Walking 50 miles

Day 1

As the title of my blog suggests, I like to walk and I like to walk with dogs.  Mindy and I get our 10,000 steps in each day (20,000 for her) walking around our neighborhood.  I’ve lived and walked in this neighborhood for 28 years and enjoy meeting other walkers and their dogs each day.  As the years have passed we’ve mourned the loss of our faithful canine companions, rejoiced with the excited energy of new puppies and welcomed amazing rescues to their forever homes.

About 3 weeks ago, Mike, my husband, asked if I would be willing to walk 50 miles as a fundraiser for Youth for Christ, the organization he works for.

Now I’ve walked 26.2 miles twice (not at the same time ;-)) but I’ve never walked 50 miles so my answer was, “I don’t think so.”  Then I asked, “Would I have to walk these miles all at the same time?”  He said, “no”.  So I suggested that I would be willing to walk one mile each day for 50 days.   I had been searching for something to mark the approach of my 50th birthday and this felt perfect because it is also a way to give back to an organization that helps so many kids.  Here’s what I wrote on my fundraising page:

“Hi, I’m Grace Edwards and I’m walking 50 miles to raise money to support the ministries of Youth for Christ, Sacramento.  I will be walking one mile each day for the 50 days leading up to my 50th birthday.  As I approach my personal 50 mile-marker, I’m reminded of all I have to be thankful for and want to be able to finish this 50-mile challenge by giving back to an organization that pours out love and hope every day to kids.  My goal is to raise $50 per mile.

I’ve been personally involved with YFC for over 25 years and wholeheartedly support their mission.  YFC reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other likeminded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement.  YFC works in partnership with local churches, law enforcement agencies, city governments and school districts to provide safe environments for kids to have fun, and encourages them to grow through discipline and service.”

Mindy and I will walk a mile each and every day for 50 days and along the way we’ll share stories from the staff and kids of YFC.  I would be very grateful if you would consider supporting us through a tax deductible donation to YFC.  This link will take you directly to my fundraising page.

Mindy and I completed our first mile this morning and we were joined by Charlie and Sugar Bear (not in the picture) .

They loved sniffing everything, meeting other walkers along the way and best of all, settling in for some very satisfying naps when we got home.


While YFC works with kids in many locations, the one I want to tell you about today is the Collings Teen Center in West Sacramento.  Here is a story highlighting the need:

Jenny stood at the food counter of the Collings Teen Center, waiting in line with other students for their free Late Lunch meal. Her engaging smile and confident maturity made Jenny a favorite of the teen center staff. But day after day, she politely asked that her meals be wrapped to go.
In time, Jenny shared that she was actually taking the food to her four siblings. All five children were living with their mother in a motel room on West Capitol Avenue, a nearby corridor long known for its cheap motels, drug trafficking, and prostitution. The family has been forced to move several times, and Jenny is largely responsible for caring for the other children.
Stories like this are played out every day all over West Sacramento as young people are battling for a solid foothold – both in their current circumstances, and in their unfolding futures.

It breaks my heart to think that kids have to deal with circumstances such as these, but I’m so grateful that YFC provides a safe place to help alleviate some of their stress.

Until tomorrow,






“Can I just say this is the best idea EVER.”


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Turning 50 in 50 days.

It’s a bit hard to believe, but in 50 days I will be 50 years old.  It’s hard to believe because I generally think and feel like I’m in my late 30’s ;-).  Age is such a strange creature.  It sneaks up on you in a blink of an eye and yet it’s not a blink, is it?  It’s 50 years… 600 months… 18,250 days… 438,000 hours… 26,280,000 minutes.  Ok, the number of minutes is HUGE!!!!

I’ve never been bothered by birthdays and increasing age… in fact, I’m really grateful I get to age.  Some people don’t.  I love looking back on the years to appreciate the changes and looking forward with anticipation for what the future holds.  I really hope that I’m getting better with age, although there are many areas where I still need to knuckle down and work.  That’s okay… I’m not entirely sure we’re ever done growing and learning.

So why am I telling you this?  Well, I’ve wanted to re-start my blog for a while now and haven’t quite figured out how to do that.  An opportunity (which I’ll tell you about tomorrow) came up to mark the days off before my 50th and I thought it would also be a great time to get into the habit of blogging again.

For the next 50 days, I’ll post something each day.  After that I’ll post a few times a week, but mostly I want to stay consistent.  I love interacting with readers and sharing ideas and interests.

I hope you’ll join me over the next 50 days and further if you like.  While you’re here, feel free to browse through older posts.  This blog has been around for a few years (on and off) and there’s some fun stuff to read.

I’d love to hear of ways you’ve celebrated significant birthdays.

Until tomorrow,





“Want to know how I like to celebrate? Lots of treats and walks”


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Make Madness 2018 – Day 24-31 | Knit and Crochet All-The-Things

For the last week of Make Madness, I decided to work a little bit each day on the variety of knitting and crochet projects I have in progress.

While these won’t necessarily be completed by the end of March, they will definitely all get some concentrated attention and love.  Also, a couple of the projects I will share with you over the next few days are one’s that have a deadline.  So I’m anxious to finish those first.

I’m going to give you the list of my Works in Progress (WIP’s) but then go into detail in the coming days.  I break them out into categories: Knit-a-long projects (deadlines), long-term projects and Mid-term projects.

Knit-a-long projects:
1.  My “As Time Goes By” socks by Susan Burzynski. I shared these with you on Day 9.  I’ve made a little more progress than the picture shows, but I want to have these finished by 3/31.  Let’s hope!

2.  My “He brought me nothing but Joy” shawl.  I’m using “The Girl from the Grocery Store” pattern by Joji Locatelli to knit this shawl in memory of my dog Woody.  I’m knitting this for a KAL ending on 4/4 with Joey’s Scarf Knitting Podcast.

Mid-term projects:

My “Go Cubs Go” Wrap.  I’m using the Vila Wrap pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.  While the pattern only calls for 2 colors, I’m making modifications to include all 4 colors for the Cubs home and away uniforms.

My “One Sock, Two Socks” socks: a pattern by Shauna of Shauna Stitches.

Winter Rose socks by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

Long-term projects: (I’ll talk about these later in the week)

The Sunny Blanket (crochet). pictured
The Coast Blanket (crochet).
The Cozy Memories Blanket (knit)
The Cozy Memories Scrappy Crochet Blanket


Until tomorrow,





Will you “Go Cubs Go” wrap match my dog bed?





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Make Madness 2018 – Day 23 | Bath Fizzies

While yesterday’s Make Madness was a lot of fun, it was also a long day on my feet and took a toll on my back.

All I could think that I wanted to make today were some bath fizzies so I can take a long, hot soak to ease my aching muscles.

And here they are.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and they worked out great.  While I was rummaging around in the garage a couple of days ago, I found this mold and thought it work well for a craft project.  Also the recipe called for citric acid, which I used yesterday while dyeing the yarn.  I love when ingredients can be used in multiple ways.

They were super easy and fast to make and I look forward to testing them out tonight.

Until tomorrow,







Did you say “bath”?  No thank you, but you go ahead and enjoy yours.






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Make Madness 2018 – Day 21/22 | Hand Dyed Yarn

So I had planned to post my yarn dyeing adventures yesterday, but it literally took me ALL day to prep the yarn.  And by prep I mean taking 100g hanks of sock weight yarn and breaking them into 50g hanks.  Simple, right?  Not so  much.  I used my swift to wind up half of each skein but somewhere along the way, things got a big tangled and I spent most of yesterday untangling yarn!!!!!  And I didn’t want to bore you with that disaster.  Finally I had 8 50g hanks and was able to set them up to soak overnight so I could hit the ground running today with the fun part. The dyeing!!!

I had dyed yarn in the past with Kool Aid, but today I wanted to experiment with food color paste as well as Jacquard acid dyes.  I also wanted to try different heating options: microwave, steam and immersion.  I watched several YouTube videos: one from Carie of the Creative Obsession and several from Rebecca of ChemKnits.  All the yarn I used was Cloudborn Fibers Merino Superwash Sock Twist (80% SW Merino Wool/20% Polyamide).

Here are the results:


These two skeins (left) were dyed in the same bath using Jacquard dye and the stove top heat method.



For this speckled skein (right), I pre-mixed Kool Aid and applied the color sporadically.  I heat set the dye using steam.



This skein (left) was made using pre-mixed Kool-Aid, but for the yellow color, I added McCormick yellow food coloring to make the color more vibrant.  I heat set this using steam.



This skein (right) was a combination of pre-mixed Lime Kool Aid and pre-mixed Wilton Violet food color paste.  This was also heat set with steam.



For this skein (left) I used a pre-mixed Wilton Violet food color paste applied with a plastic fork and then dipped the fork into powdered Berry Wild Kool-Aid to achieve the reddish/pink color.  I set this with microwave heat.


This skein (right) was a combination of the yellow pre-mixed Kool Aid/food coloring and Wilton Violet food color paste.  This was set with steam.



Finally for the last skein (left) I used the stove-top method and added Jacquard dyes directly onto the fiber.



All in all, I’m so happy with all the results.  I do like the steam heating setting method as well as the stove top method although it’s a little harder to control the color with the stove top.  For tonal and solid colors, the stove top is excellent, but for speckled or striped effects, I prefer heat setting with steam.  I wasn’t crazy about heat setting with the microwave.

Now, what will I knit with all this gorgeousness?????

Until tomorrow,






So this is how I spent my day.







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Make Madness 2018 – Day 20 | Notions bag and Progress Keeper

Even though it’s really cold and rainy today, it’s also the first day of Spring.  With that in mind, I wanted to continue to practice bag making skills with some cheery fabric and new techniques. I found a gorgeous watercolor print in my stash and paired it with a lively lime color for the lining.

I decided to make a notions bag with a “leash” and on a whim added a “dog paw” progress keeper to attach to the zipper pull.  I used my standard lined zippered bag tutorial and boxed the bottom.  Before sewing the sides completely closed, I added a fabric tab with a “D” ring attached for the “leash”.  Then after the bag was complete, I made the “leash” by folding and sewing a strip of fabric to a lanyard hook.

I love using zippered bags for my projects, but prefer that they come with handles.  I had seen bags with detachable ha

ndles and thought I’d try to make one today. I’m really pleased how it turned out and plan to fill it up.

Until tomorrow,






Speaking of “leash”, we’re ready when you are.







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Make Madness 2018 – Day 19 | Socks

No.  I did not knit a pair of socks today.

I FINISHED a pair of socks today.

One of my crafting ‘habits’ is that I love to start projects, make significant progress, but then either  become bored or distracted by the sparkly goodness of ‘new’ projects.  Invariably I end up with lots of UFO’s (Un Finished Objects) and very few FO’s (Finished Objects).  In the past year, I’ve been trying to be more of a finisher than a starter, so that’s why todays MakeMadness project is a pair of socks.  I finished the heels on Day 9 and finished the feet over the past 10 days. Today all I had to do was work the toes and cast off.

And with that I have a pair of FINISHED socks!!








These socks represented a bunch of firsts for me: first fish lips kiss heel; first pair knit with yarn I dyed myself; first pair knit with sock weight yarn; first pair knit from my own sock recipe; first pair knit two-at-a-time.

I’m on the hunt for the perfect sock recipe for my foot, so I used the instructions in the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern to make a template of my foot.  As an aside, to my dismay, I now have concrete proof that I have Hobbit feet. As I knit the foot of each sock, I was able to use the template to know when to stop knitting the foot and to start decreasing for the toes.  And it worked out perfectly.  The socks fit wonderfully.

Things I learned along the way:

  1. I love knitting socks two-at-a-time.
  2. The FLK heel or other short row heels fit my foot better than the traditional heel, flap and gusset heel.
  3. I need to make sure I separate my skein of yarn into two distinct cakes before I start.  I had a horrendous episode of yarn barf.
  4. I want all my socks to be hand knit.
  5. I need to cast on another pair right away!

Until tomorrow,







Hey Buddy- we don’t have to go searching for socks in the dryer anymore.  Mom’s making a bunch.

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