Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week In Review - August 23 - 29

Our summer reading program is drawing to a close at the library.  One of the prizes the kids could earn was a rubber ducky.  So much to my surprise, as I walked during my break one day, to see this little guy sitting all alone.

Right out there in the middle of Last Chance Gulch walking mall, he was just sitting all by himself.  And then I realized it probably wasn't all that unusual.  After all, he had found some water for a quick dip.

On my return trip he had vanished.  Hopefully, he had been returned to his reading owner or found a flock of rubber duckies to hang with.

HUZZAH!  This week has been long and tiring, trying to get things situated in the  new house, the last of things out of the old house.  Thus, for the week I surpassed by goal of 70,000 steps in a week.  I hit 72,803 for the week or 33.32 miles!  Of course, most of that was up and down stairs lugging boxes and furniture.  I had 5 out of 7 days I went over 10,000 steps (my goal for the day) and 1 day I came so close I should have walked a few more steps.  Now I'm hoping my steps will be made by actually walking walking and not working walking.  Of course, I do walk to work now.

Texter started school this past week.  I am so excited she is so excited about it.  Tuesdays are going to be long and I can see by the end of the semester they are going to be really long feeling as she is there from about 8:30 in the morning until 6:00 at night.  But she knows a girl who is in all her classes but her online class.  I'm so happy my baby girl is making friends!  So Lady K and I are together on Tuesdays to see what mischief we can manage on that day.

Books - another big category this week...
  • started unpacking boxes of books, making sure they were in Goodreads and placing them on my new shelves in some semblance of order.
  • Finished 1 book
  • Joined Blogging for Books and requested my first book to review.
  • Received by Chaotic Goddess Books & Bloggers swap partner and have the books in mind I will be sending out next week.  (This was fun and can't wait to reveal what I got her!)
Writing - 
  • Managed to do some daily journaling
  • Planning started for this year's NaNoWriMo write-in's and my own writing
  • 5 blog posts written
Fabric and Fibers -
  • Managed about 1/2 a round on Sophie's Universe
  • Had my 1930 Farmer's Daughter quilt book spiral bound in prep for QAL starting on September 28.
  • Decided what fabric style I will be using for the QAL - batiks!  And instead of a white background, I think I am going with a gray and bright batiks for the blocks.
So for the coming week - 
  • hopefully by the end of today (Sunday) I will have the old apartment cleaned out.  Moving the fish tank is going to be an issue.
  • new appliances arrive on Tuesday, so my job will be to keep Lady K out of the way from 'assisting'.
  • More books will hopefully be unpacked and placed in the house
  • Getting a new routine down for the new house.
  • Planning what I want to get down the following week when I am on vacation!
    • finish painting bathroom and kitchen is one thing
    • fabrics for QAL purchased
  • Mailing off my swap package
  • Menu planning
Things are coming along, slowly but surely. I will be glad when the whole 'move' thing is over with finally and I know my friend, Christine, and her son, B, will be!  They have been troopers lending arms, legs, backs and truck to the process.  I promised her drinks next week, but B will have to settle for a milk shake!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Now You See Me - Movie Review

Almost as bad as having access to books, is having access to DVD's.  Frankly, I had not heard of "Now You See Me" before.  But then when I was checking it in and saw the line-up of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson I decided it might be worth watching while knitting or crocheting or something.  I was a little leery because I'm not really a Harrelson fan, but decided to give it a try.  Texter actually watched it one day before I did and told me "Watch this movie!"

The premise of the movie is four street magicians are 'invited' to join forces by an unknown person.  Within a short time they are the hottest act going. Then they pull off a fantastic, unbelievable trick which is the first of three big tricks.  And they are messing with millions of dollars in the bargain.

Morgan Freeman plays a magician who is now known for his documentaries debunking tricks and illusions.  Mark Ruffalo is the harassed FBI agent in charge of catching the magicians. And the chase is on.

The effects/illusions/tricks in the movie are well done.  No sex, not much cussing, and the violence is pretty low keyed.  What is happening is a really good movie which makes you think while you are enjoying yourself.  Well worth putting the crocheting down to watch the magic tricks.  Definitely a movie worth spending an evening with.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Aches, and Pains, and Bruises...Oh, My!

Yesterday was the first day in class for Texter.  On one hand, she is glad it's all one day and not multiple days.  On the other hand, she is there from about 9am to 6pm.  That means Lady K and I have all day together.  We ran errands and put together two big bookcases at home.  She hung with it the best she could, but then while waiting to pick up mommy, she gave up the fight.

However, I still have several boxes and an apartment cleaning to accomplish.  But at least I have most of the new place 'done'.  But I am looking forward to not have to 'move' anything or put anything away.  I want to get back to knitting, crocheting, sewing and reading.  And waking up without feeling someone ran a dump truck over me in the middle of the night!

One thing I did discover while purchasing my new bookcases is they are no longer in 70's apartment black or white.  I got the 'dark' wood and they match very closely to the entertainment center in the main room.  Score!  Now to fill them up with books from the pile in the basement.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My tangle of purple yarn from this row of Sophie's Universe.  Not that I have gotten to work on it any this past week or so.  Mainly because a certain two-legged someone did this to the skein of yarn...

And I had to spent a couple of hours locating the free end and rewinding the ball of yarn. Of course, she had help...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Books and Bloggers Swap Upcoming

In the midst of this crazy move, how could I pass up the opportunity to play with books?  This is the upcoming swap I am involved in and I can't wait to pick out books and see what I receive in return.

Week In Review August 16 - 22

This week has been exhausting and while you are reading this on Sunday, I will be loading up all the BIG furniture with a bit of help to move to the house.  Texter and I have painted and painted and painted all week.  Unfortunately, while we have good air flow through the house, smoke from the numerous forest fires in several states, has kept Helena in a fog. But another plus, is I got to walk to work three out of four days.  Texter and Lady K met me for the walk home a couple of days.

The main living room/library area (as I am calling where my computer/sewing table and books will be) were painted a nice sage green with a cream border.  I carried those colors into my room which is off to the left of the picture above.  Savvy's room got two shades of purple and a green.  It is PURPLE.  Texter's room is a couple shades of blue and grey trim.  The bathroom between my room and Texter's will be the cream of the trim in the living room and a blue for the huge vanity/countertop and shelving.  We just have the kitchen to do and that will have to wait until I'm on vacation in a couple of weeks.

On other matters:
  • Walked 64,948 steps or 29.24 miles
  • Vitamins 3 days
  • Read 1 book
  • Help lead the Nonfiction Book Group at the library
  • Painted and baby sat while other rooms were being painted
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Got my book for the Farmer's Daughter 1930 QAL
  • Scheduled dates for write-ins for NANOWRIMO in November
I am exhausted.  And there is still work to be done, but it is coming to and end (I think).  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mandala Monday on Tuesday

The pile of newspaper the china was wrapped in was quite intriguing.  So I did a 'quickie' with it.  Today (Tuesday) is my day off and will be spent, after 3 days of painting, at the old apartment, packing and running back loads of 'stuff' and dumping them in the basement until we can get the furniture over to the house, hopefully this weekend.  Texter starts school one week from today, so there is much to do so we don't have to worry about moving things while she is trying to study.

I have a week of vacation coming up which I hope fill be spent (1) cutting out and playing with the QAL for the 1930 Farmer's Wife Quilt group and (2) painting the kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  In the meantime, there is beauty in trash.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week in Review - August 9 - 15 (No Mandala Monday!)

Since I am sitting on the floor in front of my computer, you can probably guess why I am day late in posting my week in review.  Yesterday I was so focused on getting the walls of the living room/library area painted I completely forgot.  But the picture above tells you what we have been doing - MOVING!

Savvy and CJ signed the papers on Thursday and we started with the painting and moving things over bit by bit.  Christine and her son, B, helped us get the mattresses over the first night so we could sleep here.  Despite not having 'things' at the new house, it was a relief to get out of the cramped and cluttered apartment and let the dogs run in the yard and have some play room too.

The dogs aren't the only ones enjoying the new yard.  In watering to try and revive the lawn (I need to rake), Lady K is enjoying the yard too.

Right now I am so sore and my waist feels like I have done 1000 sit ups.  I wish I had a count on the number of times over the past couple of days I have climbed up and down off the chair, painting and taping walls.  Right now we just have the trim left on the main room, Savvy's PURPLE room is almost complete, just the paint on the shelves.  CJ is waiting on his room while he puts up his desk and stuff.  Getting his computer up and running in his 'man cave' of a room was more important than painting.  Texter's BLUE room is almost done.  Just trim work done.  My room is suppose to be hammered out today before I go to work.  Hopefully, we can 'borrow' Christine and B again to move over the entertainment center and couch for the living room in the next couple of days. But in the meantime...
  • signed up for a QAL starting in September. It's my birthday and I want to start something new for the new house.
  • bought two tables at a yard sale I'll pick up on Thursday.  I will be using them in the main room as my computer desk/sewing tables.  They will look way better than a desk in the room, plus they will give me more room than the little student desk I have.
  • vitamins - well, at least I now know where they are.
  • finished 1 book, abandoned another and in the middle of a really good one
  • steps walked....right now I am too tired to get up and find a pen and paper to total them up.  All I know is that I hit 10,000 2 days last week and am beating Christine in steps - finally.
Unfortunately, now of us could take off work to accomplish the move in one fell swoop.  So we are going over and packing up a few things at a time and moving them over in my car.  I am washing clothes between trips and painting.  New appliances should be here in the next week or so.  My goal is to get everything over here by the start of next week so I can go clean the old apartment up before the end of the month.  Maybe, if I count pennies well enough, I can just hire someone to go clean!

In the meantime...

Actually this has been relocated to the front entryway closet and my kitchen is about 1/3 moved over. The important things, like my coffee pot, the sugar and milk and mug and spoon were in the first load.  I know I will wind up rearranging where a lot of the things go once I can get a 'flow' in the kitchen under my belt.

So off for another cup of coffee and more painting before work today.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck

When this book came through my hands while checking in books at the library, I snatched it up for a couple of reasons.  First, Oregon Trail was probably the first game the girls and I played on the computer together.  Many hours were spent deciding on horses or oxen to pull the wagon.  How much food, ammo, clothes to take only to die from a broken leg or cholera on the trail.  (Yes, it was fun.)  Secondly, and don't spread it around, but owning a riding mule has been on my list of things I covet for years.  At one time I wanted to find a big Tennessee Walking Horse mare and breed her to a mammoth jack for a Walking Mule.  Reasons - good size animal to ride that doesn't trot and is smart. Yep, mules beat out horses for smarts in most cases.  I had also just finished up reading about Grandma Gatewood and her hiking the Oregon Trail when she was in her 80's.  Figured the book had a few things going for it, but was prepared to dump it from the reading wagon once I started as being boring. 

WHOA, MULES! Was I wrong.

Rinker Buck, writer, decided he needed to try and recreate a covered wagon trip on the Oregon Trail when he was on another trip and stopped to stand on the ruts where the trail had gone through.  The next year was spent pouring over maps, reading journals of pioneers who made the trip and planning for a trip of his own.  In the back of his mind was the 1958 trip as a young boy, when his father took them on a covered wagon trip around New England (about 350 miles), an experience he never forgot.  Luckily, his brother Nick, is an expert team driver of horses and all things mechanical - including wagons.  However, they are very different in temperament, so there were doubts in Rinker's mind this would be a good fit.  Especially when Nick wanted to bring his terrier, Olive Oyl along, a dog whose hygiene was suspect. But a year or so later, Rinker, Nick, Olive, Jake, Bute and Beck hit the trail.

What follows is a delight.  I didn't want to put it down, even to help a teething 2.5 year old get to sleep (4 molars coming in at the same time).

Buck skillfully weaves the past with the present and gives a picture of a part of American history so often overlooked or underplayed in school.  I know when I was going through school it was the Revolutionary War, then bang - Civil War.  Nothing much in between.  I was of the option there was one wagon train up the Oregon Trail and Buck sets the record straight for me.

Some of the things I learned -

  • More than 400,000 people over the course of several decades moved from East to West over the trail.
  • The 'trail' itself can be miles wide and there are several cutoffs or alternate routes on the trail.
  • There was a thriving system of stops along the way to resupply travelers.
  • We were dumping trash on the side of the trail in the 1840's.  Oversupplied or items not needed were dumped so the animals could pull the wagons all along the trail.
  • The Mormons used the trail, so much so, they want to rename it The Mormon trail.
  • And like people, mules have personalities and work ethic.  Some of which doesn't exactly make life easy with them.
Despite relatively minor setbacks with wagon and terrain, Rinker and Nick made the 2100 trip in the summer of 2011.  All along the way, 'trail families', and in fact, whole communities, came out to assist along the way.  The trail itself, which in many cases, is now paved over and long turned into highways, was just part of the journey.

I will admit I teared up at the end when he crosses into Oregon.  And then there is the question of what do to with the three mules he bonded with over the months on the trail - another teary moment.

While the book does make me want to travel in a covered wagon, I don't think I could do it for the months it took to navigate the trail.  I would probably have been one of those original pioneers who died crossing a river or of disease (which I spread to the Indians who originally where only trying to help).  Or I would have taken one look at the hill they had to go over and said forget it.

All I can say about this book - READ IT!  It's a delightful way to learn about an important part of American history and how it still plays a role today.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mandala Monday

It's Monday! Again! And the closing date is tomorrow! And I'm not really ready to start moving!

But at least I have time to make the move as we have the apartment to the end of the month.  But just wish it was over with and I was settling in to the new SPACIOUS environment.  With a yard for dogs and Lady K to at least stretch their legs in - without leashes.  Any of them.  And more sewing room!