The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

This day did not go according to plan!

Exercise:

I didn’t get my usual Coquitlam Crunch run in as my friend found herself without a babysitter at the last moment, so I went there at 6:30am instead of for a run. I was kept company by this cutie until her son awoke at 7:45:) I had every intention of going for a nice long run this afternoon, but unfortunately it was shortened by getting sick:( (at least it didn’t appear to be witnessed!)

I did not sit down with a bucket of ice cream, only a cup of tea, but I still ended up with a reaction that tells me I got dairy in my system. Yes the tea was called Cream of Earl Grey, but I checked that ingredient list about five times and examined the entire tin and nowhere did it mention dairy ingredients. It is the only thing I have eaten today that I have not had before:(. I sat down on a rainy afternoon with a book, a cup of tea in one of my favourite mugs (a gift from my brother a few years ago)

the fireplace on, … a perfect Fall weekend day and twenty minutes later, I’m sicker than a dog:( I went for an easy run as it can often help me feel better, but it obviously didn’t this time! I have continued reading, but have stuck with ginger ale instead! Grrrr!!😖 I guess the good part is that my stomach took my mind off my head cold🤣

Let’s get to better parts of my day!

Socializing:

After leaving my friend’s place I met up with my teaching colleague to hit one of the three garage sales I do a year. This one is held at a private school near us as a fundraiser. It is always crazy and they prove things high, but seem to be willing to negotiate:) I looked through the games and toys for my classroom, thought about buying my parents the scrabble and monopoly games as I know they’re looking for them, but worried that not all the pieces would be there, so finally left them. I had much better success at the book table! I had picked out a ton of kids books for my classroom and then realized that they wanted a dollar each and I have a lot of books in my room so I scaled them back to just three. I am very proud of myself for this!!! 🤣. Unfortunately, I then turned around to the adult table. I found a cookbook that was both dairy free and gluten free, the only kind I’ll allow myself to buy these days, and a knitting book. I have never worked with Cascade yarns before, but I hear it mentioned on lots of blogs so I thought this book might be a good investment😂. I then found the Nora Roberts box. I know my mom has been enjoying her books lately so I scooped them all up. What they wanted for these books was crazy, but they accepted $15, so I was super happy!!!!

Reading:

I celebrated finishing The Shadow of the Wind by reading trashy romances. I love reading series, but I have to read them in order! That meant I had to find, A New York Christmas Fairy Tale by Sarah Morgan before I could read the next book in my library pile. I found it as a short story on Harlequin.com and raced through it. It’s the story of James and Roxy who work together. They don’t realize that they both have feelings for each other until the Christmas season. It was a lovely fairy tale that made me laugh, cry and sigh so a success in the world of trashy romances:)

The second trashy romance I got through today was Dare to Submit by Carly Phillips. I started this book a long time ago on the kindle app, but had to leave it for The Shadow of the Wind, so unfortunately I can’t say much as I don’t remember the beginning. It ended satisfyingly and the characters were interesting. The big “twist” wasn’t such a twist as I had it figured out immediately.

I’ve been working my way through the whole series, but not back to back so I’m probably not getting as much out of the series as I would if I read it uninterrupted.

Baking:

This morning I discovered a bake-a-long and I was intrigued. Kathy Reeve’s blog is where I first heard about it though it seems to be hosted by Traci at T Sweets. I just couldn’t resit trying the recipe (even though I haven’t officially been added to the bake-along). It was a recipe for chocolate chili bread made in the breadmaker by Kristabella’s Hodepodge. It was very simple to throw together though I replaced the butter with Earth Balance non dairy butter and the flour with a combination of rice flour, Sorghum flour, millet flour, potato starch, Arrowroot starch and xanthum gum and the chocolate chips with non dairy bittersweet chocolate chips. The load didn’t rise much (not unusual for gf breadmaker bread, I’ve found), but boy did it taste good. It’s not sweet and I admit I’d like to try it with semi sweet chocolate, but it baked perfectly and was good both warm and cold! (Thankfully I tried it before I drank my tea!). I didn’t taste the chili much so I think I would increase the amount I used next time.  I think I’ll slice and freeze this so I can enjoy it again:)

Knitting:

I also got some knitting done today! I finished my Three Ring Cowl by Karen Holmes (free on Ravelry). I picked this to use up the ends of chunky yarns I had hanging around in the basket under my coffee table.

Pattern:

The pattern is simple- cast on 84 stitches, join in a circle and then alternate between knitting for rows and purling four rows, then cast off. For the next two rings you do the same but twist it around the first before joining into a circle. I did end up making some modifications. I tried it with 84 stitches and found it was just too long for short little me, so I cut it back to sixty stitches. This did make it a little difficult to get the first row done on a circular needle long enough to twist around the other rings. I also ended up doing twenty rows in each ring instead of sixteen simply to use up the yarn I had.

I am very happy with how the cowl turned out and I think it will be lovely and warm for the Fall and Winter, though I think next time I might try knitting three flat scarves and then twining them and sewing them into circles as I think I might be able to get the twists better spaced this way and it wouldn’t be so awkward to knit. All in all though, a success!

Well I’m going to drink some more ginger ale, read some more books and try to figure out a Spanish food recipe to take to book club tomorrow. If anyone knows of an easy one, I’d love to hear about it!!!!

Have fun!

AJ

Better than Usual

My day was actually quite nice, despite the weather!

Exercise:

I didn’t run this morning, but did get a workout in this afternoon with my friend Lyndsay which means I was sweating like a pig by then end of it. Twenty-five minutes of treadmill intervals and then twenty minutes of weights. I’m sure I’m going to feel that tomorrow!

The view on my way home from my workout:) We had had hail, thunder and lightning and torrential downpour within the half hour before this!

Teaching:

Today was a professional development day and normally I find these horrible. I would rather spend the day teaching as I often am overwhelmed and feel like the worst teacher ever by the end of ProD. I don’t sit and listen all day very well and then to be told of all these amazing things I should be doing in my class, but yet not given a simple place to start or any time or resources to start with usually leads to a disheartening and throughly miserable day! Well today I did something different! I went out to a local nature reserve with the primary team from my school. One of the teachers who doesn’t even work on Fridays, but is incredibly knowledgeable about nature prepared a package of resources for all of us and took us around the park and explained things we saw and could communicate to our classes. We discussed good areas for certain activities and learned lots of interesting facts, like did you know that mushrooms only grow on trees that are dead, that beavers only come out at dusk, and that bared owls can be identified by their stripes??? Even with it pouring buckets on us the entire time (my outerwear is still dripping wet seven hours later), it was better ProD than I’ve ever been to before! I have resources I can use immediately. I was not overwhelmed by the amount of information given and was given simple ideas I could start using immediately to improve my teaching practice in this are. I also got to spend the day in nature and moving:) 

Sorry for the poor pictures today. It was pouring so my phone had to stay in the locksac!!!

Eating:

I just had to share how I started my day. I have quite the collection of mugs – tea and a mug seems to be the usual teacher gift that I get. This morning though my first cup of tea was enhanced by this awesome mug:)

I got to try a new Pho restaurant called Pho51 after our outdoor adventure. I’m sure the owners would have liked to deny our group of drowned rats entry, but we invaded anyways. I always get the seafood with rice noodles, but this time I changed it up by having hot and sour seafood with rice noodles. I have to admit I was not impressed by the fact that as they were bringing the orders out for the rest of the table, they informed the four of us who originally ordered the Sate Seafood soup that they had run out. The other members of our party were done before we ever got our food. It also seemed a bit more greasy than what I’ve had at Pho99 which is my regular pho place. This restaurant was very busy, but with the long wait for the food, and the greasiness of the soup, I won’t be rushing back:( And sorry, I was too cold and hungry to stop to take a photo before I inhaled my soup!

Knitting:

I have begun a new cowl to use up my bulky yarn ends, but am only done the first section so I can’t show it to you yet. Hopefully tomorrow🙂

Reading:

I HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK!

I finally completed Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

This book tells the story of Daniel who at the age of ten has lost his mother and lives with his father who owns a bookstore. On a night when Daniel is very upset as he can’t remember his mother’s face, his father cheers him up by taking him to a secret place. Here, Daniel finds a book that changes the course of his life!

I found the first fifteen chapters (of forty five) quite long and difficult to get through. Then at chapter sixteen the book hooks you with murder, mayhem, romance, mystery and revenge. I liked how the characters were well developed and complex. The plot had so many twists, turns and red herrings that I ended up being completely surprised! It even ended on a happy note (which I doubted would happen right to the page before) with well wrapped up and resolved story line. I like how I feel satisfied! The author didn’t leave me with questions or any unanswered questions of what happened to so and so.

I really liked this quote from the end of the book:

” the art of reading… is an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already. Art inside us, that when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind,…”

I think that anyone who likes a good mystery or is obsessed with books would enjoy this novel. There is a hint of romance, but it is by no means trite or a chick flick in the making.

I didn’t think I would say this, but I enjoyed the book and would recommend it!

I also have to admit loving that it takes care of the “z” author on my A-Z Book Challenge:)

Well I have to get up early to help out a friend in the morning so I think I’ll leave you now.

Have fun!

AJ

Recuperating

Well I took everyone’s advice and stayed home today to rest. Amazingly, I accomplished some things between naps:)

Exercise & Teaching:

Zero, zilch, nada, maybe tomorrow…

I am getting a little worried that missing my morning run for these four days (at least) will make it difficult to get back into the routine of doing one:(

Eating:

Nothing interesting. Wanted to bake as I’m home on a rainy day, but who would want to eat something made by a sick person??

Knitting:

It took five starts, but I finished the 98-33 handwarmers:)

The yarn was a very nice beige that will go with everything that I wear to school, so it was perfect! Unfortunately it was in a bag of yarn I got from a friend so I know nothing about it:(

Pattern:

98-33 by Drops (Garn Studio). The pattern was very simple, but also made for huge hands. It called for 42 stitches, but I pared it down to 30 and probably could have gone even smaller as they are looser than I prefer. The pattern was just a two row repeat:

Row 1: purl 4, Knit until 4 from the end, purl 4

Row 2: Knit across

It was very simple so good for tv watching or in my case book listening. I have to admit though that I don’t love the finished result. The purl stitches look too much like an unfinished edge to me and I’m just not fond of that look. The Crochet edging I put on all four edges, redeemed these handwarmers slightly. For my small hands I only had to do 55 rows for each handwarmers so they went quickly.

I probably would t make these again.

I had knit night tonight and my friend kindly let me come over even with my cold. I didn’t have much luck though as I was starting on a chunky theee ring cowl, but it turned out it was way too long for me, but I’ll have to buy a shorter 7mm circular needle to do it with once I deduct the number of stitches I need to. I might be tempted to pick one up tomorrow as I don’t think the project is going to take long once I get going and it would get rid of theee small remnants out of my stash! 😀 How can I resist that? Instead the only thing I accomplished was rolling my lace weight yarn into a ball. I see that I have two balls of a pretty Fall coloured sock yarn as well. Hmmm I’ll have to come up with something to do with them! I’m trying to use up all the bits and pieces that have accumulated under my coffee table.

My friend had the latest Knit Simple magazine in which I found these! 

They make me think of Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl as she says in her “about me” that she needs more succulents and as a new knitter, I thought they may be fun. I however didn’t check the pattern to see how complicated they were.

Reading:

I made great progress on The Shadow of the Wind! I thought I might be able to say I had finished it, but not quite. I do have less than ten chapters to go so I should finish tomorrow:) Yay then I can read something else! It’s funny how I wouldn’t  let myself read anything else until I had finished it!

I did however finish listening to Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott on Librivox. I had heard about this app from Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl and was excited today to finish a book to count for both of my book challenges.

I have read a lot of Louisa May Alcott books, but I hadn’t read this one before. It is only six chapters long and actually it o ly took three hours to listen to it. The book tells some snippets of life from Louisa’s time as a nurse during the war, though she does use another name for herself. The first chapter tells of her joining up, mostly to defy her brother’s expectations, the second and third chapters are her adventure getting to the hospital and getting acquainted with her ward, duties and patients. The fourth chapters tells of her time doing night duty and will make you cry. The final chapter tells of the illness that drove her home and out of the profession. There is a postscript included as a sixth chapter where she answered some of the questions she had been asked after the book was published.

The reviews of the audiobook had said the narrator wasn’t great and indeed he wasn’t, but LMA’s amazing storytelling distracts the listener from this 98% of the time. Louisa’s voice and style come across very clearly! The characters are described in great detail so that you can visualize them. The grim details are dealt with with brevity and interspersed with moments of levity and great humour. There are even descriptions of mules and pigs in the fifth chapter that will make you giggle out loud! You get a small dose of LMA’s views on slavery towards the end of the book.  The book gives a good overview of what hospital life was like during the war without being boring.

My enjoyment of the book was increased by my visit to Or hard House, her residence by Boston, this summer.

I think that anyone who has interest in women’s roles in war, early hospital workings or enjoys a good LMA book would enjoy Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott.

I was excited to add my first entries to my A-Z Challenge and my Clasics Challenge page and will hopefully be able to add more soon! Lots of bloggers have talked about listening to podcasts as they run, but I think I’ll try listening to an audiobook off Librivox and see how that goes!

Ok I have to get some sleep! I think this is the longest I e been awake all day!

Have fun!

AJ

I Guess I Have to Admit It:(

What a day! Just one goal all day and I hope to never have it again!

Exercise:

Even before I read all your messages telling me to rest I skipped my run and slept in for an extra forty minutes this morning. I made this decision when I was up yet again at 1am to gargle with warm salt water:(

I did no exercise today other than to walk to and from school and to be honest, I barely managed that:(

Thankfully, I also don’t feel like eating, so hopefully it will all balance out!

Teaching:

It was an interesting day! By 9:10am, I had to admit I was sick:( I had to be there as we had workout Wednesday (I didn’t do much), family group activity which i had organized the groups and collaboration, at which I was presenting with a fellow teacher and would be doing the task with another teacher, neither of whom I wanted to let down! My students were awesome today as sometimes when I opened my mouth, nothing came out. I guess we could say we played a game of charades for most of the day:)

My one goal all day was to not let the nausea win (or at least not in front of the children!) That’s how bad it got:(. I was there late tonight with my teaching partner to get everything planned and prepped for next week (which we usually do on Thursday  night), but have booked a TOC (substitute) for tomorrow. My students suggested I stay in bed as I’d be warm and cozy there. Awwww!

I wish I had more exciting news for my day, but I’m just curled up on the couch with The Shadow of the Wind, (I’m actually enjoying it now!) my third try at the 98-33 handwarmers ( I think I’ll succeed this time), and this cereal bowl size mug of tea, and this is where I’m staying!

Have fun!

AJ

One Foot in Front of the Other

It’s been a good day, just wish I felt better to enjoy it!

Exercise:

I was almost glad to wake up with a sore throat this morning as it explains my lack of energy and vigor lately. I did Bea Free‘a Tuesday workout. This was another deck of cards workout that was all ab exercises. I don’t think my abs have ever had twenty five minutes spent just on them. I’ll make sure they do again though! This week’s exercises by Bea Free are perfect for when you can’t be noisy!

I also got out for an easy going thirty minute run after work today. I was going to go to clinic and do hills tonight but I’ve had this sore throat all day and I can’t miss work tomorrow so I decided not to do a gruelling workout tonight, but I didn’t want to do nothing! It was a great afternoon for a run as I caught a break when the sun was actually out. Glad for my wool though as it’s cold already!

I need to remember how well self- massage works to relieve pain and tightness in my legs during the weeks I don’t go for a massage. I’m finding my legs are feeling tired everyday, so I had better dig out the lotion (something I always have too much of) and dig in to loosen up those tight muscles! I don’t do anything special, but it really seems to help, just try to cover each major muscle group in the leg- quads, hamstrings, shins and calves. I obviously can’t dig my elbow in like my RMT does, but my thumbs are pretty good at digging in 😀

Teaching:

Miss crier had a great day. I’ve noticed that she’s smiling more these days which is good. I’ll take whatever I can get!

I had one little guy who went home after he started crying for the third time and complaining that his throat hurt. He’s not going to learn anything when he’s laying on the floor crying so he might as well go home. If I lay on the floor crying multiple times, will they let me go home, cause my throat hurts too!!??

I got my bottom desk drawer tidied and organized on my prep today. I know this is not exciting for anyone else, but this drawer has been driving me nuts and has been on my to-do list since the beginning of school in September so to have it done feels wonderful!😀

We even managed to get outside for some play time this afternoon as the sun came out. It’s been super windy here yesterday and today. When I opened the door to let the children out the sound of the wind rushing through the trees was amazing! It was so cute to see the children running around trying to catch leaves that the wind was tossing around!

I played a “game” with my anxious little guy first thing this morning. Flip an alphabet card and the first to say the letter name gets the card. I gave him a five second head start each time. He managed to get ten cards which is an improvement from the five letters he knew at the start of the year:) Im hoping that by Christmas we are playing using the sounds, as he’ll know the letter names!

Some of the leaf rubbings I’ve been talking about. Definitely turned out better than the other class’. I should have taken photographic evidence to submit, but didn’t think about it until just now:(

Eating:

I mainly stick to the plan so I’m happy with myself:). Feel so much better!

Family & Friends:

I picked my friend Lyndsay and her son up this morning as her car was broken and she got in with a Starbucks drink for me.  It was totally not necessary, but oh so sweet of her. I don’t know what she got me, but boy did it taste good! Or maybe the taste was enhanced by the kind act!

I also went to let Wilson and Kula out for my friends who were working tonight. Wilson heard the wind and refused to step a paw out the door, but Kula happily played in the yard for a bit before collapsing on my lap.   Awwwww!

I also dropped by to visit my aunt and uncle quickly to get them to take my birthday gift to my nephew over to the Island for me. It was great to see them as it seems like it’s been forever! My uncle of course, asked if I was dating anyone. Sorry to disappoint you uncle, but no one in this town wants to date me, lol. He says I’m too strong and I intimidate guys. I really don’t think that’s possible at 4’7″!🤣
Blogging:

I read about so many good books and ideas and I don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t follow through so today I started a page for two of the reading challenges that Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl has started. I’ve had to alter the classics challenge a bit as fifty classics in five years was just overwhelming to me when added to all the other reading I do, so I’m aiming for ten:) I know, with my personality, I’ll try to do all ten right away to get the job done. Lol. I did download the Librivox app today which Abbey had suggested. It’s free classic audiobooks. I think I might try listening to them on my longer runs. I’ve been listening to Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott as I knitted today. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to follow it and would lose track of what was happening, but so far so good:)

Reading:

I am still making my way through The Shadow of the Wind. I have twenty more chapters to go before Sunday, but I think I’ll make it as it’s more interesting now. That’s only four chapters a day:) I can do that!

Knitting:

I have finally finished the doll blanket I am making for my secretary’s granddaughter. It is just blocking, but will hopefully be dry by morning! It really is a pretty cream colour, it’s just the lights in my condo that make it look yellow:( Now I need to figure out what to do next. The last class on Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup that I’m interested in this month is learning a new technique. Maybe I’ll look for an entrelac pattern.  Oh as I write this I realize I should cast on the 98-33 handwarmers pattern so that I have them to keep me warm at work!

Well I’m going back to knitting, reading and drinking hot tea with lemon. If anyone has a way to cure a cold (I’ve been taking ColdFX and Emergen-C), I’d love to hear it as I really don’t have time for this right now!

Have fun!

AJ

Running All Day!

I feel like I’ve been running all day (and not literally so it’s not a good thing🤣)!

Exercise:

This morning my alarm went off and I actually turned it off, set another alarm for an hour later and rolled over…but then my eyes popped open as I thought of having to tell you all that I had skipped my run. My run was not pretty, not fast, not lovely, not long, but I went. 16 mins, 2km in a figure right around the block. There were lots of people out for a rainy morning, and one car drove me nuts twice!!! Grrrr😖

I also got a quick workout in this evening, again didn’t feel like it, but didn’t want to have to write that I didn’t do it. When I got home, I spent some time catching up on my wordpress reader (can’t miss what everyone is up to!) and came across this deck of cards workout by Bea Free. I knew I didn’t have the energy for my typical Lyndsay workout, so I decided to do this one. I did the entire deck of cards in about twenty minutes. It was fun, went quick and was something new. I think it might be my new Tuesday morning workout as it was quite quiet! The only thing is that I’m not sweating like a pig like I do after Lyndsay’s workouts. I think I may need to mix and match these workouts so there is one leg move, one arm move, one ab exercise and a cardio move in each workout. Though I need to thank Bea as she got me off the couch and moving tonight:)

Teaching:

Shucks! As I start to type this, I realize I didn’t get a picture of the leaf rubbings we did on Friday to share, though I did get them up. I have to giggle a bit at how competitive I can be. The teacher I work closely with( we both teach grade one so we plan and prep together and often put our classes together to do things too) doesn’t work Fridays and there is a new teacher this year who comes in. She is my age but has mostly just parks and rec experience, not classroom. Last week when we decided on leaf art, she suggested leaf prints using paint. I replied that there was no way I was going to use paint with my class yet and so decided to do the leaf rubbings instead.  Well today I got to see the other class’ art as the teacher put them up and mine look way better 🤣🤣🤣. I need to stop this, but I just giggle at myself and carry on.

We had tears again this morning, but I just completely ignored it and they stopped pretty quick. She was out of the coat room and ready for the day in an appropriate amount of time and I praised her for that.

My class was amazing at one point today! I have a prep right after recess break while my students go to music. I guess the music teacher dropped the children off, but I was next door planning with the other teacher. By the time I got to my classroom, 95% of the children were at their seats already doing quiet time. They had the music on, lights off, lamps on even! I am always so impressed when they can follow the routines without my direction!!!! It makes me smile just thinking about it now!

Of course, I also had a little guy who decided to scribble all over his desk! This is the second time so today he was handed a rag along with soap and water and told to clean it up! He had to scrub pretty hard so hopefully this will discourage any future artistic moments!

I feel like I never stopped today as I spent every spare second completing the family group lists for the school and setting the children up on a home reading program. At least both are done now and hopefully tomorrow qill be calmer at school. Then at lunch I had to run home to get my keys and the pillow cover I had forgotten this morning.

Reading:

I haven’t even gotten to my book yet today:( I’m halfway though and the story is picking up which makes it much easier to read!

While I was reading what everyone had posted today, I came across Jay’s post about the book Carnegie Maid. It sounds awesome and when I commented he came back with the fact that it might still be on netgallery. I’ve never even heard of this place, but am thinking if it has books, I might be in trouble😂🤔😳

Errands:

After school I dropped my friend and her son off at home as her car is broken, then hightailed it out to Costco for gas. I was hoping it would be a little quieter on a Monday and I suppose it was though there seemed to be a tour group there. Since when is Costco a tourist destination?  I grabbed gas and then went looking for a pillow insert, buttons and lego at Walmart and completely struck out:( I decided to go back to Costco and boy am I ever glad I did! Lego sets for $18 (about half of what Walmart was charging) and I even managed to get a window art set for my niece for her Christmas present! I always love how lego products say for ages 5-12. I think my almost forty year old brother has at least as much fun as my eight year old nephew, or perhaps more, playing with Lego. I love Costco!  It made for a very busy night though as I didn’t get home until 7, then had to eat and workout.

Eating:

I’m pretty mad at myself for what I’ve eaten today:( I had all my food ready for the week, but I still ate extra and I just never seemed to get full:( I need to get my eating back under control as I don’t want to put any more weight on! I want to get rid of the four pounds I’ve already put on!!!! I sure hope tomorrow is better! No, let me change that, tomorrow will be better because I will make it better!

Knitting:

Haven’t gotten to that yet either:( I really don’t like this getting home so late! I’m just working on a doll blanket so it should have been done today! I’ll have to knit a bit around breakfast time tomorrow, maybe it will help with the eating too!

Ok I’m going to skip the rest of the night and just crawl into bed on this rainy, cold, ugly night!

Have fun!

AJ

A Little of This, A Little of That…

Since I plan to do nothing more than knit on the couch, I might as well tell you about my day:)

Exercise:

As I drove to my run this morning at a local park, the sky ahead of me was so beautiful! The sun was just coming up and I always love that yellow glow that overtakes the sky. I thought about stopping to get a picture, but I knew it wouldn’t do it justice. I did get a picture of the gorgeous pond at the park though. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that still. The park is off leash for dogs until 10am so normally there’s a couple playing in the water. I guess it was just too cold this morning.

My run this morning was lovely as Sarah and Kula showed up to keep me company and Dennis also came and went on our run. He’s super fast so I think he was doing circles around us. Even with taking it slow and allowing for Kula stops (everyone wants to pat a cute puppy), it still only took us 37 minutes. I was expecting 45, so pretty good.  It was a gorgeous morning, but I was surprised by he lack of colour change on the leaves. I keep wanting to have pretty Fall running pictures for you, but I’ll just have to give you the gorgeous views from my condo!

I also got my butt off the couch later this evening for a workout. It was called the leg burner and was aptly named. Only 16 minutes long, but by 3/4 of the way through, my legs were talking. Think a lot of lunges, squats and jumping with weights! I cheated at the end and did twisted mountain climbers instead of broad jump burpees. 😂

Now I just have to come up with where to run tomorrow!

Socializing:

Just coffee after our run, though I did hang out in Starbucks for an extra fifteen minutes after all my running buddies left to take advantage of the free wifi.  It was just a quiet day today for me:)

Eating:

I got all my food ready for the week- cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter for breakfast, blueberries and yogurt for recess, turkey soup to which I added the ground pork I needed to cook up for lunch, cheese and cucumber for dinner:) Hopefully this will help me have a healthy week as the scale hasn’t been my friend since Thanksgiving and I’m not about to let it get out of control.

The one thing I did do for the first time in the kitchen today was to cook bacon in the oven.  I hate cooking bacon because I am level wi the stove so all those splatters are getting my face and neck- not fun!  I put a cooling rack over a tinfoil lined baking sheet and laid out the bacon slices. I cooked them at 350 for about ten minutes and they came out great. Definitely the easiest and cleanest way I’ve ever made bacon before and I’ll definitely be doing it again! I put the bacon in my soup as I don’t actually care for bacon, so I’m hoping I won’t notice it too much in there!

Reading:

I made myself read a chapter of the Shadow of the Wind after every twelve rows I knitted today. I’m almost halfway and the story line is picking up and becoming more interesting. Yipppee!

Lol I realized I do this a lot- work on many things at once, doing a little of each. It can’t be multiples of the same type though- like there is never two knitting projects at once, lol. I like to accomplish and I feel as though this technique allows me to accomplish as much as possible without getting bored or a project. The only thing I haven’t worked on today that I should have was my photo project. I’ll have to start doing five or ten labels each day and I’ll be done in no time:)

Knitting:

This got the majority of my attention today. I was knitting away on the cushion cover and was over halfway when I realized that it seemed quite large. I of course hadn’t heckled gauge because it was just a cushion cover 😜, but I quickly determined it was going to be a long and low cushion cover instead of a square.

Pattern:

I used the pattern smushion from Ravelry for its stitch counts, etc but didn’t follow the pattern as my mom was right, it wouldn’t have shown up.  I knit 94 stitches for about 44 rows, then bound off 47 of them for the back. I knit another 3″ and then made four button holes in the next row. My button holes were only 2 stitches wide as the four called for, seemed extremely large! I knit another inchc after the button holes and then casted off. I mattress stitches the bottom together and voila I had a cushion cover. I just need to hit Walmart tomorrow for a cushion insert and four buttons because of course I don’t have four the same:(

I have entered this project into the Muggle Studies class on the Harry Potter House Cup group because it definitely was made with irritating yarn!  I sneezed repeatedly from dust while taking the sweater apart and then since the wool wasn’t smooth, it was continuously getting caught on itself, grrrrr!😬

I have just started a doll blanket out of the same yarn for my secretary’s granddaughter, but hopefully I’ll be done that before bed. I think tomorrow I’ll be casting on the 98-33 handwarmers that Abbey of Three Cats and a Girl is making. I need a pair for work because my room is cold!

Well I’m off to finish the doll blanket. Sorry I didn’t have an exciting day to tell you about, but I did get some rest and relaxation which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the week!

Have fun!

AJ

Rearranged Day

A busy day that rearranged itself into a quiet day. I was supposed to go for a run and lunch and then shopping with another friend, but…

Exercise:

I slept in this morning and didn’t wake up until 8am. I never put an alarm on as I don’t normally need one but I may have to start using one for Saturday morning. I felt it was too late to go do the crunch as it gets super busy there so I said goodbye to the cinnamon roll for today. Lately I had been thinking about the step aerobics video I used to do daily when I first started getting fit in university. I decided to try it out this morning. I popped it in and did the whole thing. I was warm and glistening but not dripping sweat like I usually am after a bootcamp workout. It was nice to know I’ve improved in fitness over the past twenty years 🤣

Later this afternoon my running buddies joined me for a run around Coquitlam River. I have been wanting to run here as it’s beautiful when the leaves turn colour and fall, but there really weren’t any picturesque spots yet:( I had to make do with these photos. Kula had been at doggy daycare so we didn’t know how far we’d make it before he refused to go any further but we actually got all the way around- a 5km run. At the end we saw this cute signboard on the fence.He is getting better at being a running buddy every time we got out though he still provides cross training in the form of jumping over him as he cuts you off😂 He was definitely tuckered out by the end!

Eating:

I finally finished all the Thanksgiving leftovers (but not the turkey soup yet) and got the chance to try another one of the Vegan cheeses my mom had brought me from the Oliver Wine Festival. I tried the smoked Gouda this time. It was again a little slippery to the touch and the flavour was light, but still quite delicious. Would be great with an apple in a sandwich as it’s not a strong taste. 

So far, I’ve been impressed with these Vegan Black Sheep cheeses!

I also had the chance to go out for sushi today with my human running buddy. Kula decided to stay home for a nap instead 😂.  I’m lucky Sarah was willing to drive to Maple Ridge so we could go to Wasabi Sushi which has a huge gluten free sushi menu:)

I managed to decide on the salmon avocado roll, the BC roll and the Botan Ebi nigiri. It was all so delicious! 

I highly recommend this place! It’s even nice enough for a date:). The only thing was that tonight they made a point of bringing me gluten free ginger; I didn’t realize there could be gluten in pickled ginger. I’ll have to look into this.

Knitting:

I finally did something useful today and organized my circular knitting needles. When I checked Pinterest for ideas on how to store them, I liked the CD case idea, but settled for the page protectors I already had. I’ll have to bring home a binder from school on Monday.  Is it weird that I wish I could buy new circular needles to replace some of mine just so that they would be in their original packages. I’ve now learned to store my needles in the package they come in, but I have to admit I didn’t always know this and now I regret it😞

I also got the yarn organized that has been piling up in the basket beneath my coffee table. It was a real wreck and was getting out of control! It is now a lovely organized basket:) If anyone has any pattern suggestions for what to do with multiple small sock yarn ends (less than 100 meters and some as small as 20 meters), please let me know, otherwise I may need to garbage them.

I have started just a plain pillow cover for my mom as she was right when she said that a pattern wouldn’t show up with the fluffy yarn I’m using (sometimes I hate how she’s always right lol). Hopefully I’ll be able to show you a finished product soon!

Blogging:

You may have noticed I had an unusual blog post earlier today. Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl (an amazing reader and interesting person so check out her blog) had tagged me in a reading blog and I finally got it finished today. It was a tough blog post! First I had to learn how to tag people, then I had to figure out the answers. That was quite the task as I’m not great at remembering what I’ve read.  I had Goodreads to help me, but I’ve recorded 1152 books I’ve read on there so it was still quite overwhelming. I never did learn to cut and paste so I had to retune everything on my phone which took a lot longer than it probably should have. It was an interesting experience and really made me think so probably a good thing!

Reading:

It really worked last night writing about my book club book as I got a few chapters read and am now almost 1/3 of the way done. I’m hoping to get a few more chapters read tonight. Perfect night for it as it’s cold and dark here!

Project:

I’ve had pictures from my Boston trip printed for a while but haven’t written the date on them yet so they can be deleted off my phone ( the whole point of printing them!) and today I finally asked myself why?  I realized it was because I have pictures printed and dated from my last three trips that aren’t in albums yet and I want to get them dealt with first so I don’t get all these photos confused.  So here I sit organizing the photos from my trip out East in May for my friend’s wedding. I don’t know if I’ll get them labelled tonight but they will at least get put into an album today:)

With knitting, reading, album making and laundry to do tonight, I had better get going!

Have fun!

AJ

Where did the day go?

I don’t know how she does it?

Exercise:

I went out this morning for my run. I had been planning to do Guildford again, but I have to admit that run is always tough on me because I come back with such slow numbers. I know intellectually it’s because of stoplights and hills, but it’s still tough emotionally on me and I didn’t need that today! Besides, was I going to let one weird guy stop me from a run I like? So I decided to go out along Murray street. No weird guy, the usual runner and senior walking couple and awesome splits! I was happy! I was well under 7 minutes for each kilometre, except the last. I need to figure out a solution as I think I slow down because I know I’m running out of sidewalk.  Hmmm????

I didn’t walk to work today, but did have a workout with Lyndsay after school. We usually work out onMonday  morning but she was having to cut it short as her husband had to leave for work. It didn’t bother me ( I’m usually dying by then anyways), but it seemed to stress her out, so I suggested Friday nights. My motivation is way less to exercise on Friday after work so better to be meeting someone!  It worked great! I also grabbed a few pictures of the new garden across the street from me as I was waiting for her.

We jogged over to her gym as our warm up and then did 25 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. I’ve noticed that my pace has increased. She goes between hard and harder and my pace used to be 5.8/6.2 and now it’s 6.6/7.3. 🎊🎉🎊🤔

We hit the floor for some weights. 13 reps since it was the thirteenth and four sets of chest press, bicep curl, skier squat, jump squats and punch jacks. Yup I worked my tush off!

Teaching:

It was crazy today! We had a department head meeting so my day started early as it was my turn to pick up the coffees ( though I did enjoy the eye candy in the coffee shop this morning. Maybe I need to do this more often lol).  The meeting was fine but I was asked to deal with another discipline issue as my principal’s daughter was involved. This turned out to be a she said/she said situation around lice.  It worked out fine as it seemed to have been a misunderstanding, but it took all day to deal with it! I had to interview all three girls separately and then speak with them all together. I started st 9:30 this morning and was fitting it in all day until finally at 2pm it was resolved:( grrr I so don’t want to be a principal and I’m not paid enough for this!!!!! The one good thing that came of it was that my students have been rockstars dealing with me leaving all the time! They can be so sweet!

We made Where Is Turkey mini books this morning and they got their mini book bags ( ziplock bags) to keep in their desks. You’d think I’d given them gold!

We also did leaf rubbing art this afternoon. We took a quick run outside to collect four or five leaves each and then came in and did rubbings with warm colours ( there was the art concept!). They actually turned out great and I meant to get a picture of some of them. Oh well, Monday when I get them put up!

Eating/ Cooking

Just too many scones!!!

Blogging:

I’ve found so many interesting people to follow, but now it takes me so much longer to get through reading then all😂. A true first world problem!  Abbey, I’ll get to that tag this weekend, unless I’ve left it too long? Shucks I didn’t check to see if there was a time limit😳

Reading:

I haven’t been reading much this week but I think it’s because I have to read my book club book. I’m not really good when someone tells me what I have to do. Now though, I really have to read it as book club is next Sunday!😳. I love book club but some of the books are tougher to get through!

Knitting:

I was thinking of keeping my project a secret but decided to tell my mom what I was doing. I’m taking apart a sweater my grandma made for my aunt in the 80s or 90s. My mom called it a polar bear sweater but I think more of a yeti,🤣. Right away my mom said she thought it would make awesome pillow covers for her new RV. Thank you mom since that’s exactly what I was planning to do! So here I sit, taking apart a sweater.

The sweater, though it really doesn’t show its ginormous size.

I wish I had more interesting plans to tell you about tonight but it’s Friday night and I’m a teacher so the teapot is the furthest I’m going tonight!

Just had to show the pretty sky outside my place tonight:)

Everyone have fun for me!

AJ

Smiles All Around

A good day all the way around:)

Exercise:

I got my butt out the door this morning and ran the hill again, just like last Thursday morning. The difference today was that I ran more and walked less so it only took me 11:30 to get up the hill, down from the thirteen of last week. I just felt really strong today and pushed myself to start running solidly from the curve just past halfway. Yay!

I walked to work but these two things ended up being my only exercise for the day.

Teaching:

It was a day of no tears, much better than yesterday. I’ll even take alternating days as it’s at least an improvement. I find dealing with the crying and tantrums so draining! The children were great today. When the computer teacher dropped them off after my prep and I wasn’t in the room, some of them read and others got their planners out to be ready for the message. Pretty impressive! I was also pleased they didn’t go crazy but went and got the teacher next door:)

The worst thing today was spending the day scratching because one of my students has lice. I do t think I have it, but even the word makes me itchy!!!!!

Baking:

I got home earlier than I was expecting. I had really wanted to make the muffins Nothing But Knit 2 had talked about this morning, but then realized I disnt have time to convert it to gluten free and dairy free and I didn’t have the applesauce I thought I did:(. So I grabbed a scone mix my class had given me as a gift. I don’t normally buy baking mixes as I find it very easy to do things from scratch, but I wasn’t about to let it go to waste ( yes I’m a frugal person😀).  I had never used a Pamela’s product before, but was game. 

The recipe for both biscuits and scones was on the package. It wasn’t anything difficult. Cut 8tbsp of butter substitute and 1/2 cup sugar into the package contents. Add 1/2 cup dried fruit, 1/4 cup nuts and 1 cup milk and mix until just combined. Turn the mix into a greased piece of parchment, shape and then bake for 20-25 minutes. I also brushed them with milk and sprinkled sugar on top ( to make them seem more like the Starbucks ones I see). I used white granulated sugar on some and brown turbinado sugar on others. I’ll have to remember to pay attention to see if it makes a difference.

They looked good.

But I can’t say that I really love the taste of them. I find the texture a little grainy and they seem to taste old to me. I definitely won’t buy the mix myself as I think I like from scratch scones better. Oh well, at least I now know:)

Knitting:

I had started a good in gray last night, but decided tonight after talking to my knitting buddy who was over, to rip it out. I think it was going to be too short and would probably drive me crazy! I decided to make a toque instead.

Yarn:

This is a basic Red Heart bulky yarn. It’s fine for what it is, but definitely nothing special. I’ve been trying to think what I had used it for and I think it was an afghan.

Pattern: Lomond Hat by Littletheorem.

I slightly altered the pattern by joining into the round immediately instead of doing the brim flat. I also did 5″ of the double seed stitch brim, rather than 3″. I skipped the short row shaping too, otherwise I followed the very clear instructions.

The toque knit up very fast on 6mm needles with the bulky yarn and I managed to finish it in one knit night! I am happy with the results and it is super warm and thick😀 I think it will also count for a third class in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup.

I already know what project I’m starting tomorrow, though maybe I should sort something first!

Well now I have to be off to sleep as I have a meeting in the morning and I still want to run before that!

Have fun!

AJ