I’m knitting socks!

This isn’t the first time I’ve knitted a sock. The first sock I ever knitted was the one in the image above, and I never made the matching sock because my hand was in so much pain from making this one because of my carpal tunnel, that I just ended up putting the second one off, and then I guess I just never made it because I forgot, and then I lost the sock yarn lol.

So this time I am actually making a pair, but I’m working with regular yarn because it gets so cold here in the winter because we don’t have heat, so rather than wearing 2 pairs of socks all winter, I thought I would knit socks with yarn so they are like feet sweaters lol. I should clarify, we used to have central heating, but then the heater stopped working and now we have space heaters. The one in my bedroom is a portable radiator and it puts off so much heat that I have to turn it down because it feels like summer in my bedroom. The living room space heater is bigger, but since it blows heat like a fan, it only blows enough for a tiny space, so even if you are sitting next to it, your feet are still frozen if you’re not wearing socks.

I made 2 different socks and I messed both of them up, so those didn’t end up making the cut. My life partner didn’t like them anyway because he wanted dark, and I had this green yarn, so that’s the color he chose. I did mess up on the heel because I didn’t do a even 3 way split when doing the heel, I kept going one too many rows, so that’s why it’s so pointy, and believe me, it’s not comfortable lol. Since I made that first one that pointy, I have to make the matching one exactly the same. I do plan on making more and doing it right lol.

I made this first one going cuff down to toe, and I did it using the magic loop method, and I switched to DPN’s (double pointed needles) for the toe. I am still working on the matching sock because my hand has been in so much agony from all the failed socks, then this sock and now the sock I’m working on. It’s taking longer because I have to keep resting my hand. For the 2nd sock I decided to start making it using the DPN’s, but then I decided I wanted to buy some sock sized circular needles. I also bought actual sock yarn, so for the sock yarn I bought a 9 inch long 2.75mm US 2 size circular knitting needles, so I figured I would also buy 9 inch long 5mm US 8 size circular knitting needles for the yarn socks, but that turned out to be a mistake because 9 inches is not long enough. You can see in the regular sock yarn there is a stretch while it is on the circular knitting needles, but the regular yarn is bunched up too much and it just made it more difficult to knit, so I bought a 12 inch long 5mm US 8 size circular knitting needles, and as you can see from the pictures, it made a huge difference.

So after I finish with this green sock, I really want to go buy some more variegated yarn. My favorite is called Painted Desert. I think that will look awesome as a foot sweater lol. The regular sock yarn is Premier wool free sock yarn in the following styles. I saved the screenshots from the website of the finished sock so you can see and then took a screenshot of all 3 of them together.

I honestly don’t know why I bought the Petunia or the Vegas Lights. These were the only 3 available in the listing on the Michael’s website. Of course after I bought these 3 colors, they added more colors to the same listing that are more masculine that I really would rather have, but such is life I guess. Perhaps I will make those 2 pairs to give away. I found them on Amazon for the same exact price and free shipping with Prime, so maybe I will get them there since it’s faster shipping, that is if my hand is still alive when I finish making these.

Anyway, I like making things that are actually useful, and I can’t wait to see the Painted Desert yarn as a sock. Maybe one day I will find the sock yarn for the first sock I ever made so I can make the matching sock.

Nook Battery Replacement

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My life partner bought me a Nook HD+ for Christmas in 2013 and I have loved it every time I’ve used it. I appreciate every gift he has given to me, even though I don’t always use those gifts because they either stop working or become so obsolete that I need a new one.

My Nook HD+ hasn’t been the same for a very long time because the battery doesn’t keep a charge for too long. I don’t remember exactly how long you’re supposed to be able to read before the battery dies, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a few hours. I brought my Nook HD+ with me to Oregon recently and let my cousin’s son play a game on there, and the battery only lasted for 1 hour, maybe. I had to bring out a portable battery so he could keep playing.

I have been scanning my groceries with the National Consumer Panel for a few years. I earn points for scanning groceries and for doing surveys, and I get points every week just for being a member, and I can use those points to buy gift cards for Amazon. 21,000 points gets me a $25 Amazon gift card, and I recently used my 21,000 points to buy a gift card specifically so I could buy this battery for my Nook HD+.

It came with tools and I watched a video on YouTube on how to open my Nook HD+ so I can change the battery. it’s a lot harder than I had originally expected. I thought the back would just come off, but apparently I have to peel the frame around the front screen off, then unscrew about 20 screws, then flip it over and unplug the battery and peel the battery off the back because it’s glued on there, then I can put the new battery in and screw all the screws back on, then snap the frame back on. It’s a lot of work, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to be able to use my Nook without worrying about my battery constantly dying on me.

Now I will be able to read books again and not worry that the battery is going to die on me right in the middle of the good part.

Update: Well, I followed the instructions in a YouTube video to the letter. I removed the frame around the screen, it’s got like a double sided tape all around it which most of it came off and I had to toss in the trash, but I got the frame off. I unscrewed all 20 screws and removed the back and unplugged the battery, then carefully removed the old battery from the back of the device, as told in the instructional video I found. The battery was just on with double stick tape. Then I placed the new battery in the Nook and plugged it in and replaced the back and flipped it over and I noticed the screen had started up, so I went to press the circle up to turn it on so I could basically just turn it off while I screwed in the screws, but it didn’t respond to my touch. I screwed all 20 screws back in and replaced the screen frame and tried touching the screen and it wasn’t responding again. So I turned it off and did a soft reset and still no response. I did a factory reset and STILL no response. Now I have a brick. A $200 brick and a $23 battery that doesn’t do me any good. I am so pissed off right now I can’t even see straight.

Another update lol: Well, somehow I got it to work, but then I went to the gym and it wouldn’t work. Touch screen is dead. So, since my gym is right next door to a Barnes & Noble, I just decided to buy a new Nook. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab A Nook since they were out of the cheaper $50 Nooks. I figured the Samsung one looked better than the cheap $50 one, and you get what you pay for, so now I have a new 7 inch Nook tablet. It’s not 9 inches, but that’s fine. It works.

Homemade Apple Butter

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I can remember my mother buying Apple Butter when I was a child. She would make toast for us, and we would spread the butter on the hot toast, then when the butter melted we would spread Apple Butter on top. It wasn’t an every day thing since it wasn’t always in the fridge. My mother would buy it occasionally, so it was a treat when she did buy it.

I’ve been making applesauce a lot more than I normally do, and peeling the apples is always the worst part, which is why I don’t make it all the time. If I had something that made peeling apples easier and faster, then I would make it all the time. I recently bought this gadget on Amazon called Starfrit Apple Pro-Peeler. I watched a video on YouTube that came from QVC and they made it look so easy to peel apples. I bought it based on their video and decided to make Apple Butter with the peeled apples. This is what it looks like.

Starfrit apple peeler

So you basically remove the plastic, then stick the apple on the 4 prongs to hold it in place, then turn the crank which turns the gears which turns the apple and the arm with the blade moves down to the bottom of the apple and starts peeling it from the bottom to the top. It’s really fun to peel apples. It normally takes me about 2 or 3 minutes to peel 1 apple, and this thing literally took 5 seconds to peel the apple.

I got the recipe for the Apple Butter from Betty Crocker. The recipe is for 12 granny smith apples, apple juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and ground cloves. You put all of the ingredients in a crock pot for 10 hours on low, then use a mixer on the apples, then continue cooking it on low for 2 more hours, then 2 hours to cool down before canning it.  Here’s what it looks like in the crock pot at the very beginning.

Apples in crock pot

I tasted it when it was finished, and I was surprised that it didn’t have the same taste that I remember of the Apple Butter from my childhood. I think it is too spicy in fact lol. Not hot spicy, but I mean like the cloves and nutmeg etc. I don’t recall tasting those ingredients.

When it was finished cooking, I tasted it and it didn’t taste very sweet to me, so I added more brown sugar. It did help with the sweetness and the bitter aftertaste. I figured I would not judge it while it was still hot, but instead go ahead and can it and put 1 jar in the fridge and make my decision when I could try it cold. I did, and it still wasn’t sweet enough, so I added a little bit more sugar to the jar (in the middle of the 2 jars in the picture above) and it did help it a lot. I made 1 slice of toast and added the butter, then added the Apple Butter and cut the toast in half and gave one half to my partner and we both ate it together. It was actually very good. I can see me trying this on several different things like ice cream and perhaps waffles and pancakes.

I used 20 apples and doubled the amount of the rest of the ingredients. I got 11 jars out of it, and there was a tiny bit leftover, so I poured the rest in the jar in the middle in the picture above. It’s from my Magic Bullet lol. I only have 11 glass jars for canning because 1 jar broke last year. I am going to be missing 4 more jars because my partner is giving 2 jars away at church tomorrow, and I will be giving 2 jars to people who work at the grocery store lol.

I’m going to buy more jars since we will be losing 4 more jars, but I’m going to buy the bigger jars because I want to make more applesauce and put them in the bigger jars. Now that I have this apple peeler, I’m probably going to be out of control  with canning apple butter and applesauce lol.

Fix for my Magic Bullet

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I have wanted a Magic Bullet ever since I saw the first infomercial for it on TV. I told my partner every time we walked by it at Sears or Target, and he always told me that it was too expensive. Last year we were at Sears and they were really inexpensive, so he finally bought it for me.

When I started going to the gym, I started buying this workout powder that is supposed to help you recover and it is supposed to help the muscles somehow. We had some strawberries in the fridge that we weren’t eating, so I put them in the freezer. I should have cut them into pieces first, but I didn’t.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

This is why I should have cut the strawberries up first. I threw whole frozen strawberries and frozen slices of banana into my shake, and it was too much for the Magic Bullet to handle and the blade stopped, but the rubber from the bottom of the cross blade started stripping and it stripped the plastic off the base gear. I honestly didn’t think that I did any harm to it at the time.

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to make a blended iced coffee, so I poured my cold coffee into the cup and added some small pieces of ice, then I screwed the cross blade on it and put it in the Magic Bullet, and it was making some strange noises, and it didn’t crush the ice like it normally would. I looked at the base gear and the bottom of the cross blade and I could see why it wasn’t working properly.

My first thought was great, now I need a new one. But then I wondered if it could be fixed, so I went on Amazon, my go to website for everything, and they just so happened to have the replacement parts. I bought both pieces, and then thought to myself, how the heck am I going to replace the gear? I went on YouTube and got the answer.

magic bullet bottom flathead screw

The bottom of the Magic Bullet has a opening, and you should see a flat head screw in that opening. What you gotta do is grab the gear with a pair of locking pliers, then put a flat head screwdriver in the bottom and hold it tight, then turn the locking pliers to the right as if you are tightening it. Trust me, it will loosen. When you have it off, then you can put the new one in place. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The parts are so much cheaper than having to buy a new Magic Bullet, and it doesn’t take much effort fixing it, and you will bonk your hand on your forehead when you think about how you were about to throw the Magic Bullet away over something so trivial.

I know I should take better care of my things, and I try to, but sometimes I just don’t think before I act. No one is perfect, and I know I’m certainly far from perfect. I’m the most clumsy person I know. Here’s an example. Last year like a month before I broke my leg, I was in the emergency room because I was cutting the stem off of one of those frozen strawberries so I could blend it in the Magic Bullet, and the knife was so sharp that it went right through the strawberry, and went right into my finger at an angle. It didn’t go directly into the bone, it went in the same direction as the bone. I ended up with 3 stitches. I think that was the last time I used my Magic Bullet.

Magic Bullet stitches

So, I would suggest take better care of your (my) things, and be careful with sharp knives lol. Ouch! Oh, and I hope I helped save you money by showing you how to fix your Magic Bullet.

Fitbit Sleep

fitbit sleepI was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea in 2005. I visited 2 different aunts from 2002 to 2004 and they both told me that I snored really loud and that I gasped for air. In the summer of 2005 I was waking up in the middle of the night really gasping for air, I mean like I was struggling to breathe like someone had their hands around my neck and was choking me to death. I went to a sleep study and they told me I had severe sleep apnea and prescribed a BiPap machine.

I wore the BiPap machine mask every night for a decade, until I lost 70lbs and the pressure was too much and I couldn’t use it anymore. I didn’t think I had any sleeping issues with it, but I was wrong. I think I just didn’t want to continue to use it because I was sick and tired of having to be tethered to a machine for the rest of my life. Can you imagine not being able to go to bed unless you have a ball and chain locked to your ankle? That’s what it feels like. But in all fairness, if I don’t have that ball and chain locked on my face (in this case) I could likely die.

My mother died in her sleep from a heart attack and she was obese and I remember how bad her snoring was when she was alive. The doctor at the sleep study told me that I could die from a stroke or a heart attack in my sleep if I don’t have a BiPap macine. I believe that if I never went to that sleep study, I wouldn’t be here right now blogging about this.

I just bought a Fitbit Charge HR from Amazon to help motivate me to exercise more often so I can lose weight, and I knew it tracked my sleep, but I wasn’t as motivated by that until this very moment. When I saw my sleep from yesterday, I wasn’t that shocked by my sleeping patterns. It says that it took me 8 minutes to fall asleep, I woke up 6 times, I was restless 7 times and I was awake/restless for 30 minutes and I was only asleep for 6 hours and 6 minutes. The reason is because I set the alarm to wake me up at 8am. I want to wake up earlier than I do because I am trying to change my sleeping habits. I really hate sleeping so late. But then I went back to sleep because my body really needed it. I only slept for 1 hour and 48 minutes, but I was awake 4 times, I was restless 4 times and I was awake/restless for 27 minutes, which is basically half the time I was asleep.

Last night I decided to do an experiment and use my BiPap machine. I have gained half of the weight back that I lost, so I’m getting back into that zone where I really should start using the machine again. The air pressure wasn’t too high, it was the way it was when I was first diagnosed with sleep apnea, so that right there tells me I really need to be wearing my mask again every night. So last night I slept for 9 hours and 13 minutes which tells me I am catching up on much needed sleep. I only woke up 1 time, I was only restless 4 times and I was awake/restless for 8 minutes the whole night. What a huge difference a BiPap machine makes.

This Fitbit watch has really made a difference in my life in just owning it for 2 days. Not only will it help me (hopefully) lose weight, but it helped me to realize that I need to get more sleep and I need to use my BiPap machine every night, which I am going to do.

Fitbit Charge HR

Fitbit Charge HRIt finally happened. I was finally able to buy a Fitbit Charge HR. I bought the extra large because I didn’t trust that the large one would fit my fat wrist lol. I also didn’t trust that the band on the large would keep it on. I prefer a regular watch band.

I wanted to buy something like this a couple of years ago, but these are so expensive, and I just didn’t have the money. I bought The Spark from SparkPeople, which is a great product, but it’s glitchy. When I am riding my bike, it logs it as “General exercise” which means if I really burn like say 300 calories, it logs it as 94 or something. I don’t like that. I also didn’t like that it didn’t work with the bluetooth to connect to my phone, and this does.

When I lost 70lbs a couple of years ago, I used the Noom app, and to tell the truth I’ve been using it ever since, I just haven’t lost any weight because once my motivation goes away, I don’t lose weight, so whatever I am using doesn’t do any good. I have a new gadget, and I have some motivation to lose weight again, so I really hope I get my moneys worth with this new watch lol.

Of course I won’t be able to put it to good use for another month. My gym membership is frozen until April 15th, so on that date I will ride my new Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle to Planet Fitness. The physical therapist said I can use the exercise bike and the elliptical machine and to do some of the exercises I did at Physical Therapy. Until then, I will use the Fitbit watch and the Fitbit app to track my sleep and my steps and log my food. I’ve already walked 3,070 steps since I got it this morning. It wants me to walk 10,000 steps per day, and I’ve already walked a quarter of that so far. The day isn’t over.

I was going to wait until next month to buy it, but I was just dying to have it now. I’m impatient lol.

Amazon Prime

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I’m usually the last to try something if it means I have to spend a lot of money up front. The reason I waited so long to try Amazon Prime was because I could never afford to just give up $99 up front. They have a 30 day trial, and I could have tried it a long time ago, but I guess I figured if I tried it and liked it, I’d still have to come up with $99. Now that I have credit cards, it’s a lot easier for me to make the commitment because I can pay that off in payments.

The reason I decided to finally get Amazon Prime was because I wanted to buy the Schwinn Meridian 3-wheel tricycle, and it was only available for Amazon Prime members. It was $249, which was a great price considering they cost $400 and up at the bike shops. It was fortunate that I had won $500 in a sweepstakes with the National Consumer Panel, so I was finally able to buy it.

I checked out the Amazon Prime app on the PlayStation 4 and watched Ex Machina. I haven’t watched anything else yet because I’ve mostly been watching Hulu, but it’s nice to have Amazon Prime app for watching movies if the movie or tv show that I want to watch isn’t on Netflix or Hulu.

This is what really made me love Amazon Prime, the free 2 day shipping. Oh my goodness! I just hate having to wait for a week or longer for things. I’ve had to wait a month for things I’ve bought online. Waiting sucks! I bought a 30mm Selenite Puff Heart Mystical Meditation Crystal and a new Schwinn coil lock  and they came in just 2 days. Amazing! 2 day shipping is expensive, so it’s real nice to get it for free with everything I buy that has the Prime logo next to the price.

The money that I am saving by getting free 2 day shipping on everything I buy more than pays for Amazon Prime, so I think I will be a permanent Prime member.