The Premise...

  • ***Make no craft purchases December 1, 2010 to November 30 2011
  • ***Use and create from existing supplies only
  • ***Small purchases to continue crafting (such as sewing needles) are acceptable
  • ***Trading items with others is legitimate since there's no net gain

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MINE is the BIGGEST One.

Well, folks....we've been gardening up a storm. Crafty news in a minute, but I was certainly touched by a situation this week. I hope you gain something from this bloggy blog post....

The Reformed Supermom has 3 kids. One is off being "all grown up" at college, and there's two wee littles at home. Madi is 5 1/2 as of this writing, and Leif is 3 1/2, four in August. If anyone ever tells you to have two kids close together so they will have a NOT listen to them!! They do NOT have a playmate...they have someone to fight with. Someone to argue with. Someone to tease and scream and virutally annoy with. Perhaps in between all of this, there are some stolen moments where they get along. Where they hug, and share, and love, and are generally kind to each other.

Most of all, they fight. I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY trying to nurture and correct and steer them toward treating each other by The Golden Rule. It's exhausting. And lately, it seems like there's no payoff. The status quo is more bickering, more fighting, more whining. Calgon, TAKE ME AWAY!!!!

With the nice weather going on in this part of the woods, we've gotten up early most days, eaten breakfast in a hurry, brushed our teeth, and headed outside before many folks have picked up their morning paper. We've worked in the garden, watering plants and peeking at the blank dirt, hoping to see a sprout. Yes, even the day AFTER we put the seeds in the earth...the kids were surprised, and then conceded that maybe TOMORROW was the day. At some point, the kids would use spray bottles to "water the plants" and I would sit down to knit. This week, it was on Madi's green and purple sweater.

A little while into the watering routine, Madi would usually ask if they could have a pop-pop, which is one of those ice-popsicles in the clear plastic. Usually, the answer is yes. It's become routine, no matter if it's half past eight or not.

One day, at pop-pop time, Madi asked if she could get her and Leif one from the freezer. Sure, I say. And she comes back with seems to be a standard size pop-pop. One, the JUMBO variety. Both are grape. Madi says:

"Can you open these for us?" she asks. "MINE IS THE BIGGEST ONE."

Madi chooses the biggest one. It was at this point I had a moment of hesitation, do I correct her? Do I change what is happening, to either replace her BIGGEST ONE with a smaller one, or dig and pray and hope that there is another one of equal size so it would be "fair" and two kids would have THE BIGGEST ONE? Do I tell her that she should ALWAYS give "the best" (or what ever is perceived to be the best) to someone else? Why did I even care?

So, I do nothing. I cut the tops off and bring them back, and make a point to tell Madi "and HEeeeeeere's YOURS!" Leif was off digging worms or something, so the pop-pop appeared like magic on his radar, and I sat back down to knit.


A pause here for some philosophical stuff....

Why *IS* it we (meaning me, but maybe you too...) feel the need to sacrifice what WE want? I mean, getting what WE want is not mutually exclusive to what others want, is it? Not ALL the time at least. Why is it that we feel the need to suffer so that we feel we are truly giving to others? If we give to others, does that mean we have to do without? What if we make sure OUR needs are met first, and then help others? Kinda like on airline emergency your oxygen mask before helping others.

Now, apply it to ANYTHING. How many quilts have I made this past year? 7 or 8? How many have I made for my immediate family? Well, counting Madi's that I just did last week, ONE!!! And that one has been done for the most part, and just needed some quilting and binding...and yet...she gets to be LAST. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say when I put "others" first (meaning not immediate family) I'm putting myself and my family LAST. Why? Why didn't I say "I get the BIGGEST one."?



So, As I knit, the kids come sit on the porch with me, waiting for hummingbirds to dive-bomb the feeder. They're sitting really still, enjoying the pop ice. Leif is still oblivious to the size discrepancy.

"Hey Med-eeeeeee..." he says. "Wanna have a bite of my pop-pop???" and he stretches out his treat with a chunk of purple ice pinched above his fingers. He, with the much-smaller pop-pop wants to SHARE with Madi. He, with the same FLAVOR of pop-pop wants to share with Madi. It just about brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? Madi says, "Oh, thanks LEIF!" and takes a bite. Just as naturally, a little while later Madi does the same thing for him, and offers a bite from hers. She pinches a really BIG chunk up to the top, a really generous offer of sharing, and again I'm amazed. Leif, tells her EXACTLY what he wants, and she breaks it smaller so he's happy.

All without my intervention. All without talk about what is fair, or for me advocating for one over the other.

What's the moral of the story? I dunno...I'll figure it out. I *do* know that it's perfectly ok to call dibs on THE BIGGEST ONE now and again, if that's what you really want.


In crafty news.....

The "Mothed" sweater is done in the body, and I even tried it on. OOOOOPS...guess what? The gauge is off. And I need to lose about 15 pounds before I can wear it. Thank goodness I'm running.

Madi's green and purple sweater is about 1/2way through the bodice. About ready to do the teeny increase at the ribcage, then it's short sleeves so that sucker is almost done!

I've been cutting on some black and white squares to make a lap-size quilt. THAT's about to come together this week. It's going to be SA-WEEEET!

Made some soap this week and it was fun. I've gotta reorganize the soap closet..I'm so bad about putting things away!

Made a purchase. I know, I'm totally sneaking this in at the end. But...I did. Some may say it's not a slip because it was a sale (and a darn good one, at that!) but I was going for no purchases. Bummer. Again with the bummer. I'm happy with everything I got, and I will use it. Madi is going to school in mere weeks, and I will have MUCH more time to sew since I won't have to referee. Maybe even Leify will get into the act!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Pretty much free to quilt starting this weekend. Except....there's PLANTS TO PLANT! Gaaaaaaah! That should only take a day or so. The hubby needs to go pick up a truckload or two of dirt to fill the raised box he made me last week. The whole week was just too darn busy to get it in there!

Got some tomatoes and peppers planted before the nice rains last week, so they seem to be happy. Have plans to plant cukes, kale, spring mix salad, and pumpkins. I'm sure we'll have room for others as well.

I hope our peach tree produces this year. I think the squirrels snuck away with the nearly-ripe peaches last year while we were away one weekend. I'd like to think it was them, and not neighbor kids hopping the fence. :D

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Still going...and going...and going...

Have about 2 more inches on the Oatmeal mama sweater then it's on to the sleeves. The endless knit stitch was driving me crazy. I think I need some sort of pattern to keep me entertained. So, what do I do?

Start another sweater.

This time it's Madi-size, so the payoff will happen much more quickly. I'd say I'm about 6 inches in from the top, so basically the neckline rib is done and I'm working down the shoulders. Have 8-ish more rows until I join under the arms and knit away! Maybe after I get started there, I'll switch back to mine to finish the body.

Did the blue tumblers's beautiful. I wish I had a baby boy to use it. Going to do another one in pinks and melon. Have the material all prewashed and set aside, so whenever I get a "free moment". Heh.

Got my sister's bed caddy and pillow sham done, to go with her Sister Soldier quilt, so that will be out this week. YAY!

Aaaaaand gonna make a few batches of soap soon. Starting to get momentum again...I hate when I get crafter's block. The hubby is off work in a few weeks, so I hope he's ready, willing, and able to just let me do MY stuff while he's off. Or else there's gonna be a war. Tee hee hee.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Feeling a creativity binge coming on....

My studio was starting to look like a bomb went off. Too many half done projects laying about. So, I started putting scraps away and placed the Rhonda squares in a project bag along with all its stuff. At least everything will be together!

Pulled some fabric for a baby boy quilt and prewashed it. The "roll up" method worked great because I could unroll, compare, pull what I needed and roll the balance back up. Like colors that were rolled together were easy to pull without messing up the whole stack. Add this one to the list of "things I want to do".

Madi's quilt is still on the quilting frame, so I'd better move that one on out to make room for new things. Poor girl. So patient.

Been randomly knitting on my Oatmeal Mama sweater. Gah. Only about 5 more inches to get to the bottom of the body, then only sleeves left. Too bad it's knit-knit-knit for miles. Knit. Knit. Knit.

Fabric buying update: The second round of fabric came, and it was a little more exciting than the first one, which is both good and bad. Filled a cart with "sale fabric" online today, only to find out they are doing some sneaky-sneaky word play to inspire you to buy. I'm on to you, Random Fabric Store. I see what you're doing here. ESPECIALLY because the "take an additional 30% off is for fabrics in the $5.50-$6 range. That would make things around $4/yd right? Well, they've categorized another section as something other than "Clearance" so the extra discount is not good. Guess what...those fabrics are priced in the $4-$4.50 range already. A marketing gimmick to be sure. So, no buying today. Yay, me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And Still...More Reality...

Today was apparently spring cleaning day. My bathrooms look great and my spice cupboard doesn't threaten to explode all over the counter when I open the door (anymore). Did all the laundry...heck, when was the last time I *DID* the laundry? The hubby has been doing a bang-up job on that all on his own. I better give him a hug and a kiss for it. :D

I've got high hopes for the pantry to be revamped tomorrow and perhaps a spic-and-span kitchen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 2, Paying Attention to Real Life

Well, yesterday was a successful day, even though it ONLY involved an appointment in the morning and then grocery shopping with two kids. Yup, that is the extent of my productivity. It really is an accomplishment though, because I think I've only ventured out into public with the two littles and done a (successful) big shopping trip by myself only twice ever.

My purse has ended up back on the counter, and there are little things here and there collecting on the flat surfaces. GAH. I think more than trying to force an agenda, I'm just going to wander from room to room and put things back as I see them. Oh, and make a list of things to do like:

Pay XYZ bill
Call for Kindergarden shots


All of this is really working on crafts, albeit indirectly. I'm thinking I'll have much more fun sewing with nothing else pressing to do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paying Attention to Real Life Today...

...mostly because I've been in a holding pattern, trying to get everything done and getting nothing done. So, today I'm gonna go grocery shopping with the kids, play outside, and do random things at will.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I came, I saw, I bought


I've been trying to trick myself off and on since this whole thing started, and I finally succeeded. The damage? Well...the FIRST time (I know...double UGH...) was around $50 worth of fabric. The second? Around $60. And I'm sure I could have prevented the second purchase, had I copped to the first. So, now I'm gonna lay it all out for you.

The first purchase was online, at the prompting of a "Big BLOWOUT SALE" of some sort. I had told myself that after I did the taxes I could justify a splurge of no more than $100. Of course, I meant to blog about it so it wasn't furtive secret rule-breaking fabric buying. To be up front about it. To CHOOSE to, and fully intent to BUY something.

But that didn't happen.

When I was clicking and perusing, I paid attention to how I was feeling at the time. I found out some interesting things about myself in the process, including that I buy when I'm stressed. I also buy when I'm avoiding things. Woo...doesn't that sound like what hoarders do? I felt pretty messed up when I asked myself the "Why?" question. You see, I was "doing the taxes" for what seemed like an eternity, days and days on end INTENDING to get them done, but then finding everything else under the sun to do. The taxes didn't get any closer to being done any of those times, but I sure had a "good time" surfing the web, chit chatting with old friends, having a glass of wine (or two...). Even cleaning the kitchen top to bottom was more of a priority than getting the taxes done.

Why? OMG, WHY is it so difficult? I'm trying to figure it out. Heck, we were getting a few bucks back, why would you avoid having extra money in the budget? And then some unexpected bills start rolling in...The hubby has to get his first filling EVER (I know, he's a freak of nature at 37) and me, with a filling that lived out its natural life. Then the credit card that I used to fly and see my brother, because I had intended to have the taxes done PRIOR to the trip, and just pay cash. That's normally how we roll, but now it's go time. Time to pay the piper.

The hubby, with the best of intentions, took the kids different places to "give me quiet" to work on the taxes. But, it backfired. They were all out doing not so much super fun things, but FAMILY things together, with me in self-inflicted purgatory. They get to go some where, and I get left behind. I hate that feeling...of not being included. Have there been other times in my life that I've been "on the outside"? Do I set myself up to BE on the outside? Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Ummmm...ok...fabric buying...

In addition to the above questions, I think I've found a crucial piece to the puzzle: When I feel like I am unable to sew and quilt, I buy fabric because it's like paying attention to sewing and quilting. For example: the taxes need to be done, and that SHOULD be my main focus. So, to sit down at my machine and work would be blatant disregard for the importance of the taxes. What do I do? I buy fabric because it's not actually sewing, but it makes me feel better to be immersed in the culture. I know. It's weird. My haul at the online sale started out costing $130, but I had the presence of mind to whittle down the selection to fifty-ish dollars.

And, I didn't even get wow'ed when the box arrived. How sad. I could've just not clicked "buy" and still got most of the lesson. Perhaps it was important to feel that feeling of "Oh, more fabric..." instead of the sparkly wonder it used to be.

The second purchase, I would liken it to cheating on a diet. If you've ever tried the "denial method" of dieting, you will understand what I'm saying. Say you've got a sweet tooth, and you've resolved to not eat ANY cakes, pies, candy, sugar, etc. and then someone has a birthday or you get invited to a party and have a piece of cake. The cake itself is not "evil" but later on that day or that week, you tell yourself that you've already messed up, might as well have that ice cream! It's flawed reasoning, for sure. But it's also an easy copout because the perfection is no longer.

So, NO...I didn't make it a whole year. I *did* make it nearly 4 months. Let's see if I can make it another 8.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fabric Buying Update (or, lackthereof...)

Hi, My name is Rebecca and it's been three months since I last bought fabric.

(Hi, REBECCA!!!)


So, how's it been? Not too bad really. Within the first few weeks of this challenge, I was peeking at sales but really didn't have the "itch" to buy ANYTHING. I viewed, admired, and played the game of "What could this go with?" but really....I'm good. Every category, every color that I could want...I have right here.

In February I went through and organized what I had, and it was kinda like shopping in a way. Some things I TOTALLY forgot I had, and got a little thrill when I rediscovered them in my stash. Wheeee! So nice to see you, fabric! I'm so glad you're here! Sadly, during the sort, I also found that I had re-purchased a couple prints. Not a lot, maybe two or three, but geez...shouldn't you KNOW what you've got? Isn't that a sign or something?

Last week, I "filled" two carts online with whatever my little heart desired and then let the carts sit for days without checking out. At the one store, I vowed if their sale went from 20% off to 30% off I would be buying it ALL. Thankfully, Karma stepped in and that didn't happen. It's kinda like on Finding Nemo where Bruce loses his mind and chases after Nemo and Dorry? Yup. Blood in the water, in the form of a sale. With the cotton market as it is though, I'm finding what goes on sale is less appealing and more "sale" material. The stuff that really no one wanted, and not just an effort to keep the product fresh and moving. The other cart I probably would have checked out of, too. Except with the shipping, the sale price really wasn't a sale after all. Didn't need it, what's the point? Basically I just lost interest after it sat for a few days. Maybe that's what I need...a measure of patience or something. Not making a purchase right then and there, you know?

Right after the three month mark (this week) I "needed" to go to Joanne's to buy some size 8 DPN's to complete a sweater I'm working on. I browsed the fabric, and to my surprise it seems like Joanne's is getting with the times and adding some more hip fabric. Likely due to the buyout that was announced a few months ago. So, that was nice. Still, didn't really feel the *need* to buy some fabric. There was a section that was labelled "Quilter's Choice" or something like that which was 50% off...and I would have caved if I saw something, ANYTHING that caught my eye. In this section (other than some brown on brown dots that I bought elsewhere, months ago) everything was just a little "off". The margins of the patterns were not crisp like when you look at something from Moda, Amy Butler, etc. The fabric was thin, especially on the whites. Some of the prints just didn't have enough interest. Or were kinda kiddie themed...nope, just didn't do it for me.

I did, however, get sucked into sale templates. I'm pretty sure this falls under "no purchases" but I did it anyway. For $20, I got: 1 acrylic "cracker" template, 2 flexible border templates (for quilting), a set of six flower templates, a set of six heart templates (I'm thinking LEAVES not hearts though), and the DPN's.

Twenty bucks in three months? I'll take it. I *did* pass up the BOGO thread, but only because I couldn't tell if there was handquilting thread included in that. So, I'm no angel. Searched the yarn to find SOMETHING I really loved (even though I don't need any) and didn't find any I loved. I really like dyeing my own, anyway. The colors in the yarn section at Joanne's are kinda dusty or muted or something. Maybe old ladies like it that way. Maybe I'm too young to knit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hanging Onto Things, Pt 2

Because I wish it were different.
Because I'm hoping it will change.
Because I'm hoping it will redeem itself and fit my views.

It's like the puzzle I want to put itself together. But things and ideas are inanimate, aren't they? The human (in this case, me) needs to be the one to take the action. "Not thinking about it" only works for so long, and then you get reminded of the thing you're not thinking about, thus causing a disturbance. Wash, rinse, repeat until The Human takes action.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do You Ever Find Yourself Hanging Onto Things?

That you don't need? We're not talking "shock-television" worthy, unexplainable, horrific piles of stuff. But...things you have hung onto to the point you forget why? Yup. This is one of "those" questions I could sit up all night thinking about.

This is kinda in a "Who Moved My Cheese?" kind of way. So, read from that perspective, and really try it on for size. If you're like me, you may get a little pang in your heart over WHY DIDN'T I MOVE ON THIS SOONER???

The weather: Has been GORGEOUS. Windows flung open for the entire neighborhood to know exactly HOW loud we really are and exactly HOW MANY times my son gets asked if he has to go pee-pee onna potty. The breeze is PERFECT to stir up the dead energy in the house and seduce me into spring cleaning. I seriously have no control over it, but the dining table thanks me because I've de-crumbed the little crack between the leaves which was embarrassing to see, to say the least. The quilting machine thanks me too, because all the containers have fallen into step underneath like they're supposed to be there, and less like a trash dump. The "Man Room" looks pretty snazzy today too...the cat's a little pissed that I cleaned up the sweater he was laying down on top of the couch. Now he's gotta start all over.

There's been several nice days, but the cleaning thing has been going on for only a couple. Hey, you can only bask on the porch so many days in a row before you decide you're going to do something productive, right? All of this started by accident one day, where I noticed there was WAAAAAAY more strings and snips of fabric in the sewing room than I was comfortable with. Some of them kinda looked like little spiders, and that was enough for me. As I was vacuuming though...I realized that some of the fuzz had migrated to the hallway....and into the kids rooms. Could be the littles picked up some fabric "friends" on purpose, could be they just hitched a ride on a shuffle-y sock foot. But...ew. The snips were migrating.

How did I not know? How did I not see this?

So, I vacuumed. And on the way through the kids rooms, we put back wooden puzzle pieces that had just been kicked into a heap, instead of being put back where they go. The puzzles are probably "on their way out" because no one really plays with them, they just get dumped out. And then I sigh in dismay because there's a pile of puzzle pieces dumped out. Kinda like the foam letter mat that used to be in the Man Room.

The Man of said Man Room wanted to get rid of the letter mat at least a year ago. Me, I didn't. I have no idea why now because all the kids did with THAT was tear apart the blocks, pop the letters out, and we'd have a zillion pieces of ....crap....strewn all over the house. Yet...I couldn't let it go. Why? There was no JOY associated with the letter mat. Only work. And strife. And bad feelings. Crumbs collected under the mat and dirt from the outside and static made pet hairs cling to it. Ew. WHY??? Why did I wanna keep it? I'm still working on that...but so far, I think it has something to do with having a dream for the kids and the letter mat. But, if we want to apply the "Cheese" method, it's an analogy for other things in life.

(**Insert topic here)

We all have hopes and dreams and ideas, right? We create our universe *just* the way we like it, right? Well, yes in theory we do. Truthfully we ALWAYS create our situation, we just might not like it all the time. What if you don't know "how you like it"? What if you just start doing things in hopes of creating your Happiness Empire, without a plan? I will tell end up with extraneous stuff. Sometimes your "stuff" is meant to be temporary, and then move on. Sometimes your "stuff" is supposed to be around long-term. Sometimes what you've called "your stuff" was never meant to live with you in the first place. For ME...the problem lies in trying to re-configure to include what is probably exterraneous stuff in the new vision.

I wanted the letter mat to BE something it wasn't. And every time it WASN'T (ie turned into foam letter mayhem) I got more and more irritated. What I wanted it to *be* I dunno...I'm not so sure that it really mattered...but I knew that I didn't want what it WAS. Wash, rinse, repeat until the day I de-crumbed each piece for the last time and "lovingly" stacked all the pieces in a trash bag. It can be WHATEVER to whoever else. DONE.

So, this week I (spring) cleaned The Man Room for the first time without the letter mat, and the room WAS. It was tidy and organized and clean and happy. Afterward, I sat in a comfy chair in there and knitted, while Madi dumped all her Polly Pockets and attire on the rug and played. Perhaps THIS was what I wanted the mat to be. An inviting square for the kids to play. A comfy area where random preschooler ideas spring forth, unfiltered and unedited. The space was doing what it needed to before, we just didn't have the right equipment! I should note here that the offensive letter mat was replaced by a $12 area rug from the clearance section at Target. What a bargain! Better than a latte, cheaper than counseling!

Where were we...? Cheese. Yes, the cheese. The letter mat was probably desirable at one time, even though I loathed it longer than I probably liked it. At some point it became the status quo though. Like there was no consideration of getting rid of it because it was HERE...because it was OURS...something...I've still gotta figure it out. This is the part that keeps me up at night, wondering: WHY? Why did it become a fixed object in our lives? Why were there not other options? Do I do this HABITUALLY? Do I not consider a different way of doing things because "THIS" is what we do?

Why do I hang onto fabric that I don't like, bought on impulse, on sale, had no plan for, and really can't see myself using in the future? I know why I bought it....the habit of ONLY going for things that were on sale (at the time). I couldn't see it then, but I know NOW why it was on sale THEN.

(anybody need two yards of tropical parrot fabric? tee hee!)

Why do I hang onto that jar of roasted red peppers that I've re-bought for the third time, only to find out this is the SAME brand that I bought at least two other times and realize I hate them?
Why do I hang onto uni-tasker kitchen equipment that is consuming too much space in the pantry?
Why do I hang onto toxic friends?
Why do I keep my fat pants? Why do I keep my used-to-fit-but-now-too-small pants?
Why do I keep "that nailpolish" that's just a teeny bit too goopy?
...the fridge magnets that hold a single sheet of paper, but give up with two?
...the box of books from college, stored in the garage?

The questions could go on and on. Really. It's usually at this point when I start asking myself the questions that I just tuck the "Why"'s back in their box to almost deal with them another day. So, I'll make a concerted effort and keep you updated. :D

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The MITTEN! My very first MITTEN!! Answered an advertisement to be a pattern tester, and while the pattern was thinking skills CLEARLY got a workout. But now I know how, and it really wasn't so scary after all. Heck, after the sock and the gussets on THAT...nothing should stop me, right?

Started another pair of socks, but this time for me. And I've got a "hole" from something going amiss with the stockinette stitch. How, I don't know. Was humming along for two inches of stockinette (which, on a sock, is just do the knit stitch until your fingers fall off) and yet....a hole. How the heck does that happen? Note to self: Google and find out. Kinda don't wanna take out all 3 rows that came AFTER the hole. But...they're just for me...who would know or care?

Aaaaaand....a spur of the moment quilty beauty. I think I will call it Blue Ninja. The ones with (nearly) no plan turn out rather dashing, don't you think?

I started working on it just to try out a technique and found once I started, I Just. Couldn't. Stop. So far I'd say I've got at least 40 hours into it, and that might be conservative. Lots of cut, sew, cut, sew going on. Once done, I'm thinking it will end up about 50x70 ish. Perfect snuggling size. I wish I had a sun porch to put it in, and read a book under it.

RW Garden is coming along. Had to take a break (hence, Blue Ninja) from all the precise cutting. Will be so worthwhile when it's done. Can't wait.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stash Organization!

YAY! I hope it lasts. So far, so good. But I already had the fabric pulled that I wanted. We'll see what it looks like a few quilts from now, lol!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Do You DESERVE The Life You Want?


Do YOU.....DESERVE...the life YOU want?

Damn you, Bob Greene. Damn you for your fit physique and tough questions.

I have subtly and not-so-subtly started to brainwash my husband. It began a couple years ago...but don't worry! I only use my "powers" for good, and not evil. Ever-so-casually I will start watching a recorded (brainwashing) episode of one of my favorite shows while he's in the vicinity. He might be walking back and forth putting things away, or I might be in the living room while he's in the kitchen grabbing a snack. The cool thing about DVR is it gives you a short description of what the show is about, and who the guests are so you can sneak-attack your beloved without them even suspecting. The show just magically starts playing, and it just "happens" to be a worthwhile watch for both of us.

Many times I blindside him with the Oprah show...but not the sappy ones, but more like when sports heroes are on, miraculous horrific accidents, Suze Orman, Dr. Oz, and then the natural progression to Dr. Oz's own show. I don't know if my hubby is COMPLETELY oblivious to the fact I do this on purpose, but he's not complaining. And I think he really digs Mehmet...lots of good stuff there.

So, the other day he says to me: "Hey, did you see that Oprah show with Oprah's All Stars?"

Me: (shocked)

And he begins to tell me about how salt is tearing apart our arteries, and goes on and on and on...and how it's "still on DVR so you can watch it!"


So I chain myself to the treadmill and begin watching THE episode. It was a pretty good one, but the parts that stuck with me was a segment with Peter Walsh (the organizing guy with the cute accent) and Bob Greene (the health-fitness guy with the reality check).

Peter Walsh says this: Flat surfaces are NOT meant for storage.
Bob Greene says this: What do you want out of life.
Peter Walsh says this: Kitchen counters are NOT meant for storage. They're meant to prepare FOOD.

Of course. Of COURSE I do. I'm worthy. I deserve it. I am DESERVING. Why CAN'T I have the life I want?


Here's the thing folks: EVERYBODY can have the life they want. You, me, everybody. The key is: NO ONE hands it to you on a silver platter. When we don't have the life we want, there's a reason. No, the universe is not conspiring against me. It's as simple as identifying the "challenges" and overcoming them. Everything else is an excuse.

Bob: Motivation means you're ready to DO something. Not that you WANT something.

Ouch. That hurts. But, the reason why it hurts is because there's a ring of truth to it. I'm a pretty simple gal, and don't have a lot of material (heh...MATERIAL...buying fast....get it?) *ahem* MATERIAL wants...but I do WANT things for new countertops, a faster run, smaller jeans, more time to quilt are a few examples.

Peter: Sometimes people think that if they could just buy that one thing, or GET that one thing, things would just be better...and it's not. That's not where it's at.

Ouch. Again. Damn you. Damn you, Peter Walsh.

For a couple years now I've been pining away for new countertops. They were ugly when we moved into our home, and still are. I don't care about them. I want them to disappear and be replaced with sparkly new ones. But that won't happen for quite a while, and the same goes for tiling over our semi-ok linoleum that was not installed by the most accurate of folks. I don't care about IT either. I want it to roll itself up and whisk itself away and have ceramic tile march itself up the driveway and install itself neatly overnight. Since THAT won't happen for a while, what do we do?

Well, today I took Peter's advice and took my items that were "stored" on flat surfaces and put them in their place. Toys where toys go, purse where it goes (I had to declare a new home for it, instead of by the kitchen sink, ha ha!), moved the pile of bills from behind the butcher block and put them in the office. Didn't sort them, but least I moved them! And cleaned the kitchen really, really well. With an attitude of treating "my stuff" nice. The counters are what I have right now, so treat them like I own them. The floor is what we have now, so sweep and mop it like it's important. I even scrubbed the greyness from a couple drinking glasses that is hard water buildup. Now we have 3 "new" glasses, instead of me looking at them in dismay.

And ran 7 miles like I deserved it. :D

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sister Soldier...ready to QUILT!

Madi says: I wanna lay on it! I wanna lay on Roxanne's quilt!

Leif says: Me too! I wanna lay on it tooooooo! Take a PICK-SHURE of me!

Here is an example of trying to get two kids to smile nice at once.....

And Madi decides she doesn't want to have a picture "with" Leif...

Then, she's trying to get away. Leif is trying to get closer. And cheezin' like there's no tomorrow. Forgive the pomegranite juice on his face.
We really do hose them off now and again.

Aaaaand then the cat showed up......

(and tooted! Oooooh kay, fun's over!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemade Croissants

Look *very* very homemade. I started the process all excited, and ended up just wanting to be done about 2/3rds of the way through. Which sucks, because croissants take hours, so the last third ended up being an hour of torture. Since I've kind of gotten a "feel" for how this goes though, the next time (and there WILL BE a next time!!) it's sure to be much more enjoyable. And, they may even look a little more professional.

I *am* a little upset that I don't have a pastry brush. I think I did have one at one time, and The Hubby either washed it with dish soap (EWWW...soapy everything!) or thought it was a paint brush, or it just got thrown away because I've never been a pastry making kinda gal. So, I used a paper towel to be the pastry brush, and I guess that worked ok. I *did* think to myself that I should go BUY a pastry brush, but I think that falls under craft supplies, so I will resist. How many times this year will I be making croissants? How many times SHOULD I make croissants? Since no one else is really eating them, I suspect maybe once or twice more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Madi's Second Sock! :D

I'm happy and satisfied today. Madi's second sock is DONE. *DONE*!!



I can't even remember how or why I decided to knit socks. I know how I decided I needed to knit...I had commissioned an acquaintance to knit a couple hats for Christmas out of some bamboo yarn that I dyed by hand. WHY did I have bamboo yarn? I dunno....because I knew how to dye plant fibers, and it seemed fairly simple to apply to yarn. Note to those that want to dye plant fiber yarn: It is very drippy, messy business. And it takes a whole, whole lot of water. Anyway, after seeing the MAGIC of what happened when the artisan weaved my experiment yarn into something beautiful, I became obsessed. I had big dreams of knitting sweaters and wool longies for my kids that were still in cloth diapers. Thing is, knitting skills don't just come to you overnight...but I didn't think about it before I started. Isn't that always the way? (for ME!)

So, as one kid moved out of diapers into Big Girl Undies, soon after my little guy started making the transition as well. My dream of clothing my boy in beautifully knitted stitches died with every successful "pee-pee onna potty!!" My first and only attempt at longies are still tethered to a set of bamboo needles, somewhere in the Yarn Box. Anyone need a rib stitched "O" for anything? It's about 3 inches wide. Heh. To this day, I'm still left with miles of worsted weight yarn. I'm sure it will be put to use one day...maybe in 2012! :D

Somewhere in the hunt for yarn for longies, I also hatched grand plans of knitting socks. Could be I traded someone their knitting skills for my baking skills....I can't remember. And when I started acquiring knitted socks, I fell in love. The colors, the softness, the warmth...I NEEEEEEEDED more socks. MORE! MORE! I know the yarn for Madi's Second Sock (and consequently, Madi's FIRST sock) came from a Canadian supplier on Ebay. I knew nothing about brands or thicknesses, only that I wanted wool. Superwash.

The 4 balls of Canadian yarn sat idle for months and months, until I went on a dyeing binge sometime this summer. It was then that I discovered little "flubs" and places where the yarn was pieced by the manufacturer. I've knitted with other stuff to know this is not the norm, and came to realize that my "great deal" from Ebay was just a "GOOD" deal. Ahhhh, well.

Never had any real plans for this particular yarn, just that it would be socks someday. Madi had big plans for it though...she was enamoured with it from the start. She asked if I could PLEASE make her some socks? Can I have the purple and blue yarn? Please?

Who am I to say no?

So I started knitting. And had my mess-ups. And didn't read the directions thoroughly. And had to go back and try again. The first sock was challenging to just know what the heck was going on, and exactly WHAT part of the sock I was on. I'd knit a couple inches and then realize that instead of the sock coming together, it was seriously distorted because I forgot to alternate the row that needed me to pay attention with a row that was just knit-knit-knit. The gusset on the heel became foreshortened. The toe became stumpy and unusable. Back to the drawing board. After Madi's First Sock came into existence, I took an extended break and worked on other things. For like 6 months. And I pretty much forgot all the lesssons I learned and had the same "knit-knit-knit" problem.

Madi's Socks sat in a yarn bowl in our front room this whole time, and every so often she'd ask when they'd be done. And if today I was going to work on her socks. And how she couldn't wait to wear them. GAAAAAAAH! See, this is what happens when you over-schedule yourself! You can't get to what you want to do because you've been the "YES Girl" for everyone and everything else!

They're done. And they're awesome.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Busy, busy, busy week. Sister Soldier quilt is coming together nicely. Should be done with that within days. I was a little nervous there when I had a bunch of 4-inch squares cut out...but it's REALLY turning out to be pretty! I love it when a plan comes together...even if it's plan-as-you go.

Took a couple short road trips over the holidays and took Madi's Second Sock with me. FINALLY got it all un-knitted where I messed up and now I can begin again down the heel. It's very important to follow the directions when they say repeat steps 1-3 instead of repeating step 3 only. Heh. So, the ankle part is done (has been for 6 months!) and now it's a matter of the heel and the foot. Should be fast. I hope.

Here's the sock pattern.

In other foot news, smooshed my toe with one of the benches around our dining table so sitting and knitting may be just the ticket. That hot throbbing sensation when I stand is *no* fun!