Sunday, February 24, 2008

For the Most Part

I'm back, after a somewhat long absence. The blogging muse took leave of me and a weekend morning schedule change left me with no blogging time. Plus this has been a difficult winter for me, what with the health issues and potential dietary changes. Toss in non-winter weather and that makes for one discombulated Libran.

I'm adjusting, albeit a bit grumpily. My comment during cooking shows that showcase the ingredients I'm supposed to avoid? "Mmmmm....allergens!" Forays into the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free manufactured food realm have turned up some surprisingly tasty items. The Foods By George brownies are excellent. Their English muffins are acceptable. The Tinkyada brand of pastas is also excellent. Even Tom liked the spaghetti. The various gluten-free, etc. breads are challenging--very dry and crumbly, with a rather slick mouth-feel. The Energ-G brown rice loaf isn't too bad, but it lacks the chewiness of real bread. I'm having two more tests done to confirm the initial diagnosis. It's probably overkill, but I want to be sure that these dietary changes are absolutely necessary before I start modifying the way we eat. If it was just me, it wouldn't be a problem. But I've got a skeptic for a husband (which is good) and a conclusive diagnosis will go a long way to ensure compliance, especially since he does a lot of the cooking.

0-50 in 11
That's my motto for this year. Zero to 50 miles in 11 months! I've started training for the JFK 50, which accounts for the lack of early morning blogging time on weekends now. My longest run so far has been about six miles (which isn't long at all). I was hoping for seven this weekend, but a bout of the flu has me sidelined. My plan is to increase mileage slowly, to keep the ITB problem at bay. There are at least three other women in the club who want to run the JFK 50, and we all run at about the same pace. Having a group will make training so much easier. For some masochistic reason, I'm looking forward to this challenge. Tom can't be the only one in this family to run an ultra marathon!

Knitting Progress
Surprisingly, there has been knitting progress. Not much, to be sure, but it's progress, nonetheless. And the progress has resulted in some FOs. I finished the hat for my friend at the Miami Marathon (to read the trip report, go here). Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of hat, but it fit her perfectly and she says she receives a lot of compliments when she wears it. Also on the FO list is a pair of yoga socks for my yoga teacher.

She was intrigued by the idea and offered to be a guinea pig. I knit them using KnitPicks' Andean Silk. The yarn was a pleasure to work with. The color did run a bit when I washed them, but I don't think it's anything that a little white vinegar rinse can't fix.

On the "Almost an FO" list are the Gentleman's Fancy Socks. I've started the toe on the second sock and am beginning to wonder if I'm going to have enough yarn to finish the project. I had a mere 19 inches left from the first sock. With any luck, I'll have this sock finished today.

What's next on the project list? I'd like to continue working on the Counterpoised Shawl, but will wait until my brain is a little more alert. Somehow lace and a less than alert brain a good combination do not make. I might dig out the Fern Leaf Shawl and try to finish it; it's a fairly simple lace pattern. The Monkey socks will move to the forefront of the sock projects. And then there's a simple tank that I might make for the Belize trip in April, using yarn that I got from ArtFibers in San Francisco a couple of years ago:

It's a wool/mohair/silk blend and is very yummy. On second though, maybe that fiber combination is not the best for a sailing trip in the tropics. Hmmm...

So, lots to do! Time to get started!

Happy knitting!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

That's It!

Dear Winter,

This letter is difficult for me to write. We've always enjoyed a rather rocky relationship, what with my dislike of being cold and all that. However, the stark beauty of the grays and bare tree branches helped me overlook the fact that I was freezing. And then when you unleashed the snow, I was truly in love with you all over again. The pristine white, the muffled sounds...I'd stand for hours and drink it all in. The ice storms that made each surface look like it was encrusted with diamonds...a truly stunning work of art.

But this year, dearest Winter, you have sorely disappointed me. Oh sure, we've had a few days of very cold weather, but I don't count daytime highs in the 40s as "winter weather." And the snow this year? Where's the snow? You've teased and taunted, snowing just enough to make me want more, and then we have temperatures in the 50s or 60s. And this last storm that you threatened us with? That was the best you could do? The barest dusting of snow, followed by a wee bit of ice? Surely you can do better than that!

I've hoped, wished, cajoled, wore my snowflake earrings, all to encourage you. This is hard to say, but if you aren't going hold up your end of the relationship, I want you to pack up your bags and leave. Right now. I'm done with your capriciousness. Let Spring come, with its warmth and soft breezes. Spring will do a better job in this relationship than you.

And Winter? Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

All the best,