He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

June 11, 2011

A Non-Taxing Potpourri of Updates and Such

I keep wanting to turn this into more of an essay blog, with posts that are more carefully thought out and crafted, albeit less frequent. But I rarely have the time for that sort of post, and when I do, I don't have the energy to put that much thought into it. So instead here's a random list of what I've been up to lately:
  • Writing. Business has slowed down over at The Web Wrangler, so in addition to working on my novel I've also been busting my hinder cranking out articles for Demand Studios. Specifically, I've been writing for their new property White Fence, a consumer info & comparison site for utilities. So I've been comparing a lot of phone companies and satellite TV providers and Internet providers and whatnot, and if I never have to try to find pricing info on a service that doesn't let you see their pricing unless you live in their service area again, it will be too soon. But I'll probably have to do it again starting Monday, which is too soonest.

    I might be a little burned out on article writing right now. Can you tell?

  • Learning crochet. I made an attempt at this last fall, but I absolutely couldn't understand the diagrams I found online, and watching how-to videos didn't do anything to clear things up for me. But since "Learn a new yarn craft" is on my list of goals for 2011, and since I didn't get the yarn spinning kit I wanted either for Christmas OR my birthday (clearly, I need to be less subtle about dropping gift hints), I decided to give it another go.

    As luck would have it, last weekend we made a trek to the used book store, where I picked this up:

    The book, that is, not the granny squares. Those, I made, thanks to the VERY clear and easy to understand diagrams in the book. The top square was my first, and I had to unravel and start over three times before I got it right, but I don't think it turned out too badly for my first time crocheting EVER*. The bottom one was my second attempt, and it turned out even better.

    I still need a lot of practice before this comes easily for me. For one thing, it's really hard to get used to holding the yarn in my left hand -- I keep automatically picking it up and holding it in my right hand as if to knit. And I don't think crochet is going to supplant knitting any time soon as my favorite yarn-related pastime. But I've always wanted to be able to make granny squares, and now I can. Now if I can just figure out amigurumi, I'll be happy with the extent of my crochet skills.

    Oh, and now I can make this! Isn't that awesome? That whole blanket is just one giant granny square. I think I know a certain grand-niece or -nephew-to-be who might be destined to get one of these after they join us out here in the world.

    *My big sister taught me how to chain stitch when I was a little kid, and she might have even taught me single crochet stitch, but I never actually made anything, and I didn't retain any of it. So I might as well have been a crochet virgin.

  • Watching Doctor Who and crushing hard on Rory. And fearing for him. And being totally won over by River, and by Matt Smith's Doctor, and ready to jump on board that ship. I think this latest season just might be my favorite season ever.

  •  Not losing weight. It seems I've gotten stuck on that dreaded plateau I was worried about. It's frustrating, because I've been doing great on my diet and working out almost religiously. But for the last month or so the scales have been stuck bouncing around between 175 and 173, and won't budge a single pound lower. It's possible that I've still been experiencing "hidden weight loss", building muscle faster than I'm losing fat, since I've been doing a lot of toning exercises.

    Even so, today I adjusted my diet according to advice on the Zone web site for getting off of a plateau--namely, reducing my carbs by one block at each meal and adding an extra block of monounsaturated fat. It seems counter-intuitive, but apparently eating healthy fats helps regulate insulin, which in turn causes you to burn fat. So here's hoping this un-sticks me, and I can get back to making progress toward getting ready to TTC.
And that's pretty much been my life lately. How's things at your end?


Hope said...

That's really interesting about substituting fats for carbs. I've kind of been doing that, intuitively, but it's cool to know that it's supposed to help in IR. I hope it helps you get off your plateau.

And Yay! on finding a book with good crochet instructions!!! Looks like so much fun! 

Jean Bauhaus said...

 It is fun. I've already done two (well, one and a half) more granny squares since I posted this. I'm really starting to get the hang of it.

Now to just figure out what to do with all these squares.

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