Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sleeping Today!

We didn't plan it, but today turned into mostly a day of sleeping. I've been so tired this week, that Jeff was sweet enough to get up when the dog woke up, before 8AM, and let me sleep in. I was very surprised when I woke up and saw that it was 10:45! I can't remember the last time I slept in that late. Granted we did get to bed later than midnight due to a late dance last night, but that's late!

Then, once I was up and about, Jeff went back to bed! And he slept three hours! I sewed while he was sleeping and got my skirt nearly assembled. I decided to make piping and put it between the gores. (What a pain dealing with piping in a gathered seam!) I also made some pretty funky ruffles because I was trying to use as much of the fabric as I could! Here's the skirt as it is tonight. I'll finish it tomorrow.

Last night, Jeff and I went to a square dance with a live band. It was awesome! We had such a good time. And I'm doing much better at being able to dance the whole night. I only sat out one square the whole evening and we also managed a few of the round dances. My father and stepmother and aunt were all there plus a couple of friends. It is nice to see family on the floor.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today's Sewing Project

Another square dance skirt. I know I don't need more, but I just got this idea of what I wanted to do and I could hardly help myself from starting another.

I have this absolutely beautiful fabric made by Rose & Hubble. The fabric is called "The Magic of King Arthur" and I've been saving it for just the perfect project! But I bought it nearly ten years ago, and there it is, still on my shelf. Of course, while a square dance skirt isn't exactly the "perfect project," I will at least get to see and enjoy the fabric once in a while. Not just pull it off the shelf occasionally and dream about what I can use it for.

It was pretty hard to start cutting, but here are my gores! I just love the gore with the dragon! I'm excited to wear this one, though unfortunately it won't be tonight. I'm not that fast.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walk to Breakfast

This morning we decided to walk to our favorite breakfast place—Stacks. It was roughly 1.7 miles each direction. We loaded the dog up with her backpack (which really just contained a couple of empty canvas bags, in case we went shopping on our way home) and off we went!

It turned out to be a very enjoyable walk. We found the most beautiful street! It was tree-lined, and filled with beautiful, historic houses! I'm so glad we walked, or we never would have found it! (Redwood City is really growing on me; I didn't realize how nice it was when we moved here last year.)

Last night, Jeff and I went square dancing again. We had a really good time dancing with the Katydid's down in Campbell. That's the club where Sharon's father and aunt dance, so it was fun to see family. We're really enjoying getting back into dancing again. (Oh well, the picture is a little blurry.)

The Katydid's is also the same club we started dancing with, way back in 1984, when we originally took a square dance class with a few friends. We're the only ones who have stuck with square dancing through the years; our friends all moved on to other hobbies.

We've got a pretty quiet weekend planned. Jeff is off to bed this afternoon for a nap (he tends to sleep a lot on the weekends). We'll also probably take a number of walks; it keeps the dog happy and helps me with my journey to better health. We're still debating about whether we will go to a round dance class on Sunday evening.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I spent all day finishing my square dance skirt. But, as I was concerned about, the gathering didn't work too well. You sort of lose the hearts in the gathers.

I'm debating about whether I pull the skirt apart and try taking out two gores and see if it's still full enough. It would also look better with a fuller petticoat, but they're in storage... I may have to break down and get more square dance clothes from storage. I just don't know where I'll put them when I'm not wearing them...

Though, the best part of my sewing day was I got to remember how great it is to sew ruffles with my serger and sewing machine. I got to use my ruffle foot and rolled edge on my serger, and I got to use my ruffler and double needle on my sewing machine; it was awesome!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2/3rds Done!

Just 4 panels left! These are going together pretty fast.
I hope they still look OK once I gather up the waist. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

This is a pretty fun project. I've always loved making square dance clothes!

I have class again tonight so this won't get done today. Gotta spend this afternoon working out and then reading my Contracts textbook.

Jeff has a meditation class tonight.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pieced Gore Finished

I decided to go to storage this morning. I figured I would spend more time fretting about whether I had the gore the right size than just driving to storage. I think I was probably right. Though, it turns out, my piece was pretty close to the right size for what I wanted to make.

This was pretty fun. Now I just need to make 11 more!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Latest Sewing Project

With us square dancing again, I've been thinking it would be fun to make a new skirt. Then while I was hanging out this weekend, this idea came to me. I'm planning to piece it like a quilt. I think I'll need to make at least a dozen of these two-gore panels. I'm also planning to add a strip of purple between the finished heart panels to separate the hearts. I suspect this project will go together much faster than a quilt!

I'm still working on getting the gore pattern right, so I haven't started it yet. All my square dance patterns are in storage, so I'm trying to decide if it's worth the trip to go pick them up. A gore is not very hard to design, but you do need to make sure you have enough of them to make a full circle. Here are the fabrics I've chosen.

This is the blouse I plan to wear with it. It's always good to wear a purple blouse on a holiday when everybody else is wearing red!

Okay, it's too late for this Valentine's Day, but I'll be all set for next year!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Jeff and I are enjoying a quiet weekend at home. We would go out this weekend, but we're expecting restaurants are too busy to make it worth the hassle. We'll have to go out later in the week. =)

This evening Jeff and I went to another square dance; a valentine's dance. Most of our square dance clothes are packed in storage, so we went by this afternoon and picked up a box of holiday skirts. I wished I had another blouse and shirt set tonight, but we just don't have the closet space to unpack more of these clothes. Oh well.

We're doing pretty well at the Plus-level square dancing, but our round dancing is just too rusty. I want to look around for a round dance class so we can relearn Phase 3 and 4 round dancing.

Jeff and Shasta got new safety gear for their night-time scootering. I know I feel better now that they're wearing this when they go out at so late at night.

Tomorrow we have a hot date to play Pandemic; Jeff's new favorite board game.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Successful Food Experimentation

Anybody who knows me, knows I am not the cook in this house. Jeff is the cook and a good one; he makes beautiful, tasty food. But with him working full time and me still unemployed, I have tried a lot more crockpot cooking experimentation this year. I usually look to some recipes for inspiration, but I've mostly been throwing a bunch of ingredients, usually what we have in the refrigerator, together in the crockpot.

Additionally, one of my goals for 2010 is to learn how to cook dry beans. I'm on my third batch already—this week was pinto beans. I've also made red beans and black beans and they worked out pretty well, though one batch was a bit overcooked.

Today I tried my hand at crockpot chili. I had (grass fed) ground beef defrosted in the refrigerator as well as some black and pinto beans. I browned the beef along with some pork sausage and tossed it into the crockpot. I added the last of the black beans (about a cup) and a couple cups of pinto beans. I processed an onion and a couple carrots in the food processor and tossed them in and we had a can of chiles we needed to use up; I threw that in too! In went a can of diced tomatoes and chili-type spices and then I cooked it all day in the crockpot on low. It turned out very good—though maybe a bit spicy for my taste!

I have been working on clearing out the foods in the freezer. Every time I find an unidentified package, I pull it out. If it's good—we cook it. If not, we toss it. We need this freezer empty. We are not in stock-up mode because we still continue to hope that we'll be moving later this year.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Found a New Want—A Dog Cart

With all our walking to the store lately, we've often joked about how it would be nice to have a cart for Shasta to carry the purchases back home. Today we finally started searching around and I think we found a new want.

So far, we've only been doing small trips with the dog and having her carry a few things in a backpack—but having a cart would be so cool!

So, at Jeff's request, I'm currently searching for a good quality wagon that won't cost a fortune. I found a new one at the DogWorks website that we're considering; the little wagon, but it is a little spendy. Probably because it's designed to hold a lot of weight; really more than we'll need to carry, I'm sure. I'll keep looking for a few days and if I don't find anything better, then I'll probably order that one.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Subscribed to a CSA Again

Perhaps the best way to find the perfect house in Oregon is to make a financial commitment to stay here! =) Back in 2008, we subscribed to an organic farm (called a CSA—Community Supported Agriculture) and received weekly deliveries of produce. We enjoyed the many unusual varieties of produce. We didn't renew in 2009 because we were planning to move, but when we didn't move, we missed all the neat varieties of food.

We've had our lives on hold for a couple years now; not knowing when we'd be buying a house or in what state. I think it's just time to do stuff that's important to us! Subscribing to an organic farm is important to us. So, despite the fact we may move at any time, we decided we should just go ahead and sign up again. If we move, then we'll give our share to someone else in the family; if we don't, then we'll get to enjoy all this wonderful, healthful food without all the work of running to the farmers market every weekend.

In today's mail, Jeff and I received our Environmental Studies certificates! Woo hoo! We actually finished the classes during the summer of 2008, but I didn't figure out the paperwork to file until this last November. Here's a photo of mine. Jeff also received one as we took the classes together!

We don't really have current plans to use these certificates for anything in particular; we just enjoyed taking the energy efficiency classes. I had planned on trying to find employment in the field, but then I realized I liked the paralegal classes quite a lot more! I'm hoping to finish the paralegal certificate this semester.

After a many year break, Jeff and I are planning to try square dancing again tonight; I found a square dance club just a mile from where we live in Redwood City. After two months of consistent exercise, I think I have finally worked my way back into good enough shape that I should be able to last for at least an hour before I get too tired.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

This is probably Jeff's favorite holiday.... =)

My class was cancelled tonight (not for the holiday, the teacher had a conflict) so we called our friend Sarahann and asked if she wanted to get together to play the Pandemic board game and she agreed. So, tonight we're off to San Jose for dinner and a game.

We had to hustle Jeff to CalTrain this morning so we wouldn't have two cars down there tonight. Since we were walking to CalTrain, I decided to drop in at Whole Foods for some produce. I loaded Shasta up with 5.5 pounds in her backpack for the trip back and she still was dragging me along. She is amazing—so much energy!

We did a 2.9 mile trip already this morning and I'm trying to decide if I should do an exercise video... I need to lose 2.5 pounds in the next two weeks. I joined a challenge back at Christmas time to lose 10 pounds by Valentine's Day; I'm determined to make it!