Monday, November 24, 2014

My First 5K!

Well, I wish I could talk about the knitting projects I started this weekend, but they're gifts, so no peeky! Let's just say I have 3 projects on needles - one is the shrug I need to finish for myself, and 2 are gifts. By the way, have you ever knit with size 15 needles? I couldn't find circular ones, so I had to buy the metal sticks, and those come in extra short or extra long - weird! But since I can't talk about that, let's talk about my first 5K!

So I downloaded the C25K app from iTunes (it stands for "couch to 5K"), which Dean and I have been using it since August. And buddy, I can run 28 minutes without stopping! Now at the Airbus 5K on the Runway, I did stop every so often for a short walk break of 30-60 seconds, and I was not totally exhausted at the end, so that was nice.

It was also cool to run on an actual runway, and they had vintage planes parked on the side. At the end of the runway, you turned into the assembly line area and ran between hangars, then when I crossed the finish line they actually flew some vintage planes overhead (just for me, I know it).

Now Dean and Drew are old hats at running with dangerous, muddy obstacles, so they found this kind of boring, but I was delighted that my official 5K time was 36:30. And if you do the math, out of almost 700 people, I came in at 58% - not bad for somebody who used to get short of breath and a stitch in her side in PE, followed by vomiting and dizziness with any amount of heat. You go, my body! (Would you believe that the overall female winner was an 8-year-old girl who came in at 23 minutes? And she had run in another 5K at 8 that morning? With a time of 22 minutes? Some people are so obsessed...)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

And the Men Do the Spartan Sprint....

You've heard of this thing, right? Four and a half miles running with muddy obstacles along the way? Dean and Drew signed up for one, and that's what started the whole running and fitness thing we're into now. (I'm on week 7 of my Couch to 5K program - woohoo!)

They start with a speech about how they're Spartans - AROO! (This speech is more exciting on TV - this group wasn't really into shouting for some reason.) They release a new group every 15 minutes.

So they went 2 miles where we couldn't see them (some of that involved wading through a muddy creek where you can't see the bottom and crawling under 50 yards of barbed wire - why didn't I sign up for this?), then they came back in view at the rope climb. There were some Army guys in full gear running for "Special Ops Survivors" - very cool!

There was quite a line to jump on the ropes - I don't know how nobody was killed by people slipping off...

But Drew made it all the way to the bell - he's on the far right.

I love this picture because they look like twins, down to their shoes.

Here are a couple of the Army guys going through the final barbed wire - after that they leap over a fire and get their medals.

Dean was even more covered in mud, if you can believe it.

This is where everybody showered before going in a changing tent to put on clean clothes. I missed the guy that stuck the hose down his shorts.

Can I just say that after washing their clothes, I had to VACUUM the dryer and lint filter because of all the leaves and rocks that were in their pockets. Good times...maybe I'll give it a shot next year....NOT!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Camping, Not Sewing

But FIRST, a sample of Mary Kay's wonderful Virtual Makeover! I had to do screen shots with my phone, so forgive the quality - you'll still get the gist. This is an unmade-up face that I took a couple of months ago, with the chosen Mary Kay look to the left. Before:

After: Bahahahaha!

This one actually looked really good - it looks like I'm really wearing that makeup!

Enough pre-show entertainment - go do one for yourself! On to the camping. I got a wild hair to camp in this chilly awesome weather, so we went to Prairie Creek Campground halfway between Selma and Montgomery on the Alabama River - gorgeous!

Lucas set about collecting sticks to make a "platform" with some rope lashings.

Very industrious, that one. Drew set about catching up on his sleep with an afternoon nap.

Nice sunset...

And I got mesmerized by the hot coals of our campfire. May have to blow this up and frame it.

So after the nearby Auburn fans quit yelling and went to sleep, their dogs started up....till the coyotes threatened to eat them. And I think a coyote DID eat a heron or something around 3 AM - thought it was a woman screaming at first - creepy! And it got down to 35 degrees, so I slept about 30 minutes total, what with putting on long johns inside the sleeping bag and keeping the top pinched shut to keep out the cold. This was steam coming off the river in the morning.

Lucas strapped his "platform" to 2 trees and it became a bench.

Quality work - it holds a grown woman!

Lucas demonstrated his Boy Scout skills at cooking pancakes...

And Dean demonstated his skill at flipping eggs in a pan without breaking the yolks - should've done an action shot.

And finally, here's the nearby lock and dam - very cool! Lucas asked if we could come back and take a tour like we did at Lake Martin's dam.

Alright, wasn't I trying to exercise or run every other day? Two weeks left in my Couch to 5K program - anybody else tried that yet? Oh wait - you're all SEWING! Maybe I'll get back to that, too.....

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gulf Coast Girls' Sewing Weekend 2014

It was very technical! Here's the set-up:

Three of us decided to work on drafting a bodice sloper, so one of the engineers (I just like saying that) showed me how to connect the HDMI cable from the pediatrician's laptop to my TV, and using her Wifi hotspot, we streamed the Craftsy bodice sloper class (doesn't that sound like a funny joke: 3 doctors and 2 engineers walk into a sewing class - ba-dum-bum!). Let me just say that we 3 were wearing camisoles and leggings because of the very precise measurements to be taken, and adhesive dots were also employed to mark strategic spots such as base of the neck, shoulder points, belly button, high hip, low hip, etc. This picture was actually taken before any imbibery began, but my head was spinning with calculations involving fractions, thus the stupid look on my face.

After the imbibery began, the calculations went all to hell, but you can see how intense the work was - nary a sewing machine was heard at our table.

BUT, Robbie was productive with her hand-smocking of dresses for little girls, and Yaffa was the grand-prize winner, finishing an ENTIRE PURSE, complete with ribbon, piping, and magnetic snap closure!

So it was very educational, and we balanced the caloric intake of the yummy pina coladas with the fiber of Katrina's chicken Caesar salad and Yaffa's Kale Mary salad. (Yaffa doesn't have a blog yet, but maybe she'll comment with the recipe - it was delicious and involved exotic things like quinoa!)

So, that's it on the sewing front - still haven't unpacked anything sewing-wise. On the family front, here's a little sample of Drew's bass-playing. He's doing the end of the year talent show at school, and guess what song he's doing? DURAN DURAN's Box Full of Honey. (Exposed him to my favorite band a couple of years ago against everyone's better judgment: You're welcome!) Of course, there'll be another kid on guitar, a vocalist, and a drummer, but they haven't practiced together yet. This video reminds me of the year the poor guy did a 7th grade talent show by playing his French horn along with a record. He got behind and had to start over again a couple of times - very embarrassing. Hopefully Drew will be more successful with the live version...or it could be worse...I'll shut up now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Have You Seen This Top?

I have a little bit of mojo going in light of the impending GCGSW, so I found this top lying on a pile of knit tops that didn't fit right and decided to save it. It previously had short sleeves which were too tight, and the armscye was biting into me in the back, but once I ripped off the sleeves, it sat better. Thus it became a tank.

Sad thing is, I have no idea what pattern I used for this. I held the Renfrew up to it, but it didn't match.

What a swayback - I look like I'm bending over backwards!

I couldn't find the remnants of fabric, so that precluded any nice bands. I just pressed under about 3/4" and stitched on the top of it. I didn't want to mess with the coverstitch all night, since I haven't perfected finishing seams yet, so I popped in my twin needle and was about 1" from finishing the hem when one of the needles broke - DOH!

Therefore, I popped in a single stretch needle and did a triple stretch stitch with one color, then the other color.

I'm happy to have salvaged something wearable, but I wish I knew what pattern it was, because I like the neckline. The hem is a little too snug.

Now I need to knit a black shrug so I can wear it to work!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Labor Day Helicoptering

The blogging is taking a serious backseat to work these days! I did have a couple of days off to enjoy the last dregs of summer with the family (It was 96 today, who are we kidding? I think I'll wear white next week!), and that entailed a helicopter ride we've been trying to do for months. The first time we tried it, the thing was broken and being serviced, which was not particularly confidence-inspiring, but all was well THIS time. Dean opted to stay behind as next of kin.

Hello, Alabama Pass!

So Drew wanted to head north instead of going along the beach with its predictable waves and condos, and guess what we found? A lady in the water! (You do see her head and knees sticking up like she's sitting in a tub, right?) Turns out that Barber Marina is owned by a billionaire who likes to have fun with his money, so he commissioned some sculptures to be scattered across his property.

Here's a giant spider behind the dry storage building. Lucas thinks it's to deter thieves.

And for some reason, in the middle of a forest where no one can see it, Stonehenge! The dirt road you see in the corner isn't even a way in, as it's blocked to cars. You'd have to hike in on foot to find this.

And then back over Robinson Island for a quick landing - what fun! We'd all do it again, and Drew especially enjoyed the banking turns with no door. Given that he's planning to go into the Air Force, he BETTER enjoy stuff like this!

Oh, here's a little vicarious flying for you:

And now to sewing, of course. My Mom and Jim gave me a gift certificate to Alabama Chanin for my birthday, which was right after my sewing weekend with Natalie - hooray! I bought another stencil, and this one is WAY bigger than my other one:

I also bought a couple of yards of teal fabric. I think I had a shirt or dress in mind when I bought it - can't remember now.

And yes, I'm still couching that skirt. Almost finished with the first panel. This thing's taking longer than the beaded Mardi Gras dress, but it's because I keep knitting with every spare moment I have. OH, and the big news is we're having a second GCGSW - Gulf Coast Girls' Sewing Weekend! It's in October, and we've picked up another doctor who sews, so we're scrambling to find an engineer to balance out the degrees - ha! Hey Pam, we'll take a lawyer, too, if you're free the weekend of October 11th. Some of us are tackling the Bodice Sloper class on Craftsy for this, but I also plan on whipping up some knit shirts in the meantime, since I never finished the Sewing with Knits classes. Wait, I think I have 2 lectures to give at the state medical meeting in 3 weeks, which also coincides with my college reunion-girls' weekend....dude, when will I have time for my sewing?!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer's Over

Man, where did the time go? It's been years since I posted something! Well here are a couple of pictures to remind myself what we did this summer after July 4th. We went to Universal Studios since it'll probably be the last time Drew goes there with us...until he has kids of his own - wahhhhhh!

So this is in Harry Potter-ville, or whatever the name of that town is where he catches the train, and this was a cute display.

Yeah, I couldn't tell you how the ride was, as there was always a 4-hour wait, mostly due to it breaking down frequently. But I CAN recommend Rip Ride Rockit:

...where you pick your favorite song to belt at the top of your lungs, thus embarrassing your 17-year-old son listen to while climbing 17 stories straight to Jesus then hurtling up to 65 mph! Lucas didn't ride that, of course, but he did overcome a couple of panic attacks to ride the Mummy...twice, in fact. He said that his goal this summer was to conquer that particular fear, and he was terribly proud of himself.

This was breakfast at the local restaurant - I guess New York has pigeons and Orlando has....herons or something like that.

Dean tried to sneak up on it, prompting it to take flight.

This was a chandalier at the Hard Rock Hotel by Universal - all saxophones!

When we got home, we found a lost water bird of our own hanging out in the backyard.

So the rest of the time I've been working, giving lectures, taking call, etc., in addition to finishing some knitting projects. I need to take a picture of the scarf I finished, but I also did a couple of dishrags and am about 1/4th of the way through another shrug for myself. Hmmm, seems like I'm forgetting something....oh yes - that Alabama Chanin skirt I was couching! Haven't touched it in a couple of weeks, but I'll get back to it shortly.

Okay, off to prepare for the first day of school tomorrow. Can I just add in closing that I've never cried as much watching the national news as I have this last week? Between the bombings and the massacres in the Middle East, my eyelids just stay swollen. You hear about it every day, but to see footage of the poor men being lined up in a field of dead bodies, with the picture freezing just before the gunmen start shooting them, then the 3 little brothers in the hospital with their faces burned, just kills me. What the hell is the world coming to? Wow, what a great note to end on - thanks, Dr. Fun!