Monday, February 3, 2014

Getting things Done

Ugg, I've been in a really bad place when it comes to health. I haven't been active at all and I've been over eating in an emotional way to avoid all kinds of things; For almost the whole year. I think I might be a little down but not in a serious way just in a 'stuck in a rut' kind of way. My Dad died last Spring and now my favorite Auntie is quite sick so that's been bumming me out a bit. and there's a lot to be miserable about but that's not what this post is about.

I have to take charge! Cut back my self medication with food, Add exercise and get a little bit done around the house.

Bwa haa it's goal time:

Get curtain for pop cupboard made
Scrub the bathroom (but good)
Eat a nice healthy supper
Go for a walk and mail important (time sensitive letters).

And that's just for tonight, Oh my!

In Praise of a Dirty Kitchen

Since 3 out of 4 of my family members have full blown Celiac disease, we take our gluten free cooking very seriously. The one family member who eats gluten occasionally does not use flour, is very careful (uses paper plates and disposable napkins and never leaves crumbs in butter or jam or anything) and generally eats gluten - free with the rest of us.

One issue I have is that since we cook everything from scratch; my kitchen is always being used (messy). If we want pizza, we make the crust and cut up the gluten free meats, grate the cheese and assemble and cook it ourselves.

Eating out is very rare and we keep it more for social events than for convenience. Before we were diagnosed, we ate fast food for convenience all-the-time! I don't know if I could have survived the swimming lesson, dancing lesson Saturdays if not for the golden arches. Even if I want soup, I boil the stock then make the soup.

I do love to cook and we've developed our gluten-free cooking routines well enough but my kitchen is always dirty. If by any chance there are no dishes in the sink it means I'm too tired to wipe down cupboards/clean stove/fridge whatever. I can't remember the last time I cleaned the fridge. Now I have a very helpful family but somehow I feel it's MY responsibility to have a clean house. I spend a lot of time feeling overwhelmed about my kitchen and really, that's time wasted..

Thursday, October 24, 2013

So Hub and I have a little thing we call "Dream of the Day" (DoD). When we were younger we had a file folder of dream of the day stuff and now we have an electronic file. It lets us get some pretty crazy ideas vetted and out of our heads. Mind you one dream of the day was moving my young family across the country and that one turned into reality so DoD isn't exclusively hypothetical.

The latest DoD is selling both our suburban house and seaside cottage and moving to a seaside condo in a very quaint town about an hour away from where our primary residence is now.
We worked out all the finances, the commute, arrangements for the kids and everything. This was a lovely condo in a quaint village but it was spendy, on the bottom floor of an old house and had laminate floors. I'm not a total snob when it comes to laminate but in a little condo buy the sea it would be very humid and cheaper laminate will peel.

Anyway the truth is this is a dream of the day that is before it’s time. We have a lot of stuff because I have a lot of projects in mind and even though I get a little overwhelmed and complain; I like it that way. 

IF we downsize now I have to get rid of a lot of furniture and I’m sort of saving it until my girls leave home and get places of their own. While I don’t expect them to take all my junk; expect they’ll take their beds and dressers and a kitchen table or two (yes I have 3 or 4 tables) if they stay local. I’m not sure where they'll end up but I’m not tossing out Grandma's table for a while yet.

How’s this for a back yard:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A knitterly review

So I'm in a radical book club called called the Fiction Vixens that meets several times a year and discusses a book. The host supplies 100% of the booze, food, quizzes, discussion topics and everything. One of the last books was 50 shades of grey (hey I joined this club so I'd read things I wouldn't usually read). I won't link to it or mention the author because it isn't worth the extra thought.

In the way of a review I'd say that the characters were a bit unbelievable. The beautiful university grad (virgin) had 3 or 4 other guys in love with her and had gotten through school without using/having a computer. And the bad boy millionaire was single and an incredibly gifted lover. The style was a bit unpolished (written largely like a person talks; which is a style I suppose). It was slightly titillating (between the eye-rolls) and a few parts were mildly amusing (but I like Famly Guy a little too). I'm not inspired to read any more of this series but am glad that I read it to see what all the fuss was about. I won't comment on it as an anti-feminist book because it was so silly and obvious like a Harlequine Romance and is about as un-empowering as it gets (it was characachure). There will always be a market for this stuff as it is safely packaged soft porn. And everone's imagine needs a little help sometimes. Anyway.

I was inspired to make some e-reader mits (aka fingerless gloves) because of this book. I unravelled a comercially produced sweater that was composd of rammie and silver (polyester) thread. I took it apart and it was fuzzy and slubby had an interesting ombre effect and was and a little trashy. So here's my parttern :

Fifty Shades of Grey Mitts;
2 balls of worsted weight (approx) yarn
4 size 3 mm double pionted needles (DPN's)
4 size 3 DPN's
1 stitch marker

k ~ knit
p ~ purl
M1 ~ make 1 (I use knit front and back into the same stitch unless I'm creating stitches a the end of the row; then I use a backword loop)

Stitch Pattern:
Rows 1-4

With the smaller needles cast on 36 stitches, join (place a marker at the join) and k2, p 2 (in the round) for 2.5 or 3 inches. When you're happy with the cuffs, change to 4 mm needles, knit front and back (M1) of the first stich in the round, and start on the k4, p4 pattern (the very first repeat will be K3 though because it will include the stitch you just created) when you get to the last stich in the round place a marker before you M1 into last stich . Then you will knit one more stitch onto your last needle from the next needle.

So you will have 3 needles with 36 stitches plus 2 after the marker on the third needle (38 in total)

Knit in the k4, p4 pattern for 3 more rows, but M1 with the first stich behind the marker, and the last stich on the needle every second round. (increasing by 2 every second round).

That ever incresing bunch of stitches behind the marker is the thumb gusset. When it gets long enough; try it on and see there should be around 18 stitches behind the marker. These must be slipped onto waste thread.   After they are slipped, continue the pattern around and make 4 stitches using a backward loop (check on utube if you need help).

Then you will have 42 stitches in total (dang these mitts are the answer to the universe!)
Continue the checkery pattern until your hand is covered (about 2 more inches). *At this point you can do one more repeat of the pattern and then knit a row, purl a row (stocking sttich in the round) for 4 rows and bind off for true fingerless mitts.

*If you want the fingers; Put your stiches on 2 needles (I like to use a circular needle for this) evenly distribued to describe the front and back of hand. There will be 21 stiches on each needle and the working yarn sould be at the end (on the side oppoiste to that of your thumb gusset). This gets a little fiddly;
Little Finger:
  • slip the last 5 stitches you knitted onto a 3mm DPN  knit the next 5 stitches on another needle and add/ make 3 stiches on the end of the needle (using backward loop). Slip the made stiches (get the rest of the stiches out of the way) Then knit in the round (13 stitches) until it is long enough for your pinky, bind off and cut yarn.
Ring Finger: (New start of yarn)
  • slip 5 stitches from the holding needles (front side) on the 3mm DPN, knit those 5 stitches and  add/ make 2 stiches on the end of the needle (using backward loop).  slip the 2 made stitches to a new needle and knit 3 more off the back holding needle. Using a new DPN, knit 2 more stiches and make 3 more on the end (15 stiches). Then knit in the round until the ring finger is long enough, bind off and cut yarn.
The next finger is made the same way as the ring finger but is usually a little longer.

Index Finger
  • there should be 11 stiches (in total) left on the holding needle. slip 5 onto one DPN make 4 more stiches on the end of needle. Slip them on a new needle and knit 2 more stiches off the holding needles. Then with third DPN knit the remaining 6 stitches (15 stiches) and contine in the round until the index finger is long enough, bind off and cut yarn.
Now all thats left is the thumb! put those 18 stiches on 3 DPNs and knit around until the thumb is long enough, bind off and sew in all those ends! I like to make sure to close any holes in the top of the thumb and between the fingers when I sew in the ends. Then repreat the gnatty process for the other hand.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Civ Rev on X-box


So video games are part of the fun at casa Doyle and one of my favorites is the x-box version of Sid Myers' Civilization Revolution. The rest of my tribe hate it (and say it's boring) but I play it on the hardest level (Deity) and win most times. I'd say it's the Granddaddy of turn-based strategy games. I play it on PC too but go back to X-box for my escapist unwinding. There's nothing like taking over the world in low def to make a rough day better.

You start the game buy picking difficulty levels and choosing who you are going to play as. Each civilization has their own perk and I won't list them all but my favorite are the Aztecs and their ruler Montezuma. They start the game with 25 dollars and automatically heal after every battle. This means you can defend cities with pretty much just one defensive army and armies don't waste a turn 'healing'. I rush a warrior on the first turn of the game and then get a little invading force built up within 3 or 4 turns (after you hit a few barbarian villages to finance more rushing) then BAM if there is another capital less then 4 or 5 turns away I take it buy force and get one civilization off the board right off the get go. That gives you 2 good cities and one less opponent at the beginning of the game.

There are 4 ways to win: you can just blast through and dominate, you can build lots of temples and cathedrals in your city and attract cultural people, you can win with technology and you can win with the most money. On Deity level you go like gangbusters and play like you want to win ALL ways; technology especially. Your going to need lots of money and technology to dominate all the other civilizations. At this level the opponents build armies faster than you, get tech faster than you and have slightly better odds when fighting. Since they have such an advantage I save a lot and sometimes reload if things don't go my way. Hey it's my game! Civ rev was made for X-box but runs on X-box 360 too. You can probably pick it up used for pretty cheap.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A weighty issue

I'm (practically) a lifelong dieter and this year I turned the magical age of 50. It doesn't make much of a difference for me. I have things in my life I've always wanted and have few regrets. Not to say I have no troubles but some things are just luck of the draw.

Turning 50 is a time for reflection. I was thinking hard about my weight issues and I have compelling evidence that  I succumb to emotional eating and have a slightly addictive personality that defines my behavior and my inherited endocrine system works like mad to store the fat.

I have lost 7 pounds of the 50 I want to lose this year.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A brand new blog

Here we go again, My last blog attempt tanked ignobly when I forgot my password and even my address for retrieving my password for my last blog. We changed servers a lot. Whatever.

SO it's Summer in the Maritimes and vacation for us. Teen2 is paddling (if you grow up here - you paddle) and Teen1 is angst-ing about school (and beyond).

We just arrived home from a family/work group campout. For 9 years in a row we have gone to local campgrounds as a group of families and enjoyed the hiking, campfires, boccie tournaments, badminton games and Campfire Classic golf tournament. We had hot muggy weather and a bit of rain (lots of bugs) and lots of fun.

We take off again to camp at a National park with more family. There will be lots of hiking and swimming and cooler weather. Maybe we'll see the piping plovers on the shores of the Bay of Fundy too.