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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - Wheelchair Exercise


Working with dialysis patients is a challenge.  Many have had diabetes for years, and have lost a foot or leg due to infection.  The resulting disability limits activity and overall health.  Patients can easily lapse into depression, give up on taking care of themselves -  even abondon their dreams for the future.  And THAT is a very bad place to be.  So I'm on a mission to find realistic exercises for these patients. Exercise strengthens our bodies and stimulates our minds.  Natural endorphins boost our mood.  These chair and wheelchair programs hold great promise.  Check 'em out!  You might have a little fun in the process. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Attempt at Machine Applique

I settled on pastel hearts, made using freezer paper and holding the turned edge with glue stick.  Next step: To figure out how to do machine applique.  I've been doing hand applique since I was a kid, but doing it by machine is a little scary.  Looked at a number of tutorials, but learn better by doing - so I consulted my sewing machine manual, grabbed a bold colored thread, and give it a whirl. 
Yikes...maybe I should take a class.  These hearts are going to be hand stitched! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ready for Embellishment

Lavender Chic is now ready for embellishment.  Here are some color experiments:
Too dark!
Cute, yes! 
But three dimensional embellishments are a choking hazard for babies. 
I could match the border shade.  But definitely NOT with chenille. 
The search continues....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lavender Chic On Design Wall

Got to cut and layout this little quilt tonight.  Its from a kit called Lavender Chic.  If you look at the label, you can see it will have a lilac border.  What you can't see is that the border is chenille - that loopy fabric used for bedspreads in the 1960s.  I and my sewing room are now covered in lavender loops.

Some folks claim they can put together an intricate "quilt in a day."  But if I get this simple little quilt pieced in the next 24 hours, I'll be very happy.  Still thinking about doing some applique hearts or flowers.  Must think on that a bit longer!  :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Its March in Wisconsin.  Its COLD out.  
Scraped ice off my windshield, and its sleeting right now. 

Yet, I noted a spot of green in my flower bed. 
Can you tell what it is? 

It's a stinkin' DANDELION.
Mother Nature, if this is your idea of a joke it's not funny! :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WDA Food Quilt - Finished

Got it quilted, bound, sleeved, labeled and shipped! 
This means I can start a new project - woo hoo!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gluten Free Goodness

Many moons ago, I married into a hunting family - so I got pretty good at cooking venison.  Eventually, my ex gave up hunting.  So I hadn't cooked any venison in a decade or so.  Then late last year, two milestones occurred.  I was diagnosed with celiac disease in November, and in December DS2 shot his first deer. 

All of my venison recipes called for beef broth, beef boullion, beef base, canned beef gravy, canned tomato soup, commercial barbecue sauce, Worchestershire sauce, A-1 Steak Sauce or Kitchen Bouquet...ALL of which are excluded from a gluten free diet.  I tried GF beef "flavored" broth - which tasted so awful that only the dog would eat it.  So I made my own stock.  This was a lot of work, didn't turn out all that great, and got used up way too fast.

Finally, I stumbled upon Maxwell's Kitchen's Brown Gravy Mix.  It's fantastic!  One packet makes 10 ounces of gravy and costs anywhere from $1.75 a packet (on the Intranet) to $2.29 (at a local grocery store).  Fortunately, my favorite store has it for $1.89, which is cheaper than buying it by the case and paying shipping.  I cannot (yet) attest to the quality of the pork, chicken or turkey gravy mixes.  But the brown gravy is made with real beef, and has resulted in an excellent venison Swiss steak and a rouladen-style venison in gravy.  Now we're cookin'!

Can't wait to try the other flavors!  :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

WDA Food Quilt

Finally had a chance to sit down and sew for more than a few minutes.  Gosh, it feels good to have tangible results!  This 30 x 30" quilt will be donated to a fund raiser for the Wisconsin Dietetic Association.  Need to get it basted, quilted and mailed to its destination by March 19th.  I think I'll add a sleeve to the back so it can be hung up and admired - rather than set on a table and covered up. 

The fabrics in this quilt looked so tasty, I had to put down my sewing and go eat an orange!  What thread color would you use to quilt it?

Today's challenge was to get the top assembled.  Mission accomplished!  :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Wellness - Soft Drinks

kids drinking soda

This little whippersnapper cracks me up - what a refreshing approach to health education!  
He's advocating (with a little help from his parents) for a bill to ban soft drinks from schools in the Philippines.
There's no doubt we drink way too many full sugar soft drinks - not just in the US or the Philippines - but the world over!  Soft drinks weaken our bones and teeth, contribute to overweight and obesity, adult-onset diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other diet-related chronic illnesses. 

The information here is 99% accurate.  (Its always better to eat whole fruit than to drink fruit juice.  But if you - like me - just can't start the day without your OJ, limit it to 1/2 cup/day.  Also, the sugar/behavior link is debatable - but that's a topic for another day.) 

The picture above comes from another awesomely creative post. This one suggests funding your next vacation with soda money!  I bet most kids could be talked into that!


PS - Writer's block prevented me from posting nutrition-related material for some time. I may not post every Wednesday, but intend to post most Wednesdays. And I've changed the header from Wednesday Weigh-In to Wednesday Wellness, because focusing on the scale alone doesn't always reflect changes in body composition. For instance, a 2 lb. weight increase may reflect that you're well-hydrated, and or even gaining muscle. Better to look at weekly trends than daily fluctuations.

Ah, but I digress...I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did!  :)