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Showing posts from July, 2011

Friday Quote Day

‎My greatest fear has always been that I would be afraid –  afraid physically or mentally or morally  and allow myself to be influenced by fear  instead of by my honest conviction. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
As I said a couple days ago, fear-fear-fear is what drives the news these days. Both liberal and conservative outlets are guilty, although in my humble opinion the right wingnuts have perfected fear-based rhetoric and found a wide, unsuspecting audience. (I think it's delicious that the Speaker of the House is so afraid his debt bill won't pass that he called off the vote. But I think it's childish for the Tea Party to hold us all hostage.)

Like I also said, giving up watching the news has been a very good decision. I'm not burying my head in the sand; I'm simply getting my news in tiny snippets from the internet. And then I'm moving on, to read your blogs or find new zucchini recipes.

I'd love to say I've been walking every day this month. Instead, the heat h…

The transformative powers of canning

But first, KWAW was inspired by my rant yesterday to post one of his own, and I think it deserves to be read by everyone in Congress, as well as the two principals in the dangerous game being played in our nation's capitol. Do go take a look, I'll wait.

Okay, did that inspire you to call your Congressional representatives? Mine are all Democrats, so I would again be preaching to the choir. I called John Boehner's office yesterday and, as might be expected, I was on "ignore" for quite a long time, listening to snippets of patriotic marches. Yes, really, that was his "hold" music. I finally quit waiting, called back and left a message. (Interestingly, the only way you can send him an e-mail is if you live in his district in Ohio. I'm of the opinion, misguided though it may be, that the Speaker of the House ought to be available to all citizens and, I guess, he is, if you want to write a letter.)

West Virginia has only three Congressmen: one Democrat a…

Waxing political for a bit

/Rant on./

I stopped watching the "news" several weeks ago, and feel much better for it. I used to make myself crazy trying to sort facts from opinions, and then hoping America's leaders would do what's best for her people.

The Supreme Court decision that corporations were people has created all kinds of hell around these United States. We're about as united as oil and water right now – Big Oil, of course. Elected representatives want to keep their war chests full, and it's easier to do that when Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Money are handing them checks.

(To see who donates to your Congressional representatives, do check out Open Secrets.)

My Facebook account is where I share a lot of political tidbits. The current debt ceiling crisis has Facebook buzzing with graphics and charts and articles, oh my. But who's listening? I'm preaching to the choir, for the most part.

A few of my Facebook friends are Republicans, and some even claim Tea Party as …

Giveaway #4: Eating

Knitting, running, reaping, eating! The fourth book in my month of giveaways is, of course, a cookbook. If you've been concerned about your insulin levels, or just want to add more low-GI meals to your menu plans, then this is the book for you.

The Good Carb Cookbook is divided into two parts, the first of which thoroughly explains the Low Glycemic Index – what it is, how it works, what's in it for you, etc. The second section contains more than 200 recipes in typical cookbook chapters, everything from appetizers to desserts.

You can learn more about the book here, and Amazon will let you peek inside, as well. The book is in excellent condition: no cooking stains, no dog-eared pages, no cracks in the spine. (Clearly I was bored with the low-GI concept before the book ever got delivered!)

But that doesn't mean you won't love it. Heh. To win The Good Carb Cookbook, simply leave a comment on any post this week. Or every post! You have until Sunday evening at 7 EDT. The mor…

On the third day …

she finally got the strawberry bed weeded, trimmed, clipped, watered and mulched.

I started cleaning up the strawberries Saturday morning, before it got too hot. There are just three rows of strawberries in my garden, and they're pretty short rows, maybe 20 feet. While my intent was to do all three rows on Saturday, I quit after I'd finished the first.

Sunday was more of the same, and today I finished the third. It was the worst – choked with clover and crabgrass and various and sundry unwelcome greenery. I don't use chemicals to control weeds, so it was just me and a few hand tools. And a lotta sweat.

Strawberry plants send out runners – long stems with little baby strawberry plants on them, much like spider plants. If the baby plant landed and rooted in a good spot, I left it, but I cut back most of the runners and trimmed all of the plants. I replanted some of the baby plants that had pretty good roots.

Oh, and I ate one delicious and very late strawberry. Heh.

I watere…

And the winner is …


I couldn't find a way to contact you through your blog, Mindy, so I hope you're reading this today. Please send me your address (e-mail me at shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com) and I'll get your gardening book in the mail. Congratulations, and thanks for your comment.

Lessee, we've had a knitting book, a running book and a reaping book. Only one category left around here. Betcha can't guess what kind of book I'm giving away tomorrow! Heh.

Friday Quote Day

You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures. ~ Charles C. Noble
I seriously don't have much to say today.

After my declaration a couple weeks ago that I was okay just the way I am, I've spent several days lately feeling frustrated and loathesome. I guess acceptance comes and goes, depending on how well your clothes fit, eh? Heh.

The mulch got delivered and the landscaping project is done, for now. I'm sure I'll be moving things and adding more plants as time goes on, but for right now I'm satisfied. Good thing, too, because it's too damned hot to work outside. I tried doing a little weeding yesterday but quit after only a few minutes. It's 8:30 a.m. and already 75 degrees, the humidity feels like it's more than a hundred percent and staying indoors is The Thing to Do.

I heart air conditioning.

I hope you all have a great weekend, stay cool and don't forget to leave lots o' comments to win that gardening b…

You Lion!

Yes, I'm an early adopter, and in this case I probably should have waited. Fortunately I'll be near an Apple store in a couple of weeks and maybe they can help me undo what I've done.

For you non-Mac readers, Apple released its latest, greatest Operating System, Lion, yesterday, and I jumped right in. Downloaded, installed, didn't even blink. Everything's working smoothly. Except Adobe InDesign, the graphic design application I use.

Which is a pretty big deal for someone who does a lot of graphic design. Grrr.

I have an older Mac that runs InDesign perfectly, so I'm not completely left in the lurch. But I think I'll ask the nice Apple tech support people to partition my laptop and put the previous OS there, just so I can use one program.

Sorry I was AWOL yesterday. Weeding the tomatoes, and tying them up again, took all morning and part of the afternoon, and it was so-so-so hot I didn't have any energy left to type. Heh.

Thanks for all your comments; ke…

Giveaway #3: Reaping

This week's giveaway is for you gardeners out there. My dad and I each gave me this book, and I'm happy to share one of them with you rather than donate it to the library, which is what I'd planned to do until I got this harebrained idea to make July Giveaway Month here at Knit. Run. Reap. Eat.

This is a tips-and-tricks book, filled with practical solutions to gardening problems using items and ingredients you either have on hand or can easily get in any supermarket. Well, almost any – my tiny Kroger isn't as well-stocked as a giant Publix or even gianter Meijer's.

Anyway. You should know the drill by now. You have until Sunday at 7 p.m. EDT to leave a comment. Each comment you leave enters you in the contest to win one copy of Supermarket Super Gardens. The winner will be determined using a random number sequencer and will be announced Monday. This drawing is open to U.S. residents only.

Last year when I put a few dill plants in my herb bed I did not know that I w…

And the winner is …

Gingersnapper! As she commented, she's not a runner, but she plans to pass the book on to someone who is either training for or planning to train for a marathon, so I feel like the Universe worked this one out, as well.

Tomorrow I'll announce another book giveaway.

Had a part lazy, part busy weekend. The busy part was in the mornings: weeding the garden Saturday and going to church Sunday. The afternoons were totally lazy, I almost felt like I was back in school and felt justified in taking the weekend off. (Weekends were for housework when I was an employee.)

Weeding a garden can be so satisfying. I took advantage of the cool, overcast day and cleaned out all the weeds in the four rows of edamame, giving those little pods plenty of room to grow and ensuring they don't have to fight for any nutrients from the soil. Also got more than half of two empty rows, the former garlic and onion beds, done before I ran out of energy. I have more onions to plant.

In another half row t…

Friday Quote Day

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. ~ Chris Guillebeau expectation |ˌekspekˈtā sh ən|
• a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future : reality had not lived up to expectations | an expectation that the government will provide the resources | he drilled his men in expectation of a Prussian advance.• a belief that someone will or should achieve somethingI'm better off when I don't have any expectations, but that's hard to do on a day-to-day – sometimes even hour-to-hour – basis.
I expect the mail to be ready to pick up at 10:30 a.m., because that's when the sign in the post office says it will be ready.

I expect that when I follow a recipe, the resulting dish will be edible, and might even be something I'd like to make again.

I expect that if I stop eating sugar, I'll lose some weight and feel a million percent better. (I've been sugar-free before, and that was my experience.)

Have I stopped eating…

A small harvest

I took the kitchen scissors with me to the herb bed this morning and ruthlessly snipped all the basil plants. My experience is that there will be more basil. Soon. Sooner than I need it, probably.

These aren't the very first tomatoes from the garden, but this is the most I've brought in at once. Most are cherry tomatoes, and will work well in the pasta salad I'm making for dinner. Angel hair pasta, broken into pieces, with pesto (see above), homemade mozzarella balls, sliced olives and garlic. Mmmm!
Keep those comments coming! And keep spreading the word. Thanks!


Two comments already, and from people who really want to win. To blueheart, yes, I will ship to Australia, should you win. It will cost nearly as much as the book cost, but hey – it's a giveaway, right? I expected it to cost me something.

I asked Kitten With a Whiplash to share pictures when he finished a project from the book he won, and I'll say the same to whoever wins Marathoning for Mortals. I hope you'll post a link to your finish-line photo.

It sounds counterintuitive to ask you to spread the word about these giveaways. You probably want fewer entries, not more, so you'll have a better chance of winning. I understand that. But I want more readers. Readers help bloggers in so many ways. It's great to have feedback and accountability and responsibility, and blogging to a void doesn't do that quite as well as blogging to real live people.

I'm glad this giveaway is bringing folks out of the woodwork. Don't be shy! Speak up! Tell your friends!

I can&#…

Giveaway #2: Running

Well, since I probably won't be running a marathon during my lifetime (and since I have a back-up training manual just in case), this week's prize is a copy of Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield.

Bingham is popularly known as "The Penguin," and is one of my heroes for his "no need for speed" philosophy. Hadfield is a running coach and also is Bingham's wife.

I read this book prior to my first half-marathon in April of 2007, which still stands as my PR at that distance. I wasn't fast, by any means, but subsequent distance events were even slower. I tried very hard to just be happy I finished, but I'll be honest. I had hoped I would get a little faster.

Instead, I got a little heavier, year after year, and even though I'd hoped with all my heart to run a full marathon this year, it's just not meant to be.

But it could be for you! And this book will help. Same "rules" this week as for last: Leave a comment,…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:

I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…

Friday Quote Day

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them. ~ Dennis Waitley
Today's quote has little or nothing to do with the state of my body, and everything to do with the state of my mind.

What I've learned, from a lifetime of reading self-help books and going to get-your-shit-together seminars and, finally, 20 years of sobriety (I was looking for sobriety all along, duh), is that accepting conditions as they exist frees me to change them. Or, maybe, frees those conditions to change.

I'm wired funny, I guess. There's a little glitch in my psyche that just wants to fight when I declare 'This Is The Way It's Going To Be.' Saying 'This Is The Way It Is' somehow opens up possibilities that can't/won't/don't happen otherwise.

And speaking of change, the new Blogger interface is lovely. Everything's still here, in a streamlined package that is beautiful to look at. So clean. …

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Er, I mean, Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!

I went to a yoga class yesterday afternoon and Sadie kicked my butt shoulders. And upper back. And triceps.

I shouldn't be surprised that the muscles that hurt most this morning are the ones I don't use when I walk.

Sadie is visiting her family and agreed to teach a class. I took one with her when she was here last year and was eager to try again. I love taking fitness classes, much more than working out with a DVD. The class was full to overflowing, which meant I didn't have to worry too much about having my form corrected very often.

Honestly, though, I think I did pretty well, and from the way my muscles responded, I think I should probably practice a little more often than once a year.

I haven't been walking since I can't remember when. It's been several days now. My husband could probably tell you, he likes to keep track of things like that. Either I've been too busy with Other Things, or it's been Hot as Hell. At any …

Speaking of wild and wonderful …

It's raining cats and dogs! Or bobcats and foxes, maybe. We surely do need some rain, and this downpour reminds me of some we had in the spring, when the garden was flooded day after day after gee-I-sure-do-need-to-get-out-and-plant-something day.

I'm sooooo glad I spent yesterday morning weeding. I'd much rather my food soak up this rain than the weeds that were there just 24 hours ago. I spent four hours out there, either on my knees or with the tiller, making room for the pumpkins, discovering the first tiny eggplant and planting 50 Egyptian onions (with at least that many more to go!).

After days and days of saying, 'we surely do need some rain,' it's wonderful to see it.

Wild and wonderful West Virginia

The title of today's post also is my state's motto. I sometimes question the wonderful part – shopping opportunities are few and far between, and very limited (six Targets in the entire state, the nearest Kroger – 12 miles away – doesn't stock cilantro, no Whole Foods at all, but if I drive for an hour I can find a Wal-Mart). It's wonderful to have finally have wi-fi, but it took a heck of a long time – 13 years – to get to my neck of the woods.

Also? The closest gym is in Virginia, a 25-mile drive. I have gym equipment, and I use some of it when the weather is bad, but there's something about being at a gym that makes me want to work harder. I haven't picked up a dumbbell or barbell is who knows how long; I'm simply not motivated to do so. Or disciplined. Whatever.

There are wonderful parts about West Virginia, especially my home and property. I have a lot of room for a garden (including cilantro), the landscaping project is coming along, my house is just …

Giveaway #1: Knitting

Since this blog is called Knit. Run. Reap. Eat., I thought I'd start the grand giveaway with a knitting item. Elsebeth Lavold is a talented and creative designer who was inspired by the Viking traditions to create Viking Patterns for Knitting, a book of classic and beautiful knitting patterns. Five hundred Lavold projects have been completed on Ravelry, each one a beauty.

Lavold has her own line of more than a dozen yarns, but with a well-executed gauge swatch, the book's projects can be knit with substitute fibers. The pieces included in the book can be made now and worn for generations. Truly classic creations that will stand the test of time.

Click here for more information.

So. Wanna win it? Leave a comment, that's all you have to do. And you have until Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. EDT to do so. I'll assign each comment a number and use a random number generator to draw a winner, who will be announced Monday, July 11. And please spread the word!

A new contest will be …

Friday Quote Day

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~ Epictetus
In going through my quote collection to find something for today's post, I was struck by how many of them have to do with success and failure.

I am hereby declaring myself okay, just the way I am. I have nothing to succeed at, nor nothing to fail at. I am, and that is enough.

Most of my Friday quotes are related to my lifelong quest to achieve and maintain a normal weight. I'm 60 years old, and I'm pretty sure it ain't gonna happen. If it does, that would be nice. Not great, not a "success," not the answer to my prayers.

Just nice.

I'm going to continue to walk and eat healthfully, because I feel good when I do. I hope to run again, someday, and I realize that my internal chatter – you're too fat to run – isn't helpful. In previous races I've participated in, there have been many people running who were larger than I am now. It&#…