Thursday, March 03, 2011
Yesterday I saw a new doctor for my annual exam, a nice young man about the same age as my sons. He was kind of quirky, cracking jokes and putting me at ease so I liked him. I take meds for depression and we were going over them and he said that the little blue pill I take at night causes weight gain and constipation. I told my husband and he said, "Well, it's working!" Maybe that little blue pill is what keeps me from losing, last year I struggled all year and the weight just clung to me. I've been taking that pill for about 10 years and slowly put on weight over that time and can't seem to release it.
Well, last year I tried to give up that little pill all during the month of January. I was totally miserable and down in the depths again. When I realized how I had slowed down, I went back to taking it and my mood stabilized and I've been okay. Well, I see my psychiatrist next week and I am going to try again. Maybe I can cut it in half instead of dumping the whole thing. I take it at night and I think it also helps me to sleep so maybe a tylenol PM added would help.
I won't do anything unless I talk to my doctor about it. I did manage to give up 2 pills last year so I am making progress. And I'm perfectly calm about life in general.
This little blue pill is also the one that keeps me from going to a fast weight loss clinic. They turned me down because of it. So, here I am just rolling along.
Tomorrow I go to an all day quilting class. They are having a quilting retreat at the local conference center so I am so excited! Later!
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
You know the one, where you have to see the doctor annually and have a mammagram. Thank goodness for another year. I saw a new funny young doctor, about the same age as my sons but I liked him and he put me at ease. He was looking over my medications for depression and one of them that I take causes constipation and weight gain. Ah, ha! I knew there had to be a reason. Now next week, I see my psychiatrist so I will ask him how I can get off of it. I tried last year to no avail. Had to resume taking it so maybe a lower dose and gradually taper. That particular medication also prohibits me from going to a weight loss clinic. It's on the don't take this person list.
The weather is so beautiful here, why we wait for March to come. THis is the nicest time of year in Northwest Florida but we say that about a lot of times of the year. It will be in the 60's today and sunny. Just lovely! And spring brings out the clients. Another bonus. Got to get to work! Later!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Last night, I talked about the UGR Quilt I had made for my friend Pat at the Cultural Awareness committee meeting at the chamber of commerce. We showed my quilt and I talked about how I got into it, etc. It is Black History Month so it fell right in. I'm attaching a the article I wrote and presented most of, talking not reading.
AFRICAN AMERICAN QUILT MAKING AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
A griot (pronounced GREE oh) is a West African Storyteller who is trained to memorize records and tell stories about births, deaths, marriages and cultural traditions in the African village. We all became familiar with the Griot when we watched Alex Haley’s ROOTS and saw Alex meeting with the griot in the village of his ancestor, Kunta Kintah! It is through this century’s long tradition that we learn about the Underground Railroad and how quilts and the messages they conveyed, helped the slaves to escape to freedom.
I have always loved to sew and have been interested in quilt making for a very long time. I have dabbled in the craft and I collect books and magazines featuring articles on quilts. In the late 90’s, I was cruising around on Amazon.com looking for something to read on quilting and sewing when up popped this small book, HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW; A secret story of quilts and the underground railroad! This got my attention because I’ve also been interested in slavery and how life was for people in those days.
The book HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW describes the author, Jacqueline L. Tobin, and her encounter with an African American woman named Ozella McDaniel Williams in Charleston, South Carolina. Ozella had a booth full of quilts at the local street market and while Tobin was looking at them, Ozella said, “Did you know that quilts were used by slaves to communicate on the Underground Railroad?” From that point on, Tobin researched and wrote this book. I devoured it, was fascinated by it and tucked the information away until it came back and spoke to me last summer. I decided to take a quilting class at the local store, Sewing Center Around the Block. While looking around the shop at the beautiful fabrics, a pattern book caught my eye. It was called UNDERGROUND RAILROAD SAMPLER by Eleanor Burns, a dedicated quilter, a white woman. In the introduction she describes her encounter with the book HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW and how she had always been interested in the Underground Railroad as well. I picked up that pattern book and went home with it.
I loved my quilting class and I rekindled my love of sewing and quilt making. I decided that I would attempt to make an Underground Railroad Quilt for my friend Pat. It just seemed like the next logical project for me. I would hone my quilting skills and create a meaningful gift as well. Once in November, while taking our neighborhood walk, Pat and I were talking about quilts and she said that maybe I could make one for her some day. Little did she know that I was frantically working on the Underground Railroad Quilt, managing to finish it on Christmas Eve, just in time!
There has been some consensus from scholars about the validity of this legend, whether quilts were actually used as messages for escaping slaves. But going back to the traditions of the griot, and how African Americans learned by talking to each other about legends and lore, it is not hard to believe that this could actually happen. There are few surviving quilts from that period as proof. However, it is known that slave women were skilled seamstresses who helped their mistresses with quilting and sewing for the household. They would make quilts for their own families out of feed sacks, worn out clothing and fabric scraps. Quilts were necessities for warmth and shelter and after being washed many times with harsh lye soap, they would fall apart. There is history about an African American woman, originally a slave named Harriet Powers. She communicated with the world through an oral and visual history of quilts, using narrative themes of events in her life. (taken from STITCHED FROM THE SOUL by Gladys-Marie Fry)
Harriet was skilled in the art of appliqué, which is a technique where small pieces of cloth are sewn to another piece of cloth to create a figure or story. This technique was brought by male slaves from Africa who were skilled in the art of appliqué and the slave women continued this type of needlework. It is through Harriet Powers’ quilts and history that we can understand how the oral tradition of telling stories is recorded by slaves who were not taught to read and write.
There are fifteen quilt sampler blocks in Eleanor Burns quilt pattern book. These blocks were derived from the oral history knowledge and story of Ozella Williams. Each block gives a message to the escaping slave on where he should go and what he should do next. This history derived from HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT goes like this:
“The monkey wrench turns the wagon wheel toward Canada. With help from Jesus, the Carpenter, follow the Bears’ Trail through the woods. Fill your baskets with enough food and supplies to get you to the Crossroads. Once you get to the crossroads, dig a log cabin in the ground. Shoofly told us to dress up in cotton and satin bow ties. Follow the flying geese and birds in the air; stay on the drunkard’s path. Take the Sailboat across the Great Lakes to the North Star above Canada.”
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I decided to eat sensibly yesterday and I did but I sure blew it in the points category when I tracked my WW points. Close to 40 for the one day and I thought I was doing well. Too many carbs and not enough fruit, veg and protein. I'll try and do better today. That's all I can do, better each day. I did go out for a walk this morning for about a mile. Pat didn't show so I turned around and went home. I was hungry last night and wanted a pop tart in the worst way. My stomach was growling but I was good and said no. This morning, back to the raisin bran muffin. I've got to get my fruit in today.
Not much else going on.
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