Saturday, May 8, 2010

The First Week of May

My how time keeps marching by. Grandson Michael graduated BMT with honors and has been at Goodfellow AFB in Texas at school for the past 3 weeks learning to become a firefighter. The physical training is hard, he says. He's tall but thin. He is strong, though, I'll give him that. He's got a dorm mate that is messy though and it's driving him crazy and getting him in trouble for a messy dorm. Why is it the military always seems to punish the innocent along with the guilty? Michael graduated BMT with Dorm Excellence. They should look at his record and go from there. But that's not the military's way of doing things I guess.

I've taken up sewing believe it or not. I got a nice sewing machine for Christmas 3 or 4 years ago and I'd never taken it out of the box until a couple weeks ago when my friend, Kathleen, offered to help me learn how to sew. I have discovered that sewing is fun. So far all I've made are "shop" aprons and pot holders. I'm not too good on the pot holders though. Yesterday I made an apron out of blue lightweight denim and it looks very good. I'm proud of the worksmanship. I'm finally getting the hang in sewing straight lines. I've learned how to steer the material. But I just can't seem to make a decent hot pad. Thursday I made an apron for my grand daughter for Christmas and wanted to make two pot holders to go with it. I made one and it is so horrible looking that I took the other one I'd cut out and prepared (just needs the quilting and binding) and put it away to do later in the year when (hopefully) I'll be a better seamstress. Jamie's was black with hot pink pockets (her request). She heard I was making aprons and she sent me an email requesting that color combination for her apron if I were planning on making some as Christmas gifts. Sure can't sneak one over on her. My sisters are each going to get a set of 6 handmade placemats that I haven't even started yet.

Hubby has spent most of today out doing yard work. He's going to be really tired tonight! But it really looks nice where he's used the weedeater and raked. I helped him haul the leaves and clippings out to the burn pile. I had to run out to the store to pick up a couple things for dinner and I dropped by the nursery and bought a couple 6-packs of Portulaca to plant in the deck-rail planters tomorrow after church. I wanted to plant them today but I wanted hubby's help to plant them all and he's got to be too tired to do it today. So after church tomorrow will be fine. They are quite immature plants. Not a single flower on them yet. Portulaca tends to get a bit leggy as the summer progresses but we love it for the constant supply of flowers it produces. It makes the deck seems so colorful and pretty.

I really am walking again. Kathleen and I have been walking together on Tues. and Thurs. but we're going to change it to Mon., Weds., and Fri. next week to get in one more day. I set my alarm for 7:30 and head out to Kathleen's and that gives us an early start to our days. Then I've been walking my 30 minutes every evening for the days I don't walk with her. I'm also watching my fat grams, calories, and fiber intake along with the exercise. Maybe, just maybe I can lose a few pounds. Well quite a few, actually! I've put on so much in the last couple years. I'm able to wear the same clothes I wore last summer with the exception of my favorite cropped pants. Those just don't want to button around my waist. So I've not put on all that much weight over the winter but every little gain comes on for eternity unless I walk it off. I used to enjoy walking but I find it incredibly boring these days. My mornings with Kathleen aren't boring. I really enjoy those days. It's the walk around my neighborhood in the evenings that's as boring as all get out.

I recently bought a 500+ page book from Guideposts called Know the Words of Jesus in 30 Days and I've been reading through it. But truthfully, I've fallen a couple days behind. But each day is independent from all the other days and stands on its own so I can just pick up where I left off without loss of continuity. I bought a book last year from them called Know the Bible in 30 Days (same author) and I really enjoyed that one. And I was better last year. I didn't fall behind. I did my day each and every day. I'm going to try to do better. Anyway I really like the books. Last year's book just sort of walked me through each books of the Bible and this year's book is kind of doing the same thing with the sayings of Jesus. I like to read good books and it's really great when I can combine that with my love of the Lord. I love to study the Bible anyway. And I really like how this book is taking me through the sayings of Jesus, even the hard ones to understand. Maybe especially the hard ones to understand.

Kathleen, Kathy, and I took our fair entries to the fairgrounds on Weds. of this week. They both entered quilts. Kathleen also entered her placemats (like the ones I'm going to sew for my sisters for Christmas). They are very pretty and look incredibly difficult to do. But I will be determined. I entered 7 items. All knits. Speaking of knits, I've kind of fallen off my knitting. I decided that I had other things I wanted to do and not just sit and knit all day every day. That's where the sewing comes in. Don't get me wrong, I still knit, just not every waking moment. I have that compulsive personality anyway to where when I do something I do it with my whole soul and entire life. I'm now working to find a balance in my life. I'm working on a pair of green socks for myself right now. I have one sock finished and this last one is about 1/3 done. In fact I plan to knit after I finish this blog.

I truly wasn't spending much time with my hubby either when I was knitting like a woman possessed. I was always counting stitches and secretly wishing he'd quit talking to me so much and then I realized how lucky I am to have a man who wants to converse with me and I became ashamed and decided to take it a bit slower. Like I said, I need to find balance. I seem to have so many things going at once. I have all my church activities, knitting, sewing, walking, and reading. Now I am trying to assign time to my hubby. He likes to watch TV so I'm trying to put my stuff away for part of the time and watch with him. The only place I can see where I still fail is with the news. He can't live without the news and I get really, really bored with the news. So I try to do my knitting during those 2 hours the news is on and then put it away when the shows come on. I just want to be a better wife for my hubby and I'm working on that in small but hopefully productive ways.

I'm dying to have chickens. That's right. I want chickens. They made lovely pets and they produce eggs on top of that. I know I can't have chickens. But I still want to have them. And I wish we had a big garden too. Hubby planted our 3 tomato plants last week and we're hoping for more than the scarce handful we got last year. But there's no place to plant anything else. I'd love to have vegetables of all kinds. And fresh spices too. I had to spend $2.19 for a tiny package of basil when I went to the store earlier. I still have dry in my freezer from our garden we had before we moved here but it's just not the same as fresh basil. Maybe next year I can grow spices in some pots. I guess I could still do that this year if I put my mind to it. Ginny, my blogging friend has a wonderfully huge garden every year. I'm green with envy.

We went to the fabric store on our way back from the fairgrounds Wed. where I intended to purchase the fabric I needed to start on the placemats I intend to give for Christmas. Only thing was that their prices were out of this world. Ten dollars a yard!! Can you believe that? For just simple cotton cloth? I was figuring on maybe paying $5 a yard, but $10? No way. I can't afford that. So I'll need to make another trip to Walmart this month (next week hopefully) and get my fabric there. Of course, they may be high too for all I know. The last time I bought fabric it was only about $3 a yard. What happened? Which makes me think of Walmart's pricing. We went over on the first to do our monthly shopping and every single thing I bought was more expensive than it was last month. And I don't mean just a few pennies. The dog treats jumped from $2.97 to $4.00! The dry cat food went from $9.97 to $12.97. Has anyone else noticed this increase? I spent $95 when last month I spend about $70 for the same things. These are items I buy every month. I was honestly getting angry and the longer I shopped the angrier I got. And the price of gas? $3.12 a gallon. But speaking of prices. There is one medication that I have to have that costs $1627.50 a month! That's not a typo. That's the accurate price on 60 pills. That's a house payment! and maybe a car payment too!!! That's over $27 for every pill. No medication should cost that amount of money. Lucky for me I have insurance but I still have to pay $158 a month for those pills. I thank God that I don't have to pay the full amount because the $158 is a real burden for us. Well, I guess I'm through spouting off. I just get upset when things are so expensive and are going up all the time. Hubby and I are fixed income and we didn't even get a cost of living increase this year. And we won't next year either and maybe not even the next year. Our cost of living increases are going to help congress get a computer system that will determine how much increase they're going to get in payments each year. Something is sorely amiss here. Especially when you consider they retire on full benefits, full pay.

I plan to be better about blogging. Of course I always say that but I actually mean it this time. Of course I meant it last time too. But I do intend on writing more often even if this does happen to be the most boring blog on record. I'm going to shoot for weekly. But we'll need to wait and see how everything works out.

I'm going to make pasta salad for dinner tonight. I'll warm some sourdough bread to go with it and we'll have a great dinner. We want and need to have more salads in our diet. Wish we grew our own lettuce. I've subscribed to First Magazine for Women and it is jammed packed with recipes. In fact the latest issue has a centerspread showing 12 different salads. Each with it's own dressing so it won't be just Ranch on everything. Don't get me wrong, I really like Ranch. It's just that I like variety too. I plan to make every one of those salads, spread out of course. But they are all meant to be the entire meal and not just a side of salad.

Well, I guess this will be it for today. If you've just read this blog, I give you thanks (or should it be sympathy?) LOL. These are just the things on my mind. I'm 63 and retired and I don't have a very active life. We don't go places or do exciting things to write about. It's just my mundane life. The life I've been given and the life I try to live unto the Lord. He is my master and the love of my life. I hope He's yours too. Until next time...

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