Saturday, October 30, 2010

Follow Up

Well, my store room is pretty well dried out. My landlord had to remove about half the ceiling drywall and half of one sheet on the wall which wasn't as bad as expected. He's hoping to be able to reinsulate and put it all back together in the next week or so. HOORAY!

The eating is going well. I'm managing to stay within my allotted calories and not feel overly hungry as the day progresses. My weigh-in will be Tuesday and we'll see what's happened then.

"Much Madness Is Divine Sense" - Emily Dickinson

Much madness is divine sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,-- you're straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well, most of the mess from Saturday is taken care of, with only a few things still spread out drying, but everything is still piled in my entry way as the floor in the store room has not completely dried out yet and the drywall has to be pulled off the ceiling and replaced before things can moved back in and restacked. Gives me time to rethink the room and whether I want to rearrange things.

My current stitching project is coming along nicely and I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the week.

And here's today's poem by Christina Rossetti


Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What A Mess!

I live in a ground floor suite - my landlord and his wife have the second and third floors. Well, yesterday, their hot water tank blew and it just happens to be above my storage room. The floor was awash, but luckily the water had only dripped on one side of the room and most of the stuff there was in plastic bags or Rubbermaid totes so it could be saved. But sitting on the floor in cardboard magazine holders I had ALL my Just Cross Stitch magazines, about 40 of them, and they got totally saturated. I could not rescue even one. So my entry way is full of all the stuff that was on the floor of the store room while the floor (only rough wood, thank goodness) dries, the rug that was on the floor is hanging over my entrance stair railing and I'm hoping it doesn't rain for at least 24 hours so it has a chance to dry, and almost every flat surface has something damp drying/airing on it. It was not the best way to spend a Saturday evening.

This poem by Thomas Hardy seems to fit the mood.

During Wind and Rain

They sing their dearest song--
He, she, all of them--yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss--
Elders and juniors--aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all--
Men and maidens--yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them--aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Found Some Help

I realized I needed to do a bit more than just watch my portions if I was going to really get some serious weight lost. However, I find the whole business of watching calories and making sure I get the right nutrition more than a little confusing. BUT, I found a website that is helping -
You put in your current weight, your goal weight and when you would like to reach it and it tells you how much you need to lose each day. You add in what level of life-style activity you are and it tells you how many less calories you need to take in in order to lose. There is a place to enter your daily food choices that will track calories and you can generate graphs to show if you are meeting all your nutritional needs. I think it will help, but I've only been using it for 3 days, so we shall see. I am really hoping I can do this my way.

Found another poem. I'm finding all these in a book called The Top 500 Poems, based on how often they show up in anthologies. I'm running into some old favourites as well as discovering some poets I've never heard of before. This poem is by Robert Bridges who is one of those new finds.

Beautiful must be the mountains whence ye come,
And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom
Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
Bloom the year long!
Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
A throe in the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound.
No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
For all our art.
Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
Welcome the dawn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is my latest cross stitch completion. It's done on 14 count vinyl weave and is the insert for a mouse pad. I'm doing several of them as thank you gifts for a number of ladies who helped me when I was undergoing radiation treatment.

So far the "diet" is going well. I've realized though that I've eaten the same thing for lunch for almost a week. I'm not going to be able to keep that up, so VARIETY has to be added to my personal rules list.

Found another Hopkins poem.

The Habit Of Perfection

Elected Silence, sing to me
And beat upon my whorled ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.

Shape nothing, lips; be lovely-dumb:
It is the shut, the curfew sent
From there where all surrenders come
Which only makes you eloquent.

Be shelled, eyes, with double dark
And find the uncreated light:
This ruck and reel which you remark
Coils, keeps, and teases simple sight.

Palate, the hutch of tasty lust,
Desire not to be rinsed with wine:
The can must be so sweet, the crust
So fresh that come in fasts divine!

Nostrils, your careless breath that spend
Upon the air and keep of pride,
What relish shall the censers send
Along the sanctuary side!

O feel-of-primrose hands, O feet
That want the yield of plushy sward,
But you shall walk the golden street
And you unhouse and house the Lord.

And, Poverty, be thou the bride
And now the marriage feast begun,
And lily-coloured clothes provide
Your spouse not laboured-at nor spun.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Week

Well, I got through the weekend reasonably well - except for the lunch on Saturday, so we'll see how I do with this week.

Finished a cross stitch item - picture hopefully next blog - and I've pulled the threads for the next project. These are for 'thank you' gifts, so I have to keep working on them.

Found a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins that I like. He's not the easiest poet to read, but I LOVE the way he uses the English language.

Carrion Comfort

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee:
Not untwist--slack they may be--these last strands of man
In me or, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.

But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? and fan,
O in terms of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer.
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Special Lunch

Well, it was my monthly Breast Cancer Support Group lunch today and what a marvelous group. I've only been going since I got home from my radiation treatments in mid-July, but I enjoy them so much. Knowing you can talk about your fears, concerns. triumphs and everyone understands what you're talking about is wonderful. And there is always so much laughter! Today was no exception, even though there are serious things happening - one member's cancer has returned, another is losing a son to a brain tumour and another is supporting her husband through prostate cancer. Lots of tears and hugs were also the order of the day.

And I blew my eating plan! This is NOT an auspicious start to my program. However, I'll stick to just soup for supper and get back on track. I have some fabulous homemade chicken soup.

Had to pass on a trip to Terrace for the day which was disappointing - would have been nice to do some shopping - but hopefully there'll be time a little later before the weather (and thus the road) gets lousy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's The Weight Thing!

Well, as much as I would like to keep procrastinating, it's time to get to the reason I really wanted to start regular blogging again - my weight. Between just being lazy and not being serious about watching what I eat, I've turned myself morbidly obese. What an ugly phrase that is, but not as ugly as what it's done to me. So, with the cancer scare, the diabetes and all the aches and pains, I'm committed to doing something about the weight. It's daunting - I have a total of 265 pounds to lose (as of 1 Jan 2010) and I know it's going to take a LONG time. As a plus, as of today I've lost 34.5 of that. However, most of that was not because I was working at it, but because of the cancer treatments and not caring if I ate or not. That is not something you can sustain for a long period.

So, the immediate plan is to change two things - start walking at least 2 days a week and work on portion control with my food. I thought hard about starting a more traditional diet, but they have never worked for me before. So, I've hauled out my diabetic food charts with portion sizes and how many per meal and that's where I'll start. And I have a good friend who has volunteered to walk with me and give me an encouraging push when I need it.

I'm really hoping I can do this - my track record for weight management is terrible!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Stitching

In June of 2008 I mentioned starting to stitch a Patchwork SAL (Stitch-A-Long) and showed the finished Part 1. There was to be a new part issued each month and I had hopes of being able to keep up. Well, that didn't happen, but here's where I am at the moment. Here's Part 1, upper left corner.

Below is Part 2.

Below is Part 3.

Below is Part 4.

Below is Part 5.

Below is Part 6.

This makes me 1/2 way through the project. I have finished all the black "frame" and just need to stitch the remaining 6 blocks.

I'm hoping to get at least 2 more completed by the end of this year, but it keeps being but aside as more urgent patterns are started. Having an octopus's eight arms would be a definite plus some days!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Catching Up

Just thought I'd do a quick update on what's changed (or not) over the quiet time.
My cat Tasha contracted cancer and had to be released early in January of this year. Now I have 2 furries sharing my space - a large white male, about 3 years old named Snowy and a smaller, black Scottish-fold male, also about 3 named Yoda. They both came from a rescue shelter ( and have adapted well, apart from the occasional spat over who sleeps where.
I find I'm still working at the fitness club, doing a few reception shifts every week and keeping the books.
Still reading - working my way through Janet Evanovitch's Plum series. There are 16 books in the set at the moment and I've just finished #12. They are a fun read.
And poetry is still very much part of my reading. This one by A.E. Housman caught my eye.
Into My Heart an Air That Kills
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
And I'm still stitching. I have several large projects that I'm working on in rotation so each is progrssing slowly. I have though finished a few smaller projects.

I want to send this one to my oncologist for her office.

This one is for the first grandchild of a good friend. It's the hood of a baby towel.
I'll be making these into ornaments for the craft fair in November.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Best Laid Plans . . . .

Well, so much for my good intentions. However, shortly after I posted that entry, I went through the roller coaster of being suspected of having, then diagnosed with breast cancer. Then surgery and treatments. Now that I've started the count down to being a survivor and pretty well come to terms with what has happened, I'm going to try this again. I still want to blog more regularly, so we'll see how it goes this time.