Sunday, September 18, 2011


Like I said last post - It's been crazy around here with the construction. I live 1/2 block from the highway where a bunch of construction is going on. Normally, go to the end of the block-pop over 1 block and jump on the highway. I know, I said all this last post. Only reason I mention this again is because I took a picture of the end of the block from my driveway.

 All that dirt looking stuff down there is the frontage road and behind it is the highway. The highway looks pretty much like the frontage road. To be fair, this picture is a few days old so the highway actually looks a bit better than this but, all this construction means I've been playing the Midas Muffler commercial in my head a lot - rattle rattle thunder clatter boom boom boom. That's pretty much what it sounds and feels like in the house from early morning till late evening.

The boys seem to be doing there own version of construction in the house. They have a kitty tunnel. I have no life so, the tunnel lives in the middle of the living room. I came home to find the tunnel had a new arrangement to it.

As I said it's normally in the middle of the living room.

What in the world did the 2 of them do during the day to get it into the new position!?  I think I need to get a nanny camera. Or, maybe I don't want to know.......

In other news, a few weeks back the family got together for a BBQ and I just can't go see Layla without making something. I had this very strange ball of soft, fuzzy yarn from a swap and started playing around. I had tried knitting it once but the fabric seemed a bit thin. So, I tried crochet. That worked perfect. I made a "ball" and decided to keep going and made a doggy/bunny/critter thing. The arms and legs are kind of curly. They did that on their own. They are a chain stitch with some stitches on the end for the hand/foot then a single crochet in each chain. I think this little guy turned out pretty cute but the best was - Layla carried it around for quite a while.

This past month I finished a shawl but never got around to blocking it. Some day I'll have a monster blocking party and get everything finished once and for all. The shawl pattern and yarn escape me for the moment but I'll have all the info when I post a blocked picture (don't hold your breath!)

The boys have been pretty boring (at least when I'm at home) so I don't have any action shots or cute kitty poses but I do have a picture of Bert showing what can happen to a rocking chair after 20 years of cats using it for naps. Check out the edge of the chair and all the kitty claw marks. It's really pretty minimal damage so I can't complain too much. We had a chair when I was a kid that was totally wrecked by Frank, our cat at the time.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It's been almost a month since I posted anything. Somehow it feels like a couple days ago and somehow it feels like a long time ago. There's been a lot of changes the past month. A while back I bought my folk's house and moved back to the old neighborhood. This is the house I grew up in. I know the people; the streets; the shopping areas. This is my comfort zone. Until recently.

The highway at the end of my block is being widened and the frontage roads changed. The past few months this has really changed up things. To get to work I used to go to the end of the block and at the next street I'd pop onto the highway and head out toward work. Not any more. Now I have to go the opposite direction to the far end of the block; follow the lake for 5 blocks; turn and go 2 blocks to the stop light. Wait forever for the light to change; get on the highway; drive 5 blocks back toward my house in a construction zone and then I'm to where I normally start out. I have a feeling this is going to be a big pain come snow time!

Then there's my shopping mall. To be honest I haven't shopped there in a while but most of the stores had already left. Well, the mall is now a pile of rubble. Those of you who live in the Twin Cities area, I'm talked about Brookdale Mall. It's gone. Hasta la bye-bye. Adios. Sears is still there and I've heard they are going to be building Walmart on one side and shops between the two but, it won't be Brookdale anymore.

There has been one change I'm getting excited about. Since the middle of summer I've been working on finding a new normal for myself. I won't say I've been on a diet because, truly, I haven't. I'm making better food choices and making healthier life choices. As a result I've also over 35 lbs so far with many, many more to go. I decided not to talk about it until I had a good handle on it because I've been on diets for a while, only to lose 10-15 lbs and gain them right back. This time around I decided to try something different.

I found a website that has helped a lot.
It's a free website that lets you monitor your intake and exercises. You can journal, join groups, read articles on all sorts of topics (health, motivation, exercise, lifestyle). It's quite the website. The first week I ate as usual but entered everything in. This showed me what I was doing calorie-protein-fat-carbs. From this I started learning to make small changes in what I ate.

I eat a lot in fast food/quick restaurant places. I found an app for my iTouch that shows nutritional content of foods at these places. (Fast Foods app). If I go to a fast food place I figure out the best thing to eat and still get to enjoy the time out with friends. No big deal, just think before I eat.

There's also several exercise videos, usually 10 minutes, on sparkpeople. I haven't done much with them yet but soon. I didn't want to make too many changes at once. I'm letting each change become a part of my life before adding more. After all, this is going to be for life, not just to lose xx number of pounds.

The last thing I did was to get an email buddy to report to every week. I weigh in on Monday morning and send her an email to let her know how I'm doing. I decided on someone I don't see daily because I needed someone to be accountable to but didn't want around daily. She's interested in my success and encouraging but not "hounding me", In the past when I decided to go on a diet I'd have my mother asking about things constantly or saying things that she thought was helpful but drove me crazy. "If you'd just lose a couple pounds..." "Aren't you hungry?" So, I bypassed that situation by having my go-to person live across the country.

Well, that's my big changes the past month (or so). I'm hoping the lifestyle changes keep getting better and more positive. I'm hoping the highway changes don't drive be crazy. I hoping the new shopping mall will bring new life to the Brookdale area. Time will tell.

One thing that hasn't changed is the knitting. I'm headed out to Rhinebeck in about a month so I'm working on a sweater I hope to wear out there. The sleeves and body are chestnut heather and textured with a double moss stitch and the yoke/upper body will be a stranded design with kind of a Nordic feel to it. I'm still working out the design so don't know exactly what it will end up like. There will be pictures when I have something to show.