Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Update and thinking about a challenge to myself and anyone who reads my blog

Again, it's been a few months since I last blog. Not much has changed. My foot is still very sore/problematic, and I've not been able to do much exercising of any kind. Bicycling is out, swimming is out. I have used the rec center for weight lifting a few times since school started, but the demands of my school work don't afford me enough free time to do that with any sort of regularity. I'm making an appointment with my Family Physician today to see if we can do another x-ray and discuss what other options I have for figuring this pain out.

On other fronts, I have been thinking lately about undertaking a challenge for 2010. I've recently seen stories regarding the demise of various manufacturing industries in the U.S. over the past several decades. I believe this has played a major part in our current economic/financial crisis. We've become such a service society that we just don't make anything anymore! With recent technological advances in internet and cell phone usage, many of those services are no longer needed. And really, couldn't we actually do those things for ourselves all along?
So, I think I am going to undertake a "Made in the U.S.A" challenge for 2010. I'm going to attempt to only purchase items made in this country. And I'm not going to stock up on items, and then just not buy anything in 2010 - that doesn't serve my underlying purpose which is to create a demand for U.S.A made manufactured items. This would akin to those useless campaigns going around when gas prices were so high, advising people to not buy gas on such-and-such date. Instead people filled up the day before, or just bought gas a day later. It doesn't work because the overall demand was still the same. Now, if people had not driven, or driven less, on such-and-such a date, and created a lower demand overall, that would make a difference (which it did in the summer of 2008, when demand dropped just 2% I believe).
So I'm on the hunt currently, to find products that are made in the USA. This includes food too! So much of our food is actually imported (fruits and veggies for example).

Did you know that in 1963, when Kennedy was elected, more than 96% of all clothes sold in the US were made in the US?
By 1985, that number had dropped to 80%.
By 1995, that number had dropped to 50%.
Now, in 2009, only 5% of clothing sold in the US is made here.
Seems we all want jobs back in the US, but we're not willing to pay the fair price for the items to be manufactured here. I think it's time to invest in my country.

Maybe you'd like to join me in this challenge??

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shop link

OK, for some reason the link to my shop just will not post in the last post. So here it is:

http://www.geckoyarns.etsy.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's a Groove thang

It's been more than 6 months since I last posted, I can hardly believe that much time has gone by!
I think at some point in one of my last posts I mentioned getting back into a regular training routine with my racewalking. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Not for any significant reason other than I just couldn't get a decent workout schedule going before some change or disruption derailed my efforts. This is not to say I didn't work out at all, I did, just not with any regularity. Then in mid-June, I injured my foot and it's really been derailed since then.
After several weeks of not doing any exercising at all, I went out for a 3 mile walk (no racewalking, just walking) this past Saturday. My foot was a bit sore and stiff afterwards, but not the significant pain I was feeling in June and early July. I'm hoping whatever was the issue (likely tendonitis) is now on its way out.
So, again... I'm hoping to get back into the groove that should be my normal life but hasn't been my normal life since about a year ago.
Tomorrow, my kids head back to school, and in 1.5 weeks, I head back to class as well. This year I will be attending ASU every morning for one class each day. That affords me quite a bit of time to utilize the FREE recreation center there (read: really ginormous workout facilities including a heated pool). If I don't successfully get myself back into a groove now, I'm not sure what I would need to do it.
I'm still resting the foot for at least another week before test driving it again. I really want it to be healed, fully healed before taking on a more vigorous training schedule. Nothing kills my motivation more than starting to feel better and stronger, and then have an injury reappear and make me go easier in my workouts.

On other fronts, I started spinning in February and that has become another hobby along with my knitting. I don't really spend more time with these activities, rather, I spend less time knitting and more time spinning now.

But the most exciting news is that I finally opened my Etsy shop!!! In June, I finally starting dyeing the many skeins of yarn I have and opened my retail space.
You can find my creations at:



Here is a sampling of some current listings:






My next update to my shop should be on or around 8/20/09 (that's next week). I hope you will take a look!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Catching my breath




As you can see in the photo above, the kitchen is reaching its final stages of completion. As I type this, the granite guys are furiously working on getting all the granite in, complete with sink and my cooktop installed!

This week has been totally crazy! It started last weekend when the Eagles beat the Giants, and everyone realized that the NFC game would be played here in Arizona. Of course, my oldest son, who is a HA-UGE football fan, insisted we have to get tickets. Then a friend of ours from Denver, a HA-UGE Eagles fan, also decided he had to get tickets and wanted to know if he could stay with us. No problem. Ha. We did manage to score 4 tickets to the game and luckily, our friend brought another friend who happens to have an aunt who lives here in Mesa, so they could stay with her. I was more than happy to loan out a place somewhere on a free space of floor to him and his friend, but really, it's pretty messed up in every room of my house, including the guest house right now, so that worked out well. I spent the better part of the 1st half of the week hunting down tickets and then traveling around town to go get them. Then my stepbrother came on Wednesday with his crew to install the tile in my entire house. It took 3 days. Yes, 3 days for a crew of 4 guys, who worked from 7am to 6:30pm each day, with only 1/2 hour lunch. Almost 800 sf of tile, plus toekicks, top of the cabinets, and an entryway pattern I designed myself in about 20 minutes. It wasn't overly intricate, but did require a fair amount of cutting, as well as a different colored tile. It turned out really nice if I do say so myself (pats self on back). I feel like I'm running a marathon though with everything going on. Today is the first day in a week I feel like I can stop and catch my breath a little.

I did manage to get in a couple of workouts this week, nothing exciting enough to write about. I'm exhausted every day from the work going on around here. I'm ready for it to be done. Done.done.done.

Not much more to go now. After today, we need to paint all the baseboards and casings and get those installed, and do some cleanup painting in the living, dining, and family rooms. And the racewalking clinic is in 13 days.

Time to sprint again...

Onward.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year... even if a bit belated..

Yes, happy New Year to everyone! We rung in 2009 at home watching TV, spiriting outdoors right at midnight to see and hear all the fireworks going off. I also got my traditional phone call from my brother in California, and we once again joked how he was 'so last year' because he's one time zone away.

So with a new year comes resolutions and all that. I decided that 2009 I will be refocusing my life on my physical fitness and specifically racewalking. It has always been a sort-of goal of mine to race in the National 5k in Tennessee held in October. However, I'd like to be in really good shape before even thinking about signing up for it. Even in the best of shape, I'd still likely come in last or darned near close to it, so I'd like to make the experience as least humiliating as possible. At least if I'm in really good shape, I can feel that I really did my all for that caliber of an event.

Today I hopped on my treadmill -- finally cleared off after a month of storing stuff on it from the kitchen remodel, which is still underway -- and did an easy 3 miles. I kept an even pace throughout the entire workout, no changes whatsoever. It felt great, no aches or pains, and didn't feel laborious at all. Tomorrow I'm planning on heading over to the Y in the morning for a weight workout. I think it's been exactly a year since I was there last. My last experience there was quite a doozy. I watched a woman on the treadmill in front of me lose her footing, have her feet fly out from under her and watched her land on her face. Then she rolled down the still moving belt of the treadmill, unconscious, before going into a full blown seizure, stopped breathing and starting turning blue. Thankfully, she was revived and was conscious and sitting up by the time I left the place. I was, and still am, very shaken by those images. Shortly after that lovely incident I came down with Valley Fever and the rest of my year was blown.

So tomorrow, it's back to the Y for a full weight workout. I expect to feel quite sore on Wednesday. I've decided on a workout schedule for this semester which should work out pretty well. MWFSu are racewalking/running days. TTh will be weight training days. Today I also discovered something fantastic! There is a full blown gym/rec center at ASU, with a swimming pool, available to me, FOR FREE!!! Since I am a student, I am automatically a member! Hot diggety! So after my class on T/Th ends at 10:15am, I'll simply walk down to the rec center, on campus, do my workout, shower there, and come home. They also have personal trainers (for a fee) and a massage therapist (also for a fee, albeit a very affordable one of $45/hr). I cannot begin to express how awesome this is for me! I can go workout, and not have to always go to the Y.

New also for 2009: stop procrastinating, or better yet, stop waiting for others to do things to start something myself. I've always been a rather impatient person. The world has always gone in slow motion for me. To me, it seems to take people F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get things done. So, I've learned to be patient, bite my tongue and not express my frustration over waiting, and not try to do everything myself. However, this has also led to some situations where, indeed, it would have been far better to take the reigns myself and just 'do it'. I'm finding that while I'm still able to hold my tongue, I feel more resentment towards people than I ever have in the past. So, for this year, I'm going to not be quite so patient, and learn to express my frustration in constructive ways. This might end up hurting some people's feelings, but I'm just tired of being patient ALL THE TIME. It's time for me to consider my own needs as important (not always more important, just important), and it's ok to 'light a fire' under someone else sometimes. This will also not leave any room for excuses for not getting something done, another bad habit I noticed I've started to get into.

For 2009: Enjoy what I enjoy, more often. Meaning, spend time on things that I like to do and wish to pursue. Photography, gardening, my degree, knitting, racewalking, traveling, skiing. All things that I haven't really been able to delve into as much as I'd have liked to in many years. These are the things I enjoy spending my time on and improving. Often life is unbalanced the other way: too much leisure, not enough focusing on responsibilities. For me, it's been the other way around and it's time to change that.

Onward, to a great 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Week in rewind

Christmas week has come and gone, and I'm feeling relieved and melancholic about that. I love the holidays, but the stress, especially this year, can get to me. I had a really great Christmas and got way more than I expected. One thing I did get was a brand new camera! Yay! Finally, no more sucky pictures. So here are a few pictures from this week:

Our stockings were all hung by the fire...


Christmas Eve dinner in our empty shell of a kitchen, trying to be as normal as possible!


Our Christmas tree in the family room.


Capturing the water vapor coming off the pool one very cold morning (we had below freezing temps)!

Fun with my new camera, a Nikon D80.

video

That's me racewalking at the track yesterday. Filming is courtesy of my 10yo son and his new video camera!