Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Latest Happenings:

 Hi, all. I noticed that Henny Penny posted (twice!) and figured I should come say hello also. 

I've had a busy week. Traveled out of the state for a few days, and then played catch-up for a couple of days ... and then the week is over! I've missed my studio and the quiet creative hours there. The two dogs love to come in too, and sleep under the desk.

I'll post a few photos here, and if I have anything else to say, I'll do that too.

Adam and me:


A painting I did, using a friend's photo as inspiration:

I sewed some bunting for the first time ever! I will do more because it was fun and turned out quite well.
Today I noticed that our gardenia bush is starting to bloom.
Lucy. Sigh! She has not settled down quite yet.
Elderberry bloom heads, from over a week ago. Soon ... berries!
I made this skirt recently from scraps of Batik fabric that a friend gave me. It was a fun project, but I was lucky that it did fit when I was done.

That's all for now! I hope you're having a lovely weekend. We've had spotty, heavy rain today, really soaking the ground. We needed it. Probably the last of the cool weather also.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Intermittent Fasting: 20 Months In

 June 2022: I think this is around the time that I discovered that my AIC levels were high -- creeping above 6.0. At this time I decided to cut sugar out of my diet, and make some reasonable attempt to curb my bad carbohydrate intake. I cut out sweets, desserts, and ice cream. I'd stopped drinking sodas several years before. I didn't think it was doable to stop eating carbs altogether, but I switched to wheat bread with zero added sugars. Otherwise, however, I did not change my eating. I continued to have breakfast as soon as I got up in the morning, and I usually had a snack of popcorn in the evenings.

September, 2022: My AIC was 6.3. My doctor informed me that my diet changes were not working. She strongly advised me to start on pre-diabetic medications. I did not want to do this. I asked for more time.

Previously, Adam had used intermittent fasting for weight loss in 2014 with very good success. He did long fasts -- 2 or 3 days. It didn't last, and when he stopped fasting, he regained the weight. But intermittent fasting stuck in my mind. Adam had read Dr. Jason Fung's book and watched his videos on Youtube. Fung is a real doctor, a kidney specialist, from Toronto. He did not seem like a quack, and he'd had good success getting his obese patients to lose weight and regain health with intermittent fasting.

I've never found weight-loss to be a sufficient motivator for dieting, much less fasting. But avoiding daily diabetic medications? Metformin? Insulin injections? Finger pricks? YIKES! I'd watched my daddy battle that for 50 years, and I was determined -- very determined -- to avoid that road if I could. I resisted my doctor, who called intermittent fasting a "crazy diet." I started intermittent fasting in September, 2022. That was 20 months ago.

First, weight loss. I lost a little over 30 pounds and have kept it off. That's nice, but wasn't my goal.

Second, intermittent fasting is not easy. It requires a significant change to how most Americans eat -- WHEN we eat. We're used to focusing on WHAT we eat (which is also important, of course), but our attitude to our eating schedule is: when you want to eat, eat.

December, 2022: My AIC was 6.2.

July, 2023: My AIC was 6.1. The reversal of my pre-diabetes was slow, but it was happening!

I do a 16 hour fast every day. I eat dinner at about 4:00 pm, and I don't have anything except water until about 8:00 am the next morning. I'm not perfectly consistent, I occasionally cheat, but not often, and if I do jump off-wagon over a holiday or a vacation, I immediately resume my schedule when I get back home.

Third, no you're not hungry. I thought I was starving at first. I desperately wanted snacks in the evening. I craved chocolate. I wanted to put something in my mouth. But it's all in the mind, and not in the stomach. After about a year of intermittent fasting, I no longer craved anything, and I no longer wanted food outside of my eating window. I remind myself, during my eating window, to eat! Enjoy food! I still don't eat sweets, but I do enjoy carbs and other things. I don't crave sweets much at all. I eat more fruit than I used to. 

Then, during my fasting window, I remind myself that my body is healing, it's getting rid of all those calories and quieting the sugar down. Now, when I'm fasting, I feel very good. I don't want big meals. I never want to stuff myself. Fasting really does make your body -- your gut especially -- feel good.

January, 2024: My AIC was 6.2 again, and my doctor is not pleased. However, that was after Thanksgiving and Christmas, traveling and celebrating. I'm not too worried.

I know I can control my AIC with intermittent fasting. I know I can successfully do fasting for the rest of my life without much trouble. It feels normal now to eat on this schedule. If, one evening, I can't eat dinner early and I eat at 6:00 pm, then the next morning I delay breakfast until 10:00 am. It's not that hard. I just had to overcome my mindset about eating whenever I wanted. 

I can't guarantee success for anybody else, but I can recommend that you read and research for yourself. It takes commitment, probably a commitment for the rest of your life. That's hard. But I know that diabetic meds are rough on the body, and I want to be healthy, not medicated -- if possible.  

Monday, April 29, 2024

Sacrament

As the twilight cools to evening

He will lead me through the garden, 

Past the angels, who will bow,

Past the other trees aplenty 

To the one with heavy boughs.


For this tree we've all been hung'ring,

For its fruit our bodies long.

But before we reach its shade

He kneels with me beside a brook

Of crystal water shimmering.


We cup our hands together there -

His old scars are faint and healed -

And dip, and then together sip.

He takes this sacrament with me

As we were always meant to do.


The rivulet of life begins

A transformation within me.

Then we stand before the tree,

Its fearful fruit will soon become

Flesh of my flesh, bone of bone.


He reaches out and picks the fruit,

He breaks its flesh and gives to me

The sacred life. We eat together

Of the Tree of Life at last!

Now the sacrament is done.


I will live within the garden,

I will sleep within its shade.

I will dance among its flowers,

I will speak among the trees,

I will live eternally.



- Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in Paradise." from Luke 23:43

- "And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost." from Revelation 22:17

- "and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever ” from Genesis 3:22


Bayboro, NC 2024

Copyright by the author



Saturday, April 20, 2024

Honeysuckle

 I smelt it yesterday in a viney hedge.

Today I see its blooms, white and yellow.

It pulls me into childhood, into memory.

So I pick a yellow one, squeeze its tip,

And pull gently, waiting for the drip.

Ah, honey dew! One perfect nectar!

When I was five, my brother

Whom I adored, showed me how

To harvest honeysuckle.

We spent a golden hour in the backyard

Sipping to our hearts' content.

I asked if we could fill a bucket

one drop at a time, and he said

technically, yes. Magic, I thought.

He lifted me on his shoulders and

I was taller than I'll ever be.

Neither of us learned the secret of the honeysuckle,

Neither gathered a bucket drop by drop.

I have lost that brother to the pain of life,

But today I tasted honey dew and remember him.


Bayboro, NC, 2024

copyright by the author

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Williamsburg in Spring

The Governor's Palace Gardens



The John Whythe House


The Shoemaker's Shop


A view from the 2nd floor of the Capitol, looking down the Duke of Glouchester Street


The Weaver's and Spinner's Shop

Bruton Parish Church



 Twice, Adam and I have bought annual passes to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. We may do it again in a few years because it's one of our favorite places to go. I never tire of touring a few of the homes or important buildings. Last time I spent lots of time in the museums. I always visit the weaver's shop and the herb gardens. This time I toured the Capitol (a favorite), the Whythe house, and the Raleigh Tavern. I tried to arrive in time for the Wednesday service at Bruton Parish Church, but missed it. We take Beau and Tricky with us, so Adam spends his time sitting outside (while I go inside), which suits him fine. He chats with people and talks about dogs. He enjoys going inside the Tailor's Shop, and we often visit the brickyard if they are putting together or taking apart their free-standing kiln. We stay overnight at Anvil Campground, which offers 3 small cabins for sleeping, for those without an R.V. It's less than 10 minutes' drive to Colonial Williamsburg.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Joy of Resurrection!

 This year, more than ever before on Easter weekend, I felt the nervous anticipation, the heavy waiting, and the exuberance of the morning of resurrection. He is risen!











Adam made two large batches of hot cross buns this year, one for his students at school and one for our parishioners at church. 
We had lovely Easter lilies in the sanctuary, with the last of the daffodils and a bunch of Spanish bluebells from our yard.
Adam was quite busy during the Easter season this year: a program at school where he was a narrator, Easter sunrise service, and then our usual services at church, along with a song from our handchime choir (I direct; he plays). After church we took hot cross buns and lilies to two of our shut-ins. It was lovely to visit with them.
Sunrise services are too early for me. I joke that I'd love to attend them if they were later! But I took a picture of the sunrise from our front porch. Adam says the service by the riverfront in Oriental was very well attended. 
I'm still painting a little, not as much as I used to. The photo at the end is a little one I did recently that I do like.
May you, dear friend, continue to feel the wonderful inner glow of joy that comes from knowing that our best friend, rescuer, Lord and brother, Jesus Christ, overcame death Himself, and for us also. That means -- eternity! All the joys of heaven are ours. Amen.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Looking Down

My earliest memory is deep leaves

and my feet, kicking and walking,

holding someone's left hand.

Somehow I always knew it was

my grandparents' farm, although

there is nothing else, only

deep leaves, dry and crunching

leaves all around my feet,

I'm looking down because

that's what children do.


Then, it seems only moments later,

he is walking on my left,

my son's little son,

holding my hand as we walk

along a gravel road to the farm.

He kicks the rocks and studies them.

He grasps my fingers firmly.

I watch him and turn my face

up to the blue above.

The forsythia glows like sun.

Look at my shadow! he says.

It's so big!

He is looking down, because

that's what children do.


Copyright by the author

Renick WV, 2024