I seem to be having trouble getting back into routines after two different holiday trips in October. The time change threw me off too … early sundown makes me want to just close the blinds and get cozy doing loads of nothing.
Sunday I cleaned out the back garden – swept up the leaves, put away the umbrella and cut back the summer annuals that are still doing doing quite well for mid-November. We haven’t yet had a freeze in Atlanta but Saturday morning it was 36 degrees so we know it’s coming soon. It’s always so depressing that first day with a winter freeze … begonias flattened, leaves quickly turning black, so I figured I’d clear them out while I had daylight. The plantings in the little back courtyard did really well this year, primarily because G installed the drip irrigation system in the spring so there were few “oh no!” moments in the heat of the summer. But we spent virtually no time out in the courtyard this summer. We’ve worked hard to improve the courtyard but it’s still just a courtyard. The gardener in me wants space and soil and big garden beds where I can actually get my hands dirty.
Once again this weekend we had the, “should we buy a house?” discussion. We’ve been here – in our temporary home – for almost 6 years. The pluses so outweigh the minuses (we both can walk to work, we don’t have a mortgage, he feels better leaving me alone in a townhouse when we know our neighbours well, there’s little maintenance to fill up his weekends) but still we question it all the time. He wants room for motorcycles and a bigger kitchen. I want a garden and a screened porch for the kitties.
This is the annual autumn debate. Maybe this winter it will be resolved.
Last weekend G bought a new cookbook at Costco. “America’s Test Kitchen 100 Recipes”. America’s Test Kitchen puts out great cookbooks. Not only is the food excellent, the recipes also teach you why things are done a certain way. So, in time, you become a better cook. G proclaimed that we will each pick five recipes and master them, then move on to the next five. Last weekend he made pot roast and these unbelievably good roasted potatoes. This weekend night I made pan seared chicken breasts and roasted broccoli. Both were good – but the broccoli was really good. Yummy smells in a warm kitchen on a cold Sunday evening.
So I made a jumper this week and I used some relatively expensive (to me) wool fabric. I’m feeling confident enough in my skills that I’ll invest a bit of cash in a fabric I like. The jumper turned out well – but certainly not perfect. I mean, it’s absolutely wearable, but could be so much better.
Maybe I should read directions. And maybe I should learn about working with different fabrics and techniques before I jump into something more technically complicated.
Sunday afternoon I was about to start sewing a t-shirt using a really pretty aqua knit. I look at t-shirts costing $100 and more and always think, “That’s exorbitant! I can make that!” so I bought fabric and a pattern. I looked at the layout for the pattern pieces and thought, “they’re wrong – I’ll do it the way that makes sense to me.” Then I decided to maybe spend a few minutes figuring out how to work with knits before I jumped in. Last time I tried to make a knit top it was an absolute disaster which became my first wadder (wad it up and throw it in the bin!). I looked around online and then I invested $25 in a Craftsy class on sewing with the knits and almost the first thing she talked about was the layout. I clearly have no idea what I’m doing. This whole on-line classes thing is a revelation to me. I thought all of the on-line learning was through the University of Phoenix or some 17-year old teaching creating makeup tutorials on You Tube.
Yesterday I improved myself by learning about how to sew knits.
Speaking of improving myself …
I’ve completely fallen off of the running wagon since the beginning of October. I walk to work (somedays). I get on the elliptical (well, I did once). I walk around the office (sometimes).
I am really good about my weight training, but then I pay someone to badger me.
This week I shall perform at least two cardio sessions, plus do my usual weigh training, plus get in 9,500 steps a day. And record my food. And stretch.
The gym at work has little challenges and currently I’m doing a six-week fitness challenge where you begin and end with a hydrostatic weigh-in. That’s weighing in water, where you supposedly get the truest measure of total weight and body fat. For the weigh-in you go into a mobile unit (a van), put on your bathing suit, then crawl into a giant tub of warm water. You get into a push-up position in the tub, then the technician throws a weighted band on your back and you go underwater, expel ALL of your breath and come back up. You have to do it twice to get a proper reading. It’s really uncomfortable and frankly, it freaks me out. Then the little man tells you your percentage of body fat and berates you for a few minutes while you towel off. And I pay for the pleasure of this.
I was last weighed 6 weeks ago and had every intention of losing about 10 pounds and about 2 percent of body fat in the interim but I know that hasn’t happened. I know I’m absolutely so much stronger and I can see muscle definition. If I can lose the fat, I’ll have beautiful arms. If I can lose the fat …