Breaking My Silence

26 04 2012

April has been an interesting month! I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time sick.

I started the month with a rotten cold – so rotten I should have stayed home from work, but didn’t because my direct supervisor was on vacation. That lasted a week. I had a lingering, terrible cough in the weeks since.

I was finally in the stages of kicking the cough and reclaiming my health last week. I even went to the gym and increased my resistance on all the weight devices, as well as my level on the reclining bike. I felt awesome, as long as my esophagus cooperated and let me go without coughing.

I even hopped on the dieting wagon, and starting tracking my calories. I’m attempting to stay between 1200 and 1500 calories per day. It’s been surprisingly easy to do so. My normal eating habits aren’t terrible to start with. I just needed to reduce some of the carb intake and manage my protein better. I’d already been cutting the junk food out, because it’s really just stupidly expensive for junk food, and no one in my family needs it. The occasional treat is all right, but we can make healthier, tastier treats at home!

I made it through two sewing days (yay!) and got started on the Stich N’ Bitch BOM project. It’s so pretty! I’m so happy! I even picked up the pieces on the Skill Builder Series Sampler. It’s not a lot – about four blocks into the BOM, and just components into the Sampler. Really, really, really pathetic considering how gangbusters I was last month.

Then, yesterday… Well, all right. Tuesday at about 4:00 PM – my body decided to rebel.  My tonsils got swollen. I started feeling like I was attempting to swallow glass shards. My muscles started aching.

I tried to live in denial for a little bit. It was difficult. Hubby claimed he’d started experiencing the same symptoms the day before. I ended up waking up several times Tuesday night, feeling progressively colder and worse. Sometime around 4:45 AM I realized that there was no way in bloody hell I was making it into work.

So, yesterday morning, I texted my supervisor, letting him know I wouldn’t be in. And then hubby, kiddo and I all trundled off to Urgent Care, with grandma in tow to keep an eye on Zeb while hubby and I got checked out.

Turns out, all three of us have strep throat. Yeah… I blame the trip hubby and Zeb took to the Madison Zoo, as strep has shown up in the family they went to the zoo with. I’d blame work, but I’m in an office by myself most of the day, despite being on a college campus.

So, yeah, here I am. It’s almost the end of the month, and I’ve got very little to show for it.

Oh, and no pics. My camera’s broken for my birthday. I already told the hubby that I want a new camera. I just have to decide on a model.

On the weight loss front… I’m down to 215 pounds, down from 220. It’s slow going, but it’ll so be  worth it!!


Some Steps to Health

17 11 2011

I’ve talked a little bit about my health here before… Not much, because I’ve always wanted the focus of this blog to be my sewing, not my personal life. However, I’ve recently started feeling a lot of internal pressure to make better choices for myself.

As you all know, my mother-in-law recently had her left knee replaced. What you don’t know is that my father has had a lot of health issues in the last couple of years, involving everything from having his gall bladder removed to a diagnosis of COPD. He’s been getting his high blood pressure under control and is eating better…

Which is all great, and wonderful, and I’m proud of him and desperately happy to know he’ll be around longer to see his grandson grow older…

But these health issues in the ones I love have just been making my anxiety over my own health just skyrocket. I’ve had a couple of anxiety attacks and have been growing steadily more morose over my body image. So, rather than let this drag me down some more, I took things in hand…

I purchased two-year memberships at a local fitness center for myself and my husband Wednesday afternoon.

Hubby is thrilled, which is surprising to me, and has reached out for this chance to feel better about himself with both hands. He’s especially happy that there is a pool available for him to swim in.

For myself, I went both Wednesday afternoon and today after work. I’m taking things slowly – it’s been a while since I had access to fitness equipment, and I don’t want to cause an injury to myself that would discourage me from returning. Wednesday I simply took advantage of the treadmills and walked a mile. Today, I biked two miles, and walked another two. Not sure if I’ll go Friday evening – my head cold is becoming worse, and I’d rather not spread the disease.

Hubby actually questioned the number of small colds I’ve had this fall so far – the answer seemed fairly obvious to me. I’ve been working in IT now for just under six months. That’s six months in which my physical activity has been reduced to practically nothing. I have always been less likely to catch something the more physically active I am. Now I sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, just to return home and veg on the sofa for a while. I think my limited access to people is the only thing saving me from a bout with the flu!

So, anyway… As cheesy as it sounds, I’m finally giving myself the gift of health. I’m giving myself permission to take an hour or more each day and focus on truly feeling better. This isn’t about losing weight – this is about feeling my age and being free to run around with my son without getting winded. This is about being able to take stairs and not have my knees twinge with every step.

This is about giving myself a healthier future, where my body is working with me, not against me.

This Two Jobs Thing…

8 11 2011

… is cramping my style.

Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely agog that I can, for the first time in forever, pay rent and have money left over. Admittedly, I’m still doing the oh-so-adult thing and paying off credit cards and utilities with that ‘extra’, but I’m not stressing finances the way I used to.

Still, working fifty plus hours a week seriously digs into my ‘free’ time. Not to mention, my mother-in-law is still in the nursing home undergoing therapy for her knee replacement. So, that one, precious evening ‘off’ that I used to have each week has been missing for about six weeks. And Zeb is in a serious ‘attached at the knees to mommy’ phase. Thankfully, my mother-in-law will be home on Thursday, but no word yet if she’ll be cleared for driving or baby-sitting any time soon.

I’m sewing when I should be sleeping, but to make the most of that time, I’m pre-cutting at odd, free moments. I’d hand-sew something on the way to and from work, but I need to prep more fabric for hexagons and I just haven’t felt like doing that.

My general lack of time means that I’m practicing project monogamy, which is frustrating in the extreme. I want to get something big done, like my DWR top. I want to quilt my baskets top. I really, really want to get caught up on the Test Your Skills Sampler. I’m seriously jonesing to see how that one comes out. I’m only able to post this because I promised my son some quality time with the PlayLand in our local McDonald’s.

I’m sure you all have figured out what project is currently reaping the benefits of my enforced project monogamy: the Farmer’s Wife Sampler. Six inch blocks are super easy to prep and zip through my sewing machine quickly. I am, however, getting to a point in which the remainder of my blocks will be paper-pieced. I’ve already decided that I’m going to switch out some of the blocks, because I really don’t want to make all of the 5-grid blocks that require me to cut at 1/5th of an inch, when, really, they’re basic shapes and shouldn’t require paper-piecing. But, dang it!, I haven’t found a quilting ruler that marks inches out in fifths.

So, anyway, enough whining. The whole point of this ramble was to point out that I have more Farmer’s Wife blocks made.

#007 Birds in the Air
#007 Birds in the Air

I ended up giving in and paper-piecing the 1″ HSTs. I had actually successfully strip pieced these, but then I made a mistake and actually sewed on a half square triangle to the bottoms of the strips, which mean that I was piecing on a bias edge… I ended up throwing those attempts away. I’m glad I did though, as I’m much happier with my fabric selections this time around.

#025 Cups and Saucers
#025 Cups and Saucers

More of that grey fabric combined with a lovely poppy print from my stash. I actually cut off a couple of points in this block, but I’m not really seeing them from afar, so I’m ignoring them.

#038 Four Winds
#038 Four Winds

I actually had a really hard time distinguishing the pattern in this block when I looked at the illustration and photo in the book. I deliberately tried to pick out fabrics with more contrast as a result.

#041 Friendship Star
#041 Friendship Star

Very simple, very quick block. I picked out a charcoal gray background fabric that’s been in my stash for at least four years. I’d made one cut into it previously, and that was it, for my Grandmother’s Fan top.

#081 Snowball
#081 Snowball

Another couple of fabrics that haven’t been used in forever. I’m pretty sure I bought these fabrics back when I first started seriously stashing, which was seven or either years ago. This one is actually my second attempt at this block. I felt the first try came out too dark.

#084 Homeward Bound
#084 Homeward Bound

I love these three fabric separately. I love them even more combined. I think I could argue that this is the most ‘modern’ looking of all the blocks I’ve done for this QAL.

#109 Windows
#109 Windows

Okay, I am STUPIDLY proud of how nicely the points in my that QST match. I think I finally figured out my methodology for making them all so nice and perfect, which basically amounts to trimming, and then trimming again. And, I totally love the black and white dot fabric here. I seriously need to buy a bolt of this stuff.

Another seven blocks down. I’m up to 30! That’s a whopping 27% of the blocks for this sampler done.

Happy Farmer’s Harvest!

31 10 2011

As I type this, my little boy is sleeping in my lap, exhausted from trick or treating for his first time, not having a nap, and having been in school today. He was Thomas the Tank Engine, and not entirely sure about the whole process of knocking on stranger’s doors. He caught on pretty quick when he realized that candy was the reward though!

Tonight, I have more Farmer’s Widow blocks to share. I cannot wait until I get some more sewing time. I really want to work on other projects, but right now, one block at each stolen moments session seems to be all I get to accomplish.

#010 Bowtie
#010 Bowtie

More fussy-cutting fun! The butter yellow is a Jinny Beyer print. The white/blue print I found in Joann’s nursery section. I thought it was too pretty and clean to put in an infant quilt.

#015 Buzzard's Roost
#015 Buzzard’s Roost

I ended up admitting defeat and paper-piecing this one. My original plan had been to make six flying geese units, but I kept losing triangle points, and that’s just not acceptable.

#020 Churn Dash
#020  Churn Dash

I’m forcing myself to incorporate pink into these blocks. However, I must say I like the contrast of the more modern dot print against the very traditional tone on tone black print.

#026 Cut Glass Dish
#026 Cut Glass Dish

So many freaking HSTs, and finishing at 1″!! I was very glad to sew the last seam on this one. I was going to use a more geometric print for the orange, but kiddo got to my pre-cut pieces with his own scissors. I’m just lucky he didn’t attack the strips that were precut for the HSTs.

#031 Evening Star
#031 Evening Star

I hadn’t realized, when I was piecing these, that my Evening Star and Buzzard’s Roost were going to come out so similar. I might re-do one or the other… On the other hand, there’s a lot of blocks, and I can just place them far, far apart in the top.

#034 Flock
#034 Flock

Aqua, raspberry, and paisley! Love 🙂

#084 Spool
#084 Spool

Much happier with this iteration of Spool. I’ve had the gray background fabric forever, along with some coordinating prints. I’ve been collecting grays with pink and red in them for a Lone Star quilt.

That’s it for this Farmer’s update. I’m headed for bed.