Category Archives: Health

Happy New Year 2013!

My goodness, it has been a whole year since I last blogged. Shame on me. I am first to say it. I really have neglected a lot of things this past year. I think 2012 was just gray year. Is there such a thing? It just kind of went by, and I think I was merely a passive participant. I don’t know if that makes sense, as half the time I question myself if I make sense to myself.

For 2013, I feel a new energy. I really feel like it is a brand new year!!  Maybe there really is something to astrology. 2012, for some reason, was the year of avoidance for me. I avoided everything, from exercise, to crochet, to people… I am not sure what happened. I just fell out of the groove of life, per se, I guess. I didn’t blog, that’s for sure. My laundry pile is, well, quite extraordinary! I think that word has a nice connotation than other words I could have chosen. I think that is going to be my new word for 2013- extraordinary!!

I have this new zest- I want to renew myself in many ways. I put on so much weight the past few years, and for the last 3 months (give or take) I have been taking a step back, and looking at myself, and my goals. I guess I just needed that turn of the clock at midnight to actually feel the spark. Why is that? But either way, this process started a few months ago, but really has gone into motion the past few weeks.

I have been quite ashamed at how much I gained, and how much I let myself go (though I am glad I let my hair go, it is down my hiney now!). I think my feelings fed my avoidance of everything. It was like symbiotic in a way- I stayed in and avoided things which fed my weight, and that in turn steered me deeper into this hole. I was not really depressed or anything, just more like, just another plain day.

So in comes overhaul. Not just body, but everything, my body, mind and spirit. I am even thinking of going to church.

Anyway, in an attempt to become healthy, and lose weight, I have (for the time being at least) turned vegan. I am not sure if I am technically vegan, since everything I have read about vegans does not just encompass their food selections, but also what they wear and what products they use. From shoes, to  purses, etc.

For myself, I redefined what I eat. Last year, we cut out pop. We now drink water with meals. We cut out eating out, except for the occasional celebratory meals. And for the past few months, I have cut out a lot of food. I no longer eat meat, nor eggs, nor dairy (even milk and cheese!). I do not eat anything processed out of a box (including cereal, granola bars etc). Sure, I guess they can be *healthy*. But I have adopted a simple way of eating- whole food, and back to making my meals. If I want granola, I will make it. No MSG, no refined fructose syrup, no refined corn syrup, etc.

In the past 3 months-ish, I have lost 40 lbs. (Sadly, I still have 100+ pounds to go).

With my new eating style, I eat as much as I want. I never, ever starve myself or go without. If I am hungry, I eat. I still have yet to incorporate exercise to this, but the overhaul of how I eat was quite a quest to begin with. But now, with 2013, I am ready !! I want a new me. I want to not only lose weight, but to feel healthy. I don’t want to dwell on things that I cannot change anymore. No more avoiding things. Avoidance comes with weight. I want to not only lose body weight, but weight from stress.I want to develop an exercise routine. That will be a new quest, as I am not really sure how to start or what to do. I have a Y membership, but I really do not want to go there with all those fit bodies.

I am thinking of keeping a personal video blog. I am not sure if I will be able to publish for the world, as I am still trying to crawl out of this shame of how I left myself go… But it may be something special for me, to document my journey.

On the crochet front- I am back!! Goodness, the past couple of weeks, I feel revived. I neglected my crochet in 2012. I think it was all part of that “absent from life” for a bit. Maybe it was mid life crisis? I  don’t know what age that normally happens at. Maybe it was just a funk. We all have funks, right? Just say yes.

My goal for this year crochet-wise is to get through all the designs I have in progress. Either finish them, or discontinue them. My poor testers- I know some were irritated with me, sadly. I didn’t finish a lot of designs, and they sit there, abandoned. All the more reason to get out of this funk. I am glad though that most forgive me for that, and are still hanging out- putting up with my back-in-gear-designing.

I have started a new lace shawl. I am in love with it. It is a triangular shawl, and oh the edging is (to me) a jaw dropper. So is the body, in its own way, but can’t have too many elements competing for attention at the same time  in a design. At least not in mine, I think my mind would go crazy.

I can’t yet post a sneak-peak, though I would love to. I am still working on the edging, and then have yet to block it. I am not sure if I want to keep it on the Crochet Garden website or send it off to a magazine, or maybe even for greater things- ah what to do!

Well, world, if anyone even is out there, happy crocheting, happy health, happy New Year, and have an extraordinary day!

My Dirty Little Secret

Local creamery, antibitoic & hormone free milk, and CHEAPER than the store brand milk!

Local creamery, antibitoic & hormone free milk, and CHEAPER than the store brand milk!

Is this a crochet post? No. But, something about me, and maybe even you. It is my dirty little secret, and maybe yours too.

Everyone has one. Some more than one.. and some say they do not have a secret, but I bet they do…  I did mention my “dirty little secret” in a past post, very subtly, without any explanation or elaboration.

Anyway…. Since most of my social life (not all) is on the internet, or well  work-life:  talking with testers, fellow designers.. editors etc. Most have had no idea about the secret – thus is that of the internet world. We can be who we want, pretend to be who wish to be…

Most of you who have read my blog over the last few years, and the old blog before I moved here.. know that naturally, I am pretty health conscious. I still have weight to lose, but for the most part, I have always ate healthy.

I buy antibiotic & hormone free milk. Heartland Creamy is what we get- aren’t the glass bottles so cool? I get a buck fifty back on each when returning the bottle.. I have kept a few, so I filter water, then pour the water in a couple of bottles. There we go, no plastic leaking chemicals into my water stored in the fridge.

Teavana Tea

Teavana Tea

Even before the big green movement, I was big on greens, big on buying organic and local… my pancake mix has always been whole wheat. Though I drink lots of coffee, I drink lots of green tea, as well as my yerba mate. Gotta love the Yerba Mate, though I have to admit, I think I like the taste of green tea better. And you know what rocks?

Two years ago my sister and her now husband got me some tea.. This place is so awesome, you can even mix different varieties to get that perfect tea! These little tin cans are resuable too and can store future purchases of tea..

Check it out, there are even little flowers in this Rose Garden tea. MMMmmm… Check out the Teavana website, in case you do not have one in a town near you (like me).

Tea closeup

Tea closeup

So anyway. How could someone be so healthy, yet have this dirty little secret? How could this person, who eats her veggies, is health conscious, almost neurotic to a point where she had a field day with her daughter’s preschool teachers for turning an eye to paint fumes infiltrating the building from another room, do anything that could definitely harm?

I am not sure. But life is full of oddities. Well what is this secret? Knowing Fire Child’s and Water Child’s teachers sometimes read this blog… knowing work-related friends and occasionally read here.. Is the reason why I have never mentioned.. nor ever felt a need to.

So what is this dirty little secret that I have been carrying around? I used to smoke.

Some may be mortified. Other may be like, “who cares.” Either way, it is subjective to each person if it really qualifies as a “dirty little secret,” and to me, it does. Some people will smoke to oblivion and blow the smoke right in your face and not give a hoot.. Some, do not bring attention to it and just a few people close to them know. Others hide it completely – closet smokers. I was in the middle.. I tried to only smoke when by myself, and only those select few people who either smoked themselves or that I felt at ease enough to smoke around and did not mind it.

I never ever thought I would be able to quit. I really didn’t. I was such a slave to them. Whenever I would go out, had to make sure I had a pack on me… Before I went to sleep, had to make sure I had some for the morning. If I had to go on a plane, my first thought was NOT would I crash (yes I have a tiny fear of planes), but rather, my first thought was, oh no how long would I have to go without a cigarette for.

Ah! How I polluted myself.

For the past couple of years, I had in my head that I wanted to quit before my birthday this past year (my bday was in December). Of course I put it off for as long as I could. For the last 4 years, I had wisdom teeth issues. To the point that I was taking advil on a daily basis, actually more like 3-times-daily basis. Finally, a dentist opened up that would accept my card, and scheduled an appt to have them looked at. He said 1 definitely needed to come out and would talk about the others later. I said fine. So the tooth extraction was set for Nov 18th.

I think I had the living kajeebers scared out of me, as people said NOT to smoke, it would cause dry socket. Well, I had a decision to make.. I decided that would be my quit day, as I could not smoke for 48 hrs. This was all on a whim. Had I not had that appt, I am not sure I would have really set a date.

From my mother's garden

From my mother's garden, that I will REALLY be able to smell this summer

I decided that to make it easier, I would use the patch. The last couple of times I tried to quit (which lasted for a day), I had horrible mood swings, to the point I was even scolding myself for something petty. That was my strongest withdrawal symptom – mood. Not cravings, not headaches, etc.. For me, it was my mood. No patience.. maybe it was psychological and I needed something to take it out on that I could not have a cigarette and so it just boiled up even more in my head.

So, the day arrived. I had my last cigarette before going in. Like, maybe 3 mins before going in. He takes my tooth out, packs it, out I go. In an instant, ALL of the pain I had in my moth was gone.. gone gone gone. My daily advil ritual ceased right then and there. I went home, and an hour or two later, put on the patch.

Could not believe it, no withdrawal, no no nothing. This is easy I thought.

Well, it did not last long. By the 5th day, I had to remove the patch. My bones (yes my bones) in my arms could not handle it. They ached.. to the point my arm would just dangle as it was too painful to even raise my hand. I guess joint or bone pain is a possible side affect, and my body did not take it in stride, at all.

So I took the patch off, but did not have a cigarette. There were no mood swings. There were some cravings. By the first month, most of those diminished. Now, only into the 3rd month, I never think about them. I never get the “oh I really want one.” No cravings. In fact, I cannot stand the smell of smoke now. I never ever ever thought I would be this way, as I was a smoker and I really liked my cigarettes :)

I know I will never smoke again. One of Water Child’s friend’s mother is a smoker, big time. I told him next time to bring a set of clothes here I can wash and keep for him when he comes over so he can change into.. because the stench just lingers, and lingers…

Yerba Mate Tea, check out those antioxidants!

Yerba Mate Tea, check out those antioxidants!

Even in the store, in an instant, I can tell if someone is a smoker.. or was around smoke recently. The post office is the worse.. for some reason that place when a smoker walks in, the smell is intensified. No idea why.

I feel like a new person.. It is so different being able to go somewhere and not have to check to be sure I have my smokes. I feel clean. It is healthier for me. And though I never smoked indoors, I am sure it lingered on my clothes.. So it is healthier for Water & Fire Child.

I now feel like I can do anything. I even told my mom.. if she decided to quit, I would move in with her for a month to get her through it. I think she is seriously taking me up on that offer :) I hope she does.

Sorry so long winded.. It is  just such a big thing to me, that I actually did it. I really, really did it. And I know because I told  myself I would not announce it anywhere until I was 100% sure I was a quit done never smoke again.

Into The Green- Chemicals, Fibers & Organics

Everyone is talking about going green.. from electric cars, to global warming.. Then there is the surge of natural fibers to organic…

I think it is all great! If I had my way, my dream house with be very green friendly, with solar panels, sustainable materials… carpet that does not give off VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)… My house would be filled with bamboo palms. Why bamboo palms? Because they are one of the best “air purifying plants!” The air inside a home is one of the most polluted places of air- even more than outside (that is why you always hear people say open a window for some fresh air).

Here is an excerpt from one of many articles:

“…Studies have been conducted and the results found that plants brought into a room, will absorb these chemicals (Benzene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde) and put oxygen back into the room. One potted plant per 100 square feet will clean the air in an average home or office. Without a doubt, the most important job of an indoor plant is its air purifying abilities… Of the many indoor plants cultivated today, there are a few that show better than usual abilities of absorbing these chemicals than others do. Bamboo Palm, Spider Plant, Dracaena, and Weeping Fig are just a few that have this absorbing ability.” — GardenGuides.com

So.. guess what is on my wishlist- bamboo palms of course!!

Ok, so my last post I was on a health kick.. I have always been conscientious of things of this nature.. But again, I am not perfect, and like many am still finding my way, absorbing what I can with everything I read and hear about.

Ok, so that brings me to organics.. I touched on this a bit in my last post.. Here is a couple quotes, from the Organic Trade Association. (Read more on the article).

“The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2000 in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin). (EPA)

“It takes roughly one-third of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt. (SCP)”

Scary, isn’t it? It makes me think, my goodness, if our skin is absorbent, how much of this is in our bodies? Organic fibers, unfortunately can be much, much more expensive than the chemical counterparts. I do believe though, in time, prices will come down, especially as the demand goes up.

Even so, if one is unable to buy organic, there are many ways to help… recycle! I know many people who regularly visit thrift stores, and purchase sweaters- basically to use the yarn. Here is an awesome tutorial of how to recycle yarns from sweaters.

Yarn Recycling Tutorial By Ashley Martineau

And if you have a program that opens word documents, here is a phenomenal tutorial, with many upclose photos.. including many tips for all kinds of materials, wool, cotton, novelty yarns etc. The tutorial is written by the same person, but there is more detail and although the photos are in black and white, they are very very clear. She discusses bad seams, good seams, what to look for.. this is a must to check it out. To find out more, just do a search in your search engine for “recycle yarn” or things along the same lines.

Download it here: How To Unravel A Sweater By Ashley Martineau (.doc file)

So, if you find a sweater in the closet that looks like a great contender for recycling, and it is either too small, or too big, or you it just not appeal to you… recycle it!

Ok back to organic fibers… I have some yarns to share with you, that are pretty well priced, for being organic. First, is Nature’s Choice Organic. It retails for $5.99 for 3 oz. (85g) 103y skein. It is not a hank, so no need to wind. And oh my, it is so soft! The colors are very natural.. not too strong, but just right.. just the right bit of color. Here it is on the Lion Brand website: Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton from Lion Brand.

I am sure there are many other places you can get it online, but here it is at the Knitting Warehouse (a favorite place of mine with a flat shipping rate- and they have it on sale right now!): Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton at the Knitting Warehouse.

Here is my yummy organic yarn; colors are as follows from top row to bottom (Macadamia, Strawberry, Blueberry, Pecan, Almond):

Nature's Choice Organic Yarn

Closeup of the Almond:

Nature's Choice Organic Yarn

No matter if you use one color or a several, all the colors truly go together! This yarn is so incredibly soft- excellent choice for a baby.. I am currently using this yarn for a baby/young child set (Sizes 12 mos to child size 6!) set.. watch out for the pattern, it should be ready sometime in November- along with some other goodies!!! (Do not quote me on that.. I have many many things for publication to complete first, but then it will be on to these other goodies).

I really love, love this yarn.. it works up so nicely, and even though it has a “nubbiness” to it, I find the stitch definition to still be great. I want to make myself a nightgown with this!!

Another organic yarn by Lion Brand is “Lion Organic Cotton.” It comes on a hank, so you will need a swift to wind it up, or some patience and wind it by hand. The retail price of this is $5.99 for 1.75oz (50g) hank. It too is incredibly soft:

Lion Organic Cotton

The colors above are: Vanilla on the left, and Cypress on the right. Here is the listing page on Lion Brand’s website: Lion Organic Cotton at Lion Brand.

And here is at the Knitting Warehouse (And it is also on sale!) Lion Organic Cotton at the Knitting Warehouse.

You will have to stay tunes to see what is in store for this beautiful natural yarn, and when I discuss how it works up and show you more photos.

So, it is a little pricier than non-organic yarn.. Nobody says you need to throw out your yarn stash (please don’t!), or reform yourself into a complete only-organic crafter. And if you are on a tight budget.. maybe for that new baby in the family one skein for a sweet little baby hat will suffice, and you will know how even more special that little cap is… Put it on your wishlist! You never know.. I know there are some people out there who want to try this yarn.. so why not make you all some great patterns for it!

Ok.. so I am almost done with the things I have on my plate… two due dates for a total of 6 items by October 22. I have been working like a crazy nut.. I swear sometimes the yarn is talking to me. (eek). So then after this deadline.. I have another deadline for more 4 more items in the middle of December. I am hoping after the Oct deadline, I can work a wee bit on some things for the website and squeeze in a launch in November…

Drop me a line of what things you would like to see maybe with the Lion Organic Yarn!

PS… soon I will be working on women’s garments for the website.. write me a note of what kinds of things you are looking for! Be as detailed as you want.. the more I know what everyone is after, the better things I can design.. I am very excited to now step into another realm of designing- women’s attire.. want skirts? Camis? Bikini’s? Casual.. sexy.. modern but hip? Let me know!!

Take care all.. off to having little conversations with my yarn!

Happy Columbus Day! & Health Kick Post

Happy Columbus Day everyone!

Finally, I think our heat wave is leaving… the past 3 days it has been in the 90s here.. very stifling, especially since our window air conditioner has been broke.. And then, having hot heavy yarn on my lap trying to crochet… bleh it was just going so slow.. I do not know what it is, but humidity and heat just create havoc for my productivity level.

So… I found a really interesting article.. You know how when you were little, getting your tonsils out was pretty standard? People live fine without them. Same thing with your appendix… getting it out- especially when inflamed, is routine. But what are the purposes of these organs? For a long time scientists in the medical field did not really know for sure. But now.. I found an article on CNN. I am surprised that after one day it dropped from the front page.. to me it is a huge thing and very interesting.. How long has it been since a purpose for an organ has been found? One would thing that in this day and age and how advanced our medical technology is, we would know.. but alas, it has dropped from the front page. But here is the article.. how scientists believe they think they have found the purpose of the appendix:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/05/appendix.purpose.ap/index.html

Interesting isn’t?? I think it warrants being on the front page for at least a few weeks! But then, I am one of those few that finds a fascination with health, technology, the immune system.. yeah I am one of those that can plaster myself on the couch with some tomato juice and get absorbed with a graphic operation on the TV.

I remember when I used to donate my platelets.. If you have never donated platelets before, it is different than blood. You sit in a nice “comfy”- yes comfy is subjective, chair.. and it takes about 1.5 hours.. And they put one thick long needle into one arm, and another long thick needle into another arm. Your blood goes out in the one needle, and then gets cycled through a machine.. almost like a centrifuge.. to separate your platelets (clotting parts of the blood)from the rest of your blood (red blood cells etc.) Then, the blood (red blood cells and plasma etc) goes back into your body- oh goodness it is cold when it goes back in!!! Well, I do not know that the blood going back in is cold, I do think it is cooler, because I always get super cold when donating.

It is hard, that if you get an itch- you cannot bend your arms to scratch. Every single time I would get so super cold.. It could be 100 degrees out and I would need a blanket.. No wonder that with people suffering from hypothermia- it helps to warm the blood and such. Usually, they had a blanket for me or 5 .. lol…

There was one time that I had a phone call. There was a 6 year old boy who was going through a bone marrow transplant, and there was a man who was a match donating his platelets for this child. Well, the man broke his arm and could not do the donations. They called me, saying I was a match and if I would mind. I had to go in each week for a couple months and donate my platelets for this little guy. I do not know the outcome of this transplant, but it felt so good, knowing that I was able to help the little fellow, wherever he would be. And what is neat, is they gave me a certificate, and a license plate frame.

I still have that frame to this day and have it on my car. If anything it reminds me of that important time when I was 19 and I went in to donate for this little boy.. And well, maybe I secretly hope that if I am ever pulled over, the cop will have a little smile with mercy for me? (knock on wood!)

Platelet donor license platw

I really think it is so important what goes into our bodies. I try to buy organic when I can.. and I never buy anything that is high on the pesticide list. Some people may think I am a nut.. but I really think it is so important of what goes into our bodies, and how much exercise we get. Although following good nutrition and exercising as we should is not full proof, but I do believe it can prevent and maybe even help sickness. I really believe that it was Okinawan women have the longest lifespan- 85 and something years.. for men, it is 77 something years.. They eat a lot of seafood, so they are getting plenty of omega fatty acids.. along with much exercise.. of course, their nutrition and exercise may not be the main factor, but if anything I firmly believe it plays a large role.

For our milk, I buy from Heartland Creamery.. it is stocked in our grocery stores in town.. What is nice, is that it is a local creamery farm near us.. so the overhead is very low.. and it is competitive pricing to the regular milk.. Even a couple weeks ago there was a sale and all of the Heartland milk was cheaper than the regular milk! And normally, it is about the same or just a tad more than regular milk, less then 50 cents.. which I think makes it totally worth it.

The great thing about the milk, is that not only does it taste much much better than regular milk, it is grown without antibiotics or hormones. The chocolate flavor, oh my.. it is the best chocolate milk one has ever tasted, and has very little caffeine.. So it is great for the kids. They have 3 flavors, white, chocolate and strawberry. They also have goat milk.. and even eggnog! The class bottles require a deposit, but that deposit is fully refunded upon return of the glass bottle for recycling. At our stores, they do have the milk available in large plastic gallons- but only in white.. which is nice though because we go through milk in this house like crazy. If you have this milk available.. I would highly recommend it!!

Heartland Creamery bottle

Speaking of hormones and anitibiotics… we also try to buy organic fruits and veggies when we can.. and sometimes though I just go with regular.. but when I do go regular.. I make sure it is not something that is super high on the presiticde list (strawberries, peaches, green peppers, and NON U.S. grapes).. My kids are super big grape lovers.. but I do not buy between Jan and April, when grapes from outside the US dominate the grocery stores.. So since about May.. we have been buying grapes galore, the US ones.. Of course, they are not organic and pesticide free, but they are far less full of these carcinogens and such than the imported ones.

If you are looking for a list of fruits and veggies to avoid, and which ones are lower on the pesticide list.. here is a good list:

http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et0996/et0996s5.html

Ok.. so while I am on a blogging health kick.. may as well add some more into the mix.. Please remember though, I am NOT an expert.. I am just someone who is very curious about the world and our health and the environment.. I absorb articles and documentaries like there is no tomorrow (no wonder my first major in college was Microbiology- my dream was to go on to get a PhD and go into medical search!)..

Here is a phenomenal tea.. It is called Yerba Mate and I have been drinking it for a while. What else is great, is that this tea is Fair Trade.. that means that the farmers who cultivate are paid a fair amount, what they deserve.. so that not only do we in America get a high quality product, but these farmers can develop their economy and get paid what the work they are doing is worth.

There are also MORE antioxidants in Yerba Mate than black tea and even more than green tea! And even more than red wine. It is a natural energy booster.. Here are some photos of my Yerba Mate:

Yerba Mate

Check out the antioxidant chart:

First, here is a newscast on Yerba Mate and other energy drinks and natural things, and this was on CNN. See the newscast.

They even state on the CNN newscast that this is a great alternative to coffee- especially if coffee gives you the jitters!

Yerba Mate Ok so, where can you see more and read more about Yerba Mate.. ? I am lucky in that my sister and her fiance live in the city where they are able to get this tea for me.. otherwise, you can order from this site. There are many many websites out there with Yerba Mate, but to me, since my sister and her fiance are able to get it at a store near them and since this is a pretty well known website, this is the one I am listing: Yerba Mate: http://www.ecoteas.com.

And here is a place to see the FAQ on Yerba Mate tea!

Ok… well, I would like to say again, I am NO expert, and to always consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet or taking anything I say as fact. These are just another part of me, of things I am interested in and things I believe. You can visit the websites, and do your own research and come up with your own beliefs and opinions.

I am not one to “jam” my opinion down your throat.. I am not one to think “Oh my! That person is not buying an organic apple!” I just try, within my budget, to do things which I think are healthy for me and my family. I do prefer to go organic when I can, but that is not always feasible.. I try to incorporate lots of fruits and veggies into our diets, but yes, I still often succumb to the Chinese takeout..! (See, I am human!).. There are still times I hit the drive through. I am not perfect, nor am I an expert in the field of health and science.. Just like I said before, my only goal is to help people gain more information so they can make their own decisions for themselves, as I am doing for myself and my family.

On another Note.. have you all seen Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) ? Well, we rented it.. and well, first I must say I loved it, and so did the kids. And my FAVORITE scene.. which I still cannot stop laughing- and I swear I am going to put this DVD and soundtrack on my wishlist solely for this scene here.. it is just soo funny.. It is the scene of the sloth dance.. first it starts out with a “simon says” sort of thing… and then it gets into the song.. I swear you can hear the drums of the rainforest.. it is awesome, and so funny to boot.. check out this clip on You Tube

EDIT: Seems Your Tube has removed this clip, so I am sorry you will not be able to see it. but if you have the movie.. pop it in and watch for the sloth dance- it is completely hilarious!

So, I leave you with a laugh to close.. Have some yummy yarns to shown you soon.. but alas this blog post has taken a while (I do not know how to find more time to devote to blogging!!) and there are things I need to do (ya, dishes.. laundry.. CROCHET!).. and of course, have fun with the kids since it is their day off of school.. well, my son will not be home till later this afternoon because he left at 6 AM for a choir competition.. lol maybe I will pop on Ice Age?!