Friday, September 26, 2008

Jane Austen, anyone?

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Another silly blog quiz, found on my friend Christina's blog. If you've read a lot of Austen (or even just watched all those movies on Masterpiece Theatre) it's a fun little quiz.

Still running, still loving it. It's been hot here again (mid to high 80s) so not quite as fun as running on a cool morning, but it's still nice to get out and run, especially when the hubby comes with me.

I'm still knitting that never-ending shawl. It has become my nemesis. I ran out of yarn halfway through the first attempt at the border. After letting it sit in timeout for a while, I unraveled that border and chose one half the width. That should have worked, right? Ha! I got three quarters through that one before I ran out. I unraveled that one yesterday and decided to just do a row of yarnovers, a knit row, and a picot bind-off. The yarnovers will separate the bind-off like a border and also make certain it is loose enough to allow for proper lace blocking. I'm not declaring victory yet, but it's going well so far.

I want that shawl done, and those needles free for my green sweater! I've decided on Tussie Mussie from the Fall '07 Knitty. My yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Oh, if you're a Twist Yarn Shop customer, check out the black Oblique cardigan on display there. (I just realized that's from the same issue of Knitty as Tussie Mussie and Mr. Greenjeans, which I knitted last fall and wore all winter. Love Knitty!) I knitted Oblique with the KAL there, and they're picking it back up. Check it out fast because once it gets cold, I'm stealing my sweater back. I haven't worn it yet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sad sock


I've been going through my pictures and my Ravelry projects trying to get things caught up. There are several projects lacking pictures and several pictures without project listings and lots and lots of pictures and projects that need to be added.

This is a sock that didn't make the cut. See, it even has sad cell phone pictures? I didn't even bother finding the camera for this when I decided to frog the sock a few weeks ago.

I love this pattern (from the Fall '08 Interweave Knits.) I love this yarn (Fibranatura Yummy.) I even like the way they look together. But two things doomed this sock to the frog pond: a gauge issue, and a knitter issue. I was knitting this sock on size 0 needles, which gave me a good gauge for fitting the sock, but it was really too tight for the yarn. It was making my hands hurt, which is bad. Also, this pattern has two different charts for the two different feet. In the magazine, they give you the instructions for the right sock first, but the chart for the left sock is on the left (thus first, in my mind.) You got it. I knitted the wrong chart, and it really messes everything up. So, away the sock went. I will knit these socks (left one first) and I will use this yarn, but not together.


Still running. I'm doing more pilates between running days in hopes that my lower legs will be happier that way. Don't worry, I'm taking care of myself. My whole body is responding well to the running, and I know I could run faster, but my lower legs are not happy when I do, so I slow down. Don't make fun of me if you see me out jogging along with my short legs. lol. I used Google maps to track the route the hubby and I took this morning, and it says we went 1.8 miles. My pedometer said 1.77 miles and I wasn't sure whether I could believe it, but it seems like it was pretty accurate (assuming Google maps can be trusted.) We ran for 3 minutes at a time today (walked 90 seconds between) and it felt good.

Friday is "Walk to School" day here, and I think we'll walk the younger kids to school and then run a convoluted route home. We'll have to go the opposite direction and then come back or do some wacky loops to fit the whole run in between the school and home.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mmmmm, cake.


This is the cake I made for my daughter M's birthday at the beginning of April. Hmmm. Seems I may be a little behind on the blogging. Isn't it cute? It was yummy, too. We made a banana cake with chocolate frosting. The face is vanilla frosting mixed with a little peanut butter. The recipe was on

So, about food . . . My sister's boyfriend (a fitness fanatic) is always saying that exercising will make you less hungry. Now, I will agree that it makes me crave healthier things, but less hungry? No way! The days I run I feel like I am starving all day. Starving! I could eat a whole cow. OK, maybe not a whole cow, but definitely a big steak. I usually make do with a hard-boiled egg, because I figure that means I need some protein.

Hubby made dinner (4 courses) all on the grill on Wednesday. It took a crazy long time. We decided that we don't expect to use those particular recipes again, but he's planning to do the grill again tomorrow. (I hope it's not raining at dinner time.) He got these recipes out of Men's Health magazine. There was a salad with grilled shrimp (yummy,) quesadillas (fine, but easier in the oven,) grilled corn on the cob (good) with a chipotle sauce (not so good,) and vanilla ice cream with a caramelized rum sauce (which didn't turn out right.) In any case, food I didn't have to cook is always better than the alternative.

Today was the third run of week 2. The hubby came with me again. It was pouring down rain (but no lightning) so we got good and soaked. I love the rain. It got me thinking about winter, though. I will run in the cold this year. Last year the cold (along with all the stress that was my life last year) got the best of me. If I can run in the rain, I can run in the cold. But what about when it's slippery? I suppose I will just deal with that when it happens. Maybe that membership to the Y would be the way to go. I am determined to keep going this time.

My calves will thank me for two days of rest, I'm sure. Week 3 running happens MWF next week. I think the hubby will keep running with me. We had a chat about the sudden interest in a healthier lifestyle and he admitted that he knows he's quickly approaching his mid-30s, which he says is not as young as he once was. Hee. He may be getting cuter in his "old" age. Ha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The hubby came running with me today. He wasn't working today, so he was glad to come along. We got back home well before he leaves for work normally anyway, so we'll see if he tags along again. I think he enjoyed it. He's been surprising lately: reading Men's Health magazine, volunteering to cook dinner on the nights he's home at dinnertime. It's fantastic. A helpful man who is finally getting interested in taking good care of himself. He's never been a plump fellow, and still isn't, but his suit didn't fit for my grandma's funeral and I don't think he liked that. Plus, I think he sees how much better my mood is when I've been taking care of myself. I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

Because we've been pictureless lately, here are some belated pictures of our silly underwater bathroom. We have three bathrooms in the new house, one more than the old house. This is the basement bathroom, which is across the hall from my two oldest girls' bedrooms. Seems like a great place for a fun theme to me. (Sorry for the sideways pics. Didn't have time to fix them today.)

The kids and I all smeared the white walls with whatever paint we had on hand and thought would make a nice water color.

Then, a couple weeks later, we all grabbed our smaller brushes and painted whatever "under the sea" things we liked. The whole family jumped in, all four kids and the hubby and I.

The woodwork and floor required a real cleanup, but it was worth it. Fun! We don't have pictures of it here, but I painted some really tall (and some not so tall) sea plants to fill in some of the space between other things.

In any case, it's a cheerful place to be (and pee.) Ha. :p

Monday, September 08, 2008

Still running, still knitting.

Still running. :) I'm doing couch-to-5K (again.) I made it to week 3 the last time. I'm on week 2 now. I'm definitely enjoying it more this time. I haven't managed to drag the hubby out with me yet. I didn't even get out on Friday, afflicted with 2 sick children. (They're fine now. Minor stomach bug.) Thanks, Stefaneener for the tip about the *ahem* intimate lives of couples who exercise together. That should hold some sway with the hormonally ravaged man. Oh, yeah only him. No one else. ;) I know he can't resist touching my back when I tell him to after I work out, even though he should know by now that I just want to gross him out with the sweat. (Sorry, was that TMI?) Anyway, he's either really dumb or unable to resist. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the one that makes me sound more desirable.

Knitting! Yes, I have been. I don't think I mentioned that I designed a sock for the Twist On Your Toes sock of the month club in July. They're the Bamboo Lace socks. I have to say I rather like them. :) Weird to be called a designer, though.

I was plagued by some kind of yarn-munching monster for a while there. (No, not moths! Knock on cedar.) I was only knitting two projects and I ran out of yarn on both. Annoying! One was a towel I was knitting on the fly (no pattern.) Totally my fault that I ran out. I knew I was going to, but I erroneously thought that yellow dishcloth cotton would not be difficult to procure. It took me weeks to find some! When I finally found some, I bought three more balls even though I thought I would only need two. Turns out I just needed slightly less than one. Oh well. The towel is now gracing my bathroom. :) The other project was a shawl. I should have had plenty of yarn, but halfway through the border, I ran out. It's particularly annoying because I don't need all that much more, but it only comes in a monstrous 1375 yd skein. Of course I bought the one I used out-of-town a couple years ago. Ugh. It's in timeout until I decide to suck it up and buy another skein. What will I do with all the leftover Skacel Merino Lace, color 91? :p

OK, enough whining. I have been having fun, too. I'm knitting socks for me, my 11 yo daughter, and a Jeanie shawl for fun. Up next are socks for the other three kids. We'll see how long I can hold off the green sweater yarn that's calling to me from across the room. "Knit me! Knit me!" Silly yarn. It doesn't have to act so desperate.

Enough rambling for now! It's cooling down here in Kansas. Crisp leaves, sweater weather, and lit fireplaces are around the corner.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Am I a runner?

First off, thanks to everyone for the condolences on my grandma's death. She was a great lady. The services were so nice, and the priest knew her very well. He gave a great eulogy during the homily. Afterward, Saturday, many of us went back to my parents' house and stayed until bedtime. It was great to catch up with family we don't have unstructured time with very often. Turns out my cousin's husband is some kind of board game aficionado. He was like the cruise director for anyone he could rope into playing. I discovered that if you sat at the table, even just to see what was going on, you were in the game. No backing out! You were learning the rules to obscure board games no matter how little brain power you had at that moment. We asked if he's busy Fridays (when we have family dinner) because it was a lot of unexpected fun.

Now about running . . . I've been doing it. Yesterday I had the first run of my life that I can genuinely say I enjoyed while I was running. In my very short, very sporadic running life, I have only ever enjoyed it when it was done. You know, like, "Hey! I did it! I did something very unpleasant that is good for me!" But yesterday I caught myself smiling instead of grimacing. I found a comfortable pace. I looked at the clouds that were spitting rain on me and saw how pretty they were. I was even friendly to the barking dogs running along the other side of fences.

I'm not even too sore today. I can feel that I did it in that good "my muscles worked" way, not in that "I don't think I can stand" way. I'm dragging my husband out with me in the morning. I convinced him that it will be like a date. Heh heh heh.

Does this mean I'm a runner? Only time will tell, but I just may be after all.