Sunday, September 25, 2011
This is Winsten. He is my reminder and my coach.
Winsten loves to be taken on walks, and doesn't let me sit too long on my laurels.
He finds me every couple of hours and barks until I get the leash and we head out the door. He makes me remember to MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!
Winsten is also my coach. He seems to know when I need to put on some speed while we are walking, and makes sure I am walking correctly, with good shoes and with good posture.
Sometimes we get walking a bit too fast too long for me, and then he stops along the roadway and shows me something wonderful to look at and sniff. it could be a flower, a weed, a tree or a stone.
And you know what? He's RIGHT!! these things should all be looked at while one is getting her breath back to normal.
I take Sundays as my "Day Off". Winsten knows this, and also knows that Sundays are a great day for walking the dog.
We don't go on quite as many walks on Sunday; he kinda likes the laying back thing, too.
But at least we walk at least a few trips.
This morning while we were walking we spotted an eagle in a tree who then flew up and circled over us before it headed off.
We knew the eagle was wonderful to stop and admire, and then we proceeded on.
The next fascinating thing to look at was some tall weeds with their seed pods attached.
Looking at them for a few minutes, it was again time to move on.
We passed our apple trees and pear trees, and checked to see if they are ready to harvest. Not quite. But Winsten did play "ball" with an apple that had fallen. I had to observe that, too, and he gave me a good laugh.
I owe Winsten big time. He is the one mainly responsible for me fitting in to my now-a-tad-too-big size 12 pants. I don't even have muffin top when I put them on.
He is also the one who has helped the numbers on the scale go down, down, down.
Whenever Winsten and I walk, I never think about losing weight or inches. I just pay attention to where I am, remembering to look and appreciate the world around me. Winsten has taught me that.
There's something rather special about walking on a Sunday. The world seems a bit quieter somehow, and a bit more at peace. Sundays have a promise to them that is not like any other day.
Sundays are Holy. The trees, birds and even the insects that we sometimes have to observe know that Sundays are special.
Yes, indeed. Sunday is a great day for walking the dog!!!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I love to hike in my beautiful Olympic Peninsula, and one of my favorite hikes is the Sol Duc Falls Trail in the Olympic National Forest. I always remember to bring my camera, because there are so many incredible shots to take.
This quilt is from one of my photos that I blew up to 8 1/2x 11. I don't use anything else for the pattern other than the photo. No blow ups, no drawing.....just free cutting, fusing and then incredible hours of thread painting.
I got a lot of encouragement from my local quilt club, Sun Bonnet Sue's, and they talked me in to entering the quilt to the Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) in Santa Clara, CA. I also got a whole lot of ooooohs and aaaaaahs from my Sparkie friends.
So I filled out the forms requesting admission into the competetive show, never dreaming it would be accepted.
I kind of forgot about that, and moved on to other things. Then one day I received their reply.
SOL DUC FALLS TRAIL WAS ACCEPTED into the juried show!!!!
This show is one of the largest in the world, and I am part of it!!!! what an honor, just being accepted!!!
So now I have all my reservations to go to CA from October 9-20th.
Since I moved from that area to the Olympic Peninsula 4 1/2 years ago, I have a lot of friends there, and know my way around. That always helps when traveling.
Already I have plans all set with a couple groups of my friends. I am looking very forward to being with them, and sharing lots of hugs and laughter.
I am part of the Spirited Underdogs Spark Team, and our Fall challenge has begun. One of the requests from the leaders was to take my measurements. I hadn't done that in quite a while.
Not only have I lost over 20 pounds since starting Spark, I have lost a whole lot of inches. It was good to be able to enter the lower measurement numbers and see just how well I am doing.
I have spent the latter part of the summer eating from my community garden. Lots of fresh lettuce, onions, zucchine and crook neck squash, green beans, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes..........the list goes on. There is nothing like eating straight from the garden! The food is so much more flavorful than what we buy in the super markets!
I got my fellow gardners Larry and Sharon all in love with fried green tomatoes, which they expected would be mush and nasty. Now they have stocked up on Panko, which in Japanese bread crumbs that we use to coat the tomatoes before frying.
Now I know that Fried Green Tomatoes aren't exactly "diet" food, but what the heck. It sure beats chowing down on a bag of Oreos, right??
DH actually got his shop cleared out enough to move some cars in, but now he can't find the keys to any of the cars. I helped him with the shop until I was going nuts, but together, we got er done.
DH and I went to see the latest "Ape" movie, and were expecting it to be campy like the old ones. It isn't. We both thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars. I recommend it to everyone.
Our fall challenge has started, as I said. I love this team. They are all so very active and supportive, and always a laugh. Very inspirational.
Our challenge is to lose 5% of our weight during the weeks ahead. I don't do the 5%. I do 5 pounds at a time. I'm not good with those big numbers, and 5 pounds at a time is do-able for me.
That's something I love about Spark. None of the "Rules" are set in concrete, and we are all encouraged to do it whatever way works best for each person.
So Winsten and I have done our walks already today, and now I move on to heavy housecleaning. I'm telling you..........getting the rake and shovel out to clean house is not my favorite way to spend a Saturday. Especially when I get in the mode to CLEAN!!!! I wear myself out, but rather enjoy the glistening while I work, because I then know I am burning off fat and strengthening my body.
Speaking of which, I need to close now and get to the glistening part of my day!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.
If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you'd have $892,919.98.
If you took out only 3% per year, you'd receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you're 95 if you retire at age 65) and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.
I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!
Congressional benefits ---- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement entitlements?
We're "broke" and can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless
In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti , Chile , and Turkey . And now Pakistan ......home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$'s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!
They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries.
Sad isn't it?
99% of people won't have the guts to forward this.
I'm one of the 1% -- I Just Did.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Nobel Prize-winning physicist and erstwhile Obama supporter Ivar Giaever has resigned as a Fellow from the prestigious American Physical Society to protest the organization's promotion of manmade global warming fears.
Norwegian-born Dr. Giaever shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973 for work at General Electric related to superconductors.
In an email to APS Executive Officer Kate Kirby on Sept. 13, which was obtained by the Climate Depot website, Giaever said:
"Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I cannot live with the [APS] statement below:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.
"The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."
Giaever goes on to say: "In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."
A PHYSICIST, a Nobel Prize WINNER (how fast can YOU say "AlGore"?! LOL!) has come out in a very PUBLIC REBUKE OF THE AMERICAN Physical Society, The Nobel Fellowship & Obama said "NO MORE!" .
He and the 70 other SCIENTISTS join a large and growing group of SCIENTISTS who have publicly called Global Warming a hoax, lie, myth a fraud.
Ivar Giaever uses the Kelvin scale AND notes that this is ONLY in the context of the last 150 years...and, says the temps have gone up about a HALF OF A DEGREE on the farenheit scale (the scale we use to tell weather)!!!
A mere HALF OF A DEGREE!!
IN 150 YEARS!!!
Crikey! That can be attributed to, oh, say...SUMMER!!
Folks, this is rich!
What do WE DO?
Get rid of it.
And above ALL, do not fall into the Scare Tactics Bowl!! Think for yourselves!
Personally, I have always found it amazing that Al Gore and his bunch believe MAN can do what GOD cannot!
Historical weather patterns and charts are readily available at your local library if you want to check all this out.
In the meantime, have a NORMAL, BEAUTIFUL Autumn season!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Yesterday I took Stars and Stripes and Stars (above) to the VFW for their 9-11 Memorial Ceremony.
This quilt has quite a story.
I prayed God to give me an inspiration as to how I could honor our Vets, as I am an extremely patriotic person. There's a ka-zillion stories I could tell you about being raised in a very patriotic family, but those stories are not for today.
I was a brand new quilter, and this was my 3rd attempt at making a quilt. When I chose the fabrics, the ladies at the quilt shop said it will never work with what I wanted to do.
So of course, those were the fabrics I chose.
Once the quilt was pieced, I decided that it really didn't belong to ME. It belongs to the Service men and women who have served our country at the risk of their own lives.
I had been thinking about using different buttons off uniforms from the various branches, but then a "God Thing" happened.
I took the quilt down to the local Army/Navy surplus store, thinking of perhaps finding buttons there. While I was looking around, I layed the unfinished quilt on the counter. When I came back from looking for the buttons, three men were clustered around the quilt. They all looked like they were fresh from the Hell's Angels...........greasy jeans, leather vests, huge chain of keys on their belts.
When I got to the quilt, I asked them if I could help them. One of them rather shyly asked if I had made the quilt. I nodded "yes", and then he said "You made it for US, didn't you."
I replied "Well, if you are Veterans, then Yes, I DID make it for you".
Then all three of them started shuffling their feet, and looking at everything except me while one of them stammered and stuttered around, asking if I "would be willing to put some military medals on it".
I was delighted, of course, and they asked if I would wait for them at the store, because they would go home and get "a few medals".
When they came back, they again very shyly thanked me for waiting, and then brought out their medals. The medals were from POW camps. All three of them had been POWs during Viet Nam, and wanted to place those medals on the quilt.
I was flabbergasted. These men had to dig out their trunks from their military days, which they told me were stored "deep in the back of the basement".
They all told me they had never worn their medals, and didn't ever want to wear them or see them again, but they knew they wanted them on the quilt.
They said "They belong on HER", pointing to the quilt.
They chose where they wanted their medals placed, and we put them on her right away.
Having given them my phone number, a few days later the phone started ringing. More vets had heard about the quilt, and they too wanted to put their medals on her.
There are no words to describe the feelings of watching these people pin on the medals they had so suffered for on to where they thought would look "right".
Stars and Stripes and Stars took on a life of her own.
I began getting requests to bring the quilt to various military events, and each time, more medals were added.
She now wears medals from WW I, WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.
She has a Purple Heart, and POW/MIA pin, a Bronze star. She has medals from Medics, Rangers, and Infantry. She boasts proudly her Air Force Captain's medals, Strategic Air Command, Navy and Marine medals. One of her pins is a from a 5 star W.W. I General!
Many of these medals, I cannot read. But people who have served in the Military CAN read them, and they look upon them with tears in their eyes. But they always walk away from her a little taller, and their shoulders are back, their heads held high. It is all very humbling for me.
Stars and Stripes and Stars has been displayed in many states, at many functions. She is very well known throughout the nation. She has become what the Vets call a "National Treasure".
This year I took her down to the VFW in my little town for their Memorial for 9-11 Heroes. She was, as usual, heartfelt by many people who have so valiantly served our nation.
I wish I could show you in a photo all the medals on her. There are many, and I am sure more to come.
While she is not traveling, she hangs in a place of honor in our living room. If you are local, or passing through, come see her for yourself.
This last Memorial Service she was at here at my town brought a new reality to me.
I had only Military medals on her. That isn't right!
I had forgotten all about the Police Departments and Fire Departments! They, too, are heroes, all too often overlooked.
Today I enquired at my local Police Department and Fire Department, asking if they have any medals that could be displayed on the quilt. Neither of their Commanders were in, so I am now awaiting phone calls.
When then-President Bush saw her in Washington at the Viet Nam wall, he asked if he could keep her in the White House. I said "No. She does not belong to ME. She belongs to all the men and women who have served our country. She must be free to be displayed at any and all of their functions where they wish her to be."
Yes, Stars and Stripes and Stars does belong to our Nation's heroes who so courageously keep our freedom preserved.
Let us never forget! Thank a hero today! We have so many of them!!!
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