Friday, July 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday, #7

1. I saw this on NewAdvent. This is very cute: How would a Marine attack and take Cinderella's castle?

2. Cool weather in New England, finally. I realize we haven't had it as bad as, say Texas on a cool day, but it's good to be cool again.

3. Our visit to our beekeeping friends went well last Sunday. The husband had to leave for about an hour (he's a volunteer fireman);(a local school had a false fire alarm because some student lit some toilet paper under a sprinkler.)

4. We visited the lamb and the pigs and the chickens, and a lone rooster, but not the bees. I think I heard they were not in a good mood due to the heat. I was going to take pictures, but I forgot the camera.

5. On the way back, we saw a sign for the Institute of the Musical Arts, in little backwoods Goshen. Turns out it is a nonprofit teaching, performing and recording facility dedicated to supporting women and girls in music and music-related business. Very interesting. Judging from all the cars, they must have been having a concert that day.

6. Almost across the street from IMA, is a sort of meditation or have a gathering or just visit and look at the interesting art sort of place called Three Sisters Sanctuary, built by a man who named it for his three daughters. For all my life, there has been this more than life size tin man erected in front of the building. I think at one time, it was a storefront for a wood stove seller, or maybe some kind of contractor, or a junk yard, or all three, I don't know. But now the tin man is part of the art.

7. So, tonight, a priest from Poland, a Missionary of the Holy family, Fr. Boguslaw Jaworowski, is going to give a talk tonight at our parish on "The Family and God's Blessings." He doesn't speak English well, so another local Polish-speaking new priest is going to translate for him. (Of course, this means I had to cancel choir rehearsal, as I have had to for various reasons for something like the last 5 weeks. So hopefully, the talk will be worth while!)

Have a good weekend, and be sure to visit Jennifer's blog.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vulnerability

When a military leader is preparing for battle, he will look for the weaknesses of his enemy, and his strategy will be to exploit the weaknesses that he finds.

When we are striving to accomplish some personal goal, say holiness or weight loss, it is also a good idea to look for our own weaknesses.

So, if someone is trying to lose weight, he ought first to investigate: what, in general, are the biggest contributors to weight gain? And of them, what is he most likely to indulge in? Then he cuts it/them out, one at a time.

If one is aiming for holiness, he has to look carefully at himself, and find his weakest points: manifestations of pride, self-love, impatience, etc. Then he has to work at rooting them out, one at a time, or one group of related weak points at a time.

Just like preparing for a battle.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weight Loss

OK, I have lost about 40 pounds in the last 16 months. I did it by eating more fat and less carbohydrates. My only real difficulty has been ice cream, and I think it, and too much protein, were responsible for stalls. So, I reduced the protein to closer to what the charts say my body needs based on height and weight, and instead of eating a pint or more of ice cream once a week or two, several times a week I may eat a half a cup or three quarters of a cup of chocolate ice cream (with sugar, not corn syrup.) My final stall is over and I am 2 pounds from my goal weight.

The thing about the ice cream is this. I finally realized that once a week, or every two weeks, that much sugar is going to take me out of the fat burning mode (ketosis) and it may take 2-3 weeks to get back into it. So, by eating ice cream and going over 50 grams of carbs in one day, I was short-circuiting my weight loss. Keeping the carbs, with ice cream, to under 50 grams a day, apparently keeps me in the mode of using fat as fuel, and I lose the weight.

I was not fat. I was a little overweight and was beginning to feel uncomfortable in my skin. I feel much better now, and I intend to stay within 5 pounds of my goal weight, not less, though, that would be too thin.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because there is a book out that sounds like it may have some useful advice for people out there who are trying to lose weight in a sensible and fairly uncomplicated way. Six Weeks to OMG, Get skinnier than all your friends. He is a trainer who has read a lot of studies and come to some conclusions that are similar to what I've read and put into practice myself. The first review on Amazon is by a physician who was skeptical, but gave it a try and confirmed the research cited, and has lost at least 6 pounds himself.

It's not just diet though. It's life-style. Skipping breakfast, taking cold baths in the morning, drinking black coffee in the morning, watching out for unsuspected carbs in things like broccoli, fruit, and juices. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds very interesting. I may do a review once I've read it. You might want to check it out.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Haiku

A couple of years ago, I given the penance of writing 50 Kaiku related to the Passion of Jesus. This is one of them.

40. gentle springish breeze
little temple lambs a-bleating
Mary, mother, weeps

Selling Things

If you are at all interested in my poetry, my stories, or bead-items, (rosaries or chaplets) come back here and check out the Etsy and eBay links on the sidebar, as well as the Amazon and Lulu links. I plan to sell my own hand-made rosaries, and Eastern Catholic-style beads for reciting the Prayer Rule of St. Pachomius. (More info here.)

Poems Are Coming

I finished editing my book of poetry on Saturday. I want to add some pictures and a table of contents before I publish it. But if you are interested, here is a sample.

The Titan's Embrace

I stood 'neath the diamond-spattered sky
and deeply breathed the cool fall air;
transported by an exhilaration
awakened by the drama of ordinary beauty.
I thrust my arms to the silent twinkling stars
as if to embrace them all
and draw them deep into my heart.

The wind swirled about me,
a myriad of magic spirits dancing,
prancing, teasing, whispering tempting spells
and I felt myself as full of fire,
imbued with the dynamic, driving force
of enduring, newly 'wakened life.

I stood, a mighty titan, on the earth
and touched the white, frozen flames.
Life leapt like lightning from my fingers
and sprayed the galaxies with brilliant splendor.
My heart seemed afire with greatness and power...

and I opened my eyes once more
and gazed with awed joy and admiration
'pon the mystic silver-dusted dark above.
Silent laughter glittered brightly brittle,
casting ageless crystal messages--
that true and glorious greatness
is always and forever born of the Divine.