Friday, January 22, 2010

Cool Scarves

I just made these two cool scarves. I downloaded the patterns from I really like them both. And they were really pretty easy and I was able to use some of my left over scrap yarn.
This is the Pineapple scarf. I am still considering sewing some beads on it, but I pretty much like it the way it is.

This one I did sew beads on the motifs on the ends. I thought it would help it lay flatter. I don't know that it does, but I like it anyway. I have gotten lots of compliments when I wear it. It looks sort of like leaves when I wear it.
I am going to try a very lightweight sweater next. I haven't done too many of those. I am still learning after all these years!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big Changes on the horizon

I think most of you who read this blog know that I lost a lot of weight over the last couple of years. That being said, I have a lot of extra skin now and it's really ugly. I talked to a lot of doctors about it. I printed out our insurance coverage and read the fine print.
Basically the only thing I can do about it, is go to a plastic surgeon and have it cut off, lifted whatever you want to call it. And there isn't any way I can get insurance to cover it. I know, because I read it carefully. If you have a bunch of sores, rahes or infections directly related to it, they will cover it. But I don't.
So I went to 4 different plastic surgeons and heard what they had to say. I'm telling you, they are nice, but it is an embarrassing process. I think I lost a little bit of my modesty along the way. By the time I got to the last one, it was a lot easier.
It's interesting that they all had very different opinions about what I needed and how it needed to be done. Going through that process though, gave me some confidence in the doctor I chose to use. I can't afford to do all that needs to be done, so I picked the things that bothered me the most and were the most visible, mainly my upper arms and thighs. (brachioplasty and thighplasty)
They do it all at once, in a 5 hour operation. So I am going in on Jan. 26th. I ask for your prayers, good wishes and kind thoughts that day! And hopefully, when all is said and done, I will look a lot better! I have been on line and looked at a lot of before and after photos. My doctor said that even if we don't hit a home run, third base will still look a lot better!
They take some rather humilitating before and after photos at the Dr's office. I took some at home too. But trust me on this, you don't want to see them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Central 15.2 miles!

Cindy and I like to hike/walk. Not too long ago we hiked from where Central dead ends against North Mountain all the way down Central to Filmore, about 8.5 miles. I got this idea that it would be really cool to hike the entire distance from South Mountain to North Mountain. We measured it and it was 15.2 miles. We decided to do it!
We invited the ladies from Church to join us. Only a few hardy souls were brave enough to do the whole thing with us, but several joined us for different segments throughout the day.
We started at 7:10am down at South Mountain. As you can see, the sun wasn't up yet! We were lucky that it really wasn't that cold of a morning. Here is Reyna and she brought her son, Levi, Melanie, Gayle and Marlenda. Cindy and I were there too.

As we stated out in the dark, you just see the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise.
Here is when the sun was up a little more.

Levi, being 5 years old, was full of energy. He would ride in the stroller a little, then get out and run full out ahead of us back and forth awhile. He needed to climb, signs, posts and and any fences that were around. He was a lot of fun. He also explained to us that it was very important to stay away from all horse poop. We told him that it was probably a good idea to stay away from any type of poop at all.

This was about a third of the way, crossing the Salt River were the Rio Salado Park was. Sometime Cindy and I are going to come and check out the hiking trails that are here.

More Rio Salado.

Coming into down town, looking at the old Westward Ho.

Clair and her son Cooper joined us down town. Clair is a triathlete but didn't make us feel like a bunch of wimps.

Cooper is absolutely adorable.

We walked right past the Saturday morning Farmer's Market.

At a stop light downtown.


We had a few casualties along the way. Several people developed blisters. We stopped at a drug store and got moleskin. This is the group application process. Here is a close up of Reyna's poor foot.

Levi and Cooper were buddies and our "priesthood" for most of the way.

A proud mama.

Some of the "scenery". Apparently someone didn't like the last phone call they got on this phone. Not only is it decorated, but it's torn up and destroyed.

The Phoenix Art Museum banner advertising an exhibit of dressings by Geoffrey Beene.

Outside the Phoenix Art Museum

The sign for the museum and a cut out in the wall that artfully frames a planting on the other side.

Next was the Heard museum and a stone sculpture.

Fountain and lawn at a business park.

A necessary stop.

Two thirds of the way we stopped at AJ's for a great lunch. We were joined by several more people and lost Clair and Cooper after lunch. Virginia joined us for a leg on her scooter! Clair's husband Cody, joined us for our lunch break.

Penny and Carolynn joined us for the final third of the hike.

Melanie and I at our lunch break.

More doctoring of Reyna's feet.

Gayle joined us for intermittment periods, putting in a total of 10 miles.

Marlenda and Carolynn.

Sharyn found us shortly after our lunch break.

And wouldn't you know, not too far from the end, who should show up, but our extremely athletic bishop!

Levi had been waiting all day for someone to give him a piggy back ride.

The brave group at the end of the road. Poor Melanie hiked 14 miles and popped a blister. The bishop ran back to his car and rescued her. She was so disappointed to have to miss the last mile plus.
I am very sore and stiff but very proud of myself! Maybe I have a few traces of my pioneering ancestors!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Doggie photos

My friend Cindy and her family took her son Brady to the Missionary training center recently. While they were gone, I babysat their dog Lexie. This is Lexie laying on my legs. She pretty much was in my lap anytime I sat down. She is a sweetie.

She also LOVED my dog Dobbie. I am not sure what it is about him, but she tried to play with him all the time. He enjoyed her company. She stayed last summer and did the same thing with him. I didn't get some of the cute photos I had planned, but here is Mr. Dobbie.

And then there is my buddy, Winston. As always the Boss, the King, at least that is what he thinks. Here he is looking quite docile all curled up.

If this were video instead of a photo, you would see Lexie (in front) trying to get Dobbie to play with her.

Garden Update Again

I have finally been able to have some success from things planted in the fall. I have enjoyed some lettuce and chard. Here is some of the red chard. I use it in soup or mix it with tomatoes and onions and kind of steam/stir fry it. I am dieting and so have to do it all without oil.
This is some of the rainbow chard. Can you see all the different colors in the stems. It is a pretty plant to have in the garden. There is some romaine lettuce just in front of it. I've also enjoyed some frisee, chili and sweet peppers, black eyed peas, basil and okra.
I finally pulled out the black eyed peas and okra. They had been working hard for quiet a while. The broccoli and cauliflower are just starting to produce and the spinach still has a little growing to do, I think. My strawberries need it to get a little warmer I think.
So I just ordered a bunch of seeds and a few plants from the Burpee Seed Company. I probably ordered more than I should have for my little garden! But I am excited to get my Spring planting started. Soon I will have been working my little garden for a year! I am learning as I go and am confident that I will get better at it. One thing I ordered was a seed starter tray based on a suggestion from my friend Jens. He is a big gardener. I had complained about how the animals graze on my seedlings as they sprout. So hopefully I can start them in the tray and then they will be a little bigger when I plant them. Hopefully I will have less attrition and more survivors that way!
I am also going to try to plant some thornless blackberry canes. I know some people who are very successful with blackberries in Arizona. I am a big berry fan and strawberries and blackberries are pretty much all you can grow in the desert here. I don't know that the micro climate of my shady backyard will be the right environment but I am going to try. I also don't have much room. I am also not sure that the variety I ordered from Burpee is the right variety to grow here. But I am forging ahead and am going to try.
I love picking stuff out of the garden and eating it. It isn't a large part of my diet but a steady supplement and I love doing it. I hope to get better and better at the growing part.
I am excited about the tomatoes I've ordered from Burpee this year. One of the varieties is a cherry tomato that is almost black. It says that if you chill it, it almost has a concord grape flavor. Looking forward to checking out that claim!

New Projects

As always, I have been making things. One of the gals I visit teach for Church has a birthday this month and I was thinking about what I might get her. I remembered reading in a recent Martha Stewart magazine about some terrariums. I decided that would be a good idea.
I went to target to buy the jars and plants. One thing I would do differently, is get a bigger jar. These looked like the perfect size when I was at the store, but by the time you get the plant in and cover the rootball, you end up with more dirt than plant. So live and learn.....
I still like them though. In the magazine Martha used some nicer ferns and mosses, but I didn't have access to those in Arizona where they won't grow in ordinary circumstances. I might have found some with a bigger search but didn't feel like doing that.

So I made two jars, one for her and one for me.

Then I also made a dish planting with succulents. This is also for me and I think this turned out pretty well.

Finally, I did another one of my patchwork fleece throws. I am trying to get through some of my stockpiled craft supplies and I have a fair amount of fleece in the house. This doggy throw is for me for once! I thought it would be fun to have a little throw for the dogs and I when it's chilly in the evenings. I have the patches to make one more with 5 brown patches and 4 dog print still. When I get the fleece and do this type of throw, it yields two blankets.
Now I get to start the next project....I am thinking of trying to crochet something like a sweater or shawl for myself.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fiesta Bowl Parade 2010

Had a fun time at the Fiesta Bowl Parade today. It's like a nice street party! And the weather is delightful to just be outside.
Here is my Uncle Ron and Aunt Rejeana who just moved to Arizona from Oklahoma in September. It's fun having them in the state.

And this is my friend Laurette and her granddaughter Ella.

Here is a better photo of the cute Ella.

Waiting for the parade to start...

Here I am with Uncle Ron and Aunt Rejeana.

And the Curriers came and joined us too: Kelly, Dan and Noah.

I have been to the parade so many times that I don't take a lot of parade photos, but some of this are fun. Here is a guy in a pimp hat trying to sell his stuff. He looks like he has an attitude!

The Marine corp honor guard. My dad was a Marine.

Some of the folklorico dancers.

And for my friends and family in Idaho, here is the Boise State Cheerleaders.

And Marching band.

And of course who doesn't love the Budweiser Clydesdales!