Saturday, February 25, 2012

Snowy Weekend

Honestly, my laziness is almost inspirational. 
 
We had a 'winter storm' here this weekend.    In a normal year it would have been just another little snow, but this year has been so dry that we hyped it up to a major event.   The news said we had 6 inches, and maybe so, but I kind of doubt it.   So, while I intended to go to work yesterday, I put it off because my just-as-lazy snow guy didn't show up.  (I asked why he was so late last time and his answer was "I didn't feel like going out in the cold.")    To compound my sloth, the computer hook-up on my work laptop wasn't working so I couldn't work from home.   I was just plain listless.   I made cherry muffins (not that great.   ate four.  realized that I had typed 'four' but actually only ate three, so went and ate another one.)  I watched Courageous on DVD.  I heard Dr. Oz say that if we eat more protein we will lose more fat, so I ate the last two muffins.  'Got depressed with Dr. Oz so then I watched Bridesmaids, and The Help, also on DVD.   I finally got disgusted with myself and the still-missing snow guy, so I shoveled the driveway and sidewalk, but it took some time for me to get to that point, I can tell you.  

Several weeks ago, I won a beautiful  "Bloomin' Blossoms" quilting kit from Deonn at Quiltscapes.     I was not at all sure that I would be able to make anything of it, but Deonn was so encouraging that I didn't want to let her down, but I kept putting it off.   As bored as I made myself yesterday, you would think I would have just sat down and finished it.   I did, finally, get tired of pondering the meaning of fat and weather, and it was not nearly as intimidating as I had feared.   It's not done yet, but it's coming along nicely.   It went really quickly and I really think I'll finish it by the end of next weekend, even working on it little bits at a time.

Even thought the fabric was precut and it was the easiest way to start, I did make some mistakes.    It definitely took me longer than it would take the Average Person.
But little by little, stitch by stitch, it began to take form.
 
This has been a week filled with omens, or maybe not.    On Wednesday, I had the fattest rabbit parked in my back yard from dawn 'til dusk, so fat that it looked like a basketball made of fur from behind.   I figured it was an omen that I needed to get back to Weight Watchers, but my sister opined that it was like the cows in the dream that Joseph interpreted for the Pharaoh in the Old Testament, and a sign that I could expect a year of plenty.   See how smart my sister is?   On Thursday, I had two equally fat cats in my yard, and I was pretty sure that I knew what they were up to, so I didn't bother my sister for an explanation, but I figured it was a sign of spring.     I sure hope so, because it's not going to be good if I sit inside amusing myself with eating and laziness for too many more months.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Today is Fat Tuesday -- and I have celebrated by getting fatter!    Each year since my grandson was born there, we traditionally order one King Cake delivered from New Orleans, but this year we  had FOUR cakes!    In addition to the one that was delivered from Gambino's Bakery in NOLA, I made two New Orleans-style cakes and one french galette des rois.    I need a lot more practice to get the cakes to look the way I want them to, but that didn't prevent us from eating them.     I'll be wearing those "bon temps roule" around my middle for weeks to come!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lampwork

I mentioned last week that my daughter (in law) and I took a little seminar on lampwork last weekend.   Today we went to clean and claim our beads.   We both enjoyed it very much and hope we will do it again.    And for sure I will never again complain about how much glass beads cost at art fairs  -- they are a LOT of work!   Kind of stressful, too, because everything about it was so new to us.   We had never worked with a torch, or materials that reach a bizillion degrees, and it all felt more than a little dangerous.    So here it is in pictures  -- just a taste of what was involved from beginning to end.   Maybe 4 hours of hands on instruction, plus lots of time to cure and soak,  to make two beads for each of us.   Even though it made me plenty nervous, I can't wait to do it again!









Thursday, February 16, 2012

WINNER!!!

Just a quick post to let you know that I used the random number generator last night to pick my latest bloggy prize recipient --- GRANDMA YELLOW HAIR from Just Between You and Me is the winner of my Sanibel Island starfish soap!   I've sent her an email and will mail the package as soon as I have her contact information.    I'll be doing another giveaway soon, I'm sure.   Thanks to all who made comments, and congrats to Grandma YH!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Learning New Skills

I worked just a few hours today, and then I finally got myself to the target range today, after more than a month of just not finding the time.  I shot 40 rounds- one box of bullets - at 25 feet.    I would have liked to have all of them  hit 'the black,' but I was pleased that I did as well as I did.   At least every shot was a score.   There have plenty of days when I missed the circle altogether!
At my fly tying class, we tied spinners and elk hair caddis.   I don't know why, but I still like this craft.   I need to start tying a little at home, see what I can do without the security of supervision.
Came home and cleaned my gun,
While I worked, I watched Biggest Loser on TV and (of course) ate a lot of junk food to make up for the dinner I skipped.     Yup, I did.    Watching people diet and exercise makes me hungry, the same way that those old anti-smoking ads made me want a cigarette.

The thing is, I SHOULD have eaten something healthier instead.   I tend to come home starving and grab whatever is handy, which is too often a simple carb.   There was no excuse today  -- I won several peanut butter granola Clif Bars from Snug Harbor Bay a little bit ago, and they are pretty good, especially for someone like me who loves granola.    I really like them in yogurt - and I know that this might not be the idea best choice in the universe, since I am actually eating two snacks at once, but far better than the candy coated nuts I had today instead.   And it makes a great breakfast.    I like them so much that I bought a box of a second flavor, but the granola are still my favorite.   I keep a couple bars in the car for when I am working and can't get home for a real lunch.   They are crunchy, not too sweet, have a serving of whole grains and 5 grams of protein, so they are a good substitute for pulling through a fast food lane when I am out on the road.
So I could have had a granola bar when I got home late and hungry today.   But as usual, I ate before I thought.    Making better food choices is one of the New Skills that I need to practice a lot more often!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Stuff

Too cold, too snowy, too slippery, but a nice day all the same.    I finished the sock monkeys and gave them to the grandkids for Valentine's Day, with a little bag of chocolate covered this and that.    

And I made another King Cake, a galatte des rois, that I hope I will remember to make more appropriately on the Feast of the Three Kings next year.   It was really delicious, a puff pastry filled with an almond cream, sort of like an almond croissant.    I could definitely eat too much of this, too often.
Most fun of all, my daughter (in law) and I went to a Lampwork class.     It was a pretty amazing experience, but I'll wait to post about it until we see - and I get photos of - the finished beads.    I'll tell you this much:  two of us took the class, but only one of us was really good at it.    But I hope we'll do it again, and that Other (blush) might improve with time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Another Snowy Day

It snowed all afternoon, so I spent a mostly quiet day, except for a few hours of work.   Caught up on Dexter, and worked on my first sock monkeys.   One of them looks like he has a fat lip.    I sure hope they look a little less freaky after I find buttons for their eyes.   Then again, perhaps I will have to face the sad truth that sock monkeys may not be my most profound artistic medium.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What A Moon!

The moon was absolutely beautiful, with an impressionist look as seen through the trees, when I parked tonight to go into my fly tying class.    Too darn cold though!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Even before the Superbowl, It's Been A Super Weekend!

Wow, this was a weekend where I actually did something!    Friday I worked, and after I got off, I got called back in because of a problem with one of our families.   When I finally got home for real, I grated a dozen lemons to make a fresh batch of Limoncello (my sister is out again!), and packed to go on my first Flygirls event, a retreat put on by a local women's fly fishing group.   I am not good a social events, strangers, or fishing, but I forced myself to go anyway.

The retreat was 180 miles away, a three hour drive.   On the way there, I saw a dozen wild turkeys walking single file, some amazing little villages, and parts of Michigan I hadn't seen before.   The final destination was a YMCA camp, on a lake - a very pretty property in the middle of nowhere.   I was glad I found it before dark!
I didn't know a single woman there but I am glad that I forced myself to go.   The women I met were all different ages, backgrounds and interests, and I had little in common with most of them, but they were happy to share their skills and just generally welcoming and supportive.    I perfected a couple of knots that will be very useful when I get out on the stream, and I tied a couple of new (to me) fly patterns (in the INTERMEDIATE class!   woot!  The froggy is supposed to have eyes, but seriously, I don't think the fish care so I didn't bother.   I guess I should have added them just for the photo!)
We also did a beginner's version of geocache-ing -- the camp is set up for kids, so the half dozen caches were not very hard to find, but we walked several trails that I wouldn't have seen otherwise.    I am not going to cross that activity off my 'to do' list because I was with a group and only found one of them myself, but now I am definitely confident that I'll be able to find one of the local caches on my own.

The retreat was scheduled for two nights but that was a little too much rustic living for me, -- half a dozen women to a cabin, bunk beds with thin plastic mattresses --  so I came home the second evening.   When I arrived home after another long drive, I remembered that I had made a quick batch of meringues before I left because I had a couple of egg whites left over from my recent attempt to make my own King Cake (results of which were not worth discussing!).   Now usually when I make meringues, I end up eating them all while they are still slightly warm and chewy because I just can't wait.   This time I was late leaving for the retreat because I'd been called back to work, so I popped the meringues into the oven and then, just before I went out the door, I turned the oven off and left them there.   When I arrived home there they were, waiting for me -- crispy and perfect and calling my name.   And thanks to my bloggy friend Emily, I didn't only eat a plateful almost immediately upon my arrival, but I ALSO ate them with (almost real) whipped cream!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Drives, Odds and Ends, and Giveaway


 I drove into the country yesterday to visit a woman I met through work.    I like her very much, and it is bittersweet to know that she will not need my help much longer.    She is so much stronger than she knows.   Today she insisted on making lunch for me, a lovely meal reminiscent of her childhood home.    She sent me home with jars of sauce and soup, so that my family will also feel her love.
Last night I tied green caddis flies, a simple pattern made difficult by a tiny hook.   I wondered as I was tying whether I will ever use these flies for their intended purpose, or if they will just add to the mounting clutter in my house.    
My house is still out of control, a little TOO live in.    I changed the appearance of some of my clutter this week by tying some scrap fleece into another throw, so that one unkempt pile has been moved from one corner of the house to another.    Like a child playing with her food, I move my messes from this place to that.
I got mail this week -- I always love that!   I won some peanut butter granola Clif Bars from Snug Harbor Bay and they arrived yesterday.   I've never tasted a Clif Bar, so I am looking forward to it -- I'm packing one in my car so that I have something healthier than a candy bar to grab later today when I get hungry!
I also received a pin from the NRA and my local gun club celebrating my Sharpshooter status in target shooting -- this is definitely not something I ever expected, on so many levels that my head spins.    I'm turning into a fishin' shootin' mama!   Or something.
 I can't believe it is February already.   I think it's time for another little giveaway, don't you?  I am giving away this cool little starfish soap, which I purchased at Ding Darling on Sanibel Island, Florida.   It's not an island vacation, but it's the best I can offer!   All comment-ers between now and February 15 will be entered into the drawing.  Good luck!