Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quote o' the Day


"Good friends are like stars.
 
You don't always see them,
but you always know they are there." 

 --Unknown


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 23rd Psalm verse 1



(click on the image to see it bigger)

Sennelier soft pastels
+
a Zig writer in Platinum
=


XOXO,
Lucky Dog


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Scripture


Jeremiah
9 verse 24

I am the Lord Who demonstrates unfailing love
and Who brings justice and righteousness to the earth…
I delight in these things.


Friday, August 26, 2011

NCIS: the 8th Season




Hot off the presses and just released...

We received our copy of:
NCIS:  the 8th Season!!!


6 discs full!
Oh boy!!

And among its extras, it hints that they have
included the special effects and how
they made Director Vance look so young
in that flashback episode.  (!)

('Cause that was so amazing, wasn't it?)

Oh boy!!!
Can you say, marathon??
LOL

XOXO,
Lucky Dog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quote o' the Day


"You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.
You have a body."

-- C.S. Lewis




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If I'm Knitting, It Must Be Football Season


That title is a take-off of an old movie title, “If This Is Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium.”

Not that I know anything about that movie.  I just have these things in my head, and sometimes I feel the need to explain.  J

But yes.  Knitting and Football go together in my world.

The minute I heard the TV sounds of the 1st preseason football game the other week, I thought, ooh, where’s my knitting bag?

But now that we have the new chair (!), maybe I will knit all year round.


Yes, Mr. Man and I bought a delicious new leather chair, and we couldn’t be happier. 

The fact that my halogen lamp sits right next to it must surely be a coincidence, so apparently I have to enjoy it as my new reading and knitting nest as well.  LOL

But what to knit??

Heaven knows I have an embarassingly wonderful stash of lovelies to choose from…  And so I chose a metallic chocolate brown faux fur yarn to knit up a sparkly shawl for the holidays. 

Not this year’s holidays, of course.  No, I’m a slow knitter who savors the process.  And that’s the one thing that I would never enjoy rushing:  knitting.  That would be like gulping down my morning vanilla coffee.  That's just not done.

And since I chose a faux fur, that means I can use just the knit stitch.  Simple and easy.  Sweet!

I think it looks like a long stinging caterpillar right now.  J


(Wasn’t the cat cute to pose and curl his toes for the photo??)   

That shawl is a nice balance to my other current knitting project: a lovely lace scarf.


The lace pattern is easy enough.  It’s the standard, Old Shale.  But I would pick an absolutely gorgeous, but difficult, yarn to use.  Yarn is really a misnomer here.  It’s a fuzzy thread!

Good grief, why do I do this to myself?????

Oh, yeah…  I absolutely love that yarn and how it knits up.  ♥

The yarn is called Parisienne by Colinette, and its colorway is Oyster Blush.  It’s so delicate, and the colors are just barely varigated…  And it has the prettiest and softest halo.


Gosh, I love yarn.  Maybe even more than paper, if that’s possible.  J

But.  This yarn was driving me insane the other day.  Seriously.  A simple K2tog was giving me fits, which prompted an internet search for help.

And after surfing the Internet, what I think might help would be pointier needles.  I read several posts about people’s favorite needles for lace, and Knit Picks’ Harmony wooden needles kept popping up.

So I’ve ordered myself a pair and we’ll see if it helps at all.

Ya know… Internet and mail ordering sure keep Anticipation alive in my life.  If it were up to me, I’d want everything Fed Ex Next Day Air!

In the meantime, happy knitting!

XOXO,
Lucky Dog  ♥


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Scripture


Psalm 71 verse 6
 

I have cared for you from the moment you were born.

-- God


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zig Chalk Writers



Okay, I didn’t want to admit it before,
but I had also ordered some Zig markers
that write on dark paper.  (!)

It's called the Chalk Collection.
And they come in 6 different colors and also have
a 1.2 mm bullet point tip and a .5 mm fine point tip,
just like the regular Zig Writers do.


But.

When I write with them on black paper,
I can hardly see what I’m doing. 
It doesn’t really show up until it dries!

So I’m kinda writing (flying?) blind!  It’s very weird to do.


But I’m loving the effect.
I alternate using them and my fluorescent Gelly Roll gel pens
for major variety and fun.

I’m not really sure I would have bought the Chalk Writers
if I had known you couldn’t quite see what you were doing.

But now that I have them, they are really fun to use!

XOXO,
Lucky Dog  ♥




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quote o' the Day


"Your handwriting.  The way you walk.  Which china pattern you choose.  It’s all giving you away.  Everything you do shows your hand.  Everything is a self-portrait.  Everything is a diary." 

-- Chuck Palahniuk

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Judges




Well, I am still reading the Bible through out loud…
And I am in the book of Judges. 

Or The Book of Vicious Cycles, as I like to call it.  J

The children of Israel are going along, doing their own thing, and completely forgetting God.  Then their enemies take over, everything’s a mess, and they pray to God for help. 

He sends them a deliverer (a judge), but after he dies, guess what?  Yup, they forget God, mess up, pray again….  Like I said, it's a vicious cycle.

Kinda like when I promise myself I won’t ever _______ again.  Hmmmm….

Thank heavens God is faithful to help us every time we ask!!!  

♥ Whew! ♥  J

So today was chapter 13, and I’ve just started reading about Samson.

My Sunday School teacher in college said that Samson was the most famous Judge just like Rudolph was the most famous reindeer.  J

He knew just how to get through to us, didn’t he?? 
J

But what I didn’t remember was the Angel of the Lord visiting Samson’s mother.  And not just once, but twice!

That sure sticks out, ‘cause I’ve been reading book after book, and I tell you what…  The Angel of the Lord does not make that many appearances.

And what was also wild was, in addition to No Alcohol and No Forbidden Food during Samson’s mother’s pregnancy, she couldn’t even have grapes or raisins!  (much less wine, right?)

That was new to me.  No grapes OR raisins…

I swear, sometimes I think someone’s snuck a new verse in there, because I don’t *ever* remember reading some of these things.

(I guess that’s why I’m re-reading it!)  J

We would be in trouble without raisins!  We eat them every day, I think.  On peanut butter sammichs or with a handful of dry-roasted soybeans. 

Hmmm..  Maybe she could have dried figs, instead.

And WHY am I trying to solve her problem of not being able to eat raisins????  Merciful heavens, it’s hard to turn the brain off some times, isn’t it? 

Like after you watch a TV show, and you’re trying to figure out a better way that the murderer could have gotten away with it!  hahaha

It’s a TV show!  They don’t exist!  It's fiction.

(Mr. Man and I actually have to remind ourselves sometimes!)  J

Oh, and speaking of, Mr. Man’s bloodwork this morning was 98!  Yay!!!  This No Animal Products way of eating is really working!

Okay.  That’s it from here.
Tomorrow’s chapter is Samson’s Riddle.
Ooh, now there’s a slippery slope...

'Later!

XOXO,
Lucky Dog  ♥


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Scripture


Proverbs
21 verse 31

The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord. 

(This reminds me of that quote about
Trust in God but keep your powder dry,
because the horse IS prepared...)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zig Markers


Okay, I admit it, I’m a little marker-crazy these days… 
But they are SO much fun!  
J

I ordered some new ones, made by Zig.




They have two ends, a 1.2 mm bullet point end (monoline), and a .5 mm very fine point end.  I am in love with the latter.  ♥

It makes such a nice fine line that I had to dream up a way to use it with some kind of lettering.

I found that in the lighter colors, if I weight the ends (as if they were Versals), they produce a delicate, soft lettering that I just love.

It goes well with my pastels, too.  Not overpowering at all.  In fact, almost too soft.

Here is a sample, but I will warn you:  it’s so delicate, it needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.  For that reason, I will probably never be able to sell these.



Click to open larger size.

But it is dreamy and so In-The-Flow to letter like this.  (!)

Okay.
Thanks for listening.
Back to work.

J

XOXO,
Lucky Dog  ♥

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quote o' the Day


“Whatever you are, be a good one.” 

 -- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, August 8, 2011

Going Vegan




The latest segment in our blood-sugar-issues saga…  J

The diabetic cat is doing very well.  He is down to only 1 unit of insulin per day.  He has come a long way from having to have 7 units twice a day at the beginning of all this.  (!)

He’s such a sweetie and takes his shots so well, and is very brave when we have to poke his little ears with the glucometer.  Bless his heart.  ♥ 

(We give him lots of his favorite fishy treats for being so good!)

As for Mr. Man… he had been following the typical low-carb diet and taking his apple cider vinegar faithfully.  But it turns out, the ACV was lowering the reading after a meal, but his morning fasting numbers weren’t ever as low as he’d like.

(Not that he ever really mentioned that to me…)

But then one day I saw a link on FaceBook to the Forks Over Knives video trailer.  Here it is, in case you’re interested:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ijukNzlUg

And that made me remember the book, The China Study.  So I got some books out of the library like The Engine 2 Diet, Neal Barnard’s book about reversing diabetes, etc., so I could read up on this whole thing out for free.

The proponents of a plant-based diet say that the animal’s fats and proteins “gum up the cell’s locks”, as it were, and the insulin can’t get in.  But if no animal products are ingested, the insulin is free to function normally.

(With Type 2 Diabetes, people make plenty of insulin but their body can’t utilize it.) 

So I got the books, started reading and thought, yikes, how extreme.  What was I thinking, checking these books out?
How could we ever do that??

“That” was giving up all animal products to eat:  meat, dairy, eggs, cheese…  Anything that came from animals:  milk, ice cream, cheese, chicken, yogurt, sour cream…

Did I mention cheese??  J    hahaha

But as we read the books, and the more we learned -- the more we thought, this is it.  It just makes too much sense.

(The hilariously ironic part of that story was, that afternoon I had put some chicken breasts in the crockpot to bake and while they were cooking, we read the books and went vegan.  The raccoons ate very well that night.)

So!  What do we eat now??
Burgers, pizza, ice cream…

Of course, they’re veggie burgers, pizza with soy cheese, and non-dairy but oh-so-delicious ice cream.

Even simple brown rice and ranch-style beans works, too!  As does the humble peanut butter and raisin sammich on delicious Ezekiel bread.  J

And it’s been a fairly easy transition.  Even eating out.

At Freddy’s we get veggie burgers…  Ditto at Flatire, but they also have sweet potato fries (!).  At our favorite Mexican restaurant we get vegetable fajitas, rice and beans, even a salad.  At the local café near us (InterUrban) we can get whole wheat pasta with veggies.

Even at the Republic Gastropub, there was an absolutely wonderful gnocchi veggie dish.

It’s been a real surprise to both of us that at most restaurants, there are more options than you’d think.

Qdoba/Chipotle is probably the easiest, but even our favorite BBQ place is good ‘cause all you do is get sides:  green beans, baked beans, fried okra, a green salad.

Yummy, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!  J

As for protein worries, beans and soynuts are loaded with protein.  And I can get soynuts at Braum’s, for cryin’ out loud.  (But I like the dry-roasted kind from HomeLand better.)
Talk about easy protein.  ¼ cup = 13 g.!


Honestly, if you knew me well, you would see how this suits me so. 

I’ve never been good at cooking “flesh”.  In all these years of marriage I’ve gotten away without ever making a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey.  And I have always thought of ground meat as PlayDoh, just to be able to deal with it.  J

And don’t even ask me to de-bone a chicken.  Yuk!!!

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I *love* bacon.  I will definitely have it on my birthday, and probably before.  I doubt I can do ANY thing 100%.

Like, if I go somewhere and have ranch dressing or cheese on something--big whoop.  So, maybe I’m an “Almost Vegan”--that part just doesn’t matter that much to me.

Getting my husband’s A1C numbers down does.

And since we’ve been eating vegan, his morning fasting bloodwork numbers have been much lower -- often under 100!

So, it’s a new frontier, but very surprisingly, not as difficult as you’d think. 

It’s like that book:  Instead of This, Eat That.

You buy soy milk instead of regular.  Soy cheese and Purely Decadent Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Zigzag ice cream instead of regular cheese and ice cream.


Stuff like that.

And Oklahoma City is FINALLY getting a Whole Foods, so that will really help and actually make this all really fun.

So!  That’s the latest on treating borderline prediabetes from here.  Vegan.  Who knew??

XOXO,
Lucky Dog  ♥





Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Scripture


1 John 4 verse 18


There is no fear in love
for perfect love casts out fear.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Recipe--Couscous Salad




Yesterday I made a new recipe, given to me by my good friend and trained chef, Maura Cooper.

Sorry I only have the After photo.  I get all excited and start chopping things, and I forget to take the Before photo of all the ingredients.

Well, we can pretend:  it was a box of couscous and a can of chickpeas, surrounded by colorful veggies:  cilantro, celery, green onions, tomatoes, a cucumber, oh, and some walnuts and spices.  Oh, and olive oil and lemon juice.

Anyway, it is delicious and was so easy, too.

It’s full of fresh ingredients (I *love* fresh cilantro), and is light and fluffy.  Perfect for these hot, summer days.  ♥

Here’s the recipe:

Whole Wheat Couscous Salad
by Maura Cooper

Makes about 8 cups

1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous (such as Trader Joe’s)

Combine in a large microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 3 1/2 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to come to room temperature.

Add in these ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or sliced in thirds
½ bunch scallions, sliced (around 3)
½ hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then sliced across
2 ribs celery, sliced or ½ cup peeled, julienned jicama
1 cup walnut pieces
1 can chickpeas, black beans or black soy beans, rinsed & drained
2/3 cup lemon juice

Mix together again. Then add:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, destemmed & chopped (about ½ cup)       
OR 2 Tbs. dried parsley OR ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 Tbsp. dried mint

Mix thoroughly again and taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

The resulting salad should be tender, flavorful and moist. Keeps well in the refrigerator. After three days may need more lemon juice to perk it up.

**

Thanks again for the recipe, Maura.  It was a big hit!

The couscous was so easy to make, and the veggies chopped up in no time.  Then all you had to do was stir it all together.  How perfect is that?

Yum, yum, yum.  Nice and light. 
Perfect for today ‘cause it hit 109º again.  Yikes!

But dinner’s done, and I don’t have to heat the kitchen.  Yay!
And it makes a lot of leftovers.  (even better)

XOXO,
Lucky Dog   ♥

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quote o' the Day


"You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.” 


-- Unknown  

J


Monday, August 1, 2011

New Etsy Listing!


Here's my newest Etsy listing!


Here it is all matted and ready to frame.


And this is a detail of the middle.

I just loved making this!
It's so colorful and happy...

I hope you enjoy it, too.

XOXO,
Lucky Dog