Monday, June 28, 2010


Okay, it has taken me just over a week to get my photos onto my computer and share a bit of our wonderful bit of respite at Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia.
It's my favorite place in the whole world.
We met a dear friend, her oldest daughter, and nephew and got to have a wonderful, if whirlwind visit. They were only there for 2 days, but we enjoyed every moment of them.

As you can see, the kiddos love to play in the low surf and tidepools. With jellyfish in the deeper waters, the kids have learned to be kind of careful and stay in the shallows. We swim in pools, we wade and body surf a bit in the ocean.

DS 13 got a little excited when we arrived. He seems a bit happy to be back on island time!

DS 12 and my friend's lovely daughter had a great time!

Putt putt was a blast! What handsome putt-putters I have!!!

A parting shot of my friend and her younguns trying to figure out strategy!
One part of our vacation that I don't have any pictures of is our turtle walk. Years ago, we took a class with the kids on how to go on the beach and night and look for endangered loggerhead sea turtles. We have been roaming the beach late at night with red lights (turtles aren't disturbed by the red light, but a regular flashlight can disorient them) ever since.
The one night that I was able to go (no exhausted kids to watch over so others could go) we met a really nice fella and his daughter who were newbies. We actually saw a turtle finish her nest and return to the ocean. It was so great to see this through the eyes of folks who hadn't seen it before. It awakened all of my teacher instincts.
Love that!

I have been remiss

I haven't posted in awhile. It's been odd, but I haven't been terribly sure what to say lately.

That is definitely not like me.

So, here is an update of life lately:

I haven't blogged about it much (if at all), but I got horrible blood test results back in February and March. The doctor really scared me. I knew that I was overweight, but I didn't realize that my health had gotten quite so bad. I wasn't just "fluffy." I was a ticking time bomb.

So on March 28, 2010, the doctor's blood tests confirmed that my efforts (and they had truly been genuine) to make improvements through diet weren't working, so he put me on a diet which he had found to be truly helpful. It involved buying my foods, drinks, shakes, etc. from a particular company. It was a "moderately low carb" plan.

I was (and am) seriously averse to "frankenfoods." I had begun eating clean and following a good plan on that follows the USDA guidelines, so I had already been cutting out a lot of processed foods from my diet. That left me in a quandry.

The program that the doctor uses has a great history of success, but it is also expensive. I realize that I probably spend close to this for food for myself each month, but certainly not in a single payment! I just don't have that kind of cash to throw around, so I did lots of research and asked my doctor lots of questions and came up with a way to do this myself.

I went back to check a lot of the original research that was done on low carb diets. I know, I am a nerd, but I really wanted to understand how to make this work without the fake foods. Eventually, I settled on a more moderate version of the Atkins plan. Dr. Atkins had done all of the original research, but I took my doctor's advice and went fairly moderate. I never went into Induction at all, but went straight to the On-going Weight Loss phase (OWL).

So far, from March 29th through today, I have lost 38 lbs. and am feeling better than I have felt in years. I am walking every evening with my family and it feels pretty good (even if it is HOT!). I seem to have lost my taste for, and cravings for, intensely sugary foods. I don't even really want them. Believe me when I tell you that this has never been true for me in the past, no matter what diet I tried.

My goal was always to lose enough to be in a healthy BMI with about 5 lbs. of wiggle room for maintenance. That is a goal of 120 lbs. It seems unbelievable that I could ever be that weight. The last time I weighed that was probably in 7th grade (1979 or so). To reach that weight will entail a loss of 118 lbs or so. Literally, half of me. It's a daunting goal.

As far as mini-goals, I had hoped to lose 50 lbs. by my birthday in early October. I really think that I might be able to pull that off now. It's amazing. I have tried so many times and not experienced any success. It seems foreign to me that I could actually pull this off, but I really seem to be doing it.

My doctor says that my metabolism has been so damaged over the years (not so much from yo-yo dieting, because I was never very successful with dieting) from a slow, continual climb in weight that this program is just about the only way for me to lose. I don't know that it would be right for everyone, but it is certainly a healthy option for me.

Oddly, I was so focused on improving my health that I didn't really realize how much that my quality of life would improve. Or, how much I would enjoy going blueberry picking, or for a brisk walk on the beach during vacation or just our little walks on the track every evening.

I think I haven't blogged about this until now because I was very ashamed of how unhealthy I had become. I also don't think that I ever really believed that I could do this successfully.

It's taken me 38 lbs and almost being out of the dreaded "200s" to feel like maybe, just maybe, I was wrong. Maybe I can make this happen. Maybe I can shop in regular size stores. Maybe I can feel young again.

Just maybe.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cool Giveaway!

Check out the giveaway for a vintage sheet quilt on this blog. The quilt is adorable and I know everyone will want in on this one. Tell them I sent you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Birthday Finish!

I may not have been really up to date with my blogging, but I do have a wonderful new finish to report. My Aunt, who we affectionately call Dee (not her real name) is having a birthday today. Fortunately, I don't think she reads my blog, so I can post a sneak peek here.

It all started with these....
I won all 3 patterns earlier this year from Janice and Marcea at Abbey Lane Quilts. I was completely smitten by the Abbey Bag pattern. Don't get me wrong, I adore them all, but the Abbey Bag seemed just the thing to make for my quilting Aunt.

I have been collecting a bit of Vintage Sheets in order to make an old fashioned looking summer quilt for hubby and I. We love that shabby chic meets cottage meets grandma's farmhouse look, especially in our bedroom. It just so happened as I was searching for a magnificent gift idea that I got my package back from the Vintage Sheet Charm Square Swap that I participated in!

Hmmm.... Great pattern. Lovely Vintage Fabbies. I love it when a plan comes together!

Here is the completed Abbey Bag laying flat while the glue dries.

Here is what it looks like in use, the snippets bag hanging off of the edge.
Love that lining fabric and pocket!

Here is the closeup of the flower portion. My machine is getting really clunky/weird, so my flower petals are kind of wonky. But, hey, wonky works for me!
All in all, I adore this little pincushion/snippets bag combo. It even has a double pocket for scissors, seam ripper, etc. Plus, it's pretty and could be made easily out of my stash VS, which saves me money as well.
Can't beat that!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Amazing Giveaway!

I love giveaways. It's a fun part of the blogging community. It's a great way to encourage readership and to get a chance to see new blogs and make new bloggy friends, even if you don't win a prize. And who couldn't use a little fun?

And what quilter couldn't use an Accuquilt Go! cutter???

This is an amazing giveaway. Rush over to this blog to learn more and sign up. Tell them I sent you. No, really, stop what you are doing and click HERE!!! You don't want to miss out on this.

Personally, if I didn't already have a blog, I would start one for this!