Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Death and children (explaining death to children)

"Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind."
Leonardo da Vinci

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Happy Birthday Mother Theresa

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. 
Mother Teresa 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Christina - back fat - 15 each - 3 sets


Important to warm up, arm circles, shoulder shrugs, etc.

On the ones where she is bent over, I cannot do them in that form without risking irritation to my lower back. I either step one foot way forward, bending that front knee and then bracing myself/really pressing down with that back foot, or, I drop to one knee with the other leg bent/foot on floor in front of me, pressing down with the foot on the floor. It is as if I am transferring the pressure on my back to the foot grounded on the floor. And on both of those, I switch legs every other move. So I am alternating up and down, and sides, consistently. For me this avoids stress to my lower back.

Yes, I like these types of sets. These are exactly the types of things I used to do in class. So it feels familiar to me.

I can really isolate and contract my upper back muscle sets. I can find them. I can squeeze them. I can isolate them and work each move very specifically.

I crave working my upper back and latts.

If you use the machines at the gym, usually, this is a good way to change things up.

Ali, since you usually use heavy weights, curious to know if these have any appeal to you? Do you feel these types of moves? More reps and sets than what you normally do? Sometimes I do traditional arm work (chest presses, flies, bicep curls, etc) and then do this type of routine, so I am working already fatigued muscles. For me, effective, as long as I remember my form and protect my lower back.

Important to stretch when you are done. When I do this type of work, after I stretch, I crave my yoga block. Supline with my head supported straight off my neck and the block between my shoulder blades. Crave it. (Prone is the opposite, face down, if you are trying to remember the word, I always have to look those up to remember which is which).

AND one of the silly things I have been craving is to bend over from a standing position, touch the floor with my legs fairly straight, walk my hands out to a plank position, do a push up (which for me is not a big move, it is more the intention of a push up) and then walk my hands back to my feet and roll up. I raise my hands up to the ceiling before I fold over and do it again. I have been doing ten of these. A funny thing to crave, but I do.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Yoga Jen videos

I like her.
I leave the volume on, she usually has a good yoga voice.

Here is the list from YouTube -

I think these are missing from her other list -

Back and neck pain (blue shirt)

Relaxation (this one has a friend with her)

Stretches to reverse tightness from sitting


It takes me longer than 15 minutes,
But these are some of my favorite stretches.

To be honest, I turned the volume off,
so I don't know what she says.
It looked like too much talking to me.
But I knew all the moves,
her dialogue would probably be really helpful if this was all new.

Friday, August 19, 2016

I added two links to a stability ball post

There are now three, Christina, stability ball links in this post.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

V. $ecret

Tags from Victoria Secret NO lines underwear.
I put more information in comments.

These are shorts, from Dick's, that both my girls wear under short skirts and dresses.
These are a very silky fabric and very form fitting.
Both girls need a medium.
They have them in black and in gray.
There are some shorter and some longer,
the girls wear the middle length inseam which I think is 5".

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Natalie Jill

Attack of the Belly Fat

Quick Calf

Thin thighs in 30 days

Best Exercises to Flatten that Lower Belly

Monday, August 15, 2016

"Indolence is a delightful but distressing state: we must be doing something to be happy."
William Hazlitt

in·do·lence (nd-lns)
Habitual laziness; sloth.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Saved comments - Jen and TED

Here is her link.

I commented -

"I think you did a great job. Really good, interesting, fun.

I watched the whole way thru and then went back and relistened to the first minute or so. I think your pace was fine. And you have a great speaking voice and stage presence. I am not sure I have ever heard/seen you speak before now.

Agree, angle could have been better; however, I have seen other TED's where they shot from too far away and the angle was worse. Yours was not bad (I actually would not have noticed if you had not mentioned it).

The thing about wearing simple and black is - it was not distracting. My thoughts were solely on what you were saying. (I am also someone who keeps her eyes closed at church so I am not distracted by the people around me. So that might just be me.)

You did a good job, as you said, of speaking very naturally. And I loved your slides. Very unique ideas/pictures.

Really fun and thoughtful."

Monday, August 08, 2016

Last season of Lewis started last night (in the states)

The first series was Morse. They are all currently on Netflix. Oldest and I have both watched all (33 episodes, 8 seasons) of them. PBS and great (in our opinion).

When Morse stopped, Lewis (his sergeant) continued on PBS. Really great, maybe better than the original Morse, in my opinion. It is that series, Lewis, which is winding down now. The first seven seasons are free on Amazon Prime, for members. The last season, currently playing, is on PBS for free or Amazon Prime for a fee.

Meanwhile, a younger version of Morse, called Endeavor, started. The first two seasons are available free on Amazon Prime as part of their package. The third season is available for a fee. I happen to love Endeavor, but not everyone does.

Netflix = everything is free on their system for their members. Not everything is carried on Netflix, but if they have it, it is free for members.
Amazon Prime = somethings are free for members, other things require a fee. So instead of not carrying things, they carry them for a fee.

5 posture, back strength moves

Five moves for better posture.

Four and five can be done at a desk.
"I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."


Sunday, August 07, 2016

Stargate (again), Veep, and Downton

Youngest and I watched Stargate (SG1 TV show and the related movies) in the days of checking DVD's out of the library and waiting for Netflix DVD's in the mail. A marathon in those days was 2-3 shows in a row when we scored at the library on the same day the mailman was beloved.

I am rewatching the series on Amazon prime right now. The series will take me a long time, because I fall asleep part way thru at bedtime and then watch the second half the next night.

(I always have wondered if Kurt Russell was sorry he didn't stick around for the series (he did the first movie). Richard Dean Anderson is such a good fit that I always have wondered if the series would have faired as well with Russell.)

Meanwhile, my husband really wanted to watch Veep. Also on Amazon Prime. I thought I would love it because I adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I tried. Maybe as many as the first ten+ shows, so I really tried. I can see why other people, my husband included, think it is very funny. It just makes me sigh or cringe, depending on the episode. My favorite character is Gary Walsh (Tony Hale). His attention to detail and ability to take care of her is clever and sweet and funny. But the rest of it just isn't for me. I stopped part way thru the roast episode because I did not think I could bear whatever was going to happen with her song. Season 2 episode 4. So, I am done. My husband watches things I do not like when he is on the elliptical. So I hope Amazon Prime is on our Roku system.

Also on Amazon Prime is Downton Abby. Middle did not see it when it aired. She is loving it now. I think she might be on season three already. (Being PBS, it is short seasons. She is going to be very sad shortly, because I think there are only eight six seasons. Finding a great series and then having it end, with no more, is sad. Be careful not to say anything that would be a spoiler for her. Somehow she knew nothing about the show.) I think she has two more weeks before her boy is back on campus. It is a good end of summer show. I had to talk her into trying it. But it hooked her immediately.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

I will have to modify a lot, mine won't be as pretty nor as fast, but want to save ABS!



https://youtu.be/bx9SssAikQo (this one explains extinction method)

I might have one foot on the floor, both feet on the floor, my hands under my butt to help press my lower back into the floor. I will be moving a lot slower than he does. I will step, not jump. Some of these moves I have done, others are new to me.



This is an extremely stubborn area for me.
I have even been to physical therapy on this topic.
PT did help.
I am hoping this move helps even more.

Friday, August 05, 2016


I found these by accident.



Providence maybe because I found them very interesting.

You might not remember, but my right shoulder is very funky.

It wants to roll forward.

I also have range of motion issues with my right arm.

And I work on my posture constantly.

There was a third video on the site that I (now) can't find. He talks about fixing shoulders using the skeleton. And he is on the floor showing how to push the side down/shoulder back and then work on range of motion with the arm, I think. Maybe it was just pushing the side down. I would really like to find it (not in my history for some reason). Leave the link if you happen to see it please.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Christina, stability ball

Added later

Added later
Lower body

Original post
Upper body

Now, it is hard to tell what you are doing, when you are doing it. So, I cut her a lot of slack.

But as soon as I started the video, I knew her butt was going to sink because she did not look very "rooted" to the floor. She needed to have those feet firmly planted and her lower body flatter, firmer, higher, stronger. Her lower body should not have moved, at all. And if you watch, her butt sinks lower with each exercise. The best way to protect a lower back is to have a strong/tight belly.

I like her shoulders/neck/head positioning. Her spine/neck/head are in a nice line. They are all on the ball. Her chin is not jutting upward (important not to jut). And that is part of why her butt fell. When upper body is in right placement, then have to really hold that lower body in place. All about the abs. This whole workout looks like arms, and it is, but it is simultaneously ABS.

And for Exercise 5 Tricep Kickback, I personally would not use her positioning (with my back). I have one foot much further in front of the other so I can really hold my belly firm which protects my lower back. Or I drop to one knee. Ditto with the one arm rows. I would do the exercises, just not with the ball.

I like that she is doing simple things. I like her light weights. I like her 3-4 sets. Good change of pace.  But absolutely can increase weights to 8 or 10 or 15 for chest press, row, kickbacks depending on your level (and injuries/conditions).

If you are distracting yourself with TV, make sure you can just listen and not look. Head positioning is important. Audio book, radio, music are other options.

(Remember we raised our TV so it is at eye level in front of our elliptical.)

Monday, August 01, 2016

"Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation."
W.H. Sheldon

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Foam rollers and stick rollers.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Yoga block

Friday, July 29, 2016


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

"At these best moments a great humility fused with a great ambition: to be only what I was, but to the utmost of what I was."

Stephen Spender

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Alaska 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

"How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!"

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack

Friday, July 15, 2016

Christina - bat wings

Another one from her lazy series

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless it is no little thing itself."

Zeno of Citium

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Christina, in front of the TV type

A total body





Lots of reps, lazy, on the floor, but you go until you feel the burn, and then you do more. 3-4 full rounds of each set.

These would also be effective after a regular work out, working fatigued muscles.

And these would be very good getting started.

NOW, protect your lower back, especially if you have lower back issues. One leg at a time and hands under your butt to help contract your abs and press your back into the floor are always smart.

Warming up and warming down/stretching are prudent.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Happy Birthday Dalai Lama

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
Dalai Lama 

Monday, July 04, 2016

"What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner."


Monday, June 27, 2016

Endeavour (Morse), season three with four episodes, is running on PBS now, I had to go back and watch the first two seasons on Amazon Prime to remember, the original Morse is available on Netflix, and Inspector Lewis is on Amazon Prime, FYI

Jane wrote:
I hear you. My magical thinking alternates between doing over things in my life that cannot be changed and changing that which only lottery winnings can change.

I need to remind myself:
There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life. - Arthur Shopenhauer

Monday, June 20, 2016

"A lifetime can well be spent correcting and improving one's own faults without bothering about others."
Edward Weston

Monday, June 13, 2016

"Our life is the creation of our mind."


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Zipper and button boards

I wrote about it here.

I did find something.

At the local art store.

(Thank you very much, because I was thinking lumber yard, not art store).

I am not sure what it is called. But it looks very close to the product used in making  clip boards (the brown ones).

The only thing we had to fix was sharp corners, my husband rounded them with sandpaper.

My close friend found zippers at a garage sale. And huge buttons.

And she talked me out of making calico shapes (that needed actual button holes) and into making felt shapes. Because I can just put a slit in a felt shape and have it be a button "hole".

I am knee deep in craft supplies, three ring binders, laminated activities, and stacks of random things.

Like baby dolls and their clothes.

And pom poms glued to magnets in cake pans.

And recess balls, parachutes, cones.

And a bin with science table items. That bin started nearly empty. It is now full with more coming.

There is an old scale on my kitchen counter, the kind with two sides that balance. Everytime I walk by, I scrub a little more with an old tooth brush. I found it at a garage sale on Friday. I was nearly speechless when I saw it. I told the lady - I will take it, but I am stunned that i found it. It will take me a minute to gather myself.

 It was one of the things middle specifically wanted.

So yes, I have piles.

Here is a very good example.

I found this list of things to keep on hand for crafts and activities. Really good list. I have added oatmeal round boxes, egg cartons, crepe paper, toliet paper rolls to it.


I HAVE almost all those things.

And those are the types of things when middle is in her college town, it sort of kills me when she has to buy something that I have in droves.

So, I am assembling all those things in an organized way.

Middle (currently) is deep in starting her behavior clinic job (which starts with a certification). That job is full time right now. It will go to part time and continue. Some of the hours count toward her masters program.

She is (currently) taking one condensed masters class this summer. I think that is nearly half done.

She attended a wedding this weekend. We are attending a wedding shower next weekend. We have plans for July 4th.


Her three year old preschool class/job starts in the middle of August. (And I will be in Alaska when she gets full access to her classroom in July).

I am getting her (physical) stuff together for that class. Anything that can be done in advance, I am doing.

It is a lot of collecting and assembling/organizing. It is busy work. I enjoy it hugely. I have time.

We got the classroom books together two weeks ago and they are in her classroom ready (that was a big job). These are the board books the kids "read" during their story corner time. And also the books she reads to them each day.

She is steadily working on her lesson plans.

Monday, June 06, 2016

"I have got to make everything that has happened to me good for me."

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Thinking caps please - zipper board


I would like to make a zipper board for middle's preschool classroom.

I am not using cardboard.

And I am not using glue to hold the zippers. I am sewing the zippers to fabric.

My plan is to make something that looks like a small pillow case and sew the zippers to the case.

And then slip a board of some type into the case. And sew it firmly shut. (I might need to put glue on the edges to keep the case from slipping). And I might use canvas so the case is very stiff, sturdy.

Can you put your thinking caps on please?

I need help thinking of what board to use.

I wandered thru a box store and a dollar store looking for ideas, no luck. The only thing I saw that was a possibility was a cutting board, but it was too dense. It would hurt if they dropped it on their foot. (And it was too expensive. I am looking for nearly free. I would be most happy if I used something I already had.)

A clerk at the dollar store suggested an actual board from the lumber yard. Maybe. But what kind of board?

I first rejected the idea of foam core board. But am now wondering about two layers of foam core. That might be sturdy enough and will not hurt them if they drop it on their foot. But not sure it will hold up long term. Two layers of foam core with something in the middle?

And I keep going back to idea of cookie sheet or back side of jelly roll pan. Those would be very sturdy. Might be able to find at goodwill.

Ideas please?

Planning to do the same thing with a button board.

And I might make two of each so she can have a "station".

So I probably need four boards.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

King size quilt went in a carry on

This is a huge quilt, on our driveway, with oldest at the top of a ladder to get it all in the picture. If you are trying to visualize the size, the row of flying geese, on each side, is nearly to the edge of the top of a king size bed, a little of the gold/brown shows on the top of the bed, then the rest of the border hangs down the sides. It is massive and very heavy.

In the process of cleaning out stuff (in general), I came across a partially finished quilt top.

It was finished to the flying geese on the sides.

So it was finished vertically. It just needed the outer borders.

And I knew WHY I had not finished it. I ran out of the right kind of fabric, like 15+ years ago.

I looked at a couple shops (an hour away) and did not see anything that was just right.

Then when I was out of town a month or so ago, I found the blue that ended up being the outer border.

And a friend gave me the blues that are in the 16 patches (on point in the gold/brown border).

So I finished this quilt top, sent it to my machine quilter, bound it, and it went home with oldest in his orange carry on yesterday.

This quilt was king size. We had to fold it several different ways and put it in a plastic bag and squish all the extra air out, but it did fit.

It is going on his bed. He now has six quilts (of mine). And all six are ones he really wanted.

Interestingly, he looked at it and said - there is something funny about the binding. I said - yes, it is machine bound and you are use to hand binding, but it is too hard on my thumbs, I don't do that any more. It was interesting that he noticed that immediately.

Middle has a couple with her name on them (still at home, but hers - feathered star, purple/orange). And I am making pairs of twin quilts for her future children - (2) pink/green and (2) brown bear version 2 and (2) my flag design. And she will take her childhood quilts (below).

Youngest has a few squirreled away (log cabin, yellow/white and bow tie). And she will have her childhood quilts (below). She sort of puts them under her arm and scurries upstairs to hide them in her room, so we don't know exactly how many. Interestingly youngest goes by the feel. She likes the old cool cotton feel. She has to touch them to know what she wants.

And I stuck a white/blue Irish Chain in  my closet. It is in emaculate condition. The white is as white as white can be. Beautiful, rich blues. It is not often that I look at a quilt and think - please do not touch it, but when I saw that one, it went in the top of my closet, rolled, not folded. I might make another one and put them on the girls downstairs beds when they have both taken their childhood quilts with them (brown bear version 1 and star quilt, one of each quilt for both of them, 2 each, 4 total).

Monday, May 30, 2016

"But I don't think of the future, or the past, I feast on the moment. This is the secret of happiness, but only reached now in middle age."

Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Four years ago this week . . .

. . . I broke my foot at middle's baccalaureate mass and dinner (2012).

In some ways, that seems an eternity ago. Usually four years can seem like yesterday, but this one feels long ago.

And, where I am going with that time capsule, is a lead in to our yard.

I think the last time we planted window boxes or I did much of anything in the yard was 2011.
Beside the broken foot in 2012, that was also my summer of being on the road. In no particular order, I was apartment hunting on the east coast with the oldest early summer and then packing his things late summer. I was at Mayo in Rochester, and at high school orientation, with the youngest. I was at college orientation (2 days) with middle in early summer and then moving her in to her college dorm late summer. And that was the summer of the massive storm and power outage of the east half the country which included us. It was hot. All summer. And I was in a boot. All summer and much of the fall.
My husband has mowed. And he has raked leaves. And we have had several trees removed. But the beds and the boxes have mostly been ignored.

Somehow in 2013 and 2014, I just did not do much of anything in the yard. And window boxes were not planted. 2015, middle and I were in England and I made a conscious decision not to mess with it.

We redid the bed under the girls windows and simplified with three lilac bushes and mulch, 2015/last year. It still looks very good.

Assessing things this year - we have lost almost all/huge bed of hosta in the back. The hosta that came up in a front bed is very weak looking. We have lost 5-7 major bushes from another bed. And we lost all the hydrangea planted along the back of the house.

This year, 2016, my window boxes are already planted. I went with three types of plants so it was very simple. Purple Salvia, white wave petunias and dark pink verbena.

Our college girl's boy's mother sent two pink gerber daisies. Annuals. One is in a watering can and the other in a pot/small chair. I planted 4 pink geraniums in an old coal bucket. All of those are by my bird baths visible from the kitchen window. Tableau.

(I found a green house in the next town over and their flats of tiny plants are very inexpensive.)

And my husband and I redid one bed in the front already. I dug up five day lillies that were planted there, when we first moved in this house. Myself. Very hard to dig. Lillies were divided and replanted in other beds. And the scraggly hosta were dug, divided and put in pots to sort of revitalize them. They will then go in the hosta bed in the back.

We added manure, peat, top soil to that (then empty) front bed and replanted it with poppies. Lots and lots of poppies. (My grandmother had a bed of poppies that I loved as a child.) This planting will not bloom this year. But by next year, with careful watering and care this year, should be full.

And that is our new theory.

Instead of planting a variety of things in each bed, we are filling each bed with ONE type of plant. So we can weed and know what is a keeper and what is a weed. And so each bed fills totally with one type of plant.

I like the idea of English gardens, full of lots of blooming varieties, but in reality it is harder for us to maintain.

Does anyone remember milkweed? Yes it is a weed. It grows along farmers' fields in the midwest. It is the only food source of monarch butterflies. We planted a bed of it right outside our living room window, in the back of the house. No one can see it from the neighboring yards. We will be able to see the cocoons and caterpillars and butterflies from the window. Plus this is a endangered species, conservation thing. Milkweed seed was order from a monarch nonprofit. I am waiting for it to sprout.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

If anyone can multi-task . . .

. . . and listen to Natalie Jill and James Maskell for a half hour and give me a recap, I would much appreciate it.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Intervals, circuits, tabatas

"The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it."
Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orthopedic inserts

Just so I remember, oldest got new inserts over Christmas break.

Youngest's were ordered yesterday. Even though hers were not wore in two, they were still worn down/flatter than they should be.

Middle is seeing that same doctor next week.



That is a whole collection of squat related exercises.

Just keep scrolling down the page.

(You might have to click a continuing reading button on some of the articles.)

I personally will not risk injury with a weight held out at a funny angle putting pressure on my lower back. So I will be picking thru the ones with a bar or hand weights or medicine ball carefully.

Thigh muscles are very effective to metabolism because they are a big muscle.

And think about incorporating them into daily life. For example - wall sits while brushing teeth, every time. Or walls sits while waiting for the microwave. Or talking on the phone. I personally need a timer and a distraction for wall sits. Which means they are highly effective. But for me, they are really safe on my lower back.


I just happened to notice someone's sidebar feed showed an old post of mine. A post from a couple weeks ago.

I still open my blog when I post. So all posts should feed. I have not changed anything in my set up.

I checked another blog, it too showed the same old post. Ditto a third.

So I have no idea what happened, why posts are not feeding to sidebars.

It probably doesn't matter, I think those three are the only bloggers left with active sidebars. And two of those bloggers rarely post.

But I can't think of WHY my feeds stopped when I have not made any changes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This was a big chunk of Tuesday

Graduation gifts for youngest's circle of friends. Some of these are best friends, some are regular friends, some are friends who have lockers in the same area and would be hurt if everyone else got one and they did not.

We did the base coats all the way back here.

Emergency call to my husband to pick up the R on his way home. We forgot one person. And this ended up being proactive, because I had him get another M, for a girl graduating next year, while he was there.

This (below) is how we made the dots. And we had to practice, a lot, on construction paper, to understand the right amount of paint and how to apply it.

ALWAYS have a coupon (40% Hobby Lobby is often the easiest, 50% Joanns is also readily available) when buying things from any of the craft or fabric stores. Walmart might appear to have lower prices, but the coupon gets prices even lower at the other stores.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth."
Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It is a little yoga-like, a little Pilates-like, and yes, I like it.


Christina full body


Three sets of each pair.
20 of each exercise.
So the first exercise 20 times, second exercise 20 times.
Repeat those two, two more times.
Then move on to the next pair.

Warm up, stretch it out at the end.

I step my one foot forward for the bent over work.

If you can't do full push ups, even part way.
And can't do them on your knees,
then do standing push-ups against the wall.

Foam Roller Video


It is more like 8 minutes, not 5 (I was watching the minutes tick by and thought she was not going to get to all the exercises, but it was actually 8 minutes and she covers everything).

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Remember the fabric that when I put it with green it was red and when I put it with red it was green?

Look what it does when I put it with gold?  Stellar. I think.

And just in case you were wondering, when I take out the stripe with the red in it, this is how the greens read. I think MAYBE this is okay/safe/simple for those who like more muted color things. Do you agree?

OR is better with just two greens? (that Houndstooth plaid is my favorite fabric out of all of them).

Monday, May 09, 2016

Calling all color peeps, I need you for a quiz please

First six pictures were taken in short time span in the same window. So the same lighting. I am not sure why the lighter colors are so washed out looking in the pictures. Same window I usually use.

I have two blue fabrics.
And I think that blue might look good with these two pieces of floral.
And I think the two pieces of floral might have too much white in them to use with other fabrics.
Soooo, I think this is a very good use of four fabrics. 

I think someone might like these.
I have enough for one, maybe two skirts with this color combination and then I am not buying any more of any of these fabrics.
So that is question 1. What do you think of this blue option?

This stripe seems somewhat busy to mix in with other prints.
(I am remembering no one likes these skirts to be too busy, quilt-y looking.)
The red reads as a solid.
Question 2. What do you think of this stripe with the red fabric?

This green is very light and reads as a solid.
It is very close to the same shade of green that appears in the stripe.
Question 3. What do you think of the stripe with the light green? 

Question 4. What do you think of the stripe with gold? 
I have enough of the stripe for ONE skirt if I alternate with another fabric. 
And it is possible the answer is to NOT use the stripe with anything, scrap bag it.
So, Question 5. Do you think I should just forget the stripe?

These are my greens.
Except I can see that the picture picks up the center one as a red.
So retake time.
(I moved that print to the red pile and it totally reads as a green there).

So now I am back with my greens. This is a similar concept to the red skirt and the gold skirt.
I probably have enough for two of these green skirts and then I am done with green.
Question 6. What do you think of all the greens mixed together?
Do you think it is too many patterns and I should make two green skirts with just 2-3 green fabrics each?

And if you are trying to remember, here are the original red and gold ones (below).
(The multi print belongs to middle and will not be made again.)

I have enough red fabric for more red skirts.
It sounded as if we all agreed the red is a keeper and probably best general appeal.
This (red) is the skirt I intend to make long term. Restocking reds as I run out of them.
Question 7. Do you agree red skirt is the safest/best bet?
I have enough gold for a couple more skirts.
If the gold turns out to be surprisingly popular, I can restock golds.

"There is only one thing that it requires real courage to say, and that is a truism."
G.K. Chesterton

tru·ism (trzm)
A self-evident truth.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Mother's Day Collection

I left these comments for other bloggers (2013):
"Our Mother's Day did not involve food at all. We are going to see a play (two of my kids, husband and myself). Stopped by to visit my mother yesterday (honestly so I had the day to myself and my family today). Girls and I are working on a big project (a doll house) - we are 52, 19, 15 but having as much fun as if we were all 12."
"We stopped by to visit my mother and take her a gift YESTERDAY/Saturday, so that we had today to ourselves. There are people who am sure would not understand that. But I know you are one who does understand. The visit was 'nice' and done in advance. I find it very helpful to have good boundaries and also be proactive."

 In 2014 I wrote:
This year my mom is traveling for a couple weeks and is actually gone for Mother's Day.
We have middle home this week. She and I are cleaning and sorting like crazy. Her clothes, her college stuff, her teaching supplies, her art stuff. She is also re packing what is going back to school with her for summer (one session). We think we can do it in three days. Tuesday was the first day, spent mostly in her closet. We had to reorganize what was there. We packed quite a bit away. One trip to good will. One trip to consignment shop. A dozen shoe boxes to recycling. They did not have shoes in them, they were just everywhere. We found her high school backpack in a corner, never touched after she came home from her last day, senior year. She just finished her second year of college. . .

In 2015, I wrote.

Karen's archives of Mother's Day posts.

Francis with a 2015 letter to her mom.
Francis and a letter to her (deceased) mom (2014).
Jane with a (2012) post on new traditions, boundaries.

Our Lady of Weight loss Mother's Day Quotes (2011).
Our Lady and Mother's Day Quotes (2010).
Our Lady on her own mother (2010)

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Two sets of three types each

These can be stepped, so no jumping around, to protect whatever body parts needed.

And I will be putting
one foot forward in the bent over row,
and my hands under my lower butt in the scissor kicks,
and leaving my feet on the floor for the Russian twists,
all to protect my lower back.

And I will warm up and stretch down.


Thursday, May 05, 2016

Christina lower body


On the flat on my back/lowering my legs moves, to protect my lower back, I put my hands under the lower part of my butt, to help my lower back stay toward the ground and not arch.

Christina upper body


Pausing at the top and bottom of each move helps prevent swinging the weight.

I step one foot forward and sort of dig in with that foot, in bent over positioning, to protect my lower back.

Christina's super sets are designed to be done in segments. So exercises one and two, done three times. Then move on to three and four and do those three times. Then finish with five and six, three times.

Monday, May 02, 2016

"Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change."
Bertrand Russell

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Christina upper body


On the first set - I would recommend doing it with NO weights to see if it tweaks your shoulder in any way. My right shoulder is sensative to some moves.

Last set she does (bent over) - I step one foot forward and sort of "dig in" with that leg. It takes the pressure off my lower back. I always do that for those bent over moves.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A self imposed deadline

My number came up with my quilter. This is my long arm quilter.

She loads the quilts in a huge frame and quilts them with a big machine.

Think of it this way - the quilt stays put/stationary in the frame and the sewing machine moves.

She has three of these huge machines.

Two are hooked to a computer and she plugs in the pattern and they go by themselves. (With her closely watching).

One she guides the needle.

She always has a long wait (months of being in the queue).

And it is expensive.

Once upon a time I had her quilt everything. No matter the size or the importance.

Now I am really considering what is worthy.

For example, I have figured out how to do very basic quilts at home, on my regular machine if they are baby or lap size. I managed middle's boy's twin size quilt (Christmas present) on my own too.

The key to these quilts was they are just plain squares sewn together. So I sew in the ditch/down the rows and I cross hatch corner to corner. I can do that easily.

I have a quilt in the queue right now. It is a place marker quilt. I am just leaving it in line. And I have her call me when it comes to the top of the pile.

This time I am substituting another quilt for it. A king size quilt that I cannot do on my own. Too big. Complicated piecing.

But I do not have that quilt done. I have 28" on each side to finish.

This quilt top was in my stash. It is my only unfinished top. That is unusual for a quilter. Often they have piles of tops in various stages of process.

I thought I had all the fabric with it to finish. But I had no blues. That is probably why it never got finished.

These are old reproduction blues. Not easy to find now.

So, I raided my color friend's stash and she had a few small pieces to donate. And my long arm quilter found a few pieces for me. I think enough to complete outer piecing and then borders.

So I am finishing that king size quilt top in the next three days so I can take it to her on Monday.

And on the way home (she lives in another town). I am stopping by a quilt shop (in a third town) to look for one more green to finish the nine-patch and pinwheel quilts. (Greens are very hard to match).

My color friend is going with me and she only has Monday open, hence the Monday, self imposed deadline.

Since nine-patches and pinwheels are super simple square blocks, I think I can quilt them myself on my machine. We will find out anyway.

When I was far less experienced, I managed a double size quilt on my own. And the original two brown bear quilts, were also on my own, so I think I can just train myself to do more myself if it is the right size/style quilt.

I have a mental queue of what quilts I want to complete. These are all from the fabric I specifically saved. Or are things the kids have mentioned they want (two more brown bear quilts).

And when I am somewhere fabric is sold. I really am only looking for what is in my list. I am very focused.

I ran into a new quilter who now attends the local club. And she asked me why so many former members no longer attend. I said a lot of it for me is I do not want to be distracted. I do not want to see new things and get inspired to make those. I want to complete what I have.

My color friend feels the same way. She does not even want to attend quilt shows in our general area, because she wants to work on her own mental list.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

nine patches

The piles of pinwheels, waiting to be sewn, are on the right side of the picture.

Here is the nine patch, uncovered, all sewn into rows and waiting for me to decide about borders.

More staring

Found my greens for the in-between blocks. It was quite hard to find the right greens. This year's greens appear to be mostly yellow or blue based. And I did not want kelly green. So,  I needed a more even green which was tough.

Now working on block placement.

The two pictures (below) might look the same, but I added three light (white with pink polka dots)  pinwheels and rearranged several things.

(The 9-patch is actually under the pinwheel quilt, with the blocks already sewn into rows.)

This was my first try. So many variables and too many of the same fabrics used again, and again. Random was hard to achieve. 

I think this is the keeper. I used my old stand-by of diagonal rows (lights and darks) and I think it is more pleasing to the eye. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meds + water = routine habit/positive loop

I am TERRIBLE at remembering to take a daily vitamin.

I am excellent at remembering to take my night time pills.

I can use more water, daily.

So the first time I eat, each day, I am now taking a multivitamin. I do much better eating with a vitamin, easier on my stomach. And I am drinking 3cups/24 oz of water with that vitamin.

And when I take my night time pills, I am drinking another 3cups/24 oz of water.

I do not fill the glass and take it with me. I stand at the kitchen sink and drink it all. Right then. Both times.

Working really well.

I have three (27 oz each) Kleen Kanteens. One lives in the living room next to my spot. One lives in the car. One is currently next to the sewing machine. So I have water readily available.

So, if I am busy and forget to drink, which happens, I am getting at least 24 + 24 + 27 oz each day. Because depending on where I am, I drink at least one of the Kanteens.

What put the, pairing water this way, idea into my head? Sean Anderson now gets up and drinks 2 cups/16 oz and then does 20 push-ups each day. He might have just added lunges too. Really good habit.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"The greatest remedy for anger is delay."

I suspect the author is talking about counting to 10 and not about stuffing the feelings down for decades with food. . .

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Christmas Tree Skirts - yes, please leave me comments with your thoughts.

I have gold, green, blue, red fabrics remaining. Suggestions for the next variation please?

There are six red fabrics included in the latest 18 wedge version. 

This is the previous gold 18 wedge version with five fabrics.

This is the original with 36 narrow wedges. This one belongs to middle and I am not making this narrow version any more.

Here are the three together, so you can see the depth of the colors.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ground turkey/migraines. And the gummy fiber pills.

A couple months ago I had ground turkey (extra lean ground turkey) burger, and then I got a migraine.

A few weeks later, it happened again.

And I thought I remembered it happening other times in the past. Like I had vague notion it was a pattern in the past too.

I called my husband and told him I thought I was now (freaking) being triggered by extra lean ground turkey.

And a few hours later he said he had looked it up and the ingredients were turkey and rosemary. Did I have a history with rosemary?

I was not sure I had ever had Rosemary other (evidently) than when I was getting it with the ground turkey. I don't even have Rosemary in my spice collection.

He said he did not think ground turkey was causing a migraine but we should try it again on a day that nothing else was likely to cause a migraine (my cycle, a storm, stress, etc).

So we tried it a few days later. NO migraine.

We tried it again a week or so later, no migraine.

So what I think was happening is that on a day a migraine was possible, I was feeling the first tell tale migraine line of pain, I craved a burger.

Now I want to add that I have had other things where I ate them for years and then one day I could not eat them any more (cantaloupe, cashews, beets, etc). So I do watch for patterns. Patterns are important for both migraines and asthma.

But I have found other things that I was subconsciously picking up on body cues and then reacting.

An example of this is gummy fiber.

I thought it worked for me.

I was not taking them at a regular time. I was taking them more impulsively, but every day.

And each time I took them, I pooped within a short interval.

But one day it occurred to me that I might be attracted to the sugar. And I might be taking them when I was subconsciously picking up on body cues.

So one day I THOUGHT about taking them, but did not take them, and I still pooped a short time later.


Very interesting.

I have been meaning to note (all that) for a while. What brought it to mind today, was a post in Amalah's archives about gummy vitamins and cavities.


I am against gummy vitamins in general. I think kids need to take big pills and little pills and shots just because it is something you do. It is a life skill. Sugar (and cheese) does not have to go on everything . . .

And if you start brushing teeth very early, the kids just don't know any different. And going to the dentist can be eased.

(Amalah writes she uses a brush that goes on the finger and brushes her kids teeth after nursing/bottle as part of going to bed routine. She writes a lot about not nursing/bottle to sleep, but instead nursing and then brushing, rocking, singing, book and THEN bed starting by about six months. And she writes about no bottles at all after 12-13 months. I have no pacifier or bottle experience, but it is still interesting to read. Because yes, I have seen 3-4 year olds with one of those many times).

Ditto with showers, water on face, going under water. (Yes, I know that sometimes an incident can create a fear of something they have always done). But if it is something they have just always done, you do not have a four year old freaking out about putting their face in the water at swim lessons.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Saved comments - Amalah

I wrote -

Hope things are still going well.

I gave been back reading the archives of Amalah/Amy on Alpha mom. She has some topics that I wish she had been writing 26 years ago when I had my first baby.

It might seem funny for me to be reading about babies/toddlers/kids, but that topic comes up around here a lot. My middle works with kids with autism. All three of my kids (yes even my youngest at 18) have friends having babies. One of my middle's friends, who is 22, has a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

My mother did not have good suggestions for me years ago. My one grandma, who did have good suggestions, died when my oldest was five months old. So the topics on Amalah are some that I figured out and did well. And some that I never figured out but made due.

I very much enjoy Amalah/Amy's writing style.

So, I thought I would pass on the link -

It is very interesting.

(I do want to caution that there are other moms who write on that site who I would not recommend. In fact I would recommend against reading some of them.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I think it is 30 years.

I had to go back and look at my profile to confirm the year we were married.

Thirty year anniversary was yesterday.

I never remember when the date rolls around. My husband always remembers dates.

When I woke up he asked what I wanted to do.

I said long trip to two fabric stores if he did not mind. One hour to one store, about a half hour farther/further to another.

I had a very specific list. I had packed my samples. I had been waiting a couple weeks to go.

I got all the things on my list.

Green to go with nine patches and pinwheels. Six greens so it has scrappy look. So I have everything I need to finish those two quilts.

Fabric for blocks for my next brown bear quilts. So I have all the fabric now for those two quilts.

Specific fabric my mom needed for doll clothes. Like thin fabric. That looks a bit like wool. But is poly. For doll winter coats. And reproduction fabric for Addy.

Plus found a bolt of white double nap flannel. Which I have a very hard time finding.

And found dark green ribbed knit for center of my Christmas tree skirts. Ribbed knit is very hard to find.

I did not buy any "just because/impulse" items. I bought what I needed for projects.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend notes

A little crazy, busy.

This (immediate) past week I was mostly at home.

The week before was Mayo and another long trip out of town, a lot of driving, a lot of lost sleep.

So this (immediate) past week was a lot of down time, on purpose.

Youngest had respiratory plague this past week, and since I had spent so much time in the car with her (7 hours the day before she came down with it) I purposely did not go anywhere to expose (my mother, my color friend, shops) anyone else to it. I never got sick. Neither did my husband. Youngest was sick for about 48 hours and then fine. Husband did get OTC meds which helped her hugely. It was a day and night pack thing.

I was suppose to have a therapy appt, but she cancelled again. I have not actually seen her in months. She has had illness after illness.

This past Friday my friend rolled in for the weekend (by herself, no seven year old). She had a doctor's appointment in our town (Doctor that could not be replaced in their new town). And she had first communion (her grandson). And she saw several of her friends here. So she was in and out Friday and Saturday.

Middle and her boy also rolled in very late Friday. (She wisely got everything she needed done for master's classes, finished before they came home.)

He left with a friend to go to a sports event early Saturday morning. I set my alarm and got up and fed both those boys a big breakfast before they left. They stopped and picked up his dad on the way. We said later my husband should have gone too. He likes both boys, he likes the dad, he rarely gets to go watch sports events. Next year!

Middle got up later and went to baby shower for her boy's SIL. Yellow quilt that I made long ago. That post was 8-9 weeks ago, it seems much longer.

So husband and I actually had most of Saturday free, even though we had a houseful. First youngest and I ran errands she needed done. We also ran a few errands for middle (make up and T back bras, I took file with tags from all middle's bras and Macy's clerk sent 6 home for her to try and two were perfect, I returned four on Monday). We (three) went to 5pm mass so we were more flexible on Sunday.

Friend rolled in late Saturday night. Both middle and her boy came back late too. So late night again.

We all got up Sunday. Friend, friend's college girl who arrived that morning, youngest, middle, her boy, and I all went to a big event. That occupied half the afternoon.

Friend and her college girl headed back to their places (home for friend, college for her daughter) right after Sunday event.

Middle and her boy had downtime here Sunday. And went to 5pm mass. They rolled out about 8pm. I had gotten up early Sunday morning and cooked. So she had lots of home cooked things to take back to school with her.

Sunday night, late youngest realized she needed to do the switch from winter to summer bed linens. So that was a big hunt. And a big mass of washing that came down the stairs. She sleeps with a pile, like I do, all winter. She is the only one of my kuds that does that, FYI.

Monday night I realized the same thing. Need different combination of linens on my bed too. And that is always a problem, because then I lose that weighted feeling that helps me relax and sleep better.

Monday my husband and I ran errands. And spent about three hours visiting my mom. My husband takes something with him to do. Mostly we talked dolls, doll clothes.

And I wanted to note middle's boy's roommate broke up with his girlfriend of about 9 months. Middle did not know it was coming. She was pretty sad. (Middle and her boy did a lot of couples things with them.) The roommate realized there was no long term future with her and did the right thing, immediately. In retrospect we should have (all) known it was coming, because roommate was clearly not head over heels with her, not as attentive to her, as a boy with a new girl should be. So there's that.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Feet reminder

note to self - reread this post before summer trip departure date sneaks up on you
"The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person's life."

William Wordsworth

Friday, April 15, 2016

Christmas Tree Skirts

I spent extra time this week working on tree skirts.

I remade one.
If you remember, I made a serious error in sewing this one (below) together. I sewed from outside to center on each seam. And this made the whole thing cockeyed, like a broomstick skirt. Now was the time to fix it, while I had my Christmas tree skirt brain functioning. So, I spent Wednesday unsewing and resewing. I ripped out every other seam. And I resewed those seams from center to outside. And as you can see from the picture (below), it now is flat and lovely.

This is the first one I made (weeks ago) that sort of made the non-quilt people feel a bit Kaleidoscope-y.  Too many colors and too many patterns. 

Do not feel bad, oldest felt that way too.

And we all decided this was too narrow of strips, which then made it too many strips. 

If you remember, because of this, I drafted my own pattern for future skirts (see below).

I appreciate ALL input, keep it coming, because I am giving five Christmas tree skirts as wedding gifts this year. 

So, after hearing thumbs up from some and thumbs down from others, color wise, I arrived at the solution to let each couple chose their tree skirt. I am making a stash so there is a selection.

Middle has already claimed this tree skirt (above). 

I made a second one from scratch this week also. The first in my stash.

Yes, it blends into my light floors in this picture. Not an ideal picture, but I was not going to make my husband move the tree. The tree is in the middle of the hall/entryway intersection while I make these skirts. This is the first skirt with my self drafted pattern - wider strips and a smaller circumference. I am making just one of these, to put in my selection. If someone chooses it first, then I will make a second one to put back into the mix. 

Here is a close up, in my regular picture taking spot (window seat when there is indirect sun and therefore no shadow), of the new one. It looks gold-ish to me in real life. It might look more beige in the pictures. And it does not look homemade to me. I serged the seams. I top stitched all the seams. The hem was turned with gold bias tape. It looks very professional.

Here are the two next to each other so you can compare the color depth.

Now I have to say, my husband thought the new gold one was the most boring thing he had ever seen. But,
1. he is used to quilts, my quilts.
2. he is used to a lot of rich colors in pretty much everything I do.

When I said - picture how stellar this new one would look under a tree filled with gold ornaments and gold trim. Or gold and white decorations.
He said - It could be in a magazine, would look really good.
It would.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Christina Leg Set

I suggest marching in place to warm up and stretching when you are done.

I pause the video and do my own sets.

I do the whole series three times. I like sets of three.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

First Communion Gift

I did not know I had a First Communion gift needed for this year.

Ours will be a little late, but it is on the way.

You may remember, I like having standard gifts for certain occasions.

We do swaddling blankets for baby showers (this may become a thing of the past with so many great products now made for swaddling).

I do Church Activity bags for Baptisms.

I often do water pitchers for weddings. This year I am trying Christmas tree skirts (made by me) as wedding gifts, I am hoping that is a keeper, because I think that is a unique and sort of stellar gift.

And now I am doing Guardian Angel pillowcases for First Communion.

I get them from Catholic Child.

I have the first and middle name put on the pillowcase (not saint name, their regular given names). To my knowledge, Catholic Child is the only place that readily puts the names on the cases. Plain cases can be ordered from Amazon.

And when I ordered this morning, I called the (Catholic Child) company and they gave me a discount code to use on my on-line order. I did not try to order over the phone because I had three unusual names and I did not want to risk spelling errors.

There are three kids (so far) in this family. Their oldest has First Communion this weekend. I did not not want to run the risk that this product would not be available by the time his siblings had their First Communions, so I ordered all three. I saved on shipping. It is done.

I already have one for our seven year old. I was not sure if she would be this year or next, so I ordered about a year ago, when I first saw this product.

I think this is a great First Communion gift. First of all it is unusual. And I know from experience that kids like pillowcases. And if they would happen to get two, that is okay, because many kids have two pillows on their bed.

I think there are other Saint pillowcases available. So their specific favorite Saint would be another good idea.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yoga pose collection

Do you make files of sites you bookmark and also make files of pictures you save?

I do. Organized files.

Some on my iPad, others on the house computer, depending on where I use them.

When I started (making files), I did not try to go back and file the old stuff first.

Instead I made the files I wanted and started putting new stuff in them.

Then as I was sorting through old stuff, I would put it in files as I used it.

Most of my iPad bookmarks are now filed. Most, but not all. And I am okay with that. Slowly the old stuff gets filed.

Ditto with pictures both on my iPad and on the house computer.

I find sets of yoga posts, like this, on occassion.

In this set, I like all but two poses.

I have several options.

I can just save the link, both here in this post under the "exercise videos" label (very handy) and as a bookmark in my iPad exercise file.

Or I can "save image" the poses I like and put them in a "yoga poses" picture file on my iPad.

Sean Anderson
(blog is http://losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com)
has started a newish morning routine.

When he wakes, he drinks two cups of water. And then he does push-ups. Recently he added squats, so he does push-ups and squats, after his water.

Then he drinks his morning coffee and starts his day. He is a radio person, so his day probably starts very early.

He is following this routine every day, I think.

It is working well for him.

Notice he is not making it complicated.

Nor time consuming.

I love the two cups of water part.

I personally, speaking for myself, do not like to tie activities and food. But I am okay tying water and activity. I am also okay tying water and location. And water and time.

And if he (Sean) is an avid coffee person, I can see this would be highly motivating to him.

So how does this all tie together?

If you, like me, have wanted a simple yoga routine, either for morning or after work, or to stretch in the evening, putting pose pictures in a file or bookmarking them, would make it simple to build a routine of what you want/how much you want.

You would not have to think or remember. You could simply open the file and do them.