Monday, November 30, 2009

Make a Flake !!

I found a great website that lets you make your own paper cut snowflakes without all the mess and with an undo button when things don't come out quite like you envisioned :) Check out Make-a-Flake and make some snowflakes of your own

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

This year I am most thankful for ...

-My wonderful honey. He's sweet, patient, cuddly, handsome, weird, funny, mine :)

-Being back in Alaska. You never think you'll miss -40 until you spend time +100

-Having my family nearby.

-Our wonderful, complicated, not-quite-finished new house

-All the help our family and friends have given us toward finishing our house

-Belly Dance and Jazzercise classes

-Titlewave Books

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Computer is Possesed ... Or Just Really Freaking OLD

I've been using our old laptop as MY shiny new laptop is in GA with honey (that's how he knows I love him). This laptop dates from honey's days in the barracks and has been dropped off an armored vehicle (or two) so it's not surprising that it has some issues. Mostly we've learned to work around them on the rare occasion we have to use it. However, last week it started crashing every few minutes. I've tried everything I can think of and a few things honey talked me through over the phone but I think it's time to accept that fixing it is beyond my skill set and wait for honey. To that end I haven't been on the Internet much (bumming computer time from friends). Here's what happened in the last couple weeks.

- MIL is recovering nicely. She's back home and self sufficient as long as I can come every few days to help with the things she can't manage yet. We managed to live together for two weeks without killing each other :)

-I'm still going to Jazzercise. I went three times last week. It still kicks my butt but I love it.

-I bought a treadmill on Craigslist for a great deal. I bought it from an older couple who live rather out in the sticks (that's saying something since this is Alaska). It's an older model but sturdy as hell and works great. From the sounds of it they never really used it as anything other than a treadmill shaped coat rack. I've been using it for low impact walking while I watch TV.

-Dad and I are still going strong on the MIL apartment. (I've got some pictures of all that we've accomplished I'll put up once I have a computer of my own again). Last Saturday I got insulation all over myself from crawling in the roof space and dirt all over me from working in the crawl space. I should have been miserable but I had a lot of fun working with my dad all day.

-I've got five aprons almost finished for Christmas gifts. I just need to put on the ties and they will be ready to send.

-I've been making snowflake kanzashi (another set of pictures I'll put up once I have access to my own computer)

-Last week was my last Belly Dance class until the new cycle starts in mid January :(

-Expect post to be fairly erradic for the immediate future. Sorry.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for ...

-Being Alive. I was in an accident and could have easily ended up not-so-living. While I was driving into town, the first big storm of the winter hit with limited visibility and wet snow that was freezing to the roads and making them really slick. Since I'm not an idiot, I slowed down to a decent speed for the road conditions. Unfortunately, I was sharing the road with one or more idiots. Someone decided I was going too slow and whipped around me and then tried to change lanes into my lane. Actually, they tried to change lanes into the very spot my car was occupying. I'm pretty sure they bumped me but I can't tell since I put that side of the car through a very large snow bank immediately after. I ended up spinning around, sliding into the median backward, and almost sliding out the other side and into the opposite lane of traffic. Thankfully I plowed into a large snow berm and it slowed me down enough to stop me before I slid onto the other side of the highway. I was very scared and am very, very thankful it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

- My MIL is getting better and is much happier this week.

-I found a reconditioned fridge at Home Depot for the apt for about half what it would cost me otherwise.

-Cell Phones. With honey on the other side of the country, I really appreciate that we can use our cell phones to keep in touch and make kissy noises at each other.

-Jazzercize. It's really fun (in a drop dead tired half way through sort of way). I've gone three times this week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holy Crap ! I've become my Great Aunt!

(this is not my Jazzercise class but it's close enough to be it's twin sister or a cousin who looks really similar)

Yesterday I joined Jazzercise. Before going into the center the only thing I knew about Jazzercise was that my great aunt used to do it when I was a little girl (scary leotard and all). However, living in a smaller town gives me limited options. We have the overgrown Fitness Club that is all over AK and has put most of the smaller gyms out of business, a Curves, and a Jazzercise center. I refuse to patronize the big fitness club. I've seen too many great, small, family-run gyms pushed out of business because of them. I went to the Curves and was pretty interested until they sprang a $200 joining fee on me and then explained that most of the benefits they'd told me about (working out at other locations, putting membership on hold while injured, transferring if you move, etc) only applied if I signed a 1 year contract. I was a little miffed that they waited until the very end of a 1 hour spiel to tell me about the membership fee and 1 year contract but I probably still would have considered joining if the Curves employee hadn't been so pushy in trying to get me to sign up right then and there. I understand that businesses have quotas for their employees and that the employees are put under a lot of pressure to fill them but I also understand that they make most of their money off people who are no longer coming to the gym but still trapped in a 1 year contract. I have a personal policy that once pressure to buy is applied (on a car, appliance, gym membership, etc) I leave and decide whether I want to buy that item at home away from the pressure. So I walked out of the Curves after thanking the employee for her time and letting her know I would contact her if I decided to join the gym. In the end I decided that I was not ready to make a year long financial commitment. So that left me contemplating how my size 18 body would look in a leotard :) I did some research online and discovered Jazzercise has updated their program from the one I was envisioning. Their music play list includes ones I hear on the radio on a regular basis and no one on the website was in a leotard (Thank the Divine). The website was very upfront about their fees and how the classes were structured. So I threw on some gym clothes and went to a class last night.

I had a blast. It kicked my ass and I was sweating like a pig but it was really fun. When I got there and explained I'd never been before, I was invited to participate in the class for free so I could decide if it was something I wanted to do. The moves were fairly easy to follow. It actually reminded me a little of Tribal Belly Dance with a leader and followers and a fairly set structure of moves. You could tell some people were experienced and would start the next move almost before the teacher and there were others, like me, who were a little behind but still following along. I'm also really excited that Jazzercise is going to build my Cardiovascular endurance which has always been my weakest area. And as an extra bonus, it's helping build the same muscles I need to Belly Dance well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Cute Baby

This is our Baby. No kids yet (maybe ever) so he's pretty spoiled. He's pretty cute when he's not being an absolute terror.

Baby will make a cave out of anything (blankets, gambesons, clean laundry, a pile of penguins) but I'm still not quite sure how he managed this one. You can't really see but the gambeson he is curled into is on top of a huge pile of armor (honey and I do medieval reenactment). Somehow he manged to get to the top of the pile without it all crashing down and make himself a little cozy cave :) Did I mention I love my baby :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for...

-Honey got to GA safely
-Left over Halloween Candy
-I have not killed my MIL yet (though it's been close a couple times)
-my desire to avoid the 24 hr Soap Net marathon going on in my living room has helped me get a lot done toward my Christmas craft projects.
-So far there have been no complications w/ my MIL's surgery and she is recovering nicely (if slowly)
-Got to go to Belly Dance class last night (I had to miss it last week and was really bummed)
-I have 4 turkeys in my freezer :P (a long story for another post)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Update on the Dreaded Christmas List

Today I worked on some of my Christmas sewing projects. My MIL is still in the recovery stage where she can't really move around by herself so I'm doing a lot of the cutting for various projects since I can do that on the table in the dining room and still be near enough to be on hand. When I get all the cutting done I'll probably drag one of my sewing machines out to the dining room and work on it. When I get the sewing projects done, I'm going to work on some kanzashi Christmas ornaments. Kanzashi are the beautiful fabric flower hair ornaments worn by apprentice Geisha in Japan. Recently, at a craft fair, I saw where a person had made some out of blue and silver fabrics to look like snow flakes and turned them into Christmas Ornaments. Since I've already made a few for my hair, I'm going to try and make some for Christmas presents this year (hopefully using fabrics I already own).

Mom - ?, homemade jam, kanzashi ornaments
Sister - ?, homemade jam, kanzashi ornament
BIL - ?
Nephew - exercise video game
Brother - ?
future SIL - matching mother and daughter aprons
future niece - refurbished used Doll House
name present A - Hand crocheted chenille scarf (what she asked for, she might still get the apron too if I have time)
name present J - Funny character ties and several first books in series honey and I like to introduce him to new series
G & M - homemade apron & cookies

MIL - ?, homemade apron, kanzashi ornament
L BIL - books
K SIL - cool photo spinney thing (thrift store)
M BIL - ?
J SIL - Pretty homemade necklace and earrings, kanzashi ornament
Aunt and Uncle - homemade jam and apron, ornament?

M & S - homemade cookies, bath salts
C & J - homemade cookies, bath salts

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Probably not going to be on for a couple weeks

I'm currently the full-time caregiver for my MIL while she recovers from getting both knees replaced so my posts the next couple weeks will probably be pretty limited. No pics. Nothing long. :(