Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Craft Projects Looming

I love finishing projects.  I finished off a new pattern and started a second one.  Now I have to take pictures, measurements, and work on publishing it.  I'm going to go through my basket of in progress projects and figure out what I need to finish.  I'm fairly certain I have too many going right now.

I know for sure I have two blankets, a coin purse, and a skirt all going.  I have a basket of terry cloth all prepped for making into dish towels.  Then there's the fleece I have in a piled up in bags and baskets.

Last night I spent my night doing nothing.  This is a rarity for me as I'm usually working on something but I just couldn't manage last night.  I was too tired.

Tonight I plan to work a fleece blanket.  I have to do the whole process.  Ken washed it for me over the weekend, along with two other projects.  Tonight I'll take my skip cutter to the blanket to cut the little holes so I can crochet around the edge.  Once I get that done, I'm planning to do three rows.  This sounds simple but it's a yard and half of 60" wide fabric.  This means two sides are 60" and the other two are around 45 - 50" I think.  That's a lot of stitches.

If I manage to finish that project, I want to work on an idea I had for fleece fabric.  I'm hoping to have time tonight to work on that project too but I'll see how long the blanket takes.  The other project is a complete experiment so Vicki is likely to end up with it.

I'm hoping by this weekend I can clear out some of these projects in order to reclaim some of my living room.  Of course my family is now laughing hysterically because if I clear out the current projects, there are always more projects right behind them.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Day Off

I should be productive right?  Well my day off has been not overly productive.  I saw Stephanie off this morning and dozed until Vicki called me.  After talking to her while she drove to work, I dozed until 9.  Finally dragging my bum out of bed / sleep mode, I hit the computer to do some bookwork like updating my expense report for my writing, working on the budget and so on.

I had a plan - when don't I - but it has fallen through the cracks and I'm just winging it now.  As soon as I'm done on the computer I'm going to go pick out some of my "stash" yarn.  Then I'm going to work on a pattern I'm seeing in my head to see if I can actually make it.  If it turns out decently, I'll work on publishing the pattern.

I was going to put in Downton Abbey and watch the last season while I crocheted.  I don't think that is happening at this point.  Ken will be home soonish and he won't want to watch it.

Stephanie and I went to Hobby Lobby and Joann's last night.  I walked out having used a 50% off coupon on one item and the other items I bought were already marked down.  I spent a little over $20 and saved a little over $30.  I love it when that happens.

Next is for Ken to wash these for me so I can get the projects done.  Two of them are experiments to test out an idea I have.  I have so many crochet projects bouncing around in my head right now.  I can't get them done fast enough.  At the same time I have a lot of projects on the go so I really need to finish some of them.
I need to remember - one thing at a time.  It's all I can do - one thing at a time.  I just need to pick a project and work on it.  The one bouncing around in my head wins!  I'm off to pick out some pretty yarn for a small project and hopefully I will finish it quickly in order to move on to the next crazy thing in my head.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Prepped Meals a Win

A number of the meals we made last weekend were simply a matter of taking fresh meat (chicken breasts and legs, pork roast and pork chops) and putting them in a marinade of some sort.  I did a little bit of research into marinades.  I'm not a brilliant cook, but once I figured out the basic combo, marinades aren't that hard.  Basically you use some sort of oil (extra virgin olive oil for me) and some sort of acidic fruit juice (lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple).  Then you spice it how you want it.

At first Ken and I stuck with recipes.  Italian dressing with spices added or olive oil, lemon juice and a list of spices.  Then I realized we have all these great Penzey spices, why are we trying to figure out what we want, let's just use them.  We already knew some combos we liked so we did a bunch of those.  Then we looked at what was left and figured out what would work good for the meat we were putting in the marinade.  

I have no idea whether they will be good, bad, or somewhere in between.  It will be fun to try and see.  This week we've had three of the meals we prepped.  I think Ken has enjoyed the quicker prep time.  Tonight we had very delicious chicken legs with fries.  

Next time I want to plan out more of what we do.  I feel like we could have worked more efficiently had we done things slightly differently.  This was a trial run though and it went well.  Most importantly, so far the food has turned out really good and prep has been faster.  

Next step for me is to look for recipes which can be easily prepped ahead like this and try them out.  It would be nice to add to our array of meals and step away from what we always have and into some new favorites.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

44 Meals Prepped in 4 Hours

It has been a busy weekend.  Friday I left work and ran errands going to two stores on my own.  Ken and I went to Shopko after he got home and I paid bills.  My goal was to get to sleep early so we could get up early to do grocery shopping.

My lovely insomnia has been going overboard this week  Friday night was no different.  I didn't sleep.  I got about two hours of dozing sleep which I almost think is worse than not sleeping.  I got up at 5:30 on Saturday.  Ken and I started our day with shopping at Walgreens and Woodmans.  At Walgreens I got two Crunch bars for a dollar but I have a rebate of 50 cents so the two cost me a quarter each because they were buy one get one free.

After grocery shopping, we came home and as we were unloading my mom and sister showed up to do taxes.  Yup - I scheduled them without thinking about it being a pay day weekend.  After groceries, I did their taxes.  After which, we chatted for a bit.

Once they left, Ken and I set up to make freezer meals.  While we were grocery shopping, we picked up meat which wasn't frozen.  We made marinades to go on chicken breasts and legs, pork chops, and pork roasts.  I was reading an article which talked about adding marinades to meat and freezing it.  When it thaws the marinade does it jobs as the meat thaws.

After we got through those meals, we made cavatini, taco meat, sloppy joe meat, and spaghetti / lasagna meat.  I cut up onions, peppers, mushrooms, and shredded carrots.  Ken did the frying for the meat.  We got it all done in about four hours.  We ended up with about 44 meals by the time we were done.  It was a long day and we were both exhausted.

I'm looking forward to trying this method out.  I'm hoping it will making cooking easier during the week when we are both so tired.

This morning Ken and I made muffins and crescent creations - I chopped up onions, parsley, olives and Canadian bacon and folded that into two crescent rolls (makes a square).  It will hopefully make meal time a bit easier and the nights more relaxing.

Next weekend I'm doing as little as possible - I swear I am.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Snow and rain are supposed to be creeping into our area.  The weather system is wreaking havoc on my joints and arthritis making my day pain filled.  I'm curling up under warm blankets and going to see whether my fingers will work.

It's like a weight - a large and heavy weight on my body - when the weather does this.  Every joint feels like it is being pushed on, compressed really tight and at the same time pulled apart, like the pressure in the joint is so much the joints are going to explode.

I've taken my drugs.  The only other thing I can do is keep warm and rest.  Sleep is the refuge which masks the pain.  When the levels get this bad, all I want to do is sleep.  Sometimes if I sleep for a little longer, I can get up and manage for the day but other times - like today - sleep is only an escape.

It is going to be a day to put on movies or tv show and curl up under warm, warm, blankets.  While everyone is watching the skies for rain or snow to assault and make driving difficult.  I'm going into a cocoon to try to keep warm and ease some of the pain.

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...