Saturday, December 31, 2022

Leafing around

It's fall and the leaves are dropping. I actually blew all these leaves off our yard and into a pile along the road. Our city ha a service that will vacuum them up in a few days.

Roxy wants me to share.

Don't be alarmed. This was just a flair up when cooking on the grill outside. Nothing was harmed, including the burgers. hahaha

As we move through the holidays we have had power outages. Here I am, using a battery neck light to work on crocheting during such an outage. 

Then it was time to decorate for the holiday. Last year I dropped and broke this snowman that I got from my folks' estate, many years ago. My husband put him all back together and gave him a fresh coat of paint. I added new buttons and hat decor. It meant a lot to me to have him fixed up again. He holds a lot of sentimental value to me.

The bird feeders have been hung out and the cardinals are frequent visitors. I always remember Mom at these times because she loved loved loved when cardinals visited her feeders back in Minnesota.

I am not eating as healthy as I should but it tis the time of indulgences. I made all this for Christmas feasting. Most of it is gone now as the new year approaches.

We had snow just before Christmas and afterwards, bitter cold. Many people had pipes burst and one of the universities had a pipe not only break but it flooded their gymnasium and totally ruined their wooden floor.
We did not have trouble. We did have a slow drip drip leaking from a faucet. It will need to be fixed when the weather is better. It's made an impressive ice display for now though!


Mom made Christmas so special for us. She also taught me to knit. I miss her a LOT during this time of year. I have attempted to relearn knitting, several times. This year, I am making progress. Thanks Mom!

It's always an up and down time for me this time of year. All the holidays, all the birthdays, all the memories ebb and flow around me. Abby offered to help me through it all but so far I haven't taken her up on her offer. Perhaps after today, with the promises of the new year ahead, she'll come back for a visit.

I hope all of you are surviving and thriving.
I know I am trying to, too.



 

Monday, November 28, 2022

And the holidays begin


This time of year is quite busy for us. Four out of six of the family have birthdays between October and December. Then there's Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas mixed in. 
Let's get started! First off, it was my birthday. I love cheesecake better than cake cake.
I was gifted this coffee cup by my son. I like Jack Skellington.
We went camping. It rained a lot but we didn't care.  It was so peaceful and pretty with all the fall colors. In between showers we did a little hiking on easy trails. The three of us also played a bunch of cribbage games. 


The next weekend The Mister and #3 Son drove to St. Louis, MO for a YES concert. It's a six hour drive. After the concert they drove home and got here in the wee hours of the morning. They rested up on Saturday and on Sunday The Mister and I went to a Renaissance Faire while #3 Son babysat the dogs. We haven't been to a faire for years. The weather was perfect and we had a great time playing music and seeing a few old friends.

We did our last weekend of camping a week later. This time it didn't rain, but it snowed!
We live in the south. This was an unusual event!
We stayed warm and toasty as needed and even enjoyed a fire to cook hotdogs on and keep warm.

When we got home I had a TON of laundry to do. Unfortunately I couldn't do it because the drain pipe backed up! We had a plumber come out and work on trying to unclog it but he gave us the bad news that he thought our old cast iron pipes had rusted almost shut and we'd need a complete replacement of piping. The next day a second team came out and took a look and decided to tackle the clog again and they busted through!!! We still have to replace that section of pipe but we have a few years to do so.

Halloween was next on the list of events. We had simple decorations, about 30 trick-or-treaters, and went for a walk around 8pm to see all the neighborhood decorations.
This was one of our ghosts in the window:
One of the pumpkin decorations seemed to glow in the blue lights:
Here's a blast from the past. This is my sisters and me, back in the early 1960's. I must have been really impressed with that tiger costume my baby sister is wearing. Mom used it for several years because I remember it well! Isn't that clown mask I am wearing the creepiest thing?!!!

I found this little guy on one of my walks and he's now keeping one of my sewing machines company:


It's leaf raking time. We have a city service that collects these for free. I only did part of our front yard, but at least I did some of them!

 Abby's been doing ok. She says hi.

Sorry I did such a long post this time. I hope you enjoyed it in spite of that.
Till next time, happy trails!

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Walking and weighting

Camping season has begun again after a way too hot summer here. It's also a huge reason for my new efforts to lose some weight. I wasn't able to hike with my family without pain.  I had had knee surgery on one of my knees a few years back, but I still had a lot of pain when walking for more than a little bit.

I dug out my old FitBit One and checked to see how many steps I was doing per day. I was averaging 1000. You read that right, 1000, not 10,000. 

So, around the first part of February I made up my mind to try to walk more. I set a goal of 3000 steps per day. Sometimes I made that goal and sometimes I didn't. It wasn't too long before I was doing those steps every day. Then it wasn't unusual for me to make over 3500 steps per day so I changed my goal to that. 

Summer began. What now? Walking outside is a lot easier than inside but it was hot and humid outside. I was determined though, that I would keep walking, even if I had to pace back and forth in the house. And that is what I did. 

In July my oldest son visited us and he is in great shape. He exercises a LOT and is so skinny and strong! He had kept track of the days he did pull-ups and it had been well over a year. His comments and our discussions on fitness really resonated with me. It's now been over 150 days straight that I've gotten 3500 or more steps per day. If the weather allows, I do it outside. If not, I pace in the house.

I have lost 20-30 pounds since last year. I've only kept track of the last 20 or so. I am not dieting. I do keep a journal my food. For now, I am willing to do just these two things. For now, it is good enough that I can go on hikes with the family, AND I enjoy them!!!

ABBY

(Note: Chrissa is my daughter. She had surgery and is now doing fine.)

Till next time, happy trails to you! 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Blooming inside and out

My Walking with Walker Lady blog has been a mash up of my creative arts, Abby, and life. I've decided to go back to having Walker Lady be more life with Abby and chit chat. If you want to see my creative arts please go over to The Lazy Quilter Blog.

Last year I had a bunch of morning glory flowers on this trellis. This year, due to the insane heat, only a few vines made it far enough along to bloom. One bloom is better than none. 
Then there are the Devil's Lillies or Naked Ladies. They come out of nowhere, every fall! It is said that you should not touch them as you'll get a rash. I won't be bringing in a bouquet of these to the house.
  
Flowers make me happy. 

You know what else makes me happy? Being one step closer to having a decent smile again. 
I went in for a fitting for the new partial. It's very weird looking inside but the teeth are better than the hole in my smile, don't you think? It will be another TWO weeks until I get the final product. This was only for a fitting and to determine the coloring of the new teeth. This has been such a long long process.


I love Charlie Brown cartoons. When I saw this mockup one, I just had to share. No really, I HAD to! Gads I wish they'd legalize this plant.


WEIGHT WEIGHT, DON'T TELL ME!
Way back when I started this blog it was all about losing weight and I lost over 100 pounds in about one and a half years. I was a fanatic about the foods I ate and the exercise I did. After losing Ziva I lost the desire to carry on. My mojo went away. I slowly gained back almost all the weight I had lost. I got up to 267 pounds around Christmas last year (2021). The pandemic hadn't helped much either but mostly it was all on me. I just didn't care and I was in denial that it even mattered what I did.
I don't know what happened between Christmas and mid January, but my brain shifted. I stopped drinking wine or any other types of alcohol. I started walking. My mantra was that I would ONLY do what I was willing to do each day, pretty much for the rest of my life. When I started out, I found that I was only walking around 1000 steps PER DAY! That is not very much.

I set my first goal to try for 3000 steps per day. I dug out my old FitBit One and stuck it in my pocket. I also logged my food. I wasn't really calorie counting, just logging what I was eating. At the same time, I started working on my crafts harder. I picked up a stitch per day challenge for embroidery. I was working on challenge quilts and ideas for my quilt guild. I was crocheting a lot of things. As you also know, Abby came back into my life. 

It had taken eight years to gain all that weight back. Today, it's been a little over eight months since I made the walking commitment. I've lost 22 pounds. I don't know where this will end up. Right now I am not willing to make any other changes. I have kept my walking goal at 3500 steps per day for almost 150 days straight now. We shall see how this goes. 

ABBY

Thank you for visiting today!
Please leave a comment so I know someone reads this, besides me.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Therapy needed - go shopping!


I broke a tooth that held part of a bridge in my mouth.
I will be missing two teeth for a MONTH!
It doesn't hurt anymore but it sure did when they had to pull out the broken one.

So what does one do when feeling sorry for oneself? 
Why she goes therapy shopping, of course! 
I ONLY went to get some elastic to redo some waistbands on some slacks and a pair of jeans. 
Somehow NINE balls of yarn accidentally fell into my cart too.
I wonder how that happened?

This is the latest scarf pattern that I tested for a designer:

I laid out this donation quilt in preparation for pin basting:

Remember me talking about using those mini notebooks for quilt guild gifts? I used some blank address labels and printed "Thank you sew much" on them. I then put one on each notebook. I had gotten a bunch of stickers when I bought that elastic and added them to the covers too. I think these turned out kinda cute!

I also purchased some new floss for the embroidery project when I got my elastic.
See the water fountain on the left? I have now ripped it out and will start it over again with some different floss. It just wasn't looking right. I won't work on it anymore until I have done the water around it.
 
Now you see it . . . . . . . . . . . .now you don't!

This was another area that I experimented with, regarding water. 
Nope, that wasn't going to work either.
In this picture you can see the start of the new floss that I got.
 I am liking the water much better now:

Since I'm talking about embroidery I thought I'd mention some things about my embroidery frame. Because I am cheap frugal, it is mostly hand made. With a lot of help from my husband, bits and pieces were cobbled together to make a personalized frame for just this project. It has evolved over time and gets better and better!

The last thing I tried to improve upon was the side tension. I bought these plastic clips that worked somewhat until you tried to move them. Then they broke into pieces!!! Not good. My husband suggested binder clips. I said they wouldn't really hold the edges without slipping a lot. He said he'd rough up the parts that pinch the fabric so they'd work.
He brought the clips home but hadn't roughed them up yet. At the same time I was doing some research on embroidery stitches and came across a picture of a lady using an embroidery frame that had round dowels on the edges for stability. The idea popped into my head that I could use some chopsticks along with the binder clips and maybe that would work?
Guess what? IT DID!!! 
The chopstick is just sitting loose, under the fabric and the binder clips are around the fabric and the stick. 
I was amazed at how well it held the edges! I am a happy embroiderer again. 

Abby has had her ups and downs too. 
Life goes on...

Till next time, happy crafting, happy life!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

A bit of it all and Abby too ~

 I'd been neglecting my embroidery project for over a month. Yes, I did get parts done but I was working so hard on the minstrels that the rest of it had fallen by the wayside. I'm trying to rectify that now. 

You can't see much of a change yet. I'm working on the water fountain. There are some silver strands in it that are hard to see. I think I need more white strands too.

I thought you might like to see the photo that inspired the minstrels. I'm also showing the full width of the piece. It's about 30" wide. There's a lot above this space too. Someday I will show you that again.

I finally finished this little fellow. He's supposed to be a Stegosaurus. He's about two inches tall.
He's now at his new home with his four year old guardian, Sam. 
He's hiding in that bag until Sam comes out to check the special delivery. Yes, that is a flying pig holding the bag. I like these neighbors of ours. I can't imagine why. hahaha

 As I left the studio this morning, this is what it looked like.
The two rows on the left are sewn together. The rest are works in progress.

I finished testing a few scarf patterns for a crochet designer:


I had a small item shipped to me last week. It came in this HUGE box with a label that says "HEAVY".
Inside was a bit of paper and the item. The item was flat and weighed a few ounces. I guess they didn't have smaller boxes. I want to believe the "HEAVY" sticker was on it as a joke by the shipping department.

I'm working on a few prizes for an upcoming contest in our quilt guild. I always feel bad when only one person wins the grand prize. I found this pack of small notebooks and made up some thank you stickers to put on each one of them. I will give one to each person who participated in the challenge. I think they will like the little token of appreciation. 
  

Last, but never least, Abby's here too:

PHEW!!! I did it again!
Till next time, happy crafting y'all!



Leafing around

It's fall and the leaves are dropping. I actually blew all these leaves off our yard and into a pile along the road. Our city ha a servi...