Some Exciting News!

debby:

I am re-blogging this post from my quilt blog. I thought some of you might be interested in my “other life.” Enjoy!

Originally posted on debby quilts:

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Two years ago I had the opportunity to do an exhibit of my Housetop Quilts at the Oak Hills Church in Folsom, CA. Since then I have worked on two new series of quilts, The Psalms, and The Signature of Jesus. And Monday, I delivered 25 quilts to Oak Hills. They will be on display until Easter Sunday, April 5. Anyone is welcome to visit and view them. Of course, the gallery area will be open every Sunday morning, from about 9am-12noon. And you can also visit during the week, Tuesday through Friday. Just call the church office (916.983.0181) to make sure the gallery is open. (The gallery is in their very large sanctuary lobby.) I will be at the church this Sunday, February 22, sitting and demonstrating my handwork. Fun!

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I can’t say enough good things about this church. They have encouraged me to be an artist, and have provided an opportunity…

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A Tale of Two Muffins

Yesterday I tried a new recipe that had caught my interest. A while ago, I bought a bag of cashew meal at Trader Joe’s. This recipe was a “paleo” recipe ( for Paleo Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins,) so it called for almond flour as its main ingredient. I knew I could substitute the cashew meal. I ran them through the recipe calculator, and they came out to 260 calories each (I made 6 large muffins.) A bit higher than I like for my breakfast, but not out of range. The weird thing was, they were “paleo” but they only had 7 grams of protein, and 33 grams of carbs! Fats were 13 grams and fiber came in at 3.5 grams.

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It was a moist, tasty muffin.

But then I thought about my recipe for “Very Light Banana Muffins.” Honestly, I like it better. I knew they were 135 calories each. But I didn’t know the stats, so I ran that recipe through the recipe calculator–they have 7.8 grams of protein and only 18 grams of carbs. Fats are 4 grams, and there are 2.4 grams of fiber.

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This kind of thing is just interesting to me. I know other people would prefer the first muffin, probably because of the higher fat content. But over the years, my tastes have changed, at least a little bit. And as I learned so long ago at Weight Watchers, even the little changes make a difference.

And They’re Off!

Well, its that special time of year again. That time when hopeful Americans are off to the gym or the pool or the trails or the bikes. Whatever their hopeful choice of exercise–they’re there. It makes it very inconvenient for me at the gym for a week or two :)

Even I am not immune from this exercise boost. I didn’t really slow down in my exercise, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but I did play a little fast and loose with the sweets, starting at Thanksgiving, and going straight on through my birthday season and ending at Christmas. I found, once again, that I cannot have sugar on a regular basis. It always leaves me wanting more, even though I don’t feel as good when I am eating it. So the day after Christmas, all the leftover goodies were either given away, thrown away, or put safely in the freezer.

Since then I have been (relatively) sugar free. Three days after Christmas I weighed the same thing I did before Thanksgiving, so I kinda think I didn’t actually gain any weight during that extended time of indulgence. But, my weight is still at the higher end of where I like to stay, so I am being very mindful of my food choices throughout the day. I started using Loseit to log my food again. I think its the most user-friendly site–its actually fun to log my food on it.

I also went to the grocery store and loaded up on vegetables. That wasn’t even my original intention when I went to the store. Its just what I naturally gravitate to when I want to eat healthier and lose a little weight. I made this Vegetable Tian that Lori talked about. Oh my goodness, this is so yummy. A little higher in calories than just plain vegetables, but you can have a nice sized serving for 140 calories. Isn’t it pretty?

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And I have been mindful of getting in a good amount of exercise each day, whether at home or at the gym. I don’t exercise to lose weight (although I think that wishful thinking is always there.) I exercise to keep my metabolism working, and to remind me what is important to me (living a healthy life,) and honestly, I exercise to feel good. For just a little bit after each exercise session, everything seems to work a little better :)

Mr. Monk has a hard time exercising nowadays. A friend of my mom’s gave this doggie stroller to her, and she passed it on to me–we took it out for a spin yesterday.

 

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Weekend Fun

Just in case you have NOTHING TO DO on this busy holiday weekend, or in case you are too tired to do anything else and need some (relatively) mindless entertainment, I thought I’d share a link to a jigsaw puzzle that The Quilt Show made out of one of my quilts. They let you choose the degree of difficulty you want to solve. I chose 100 pieces, non-rotating. It really was fun to do, and it was fun for me to see that quilt again–I had forgotten all about  it!

And if you’re too tired to do that, well, just do the Monk. Pull up a cozy blanket and hunker down.

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So This is What 60 Is

This was a different kind of birthday week. It was, what shall I call it? Satisfying :))  Ha, I still crack myself up. One of the things I didn’t mention in that last post was that I also seem to be satisfied with what I already have. I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to get for my birthday. What a refreshing feeling. Of course I still wanted to eat All! the! things! But I managed to eat reasonably for the most part :)

Here’s a few things that happened this week.

One of the things that was the most important to me this birthday week was that I put an emphasis on exercise. And I wanted to get in the pool. To at least give it a try, swimming in colder weather. So on my actual birthday, I had a nice lunch with a friend, got a new haircut, found a Christmas tree, and then went to the gym, where I worked up a sweat on the exercise bike and the weights machines, and then GOT IN THE POOL! Yay me. I decided I didn’t want to get my hair wet, so I walked 20 laps, and then I got in the spa, which was a real treat.

The Christmas spirit caught up with me and I brought in all my tubs and went through them a little at a time. With more room in my house, it was easy to find places to put all my stuff. It is fun to look at my treasures, many of which I had completely forgotten.

The doggies enjoying the Christmas decorations

The doggies enjoying the Christmas decorations

 

On Monday, I finally had my appointment with the ortho doc about my knee. I really like this doctor. He did remember me–it was almost exactly two years ago that I first saw him–and he did think that my range of motion had improved since he first saw me. That made me really proud that I had tried to follow his advice, and that two years later, the physical therapy exercises that I had learned are still a regular part of my exercise routine. I can really tell the difference when I slack off on them. So… even though my ROM was improved, my knee is worse. He is putting in the application to the insurance company so that I can get the gel shots in my knee. Honestly, I can hardly wait. And, he wrote a referral to the orthopedic surgeons “just so they can get acquainted with me.”

On Tuesday, I had to go and have a root canal. It started with a small crack in a tooth. Dentist recommended a crown. So I went in for that. Do you know that they have to file down your perfectly good tooth so that the crown will fit? Yeah, so between the crack and the filing, the nerve/root started acting up.

All this added up to me thinking about things wearing out and getting old. But then I thought about the alternative–my grandparents didn’t have teeth, and both of my parents had partials by the time they were my age. So I guess this is better.

Also on Monday, my episode on The Quilt Show went live. That was very exciting! In the weeks leading up to it, I worked a LOT on creating a website. It was so different from doing a blog, and that’s what made it harder for me, I think. But once I found instructions, and followed them, and then got brave and clicked around a bit more, I finally got the gist of it. So now I have a real website for my art quilts. In case any of you are interested, you can click here. One nice thing about it is that for the first time I have most of my quilts organized into galleries so that you can view any of them. If you want to see my episode of The Quilt Show, I will be able to give you a code on Monday the 15th so that you can see it for free.

We’re supposed to be having a big storm blow in tomorrow. So I was out in the garden cleaning up a little today. And I saw this camellia blooming away. Something like this makes me so happy, because this plant was really suffering in the container I had it in, and even when we planted it in the ground, it didn’t look like it was very happy. Its taken over a year, but now it is flourishing. And so fun to have a plant that wants to bloom when everything else is ending. This bush always reminds me of the saying “memory is the ability to gather roses in winter.”

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