Saturday, January 31, 2009

Back in the S(e)wing

I was blessed with the world's best Home Ec teacher in high school, who taught me a love of sewing (and a great affection for seam rippers...possibly the more valuable trait, since I do a lot of it) that I've carried with me ever since. I can lose hours in a fabric store, poring over the fabrics, envisioning what I can make, and knowing that whatever it is it will be uniquely mine. I think for me, that is the beauty of sewing, knitting, and other art/craft forms...the individuality. The knowledge that no one will ever put colors, fabrics, or fiber together in quite the same way.

While years have gone by with me only occasionally feeding my sewing habit, I've always known it was there for me, just waiting to be brought back out, dusted off, and put to creative use. In high school, most of my projects were clothing. I made most of my own clothes and yes, I actually wore them. These days, however, I have an affinity for home decor and accessories.

I've been carrying around a pattern for months for a knitting tote, and finally ventured into it yesterday. I was immediately absorbed, lost in the process. As used to be the case, I forgot to eat until 3:00 p.m., and would have probably skipped dinner entirely if it hadn't been for DH asking at 7:30 if I was going to come downstairs at all that night.

It was a very good day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I never thought I'd be one of "those" knitters

Those who know me know that I'm a fairly methodical person. I tend to do things in a linear fashion, I'm organized (just ask my friend J about my sock drawer...), I see things through. So, how on earth did this happen to me?

When I began knitting a year ago (thanks to M), I would start a project, finish it, and then move on to the next. No buying new yarn for me until the last project was completed, or very near to it. No sirree. I would come home from knit night marveling at all the different projects some of the group had going at once. Did they all have some type of Knitting A.D.D.? A fear of commitment? More needles than they knew what to do with? Was loving a knitting project like loving a good read, where you don't want the book to end? I just couldn't really understand the whole thing.

Then, gradually, I began thinking that it was helpful to have two projects going at once, to vary the stitch patterns that my hands were doing and thereby avoid some type of repetitive motion injury (nice logic, huh?). Yes, two projects was just the right amount. Or so I thought. It was, instead, the beginning of the end.

Now, it appears I've succumbed. Projects are breeding like rabbits in my knitting bag, the majority incomplete, some needing to be frogged, some waiting to begin. I have no logical explanation for this phenomenon. And I don't know whether to be embarrassed, or proud.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Clear as a bell and cold as...

After snowing all day on Sunday, today turned off sunny and beautiful with a balmy high of 23. Which would explain why at 3:00 in the afternoon, these trees in the yard still aren't shedding the white stuff. Look at that blue, blue sky!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm committed. Or maybe I should be.

Not even a week. That's how long it took me to decide to do another 1/2 marathon. Am I insane? I don't even know the race course many hills will I have to trek? Will it be raining? It's Seattle, so most likely the answers are "lots" and "count on it". But hey, what the heck. I seem to have built some momentum with this fitness thing, so maybe I'm just afraid of not having a date out there to work toward...? Truth is, it's also a great chance to spend time with two of my nieces that I don't get to see nearly often enough.

What keeps you motivated to stick with your fitness routine?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Burger with a bite

Had lunch for the first time today at the relatively new Bend Burger Company. As I do with all first-time visits to burger joints, I ordered the basic burger to form my first impression. In this case it was The Bend Burger. A little bit of cayenne (I think) spiced up the burger sauce, but not so much that it hid the taste of the beef itself. Topped with pickles, tomato, red onion, shredded lettuce, and burger sauce, it was IMO a great basic burger...with a generous side of fries. And the price at $6.95 was very fair. Good to see they were busy on this Saturday afternoon, and I hope they continue to succeed. The only things I've found off-putting so far are the typos I saw in the restaurant and on their website (which, in all fairness, appears to still be under construction). Can you be considered authentic Bend if you misspell Deschutes?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Simply Grand

How many times have you heard "the pictures don't do it justice"? Trite, cliched...and true. There just isn't a substitute for standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon to understand its magnitude...unless it's standing down at the bottom...which I wouldn't know about because it was too cold and too short a trip to make the hike. Nonetheless, it was one of those rare times in my life when I've been speechless. Seeing it in winter with snow on some of the canyon walls? Added bonus.

I heard on the Travel Channel last night that you can put 1,500 Central Parks into it. Think about that for a minute.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Goal Met

I completed my first half marathon on Sunday the 18th. I was one of 21,990 finishers at the P.F. Chang's Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon, with a time of 2:49:51. I wasn't competing to place, but to finish, so I was pleased to be able to beat my 3:15 estimated time. I ended up running (jogging) more of the race than I'd planned...probably close to 40% of it, and that put me about in the middle of the females for finish times. I have to say, even though there wasn't anyone to meet me at the finish line, it was exhilarating to cross it and hear hundreds (thousands?) of people I didn't know cheering me on. I found myself a little choked up at the whole experience! You're probably wondering why there wasn't anyone to meet me, right? They were all running, too! Amanda completed her first full marathon, and Anne Blyth her first half. Philip was running his own marathon by chasing after Blake, one very active 1-year-old!