Saturday, August 31, 2013

Don’t understand vs. judging

Don’t understand:
  • Wearing a long sleeve sweatshirt with hoodie plus jeans while walking for exercise when the temp is in the upper 70s with high humidity. Hey, I wouldn’t do it but maybe the old guy was cold.
  • Wearing a bra that doesn’t properly constrain/contain the um bosom so that it moves around more than waves on the ocean. Looks painful to me, but if it doesn’t bother them – well OK!
  • Using earbuds and listening to music while running – music that’s so loud I can hear the tune and lyrics from the outside. Hope you don’t mind being deaf later in life and also, hope you don’t need to hear the traffic but again, your choice.

  • Running in the street, two of you, when there’s a sidewalk right there. It’s wide enough, and you’re being reckless in my opinion. 
  • Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk when (a) you have a blinking light so traffic sees you coming; (b) you are wearing a helmet; and (c) there’s a minor four lane road right there.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fat cats are fat

Eddie doesn't like the diet
At last month's vet check up, the vet mentioned that in addition to the kitties being awfully high strung and maybe next time we sedate them before bringing them in, they're all three on the chubby side and perhaps it's time to lose weight.

Well, the vet is right and I'm sure it's partly because we have no stairs for them to race up and down upon here at The Little Yellow House. Stairs made for a nice easy way to reduce kitty stress and manage kitty weight, but we live in a ranch home now.

Being the dutiful cat owners that we are, we researched good options for calorie restrictions, including a couple of Ikea cat feeder hacks (here and here). This is more difficult than it might seem, not because they whine (they've always whined for food daily anyway) but because of their individual eating patterns.

Wally and Chloe are both nibblers or grazers. They'll eat three or four pieces of kibble and then be done for an hour or so. If they were the only two cats we had, we could get by with a cat sitter every other day when we go out of town since they eat when they're hungry and stop when they're not.

But Eddie doesn't work that way. Eddie is a scarf 'n' barf kind of cat. He will eat and eat and eat, sometimes to the point of tossing his cookies er kibble immediately afterward. If we put out enough food for three days on the first day, it would be all gone at the end of the first day. Plus he'd probably barf.

So those feeding differences meant we needed to find a reduced calorie kibble and also feed less of it just a bit more frequently. Previously, I just kept the bowls topped off. Now I put 1/3 cup very high quality (also expensive) diet kibble in each of the two bowls in the morning and then again at night. Theoretically that should help them lose weight because it's fewer calories and less food.

But theory and reality aren't yet lined up with the Meoinkers. As of two weeks ago and 21 days into the calorie reduction, Wally and Chloe have maintained their weight while dramatically increasing their food whining. Eddie, on the other hand, has gained weight.

We'll have another kitty weigh in this weekend. I'll let you know what the scales say. Kitties may need to get FitBits (KitBits?) of their own and start logging 10k steps a day.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A wiser choice

I switched from using the About calorie counter web site to My Fitness Pal because it syncs with my Fit Bit. However, that convenience comes with two drawbacks.

First, the About site gives you a grade for the food you enter; the grade is based on the nutritional values of your food. I like that feature a lot and it’s missing from My Fitness Pal.

Second, My Fitness Pal tells you at the end of each day when you click the Complete button what you’ll weigh in five weeks if you continue eating/working out as you did today.

That part is not so good for me. In fact, it’s downright awful. One of my triggers for my unhealthy relationship with food is the number of pounds I weigh. I’m sure that sounds strange but just take it from me, I did a whole lot of work to figure out my triggers, that one is one of the worst and now I’m very careful to avoid all of them.

So when I go to the doctor’s office and I get weighed, I get on the scale backwards and they don’t tell me the number. Sure, I have a pretty good idea of what that number is but I don’t actually know.

You could say I don’t know from the information on My Fitness Pal and in a sense you’d be right. But the temptation to find out for real has increased and that path leads to madness for me. I find myself wanting to game the numbers and eat less and less and less . . . well you get the idea.

So I’m ditching My Fitness Pal and the convenience of linking it with my Fit Bit. I think it’s better this way.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More running randomness

I’m running in the new Brooks shoes now but the jury is still out on whether or not they’ll be OK. My feet have no meat on them so my ankle bones sit closer to the bottoms of my heels than most people’s do. This means that my shoes – whether running or normal – need to be lower cut around the ankle or else I’m in pain.

Speaking of pain, the hot, humid weather is back in Kansas and my runs are pretty darn miserable because of it. When I’m running up the last, long hill, I have a little mantra that keeps me going:

  • Here’s the houses that’s for sale – three more blocks (to the top of the hill)
  • OK here’s the pool house – two more blocks, I can do it
  • Now the Marine’s house, can’t stop here because oh the shame
  • Whew, made it!

The one house that was for sale the last time I did a post like this, the one listed for $1.5million, is no longer on the market. I have no idea if it sold or not but the one next to it is now available.

One of the reasons I run so early in the morning is because I prefer to run in the dark, with less traffic and no glare from the sun. Ironically, I run faster in the dark and am more aware of the potential tripping hazards due to cracks in the sidewalk. If I ever do take a tumble, I can guarantee you it will be because I ran during the day or some driver had their lights on high beam and blinded me so I tripped.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A quick snooze

Yesterday I did something very atypical for me. I took a short 20 minute nap, but don't worry. I wasn't alone.

Disclaimer: I called Kent in to see the kitties so I wasn't truly asleep here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hey, hey – goodbye

I had hoped to be able to salvage the dress from Friday – you can see how the fabric melted in this photo.

I cut away the melted bits in preparation for trimming the whole thing up and tacking down what would be facings rather than a lining when I saw this:

So that dress is no longer with us. I’m bummed because I loved the fabric; I got it last year so chances are practically zero I can find it again.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Smoke gets in your eyes

Yesterday I was working on salvaging the second dress and was nearly done. I needed to press the facings and then finish up some hand work. The end was in sight. Then I got some bad news about a co-worker and stupidly continued to work on the dress.

I turned on the iron, adjusted the setting for my fabric . . . or so I thought. The first couple of passes with the iron were fine and then the fabric just melted all over the iron.

Once I realized what was happening, I ran outside with the iron because it was throwing off a lot of smoke and I was afraid the smoke detectors would go off and freak out my crazy cats. Then I hung up the dress and put all my sewing stuff away.

I'm going to try to get that melted fabric off, although I’m not hopeful. We're probably getting a new iron soon. Like today.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The dog days of summer

I’ve been really quiet this month but it’s not because I have nothing to say – those who know me are no doubt laughing themselves silly at the thought of me having nothing to say. And I’ve easily written 20 posts in my head this month. But what I haven’t had is the time and energy to write them down or do much other than work.

Think of it this way. Each of us has a finite amount of physical, mental and emotional energy. Whatever we do personally or professionally draws down those levels, and so then we have to figure out how to recharge. For me, I can take low levels in two of the three areas before I have to recharge by being a slug. This summer, though, I’ve been regularly drawing down all three areas so when I get home from work, I act like a cat and just loll around the house doing nothing.

These are all good things for me, so I’m at least happy about what’s going on. Work is going amazingly well, I am learning like crazy and my contributions are getting a lot of positive attention and feedback. But it’s taking a lot of emotional and mental energy based on the kinds of work we do in my field.

Plus I’ve stepped up my exercise regime so that I’m back doing what I did a couple of years ago – again, a really positive change, but the fact is I’m physically beat at the end of every day.

I’ve also been sewing more (even though you wouldn’t know it based on my blog posts) and that, while enjoyable, is also a drain on my mental energy.

So the TLDR version: I’m doing really well, just running low on energy and as soon as things calm down at work (oh around probably October . . . ), I’ll move those posts from my head to my blog.

What’s new in your world?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Partial redemption

I have a plan for attacking er fixing the dress from this weekend.

I know generally speaking what I need to do to fix the finished dress from the previous weekend.

And I made a really cute pair of pajama bottoms -- no pics, though. Just know they are from a really soft, comfy white knit that's got colorful, pink and orange flowers all over them. I think of them as a sewing palate cleanser.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Having a fit

Fit issues that is, both with the finished dress from last week and the dress that's about half done today. I had to put my scissors down this afternoon so that I wouldn't go crazy with them and slash my stupid pattern pieces to bits.

More later when I figure out these fit woes.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sewing, sewing, sewing

Where to start . . .

I made another bag, this time for me:

And then Kent got us a second sewing machine -- if you count the serger/cover stitch machine, we are up to three Berninas. A Bernina store in Gladstone was going out of business so we got a pretty good deal. Mom, if you're reading this, it did come with all the feet. The saleslady was mistaken.

I made a dress:

And Eddie helped: