A Little of This and That


Well, the last shawl started out pretty well, until I couldn't figure out one step in the pattern. Some people do Sudoko, I knit - an attempt to stay brain sharp - but after staying up way past bedtime, waking up in the middle of the night more than once trying to figure it out, and becoming slightly fixated with it, I caved. I unknit it, and started over with this pattern - the Sanibel Lace Shawl. (free on Ravelry) It's super simple, only four rows to figure out, and repeat them 43 times. So far so good. I ordered the Linus Borrocco from Jimmy Beans Wool (color 6801) and am loving working with its ribbon-like texture. I'm happy to say that, so far, it seems it doesn't have to be complicated to be beautiful.

A few years ago I decided I wanted to really develop the habit of a morning quiet time. I took advice from Sally Clarkson - used her method, and I'm so happy to say it has worked! Her routine includes a special spot in her house, lighting a candle, turning on some music, and getting something hot to drink before grabbing her Bible. I love, love starting my day this way. Also loving my new coffee cup from our church, Hillside Community Church. 'Coffee and Jesus' says it all.

Two  years ago, when we moved into this house, my oldest daughter came and helped me settle the kitchen. It was quite the day, and God bless her, she came even though she had to bring all four of her kids with her, and some of them were of the age that they pulled stuff out of cupboards and drawers as fast as we could put it in. In the process of unpacking she found items she declared superfluous. I resisted. Instead of arguing, she left post-it notes on those items. Two mornings ago I went to get something out of my messy, overloaded cupboard. I started digging around and found a deviled egg carrier, cake carrier and cupcake tote. There were the notes staring up at me. I have not used any of these huge items in the past two years. I pulled them out and promptly carried them to the giveaway box I keep in my closet. Once I got those three big items out of that cupboard, and threw out all the cheap, plastic containers I never use, I had more than enough room. I have always, always hated my food storage cupboard and now we are friends again. Sarah, you were right. 

Look at that - a joy to behold!

Has anyone heard of the DASH diet? We hadn't either. Until we got the lab results from our annual physicals. Don has high triglycerides and I have high cholesterol and high sugars in another area. The doctor told us to start this diet, originally designed to correct high blood pressure, which neither of us has. It's apparently such a great way of eating that it also helps correct cholesterol levels, and pre-diabetes which is what they told us is looming over both of us. So we're pretty much cooking out of these cookbooks for the next three months, exercising at least three days a week, lifting weights, losing 10 or so pounds each, and telling ourselves we can have anything we want on Thanksgiving and Christmas but that's about it. The rest of the time it's down to business.

The kitchen counter is set up with cookbooks, ingredients for morning oatmeal or fruit smoothies or healthy omelets. He is a bit lost with all this new information, but I am feeling thankful for those high school home-ec classes. I still remember food pyramids, etc. and it's all coming back to me now. Including when my group had to make a jello mold, and I was given the job of unmolding it, and somehow the green mass completely dissolved  and went down the sink. Our group did not get an 'A', which may have explained why I was not nominated to be in Friendship Club. BTW, has anyone seen the commercials for morning oatmeal using a Keurig - pretty clever marketing!

I see my cornea specialist tomorrow for a one month transplant follow-up, at which time she will tell me I can start swimming again, which I've been doing for two weeks. The water was calling to me, so I bought good goggles and jumped in. It was a thankful moment, when I finally was able to be gliding through the water again. I'm pretty rusty, but adding a couple of laps every time I go, and slowly and surely - just like Stella - I'll get my groove back. All this from a girl who didn't learn to swim until age 15, in American Red Cross class with a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds. I'll let you know how this new way of eating, and living, goes. My checkup is in February, right before I head out on a cruise with my two daughters, at which time I plan to eat a bit differently for a week, then come back to real life. BTW, the doctor told me to never, ever, ever drink soda - regular or diet. The regular has 12 tsp of sugar in a single serving, and the artificial sweetener in diet makes you crave sugar. My new reality will be water with my not so frequent movie popcorn. Sad, sad, but better than heart disease or diabetes, so soda and I have broken up, and like Taylor Swift's song, we are never, ever, ever getting back together again. Not worth it. Makes me think of a few boys I should have said that to, back in the day.

This is what I added to my nightstand pile. I'm almost finished with his other book, Margin,  and looking forward to diving into this. I'm not feeling nearly so overloaded as I was a couple of months ago, but still have much to learn in knowing when, and what, to say yes and no to. This stuff should be required reading in late high school or college, as we all seem to struggle with it as soon as we get out into the real world. And it never gets easy. The world's gear seems to be set hard on no margin, and overload in all areas of our lives. I'm fighting against that.

Finally, I have a confession to make. I HATE to wash lettuce! If the bag says it's already been washed, I'm good. I've been known to not wash iceberg because I'm lazy and hate doing it. Some people hate cleaning toilets (I actually don't mind it), some hate washing their lettuce. That's me. So I skip it sometimes, but a few years back I actually washed a head of it, and the second layer down, there was a big fat fly. That one fly kept me honest for a few years, but I swear tonight I considered skipping it because - did I say this already? - I hate it. And one lettuce leaf down, here she was. I think she was dead as she just layed there, on her lettuce leaf, on my counter. I actually thought she looked kind of cute, but she's still a (lady)bug. Dang it, I hate it when stuff like that happens, but not as much as I think I would hate eating a ladybug, with or without ranch dressing on her.


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