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Showing posts from 2012

December 31 - Self-portrait

Number 629, your order is ready

Today marks the end of 2012, and this is my 629th post for the year. You have NaBloPoMo to thank for the gift of one or more Knit.Run.Reap.Eat. posts nearly every freaking day of the year. Care to join me in 2013?

You have one day to think about it. Heh.

This week has gone very well. I've been under my calorie budget and I've met my activity goals every day. LoseIt's weeks begin on Monday (I wish the app would let you choose your own first day of the week, but oh, well. It's free! And if I'm missing this feature, I hope someone will let me know), so it's a fresh start in oh so many ways.

Monday is my scheduled no-exercise and eat-what-you-want day. Although today is going to be fairly temperate and I might go for a walk outside just because.

When I explained my plan to my husband (and believe me, I thought long and hard about explaining it to him), he hesitated for  m a y b e  a nanosecond before he said, "Well, do you mind if I have something to say about…

December 30 - Something that made you smile this year

Oh, yes, I'm a multi-tasker

Check this OUT!

While I watched West Virginia University's football team get slaughtered yesterday afternoon, I read something like 114 blog posts. Yay, me! I'm all caught up with your Christmases, and am looking forward to some New Year's resolution posts. Laurie is working on it. Anyone else?

Instagram's Weekend Hashtag Project is all about resolutions. I rarely submit photos for the project, but I did this time. Unfortunately it only has 16 "likes," so I doubt if it gets chosen for the wrap-up on Monday. If you search for #whpresolutions on Instagram you can see all of the images – more than 4000 so far.

And speaking of images … Jen posted a beautiful photo essay called "Keep looking up!" a couple of days ago. She's captured some beautiful cloudscapes in northern Ohio.

Another post I especially wanted to point to is Beth's short rant about the fiscal cliff. I'm at the point now where I leave the room when the talking heads start spinn…


Progress, not perfection

So how am I going to measure my progress as I move forward in the current pursuit of health and wellness? (Oh, okay, and weight loss.) Well, this is the hard part.

The bathroom scale provides information, but all too often the number I see is all tied up with judgment and guilt and shame. Sometimes the number is 'good,' and I feel like I deserve a reward. Sometimes it's 'bad,' and I feel like giving up. In either case – good or bad – I go off the rails. This is not, of course, the fault of the bathroom scale. It's completely my attitude upon seeing that number.

Knowing what I know about my relationship with it, then, I clearly need to find a different way to measure progress. At the same time, I'd like to know what that number is. But only occasionally. (Okay, I'd really like to know what it is two or three times a day. But that's counterintuitive to the process.)

So here's the deal: I'm going to weigh myself on the 25th of each month. I wei…

December 29 - Hot

December 28 - Cold

If you follow me on Instagram ...

or if you're a Facebook friend, you can skip this post, since you've seen the photos I began posting yesterday afternoon.

If you don't, here's the final shot:

What began as 20 pounds of navel oranges is now this year's supply of marmalade, cooling in jars on the counter. I'll store them in the pantry tomorrow. (I went into a little more detail last year.)

Marmalade is a lot of trouble to make, and there are nearly as many calories in a tablespoonful (50) as there are in a whole orange (62). But nothing says summer and sun and warm and bright, to me anyway, like orange marmalade.

I don't remember ever eating it when I was growing up. I don't buy the commercially made stuff unless I'm really jonesing for it and am all out of my own home-canned sunshine in a jar. I'm not sure why I started making it from scratch, but I can tell you this: There's something about the entire process that just feeds my soul.

And my body, on whole-wheat toast with a …

December 27 - How you relax


Continuing yesterday's musings …

I will begin collecting Social Security benefits in May. As I approach 62, I realize (as I do every time I get serious about my health/fitness) I should have started last year. Or the year before. Or maybe I shouldn't have quit doing what worked 20 years ago. Or 40, for that matter.

Forty years ago I joined Weight Watchers for the first of many times. MadAnne commented yesterday that WW makes her angry. I know what she means, although it doesn't make me angry, exactly. When I'm following the Weight Watcher plan I am obsessed with my next meal or snack. I can't not think about it. I have a similar problem with just tracking food in a journal, whether it be handwritten or electronic, but being part of the WW experience is somehow larger, more in-my-face, than something I do on my own.

I was successful in that early iteration of Weight Watchers. I got to my goal weight within a year (I lost 38 pounds altogether but was pregnant for the…

December 26 - Mess


Neomonde happens to be the name of my favorite eatery in the Triangle area of North Carolina. I've visited the Morrisville location once, but am more familiar with the restaurant/market near Meredith College in Raleigh. I love Middle Eastern food, and I also love to prepare Middle Eastern food. Shopping there is a treat.

But I'm not here today to give a restaurant review. (However, if you live in the Triangle, I certainly do enthusiastically recommend a visit!) The word "neomonde" means "new world," and I think it's time for me, myself and I (and you, too, if you'd like to join me) to create a new world here in the Middle of Nowhere.

It's a dark-and-gloomy day, this day after Christmas. I'm not one who typically hits the stores for post-holiday bargains, so I'm not disappointed that the predicted freezing rain/sleet/snow will keep me home today. (The lovely silver and white paper I bought on sale last year remains protected in cellophane…

December 25 - Lunch

Merry Christmas

A message from a couple of days ago seems appropriate today. I wish you peace.

If it's not yet obvious to you, the real reason for this, and all seasons, is you. A more perfect child of the Universe has never lived. Until now, only celebrations cloaked in myth and mystery could hint at your divine heritage and sacred destiny. You are life's prayer of becoming and its answer. The first light at the dawn of eternity, drawn from the ether, so that I might know my own depth, discover new heights, and revel in seas of blessed emotion. 

A pioneer into illusion, an adventurer into the unknown, and a lifter of veils. Courageous, heroic, and exalted by legions in the unseen. 

To give beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limit; to reach, stretch, and dream, in spite of your fears. These are the hallmarks of divinity - traits of the immortal - your badges of honor. May you wear them with a pride as great as what we feel for you. 

Your light has illuminated darkened pat…

December 24 - Tradition

'Twas the night before Christmas

I enjoyed my break a LOT! I didn't even try to blog, obviously, other than to post the daily photos to keep up the post-a-day streak. The week before Christmas is a slow time for blogging and blog-reading anyway, and I needed the time away from it.

Especially after Newtown. I'd already said enough. I wanted to write about the NRA's statement, but what is there to say? It could have been an Onion news story. It has been reported that the BBC prefaced its broadcast of the statement with the disclaimer that it was not a joke.

One thing that I still can't figure out – and we may never have an answer – is why, why, WHY did that young man go to that school? That question haunts me.

At any rate … the kindergarten journals were well-received, and my son was very pleased with the Scrabble coasters. He took them to work with him Friday morning, which is where I'd hoped he would take them. (They're not exactly something that would fit with the décor of their home.) We had…

December 23 - Joy is __________

December 22 - Ornament

December 21 - Tree

December 20 - Weather

Aaaaand, she's off!

Well, she's always been a couple bubbles off plumb, but you know what I mean. I'm going to miss the snowstorm and will pray the power stays on for my husband and for Hershey, who will remain here holding down the fort.

The tree trimmers have been working since last summer's storm to remove potentially hazardous trees and limbs. Power lines now have a wide margin of space on either side and as long as the snow isn't too wet or too heavy, the electricity should stay on. The weather service is predicting high winds, as well, however, and some of those root systems were compromised during the storm. There's no way to tell which trees might be ready to topple.

We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

The grandchildren's cards look pretty cute. After I mailed them I realized I should have covered the staple with a sticker, or made some kind of label for the top part of that red card stock. Winnie would have been much more creative with it, I'm s…

December 19 - Starts with S

Busy day today

I conserved a lot of personal energy yesterday by doing next to nothing. I haven't been sleeping well the past few days, and so when I wasn't doing what was absolutely necessary – making coffee, fixing dinner, opening the mail – I was, um, napping.

Sometimes you need a Nothing Day.

I'm paying for it today, though. I could have made the grandkids' Christmas cards yesterday. I could have finished knitting a little last-minute gift. Instead I played endless games of smartphone solitaire and I slept.

Today I need to pick up an Amish neighbor at 10:30 to take her to a doctor's appointment. I'm then going to have new tires put on my car. (Merry Christmas!) And I have a walking date at 2 p.m.

I tried to walk late yesterday afternoon, figuring I'd have enough time for two miles before starting the spaghetti sauce. Here's my Skimble report:

It was SO cold and SO windy that we (my husband was with me) gave up before we got to the end of the driveway!

Today should…

December 18 - Makes you merry

Crazy, crazy world

A Facebook friend wrote yesterday that the world has gone crazy, but he wasn't going to tag along.

Facebook has been down for me the last couple of days. I could get it on my smartphone if I went through the browser, but that's kind of cumbersome and I found myself just staying away. I would check every couple of hours to see if it was back up, and if it still wasn't, I would go knit, or clean, or walk.

Now that it's back, it's crazier than ever, and I think my friend has the right idea.

I have e-mailed my Congressman and Senators, urging them to work on legislation banning assault weapons. My Congressman issued a statement yesterday in which he put "prayer in schools" on the table. Not sure what he meant by that, but he got an extra e-mail (lucky him!).

West Virginia's junior Senator, Joe Manchin, has been all over the cable news networks saying we need to change the way we regulate guns. This is astonishing, as he's infamous for a television com…

December 17 - On the floor

What's left to say?

Plenty, apparently.

I've written my Congressman and my Senators, urging them to support a ban on assault weapons. I've thanked Dianne Feinstein, who has promised to introduce such legislation on the first day of the new Congress.

Anything I begin to write here sounds shallow, and I can immediately come up with a comeback. But this I know:

I know now is the time to speak up about the issue of gun control. We as a country should never have allowed the ban on assault weapons to expire in 2004. Ah, but we as a country don't have the influence of the NRA.I know the NRA doesn't have a leg to stand on, and they – by their silence since Friday's massacre – must know it, as well. They've deactivated their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They haven't even so much as expressed their condolences.I know the families who lost children and loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School will never recover completely from the horror they've experienced. Never.And I know there…

December 16 - Something you made

If you want to own an assault weapon …

join the military.

Assault weapon is a political term, often used by gun control advocates, typically referring to firearms "designed for rapidly firing at human targets from close range,"[1] sometimes described as military-style features useful in combat.[2](Definition from Wikipedia)

The NRA remains silent on the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Their initial statement that they were waiting for the facts hasn't been updated, to the best of my knowledge.

The facts are the guns carried by the perpetrator of this horrific crime against innocent citizens – and children – were legal, registered, semi-automatic weapons. How do you defend that? How do you say that's okay?

You don't.

Or at least I don't, but I'm pretty sure the NRA will spin it so their members can feel good about totin' their guns and firin' their arms.

The NRA website claims to be the nation's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights. I'd like to somehow, politely…

December 15 - Outdoors

A prayer

We Pray for Children
Ina Hughes
We pray for children 
Who put chocolate fingers everywhere, 
Who like to be tickled, 
Who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants, 
Who sneak Popsicles before supper, 
Who erase holes in math workbooks, 
Who can never find their shoes. 

And we pray for those 
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire, 
Who can't bound down the street in new sneakers, 
Who never "counted potatoes," 
Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead in, 
Who never go to the circus, 
Who live in an X-rated world. 

We pray for children 
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, 
Who sleep with the cat and bury goldfish, 
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money, 
Who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink, 
Who slurp their soup. 

And we pray for those 
Who never get dessert, 
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, 
Who can't find any bread to steal, 
Who don't have any rooms to clean up, 
Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dress…

December 14 - something green

Catch a falling star

Last night the Geminid meteor shower was the can't-miss event. Of course I did, since I'm an early-to-bed, early-to-rise kinda gal. But the early-to-rise part worked for me, as I caught TWO shooting stars just letting the dog out at 6 a.m.! Amazing. The ability to view meteor showers with very little light noise is definitely a Middle of Nowhere advantage.

THE DOLL IS DONE! Start to finish in four days, that might be a record. Also finished is all the baking I'm going to do. I haven't yet wrapped a single gift, so that will be Job One today, but I'll be fitting it in after a walk and before taking a neighbor to the doctor and after dinner and before bedtime. Which might be later than usual today.

Ah, well, it's the holidays and you're supposed to feel exhausted and stressed, right? Joy to the world, and all that.

Got a call from the owner of the garden center yesterday, asking if I wanted to come work for them again next season. Um, YES!

And that's abou…

December 13 - Lights


You remember that game, don't you, where you lay a bunch of card pairs down and then flip one over and try to find its mate? Well, leave it to Martha to up the style factor. And leave it to Grandma Debbi to make a set for the four youngest grandchildren.

The craft supplies live in the multi-purpose room above our garage, but I toted the paper cutter and stacks of printed paper and cardstock over to the house so I wouldn't have to heat the office. I've been doing that for a week now, without returning anything to its spot in the craft closet. I'm going to need a pack mule to put everything away.

At any rate … we're going to see those little ones Saturday, so I needed to work on the game yesterday to give it plenty of time to dry. Eight of the tiles have letter stickers on them, two for each of their first-name initials. The rest are little shapes punched from scrapbook paper.

I found a suitable box, covered it with cardstock and today I will wrap everything we have…

December 12 - Hat

And a one, and a two, and a …

12.12.12 I'm guessing this will be the last repeating date I ever see. Unless science somehow makes it possible for me to live until the 22nd century. (OH EM GEE, what a horrible thought!)

Considering all I've been through so far, and all I've survived, it's a wonder I ever made it to the 21st. And that's a fact.

Nothing, apparently, happened at 12:12:12 a.m. on 12/12/12. Just a few more hours to go to find out about the second set of ones and twos on this magical day. I expect I'll be eating leftovers for lunch about that time. HOW EXCITING!

We had summer for dinner last night – pasta with pesto sauce, to which I added chicken sausages, sun-dried tomatoes, edamame, peppers and onions. The pesto, tomatoes and edamame came from the garden, preserved specifically for a cold and dreary day like yesterday. Summer for dinner, indeed.

I was going to title this post "Working out with Jackson" because yesterday was so cold and so dreary that I – gasp! – used …

December 11 - Sweet

Back to being crafty

While I really don't ever stop thinking about politics, it's nice to put it on hold for, oh, an hour or two. I worked on a knitting project (due Saturday, and yes, I'm going to make it!) yesterday afternoon while watching Love Actually. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in a Christmas-themed film – what's not to love?
I also smeared some Mod Podge on a couple of gift boxes a couple times yesterday. I took photos of one box. The other is covered in black scrapbooking paper and y'all know how well black photographs. Um, not.
My co-volunteer at the prison is a true music lover. She takes violin lessons (she and I are about the same age), her license plate says B8OVEN and her dog's name is Anna (which was Ludwig's wife's name). Various nooks and crannies in her home are tricked out with busts of Beethoven. So, yeah, she likes music. 
Remember those flat glass disks I picked up last week at Michael's? Here's one set of finished magnets, with a matching gift…

Okay, YUM!

No scolding from any of you about posting a yummy, delicious, rich and tasty cheese spread, okay?

It all started as I was straightening out the pantry and came across a jar of dates, at about the same time my husband was eating a couple of crackers. I remembered I had some goat cheese that needed to be used, and there were three strips of bacon left over from breakfast-for-dinner on Saturday.

I rustled up a couple more likely ingredients and voila! A great addition to the appetizer buffet, or pack it in a pretty jar, pair it with some fancy crackers and give it away.

If you can.

Goat Cheese Spread
1 8-oz. block cream cheese4 oz. goat cheese2 cloves garlicSix sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil (or soak six sun-dried tomato pieces in oil for about 30 minutes)Six to eight datesThree strips bacon, cooked until crisp1 Tblsp. chopped parsley1/2 tsp. salt In a food processor, pulse the dates, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes until finely chopped. Add garlic and process for 30 seconds. Add cheeses,…

December 10 - Under

A good Democrat day

A couple days ago I overheard my husband tell a friend that "Debbi was going to spend Sunday being a good Democrat."

And I did. I even wore blue. Heh. And I did not wear anything Christmas-y, which definitely put me in the minority at the meeting I attended yesterday afternoon.

It was a three(plus)-hour drive north in the fog and rain and, of course, an equally long drive home. In the fog and rain. The drive home actually took longer because it was oh-dark-thirty when I left the meeting and I tend to drive a little more slowly in the fog and rain and DARK.

I'm so old. And my grandchildren would just love it that I drive even more slowly than I already do.

As the chairperson of the Speakers Bureau for the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women, I was on the agenda to encourage the group to sign up for a Facebook account and "like" our new page. One of the ongoing themes for Democratic women's groups is encouraging younger women to become involved. (At …

December 9 - Out + About

4 out of 18

I've missed four days out of the last 18 (beginning on Thanksgiving Day) of walking at least two miles. This is a Big Deal for this lapsed walker, let me tell you. Today will be the fourth miss, as I'll be driving, driving, driving, lunching, attending a meeting, and then driving, driving, driving again. I will be hitting the road at 9:30 and who knows when I'll be home again.

If it weren't pouring down rain, I might go out right now and walk in the dark. NOT!

But the very fact that I entertained the idea, even for long enough to write it down, tells you something about this new commitment I've made to become a more active old woman.

I have very little hope that the increased activity will result in actual reduction of lard. My body just doesn't seem to want to release any of its fat stores. I eat moderately, especially since the denture adventure began in August. Food really doesn't taste all that great when there's a piece of plastic jammed into your …

December 8 - Someone you love

The card

I usually make our Christmas card, beginning with a seasonal photo taken the previous year. A couple years ago I took snapped a picture with my BlackBerry (those were the days!) of a snow-covered Jeep windshield in which someone had finger-written "Merry Christmas." I thought that would have been a great card from a couple rednecks living in the Middle of Nowhere.

(We're not really rednecks, we're quite progressive here. Our neighbors aren't quite sure what to think of us. Well, most of them, anyway. Not you, LYNNE! And I'd better stop because, seriously, some of my other neighbors might be reading but how would I know?)

Ahem. Moving on. The windshield photo, was not perfect in one significant way. The resolution of the photo was far too low to produce a good printed image. So, scratch that idea right off the list. I may have sent purchased cards that year.

Last year I made our cards using scrapbook paper and embellishments. I think. They were so not-memorabl…

December 7 - Star(s)

That went well

When I take a day to go shopping (other than grocery shopping) by myself, I spend more time debating and deciding than I do actually putting items in my cart. The conversation in my head goes something like this:
Me: WOW, 40% off on these cute little [tags/ribbons/beads/fill-in-the-craft-item-of-your-choice]! Wonder if I can live without them?Me: Yeah, I probably can. Me: But 40% off? That makes them practically FREE!Me: I'll figure out something to do with them. Me: But do I have room in the craft closet to store more [tags/ribbons/beads/fill-in-the-craft-item-of-your-choice]?Me: Well, I could consolidate the paper stash and I think there's an empty bin taking up a lot of space on that shelving unit and, and, and … And then I toss it in the cart, pay for it, bring it home, put it away and forget about it. Or I don't. Depending on how the debate with myself went.

When my husband and I take a day together to shop, we're a little more, um, streamlined.

It didn't help…

December 6 - From where you live

It's a date!

My husband and I are having a date today. If we didn't have a dog (for the record, I can't imagine not having a dog), we'd probably leave really early and stay really late and throw in a movie, along with the shopping and the dinner.

On the other hand, adding a movie to a day of shopping just sounds like way. too. much.

Especially when I haven't been sleeping. I guess it would depend on the movie, but going to one might be a good way to get a nap in. Hmmm. Argo, from what I've heard, would not be a good sleep-through movie. And I think I would be too interested in Lincoln to find it boring.

Besides, I'm too cheapfrugal practical to spend money to sleep through a movie. And then there's this:


She's good for about eight hours, probably longer, but after that length of time I start worrying about her. However – I'm pretty sure her daylong nap in the corner of the couch isn't punctuated with anxious thoughts wondering where her people…