Thursday, December 8, 2011

Far Too Long.....

So I have been away from blogger for far too long and missed writing about some of the most amazing things that have taken place in the last few months. So I guess I will just write about the most amazing thing that has happened. I am no longer FRESH MEAT! That's write I graduated and I am now a rookie along with my 3 amazing freshie sisters. Seriously, I love them each so much. It was such a huge deal for us. Immediately following graduation we also got to play in our first real bout against the Pinellas County Roller Girls. Don't we look cool.
We all got a lot more playing time than I expected and they even put all four of us in at once to block and they didn't even score one point. I am so proud of my derby sisters. This was the last game of the season and also our only win this season. It was a really amazing feeling to be part of it all. I just remember every part of my body trembling after going in the first time. It was an amazing rush and it is amazing how you just seem to remember to do certain things. There is so much more that has happened but I will save that for another post so I am not overwhelming you with information and text.

Friday, July 22, 2011


So recently a friend of mine had posted on Facebook that she made cheese...Yes, MADE cheese. So, when Walt and I went over to her house I had to ask, "How do you make cheese?" She explained that she had made ricotta cheese and she had used the recipe from this lovely blog. I have since been clicking the Surprise Me! link on the left hand side of the Smitten Kitchen blog for about a week. There is a lovely array of recipes from Homemade Oreos to Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers. This blog has rejuvenated my love for cooking and all things homemade. Roller derby has put the brakes on a lot of my home cooking. On Mondays I leave for work and I don't return home until after practice at about 10:30pm, who wants to wait on or cook a 2 hour meal. Wednesdays run about the same, although there is a bit of a break between work and practice not enough time to prepare and eat a proper meal and practice runs even later on Wednesdays. Tuesdays & Thursdays I am so tired from late practice and early mornings that I don't have the energy to cook. So that leaves mostly the weekend. Most of the time I can't even find the time on the weekend to go grocery shopping let alone cook. There is more skating to be done, pet stores to be shopped at, laundry to be washed, etc... However, I am going to try and work around all of this. I miss cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I miss the satisfying feeling of eating something absolutely delicious. So my goal is going to be to cook more, try and balance my old (pre-derby) life with my new life.

On to some more derby news. We are not graduating yet. We are going to skate with the Vets for 3 more weeks and then be reassessed. Which is kind of a bummer. Partly, because I just want to know and I am not looking forward to doing my time trails for my life again. Also, because my knee is still unskatable (not sure that is a word) and if it is something that takes a while to heal I could be repeating fresh meat again. The primary reason they gave for this was basically "you guys got a really shitty training experience, so we are making you wait longer and hope you learn something". It's frustrating and scary. Hopefully, it will all work out well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Well I was trying to wait....

Well, I was trying to wait until the official announcement as to whether or not we passed fresh meat. Still there is no official word if we passed. We did get to practice with the Vets on Monday and we did get back our written rules test. Pleased to say that I got a 97%! So on to the not so good news. I fell pretty hard on my left knee Monday night at practice and well, I sprained my knee (at least that is consensus for now). So frustrating to be injured during our first practice with the Vets and to not be able to participate in practice tonight. I will still be attending practice...don't want to miss anything important. So basically my knee just really hurts if I bend it to far, today it is much better. Yesterday I couldn't really move it at all with out shouting in pain. And yes, because I am so absent minded I would occasionally forget that it hurt to bend my knee so far and let out a good shriek. Excited, that I am able to walk relatively normal on it makes me feel that it really is just a sprain and not a PCL injury. So that is all for now. Maybe tonight there will be an official announcement!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Derby Update!

Okay so I know it has been forever and then some since I last posted about Derby, but I just haven't been inspired to write anything and work has been busier than usual. Not exactly sure where I last left off so let's just talk about where I am.

These last 10 weeks of Fresh Meat training have gone by so quickly. There have been lots of cancelled practices & some practices where we lacked a real coach. Nonetheless, I have had a blast practicing and getting to know new people. Derby is teaching me to be more vocal and how to talk to strangers. Assessments will take place the week of July 11th with the skills test being that Monday and the rules test will be that Wednesday. Since this Monday is the 4th of July there will be no practice so we only have one practice left before assessments and there are a few that we haven't been shown yet that we will be expected to do. I have been feeling very angry about this lately and have been venting with so fellow freshies  about this. Well, I am done with that. I am done complaining and I am going to practice as much as the rain will allow me to practice before the 11th. I will either pass my assessments or I won't. I will not be kicked off the league for failure to pass the assessments. I will just have to repeat fresh meat training again. Do I want to repeat it? No, but if I am not ready, then I am just not ready. I am mostly afraid of completing the 25 in 5. It is the one thing I don't feel confident about and the one thing I think my nerves destroy.

Tonight we have 1st Friday to promote our league and help recruit some more people for the league. I am excited to get out with my sisters and promote this sport that I have truly fallen in love with.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Roller Derby Catch Up!

Okay so I had this grand idea of blogging about each practice. Well, to be honest that is going to get really boring for you. Our FM coach has missed a few practices and we have had a few canceled due to the last bout, so we have been working on a lot of the same stuff for a while. I can only say so much about crossovers and tstops.

So for a quick catch up of practices. Nothing new has been taught or learned except for last night we learned how to do turnaround toe stops and we got into some pack skating. I am feeling like this class started at a really bad time for the league and there hasn't been a lot of time devoted to us.

The bout: What a weekend that was. We spent about 12 hours getting everything set up over 2 days. I worked the merch booth with April. It was a good place to be. Got to see all of the action. :) Watching the OSDA game was very interesting. The have 4 quarters instead of 2 halves and the pivot can become the jammer at any point without having the swap helmet panties. Now, one to our bout. It was bad, really bad. The first 5 jams or so, our jammer ended up getting sent to the penalty box for various reasons. Also, our best blocker was sent to the penalty box for the first 3 jams I believe. So it started out really rough for us and I think we had a hard time coming back from that. There was also lots of things that were not called and maybe some things called that should not have been, but that's sports. We also beat ourselves. Lots of track cutting penalties and a no mouth guard penalty. All very preventable and since these were all penalties on our jammers they were very detrimental. On the upside there were lots of big its and it was a very passionate game. One of the best that I have seen and one that derby fans love!! :)

I am going to stop here. I have another post to rant about practice, but I will save that for another time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fresh Meat: Week 1: Practice 3

So I know I am way behind on my practice recaps, but this particular practice was way less than interesting and for the most part not effective at all. So I showed up for practice Friday and there were maybe 4 people there. That number increased slightly, but not much at all. There was a lady there that was showing the fresh meat stuff and while she is a good skater, she knows nothing about derby. She used to be a figure skater and where a figure skater keeps her weight and where a roller derby girl keeps her weight are completely opposite. There was a lot of random skating and no specific instruction. Although, I did get to see Cam and Bo do some leg whips. If you have never seen one...check out youtube. So that was Friday. Nothing special.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fresh Meat: Week 1: Practice 2

So practice was much, much better last night. I feel like I got so much more out of practice last night than I did Monday night. GB our fresh meat coach was not there so we were left with the speed skating coach and his brother. They have both been skating for longer than I have been alive. It was nice. They broke things down into smaller parts. Since there were only 5 of us in the pond there was a lot of 1 on 1 time. I feel like my crossovers improved quite a bit, enough that I finally started to realize just how slippery the crappy wheels on the crappy skates I have are. We did more of what we did on Monday; crossovers, tstops, falls & skating on one foot. He had us trying to change direction on one foot which really made me nervous, but I was able to do it pretty well. Candy was there to remind us to stay in derby position. That is one thing I really need to work on. I always feel like I am pretty low and then Candy yells get lower. It is so hard when you can't see yourself. That was the other thing I liked more about this practice than the last one. We were constantly receiving feedback from someone. It's nice to know when you are doing something right or wrong. On Monday we just skated in a circle for hours with out anyone saying anything other than let me see you do a crossover, which, IMO isn't very helpful. If there is no one giving you any feedback are you to just assume that you are doing it right. I guess this week I will be breaking down and ordering some pads. My knees are taking a pretty bad beating from all of the falling with my crappy pads. I am feeling less tired today than I was Tuesday after practice. Looking forward to Friday's practice...wondering what we will be doing. If we will be skating with the big girls. Loving it!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresh Meat: Week 1: Practice 1

So last night was my first night of Fresh Meat practice with the Lakeland Derby Dames. I had been awaiting that day for so long. Skating as much as I could and learning as much about roller derby as I could. I was pretty excited when I woke up at 9 yesterday morning knowing that in a few hours I would be a my first practice. However, as the day went on the excitement settled and nerves began to kick in. I could feel my stomach forming knots, my legs were trembling, and I couldn't focus on anything. I am not really sure what I was making me so nervous...I guess it was just a combination of things...Had I remembered to pack all of my gear, what would we be doing, was everyone going to be better than, were they going to be nice? I finally arrived at practice at 7:30 got all of my gear checked & paid my dues. Everything was good except I need to try and reform my mouth guard. Finally, 8:00 time for us to start practice. GB our fresh meat coach just had us start skating around in a circle for a bit, just to see our skill level out of the gate. She then when over double knee fall, derby position, and t-stops with us. We stretched, had very few water breaks, & skated around in a circle for what felt like forever. It was exhausting and to be honest a bit boring...I am sure it will get better. I got used to all of the fun drills that April and I were doing that just skating in a small for almost 2 hours isn't very fun. I know, I know, it's not supposed to be all that fun in the's hard work! The one thing I am thankful for is that I am not sore....not even a little (well, except for that blister thing on my toe). I guess all of the skating and working out I have done for the past 1.5 months has paid off. I am looking forward to Wednesdays practice and what it may bring with it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Roller Derby

It has been a while since I posted I have just been so busy with Nerd Wars, Work, Life, & Roller Derby. I went to my first Roller Derby Bout on April 3rd. It was amazing!!! I knew that it was either going to make me terrified to play Roller Derby or more eager than ever to play....and well, I am more eager than ever to play. It was so exciting to watch. The Lakeland team is still young and not as good as some of the other teams, but they seem to have lots of heart and I love that. The are fighters. They didn't do so well the first have of the bout, but came out swinging the second half of the bout. It was so much fun to cheer for them and there were a few moments that I actually had goosebumps. Yep! Goosebumps were the moment that I knew for sure that this was for me. I have been skating, skating, & more skating. It has been really great getting prepared to do this with April. It is so much easier to stay motivated when there is someone doing it with you. Also, thank you so much to Walt! He has been fantastic. Going everywhere with me to skate, getting up at 8am to skate, teaching me how to do things on my skates, seriously he has been fantastic!!! ONLY 26 DAYS LEFT until recruit night. We were really lucky to have Candy (a real roller derby girl) come out on Sunday and show us some things. We worked on T-Stops, single knee falls, double knee falls, single knee 180 falls, crossovers, and just skated. I did learn that having better knee pads is going to be really important as I had a pretty good bruise on my left knee after all of the falling drills. She said that we are well ahead of most of the Fresh Meat that comes in. That was such a relief to hear. We really have been working hard and learning so much about roller derby. Yesterday we skated some local walking/biking/running trails. It was a nice change from just skating around in a circle at the hockey rink. I also learned that our balance is much better than we gave ourselves credit for. The hockey rink is smooth a usually free of debris, but the trails not so much. They were full of rocks, leaves, acorns, sticks, and the surface itself just wasn't that pleasant, but I did have a blast skating the trails nonetheless. We must have tripped and stumbled 50 times each and well, there was only one actual fall. This makes me hopeful that we will be good at taking a hit and staying on our feet. I am now hoping that my endurance will be improved enough over the next 26 days so that I won't feel completely miserable after my first Fresh Meat practice. My goal is to get in 30 minutes of cardio everyday for the next 26 days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lots Going On!

So it has been about 3 weeks since I last posted and it seems like a lot and nothing at all has really happened. I feel like there is big new exciting news to tell, but past that I am not really sure what to say. So the big exciting news......ROLLER DERBY!!!! Yep, that's right I am going to be going to recruit night for the local roller derby team on May 9th. I am excited and nervous. My skating skills need a lot of work between now and then, but the good news is I have a buddy. April is also going to join me in roller we have been working out skating schedules and learning as much as we possibly can about roller derby. I am excited to being playing a sport again. I have played sports as far back as I can remember and have always had a blast playing them.

Let's see what else?? Abby's 4 month heartworm check up is officially scheduled for April 12th. I am really excited to get her checked out. I really curious to see how much she weighs. She is doing so well though. She really is the most amazing dog I could have ever dreamed up.

March nerd wars has 9 days left. I have 2 projects almost completely finished and one more to cast on and finish. Wow! I really need to get busy. Speaking of knitting....I sent in a application to GWR to try and break the current World Record for the longest hand knit scarf...the current record is 2.15 miles. I also got a bunch of yarn from Julie at her destash. So thankful for it. I am already using some of it for Nerd Wars projects!!

Still need to finish getting all of my crap for school together.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nerd Wars Update!

So we are only 3 days in and I have one project finished (Elvish Leaves Dishcloth), yarn dyed, & beads sorted. I am feeling pretty good about Nerd Wars this time around. A bit nervous about the beading and the colorwork and the dolls, but I think it is all doable if I continue to stay this organized.

Tuesday, while finishing up the dish cloth I decided I would go ahead and start working on dyeing my yarn. Dyeing is a long process, but not one of those processes that requires you attention for the entire process. So I pulled out the lovely sock yarn blank that Francesca had sent me (90% British Wool, 10% Nylon) and stuck it in a bowl with 1 cup of vinegar & 3 cups of water. I then added 1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water to the crockpot and turned it on high. It took about 2 hours before I could see steam just starting to form in the crockpot. I knew it was time. I then heated (remember, heated not boiled) up some water on the stove...I would say about 4 cups. I heated this water so that I would have something to dissolve my Wilton's Food colorings in. I pulled out 4 plastic cups & four bamboo skewers. The four colors I chose for this particular dyeing session were: Kelly green, royal blue, sky blue, & teal. I was trying to go for a waterfall look. Inspired by this photo:
Basically, various shades of blues and greens. So where were we...oh yes, I had dissolved the dye in the cups and then I moved the yarn from it's vinegar bowl into the crockpot. Well, then I just began pouring in the dye, little bits at a time. I waited until the dye had exhausted (water was clear) I think flipped the yarn over and repeated. I continued in this manner until most of the yarn was colored. I wanted to keep a few white bits. I took the yarn out, rinsed it, & then put it in the washer on the spin cycle (how nice this first time dyeing yarn since moving into a place with a washer/dryer hook-up). I then took my yarn out of the washer and to my horror it was a GIANT TANGLED MESS!! So I spent the better part of yesterday untangling the yarn and sorting my beads. I am excited to go home and actually cast on this scarf after 2 days of preparation!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nerd Wars March

So the challenges for March were issued at 12:01am and well I am pretty excited to get started. Hoping I don't overwhelm myself and can get everything accomplished and have a good time doing. I was hoping to be able to find a way to fit in my mittens and my cardigan that I want to knit, but I can not think of how they might meet one of the challenges. So the challenges and my ideas are as follows:

Category: Nerd Culture
Challenge: Don't hide your light under a bushel!
Idea: Basically what you need to do for this challenge is take a photo of yourself knitting/crocheting in public. Easy enough I do this all the time!

Category: Intellectual
Challenge: Warrior's Friend
Idea: This challenge was about shield and protection....this month I am aiming high for team spirit points so I am knitting a Gondorian Shield. It should look something like this:
Category: Team Spirit
Challenge: In like a lion, out like a lamb.
Idea: This challenge is all about the soft and harsh sides of one thing/person/animal. So for this I will attempt to knit 2 dolls. One to represent Gollum and one to represent Smeagol and a ring joining them.

Category: Scientific
Challenge: Capillary Action
Idea: This is just what it sounds like. You are to knit something that represents capillary action. So I am knitting some dish/wash cloths.

Category: Technical
Challenge: Polytech
Idea: For this challenge you must use more than one technique to complete a challenge. For this I will be dyeing my own yarn and then knitting a scarf from it. This scarf also has beads worked into so that will be a new adventure for me.

Category: Giving Geeks
Challenge: WIP Help
Idea: So I don't really have a plan for this one. The challenge is to help someone finish a WIP who is no longer capable of finishing the project themselves for whatever reason. Not sure that I know anyone who has any WIPs they would want me to finish for them.

So there you have it! Those are the challenges and my plans! Wish me luck!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nerd Wars

So the first month of Nerd Wars is almost over and well, I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped to, but I did conquer colorwork. It was my first time attempting anything tougher than stripes which aren't really that tough. Wanna see??


I am pretty proud of this hat. Although, I won't get to wear it for at least 9 months or so. My tension was a bit off in some places, but all in all it came out looking pretty good. I am also less scared of colorwork and ready to tackle some more. Hoping one of the challenges for March will allow for me to cast on the cardigan I order through Knitpicks. It is just another one of those things I have always wanted to try and knit, but never really been brave enough. Doing well though with trying new knitting techniques..I have completed a lace project or two, colorwork, & charts!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I began working on stuff today to return to school again....Hopefully, during the summer. I am nervous and anxious and excited. I need to schedule a day off between now and April 4th and actually go to PSC and talk with someone. Last year I denied financial aid for whatever reason, but I just finished my FASFA and things look promising. I need to get with Walt so that we can get his FASFA completed and we can schedule an appointment for both of us on the same day. I have plans for the future (like owning a home) and I am not going to be able to do that on an Auto Shopper salary. I want Walt to be able to continue doing what he is doing and I want to finally have a job that I enjoy going to everyday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Break & Plus Sized

So I returned to work after a much needed 4 day break. My job really is not all that hard it is just very mentally draining and emotionally damaging sometimes. I am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and hoping this feeling will at least get me through the next 2 months or so.

So... on to the other thing that I have been thinking about and reading about all day. Being plus sized when it comes to sewing patterns. I am by no means what I would consider plus sized in "regular everyday" clothes. I mean I don't have to shop in the plus size section. Honestly, it wouldn't really bother me all that much if I had to. I am proud of my curves and I love my boobs! I think this has to do with the fact that I hit puberty much later than most (if not all) of the girls I know. Which means I spend a good portion of my teens being made fun of for being flat chested and have knobby knees. Then puberty finally kicked and well, let's just say no one would even think about calling me flat chested. Anyhow, back to my original topic. So after purchasing a few dress patterns then measuring myself (hey! new sewers....measure yourself before you buy any clothing patterns) I discovered that in the world of sewing I am plus sized. Again, I would be totally fine with this if all of the dresses did not look like this:
I love this fabric and I love what they were going for....but it looks like she is wearing a big rectangle with sleeves....I DON'T want to wear a big rectangle. Did I mention I love my curves??!! This dress looks likes 2 rectangles sewing together. I know there are plenty of big girls out there that are proud of their curves too. I am all for dressing for your body type, but a dress shaped like this is not going to flatter anyone! When I decided I wanted to learn to sew I wanted to be able to sew those cool retro dresses that I love so much. I am really inspired by Pin-Ups....those girls had curves! Here is what I think plus size sewing patterns should be like:

This is a dress from the plus sized section of They have lovely curve hugging clothes for the plus sized! So I have been reading other sewer's opinions on this and well there seems to be a consensus. So if anyone knows where some really cute plus sized patterns can be found please let me. I must say though I am really fond of some of simplicity's plus sized patterns. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Are Not A Rooster!!

Lately I have found myself trying to convince Abby that she is in fact a dog and not a rooster. For about the past 2 weeks she has had the urge to bark in my face some between 5:00 & 6:00am. Not really sure what is going with that. When I get out of bed she doesn't rush to go outside and potty she just wants me to be awake. While this doesn't really bother me Tuesday-Friday when I have to be up at 7:00am it does bother me on the weekend when I could be sleeping in. We have tried really wearing her out just before bed. We make sure the last thing we do before going to sleep is taking her out to potty. Nothing seems to work. Sadly, I am a sucker and can't be mad at her for more than about 5 seconds, so she will probably live the rest of her life thinking she is a rooster. How could I ever be mad at something this precious!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why Do I Do This To Myself??

So here I am again feeling totally overwhelmed by all of my hobbies....only the problem this time is not that I am burnt out, but that I now have 3 hobbies that I am totally in love with and am not sure how to divide my time. As most of you know I have been knitting for about a year and half now, I got a sewing machine for Christmas, & yesterday I picked up my first bass guitar!! Now I am just not sure what to spend my time doing. Yesterday, I also received my "Learn To Sew" books in the mail so I am eager to read those and maybe try some simpler sewing projects than what I have selected to date....Nerd Wars officially started yesterday and I now have 4 knitting projects that need to be cast on and cast off by the end of the month in order to earn points....I am the team captain I have to accomplish this....also I don't want to push my bass aside...we spent good money on that thing and I am determined to be an excellent bass player! What to do? What to do?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gandalf Knitting.....Nuff Said


A New Obsession

Yes, that is what I needed in my life....another thing to obsess over :) So about 4-6 months ago Walt got a cheap acoustic guitar from the toy section of Wal-Mart and had been learning to play guitar on it. Well, last week he sold a small painting and went to Guitar Center and got a "REAL" guitar. So then it got me to thinking I have always wanted to learn to play bass I decided when my tax refund came back that I would go get myself a bass guitar. We went to Guitar Center and looked around and asked about their lay-a-way plan. We finally made our decisions....Walt put a guitar he had looked at the week previously, but wasn't available for sale yet on lay-a-way...along with an amp for me and this bass guitar!!!!!!

I am so excited....I can't wait to pay off our lay-a-way and really start to learn how to play this thing. I have been looking at various tutorials for learning to play and I am excited to get started.