

These were my September goals, listed belatedly -

  • Stuff to basement and/or sorted through and put up.  
    • Update - still some sorting and 'final' organizing to do, but most taken care of
  • Painting - still have the main bathroom to finish up (so we can then empty boxes) and the kitchen to start on.
    • Update - bathroom done and boxes emptied.  Kitchen will probably be done in December during Christmas and everyone goes elsewhere
  • Sewing for the Big Read at the library in October
    • 6 bonnets, 4 aprons and one dress sewn.  15 eyepatches crochetedlay outfits
    • Take everyone's measurements, even mine (sob)
    • Make a muslin mockup of some of the pieces so they are fitted properly
  • Book reviews - have a couple of books coming I need to do reviews on
  • Letter to friend
  • Start QAL for 1930's quilt 
  • 300,000 steps in September - challenge with a friend
  • Read 1 book off my home shelves
  • Teach blogging class
  • Plan menus - so we'll eat better, shop better and I know what's going on
  • Write my morning pages
I'm pretty happy with the results of my belated goals for September.  October is much more ambitious!
  • Walk 310,000 steps (again)
  • Write 31,000 words
  • Read 1 book off my home shelves
  • Review book coming from Blogging for Books
  • Do the 3 mile Sun Run for solar panels for the library
  • Work activities for the Big Read at the library
  • Keep up with 1930's QAL
  • Morning Pages
  • Menus 
So far off to a pretty good start.  I have a menus set for the next week already.  I walked over 10,000 steps yesterday, signed up for the Sun Run and already worked 1 event for the Big Read.  And Halloween is on it's way!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mandala Monday - "Nailed It"

It's been a little over a year now I have been 'investing' in my nails.  All my life I have wanted nice nails, mainly because I was a nail biter.  I never was one who bit back into the quick, but I always bit them.  When I was young, my mom tried the pepper stuff you could paint on nails to stop from biting them.  Didn't work.                                 

I tried all kinds of things.  Cuticle oils, nail strengtheners, polish.  Nothing work.  Part of the problem (in my opinion) is that my nails have the constancy of paper.  They are thin and brittle and I could get them out a tiny bit and they would break like glass.  

So last August I started with the acrylic nails and gel polish.  Every 3-4 weeks I go in and for an hour someone fusses over my nails.  Then for the rest of the month, I can type, handle books, dig in the garden, drum my fingers on the desk and not a chip or broken nail to be had!  And I get compliments on my nails/hands.

Ok, so it's a vanity thing.  But I figure I haven't really given a hoot in 58 years, so why not.  Better late than never.

Anyway, I came across the above picture (which I altered a bit) which was an advertisement for bracelets a little over a year ago and had it pinned to my bulletin board.  I wrote "my nails" on it and hung it there.  With the move, I came across it again.  I realized I had been living what I had envisioned.  Much like the kayak.  I had said all along, "my kayak" and there it is (still minus a paddle, I confess, but soon).  There is a lot to be said for vision boards and visualization.  I need to do more of it.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week in Review - September 20 - 26

  • Finished the dress for Big Read
  • Finished 4 eye masks out of flannel
  • 3 pair of pj pants cut out for Texter
  • 10 eye patches crocheted for Big Read kids to have
  • 2 aprons cut out for Big Read
  • Tracked down a parcel which was delivered to wrong address and set up to have resent
  • 2 long trips to the 'play ground gran-ma'

  • Finished two more bonnets for Big Read, except for a tiny bit of handwork
  • Created a semi-capsule wardrobe (more later)
  • Attended an art opening 
  • Finished painting bathroom
  • Scheduled donation for blood drive in October

  • Walked 70,117 steps this past week.  Only 35,000 steps needed to hit my goal of 300,000 for September.
  • Read 1 book and abandoned another
  • Completed morning pages 5 out of 7 days
  • 6 posts published
  • Joined the Swapoween with Chaotic Goddess
For the coming week - 
  • Writing meet up on Sunday
  • Getting cable installed
  • Big Read starts!
  • Review September goals and plan out October's goals
  • New tires on car
  • First mortgage payment being made by Savvy/CJ
  • 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL starts
  • Get last of the 300,000 steps for September completed
  • Crochet more eye patches and finish up the 2 aprons
Lots going on the next couple of months with Big Read and then NaNoWriMo in November.  Lots of things planned for both activities.  And trying to get outside and walk/play while the weather is still nice.  I'm loving it!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

1 + 1 = 1 Gallery / Visual Poetry Opening

I had mentioned in an earlier post my desire to find out the name of the artist which Savvy and I had seen in November and whose work she really loved.  Lo and behold, last night we went to the opening of her current show.  Andrea Cross Guns (the artist) and Trudy Skari were showing and it fit nicely into a stroll down the street after work.  Savvy joined me for the opening.

photo by 1 + 1 = 1 Gallery

While the artwork displayed Andrea's bold use of colors and shapes, they were different from the ones we saw in November.  These pieces were a bit smaller, but all the pieces had some sort of collage element.  Included in this show's artwork is a small scroll with a poem and a fortune at the end of the poem.  The poem and fortune are also written by the talented Andrea.  As you can see, Savvy is intent on looking at each pictures.  I loved this piece because of the 'fungus' elements.  Very organic and reminded me of walking in the woods and seeing similar fungus on trees.

This was one of my favorites of Andrea Cross Guns.  And I believe this is the only one that had an actual figure in it.  The rest of her work is all very abstract.  I really like her work, which is odd, because I am definitely not drawn to abstracts normally.  I went to a Picasso exhibit one time in Raleigh and it left me completely cold.  Andrea's work is so bright and energizing, I really love it and am glad Savvy wants some of her work on our walls.

The other artist, Trudy Skari, displayed her sculptures.  This is a set of three raven heads.  I know my friend Marie would be sticking these in her bag to take home.  I particularly loved the fact she had all the odds and ends crows and ravens will pick up.

This is probably my favorite of Andrea's in the show.  I love the feeling of 'time' and time travel.

It took me a second to realize the body and head were separate.  Savvy was particularly appreciative of  it as Trudy had gotten the obi correct.  This piece was a bit different from a lot of her work in that it was more delicate in appearance and more detailed with the glazes.

But you can see how bright and full of energy the pieces are.  Frankly, any of them can hang on our walls.  The problem is deciding which one will be the first one.

Not the best angle for this picture, but this is Savvy's favorite.  It reminds me of a cityscape.

And oddly enough, this piece I fell in love with.  I had gone to the show strictly to see if there was anything which spoke to Savvy for a possible Christmas/birthday present.  And this little guy took my heart.  Maybe it is the title of the piece, "Immersed in Determining the Necessity of Leaving Some Things Unsaid".  If he is still available, I might be using some of my extra money from the Big Read volunteering to bring him home with me.  I think he and I need to talk some.

Besides feeling very cosmopolitan, after all I went to a 'gallery opening', the artwork was fantastic.  The owner/artist of the gallery, Maureen, is a sweetheart.  I have stopped on my lunch walk a couple of times and talked to her.  My problem with stopping in is I tend to stay longer than my lunch break! But I think a couple of pieces will be coming home with me/us in the next few weeks if I'm lucky.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Flannel, Flannel Everywhere

With cooler temperatures having arrived and a sale at Joann Fabrics, I decided to make everyone a quick and easy pj pants.  On those days when we aren't rushing around to work and school, we all like to get comfy and I thought some flannel pants would be great.  Big, baggy, soft and warm.

I had assistance picking out the fabric for everyone.  She liked the fabric so much I had to reclaim from her in order to cut out the pants.  Luckily, there is enough left over from each to make her a 'wild' pair of pants this week so she can be comfy and warm too.

Wrapping up in the length of fabric seemed like the thing to do last Saturday morning.  Guess my idea of warm, soft and comfy was spot on, pants or not.

Texter was excited about her pair of pants and couldn't wait to get into them.  Now the question will be how to get her out of them to wash them!  I had enough fabric I made eye masks out of each fabric.  Lady K refers to the as 'eyes'.  Savvy and Texter's bedrooms are light and they were both excited to have an eye mask to wear to cut out the light, especially for afternoon naps.

While in the flannel mode, I bought this plaid to make into a 1890's dress for the Big Read at the library in October.  I haven't used flannel 'shirting' before, but it is so soft.  A little thin, but with the apron I have planned to wear over it, it will be fine.  I have a pair of lace-up shoes which look old fashioned I will wear with it (maybe-depends on my bunion!)  My plan after the Big Read for this is to keep it as a night gown!  The style of the dress is big and loose and it will make a great 'granny gown'.

Once the dress and a couple of aprons made, it's time to start on the mock-ups for the cosplay outfits Savvy and Texter want for next year.  And I have the Farmer's Wife 1930 QAL starting next week.  Luckily, that will be stretched out over the next year.  Lots of plans for time at the sewing machine!