Friday, September 30, 2011

Blood Test Results

I have the results of my blood tests from last week.  Everything is normal.  No anemia, thyroid problems, blood counts are normal, kidney and liver are fine, and everything else he tested was within normal ranges. The only test that was high was an ESR sed rate that measures the level of inflammation.  Normal is 20 and mine was 32.  That suggests but doesn't prove rheumatiod arthritis but since all the other levels were normal, he discounted that.

It's a relief to know that things have been ruled out but I am tired of being tired.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wounded Pride

Limp. Groan. Limp. Oww.  Limp.  Groan.  Owww..

Yup.  I crashed.  Twice.  Once when I hit the brakes too hard and I slid into the handlebars hard enough to make me cry.  At least I didn't go over the handlebars to face plant out on the street.  The second was wiping out trying to do a wheelie and landed in the grass scraping my knee and adding 4 more giant bruises to my body.

I have always wanted to do a wheelie and go down the road holding one.  I found a YouTube video that was fabulous and showed simple steps to do it.  Cool.  I so gotta try this technique.  What could go wrong?

Step one:

Use the grass so if you wipe out it doesn't hurt so much.  I stood on the side of the bike and practiced pushing my upper body/arms down and over the bike to get the front wheel up.  Cool!  Instead of 2 inches off the ground I got a foot!  I kept practicing using my upper body until it clicked.  Sure beats trying to pull up on the handlebars.

Step two:

Lower the gears to find a comfortable position.  Done.  I practiced putting my back as low to the bar as I could, pushing down on the bike and pulling up.  I kept that up until it got easier and went to step three.

Step three:

Put the pedal in the right spot to add leverage while pushing down and keep pedaling.  So far so good.  I'm not perfect every time but I have the front tire in the air pretty high up and getting the pedaling sort of right.  I'm not even close to getting the balancing right, but I'm stoked I can get the tire up at least a foot off the ground.

Step four:

Show off to your son about your accomplishments.  That ends up with you pushing down the wrong way with your back, losing your footing on the pedal, sliding off and landing on the grass with the bike on top of you.

Step five:

Avoid step four.  You'll end up crying like a baby because of your wounded pride and banged up body.  Your son will also fall over laughing until he comes over and helps you up.  You will also be grateful you didn't have your son record your accomplishment and that you wore a helmet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rambling Away


I'm still working on the satin stitching for "My Tweets" and I'm almost done.  I will put pics up soon.  The blocks look fabulous!  I need to do the center panel and make two more blocks to get caught up.  I have loved doing this quilt.  My Topaz and Ruby make gorgeous satin stitching.


I did 7 miles on my 29er the other day.  29ers have 29 inch tires instead of 26 inch ones.  You either love or hate them when you ride one for the first time.  I happen to love mine.  She's fast and nimble.  I have a WSD (women's specific design) model.  Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos making for a different style of bike.  I can ride men's bikes given that I'm tall but she's perfect for me.

I wish I could get purple tires or rims for her, but they don't make that color.  I did find out I can put 700 tires on a 29er while at a LBS (local bike shop) today making her more of a street bike than a mountain bike.  They don't come in wide widths like mountain bike tires so finding something that doesn't look out of proportion might be hard.

I've learned a couple of things about tires the past few weeks.  First, tires deflate over time.  Second, Presta valves need to be screwed shut or you lose air faster.  There's nothing more embarrassing than realizing you've been running your Madone with tire pressures of 10 when they should be at 90-100 for about 2 months.  My son fell over with laughter and shock when he pointed this out to me after asking him about my tires looking flat.  How come he knows all this and I don't?

Once again I hate being self-taught.  There isn't anyone else that cycles down my way so I'm on my own for figuring things out.  I have to drive 80 miles to Lincoln or Omaha if I want a bike trail.  I'm still self-concious about being in cycling clothing.  I can't use clipless pedals to save my life.  I've had two concussions because of clipless pedals despite wearing a helment. I have had more bruises on my body this summer than I care to count.  I still can't get farther than 5-7 miles w/o nearly passing out yet people I know via the internet are boasting that they've ridden 10+miles and they just started that day.  I'm still too "fat" for cycling gear as I discovered today while looking for jackets.  Crappy fat hips.

BTW: always wear a helmet.  It's not concussion proof, but when you hit the asphalt, you're not going to crack your head open.  The more expensive ones mean they are lighter than a 45 dollar one.  Lighter means you don't have a stiff neck after cycling.

So why don't I give it up?

1.  I have killer legs.  Slim, sleek and sexy.  At least that's what DH says.
2.  My blood pressure is around 113 over something instead of being high.
3.  Despite my setbacks I can go up the killer hills I couldn't do when I started.
4.  I can let out my inner speed demon and go as fast as I want/can when it's safe.
5.  I'm eating better.  I haven't lost weight, but I'm hoping it's more muscle than fat.
6.  I'm crazy and seem to like self-punishment.
7.  It's making me face my fears/anxiety every time I'm on.
8.  When I accomplish something like making a left turn on a major highway, I feel empowered.
9.  I've put way too much money in this to stop.
10.  Somehow I happen to love it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Nothing from the doc yet.

DH and I took our bikes out Saturday and rode around the city.  A whole 4 miles..LOL.  We stopped off at the LQS and I came home with this:

He really liked the dragonfly pattern and I chose out the fabrics.  At JoAnn's I found the shimmery fabric for the wings and picked up the wavy blade to cut the strips.  I'd like to keep working on my "Tweets" blocks for now so I don't know when I'll start the this project.

Check out more design walls at Judy's blog


On the cycling part of my life, I found my missing book in the garage.  I've been looking for it for a couple of weeks and yesterday I remembered that I took measurements of my bike to check the fitting.  I had no idea how complicated cycling really is if you want to go farther than a few miles.

Here's my growing collection:

Most cycling books are racing/training related and I'm way to slow and I don't care about racing anyway.   I plug along at 10mph and hope I don't fall off or crash into something along the way.  I do have a mountain bike book on my Kindle that is actually really good if you are lucky enough to have mountains nearby.

I suck on mechanics despite the books.  I hate dragging my bike up to the shop to have him adjust my brakes or something silly like that.  I get the idea, but the couple of times I've tried, I just made the problem worse.  At least I get free help for a year.  At least you can buy books on fixing a bike unlike the sewing machine trade where it's a huge secret and conspiracy.

I need to clean up my bikes today and see if my Y-11 is out of comission.

I looked at some cold weather clothing yesterday.  Somehow the thought of tights down to my ankles makes me feel more embarrased than I do on regular cycling shorts.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Doc Visit

I went to the doc today to see why I'm so exhausted.  I'm fed up with not having any energy, hot flashes, being completely sore everywhere and feeling like crap.  He took 4 vials of blood and is checking for mono, thyroid issues, diabetes and some other stuff.  Mono is going around the schools right now and I have had teenagers in my house all summer and in/out a couple of times a week now that school has started.  The good part is that my blood pressure is at 113 over something so cycling is helping.

Sigh.  The LBS has some new bikes in.  Walk away.  Walk away.  You don't have any money right now and you have wonderful bikes.  Dang.  I had no idea cycling was this addictive.  It's almost as bad as quilting.  I almost spent 120 dollars on white tires for my Trek 1.2 bike.  Yup.  Tires can be expensive.  I figured I'd save those for completing something special like 500 miles or something like that.

There is a reason why cyclists wear such dorky clothing as I realized after riding my Madone to the pharmacist the other day.  It's to save your butt from all the bumps and cracks in the streets.  I have several pairs but still feel like a dork using them and hate to use them just to ride a mile up to the store.  They make underclothing for regular pants/shorts so you aren't always stuck in dorky black cycling shorts but still wanted to make a quick trip.

Apparently I have been noticed around town riding my bikes as I was in a restaurant and had people ask where my bike was today as they didn't see it out front.  I was using my car as I had the doc appt and needed to get gas for it.  I try really hard not to be a bad cyclist and scare cars so I hope I'm not.

Hopefully I hear from the doc soon.  I'd really like some answers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Rules

Feeling so much better after the weekend.  Colds nearly kill me.  They always have.  I could get the flu and sail through without too much pain, but a cold will knock me out for a week.

I rode my Madone a mile today to get the cycling itchies out of the way.  I've missed her.

Dear Cats:

I do NOT need your help while quilting.  That means:

1.  Stay off the foot pedal.  It's not a sleeping pad.

2.  Getting into the drawers looking for bobbins is forbidden.  The two of you fight over them causing growls and nasty looks.  I need them more than you do anyway.

3.  Paws are forbidden near the needle.  I know it's fascinating but believe me, it hurts to have it go through your finger..errr your paw.  All vet bills will be charged to your food account.

4.  Dumping my project onto the ground to sleep on is also forbidden.  So is dragging it around looking for a better place to put it.

All cats who do not follow the aboves rules will be banished to the bedroom where I will ignore your pathetic but loud pleas to come out.  Banging the door will help not your cause.  Your safety and my sanity are more important.  

The Lady That Feeds You

I did get some satin stitching done despite "help".

Friday, September 16, 2011

I've got a cold.  A nasty miserable one.  No quilting for now.  Crawling back into bed where I've been the past few days.  Don't you love it when your kids start school?  They bring home all kinds of nasty germs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm planning on getting something done today.  I'm feeling a lot better after yesterday.

Need a laugh?

Buttons, my newest addition, is extremely street smart since she lived outside for the first couple of months of her life.  The other day I bought sugar cookies and left them on the table.  I happened to hear some plastic crashing and looked over.  Buttons had shoved the plastic box over the side of the table, watched the cookies spill out all over the floor, jumped down and helped herself to one of them.

She has managed to pop off the top of her food bin to help herself.

Last night I was eating dinner and she pops up out of nowhere, sticks her head into the bowl, grabbed food and took off.

She digs through trash cans looking for human food and has conned Bandit into helping her.

She gets the squirt bottle a lot.  It's a good thing she's cute.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I have a question.  If you have any ideas, let me know, especially if you excerise, cycle, walk or have a health care background.  I have epilepsy but it's never stopped me before.  I have fibromyalgia and a bad back..which seems better after cycling.

Since I've started cycling my body gives out after a half hour or about 5 miles.   I mean, it really gives out.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nothing.  I spend the rest of the day/night sleeping it off and still wake up exhausted.  It's to the point where I'm sleeping in until at least noon.

I walked a mile yesterday came home and slept for two hours.  DH and I went out for a simple bike ride, both on cruiser bikes.  15 minutes later I'm done..maybe 3 miles?  I've slept until almost 1pm today.

I'm 35.  Out of shape (unless you count round as a shape) which is why I started cycling.  I thought this would get easier..that's how it is with exercise right?  You lose weight, get stronger and healthier.

I know I'm not 15 like my son who can do 20 mile round trip, but after cycling since May you'd think I'd do more than 5 miles.

Sunday I went out for a ride, gone 4-5 miles most of it uphill (welcome to rural NE) came back home and slept.  I woke up a couple of hours later and the room started spinning.  For a second I thought I was going to have a gran mal seizure.  Thankfully; I didn't.  For about an hour every time I sat up the room would spin for a second or two.  I kept myself hydrated, ate like I was supposed to for a cycling trip and still spent all day Sunday and night sleeping it off.  

A few cycling friends said I was probably "bonking" which means your sugar levels are down to zero.  How do you "bonk" at 5 miles or at 1 mile of a walk?  DH can do 9 and not have any problems and he's not sucking down Gatorade, energy bars, etc.

This is also why I haven't done anything quilty.  I'm too busy sleeping.

Yeah, I know.  Go see a doc.  I've been around enough docs to know they'll say, "just take it easy and not overdo it".  I'm not cycling every day to give myself a break, but nothing is helping.  Maybe I should just give up cycling for now, but I love doing it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cricut Leaves

With all the leaves needed for the "My Tweets" quilt I started playing around with my Cricut cutter and my now banned software.  I don't know if "Sure Cuts A Lot" still has the Cricut on it.  "Make the Cut" no longer has Cricut supported so if you are thinking of doing this for yourself, buy another cutter.

Now that I sort of understand how the software program works, I was able to get the leaves drawn out on fusible webbing.  I should have taken photos of the screen, but didn't think about it.  A few minutes later I have leaves.  What I didn't realize is that I messed up the top row and had to hand draw them out.  If you are more coordinated than I am with this kind of software and have a cutter (just put a pen or pencil in) it's worth it.  

Actually, if you have a leaf set you could probably easily draw out leaves that are similar or exactly like the ones in your blocks.

Design Wall Monday

I have been busy working on my "My Tweets" blocks.  I'm almost caught up and just need to finish up details.

I still need beaks and the top feathers on most of them.  Some of the flowers need centers as well.  I can't wait for the next block!  This has truly been my favorite BOM and the most fun to do.  Check out Judy's blog for more Design Wall Mondays