Saturday, May 28, 2016

Garden Cruise... WHAT!?!

It's been so long since I've written that I've neglected to mention I'm a Texas Master Gardener.
Yep, I can now request others to call me Master.
Ha! As if that's going to happen.
But hey, there's perks. Like conferences on cruise ships.
Gardening on the ocean?
Yep, I'll be attending 8 hours of continuing education while heading to Cozumel.
Sweet deal!
I even convinced the husband to go.
I know, arm twisting was tough. ;)
He's interested in a few of the classes too, like Beverages from the Garden and the Wine and Viticulture classes. 

If you've been reading this dusty old blog, then you might remember I did a whole 30 that turned to 90 days of clean eating. 
In the process I lost 35lbs.
That was nearly 2-years ago. 

WOW! Time flies when you're old.

Anyway, in those 2 years since I've allowed some things to creep back in to my diet. Namely sugar and bread. Granted, not like before, but it's still there. And because of it, I've put 15lbs back on. 
I try to stay positive, because HEY, at least I've kept 20lbs off... right? 
Yep, BUT I still had so far to go. 

Okay, enough of that. 

Gardening + Cruise = Weight Loss
Y'all can see how that all goes hand in hand now, right? Of course you do!

So the countdown has been made, spreadsheets started and Pinterest boards are filling up. 
You don't work 12-years in research and not pick up a few habits.

So once the deposit was made, passports were sorted and the list of excursions and on board packages were researched and logged I started to look at the countdown chart and realized;

"OMG I have to wear a frakin' bathing suit. WTH did I just sign up for?!"

After the initial shock, cold sweats and hyperventilation was done, I started mathing. ;)

I've 334 days, 47.5 weeks and I'd like to weigh what my License to Carry has me listed as. 
Um, yeah, it's not been updated since I first qualified.

That was 21 years ago, a 12-year sedentary office job, 4 moves, and 3 kids ago.
Talk about denial! 

So I'm writing it down. 
I'm blogging again.
I'm watching EVERYTHING that I eat.
And I plan on working out

No! Really, I am. I even did a quick workout today even though I'm fighting the last bit of school cooties the kids brought home.

Oh and that, it's officially Summer Break for the kids. I'm not really sure it that's going to make this process easier or harder, I guess that really just depends on me.
Gah, adulting sucks!

So, my plan for this blog?
Mostly to track my progress.
What else? Not really sure yet.
I'll just play it by ear. 

I've already done the food photo blogs.
Did the recipe thing.
And made motivational tools.

I know I'll be updating the food and work out boards on Pinterest.
With the PC now in my bedroom and the kids taking over the house, it's easier to work out in here and lock the door. Because seriously, yoga and kids... NO! 

AND... weights. It's time. Sure, I still have permanent joint damage thanks to sports and unsupervised weight lifting. But whatever. I'm not bitter. ;)

I should maybe add one of those widget for weight loss. Surely they're all over the place. I already have the cruise countdown. What's one more thing in the sidebar?

So this is officially day 1. 
I've 333 to go. 
To my friends, please don't make cookies for the next 47.5 weeks!  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Victory was Certain

I dragged their lifeless bodies across the newly leveled fields. Each one inadvertently picking up pieces from those who'd fallen before them. These two were the last. The giants among the masses. They stood tall and proud, certain nothing could harm them.
But they forgot who their master was. They took on a role they had not earned and in doing so led many others astray. Like a mutinous crew seeing only the port before them and not the ocean and its treasures beyond.
It was my job to bring things back to order. It was a task I loathed but knew had to be executed. If not I'd have been overrun and all my years of work would have been for nothing.
And so I did what had to be done.
With blades sharpened and nothing more than a thin protective shield to guard me against their allies, I went forth. 

Within minutes of entering their territories, their colleagues met me. Alien in appearance, they were fast and adaptable. I knew some would make it through my shield. They are a plague on society. So their death brought me great pleasure.

As I got closer I was greeted by their children. So small and fragile, easily plucked from the earth and tossed to the side. This... this I did not enjoy. Though I knew my enemies had to be thoroughly annihilated, it brought me no pleasure to end the next generation.
I moved forwards.

Getting closer to my goal I was forced to run the gauntlet. So many of my friends turned foe, each one grabbing at me, cutting me, leaving behind bloody reminders of relationships that had spoiled from neglect. So much of it was my fault, which hurt the most.
But they fell, all of them. One by one. My blades cut through them. Yet it was no easy task. Each one bigger and stronger. My hands, my arms, my shoulders and back, they all hurt, but I could not, WOULD NOT quit.

And then I was there, standing before the last two holdouts. The giants. Taking them down would be no easy task. But necessary if I was to succeed.
But I was tired.
So many battles had already been fought and all I wanted to do was rest. However, I knew if I stopped at this point, chances are I’d never go back.
And so I pushed forward. Grabbing a larger blade, not sure if I could take them down. But not showing fear either.
They both fought long and hard. The cuts and bruises I'd sustained earlier were nothing compared to the ones they left me. They were strong, solid, unmoving. Unlike the ones before who bent easily to my will. These put up a mighty fight.
But I could not lose and so I pressed forward to victory.

Tossing their lifeless bodies into a mass grave, piled high with my enemies, who were once friends. Tears mingled with sweat as I watched the cart pull away. I wondered if I'd been a better master, maybe none of this would have happened. Perhaps I could have tried harder to work with them. But it didn't matter now. I had a plan and they refused to work with me.

Under a warm flow of water, I reflected on the day's victory. Washing away dirt and debris, I hoped to never have to fight my friends and their allies again. But I am certain that as a master, I will be forced to make these difficult decisions again.

Because the truth is my job is never done.

Tales of a Master Gardener

Monday, February 1, 2016

She's Not Dead

... but her blog is.

August 16, 2015!
What the heck happened?

I mean sure, I'd slowed down and bit.
Only posted a blog here and there.
Lots of filler stuff like DIY projects.

But geez, nothing for nearly 6-months.
I should probably toss in the towel.

But then I think maybe I have something to say.
And then I forget what it was.

But hey, I have photos...

Yes, I know, it's still winter but it's also Texas and in the high 70's, low 80's. What else is a girl to do? Oh yeah, write blogs.

Well, this was my goal. Post at least one today, the first day of February.
*I like to do my resolutions a month later than most. I'm a rebel like that.

And I've 4 minutes to spare. Go me!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The random stuff I write and forget about till I've no idea where I was going.

I could see it, a random piece of dental floss discarded on the carpet like fairy kite string. How on earth did it make it's way into the waiting room? Perhaps last night I didn't get it all the way into the trash bin and the cleaning crew didn't see it fall out. Or maybe the waxy coating stuck to their shoes and they had already vacuumed. Of course that would be terrible if it stuck in their vacuum and they had to cut it out later when the belt started to burn up. 
Why on earth was I staring at it when I could so easily pick it up and properly discard it.
Then I saw the highly polished leather shoes just a yard away. I followed them up to the designer trousers, matching leather belt, silk shirt or mayhap linen? I couldn't be certain without touching, but that could be terribly awkward, just touching a persons shirt. Heck, I hadn't even seen his face. Or perhaps it was a she. Doubtful since I was certain the trousers were packing, but to be safe I ventured further up. Hmm, were those pecks of breast?
Perhaps I stayed focused there too long, contemplating if I was seeing B cups or a well developed man, but the body cleared it's throat. Shit! I did it again.  My eyes flew to what would be a male face. A very handsome face that happen to be smiling at me.
I had no idea how to recover so I said the first thing that came to mine.
"Fairies have apparently lost their kite."
I expect everyone to get my humor, but have learned after decades of disappointment that few do. The rare few that get are my best friends, the rest pity laugh and we've established a 'you don't get to drink coffee on my couch or suggest movies to me because you lack taste'. At least that's how I label them. I'm fairly certain they label me as simply weird. And that's okay. I understand weird.
The handsome man with the well defined pecks followed my line of sight and saw the floss, he chuckled. He actually chuckled. For real too. Not the pity laugh I'm accustomed to.
I put my hand out, "Hello, I'm Elizabeth. I'm guessing you're my 1:00? Bradley is it?"
He didn't hesitate in taking my hand, so I give him more points for that.
"I am, but...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rusty Wagon to Rusty Shelf

Per Instagram, it's been 11-weeks since I did this project. So yep, I'm a little behind.

This beauty was rusting in our backyard for about 8-years. I had thought about turning it into a planter, but knew that would just speed up the rusting process and I was fond of this guy. Maybe fond is pushing it, but for heavens sack it's a red wagon. The first one my kids played with and one of my favorite photos of them includes it. So... maybe I have a few hoarder tendencies. Whatever! 
It's no longer holding up my compost wall. Now it's holding a bunch of garden odds and ends. So there! ;)

THE rusty wagon minus the deflated over-sized tires and one of the sidewalls.

Old pickets a friend dropped off ages ago that I use whenever I need weathered wood. I just did a quick measure of the inside of the wagon and cut the wood to fit.

I cut the boards as long as I could so I could use the sides of the wagon to keep them in place.

Metal screws with nuts held the shelves in place.

I used heavy duty screws to hold it up using the holes left by the axles. Since this is an exterior wall molly bolts weren't needed. It's SOLID!

Old pockets are stapled to the sides to hold tools.
Jute is tied between the side walls, knotted and stapled so that herbs can dry and to hold items on the shelves.

This photo is from today... 11-weeks later. A few months up and it's still one of my favorite pieces.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Sew T-Shirt Tote

 Yep, another piece of clothing needing a new purpose.
This time one of my favorite t-shirts... and I'm really not a fan of t-shirts.
But this one is super cool.
Sadly the neck and sleeves were starting to show their age.
Thankfully the logo of our local roller derby team still looks great.

Got a cool shirt, but it's showing it's age?
First step, cut the sleeves and neckline off.  Leave the seams so it's less likely to pull apart. 

Next make your fringe. You can make this as long or short as you want to.  I want mine on the inside so they don't show. That means turning the shirt inside out before marking, cutting and knotting.
Time to knot, and knot, and knot some more.
If you've made no sew blankets you know there's a gap between the knots.
So the smaller stuff won't fall out, knot each knot together... surely that makes sense.  ;)
Because the spacing between the neck and sleeves are so wide, I used the seam of the old sleeve as a tie to close the gap. 
Still looks a lot like a shirt, but the tote is ready to use. If your shirt has graphics lower, then by all means make the top larger. I just couldn't lose anything on this one.  :)
Finished tote!  I tossed a big, heavy wooden box inside and swing it around... cause I'm a daredevil like that.  ;)

And so NOTHING goes to waste... the sleeves make great hairbands.  ;)

No Sew Up-cycled Apron

I have a small pile of old clothes building on my craft desk.
I couldn't donate them because they had holes.
But I HAD to do something before I went nuts.
So today I pulled out my fancy "you touch you die" scissors and went to town.

First Project
 Up-cycled Apron

Got a pair of old jeans?
Need an apron you don't mind dirtying up?
Cause come on, the one we bought off Etsy is too stinkin' cute to actually do work in.
... or is that just me?  
Anyway, here you go.  A way to reuse those old jeans.

Cut straightt across, about 1 to 2" below the back pockets. 
To make the belt, cut just below the waistline and then down the sides of the legs.
That's basically it! The button/snap works as your closure. 
... and if the jeans are a bit small, just add ribbon and extend it.