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.  Did you know that Tin Can Knits is doing a 12 days of Christmas?  One pattern will be free everyday until Christmas.  Visit their website daily to find out what is available.

I should be working on the collar of the Maisie sweater.  But alas, I'm not.  I finished the right front and when I laid it all out together I noticed that I made TWO very significant mistakes on the left front close to the armpit and shoulder.  No problem right?  I'll just rip it back to the bottom of the arm hole and work to the shoulder.  Yeah.  Right.  Have I mentioned how much I don't like this yarn?  It's not easy to rip out and it's even harder to pick back up the stitches.  I ended up ripping the whole thing back.  Ball one was easy to rip out but ball two got so tangled that I just threw it away.  I have plenty of yarn.  I started over.
I am still reading A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont.  Don't bother reading it.  I just got the notice from Amazon that my library loan is about to expire.  This will be the third time I have to check out this book just to finish it.  I feel like I should just let it go, but I've only got 100 pages to go.  I kind of want to find out how it ends, but I have struggled with this book from the beginning.

I'm not sure what my week will bring next week with work and last minute shopping.  I want to wish all of you a safe and Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your time with family and loved ones.  I hope Santa is good to you.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  My 2015 Goodreads challenge was to read 100 books.  So far I have read 64 books.  I've got three going right now... One on my ipad, one audio book in my car, and a real book.  With the end of the year rapidly approaching I highly doubt that I'll read 36 books between now and then.

I don't know if I can lower the number to 75 for 2016.  I may have to challenge myself to read more books!  I hate that I did not accomplish my goals.  I don't think it was an out of reach goal.  In fact if I had listed all of the books that I have read to Miss C I would far surpass that goal.

I am flyingjen on Goodreads!

* I have debated for months on whether we should cancel our TV service.  We have significant debt that needs to be paid off and while I'm not sure exactly how much our TV service costs a month, I know it would be a good payment to debt.  I have begun to research alternate ways to watch TV.  We do have an active Netflix account and an inactive Hulu account.

Quite frankly one of the reasons I would like to keep our current service is the DVR.  I never watch live TV (unless it's with C).  One of the reasons Bryan would like to keep TV is the cycling channel.  We watch A LOT of cycling... The Tour de France and just about every other Tour available.

I have researched Sling TV, Amazon Prime, and Roku.  Do you have any of those devices/ subscriptions that you use to watch TV.  Or maybe another one that I am not aware of?

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.  Once again, knitting has been slow,  I've been working on the silent auction sweater.  I did manage to knit up a little cup cozy for Miss C's teacher for the Christmas basket.

Teacher V is a coffee drink.  I always see her with a mug in her hand, so I thought it was only fitting to knit her a cup cozy.  The pattern I used is Cuter Than Caribou which is a little ironic because we are also giving her a Starbucks mug and gift card.   Caribou Coffees are few and far between here in Colorado.

I've been reading slowly as well.  I have been reading a Breathe of Eyre for weeks now.  I just have a hard time getting into it.  I read it, I put it down, I read it, I put it down.  I'm also reading The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah.  I had a hard time getting into it as well, although once I'm reading it I like the story.   I must be in a reading funk right now.  Which is too bad because I've got a lot of books I need and want to read.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  Sunday night this beautiful big boy cried and cried and cried and held his left front paw in the air.  It broke my heart to hear his cries.  Monday he was listless and restless.  Tuesday I took him to the vet.  We thought it was his hips.  You know big dogs and their hips sometimes aren't good friends.  The vet poked and prodded his hips and joints but it wasn't until she started moving his head that he started crying and doing the same thing he did on Sunday.  The vet looked like she wanted to cry as well because she didn't want to see him hurt.  She said it's basically like a degenerative disk disease that humans get.  Now he's on a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and pain meds to see if that helps him.  She said surgery is an option, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there, he's nine and that's old for big dogs.  But we don't want him to be in pain or suffer either.

*  What a difference.  Last year we hung all of our Christmas lights wearing short sleeve t-shirts and jeans.  I think Bryan wore shorts.  This year there is still snow on the ground and it hasn't been all that warm to even melt the snow.  But it sure looks festive!

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 worked frantically last week to finish this blanket for my cousin's baby.  I was able to meet that sweet baby this past Saturday.  I had a layover in Minneapolis and they came to my hotel with this beautiful new baby girl.
Thanksgiving morning between attending to all of the timers I had going for baking I hid ends.  I wasn't going to spend time weaving all those ends so I just tied knots and then hid them under the double crochets  I made this blanket using a crocheted basketweave with three strands of yarn.   I basically used all of my baby yarn stash- there was one very tiny ball of baby blue yarn left- so I called it done!
There was practically no reading this week.  I did finish The Escape, the audio book by David Baldacci, I was listening to.  I haven't started another yet.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.

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.   On Sunday I worked on the Maisie sweater (for C's school) while watching the Denver Bronco game.  Let's just say that since it was not a good game for Denver fans it was not a good night to knit.  I ended up ripping back about an inch of knitting because I knitted on the purl side and purled on the knit side.  Once I fixed that mistake I cast on for the other front piece and had to rip that out as well.

This week I also worked on the blanket for my cousin.  I am almost out of baby yarn but what I have left is a lot of different shade of blues!  But I feel like I accomplished something by using up almost all of my baby stash!

Two years ago I was a part of a square swap group on Ravelry.   I never did anything with my squares, mostly because the colors didn't mix and most squares were not 12x12.  Over the last couple of months I have unraveled almost all of the squares to use the yarn in various scrap projects.  These are the last three squares to rip apart.  The periwinkle one was pretty hard unravel and out of frustration I threw it away!
On the book front I just finished reading Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner.  WOW!  In the first chapter the main character is in a car accident and she can't remember who she is.  But she had a traumatic brain injury before her accident and it takes a while for all of the pieces to fall into place.  Who is she?  Is she a murderer?  Did she lose a child?  What is her real story?  It held my attention from the get go and didn't let up until the last page.  

The Mansion

Bryan has spent the better part of his days off for the last two weeks working on what we now call "The Mansion."  That's right, The Ladies have a new home.

I convinced him in May we needed a new coop as our pre-fab coop was falling apart.  After all it was three years old and we all know pre-fab anything just doesn't last.  We used this shed coop design as our starting out point.  Bryan build all the walls and the floor when he had time over the summer.  But then as fall was getting colder we felt the urgency to get it together.

We modified the plans considerably.  Instead of a flat roof we built a pitched roof and we didn't build a nesting box that extended from the coop.  We put nesting boxes inside the coop.  We also built a food storage bin that also has the pine shavings bag in it.  That way everything is one place.

The front door is from Habitat For Humanity.  The windows, while not installed yet, I found in the trash.  They are old, but with shims will fit perfectly between the 2x4's.  I debating whether I need to get a heater/heat lamp for those days when it is below zero.  We will have an extension cord for the water dish so it would be easy enough to do heat.

The pre-fab coop didn't really have a roost so The Ladies never roosted.  Janis and Grace II roosted for a while in the big bush in the chicken run but the others never roosted even though there were places outside the coop to do so.  The first night I checked on them they were crammed two by two into the nesting boxes!  And then the lone chicken was cuddled next to two in a box.

We purchased a lot of the outside material but for everything on the inside of the coop we used recycled materials.  We saved all of our scrap pieces of wood and I even dug through the scrap pile at the construction site up the street.

I do plan on hanging some plants on the front of the coop like the one in the original design.  I'm thinking herbs in one and pretty flowers in another.  I'm not sure if we'll put shutters on it or not.  The next nice warm day we'll get the windows in.  I also think we need to insulate the roof  so that the heat that is in there doesn't escape completely.

And of course we'll get more chickens next spring.  Which is exactly what Bryan was afraid of!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

* Raking the leaves in the front yard quick before it snows.  And of course we have the obligatory leaf pile for jumping.  Quite fun if I do say so myself! 

* Open enrollment for school begins in January.  Our neighborhood elementary school is the lowest performing elementary school in our district.  Miss C will NOT go to school there.  We have toured two schools so far and we are touring another one today.  Luckily there are some excellent schools within a couple of miles of our house.

* In some magazine I was reading at work, I read a little blurb about the Serial Podcast.  It sounded very interesting so I downloaded the first episode and listened to it yesterday.  It's a true story of a high school senior who is missing and then found murdered.  Her ex-boyfriend is arrested, tried and convicted.  He maintains his innocence and there are some that believe him.  The host of the show, Sarah Koenig, starts researching to get some answers.

Happy Thursday 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 book.  It was a rather slow week in the yarn department.  I am almost finished with the left front of the purple Maisie sweater.  Then I only have a right front and a color and some trim to finish.  I think I can do that by January when it is due!

Right now I am focusing on the basketweave crochet blanket that I am making for my cousin.  She had a sweet baby girl almost two weeks ago and I'm still frantically trying to finish.  My goal is to have it done by Thanksgiving because I'll be in Minneapolis that weekend for work and I plan on inviting myself over to meet the baby.  

I just downloaded A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont.  I just started it so no word yet.  I just finished reading Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup.  I just did her 31 days of living well and spending ZERO! I hope I'm on a roll with organizing my life.  I'm currently listening to Gathering Prey by John Sanford.  It is a Lucas Davenport book and it is a bit on the bloody and violent side.  I've read or listening to all of the Lucas Davenport books so I'm used to it, but this book is a tad scary as well.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  Miss C as Rapunzel!  Oma made the costume again this year.  Miss C and Papa made the braid.  My mom used to make all of our Halloween costumes when my brother and I were little.  She made a few costumes for my niece and nephew when they were little and then swore she was never going to sew another costume again.  Ever.  So much for that.  As soon as she heard that Miss C wanted to be a princess mom got out her sewing machine and got to work.

Unfortunately at the Halloween party we went to the kids got their hands on some Sharpies.  Miss C has black marks on the front of her dress.  I googled how to remove it and a few of the lighter marks did come out, but for the most part there are a lot of 4+ inch black lines on the front.  I don't want to ruin her dress but I"m thinking the best thing is that my mom sew a patch of the same fabric on the front to cover it up.

*  The witch is my cousin.  Olde Town Arvada does a trick or treat street and all the merchants and business owners hand out candy.  She dresses up every year and scares the kids!  Last year a little girl asked her if that was her real nose.  When my cousin replied of course it was, the little girl responded that if she was ok with her god given nose then who was anyone else to complain about it!  Funny.  Miss C asked how she flew on her broom because it was so small (it was a mini broom).

*  Monday it was warm enough here in Denver that I wore shorts all day!  The temperatures dropped yesterday and it is supposed to snow today.  It will also be gone by tonight.  But the nice temps made me think I had much longer to clean up the yard than I really had.  What was I thinking?  It is November!

*  I've been playing a lot more on Instagram.  Are we friends?  Find me.  I'm flyingjen.

Happy Thursday my friends!

31 Days of Spending Zero- Wrap Up

So.  Our 31 days of spending zero wasn't exactly an epic fail, but we didn't save any extra money.  One thing I learned is to be more intentional with my money.  Like a lot of American's we live paycheck to paycheck.  I pay bills and necessities first and then save a little bit of money for gas and food for the next two weeks.

I had to ask myself several times while shopping if I really "needed" an item.  More often than not it was no.  I did need new tires and an alignment during October so we bought those.  The yarn I bought at Goodwill last week, not so much.  The money for my Rhinebeck trip was set aside in April and I actually came home with money!

I am thinking of driving for both Uber and Lyft in my off time.  Yes I probably make more money at my real job, but it also takes time away from my family.  And I do have to drive 30 minutes each way to work.   So if I work at extra 4 hours, it will take 6-7 hours out of my day.  So my thought is to drive during the day when C is in school to make a little extra cash to pay bills.  That way I don't have to decide which bill is more important to pay.

I didn't finish all of the daily assignments.  Some of them were organization and cleaning days and I can do that on my own.  I did clean out my closet and C's closet and dropped off a ton of stuff to Goodwill and the consignment store.

I also have done a much better job of meal planning and making meals with what we have on hand.  I organized and cleaned out the pantry.  It's much easier to meal plan with an idea of what there is to work with.  Who knew?! I'm still looking for great crockpot meals or casserole/hot dish type of dinners that I can pull out of the freezer and bake.

I would totally do a spending freeze again.  Would I do 31 days or just two weeks?  Not sure, but it was a good jumpstart to doing a budget.  (I know, I'm starting to sound like a broken record on doing a budget, but I swear we will start one day).

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  October=more leaves in my house than on the tree.

*  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Plexus is offering a Buy One Get One sale on their Breast Check Kit.   The Breast Check Kit was featured on The Doctors.  Buy one for yourself and get one free to share with your sister.  Your daughter.  Your BFF.  You can order HERE.
*  The ladies are getting a new chicken coop.  Or condo as Bryan refers to it.  We've had all summer to work on it and of course now that it is getting colder outside we are trying to get it put together.  More on that when it's together and I can take pictures.  

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 books and yarn.  I worked on several projects this week mostly the purple sweater for C's school fundraiser.  I finished the back and started the left front.

On Monday I had a bit of time before I picked C up at her school so I stopped at the new Goodwill store.  I was generally disappointed with the store- I'm not sure if it's because it is new and not fully stocked or it is was a Monday and they had a busy weekend, but the store was not stocked and not organized at all.  I did however score some awesome yarn!

That's right!  I got four skeins of Cascade 220 for $1.99 each!  And it's a color I love!  I've already been searching for sweaters or vests to make with it!  I also got this skein of Abuelita yarn for $1.99.  I will use it to make something for C.  I'll definitely check back to see what kind of yarn they are stocking.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I decided to make the Funky Grandpa with my Rhinebeck yarn. This is fingering weight yarn from O Wool.  I had never heard of or seen it but fell in love with the colors and knew that I had found what I was in search of.
 Since we were at a yarn festival I got a lot of knitting done on the Maisie sweater for Miss C's school fundraiser.  I am in the middle of the back and in an inch start the decrease for the arm holes.  The yarn is still not my favorite but I'm getting the hang of knitting with it.
Yes those are kitty paws...
 Since I am doing a spending zero challenge for the month of October through the blog Living Well Spending Less I decide to read her book.  It is called Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup.  I am also reading Outcast Dead (on my ipad) by Elly Griffiths.  It is book six in the series.  I got a lot of reading done during the trip.  And it's easy for me to read on my ipad and knit mindlessly.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Rhinebeck Weekend

Last Thursday the mama's (The Dragon's) and I left for New York and the 2015 New York Sheep and Wool Festival! Hello to the insanity!  (I didn't even take a picture of the craziness, but I heard there were 40,000 people there on Saturday).

On Friday two of the mama's took a design class and the other mama and I went sightseeing.  We drove down and toured the grounds of both Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill estate and FDR's childhood home.  Then we took a tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion.  The grounds of all three were gorgeous, the leaves just coming into color (not quite peak, but stunning) and all were very impressive.

The Vanderbilt Mansion was one of the smallest and "cheapest" of all of the mansions built by a Vanderbilt.  It had 14 bathrooms!  When Frederick Vanderbilt died in 1938 he left this estate to his wife's niece.  But she didn't want it and tried to sell it first at a price of $350,000.  But due to the times, no one bought it.  She reduced the price to $250,000 (which in those times was A LOT of money, but I can't help think that since my house is over that in todays money I would have bought it in a heart beat).  And still no one bought it.

FDR suggested she donate the house and it's contents to the National Park Service and it opened to the public in 1940.

 Saturday was the day!  First day of the festival.  We got there about 10:30 and it was Cuh-razy! We got spilt up pretty much right away.  My plan was to walk around, do a little reconnaissance and then decide what to purchase.  It was a tad overwhelming.  It was hard to get into booths and feel the yarn.  But I did manage to walk through three buildings and mark my booklet to know which places I wanted to return to later.

I got to meet up with Donna.  I love this whole blog thing.  I consider everyone a friend from the blogosphere and it is so exciting to actually meet in person.  I spent the afternoon with Donna and her friend walking around the rest of the booths.  It was a chilly day and I kind of wished I had finished my Sylvi sweater, but I was rocking the Hitofude.
Donna & me.
 Donna made mention that Sunday is a much calmer day.  She was spot on.  It was easy to walk around and I was able to go back and make my purchases.  I was torn about what to buy though for the sweater I decided to make.  So many choices!  Ultimately I decided to only buy yarn for my sweater.  I was going to purchase yarn to make Miss C a sweater as well, but in the end I couldn't bring myself to spent upwards of $60-80 on yarn to make a sweater for a 4 year old.
The Dragons with Miss Babs.
I didn't venture too far into the Miss Bab's booth (either day) as it was pure insanity.  My friends waited in line for over 45 minutes on Saturday to make their purchases.  I was able to feel it and it was very nice.  I'll do my ordering on line!  Miss Babs was kind enough to take a photo with us on Sunday.

Stay tuned for a yarn photo.  I'm still downloading everything and unpacking.

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.  Last week I finished my Hitofude.  This week I started Maisie .  It is a pattern from Debbie Bliss.  I am making this cute little sweater for Miss C's school's annual fundraiser.  

I bought this discontinued yarn at a new crafting thrift store in Boulder.  It is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan.  Quite frankly I can see why it is discontinued.  I don't like knitting with it.  It makes my fingers hurt and it splits easily.  But I love the color and it was cheap.  

 I read Full Body Burden last week.  It is a double story.  It is about the Rocky Flat Nuclear Weapons facility.  It is also about the authors life growing up downwind of Rocky Flats.  Honestly I read this book to know more about Rocky Flats.  I grew up in the mountains "upwind" of the plant.  We drove by it all the time when going to Denver.  We knew what was going on in the plant, but I had no idea of how much was covered up.  I  was pretty shocked at the history of cover up.  There was a big trial in Denver (which I don't remember) and there is still a gag order in place.  Crazy.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday my friends!

End of Summer Garden Sauce

Don't mind the messy kitchen, it was baking day!
OK, it's Roasted Tomato Sauce.  I've been gathering what's left in the garden and slow roasting it in the oven.  This particular batch of sauce has Roma tomatoes, Red Siberian tomatoes, Yellow Jubilee tomatoes, a few cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  (one earlier batch had squash chunks roasted as well).

There is no recipe for my sauce.  Once all the veggies are washed and chunked into whatever baking dish is available,  I drizzle olive oil over the veggies, then sprinkle salt and sugar and the herbs I have on had.  The it all goes into the oven.  I roast it until it looks right to me (usually a couple of hours).

Once I've pulled it out of the oven I let it cool down for an hour or so then dump the whole thing into the blender and puree it.  Each batch has been just a little bit different depending on what (and how much) is ripe.  I have jarred each batch and then water bath canned them.

Which means we'll be eating a lot of pasta this winter!  But there is nothing like homemade sauce in the middle of winter.

31 Days of Spending Zero::Update

Week one of the 31 days of living well and spending zero challenge is in the books.  How'd we do?  I thought we did really well until I got home from work yesterday.  I didn't think it was too difficult this week to not spend any money.  But I worked seven out of the last eight days.

Like most people we live paycheck to paycheck so when payday rolls around we usually have most of the check already accounted for.  This week was no exception.  I got paid on Monday and paid the bills that were due from the 1st-15th.  I shopped at Target and Costco and bought ONLY the items that were on my list!!!  That was a major score for me.  Have you ever gone to Target and only bought list items?  It's difficult.

One of the challenges this week was a pantry clean out.  I dug through the pantry and freezer and made lists of what we had on hand and will try to meal plans around that.  I also went to the grocery store for perishables.  My grocery budget this week was $30.  I spent $33 and was impressed that I got everything I needed!

I got home from work yesterday to find that my husband had purchased a new bicycle.  Ugh.  So I'm a little bit frustrated.  Apparently he is not on board with the challenge.  We've also paid for a new tires and a hefty car repair bill.

I put money aside back in April for my Rhinebeck trip with the Dragons (Bryan calls our crafting group that because as he says we sit around and "spew fire").  My challenge for that will be to stick to the budget I set up!

I'm excited to see what week 2 has in store!


This photo by Miss C
I did it!  I finished my Hitofude.  I cast on a little over a year ago.  I knit this sweater off and on for the whole year.  There always seemed to be something more important to knit (baby & Christmas gifts).

Last summer I searched for weeks for a yarn that I liked.  I found this Quaere Fibre on Etsy.  It is merino and silk.  And oh so soft.  The color is Butter!

I'm excited that it's finished in time for Rhinebeck.  And I hope the weather is warm enough to wear it at least for a little while!

A HUGE Challenge

I signed up for, what possibly could be the scariest challenge. EVER. I'm excited and very nervous. Have you ever gone a whole month where you only paid the basic bills and didn't buy any extras?  I haven't and that is probably why I am in debt up to my eyeballs. 

I have taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class twice. Once with my husband and then the second time because we missed crucial information due to previous commitments the first go. He's not totally on board with it yet so I'm hoping this jumpstarts a little desire to be debt free on his part. 

I sat down tonight and did a rough budget of things that we need to pay and some items we've committed to paying for. (Rhineback was budgeted for back in April so that's a go). I think to start with it will be a challenge for us to stop eating out and maintaining a weekly menu. 

Also Starbucks and impluse items at Costco and Target are an issue. I'm going to make a list and stick to that list!  Check out 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero to find the challenge. There are over 60,000 people signed up so far.

It is my hope that this challenge plus the accountability both here on this blog and with other bloggers (and participants) will lead to some lifestyle and budget changes.

Happy Friday Friends!

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  So.  I didn't knit much this week and I feel that my self imposed deadline of finishing my Hitofude is rapidly approaching and I'll not get finished in time to pack it in my suitcase to wear at Rhinebeck.  Ack.  I tried it on last night and was a little shocked at how it felt. It was a little tight in the armpits and short.  OK, I know I'm not finished with it yet, but I'm wondering if I should add an extra repeat section.  Or will it work out in those two areas if I block it very aggressively?  Oh, the decisions.  

On the flip side I did finish the second the two washcloths I was making for Bryan's niece who just had a baby.  I thought the baby wasn't due until October and that I had time.  The baby was due mid September and came the beginning of the month.  I used Lion Brand Natural Choice organic cotton in the French Vanilla color way.  I bought it at Tuesday Morning.  Do you have a Tuesday Morning near you?  I'm not even sure how to describe Tuesday Morning.  It's a selection of ever changing and random things that are available at a super low clearance price.

If you are a cat lover you really do need to read Text From Mittens by Angie Bailey.  It's fun to read the sarcastic comments that Mittens texts to his owner.  I imagine most cats would be snarky and sarcastic since that is just their personalities.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

I know you've seen the commercials on TV for law firms that say "if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma please contact..." The picture in my head of such clients is older, gruff, blue collar working men.  That is so not true!

Let's start at the beginning.  What is mesothelioma?  It is a cancer that affects the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.  There are three types of mesothelioma and they are differentiated by the affected organs.  Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and is the most common of all diagnoses.  Peritoneal affects the abdominal cavity and pericardial affects the cardiac cavity.

What causes mesothelioma?  Asbestos.  Asbestos fibers are extremely durable and is resistant to fire and chemical breakdown.  The strength of asbestos and its heat resistant made it a material of choice is a large number of products such as roofing materials, insulation, floor and ceiling tiles.
The mesothelioma website has a list of products and so much information on this deadly disease.

Back to my mental image of a mesothelioma sufferer.  The list of occupations on the website is predominately blue collar workers.  For example, shipyard workers, aircraft mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and drywallers.

Heather was just 36 when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  Her baby girl was only three months old when she was diagnosed.  Her father worked in drywall construction and as a little girl she used to wear his work jacket that was covered in drywall dust.  Read her amazing story here.  Heather is now a ten year survivor!

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is Saturday September 26, 2015.   Please, pass it along.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

* I signed up for an online blogging class called Blogging on Your Own Terms.  One of the assignments last week was about color.  I updated the colors on my blog and liked how it looked.  I have been thinking about downloading a new template to use and thought I found one I like.  Yesterday I downloaded it and did not, in fact, like it.  At all.  But then my layout was all messed up and I couldn't remember what my template and colors looked like.  Be patient.  I'm still playing with it and I'm a little on the frustrated side.

* We have a type of garden spider on the motion lights on our garage.  I've tried to take pictures of it, because it is really cool, but so far have been unsuccessful.  I googled garden spiders and very quickly got the heeby jeepies.  I am unable to identify the type of spider.  Last Friday night we watched as a moth got stuck in the web and the spider raced across the web to get it.  Miss C was fascinated by it.  And while I give it a healthy respect I do like watching it!  He has had to rebuild his web almost daily and we've enjoyed seeing a new web every morning!

Happy Thursday my friends.

Frog Year

Last week was the first day of C's last year of preschool.  In 2013 she was a Tadpole, 2014 she was a Polliwog and this year she is a Frog!  She will go to school three days a week.  It's a small class this year with just eleven kiddos.

This will be an interesting and historical year for Steele.  Steele Cooperative Preschool has been at it's current location for 33 years.  In July we lost our lease.  The company that owns the house we use as our preschool has decided to sell.  If you have heard anything about the Denver Front Range real estate market you know how crazy it is right now.  It's not unheard of for houses to sell in a day with multiple offers (and that's if it even makes it to the market).  The availability of houses on the rental market for the month of August was 0.04%!

The parent board made a separate Development Committee in order to explore options on how to continue with this amazing preschool.  We got lucky in that one parent on the committee is a realtor and was able to find another house just seven blocks away.  And it was zoned for both residential and commercial!  And thanks to some financial responsibility of previous parent board members we had a down payment!

So we bought a house!  In September, renovations will begin to make it a one room school house.  The wall between the living room and one of the bedrooms will be removed to make a large room.  The back yard will also be transformed into a playground that is suitable for the 3-5 age group.  It's a lot of work and a lot of money!  We are hoping to have these renovations completed by the end of October and be moved into our new school by November 1.

Steele parents are hosting A TON of fundraisers this year to raise money for the stage one renovations.  (Stage two involves some kitchen and bathroom work).  Stage one renovations are what we need to do in order to have school in this location.  One of the fundraisers we have going is a CrowdRise page.  CrowdRise is like gofundme, except we have it set up as a charity.  Steele Cooperative Preschool is a 501(c)3 charity which makes all donations tax deductible.  If you are looking for a great non-profit to donate to, please think of Steele.

Happy Monday Friends!

Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  I want to introduce you to a new blogger.  About a month ago, Lauretta, my good friend from work decided to start a blog.  Please drop on by Bless Your Heart to read her first post about a trip to Jordan and the good samaritan she met there.

*  We've had a rough Chicken month here.  Did I tell you that we lost Grace?  Yep.  Another victim of the hot nesting box.  Gracie was Corrine's favorite chicken.  We have since ventilated the box and have a small fan in there to help circulate the air.  

Corrine and I went to small farm north of Denver to buy some new pullets.  I let C pick our new ladies.  I wanted some older ladies, but C picked two 11 week old Easter Eggers.  The grey one is Grace 2 and the white one is Janis.  
We had them home for two days when I noticed that Janis was walking like she was drunk.  Then the next day she couldn't even stand up.  I called the farm to talk with the owner.  She said to return Janis and exchange her for another bird.  She thought it might be Marek's Disease.  Marek's Disease is a contagious, viral disease that can be fatal.  Now my ladies have been exposed and there is really no way to eradicate it from the chicken run.  So I am just watching and waiting.  So far so good.  But really it's super frustrating.  

This past weekend though, we thought we lost Grace 2.  Saturday was the first day I let them out of their little chicken box to roam the chicken run.  Mid day on Saturday we could only find Janis.  Cue the panic attack!  I  was wondering who was going to have to break the news to C.   Twenty minutes later we found Grace.  She was roosting near the top of the bush in the chicken run!  I am about over all of the chicken drama!

Happy Thursday my friends!

Knitting This Week

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!  Slow and steady.  That is how my Hitofude is coming along.  I am on chart C.  There is also a chart D and a chart E.  My goal now is to finish and block this lovely sweater and take it with me to Rhinebeck.  Yesterday one of the mamas at crafting asked me if I had a warm shirt to wear it with since she thought it might be cold.  I told her "no" as I was thinking it was going to be a lovely autumn weekend.  Believe me I'll be watching the weather closely as departure time approaches!
While we were at the library last week Miss C latched onto a book called Texts from Mittens.  I think she liked it because it had a cat on the front cover.  The book is texts between Mittens and his human.  It's pretty funny.  The author definitely knows cats and how they think.  We are reading a couple of pages of texts at bedtime.  Sometimes I am laughing so hard it hards to continue... 

Mittens: Phil (the dog) drooled all over Mr. Fuzzy.
Mom: I'll wash your blanket tonight.
Mittens: But I can't knead on him when he's wet.
Mom: i"ll be home soon.
Mittens: I can't wait.
Mom: You're awfully Kneady Mittens. LOL!
Mittens: You're a horrible person.

That just struck my funny bone.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.  


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