Monday, August 31, 2015

Improving Health When You Have Fibromyalgia or Other Chronic Illnesses

I have fibromyalgia. That, however, is not the sum total of everything that has gone wrong in my body during the last 10 years. I think that anyone with fibro can say the same thing. I know that I will never be well, but I want to get better. Perhaps you do, too, and perhaps this post will help you.

Click here for PDF

Places I avoid:
  • Grocery store
  • Wal-Mart
  • Dollar Tree
  • Anywhere outside of my apartment, really

I have a deteriorating spine with osteoarthritis. 

I used to love shopping, then the shopping cart became something I needed to lean on just to make it through the store, and now I have to use an electric cart. Then, I have to drive home, unload the car, and put everything away.

I know the biggest encumbrance is my weight. The irony is, the weight gain is a result of medication for another condition. The right medication has finally been found, but I gained 80 pounds in the meantime. 

Losing weight will take a lot of stress of my back and legs and will make moving easier. Adding some muscle tone would absolutely be helpful, especially abdominals to support my spine. 

I created a menu planner, grocery list, and food record (find form links here). However, I also need to record the food the effects the food I eat has on me. Some foods can make fibromyalgia flare up, and if a record is not kept, it is hard to identify what is causing it. So, I created a Fibromyalgia Food Journal.
Fibromyalgia Food Journal
What makes this different from the food record are the columns for preparation and reaction to the food. The blank column can be for Weight Watchers' points or other notes, like the weather during each meal. Weather definitely affects pain levels. I have weather stickers which could be used there.
Besides this new food journal, I have a couple of stickers that can help.
Both the pain thermometer and the emotion thermometer will help assess how foods affect them. Additionally, I have water intake and exercise record stickers. This sheet of stickers has other types of stickers on them, so you can use the sticker grid on the same post to cut and paste (snipping tool) only the ones you need/want to print.
Please comment below if there is anything that you feel would help you in your fight to feel better - a form or some stickers. What you share will help others, too.



This Is How We Roll Thursdays

Saturday, August 29, 2015

12 Tips for Your Next Move

I have moved 37 times in my life but I only had movers for three of them. Even then, I packed my own belongings. I have some helpful hints, whether or not you hire movers.

Truck Clipart Images

With movers:
1. If you have room where you are currently living, sort boxes according to whether they are going on the moving van or in your vehicle(s). If some boxes will be going directly into a storage facility or a storage area in your new home, put those into a third area.
2. Take valuables with you – jewelry, portable safes, antique silver, or anything else you worry about getting lost or stolen. Even if you are having the movers pack the rest of your belongings, pack these yourself and put them in your vehicle before the movers arrive.
3. Breakage is covered if you purchase moving insurance, but take anything in your vehicle that would you cannot abide losing if it was broken. I had the movers put my flat-screen TV in my vehicle, because I trusted myself to drive carefully over bumps and potholes more than I did them.
4. Movers cannot take chemicals into the van, so plan accordingly – use up what you can before the move and have cleaning supplies handy for when you arrive. Unfortunately, not everyone cleans thoroughly when they move out, so you may need to do some scrubbing before unpacking.
5. Movers are paid by the mile, so plan out the shortest route beforehand. Consider ferry and/or toll costs as they will be added to the total. Make sure the shortest route is also the least expensive. Give each vehicle a print-out of the route in case you get separated.
With or without movers
6. If you know the dimensions of your new place, plan where your furniture will be placed, and post each room’s layout on the door or doorway for you or the movers to reference.

7. Girl Scout cookie boxes are excellent for packing books – it keeps the number down and makes moving the boxes less cumbersome. They also stack nicely.
8. Wine and liquor boxes are usually available for free and are also good for books for the same reasons as #4.
9. Both types of boxes are good for the aforementioned cleaning supplies.
10. I developed a coding system for myself that made the moves easier and think might be useful to others who are moving. I used duct tape, because it comes in a variety of colors and sticks well to boxes. The movers said it really helped them with loading and unloading.
a. Use one color for each vehicle being used.
b. Use another color for items that will be going into storage.
c. Have a color for each room, too. Place a piece of tape on your layout plan to match.
For example: Green for my car, yellow for storage, and silver for the residence. Blue was the kitchen, purple was the master bedroom, pink was the office, etc. Boxes will, therefore, have two colors of tape on them. Put the tapes side-by-side. I put them on the top and on one side.
11. If you have boxes and furniture that are going into temporary storage, have those put onto the moving van last so they can be unloaded into storage first.
a. With one move, a small van was used, too. The items going into storage were placed on that van and both trucks were unpacked simultaneously – one into the storage room, and the other into the apartment.
b. With another, everything was going into temporary storage, so I rented two store rooms – one for items that would be moved into the new residence soon and another for those that would stay in storage for a while longer. Rent only the size needed for each category.
12. This one is hard: try not to stress too much. I know that is easier said than done, but you will get through it.



This Is How We Roll Thursdays

Mom's Small Victories

Friday, August 28, 2015

Names, Seasonal, and Other Afghan Blocks

This is the last of this week's posts featuring Dedri Uys of
Look At What I Made
Today, I have chosen to post the blocks with ladies' names that I have not already posted earlier this week. Each block has a photo tutorial for guidance and is from the Block a Week CAL 2014. (Click here for a list of materials, links to all the blocks in the CAL, and more.)


Grandma's Heart 

Grandma's Heart Square

Addie Square

Sadie Square
Autumn Clusters

Autumn Clusters
Winter Dream

Winter Dream
May Pole

May Pole
Easter Day

Easter Day Square
Spring Fling

Spring Fling Square
Butterfly Garden - I had to include this one, because I love butterflies.

Butterfly Garden
Well, there you have it. This week, I have included links to most of the 48 blocks that were included in this CAL plus one day of amamani puzzles and arigurumi animals. 

I hope you have enjoyed these posts. Please comment below to let me know if you are doing any, or all, of this week's projects.



P.S. Dedri Uys's photos and information are used with her written permission. 

Links to this series' posts:
Esme's Winter Cottage and Other Crochet Pattern
"Royalty" Afghan Squares and More
Amamani Puzzle Balls and Amigurumi Crochet
Blossoming Blocks for Afghans

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blossoming Blocks for Afghans

Today's post, once again, features designs from the Block a Week CAL 2014 found at 
Look At What I Made
Click on the name of the square to be linked to the photos and pattern tutorials for each one.
Kaleidoscope Blossom 
Kaleidoscope Blossom
Veronica’s Rose  
Veronica's Rose

Katharine’s Rose

Katharine's Rose

Flower Burst  

Flower Burst
Winter Rose

Winter Rose
Starburst Flower Square

Starburst Flower Square

There you have it - more patterns, these featuring flowers. There are a total of 45 different square patterns in all. Stay tuned for one more day of patterns.
Please comment below on your favorite(s).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Amamani Puzzle Balls and Amigurumi Crochet

This post is continuing a week of pattern links featuring posts on 
Look At What I Made
Dedri Uys has quite literally written a book on the subject of Amamani Puzzle Balls - the book was featured in the Winter 2014 edition of Crochet! magazine (page 9). From what I could decipher, amamani means "amigurumi puzzle balls.

The puzzle balls and animals she has created are absolutely adorable, and I think they would be a great gift for anyone. Yes, anyone. I collect teddy bears, so I know there are adults who like cute, cuddly things. And these have the added bonus of being puzzles!

I have included a pattern from four skill levels - one is free, and the rest are paid.

Amish Puzzle Ball - This is a free pattern and is great for beginners. 

Chloe the Cow - Chloe the Cow is for advanced beginners and the pattern is available at Dedri's Ravelry store.

Eleanor the Elephant - This is one of the patterns in Dedri's book. Eleanor the Elephant is an intermediate skill-level pattern.

Hermione the Horse - Hermoine the Horse is an advanced level pattern. Dedri says, "She’s not difficult, bless her socks, but her head IS DETAILED." You can get the pattern at the Ravelry store.

Amigurumi - To be fair, I am including some amigurumi patterns. According to Wikipedia, amigurumi "is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures."

Simply Cute Bear - from Teri Crews Designs 

As I mentioned, I love teddy bears, so here is a little cutie. This is a beginner pattern available on Craftsy for $4.95.

Photo is owned by Teri Crews Designs
Photo is owned by Teri Crews Designs

Pomp Poodle in Pink - designed by Nancy Anderson for Red Heart Yarn

I found this pretty puppy at favecrafts. Pomp Poodle in Pink is a free intermediate-level pattern that was part of a crochet-along.

I think this photo belongs to Red Heart.
Do you think you would like to make one or more of these patterns? Please let me know in the comments below.

For more links to amigurumi patterns, go to my Pinterest board here. While you are there, please browse around all 98 of my boards.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pattern Links

Click on the links below to read each of the posts related to crocheting or knitting that have appeared on this blog.

Crochet - Sophie's Garden Block January 16, 2015
Designer: Dedri Uys 

Crochet - Lienke's Lovey - February 12, 2015
Designer: Dedri Uys 

Crochet - Alaskan Blue Tunisian Crochet Blanket - 
a.k.a. Timeless Tunisian

Crochet - Breezy Mesh Jacket - February 18, 2015
Designer: Darla Sims

My Name is Amelia and I Have SABLE February 25, 2015
Just for fun.

Crochet - Sophie's Universe March 6, 2015
The first of my SU posts. This is this year's Look at What I Made crochet-along (CAL) designed by Dedri Uys.

Sophie's Universe Continues to Get Larger April 3, 2015

Beautiful Examples of Sophie's Universe, Part 1 - 

Beautiful Examples of Sophie's Universe, Part 2 - 

Beautiful Examples of Sophie's Universe, Part 3 - April 16, 2015

Watching Sophie's Universe Grow with Sara Paplia 

More Beautiful Examples of Sophie's Universe - 

The End of the (Sophie's) Universe May 24, 2015

Crochet for Life - In Memory of a Stranger - July 6, 2015
Designer: Marinke "Wink" Slump

In Memory of Wink July 8, 2015
Designer: Marinke "Wink" Slump

Sophie's Universe Made with Thread (So Cool) August 9, 2015

Esme's Winter Cottage and Other Crochet Pattern Links August 23, 2015

"Royalty" Afghan Squares and More August 24, 2015

Amamani Puzzle Balls and Amigurumi Crochet - 
August 26, 2015

Blossoming Blocks for Afghans - August 27, 2015

Names, Seasonal, and Other Afghan Blocks
August 28, 2015



Mom's Small Victories