Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A day without sewing!

What, you ask, does the morningcoffee lady DO all day when she's not frantically sewing things like wedding dresses and cassoks?

Well, lets see. None of the rain that has deluged our east coast friends has marred our sunny, hot, kentucky skies. So, I got up this morning and drove dh to work. Then I exercised: squats, deads, rows, bench presses, calf raises, overhead shoulder thingies, upper and lower abs, lower back hyper extensions...you know the drill. Tens, fifteens, twenties on the dumbells. Such a workout leaves me feeling pretty good, so I topped it off with a 2.5 mile walk/jog and actually was able to jog a half a mile without stopping. That was quite the accomplishment for this formerly obese fibromyalgic. Getting stronger.

Then it was fix lunch for those who needed it (which was all of us), shower, run to the grocery for some milk, apples (last week's bag was thorougly rotten and had to be thrown out. Hence the need to buy more apples mid week.) and sodas. Caffeine free diet for me, Mountain Dew for the husband. What is it with geeks and mountain dew? They all drink the stuff and are so proud of drinking it. amazing.

And the we trekked to the library. Peace reigned after that.

Then we cleaned the living room, had supper and I took the girls to the pool for an hour, after which we read books until prayers were said astonishingly late, kids were tucked in bed, I had to read the entire rest of my book, and here I am at almost 1:30 am blogging.

Silly, aren't I?

Phood Philosophy

Diets: I've tried them all. And it's amazing how snippy people can get when their favorite plan of food control is attacked.(For instance, I hate weight watchers. Will always hate weight watchers. that might be a fun post for the future. But many people I know swear by it and love it and consider it to be a gift from God. OK, who am I to argue?) So I've learned to keep my mouth shut. I've read so many articles on nutrition that I could practically have a degree in the subject, and while I know what works for me, I am not about to say what works for someone else.

And how does one define a healthy diet? Everyone has their own ideas. I consider my diet to be healthy. I eat my fruits and veggies, much of them raw, I eat whole grain cereals and breads as long as they are sugar free (except for the occasional slice of lovely sourdough from Pannera which IS sugar free but not whole grain), I moderate my fat intake, but drink whole milk and eat cheese....and I absolutely don't. eat. sugar. I even make my own ketchup and occasionally mayonaise to avoid sugar. I do focus on protein snacks and making that the central core of my main meals. But I don't eat low carb. The only magic there, I believe, is insulin control (which is imperative as that is the fat storage hormone) and therefore appetite control. Low GI foods can still control insulin, especially when combined with portion control. My theory is, if I"m not overeating, there won't be any extra calories for my supposed lack of insulin to have to deal with. And I don't go out of my way to seek out organic foods, but occasionally some will end up in my fridge. And shock of shock, I've been known to use artificial sweeteners on occasion. So, it that healthy or not? I feel healthy. My health is improving. My body is looking and feeling thinner, stronger, more energetic, more creative, etc. So it must be working for me.

This idea of "never going hungry"...I don't buy into it. I think it's normal to go hungry for a bit each day. Like, at 10:30 am, when lunch time is approaching, it's OK to have a growly tummy for half an hour. Not gonna make me die!

Now, going hungry for hours on end, that's silly. Starving yourself: that's silly. Ignoring hunger pangs to the point you're getting beee-otchy: silly. Being guilt ridden over a late night snack when you know you are still under your daily theoretical calorie burn: silly. Finding false virtue in certain foods being "good" and other foods being "bad": silly. The way I see it, it's all about choices. And I get to own my own choices and the consequences of them. If I do eat sugar, say, at Easter, I can do it knowing it will give me GI problems, make me feel cruddy, etc. What a way to celebrate, eh?

Choices. It's all just choices.

So, what YOUR food philosophy? Is it working for you or do you want to make changes?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

9:35 pm

And the kids are just now off to bed because I was sitting there finishing the wedding dress.

Now it's official: The wedding dress is DONE!!!!!! I had to hand tack the points of lace all around the hem after I sewed it on.

It's like fininshing a term paper in school, you know. That feeling of lightness. Like I want to celebrate.

But a messy kitchen awaits. Maybe when I'm done cleaning it up I'll have a glass of wine to celebrate.


Now I finally feel like my summer can begin.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sugar Free Food Products Reviews

1)Pillsbury Sugar Free Cinnamon Rolls........Yuuuuuuuuuumy. I just found these yesterday. Don't normally buy or even look at the canned cinnamon rolls, etc. but these caught my eye and I bought them. I'll be buying them again sometime...perhaps to take to coffe hour at church.

My husband tried one and compared to wallmart brand cinnamon rolls, says these are more cinnamony. Not a bad difference, IMO. Sweetened with maltitol and splenda. Not something to eat evdery day.

2)Land O' Lakes Whipped cream sweetened with splenda. Very very good whipped cream. Stalls my weight loss efforts every time. But very yummy. After some sleuthful label reading I discovered it has dextrose in it, or somesuch, so I stopped buying it. It might be appropriate for christmas dinner, you know, to go with that sugar free pumpkin pie. But don't keep it in the house. (Sigh, can't wait till Christmas).

3)Nature's Own Sugar Free Whole Grain bread...is a very soft bread, almost the texture of white bread but a bit "browner"...and it IS sugar free. It's nice to have a sandwich every once in a while now. I hope they keep making this. It does not have the fiber overkill texture that some low carb breads do.

4)Nabisco Bite sized shredded wheat and bran...boring, but a staple. I eat it every morning.

5) Hunts Sugar Free Spaghetti Sauce...has a lighter flavor than say, Prego, which is loaded with sugar. After one eats sugar free for a while, one can taste the sugar in practically everything when one cheats. I recommend this both for it's good fresh flavor, and for it's freedom from sugar.

6) Honeytree's Immitation Artificial Honey...OK, so when I first saw this product on the shelf, before my hard core sugar free days, I mocked it, and laughed at it, and thought it was ridiculous. Now, with doctor's orders and a serious commitment to eat sugar free always, I appreciate this for the occasional special treat. It does have 50 calories per tablespoon, so I don't eat much or very often, but occasionally a girl might want honey. This stuff tastes practically like the real thing.

7)Quaker Oats Weight Control Instant Oatmeal...comes in banana bread and cinnamon flavors. Both very good and a good quick way to get a portion/calorie controlled breakfast or snack. This is the closest I'll ever get to actual banana bread flavor again, since Banana's are strictly verboten. many thanks to the food science lab geeks who have created the flavor for this cereal. It rocks. The cinnamon hits the spot when the kid's cinnamon life cereal is calling my name.

8) Sugar Free Davinci syrups...these are good in coffee. I used to love the hazelnut, but now that's off limits due to nut allergies, but the vanilla is very good, and also the caramel. This, some coffee, and some of that sugar free whipped cream...it's like being at a coffee shop.

9) MikeSells brand of pretzels...I have not read all the labels for all the MikeSells products, but the mini pretzels are SUGAR FREE!!!! I just discovered this the other day. Not even dextrose, like some other brands.

10) Sugar free ice creams in general....these mess up my hypoglycemia every time. Make me dizzy. Not worth it.

The biggest test for me is: can I eat one, or one portion, without craving more, more, more (a sure sign of insulin response/blood sugar reaction)? Sugar free icecream, like, say, the Klondike bars are very yummy, but I do want to eat the whole box. So, I stay away from them, generally speaking.

11) Canned fruits sweetened with splenda...these are very good. My favorites are the Apricots (Kroger brand) found at Kroger.

12) Dreamfield's Pasta...OK, all pasta is technically sugar free, but this stuff does not give me a hypoglycemic response the way regular pasta does. It costs more but is very worth it to me. Also found at Kroger. It has a glycemix index of 15, I think. Much much lower than regular pasta.

13) Mrs. Butterworth's Sugar Free Pancake syrup....I've tried several brands of SF pancake syrups, and this is by far the best, IMO.

14) Bob Evans Sausage is sugar free. Very fatty, but occasionlly it's a nice treat.

15) Fields makes a good sugar free bacon. So does Gwaltney and Kroger brand. Just read labels. Bacon, when cooked and drained, is a nice garnish. I wouldn't rely on it as a protein source, though.

16) Boo Hiss...Butterball turkey. You think meat is fairly safe. I'm here to tell you this stuff is pure E-VILE. It's injected with sugar sauce, I"m convinced, and it gives me the benders every timme. Once I cooked up a turkey thinking I could have that for my meat source for the week, and it made me so sick. The rest of the family got to enjoy it. Did not bother them at all.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Close Up


Of the bodice. I'll save an actual full shot of the dress until after the wedding....

Weight Loss update

I've worked off forty pounds so far. I won't say lost...I know exactly where they went and how they got there. Heh heh.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

OK, here it is again....

Lyrics to my latest song. My kids hate it. I was trying to be funny. And the fact is, I looked only to myself and the habits I have been striving to change for the past couple of years to come up with recipes, habits and excuses found therein.

American Fat Girl
this song is about me, and my own lies. Sometimes the truth hurts.. But no longer when you are doing something about it....
by Alana Sheldahl
6-16-06

Walk real slow through Walmart
and call it exercise
Order up a Diet Coke
when you supersize
Tell yourself that those bites don’t count
when eaten at the sink
and you can sneak an extra cookie
or a bite or two of cake
cause if you slice it just so
no one will know...

Pizza sauce and Jello salad
count toward five a day
and the veggies on your burger
count as four.
Gotta get some calcium
this icecream will do fine
and you swear you’re gonna faint
if you don’t eat some more
cause if you tell yourself it’s so
maybe it won’t show...

Chorus:
Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich
fried to a crisp in oil
with a tall cold glass of cow’s milk on the side
You guess it’s just your bad genetic luck in life, you say
and a moderate helping of cookies
means you eat only nine
American fat girl...American fat girl

Ramen noodles with sauteed spam
topped with cheddar cheese.
A little Debbie brownie
is part of the routine
Graham crackers must be eaten
one package at a time,
and if you don’t stop for cheeseburgers
you think you’re gonna die
and if you tell yourself it’s so
maybe it won’t show...

Chorus:
Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich
fried to a crisp in oil
with a tall cold glass of cow’s milk on the side
You guess it’s just your bad genetic luck in life, you say
and a moderate helping of cookies
means you eat only nine
American fat girl...American fat girl

It’s so unfair
the man is skinny
eating all he wants
but what he wants is veggies
and fish-steamed.
and I don’t have a problem
‘cause I don’t eat all at once
and you should see my relatives
it must just be my genes
and if I tell myself it’s so
maybe this won’t show...

Chorus:
Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich
fried to a crisp in oil
with a tall cold glass of cow’s milk on the side
You guess it’s just your bad genetic luck in life, you say
and a moderate helping of cookies
means you eat only nine
American fat girl...American fat girl


Bridge:

eat more and exercise less
don’t look in the mirror when you dress
do this every day for a few years
and you’ll be
...an American fat girl

an American fat girl
American fat girl
American fat girl....this is how to be...an American fat girl

Chorus:
Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich
fried to a crisp in oil
with a tall cold glass of cow’s milk on the side
You guess it’s just your bad genetic luck in life, you say
and a moderate helping of cookies
means you eat only nine
American fat girl...American fat girl

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sewing, sewing, sewn

Nothing much to say. Up to my eyeballs in pins, needles, thread and silk. Cassok redo this morning, so that is hopefully done. Dress put together, skirt is on bodice, now all that is lacking is a zipper in time for tomorrow's fitting, then the hem, and bottom lace and I'll be DONE. Two more working days ought to do it.

Now I need some exercise.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Outstanding

"Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added to you as well." --Jesus

Countdown

56 days until school starts back up! Pant, pant....huff, huff...gasp...wretch...moan.

It's the constant negotionations, judge and jurying between disagreeing youngsters, the tattling, and the "I'm Boooooooored"....that is getting to me this summer.

Some days it feels like it's nothing but trips to the pool and library, with no time in between to get the chores done. P'raps I ought to slow things down. But then when things are slow, they seem intolerable.

And the house gets sooooo messy with everyone under foot and then it's a major operation to get everyone off their bored arses and picking up after themselves.

I"m thinking me needs to whip things into shape and find a way to get people moving in the clean up department. At least my personal progress is that I'm refusing to do it FOR them.

I"m just ranting because I have lots of sewing to get done. The house always falls apart when there's sewing to get done. LIke I can only concentrate on one thing at a time.

Major re-do on the cassok. I have to take the collar off and take in the size and then put the collar back on...sigh. Me and my seam ripper...BFF.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Soon, yes very soon...

I"m gonna pump iron again. I'd post a picture of my beloved dumbells, but I"m too lazy to fetch my camera, and you can use your imagination. My ten pounders are black, the fifteens are metal gray, as are the twenties, and beyond that I have shiny bars, and gray plates...very boring to look at. Oh, and I have these sexy black weight lifting gloves, too. So very chic.

They've been collecting dust for the past two years while I've been working on diagnosis, reversal, recovery. I remember sitting in my chair, a blanket up to my chin, pain all over my body, and I'd look at the hamper that holds my dumbells and say to myself: "Someday I'll use them again." That someday is, hopefully, in less than a week.

Wedding dress must be sewn first. I'm not so naive as to take on a huge project with a deadline AND start working out at the same time. Just in case I don't do as well as I think I will and a workout leavs me with no energy to do anything else. I don't think that will happen, but have to plan that it might, just in case. I probably won't even go for my famous walks until this thing is done. But when it is, then the workouts will begin again.

According to my calculations, I've reversed enough fibro out of my body (two months on protocol reverses one year of disease progression) to be where I was at at the age of 25. That's about how I feel, minus having a toddler and a pregnant body, of course.

When I was 25 my body liked iron. When I was older, it did too, until one day it mysteriously stopped liking it, stopped responding to it, stopped improving, started getting worse despite my workouts, despite me "shaking things up" etc... That was actually what tipped me off that something was wrong with me.

Now I"m ready again. I just have to get this dress done first....

So, tomorrow I cut and sew silk, beautiful silk! And while I'm sewing, I'll think of my dumbells and my little leather gloves.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cassok Picture for Basil




Here it is. Boring and finished!

Friday, June 16, 2006

I am the invisible woman

There are no books, or magazine articles geared to someone in my stage of life. I don't have a job. I don't have BABIES. No, the kids are big. There are no play dates at which to meet moms. There are not clubs or groups at which to meet other moms. I don't homeschool, so there are no homeschool groups, and when I did, I so thoroughly did NOT fit in. Same with PTA. I tried that. I failed miserably.

So, what's up with me? What's wrong with me?

Should I bleach my hair blonde and start going to a tanning bed and get a tatoo so I can fit in with the ladie's "chat and share" time at the local park, sponsored by "Ye local Baptiste Church" for which I got an flyer handed to me while I was out mowing the lawn yesterday?

I think I"m totally invisible. I think I'm the only woman in america who is over 35 and either does not have a job or does not have an unusually large family and/or homeschooling responsibilities.

So, this month, I finish the wedding dress. Next month I start writing for Sunday School. We are going to take our kids through the Old Testament. I hope to have at least the first semester's worth of lessons done before SS starts in September.

Here's something I've figured out: I"m good at doing stuff and being creative, but I'm really really bad at making money.

Energy Lately

I've had lots of energy lately. Maybe it's because I've been sleeping in a wee bit due to summer time leisure, but maybe not. It used to be I'd crash at noon. Then I'd crash at three. Then I'd only need to sit down at three. Lately I've been going like gangbusters until seven pm.

Yesterday I walked my 2.5 mile route, AND mowed the lawn and ran the weed eater.

Today I went grocery shopping in the morning, and later in the afternoon went for my walk.

Amazing. Just amazing. I'm getting better. I really really am!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting Older

I've been thinking alot about this fact in my life, since it has begun to begin. I know I"m just at the beginning...middle age they call it, although now-a-days there is so much pressure to be NOT. They say forty is the new thirty and fifty is the new forty, etc...however that goes. But what with the fibro (despite the wonder effects of the guai protocol in reversing that disease...) I have been forced to deal with the eventual shut down of things physical.

All I know is, I"m struggling to dress myself. All the clothes seem either too young for me, or made for the obese. I"m neither young nor obese anymore, so don't know what to do with myself.

Water, walking, and sleep. Fresh fruits and veggies, eating light, sunscreen, and a good bra...OK, once the sewing is done I plan on taking up the weight lifting once again. Nurturing relationships, the creative side of me, and focusing on accomplishing goals, also important. Not neglecting the spiritual...also important.

Wearing makeup and getting my hair cut regularly have taken on much greater importance than they used to over the past year.

Am I missing anything?????

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Reverse Engineering

Somewhere along the line I realized that I have the skill and ability to reverse engineer a garment, create a pattern, in short: copy it. Designers beware, I am your nightmare.

My confidence, however, gets stretched a bit thin at times, and as I'm working, I often wonder if indeed I have this ability, or if I'm just teasing myself.

Today, I proved that I do indeed: The cassok I copied fits Fr. D perfectly, and after today's fitting all I have to do is add the buttons and a hem at the bottom, and slits in the pockets to allow access to his pants pockets while still retaining the ability to put stuff in his cassok pocket, too. Very doable.

And now he has a pattern for future cassoks to boot. (Or rather, I do...)

The process involves pencils, graph paper, a ruler, a tape measure and lots of brain power and patience...checking and double checking my math. Garment construction is, afterall, merely 3-D puzzle solving, spacial relationships, etc. I like it because fabric is so fluid, and has body and character of it's own. How soft a fabric is, how it drapes and whether it wrinkles is known as its "hand".

Since a cassok looks like a black lump hanging on a hanger, I won't bother taking a picture of it, or posting it here.

I'll be glad when these two projects are done, and I can get on with other things I have planned this summer. Tomorrow I'll finish the cassok, and the wedding dress will only take a few days of work once I get all the materials for it.

I promise: wedding dress pictures when all is said and done. Everyone loves to see a wedding dress, even on a hanger, except maybe my eight year old son.....

Monday, June 12, 2006

Creating a Muslin


...except this "muslin" is a rather heavy denim blue chambray, and my current bride is going to actually wear it doing old time dance when it's done.

It's standard procedure to make a muslin to get the perfect fit before chopping into the silk or satin when making a wedding dress, or any other type garment where the fabric is expensive and where it needs to be just perfect.

So, here are a couple of pictures. This thing is totally thrown together, with dirt cheapo walmart lace so that I could practice my construction techniques (what order to do the seams in). I altered the bodice so much that the instructions were rendered useless, and the lace goes on while I"m constructing, not afterward. The front of the hem is merely pinned, and the back is still just a raw edge.

The bride was very happy with the results so far, and the only changes we'll make for her wedding gown is four small darts in the front and no darts in the back of the bodice.

Additionally, the wedding dress will be white dupioni silk, with lace trim on the bodice, sleeves, and hem, insead of just the bodice. I might add some beading, too, if it seems appropriate.

And here is a close up of the bodice:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's been one of those weeks...

...when my creative juices are just not flowing and I"m buried under a pile of life.

Today is nice...no big places to go, except the kitchen. Got it clean. The plugged-in laundry slaves are humming along, and the laundry slaves that aren't plugged in are currently watching a movie, blissfully unaware of my nefarious plot to later ruin their afternoon by making them fold those fluffy clean piles.

I'd be a bad parent if I did not train them well, wouldn't I? He he he.

Meanwhile, my day has included getting up at the crack of dawn to open a new cereal box for someone. Somehow, before the coffee was even dranken, I was roped into getting creamed at Star Wars Monopoly by two kids who have not even reached their eighth birthdays yet. Fortunately I was saved by the coming on of the favorite cartoon show half way through the morning.

FREEEEEDOOOOOOM!!!!!! So I escaped out the door to glean a few boxes of low carb pasta from the shelves of the OTHER grocery place. (I hate having to go to more than one store to get what I need. All those piddly little errands take up so much time. I could be blogging instead.)

I'd better get off here and go make a dress or do something useful with my life.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Today I...

...got up early...

...dropped dh off at work...

...drove a friend to her clinic appointment where she's to receive life-sustaining, illness fighting drugs pumped into her arm for seven hourse straight...

...dropped my kids off at Vacation Church School...

...looked at the clouds and decided to go for a walk sooner rather than later...

...went for said walk...

...cooked lunch and ate it while reading blogs...

...tidied the dining room table and started setting up my sewing stuff...

...dug through the coat closet looking for my pattern tracing fabric so I could alter a pattern...

...discovered a big cat pee mess...

...cleaned out the closet, threw away a bunch of cat pee stuff, mopped the closet floor...

...fetched kids home from VCS...

...altered the bodice piece to the wedding dress I'm doing and created a pattern for it....

...washed and dried the "muslin" (which is not really muslin but rather a very light denim) for the "practice dress" so we can be sure of a proper fit. (Making a wedding dresss means making two dresses...one for pracitice and one for real)....

...finally sat down and was still while I hemmed an old stichar robe for one of the altar servers that our mission parish received from an older parish, and marveled at the number of oil stains, fabric frays and the general bad condition of the garment...

...crawled under a blanket to watch the first Harry Potter movie which I"ve been trying to see for a week and have never had the chance....

...thawed bagels for a lenten Wednesday night supper...

...watched some more Harry Potter, until I got bored...

...so here I am...

...tired...

X-Men

In my opinion: it should have been rated R. There is no way the kids will see this one, even though we are all X-Men fans. They ruined it. The actors looked so much older than they did in the last movie. I guess it's been a few years. Newsflash to you hollywood producer types: those of us in our late twenties-mid thirties...we don't have all day. We do get older looking. It shows in this movie.

Phoenix was a disappointment. Things did not go down according to the comic book plots at all.

Archangel was cool. Wish they'd have developed his character instead of having him around the edges.

As a matter of fact, character development was seriously lacking thourghout this movie. In that sense, it rode the coattails of the other movies. And without any such depth, it was nothing but grinding action and violence. Too many people were killed, and too much did darkness win the upper hand.

Did good prevail in the end? Not redemptively.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mere Infants, we were....

6-6-1992

Tomorrow will be fourteen years since I married the best man in the world for me. I really see God's hand in our relationship from the beginning until this very moment.

There I was, with a pulverized heart and chicken pox scabs all over my face and body...and in the very first conversation, washing dirty dishes in a college cafeteria where he knew everyone and I was the strange out-of-towner in just for the summer, I KNEW he was "THE ONE".

Of course it felt weird, knowing. But I knew. He says he liked me and was interested, but it wasn't anything earthshattering or ear splitting or anything like that.

It took two years for our relationship to progress from that first conversation to actually being married, and I'm still a little bit mad at him for not taking me to the Junior/Senior formal his last year of college (he says he would have dated me if his semester hadn't been so busy, and he felt like he needed to take a fellow Asburian to the formal, and since I wasn't he didn't ask me). Oh well, I'm sure he can still be mad at me a little bit for going out with...no, let's not go there....suffice it to say, God is extremely good, and in each other we have each of us met our match.

And marriage is hard work. Having kids is hard work. I never would have dreamed we'd go through all we have gone through in our fourteen years: The deaths of his parents and sister, working all day and going to school all night to get a degree, massive back pain from a car wrech, four babies, one failed adoption, major earth-shifting religious changes, fibromyalgia, working like a dog to get out of debt, untold car repair bills and home repair bills, grief, joy, pain, and more pain, fun camping trips, finding a church home, developing skills, balancing each other out...plumbing the depths of who we are as persons and coming up best of friends, sharing a soul, almost, and laughing at the same stuff, fininshing each others sentences and having the same odd senses of humor. Tempting each other, supporting each other and goading each other into repentance.

It truly is a sacrament.

Happy Anniversary, Wes. I love you forever. You are a better person that I am, a better parent, steadier, kinder, more patient, and less selfish. I am honored and humbled to be your wife.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Comfort Food

Praise is due to thee,
O God, in Zion;
and to thee shall vows be performed,
O thou who hearest prayer!
To thee shall all flesh come
on account of sins.
When our transgressions prevail over us,
thou dost forgive them.
Blessed is he whom thou dost choose and bring near,
to dwell in they courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,
thy holy temple!

By dread deeds thou dost answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation,
who art the hope of all the ends of the earth,
and of the farthest seas;
who by thy strength hast established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who dost still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples;
so that those who dwell at earth's farthest bounds
are afraid at thy signs;
thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

Thou visitest the earth and waterest it,
thou greatly enrichest it;
the river of God is full of water;
thou providest their grain,
for so thou hast prepared it.
Thou waterest its furrows abundantly,
settling it's ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing it with growth.
Thou crownest the year with thy bounty;
the tracks of thy chariot drip with fatness.
The pastures of the wilderness drip,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.

----Psalm 65, of David

And speaking of agricultural metaphor and superabundance....

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it baides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." --Our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (John 15:1-4)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Perk-Me-Ups

The cure to the black cassok sewing blues: white shirting fabric, edging lace and a pattern to make me a summer blouse...custom measurements so it will fit, unlike 99% of what is hanging on the racks these days. It's been ages since I've sewed anything for myself.

A trip to the library: Brain Candy books, as well as some actual real history- Bernard Lewis (is he an authority?) on the middle east. I've decided to expand my horizons. Last week's pick was "100 people that are Screwing up America" by some guy I'd never heard of...it was a very good Who's Who of current movers and shakers with scathing commentary leveled equally at liberals and conservatives (but more liberals). I had no idea as to the political leanings of the author when I picked up the book. It different from what I usually read, so I grabbed it. No regrets.

Divine Liturgy: Laying in bed after the five a.m. alarm clock went off, fighting to convince myself that it will be a GOOD thing to wake the kids up and throw them in the car for the 7:30 a.m. service. Turns out we made it, were the first ones to arrive and I got to read third hour prayers before DL.

Quiet kids: got videos and loads of books at the library. The summer reading "thingy" at the library this summer only requires fifteen hours of reading. I predict they will have that done by next week, will have collected their pizes and be done for the summer.

McDonalds Sausage Egg Biscuit: I think it's one of my favorite all time foods. After DL, we hit the drive-thru. And it was only 490 calories. Barely over budget so I compensated this afternoon and am still on target with the daily totals. BWAHAHAHA! It doesn't feel like a diet when I can have one of those on occasion.

Checking out camp-sites for a family mini-vacation. I'm glad we live in a good-looking state. The earth is verdant and the hills speak my name. It also rocks to own all necessary camping gear and be able to throw stuff in the van and take off if we want.

Christ's Ascension: lest the significance be lost on you here's the scoop: God assumed our human nature and took it back up to heaven. And Christ's actual body, with flesh, blood, a beating heart, all that stuff, is risen from the dead and sit's at the right hand of God the father, and this stuff that we are made of, this clay we struggle with and against sometimes, this mortality, has been assumed, accepted into the essence of the Holy Trinity itself, and therefore is redeemable and redeemed and being redeemed. Pinch yourself. It's true. Happy Feast Day!!!!!