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.

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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

5 miles at the track

OK, I didn't make it out to walk the other day. I swear it's a conspiracy! Almost every day in the past 1.5 weeks, I have gotten up and dressed to workout. And then, BAM! Something major comes up, especially with the remodel, that totally derails my plans.

Not today. I got up a bit later than usual, but specifically planned ahead of time with all the work I completed yesterday, to get out there this morning. Geez, you wouldn't think it would take me 12 days to get in a decent workout!
It was a beautiful morning to be out there too. Sunny and very crisp/cool. I decided to head over to the high school track so I could easily take off my extra layers and mitts and not worry about carrying it all for miles. I popped in my iPod, and round and round I went. Five miles, very easy, in the beautiful Solstice morning. I finished in just a touch over an hour. With the way this year has been for working out, I'm surprised I'm still in decent enough shape to do that! Honestly, it hasn't been a great year for staying in shape (and unfortunately, the scale reflects that fact). I'm hoping that since this giant remodeling job will finally be complete (it's been more than 2 years in the making), and so long as I stay healthy (chances of contracting Valley Fever a 3rd time are truly remote), I'm really hoping racewalking and staying fit in general become the primary focus of my life once again. This morning's workout felt so good, so so good. I really didn't want to stop but, alas, things in life need to get done still and I needed to get on those things today as well. That won't ever change, but I'd like to think that I could squeeze in decent workouts more than once every 12 days!!

Well, off to finish the last of the Christmas gifts that I'm knitting. A pair of socks for my brother in Regia Superwash Wool. The pattern is called Retro Rib socks. Easy enough pattern to memorize, but more purling than anything else, and I'm not a big purl fan. I'll be glad to be done with this pattern.

Here are some other gifts I knitted this year for the holidays:

These are socks for my SIL. The pattern is called Nutkins, and they are knit in Prism Sock yarns, colorway Mojave. Great yarn!

This is my mom's Linen Stitch Scarflet and matching fingerless mitts in Malabrigo Yarn, colorway Col China. The buttons are hand made lead-free pewter made by Roosterick on Etsy.

Happy Holidays to everyone!!!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Eco Note

Two other things rocked for me yesterday as well.

1. Our city now accepts all plastics #1-7! Due to the remodel we have had to resort to disposable plates and cups (just no room to store enough for the 4 of us). With the change in the acceptable plastics, we can now recycle all the cups and plates. Big high 5 for the City of Mesa!

2. The rain this morning refilled our rain barrels to capacity. We now have about 200 gallons of rainwater. Above photo is from this morning's storm. After about 5 minutes, this 55 gallon barrel was refilled (it was about 1/2 empty) and I had to close off the gutter. I wish I had more rain barrels!

A banner day

Yesterday was quite the day here. All sorts of new stuff came in! I finally got my main computer back a little more than a week ago, all fresh and ready to go. They did have to remove absolutely everything, and reboot it all from scratch. Thank goodness I saved all of my files. So to really make it run better, I also bought a new RAM card, and a new wireless router. Installed the new router yesterday and, yay, the laptop now gets a nice strong, consistent signal out to the guesthouse. Considering we still have a couple of weeks to go on the kitchen remodel, and my older son seems to really like being out there, it was time to upgrade the router to accommodate that need.

But the really big stuff that happened yesterday was the installation of our new kitchen window and the sliding glass door!!! No more plywood boards at night! Take a look --

As you can see in the window, there is a passthrough so I can now hand things out to those outside directly from the kitchen.

It has been raining here for the past few days, and in fact, is raining hard right now as I type this. I haven't had much opportunity to work out at all for a week between the kitchen stuff, studying for my final exam (which was on Monday), playing catch-up with all the things I needed to do, and getting ready for Christmas. On top of all of that, I've been working on the upcoming racewalking clinic that I'm hosting at the end of January. So far, participant interest has been pretty high and registrations are coming in. I expect that after New Year's and then again after the Rock n' Roll marathon, there will be a bit of a surge in registrations as in previous years. It will be lots of fun to have all those participants at my home, and I'll certainly enjoy entertaining in my new kitchen!

OK, off to get the kids ready for school and me, ready to workout. Rain or no rain, I'm walkin'!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Couple of updates on the house

Here are some pics of some of the new and nifty stuff happening with the remodel.

This is the Solatube in the pantry. It will also have a light in the tube for nighttime use, however, in this picture, that is pure sunlight alone that you see. These are a bit pricey but are great for enclosed rooms like our pantry, and they are really nice looking!

This is the new closet opening, now near the front door rather than around the corner in the hallway. Finally, a normally functioning coat closet that you can actually get into!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Brushing the dust off

Hello everyone! It's been a while and I still haven't gotten the main computer back, but I've managed to steal a few hours on the laptop. Things have been busy here at the Kneedle house!

After spending fruitless hours attempting to clean up the computer, we've had to resign to the fact that it was rather hopeless. So, I managed to save all of my important files from it, and it's been sent to the cleaners to be cleared of everything. And yes, I do mean everything, including the operating system. I was, thankfully, wise enough to save all of the disks that came with it back when I bought it, which included a complete re-boot disk that I've never had to open. So long as that goes well, I should have a running computer of my own again within a week. If things don't go well, I'll be buying a whole new computer. Either way I should be back to blogging regularly within another 2 weeks or so. Yay!

On other notes, we've also been extraordinarily busy now that, at long last, the kitchen remodel has begun! They started this past Monday, and it will be a month or so by the time it's all done. Please take a look-see at my Flickr page for the dramatic pictures. It really is something to behold -- especially the large hole in my wall leading to the backyard! We have been relegated to preparing and eating our meals in the (dust-free) guesthouse. I'm not complaining at all, I can't imagine trying to live completely in the house while all of this is going on. So my daily routine, aside from school work and trying to get in decent workouts, include covering up everything that I can with sheets and tarps to keep the dust accumulation to a minimum. And then dusting off the dust every day so we can function in the few rooms of the house that aren't completely mangled.

Other than that, workouts and knitting still consume a large part of my day. I've managed to keep a regular, albeit still very light, workout schedule. Time to ramp things up and beef up the weekly mileage, and add in some speed workouts.

Knitting wise, I recently worked up a linen stitch scarflet for my mom for Christmas,with matching fingerless mitts in mmmmmmmmalabrigo. This yarn is sooo yummy! I've also picked back up some Retro Rib socks I started in July. I'm almost to the heel flap on sock #2!! Yay, and not a minute too soon as these are destined to be my brother's Christmas present. I've yet to start the legwarmers for my nephew, perhaps this weekend if I finish off those socks.

Well that's it for now. Hope you enjoy some pics until I can blog again in a week or so!