A Challenge For Some of Us

Last year we watched the entire series “The Bible” and loved it.  I even have it saved on my DVR so we can watch it whenever we want.  Then we saw “Son of God”  by the same producers of “The Bible” and loved it also.  I’ve got “Heaven is for Real” on my Kindle reader and it’s a wonderful book.  We missed seeing the movie.  A large portion of the books I get for Kindle are religious.  My spirit continuously needs to be filled.

One of the blogs I subscribe to (More Than Four Walls)has issued a challenge to read the Bible through in a year and it starts Monday.  I just signed up for it and I’m excited about it.  I’ve gotten reminders from different sites that host the reading but it’s not the same as being part of a group where we’re all at the same level.  Danielle even has a Facebook group where we can discuss what we’re reading and interact with each other.  That’s a real plus for me.

For those who aren’t fans of Facebook…I’m not so much either.  I have friends on FB but I don’t regularly follow timelines.  I do however enjoy the many groups on FB that I’ve found.  They work much like the groups on Yahoo but I actually like them better. 

I’ve made a commitment to myself to do this.  Will you join me?


I Would Be in Meltdown Mode

if I were a parent buying school supplies these days.  I’ve heard parents talk about the things listed on their children’s list of required school supplies and I am flabbergasted.

What in the world will a student do with this amount of these things during a school year?  I know the answer to that.  They’re not just purchasing supplies they individually will be using.  What I believe happened is this:  teachers got together and calculated how many parents from the total pool would actually buy what’s listed and divided up their projected class needs through the entire school year among that number.  Those parents are being held responsible for purchasing supplies for all the students whose parents do not buy supplies….and for the teacher.  No, I do not believe the teacher should have to buy her own classroom supplies.  The teacher supplies should come from the school’s general fund. And no, I don’t want to debate how much school funding has been cut by state budgets.  And don’t even tell me about how each student’s name goes on their supplies.  They don’t get the surplus back and I believe it’s all thrown in a community pile.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not a hard hearted person but this sort of thing just purely pisses me off.  No one told people to have children they can’t afford.  We refused to accept public assistance for Chris as long as he lived with us even though we could have due to his disabilities.  We always felt he was OUR responsibility.  In many ways, he still is and we don’t regret a minute or dime spent with and on him.

I don’t expect people to agree with me but I do expect people to respect my right to believe the things I do so don’t flame me.  It’s not debateable.

Take a look at the items listed below and then check it out for yourself at this link:

School Supply Lists Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

There’s just something plain wrong with this.  And this does not include the numerous “fees” associated with different classes.

8 packs #2 pencils at a middle school—-what?????

4 boxes 24 count #2 pencils at an elementary school

2 packs black ink pens at the same middle school

1 pack red ink pens at the same middle school

6 Dry Erase Markers (Expo brand chisel tip—-they have to be brand specific???) at the same middle school

2 Dry Erase Markers Erasers at the same middle school

6 boxes 24 count “Crayola” crayons at an elementary school—what is a kindergartner going to do with 6 boxes of crayons?   Melt them down to make candles?

2 packs “Crayola” washable markers at same school

10—–count ‘em- Elmer’s glue sticks at same school—Give me a break!

2 packs dry erase markers at same school

6 packs colored pencils at same school

8 wide rule spiral notebooks in specific colors at same school

6 rolls paper towels at same school

6 boxes kleenex at same school

If the parents who are expected to purchase all these supplies do so, what are they expected to use for funds to purchase clothing for the child to wear to school?

I could go on ad nauseum but I won’t.  This just does not make sense.  What’s wrong with students having a minimum number of supplies on hand at school and parents replenishing those through the year?  I know the answer to that too….but I probably should keep that to myself.

And for one last thought.  Do teachers and school officials want to know why students no longer have respect for them?  Maybe it’s because they (figures of authority)  no longer wear professional attire and conduct themselves in a professional manner.  Ankle cut, low waist jeans with crop tops and flip flops just don’t cut it.

I didn’t intend this to become a rant but I guess it has.  I should probably feel better after venting but I’m not sure I do.  I don’t think our school system cares what the public thinks of them.  What a shame.






Sweet Tooth?

So you have one?  I sure do and that’s one of the things I battle every day during this journey of mine.  Especially chocolate and fruit….almost any fruit.

I remember Don trying to keep me from buying a chocolate bar when I was pregnant years ago.  My answer to that was to move out of my way and no one would get hurt. 

I’m exploring several different nutritional lifestyles right now.  I don’t want to use the word “diet” because I want whatever I come up with to be a way of life.  A healthy way of life.

The recipes I find on Paleo sites interest me because right now I’m not eating any “added sugars” or grains.  I found a site called “The Civilized Caveman” and signed up for his blog posts.  I got a post from him today that I jumped at.  He’s giving away his Paleo dessert cookbook right now and asked that his readers share the link so everyone can get a free download.

So far the recipes look tasty and do-able.  Here’s the link so you can get your own:

Civilized Caveman Desserts Cookbook

Check it out and let me know what you think about it and which recipe you think I should try first.


The Last 4 Years

I was diagnosed with diabetes a little over 4 years ago.  I was at my heaviest weight then.  My A1c was over 9 !!!!  That’s outrageously high.  It scared the bejeezus out of me so I immediately went on a low carb diet and lost about 50 pounds.  Along with medication, that brought my A1c down to the low 5 range.  Some say that drastic reduction may not have been safe but that’s how it went.

Over a 4 year period, I gained about 15 pounds back which wasn’t so bad considering most statistics on weight loss.  When I did that crazy pesticide poisoning thing, I lost most of that gain and decided to get real about my health.  The pesticide scare really made a lasting impression.

Right now, I’m below that 50 pound loss and I’m getting excited about it.  The loss is a direct effect of the changes in my nutrition lifestyle.  Just so you can see where I was before that diabetic diagnosis, here’s a pic.  I’m not sure if this is my heaviest or not but it’s surely not a good weight!


This picture was taken at a retreat I used to host in Arkansas that we called “Quilter’s Romp”.  This insane getup was them bestowing me with all the garments worthy of a “Fearless Leader”.   What a group of great gals!  We always had a wonderful time at these retreats.

Bread Pudding_DeniseOriginal (2)          This picture was taken at another “Quilter’s Romp” held in Jasper, AR at a huge log cabin in the woods.  And a good reason, I gained so much weight and developed diabetes.  I’ll just blame this on Jan.  I was eating the leftovers of her Peach Bread Pudding.

Now onto better times.  After I lost that 50 pounds but had gained back 15 pounds, we have a pic of me and DH at my cousin Alice-Rachel’s wedding.  I felt much better and looked better in my clothes.DonSheryl (2)


But still too much weight.

This was taken this afternoon in the Paca barn.  Ignore the mess.

Me and Baby Ray

Me and Baby Ray

I’ve never compared pictures of myself at different times in my life so this has been kind of fun.

Baby Ray in case you don’t remember is our “blind” paca.  He can see some things but still runs into things.  This afternoon he ran into the fence twice.  He’s never going to be a big boy like our other boys and we don’t think he’ll even be as big a Bullet who is on the small side.  He gets plenty to eat and never lets anyone run him away from the food.  He’s just a smallish guy.  We love him!


Mmmmmm Good


If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know I’m working on my health.  I’ve done the “Fed Up” 10 day sugar challenge and since then I’ve stayed pretty much sugar free.  For about 3 weeks, I’ve been about 99% grain free.  I say 99% because I did slip a couple times….I ate a few pieces of onion blossom at Outback and I ate 2 small pieces of fried green tomatoes the other night.

I’ll admit that the grain-free is a much bigger challenge than sugar.  Practically everything on the shelf at the grocery store contains grain.  Look at the labels and you’ll be shocked!

We were at Olive Garden last night at a meeting regarding this year’s American Cancer Society “Relay For Life”.  I ate salad and passed on the croutons and their luscious garlic bread.  Don ate salad with croutons and the bread.  (Thank you Olive Garden for hosting the meeting) Gasp!  Well, to start with, I don’t really like croutons anyway so that was super easy and I’m not really a bread eater but I do love their garlic bread as do I love rolls at Ryans, Logans…etc…you get the idea…nice fluffy yeast rolls.

That wasn’t enough for dinner so we stopped on the way home and bought some Ahi Tuna steaks and I fixed those up for us.  I made the marinade found on this page and cooked them somewhere between medium rare and medium well.  We’re not quite ready to eat fish that is rare.  It was delicious.  I also boiled some potatoes and slathered them with butter.  Yum.  I don’t limit butter.  Fats are not your enemy!  They are required in your diet for several reasons.  One of the most important is to enhance satiety of food….it doesn’t empty as fast and you don’t get hungry as quickly after eating.

Keep in mind that I’m not going strictly any one kind of diet or another.  I’m interested in the concepts in Paleo and Primal but I’m not giving up dairy products, nor root vegetables (potatoes) or natural sweeteners in limited amounts.  Nor am I totally giving up my Truvia.  But—-I have severely restricted my sugar intake and obnoxious carbs (those that so impact my blood sugar) and I’m working on total elimination of wheat.  I may add some grains back to my nutrition.  And while I do need to lost more weight, that’s not the principle reason here….I want to be healthier and feel good.

I just finished reading “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis and after I muddled through all the scientific mumbo jumbo, I really found I could apply a lot of his teaching into my life.  And there are excellent recipes at the back of the book.  You can probably request it from your library.  That’s what I did.

I’ve read through some of “The Paleo Diet” and before I take it back to the library, I’m going to skim over it again.  Thanks to Beth, I’ve found a great blog called “Against All Grain“.  Read her story.  It’s nothing short of amazing.  I’ve joined “The 21 Day Sugar Detox” and am following it with some adjustments based on what I have in my kitchen.  The great thing about it is that you choose a date to start the detox and you get an email from her everyday with information and a suggested meal plan for that day.  That’s a huge help to me.

I’ve ordered a few kindle cook books that I’ll tell you about after I have a chance to download them and check them out.

So, how did I make the Garlic Asparagus Saute?  I kind of followed a recipe from “Wheat Belly”.  Here’s what I did.

Chopped off the ends of a bunch of clean, fresh asparagus and cut the remaining into approx. 2″ pieces.

Olive oil in the hot skillet followed by the asparagus.

Finely grated 4 cloves of garlic on top

Sprinkled with Mediterranean sea salt

A nice sprinkle of onion powder

Freshly ground pepper on top

Toss it in the hot skillet until well mixed and the asparagus turns bright green.

I ate it with a 4 ounce medium rare steak.

Yummmmmmmm.  And practically no carbs at all!

Just in case you’re thinking it’s extravagant to eat steak for lunch at home…..I shop for values.  I usually don’t buy steak for myself unless it’s marked down for quick sale.   I do buy filet mignon but I can usually get 2 meals from one steak.  I can get 2 or 3 meals from a ribeye depending on it’s size.  So, what that means is that I can eat good quality beef at prices less than I can go buy fast food for so no guilty feelings here.

If you love fresh asparagus, give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll love it as much as I do.


The OMG Category

This post falls into the OMG Category.  I could not believe what I was reading when I got the noon news in my inbox today.

There are sites that allow you to send pictures of a key and they will duplicate the key and mail the duplicate to you.  You don’t have to provide any kind of proof that you are the legal owner of the key (and how would you anyway?).  But you can be careful and avoid this from happening to you.

This is downright scary!  My keys are on a ring that is easily separated.  I have my vehicle keys on one end.  The other end has the keys to buildings.  In between the 2 ends is a connector.  All I have to do is do a little maneuver and I can hand off the vehicle keys and keep the other keys in my pocket where they belong because I don’t like the idea of others having access to my keys.  I did that long before I saw this and now I’m so glad I did.

Take a look at this.  It will make you more vigilant about protecting your keys.  It may save your life one day.

Cyber Key Duplicators


Too Darned Much STUFF

I have too darned much STUFF.  STUFF is taking over my life.  Actually STUFF has already taken over my life.

I was under the impression that when I moved my quilting to The Barn, it would relieve some of the burden this STUFF.  I was mistaken.  It just made it easier to get more STUFF.

Now that Don has plans to move me and my STUFF back to the house in a new studio, this STUFF has got to have some serious consideration.

Part of my Feedsack STUFF.....just part of it.  There's more in boxes in the house!

Part of my Feedsack STUFF…..just part of it. There’s more in boxes in the house!

The problem with the feedsacks is that I adore them.  They remind me of my childhood and my dearest Granny Dorsey.   I say I’m going to sell some of them but I never do.

I’ve got too much STUFF in the form of quilting fabrics.  Just take a look at this!


One side of the reds


Part of the Thimbleberries collection


Yellows and Oranges.  Yep, that’s a Gone With The Wind Feedsack at the top of the stack.  Love it!

There are similar shelves of greens, blues, browns, purples, novelties, batiks…etc….not to mention the shelves in the kitchen of yet-to-be-washed fabrics.

All this STUFF if NOT coming back to the house so I’m going to have to do some serious downsizing.  I need to get busy and start listing this fabric on one of the yahoo sale lists.

I think I’m going to cry.


Rewarding Results

I have gone crazy over plant propagation.  I love taking cuttings and making new plants.  And when they flower, it’s the most amazing feeling.

About 2 years ago, Chris and I got cuttings from a climbing rose from Beth and we spent the majority of a day preparing those and sticking them into a bucket of dirt.  Actually, there were so many cuttings I think I remember having 2 buckets full of cuttings but 1 bucket didn’t make it.



This is what the cuttings looked like after they took root.  It didn’t take them very long. to put out new leaves.  See how tiny they are?  The flowers are tiny also.  I have close to 2 dozen new plants from this bucket.

BethsRose500x425It is such a sweet little blossom but this plant is very thorny!

We also worked on Althea cuttings I got from an older friend.  There were 2 varieties.  One (my fave) had a small, baby pink, carnation type bloom.  Those didn’t live but I have plans to get more cuttings.  The other one is a lavender bloom and it’s very pretty.  Here’s what the bucket looked like with the cuttings.


Althea Cuttings

When I stick cuttings, I don’t use individual cups and I don’t use a special rooting medium like sand or vermiculite.  I use potting soil with alpaca beans mixed in.    I do dip each stalk into a rooting hormone before putting it into the soil mix.  I put all of one kind in a large pot or bucket together.  I think the cuttings like to be with each other.  I think there’s a synergy between the cuttings that improves the success rate.  I’m not a scientist but I’ve read that it’s true about Hibiscus and I believe it to be true about other plants.  That’s just my opinion.  And it works pretty well for me.

I check the pots at least twice a day so I don’t miss anything new going on!  I let them all grow in the pot together until they start climbing out of the pot.  Then I transplant them into their own little pots.

Two years later, here is a bloom.  LavenderAlthea500x375

My favorite plants to propagate are roses.  When we go to see Chris, he and I spend some time pruning rose bushes on the campus at Pinecrest.  It’s the only volunteer activity I can do as a parent since we live so far away.  Don’t worry.  I won’t get into trouble for cutting their bushes.  I got permission from administration.  We have no idea what the names of the bushes are but there are a large number of different varieties.  We put the cuttings from each bush in a separate garbage bag and when I get home, I prepare them for sticking.  I label the pot or bucket as unknown.    I’ve got several different containers going. This is the first bloom I’ve had from one of those rooted cuttings.  I would love to know what it’s name is.  I just love the bloom structure.  The bloom size is about 2″ tip to tip.


Still in the pot with it’s siblings.

So, here’s the process I use for propagating roses:

  • Take cuttings from new wood in the spring/old wood in the fall
  • Put the cuttings into a big trash can filled with water until I can work on them
  • Cut each branch into as many pieces as I think will work.  I cut just below a leaf node and make sure there are at least 2 leaf nodes on the stalk.  I prefer leaves on top but sometimes that’s not possible
  • Trim leaves by half to preserve energy during the rooting process
  • Lightly scrape a couple of strips in the outer layer of the stem just below the leaf node.
  • Keep all the prepared cuttings in a dish of water
  • Shake off excess water from the stem and dip into rooting hormone powder.  Shake off excess powder and stick the stem into the dirt covering at least the first leaf node, preferably the bottom 2.
  • Continue until you have filled the pot/bucket with all the prepared cuttings.
  • Place it in a dappled sunlight spot for rooting.  You want it to get sunlight but not be in the hot, burning sun.
  • Keep it moist, but not a soppy mess!
  • Watch and wait until you start to see new growth.
  • If a stalk turns brown, make a frowny face and pluck that sucker out and throw it away!

I think that’s all I have to share for today.


Cereal Killers Review Winner

Becca, I need you to email me your mailing info along with this info:

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Spinning Along With Tour de Fleece

I’m not exactly on schedule.  I’m not even close to being on the schedule I set for myself.  But I’m making progress.  Who knew it would take 4 days to spin just 4 ounces of wool?  I did get it done last night.

Today, I’m working on plying it with a cool yarn I bought out at Weavin’ Place Saori Style in Folsom, LA.  It’s a thin (don’t know the weight), black with speckles, slubby silk yarn on a cone.

I LOVE the way it looks with the bright colors.  They peek through the silk and the black gives it all a continuity that I really like.

Yarn I spun from Loraine's roving left front.  Black silk yarn for plying on front right.  Plied yarn on the Hansen Mini Spinner.

Yarn I spun from Loraine’s roving left front. Black silk yarn for plying on front right. Plied yarn on the Hansen Mini Spinner.

My plying isn’t exactly even but I’m learning and it works for me.  :-)



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