New Years Resolutions 2012 Review

Footsteps by Rubber Dragon
Footsteps, a photo by Rubber Dragon on Flickr.

For 2012 I focused on increasing the number of steps I walked each day. I made an effort to drink more water and to make the healthiest food choices available. I was able to move from the sedentary hospital visitor of January and February to an average of 8,552 steps per day! October 2012 success!

Unfortunately I stopped wearing my pedometer around Halloween, or early November. Then I focused on preparing my home for visitors and cooking. I walked in January of 2013 but didn’t record my steps. By February 2013 I was back to sitting in the hospital with a sick family member. Here are some tips from my hospital experience last year, Tips For Visiting Friends and Family in the Hospital.

This time around I am making an effort to get up and walk during each of my visits. Yes even if it means walking up and down a hospital hallway. I am more convinced than ever that the best way to increase our health is to keep moving. Once I start spending less time at the hospital I’ll focus on keeping myself moving in 2013.

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Saved By The Izze

Izze by Artisan All Unwound
Izze, a photo by Artisan All Unwound on Flickr.

Have you heard of Izze? It’s a juice and sparkling water drink. A fruit soda, without any added sugars. I bought some as a treat for my kids the other day and it was a good thing I did.

When we came I home I decided to clean out the little drink fridge we have and put the Izze in there. Well it turns out the drink fridge had stopped working sometime earlier. The mini freezer had a lot of ice in it and that had all turned to water. The inside of the refrigerator was a bit wet. Happily none of it had leaked out and gotten on the nearby carpeting.

I’d like to put a photo of the fridge here but WordPress isn’t accepting the HTML or BBC code and actually posting the photo.  So here’s a link to my lovely mini fridge with paper towels on top of it and paper towels underneath it and paper towels inside it!  Mini Fridge

It took time and 2.5 rolls of paper towels to clean up the mess, but thanks to the Izze we quickly discovered the broken fridge. When problems are discovered quickly it’s easier to avoid lasting damage, so please go check your extra freezers and refrigerators to be sure they are working!

Posted in Diet, Household Tips, My Thoughts on Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Laundry Room Redo Continues

When I last posted about my laundry room here. I showed you some parts and pieces that I intended to use to make the laundry room a more functional and attractive space. Some of them I’ve used and others I haven’t gotten to yet.  Life and family simply got in the way.

Baskets Laundry Room Hangers

I didn’t remove clutter for this photo! The baskets work really well.

The good news is that the “Feel Good Lime” baskets on the shelf are GREAT.  They are a cheerful color and continue to keep the items I need looking good and easy to reach.  A true success story.

The lime hangers I got are great too.  They continue the pop of lime color and do their job.  Sadly I haven’t seen any other hangers in this color, I’d love to buy more.  I returned the white hangers since the last thing this room needs is more white. LOL

Laundry Room Hanging Rack

Eye screws are screwed into the wood and the rack hangs from them.

Speaking of hanging space I showed a preview of this rack in my last post.  It required time, a stud finder and a power drill but it’s up!  Now I know that it’s not as attractive as it is functional, what with the extra wood added to the ceiling.  A small space means the rack had to go where the screws couldn’t go!! My husband came up with this creative solution. The screws go into the ceiling studs to hold the wood.  Remember the wall studs are metal so we can’t use them.  Then the eye screws go into the wood where the rack needs screws to be.  I may paint the wood to get it to disappear against the ceiling.

I’ve successfully reduced the clutter in my laundry room, created more hanging space, and made it a more attractive place to be.  It’s still a work in progress but so much nicer than before.  Check out “Laundry Room Before” to see how far I’ve gotten.

Posted in Decorating, Household Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Completed Socks

Cuff Down Socks

Comfy Socks!

Last February I knit these socks and posted about the process.  They were knit cuff down. Details are in this post, Hand Knit Basic Socks.

I’ve worn them several times and been hand washing them and laying them flat to dry.  Not much effort for the enjoyment of good fitting and good feeling socks!  I recently reread my post and realized that I promised a photo of the completed pair of socks. Here they are!

Socks Cuff Down Blue

Check out that heel!

Posted in Creating patterns, Knitting, My Thoughts on Life, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Uppity Blues Woman Ann Rabson Dead at 67

Ann Rabson by kenficara
Ann Rabson, a photo by kenficara on Flickr.

This week I was saddened to read about the death of Ann Rabson. She was a founding member of the trio Uppity Blues Women. She sang, composed music and played the piano and guitar in the blues music style.

She was only 67 at the time of her death and that seems so young, since her mother lived into her 90s. I was introduced to Ann Rabson and her music by her mother, Dr. Alice Rabson many years ago. Ann Rabson’s mother was proud of her and her accomplishments and gave me one of Saffire’s early albums.

I’ve enjoyed listening to the Uppity Blues Women over the years. The world has lost a talented musician. If you haven’t heard their music you should check it out. Here is her obituary from the Washington Post.

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On My Knitting Needles; A Wingspan Scarf in Tosh Sock

This project is once again an example of selecting a pattern after the yarn has been purchased.  I was so excited about the softness and intense colors of this hand dyed Madeline Tosh Sock yarn.  So I bought it.  I read the label but what didn’t stick in my mind is that it’s 100% Merino.  Yarn used for knitting actual socks should have Nylon in it as well.

Skein of Madeline Tosh in Cobbler

Skein of Madeline Tosh in Cobbler

So while this yarn is named Tosh Sock and it’s the weight of yarn used to hand knit socks it’s not as tough as regular sock yarn.  I am just not willing to put hours of time into socks and have them wear out quickly.  Wingspan is a pattern for a scarf or shawl that uses short rows for shaping and sock weight yarn.

Wingspan Madeline Tosh Sock Cobbler

Here is the scarf about half done.

Can you see the interesting triangles that make up this scarf/shawl?  I think they look cool with the variegated Tosh Sock yarn.  I won’t be knitting it to sell in my shop because the designer has kept that right.  So if you really love this scarf/shawl you’ll need to find someone to knit it for you.  Or you could knit it yourself!  The pattern is available on Ravelry here.

Posted in Knitting, On My Knitting Needles, Scarf, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pinterest Recipe Reviews; Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Part Three

This is the second update on the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals that I pinned to my Pinterest “Recipes to Try” Board.  Read “Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Part One” if you’d like to start at the beginning.    All of these meals, like the ones in “Slow Cooker Freezer Meals Part Two,” defrosted in the fridge for 24 hours before I put them in the crock pot.  They slid right out of the gallon size zip lock bags they were frozen in.

Six Sisters Crock Pot Chicken

Chicken Lime Cilantro right after being put in my crock pot.

I had high expectations for the Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans.  It used an entire bunch of Cilantro.

Unfortunately once frozen, defrosted and then cooked the taste was bland.  We added sour cream and spicy black bean dip to pump up the taste.

I have an easier tastier crock pot Mexican Chicken recipe that I’ll stick with.

The Black Bean Taco Soup was good and liked by a wide variety of people.  This meal has many servings!  Remember how it was way too much to fit into a gallon sized zip lock bag?  I served it the day company was traveling to my home and we didn’t know what time they would arrive.  Everyone liked this recipe as written and I’ll make it again.  Six Sisters suggests serving this with tortilla chips but I served it with cheese drop biscuits.

Six Sister Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore looking so pretty!

The Chicken Cacciatore smelled good while cooking.  Unfortunately the sauce was watery and the chicken seemed dry.  The vegetables I added to this were fresh, not frozen so I don’t know where the extra liquid came from.  I enjoyed the green peppers and zucchini in this recipe and I might try it again with something added to thicken the sauce.

The bottom line is that of the 7 Six Sisters recipes I made, four of them I would make again without changes.  They are the Black Bean Taco Soup, the French Dip Sandwiches, the Hearty Beef Stew, and the Maple Dijon glazed Chicken.  As you may remember I didn’t try their BBQ Spareribs recipe because I have my own recipe for that dish.  Having preprepared crock pot meals in my freezer has been a healthy time saver.

Posted in Diet, Finances and Money, How to, Recipe | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments