Friday, November 30, 2012

Everyone loves a mystery

I've started my first mystery quilt along. This means that, except for colors, I have no idea what this quilt will look like. Bonnie Hunter, the mystery quilt designer, posted a list of fabric requirements here. Of course, we're free to choose whatever colors we want, but I decided to stick with her suggestions. Colors aren't always true in photos or on computer screens, so she gave us Valspar paint colors to match. Genius, I thought.

Here's what I got, after a quick trip to Lowes:

And these are the fabrics I picked up:

limey apple greens
blue and red purples
aqua and turquoise
black and white backgrounds plus a grey "constant"

Part One was posted last Friday...192 four-patches from the background fabrics and the grey.

cut 2" strips
stitch them together
subcut 2" segments
my favorite! swirling center seams
Before I can finish all 192 of my little four-patches, I need to finish 20 Goose Creek blocks for a swap. The mailing deadline is Monday.

Civil War repro Goose Creek blocks

Thanks for checking out my mystery project. To see what other quilters are doing with their mystery, check out the linky here. It's not too late to join us! Part two will be posted tomorrow.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

When I win the lottery

I really need to win the lottery so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a hermit. I wouldn't buy a big, fancy house or an expensive car. I would be happy not leaving the house I have.

Some days I just don't have the strength to leave the house. Sometimes tasks that are basic for most people take a major effort for me, especially this week. This week I ran out of my medicine. I got a refill after a few days, but those days have been rough.

If you've been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't been there, no amount of explanation will make you understand. My husband doesn't understand, and he's witnessed it firsthand. Trying to explain is exhausting.

So I'm ready to live the dream life of a hermit. Of course all that lottery money will make me a recluse or eccentric or some other fancy word. I just hope it means that I get to stay home.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Overcome all the excuses

"If ________ were easy, everyone would do it."

As the official start of marathon training gets closer, I'm beginning to wonder if I really want to do it. This isn't my first marathon, so I know what it takes. Am I willing to make the necessary time commitment? Not to mention the changes I'll need to make to my not so healthy diet?

To make it extra terrifying, I've set a time goal for this one. Usually my goal for longer races is just to finish, but my goal for this marathon is 4:30:00. Not only does that make for some hard training, but it also creates an opening for failure. Scary stuff.

Someone suggested that I need to have five layers of goals. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but this article from the November 2010 issue of Runner's World suggests having at least one goal that isn't defined by the clock. If it looks like I won't meet my time goal, then my goal will be to feel great at the finish line? Maybe. The article also gave a pre-race benchmark (defined by the clock)....

Target Race: Marathon
Workout: 3 x 3 miles @ marathon pace with 30-second recovery jog
Time Before: 4 weeks before

Since I ran a 10k at my marathon pace last weekend with no training, I feel pretty good about my goal. Now I need to decide it's important and find a way. No fear, no self doubt, no excuses.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Craftalong for Sandy relief

Still on the lookout for ways to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy, I found this easy and fun way for fiber enthusiasts to put their skills to good use.

It's getting cold in NJ and NY, and a lot of people are without heat. The craftalong organizers are asking crafters to knit, crochet, or sew warm clothing to donate. They even provided some free patterns, if you're looking for inspiration.

I love knitting hats, and I have more than I will ever wear. I'm working on a hat right now that will be very warm. Once I finish it, I think I'll try the mittens pattern that they've provided.

cable hat WIP

What warm items are you working on? Participate in the Sandy Craftalong and donate what you've made. Invite your friends!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Virtual race for real help

Most of the races I've run raise money for a charity. Sometimes I don't even know what that charity is; I just want to run the race. But sometimes I sign up just to support the charity. This is one of those times.

This race will benefit the Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy recovery. You can choose your race distance and even pick a race any day this month. It really doesn't get any easier. The registration fee is simply a donation of your choice. I registered for the virtual 5k, and I donated $20. That's less than most 5k registrations.
I'm probably not going to register for a "real" race. My scheduled training run next Tuesday is three miles, so I'll just add on an extra .1 to make it a 5k. Don't want to run? You could walk a 5k or create your own couch potato race. Click the link and register under "other." It's all about helping people, right?

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The Discovery channel has a show on Sunday nights called Curiosity. It's a fascinating show, and I recommend you watch it if you get a chance. Each episode explores a different topic through research and experiments, kind of like a more serious Mythbusters.

The most recent episode was about hypnosis. The researchers and scientists were trying to find out if someone could really be brainwashed into becoming an assassin. They started with more than 100 volunteers. There was a series of personality tests and mental stability assessments along with exercises to determine if the volunteers were susceptible to being hypnotized. Some went under pretty easily, it seemed. Some weren't hypnotized deeply enough to qualify for the experiment. I was surprised by some who played along and pretended to be hypnotized to make the researchers happy or maybe to get on TV. They even went as far as to take their clothes off in a restaurant under "hypnosis." The things people do to get on TV.... Finally, there were some people who weren't hypnotized at all. They either didn't respond during the initial tests or balked at taking their clothes off.

So I started thinking.... How would I respond to hypnosis? I don't know what determines if one person is hypnotized and another person isn't. I don't know if it's a matter of strength or weakness. I imagine it has something to do with trust. Trusting the person doing the hypnosis, and trusting the process itself. Based on this theory, I don't think I would be hypnotized. I don't trust anyone, ever, especially not in some group experiment-type setting. I don't want to wake up in a restaurant in my underwear. I don't even trust those white noise recordings that are supposed to help you sleep; they could have subliminal messages in there. I guess that sounds paranoid.

I would be interested in trying hypnosis, but I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen (see above). When the hypnotist woke the people up, he told them they would "be refreshed and feel great." I want to be refreshed and feel great, but not in my underwear on TV.

**Spoiler alert** In case you're wondering, only one of their volunteers passed all the qualifications and made it to the final test. He was given instructions to shoot a foreign diplomat (actually a stunt man) after receiving certain triggers. He didn't remember anything about it after he did it. Even though it was one guy in one experiment, it seems that brainwashed assassins could happen. Plausible, as the Mythbusters would say.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nothing to see here

I finally saw Magic Mike tonight. I enjoyed it, but that was mostly because of my hilarious friends. It was like watching with MST3k live. We got a little crazy tonight, too. We even mixed four kinds of M&Ms in one bowl. Milk chocolate, pretzel, peanut, and peanut butter! You don't know what you might get!

On to more serious matters....It's almost 11:30 and I haven't decided what to wear for the Old Reliable Run tomorrow. The weather forecast is 40 degrees and raining. I think I'll be okay with shorts, short sleeves, and a jacket. I can tie the jacket around my waist once I warm up. Long pants would probably be good after the finish.

Now that my attire is decided, I'm off to pin my race number and lay everything out for tomorrow morning. I want to get to bed and take full advantage of the extra hour of sleep. Hooray for the end of Daylight Saving Time. (My dislike of DST may be a topic for another post.)

Good luck to all the racers tomorrow. See you at the finish line!


*This exceptionally boring glimpse into my life was brought to you by #NaBloPoMo.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Goals and aspirations

As I commit myself to writing a blog post every day this month, I wonder what else I would like to accomplish before November 30. Turns out it's a pretty long list.

  1. Michael Miller Clubhouse borders
  2. Goose Creek swap blocks
  3. 1930s sampler top
  4. "modern not Mod" sampler top
1930s sampler blocks

  1. Mystery hat
  2. Overcome second sock syndrome
  3. Hats Four Ways class
  4. Restart my sweater
  1. Under one hour 10k finish
  2. Start marathon training
  3. Kickboxing at least 2x week
  4. Get back under my goal weight
  1. Update the brew log
  2. Brew the Australian IPA
  3. Brew Bob's Yer Uncle ESB
So I'm going to be busy this month. What are your goals for November? Put them in writing, and we can hold each other accountable.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today is the first day of NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. My poor, neglected blog deserves some attention, so I'm going to try posting every day in November. This could get really interesting or really boring.

The first suggested topic is my favorite quote and why. I'll get to my favorite quote in a minute, but first I want to talk about my least favorite quote:

"My bad." --the guy who knocked me down in the parking lot today
Maybe it's just me, but "my bad" isn't an apology. What it says to me is "I know I did something inappropriate, but I don't care." He spilled my drink! I was mad that he ran into me and kept going, but  I was furious that he didn't stop long enough to give a crap. What happened to manners? At least have the decency to pretend to show some remorse.
Enough of my rant. I'll move on to my favorite quote now.... what? I ran out of time? My bad.