Gelato!

Back to Clean Living!

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The reward to clean living is feeling good. It’s as simple as that.  My trip to Italy lasted beyond the time there and I spent much of the summer continuing to eat gelato and grains and other things that make me feel bloated, depressed and unsatisfied.

There are three things that help me follow the lifestyle I really want:

  1. The (Right) Mindset
  2. The (Right) Resources
  3. Acknowledgement of how I’m feeling (and why)

I stopped my 3x weekly visits to Crossfit in May due to a combination of excuses. First, I sprained my wrist and was medically advised to not use it, especially for working out. Then, we went to my son’s college graduation. My original goal for Crossfit was to look good in the photos for his graduation. (Check!)

Proud Mom!
Proud Mom!

Then I went to Italy. Then it was too hot. Now I’m too out of shape to go back! LOL. It’s like straightening your house before the cleaning people come. I want “it” (the house, my body, etc.) to be somewhat presentable before the experts take a look.

Of course, I have to get my mind back in focus. I am getting there. I finally acknowledged that a lot of my physical complaints – upset stomach, gas, poor sleep, always hungry for one more taste – were due to my increased consumption of wheat and sugar (more specifically, chocolate). I knew I had to stop eating those items to feel better.

I was able to get back on track just by reading a new ebook for grain-free snack recipes, Ditch The Wheat. I have not made any of the recipes yet. But I have all (or most) of the ingredients already.  It made me realize “I can do this,” and it’s not that hard. The snack book is similar to one of my favorite books, Primal Cravings, icon
icon and has recipes for all types of snacks – sweet, savory, chewy, crunchy.  There’s also an e-book with 70 grain-free desserts. The recipes do not overlap between the two Ditch the Wheat e-books. I would recommend buying both!

I bet you’re wondering what about the “living” part of this post? This post seems to be about clean eating. Well, I finally dusted off my 10-minute kettle bell workout DVD this morning, and did 2 of the sets. YAY ME! Of course, I am so out of shape that I was wobbly picking up the morning paper off the lawn after that “little” workout. I am not belittling myself. I am getting back to the land of clean living, and taking proper care of myself once again.

Now I’m off to make some of those Ditch the Wheat recipes…that must be why I recently purchased the organic gelatin!!  Clean (living) gummy worms, anyone?

Sigil

LD lent me the book #GIRLBOSS to read. It is a hit with her sorority sisters, and LD has been reading these great business books, so I wanted to read it too. In one of the chapters, Sophia Amoruso, the author, speaks about the word Sigil.  Sigil is a real word, meaning a symbol, or a sign or word having power in the occult or magic, I suppose like “Abracadabra!”

#GIRLBOSS resommends using a Sigil as an empowering phrase to be used as passwords or other daily shortcuts as a reminder of your goals.

I’ve been transitioning my role in my job, against my wishes. I’ve really been fighting it (with massive complaining!) for awhile. While I am doing a good job in my new responsibilities, the tasks themselves are B-O-R-I-N-G (more than just Boring with a capital “B”) and, I feel, don’t take advantage of my more fruitful skill sets.

It is a Catch 22.  I’m always going to do my best and do a good, NO, a Great, job, but I don’t want to do so well that I get stuck with these tasks forever.

When I was first transitioned, I trudged to work each day, going later and later as the days went by.  I listen to NPR on my way in to work, and got little glimpses into the BBC World Report at 9 AM.  I like their style of reporting, so kept going in a little bit later so I could listen to more of it. Then I found myself leaving the house at 9 AM so it would be playing.  Not good as I should be in the office by 8:30!

I took a note from #GIRLBOSS.  I came up with 2 Sigils.

The first one was bcrtv85%. Be creative 85% of the time.  But then the rules started flowing: only when you’re awake, some things have to be done and don’t have to be creative (doing the dishes, the laundry, etc.). I stumbled across a blog post on wildcreativesoul about how it takes so much work to be creative.  Hmmm…back to the drawing board (pun intended)?

The second one is – Njwhtrdng.  Enjoy what you are doing.  So much better!  No need for parameters or rules.  And guess what?  The job got better.  I’m feeling happier.  More knitting projects on the horizon.

Njwhtrdng.

Knit Scarf

Two Scarves, Complete!

Complete, Completed. Words you don’t often see in my posts! I am happy to report that I have completed two scarves!

Tunisian Crochet
Tunisian Crochet
Knit Scarf
Leaves pattern knit scarf

The knit scarf uses Rowan Fine Art yarn that was included in my Goody Bag from the Vogue Knitting Living Gala Dinner. I must say that this offering of knitting treats has truly made my 2014 year of knitting very pleasurable. It has given me the opportunity to try new yarns that I never would have picked out on my own.

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The Tunisian Crochet scarf was an effort to see the allure of a finished product using this technique. I had wanted to see the kind of pattern that would be shown by using a larger crochet hook with a finer yarn.

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It’s interesting. i don’t think it really looks like either knitting or crochet stitching.

Tunisian Crochet

 

I used a multicolored, multi fibered yarn, that gives the piece additional interest and dimension.

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I know I only scratched the surface of Tunisian Crochet, using only one repetitive stitch for this piece.

So what’s next now?  This concept of “completing” could be inspiring…

LD'scardigan in progress
LD’s cardigan in progress

We shall see!

The (Online) Dating Game

online dating
Really? Is this supposed to make me want to use this site?

The Online Dating Site business is a tricky one. The companies really do not want their users to be successful because then they won’t need the online dating services anymore, but the businesses still need some success stories to gain new members.  They need to make each site user think that his or her match is out there AND using this particular site, but at the same time keep you looking for more so that you won’t leave.

There are all sorts of ways to encourage users to become paying members – no ads, more privileges, the ability to browse invisibly, the ability to send messages, chat, etc.

Each site has its own set of rules – what you are or are not allowed to say. Some don’t want you to mention anything that has to do with sex (we’re all chaste and looking for the same) while others encourage you to admit your fantasies and what you want to do to your partner or be done to you.

The most head-scratching experience is trying to determine if the other users are actual people, scammers, married, immature, uneducated, educated, etc.

What is most amazing to me is that I met DDSO on Yahoo Personals almost a decade ago.  I don’t really expect lightening to strike twice, but in the words of the NY Lottery, “you have to be in it to win it.”  I feel there is some power in at least putting my intentions out in the universe.

My Kind of Game Show

For some reason I have been recording Hollywood Game Night. I do not follow celebrity news, do not know many of the celebrities on the show, refer to the show as Extroverts Extroverting Themselves, and have no idea how the participants can connect in the final round in describing so many so-called famous people.  It’s like a study of another world.

It made me think –  In what kind of Game Show would I excel and be interested?  Here are the clues that I thought would be fun:

  • Loves variegated colors, dyes her hair in crazy colors…
  • Does great cable designs, publishes in Vogue…you bookmark all her designs, really great at construction
  • Her patterns often resemble nature, recently retired from Berroco
  • Founded KnitPicks, has a podcast
  • Has a store in Reno, has great customer service, they’re very helpful with everything!, wrote the Red book about Knitting to help fight against heart disease
  • The queen of Fair Isle, British

I was at work the other day, lamenting with a co-worker about what we would rather be doing…turns out we’re both knitters!  I’m betting she would have the answers to the above…

  • Lucy Neatby
  • Deborah Newton
  • Norah Gaughan
  • Kelly Petkun
  • Jimmy Beans Wools – Laura Zander
  • Debbie Bliss

Knitters Unite! Let’s go to the TV Execs and ask for a show that would really be interesting!  Knitters Having Fun talking about the Knitting Culture!

knittinggameshow

 

Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian Crochet is described as “the knitter’s crochet.”  All the stitches get loaded up on the hook for a row and then are crocheted off.

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It creates a densely woven fabric that was originally only used for pillows and upholstery, but is now also used in clothing patterns.

I practiced the basic stitches described in the Tunisian Crochet book (“the book of knitting with the ease of crocheting”) I purchased from Knit Picks (True Confession 1: I received the Vogue Knitting book and pattern sale email, compared the selection to the Knit Picks 40% off sale and ended up buying the book and a set of hooks from Knit Picks.)

After knitting, err I mean crocheting, about 6 inches, I stopped and assessed my progress.

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Pretty.  Interesting. Pretty interesting.

True Confession 2: Not fully satisfied with the piece of fabric.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I do like it, I just don’t think I’ll ever do anything with it even if I finish it to become a scarf.

Frogged it!
Frogged it!

I’m thinking it might be fun to take a really thin yarn and Tunisian crochet it so that the stitches are loosely woven.

In the meantime, I like knitting the best.  It allows more flexibility with the shape of the created fabric, the stitches can be tight or loose, lacy or not, all in one single pattern.  I think there’s a lot more room for creativity with knitting.

Back to the work in progress…The next time I post a picture of this scarf, it will be done.  (True Confession 3: I hope!)

More than halfway through!
More than halfway through!

Why I…Love Knitting

Why do we knitters love knitting?

Numbered, but not listed in a particular order (other than my chain of thought).

1. Divergent Thinking.  I can knit and sort out different matters while concentrating on my knitting.

2. Tangible evidence of time spent.  No, I wasn’t just watching TV/attending a meeting/socializing with friends.  I also knit all these rows!

3. The yarn. Such pretty colors.

4. The yarn. Feels so soft!

5. The patterns.  So many choices.

6. Creativity. Mine, or someone else’s, or a blend.

7. Community.  Common language, always an opportunity to learn and to share.

8. Ongoing. My list of projects, the number of choices, the yarn, my stash, my queue.

9. Gifts. To give! (and receive!)

Penguin Books

Penguin Books

In the bookstore the other night I realized I have an unabashedly faithful relationship with Penguin Books.  I automatically assume a book published by Penguin is going to be good.

This started with The Phantom Tollbooth…

the book that started it all?

and continued on in a family trip to England, probably around middle school years.   Some of my best souvenirs were Penguin Books that I brought home to read…and probably still have to this day.

Now that Penguin has merged with Random House, I am doubting my allegiance.  Will Penguin lower its standards?

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Will “Published by Penguin Books” warrant the same level of anticipation as in years past?

Guess which one I'll pick up first?
Guess which one I’ll pick up first?

I am unwaveringly loyal until proven wrong.

But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation!

Binge

I have had a rough couple of days at work. I was so proud of myself last evening that my “I’m upset and am going to binge eat” activities stayed within my food sphere…

Chicken wings (unbreaded, though I didn’t ask in what kind of oil they were cooked)
A huge salad
Potato chips (although out of the bag instead of portioned out on a plate)
Chocolate coconut milk ice cream
Seltzer
Did you notice #2 – a huge salad? c’mon! Way to go!

Not bad.

Today I received the terribly difficult to ignore
All Patterns & Books on Sale! email from Vogue Knitting, with a crochet book pictured as one of the selections.

I clicked. I browsed.

I compared selection and prices with Knitpicks.com.

May the actual bingeing begin.

An interchangeable crochet hook set and a Tunisian Crochet book (from knitpicks) later….I’m feeling a little better.

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