the main thing on my mind lately…

Post image for the main thing on my mind lately…

by Michelle on September 12, 2010

Most people who read this blog (when I manage to actually post something!) are probably aware that I am a breast cancer survivor. About 3.5 years ago, my life was saved by a routine mammogram–my first, in fact.

Next week is the Komen Portland Race for the Cure, and this year I formed my own team, Shell’s Angels. The money we raise goes toward funding mammograms for people who might not otherwise be able to have one, to community programs and grants, among other things. Personally, I focus on the potential number of mammograms we can supply (each one costs $89!). We have done amazingly well with our fundraising efforts so far, but fundraising can actually go on until well past the race itself–all the way until the end of October! Every additional dollar we raise can go toward providing someone with a life-saving mammogram, so I see no reason to stop trying just because we’ve reached our pre-set goals.

I do feel like we need incentives, though, so I dug through my own sock yarn stash to find ten initial prizes that will be given out in weekly drawings. I’ve also solicited yarn donations from a few people (and am looking forward to seeing those!). Please check out the Shell’s Angels website and blog for details, and share the challenge post with your friends!

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please excuse the mess

by Michelle on June 5, 2010

First thing: I forgot to post yesterday. Oops! I am not going to let missing a day deter me, though. I’m still going to try to post every day. Maybe I’ll actually accomplish literally every day in July.

Second thing: I decided I wanted to change things around here, so I’ve just moved my blog to WordPress. So far I’ve managed to import all the posts from the previous blog software, but I’ve done absolutely nothing about the layout or other aesthetics. I’ll keep working on it through the weekend (and probably beyond), but in the meantime don’t be surprised if it keeps changing. The content will remain, though!

My next post was going to be another house post, but I think I’ll save that for a day when I need a ready-made subject.

My brand new Electra Townie

Nik and I bought bicycles a couple of weeks ago (that’s mine, on the left–a marketing photo, anyway, I’ll get a shot of my fully tricked-out bike some time) and, because this is rainy Portland after all and it was only May, we haven’t had much opportunity to ride them yet. In fact, until today we’d only been on one 3-mile long ride.

Today, however, the weather was spectacular so we decided to ride our bikes down to Sellwood; I was going to my Community Sock Club lunch and Nik was going to go have a bite at Grand Central Bakery and probably spend some time at the library while I was busy. It’s about 4 miles there, which shouldn’t be too bad even though I am rather out of shape after another tough winter.

But…I made a tactical error. Actually, I was really dumb. I didn’t eat much of a breakfast before we left and I could tell pretty much from the moment I started pedaling that something wasn’t right. My thigh muscles instantly felt fatigued, but of course I tried to convince myself that I’d be okay.

Yeah. Not so much. I made it about 15 blocks from our house–3/4 of a mile–and had to stop and lie down so I didn’t pass out. Sigh. Nik ended up riding back home to get the car so he could pick me and my bike up and deliver me to my lunch.

The lunch, as always, was fantastic (Deb always has a great menu!) and it was great chatting with my fellow knitters and catching up with friends I don’t get to see very often. And the yarn was dyed by Sharon of Stitchjones!! (As you may or may not recall, I am a HUGE fan! I love her yarn and her beautiful, wild colors.)

I’m disappointed about the aborted bike ride but I was able to rescue the day and still had a great afternoon. :)

Maybe the weather will allow us another chance sometime soon…

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let’s talk about the house

by Michelle on June 3, 2010

Last I updated you all regarding the house, we were just about finished with the big siding, insulation, windows, and paint project. Since then, we haven’t gotten a whole lot new done. Last year we tore out our front porch deck and replaced it. Here’s what it used to look like:

Day 3

A couple of progress shots:

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And after staining (it doesn’t look quite so uneven anymore, but it could still use another coat of stain):

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We still have to re-do the porch railings, but that’s quite an improvement, huh?

I’m off work for the next four days (woohoo!) and I plan to do a bunch of knitting and cuddling with kittens–and try to get at least one bike ride in (more on that later!)–plus I have the Community Sock Club lunch on Saturday. Should be both a relaxing and fun long weekend.

Tomorrow I’ll continue the house updates with photos of last winter’s project.

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catching up and stuff

by Michelle on June 2, 2010

After such a long blog absence, it’s tempting to try to catch everything up all at once. I’m going to try not to do that, though, because it’d probably be long and boring.

Instead, here’s a very, very short version.

  • House: kind of slow-going since the big remodel in 2008, but some progress has been made
  • Job: very very stressful for a while, now much much better (whew)
  • Health: mostly good (cancer still gone, nothing else major going on), but the last two winters have been very hard
  • Cats: Toby just turned 15 (yesterday!) and has been having some health issues that we’re still working through; we got the kittens you saw in yesterday’s post last December
  • Family: Mom moved back to California and my aunt Patti is looking to do the same; I’m happy for them, but sad that they’re moving away
  • Knitting: I’ve been on a shawl kick all year and haven’t knit much else (six completed, three in progress–I think all else I’ve done in 2010 are a baby sweater–BSJ–and a pair of duck feet)

And I guess, to go along with all the pictures I posted yesterday, I’ll expand on the cat/kitten part tonight.

The kittens are Ross (the dark, fluffy one) and Isaac (the lighter-colored, Siamese mix). Isaac is about 3 weeks older than Ross, but we adopted them together from the Oregon Humane Society in December. Isaac is just over 8 months old and already weighs 11 pounds. Ross is only about 9 pounds, but we think he might end up being the giant of the three because he looks like he’s part Maine Coon. He has giant horseshoe paws, huge ears, and all the fluffiness. He’s also polydactyl, with one extra toe on each of his front paws.

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Toby hates them. She co-exists with them fine, though, so long as Ross isn’t trying to get her to play with him. (That’s the main reason we got two at once–so they would play with each other and mostly leave Toby alone.)

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us when we got the kittens (I’m pretty sure they will forever be “the kittens” even when they’re giant old man cats, haha), Toby was developing arthritis. We eventually figured out that she wasn’t just upset by the kittens and got her to the vet–we’ve been giving her fish oil and glucosamine daily since then and it has made a huge difference. Lately she’s been having digestive issues that we are slowly working through and was just recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. So she’s on medication for that, and we are currently feeding her a bland food diet of plain poached chicken combined with rice in hopes of solving the digestion problem. (I’ll spare you the gory details of what’s going on with that!) We also have her sequestered in the bathroom right now which she isn’t all too happy about, but she’s actually handling it pretty well. And we think she’s improving, thankfully.

So Toby is getting better (and therefore happier), and the kittens–when we aren’t having to tell them to get off tables or stop scratching things–are a joy to have around.

And…I’ll leave it at that tonight. More tomorrow. :)

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well hello again

June 1, 2010

So…one of my Plurk friends mentioned today that she was doing NaBloPoMo this month and I thought, “Hey, maybe I should do that…” And here I am! However, my new Sims 3 expansion (Ambitions!) was waiting on the front porch when we got home from work and I, of course, got sidetracked and totally forgot […]

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it’s getting close!

October 2, 2008

Now that I finally have visible progress to show again (oops, just realized I never posted pictures here of the siding without paint–they’re in my flickr!), I thought I’d share a quick picture. It’s not done yet (as you can easily tell if you look at details), but it’s looking really good! Not sure exactly […]

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day three

August 14, 2008

Quick one this morning ’cause I’m running late: Found a bit of dry rot, which you can see in this shot: It’s unfortunate, but not unexpected. And if there was going to be dry rot anywhere, that was the most likely place. The rest of the house is clean! Oh, and here’s the end of […]

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day two, progress

August 13, 2008

Yesterday I actually got home at a semi-reasonable time after my every-other-week LONG work day. Only 10(ish) hours! This is what the house looked like when I got here: It was dark by the time the crew left, so I don’t yet have a picture with all the pretty sheeting up. In fact, I haven’t […]

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new siding and windows–day one!

August 12, 2008

Yesterday, the crew arrived to begin working on our new siding and windows. This is what the side of our house looked like when I got home from work: And by the time they left for the day: So exciting! Not sure what we’ll find when we get home tonight.

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hsks5 swap package

July 27, 2008

I’ve been remiss in posting about the swap package I received from Cecilia Kettleburn for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. Here it is, finally: The yarn Cecilia included is the softest sock yarn I’ve ever felt! Softer than the squishiest merinos even. It’s kind of chenille-like…but nicer than most that I’ve experienced. It’ll be fun […]

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