A Blog From The Road!

Hey hey hey!! I just discovered that WordPress will now let me access them from my Kindle Fire. This trip has been a long time without “talking” to you all. And I have so much to share, so many thoughts, that I was thinking I’d have to write several posts when I finally get home. This will be fun to be able to blog from the road. Now, if I can only figure out how to get my pics from my camera to my kindle… Those of you on Facebook might have noticed that the only photos I posted were “shared” from my BF’s page.

Its been such a great trip, full of fun and friends and learning. And creating. And food, and even exercise. I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t even taken my camera out of the car. I have taken a few shots with my phone, and last night I went out on the bike to try to get some pics of the beautiful scenery around here.

“Regular” people always ask “What did you do/where did you go?” Its hard to explain how much fun my BF and I can have sitting in a house working on our separate creative endeavors, sometimes in companionable silence, and sometimes chatting nonstop, and always laughing. I’ve gotten a ton of interesting “compositions” (small art quilt pieces) started. I’ve decided its the nature of travel and/or not being in my home environment that makes it difficult to complete any of them. I have a lot of work to do when I get home!

Oh! And speaking of home, J. the contractor has been working extra hard to try to get a lot done while I was gone. I hear that I no longer have a kitchen or a bathroom. To quote myself, Eek! : ) Still, I will be very happy to be home in a few days to see the Queen, Miss Bess, the Big Guy, and to have a little more lap time with Mr. Monk.


Some Fun


These are the short sunflowers:


All the posts are to help the “bush” beans in front of the sunflowers.

And a close-up:


They are so fluffy and pretty! And I grew them from seeds!

And the mammoth sunflowers. Really, does it count as a flower when it is so high you can barely see it? I think these must be over 9 feet tall!


I grew these from seed too! Do you know they only give you about 6 seeds in a packet? What’s up with that? So, of the seeds I planted, only 3 1/2 of them grew.


DSCN1886Kinda cool how the volunteer morning glory vine climbed up the sunflower stalk!

Look up, and have a lovely sunny week!

My New Kitchen

Oh my oh my. It starts again. J. the contractor was here today, and I signed the “official” contract. Demolition starts Thursday about 1/2 hour after I make my exit! I am weary of moving and cleaning and cleaning and moving. But the end is in sight. Just a few more things in the bathroom and kitchen to pack up and move.

This is my “new kitchen” for the next couple of months! Everything I need is in this one little cupboard. Now why was it that I thought I needed a bigger kitchen? As much as I did not want to do it, my new bedroom closet came in handy as a “pantry.” Because I had to have a place to keep those food items safely away from “inquiring minds.”


See that space on the bottom shelf? That’s for all the paper plates and bowls and plastic silverware that I am going to get at Costco. I am not planning to do a lot of outdoor dishwashing. I also have spent a lot of time this week baking my breakfast items and some proteins to put in the freezer. No oven for a while!

And just for laughs, here is my old kitchen on a day I had just cleaned it up. Usually every bit of counter space was covered with stuff, and I ALWAYS used my pull out cutting board as my work surface. I am keeping that cutting board–fond memories.


I am on my way to Sisters, Oregon for a quilting workshop with a great art quilter, and some time with my BF. I planned this trip a whole year ago, before we ever started any of the construction on my house. At that time, I thought I might like to move to Sisters, and so this vacation was going to be some extended time in Sisters to see if I really liked it. Now that I have changed everything about my little house, I don’t plan to leave it. The Sisters trip is just a way to get out of J.’s way and to avoid a little of the messiness.

So I will see you all in a couple of weeks. It will be fun to watch this process, and share it with you. I’m trying to just take it one decision at a time, and not stress too much about it. I am thankful that J. the contractor is so reliable and competent and CALM. And Noah likes him better than anybody else in the whole world!


Exciting News!

I was actually cleaning up my demo samples here.

I was actually cleaning up my demo samples here.

I just received word that my episode of The Quilt Show will air on December 8! I am so excited that it is airing so soon (rather than waiting until sometime next year.) Plus, is there a better way to celebrate turning 60? SIXTY? When did that happen? Anyway, if any of you are members of TQS, you will be able to see it that day. For everyone else, I will be given a secret password to pass onto you, and you will be able to see it a week later, starting December 15.


The Feel Good Factor of Exercise

I’m back in the pool finally. It took a few days of 100plus temps to convince me it was hot enough to go for a swim. Right now I alternate between 40-50 minutes of non-stop swimming, or splitting my time–20 minutes on the stationary bike and 20 minutes of swimming.  Now that I’m swimming more, I’ve cut out my weights workout. Swimming for me is mostly an upper body workout.

But what I’ve been musing about for quite a while is that “feel good factor.” After any kind of exercise, I feel good. I feel stronger, younger, not so lame. And I always wonder, is is truly a physical feeling, or is it more of an emotional response to having worked out? Or do I feel emotionally well because I actually DO feel physically more fit? Do you know what I mean?

And I realized as I wrote this that the runners are saying “Doh.” They’ve known about the endorphin thing forever. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that feeling! I don’t think I workout hard enough to muster any endorphins.

But I really do like feeling that good after exercise, even if it is for a short period of time. Its a motivating factor the next time I face the drive to the gym.

Conversely, I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t say that there are days when I feel really bad (every joint in my body hurts–all I can chock it up to is barometric changes.) And on those days, it is just about impossible to make myself do any exercise at all. Fortunately, those days are the exception rather than the rule.

Anyway, just wanted to encourage some of you to keep on trying with the exercise. If its not enjoyable, or you feel really bad afterwards, change it up. Lighter weights, increased reps, a different machine… it took a long time for this “natural non-exerciser” to make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of her life.

Up Close in the Garden

We finally had a break in the weather, and this morning it was downright cool! Felt lovely. As I inspected the garden, I was inspired to grab my camera and try out the close up lens.

Lantana love (exactly how many pictures can one person take of Lantana?)


A different bloom on the same plant:


And a bloom from a different lantana:


Petunia love. I love this petunia so much. It doesn’t photograph as beautiful as it is in person. The blossoms are extra large and have a heavier look than most petunias. And then of course, there’s the whole “its apple blossom colored” thing going on.



I love that they’ve been able to add yellow to the petunias. We had a few drops of rain this morning!




Moss rose. One of the few blooms on the plant. The Queen thinks they are a delicacy.





Squash blossom! These are soooo huge and sooo vibrant. I guess the little ants like them too.


The Japanese lantern plant.


And SQUEEEE!!!! I have a rose bush, and it actually bloomed!!



AIM: Changing the Plan?


This month we are musing over whether or not change is necessary in maintenance, and how or if we have changed our own maintenance plan over time. There are a couple of other changes happening at AIM, but I’ll get to them at the end of this post.

Is change necessary? IMO, if your maintenance lasts long enough, your body’s needs will change over time. You know, aging and all that jazz…

Has my own maintenance plan changed over time? Do birds have wings? Do fish like water? You better believe my maintenance has changed over time! Sometimes it has changed out of necessity (I don’t need to eat as much. You know, aging and all that jazz…) Sometimes it has changed for the better (I eat more whole foods now than before.) Sometimes it has changed for taste, or convenience, or just for fun.

Here are just a few examples. I used to be the Queen of Cool Whip Lite. I never ate fruit without Cool Whip Lite. I regularly mixed it into my cottage cheese fro a delicious tasty snack (or breakfast or lunch.) EVERYTHING could be improved with a little Cool Whip Lite.When I switched to eating more whole foods I stopped buying Cool Whip Lite (is there any real food in Cool Whip Lite?) For a while, while I was learning about eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods from my diet, I increased the amount of healthy fats that I ate. That resulted in a weight gain for me. There’s nothing wrong with healthy fats in the diet. But when you are a volume eater, it doesn’t work so well. For a long while I subscribed to the “you shouldn’t drink your calories.” But I found that a protein smoothie was a simple and satisfying way to get lunch in. With low calories and at least 20 grams of protein per serving, a smoothie will keep me satisfied for several hours. I still drink protein smoothies for lunch most days. Oh, and speaking of processed foods (we were speaking of them, weren’t we?) most days I eat at least one Quest bar. For me, they satisfy my sweet tooth without any sugar, and they provide 20 grams of protein, thus keeping me satiated. I’m not recommending this to anyone in particular. Just keeping it real and telling you what is working for me right now.

My exercise has changed over time as well. That is partly due to my body’s limitations (bad knee and back) and also just for the sake of staying interested in exercise. As much as I like things to stay the same, its fun to try something new once in a while (and according to the experts, its good for you too.)

Is there anything that has not changed? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that in general the calorie count has not changed. For my particular form of obesity, it seems I just need to limit the amount of food I take in. Choosing the RIGHT foods makes maintenance more enjoyable (and successful.)

Our AIM group is going to changed things up too. Our good buddy Shelley is leaving our group (but she won’t be far away–over there at My Journey to Fit every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!) And we are going to change our AIM posting intervals to quarterly posts. We’ve covered a lot of maintenance ground in the last year or so. This will give us time to identify new and interesting topics related to long term weight loss maintenance, and bring some interesting conversation to you about that.

Be sure to visit my AIM friends to see what’s changing in their world.

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet