Saturday, December 26, 2009

Great Christmas Day

We three had a wonderful holiday together. Of course we missed Erika and her husband Nathan who were spending time with his family in Ohio, but we get them back soon and will celebrate Christmas all over again next weekend.

It's no big secret. Bob's a fool for Christmas. He plans and plots and even ventures into malls. Our family does Wish Lists. We do not consider it crass or commercial. It's more of a, "If you're going to get me a present, but don't know what I'd like, here are a few suggestions." We were always careful to includes things the kids could afford from their own money when they were growing up and still include 'gift certificates' of time. Bob always liked to get coupons for car washes and I love the girls' day with the daughters. Last year one of those days was going over to Heather's apartment and watching a DVD together. We sat on the hand me down couch we gave her and watched it on my old TV, and it was WONDERFUL.

Heather came over Christmas Eve to cook her portion of the dinner. We traditionally have a ham on Christmas Eve, but with her being a vegan, other menu items must be included. Luckily, she takes after her father and loves to cook. She made an excellent corn chowder, had a baked potato with all the fixings and I made green beans and fried bananas. We were skeptical about her vegan version of Bob's cream cheese cookies, but they were really good.

She also surprised us by deciding to spend the night. For once, I was the last one up Christmas morning. Bob, the Christmas fool, was up at 5:30 am, but I stayed in bed until 7, then showered and put some make up on for all the photos I knew he'd be taking. We usually had our coffee and read the paper before the kids woke up and more recently, before they came over, but not this year.

The presents and company were fun and well appreciated. We chatted on the phone with relatives all over the country, visiting the best way we could given the vast distances involved. To top it off, when the San Diego Chargers played at 4:30 pm, they completely dominated the game, beating the Tennessee Titans 42 - 17. Oh, Happy Day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On Day 10, the headache's much better, but still there. Only dizzy when I got out of bed, but things settled down. Thinking of getting my nails done later. Pampering is always good, as is knitting and listening to podcasts. Have discovered David Reidy's podcast, Sticks and String. Interesting perspective from an Australian male knitter. I'm working my way from the beginning, so I'm 3 years behind!
I finished Nathan's socks last night. Was a bit dismayed to note the 2nd one is somewhat larger than the 1st. I never had issues with different tensions, but I guess the 11 months from start to finish was a bit much. Will throw in the washer and dryer before gifting and all should go well. I'm down to 6 knitting projects in progress, plus the 2 crocheted afghans. Not that bad since one of the WIPs is a sweater I have only cast on for. That really makes it #1 in the Queue rather than 'in progress'. I'm currently doing the Victorian shoulderette by Sivia Harding in black Cria Creek Alpaca. I've made this lovely thing 3 times already. After the black one, there's the one in oranges from Schaefer Heather. My ambitious plans are to have both done before the New Year.

I've had the best surprise this morning and am overwhelmed. Susan called on the way into the shop to warn me she was coming by to drop off my Christmas present. I got to open it right away and as usual, she was amazingly generous. I love the mug with the continental knitting reference. The red Namaste bag is literally a BIG present. I had admired it in the shop and although I have many knitting bags, I lusted for it. I showed restraint by not buying it for myself, figuring I'd get it after Christmas if it was not sold. Someone did buy it last week and there was a moment of silence as Susan and Monica and I sighed, knowing it was a sign we were not meant to own the lovely thing. Little did I know Susan ordered me another one as soon as it went out the door. I'll always think of her when I use it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another FO

So, yesterday, it was off to the Dr. at the Tricare clinic to see if anything could be done about the headache and dizziness I have had for the past EIGHT days. I was feeling so smug because I anticipated if any head tests were required, I'd have to go downtown to Balboa Naval Hospital. Having been referred to that massive complex in the past, once even getting to spend the night, I loaded up my knitting bag with 2 smallish projects, a Wonderful Wallaby AND the SIL socks. I threw in a pair of DH's socks that could use some darning, and my Kindle, AND my Palm which I only use for the games, AND my MP3 player AND the charging cords for each including the one for my phone. Hey, I was a Girl Scout leader and know about being prepared. I even threw in an apple because the last time they didn't feed me for almost 24 hours.

Sure enough, the clinic doctor writes me a referral - after chastising me for not coming in sooner, scaring me with images of brain bleeds and even referring to Natasha Richardson who DIED shortly after smacking her head - and I'm off to the Emergency Room. I get checked in and into a bed surrounded by fabric curtains. I had to tell the story several times about how I conked my head last week, just to make sure someone at home was not smacking me around. I understand why they have to do this, so I don't get mad or laugh at them because if you knew my Bob, DH of over 30 years, you'd know he was the sweetest most even tempered man you'd ever meet.

The MP3 player comes in real handy to drown out the chatter among hospital staff, mostly about their Christmas plans, and the incredibly whiney kid in the next bed over. He has a stomach ache. His mother is convinced it's appendicitis and his father thinks she's over reacting (which ends up being the case). I just want to shout, "I have a headache! Shut the #@$% up!", but I'm staying calm by listening to my tunes knitting away. After the head CT scan, I settle in to wait for the results in my fabric room with the narrow bed, when Grace, my nurse, comes in to hook me up to an IV. That looks very hospital -y and since I'm already wearing a hospital gown because they apparently need to do an EKG on everyone who comes in the door, things are looking serious. Oh, not to worry, the ER Dr. just wants to make sure I'm hydrated. Oh, really... how about a glass of water? But they have their way of doing things, so I get hooked up. I did manage to select the spot where the needle went in. I did so based on what would interfere the least with my knitting.

So, I get my bag of goodies and by the time I'm done, the test results are back and there's no evidence of anything bad going on. I probably did have a slight concussion, but since a week had passed, nothing was evident. They let me go with a couple of scripts. The entire ordeal took 4 hours. Actually not that bad and I just about finished the Wallaby.

Later that evening, I took care of my headache the old fashioned way as Bob and I headed downtown to the Rock Bottom Brewery where we HYDRATE in a much more delightful fashion. We went to catch the Battle of the Bands between Cal and Utah, the participants in this year's Poinsettia Bowl. I figure I have a headache anyway, so some drums couldn't make it any worse. It was quite a scene and we had fun. Home by 7:30 where I put my feet up, bound off my Wallaby and tucked in the ends. I still have the dizzy headache, but now I have drugs....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's not snowing

As Facebook friends from the East coast post their snowy status along with pix to illustrate the magnitude of the snow, I too took a photo out my window. The most I could muster up weather wise was a bit of overcast with the 3 pm temperature outside my window a balmy 68 degrees. We do, however, have the Christmas spirit and have made the inside look all cozy with a more wintry look. This old house does not heat well, so we've got out our sweaters and snuggly clothes for when the night temps plummet into the low 50s, high 40s.

I'm trying to enjoy this week of peace and quiet now that all the shopping and 99% of the wrapping is done. It's time to listen to carols and await Christmas. But I've had a headache since last Tuesday, accompanied with vertigo. I've tried to gut it out and felt almost better on Friday, only to wake up Saturday both dizzy and headachy with more of the same today. I gave up gutting it out and have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I smacked my head pretty good on Monday and I'm wondering if it's a slight concussion. Anyhow, I haven't worked out since Monday and feel yukky about it. I have done quite a bit of knitting, finishing Erika's brown sweater, which for some reason I disliked making and am overall unhappy with the results. She took it away making all the appropriate happy noises, and I'm pleased to be done with it.

I have also been working on some plain socks for my son in law. Started them in JANUARY and had only turned the heel on the 1st one. I'm now on the 2nd sock and will turn the heel tomorrow. But this evening, I'm going to finish this pink blanket I started in October of 2008, only to run out of gas when it was 90% done. If you catch my drift, I'm determined to whittle down my works in progress to a more manageable level and vow not to start any new projects until I'm down to only 5 or 6. Ideally that should be 1 or 2, but I know me, and that just won't happen. I'm determined about the socks since they will be the ONLY PAIR I'll have made in 2009. Can you imagine? I'm usually good for 18 to 20 pairs a year. I'll have to do a year end review of what I have knit, since I know I've completed over 50 projects.

My exciting life also included some laundry today and I knit and listened to some podcasts while the dryer was going. I'm going to cook in a bit - a rare occurrence for me - so I'll leave you with a photo of the now clean socks we wore this week. I wash them inside out in a lingerie bag and run them through the dryer for a bit to fluff them up, but hang them up to finish drying. The brown pair on the right looked like it wanted to shrink, so they're on the stretchers.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's almost Christmas

I'm so behind on Christmas preparations. I haven't even done my cards and won't be getting to them until next week. I've don't the Amazon thing, but need to go shopping for a few more gifts for my husband and some stocking stuffers. What do you get an 85 year old mom for her December birthday and Christmas? She's got absolutely everything in triplicate, but loves getting gifts....

Meanwhile, my Fan Neckwarmer pattern, written over a year ago is still going strong. I started selling it as a Ravelry download earlier this week instead of via Bonita Knit & Sew. Easier accounting for all concerned. I had no idea it would continue to be popular. In the past few days, 4 copies have sold. Seems like free money. Now, if I could just get inspiration for another design... Hard to do with my WIPs numbering over a dozen and my Queue (projects with yarn already purchased and awaiting my attention). I am so in love with the many designs out there, if feel my little improvisations are not up to par.
New year's resolution will be to blog more often. Let's see....

Monday, June 29, 2009


Let's face it. I stink at blogging. Too much of a commitment. I'm addicted to the short bursts of Facebook. Tried Twitter, but don't care for it much. Facebook is easier to maneuver and fun to catch up with all kinds of folks from old classmates to my children.

I'm way behind on updating Ravelry as well, but it's definitely on my to do list.

Now that I'm exercising almost every day, it seems as if I don't have much time, yet I do spent hours at a stretch online. Witness the posting of 1000+ pix to Flickr when we got back from Yellowstone and Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I still knit quite a bit, but not nearly as much as I used to.

What's been happening?

I'm happy to report I'm down 35 lbs since the beginning of the year when I won a personal trainer 3x a week for 3 months. I kept the trainer, because she's great, but my budget only allows me that luxury 1x a week. Then I'm on my own. The weight loss has slowed down, but is still ongoing. I need to lose at least another 20. I was quite pleased to have enough stamina to enjoy my vacation, walking to and fro, climbing stairs and all manner of things one does when in a National Park. I was also happy to have actually lost a pound while on vacation. I may be getting the hang of this portion control thing. I sure hope so, because it's been quite hard to lose the weight this time. If I regain it in a few years, then it's probably going to stay on. It's hard enough at 57. I can't imagine starting over in my 60's. That said, I feel great and even look forward to exercising.

Celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss. Go Bob and Tania!

Got a new camera (note reference to 1000+ pix). Though still a point and shoot, it's a Big Girl camera with a 20X optical zoom and some manual options. Now I look just a savvy as Bob with his SLR.

Still teaching at the yarn store and enjoying the success of my Fan Neckwarmer pattern. It's still selling and we've passed 250 copies sold. Amazing.

Don't look for regular updates here. Slide on over to Facebook, where I'm taniasews. There's pix and links there.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My left foot

I had never heard of a Morton's Neuroma. Luckily, my trainer knew all about it. My left foot has been getting numb at the ball of the foot for years after about 15 minutes of walking. No pain, just numbness. I'd mention it at my physicals and every doctor would look puzzled and go, "Hmmm." Last week I was doing a bunch of regular stuff wearing my sneakers, then went for my walk. Ow. It was annoying from the start and actually hurt by the time I was done. But I'm tough and do all 3+ miles. The darned foot did not stop hurting when I took the shoe off and still was tender the next day.

Trainer tells me what it is in flash. (A clump of nerves that have congregated in one spot between my toes. It gets larger over time and is made worse by shoes that don't let the toes have room to wiggle. Who knew?) She says to go to the doctor, get a cortisone shot, and it will be all better. I would have let it go, since a NEEDLE IN MY FOOT sounds extreme. But I'm doing this Get Fit thing on TV and figure that if the gym says doctor, I better high tail it to one.

As a Navy retiree, I go to a Tricare clinic for routine stuff, then get referred to Balboa Medical Center for speciality stuff. The process could take weeks, especially if Balboa does not have an opening and I get sent to a civilian doctor. I was quite happy to have the doctor recognize and agree with the diagnosis and have the cortisone handy. The shot didn't hardly hurt either. No fuss, no muss. He says if it's not better in a few weeks, come back for another shot. You can see the slight bruise between the 2nd and 3rd toes where the needle went in.

The foot's a bit sore, but was significantly better almost immediately. I went to my regular training session on Friday, did some treadmill with no trouble. She took it a bit easy on me, concentrating on upper body stuff. I'm working at the yarn store today, so can't get my usual walk in, but I'll be out there tomorrow, practically as good as new.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My 1st TV appearance

It's kind of weird watching yourself on TV. I know I see myself in the mirror everyday and hear what I sound like when I'm talking to others, but watching yourself in action is strange.

First impression was that I looked old. I may be 57, but inside, I still feel 20. It's always a shock to note the gray hair and saggy skin. Then, of course, is the fact that I'm big. It is afterall why I won this contest to lose weight, but still... No amount of baggy shirt is going to hide the fact I look like a fireplug, especially when TV land has been informed I weighed in at 210. Sigh....

On the positive side, I was articulate enough to answer the impromtu questions without drawing a blank and sounded like I was confident and optimistic. Mostly I was happy I didn't say something stupid or inappropriate. Another good thing is I didn't sound heavily accented. I grew up in New York City, but have lived all over the states. It seems as if no one region stood out and I sounded neutral.

We had to arrive at the gym before 6 am and were on for 4 live segments that lasted about 5 minutes each plus several promo shots in between. I didn't leave until past 9 am. For the 7:45 segment, I had already been on the treadmill for 20 minutes when Ruben came over to chat with me. I'm so glad I was not huffing and puffing. While waiting our turn to be on live, I only got to knit a few rounds on a pair of socks I'm working on, mostly because my hands were sweaty and the yarn would not easily glide through my fingers.

Katie and Tracy are the other 2 lucky viewers who are on this journey with me and the folks from the TV 6 station. Both are way younger than I am, with Katie on the left being younger than my youngest child. In this last photo you also see Colleen, my trainer next to Katie. She is just fantastic. She's urging me to do things and keeping me accountable, but not in any sort of bullying way. She never tries to hurt me. After 3 sessions I am sore, but it's not so bad, just a bit achy. I know when I've started to exercise on my own after a long hiatus, I'd be dead the next day. I'm happy to report that has not happened.
Now, if I could only lose weight. After 1 week, I am at the same exact point I was last week. But considering I ate out at 3 wonderful restaurants, I was relieved it was not worse.
The next TV shoot will be in about 3 weeks. I hope some results are visible by then.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sore, but optimistic

I am a bit sore, but not too bad. My sessions with the trainer are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On other days I do cardio on my own and some routines at home. I have had 2 sessions so far. Friday was a great get to know each other session with her assessing my limited abilities through some stretching and balance routines. I never thought about how hard it is to stand on one foot.

Yesterday was more sweaty with resistance training on the various machines interdespersed with different heart pumping things. 10 reps with light weights, then 20 jumping jacks, a short lap around the gym, then repeat. Each machine was paired with a different in between up tempo routine. All of those which I could do on my own at home with no equipment.

A trainer is a wonderful thing. She does all the stuff with the machines and keeps track of what I can do. She's with me for every minute of the session, making sure my posture and such are correct for the exercise. If I'm struggling, she immediately stops me and switches to something I can handle. I get to the gym before our session to do 15 minutes on the treadmill as a warm up then an hour with her. I can honestly say it was not bad at all.

As training aids, she suggested I get a heart rate monitor and a foam roll. Using the latter really helps with the sore muscles. I also have to write down everything I eat and drink in a log. I've got to do this for 2 weeks, then meet with the nutritionist. Just writing it down makes me conscious of what goes into my mouth. This is a 3 dinner dates at restaurants week and I am trying to moderate what I select, but I'm not going crazy and cutting everything out since I would never be able to stick to that in the long run. I figure going from exercising maybe once a week to at least 6 times a week is going to do wonders for my overall health with a side benefit of dropping some weight.

The first segment on TV will be this Friday, 23 Jan during the channel 6 morning show from 6 am to 9 am. I've got to be there before 6 am, allegedly bright eyed and bushy tailed. I've already met 2 of the news anchors, Marc Bailey and Lynda Martin. They are also participating in the Get Fit program and have their sessions right after mine.

Monday, January 12, 2009

OMG!!! I'm going to be infamous.

I just learned I won a local TV contest:

Get Your Body Fit with Ruben!

Hey San Diego! Are you tired of making the same New Year’s resolution of losing that excess weight only to lose interest? Make this year different and Get Your Body Fit with Ruben!

San Diego 6 has partnered with Little Italy’s finest fitness experts, BodyFit, to help THREE lucky viewers get into shape with our own Ruben Galvan at no charge!

CONGRATULATIONS TO: Traci Doddy, Katie Hilen, Tania Marshall

I'm excited and a bit scared. My 'before' photo will be shown on TV tomorrow morning. For the next few months, I get a personal trainer, nutritional counseling and a personalized workout/diet plan. Can you believe it?

Happy 2009

Between Ravelry, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, it's easy to overlook this original blog. My life is just not that interesting to warrant all the documentation, so I lag.

My knitting life is on Ravelry where I have my projects, stash, library and such up to date. That in itself is a remarkable achievement. I belong to 31 groups, have 61 friends, 142 projects, 196 books and 206 stashed yarns. In 2008, I completed 91 knitting or crochet projects. Of those, there were 19 pairs of adult socks. I also stopped lying to myself.. I don't just hang out at the yarn shop a lot, I work there. Very part time, maybe 10 to 12 hours a month, but it's enough to pay for my ever increasing yarn habit.

I have 4643 pix up on Flickr and most are public albums. Right around Thanksgiving, my photos of Rota, Spain taken from 1978 to 1980 came to the attention of some locals. By request, I went through our old slides and uploaded some more, but still have a bunch to go. The experience sure brought home how much more connected we can be via the internet.

Thanksgiving itself was weird. Not bad. Just strange. Our youngest moved out at the beginning of the month and as a vegan was planning a special meal with her boyfriend at his parents' home. She'd stop by for drinks after dinner. Now, tell me THAT'S not strange, meeting your baby for drinks..... Our oldest was at the in-laws in Ohio. So Bob and I decided to go to a restaurant for our meal. It was a wonderful buffet, but we had no leftovers and yummy smells that so make it Thanksgiving in our mind. Never again. We started out as a dynamic duo and make up our own family unit, so it's home from now on.

Because of that and having the kids for Christmas, we went all out. What's the point of having linen, china, crystal and all that stuff if you don't break it out for your favorite people? There were all kinds of presents, along with this special one. Erika got a gazillion buttons and painstakingly made this wreath. So much better than the felted poinsettia one I started and abandoned. I just feel the love with every button she placed, painted and glued down for me. Bob also got me this, a date to see Bette Midler in Vegas some time in 2009. I had made him pinky swear not to go overboard with our gifts since we've been splurging on ourselves quite a bit, but the man is a fool for Christmas.

Speaking of our favorite place, we went to Vegas in December. We like to go during the Rodeo because of all the good music, free concerts and really polite cowboys. We stayed downtown which was the launching point for the Santa Run. We didn't participate, but caught up with these guys on our way out of town.

Other 2008 highlights include the remarkable success of my Fan Neckwarmer pattern. So far, it has been marked a favorite on Ravelry by 458 people worldwide. I've been playing around with other designs and have written them down, but haven't put any more out there. I made myself a sweater from scratch which I love, but am intimated by the thought of trying to figure out the sizing for any body other than mine.

Our nest is empty. When DD2 left us, she ended up making the place more empty by taking a couch that I obviously liked in the showroom but didn't once I got it in the family room. A few weeks later, she got the old TV. Just the excuse we needed to spruce up the place in 2009. Buying stuff is way easier and more fun than what really needs to happen, like totally painting and recarpeting/flooring the entire house. Did I mention we have floor to ceiling and built in bookcases in every single room except the bathrooms? The new TV is our first flat screen with HD. Note, it's in my knitting room, the smallest room in the house. 40" with a couch about 6 feet away is like being in a theater. I made Bob pick out the replacement couch and he did good. It's quite classy for the garage converted family room, but it's yummy leather with a smell to die for.
Yep, we are living the good life. Hope your 2009 goes well.