Sunday, January 25, 2009

So. Goji

And now I know about goji berries. Not as sweet as raisins or crasins but chewy. I bought a trail mix type snack at Whole Foods. No sugar.
It's getting harder than ever to find food without some form of sugar or salt. I do my best to avoid both, for me and my husband's health.

I'm intrigued by the Atkins diet or "low-carb". I was told yesterday at our class that the weight falls off, IF you can stick to not eating carbs. Also that the weight comes back quickly if you're not careful. Metabolism changes, energy levels are high. Sounds good!

But here's the thing.... my pancreas works just fine and I could go all the way with this but J is insulin-dependent and this makes it much more complicated.

The insulin counterbalances blood sugar. Sugar comes from carbohydrates. You need SOME carbs for sure but if you want to lose weight (ahem!) you need to cut way back on carbs or calories or both. And I'm not sure how to do that while maintain proper bloodsugar levels.

If anyone out there has a handle on this, I'm all ears. J wants to drop @20lbs and I'll do it with him.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Prospect 1 and Goji Berries

Don't know much about acai or goji berries but today we will head across the lake to the Whole Foods Market on Veterans and scope it all out.

After this, we will track over to Howard Avenue and catch the last week (few days really) of something called Prospect 1.

I don't anything about this whole event but it has to do with Art in New Orleans. and apparently it has managed to escape my attention for the past two months and my own COUSIN has artwork in it. All the way from Vermont!

She had relocated to Baton Rouge 2 years ago and although she didn't stay long down here in the South, she had a wonderful showing of her art with her Husband in Baton Rouge where he is a native Louisianan (LSU!!!) but makes his home in Burlington where they are now both residing along with the littlest Derbes.

Wylie (my cuz) has been working in the art field for a decade since graduating from U of Chicago and worked on the Vermont Theatre Curtain Project (google it!) She is now an avid quilter but not in the traditional methods I employ. She wandered off that reservation into artquilts and makes very organic-looking wallhangings and works them with embellishments into collage 3-D "stories".

So I am intrigued to see if this is what will appear in New Orleans. I'll take along my camera in any case.

Wylie Sophia Garcia and Clark Derbes for anyone reading this and interested.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

People Can Be Such Jerks to Animals

I am so angry right now. Why? you ask

Because there is a lovely Himalayan cat circling my home and mewling to get in. Why? you ask

Because it's owner doesn't think she needs to be more of a presence in her pets' lives than the occasional bowl of food. She routinely leaves at least 3 cats out to fend for themselves for extended periods of time and the cats roam the neighborhood foraging for food and water and whatever else a cat needs for survival.
This Himalayan appeared on our threshold a few weeks ago and has been returning daily. Very sweet-natured and terribly thin. AND I TOLD THE OWNER THAT when I reached her by phone. She said she was returning to town that night. I told her I was glad of that . Why? you ask

Because the temperatures were forecast to be below freezing for a few nights and it's hard on small animals!

Yes Yes I know! Cats have survived without human intervention for forever. But this is not a feral cat! It's owned and neglected and Along with ME suffering for the whims of a human!

So outside by house, my warm comfy house, sits a scrawny cat meowing and huddled and probably hungry as well and I can't let it inside because it's not my cat. If I let it in, my cats will go nuts, as they should, it's their home! and the Himalayan will start to adopt us as it's caretakers. And I have NO right to tell another (_______) human how to manage a cat.

It's not my place. It's now 5:30 am and what I really WANT TO do is take the cat to it's house and wake them up and tell them THEIR cat has been screaming outside my house for the past hour!

And if I take the cat to the animal shelter, for sure it's a Dead Cat Walking sentence and I am NOT going to do that! I'd rather listen to it yell outside my door and sneak it treats and food (far from the house. I am NOT stupid!) and help it survive in the neighborhood than to be warm for two weeks and stiff afterward. It's a beautiful cat but I've seen too many beautiful cats sitting at shelters to believe someone is going to scoop this one up. The darned owners don't even do it!

Oh yeah they say have they have three, and I saw three cats on their back porch staring at me thru the two door glass as if I had the magic key to let them in but the fourth one was in my backyard rubbing against the furniture. So either they have 4 cats or, can you believe it?! another cat has adopted THEM!!!!!! oh the irony there.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

why Do I Do This To Myself?

Just a week ago, I posted about a messy workspace and cleaned it up and posted again.
I organized the room and really, it didn't take long.. it's not that big a space but and here's the maddening thing, it's crapped up again! It's ME. All me.

This morning, I was preparing to sandwich a baby quilt and needed that roll of bluetape. I KNOW I have it because it appeared in the 2nd photo of that post and I mentioned it. So where oh where did it go? Or more correctly, where did I put it when I cleaned up the room?

There I went again in search of something I know I have, confirmed it by pulling out the photo and yep! there it is so where did I put it? And I felt like crying.

This is what it feels like to slowing lose one's mind.

I opened every drawer all the while thinking ok, what is the logical place I'd put it when tidying up? and I looked there as well
The trouble with that question is: the answer changes.... each time I get in this cleaning frenzy I put things in "more better" spots, thinking, this time I will surely remember.


I eventually did find it, in the place I first thought to look but immediately discounted as a place I KNEW I stopped using because it made no sense, (so why bother looking there!)(first) and I had of course remembered that I had found that "more better" place instead and promptly forgot that I had and had gone in search of it back then and found another "more better" place that promptly was forgotten as well, and so on. Round and round the room I went, opening drawers and pawing through shelves of fabric, getting angrier and crazier as the minutes ticked by.

In the end I did in fact look in that original place, (now I KNOW it's not gonna be there......) found the blasted bluetape and now I wonder if I had subconsciously decided to return it to that place so that I would go to it there first, logically, the next time I needed tape and not waste time looking for it.

So not only did I waste time looking for tape, I blogged about it.

Well done.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

That worked

I was 29 years old and bought my first car in 1989. I did all the research and test driving required to make a responsible choice. (I did the same thing when I voted for the first time as well. I read everything I could regarding the candidates.) And when I drove the car out of the dealership parking lot, I knew we'd be friends for a very long time. I took such good care of her, I broke her in as the manual insisted as to not void the warranty. I had the oil changed every 3000 miles like a Swiss clock. And I parked her as far away from other vehicles as humanly possible and still be within a mile of my destination. I really didn't want to see her dented. And that went on til the first ding. After that, she was no longer precious, merely well loved. And very well used. And still very well cared for.
The girls I and spent a lot of hours tooling around in Alaska and Louisiana and Texas. Even Canada on the Top of the World Highway, a long stretch of miles that has a reputation of being hard on cars. Especially windshields. We made it there and back unscathed. But in the 12 years we owned her, she increasingly attracted shopping carts and doors that would wing open and whack her. Scratches and tree limbs, cats slept on her hood in cold weather and left paw swipes. And I'm glad that she stopped being precious quickly and became a utilitarian thing instead. A thing with a name, okay, but still a well-used thing.

I learned in grade school how motivating public humiliation can be. So in that frame of mind, I beat myself up for your reading pleasure a few hours ago and swiftly devoted the time between then and now into cleaning up that wreck of a room.

I knew I could not in any good conscience leave it in that state of disrepair. I could not think straight in there as well. I would stand there and consider what project to tackle next should be and the angel on my shoulder would say in the ear that still works, "Isn't the answer OBVIOUS to you, hmmmm?"

I was thinking QUILT project, not housework. But it really had gotten out of hand. So I got to it and here is the end result.

It's not perfect, but I don't aim for perfection. I don't think I can work in perfect any more than I would take a brand-new car over the Top of the World Highway. Such madness!

Shasta is a Pill

She really is such a pain. She knows I am trying to work and decides that this is the optimum spot to nap in. She doesn't like to be disturbed either. Hence, the "look". I was here first but she brings weapons to the fight so I usually try to work around her bulk.

This never makes her happy. But then again, nothing ever does. Shasta is NEVER happy.
So to prove who is in charge, she climbs out from under the quilttop I am trying to sew the final borders on and plunks her mass on top. With her back to me, as a last and total insult. I am simply unworthy of more.

She wins.

Room and Board

Q just wants to be left in peace, to sleep curled up and quiet. I can't resist taking picures of her because she looks so cute to me.

This never makes her happy and she curls up even tighter, her little back feet looking more like a squirrel to me than anything. So I take more photos, of course.
Polo decides to join her on the ironing board and thinks about what he'd prefer to do next. A nap or an attack.

In the end, the nap wins out and there is harmony, albeit briefly. And Q covers her nose with her tail, signifying that she thinks he stinks. But as he's twice her size and half her age, she keeps her opinion to herself. And me. And now, you.


Is there a more wonderful way to start off a new year than to thoroughly humiliate myself on the Internet?

I think not

A few days ago I walked into the sewing room and was greeted by this sight. Packing boxes and gift wrap supplies piled underneath the quilting machine. Quilt batting leftover from quilts that I intend to use in rag quilts. Eventually. and Yes you are looking at a huge stack of NEATLY!!! folded fabric. What could I possibly be doing with that, there?

We had a small leak in the shop space next to our quiltstore that ran under the wall into our space so 4 of us quickly gathered up the 40 or so bolts of affected fabric and washed them in our respective homes. That stack represents about 1/3 of what I had taken home to clean.

There's a quilt on the machine itself waiting patiently to be finished so I can give it to my daughter; a belated Christmas gift that is two years in the making so what's a few more days, right?

The stainless steel bowl to the right of the fabric pile has rice and tea leaves; a remnant of that project I described a few posts back. And I ask myself: why haven't you put THAT away at least? Make some room for yourself to think in, woman!!!!

The mirrored closet door only serves to amplify the mess I make.

Ok let's pan to the right:

Two cats sleeping on the ironing board. They're not fighting, so that's a plus. And the design wall is bereft of quilt blocks.....+ +. An overfilling trashcan, cluttered cutting table. Let's focus right there. The radio won't home in on the station I like to listen to so I don't really know why I leave it taking up valuable real estate. Various cups and notion holders are necessary so they have to stay. There's a huge binder with the instructions for the BOM sample I have been so diligently working on (and have as of last night totally completed! hurray!) I'll take that away shortly

A calculator, unpaid bills, a bottle of Flexoril (one tablet left. For an emergency). An origami star. I don't know what that basket thing is. Kernels of rice, too small to see but I know they're there alright. And an assortment of cutting tools that can't be used because there simply is no space left.

The sewing table itself leaves me uninspired. Lip balm and hand balm. Scissors. An envelope with a paid(!) bill waiting to be mailed. I wonder if I missed the Late Date now. A wallet I haven't used in more than 7 months. A roll of blue tape. Now that's something. I can NEVER find it when I need it and there it sits in the photo, taunting me. Stuff that all has to be shifted before I can continue to actually sew, that for which the table is meant.

Below the cutting table are two racks of drawers overflowing with fabric. Fat quarters, mostly and kits that I have planned to make for several years and counting. Project the girls and I keep saying we'll get to; "over the Holidays!" or "during spring break." And we haven't yet, but we will! And in the meantime, it all gives me something to think and write about.

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions. So the first order of the year to get a grip on this madness and put some chaos behind me. To clear the space and the head for a more productive year. Wish me luck.