Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some promised pictures

My lone tomato plant, which has some flowers (yay! soon to be tomatoes hopefully). Too small to see unfortunately.

My lone okra plant and several broccoli plants.

My Bunko Bucket Bag!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Back!!!!

Whew! That was a really awful week. And, after all that studying for organic Chemistry, I still only managed a 'D' on that exam, so I've dropped that class. I'm still going strong in Analytical Chemistry, so that will be my only class for this semester. Not sure why I couldn't wrap my brain around the reactions, but I tried. When the test was put in front of me, I just blanked out.

As predicted, I didn't workout or knit for that week plus. However, since deciding to drop the class on Sunday, I immediately got back into myself and picked up yarn and got busy. So, in one day, I crocheted up a bucket bag purse, which I fulled yesterday, for our monthly bunko gift swap. Once a month, a group of neighborhood girls and I get together for some fun playing bunko, enjoying a few alcoholic beverages, and gossip. At the end of the night we have a white elephant gift exchange based on a predetermined theme. This coming up month the theme is purses, so what better purse can I give than a one-of-a-kind creation of my own! I'll try to post a picture later today. I used Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn in a multi colored colorway called 'Strawberry Patch', with a plain red border on the top. It looks pretty darned good, was very fast with a 'P' sized crochet hook, and fulled up quickly and firmly. I almost hate giving it away!

I'm also working on a pair of plain stockinette socks for my mother-in-law. She asked for some several weeks ago when she saw me working on something else. I'm knitting these up with Panda Cotton sock yarn, in a pink colorway (sorry, don't remember the name of it right now). Then, my sister-in-law has asked me to knit up some leg warmers for my new nephew, which I'm happy to oblige on that request (who am I to turn down a request to knit someone something -- that'd be sacrilige)!

I finally got out this morning for a workout after my 10 day + hiatus. Boy, did it feel wonderful! I thought I would be much slower, but actually I finished the 2 miles in under 12mpm pace, which I thought was pretty darned good. And if I had had more time, I could've gone further. After taking the kiddo to school I did another walk to the store to mail off a few Netflix movies that needed to be returned, and pick up a few items we needed. While I didn't racewalk there or back, I kept my pace at under 15mpm both ways to at least feel a bit more like a workout. It's a bit hard to racewalk with a backpack when there's a water bottle, and a bottle of mustard careening back and forth slamming into each of your kidneys. Yeah. Not cool. So I got in a total of 4.75 miles this morning, and it felt great!!!

I also discovered about a week ago, that the track at the university is located right next to the parking lot where I park. How convenient! Now that it's getting light a lot later in the morning, and I don't have my OChem class anymore, I can still arrive at the school the same time I did before, and get in a workout before my AChem class! Score! I just hope my classmates don't mind the post-workout 'ripeness' that I may exude. Maybe I'll take some deodorant with me to cover things up a bit.....

I mentioned briefly in a previous post my interest in gardening. Well, here in the desert Southwest, we garden a bit differently than the rest of the world. Nothing grows here in the summer (except okra I'm happy to have discovered), so pretty much most gardening is bassackwards compared to everywhere else. I finally ripped out my okra plants (I think 14 pints of okra pickles is enough, thankyou), and recently planted broccoli plants, a tomato plant, tomato from seed, peas, lettuce, carrots, parsnips, and a jalapeno plant. The broccoli and tomato plant are doing well (even have flowers on the tomato plant already), and the lettuce, carrots and parsnips have all sprouted. The tomato from seed and the jalapeno plant did not :(. So I've replanted some more seed, in containers this time, so I can move them around more to get more sunlight. The peas -- well, they sprouted. But, as soon as they sprouted, it seems, the birds dug up the sprout and took off with the seed!!!! GRRRRRR!!! I'm so not happy about this. I've replanted some this morning, in containers, and in the garden straight, and am trying out some measures to deter them. However, if any of you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

OK, so that's what's been going on around here. Hoping that with my time now incredibly freed up, I should be posting more often.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coming up for air

I'm buried in my chemistry books as I have 2 exams this week. Despite studying all week long, I'm still feeling very unprepared. While I'm not totally in the dark in trying to understand everything, I've not had the 'lightbulb' moment yet, when it all seems to mesh together. Oh well.

Anyway, due to the exams, I doubt I will have anything else to post regarding workouts or knitting this week. It is literally that bad!! So hopefully I'll have something fun to write for you next weekend!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday workout

Yahoo! I managed to get out this morning and do my normal 3 mile route. Kept an average 12mpm pace throughout other than the warmup and cooldown, each about .15 miles. My times are still not great, but have not built in any speedwork yet, still trying to get consistent weekly mileage down. I'm loving this Fall weather in the morning! It was nice to get out after taking the kidlet to school, rather than waking up in the dark just to workout before the kids were off to school. Up until this week, it was way too warm to get in a decent workout after about 8am, so I had to do it before rather than after taking him in.

Yay for Fall!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

First Fall workout

Woke up this morning to find the temperature hovering at 50F!! Finally, Fall has arrived in the desert Southwest, even if only for a few days (we're expecting 90's again later this week). I got myself out there and completed a slow easy racewalking/walking workout of 5.15 miles. I was very slow, on purpose, as workouts have been inconsistent despite my best efforts to get back into a groove. I haven't done more than 3 miles since I don't know when, but this morning was the perfect weather. Surprisingly, I only saw 1 runner and 2 walkers out there this morning. Thankfully, no loose dogs today.

Oh yeah, and my new shoes finally arrived about 2 weeks ago!

Off to study and decorate the house today for Halloween. Maybe I'll bake an apple pie today as well.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rock the Vote? How about just...

voting. A few people who read my blog and know me have asked why I do not put anything political on my blog. A fair inquiry considering that the election is the hot subject of the day, coupled with the market, and the fact that I'm actually a very politically active person (at least when it comes to voting and the elections). I have purposely avoided even hinting at my political leanings in this blog. I'd like to think that I share enough of my interests already, and adding politics into this blog might turn people off, plain and simple.

I'm not going to change that with this post. But, with the elections just a little more than 3 weeks away, I thought I would put out a request to everyone regarding a few things in this election.

1. Be sure you are registered. If you're not and can still do so in your state, get it done.
2. Read about the candidates relative to your ballot. While the presidential election is the most known, really, your local politics - state representative, school board members, judges, propositions) - will have a far more reaching and immediate effect on your everyday life than who's sitting in the Oval Office. Prepare to spend some time going over those things, as they often take a bit of digging to find out the information you may need to make your decision.
3. If you're going to go to the polls, rather than complete an early ballot, be sure you know the rules. Most states prohibit wearing any shirts, buttons etc., that endorse any candidate or particular party. And while being decked out in your most flamboyant blue or red dress might get around that rule, it might be construed as being influential, and then you don't get to vote. If you want to show that kind of support for your candidate, then change, after you vote of course, into that eye-popping ensemble, stand at the required distance from the actual polls, and sing ballads about your candidate, if that suits your fancy.
4. Most important, VOTE! Don't want to hang out in the lines? Then request an early ballot. Here in Arizona, you can request an early ballot as late as Oct. 24th I believe. Check your states election board website for info for your area. Often you can request it right online, so it's really easy. Filling out an early ballot also allows you all the time you need to research all those local items that I mentioned above.

I believe one of the most precious rights afforded to us in this country is the right to vote. While it's tempting to do things that might tip the scale in our candidates favor, to do so to such a degree that you might cause someone else so much discomfort that they don't vote, is unpatriotic in my opinion. Think of how you might feel in a very (red/blue) state, and show up to the polls and everyone is decked out in the majority color, and you're not. How comfortable would you feel in this group of people? Probably not very, and this could make someone turn around and not vote at all. So let's rock the vote!


A good week?????

Indeed, it was a good week for me. Oh, not financially-wise -- we all know what's gone on with the stock market this week. We've lost a good 30% value on our retirement accounts as of right now. Good thing I have no intention of using that money any time soon.

But in other aspects, life has been good. I managed to get in 2 really good walking workouts during this week, AND get out for 3 bike rides as well. I'm still behind in my school work, but I'm not as behind as I was a week ago. Knitting-wise, I finally (!) finished working on that cardigan. I wish I could say I actually finished it, but alas, they did not give me nearly enough yarn. I would need probably 2 more skeins for the size they had me knit up. Guess they need to update that pattern a bit. So, now I've started a pair of socks for my MIL, and have a request from my SIL to knit up some legwarmers for my incredibly, adorable nephew. Every time I see a picture of him, my heart just melts... he really is that cute! I wish I could see him in person before, ya know, he grows up! Hopefully soon!

Oh, I wanted to share with all of you the wonderful hat I made with my friend Gherkin's homespun/handdyed most awesome yarn. Please check out her Etsy shop here .

This is the pattern Slanted Lace Hat by OrangeKnits , very easy pattern, even for a beginning knitter.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quick update

Haven't blogged much in the past 2 weeks as things here have been very busy. Haven't worked out much due to my heavy homework demands and (yay) actually starting on the demolition of our kitchen! We haven't done a whole lot, but have taken out a large cabinet and, after several unsuccessful attempts, have also starting ripping out the tile floor. We met with our contractor and the cabinet guy within the past week, and things are a-go! While demolition continues, we'll be waiting about 5 weeks for the cabinets to be completed and delivered. So if all goes well (I'm not holding my breath), I should have a new kitchen by Thanksgiving. I'm thinking it will be more like Christmas, but that's ok.

In the meantime, I did harvest the rest of my okra and pickled/canned those. Also, got some raspberries delivered from Utah and canned a bunch of that as well. Here are my treasures! These will taste great come wintertime.I think I have a total of 14 pints of okra pickles and 3 quarts plus 2 pints of canned raspberries in a light syrup. Yummy!