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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stretching Ones Self

I've never liked going to the gym, but I've always liked exercising. I know, that sounds kind of odd, right? Well, my problem with gyms is I like to exercise alone. My favorite time to hit the gym is between 0200 and 0400 in the morning because it tends to be empty and I can do my own thing without interruption. I can't even tell you the times and ways that people have found to interrupt me when I have my sweat mojo going on. I've had the usual meat market flirting, and also the sales pitches for vitamins and diet plans. It's ridiculous. But beyond that, I seem to get the same overcrowded anxiety at the gym as I do when I'm in a bar and the crowd starts getting really rowdy. I have no idea why, it's just one of those things and I thank all the Gods for twenty four hour gyms.

And in my recent return to the gyms, I've forgotten how much I used to enjoy yoga classes. They seem to be an exception to my rule regarding crowded gyms when you're in the presence of a good instructor. They somehow seem to be able to make me feel like I'm the only person in the room and that my attempts at any pose is good. Unfortunately my gym that I'm a member of has gone to the "hot yoga" scene. I hate being hot, and I can't see why I would lock myself in a sauna room to leave a puddle on the floor and my yoga mat. Sorry, it's just not my thing.

The last couple of nights I've been noticing how tight my legs and pelvis specifically seem to be, so tonight while I had the computer cranked on, I went ahead and got onto iTunes and downloaded some yoga videos. And tonight, though I struggled through 30minutes of yoga, I feel so much better. The last little video had an instructor that reminded you to stop, take a moment for yourself throughout the day so you can give more of you to others. And it's that, that I miss about yoga class. Taking a yoga class after a heavy workout that is more tuned to what my body alone needs, always reminded me that I was doing this for me. It brought my head and heart back into the work out.

So, for now, it's me and my yoga videos on the computer, but I urge you to find that one things that re-engages you into your day and do it for you.

Have a great weekend,

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Knitting Update: Paquito

So, believe it or not, in all the other hectic craziness that has been my life the last bit (I think an insane part of my brain likes it like that), I have in fact been knitting.

I got these done for myself, which I am loving.

They are very comfortable.
And I got clue 2 of the Stephen West Mystery Knit Along done yesterday, just in time to get clue 3 today. 

But I fear I do have to be honest. I don't like it as a knit for myself. Now, before everyone jumps to Stephen's defense, let me just clarify... I don't like it as a knit for myself. There is nothing wrong with the design or pattern thus far, I am justr not enjoying it. I have found that regarding Stephen's designs there seems to be two main camps. Those that love them, love working his patterns, and adore the man himself. And then the rest of us, who can appreciate his design work, but don't particularly love his knitting up his work.

I am falling into this second category, but I promise to give it another whorl. I will finish this piece and promise to do another of his pieces outside of a knit along. Heck, it mght just be the mystery knit along that i'm not enjoying. So, I will try again, but thus far if I'm going to rave about a male knitter/designer, I'm still a Jared Flood man myself. Nothing personal guys, just a personal taste as far as styles.

How's that for trying to keep the uproar to a minimum? I must really be tired this morning if I'm trying for diplomacy.

As for the weight loss, I wore away my retreat pounds already and am sitting at my goa despite my naughty cooking for Bob's sisters stay with us...

Gotta love lasagna. And I have to say, my lasagna is damn good lasagna, even if I can't have moose meat and reindeer sausage like back home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Have you ever had one of those trips where you have looked forward to it for so long, then love it while your there and hate it as it ends but by the time you get home, it just feels so good to walk in the front door? Well, this years Men's Rocky Mountain Knitting Retreat was exactly that for me. I really didn't want it to draw to a close, but now that I'm home I am having a hard time finding reasons to leave the house.

It was a blast as it was expected to be, but I was much more comfortable going into it knowing that I'd know most of the people present . That alone I think made it a much more enjoyable time and easier on me to just relax and have fun around a group. That, and it was arranged by the dynamic duo Brank and Frady. Oops, I mean Frank and Brady. They do such a wonderful job pulling together all the pieces to this event that it is quickly becoming my Christmas in July. Well, minus the family members yelling at one another, other peoples tears and the rage that only family holiday's spent stuck under one roof can bring.

Now, the only problem I can see is that I'm having such fun just being there, I always forget to pull out the camera. I did take it with on our trip of Trailridge Road from Estes Park to Granby and got a couple pictures, but that was it. Seriously, 4 days and all I could manage was these few pictures. As much as I love photography, my fingers would much rather be in the yarn.

So, here they are.
Rocky Mountain National Park from above
Gene looking a little mischievous...
A pretty little pose from Tim in an effort to be even cuter. I don't think it's possible.
Frank giving us a sunny smile while Joe is being, well, Joe.
Kurtis looking absolutely disgusted with me and my camera
I love mountains...
Thank you so much to everyone for a lovely weekend knitting in the mountains. Tucker and I truly appreciated the mini vacation. You were all so much fun to hang out with. Especially QJoe and Bob who made a long drive amazingly fun and full of laughs, Frank and Brady for putting it all together, and Cathy and Cory for providing shelter and amazing eats.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not To Sound Vain Or Anything...

But seriously, in the words of Ellen DeGeneres, "That's my butt."

I'm even doing that face you do as you check out your own ass as I say this. For those of you who read this regularly you may have picked up that I've been working on getting my "Wyoming" weight off. Today I officially exceeded my goal and this morning as I wondered Wal-Mart and found they had wranglers on sale, I bought some new pants. And I have to say, I like being back in my old size, even if it is self congratulatory to stand there and take pics of my own ass to share.

So, before people start harping, I'm 5'8" and only wanted to get back to my twenties 165 pounds from the thirties 190. I refused to breach the 200 limit. I'm done losing and am now working at keeping it here through diet and lots and lots of activity/exercise. And why the lean on exercise? Because as those who have been to my house for dinner, you know I like to cook. I like to eat, and I think pigs are frigg'n magic. What else can explain an animal we feed slop, out of season cabbage and bruised apples and tehy make bacon!?! It's magic I say.

My family has some weight associated health problems that I REALLY don't want to deal with as my age creeps ever higher and since I am already having cholesterol issues, I decided to take a new approach. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to run marathons, and I don't want to be super skinny, but I needed to clean up the diet, remember I love vegetables and fruit again and stop sitting around knitting all the time and occasionally get up off the now better looking ass and move a bit (and by that I don't mean spinning... not quite reaching the target heart rate with that one alone there).

So, I'm going to get back to packing for this retreat that I am taking  the Tucker boy with on and leaving Bob and all the other kids at home to pine away. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend because I know I will as I sit in the cool mountains eating, knitting, and getting the occasional run in.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spoiler Alert: Stephen West MKAL 2012

Okay, for my few non-knitter readers, a MKAL is a mystery knit-a-long. Basically a bunch of crazy people sign up for some self torture by buying a pattern that they get in pieces on a schedule that offer no pictures just directions or clues as to how to finish a "mystery" object. I was somehow talked into doing such an item (I have to admit, it's kind of fun), and am posting pictures here of the first weeks clue. There are four clues to this particular pattern released over 4 consecutive weeks.

And for any others that are not in the know, Stephen West is as a well known male knit wear designer.

I got this piece of the shawl (we happen to know that it is going to be a shawl in the end, but that's about it) finished early this morning in the wee quiet hours of work. Now I have a long wait until Friday for the next part of the puzzle.

I originally fell prey to the idea of this project on Thursday of last week. I picked out my two yarns that we were instructed to and promptly forgot them at the yarn store. So in my irritation I went stash diving and replaced one of the yarns with the green kettle dyed fingering weight yarn that I got from Gypsy Wool last year on our Rocky Mountain Men Who Knit knitting retreat. This is coming up here at the end of the week and I thought it would be appropriate to take a project with me that was utilizing some yarn I got there last year. I think the slight color changes in the green contrast beautifully with the solid dark chocolate brown of the Cascade Heritage 150. I just finished a pair of socks with some camel colored yarn of this same brand and a pair of yoga socks with Cascade Quatro Sock yarn. They are both good yarns, but I have to say, teh Heritage 150 has me sold for any future socks for myself. It's a nice thick cushy merino/nylon blend that knits up wonderfully. Quatro is a bit harsher feeling and busy for my taste for socks for me, but I still found it to be a good yarn.

I've ever done a KAL, much less a mystery KAL, or a Stephen West pattern. So far it's been a nice little project though the repeats to get this curved item were enough to make me want to scream. It felt like the ribbing on the top of a sock. You know you're just about done when you want to drive your own knitting needles into your eyes to get out of doing anymore.

So, it's time for me to go off to bed. I probably won't get around to another blog post until after the retreat. Hope you all have a great week and weekend! Stay safe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Hub Bub

You know that which I speak. It seems as though a summer never has the time in it to get all the items on ones list done. And today as July creeps on, and I look to returning to work this week, I am once again struck that I never have the time nor energy to get everything on my lists done.

Part of it is the listlessness that the heat brings on. I've been thankful for this weeks hovering in the eighties and low nineties (I never thought I'd utter such words as an Alaskan kid, but they're true nonetheless), and part of it is just sheer madness when we set our goals and write our lists.

One of the items on my list has been successful. Only one, and I hope to keep it up. I have lost my Wyoming wight and am down to my goal weight. Let's pray I can keep it there. I was just berating myself trying  to talk myself into going to the gym a little while ago when the yelling of nerves from my lower extremities finally got my attention and made me decide gym be damned, I was going to shower and sit and knit. My legs had finally gotten through that summer goal oriented madness to let me know that since I got out of bed this morning, I had only sat down long enough to drive to and from the dog park. At all other times, I've been up and moving, including meal times. This included three dog walks of no less than 45 minutes each, cooking, cleaning, and this weeks big project.

And by big project, I mean big ol'slice of crazy pie. You see, I gave myself three short days to make the utterly cluttered and dusty "office" into the guest bedroom it was intended to be. This included getting all the crap sorted into the trash stash, the store stash, and the move the hell out of the room so I can move it all back in shortly stash.

I would like to say with some pride, that the trash stash was impressive and I felt a sense of relief as the garbage truck was able to lift the mightily filled dumpster without tipping this morning and permanently removing said trash stash.

You see, this,
transitioned to this,
and finally late this evening, became this since yesterday around noon.
And in this process I've learned, and relearned some simple truths about projects and myself. These are as follows:

1. I hate painting. Always have.
2. More than painting, I hate wall paper.
3. I REALLY hate painting.
4. If I hope that the inventor of wall paper is in a special place like the sweaty stifling ass crack of hell. That's where they'd be if there were any justice in this world.
5. Did I mention how much I hate painting? If not, I really F'n hate it.
6. If I knew where the woman who put all the god forsaken wall paper in this house was, I'd make her strip it from the walls under threat of death. Hell, I'd even make her paint.
7. I will never volunteer myself for such a project with Bob out of town again (Who am I kidding? I also painted the exterior by myself one summer, I hate people under my feet when I'm fuming with a brush in my hand. Throw's off my head of steam for the internal and sometimes not so internal bitching at the unfairness of the world).
8. I will never buy another house with plaster walls and/or wall paper again.

I think that's all of them. My hatred of painting harkens back to my youth where I somehow always managed to get the task of painting things on my summer vacation's to do list. Those picket fences are so pretty... Ever had to paint one? I remember one time my older brother being a typical older brother as I painted a batch of replacement pickets and me hurling one at him like a javelin. It luckily missed him. It unfortunately impaled a bag of fertilizer he had been hefting. That section of yard never truly recovered.

I never thought that I'd be painting a room blue in this house. When we moved in we had the entire spectrum of light pastelish blues from robin's egg to baby blue throughout the entire upstairs with matching curtains and wall paper. This last hold out was the least horrid of the rooms (after we took down the doll that the previous owner had left because it matched the wall paper so nicely. No, really, I'm not kidding), and therefore got delayed. Then, it became the ditch it all office where things just kept getting put instead of put away. I'm sure many of you have such a room too. But I got word that my mom is actually looking at coming to visit this fall, as well as one of Bob's sisters is coming at the end of this month post knee surgery. And with that thought I realized we needed to move the guest bedroom upstairs.

Sounds logical, right? Except Bob had to leave town this week, I go back to work for a full set on Friday night and then leave for Colorado giving us three days upon my return to make a room inhabitable that won't require going down a steep narrow flight of stairs to another wall paper festooned room. So, I set to work. Not saying it's all done. Most of it, yes, but not all. I still need to do another ceiling paint coating that I thought was done until the new light fixture went in... Yikes! Then there's trim work, and we probably won't get to repainting the closet to match until Bob's sister has come and gone. But, the walls will be nice looking, I'll pull some art out of storage and all movies and music are orderly and tidy on new shelves downstairs. Bob will have to deal with that desk I didn't do anything but move and cover it. You see, that's his documentation mess and I think there are somethings that the owner of such stash's have to deal with. Other peoples hands in such things cause break ups, and other general hate and discontent. Then with a new bed in place and the office placed back into the corner in a neat and orderly fashion, Wa La, a guest bedroom is born. I promise, next week I will get a pic up before I head to the retreat.

So, just to make things worse on myself I had people over Friday for a knit night for me to pretend to think I could get a set of socks done this week. And Monday I felt the need to bake. Don't ask, I don't know...
But the nectarine, apricot, blueberry crisp was delicious. And then all the other things one has to get done. Needless to say, very little of my summer to do list has been completed, including blogging, but hey, I'm at 163 pounds and if I keep moving like my legs are telling me I have today, I'll be keeping it off. Screw the gym.

Oh, and I made a discovery. Protein based tearless dog shampoos, strip wall paper glue from plaster walls amazingly well. Don't ask, it was late and I wasn't paying close attention to bottles, but it was a happy accident, unlike when the bucket handle failed and the bucket hit that pretty wood floor and exploded... Remember that not so internal bitching I spoke of? Yeah, there was some of that. Poor dogs just took themselves outside to let me cool down. Well, all but Sullivan who promptly shoved the couch out of his way and hid behind it. Gentle souls should not hang out around me.