Monday, October 26, 2015

Mandala Monday - Walking in the Leaves


One advantage of the dry air in Montana is the leaves which fall are nice and, well, crunchy.  Back in North Carolina, they tend to clump together because of the humidity.  But here, they are nice and dry and 'fluffy' and make nice crunching noise when you walk through them.  On my way to/from work, as I go through the Gulch where leaves have accumulated on the walkway, I find myself scuffing my feet and kicking up the leaves.  Lady K will also do the same when we go on a walk together.  She will detour off the walkway to wade through the leaves, kicking up her feet and watching the leaves scatter.


I actually got 'caught' one morning by a library patron I know as I walked to work.  And she scuffed leaves too.  And it got me thinking, as she is several years older than me - I hope I never lose the ability or desire to play in the leaves in autumn.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week In Review - October 18 - 24



  • Night at the Helena Symphony with a baby sitter for Lady K and drinks before the concert with Texter
Last night was special on a couple of different levels.  First, Star Wars is one of Texter's favorites.  And she played some of the music from the movie in middle school.  So it was a trip down memory lane.  It was also was the first time we had a 'real' baby sitter for Lady K.  We stopped for a drink before the concert.  Texter thought she was 'an adult' last night.  The concert was great and it was a delightful night out.  More nights like that to come.  The symphony is doing Wizard of Oz - playing the movie and providing live music in November and then Christmas in the Cathedral in December, both of which I want to go to.


  • 76,119 steps/34.92 miles for the week
  • 2 books read
  • 2 posts written

  • NaNoWriMo prep started
  • 40 yarn dolls made for library
  • Lady K participated in the Teddy Bear Campout
  • Menus planned and followed
  • Some World of Warcraft played
  • Created a tracking grid and using it to track various things (experiment to see if I want to include in my calendar/journal for next year)
  • Led the non-fiction book group
  • Received next book for review

For the week coming - 
  • More NaNo prep, both for myself and the Helena-area writers
  • Halloween!
  • Review of the month and looking forward for November goals
  • Playing catch-up on 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL
  • Texter registers for the spring semester




Monday, October 19, 2015

Mandala Monday

Nature does mandalas the best!



Actually, I am a bit jealous.  I have always wanted to grow the mammoth sunflowers.  This one I saw on my neighborhood walk (and almost stole if I thought I could have gotten away with it).  The stalk was probably 7-8 feet tall and the seed head is about 12 inches (or more) across.  And against the bright, clear blue Montana sky it was lovely.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week In Review - October 11 - 17

This past week:
  • Completed a 5K race
  • Pieced a 55 X 64 quilt top
  • Walked 81,637 steps or 37.50 miles
  • Finished 2 books
  • Did one book review
  • Wrote 3 posts
  • Worked the Kid's Fest for the library
  • Morning pages 5 days out of 7
  • 1 block for 1930's Farmer's Wife QAL (behind on this week)
  • Started designing a quilt top for my Tree of Life panel
  • Menus made and followed for the week


The highlight for the week was a walk around a small section of Helena with Lady K and a friend.  KE is a native to the area and if she doesn't know them or the history of something, then it's not interesting or important.  We got a tour of an artist garden and several more 'secret' gardens were pointed out.  Along with which homes had once been brothels in early Helena history.  I think that was one of the best parts!


This picture was captured with my phone, but from this vantage point (only a few blocks from my house), I get both the fire tower and the Sleeping Giant.  I'll be coming back for more pictures here.

For the coming week:
  • Working extra hours (both for Big Read and for co-workers)
  • Leading Non-fiction Book Group
  • Donating blood
  • Writing
  • Planning for NaNoWriMo write-ins
  • QAL catch-up and this week's blocks
  • Finish up design on Tree of Life Quilt and start putting down ideas for Batman quilt
  • Start making better notes for my 2016 calendar/journal and how I might want it set up

The BIG thing for the week!  Star Wars Symphony!


Texter is a Star Wars fan(girl).  She really wanted to go to the Helena Symphony's program of Star Wars music.  She bought the tickets.  I'm paying for the babysitter and dinner Saturday night.  We both get an 'adult' night out enjoying some great music.  Really looking forward to it.

In the meantime I have had several periods of 'inspiration' from some YouTube videos and people this week and a couple of pages of notes I want to work on when I get a quiet moment (which is much harder than you realize!) 

Another busy and fun week coming up.


Monday, October 12, 2015

I F****ing Did It!

So I figured since I am walking 10,000 steps a day, then a 3 mile race (which is actually a 5K race) would be, well, just 'ramping it up' a bit.  I put down my $30 and signed up for the Sun Run yesterday.  After all, the money goes toward solar panel for the library - good cause - and I get to run in a race.


So my training coach was a bit flaky for this endeavor.  Actually, there was no 'training' whatsoever.

Yesterday dawned clear and beautiful with about 10,000 mile an hour winds.  No, really, the wind was out to promote wind energy in Montana.  And it was cool, especially since the day before we had gotten to the low 80's.  But Texter and Lady K accompanied me to the race start and pinned on my number.


I was "official" and had a number and everything!  And this was one of those tags with the chip to accurately record my time! (Of course, Texter was zealous in her pinning and I couldn't remove my jacket during the race.)

The start of the race was a roller coaster of hills, but we had a tail wind.  Unfortunately, I don't think it really helped me much.  But the view from the road we were on was great.  There was one small part we did an 'off-road' portion and hit a hiking trail to connect to the road.  The funny part was the route went a couple of streets over, but passed my house twice.  I could have bailed at any time.


So I huffed and puffed,  trotted, jogged and walked through the 3 miles of the race.  I just wanted to finish within the 45 minutes scheduled for the race.  While I didn't quite do that (my time was 46.20), I learned at the start my 3 mile race was actually considered a 5K.  So now I can say I ran a 5K!  And my average pace was 14.57, so under 15 minutes a mile.  

After I made the turn and headed back to the finish line, several things hit me and hit me a bit hard.
  • I was actually running a race!
  • I have lost 3 people in the past couple of months, one of which, if he had been around, would have been giving me hell the entire race.
  • It wasn't as bad as I thought.  Not saying it was easy, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
  • I have some great family and friends who were cheering me on via text messages.  Texter and Lady K came out and waved me on as I passed the house on the last leg of the race.
  • I didn't hydrate enough prior to the race.
  • I didn't 'train' enough for running.

BUT I DID IT! And have the t-shirt to prove it!

Of course, as I looked at my fitbit count for this morning, Christine, who had been at a library convention all weekend, must have hit the elliptical early and really racked up some steps.  So no rest for the weary!




Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week in Review - October 4 - 10

  • Attended Tizer Botanic Gardens Apple Day
  • Walked 70,097 steps or 32.06 miles
  • Attended "Mentors and Drunks" lecture for Big Read at Triple Divide
  • 8 blocks for QAL
  • 2 books read (1 was audio)
  • 7 posts written
  • start 3 sets of pj pants for Texter

This is the Wide Awake Pirate I had at Triple Divide during the lecture/book discussion.  Cold-brewed coffee, coconut milk, simple syrup and spiced rum.  Actually, I had two.  And we did discuss True Grit a bit.

So today I will be in my first run - a 3 mile one.  It's to raise money for the solar panels for the library.  Part of the reason I'm running is to be a proponent for the solar system for the library and the other is to challenge myself - to see if I can do it.  Luckily, I have 2 days off after this!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Wardrobe in a Capsule



Much has been written over the past couple of years about a 'capsule wardrobe'.  Since I have little style sense and not much of a wardrobe, I didn't give it much thought.  Until I moved and the closet poles fell down.  Also, I had seen a couple of items in the store recently I would like to own.

According to Wikipedia, a capsule wardrobe has been around since the 1970's and refers to "collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons".  Lately, it means having 37 items for the season in your closet.  This is suppose to include accessories and shoes.  With my collapse of my closet and the state of my daughters' rooms (they  have 37 items per pile), I decided to see about creating a capsule wardrobe of my own.

Now I don't have a lot of shoes and accessories, so I didn't count those.  My t-shirts, which are this point are basically my NaNoWriMo shirts, I didn't count.  Neither did I count my yoga pants/sweat pants/pj's.  It was just confined to my 'stuff' hanging in my closet.  I also omitted my jackets/coats.  I didn't think it would be difficult at all to have 37 pieces for winter.

Boy, was it harder than I thought!

First, I ditched the old jeans and pants which were either (1) so old I only wore at home, or (2) paint covered.  I also ditched some t-shirts and sweat pants I had painted in.  Then I removed a handful of t-shirts which were freebies from things I had done.  A couple of them are being saved for a future t-shirt quilt, but the rest went.  Then I dumped my 1 dress which I never wear.  That left non-t-shirt tops and sweaters.

Out went the sweaters which were too short.  Being tall, I hate it when tops end right at my waist.  I want things to cover my tummy at all times.  (Although I should hold onto them to make stuffed animals from!)  Then the other shirts and tops which are several years old which I just hold onto to 'have something to wear'.

I got my closet down to 37 items for the winter.  There are a couple of sweaters which I didn't count because they wind up in Savvy and Texter's possession most of the time.  This freed up a lot of space in my narrow closet.  Now, when I buy clothing (which isn't often), it will be (1) quality over quantity and (2) one old item will be removed and donated as the new item comes in.

Who knew I was so trendy!


Monday, October 05, 2015

Mandala Monday


Loving my black and white quilt blocks.  Only 98 more to create this year.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Week In Review - September 27 - October 3

My plans today - NOTHING!


This past week -
  • One writing meeting with collaboration writer
  • Finished unloading boxes in bathroom
  • 50 eye patches crocheted
  • Had cable installed (yes, I succumbed)
  • 7 felt vests for the Big Read
  • Completed 300,000 steps in September
    • So far, for October have 41,000 steps so far, 80,011 for the week
  • Wrote out October goals
  • Signed up for Sun Run
  • Have menu set for coming week and the grocery shopping done
  • 1 set of blocks for the QAL
  • 7 posts written
  • items for NaNo goodie bags purchased
For the coming week:
  • Sunday - relax and do nothing (well, almost nothing)
  • Get front closet 'organized'
  • Take some of the blankets downstairs to store
  • Make menus for the coming week
  • More Big Read Events
    • Monday night a lecture at Triple Divide (drinks!)
    • Saturday - another couple of hours of assisting at the kid's activities and subbing at work for an ex-co-worker
  • Prepare for my 3 mile Sun Run - or in my case, my 3 mile huff-n-puff
  • Get tires on car
  • Get my 1000 words a day written
  • Finish up blue wool skirt
  • Finish 3 pair of pj pants for Texter

Friday, October 02, 2015

September Goals Review and October Goals



These were my September goals, listed belatedly -

  • Stuff to basement and/or sorted through and put up.  
    • Update - still some sorting and 'final' organizing to do, but most taken care of
  • Painting - still have the main bathroom to finish up (so we can then empty boxes) and the kitchen to start on.
    • Update - bathroom done and boxes emptied.  Kitchen will probably be done in December during Christmas and everyone goes elsewhere
  • Sewing for the Big Read at the library in October
    • 6 bonnets, 4 aprons and one dress sewn.  15 eyepatches crochetedlay outfits
    • Take everyone's measurements, even mine (sob)
    • Make a muslin mockup of some of the pieces so they are fitted properly
  • Book reviews - have a couple of books coming I need to do reviews on
  • Letter to friend
  • Start QAL for 1930's quilt 
  • 300,000 steps in September - challenge with a friend
  • Read 1 book off my home shelves
  • Teach blogging class
  • Plan menus - so we'll eat better, shop better and I know what's going on
  • Write my morning pages
I'm pretty happy with the results of my belated goals for September.  October is much more ambitious!
  • Walk 310,000 steps (again)
  • Write 31,000 words
  • Read 1 book off my home shelves
  • Review book coming from Blogging for Books
  • Do the 3 mile Sun Run for solar panels for the library
  • Work activities for the Big Read at the library
  • Keep up with 1930's QAL
  • Morning Pages
  • Menus 
So far off to a pretty good start.  I have a menus set for the next week already.  I walked over 10,000 steps yesterday, signed up for the Sun Run and already worked 1 event for the Big Read.  And Halloween is on it's way!