New Old Thoughts

First, my excuses.

This guy is one reason I haven’t posted for a while.

That’s Monk, sitting on top of the box that is his ‘stair’ to get on my lap when I sit in the big chair in the evening.  He doesn’t ask much, just a little lap time at night.  How can I resist, especially since I LIKE sitting in the big chair at night!

For proof, here he is this morning, perfectly content to sit in ‘his’ chair.

The other reason for my absence is this!

Yes, the sheep rug is finished!!!!!  Cambria Pines Rug Hooking Camp starts Sunday, and I decided to make a concerted effort to finish the rug.  I really didn’t think I would finish, but I decided to make this week all about the rug hooking. No quilting, no knitting (until evening chair time!)

Its not a balanced way to live, but it was fun!  I got up in the morning, read a few blogs, and started right in on the rug hooking,  which was conveniently set up next to my computer.  Since I was skipping my morning reading, I listened to well over 12 hours of Dallas Willard lecturing on his book “The Divine Conspiracy,” on Youtube!  Who knew?  What a great resource, and for free.  I have paid a lot of money to buy DVD’s of presentations like this.

In between hooking, I started dying some angora and cashmere sweaters to use for rug hooking.  This is something I have not seen rug hookers use regularly, and I think it might be something that other rug hookers will enjoy, so I wanted to have some to sell at camp this week (they have a student sale on Tuesday afternoon.)  Here is the sample I started with the angora.  It has a little softer look than the traditional wool that is used.  These little circles are a traditional rug hooking pattern called “cats paws.”  They are rather addicting!

So that’s it.  Its actually been a relaxing and refreshing week.  In addition, I have thought much about the direction of this blog.  You can see that I changed the byline.  I don’t think the blog will change that much.  Just my intention.  Which eventually might change the direction of my writing a bit.

I had a great visit with my best friend last week.  When she comes down to visit her parents, we usually try to sneak in one day to spend doing the things we like!  We met in Folsom, shared a great dinner (so fun to share meals with friends!)  and spent the evening doing ‘show and tell’ of all our latest projects.  The next morning we walked over to the Starbuck’s for our coffee, and then headed up the hill to Placerville to visit a couple of quilt shops and a yarn shop!  We ended our visit with a GREAT piece of apple pie a la mode.  We did NOT share the pie LOL.

My friend mentioned that I do not snore any more.  That, and my perfect blood pressure of 112/71 are reasons to continue on this healthy life.  I look forward to sharing more about that with you all in the days to come.

Here’s a couple new recipes I’ve come up with.  This first is a raspberry coconut cake.  I wanted something that was a bit decadent, but still on the healthy side.  This fit the bill nicely.  As you can see, it is almost too moist.  I think that’s because of the frozen raspberries.  I might make it again, and just use less almond milk.

And this is more of an ‘assemblage’ than a recipe, but man, it was tasty!  Sauteed the snow peas in a pan sprayed with pam, and then added a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, and orange marmelade, along with the pre-cooked shrimp. Yum yum!  Gonna write this one as a recipe just so I won’t forget it!

Over and out.  I’ll try to check in one more time before heading to Cambria on Sunday!

One Good Day

Honestly, for the past few days, I’ve been thinking that I was doomed.  Doomed to gain all my weight back, I mean.  Just what I feared from the very start–that it would all disappear, and I would go back to the way (weight) I was before, just like in the movie “Awakenings.”  And I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about it.

Make no mistake about it.  I have been in a gaining trend.  And this past weekend when I was out of town, I was very unhappy with my image in the mirror.  I know.  All that stuff I’ve said about accepting my body image…  I’ve had some stressful stuff to deal with the past two weeks, and there were a couple of times I COULDN’T STOP EATING.  Believe it or not,  the stress was more about other people and things that were out of my control, instead of the anxiety that used to make me overeat.  Even when I wasn’t stressed, I was just eating a little too much.

So I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know I had one good day today.  I wrote down my four meals and one snack and stuck right to them.  (Ha–I should probably eat my last snack and go immediately to bed so the spell won’t be broken!)  I chose low calorie, nutrient dense foods so I wouldn’t get too hungry between meals.  And I even thought a little bit about ‘its okay to be hungry.’  And tonight when I was working on a new experimental low calorie recipe for dinner just because that’s what I wanted to eat, I thought, well, this isn’t the behavior of a person who has given up.  So we’ll see.

That recipe I was making?  Turned out pretty darn good!  I was inspired by Helen’s cauliflower recipe and the fact that I had a head of cauliflower in the refrigerator.  I didn’t have any of the other ingredients in her recipe though, so I tried something different.  Mexican Cauliflower Pork Casserole.  Quite yummy!  And a big serving, and when I plugged the ingredients into caloriecount, I was very happy with the stats on it.

(Honestly, sometimes I think a lot of my food pictures look like cat food, but you’ll have to take my word for it–they taste good!)

A few other good food ideas from the past week:

Pina Colada Yogurt.  Just a serving of my homemade yogurt with a teaspoon of unsweetened coconut and a little coconut extract, topped with some crushed pineapple and a sprinkle of granola.

I am in love with turkey burgers.  And honestly, I like them just as much without the bun, plus, they’re a whole lot less messy to eat.

Okay, this one veers into processed food a bit, but it sure was a tasty combo.  A serving of strawberries with a spray of reddi whip light on top, paired with a caramel rice cake (50 calories.)  Yumm yumm.

I am fascinated with the little froggies that appear at my front door.  This little guy has perched up on the door knob for the past two days.  How did he get here all by himself, and why does he like it up there?  I worry about him.

And finally, an update on the sheep rug.  I was very pleased when I took it off the frame to take these photos.  It looks better from a distance than I thought.  Still a lot to do, but I am making steady progress now.  Of course, rug camp is in 2 1/2 weeks, so I don’t think I’ll finish it.

Close-ups.  I dyed some of the wool for the grass myself, so I am very happy about how that turned out.  I used some angora sweaters, so that adds a neat texture to it.  (Rugs are traditionally hooked with plain wool.)

So that’s about it for tonight.  I have some busy, packed, slightly stressful days ahead.  I am glad I have some food pre-cooked for ready-to-eat meals.