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Showing posts from January, 2009

Feeling strong!

Image via WikipediaJust to update on how I feel after one week of no refined sugar or carbs...

I have had no fits of raging-moody hunger, and these were daily occurances before.I had no trouble avoiding a buffet of lasagna, bread and sweets at work yesterday.Juice is so sweet it almost gags me and I have to dilute it with water.I have had no temptation for dessert, a daily craving before. No bread/carb cravings either.
Less need for snacks throughout the day.When Nick and I went out for a celebration dinner last night, I did eat several pieces of bread. It was the first time all week I felt so full my pants were busting. (I don't regret it though! That was good stuff. And I'm allowing that one special meal each week. But I might find I don't even want the bread at my special meal.)I'm excited about trying all manner of dried beans! We regularly eat red, black, lentil and black-eyed peas, but I want to try some less familiar ones. Picked up Christmas lima beans yes…

earthish

Image via WikipediaI would have been ashamed to admit this before today, but now that the situation is rectified, I can tell the truth.

We just joined our city recycling program. Yes, it took us more than 18 months to do it. And all it took was a phone call to request the bin. We wasted a year and a half worth of good recyclable stuff because we couldn't get around to making a phone call. I know, it's shameful.

But now we're in business and I don't see how one bin will hold all of our refuse. Lucky we have trash pickup twice a week.

Meditation

Image by Kounelli via FlickrAfter the final no there comes a yes,
And on that yes the future world depends.
----Wallace Stevens

No matter how many failures there have been in the past, there is always the possibility of success. Oh wow, that sounds a little like Tony Robbins.Whatever. I just wanted to make the point, to myself, that all my past failures at particular things don't predict infinite failure. There will at some point be a "yes" and it's just as likely to be today as any other day.

Farming

Image by 427 via FlickrI may have mentioned we joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this month. Let me just explain what that means. There is an organic vegetable farm about an hour from here. Instead of selling their crops to a grocery store, they sell shares to regular people like me. You buy your share and for 12 weeks (the winter/spring growing season) you get a box of vegetables every week.

I love this setup for so many reasons. It's local, organic, personal, healthy, random. I'm ecstatic that we finally are doing this after talking about it for a long time.

I got an email today about working on the farm too! Spend an afternoon there and you get a voucher for free vegetables in the next growing season. Even without the voucher, I love the idea of getting our hands dirty and taking part in our food production.

My secret(public) dream is one day my family will be doing this on our farm in Alabama! It's not up to me in any fashion, but I dream of being t…

4 p.m. Dilemma

Re: Eating Healthy

I have always had this problem with controlling my junk food urges late in the afternoon. I can plan the perfect meals and snacks for the entire day, but around 4 p.m., I snap.

It goes like this: I start to get a little hungry and extremely thirsty around 3 p.m. This is also about the time I start to lose my patience at work. That last hour, my nerves are raw and I get snappish. I'm also usually too busy to stop for a snack or some water. Then at 4 p.m. I leave work, with only my little healthy snack to see me through until dinner at about 6.

And I start to think I deserve a treat. I will only be satisfied, if I fill up on sugar, salty snacks and soda. If I have any legitimate excuse to stop at a store, I will pick up a candy bar, chips or a diet soda, or all three. As I'm typing it now, it sounds so weak, but in that 4 p.m. period, I can not reason with myself. Once I've had my fix and gotten into that emotional space of needing to feel better, it…

Some basic tips I found while working on my exercise

How to Plot a Story
from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Have a basic idea for a story, but don't know what to do now? There are a lot of articles telling you how to write once you have a plot, or how to expand your plot once you have the skeleton. But what do you do if you have nothing but the idea? This article will help you plot out a story from beginning to end, whether it be a children's picture book or a seven-part epic series.
Steps
Get an idea. If you have one lurking somewhere, great! If not, brainstorm, or mind map, or do one of the numerous other thought-generating exercises that can be found on the web. You don't need to make it a story just yet—but you do need a vague idea. It can start with anything: a phrase, a face, a character, or a situation, just so long as it's exciting and inspiring to you.
Turn your idea into an idea for a story. This is the high-level arc of the story. If you're familiar with the Snowflake Method, or other top-do…

I connected the dots.

In the last six months, I've gone from exercising sporadicly to exercising every day, but I am gaining weight.In the last year, I've gone from not paying much attention to what I eat to eating mostly natural foods, often organic, but I am gaining weight.In the last two years, my diabetes has been perfectly under control, with my other labs (hormones, cholesterol, blood pressure) improving greatly, but I am still gaining weight.Last year, I joined Weight Watchers, followed the plan, took 10 weeks to lose 10 pounds and then plateaued for the next 5 months.
I was thinking about these things today and wondering why it just doesn't work for me. Then the final dot came to mind, completing the picture:

(I'm so frustrated I couldn't find a scientific explanation for this, but still, it's been state again and again...) Insulin resistance causes weight gain.I was diagnosed with insulin resistance maybe a decade ago, a complication of PCOS. Then when I was diagnosed with …

Neat and ordered

From Jodi Picoult's book Keeping Faith, which I just started reading today: I do not like surprises. I live by lists.  In fact, I often imagine my life like a September loose-leaf binder -- neatly slotted and tabbed, with everything still in place.

Yahoo! News Story - Text of President Barack Obama's inaugural address - Yahoo! News

Anna Beyer (annaleebeyer@yahoo.com) has sent you a news article.
(Email address has not been verified.)
------------------------------------------------------------
Personal message:Text of President Barack Obama's inaugural address - Yahoo! Newshttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/ap_on_go_pr_wh/inauguration_obama_text============================================================
Yahoo! News
http://news.yahoo.com/

She's crafty

Today I am sewing art aprons for a preschool teacher. It's kind of a benchmark for me to be known well enough for my sewing that people ask me to make things for them. My mom always had that reputation, but I never expected I would. Now that I think about it, it's been that way for a while. And because I love doing it, it feels weird to charge people for it. But I do, man, I do.

I'm also "crafting" a fat pot of ham bean soup today! Isn't that country of me? I left a lot of meat on the bone from the ham I made Saturday. I stuck it in the crock pot with a variety of beans and barley, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, green pepper, carrots, black pepper, red chiles, celery seed, bullion, and love. I would make corn bread if I had any stupid corn meal, but instead I think we will have grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with the soup.

Notes from the beyond

I was just in my office, about to crack a new book on writing when i dug into my paper stash for a bookmark. What I came up with was a note card from my days working at Progressive Farmer magazine. Inside, is this message:

Anna,
Thank you so much for making this a great summer for me. I really enjoyed getting to know you. Thanks for sharing your poetry, beer, pizza and cigarettes with me. Thanks for being there to let me vent, and for opening up your life to me. In short, thanks for everything. Since we're both addicted to e-mail, it won't be hard to stay in touch. Take care of yourself and love without attachment.

--Jen

I can tell from the context this was one of the interns I supervised, but besides that I have no memory of this person.

It's astonishing to me. We must have at the time had some great connection, but all these years later I can't recall the slightest thing about who this "Jen" was. Why didn't we stay in touch?

Anxiety

I don't know if there are people who live without it. Anxiety, that is. Are there? I can't imagine that kind of life. For me it's like the kettle is always getting ready to blow unless someone rational pulls it off the burner.

I might fixate on a situation until I can't think about anything else and my heart is pounding and I'm sure I'm going to stress myself into a heart attack or a stroke and become an invalid so Nicholas is burdened with my vegetable-care and can never have a fulfilling life of his own. See? "Fixate" is a euphemism for "obsess." My favorite therapist used to say "I'm a little concerned about your tendency to obsess." She said it with extra calm and care as if using too-strong words might set me off. But it made me laugh.

I've been using one of her techniques to break my anxiety lately -- deep breath, hold it, count to five, release, repeat. It's a distraction if nothing else. Another thing I…

getting educated

I went through our community course catalog today and decided what I'll be taking this spring.

Adoption Basics -- I hope we will be well on our way to hustling a baby by the end of this year. Sooner than later, I hope to find a T-shirt that says "Ask me about my infertility."Introduction to Reiki -- I really don't even know what it is, but I love New Age holistic healing stuff. And I think I have some healing power in my hands.Drawing with pastels, charcoal, and colored pencils -- I'm pretty excited about this one because I'm also getting a little into art journaling.Speaking of art journaling, I bought this neat little thing at the bookstore last night:

I've gathered all of the creativity books I've been getting lately, and I may just lie down with them stacked all around me.

surreptitious Microserfs reference

The other day one of my favorite English teacher-poet-coworkers and I were having a conversation about how Kafka wrote The Judgement in one long, intense session. I am, in fact, fascinated by the work habits of writers. For example, Hemingway started his work early every morning, standing up at a typewriter.

It takes a special discipline to direct yourself to write regularly everyday. I had no problem with it when it was my job, and I had publication deadlines. On my own, however, I could do 36 loads of laundry and dishes before I forced myself to write a sentence.

But this conversation about Kafka kind of inspired me to try such an intense session, to see what would bleed out onto the screen. Masterpieces happen, right? I could have the occassional intensive creative days/weekends when I shut myself up in my office, only coming out for coffee refills and bathroom breaks, while Nick pushes my food under the door. Why not? My slacker job has so many days-off built in. At worst,…

Shhhhhhhhhh!

Part of my job is to maintain order (and silence) in the library -- no small challenge in a room with 60+ teenaged girls. I feel like such a goob every time I hear myself say "Giiiirls, be quiet!" I just want to come up with more creative ways to convey that message. I do try to mix it up a little:

"Girls, cut it out."
"Be quiet, guys."
"Let's get quiet."
"Girls, settle down."

and my favorite, "Shhhhhhhhh!"

I just don't know how to phase the douchery out of having to say those things over and over.

Naomi Shihab Nye

It was Super Happy Joy Day at work yesterday when two giant boxes of new books were delivered. Today I started to process (fondle) all those new books, which really means examining them really slooooooowly and thinking about how I am going to read them all.

One of the new books is Naomi Shihab Nye's A Maze Me. I got lost in this daydream about Nye coming to the school to read to the girls and talk to them about the life of a poet. Later my boss came through, and I told her about my little daydream.

"I know her," she said.

You know her?! Seriously, imagine. This amazing poet who lives here in San Antonio and is just crazy brilliant. To know someone like that. I turned purple.

The gallery is open

One little project for this weekend was to hang this gallery in our living room.

Some rearranging was necessary, mainly because of this large painting from my grandmother. Painted by Heather's dad in the 1970s, it shows my dad (on the tractor) trying to beat a storm.
I also framed some of these Cabinet of Natural Curiousities prints last week.



The Cabinet of Natural Curiousities is a giant book I've coveted for a few years. Instead of that hulking masterpiece, I found a slim book of prints from the original on the Barnes and Noble clearance table last week. One day I hope I have my own cabinet of curiousities. Oh! We saw a fantastic cabinet of curiousities in the art museum in Hartford over Thanksgiving. My cabinet will have to be cat-proof, of course.