Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knitting Burns Calories, Too

I resumed knitting; I did a quick knitted cap since we are still experiencing lower-than-normal temperatures. The cap looks really good on Steve, but he's asleep right now so I can't get a picture of him wearing it. I'll post it later.

I started knitting a sweater wrap and was imagining that I could give it to my mother as a gift. I have not knitted cables in a while and so, I didn't refresh my memory before attempting it. Of course, I made a mistake on the first cable and now the sweater gathers at the bottom. Perhaps it is something I can fix when blocking the piece, but I really do not want to gift it when I know I screwed it up. The good news that I am still knitting it and I didn't just rip it all out. I liked the color more in the store than in the bright sunlight. The pattern is incredibly easy to memorize and the cable is really simple, even though I screwed it up the first time. I lost my cable needle and instead I'm just using one of my double-pointed needles.

Next week, Delilah has her vet appointment. And based on her attitude this morning after I trimmed her nails, she is going to be very mad at me on Monday. I have noticed that Delilah has modified her schedule over the past month. In the mornings, she is a very needy cat; she will talk to me until I sit on the couch, at which time she will jump on my lap and take nap. She does expect head rubs at this time as well. Delilah is very unusual cat because she does not meow. Her communication with us consists of trills and cries, which is common for Maine Coon cats. I am convinced that Delilah is a Maine Coon mix. Although she is not the right size for a Maine Coon (they tend to be large cats), she has the other features, such as the furry raccoon-like tail, the tufts of hair in her ears and between the pads on her paws, and her full and glossy coat. She's so pretty and she knows it. Just look at this photo of her looking out of the front window.

I am almost finished with the 30-Day Challenge (EA Sports Active for Wii). I plan to start a new 30-Day Challenge as soon as this one is completed; the new challenge will be on medium intensity. I'm working on low intensity because I am so out of shape. After I complete the 60 days, I will consider joining Steve on the Insanity workout. This workout DVD program is so intense and, currently, I do not have the stamina or the endurance to do it. This is such a rough program - even the people on the DVD who do the workout along with the instructor actually STOP doing to the exercises because of the intensity. It's funny to watch the program and see all of the participants in the back dropping like flies because they cannot keep up with the program. And believe me, these people are in seriously great shape. So roly-poly me does not really stand a chance without building up some time of stamina with "regular" exercises.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unsteady On My Feet

While exercising today (Wii Active Day 17 of 30-day Challenge), I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. I knew what was happening - I was overheating. This is first time this has happened to me while exercising. Wii Active was leading me through an exercise of kick-ups and I was alternating between fast kick-ups and slow kick-ups for an extended period of time. I was pushing myself pretty hard and my body revolted. I had to yell for Steve to come out to the front room (waking him up) and, true to Steve, he wanted to check my heart rate. What I needed was a cold compress and water to bring my body temperature down. Luckily, he listened to me and, after a few minutes, I was feeling better. I finished the exercises for the day, which focused on my upper body.

I've only experienced overheating one other time in my life, but it was not while exercising. I was in Nashville at the CMA Music Fest, more commonly known as Fan Fair. It was a very hot day and I did not keep myself hydrated. I passed out on a concrete staircase and was transported to the First Aid tent, where I was covered in wet towels and cooled down with copious amounts of water. This was not the highlight of the trip, and I learned my lesson to always make sure I had something to drink.

I think this latest experience was that I pushed myself too hard on that kick-up exercise. I will have to plan more water breaks if the level of my exercising is going to increase.

To end on an good note, here's the lovely Delilah:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Mish-Mash

My second attempt at felting was a miserable failure. I can't even take a picture of the result of the felting because the bag was stuck together like glue. It was bizarre. Steve and I tried to pry it apart but it was melted or fused together. I am obviously doing something wrong but I'm too frustrated and disappointed to try to work through what that could be. I started knitting a ribbed cap, so no blocking or felting required.

I made chili on Sunday night, and it turned out yummy. Pictures were taken but they don't look so appetizing so I will spare you. Last night was sweet italian sausage and peppers and onions. So far, so good. I'm not doing anything fancy but I have learned that using fresh produce does make a difference. For example, using real garlic instead of the stuff in the jar or, even worse, garlic seasoning, has a definite positive impact on the taste of the dish.

I cannot stop taking pictures of my cat. I played around using digital macro on my camera and managed one cool picture of Delilah.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Details

While the mid-Atlantic states are being hit with a ridiculous amount of snow (my brother and his family in D.C. saw more than 2 feet of snow today), our Florida Saturday was seriously beautiful, albeit a bit on the windy side. Now, I'm not complaining about it at all. I went to a car show in Lake Mary with Steve and I got to enjoy the day. Cars don't interest me at all, as I see them as merely transportation. Steve, on the other hand, is a car enthusiast and was thrilled to see the collection of Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and yes, the million dollar Bugatti.

I made stew for dinner and I have a couple of gallons left over. It was pretty good, for such little effort. And technically it's going to be "cold" tomorrow, so the leftovers will be appropriate.

I'm back at work at another bag. My first bag, pre-felted, was really nice, and I had high hopes for it. But, once I ran it through the wash, the felted result was just yuck. The colors didn't run together in a pretty way; they appeared more as a mush. My solution is to start over, with different yarn and a size larger for needles. I'm almost done with my second attempt and I promise to take pictures of before and after, no matter the outcome.

I have got some great pictures of Delilah, I'll probably post them next time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

And It Tastes Good, Too

Yes, I have resolved to get into shape this year. I am actually exercising, using my Wii, but I haven't got on board with any type of diet menu. Even though I am almost 40 years old, I still believe that if I can just get a good cardio program going, I will lose the weight, no matter if I still decide to eat bread and rice.

I cleaned my house and I have kept it clean and organized! I have to work at it every day because the second I let anything slide, then I'm afraid that the clutter will take over again. Now that I'm basically organized, I've started meal planning (not for a diet, mind you!) and I've made a few actual meals. For example, I made rice soup with carrots and green beans. I added shrimp too, and it made a good meal. In fact, I still have leftovers to eat.

I also just made my first lasagna, very simple and easy recipe (no jar sauce, either). It turned out very well, very tasty. I have a lot of leftovers. The picture below is right after I took it out of the oven. The only drawback of this recipe is that the prep time was almost an hour. The cooking time was an additional hour. I don't know if I would normally say this, but all that time was worth it because I think this recipe was a real success.

We've been subjected to a few days of rain and clouds and dreary, overcast days. At this time of year, rain usually means cold weather, which I hate. However, I'm not turning on the heater for this short stint of cold weather. I'm just pulling out my blankets and quilts. My electric bill was almost $30 higher during our two-week cold spell a few weeks ago. And my budget has tightened seriously in the last two weeks and I think I'm going to need to carefully manage my money for the next few months.

I felted my first bag last week and HATED the outcome. I must confess that I threw it away because I couldn't even look at it. My solution was to go out and buy different wool yarn and start over. I can't really pinpoint what I hated about the first bag because I loved it before I sent it to the washing machine to be felted. I'm going to have to read up on felting to see if I did something wrong the first time. I think the most obvious reason I hated the outcome was because the colors didn't felt into each other in a good way, if that makes sense.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...