Jul 31

I just finished adding 50 new tie-dyed items to the inventory at Dyed in the Wool!  Go and check them out!

Also, Sandy and I had another dyeing session yesterday, and there are 47 more items being washed as I type this.  I’ll try my best to get them uploaded in the next week or so.


Jul 27

Or is everyone incredibly busy this summer?

Sandy and I have the opportunity to sell our tie-dye at the Indiana State Fair.  On August 14th, at the big red barn in the Pioneer Village area, the Sheep to Shawl competition will be going on starting, I believe, at 10:00.  I am the weaving judge for this year.

Sandy is setting up a booth at the competition and will have tons of tie-dye stuff to sell.  Stop by, say hi, and buy something.

Oh, and stick around for the competition.  Bring your spinning wheel and join the spinners on the sidelines and watch the teams spin, ply and weave a scarf in 4 hours.

Jul 26

Like most of the rest of the country, we have been suffering from some very hot, humid weather.  This morning, when I walked out of the house to go to work, I took these pictures to show you just how humid it is here.

And, while most of this will burn off pretty quickly, the moisture is still in the air and even if you can’t see it, you can feel it.

Mind you, the sunrise, with the low lying cloud cover, was beautiful and I couldn’t help taking pictures of it.  Here’s to another sunny, 90+ degree day in central Indiana!

Jul 25

I haven’t posted my Year of Seasons pictures on the front page for a while because, let’s face it, in central Indiana, summer looks the same for weeks and weeks.  Still, here’s the one I took last week just so you can see where we stand.  This, by the way, is week 40.

Steamy, hot and energy sucking nasty.

We did get some rain over the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday.  Not nearly enough, but enough that the corn is no longer all twisted up and make the temps drop by about 10 degrees.  This week, though, is supposed to be sunny and back up into the 90’s, so our reprieve was short-lived.

And I had a birthday yesterday.  Scott and I drove down to Bloomington to meet my parents for lunch.  It was the first time we had seen them in about a year.  With them spending most of the year in Texas, it’s hard for us to get together.  It was a lovely visit and we laughed and talked for about 2.5 hours sitting in a Cracker Barrel.

Jul 21

For those of you in the Indianapolis area, mark your calendars for August 27thDress Barn in Castleton (82nd and Allisonville Road) will be sponsoring Dyed in the Wool for the day.  We will be set up inside the store showcasing our tie-dyed line of clothing and accessories, including everything you see in the store, what I showed on Tuesday, and what we have yet to dye between now and then (two more days of dyeing coming up).

If you or anyone you know has been interested in seeing our products up close and personal or is interested in discussing custom dye orders from us for your family reunion, sports team or band, this will be the perfect opportunity to do so.

You are officially invited to join us for the day.  Dress Barn is offering a 15% discount on everything that is regular price that day, so here’s a great opportunity to stock up on some wonderful clothes while you are there.  I love their store and have gotten some of my favorite outfits from them.

Sandy and I look forward to seeing everyone!

Jul 20

When you are limited to 1000 (or less) calories a day, you have to make those calories count in several ways, i.e. good for your body, taste, texture and how the food looks.

For breakfast, I have 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, a tablespoon of diced ham and a tablespoon of shredded cheese for a total of 97 calories.  Oh, yes, and my cup of hot tea.  This high protein meal has what my body needs to start the day, tastes and looks great, and, best of all, it sticks with me all morning long, which I need.

I was eating micro meals for lunch, but they really don’t taste all that good and have way too much sodium for one with high blood pressure, so I’ve been opting for this instead:

This is spring greens, carrot matchsticks, diced red sweet pepper, corn, black beans and a bit of shredded cheese.  The corn and black beans together give me a complete protein without meat, and together they add great textures and flavors to the salad.  I have sweet (red peppers) and crunchy (carrots), lots of color and it totals about 200 calories not counting the dressing.  I’m using Paul Newman’s Light Honey Mustard dressing and at 70 calories for 2 tablespoons it’s a great bargain to boot.  I don’t like a lot of dressing on my salad and 2 tablespoons worth is a lot for me, so I count 70 calories.  Since I drink water, my lunch is less than 300 calories and, best of all, it sticks with me for about three hours.

For a snack in the afternoon, I love my Chobani Greek yogurt adding in another 140 calores.  This gives me about 360 calories left for supper, which can mean a lot of food if you play your cards right.  I’ve been on a grilling spree lately, and one chicken breast is large enough to give Scott and I about 3 servings.  This coupled with steamed veggies and some fruit for dessert makes for an awesome meal.  I’m getting in plenty of veggies and lean proteins, and I feel great eating this way.  I’ve noticed my energy level going up and my clothes fitting looser.  And if you notice, I am eating no wheat.  I’m finding that wheat makes me feel bloated and sluggish, so I am staying away from it except for special occasions.

My treat for each week is one of those itty-bitty Skinny Cow ice creams for 150 calories.  Carmel Cone is a definite fave, and I get them when I buy groceries, so have a nice treat to look forward to each week.  As long as I know I have that treat coming, I’m finding it easier to not cheat during the week.

So, I think I have finally figured out a healthy and tasty food plan that works for me.  I am so glad!!!

Jul 19

Saturday, Sandy and I got together for a tie-dye day and dyed up over 60 items, only three of which were shirts and no socks included.  Those will be dyed in a couple of weeks.  Instead, we branched out and dyed up a bunch of stuff that people have been asking us about, plus refilled inventory on things we had sold way down on.

Once thing people have been asking for have been baby onesies.  As tiny as these things are, it was interesting trying to do some of our traditional folds on them (like the double swirl), but we did it, as well as a few others.  I think they turned out so cute!!!  Can’t you just see a wee baby in these?

Another thing people have been asking for is aprons.  So we did three sample ones to see how well people like them.  I think all of them came out beautifully, and Sandy and I, each, have our favorites.  What do you think?

Another thing we experimented with was hats.  These have been requested by several people, so we did five of them.  The brims have plastic in them so they can be washed over and over again and retain their shape.  Perfect for lots of wearing since washing them is a cinch. 

One other item that has been requested is scrunchies, so we ordered half a dozen blanks and dyed them.  I really miss having long enough hair for pony-tails because I am in love with all of them.  Once my hair finally reaches shoulder length again, I will be dyeing up several for my own use.

Other than those items, we dyed up several more tote bags, this time adding in some extra nice ones that can double as purses.  Tote bags have been one of our best sellers and we were down to just a few of them left in stock. 

Also, we dyed more shoe laces since we had only one pair left in stock and people have really loved them to spice up their shoes.  These shoe laces are longer than the last batch, so can be used for men’s shoes as well.  I like to double bow mine so they don’t come untied while at the gym, and the 45” ones weren’t quite long enough to do this.  With these new ones being 54”, I’ll be able to double bow them with no troubles.

Book covers are always cool and with school coming up we experimented with a couple.  They came out great!

And finally, we decided that with all the hot weather, we’d see how tank tops would work.  I think one of these is destines to be worn to the gym.

And last, but not least, Sandy and I have been having fun with our dye clothes.  Seeing how colorful we can get is half the fun, and we’re trying to break ourselves from wiping our hands on towels and using our clothes instead.

At the end of the day, we realized our shirt backs were way too pristine for our tastes, so I slapped some on Sandy’s T-shirt back, and we each slapped some on our own butts.  Unfortunately, we slapped too much on our butts because we ended up dyeing our underwear and butt cheeks at the same time.  Never let two tired-to-the-point-of-being-silly women have free access to left over dyes. 

And we’ll get to do this again in two weeks.  The next time, though is more shirts (adding in tank tops, too!) as well as more socks. 

Is there anything you’d like to see tie-dyed that we haven’t already covered?  The more variety of stuff we have available, the happier everyone will be, so if you have a suggestion that sounds like fun, we’ll do it!

Jul 18

You know it’s going to be a scorcher when it is 78 degrees at 6:00 in the morning.  That, coupled with humidity in the 90’s, means you feel like you are walking underwater getting from the car to the office building.  I was sticky within 15 feet from my car.

This week, the temps are to be in the “dangersouly hot” range according to the weather service with heat indexes up to 120, and it looks like we are sharing our misery with most of the rest of the country. 

On top of that, we are desperately in need of rain, and I’m not talking a 10 minute, refreshing shower, either.  The corn around our place is looking really bad, all spikey and twisted.  Some of it has stopped growing, or at least slowed down significantly.  Those farmers lucky enough to have planted early are faring better than those who didn’t get their corn planted until late May, but if we don’t get an all day soaker, the corn crop is going to be pretty low yielding this year.

It’s odd.  We had more rain and flooding than we knew what to do with this past spring, and now we are in a drought.  Maybe we need to building underground tanks to catch and hold the spring rains so that we can use that surplus in the summer when we desperately need it.  Wouldn’t this be better than letting it all go down river and flood out those areas south of us.  It’s starting to feel like last summer when we had no rain for the months of July, August and September.

Is it as hot in your area as it is here?  What is your forecast like?  If you are sweltering like we are, how do you stay cool?

Jul 13

I’m trying something new this week.  Rather than go to the gym three nights a week and doing both a weight workout and cardio, I’ve decided to go each night for less time, but concentrate on one area.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights are cardio only using both the elliptical and the recumbent bike.  Monday night was my first time on the elliptical in about 10 years, and it took a while to get the hang of it again.  Once I fell into its rhythm (rather than trying to make it fit into mine) it became easier to do.  I did find I had to hold back on the pace because of my heart rate.  I really am trying to keep it around 120 right now (my target is 113) because if I let it creep up toward 130, I end up with chest pains and labored breathing the next day.  Not good.  Also, taking a baby aspirin after a workout seems to help as well.  I just have to work the area up slowly.

Then Tuesdays and Thursdays I am concentrating on the weight machines.  I was told not to use the back extension machine by my chiropractor because of my particular lower back problem.  He definitely wants me to use the abs machines and would really like to see me use them more than I have been doing, so I’ve doubled the sets I am doing on them.  Actually, my goal is to double all my sets by the end of this week, but we’ll see.  I’m leaving the weights the same for now, but once I get to the point where I can do 3 sets of 15 easily, then I’ll increase the weight a bit.

And my chiropractor, who hadn’t seen me in a month, said he could tell that I had been working out more.  He commented on my muscle tone and all the strength tests he put me through proved I was sound and strong.  In fact, except for my feet and my lower back (my two problem areas), he barely had any adjusting to do on me this time.  Woohoo!!!

I can tell it in my clothes.  Monday, I kept having to pull my pants up (time for a belt with them), and yesterday I wore a pair of pants I bought on clearance last fall for the first time.  I bought them snug on purpose and they fit perfectly now.  And the jeans I wore last weekend are hitting the Goodwill bag once they have been washed.  I think I have two pairs of jeans that still fit, and no shorts at all.  Time to do some shopping at Goodwill rather than just drop things off.

In the meantime, I went on a clothes-trying-on spreee last night in my closet.  I have several things that I’ve purchased in the last year at Goodwill that were too good to pass up, but were too small for me at the time.  Guess what!  They all now fit me very well.  A couple of things will have to wait until colder weather to wear (like a beautiful Jones of New York skirt suit that cost me $4.50), but several things fit now and are wearable now.  I need to hem up a few items, which I will do this weekend, and voila!  I have several new outfits to wear to work. 

I cannot tell you how good it felt to be able to wear these clothes, and not only just wear them, but look very nice in them.  If I think of it this weekend, maybe I’ll have Scott take some pictures of me in them so I can show them off to you.  Until then, I am going to bask in the glow of my new clothes and this new stage in my weight loss.  And I’m looking forward to going to the gym tonight.  Let’s keep this train a-rollin’!

Jul 12
Making New Friends
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Sandy and I went on another, fleece-seeking road trip this past Sunday.  Our objective was a CVM fleece.

The farm we visited had some llamas as well as different breeds of sheep (and turkeys!) and Sandy made a new friend.

This is Rodeo and he really enjoyed having his neck rubbed and scratched by Sandy.  He was such a cuddle-llama!

And this young man is Brownie, a CVM sheep whose next spring’s fleece has our name on it.  His lamb fleece had a weak area in it due to his being sick last summer when the people who currently own him bought him.  They worked hard to save him, and the fleece growth after the break was thick, fine and luxurious – just what a CVM fleece should be.  Unfortunately, this lamb fleece couldn’t be used by us.  We are hoping this will be the CVM sample for the Fiber Binder Club sometime next year, but we will know more next spring when we see his fleece again.  He’s a lovely color, too!  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

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