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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring

Hello friends,

Spring has sprung. It feels more and more like Spring weather though we are still getting cooler temperatures and more rain than usual.

The weather turned out to be better than the forecast on the weather news last night.


I had a good run of Spring cleaning accomplished last week in the garden and front room. Today I'm tackling my closets and chest of drawers. I can't believe how many clothes I've got.  This is even though I try hard to be mindful of not purchasing "willy nilly".  I also cull my things on a regular basis.

All the clothing from my dresser drawers is piled on my bed. My tops have already been culled and put away in the drawers.  Another bag of clothing items has been put in a giveaway bag.  Now I have to try and make some sense of the remaining pile because this is really too much to keep and to wear.  I will need to try everything on first and see what I still like or what fits and what doesn't. Some of these items I've had for years and years. Perhaps it is time to let them go.


After I get through with the clothes, I plan to cull my fabrics and yarns and give a lot of them away too especially the stuff I purchased second hand.  I bought most of it when I was just starting out as a knitter.  Now that I've been a knitter for a few years, I can see what is doable and how much yarn I need to do certain things. I've decided I can no longer keep all the yarn just in case I might use it one day.  A lot of it what I have in each colour isn't enough to make projects I'd really like to knit or crochet.  Someone else can benefit from them to make school projects or other things.

I am just so tired of clutter. We probably all feel like that come Spring. Believe it or not I've been getting rid of bags and bags of things on a regular basis but still I manage to find more!  I also try to follow the rule of getting rid of 1 or 2 items for every new item brought in to the home but it doesn't always work out that way. After I've finished with clothing and craft items, I will be doing more book culling and also going through cds and dvds. I've already culled these a few times but I think I can get rid of more.  Books are hardest for me to get rid of besides papers (old records and statements I may need some day).

I'm carrying on with the dietary changes started earlier this week.  Truth be told I've tried changes before and I can do okay for awhile but then I slip and fall. I guess as long as I keep trying I may eventually have success!  I'm dutifully eating my oatmeal for breakfast and lentil soup for lunch today.  I'm also boiling up some kidney beans to make some chili. I'll probably make it Sunday for Monday's dinner.  Tomorrow I will be having leftover curry sauce (homemade) and boiled yams with salad greens. I've noticed my blood sugars seem much better later in the day than earlier in the day even though I take more medication earlier.  I will have to let my doctor know in 2 weeks time. Perhaps she will have some explanation for me and some suggestions on what to do.  I can also try to find some answers on line.  Perhaps it is my coffee because I do not drink it black. I drink it with cream and I think the only way to change this is to stop drinking coffee altogether.  This will be hard to do but easier when it is summer to at least drink less coffee.  Maybe I can look for some dandelion coffee and see how I like it. I do like herbal teas but it can't replace my morning coffee.

I stayed up late (again) trying to get to a certain point on the little baby sweater you see in the photo below. I've never made a sweater like this before and I'm having to figure out a lot of new things like M1, place holders, etc. It is learning experience and I'm grateful for youtube videos where I can look things up at the drop of a hat.



My eldest nephew and his wife are having their second child in early June so I want to surprise them with this unisex sweater. The parents have opted not to identify the sex of their child. They just want a healthy baby. This sweater isn't for a newborn since the baby will be born in June and it gets very hot where they all live.  I hope it will still fit him/her come Fall.


I hope you are enjoying your week!

Our World Tuesday 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cooking 'N Prepping

I've been spending too much time in the kitchen again in an attempt to get my blood sugar level lowered.

I don't know why but it seems I have to work so much harder than anyone else I know with diabetes just to drop my glucose levels even slightly. Alas, that means getting back on the food kick. It takes so much time to manage diabetes properly but I'm learning it is oh so necessary.

I've read along the way that dandelion leaves are good for you so I purchased some this week and decided to make a salad.  It thought it was quite good and plan to make it again.

Dandelion-Beet-Romaine Salad


Ingredients:
  • washed and shredded or torn romaine lettuce leaves
  • washed and torn dandelion leaves
  • washed, peeled and chopped baby beets
  • washed and shredded green cabbage
  • washed and shredded pear
  • raw pumpkin seeds

Dressing: 
  • few spoonfuls of hot mustard
  • few splashes of apple cider vinegar
  • a few drops of honey 

Place all vegetables in a large bowl. Use as much of eat of the vegetables as you would like. Shake together the dressing and toss the vegetables together. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and enjoy.

Note: The dandelion leaves and the beets can have a strong taste so the honey in the dressing and the pear in the salad help to balance the flavours.
~~~~~~~

I made a roast chicken with heirloom (colourful) baby carrots and chick peas. Some of the chicken was for Friday's lunch. For dinner I made stir fried chick peas/cabbage/zucchini/garlic, curry chicken and couscous. Usually I like curry chicken but today I'm afraid it didn't sit well with me. My digestive system is sensitive and there are some days I cannot stomach certain foods. I think I need to start on a course of digestive enzymes and see if it helps.

I'm not quite sure what is on the menu for Saturday. I'm thinking a lunch of lentil soup and for dinner some boiled yams and the rest of the curry sauce. Somewhere in there will be a green salad or at least some spinach mixed into the lentils.  I'm also preparing some dried kidney beans to make a stew for Sunday or later in the week.

The weather was nice today but I didn't have the energy to start planting the garden or put up the new patio table. That will have to come a bit later.

Brussels sprouts and kale starter plants.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Profusion of Pink

Hi friends,

Rain was in the forecast today. 

Though it did indeed rain it was for a pleasantly short spurt.


I had to go to the doctor today for check up.

And so, I stopped and photographed more beautiful tree blossoms. 


There were other photographers out doing the same thing. 

You might make one out in the first mosaic. I didn't get a photo of the 2nd person, a young mom
pushing her baby stroller.


I'm in love with tree blossoms. *sigh

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Few Weeks in Pictures

I haven't been up to my usual schedule for the past few months so I've just been trying to take things slowly.

 There is always time for reading. I like many different types of books.

Always too many books to try and read. I do love to read but can't keep up to what I'd like to read!
...and for a good cup of java or two.


I started practicing knitting on smaller needles. I was making good progress on this baby sweater for my great nephew/niece who will be born in June.  Then I noticed a dropped stitch and had to do some "frogging" (rip it, rip it). Some day I will learn to pick up dropped stitches rather than rip everything out but for now I find the frogging too finicky.  I'll need to learn this helpful skill before I ever start on a  much larger project!


The national taxes are due at the end of the month and I've prepared 4 sets of taxes as a favour to a friend and family members.  I do them on line each year so it is much faster.  But tax preparation is really not my favourite thing. At least none of us owed any more taxes. That is something.

I've still gots lots of paperwork to sort and sift through and action before the month of April is over. This time of year is always a busy time.

We've had to suffer through a lot of inclement weather. But now and then we get some sun and it (almost) makes us forget.

I'm finding the inclement weather a bit tiresome and I long for more sunny days. Over a two day period last week, the city got almost half of it's normal monthly rain fall for the month of April.

Easter weekend was very pleasant at my home with some work done in the patio garden to clear debris, purchase of a new (rectangular) patio table that has yet to be put together, vacuuming and rearranging in the dining area and a nice Easter dinner with family. I wish all weekends were as productive and relaxing.

Whether it is unpleasant or not, sometimes you just have to do errands. The time for running errands is also a time to get a bit of walking exercise in.  If I have time, I like to stop at a coffee shop and read a good book or read the (provided) newspapers.

We have so many great coffee shops here in the city and I try a different one each time.  The cafe in the photo below is popular with students and meet up groups.  I think because it has a big room at the back with plenty of plenty of large tables and chairs and is open all night long. At least it used to be open 24/7.  I'm not sure if it still is.


My favourite time of year is when the sakuru (cherry) blossoms come out. I totally missed it this year. There was just too much rain for me to go gallivanting around looking for cherry blossoms. They didn't even come out that well in some neighbourhoods like mine. I think it was just a little too cold and the rain would have made it less enjoyable for me. I love to gaze at the sakuru blossoms when the sun is shining, the sky is blue and all feels at peace in the world.

Now we are nearing the end of April and we have these pretty pink blossoms (in the photos below). I'm not sure if they are plum or apple blossoms but they sure are pretty and I snapped these photos today. The deep pink tones are lovely, aren't they?

You can see the big garbage bins for collection and the blue recycle bins for paper.


As you can see, the sky is nice and blue.  I'm not getting overly excited because we are back to 80% chance of rain on Thursday.  When I look at the forecast for the week ahead it looks like there will be mixed sunny and cloudy skies. I'm excited about that!



I hope your Spring is a good one wherever you are.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Special Event on this Sacred Weekend

Hello friends,

It is a special weekend for Christendom when we mark the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as Easter by most people.

The month of April was actually set aside to worship the Anglo Saxon goddess, Eastre, the goddess of birth and fertility. Eastre was symbolized by the rabbit.  Eggs and rabbits symbolize birth and fertility in many cultures but I am not sure how the eggs and rabbits came together to be associated with Easter since rabbits do not lay eggs.

Emperor Constantine gave the edict of the Easter rule in 325 AD whereby Easter had to be celebrated on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th.

These days many Christians celebrate Resurrection Sunday rather than the early pagan worship of the goddess Eastre.

This is a special time for me when I remember the sacrifice that God and his son Jesus gave for all mankind that we might have the gift of eternal life.

This year, the holiday weekend has an added significance for me.


A young Kenyan man I call my little brother has become a married man. His name is Enoch and his betrothed's name is Angela.  They are both members of the Kalenjin tribe and come from Bomet, Kenya.

(The red symbol "B" shows the location of Bomet in relation to the city of Nairobi at "A". If you travel north and slightly west of Bomet you will get to Kericho. Travel even farther north and slightly west of the Kerio Valley National Park and you will see the location of Eldoret, site of the huge prayer meeting over the weekend).

The wedding was held in Bomet, Kenya.  My friend Jonah had a difficult time getting there on time as it seems he had to compete for public transportation with those heading to Prophet David Owuor's prayer meeting in Eldoret, Kenya.  Matatus (mini-vans which transport the public for a small fee) were in short supply on Good Friday, the day of travel.  Over 500 buses and many matatus were in demand to transport the countless people from all over Kenya and neighbouring countries who flocked to the town of Eldoret to participate in the prayer meeting.

You can see how muddy the village roads are. It has been raining a lot and it is difficult to drive through this mud in the village.
In the end, Jonah made it to the wedding and I was able to get photos of the special day. I'm sharing a few of them here so you can see what it is like to have a wedding in the village.  I am always amazed at how people in general, and women in particular, walk through the mud all dressed up and with heels on and yet they don't seem to get dirty!

Here is the happy couple. I wish them a long and blessed union.

I want to thank those of you who read and commented on my Elvis post. I am still praying for financial supporters who can help make his final term at university a reality.  Time is short. If you can help, please let me know. You can read more at the GoFundMe post at the right of this blog.

Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

One Easily Met Goal

Most of my friends know I am quite an avid reader. I always thought of myself as an avid reader anyway until I started keeping track of what I read and realized I am not such an avid reader after all. If I read 20-24 books a year that is a lot for me. Reading this amount of books is not so challenging that all you are doing is reading. In fact you can take long breaks between books and still read that many in a year. I do like to do other things with my time besides reading so 20-24 books each year is enough.


This year I set a goal of 24 books and have already read 22 of them. I hadn't planned on it but the weather has been inclement and I haven't felt much like doing the things I normally spend my time on. So I've made more progress than usual. I will have to increase my reading goal but need to make sure I don't continue to neglect my Bible readings. I got out of the rhythm of the Bible readings when I had to deal with some family matters and then I didn't get back into my routine.  I like to read a little bit out loud while listening to someone (on a Bible app) read the same verses.  It makes the words come alive for me.

I know many of you are readers too.  But if you are not a regular reader, I encourage you to set a modest reading goal for yourself. It's not too late to set a goal for 2014!

I'm also pleased to share this mosaic of today's sky.


I wrote yesterday of the forecasted rain but was pleased to get some breaks in the clouds and rain for even a short while today.

I hope you are are all enjoying your day.  Please do check out my sidebar Go Fund Me appeal for Elvis in Kenya. God bless.

Frugal Notes:  For those that like to save money, this is one of the least expensive hobbies you can find.  Books these days can be purchased super cheaply at your local thrift or second hand store. You can find a lot of popular fiction in these places and you can also find lots of reference materials. Sometimes I even find full sets of Christian reading material that have earlier been purchased from television offers.  If you would rather not spend the funds no matter how little, you can also borrow books from friends or trade something they want of yours or you can borrow books for free from the local library.  Four (4) of the seven (7) books in the photo at the top of this post are from the library.

Have a wonder - ful week!

April Weather

It poured heavy rain today.

This is the weather forecast for the week.


While it appears we have rain for the next two days, I am pleased to see sunshine in the forecast for over a week! This is better than the forecast I saw yesterday which saw very little sunshine in the next week. 


I was so pleased to see beautiful skies earlier this week. It must be getting close to warmer temperatures and more frequent sunny days.

I am hoping to get to the new movie "Noah" tomorrow if my friend doesn't have to go in to work.  Another friend and I will try out a new to us Indian restaurant on Saturday.  I can't wait to taste the food.

I hope you are all enjoying your weather wherever you are.

Skywatch Friday

African Music & Happenings