Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mama!

Today is the birthday of the person who brought me into the world!

My sissy beat me sending mama a happy birthday facebook message this morning at 5:45 by like 3 minutes.  DANG!

Mom, I hope Dad takes you out for a nice dinner tonight.  Somewhere better than Old Country Buffet or Wendy's.

Thank you for teaching me so much over the years.  I just wish I would have picked up some of your cooking skills.  Thank goodness the knitting gene passed down!

You are an awesome Grandma, and my kids will never get enough of your zucchini bread or pumpkin pie.

If I am half the mom you are to me, I know I will have done a good job!

Love you more than you will ever know!!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pet Peeves, part 2

I seemed to have gotten through to a few of you pretty personally in my Pet Peeves post last week.  It's so good to know that I'm not alone!  I thought I'd share some of the comments I got, because I can totally relate with them too!

1.  Kristen hates it when you bring in something for servicing, such as a cell phone, and it takes way longer than it's supposed to, nobody can tell you what the heck is going on, and they ding you for extras you weren't planning on.  HATE!

2.  A few contributors cannot stand mis-pronunciation of words that are really not that complicated to pronounce.  Examples:  eXpecially, accrossT, simUlar, etc, etc, etc...  Come on people!  Shall we have a looksee at how these words are spelled?

3.  Kelly B mentioned that slow drivers are a paaaaain.  I couldn't agree more.  Or when someone drives slow in the left lane and makes me take off my cruise control - and never scoots over to the right lane!  UGH!!!

4.  Kim hates that the lid to the Pringles can does not fit on to the bottom of the can for an easy storage place while you are enjoying the Pringles found inside.  I gotta say Kim, I haven't thought of that as and idea so I've never gotten peeved by it, but it's GENIOUS.  You should totally sell that idea to Pringles and make a mil.

5.  Kim's Pringle idea did make me thing of another thing that I hate.  Why can't all companies that sell canned goods make their cans so they fit together when you stack them in the cupboard?  Some companies do, but I like to buy those little cans of mushrooms and olives and throw them in spaghetti sauce because they are just the right amount for one batch of sauce.  I can't tell you the number of times a stack of those suckers have fallen over in my cupboard.  ANNOYING!

And a few more that I thought of...

6.  Finding a hair product you love, and then having it discontinued or changed.  Now, I realize that many of you do not have to deal with the rat's nest of hair that I do on a daily basis, so hair product may not be as important to you, but really this goes for many things - perfect shade of lipstick, your favorite bra (sorry, males), a yummy perfume.  Seriosly Dove, I used your mousse for curly hair for like 2 years, and it was like buttah in my hair.  LOVED it.  Then you went and changed it and now it's grody and feels like I really actually coated my hair with butter.  Not buttah, but butter.  Ick.  You lost me as a customer, I'm sorry to say.  And let me tell you, I go through the hair product.

7.  The shoelace on my left shoe comes untied all the time.  Last night on my walk it came untied three times.  Can't you just follow the good behavior of your sister, the right shoelace, and stay nicely tied while mama does her workouts?

8.  When you are at a party where everyone brings a dish to share, and you load up your plate with all the deliciousness, and you take way more dip than you did chips, so you look like an oinker putting a mountain of dip on one measly chip so you can use them up at the same time and not get up to go get more chips.  Wow, that was a long sentence.

9.  Can we just talk for a minute about how expensive it is for my children to attend PUBLIC school?  (I can't remember if I've already whined about this or not, so I apologize if it's a repeat.)  School supplies.  Picture day.  Lunch tickets.  Book orders.  Clothing orders.  Party fund fees.  Field trips.  School store.  Football games.  Hockey games.  Lordy me.  I can remember back to when I was so excited to stop paying for daycare.  Then came hockey and dance and all this other school stuff.

10.  Migraines.  Period.  End of story.  I wish to never get another so long as I'm alive.  I'm so tired of trying to figure out triggers.  Just STOP already.

11.  Dirty dishes left in my sink.  I know I'm not the best at emptying the dishwasher immediately after it's done (or making the kids do it).  And I really do appreciate them in the sink instead of on the coffee table in the living room.  But honestly, I'd 99% of the time prefer them to be on the counter so the sink is still usable. 

I know for a fact as soon as I hit "publish" on this post, I'll think of another 10 pet peeves that I could have mentioned (hey - there's another one.  Publishing, and then thinking of something else you meant to say!) but I think that's good for now.  Hopefully you can relate to a few, and they will make you smile.

I'm headed for a walk tonight with my girl Julie, if this migraine doesn't get too bad.  We shall see!



P.S.  None of these pet peeves apply to any of you, of course.  Because anyone that reads my blog is exempt from annoying me and is dubbed awesome forever and ever and happily ever after, Amen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend stuff

I had a great weekend of nothin too special.  Just the way I like it.

Friday night, BOTH kids went to the high school football game and Nate and I found ourselves on the couch at home.  With no children.  It was SO weird.

I had big plans for Saturday.  They included the beginning of the household purge.  I don't know who did it, or how they did it, but the time really sped up on Saturday and I ran out of it.  Needless to say, the purge didn't happen.  I did squeeze in a 3.16 mile walk in the afternoon, and used a new app on my phone to track my progress.  It's very cool.  I'll tell you all about it soon.  Saturday night we watched Oceans Thirteen while I knitted a few things for my upcoming craft sale.  I hope you can come!  More deets to follow.

Sunday afternoon, we headed out to the front yard.  The air show was going on, and we don't live too far from the airport.  We caught a few planes as they'd circle around and come back into the viewing area at the grandstand. 

I'm not even going to pretend that I know anything about planes/jets, so I'll just say that they went fast.

And they were loud.

Sometimes three flew together.

I'm sure the commercial passenger pilots were very annoyed by all the traffic.

Sometimes a bunch flew together and turned their smoke on.

C'mon lil fella!  Catch up!

I believe these red and white ones are called Snowbirds and they came down from Canada for our show.

They flew by this way...

And that way.

It was pretty fun to sit on the tailgate of your truck and watch them go by.  The weather was gorgeous.  The days are getting colder, and I looked like a big dork with the hood on my sweatshirt up and tied tightly.  But its my job to embarass my kids as often as I can.  The kids threw a football around and were actually laughing and playing together and nobody ended up hurt or crying.

I think I need about another month of non-freezing weather overnight for the ONE watermelon (and 20 other flowers that are still blooming!) I got in my garden to grow big enough to make it worth while!  Dangit.  I got about 4 decent pumpkins also, but they just didn't get time to grow big.  They just took so long to fruit after blooming.  Frustrating!

Morgan and I worked on another project (because, you know, we didn't have enough to do) of hand washing some raw fleece that Nate's uncle gave me, fresh off of his sheep!  It's a tedious, smelly process, but also pretty cool.  I did use a little of it yesterday in a pair of mittens I'm making myself for the upcoming hockey season.  I will show you more of this process later too.

I didn't exercise at all on Sunday, and went to bed feeling pretty guilty about it.  I know I need to do more if I really want to see some results.  I'm proud of my long walk on Saturday, but I really should have done something Sunday.  Before I knew it, the Emmy's were on, and I didn't want to shut them off.  I should have planned ahead better.  Well, today will be better.  I will either walk or listen to Jillian yell at me tonight.  Gotta.

I hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still Goin' Strong!!

First of all, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of you that have commented either on my blog, or my facebook page, or sent me texts, emails, etc regarding this whole thing I'm trying to do.  You all have NO idea how important these little words of encouragement are to me.  I find myself wanting to complete my workouts so I can tell you all about them!  Knowing that you all are pulling for me to succeed is a huge motivator!

Last night was Hockey Mom's Club, and I think I made a pretty healthy choice of a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad.  I did have two glasses of wine and a cupcake (we were celebrating a birthday!) but I think splurging a little every now and then is perfectly fine.  I was too tired when I got home to let Jillian make me all sweaty, so I didn't work out, but I did THIS MORNING!  YEEEE HAAAW!  I really, really didn't want to, but I knew that with skipping last night, and that cupcake still working its way through my body, I should.  My eyes were open at 5:00 this morning, and as I was laying there thinking about my day, I thought "ok.  I could lay here for 45 minutes until the alarm goes off and check my Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds, or I could get my patootie up and go work out.  It was a HARD choice, but as soon as I started doing those jumping jacks, I knew I had made the right one.  It felt GREAT to have it done by 6:00 AM.  Now tonight I get to reward myself with some knitting time over at my mama's while Morgan is at dance class!

I have not weighed myself in a few days.  I probably should have before the outing last night, but that's ok.  I think tomorrow may be the day.  I don't want to get too consumed with worry over that number - rather how my clothes are fitting.  (Plus, my scale is very old and crappy)

So again, thank you for the kind words.  Please keep them coming.  I really need them to keep going with this!

Um, kinda glad she isn't in my living room in real life screaming at me.  While I'm sure it's effective for some, I'd probably cry.  Just an FYI.



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Remember the name of my blog? Yeah.

I guess I won't go as far as to say that I HATE cooking.  Hate is a pretty strong word.  But I will say that right now, I strongly dislike it.

In case you hadn't noticed, I've been on a canning spree lately.  I can't stop.  I do love this time of year for all the garden yumminess that is everywhere you look., and I love being able to pop a jar open in January and enjoy what you preserved the previous summer.

I made blueberry jam and pickled green beans.  Both turned out great.  Nate and I had really gotten our canning system down, and we really started to bust through them.  So I decided to go a little crazy and try salsa.  We were getting a ton of tomatoes from our CSA (more than we could eat) and I didn't want to get too crazy and make something like spaghetti sauce with them.  PSsssh.  When we were at the softball tournament about a month ago, one of Nate's cousins brought out a jar of home-made salsa that she had made and so graciously shared the recipe with me.  I knew it would be pretty tedious, since the only food processor that I have holds approximately 1 Cup at a time (bet you didn't think I had one at all, did you???), and pretty much only turns things the consistancy of tomato juice.  But I decided to give it a go anyways since we had a Sunday afternoon free, and a crap load of ripe tomatoes.

(sorry for lack of pictures.  I wasn't going to blog about the salsa at all because I was sure it would turn out awesome and I didn't want to talk about all of its awesomeness because after all, this is NOT a cooking blog.)

So all went well with the salsa.  Actually, it did turn out pretty awesome, but I was a little disappointed because although I had followed the recipe, it was a bit spicier than what I had tasted before.  I got over it though, and realized that I probably didn't really want it to turn out too awesome because of this weight I'm trying to lose.

Well then yesterday afternoon I got a text from my sis-in-law asking if I still wanted tomatoes that I had asked for previously.  She had a bunch ripe and ready for me if I did.  Aww heck, why not?  I'll make another batch that's more mild this time!  Plus, I had most of the ingredients on hand now since I hadn't used them all up the night before.  I would just use less jalapenos, less cherry peppers, and less red pepper flakes.  Awesome.

So I spent a good chunk of last night chopping and chopping and chopping again.  Cherry peppers, green peppers, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, and all the rest of the stuff.  Oh, and then NATE told me I should cut up the two peppers that we had sitting in the fridge.  I had forgotten about them.  They came in our CSA share last week.  Since I hate to let stuff go bad in my fridge, I chopped them up and added them to the pot.  Cooked it up, canned it all, and put the leftovers that wouldn't fit into the jars into a small kitchen bowl for us to try out.

This GD salsa is hotter than the first batch.  I am furious.  I even wrote "hot" on the lids of the first batch.  Now I will have to write "super hot" on the second batch. 

I guess those dang CSA peppers were a little hotter than we had planned on!  Good lord I about jumped through the ceiling at the first taste of it.  It is being saved now for those in the family that don't have such a Minnesota mouth as I do.  Grrrrrrrrrrr.

On a happier note, after the kitchen was cleaned up, I took out my frustrations on Jillian last night, and KICKED HER BUTT.  Yesssss.  See?  Hot.  Sweaty. Burned calories.

Hate.  Cooking.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Off again, ON again!

So, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you will remember back to This Post which was over a year ago, when I saw a gross picture of myself and decided that it was time to lose weight.

I was doing really well for about a month, and only lost 5 pounds, and gave up.

I gave up.

I hate that in order for me to lose weight, I have to work SO HARD at it.  It's not fair.

Woe is me, right?

Well, I went through the whole year pretty much eating whatever I wanted and sitting my growing behind on my couch.  Since I'm so cheap frugal, I never wanted to go spend money on myself, so I'd pour myself into my pants every day for work and not buy new ones that actually fit.  I'm sure I looked/look rediculous.  I'm very very embarassed on where I am right now with all of this.  I find myself not wanting to be very social, because although I've never had anyone say anything to me about my weight, I am always worried about what they are thinking.  Especially people that I haven't seen for a while.

Things have been starting to catch up to me and I'm feeling the effects of carrying around all these extra pounds.  My back is sore all the time.  My left ankle is bothering me.  When I do walk for any amount of distance, my hips begin to hurt.  That's not right for a 36 year old.

Before I committed to changing my behavior this time, I started reading some very inspiring blogs.  One in particular that is written by a mom of two young boys who has gone through this weight loss journey a few times, and often writes about how awesome she feels after a workout.  I really like her philosophy that the best way to go about all of this is to watch what you eat, and move your body.  That's it.  No magic pills, or drinks, or anything else.  Just make your mind up, and do it.  She is so VERY inspiring to me.

So last week, I worked out 4 out of 7 days, doing Jillian's 30 day Shred.  I'm starting out pretty slowly, but that's ok with me.  I am just proud of myself for doing it 4 days.  I love sore muscles after working out!  Also, I've been more aware of what I'm eating, and taking smaller portions.  At the beginning of the week when I stepped on the scale and it told me that I was 2 pounds lighter than I was two days before giving birth to Andy, I knew it was time.

So, heeeeeere we go!  Are you with me?



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pet Peeves

I'm kinda crabby today, for no real good reason.  Do you ever have those days?  Things are just bugging me more than normal today.  Can't quite put my finger on it.  But I figured it was a good day to make a list of my pet peeves, and share them with you!  Why the heck not, right???

So here goes:

1.  Cleaning soap scum out of my shower.  Good grief it builds up so fast and I cannot find a good product that really works like all those commercials say they will.  Just spray it on and wipe it off?  Yeah, right.  Maybe if you have the muscles of an iron man.
2.  Opening my yogurt and having a little explosion that will always land one drop on my shirt.  I especially hate this when I'm at work.  Which is almost every day.  You'd think I'd learn to open it away from me.
3.  Improper use of there, their, they're, your, you're, to, too, two, etc.  Seriously.  These came home on Morgan's third grade spelling lists, people.  I'm not talking about the occasional slip-up on an email to your BFF or something, but when someone constantly updates THEIR Facebook status incorrectly, I get a twitch in my eye that won't stop.
4.  My metabolism isn't what it used to be.  This is plain old dumb.  Hate it.  Maybe I want a bowl of ice cream at 9:00PM.  Well sure, I can have it - but not if I want my pants to fit tomorrow.
5.  Someone at my office continually makes the second pot of coffee without making sure the contents of the first pot are completely gone.  I get that the pot is silver and you can't see into it.  Maybe it would be beneficial to just give it a dump in the sink that is 17 inches away from the coffee maker.  I really do appreciate that you are not taking the last of the coffee and sneaking out of the kitchen without making a new one, but seriously, COME ON!  And why am I ALWAYS the one to find the overflow and clean it up?  It's kinda like the roll of toilet paper, I guess.
6.  Punk kids that hang out in the skywalk after school and creep me out.  They are creepy.  And I'm pretty sure mom wouldn't approve if she could see your behavior right now.  (wow I just sounded really old)
7.  People that take shortcuts that end up causing more work for me.  I will keep this one vague, and just leave it at that.
8.  Running out of yarn with something like 12 rows left of your project.  Not only is it tricky to find the same dye lot, but then when you are done, you have 97% of a skein of yarn left.  And when you are that close to the end of something, the last thing you want to do is put the project down and run to the store.  You just want to finish that sucker!
9.  Frost on windshields in the morning that is too thick to spray your washer fluid on and just have it melt away with assistance from your wipers.
10.  Being late.  Ooo it burns me when someone is late for a meeting with me, so I try very, very hard to not be late for things.  This is tough when you have children who daydream.
11.  Food that goes bad in my fridge.   I hate wasting food.
12.  Car insurance.  You pay someone for years and years and years.  Then when you finally have to submit a claim, your premiums go up.  Whaaa?  What about the thousands I've already paid you???
13.  People who are rude to someone working in the service industry.  (waitresses, cashiers, etc)  Or, I guess rude people in general.
14.  The fact that technology advances faster than cell phone contracts expire.

I could go on and on and on, but my lunch break is almost over.  And the longer I think of my pet peeves, the more peeved I get, so I should probably just stop here.

What are some of your pet peeves?  (Why are they called pet peeves, anyway?  I don't even have a pet.)

Wishing you a peeveless day!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heaven got one more angel this morning.

Dear Terry,

I never got to meet you during your time here, but I wanted to take a minute and publicly thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter with me.  I have no doubt that she is the person she is today because of you.  What a wonderful role model she and her sister had to look up to, learn from, and love! 

I know the last few years have not been easy on you.  You sure fought the long hard battle though!  I could feel your strength in every single picture of you that Tricia shared with me.  There was always a beautiful smile on your face, and I could tell you loved having those grandbabies with you.

My heart is breaking this morning for my dear friend.  I know she still wants you here with her.  I hope and pray that the pain she is feeling today will gradually start to ease, and she will find peace in knowing that you are now cancer free, and pain free.

Through Tricia's blog, and the several emails we've exchanged, I feel like I sort of traveled this journey with you and your family.  I know she will cherish every single moment she was able to spend with you, from your trip to Stowe, to her little visits to your home.  The love in your family is SO apparent, which was built from your strong foundation!

This is one of my very favorite posts of Tricia's.  It really, really struck me when she wrote it, and I think of it often.  It's very fitting today, I think. 

Mommy's Missing Pieces

Just moments ago, I received a text from Tricia.  It read:

"Tracy and I are laying in moms bed at home laughing, crying, swearing, etc."

Terry, I know you are watching your girls right now in your bed.  It warms me to know this is what they are doing right now, just hours after you had to leave them.  I hope you are enjoying a glass of champagne at your arrival party in heaven!

Very, very sincerely,


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I don't ask often...

I have a very very dear friend who has a mother in ICU today and is not doing well.  She is on chemotherapy and was taken to the hospital by ambulance at 3:30 this morning.  She has pneumonia, a blood infection, and some kind of stomach bug, and has been intubated today.

Even if you are not the praying type, please say one today for her.  She really, really needs it.

Thanks all,



Thursday, September 6, 2012

And We're Off!

We are a few days into the new school year, and things are going along well.  There are the normal adjustments everyone has to make, but for the most part there hasn't been too much complaining.  Honestly, I'm just glad to have them back on a schedule, not sleeping in the living room or basement every night, and out of the house during the day so they stop eating all of my food.

Tuesday was the first day of 5th and 7th grade for my babies.  Yes, I realize they are too old to be called babies, but I don't plan on stopping any time soon. 

I love watching my facebook feed on the first day of school to see everyone posting their own pictures of their children's first day, and I had to join in the fun.

I guess I'm not really sure what this pose was all about,

But to some, it sure was funny.

We had to get at least one decent picture of them showing what grade they were starting to add to the annual collection.

They are both going to kill me for posting this one, but how could I not???  I love these two more than life itself.  I couldn't have ordered up two better kids if I was given the opportunity.  I am having SO much fun watching them become the people they are today.  It scares the crap out of me to think about what we have coming up - driving, boyfriends/girlfriends, hormones, shaving, high school, College, MOVING OUT!  WAaaaaah!  NOOOoooo!  Slooow down!

I love you both so much more than I could ever explain in words, and I'm very very proud of you.  I hope you have a GREAT year!



Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Few Finished Projects

One of the main reasons I enjoy knitting so much is the enormous sense of accomplishment when I finish something.  It can be painful, sticking with something all the way to the end, but sometimes you can just feel it, and you know it will be worth it.

Approximately two years ago, the only stitches I knew were Knit, Purl, and decrease.

Which was fine, really, and got me through several projects with a pretty high degree of cool.

But then I decided that there were so many many cooler things out there to try, and discovered that pretty much any stitch you want to try can be found in on-line video tutorials.

And so I decided to make a Queen's Garden.  It was so cool watching each petal form, that I just couldn't put it down!  This pattern is worked from the center towards the outside edge, with an increasing number of stitches in each row.  I really loved the pattern, but I won't lie when I say that I was relieved when it was done.  That was a heckovalotta stitches in that last row!

This is the pattern that I decided on while on vacation a few months ago.  It's actually not much of a pattern, I just found a stitch that I liked and made it into an infinity scarf for a friend.

I was very very happy with it at first, and the stitch pattern is really cool (and how about that model?)

but after a little bit, the edges started curling and it stretched out too much - I thought I had put enough of a seed stitch border on it to avoid that, but I guess I didn't.  Sorry Kristin.  Let me know if you want me to try again, and my feelings will TOTALLY not be hurt.  I'd rather make you something you love and will wear than for you to have something that will sit in a closet somewhere.

On my needles now are a GORGEOUS sweater that I've started in the coziest shade of burnt orange that I've ever seen.  I've made a few mistakes though, and have to rip some back.  I'm also deathly afraid of running out of yarn since the stuff I'm using was a gift my mama picked up at a thrift store, and didn't have any labels on it.  That makes things very tricky when trying to get more.  Ugh.

So for the past few days, Morgan and I have been busy making things for an upcoming craft sale that we are going to try out for the first time.  I have way too much yarn in my stash right now that I'd love to use up (um, so I can justify buying more) and we are having a blast searching patterns for small projects.  What better to do on a long weekend to keep our minds off of the upcoming first day of school???  More pictures and details of these fun small projects will follow, I'm sure.

Hope you are enjoying these last few days of summer before the school year starts.  A friend that I used to work with always used to sing to everyone in the office on that first day, "It's the most wonderful time of the year..."  Love you Sheila!  I think of you singing every year. :)