Gut it or Partial It? That was the question.

I was just about ready to completely gut my room for the upcoming paint job, but Mister said he’d rather do it one section at a time. Almost half of every crafty thing I own is stacked on the bed or floor of the guest room across the hall. Nothing, including the sewing machine, was unpacked after quilt retreat and I’m going through sewing withdrawal. I am thisclose to finishing another quilt. Fortunately  a Friday sew-in is coming soon at my LQS.

While pulling things out, and stacking stuff everywhere, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about how to return it to the room. I’ve been trying to group thing together but I’ve just about decided to change the way I’ve been sorting my fabric and storing my WIPs.

The WIPs are all together in one pile and they’re being placed in labeled containers. I’m determined to not have more WIPs than containers. LOL

I love Bonnie Hunter’s scrap user system and need to figure out a way to expand mine without increasing the footprint it takes. For my non-scrap fabrics I’m going to incorporate some ideas I picked up from Jeni Baker’s The Art of Choosing series of posts. I’ve read both of these ladies’ posts numerous times and come away with additional tidbits each time.

Now I just need to finish moving stuff from the first paint zone and get Mister wielding that paint roller!

I haven’t been a total slacker

Except for blogging ;)

Remember this post?  I finally got my Kona Color Card and have started deciding on colors for my Dear Jane.

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I have a new link in the upper left side bar. Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery starts in a couple of weeks. I decided that since I have so much going on already, I would use 1 constant colorway this year.  I’m using an off-white print and Kona black to go with these fabrics.

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No. I have not finished last year’s mystery. Don’t judge.

My guild is sponsoring a class with Bonnie after the first of the year for the Happy Scrappy Houses quilt. I also submitted a request to take  another class the next day, through another guild. We have to give 1st and 2nd choice and my first choice was Cathedral Stars.

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2nd choice is Pineapple Blossom.

I am now the very proud owner of 1/2 season Arizona Diamondback tickets. We decided that owning full season tickets would be just too many games for us to attend. We have full-season perks tho, and I’m already counting down to opening day. We took a tour of Chase Field on Halloween. It was eerily quiet, but no one being there gave us the opportunity to sneak in a few places not normally seen on in-season tours (plus I think our rep was bored and not ready to head back to his office). I did remember to take a couple of Club House photos – our “LSU” pitcher’s locker

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and one of the few remaining favorite players of mine.

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I’m holding judgment on a couple of late season rookies.  Of course, the very next week there was talk of moving our catcher. I’m a bit disgruntled.

Quilt camp was a lot of fun and very productive for me.  Meal times were announced and we pretty much did what we wanted to the rest of the time. I managed to finish (except for borders) a quilt top.

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I have fabric for the borders just need to decide how to use it. Hoping to take care of that later this month.

I also started on my Peace and Unity BOM. Despite my continuously measuring my blocks they didn’t come out right so a few need to be unstitched and redone.  I’m loving them tho.  Here’s a couple of the 20 setting blocks.

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Here’s a couple of shots of some of the works of the talented ladies in attendance

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I’m making good progress on my SamSarah Mystery Sampler.

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I started the 3rd, and last, section last night. Glad it’s going so quickly since the new Luzzie*Kate mystery started shipping today. I’ve already seen a photo of the fibers, and they’re beautiful. I’ve just about decided to go back to And They Sinned once both mysteries are finished.

We spent the majority of today running errands, which included buying paint for my room. Today marks 3 years that I arrived in Arizona and it’s taken me this long to make up my mind. I actually found an inspiration piece at IKEA a few months back but what I wanted to do was so far out of my comfort zone it took me a bit to just go with it – plus Mister Art Student said he thought it would look good ;) So here’s what I’ll be working with.

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(I did change the satin black to glossy after that photo.)

Last, but not least, here’s my handsome son with the love of his life, out on the town on his birthday. He still has that big bright smile.

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And remember I’m not a photographer and mostly use my phone :D

Networked Blogs

I have decided to deactivate my Networked Blog account. If you wish to stay connected please consider subscribing by email as a replacement, or you could go the Bloglovin’ route.

Personally, I still don’t find Bloglovin’ user friendly so I have been subscribing by emails to as many of my favorites as I can, then removing them from the reader.

Either way, I hope you stick around.

I’m getting old

2014-11-08 08.12.4330 years and 9 months ago, I made this. I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments because despite my many, many mistakes and errors in judgment, he has grown into a wonderful young man.

I know it’s been too long, and I apologize. I am trying to remedy that. Still stitching. Still sewing. Still cooking. I went on a quilt retreat. Now I’m also back to recruiting for Phoenix ComiCon. I think it was those pesky goals I set for myself, so they’re going away. Retired life, for me, is supposed to be all about fun, not deadlines.

I also have been staying away from my computer, but this post is being made from my tablet with a little input from my phone, and this makes me happy!

Tuesday Weigh In

Oops, I disappeared there for a bit.  Didn’t realize it had been 2 weeks, or that I didn’t post my last weigh in.  I only weighed last week, instead of also taping, because I had an early morning Dr. appt and some other running around.

Beginning weight:  266
Prior week: 247.5
Last week: 247 (-.6)
This week: 245.2 (-1.8)
Total loss to date: -20.8

No measurements this week. I did tape myself but I need to figure out what I’m doing and draw myself a diagram or something. I honestly can’t remember from week to week if I’m measuring in the same spot. I know, but it is what it is. LOL

I continue to be happy with my nice, slow and steady wins the race, losses each week and thrilled with how I’m eating. It’s been a learning experience but it’s definitely easy. I do come up with some walls when we go out, but I remind myself this is a lifestyle change, and I deserve to have a little naughty in my life in all aspects ;)

Over the past two weeks I’ve been trying on those “maybe this will fit me again one day” clothes from years back. Some of them do fit me again, but I don’t like them, so my donation box is expanding along with the number of empty hangers. This weekend, I spent tons of time on Pinterest looking at clothes. I’ve posted tons of things on my My Style board and tomorrow I’m going to start looking for some wardrobe basics to go with what I’ve kept. First time in a long time I’m sort of excited to be shopping for clothes, so I’ve set aside a small budget to start building. It’s weird-looking for casual clothes and not professional ones, so I keep in mind that I can switch a dressy skirt for some jeans to keep an outfit I like more casual.  I have a weekend trip in a few months that I’m keeping in mind while I shop, as well.

On a downer, I’ve had to give up Zumba for a while. I’m hoping it’s my shoes, but it’s been killing my knees, so much that I can’t take my daily walk the next day and not be hobbling the rest of the day. So for now, I’m back to walking and I’ve set myself a goal to walk (or hike) every day this week. Yesterday I increased my distance and was able to keep it the same time as the shorter distance.

I’ve installed an app on my phone to help me track, and will be changing distances on Tuesday. I haven’t decided on how often to increase the distance.

Last week 2.08 mi
This week 2.46 mi

Tuesday weigh in

Beginning weight:  266
Last week: 249.2
This week: 247.6 (-1.6)
Total loss to date: -18.4

Beginning measurements: (C 45.5 – W 47.8 – H 54.8)
Last week / This week:
Chest  43.8  /  43.4  (-.4 / -2.1)
Waist  43.5  /  43.1  (-.4  / -4.7)
Hips  54.4  /  52.9  (-1.5 / -1.9)

What I have been up to

It feels like very little.

I have not had a physical activity day since Labor Day.  :(

The 3rd I woke up and my knees and back were hurting so I didn’t go to Zumba.

The 5th I didn’t go hiking because I had a walking foot quilting class that morning and I would have had to be out there in the dark.  After seeing that huge sidewinder track, I’m not dumb enough to be out there in the dark.

Here’s my little bit of progress from class

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However, the 5th did find me sweating.  A lot.  I went to an outdoor Blake Shelton/The Band Perry/Neal McCoy concert that night and man oh man!  I swear I sweated out a pound and a half.  I actually had water running down my back.  It was worth it though:

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Saturday it started raining.

Mister and I went out to eat late Saturday afternoon and just as we were leaving to head back home the huge rain drops started.  Before we could get out of the parking lot the wind started rolling in and you could see it coming.  It was rocking my Challenger around and was rather frightening.  It was also snapping tree limbs off.  We had a huge micro-burst hit us and have probably lost my beautiful Mesa Palo Verde tree in the backyard.
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Sunday was cleanup time and lots of sewing and football.

2014-09-07 06.32.43When we headed to bed Sunday night it has just started sprinkling again.  Thunder woke me up about 2:30 Monday morning and the day just got better.  Hurricane Norbert had headed our way, and with all the rain we had Saturday our state was saturated.  I sat and watched our pool fill and the rest of the yard flood and head toward our house.  Fortunately, it never made it all the way but the roads around my area were closed, so no leaving the house.  No Zumba.  Thankfully, it wasn’t a school day for Mister.

Tuesday, I was supposed to have a hair cut but got a message from my salon that they were going to have to reschedule due to water issues so I headed to the grocery store.

Wednesday, yesterday, I completely forgot about Zumba.  I had lost track of what day of the week it was, which I sometimes do.

So, now it’s Thursday and I’m sitting here in front of the computer and I really need to be sitting in front of my sewing machine instead ;)

I have been sewing on my Scrappy BOM Challenge, Wild & Goosey blocks, and Civil War tablerunner

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One last thought.

It’s very hard for me to believe it’s been 13 years since that horrific day.  I honestly don’t think about it much anymore, except for days like this.  I know that sounds terrible, but I lived in fear every single day for 10 years while my Mister spent his last 10 years in the Marine Corps.  It’s one of those things I try very hard to forget about being a Marine Corps Wife, but it is still there in the back of my mind and I fight to not let it surface or I become a wreck, and because of that I purposefully stay away from the TV and social media because unlike a lot of other people, I do not want to remember, over and over and over.

Chicken Cacciatore

One of the things I’ve been very consistent with is pre-prepping my food after I kill it and bring it home ;)  This is something I tried to do when I was attempting to lose with Weight Watchers, but it never became a habit.  Now, my refrigerator constantly looks like it’s full of leftovers because I slice, dice, and chop before I put something up.  At first I was worried about “what if I need this carrot for a recipe?” then realized – with very few exceptions – it really doesn’t matter how it’s cut up, as long as it’s in there. There is always bowls of carrots, peppers, and broccoli, and usually mushrooms (but I forgot to grab them this week, which makes me sad). I do the same thing with melons.

Another thing I’ve learned is that organic grown tastes better.  I used to shy away from raw carrots because I couldn’t stand the dry taste of the “baby” carrots, or how wet they’d get in the package after opened.  I’ve learned why they’re like that, but that’s a post for another day.

Organic carrots are sweeter.  Like kale, I now throw carrots in just about everything I cook these days.  I buy 2 pounds, and immediately cut half of them into coins and toss them in a bowl when I get home.  I grab a handful for lunch, or toss them in our salads.  I also eat almost a whole one while I’m cutting them up.  I don’t cut them all up since I keep some back for roasting, but I usually have to slice some more to refill our bowl.

The great thing about this is the ease to grab a handful and chow down. We eat a lot of non-lettuce salads around here now.

My mom used to make Chicken Cacciatore when I was growing up. (Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. )  This reminds me of her recipe, but it’s not the same.  It has a super quick prep time, since my veggies are already prepped, but it is something that you need to plan as it takes about an hour to simmer.  It’s made with my favorite jarred sauce:

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Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken thighs (skin on)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 jar tomato/basil pasta sauce
1/2 bag broccoli slaw
1/2 C rough cut mushrooms
1 C rough cut carrots
1 C rough cut peppers (red, yellow, orange)
1 C rough cut kale (or spinach)

Pour olive oil in a non-stick pan. Heat on medium high and fry thighs until brown on each side. Use a large enough pan that the thighs do not touch. Pour a thin layer of sauce into a pan and place thighs skin side down on top. In a bowl, mix remainder of sauce and all the veggies, and pour on top of chicken. Cover, and cook on medium to a boil, then low for 30 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover back with sauce, and cook an additional 30 minutes.

It will be thick at first, but will thin out during cooking. The veggies never get mushy during cooking.  And I’m pretty much guestimating the amount of veggies since I just grab a handful and toss them in.

Serves 4.

Tuesday weigh in

Beginning weight:  266
Last week: 251.8
This week: 249.2 (-2.6)
Total loss to date: -16.8

Beginning measurements: (C 45.5 – W 47.8 – H 54.8)
Last week / This week:
Chest 44.8  /  43.8  (-1 / -1.7)
Waist 44.9   /  43.5  (-1.4  / -4.3)
Hips 53.6  /  54.4  (+.8 / -.4)

Not a very productive needle weekend

Thinking back over the past 4 days, and can’t believe how much I didn’t get done needlework wise.  I think I spent more time out of the house this weekend than in.  I did manage to finish my portion of my friend’s round robin

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and I managed to make my working copy of the SamSarah mystery piece.

The only time spent in front of my sewing machine, though, was stuffed animal repair and reattaching the carrying strap on Mister’s canvas bag he takes to school.  Jasper and Mister are ecstatic.  Mister, of course, said it was a very productive needle weekend.  Terri thinks otherwise, since this means I didn’t get a Wild & Goosey block made :(

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