Sew–I needed a new bike

May 17th, 2015

My 50th birthday present to myself is a women only Adventure Tour in Oregon (Introduction to Road Touring) this coming July.  I booked the tour in March and started dreaming.

Then, I had a sudden, rude awakening!¬† It had not occurred to me that my current bike wouldn’t work for this new adventure.¬† Silly girl, I am. Well, of course I would need a new bike!¬† A carbon racing bike (my Maddie) is NOT a touring bike and definitely not what I need for self contained touring. Self contained touring means I’ll be carrying my own tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, clothing, food, cooking gear, etc. ON my bike…sometimes climbing mountains carrying all that stuff.¬† Maddie is wonderful, but she just can’t handle that type of work.

Hmmmm.

Sew…I spent several weeks researching what bike to get. I narrowed it down to 2 choices, then set out to test ride and make my decision.¬† Finally, I decided on the Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker .

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Sew…now let me tell you about Two Wheel Drive Bike Shop and why buying a bicycle from a GOOD shop will always be 1000 times better than buying from a “cheap” shop.

I ordered my Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bicycle from Two Wheel Drive in Albuquerque last Friday (May 8th) with the understanding it would be 1-2 weeks for the bike to arrive.  I received the call on Friday, May 15th that my bike was in and built for me.

Sew…I went to pick it up and we discovered the size ordered is still too big for me. Even worse, the smaller size is NOT AVAILABLE in the disc version. WTF…ARGGGH!!! What to do, what to do?!!! Well dang…Charlie solved the problem. He ordered just the smaller bike frame (the frame only WAS available in my size) and they will build out my dream touring bike for me.

My mind is blown. My heart is blessed. While I’m disappointed I didn’t get my bike yesterday, I’m 1000 times MORE thankful that Charlie was willing to make sure I get the RIGHT bike for me (over just making a sale!).

BOTTOM LINE: Quality and service are at least 1000 times more important than CHEAP. Support your local bike shop if they support you. If you happen to be in the Albuquerque Metro Area, go see Charlie and his staff at Two Wheel Drive and tell him I sent you.

Make your own – Taco Seasoning Recipe

March 22nd, 2015

Sew…with age comes certain “issues”.¬† One of my own personal issues is blood pressure.

Salt/sodium is a key player related to blood pressure. My own doctor recommends I stay at 1500 mg. or less per day.

My blood pressure is under control with diet and exercise, but I have to be hyper-vigilant about reading product labels for salt (sodium) content.   Seasoning mixes are notorious for being loaded with salt (sodium).

One teaspoon of salt = approximately 2,325 mg.

These major health organizations recommend these as maximum daily sodium intake:

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg.
  • American Heart Association (AHA): 1500 mg.
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg.
  • American Diabetes Association (ADA): 1500 to 2300 mg.

So, I’ve formulated my own delicious version that can be tweaked to your personal needs (or even made without salt altogether).¬† Not only is it delicious, it is healthier and much less expensive than purchasing individual packets at the store.¬† PLUS, I know EXACTLY what’s in it.

The following recipe will make enough to season 8 pounds of ground beef, ground turkey or other meat (enough to make 8 separate meals of 1 pound of meat per meal/dish).  I simply recycle/re-label an old spice container to hold my seasoning mix.

NOTE:  I generally use approximately 3 Tablespoons of seasoning per pound of meat.  Adjust to your taste.

1/2 cup chili powder

6 teaspoons black pepper

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons Spanish paprika

4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

4 teaspoons garlic powder

4 teaspoons dried onion flakes

4 teaspoons salt (This works out to 1/2 teaspoon of salt per meal or 1/8 teaspoon/approximately 290.65 mg per serving when the meal is divided into 4 servings. This is a modest/moderate amount of sodium intake for one meal, but generally WAY less than most store purchased brands.  You may choose to use more or less depending upon your sodium tolerance and personal preference)

2 teaspoons dried cilantro (optional)

2 teaspoons ground oregano

DIRECTIONS:

Place ingredients in a large spice container (or small food storage container or jar), cover/seal with lid, and shake until well mixed.

Be sure to label your container.¬† Yep, it’s THAT easy!

Something about a fresh haircut and a bike ride…

February 8th, 2015

Sew…there’s something wonderful about a fresh haircut (really short this time, huh?!) and a bike ride with a new friend.

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Feeling happy and FREE

 

Yesterday, our weather was a gorgeous 64 degrees, sunny and very little wind.  A perfect day to get out on my bicycle with my new friend, Lisa.

Lisa is in my Saturday morning Strength Training Group…and new to New Mexico. Since this was her first outside ride in New Mexico and because my knees were feeling a little tweaky, we chose a relatively flat road with a nice bicycle lane in Corrales and pedaled an easy 12+ miles with the time we had.

I have to say, it absolutely invigorated me.¬† The sunlight, the scenery, the sound of the pedals and wheels turning…and freedom. Just taking it all in and giving myself permission to simply “be” with no expectations.¬† What a wonderful experience.¬† I can hardly wait until next Saturday! New course…some hills…and more friends!

Today is our present…truly a gift.¬† What will you do with yours?

Pepper’s HotFLASH Quilt & Sew Parade!

February 1st, 2015

With 2015, comes exciting changes to SewThankful!¬† I’m so excited to tell you that I have changed the name of the SewThankful eNews to Pepper’s HotFLASH Quilt & Sew Parade.

GreenChilePepper

Although, to be honest…I may occasionally refer to it as the “eNews” for short.¬† Just because I take shortcuts sometimes.¬† I’m spicy like that.

In case you haven’t guessed already, I am Pepper.¬† My name is¬† Tracy Chapman and I will turn 50 years old in May 2015 (could there be a reference to HotFLASH here? hmm…). “Pepper” has been my unofficial (family) nick name for several years. This is the BEST time of my life and the name change reflects my decision for forward progress (emphasizing FUN) in this amazing adventure we call life.

Why is Pepper my nickname?¬† Well, mainly because I love just about everything about peppers…the colors, the shapes, the flavors, all the different varieties.¬† AND because their colors, shapes and flavors can all change (either subtly or dramatically as they grow).¬† They can be sweet, spicy or flaming hot.¬† They can be purple or yellow or green or orange or red (and many colors in between, including mult-color). They can be slender or plump…oh my!¬† Just like me.

1_purple peppers

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What’s the HotFLASH Quilt & Sew Parade all about?¬†

The HotFLASH Quilt & Sew Parade is the email “publication” in which I am your friendly guide to fresh, new ideas (some golden oldies too), new products, and HOT SAVINGS on sewing/quilting products, patterns & threads at SewThankful.¬† Of course, it will be thoroughly seasoned with inspiration, encouragement and occasional views of ever sew spicy New Mexico, the SewThankful Crew and my Tumbleweed Adventures.

Are you a subscriber? (Why not? It’s FREE and you may easily unsub yourself at any time).

If you are already subscribed to the SewThankful eNews, you don’t need to do anything, your subscription settings remain the same through the name change.

If you are not already subscribed, there are two super easy ways to subscribe now:

(1) On your cell phone, simply Text the word    SEWTHANKFUL
to 22828 and you’ll be added to our weekly email list. This option is currently only available to USA subscribers.

(2) Visit this page: http://www.sewthankful.com/SewThankfuleNewsSignUp.html to choose the list you want to join.

Thanks so much for reading today.¬† I hope you’ll join the parade!¬† It’s all about living a good life that is flavor-FULL and FUN!

CHILE

 

Make an easy and accurate template!

December 6th, 2014

I am frequently asked how I make templates for projects.¬† I’ve tried many methods over the years, but the one that works best for me and is absolutely the fastest, easiest and most accurate (in my opinion) is this:

1.  Always protect the original pattern/template piece.  Make a photocopy of your original template piece (make sure it is 100% the original size).

2. Use your favorite adhesive (i.e., I use regular school gluestick or fabric fix spray adhesive) and lightly but thoroughly coat the RIGHT side of the paper template.  Be sure not to over saturate or distort the paper.

3. Place a piece of Quilters Vinyl  or Collins Template Vinyl on top of the paper template (adhesive side to the vinyl).  The Quilters Vinyl should be slightly larger than the template piece(s). Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles.

Quilters Vinyl

Collins Template Vinyl Sheets

  • Collins Template Vinyl is available at SewThankful in a package of six¬† 8.5″ x 11″ Sheets.¬† I ****LOVE**** to use these sheets when I’m making templates that take up the majority of an 8.5″ x 11″ page.

4. Allow adhesive to dry a few moments.¬† Check to make sure you’ve got a good adhesion of paper to vinyl.¬† If needed, add a little more glue or spray around any loose edges and allow to dry.

5. Carefully cut out template piece on the lines using nice, clean, sharp scissors so you have smooth edges.¬† Oh…did I mention?¬† Quilters Vinyl and Collins Vinyl are SO EASY to cut.¬† It’s like buttah baby…uh huh!

VOILA!¬† You have a FABULOUS template ready for tracing.¬† It’s perfectly cut and labeled with all the markings because you are using the actual paper template :-).¬† Template making joy…YES!