Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

On January 1st I set some goals for the year. Now it's time to look back on them & see how many I achieved:

1. Compete in at least one 5K run. Yes, in fact I completed 2 in December the first one I blogged about here, & I will be blogging about the second one soon.

2. Finish cross-stitch project. Yes, the finished product can be seen here.

3. Make working on my quilt a regular part of my routine (once the cross-stitch is finished). Yes, I have begun sewing regularly in September, and I hope to finish my first soon.

4. Workout consistently. Run/Cardio 3 days/week. Relax with Yoga on off days. Yes, I now run 3 days a week. & I do yoga on occasion.

5. Practice music 3 times/week. No, I was really good about this earlier in the year but recently not so much.

6. Take swimming lessons. Yes, I took lessons for one session in August but I didn't get into the following session, so I haven't done any swimming since.

7. Set up long-term savings account by March 26th, 2010 (Update 3/26/2010: Ben and I have a plan, but need to save a couple thousand more to implement) Yes, got this one taken care of.

8. Have dog so well trained she can be off the leash. No, we just let her out in the yard or play with her to burn off energy so she hasn't been for a walk in some time.

9. Learn something fun and new, like skiing. Yes/No took a quilting class but not much else.

10. Make my life and home greener. Reduce plastics, buy more things second-hand, eat local, eat organic, plant some herbs and a container garden. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, & Not yet, but currently doing research.

11. Read More Books:
1) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
2) Buy-ology The Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom,
3) The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch,
4) Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has
Never Seen
by Christopher McDougall (Audiobook)
5) Numerous comic books
Hmm, I'm gonna call this a fail, as 3 books, 1 audiobook & some comic books isn't very much for 1 year.

12. Blog more, at least once per week. This makes my 25th post this year, Last year I only posted 13 times. So while it is an improvement, almost double the amount it is not once a week. This is gonna count as a half point.

13. Become more Fluent in French, reading, writing, and conversing. Well I have been working on my foreign language skills, but Spanish instead of French, Ben is supposed to be working on his French

14. Improve posture. No, I haven't really consciously been working on this.

Accomplished: 8 Unfinished: 4 Half & Half: 2

I have found that having this list to check & reassess throughout the year has helped me reach & remember these goals.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My First 5K Run

I ran my first 5K fun run on Sunday December 12th at the Seattle Jingle Bell Run. It's put on every year by the Arthritis Foundation & this was the 26th year. Seattle's is the largest Jingle Bell run in the country & about 12,000 people ran it this year.

I got up that morning at 4am & the stomach butterflies started almost right away. I left for Rachel's at 5am we drove to downtown Seattle and breakfast at 13 Coins. I had the french toast. Yummy! We made our way to Westlake Center to pick up our packets & change for the race.

Seattle was experiencing a rainstorm and the streets were slightly flooded in spots. We reluctantly left the cover of the sidewalk awnings & made our way to the middle of the street & the starting line. Thankfully most of the race was run on the covered I-5 express lanes. However, the worst part of the race was not the rain. It was the walkers & strollers. You would get stuck behind the walkers and have to maneuver your way around them. The runners pushing strollers had to start during last wave & many were pushed by obviously elite runners. They would mow you down from behind with little or no warning.

Despite all this I turned in a finishing time of 38 minutes 59 seconds. We stretched in the Westlake Center as stores were opening and shoppers were showing up for the day. Overall, I felt a little disappointed in my first race. It wasn't my time, but the dodging the huge crowds of people that made the experience lackluster. The biggest lesson I learned from this race was to avoid races that allow strollers, walkers, & tend to register more than 10,000 participants

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kaleidoscope Quilt: More Fabric

For the past few months I've been work hard on the quilt I first started at a class I took in September. I have decided I am going to arrange the blocks on the diagonal with lattice work in between the blocks.

On Friday I went shopping for fabric to make the latticework. I found a beautiful green fabric to use at Material Girls in Silverdale. I also stopped at one of my favorite stores: Rochelle's Fine Fabrics in Port Orchard. They had the perfect stripped fabric to use as the border. I bought enough for the quilt back as well. However, I think I may change my mind and save it for a future project.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Return to WA, Day 7

The last was spent driving from southwest Washington to our new home in Port Orchard, WA, and unpacking the car.

Crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, once called 'Galloping Girtie'

Looking across the water at Bremerton Naval Base.

That night we took the Southworth-Fauntleroy Ferry to West Seattle & spent the night celebrating with friends.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Return to WA, Day 6

We drove from Newport, OR to Battle Ground, WA on the 6th day. We were headed to spend the night at my parents house & go through some things. The Pacific Ocean was grey & blue & green and the sky was so gloomy.

Eery trees

We stopped at a small town & took pictures of the Ocean:

Here is a 1 second film we took of the waves while fooling around with the camera: hope it works!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Return to WA, Day 5

Day 5 we drove from Eureka, CA to Newport, OR. It was a long day, lots of photos. I had a hard time picking just a few:

I looked forward to seeing Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox the entire trip.

It's sad to see how faded they've let the plaque become.

Ben & River

So tall!!

A closeup of our little family.

Me & River

The Northern California Coast

1 state left

the mist was so beautiful

look at how calm that pool is

We saw this random T-Rex statue, it kept us laughing for a few miles.

Pretty fall colors on fun windy roads.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Return to WA, Day 4

On day four we Left Ben's family in San Fransisco to see my sister in Eureka, CA

Caught the dog in the middle of the yawn

Driving through wine country


It was a short day for us. We ate dinner at my sister & her husband's and spent time with the nephews.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Return to WA, Day 3

On the third day we headed up to Navato, CA to stay with Ben's Aunt Mary& Uncle Brett. We passed through San Fransisco and took a bunch of pictures. Here are the best ones I got of the city's iconic landmarks:

Alcatraz Island

Coit Tower

The Golden Gate Bridge

River had her bed set up in the back seat. She was supper interested in what was going on when we crossed all the bridges & I was crazily taking pictures.

We had a wonderful evening eating great food & enjoying good wine with family. The dog had a great time playing with the cousins & running around in the back yard.

Ben & I would love to go to San Francisco for vacation to explore the city. We would also love to spend more time with Mary, Brett, Elsie & Tess.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Return to WA, Day 2

On the second day of our trip we went shopping after breakfast. The outlet mall was across the street & the Disney store was open nice and early. Ben got a grumpy the dwarf hat, which became a halloween costume along with a red shirt. He also got a beanie cap that had grumpy on it that looked rather dashing, but I think it has since been lost. I got a cute Tinkerbell sweatsuit.

We set back out on the road again north through southern California. You can see the progression of taller vegetation as we get closer to the agricultural area of the state:

That night we stayed in a comfortable hotel in Tulare, CA. When we woke up the next day, the dog had crawled into bed with us. I was greeted with doggy kisses! That sealed it. She started out on the floor every night but by morning was in bed with us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Return to WA, Day 1

A year ago today Ben & I began our week long drive to Washington State. We were so happy to be moving back! We were able to take a week & make a great vacation out of it. The first day we drove from Scottsdale, AZ to Las Vegas, NV.

In case you've ever wondered, this is what fall looks like in the southwest; barely a hint of orange.

There are some pretty interesting rock formations in the southwest.

High desert of Northern Arizona.

When the sun sets, the landscape blazes orange.

Hoover Dam at Sunset.

We got to Hoover dam just as the sun was setting. We stopped at the lookout & let the dog stretch her legs. Ben took lots of photos; 95% of which came out blurry.

We stayed at a pretty comfy hotel off the strip, across the street from the outlet mall. They gave us a coupon for the Italian restaurant across the street where we had a decent meal & enjoyed some wine.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Farmer's Market

Today I biked down to the Proctor Farmer's market & brought back this organic bounty:

1.5 pounds whole hazelnuts $5

1 bunch kale + 1 lemon cucumber + 1 pattypan squash $3.25

1 bunch basil $1.50

1 giant zucchini $0.50

1 bouquet $8

Natures goodness, some sunshine & a 3 mile bike ride/walk, it doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quilting Class & A New Tool

Last Saturday I took a quilting class @ Fabric Crush in Seattle. The Class was on how to make kaleidoscope quilts.

The class was excellent! There was just me and one other student so we had lots of space and hands on help from the instructor, who was very kind.

I am so inspired to finish the quilt I started. Even though it is my third quilt, I have a feeling it will be the first one I finish.

These are the blocks I've cut so far.

While we were at the store, we had the opportunity to make use of their Design Wall (by Fons & Porter). It is a felt sheet 60in wide x 72 inches long with grommets along the top to make it easy to hang. The felt is backed with Vinyl that has a 2 inch grid pattern on it to help you place your fabric.

This tool made it really quick & easy to play with orientation of fabrics to decide on the best kaleidoscope for each block. I had planned to hang up a sheet at home as a design wall & use pins to keep the fabric in place. I'm so glad I found this instead. No pins needed! I bought one at the store & put up in my craft area yesterday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

July Cross-Stitch Update

I didn't do an update last month because I was in the middle of moving. This month I'm doing it early because I've finished!

I just need to do all the outline stitching and it will be ready for... I have no idea what I'm going to do with this thing, but I'll have plenty of time I'm not in a big hurry to finish the outlining.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May Cross-Stitch Update

I haven't made much progress since April, because I've been cutting out blocks for my quilt.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

First Step

I am starting a new queen sized quilt. This will be my first machine sewn quilt. This is the fabric I picked out:

I spent this morning washing, drying & ironing it all so I can get started. I can't wait!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April Cross-Stitch Update

I haven't done much in the past month. However, I am almost done with the top and side branches, and the end is in sight. Not a moment too soon. I am starting a new project. More on that later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Girl's Best Friend

On Xmas morning 1995 I was directed to the biggest box in the room and told to open it first. It was .... a puppy! It took me for ever to pick a name for her, I chose Christy. As best as we could tell she was some sort of Border Collie/Black Lab mix. She was born Oct 18th 1995.

I joined the local 4-H club and began training and showing her. Here we are blue ribbon winners at the city fair, a few weeks prior to the county fair.

She was my best buddy growing up. We went everywhere together. Spent hours walking in the woods & fields behind our house. Most of our family vacations were spent camping, and she always went with us.

Here we are "camping" on the living room floor.

Here she is on one of our camping vacations, hanging by the river.

When I went to college I had to leave her with my parents. Then when I moved to Phoenix it wasn't feasible to take her with us. She was 12 years old, and with her thick heavy coat in the heat, it wouldn't be good. Here is a picture of her about that age when she was getting up in years.

When we moved back to Washington 6 months ago, we stopped by and she got to play with our dog. She was thin and her coat was salt-and-peppered. She had even lost her voice and her barks where hoarse and hollow.

Yesterday my dad took her to the vet. She wasn't eating. Over the past few years she had dropped from a healthy 45 pounds to 21. They think she had cancer. She was 14 years and 6 months old, almost to the day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My First Sewing Machine

Yesterday I bought this sewing machine. It's a Pfaff Creative 1471 circa 1986.

I spent today playing around with it and finishing a project I was doing by hand. Then the creative juices started flowing and I designed & planned a new quilt. I'll go buy the fabric tomorrow. I was so enthralled I accidentally skipped my run, but I did my pilates video instead.

The dealer I bought the machine from gives free classes for as long as I own the machine. My first class is next Wednesday and I can't wait! I plan to have read the entire manual by then so I can ask specific questions, especially for my new project. Hopefully the single-stitch throat plate I ordered will be in too.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Cross -Stitch Update

I haven't posted an update in a couple of months, because something came up. Look what a difference those two months made!

I am hoping to be finished with this project soon.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

99 Things

The idea is to copy the questions and bold the ones that you've done. Add a comment or two if you feel like it.

1. Started your own blog- you’re reading it
2. Slept under the stars – as a kid, man it was cold outside!
3. Played in a band – played the clarinet in Jr. High and High School
4. Visited Hawaii – I so want to!
5. Watched a meteor shower – while camping, and several other times
6. Given more than you can afford to charity – before I was 18 my parents forced me to give 10% of all my money to their church, odd jobs I had, birthday & xmas money, even what I got from the tooth fairy!
7. Been to Disneyland –when I was 4, I don’t remember much
8. Climbed a mountain- I hope to someday
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo- in choir practice, but I wasn’t good enough to perform in front of people
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris -someday
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm – I’ve seen them in Washington, Indiana & Arizona
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - I am teaching myself to make quilts
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning – I hope I never do
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty- when I was there she was closed, in fact I think she still is
18. Grown your own vegetables – I did as a kid, I hope to again someday soon.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train – never even been on a train
21. Had a pillow fight-of course!
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill- who hasn’t?
24. Built a snow fort – I love snow!
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse – of the moon
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – several of each
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - twice
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community – I’ve seen them traveling down the highway in their buggies in Indiana, and one hitched at a walmart in Kentucky
36. Taught yourself a new language – I’ve learned several languages,including Latin, Spanish, French, Russian, and a little German, I hope to continue teaching myself more
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – I don’t think money itself makes you satisfied, it’s the experiences you can buy with money, like a trip to Europe or a comfortable home.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – I want to take that corny picture where it looks like you’re holding it up
39. Gone rock climbing - on rock walls, I want to do it in the great outdoors
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt – I was a kid, the smell was awful!
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – I’d like to someday
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight – not yet
46. Been transported in an ambulance – I hope never
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing – for halibut in Alaska, we didn’t catch anything
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris – one of my biggest dreams
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain – almost every week
53. Played in the mud – it’s always a blast!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater – my first date with my husband was at the drive-in movies
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China – I think it would be cool to hike the whole thing
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class – Kung Fu
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen- does making pancakes at the homeless shelter count?
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching – in Mexico
63. Got flowers for no reason – I love it when my husband does this
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – I wish I could
65. Gone sky diving – id love to have a chance
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check – nope, and I hope I never do
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – I’m not that far from my childhood, we’ll see if I keep them
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial – it was night , I’d love to go back
71. Eaten caviar - ewww
72. Pieced a quilt – working on one now
73. Stood in Times Square - yep, wanna see some pictures?
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London – I’ve heard getting a good view is impossible
77. Broken a bone – close, but not quite
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle – my cousin’s dirt bike, he used to race them
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - once
80. Published a book – I think that’d be a cool accomplishment
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car – I’ve never owned a car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House – something I’d like to do
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – I used to want to, but not anymore
88. Had chickenpox – yep, got 2 scars to prove it
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous –Charlie Duke (the youngest person to walk on the moon)
92. Joined a book club – does volunteering & working & the library count?
93. Got a tattoo – I want one, but my husband doesn’t like them. One day, I’ll show him.
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit – please no
98. Owned a cell phone - yep, the only phone I have these days
99. Been stung by a bee- a big fat bumble bee

I’ve done 35, not bad for my 23 ½ years, although some of these I would never want to happen.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The End of an Era.

This is my Great-Grandmother Cecelia, she died this morning at the age of 102. Born in November 1907, she saw many changes in the world. She was the oldest girl of 16 children and lived to see 12 great-great grandchildren.

In this picture she is 3 months away from her 97th birthday. She looks pretty good doesn't she!? The last few years were hard. The last time I saw her, February 2009, I knew it would be my last. In a way I am relieved to see her go because it means her suffering has ended.

In the next few weeks there will be many stories of her long life recalled with fondness.
I hope to share them with you here.