White Christmas

It didn't start out that way.  It started snowing mid day on Christmas.  We got six inches of white powdery snow!  So we played!  Bryan played with his new snowblower (purchased at an estate sale this past summer).  We went sledding at the local park.  C kept saying "Again.  Again."  

A play day was the perfect way to end a very busy holiday!  We spent a lot of time in the car from house to house to celebrate with family.  My brother and his family were in town.  It was the first Christmas that C has celebrated with her cousins.  She was exhausted by Sunday.  We were all exhausted by Sunday.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with the people you love!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I did finish the Optimistic Mitts I was working on for Teacher Vanessa's gift bag.  I'm not super pleased with how they turned out.  What has me worried is that when I tried them on they were really big on me and that was after I had gone down a needle size.  I have small hands and wrists so I've got my fingers crossed that they actually fit her.  It was a super easy knit and one I'd do again, but I would make them smaller.
I am still reading Night of the White Buffalo by Margaret Coel.   I also just started Failing Forward by John C Maxwell.  I am in a weekly challenge group for Plexus Slim ambassadors and the challenge for the next couple of weeks is to read this book.  

Since the holidays are upon us and I've yet to shop, I think my knitting and reading time will be short.  Until then my yarn along friends, have a wonderful and joyous holiday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

* I quite possibly have found the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I'm not even sure how I first stumbled across this recipe, but it's a keeper in my book. A little crisp in the outside. A little soft and chewy in the middle.  Fab.U.Lous!  I've also made a recent discovery...Nestle makes a chocolate covered filled chip. Hello chocolate and peanut butter. 

I also made chocolate chip cookies for a friend to hand out to her access-a-ride drivers.  I like this recipe (which I've had since high school) because it makes over 5 dozen cookies.  But the taste of these cookies just does not compare to other recipe.  

* Am I the only one who stresses over the holidays?  It seems like everyone gets so excited by the crafting and cooking and family.  I find it all a bit overwhelming.  I worry about gift giving, the time and money it takes and family.  Ugh.

Happy Thursday my friends!

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I have been working on these Optimistic Mitts for the gift basket for C's teacher.  I finished the cuff on the first one and decided they were too big so ripped them out and started over with smaller needles.  They look better (I still think they look and feel big but I have small hands) and I hope that Teacher Vanessa likes them!  They are a very easy,  quick knit and would make a great last minute gift! 
I just finished reading Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger.  It is the third in the Cork O'Connor  Series.  I'm waiting for the fourth book so in the mean time I just started Night of the White Buffalo by Margaret Coel.  She writes a series of books about the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Plexus Detox Products

I thought I would share a little bit about the Plexus products that I have used so far (I'm slowly getting to know the whole line of products).  I'm going to start with the Detox line- ProBio 5 and Bio Cleanse.  ProBio5 is quite possibly my favorite product so far!  

This would be the best description of the two products- ProBio5 is the "toilet bowl scrubber" of the intestines and BioCleanse is the "flusher" (so to speak).  There is a lot going on in the intestines and some of it is not good.  Have you ever heard of leaky gut?  I hadn't either.   
So many health issues arise from the gut: 
  • 9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut*
  • 1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 
  • 2. Seasonal allergies or asthma. 
  • 3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS. 
  • 4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease. 
  • 5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. 
  • 6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD. 
  • 7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema. 
  • 8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth. 
  • 9. Food allergies or food intolerances

Leaky gut is basically broken joints in the gut allowing undigested food, toxins, microbes and other nastiness to leak from intestines into your bloodstream.  One of the common causes of leaky gut is candida.  What is Candida?  Candida (technically called Candida albicans) is a microorganism in the category of yeast, fungi, and mold. It is normal for it to live in small amounts in the digestive system and on other body surfaces.  We all have Candida in our systems. It is helpful, and assists with digestion and nutrient absorption. It is usually kept in balance by “good” bacteria and digestive enzymes. However, under certain circumstances, it can overgrow and throw the balance in our bodies off. Then the Candida can invade the “good” bacteria and create a whole set of not-so-nice symptoms for us.  It will invade into deeper tissues and organs where it doesn’t belong, such as the liver and kidneys, and become very abundant.  Once it gets that far, it entrenches itself as fungi do (think of how hard it can be to get rid of athlete’s foot or a fungal toenail). The yeast produces certain chemicals and affects cell functions in ways that create many symptoms, some of which can become serious.  The term “Candida” refers to the general overgrowth of various fungi and yeasts in the body, which flourish under certain circumstances to the point of causing illness.  Candida has become a very common and often serious disease in our modern world.  

Some of the symptoms of an overabundance of Candida are:
-sugar cravings
-inexplicable fatigue
-brain “fog”
-skin and nail issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, athlete’s foot
-digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea
-irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
-recurrent vaginal infections or UTI
-severe allergies

The Plexus ProBio5 is a great way to tackle this Candida overgrowth! ProBio5 contains five awesome probiotics, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, L. Acidophilus, L. Planterum, B. Longum, and S. Boulardi. ProBio5 also has an enzyme that is efficient and effective in destroying the yeast and fungi. 

The combination of the probiotics and enzymes in ProBio5 are a great way to support the body’s need for a balance in the digestive tract.

The probiotics and enzymes in ProBio5 are assisted by the addition of B6 and Grape Seed Extract. B6 increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, so in turn our bodies are more oxygenated and resistant to yeast and fungi. Grape Seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.  

ProBio5 is a wonderful product that will keep your digestive system running smoothly. It can block the growth of harmful bacteria and boost the immune system, and leave you feeling your best!  

BioCleanse is not a cleanse in the way we normally associate a cleanse to be.  You don't drink some crazy concoction and starve to death to clean up the intestines.  BioCleanse helps to oxygenate, energize and detoxify the body.  Why do we need to oxygenate our bodies?  We need oxygen for energy and optimal health.  Oxygen rich blood cells help burn up some of the toxins in our bodies.  We all need energy to function both physically and mentally.  Taken together with ProBio5, BioCleanse will help flush the intestines and stomach of the toxins that have taken hold there.  It also helps relieve constipation and irregularity.  (remember I said BioCleanse was the "flusher").  

I started taking ProBio5 in September and within two weeks notices that I wasn't craving sugar like I used to because I wasn't feeding the candida with junk food/sugar cravings.  I added BioCleanse is October.  I have also been sleeping better.  I used to only take a probiotic if I was taking antibiotics but  will continue to take ProBio5 for immune health.  ProBio5 and BioCleanse are part of Triplex with Plexus Slim (which I'll cover later).  

*The above information was referenced from available Plexus file sharing.  

Disclaimer- I am an ambassador for Plexus Worldwide.  If you want more information on any of the products or becoming an ambassador please visit www.plexusslim.com/jenfeymiller.    

The Weekend

I don't normally share our weekends.  Mostly because our weekends are spent at work.  This weekend was full on busy pack full of goodness.

Friday was the first ski lesson of the new ski year.
 Not a whole lot of snow up top.  The lodge we are sitting in is at 11,000 feet and the peak is 12,000.  You can still see a lot of rocks and small trees.  Come on snow!

Saturday was spent running errands and Mama got an afternoon alone!  First as a family we went to purchase a limited edition charity CD that we get every year.  With the exception of last year- because it was -10 outside- this was the first year we didn't get up super early and wait in line with all the other crazy people to purchase our CD as soon as it went on sale.  We drove to the store, walked in, bought our CD's and walked out!  CRAZY!

Then Mama spent an afternoon with my Plexus peeps at an opportunity meeting.  The speaker at our meeting is one of 40 Diamond Ambassadors (the highest level of ambassador) and she was inspiring. Plus we heard testimonials from others who have been using the products.  Nothing short of amazing!
From the  Plexus meeting I went to a food swap and hung out with my foodie friends.  I made four mini apple pies and took some jarred hot pepper relish.  I came home with some apple strudel bread, some oatmeal cardamom bread, cupcakes, peach sirracha jam, and some gumbo!

Sunday was C's social day.  She was invited to two birthday parties.  The first was for a one year old and the second was for a classmate.  She was so excited for cake and then didn't eat either piece.  I've had a glimpse of how it will be going forward...mama's chauffeur service!

Have a great week my friends.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time to share books and yarn with everyone for the Yarn Along.   I've been knitting a lot for C's school.  First I made the hats for Children's Hospital and when I had yarn left over I made this cute little Aviatrix.  I had yarn left over from that so I thought I'd make the mittens to go with the hat and the school can raffle it as a set.  I used this pattern and got to knitting.  I had a good game of yardage chicken going and ultimately I came out victorious!  
 This is how much yarn I had left over after completing the mittens!  I made two hats and a set of mittens our of gifted yarn!  Now on to some fingerless mitts for C's teacher.
 I started reading Boundary Waters this past week.  My friend, whose mom lives in Northern Minnesota on the boundary waters has been reading them and passing them to me before she mails them to her mom.  We are reading them in order and that fits in with my compulsive need to read them from start to finish.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!  Have a happy Thanksgiving my friends.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  This Arctic blast got here on Monday.  I was room mom on Monday.  We left for school at 8:45am and it was 57 degrees.  By 11:30 it was 35 degrees.  Half of the kids didn't have coats, but only light jackets.  Of course I had wanted to work in the yard to finish up those last minute things before it got so cold.  I thought I had several hours after school.  By 3:00 it was 25 degrees.  And it hasn't been that warm since.   But why did I have to find 20 things that I could have done outside now that it is freezing?  When I could have done them last week when it was 75 degrees.

*  Brrrrrrr.  Yesterday our high was 7.  When I landed back in Denver last night is was -2.  And by the time I got home it was -6.  Not.  Right.

 See, it was so cold and snowy, that even the ladies didn't even go outside.  Bonnie and Dolly stayed in the underneath part of the coop all day.  The older ladies stayed in the enclosed part.  I opened the coop door to let them.  They looked at my like I was crazy.
I don't mind the cold.   But I like to ease into it.  It is the extreme changes that bother me.  

Happy Thursday my friends.

Knitting This Week

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.   Do you remember the last time I posted with the yarn along? I was going to use some yarn that I got from a friend who was cleaning out her stash.  Well, that was two weeks ago and here is the hat.  You cant' see the eyelet pattern for all of the crazy striping of this hat.  But I love the striping!
This wasn't the intended pattern.  I actually started two other hats and ripped them out because I didn't like the way they were progressing.  Then I decided I was going to make a sweater for one of the school fundraisers.  I didn't like that one either.  So I went back to hats.  With the other skein of yarn I am going to make an Aviatrix for the school fundraiser.  One of these days I'll finish my socks and work on my Hitofude.  So many projects going right now and it's driving me nuts!

I have about 50 pages left of The Fifth Woman.  While we know whodoneit I don't the details yet.  Definitely going to drag it out until the last possible page! A friend of mine just gave me a stack of books by William Kent Krueger.  He writes suspense books that take place in Northern Minnesota.  My friends mom lives on the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.  I have read a couple of his books but not from the beginning so I'm pretty excited to start them.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

The 52 Project- September & October

When I sat down to post my October pictures for The 52 Project, I realized that I never posted my September pictures (probably because I was beside myself...I lost the online photo album and had to start over).  Here are the September pictures...

The 52 Project- a portrait a week for a year.  

36/52 (9/7) First day of Polliwog class at Steele.

37/52 (9/14)  Snuggling with Winston.

38/52 (9/21) First dentist appointment.

39/52 (9/28) Hiking with daddy.

40?52 (10/5)  Looking out the window.

41/52 (10/12) Hiking outside of Leadville.

42?52 (10/19) At a friends wedding reception

43/52 (10/26) Carving pumpkins for the front porch.

Can you believe another year is almost over?  It has gone so fast.  I finished re-creating my photo album and I obsessively hit the save button.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  I spent yesterday cleaning up the garden.  Since it was a cool and rainy summer, I left the tomatoes a bit longer hoping that more would ripen and I could make tomato sauce for the upcoming winter months.  It frosted twice this week.  The first night everything was covered the second night we forgot.  I picked a bunch of green tomatoes and will hope that they ripen in a box in the basement.

*  A couple of weeks ago I made this Apple Dumpling desert that was absolutely fabulous.  The only thing healthy about it is the apples.  But, oh my, is it ever good.  Don't let the amount of butter and sugar scare you.  Or the bottle of Mountain Dew.  Go for the taste.  It's definitely a once in a while type of desert.

Happy Thursday!

Yarn Along

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I am joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.
Rather than bore you with updates on the never ending sock and scarf knitting, I have new yarn!  One of the moms at crafting is stash busting.  She gave me two skeins of this variegated blue yarn.  I'm hoping to whip out two hats for Children's Hospital.

I found this book on the airplane.  I've never read this author before and had never heard of his Kurt Wallander character.  I have noticed Wallander done by the BBC on Netflix so I've put it in my queue.    I am enjoying the read and I love a good murder thriller when I can't figure out where the author is headed with his clues.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  I have a mouse problem in my chicken coop.  Little %&$@$'s are eating the chicken food.  I've seen the ladies chase them, catch them by the tails and fling them in the air.  But that was months ago.  I'm not sure if the ladies are just used to the mice now, but they don't seem to be bothered by them.  I am, however, bothered by them.  I'm not scared of them.  But rather annoyed the mice are eating the food.  We (and by that I mean Bryan) put out small little live traps.  I don't want to use glue traps and I'm afraid the ladies would set off traditional traps.  I've read posts about rigging a bucket of water and drowning them.  I would be a little disturbed to find dead, floating mice in a bucket.  I'm also disturbed by the thought of the poor mice stuck in a live trap, starving to death until we (again I mean Bryan) either let them go somewhere else or just toss the whole trap in the trash.  Now, I'm a big believer in Karma and I haven't quite come to terms with the idea of killing the mice.  I mean, I kind of invited the buggers with the chicken feed...

*  We (and by this I mean me) only ended up with 18 New England Pumpkin Pie pumpkins!  Still way too many for this no pumpkin eating person!  C carried one into the house and said "I brought you a pumpkin mama, so you can make me a pie."  I may.  Or I may just have her carry it over to Oma's house!

*  We've had an explosion of chicken feathers in our chicken run.  The ladies are molting.  We haven't had an egg in over a week.   Poor Gracie is naked from the top of her head to the middle of her back.

*  My 52 Project photo album that I have been putting together since the beginning of January is missing.  I'm pretty sure that I put it together in Shutterfly but I can't seem to find it.  And I know I hit the save button.  Ack.  So I'm starting over.

Yarn Along

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I seem to be spending a lot of time on my braided scarf and my two-at-a-time-toe-up-magic-loop socks.  I thought I was at a halfway point on the scarf, but realized that I had to complete six 90" cords and not five cords.  Ugh.  At least it is mindless knitting and I can pretty much do it anywhere.  Because of my self imposed deadline of mid November to complete this project, it has pretty much taken the forefront in my knitting these days.  I have also worked on my socks.  I'm now knitting the leg and will knit until I think I'm close the end of yarn and then will knit a ribbed cuff to finish them off.
I have been on vacation and I haven't picked up a book in weeks.  What?  I know.  Crazy.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.

Debt Snowball: An Update

We had just save our $1000 baby emergency fund when Murphy showed up.  (which I'm learning is always the case).  My car needed a $600 repair.  Which we didn't stress over since we had cash to fix it.  But then I screwed up.  I had a rather large medical bill coming due (from my shoulder surgery last summer) but it came sooner than I realized so there went the other $400.  Now I need new tires, new brakes and the timing belt on my car is coming due.  Hello overtime!

While I was feeling incredibly stressed out over the amount of money I was going to need in a short amount of time, I decided that I needed a refresher course of Financial Peace University.  On the Dave Ramsey website I found a church right down the street with a class starting the next week.  I emailed the facilitator and she signed me up.  The beauty of FPU is that once you've paid for the kit, you can attend class again and again.  There is an option to buy an updated kit for a fraction of the price and this includes a log in for the website.  I used my kit and I don't need the website since I have a log in at www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com.

While it is hard for me to work as many hours as I used to and still see my husband and not have my parents watch C more than retired grandparents should (without feeling they are raising her), I am feeling a little less stressed.  The reason... I signed up to be an ambassador for Plexus Worldwide.  What?  Never heard of Plexus?  Neither had I.  But I had seen posts on friends Facebook pages about this pink drink they were drinking.  And they were losing weight and they felt great.  I watched for a while then finally bit the bullet and inquired what it was all about.

Plexus Slim is a powdered drink that is mixed in water.  It was originally developed for Type 2 diabetics as a way to help control blood glucose and lipid levels.  But it had an unexpected side effect in that it also helped them lose weight!  It is gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.  It is all natural and it tastes good!  Other benefits of Slim are better sleep and more energy.

I had decided to try Slim because I had been feeling run down.  I was at the doctor in July for a diabetes exam.  I thought I was feeling run down because my thyroid medication was off.  I was a little disappointed when she told me that it was fine.  I just couldn't figure out why I wanted a nap every day by 10AM.  That's when I decided that I should follow up on all of the FB posts I had been reading.  I ordered a 3 day trial pack.  And while I didn't feel any better after three days I didn't hate the way the drink tastes so I ordered a months supply.  Within a week it was a night and day difference in the way I felt.  I actually slept all night (with the exception of the nightly trip to the restroom) and didn't have any trouble falling asleep if I did wake up.  I have more energy every day.  I didn't try it to lose weight, that was never my intention, but it has helped maintain where I am at weight wise without longer & harder workouts, which I don't have time for.   It has also helped me reduce food (sugar) craving, which as a diabetic I shouldn't eat that much sugar!

There are a whole combination of products that Plexus sells.  There is a weight loss line, a detox line and a pain relief line.  For more information please see my website.* www.plexusslim.com/jenfeymiller

I go back to the doctor mid November.  I am anxious to find out what my blood sugar numbers are as well as what my cholesterol is.

*Disclaimer- I am a Independent Ambassador for Plexus.  I get paid a commission each month from Plexus Worldwide.  While I do get paid, I am not pushing Plexus...my intention is to inform the benefits of Plexus.  And what better way than my own testimony.  

Fall Hiking

Fall hiking in Colorado is crap shoot at best.  Is it going to be hot?  Cold?  Windy?  Raining?  Snowing?  We were in Keystone at a friends condo (quick before the sale goes through) these past few days.  We spent one day hiking in the snow!  There are no fall colors this high- we were at almost 12,000 feet!  

The hike we did was Mayflower Gulch to Boston Mine Camp.  Boston is a ghost town that is at the base of these beautiful mountains.  

Boston was a mining camp that was set up in the early 1900's to mine gold.   
 This was an ore chute.  The miners used gravity to move the heavy materials down the mountain.  The ruins are covered in snow.

 This was what was left of the boardinghouse.
 This was the only cabin that was completely intact.
 Some random animal tracks in the snow.

 The cabin.
A very heavy (cast iron maybe?) drill that was left in the camp.
 All that remains of one of the buildings.

 The view from the parking lot.
 Buffett was one tired puppy dog after our hike.  The hike was a short one, only about four miles.  But you know how dogs are...they walk double our miles wandering about.
 It turned out to be a gorgeous day.  The wind in the camp was chilly, but once back a the car it was warm enough to shed our jackets.   The old wagon road we hiked on was snowy and icy to start but turned slick and slushy.   I think this is a hike we'd do again.  The out and back to the mine camp was easy enough that C could walk or ride in the back pack.  But there is also a loop that goes higher and comes back around to the parking lot.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and it is time to share yarn and books.  I'm joining with Ginny and every one to share what we've been reading and working on.  Rather than share yet one more post on my socks, sweater, and scarf, this week I'm sharing a finished project!
Last week we had a parent meeting at C's school.  We found out that the school is cooperating with Children's Hospital for the holidays.  One of the items we need is hats for the kids in the oncology department.  So I came home and whipped up this cute little hat!  It was a free pattern on Ravelry and I used stash yarn.  Considering I've been working on the same projects for seems like forever, it was nice to accomplish something!  

If anyone is has some spare knitting time and some stash they'd like to use up consider knitting a hat for charity!  You'll be glad you did! 

Knitting this Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is once again time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  It's been forever since I've played along.  I've been busy with work and just haven't been knitting.

I have worked so sporadically on my Sylvi that it always takes me a few minutes to figure where I am in the pattern.  I make notations on the pattern, but I still have to review.  I just finished the right front and while I lost track of the number of rows, I think it will all work out in the end.  I am know ready to begin the back of this sweater and I'm kind of freaking out about that.  Mostly because of the intricacy of the cables, I will have to really pay attention to what I am doing.  That means I will not be working on sweater at crafting or at home.  This is strictly a go sit a quiet spot and create project.
I have just finished Storm Front by John Sanford.  It is a suspense novel in the Virgil Flowers series.  I had been listening to it on audio CD in my car on the way to work.  I couldn't get disc 5 to play so I took it back to the library and ordered another copy.  I think they gave me back the same copy!  Disc 5 didn't play.  So I checked out the ebook and finished it.  The person who read the audio book did a wonderful job and I wish I could have finished it that way.  His tone of voice and the way he read Virgil had me laughing like a crazy woman in my car.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  I am never, ever going to plant cantaloupe again.  I have not ever had one ripen enough to eat.  I started this years plants in the house and transplanted them with care.   Since cantaloupe likes warm weather I waited to plant it outside.  Good thing too, since it snowed on Mother's Day.  It was 33 degrees last Friday morning.  The leaves got frosted.  I'm going to leave the plant in the ground and hope that they might ripen.  Although I'm not holding out much hope.   We just don't have a long enough growing season here.

* This week is Yarn Along The Rockies.  Twenty-Four yarn shops along the front range from Colorado Springs to just north of Denver.  If you visit all 24 and get a "passport stamp" then you are qualified for a grand prize .  Each shop has it's own basket as a prize.  I was able to visit two shops... Tea for Ewe on Tuesday and The Lamb Shoppe on Wednesday.  Tea for Ewe is in the 'hood and while I don't frequent it, I have been there a couple of times.  The Lamb Shoppe is a new to me shop and one that I really like and will go there again!  A couple of people I know were able to make a two day trip out of it and hit all 24 shops!  Damn the work thing for getting in the way of a good yarn crawl!

Happy Thursday my friends.


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