Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 456

Not much in the way of words today on this last day of May, just a look at some of my flowers in bloom. Guess I'm kind of into the pinks.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 455: Win It Wednesday

He gets salmon and you get chicken.

If you've been a reader of my blog for a while you know my husband has cerebral palsy. He's not wheelchair bound, but he does have physical limitations. If you were to watch him walk and interact you might think he was someone who had a stroke, with the right side of his body pretty much immobile.

His limitations have impacted our lives. He doesn't drive and so every time he wants/needs to go somewhere - to work, the doctor's office, the store - he has to be driven. He can't tie his own shoes or the ties he wears to work every day. He has trouble using a can opener, putting on a belt, and can't cut his own steak.

But bless his little heart, he has decided to go to physical therapy to try and build some strength on his affected side. For years I've tried to get him there and now he's doing it. All because of the salmon. He wants to go salmon fishing when we go to Alaska this summer, wants to hold the pole with two hands and try and reel the fish in himself. What a great reason to be motivated, huh?

So he'll have the salmon. And I'll give you the chicken.

Today's Win It Wednesday is an applique wall quilt I made some time ago with some crazy chickens. It measures 40" x 48". I love it, but because of my downsizing initiative I have to rid myself of it. Believe me, it's a hard one to give up.

If you're interested in these crazy chickens, post a comment here. If more than one person is interested, I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 454

I am fessing up today. Occasionally I might take a couple pictures in the same day and use one for the following day. It's rare that it happens, but it does every once in a while. I thought I was going to get away with it today, but I can't.

The picture I'm posting today is raindrops in one of my poppies. Being there was no rain today (darn!) I can't say it was from today. But I like it and it's going here anyway.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 453

I almost went into work today but I talked myself out of it. It's a bad time of year at work, a time that takes all my time. I knew going into this job it would be this way, but it probably doesn't help that I'm trying to get ready for a yard sale, too.

So while I didn't go into work today, I did work from home on not fun work stuff. But I also did home stuff. I went through books for the yard sale and put some more fabric up on ebay. I picked out the Win It Wednesday prize for this week (if you like chickens you might like this one) and got working on another kids' quilt.

And I'm cleaning up my dinner diet and am planning on having juice for dinner instead of having it for lunch. At lunch I had tuna fish on double fiber bread with some veggie chips on the side. Interesting-looking veggie chips. Who knew a taro root chip would look like this?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 452

Who, on their way home from the grocery store, stops in a Kmart parking lot at 7:30 in the morning to get a picture for the day? That would be me. Something about a car carrier with a mixture of old and new vehicles was interesting.

I'm just waffling on how to best tie it in to today. Is it because today is a "car" day? We'll be watching both the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 on TV - that's over 1,000 miles of cars going 'round and 'round.

But today's picture probably better represents how I'm feeling. Although we still juice twice a day, going out to dinner almost every night is getting the best of me. I'm starting to feel like the vehicle on the left. It's time to clean up my dinner diet so I can start feeling nice and shiny like the vehicle on the right.

Tinted windows, here I come! (I don't really know what that means but it sounded cool.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 451

Knowing we're wanting to downsize - and knowing hubby is on board - is making it easier.

Easier to get rid of all my old accumulated teaching materials. Easier to get rid of clothes that don't fit, decorative knick knacks I'll never use, Christmas decorations I don't absolutely love. It has also made it easier to get rid of fabric scraps.

Every time I made a quilt in the past year, I wound up with a stack of scraps. I even used those scraps to make crumb quilts (like this one on Day 107), but I'm tired of the scraps. I'm making some new quilts and will wind up with even more scraps, so I figured it was time for the old ones to go. I wound up with a large flat rate boxed stuffed full. Go figure.

Yard sale them? Nope. I am jumping (back) into the ebay realm as a seller. Hopefully someone can find a good use for them.
If you're interested, you can find the auction here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 450

After I wrote yesterday's blog about it being Mother's Day around our house, I got a present.

Since I'm a salt and pepper shaker collector, my daughter presented me with two new pair. Snoopy on the doghouse and Lucy doing her thing. Love them!

Speaking of presents, a Win It Wednesday gift is going to amyrdh. Amy, use the "Contact Me" button on the right side of the page to send me your address and I'll send those blocks your way!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 449

We got around to celebrating Mother's Day today. Kiddo came home and we've been hanging out, planting flowers and getting all the long grass out of the strawberry bed. Except we found out it wasn't long grass that was growing in there. Last fall we used straw to mulch the bed and I guess there were some seeds left in that straw.

If we hadn't caught it now, I think we would have wound up grinding our own wheat into flour soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 448: Win It Wednesday

Can't believe we're back to another Win It Wednesday again. A good thing for me as I still have tons of stuff to send your way!

Today's prize is part of something I picked up months ago on Day 273. Old, hand stitched 8 1/2 inch star quilt blocks. The stars are red, black, and blue. (I didn't count how many of each.) 48 blocks total. It looks like the white portions of the blocks were made from old men's shirts and that part of the material is starting to fall apart (as seen on the corner of the blue block).

I don't know if anyone would have any use for them, but if you're interested just leave a post here. If more than one person wants them, I'll choose someone on Friday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 447

This going out to eat has to stop. Juice for breakfast, juice for lunch, mexican food for dinner. Again and again and again.

I think hubby is planning on going down the menu at Alejandra's and eating every single item there is on it. Today he had #39. I don't remember the name (Arracheras), but it was beef with onions and peppers served in a huge, piping hot bowl. Super spicy and super good.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 446

I took hubby for a celebration margarita tonight. His official last day of school. For the next 84 days he will not be thinking about school and not taking any classes. His mind will be on summer.

Although after tonight's margarita his mind isn't on much of anything. One margarita and he fell asleep as I was driving us home. Poor guy, must have been a long day/year!

(The margarita really isn't as big as it looks - it's just the camera angle.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 445

This sums it all up:

  • Peonies are blooming.
  • Vegetable garden is finally all planted.
  • Mama hummingbird is ready for babies.
  • I'm ready for a rest. My back is shot.

  • Now
    May 2

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Day 444

    Through a series of one thing leading to open July schedule for us and needing to gear up for a year of unknowns (we have major changes happening in both our school systems), a special fare sale, some expiring cruise credits, and just plum spontaneity, we decided last night after a two minute conversation that came out of the blue...we're going to Alaska.

    Not just for a few days. Two back-to-back cruises on the same ship. 14 total days. Over my birthday. Just me and hubby. And the juicer.

    Drive to Seattle, take in a Mariners game. Drive to Vancouver, British Columbia, leave our car at the hotel. Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier and then the same stops on the way back. And a suspension foot bridge thrown in near Yukon Territory to help me overcome my fear of heights. (See it here.)

    Another fear was how to break it to my daughter and my mom. We took our daughter on a cruise to Alaska to get her the 50th state and I took my mom one year for her birthday. I already broke it to my daughter (she wasn't happy about it). Breaking it to my mom is happening right now as she's reading this. Sorry to both of them.

    Maybe roses from the garden will help?

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Day 443

    Today was the last day of school at my husband's school and, as usual, the seniors pranked the school last night. In the past they have put an outhouse on top of the school, welded pieces of a car around the flagpole, and covered the grounds with realtor for sale signs. Last night they did their pranks inside the school building. My husband's room was one of those that received some attention. If my husband had a camera with him this morning I would be posting a picture of the sight he saw.

    As a high school teacher, something he hears from kids year after year is
    That sucks.
    The assignment sucks.
    That test sucks.
    to which hubby always replies
    Then get a straw.

    When he opened his classroom door this morning, he found straws all over his room. Lots of straws. Thousands of straws. (Hubby actually was quite excited - now he'll never again have to take a straw to school for his juice!)

    Since he didn't have a camera, today's picture winds up being another end of the school year related picture - the wall quilt I finished for the fellow retiring. A second bonus picture happened today when we came the back way home from the store and stopped at the lake to drink some juice we had bought. I thought the dead tree in the water looked interesting.

    Fish, water, dead trees, and straws. An interesting day for us both. And I can't forget the Win it Wednesday prize winner. Congrats to...Kristin!

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Day 442

    Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

    My husband has his end-of-the-year celebration tomorrow and I had promised a while back that I'd make a wall quilt for one of the retirees. But I haven't even started yet.

    It's not like I haven't been busy. More 14+ hours days at work this week has left me little time to do much else. But guess how I'll be spending my day off today? Scrambling to get that wall quilt done. Fabrics need to be chosen and cut, pieces assembled, and the whole thing quilted. All in one single day.

    Thank goodness I got myself up early to get started. Otherwise I would have missed a spectacular sunrise.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Day 441: Win It Wednesday

    It's another Win It Wednesday and another shot at a homemade item.

    Remember that memory game where you have all the cards face down and you turn over two at a time to make a match? My version is made of fabric with some batting between layers to make it much easier for those itty bitty fingers to grasp. I made an ocean-themed one back on Day 8. I also have a kitty cat one. They even come with their own drawstring carrying bag.

    If you'd like a shot at them for your kids, grandkids, or even your classroom, just leave a comment on the post. If more than one person is interested, I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Day 440

    Yesterday morning I woke up from a dream where the mama hummingbird had returned. Since my bedroom window was open, I thought maybe I had heard her buzzing around outside and in my dream. (Like when I dream the phone is ringing and wake up to the phone actually ringing.) When I went outside yesterday to take my pictures for the day I looked around and couldn't find her.

    But as I was sitting at the computer working on schoolwork here at home early this morning, guess who kept buzzing around my den window? Yup, mama hummingbird. I tried to get a picture of her but she was just too darn fast for me. I had to head to work so I couldn't be as patient as I would have liked, but boy, was I excited she was back!

    Guess I wasn't the only one. When I called hubby saying I was leaving work and on my way home he said to me, "Guess who is back?" Except he didn't just see hummingbird today but also saw that yellow bird from last year, too.

    Now here I sit, typing away, thinking about how I can tie my thoughts on mama hummingbird into a non-hummingbird picture. Someone just appeared at the window and made things easier.

    Darn, still just a bit too fast for me!

    Monday, May 14, 2012

    Day 439

    Despite being inside most of the day either napping or watching TV or bleaching the juicer or answering all the robocalls from the candidates running in tomorrow's primary, I did get myself a couple of pictures from outside.

    One is from the rose garden - our first rose of this year is ready to pop.

    The other is from the front bed. Gross, slimy, slug. I know some people smash them, but it was gross enough having to touch him (with gloves on) and toss him in the trash can.  Yuck.

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Day 438: Happy Mother's Day

    Happy Mother's Day everyone!

    Whether your family surprises you...
    with food...
    or flowers...

    I hope you're able to spend it with those you love.

    Hope you're having a great day.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Day 437

    We (my mom and I) got back from Jackpot today. We took the back way home and I snapped some pictures along the way.

    In the Snake River Canyon between the tiny towns of Buhl and Hagerman you'll find Thousand Springs. The Snake River Plains Aquifer runs for thousands of miles underground and the water eventually emerges and spills out from the canyon walls. I'm not sure it exactly springs from one thousands spots, but I'm guessing close to it.

    I couldn't forget hubby, so I also snapped a picture for him. He's a fan of barns and I found a pretty good one.

    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Day 436

    I hope yesterday it didn't seem like I was complaining about work. I love my job, I'm good at my job, and I'm respected at my job. And I'm ever-so-thankful that I have a job.

    Remember, it was just a year ago I wasn't sure I'd ever work again. Didn't think it was in me. Didn't think I could get well enough, didn't think I had the stamina, didn't think I could regain my confidence. But I did in all those departments.

    But things are changing at work and it'll be interesting how it all plays out. The only thing I know for sure about next year is that I'll have a job somewhere, doing something, and working more days than I did this year (which then translates into extra dollars).

    Other things are changing at home, too. My father-in-law picked up the lift chair yesterday. That piece of furniture was where I slept after one of my shoulder surgeries and where I, even just a few months ago, spent my mornings to help get my back ready for the day. And now I don't need it anymore and it gets to go away. I have new routines in place for making my back make it through the day.

    Like taking a shower in the mornings. Just a short couple months ago, I wasn't able to do that. On Day 364 I took a shower in the morning for the first time in years. Now those morning showers have become commonplace. Again, ever-so-thankful.

    I even notice a difference with the gambling. Just barely a year ago when I went to the casino with my hubby my body really had a tough time. Not so much now. Granted, I did spend all day in the room catching up on my magazine reading.

    Reading and looking out the window ever so often and making sure I chose my "Win-It Wednesday" winner. My magazines are all read up and are being passed along to my mom for her perusing, Paula O. gets a sunflower wall quilt, and I got to snap a picture of a tree loaded with pine cones. I just wish I could say I was loaded with money from the casino, but I can't.

    But I can say... Congrats, Paula!

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Day 435

    I needed to escape. Flee, run away, hide, decompress, de-stress. I needed to clear my head and get my mind off of work. Knowing I had today and tomorrow off probably spurred my interest in escaping.

    These last few weeks have been a marathon. Early mornings, late nights. 12-14 hour days. Even my weekends were not immune. My life has been juicing, work, juicing, work. My exercise bike has sat dormant for most of those couple weeks. I haven't even been able to carve out an hour between 5 AM and 11 PM to get on the bike. It's not like I haven't tried, but once I sit down to work after dinner I look up and it's dark and hubby is already snoring away.

    When I used to work full time, our place of escape was always Jackpot. Gambling, whether we won or lost, always took our minds off work. And today I was oh-so-tempted to drive down. Distract myself with the pile of magazine reading I have to catch up on, distract myself with the book I started and haven't finished, and distract myself with the slot machines.

    And unfortunately I gave into temptation. I figured driving a couple hundred miles from home would give me the distance I needed. Except on the drive down a work phone call happened. Then when I got checked in the room and was digging in my purse, a message that I needed to call school. Again.

    It's my own fault. Next year I need to set some guidelines about contacting me on my days off.

    I really don't want to feel so desperate that I have to spend my time here instead of my garden.

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Day 434

    I've got yard sales on my mind. Not going to them, but having one.

    It has been probably close to 15 years since we've had a yard sale. Since that time we have accumulated a lot of stuff. A lot. A houseful.

    When we bought this house it made sense to fill it up. We were moving from a place of less than 1000 square feet to a place of over 2000 square feet that also had a storage room off the carport plus an additional shed in the backyard. We had empty rooms here that needed furnishings and storage areas that needed to be filled up.

    But now it's just the two of us (three if you count the cat) and we both (he's finally on board) are tired of the stuff. With no kids around, no grandkids yet, and hubby's retirement looming in the next few years we need to be thinking ahead.

    My dream would be to sell everything (including the house) and move into a tiny little place. While that complete sell-off won't happen for a long time now, we can start working towards it. Maybe a yard sale is looming in our future. But before we even get to that yard sale, there are things I have others who are reading this right now might be interested in.

    First up, a small sunflower wall quilt measuring 21.5" by 23". Made by me.

    So let's make this a "Win it Wednesday". If you're interested in this being yours, just post here. (If more than one person is interested, I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday.)

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Day 433

    I can't wait until the May primary gets here. Actually, it's my mailbox that can't wait. Every day we get a couple of campaign fliers in the mail. We've gotten the same ones again and again and again. We've never had this many coming in before and I couldn't figure out why. Until I talked to hubby, Mr. American Government Teacher.

    This year Idaho went through reapportionment. So all those folks who have kept their seats over the years and didn't need to campaign because their positions were uncontested in primary elections are trying hard to hold on.

    And the stack of fliers we get every day is a testament to their persistence-determination-campaign contributions.

    Just today the mailbox today held seven of those fliers, the highest one-day total so far.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Day 432

    I had a feeling I might be off on the weight loss. See, hubs only weighs himself once a week and I've followed his lead. So the weight loss numbers I reported yesterday were a few days old. I should have waited and reported the new numbers we both earned today. Better numbers.

    Hubs has lost four pounds this week for a total of 21 pounds. I lost three pounds this week for a total of 22 pounds. (And to think what we would have lost if we weren't going out to dinner so much.) But we're more than okay with the numbers. Losing weight and still going out to eat is a great thing - that's a lifestyle change we both can live with. (But don't tell too many people that today was Teacher Appreciation at my school and I had a piece of strawberry cheesecake.)

    I also have another feeling. Remember the picture of the squirrel I took last year on Day 89? And the story I told about the squirrel ready to attack on Day 101? Well, I think he still has it out for me. Guess he thinks he needs to keep his eye on me when I'm on the computer. Thank goodness for the window between us.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Day 431

    25 pounds.

    Unfortunately I can't report that I've lost 25 pounds. Can't even report that hubby has lost 25 pounds. But I can report I've lost 19 pounds and hubs has lost 17 pounds in the six weeks since we started juicing. Not too shabby considering...
    • We've eaten a bunch of times at Alejandra's.
    • I went to Chinese with my mom and daughter.
    • Hubby ate at a bbq at school.
    • We had hamburgers one night.
    • We went to Sisters and enjoyed marionberry pie and steak and hamburgers and pizza at dinner (along with the juice at breakfast and lunch, of course).
    • My daughter kept me supplied with Peeps.
    • The granola bars that have been sitting in our cabinet for months have mysteriously disappeared. (I only know this because I was hunting for one the other day myself.)

    But we have been consistent in our juicing. Every breakfast, every lunch, and sometimes at dinner. Lots of veggies and fruits have permeated our systems. Kale, red and white chard, bok choy, spinach, cabbage, beets and beet greens, celery, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, kiwi, apples, pears, lemons, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and red, orange, and green bell peppers. Pounds and pounds of them every week.

    But where did the 25 pounds come from? That's the amount of just carrots we go through each week. The apple in the picture shows just how big of a bag that is.

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Day 430

    Let me tell you about Brenda.

    Brenda works at Joann's fabric store. (Can you imagine working at a fabric store? It'd be like living at a buffet!) Sometimes people bring in pieces of fabric or some sewing they've done to match colors. Sometimes people leave those pieces of fabric behind. If the person doesn't return in a couple weeks, the fabric gets tossed.

    But Brenda decided not to toss some fabric strips that were left behind. She decided to send them my way instead. Send them to me so I could use them in a quilt.

    But here's the thing...Brenda lives in Alaska. And I've never met her. She's a reader of the blog, a viewer of my pictures. She doesn't know me from Jane Doe, but she was generous enough to send them my way. (Actually, she and everyone else who reads my musings probably do know me from Jane Doe. It's not like I hide much on here.)

    So thank you, Brenda. Thanks for thinking of me, but more importantly, thank you for thinking of the child who will receive these strips in one of their quilts. Maybe in a border?

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Day 429

    I thought I'd already taken the last one. But I didn't.

    When I headed to the grocery store this morning it was 62 degrees. When I arrived back home a couple hours later it was 45 degrees and windy. It's what happened in between that made me take it.

    As I left the house I saw a wall of black clouds moving in. As I drove down the highway I considered stopping and taking a picture. I told myself a real photographer would stop. But I'm not a real photographer so I didn't.

    When I got out of the store the wind had kicked up and clouds were swirling. I saw I had a message from my husband about the weather. He advised me to not to drive home yet, but also let me know I missed capturing a great picture of all the pea sized hail covering everything.

    When I finally got home I figured the weather would have passed and there would be no record of the strong storm that rolled through the area. I didn't even get out of the car before I realized there was proof of the storm.

    My poor tulips. They were so tall and proud just three days ago when I thought I was done taking pictures of them. (And just to think these tulips are under a tree. I'm sure if they were out in the open they would have been totally obliterated.) At least now they look like irises.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Day 428

    Bless her heart, my little gal. After we cleaned up some vegetable beds and planted some seeds yesterday I had to head to school. Little missy took it upon herself to keep working on the weeds. When I came home I was shocked/surprised/excited at the work she had done. We now have only one bed left to clean up and then we can plant our tomatoes and peppers from the high school's greenhouse.


    We picked up our plants we had growing there. Whereas last year we had a few dozen plants to put into the ground, this year isn't looking the same. The plants we planted this year were, uhmm... lost and/or moved and/or misplaced and/or sold and/or who knows what. And, uhmm...the plants we received aren't even the varieties we planted.

    We have three big beds set aside for all those dozens of plants from the greenhouse. But now we have a change of plans. We can either let those plants have lots and lots of extra growing room or we can go buy some plants. With as many veggies we use each day I'm going for the latter.
    Couple weeks ago
    After kiddo's work

    Plants. Just not ours.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Day 427

    Daughter was home for the day. Being that it's May, that means only one thing. Time to plant the garden.

    Hubby and I got the red potatoes in last weekend and we had someone spray down the weeds (or try to - some of those things are sturdy). Today kiddo and I worked at getting almost everything else planted. Our tomatoes and peppers have been growing in the high school greenhouse and should be ready for us by the end of the week. In the meantime we planted kale, chard, beets, kohlrabi, carrots, radishes, slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers, peas, and onions.

    Even though the timbers are the old ones from the roses, I like the look. Sure looks better than just a couple weeks ago.