Monday, March 30, 2009

Exercising my Quilting Rights

Yep, here it is, Monday again. Yes, that's Loser Monday! There's been an ever so slight decrease on my scales this week. Maybe close to .5 of a pound, but you know how that is. Tomorrow it could be .5 of a pound increase. But I'm not obsessing about this - that's the new plan.

Last week, Sharon asked if we would share some exercise hints. We all know we've got to do the dreaded "E" word as she says. I've tried to make it something I look forward to and some times it becomes my one consistent social activity for the week. Over a year ago I joined a new health club because they offered Pilates. I've done aerobics and water aerobics for years and though I've had good success with most of those classes, I was ready for something new. Sometimes your body just gets so used to the same movements the challenge is lost. And though I can't say that I've seen a huge weight loss with Pilates, I do feel stronger, flatter (in good places) and even taller! I wanted to take a photo at one of my classes last week, but figured they'd never let me back so you'll just have to imagine several women of varying ages and physical abilities lying on mats, with one of our awesome instructors challenging us to "tighten your core", "draw your navel to the floor" and "strengthen your bu-thighs"! Now I take a pilates class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays and Wednesdays I do double duty with a class called Rep/Rebok (a weight class) followed by Hi/Lo Cardio (which is Medium Lo for me!) Honestly, some days I have to give myself a motivational talk to get to those, but I'm always glad I do. My BF, C has started going to these classes too; in addition, I've met some other great gals there and made some new friends. If it wasn't for these exercise classes, I wouldn't have taken up knitting (thanks to T). Of course there's the pilates girls for lunch dates after class and the lottery pool, but the overall effort will surely pay-off someday!

When I read back over all this, it would seem that I should be in great shape. I'm a long, long way from that but I exercise so I can enjoy those french fries once in a great while or have a little candy occasionally. And yes, that is probably one reason why I struggle to lose .5 pound in a month but I've found when I cut those treats out, I don't lose any faster. I'm aware that some people would tell me I should work out harder, or watch my WW points closer. It's not out of the realm of possibilities that tomorrow I'll think that too! It's nice to know that the rest of you "Monday Losers" who are struggling with the same will be there for support !

If you waded through all of that to see the quilt I've been working on, congratulations! This is the new grandbaby's crib quilt. I finished the quilting on this the other day, just it time for the mommy-to-be's birthday! This simple comforter was made using fabric from Ikea, bordered by blue and an outer border of green on green dots. I did some basic vertical lines of quilting surrounded by free motion meandering on the green border. Finally I'm getting the feel for the free motion quilting, but I've still got a problem with how the stitches look on the backside. Hopefully that's just something that will come with practice but I'm open to any suggestions or tips! There's still more sewing to do on other nursery items plus I think the little guy will need another quilt or two!
Since tomorrow is Miss B's birthday, I had to include her photo with the quilt. She has to work tomorrow so we had lunch today at a nearby Chinese restaurant. She and hubby N went crib shopping this evening. The nesting mode is setting in !
Happy Birthday to my baby!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's About Time

It's about time I out something quilty done here! Though it seemed like a small task at the time, making sixty blocks and signing them took a little longer than I anticipated. But now that they are all complete, I'm anxious to get them in the mail to Connie. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the blocks that I get back. Hopefully, mine will pass inspection because I know that there many gals in the swap that do much more quilting than I do. Not all of my blocks are made from the same fabrics as I just used leftovers from two or three different projects. And I got something else completed too! This is just a hint. I promise a full photo later this week.
I am so very ready for Spring. My thoughts are with some of our friends and family that live back in Kansas. Probably some of them are dealing with the recent late season snow and are thinking it's about time for Spring too. Today was cold, wet and windy but last week was pretty nice. One day Beamer was watching and chattering to the birds flying across the deck. I looked out and saw this pretty bluebird (I really don't know my birds - I just know it was blue) flittering from tree to tree. As it perched in my neighbor's little tree I was able to zoom in with my camera and get this photo. I don't think the nest belongs to her but I'm going to keep an eye on it anyway. Just a nice reminder to stop and enjoy some of the little things in life, even it is just a pretty bird passing through.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Riding Is Our March Madness

We've been taking advantage of every hour that's warm enough for riding the motorcycle. Yesterday, we took a quick trip over to Madison, Indiana for lunch and a little shopping at a couple of the shops downtown. Then we decided to take a little ride on past the town and loop back around to Madison and home again.......without our detailed Indiana map. A scenic ride, but we aren't really sure where we were for most of the time! But with a little backtracking to stay off some gravel roads, we made it home by suppertime.

Today was another nice day and after a little work on the kitchen cabinets (by D) and a quilt project (by me), we were off on the Harley again. We had to stop at Louisville Harley to pick up a couple of things then we were "on the road again" ! We headed down I-65 to Glendale, KY. The winter weather has been hard on that road. I thought I was going to bounce right off the back of the bike! Pot holes and rough spots in all the lanes most of the way to Elizabethtown didn't make for a very comfortable ride.

We had intentions of eating at the Whistle Stop Cafe but it was closed on Sunday. (Should have googled for the hours I guess!) But we did find that the former Depot Restaurant is now Tony York's on Main and it was open. I believe the Depot was a popular place a few years back, but had suffered a major fire and was rebuilt. It is a beautiful building, and not really the type of place we had planned on having a late lunch.

The dining room was very nice with white tablecloths and the works. As we were leaving we saw that some other folks (on motorcycles too) were enjoying the nice deck and patio area. We probably would have fit in better there with our boots and jackets.But we did have a nice lunch. I haven't posted a food photo in awhile so I'll show you my chicken salad on cranberry bread. We avoided the interstate on the trip home, but had to endure numerous stoplights on the route that the GPS chose for us. Next time we'll plan a little better but it was still a nice ride!

Otherwise, not much to report for my week. I did finish sewing the blocks for Connie's Siggie Block Swap but I've still got to sign them. I need to get some freezer paper so I can get them done and on their way. Saturday morning I drove over to Among Friends for the BOM. Here's my completed block for this month. It turned out pretty but I'm not sure if I'd make a complete quilt with this many little pieces. Tomorrow I take my car over to get the window fixed finally. They've been waiting for the parts and they finally arrived. I hope it doesn't take too long to get it repaired. At least when it's nice, D doesn't mind riding his motorcycle to work so I can drive the truck.

Beamer has been enjoying any sunny spot he can find on the floor. The other day my new red shoes were in his way, but he didn't mind. He is a big cat as you can tell from this photo. I really do have normal size feet (size 7) but he makes these shoes look like they belong to a little girl!

When I start to post photos of my cat and my new shoes I think it means I'm searching for blog material so I guess I have nothing else interesting today. Hope you all have a nice week and are enjoying the first few days of Spring or the first few days of March (basketball) Madness, whichever makes you the happiest!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mini Tour on Loser Monday

Happy St. Patty's Day to you all! In honor of the "wearin' of the green" and all things Irish I thought I'd give you a little taste of Ireland with a few of the photos we took on our trip there a few years back.
Kissing the Blarney Stone!

So there you go - a mini tour of Ireland. We've only got about 1600 Ireland photos lurking in the files here on the computer. Hope you've enjoyed these!

And the real reason I'm posting old photos is to hide the fact that this is Loser Monday and I'm supposed to be posting about that. As usual, no loss to report this week. I'm still faithfully visiting the gym four times a week for cardio and pilates but I admit I'm not doing very good at keeping track of my food. I'm not sure how long Sharon will let me stay on the Loser List, so if she kicks me out, that's okay and I'll forgive her!

I found this Irish proverb that might just apply to me.
Is fheàrr teicheadh math na droch fhuireach.
Better a good retreat than a bad stand

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Moving On

Thanks everyone for your sympathetic comments to my last post. All it takes is one little experience like ours to make us much more wary in what we thought was a calm, safe community.

But we weren't deterred from making the purchase again, though this time in the daylight and then going straight home. And here she is - my new Sony laptop. Sorry E and S, I didn't go with the Mac! But she's just as cute and doesn't challenge me with as much of a learning curve, though I still have things to figure out. It's a good thing I've got a hubby who doesn't mind playing with this new toy. Sorry J's we didn't get the web cam going yet - but hopefully this week we'll be able to talk to little J!
Yesterday was the big fat quarter sale at Among Friends Quilt Shop. I thought I'd get there in the morning before things got picked over. Wrong. Evidently ladies were lined up a half hour before their doors opened! After all, who could blame them for wanting $1.25 fat quarters! There was a limit of 100. I didn't come any where near that but here's my haul. I don't have any specific plans for these but there are a few baby fabrics in there as well as some that will compliment some of what is already in my stash. The only problem is that I really need to get busy and do some sewing one day soon. I've got projects in mind, but not the mind for them.

Part of the reason I'm not sewing motivated is the other project we're working on. I've been on a quest for the perfect countertop for our new kitchen cabinets. I really want quartz. Right now the leading contender is the one on top (in the center). I think it would look the best with the oil rubbed bronze hardware and faucet. The colors don't show up quite right here, but maybe you get the idea.

Temperatures are gradually creeping up around here. So you know what that means! We had to bundle up a little, but it really was quite pleasant today when we went for our Sunday drive. We stopped by our friends' house to see if they wanted to go along but you can see they were doing spring cleaning and yard work. But they did snap this photo of us then joined us later for an ice cream ride.

This week I need to make arrangements for getting my car repaired. But surely this week will end better than last. Hope you all have a good week! .

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yes, It Is Friday the 13th

I'm not a happy blogger.

Sure, we were just going to run into Lowes for just a minute. I had a bad feeling about leaving my brand new pretty white laptop (still in the box) computer in the back seat of the car. But it will be fine, he said. We'll not be long and we're right in front of the door, under the brightest lights. After all, this is a Lowe's parking lot. Should have listened to me, we both should have. So this is how my car looks on Friday the 13th. Evidently we were followed from Best Buy to Lowes. The surveillance tape shows someone pulling up right next to us as we walked into the store. The license plate was covered and they knew exactly what they wanted and how to get it quickly. As the police officers wrote the report, they got another call from Cracker Barrel. Another lady had been to Best Buy, bought a computer, left it in her trunk and went to Cracker Barrel. Friday the 13th for her too.

Looking on the bright side. 1) There was no data on the computer. 2) They could have followed us all the way home 3)This laptop is still working even if it is temperamental and slow 4)They didn't take the new printer 5)We have insurance.

I guess some people are using the downturn in the economy as an excuse to stimulate corrupt behavior. Too bad they had to pick my pretty little white laptop and my pretty white car to victimize. Happy Friday the 13th:(

Monday, March 9, 2009

Better Off or Not

Here it is Loser Monday again. Sharon will be kicking my you know what to the curb this time as I have still to find that wagon to get back on! I alternate between admitting defeat and bailing out or giving myself another week to see if I can finally pull my willpower together. In one aspect, I know I'm better off sticking with this, even if I've not lost any weight. But it's also somewhat embarrassing to report no change week after week. So okay - I'll give it another week, again. I continue to enjoy my trips to the gym and as long as I can keep that up I really don't think I should admit defeat.

Daughter E is on her way home this evening. It was great to have her come and spend a few days. This afternoon she and I along with B went to see Slumdog Millionaire. If you haven't seen this movie yet, it is wonderful. Definitely deserving of the Oscars won. One of the best parts of the movie is the ending credits and the dance scene. I found this video to share. Have a great week!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back on the Road for Real!

A beautiful weekend and so much to do! The warm weather makes it so much more pleasant to get out and about. Even with the "far away" daughter visiting from the Chicago burbs, we left her to be entertained by the little sister and brother-in-law and spent most of the day Saturday on the Harley. This was our first "official" ride of the year and we took advantage of the warm temps to ride to southern Kentucky and the Lake Cumberland area. Our friends M and R led the way as we racked up about 300 miles for the day! After a late lunch of catfish (calorie and fat free, of course!) we took a few minutes to enjoy the views near the dam. The water level of the lake has been lowered as repairs are being made to the dam. The water was pretty and there several people fishing. After a seemingly long winter, it was nice to finally see green grass along the shoreline and the roadsides. You know we didn't stop for long as the guys didn't even take the time to remove their helmets as they discussed something - probably either engineering, fishing or wave-runners!
It was a great trip. Though my "bottom" stamina was tested, I think I'll be ready for the next ride. Just hope it isn't too long until we can resume our regular weekend excursions! One thing we noticed as we rode through central Kentucky was the extent of the damage done to the trees by the recent ice storm. I'm sure it won't be as noticeable when they are leafed out, but now it is really pretty sad.

Today we ventured out to the local home building and remodel show in search of the best price for our new kitchen countertops. Several new quotes should be coming our way this week. A decision will need to be made because D informs me that demolition might be coming soon.

The time change has messed my internal clock up so I'd better head to bed soon. E isn't going home until tomorrow evening and is going to come with me to the gym in the morning. After ignoring her during part of her visit, I actually should spend some time with her! We did accomplish making a few plans for an upcoming baby shower and I've managed to cook a couple of mom meals. We'll see what she thinks of my "old lady" (it really isn't, but she'll be the youngest there) fitness classes. Hope she can keep up :)

Hope the warm weather has given you all a little Spring Fever! Have a good week!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Please Send Will Power!

I almost forgot that it is Loser Monday again. Seems like it was just here. This has been a tough week, diet wise. I've seriously slipped off the diet wagon. I don't know where my motivation has gone but some of it was lost at the new Five Guys Burgers and Fries. And before that, in the Artisan bread dough from last week. Some of it slid into the Oatmeal Crispie cookie dough after I found a new recipe on the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. I know I could come up with a dozen more excuses, because that's the only way I can explain the slight increase of the number on the scale. Oh well. Please send all your extra will power my way please!

On to something quilty. I've started on my Siggy Blocks for Connies swap. This is only 16 out of the 60 that I need to make. The rest of them will have to be from different fabrics as this was all I had of these. Then I still have to come up with some clever way to sign them. I hope I've got them squared up correctly. Connie has been posting some photos of some that have been coming in and there are some really pretty ones out there. It will be fun to get my collection and put them all together!

Happy March! Surely Spring is out there some where?