Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1st grocery tote done!

Whee-oooh and the excitement just never dies down here. Whoa. 

Yesterday I finally finished the first grocery tote:

I had enough of these fabrics to make four, plus some scraps left over I can work into the next four (I want 8 altogether so I can shop for two weeks at a time).  I'll have to dig out All the Fabrics and cogitate a bit to come up with harmonizing colors. Yes, they're grocery bags. But why not have pretty ones if I can? And I can.

I'll be the talk of the grocery store circuit, I have no doubt! *Shoulders bucket purse, adjusts pillbox hat, grabs afternoon gloves and glides to the door*

 Image courtesy of J.C. Penney Co.

Tomorrow is mega-errand-running day. I try to limit my driving around to one day a week. It means that sometimes the refrigerator gets mighty echo-y and I end up dining on odd combinations, but it makes my skinflint soul smile. And saves gas, and the environment, too.

Monday, July 15, 2013

To my further surprise

black bean stew
And here I was, thinking how hard it was going to be to top the excitement of my last post (about my knee, remember? That I posted like half an hour ago?) when it suddenly hit me: I HAVE a slam-bang exciting thing to blog about ALREADY! What I'm going to have for dinner! OMG IKNOWRIGHT?
fried rice
Well, in my little world this *is* exciting because I've been getting pretty bored with my own cooking. Still, I need to eat healthier, and more economically. Guess what, people: vegetarian!!! I've been making large amounts of one dinner and portioning it into $1-aisle home TV dinner containers. This also saves me money because I don't have to cook for like, four nights straight, I can just microwave my TV dinner!
corn bread
This time, it's going to be: black bean stew, fried rice, corn bread, and baked squash. It doesn't get any healthier than that. Or easier! And this will make like, 8 TV dinners. I've got a few of the last go-round's chicken dinners in the freezer still, so I can have a little variety. And if I intersperse those with a Big Salad night now & then, I'm set for two weeks with tasty, cheap, healthy and easy meals! And what could be more exciting than that?
baked squash

So I'm amazed.

knee joint

Somehow, I must have wrenched or strained my right knee sometime around a week ago or so. I don't remember doing it. I only know that one morning when I woke up it felt thick, and sore. It didn't look swollen. But it hurt to bend it, and it was noticeably wobbly and gripe-y when I walked, and going up and down stairs was not fun. I figured it'd go away. (That's my default attitude towards anything physical. It comes from having been blessed all my life with robust good health. Now that I'm getting older, that assumption may not serve me so well all the time...)

But it didn't get better. It didn't get any worse, but I didn't want to adjust to this as a new baseline condition. So I went online. Some MD site had a bunch of articles about knees and what can go wrong with them. None of it sounded much like my experience, so I settled on one article's advice about a strained knee. I took a 12-hour NSAID, and I iced the knee for half an hour (supposed to repeat every 3 to 4 hours). I'm also supposed to "go easy on it" for a few days. As if I run marathons all the time otherwise, ha ha. I didn't expect any results.

Boy, was I surprised. After just one half-hour icing session, that knee was like, 90% better! Wowzer! And it seemed to have carried over, mostly, through to morning. Walking downstairs brought back a twinge and a wobble, so I've got ice on it again. But taking a break from that to go up to the bathroom? 90% better again!

So I'm going to "go easy on it" today (still trying to figure out how that will differ from my usual laziness) and ice it every 3 - 4 hours, and I've already taken the NSAID. I am very hopeful that a couple of days of this will heal it entirely, and I won't have to go on to Plan B, going to the doctor. I *really* don't want to go to the doctor.

But I was amazed how well this advice helped - and then I was amazed at my amazement. Why wouldn't it work? Or, why would it be less likely TO work, than not to? My brain is not as logical as I would like to think.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Starting a new project is always such fun.

I hemmed (not an intentional pun) and hawed around for days, trying to decide between the Roman Shade project or the Grocery Totes project, but finally decided since I have my windows covered NOW, but my grocery totes are falling apart, I should just do the latter first. 

And they are going to be the most beautiful grocery totes IN the land! The plaid and floral are vintage fabrics; the lime green sheet is a queen-size fitted sheet that's good for nothing, really, except it blends well with the other two. (I have a twin sized bed.)

There is enough of the plaid to make a dress but I finally faced reality and acknowledged that if I wore a dress made of that fabric, I would look like nothing so much as a very bright loveseat. The pattern is just too big for my height, and too wide for my width, lol. And this way I'll get to enjoy it every time I go to the store. 

The plaid is the main fabric, the lime green sheet is the lining, and the floral is going to cover the bottom half of the outside, and be the facing for the handles (which will be of the plaid, too). So they're going to be bright, and sturdy, and I expect them to last until I don't need groceries ever again.

I got the pattern and tutorial for free online, here.

I'm not using interfacing, as the pattern calls for. Otherwise I'm following the tutorial.  I don't know how many my fabric will make but as of right now, I have enough of the base panels (the yellow, bottom half) for four totes. I need more than that so I may have to delve further into my stash to see if I can come up with some more harmonizing fabrics.

Somewhere I saw a suggestion that you can (after thorough washing, of course) use old curtain sheers to make vegetable bags, thus avoiding having to use plastic sacks so much. I like that idea, and I have volumes of old sheer curtains - but until I get around to making the Roman shades, those are going to have to stay on the windows. So...I need to get busy with this. and get these two projects done. The Roman shades project, I am embarrassed to admit, I've had all the fabric and hardware for like, 4 YEARS. Procrastination? I has it.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day, America!

I'm enjoying the day on my own, happily, having bought All the American Foods (hot dogs, strawberries, lemonade, Tator Tots) and stocked up on an array of good books to choose from. The Day is MORE than doing its part here in Omaha:  79 degrees, light gusty breeze, sunny with fluffy white clouds; I and several of my neighbors have put our flags out - and to top the perfection off with a perfect cherry, one of those neighbors got out and mowed his yard awhile ago. There is NOTHNG that enhances a Day of Lazy like hearing someone ELSE mowing their yard!