Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Needlework Tuesday - The Challenge Deepens

Welcome to Needlework Tuesday. I invite my stitching friends and new friends to join me in sharing and encouraging each other in our endeavours.  Leave a comment with a link to your post and I'll add you to our happy group.

It was just last week that I told you about the challenge that was issued by my local Quilt Guild president.  If you missed that post, click this link for the details and block choices.

When I left you last week, I was off to search my fabrics and see what I could find in the black/white/ yellow range.  First is the lovely piece of mottled black that I originally purchased as sashing for quilt for my son.  Oh, black isn't all that difficult to replace.  Mother bought me this black and yellow check when a shop went out of business. I knew it would come in helpful.  It will be the backing as I'm not sure whether it's poly or not.  Have to do the flame test.

Great assortment of blacks to choose from.
Not too bad on the yellows either.  The strip across the bottom is the challenge fabric that I must include, though it wasn't specified how much of it needed to be used.
I selected the 'Geese in the Air' block as it gave me more design options.

Before I could start sewing I first had to re-install Electric Quilt EQ5 and then install the EQ6 upgrade.  Haven't got around to purchasing the EQ7 upgrade as I haven't even used these ones in the past two years.

Showing in this photo is the block minus some half square triangles.
This final photo shows four of the blocks set together.  Do you recall that I was going to ignore the block boundaries and treat it as one large block.  I like it much better this way.  Still have to work in the fifth block as required in the challenge.  No one said that it had to be a complete block....

Monday the 6th of June is the due date for this top.  I hope to have  lots of photos of the other entries next Tuesday.

Have you made a black/white/yellow quilt?   If you have posted it on your blog, send me the link, otherwise, send me a jpeg and I'll post it with the others next week. 

I'd better get back to the fun.

What's everyone else up to?

Lit and Laundry joins in with a cross stitch inspired by Jane Austen.  Hope I got that right, it's been a while since I read those books.

Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan

Life just plain sucks at times, and in the eyes of a troubled teen, those times can seem to happen far too often.  Sixteen year old Melissa is angry most of the time and she doesn't know why.    She also keeps making poor choices when it comes to drug use, sexual partners and just about every thing else.  it's not that she has given up on life, she does want to be a veterinarian when she finishes school, it's just that she has no idea how to get where she wants to be.

As a parent I found this a hard book to read.  I want to best for my kids, I can tell them all sorts of truths and things meant to help them, but I can't make them listen and use that information.  Melissa's mother wasn't much of a role model, but she did have her uncle that showed some concern and did try to help in his own way.  She had a counsellor that she was seeing weekly and she also had the teachers at her 'Day School' who truly cared.  Her uncle told her "You decide to be happy ... It's a decision" but Melissa wasn't ready to hear that message.

This story rang true on all events.  Teens don't think the same way as adults.  Their thought processes are handled in the amygdala where emotional responses happen.  My doctor recommended the following video  The Adolescent Brain from The Discovery Channel,when I was struggling to understand my teen.

I highly recommend this book for teens and adults who deal with teens.  Some of the insights I found very helpful.  When Melissa finally decided to accept help, it's not for the reasons an adult might. She thinks to herself, "I've made a decision about my life: I don't give up.  I give in.  There's a difference.  I give in the destiny I'm being pushed toward... But it's not surrender it's more like I'm stopping the resistance."

Thanks to Penguin Canada for the cover image and for my review copy.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 by PJ Haarsma

This is the first book in the Softwire series.  It is a YA series written by Canadian author PJ Haarsma.  I found it as a free download on Kobo a few days after I bought my BlackBerry Playbook.

It is the story of a group of children who are travelling on a generational ship (travelling for hundreds of years) and for some un-explained reason, all the parents are dead.  They have mostly been raised and educated by the computer systems on the ship.    The voyage ends and the children are landed on the first ring of the group of planets of Orbis.  Here they have to work to earn the keep that their parents had contracted.  It is once they start their forced labour that their difficulties really begin.

I loved this book.  I found it hard to put down once I started reading.  I think I finished it in two sittings.  I love books with space travel as I am fascinated with new cultures and what a better place to consider how to construct a culture than on a new planet.

I feel that this book will appeal to young readers.  First of all, they have no parents, in fact, they never knew their parents.  Second of all, it's the kids who end up having the power and the ability to resolve the major dilemma  that ensues. 

Author PJ Haarsma is the founder of the Kids Need to Read Foundation.  The Foundation "works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries and literacy programs across the United States, especially those serving disadvantaged children."  I have included a link to the foundation website so you can learn more about this worthy cause.

The Softwire website.

The Kids Need to Read Foundation

Bookcover photo courtesy of PJ Haarsma's website.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Weekend Cooking: Hummus Variations

For the past several years I have been volunteering at a week of running races during August.  The ENDURrun.  8 days, 7 stages, 160 km.   At first I helped mostly on the course at water stations and directing at corners.  Now I spend more of my time preparing food for the many elite athletes as well as the numerous volunteers. This year I'm starting early with testing out some new recipes.   I made some variations on the traditional hummus.  At this link you'll find my earlier post which includes the hummus I have been making for several years.

This week I made Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from the Canadian Living Magazine website.  I changed the recipe slightly by increasing the amount of tahini to 1/3 cup and decreasing the amount of olive oil to 2 tbsp.  I haven't used olive oil in making hummus previously, so you can leave it out if you prefer.  In the photo, it is the hummus in the little dish on the right side.

Last week I tried a small package of Sweet Potato hummus from the grocery story.  It was sublime.  I figured there must be a recipe online.  It took about 5 seconds to find.  I used one by Martha Stewart.  Oops, I forgot to add the garlic.  I cooked my sweet potato in the microwave as I thought that boiling would leach away too much flavour. 

Both turned out wonderful.  Will be taking some of each to my race planning meeting today for comments from the other volunteers who will be cooking.

Nan, at Letters from a Hill Farm has a recipe for basic hummus that is quite similar to mine.
Louise at Adventures in a Low GI World has posted a recipe for hummus with lime and cilantro. This is definitely on my to try list.  She has just posted a recipe for Kumara Hummus (Kumara is New Zealand speak for Sweet Potato)

For more foodie fun, click on over to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  You are invited to add a link to your own current food related post.

Friday, 27 May 2011

You Can't Outsource Weight Loss #3 - Are those truly Hunger Pains?

Tuesday was a bad day.  I just couldn't seem to get rid of those hunger pains.  First thing I do when my tummy starts to growl is drink a good cup of water and then ignore my stomach for fifteen or twenty minutes.  That didn't work, so I figured I might actually be hungry.  I mentally reviewed what I had eaten, and it did seem feasible.  So I had a Zone Bar.  My son eats these regularly.  These  bars are about 200 calories.  Should take care of the hunger monster.  It didn't.

I drank more water.  Am I dehydrated?  Nope, still painful.  I ate a bit of bread.  No help.  I was talking this over with my son as we were in the process of doing some errands.  Finally he turns to me and says: "Mom, lactose."  I am currently having trouble with lactose.  This is a new symptom.  As soon as I got home I chewed some digestive enzyme tablets and started walking around.  I find that walking helps get the gas moving and then I feel better.  Once the gas all passed the pains went away.  Not hungry after all.

Thanks to The Stellar Path for the image of the Hungry Monster.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Needlework Tuesday - New Challenges

Thanks for visiting today for my Needlework Tuesday post. Have you been working on a needlework project this week?  Write a post about your project, being sure to include photos, and leave a comment.  I'll add a link further down in this post.

I have been quite inspired by the lovely doily that Sherrie at Just Books has been working on.  It was that bold colour of thread that first caught my attention.  After watching her progress over the past few weeks I decided that I would have to give it a try again.  I haven't tried to make a doily in over a decade.  Tension has always been a challenge with my crochet.

For several years I subscribed to Magic Crochet.  Don't know that I ever made any of the projects, but I recall drooling over them, especially those made in the more bold colours.  I have kept these magazines in my sewing studio and searched them out the other day. 

It appears that the magazine ceased publication around 2005.   Issue 65 happened to be on the top of the stack and I found an easy pattern that used a thick thread.  It is called  "Aperitif set" by Chantal Chevallier.  I made the bottle mat.  I used a 1.25 mm hook.  I started with a slightly larger hook, 1.4mm, but it measured too large a gauge.

This second photo shows my finished project.  It only had eight rounds, so didn't take too long.  It measures 6 1/2 inches across.  I'm not sure how I'm supposed to finish it.  I pinned and steamed.  Do you still starch these?  I recall my grandmother doing that.  If so, do i soak the doily in liquid starch and pin it out to dry?  Next time I will draw a circle on scrap fabric and pin the doily to the edges to get a more accurate circle.

I am thrilled with my first re-attempt at making doilies.  I'm ready to move onto something a little bigger, but as Sherrie advised, the more the number of rounds, the longer each round takes.
 I didn't do any stitching on the Scribbling Women quilt, though I did write some follow-up emails and talk with a few people about it.  I need a few more contributions to complete the border.  Several should be on the way shortly and then I'll be back at it.

In the meantime, I have a challenge to work on that was issued by the president of my local guild.  She selected two blocks, "Bridal Bellflower" and "Geese in the Air" as well as a yellow dotted fabric.  The challenge is to use only five blocks to make a quilt.  We can make five of one or five of the other or some combination, but only five blocks.

We can add a solid setting block, but no other block designs.  We must use the yellow fabric, but can add whatever additional fabrics we need.

I'll be re-installing Electric Quilt on my computer and coming up with a design.  I plan to take four blocks and set them touching and then turn them on point.   Next I am going to treat them as one large 24 inch block.  Instead of colouring each block the same, I am going to colour it as one block.  As for the fifth block, I am going to slash the pattern corner to corner to make four triangles and put them into setting triangles to square on the four centre blocks.

I hope I explained that properly, if not, I'll have photos next week.

I played with my colour wheel to try and find a fun colour set to work with .  My first thought was blue and yellow, but I figure that will be most popular with the other guild members.  Instead, I am going with black and white.  I have a fair assortment of that, and I think I even have some harlequin black and yellow that will work for backing.  My guild meeting is in two weeks, so I had better get moving on this.  Fortunately, I only need to get the top finished.  whew.

Thanks for joining me for my needlework update.  I love all the encouraging comments. What have my friends been stitching?  I'll add their links below as their posts go online.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rough Magic by Caryl Cude Mullin

Love, power and revenge form the basis of the various relationships in this story.  The love of a parent for a child, the quest for the ultimate power over all, and the revenge for perceived wrongs.  Caught up in all of this from the moment he was conceived is Caliban.  Son of a great sorceress, who herself succumbed to her endless quest for power.

After the death of his mother, Caliban grows to adulthood isolated on the remote island on which he was born.  He lives there un-eventfully for about ten years when the unlikely happens.  Two others are purposefully stranded there.  During the next ten years, Caliban learns much from Prospero and his daughter Miranda. 

This story is inspired by the Shakespeare play The Tempest which I have not read nor am I familiar with the plot.  This book sat on my shelf for the longest time.  I would pick it up and read the back cover and stop when it said that it was inspired by a book I hadn't read, and I would put it back on my shelf.  Finally, I decided this was ridiculous and I started reading.  I was worried for nothing.  This story is understandable and enjoyable without knowing any back story.  I quickly grew to enjoy Caliban and even looked forward to reading time so I could find out more about him.  Later in the story when we are introduced to Chiara, Miranda's daughter, I couldn't wait to see how Caliban and Chiara developed their parent/child or teacher/student relationship.  Now that I have finished this story, I do want to read The Tempest and compare how these stories are alike and where they diverge.

For online text of The Tempest, visit The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Thanks to Second Story Press for the cover photo and my review copy.

Friday, 20 May 2011

You Can't Outsource Weight Loss #2

 This is my second response to You Can't Outsource Weight Loss by Capt. Ed Boullianne.

For the past two weeks I have been conducting the 'Self-Assessment'.  I copied the 'Daily Meal Log' from page 172-173 so I could easily show you the results.  I was totally honest in what I ate and whether I added garnishes or toppings. 

First column: what + how much food I ate
I did pretty good here. I tend to eat a fair amount of fresh made food.  Not much canned stuff as it's too salty for my blood pressure and it doesn't taste all that great anyway.  Snacking is where I am adding too many calories.

Second column: Why I ate these
Since I am at home most days, it's not that difficult for me to make my own meals.  I don't tend to fast food or takeout. Dinner is family time, so it's the time when I make something that appeals to all of us.  Snacks were usually eaten because I wanted something sweet or I needed something to eat after a healthy workout (either running or fencing). 

Third Column: How I felt
A few times I noted that I felt kind of hallow, meaning I didn't eat enough or the right combination at the previous meal.  One note said I needed more protein in my lunch. For the most part, I ate the correct amount and didn't feel hungry nor did I feel stuffed.

Fourth Column: How much I moved
I run three to four times a week, fence twice and then walk the dog up to three times a day.  In between I take the occasional extra walk. On the whole, I feel that I get sufficient exercise.

A typical breakfast:
a home made fruit smoothie shared four ways (2 cups real juice, 1 banana, 1 scoop soy protein powder, 1 handful frozen fruit) 1/2 cup yogurt mixed with 1/3 cup muesli.

Today's lunch:
1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup soy milk, 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries and 1-2 tbsp of sunflower seeds.  This wasn't quite enough, so I added about 10 small tortillas chips.  This rice dish is a favourite with my kids, they add what ever they like of fresh or dried fruit and then after they warm it in the microwave they add some nuts of their choice.

So how am I feeling?  I feel good.  I have cut down my snacking and don't feel as though I am hungry or missing anything.  I realized that I am an emotional eater.  That I was cutting back a bit at meals so I could eat snacks, but I was way over eating on the amounts.  Now I am focusing more on the meals.  My next step is to go back and re-read the chapters on emotional eater.  I'll be back with another update later in the month.

Did I lose weight?  You bet I did, at least three pounds.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  Visit on Saturday for all your foodie urgings. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Needlework Tuesday - Embroidery with Metallic Threads

Finally made it to that lovely metallic embroidery thread.  As I was warned, not the easiest to work with.  It does look good, so I will persevere. 

I couldn't use the stitches I had used with the floss, this metallic stuff is stiffer.  For the title row 'Quilt Bee' I used two strands.  I used a running stitch in one direction and then another in the other direction to fill in the gaps.

The capital letters beside the bullets and done in the same manner with one strand.

There are lots of great stitch instructions to be found at the Embroiderer's Guild website Stitch with the Embroiderer's Guild.  There is a diagram on the Kreinik website on how to thread your needle so the metallic thread doesn't slip while you work.  It's the first diagram on the right hand side.

My mother is going to machine embroider a block for the quilt.  I sent her some samples of the fabrics so she will be better able to match thread colours. 

I didn't get much stitching this week, and again hope that next week will be better.  I can't keep my fingers crossed as it's too difficult to hold the needles.

How did you do with your projects this week? 

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal is still sitting high and dry, safe from the flood waters.  Yippee.  All your well wishes for her must have been heard.

Rikki over at Rikki's Teleidoscope has a post about bag inserts.  This is new to me so I had to check her earlier post for details.

Sherrie at Just Books, has almost finished her lovely doily.  She has inspired me to find a pattern for a small item and give this craft a try once again.

Vote for your favourite wizarding character from the Harry Potter Books

Do you have a favourite character from the thousands of pages of the Harry Potter books?  Now is your chance to have your say count.  Visit J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter site and vote today.  Voting ends August 25, 2011, but no sense putting it off.

If you need to sit and think about your choice, perhaps a snack fit for a wizard would help.  I made these pumpkin pasties for a special meal and wrote about it in a post last November.  Check that post for a link to the recipes.

For the record, I voted for Professor Minerva McGonagall.  Who are you planning to vote for?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bloodwork by Michael Connely

Just two month post transplant and Terry McCaleb is recovering on his boat which is moored in the Los Angeles Harbor.  Retired from his job with the FBI, Terry is under doctor's orders to do nothing other than rest and recover.  He finds this a reasonable task until the day a women comes to his boat pleading that he investigate the murder of her only sister.  When presented with the intimate details, Terry finds it hard to resist.

This is one of those stories that grabs onto the reader early on, and won't let go until the last line is read or listened too in my case.  To me, The murder of Gloria seemed like a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it would never have occurred to me to think anything else.  McCaleb is one of those people who has a different sense of events and possibilities.  As an investigator, he comes across to the reader as very believable.  I loved this book.  Since I was listening to the audio version, I kept finding excuses to go out in my car and drive around, run errand and pick up the kids.  Am looking forward to listening to more of Michael Connelly's works.

The audiobook I listened to was an unabridged version by Brilliance Audio.  It was superbly read by Dick Hill (who I would listen to again at any time).  Length is 13 hours.
Thanks to Brilliance Audio for the cover image.

Recipe Thursday - I don't know what to call it, but my family loved it.

Some days I just have to wing it with it comes to dinner.  Yesterday was one of those.  I knew I had a pound of extra lean ground meat, now what would go with that.  Before I started searching, I put the three sweet potatoes in the microwave to cook.

I found:
2 small onions
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks of celery
a bunch of brown mushrooms
1 jalapeno
1 thin green pepper hot
1 similar large green pepper sweet (Anaheim?)
1/2 a container of grape tomatoes

Sorry the colour on this photo is kinda of odd.

I started by putting the beef in the frying pan.  While it cooked, I diced the onions and added them  Next were the garlic cloves.  Yummy, don't go for that garlic powder as it pales in comparison and fresh garlic is so darn good for you.
Dice the celery and add it in.
Next I diced the peppers, I started with the hottest and worked to the sweet one.  Wish I had a red pepper, love the taste of them.  I don't bother with gloves while doing the hot peppers, but I have to work hard to remember to not rub my eyes or stick my fingers in my mouth.

Remember to keep stirring and chopping at the chunks of beef.

When the beef is no longer pink, time to add the mushrooms, which I like cut in chunks instead of slices.  Then I added about 1 1/2 tbsp of homemade taco seasoning (recipe follows).  This way I can control the amount of salt.  Now add the tomatoes.  I slice these in half lengthwise so that they will start to lose their moisture.  At this point I put the lid on, you don't want it drying out.

I then scooped the flesh from the sweet potatoes and mashed it with about 1 tbsp of butter.
There was barely enough left for my lunch today.  Even the dog had his share.
Taco Seasoning Mix

1 cup dried minced onion
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
4 tsp crushed red pepper(chilis)
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

Use 1 tbsp or more per pound of beef.  I can't recall where I got this recipe, but have had it for over 10 years.  store the mixture in a jar with a tight lid and it lasts well.  I have also used it to mix in with sour cream for a spicy dip.

For more cooking and foodie fun, be sure to visit "Weekend Cooking" which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Love that Courier Guy

 It's always exciting when one of those courier trucks pulls into my driveway.  What is he going to bring to my door this time.  Fortunate for me and my reading habit, he brought me books twice this week, and it's only Tuesday.

First was a prize package from Rachelle at Bibliobabe.com.  She had hosted a year long reading challenge and recently drew names for the prize winners.  As she remarked, all the participants were winners as they all read some pretty amazing, quality books.  Now I have more books to read.  I also won the coolest of book bags.  I really must get out and about so I can carry it with me.  That's my daughter modelling it.

Beneath a Marble Sky  by John Shors
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Belong to Me by Marisa de lost Santos
Through A Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen
The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higginbotham
The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone

Next day arrived a prize package from Tundra Books.  If you're not already a follower of their blog, Talking with Tundra, you should sign up as they host some wonderful blog book tours as well as terrific contests.

The Lime Green Secret by Georgia Graham
Talking Tails: The Incredible Connection Between People and Their Pets by Ann Love & Jane Drake
Splinters by Kevin Sylvester
Out of Slavery by Linda Granfield
Timmerman Was Here by Colleen Sydor & Nicolas Debon
Design it: the ordinary Things we use Every Day and The Not-so-Ordinary Ways they came to Be by Roan Arato
Yes You Can: Your Guide to becoming an Activist by Jane Drake & Ann Love

I haven't read many children's books lately and I find that I am looking forward to them.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Royal Wedding Winners

Now that all the hoopla of the Royal Wedding has died down, it's time to crank it back up for a minute or so.  I have drawn the names of the winners who have each won one Georgette Heyer novel from Sourcebooks.

Winners are:

I will send you private emails.

Thanks to all who entered and told me of their wedding watching plans.  A further thank-you to Sourcebook for sponsoring this contest.

Needlework Tuesday - Sneak Peak at Scribbling Around the Quilt Frame

I have now moved to the larger design wall.  This is my first go at arranging the various components.  I need at least seven more blocks to fill in the spaces.  A few contacts have indicated that they are interested in participating.  Now I have a photo to send them and gently nudge them along.  I'm real happy with the range of colours and visual textures.  I have yet to add embellishments beyond embroidery; can't wait to start adding some bead work.  You won't be able to zoom in an read the pieces, they are a bit fuzzy.  I'll do better photos later and increase the number of pixels.

I looked at some images of the rabbit fence in Australia and definitely want to include that on the quilt.  I don't want to straight print off a photo.  Too flat.  I am thinking of fabric with rabbits on it and then either machine stitch or embroider the fence.  It appears to be much like a heavy duty chicken wire with wooden support posts.

For a break this week I started working on a simple scarf, well, not much of a scarf, more a fascinator.  Remember those funky hats from Royal Wedding week.  Now imagine a fun, flirty little scarf sitting loosely around the neck.  They are as much for fun and colour as anything. It needs a bit more work before I can show it to you.  Next week for sure.

Are you stitching this week?  Be sure to link up with Needlework Tuesday, share your project and receive encouragement.

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal needs your support.  The flood waters are practically at her doorstep.  Please visit with her at her blog and leave her a message of encouragement.

Sherrie at Just Books has made wonderful progess on her doily.  For those who haven't attempted making one of these, they are a labour of love, but so worth it in the end.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook

I have read and watched a variety of Alice based books and movies since I was young.  None of them have held my attention like this version.  Alice in Zombieland kept me laughing page after page.  I couldn't help but compare each of the scenes with my memory of how it was presented in a more traditional rendition.  Alice is still a sweet, innocent girl, though her perfectly pressed dress and starched pinafore does take quite a beating and bloodying.

The story starts with Alice and her sister outside enjoying the lovely day.  This time they are in a graveyard., and it is a black rat that distracts Alice and leads her astray and down into an open grave.  The tale continues to parallel Mr. Lewis's original story line, though the descriptive details and much more dark and dead.  Zombie dead that is.

As with the first version, I loved the description of the Mad Hatter's tea party.  The teacups are all there, ample food to share and the same company.  It was the change in the details that kept me in rapt attention.  While I have had many tea parties with my daughter when she was young,  I couldn't successfully imitate this one.

I don't know that zombie books will ever become a first choice read for me, but this one kept me coming back for more.  I loved the descriptions of the blood spurts and gore, the flesh ragged bones lying around and the listless responses of the 'cards'.  Frequently I would stop and read a particularly descriptive gruesome passage out loud to which ever family member happened to be in the same room with me.  I fear that they now think I am truly demented.  If you have read Mr. Carroll's version and are looking for a read that is a little  lot less sweet, give  Alice and Zombieland  a read.

To learn more about Lewis Carroll, visit Lenny's Alice in Wonderland Site.

Nick's website and blog The Black Glove Magazine.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for my review copy.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

You Can't Outsource Weight Loss by Capt. Ed Boullianne

 Back in the end of March I received an email asking me if I wanted to review a book about weight loss.  At first I was a bit skeptical as weight loss programs tend to be gimmicky and require you to purchase little tiny meals for huge amounts of money.  I was curious about the whole title: You Can't Outsource* Weight Loss... But you Can Lose Weight and Be think Forever   *with a pill or meal delivered to your door.  by Capt Ed Boullianne.  That sounded better and more in line with my way of thinking.  I re-read the promotional material and then checked for a website.  It looked good, and I decided to request a review copy.

I told the promoter that I would not only read and review the book, but that I would also give the program an honest try.  I'm too much over weight and it does have an impact on my life.  I don't like being overweight and I am ready to make changes and get rid of this weight.

When the book arrived I put it on open view on top of my bookshelf and looked at it every day.  For at least two weeks I tempted and teased myself with the book.  Finally I was ready, and I opened the book and read The Forward and then Ed's opening comments.  I liked what I read.   This line in particular struck me as being pivotal:
If your goal is permanent weight loss, there's no sense in beginning the process until you understand weight loss in a holistic sense.
I needed to know why I gained weight, was it over eating, eating bad choices, lack of activity etc.   Again, this made total sense, but I had not stopped to figure this out before.  I had kept little journals recording everything I ate and then stopped when I ran out of calories for the day.  But as soon as I stopped using my little notes, I would gain weight. 

At this point I sent an email off to Ed and explaining who I was and how I was going to approach my review.  I also told him my goal of losing enough weight to successfully run a long distance race with my sister.  Within about 20 minutes I had a very encouraging response from him. 

I did as he suggested and immediately read chapters 2 and 3.  Five basic truths form the basis.  I would need to understand the truth about my self and my eating before I could successfully lose weight.  Number 3: Listen to your body, seems evident, you only eat when you are hungry, so why do I eat even when I'm not hungry.  Chapter 3 is a self assessment to determine what I needed to focus on.    I am working on this.  It does look as though I am an emotional eater, but I will continue with this.

I did flip ahead through out the book and came across the Food Stoplight Charts.  Green light foods are really good for you, yellow light foods should be eaten in moderation with attention paid to serving size and red light foods should be eaten only occasionally.  I'm looking forward to reading more about each grouping.  I printed these out from Ed's website, choosing to use coloured papers so I have no excuse for failing to see them on the counter.

I encourage my readers to join with me over the next few months while I work with this book and lose weight.  These won't be regular scheduled posts, rather I'll post when I have something to share with you.  I've added a new label: weight loss , that you can use to search for these posts.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Needlework Tuesday - More Quilt Planning

A bit more inspired to work at the Scribbling Women quilt.  I received a response from author R. J. Anderson and she sent me a few quotes that I could use on the quilt.  It took a fair amount of deliberation and imagining how the conversation might go around the frame and I finally selected one to feature.  I added a bit of clip art and printed it in colour on fabric.  Still have to trim it and add a fabric border.  Will show it next week.
My daughter was lucky to introduce Rebecca at the Eden Mills Writers Festival in September 2010.  Yes, daughter is wearing lovely green fairy wings for one of the character's in the novel.

As I was listening to  the album One Stitch at a Time by Cathy Miller, I realized that the song "Time Flies" was a perfect compliment to the theme of this quilt.  I sent Cathy a few emails in which I explained about the project and she graciously gave permission for me to include the lyrics of "Time Flies" on the front of the quilt. 

This song tells the story of three quilts that were pieced by women interred by the Japanese in Changi Prison in Singapore in 1942.  The women were not allowed to send letters or to speak with their husbands or male family members that were being held in the mens' prison.  They decided to send their messages via images and signatures on the quilts.

The Australia War Memorial site has further details and images of the quilts as does the British Red Cross.

I have been fortunate to listen to Cathy perform at two venues and totally enjoyed her quilts as well as her songs.  Hope that you enjoy this video of her "100 Ways to Hide Your Stash".

Before I get back to my stitching I want to invite you to join me each week for Needlework Tuesday.  I find it's a great way to share my projects as well as find support and encouragement when I find myself or my stitching falling to the side.

Tami at Just One More Thing...  has been trying to get into knitting  and is looking for suggestions about tension.

Marie at Daisy's Book Journal usually joins with a Needlework post.  This week she continues to monitor the flooding in her neighbourhood and the water is creeping ever closer to her house.  Please visit her blog and leave her a message of encouragement.

Sherrie at Just Books is joining us for the first time this week.  You have to see the doily she is making.  Wow, love that colour you have chosen.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Scar Tissue by Michael Ignatieff

It's election day in Canada.  In preparation for this, I wanted to read a book by one of the party leaders.  The only one that found it's way to my hand was Scar Tissue by Michael Ignatieff leader of the Federal Liberal Party.

While he may be a very good and convincing author, it's unfortunate that he couldn't transfer this to his leadership.  At this hour, it's pretty clear that he is not going to become the leader of the opposition.

This book does not deal with politics at all, unless you want to consider family politics.  This is the story of how two sons deal with their mother's mental deterioration due to Alzheimer's.  This is a cruel ailment that slowly erodes those parts that make make up a person, their memories, emotions and even their habits.  The brothers deal with it in different ways.  One is a doctor and his is a very clinical approach.  He knows he can't save his mother, but hopes that by conducting his research into her case, he can learn and help spare others.  The other is an academic who continues to grasp at any bit of recognition his mother shows, even the barest glimmer.

This book rang very true to me.  For years I watched the changes in my grandfather, and while he would have moments where his memories would break through, they became very few in his last few weeks.  As with the brothers in this story, it was heartbreaking to watch my grandmother visit with him and he didn't recognize her. 

I felt that this book was very well researched, not just from a medical standpoint, but also from the patients point of view.  Mr. Ignatieff carried on a lengthy correspondence with Maurice des Mazes who I will assume was living with Alzheimer's.

I look forward to reading further works by Michael Ignatieff.