Saturday, January 31, 2009

Let your brain bloom

It must be said that I read a lot of children's books. For many years that has even meant picture books (I still read those - a good book, is a good book!). Now, though, it's mostly upper elementary and junior high level. There are several reasons for this.

One is that I like to preview material for my kids to see if it's something that I either know or hope will interest them. Or to check if the content is "suitable".
Another reason is that when checking out a new topic of interest for myself, often reading a book that is geared to younger children will explain it in simpler language. You can get the big picture first, and then go on to the finer details.
And then sometimes the book just has an appealing storyline - no matter your age.

These books have their place. There comes a time, though, when you must read at a deeper level. Here's where Bloom's Taxonomy can help out.

Benjamin Bloom came up with a structure of "knowing levels", from the basic knowledge level through comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and ending with evaluation. Different groups over the years have used his levels for their own purposes, such as teachers making exam questions. But they can be helpful to individuals who are intent on self-education as well. After you have become familiar with the facts in an area of self-discovery, challenge yourself with the higher levels to see how much thinking is going on. You don't just want to be able to win a place on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" or "Jeopardy". You want to have a relationship with the people you are reading about. You want to know why they behaved the way they did, what the implications of their behavior were and ultimately, you want to see the hand of God moving through history.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Full plates and other randomness

There is so much on my plate right now - either real obligations or projects that I'm choosing to take on - that today I could not make a decision to do any of them. No knitting took place; very little housework; no reading (beyond email and blog updates). Unable to make a decision about what to do next, I did nothing.

But...I did learn one useful thing. Windshield wipers are not sold in pairs. When the fellow says they are $28, he means each. So our van now has the most luxurious set of blades it will ever own.

And to get even more random, about six months ago someone sent me an email with the word chuffed in it. It seemed like a positive word in the context that it was used, but I had no idea what it meant. A quick click over to the online dictionary gave me this:

informal - pleased or delighted: I suppose you're feeling pretty chuffed [origin unknown]

Now I see that word everywhere! It's always English people using it (as in from England). I feel like an insider now when I see it and know what it means. Language is so funny.

I'm pretty chuffed to know this word.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nutrition Nugget

I just realized that I have been a follower of Centre for Science in the Public Interest for over 25 years. They have changed a lot in that time. While I do detect some bias these days in their editorials (toward vegetarianism), they continue to be set apart from big business and therefore can "tell it like it really is".
The magazine that they put out, Nutrition Action, has a theme for each issue. January/February 2009 is on inflammation in the heart. Very interesting. There is also an article on kidney stones (my husband had these once and thought he would surely die). A regular feature is recipes and this time they all look yummy. Vegetable were rated from best to not-best-but-still-good. In other words, with vegetables it's hard to go wrong. Me and vegetables aren't best friends I have to admit. I spent so many years not being able to eat them because of gall bladder problems that I have a slight aversion to them. But eat them I must and I will develop a taste for them.

One of my favorite parts of the magazine is on the last page. Here they have the "right stuff" (recommended food item) and "food porn" (bad, bad, bad). This time round Eden Organic No Salt Added Beans won the right stuff award. Hey! I had black beans in our bean salad on Wednesday! I love them. But boohoo, Pillsbury Grands!Flaky Supreme Cinnamon Rolls with Icing got the porn award. I've only had these once - yummy. But you don't want to know what's in them. Let's just say - eat them very infrequently.

What was my number one take-away from the magazine this time? Kale! I must start serving kale 'cause it's a superstar vegetable.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Esau's Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
3 carrots, sliced or shredded
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium yam, cubed
2 cups red lentils
1 handful chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a large soup pot and add enough water to just cover.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a light simmer.
Simmer 1-2 hours or till lentils have lost all their shape. Stir occasionally,
Add more water if necessary. You want it to be very thick, though.
Add salt and lots of pepper, if you like that.
Serve with a hearty wholegrain bread for a complete meal.

You don't have to give up your birthright to enjoy this wonderful soup. It's popular with people, too, so it's perfect for making up and giving away. And it freezes just fine.

This post is a part of the Nourishing Soups & Stews Carnival.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Appreciating the traditional diet

The cookbook "Nourishing Traditions" that I have been reading over the last few weeks is too meaty to plumb the depths of for only the time the library gives me. And I see that someone has it on hold now, so I won't be able to renew. Copies online are expensive, so I'll have to wait for a eureka! moment in the used book store. In the meantime, a good resource for information and recipes is the blog kelly the kitchen cop.

The cookbook has inspired me to get back to making old-fashioned soup with real bone stock and I even made my own creme fraiche (European style sour cream - delicious!) You're supposed to serve the soup with a dollop of the creme fraiche to boost the nutritional value. It's out of my eating comfort zone, but I found it to be wonderful.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Travel with me... South America. See the grandeur of the mountains, the ruins aged grey with eons of time and weather, the terraced hillsides creating an organic pattern cut into the earth. Llama, alpaca and sheep dot the countryside promising treasures of fiber goodness in the marketplace. Youthful nut brown faces smile happily at strangers. Older generations work herding or spinning or knitting, their faces a maze of wrinkles testifying to their many years spent in the sun.

Travel with me to South America . . . through the pages of Andean Folk Knits. Explore Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru through photos and a well-researched history of the country, especially as it relates to yarn and knitted textiles. Each country has at least one knitting project for you to make as a memory of your "journey".

Written by Marcia Lewandowski, a woman who lived many years in Bolivia, this book was a pleasure to read and one day will make a welcome addition to my bookshelf. In the meantime, I may choose one small project to make as an inspiration to one day take an actual trip to one of these countries.

I give this book three stars.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Confession time

I have to confess that if it was up to me we would not subscribe to the local newspaper. There - I've said it. I've admitted that I'm not really all that interested in what is going on in the world around me. Some situations are of particular interest to me and those I follow online, through blogs or sites. If anything else of importance happens someone manages to inform me fairly quickly. So the fact that sometimes a week goes by without my reading the newspaper hasn't really impacted my life. A favorite health guru recommended limiting exposure to world news as it tends to increase your stress level. I took that advice to heart - I need all the stress reduction I can get.

At this point I know that I've lost the respect of my well-informed friends. Don't shoot me - just keep telling me what I need to know and maybe I'll knit you a pair of socks sometime soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Science fiction anyone?

The movie "The City of Ember" was based on a book of the same name by Jeanne Duprau. My son and I loved this book and the sequels as well. So we were looking forward to the movie. And the movie is exciting. But if you've read the book be prepared that there are differences. Nevertheless, a great DVD to knit by - I'd forgotten how relaxing it is to knit dishcloths and watch TV.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A new take on a new President

I told my kids to remember this time because they will always look back and say what they were doing on the momentous day when a black man became President. We have read so many books over the years on the struggle for freedom. I feel privileged to have witnessed this step. This video looks at it in a unique light.

Unfortunately this particular man has views totally opposed to the sanctity of life before birth, so my heart is torn.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally...New Year's Resolution #10!

This is the room decorating look that appeals to my heart and gives me the urge to sew and crochet and craft to create the perfect surroundings that really say "home".

This is the decorating style that appeals to my mind. In these surroundings my mind settles; is less chaotic. I can think clear and orderly thoughts. My constant battle is to maintain balance between image one and image two.

Which brings us to New Year's Resolution #10. Next year, around December 1st (give or take a few days), I will bring out of storage not 6, not 5, not even 4, boxes of Christmas decorations. No, I will bring out one, specially packed box of a tree skirt (yes, we will have a small tree), a few tree ornaments, my nativity sets and four miscellaneous wall ornaments. Yes, next year we are downsizing the Christmas hoopla. I feel less stressed already.
The seed for this idea was planted by Dawn at Knit Naturally podcast. Thank you, Dawn. I love you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is a time for everything...

And the time has come to pack away my nativity sets.

John 3:16-18 (The Message)
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Have you written your eulogy yet?

I have to confess that I am a magazine junkie. It's hard for me to resist an interesting magazine and they read so much quicker than a book, so it's a quick "fix" when the reading bug hits.

One of my favorite ministry mags is K! Cutting edge children's ministry info, resources, conferences (can't attend them, though, but they're there none the less) and challenging articles. I never fail to learn something new, something practical that can be used immediately.

The November/December 08 issue included an article titled "Keeping the End in Mind" by Tina Houser. She encouraged readers to spend a few moments writing their own eulogy. Her premise was that seeing how you want the end to come out will determine the direction you should take every day and affect the decisions you make every day. Are you taking steps each day to achieve the end that you hope for - in your personal life, your family, your ministry? What do you have to get rid of or add on? What do you want your legacy to be?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Walking the pages away...

I listened to the last third of "Red Prophet" while clocking miles on the treadmill. So far New Year's resolution #9 is working - going 2-3X a week to the gym. Listening to a book on my ipod certainly helps to pass the time there. Yes, I know I'm getting exercise, but if I wasn't listening to something the time would seem somewhat wasted. To a certain extent I'm a multi-tasker, as long as the tasks don't take too much concentration. Putting one foot in front of the other on a treadmill certainly qualifies.

The author of Red Prophet, Orson Scott Card, is a storyteller extraordinaire. He weaves a complex plot with characters that come from an phenomenal imagination, backed by extensive research. The story is rich in morals and opinion, but they are so integrated into the storyline that it doesn't come across as preaching. So the book can be read merely as a good tale, or examined more deeply for a message the author wants to impart. It also sends you delving for more outside sources if you are so inclined, because you never know what parts of this alternate early America are true and what parts come straight out of Card's mind.

Caveat: He includes magic and fantasy along with scripture verses, so discernment is needed. This is not a book for the gullible or easily swayed.

I give this book a three-star rating.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I love a good cookbook!

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is the kind of cookbook that can keep you up late at night. Besides recipes it includes sidebars on every page with interesting tidbits, there's a general overall nutrition section at the front and each food category begins with information. And the book is thick - 3.5 cm thick! (yes, I measured it)

So far I have skimmed through the whole thing, but read in detail the soup section. My soup making has slowed down lately and I am inspired to get back to it by reading how nutritious soup is - soup that is made from homemade stock that is. That's very important. Many years ago I took a soup making class where we learned to save onion peels, vegetable ends, etc. in the freezer and then simmer them with meat bones to make a nutritious and flavourful stock. Along with a whole grain bread, a well-made soup can make a full meal.

Last week I made a pea soup with stock made from turkey necks that I bought in the meat section of the grocery store. This week I'd like to get some beef bones and try a recipe from the Nourishing Traditions book. Maybe I'll finally get to grinding the wheat too.

Or at least, give the job to one of the children.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Take time to ponder

A friend gave me a wonderful little book entitled "Lists to Live by for Smart Living". It's the kind of book you can keep by your bed, or easy chair (or dare I say - the toilet!) Read a page here and a page there. It contains snippets of wisdom that are best read in bits and pieces to fully utilize them. Information overload tends to reduce it all to mind fog.

Page 70 and 71 talk about how to remember what you read. One line in particular struck me today - Ponder what you read. As one old sage said, "It is better to master 10 books than just read 1,000."

In this age of books and internet it is all too easy to gulp information like a dying man downs water in a desert. Glug, glug, glug. And then we're on to the next. Better to take time to let it seep into your mind, ponder on it, make connections. That's the best way to milk it for all the benefits the resource has for you.

Easy to say; much harder to do. We live in a fast paced world. The momentum often carries us along unless we take deliberate steps to slow down.

And I'm going to do just that...starting Monday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bread the staff of life?

Wise Traditions, summer 2006 has several fascinating articles on grains and the pros and cons of eating, especially in the case of celiac disease. They don't deny that some people cannot eat gluten, but some alternatives are given and a good case is made that the condition comes about from the way that grain (especially wheat) has been modified over time. A number of gluten-free recipes are given as well.

Reading about the benefits of eating grains has given me the urge to dig out my wheat grinder. Several large sacks of wheat were discovered in storage (leftovers from Y2K if you can believe it!).

Maybe this should be my 10th New Year's resolution?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Peace amongst the pandemonium

In the midst of a totally hectic day spent running around, I had the opportunity to halt everything and immerse myself in the beauty of Mozart's classical music. Performed by a top-class orchestra, no less. Even though we were surrounded by a theatre full of wiggly children, the excellence of the musicians and the exquisiteness of the timeless pieces managed to transport me for a short time beyond the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart by Barbara Nickel is an interesting take on Mozart's life, told from the perspective of his sister. This is a book for older elementary children, but I enjoyed reading it myself. Three stars.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chaos reigns

The world is in a constant state of degeneration. Nothing brings this home more than living in a house with 4 children. And now that there are four rather than six living at home the rate of deterioration doesn't seem to have changed. I seem to have spent the last 25 years decluttering, organizing, shifting "stuff" and whining about having to do so. When will my conscious mind accept that fact that "cleaning up after" is a normal state of being?
Can you tell I have spent a few hours doing housework with most of my children gone skiing? Will it rapidly go downhill after they come home? Yes, it will, but I just thank God for them all and if it was a choice between clean and kids - I'll take the kids every time.

Elkan by John and Kathy Eytchison is a fictional story about the history of Christianity from creation to consummation seen through the eyes of a young boy. It shows very clearly the reason why the world reverts to chaos, but also the path back to perfection through Jesus Christ. A great read for anyone. A seeking person or new Christian will get a good overall picture of the scope of Christianity through the years and into the future. A more mature believer will find confirmation of their faith and perhaps even illumination into an area that they have struggled with in the past.
I'll give this a three-star rating. I'm taking away a heightened appreciation of the vastness of God's power and love and how incredibly His plan makes complete sense.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday tidbit

My "52 in 52" reading for this week will be to finish up three books that I've had going for awhile now. So more on them later this week. Yes, I did revisit The Shack and am finding it much easier going this time.

Tuesday's tidbit comes from Joe Tye's daily email.

DDQ doesn't not mean delicious Dairy Queen, although most everything at Dairy Queen is delicious. DDQ is a copywrited term of Joe Tye's which stands for Direction Deflection Question*. You ask yourself this question to assure that whatever action you are about to do or words you are about to say will get you one step further to being the best that you can be. If you have to answer no, then it's time to assess the situation to see what you could do instead. Do you need to be going in a different direction?

Let's not live by default; let's not drift along; let's live intentionally.

*did you even know you could copywrite a term?!

Monday, January 12, 2009

2 resolutions down

New Year's resolution #2 was knit a charity hat each month. Done for January! I give you the Thorpe, made out of Bernat camouflage acrylic yarn. Super fun; super easy. I'll be making more of these.

Resolution #5 was simplify the family meals. Today pea soup was on the meal plan - made in the crockpot. Perfect for a no-mess kind of meal. I came home late at 6:00 expecting the welcoming aroma of soup to hit my tired body. But no; the crockpot hadn't been plugged in so cold soup was all there was. Go to plan B - another no-mess meal. Canned baked beans. Fortunately for all, it is a family favorite. Along with the wonderful pepper cheese bread I had purchased to go with the soup it was a hearty, quick meal after all. The soup is now cooking properly and will be for tomorrow's dinner. So far, so good. As long as you're flexible it works.

Now that I have numbered my resolutions I see that I have 9. Nine. Nine does not sit well with my obsessive nature. I must make that 10 to make it even. Stayed tuned for belated New Year's Resolution #10.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Things are not as they first appear

Things are not as they first appear. This is a familiar phrase that Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers proves to me is true. Assumptions are probably wrong; digging deeper will come up with a more complex web of interactions than is apparent on the surface.

On the surface it appears that outliers - those who rise to the top of their chosen field - may have gotten there by way of their sweat and hard work. And to a certain extent this is shown to be true. But in fact, it is also a mixture of lucky breaks, timing, advantages, and circumstances particular to that person that combine together with his or her hard work, strength and presence of mind to seize opportunities that make that person successful.

I definitely give this book a thumbs up and would recommend it. The value in a book, though, beyond it's pleasure factor - the enjoyment of reading the book - lies in the questions: Has it made a difference in my life? Am I a better person for having read the book? Will I now approach life differently?

I give Outliers a three star rating (see sidebar for explanation).
Take-away points:

  • look for opportunities that can be a jumping point to future success
  • work hard!
  • nix summer vacation for students

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Keep your goals before you

Of the writing of books on organization and goal-setting there is no end. And I must confess, I have read many of them. Reading is my passion and organization is my weakness, so it stands to reason that I would want to read more; to learn more. It has been a journey with ups and downs to say the least. The end has not been reached, but the process continues to keep me interested.

Joe Tye, the values guy, is one of my favorite writers on the subject. He writes books and courses, gives seminars and sends out a regular motivational newsletter that I look forward to reading. In the most recent one his quote was

Keep your attention in the present, keep your vision in the future.

This is a theme that I have read different versions of over the years. It is well and good to make goals, but you must always be referring to them; always be taking action to fulfilling them or they just become wishes.

That's why I have my yearly goals pinned up beside my computer desk. That works for me because I tend to forget about things that have been filed away. If you are a filer, make sure to pull out the file regularly for review.

One of my goals for the year was to learn a new knitting skill each month. This month it will be the afterthought heel on a sock. Sock knitting is another passion of mine so it shouldn't be hard to fit this in. Next week it is! The knitting adventure begins - one tiny stitch at a time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Acres and acres of books to read!

Oh, to have more hours in the day! I just counted my book wish lists. - 104. - 65. Internet sites - 87. That comes to a grand total of 256 books that I don't own right now, but would like to read. My personal library has at least that many that I either haven't read or would like to re-read (can you imagine having the time to re-read a book?!!)

One book that I must read ASAP and finally got the motivation to do it is The Shack by William P. Young. I actually have this book in audio form on my ipod and today I purpose to start listening the next time I'm doing an hour on the treadmill. Which will be soon, I hope. So many people have recommended I perservere deeper into this book than I've been able to so far. So that's my short term goal - maybe next weeks book of the 52 week challenge?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feeling fulfilled?

I refuse to be intimidated by Susan Wise Bauer and the fact that, not only has she finished her book for this week, but she's also written a long and detailed critique of the book on her blog. She's an academic; I'm not. She's a writer; I'm not. So I continue to work my way through "Outliers" and glean nuggets of insight. Maybe by the time I finish I will be able to condense some thoughts into a critique; we'll see.

The quote from the book that I just had to write down today I wish I could send to all my children. But that would be nagging. Or interfering. Or at least perceived as that. So it will remain with me, but if it can ever naturally come up in conversation with any of them, you can be sure I'll be ready.

Outliers page 148 "When Borgenicht came home at night to his children, he may have been tired and poor and overwhelmed, but he was alive. He was his own boss. He was responsible for his own decisions and direction. His work was complex: it engaged his mind and imagination. And in his work, there was a relationship between effort and reward: the longer he and Regina stayed up at night sewing aprons, the more money they made the next day on the streets. These three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us."

This quote is so true. What I like most about it is that it takes success in life out of the "it's how much money you make" mindset. This is the impression I had been getting from the book and indeed, that may be what his premise is. But this quote elevates the definition to a higher level than merely material possessions and hopefully the rest of the book will continue in this vein.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Book of the week?

One of my favorite people in the whole world is Susan Wise Bauer. She is smart, witty and so down-to-earth, in spite of being a well-known author. I was totally in awe of her accomplishments (well, I guess I still am), but after I actually saw her in person she became such a, just like me. She just has that certain something that has allowed her to be very productive and successful in spite of having some similar responsibilities as me (such as numerous children, homeschooling them, household stuff to do etc.)

Which leads me to her challenge for 2009. She's joined a group which plans to try and read one book a week for 52 weeks. For her that means unwork-related books, because she reads a number of research books as week. (And writes her own books at the same time - you see why I want to be this woman)

My nature is to jump on this bandwagon. One book a week...easy-peasy. I used to be able to pull this off no problem. Until I took up knitting. Add a crazy obsession with manipulating sticks and string for hours on end to an already full schedule of schooling, children's ministry and homemaking and there isn't a lot of free time left over for reading numbers of books a week. That's why I've taken up listening to audio books.

So I'm not offically saying that I'm going to read 52 books in 52 weeks.'s book number one.

OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell
This book is so exciting! If you have read any of his other books (The Tipping Point, Blink) and enjoyed them, you'll like this one as well. He is a man who can see patterns (another personality characteristic that I covet, but don't have). In Outliers he examines success to see what factors make a person successful. As the book proceeds he shatters many accepted ideas of what these factors might be by researching successful people and trying to find some common ground. I hesitate to say too much because it was just fascinating for me to read it for myself and I don't want to take away that pleasure from anyone.

One that I will divulge is the 10,000 hours theory. It appears that on average, to become a master or world-expert at something you don't necessarily have to have high IQ or an exceptional skill at it. You must just put in at least 10,000 hours doing it. Which roughs out to about 10 years. I have to admit that I got excited thinking about that 10,000 hours concept. Hmmm....manageable? Till he added the 10 years part. A bit mind boggling to think in those terms when you've already passed the half century mark. All the people that he used to determine his figures began their journeys when they were young and unattached and able to devote almost 24/7 to their passions.

Nevertheless, it is something to think about. It's more about the time that you put into a passion than the innate ability you have to do it that determines where you will go with it.

The chapter that will be of special interest to parents deals with the factors that mean the difference between success and failure even when starting with the same baseline of intelligence. It comes down to family interaction and involvement, people. Of course, we all know that. But maybe having it down in black and white will provide the discipline needed to be intentional about following through.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Continuing to read through my blog roll

Reading through my blog roll is like a trip through memory lane. So many wonderful treasures to be found there. I really need to have things "in my face" to remember them. How to come up with a way to visit these blogs on a more regular basis? Oh, I know .... add about 5 hours to my day! That should do it.

The holidays are over. This week "real life" begins again. In the meantime, I will read through blogs and pretend that I have no responsibilities.
For at least 15 minutes a day.

Check out the innovative art work on this site.

This menorah is one of my favorites.

Conquering computer clutter

In keeping with the new year theme, the time has come to go through the files on my computer and delete everything that's not needed any more.

Starting with my blog roll.

I collect blog addresses like I collect recipes. Click, click, click. Save, save, save. But then I rarely have time to check them all. So that has been the first mountain to climb on this organizing journey.

I've managed to about half the number by removing those no longer relevant, useful or interesting. Much more manageable.

One that will remain is And now they have a video teaching segment that promises to add much to my spiritual diet.

Check it out.

Just when I thought I had the nutrition thing figured out...

...along comes Dr. Weston Price.

On my last trip into the public library, I picked up an intriguing magazine entitled "Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts". There were subtitles all around the edge of the cover such as "a campaign for real milk", "pasture-fed livestock", "life-giving water", nutrient-dense food" and on and on. Right up my alley. I actually had to go onto the website to find out that Dr. Price was a dentist, who, in the early 1930's, traveled to isolated parts of the world to study their dental health practices. He came up with the characteristics of a traditional diet which he maintains is the best way for us to eat. From that list he developed dietary guidelines for modern people to use. The most striking place his list differs from "common knowledge" of our day is in his recommendation to eat high saturated fat food. He maintains that traditional high-fat diets have sustained people for thousands of years, and it's only in the more modernized society that health problems have arisen and that this is caused not by the fats, but by refining of sugars and fats.

This is not a light-reading magazine. In fact, it's almost like a scientific journal. But along with the numerous articles it also contains practical, start-right-now recipes, menu plans and time-saving meal prep ideas (in this issue at least - Spring 07). This fits in nicely with one of my New Year's resolutions, so that article will be one I spend some time on.

I hope I don't find out that he belongs to some weird religious cult.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I got caught...

I was looking forward to starting my new year with the daily flip calendar from Stephanie Pearl-McFee (aka The Yarn Harlot...I know, I know, I don't like the name either)

I enjoyed her January 1 and 2 pages. Then I turned to January 3rd. Caught out! It reads, "You know you knit too much won't let your New Year's resolution - exercise more - get in the way of your knitting. Instead you choose forms of exercise (like riding a stationary bike) that you can do while knitting."

Guess what I got my husband for Christmas (so that I could use it too)?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Do we need New Years Resolutions?

Yes, I think we do. I love new beginnings. Monday is my favorite day of the week because I get to start over 52 times a year. Did I blow it last week? Oh well, it's now a new week. And the ultimate new start is the start of a new year. So here we go. In 2009 I resolve to:

  • reread "The GI Diet" book by Rick Gallop. My low glycemic eating habits have begun to slide; they need a jump start

  • knit one charity hat per month.

  • knit one Christmas gift per month till my list is done. Of course, that will involve making the list.

  • listen to the entire Bible. Here I have a head start because I finished early last year and am already at the end of Numbers.

  • simplify our family meals and make more bulk meals. Kitchen cleanup is becoming soooo boring and tedious. Over and over and over we clean up from cooking supper. I have better things to do with my time. So menu plan and meals-in-the-freezer, here I come!

  • be more organized with my knitting projects by keeping better notes on when I started, yarn used etc. A friend is putting the ball band in hers and I think that is a great idea. Also, a sample of the yarn used.

  • learn one new knitting skill per month. I plan to order Lucy Neatby's Essential 1 and 2 DVD's to help out here.

  • try one new alpaca yarn per month and become an expert on alpaca. Why? I have no idea. It's just a passion right now.

  • make good use of my 4 month gym membership by going 2-3 times per week.

OK, that's a good beginning. I'm going to print this out with space at the bottom to add things in as they occur to me.

What I like best about the resolutions I have come up with so far is that they are measurable. At a glance I can see if I'm following through or not. That's important - or so the "experts" say.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The first thing I've read in 2009...

Wayyyy too early I'm up and reading

My husband ski patrols today, which means he's out the door at 6:00 am. Usually I roll over and go back to sleep after the alarm. Today, however, a shot of adrenalin kept me awake. He set the alarm for the wrong time, so it was "yikes! I'm late!" Even after he left in a flurry my blood was still racing, so I decided to check out my groups on ravelry. Then the phone rang. Now I'm still checking groups and thinking that if I am going to go back to bed it had better be soon. I can't even count on a nap later either.

What have I learned from my reading?

  • There are a lot of great looking hats out there that I would like to make.

  • There's an interesting looking fair isle workshop taking place in April at Sun Peaks that is much too pricey for me to go to. I can buy a lot of yarn for 300+ dollars. I do plan to learn fair isle this year, though.

  • you can press the "more" button on the forum list to see even more posts!

  • I can't get enough reading about knitting to satisfy me. I'll even go without sleep for it :) Is that called an obsession?