Being mindful

Today I was reading the chapter in Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, about being mindful.  I was reading this chapter while I was eating lunch – a nice salad with lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, chicken, and shredded Parmesan cheese.

My sister is virtually blind, a result of many physical problems including diabetes.  I quite often think about her and how she struggles to eat when she cannot see the food in front of her.  In order to understand how she must feel, I sometimes close my eyes while I eat to see if I can stab food on my fork and make it all the way to my mouth without dropping food.

I tried this experiment again today while I was eating my salad.  Then I stopped and thought about being mindful.  Instead of wondering how it might feel to be blind, I should be celebrating the fact that I CAN see.  I should be looking at my food and enjoying the colors.  Perhaps it is more important to be aware of the blessings that I have right now instead of thinking of the problems I could have in the future.

So I really looked at my salad.  I noticed the hundreds of little stems on the broccoli with the dark green buds at the ends.  Amazing.  The green broccoli next to the red tomato on my fork was so colorful.  The crunch of the cauliflower, the zest of the cheese, and the savory satisfying chicken made each bite a good experience.  Paying attention, being mindful, all made for a much more enjoyable lunch.

It is not easy being that present all the time.  But when I am, I realize all the blessings that surround me on a daily basis.  Food, home, health, family, church, friends, possessions, and the list goes on and on.  But today I am particularly grateful for the beauty of broccoli.

Another finish

Another finish – and it is still January!!!!!  

This quilt idea came from a Sharon Craig book, Layer ’em Up #3, to which I added sashing.  My friend Moe did the quilting.

Here is the backing.

This is a very small quilt and could be used as a table topper.  It is going on my give-away pile.  

It’s been a while……

It has been a while since I have written anything on this blog.  The reason is because I have had nothing to say about my eating or overeating.  The reason I have nothing to say is because it just seems to be the same old story over and over again.  It becomes weary.  I want to lose weight but I am not willing to exercise or eliminate certain foods from my diet.  I’m stubborn.  I’m a rebel.

Currently I am reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project and also following her blog.  There was a posting on her blog the other day about being either an abstainer or a moderator.  In other words, if you were dieting, the abstainer would eliminate certain foods completely from their diet.  The moderator though would rebel against this and the best way for that person would be to learn moderation.

I am definitely not an abstainer.  The minute someone tells me I shouldn’t/can’t have ice cream or peanut butter or bread, I rebel and it becomes like the elephant in the room.  All I can think about is ice cream, peanut butter and bread. 

My approach is definitely moderation.  That is why I am trying so hard to be mindful of when I am full and not eat beyond that point.  

For someone who has ignored that full feeling all her life, it is not easy to change.  Some days I do well and others, like today, I fail miserably.

In the book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen takes on a new challenge each month.  On her blog she has a sign-up to do your own happiness project.  I considered doing that, but then I feel that I am generally already happy.  I like my life, my family, my friends, my church, my hobbies.  I am blessed with decent material possessions, good health, and a brain that works.  

The one big “unhappiness” in my life is being overweight and the lack of discipline to do something about it.  If I were to become highly disciplined and lost 40 to 50 to 60 pounds, would I then be completely and totally happy?  Would my life become a bed of roses?  Of course not.  Life would be exactly the same.  The only difference would be that I might enjoy clothes shopping more.  However, since I am retired and don’t have that much money to spend on clothes, perhaps the clothes shopping wouldn’t be all that much fun after all.

So in order to get control, be disciplined, change my habits, I need to be motivated. I don’t think that clothes alone is a good motivation.  Continued good health is a good motivation.  I cannot argue with that.  OK, I may have just talked myself into a new attitude.  Continued good health.  Yes, I like that………….I shall set my sights on Continued Good Health.


Piecing a backing for a large quilt is a challenge if you are also trying to use up old pieces of fabric.  There was not enough room to lay out this backing for a nice picture, so here is the squashed-up wrinkled version.  It is the backing for this quilt.

And here is the binding ready to attached when the quilt is quilted.
It is January 29th and my Christmas cactus is in glorious bloom.
  So dramatic.

It is also the middle of the afternoon on Saturday as I write this blog and I have my choice of sewing some binding, knitting on a pair of socks, or doing some cross-stitch.  Oh how I wish I could do all three at once – along with reading a good book and watching TV and snacking on popcorn.  Alas, I have to choose.  I’m grateful though that I have such lovely choices.

UFO #3 Finished

Topsy Turvy Santa table runner #595 by Happy Hollow Designs – from 2005 – is now finished.

For those of you who may have seen the pattern or done this little table runner you will note that I did NOT do the border and therefore the accent buttons that come with the pattern were not used.  Why?  Well, due to the fact that this is a UFO and the parts got separated and I was not paying attention to the pattern, as soon as I finished the blanket-stitching around the appliqued Santas, I layered this little piece and started doing a little machine quilting before it dawned on me that the extra fabric in the box was for the borders!  Oops.  So the cute borders and corner stones with the peppermint buttons did not become a part of this table runner.  I used the border fabric as the binding instead.

Here is a closer look at the stitching – and the reason it took me so long to get done.  That blanket stitching (by machine) around all the little pieces was tedious.

It is cute though and will make a nice decoration next Christmas.

I looked over my list of 13 UFO’s I want to finish in 2011 and realized why most of them became UFO’s.  They are either ready for quilting, or they have a huge problem to solve.  I need to analyze whether the project is worth fixing the problem or not.  I have done the easy UFO’s, and now it is time to face the problems.  Sigh.

Looking at the above statement in a more positive manner, I have greater challenges ahead of me – more opportunities to expand my expertise.  Now, isn’t that better?

UFO #2 Finished

For 2011 I have a list of 13 UFO’s I plan to finish and this is #2 – a flannel Mitten quilt (pattern from Country Threads), quilted by Country Threads.  I finished the binding today.

The backing is a mitten print flannel and the binding is a plaid flannel.  (Sorry for the fuzzy picture.)

Eleven more UFO’s to go and there are 11 more months in 2011.  At this point in the year I think I have a good chance of getting them all finished.

Uncomfortably Full

It has been nine days since I posted anything to this blog.  I had nothing to say.  This is a blog about my eating and is an attempt to change old habits of overeating and eating the wrong foods.

I was doing pretty well in recognizing when I was full and stopping.  I was doing a pretty good job of choosing sensible meals.  I was doing a good job of having less snacks.


Well, I guess I stopped paying attention.  I got comfortable.  I got cocky.  

Today I ate too much.  I did not eat in moderation.  I did not pay attention to that full feeling.  Right now I feel uncomfortably full.  I don’t like this feeling at all.  

Side tracked………..

In my attempt to finish up old projects, I got out Christmas At Hawk Run Hollow, Block #7, which I last worked on in May of 2010.  Why did I put it away?  Who knows, but it is fun to work on it again.

As long as I was pulling out old projects, I also pulled out this knitted poncho/shawl that I started in 2005.  It is time to finish it up.

It is so easy to get side tracked…………..  A dear friend of mine gave me a bag of beautiful Brilla yarn, 

and I have spent the last two evenings trying out pattern after pattern trying to figure out how best to use this wonderful yarn.  Of course I wanted something spectacular yet very, very easy and quick.  It had to be either a scarf or a shawl or something similarly one-size-fits-all type.  Last night as I printed off the 12th free pattern that looked interesting, I suddenly got the brilliant thought that I don’t have to figure this out today, or this week, or this month.  It was a gift and I can choose to put it away and use it some other time.

So I’m going back to the old unfinished projects………….

Knitted scarf done

First knitting project of 2011 finished – the curly (potato chip) scarf.

This is how it looks around my neck.  I’m glad I made the center section in plain garter stitch as it lays nicely around my neck.

It is nice and warm too on a cold winter day here in the mid-west.