Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fitness Challenge Accepted!

The ubiquitous eternal grail - finding time for fitness! 

Unfortunately, my grail has morphed into finding something that I CAN do. Not will do, or want to do if I have the time, but can, as in physically, actually, do. With my smashed-and-rebuilt knee suddenly becoming an octogenarian in my relatively young body, I find myself unable to do 90% of any exercise program. It has been astonishing to me to find out exactly how much knee work all sorts of exercises use! I can't even cycle any more!

So, I was quite surprised to find this little workout. No knee stress! Challenge Accepted!

I plan to do this full workout for 30 days and will log my progress here by editing this post daily. I'll play this video on my phone every morning and complete Toni's Torture, starting today. This is my accountability.

I challenge you to join me!

Challenge Metrics:
Waist measurement Day 1: 32" (You can tell I haven't been exercising! Ugh!)
Waist measurement Day 30: TBA

#1 Full plank 60 secs
#2 Elbow plank 30 secs
#3 Leg Raise plank LEFT 30 secs RIGHT 30 secs
#4 Left Side plank 30 secs
#5 Right Side plank 30 secs
#6 Full plank 30 secs Bonus 10 secs
#7 Elbow plank 60 secs

Challenge Log:
Day 1 Exercise #1 Pass #2 Pass #3 Fail (only 5 secs, left, 7 secs right) #4 Pass #5 Fail (5 secs) #6 Pass (even the little add-on bit at the end!) #7 Fail (5 secs)
Notes: oooh... harder than I expected! I've lost quite a bit of strength

Day 2 Ex #1 Pass #2 Pass #3 Fail (L&R 15s) #4 Pass #5 Pass #6 Pass (incl bonus) #7 Fail (40s)
Notes: I'm feeling it today. My abs are tender. During the exercise, my arms shook like jelly (must be jelly, 'cos jam don't shake!) I managed the side planks by sheer determination, but oh, I felt it!

Friday, March 9, 2018

What Happens When You Go To The Dinosaur Park Alone....

.... and there's nobody there but you and your self-timer camera!

Just hanging with my peeps!

Got me a hot date!

Yeah, we've been in line all day.

Duck and cover!

Oooh... a little more to the left... yes... just there...

It's an honor to meet you, sir!

Please sir, may I pass?

Seriously, dude, I gotta go now!

Winchester, VA

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Halloween Table Runner

Himself was away and called home. I had sent him a photo of a table runner that I'd been working on all summer and the top was finally completed. He asked me if I could create a Halloween* table runner before he got home. Seeing as he was scheduled to get home five days later, and a weekend was in the middle of that five days, I scoffed that it was no problem! 

* Yes, this post is a little late. So?

Off to the quilt shop to get some Halloween fabrics and ideas. I ended up piecing these cute pumpkins, backed with a Harry Potter style newsprint.

With thanks to Little Cottage Quilt Shop in Medina for the kit!

And surrounded by some spiderweb

Those eight pumpkins all looked a bit blah on their own, so I made an extra-large pumpkin for the middle. I didn't have enough fabric for the surround, so scavenged some purple Halloween figurines and some skulls fabric and put it all together. 

Much better!

This one was a quilt-by-checkbook and went off to be done. I took the advice of the lady on what colors to use, but I think I should have gone with orange. Orange would have popped against the black and allowed me to use the table runner on both sides. The purple is totally lost, even on the front! I had to edit the heck out of this photo to get the webs to show up for you!

Then I was totally stumped for the border. My beloved quilt instructor to the rescue! She had this marvelous lime green spider fabric and kindly donated some. 

All done!

Did I get it done before Himself came home?

Turned out to be a trick question. Sneaky rat had a surprise return planned and arrived the next day! So, no. 

But I did get it finished before my Halloween party!

Photobomb! :)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spread a Little Sunshine on Your Eggs

And your toast. 

And your sausage, and your bacon, and your steak, and your baked potato, and your cheese, and your broccoli, and your banana .... hmmmm.... I think the only thing I HAVEN'T put this on would be my morning oatmeal!

"This" would be Himself's Hot Pepper Jam, made with a selection of hot peppers grown in his garden, and using an old African recipe because I totally don't understand this modern pectin stuff and that batch was a complete fail. All of these others are organic, preservative free, homegrown goodness!

By careful selection of the hot peppers and bell peppers, Himself managed to come up with a veritable rainbow of jams. 

Ranging from rich reds, cheeky corals, and vibrant oranges, 

through to dusky browns and military green. We haven't managed an emerald green yet, but I'm sure we'll work on that with the harvest this year.

He even managed some chunky multi-colored varieties. 

I made the first batch and it came out like jam; sweet, but with a hint of spice. Then Himself took over and has been producing increasingly nuanced flavors, all the way up to the ones that make my eyes water while he's cooking them! 

We've started looking at the different varietals at the nursery, with an eye to jam production in the coming fall. In the interim, though, I've got a date with something yummy! Nom nom nom

Friday, February 2, 2018

Easy Spelling Tricks for Those Sneaky Words That Sound the Same

It is no surprise to those close to me that I am inherently lazy. No need to do something the hard way if you can find an easy way to get it done. It drives my quilting instructor absolutely crazy! ;)

Therefore, it should be no surprise that I've worked out some spelling tricks for those sneaky words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Keep these little tidbits at the back of your mind and you'll always use the correct spelling, effortlessly writing like a boss!

Stationery vs Stationary

Are you talking about keeping still, or needing to requisition some supplies? The trick to remembering the spelling is in a couple of keywords: "pen" and "standing".

Then: stationEry = pEn and stationAry = stAnding

My stationery list included a new set of elastic bands to snap at my colleagues' ankles.
The leopard crouches, stationary in the grass, waiting for its prey.

Grey vs Gray

This one is laughably easy. The correct spelling is determined by country.

If you are in America = grAy and if you are in England = grEy

I kid you not!

America is likes red and blue more than gray
British skies are often grey

Baited vs Bated

I cannot tell you how many times I've read that somebody is waiting for something with baited breath and the desire to offer them a TicTac is sooooo strong! Here's how to get it right every time.

Bait is something you use to set a trap, like a worm on a hook to catch fish. So if you're talking about bait, think of fish. Both have an "i" in the spelling. 

If you're not talking about fish, worms, or how to catch men, please use "bated".  It sort of means "to hold your breath", as you would if you were nervous, afraid, or excited.

He baited the line with a fresh wiggling worm while she hurled her lunch over the side of the boat. 
She watched with bated breath as the director signed her name on the movie contract. 

To vs Too

It is so distracting to see too when it should be to, and bad spelling too! 


"Too" is used when there is an excess of something; consider it a kind of "plus one". So if you're trying to add yourself in agreement, think of yourself as plus one: "me too." If you're asking for an additional item from the grocery store, it's a plus one: "get red berries, and green ones too!" If the bus is full and there is still a queue of folks waiting to get on, it's a bus load plus one (or plus many): "too many passengers." Always ask yourself, "could I use 'plus one' here to get my idea across?" If the answer is yes, use too, because it is "to" plus one "o". 
Get me to the church on time!
Let me have one too!

Hope this helps you in future. What words have I missed? Do you need any sneaking spelling tips? Do you have any?