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Showing posts from January, 2011

Look What I'm Making

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I have finally got around to taking a class on quilt making. The evidence of my first session on the Wednesday just passed, are in the photos below.  I was in a class with one other person and we were together for 3 hours being instructed step-by-step though we were at different steps of the quilt making process.  The other lady was not a true beginner. In fact she has made several quilts and was half way through a similar one as mine though she was making one for her nephew. This quilt is called a Stack and Slash Lap Quilt and is perfect for beginners like me. While the fabric shop had all kinds of wonderful fabric I chose to use 6 fat quarters that were on discount for my first quilt.  Even at that the fat quarters and the trim fabrics came to a whopping $32 (Canadian) dollars and that was after the sale price and the 20% discount.  The tally also doesn't include the quilt batting, binding and backing fabric I still need to buy. I am making the lap quilt as a "welcome home

Move! The Coach Potato Gets Serious

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Many of you know that I started my new year with a goal of doing more exercise. I have started slowly in an effort to simply get used to moving more. It doesn't matter how long I move, just as long as I am moving.  The key way I do this is through my new exercise bike.  But on those days when I have to go out, I count my walk as my cardio exercise instead of my stationary bike routine. There are streets like this in my neighbourhood. I  love walking in a city which is full of green space. I also try to incorporate some stretching and resistance training (weights) into my routine, but this needs  more effort on my part.  I am trying to take things slowly and not worry so much about doing it all right.  I am happy just as long as I keep up a steady effort to move.  What I'm trying to do is establish consistent routines that will be lasting. There are days when I am simply too tired  because of my health conditions. On those days, I don't push myself to do much of anyth

My Stay in Nairobi, Kenya ~ Part Two

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  Welcome to my newest follower Candace. I hope you will find many interesting things on my blog. On my first night in Nairobi I stayed at the United Kenya Club.  It is very near the University of Nairobi and adjacent to the YWCA which is initially why I booked a room here. I thought I would be swimming and also using the fitness room at the club. The Club is a bit quaint and rustic which some might say adds character, but for me I found it just a little too far me to walk comfortably to the downtown core.   I opted to stay at the 680 Hotel which you can read about here . This hotel is downtown and across the street from nightclubs so I made sure to ask for a room on the quiet side and thankfully the room was quiet and restful. I also found the hotel management to be very friendly and welcoming, greeting me and talking to me in the lobby and in the dining room. Before deciding where to stay I did look at several hotel properties however I found most of them over priced and too far

Greening My Air - My World Tuesday

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I haven't had any plants now for some time so I bought a small aloe vera plant last summer. It needed repotting then but I still haven't repotted it! Something I know I need to do so it can really spread out and grow. The aloe plant is well known as a medicinal plant. I've mostly known of this plant for its gel. When one gets a cut or scrape you can break a stem from this plant and squeeze the gel from the shoot onto your cut. It has many other uses besides applying to cuts and scrapes.  You can read more about it here . The aloe vera plant originates in northern Africa. When I was in Kenya, East Africa,  I saw these huge aloe plants like these ones in the photos below. I was on my way to Marigat, Kenya. You can see just how dry the climate is by looking at the plants and the ground.  These aloe plants are outside the aloe farm. Look at how large some of these aloe plants are! This is the company that is growing aloe plants and seedlings for sale.  I didn'

A Pause - Blue Monday, January 24, 2011

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Hi friends, I have organized a schedule of posts for the next week or so while I'm travelling. I hope you enjoy them.  Right now though I would like to draw your attention to two worthwhile posts which you probably won't have had a chance to read. First, there was the installation of the new Bishop for the Africa Gospel Church in Kenya. The installation of Rev. Doctor R. Langat was a huge event which included his family and many dignitaries in attendance. You can read about his installation here . There was also gospel music by the renowned singer, Emmy Kosgei and performances by traditional Kenyan dancers. Second, there is a serious drought problem in some parts of Kenya. This has led to a build up of tensions and clashes in various communities over food and water. My friends are doing their part to try and assist the people. Please see their efforts in a photo essay here .  I was so proud of my friends. They are of humble means but they go above and beyond the call

Cantaloupe and Shrimp Salad

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At the salon on Saturday the young beautician was talking about a mango salad she had made. I decided to try a similar salad using cantaloupe.  I figure incorporating salads like these are a great addition to my overall health regime.  Besides it just tastes so good!  Ingredients: -  chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce -  red grapes -  semi-peeled and chopped english cucumbers -  finely sliced red onion -  steamed prawns/shrimp -  chunks of cantaloupe.  Once you put all these ingredients in your platter, squeeze some lime and grind some fresh pepper on top. There are endless variations of this salad but this is my simple approach. It was delicious and I had some on Sunday for a snack. Enjoy!

Happy Friday

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Thank you to my newest follower Colleen. Hello  my fellow Canadian. A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.  (Kenyan Proverb) In my last post I wrote about how I was waiting to pick up a table and chairs from the city. I have them home now and I am very happy!  I still have the antique dining table and chairs to offload so I haven't got a photo of new set in my home for you yet but I do have this photo of the exact table and chairs I purchased. I'm sure I will like the set very much.  The table is round and they say that round tables are good for smaller spaces.  I was also able to gift my friends with a recliner that I wanted to sell. They have need of a recliner so it worked out great! (Update added later:  As an afterthought I figured I should let you know that this purchase is the first furniture purchase I've made for the apartment for about 11 years, with the exception of replacing fur

My Simple Woman's Daybook ~ January 19, 2010

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FOR TODAY Outside my window.. . I see a cloudy sky though the sun was just out for a few hours this morning.  I was glad for the sun as I walked home from my diabetes support group. I am thinking ...how warm it has been this week. A few weeks ago it was so cold! Last night on the news they showed video of early blossoms. We often get early blossoms in early February. I am thankful for ... my quarterly diabetes group meeting. Today we received a nice surprise of a an exercise DVD for daily exercise routines. This is just what I need at this time as I am often out of town and I can take it with me to continue my exercise. From the kitchen.. there is nothing cooking. I just had some milk and a cheese sandwich on a nice baguette. I am wearing... my workout clothes. I had a meeting at the medical clinic this morning and we even did a few exercises. I am creating.. . nothing at this time. I've been too busy! There is lots in my "to do" basket(s). I am going.. . to th

Whole Body Cleanse

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New Year- New Body! Well that is the hope * wink. As some of you know I battle with some health challenges though I don't often discuss them and don't plan to get into any detail here. But I do want to say that in an effort to increase energy and generally feel better, I have decided to do a whole body cleanse this month. In fact I've already started it and I am now into my third day of a 14 day cleanse. It has been many years since I did a cleansing.  Last time I did it I wasn't a happy camper. That one involved using psyillium husk and some kind of clay and I don't wish to repeat it. This one comes in an easy to use kit which includes - fibre - laxative and - liver support in the form of Milk Thistle These three formulas are supposed to help my body cleanse, detoxify and rejuvenate without the use of hard laxatives. So far, so good though I'm not noticing a whole lot of anything. Perhaps it is too early yet to notice any difference. I will hold of

Compassion's Children

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There are so many ways to help children in Africa and so many non-profit agencies both at home and abroad who provide opportunities to each of us to help these children.   I choose to help orphans mainly through the Missions of Hope   whenever I can. But recently I also took on sponsorship of several boys through Compassion International's Canadian office. My sponsorship involvement is very new so I haven't received a letter from one of my boys yet.    First I sponsored little Peter.  Peter is 6 years old and lives near Nakuru, Kenya.  I didn't get a chance to visit Peter when I travelled to Kenya.  My sponsorship was too new for the organization to prepare everything in time for my visit. I am hopeful that I can visit Peter some day.   Two weeks after I sponsored little Peter, I felt led to sponsor John. Doesn't John's smile just grab you? I really felt a connection with him and especially upon learning he lives in the slums near Nairobi. I also

The Wonders of Yeast Dough

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Hi friends, I'm feeling very stressed at the moment with mom in hospital.  I've talked to her a few times and she insists that I visit her despite the fact my brother and nephew are there with her to take care of her needs. I'm torn because I usually am there for her but I am exhausted and for a variety of reasons including a flu bug, I cannot visit her. All this has me thinking of days when I was a little girl and mom was there making me feel secure. She used to make yeast bread and when I would come home from school on a snowy, wintery day, my mouth would water to smell the yeast bread wafting through the house.  She would also use part of her yeast dough to make cinnamon buns.    It is funny how we associate scents and aromas with feelings but did you know that cinnamon has a multitude of benefits? Read more about that here . I don't have the recipe mom used to use when I was a child but I found a good one on line. I doubled this recipe to have enough dough for

The Last Major Hurdles

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I do realize that the kind of blog post you are about to read may not be too exciting or thrilling to a lot of people.  But writing about it helps me to stay on track and accountable for the big decluttering project I am working on.  It is a tedious job with few immediate rewards so I need all the help I can get. Thanks for reading and giving me a platform to share my goals, challenges, successes....all of which are leading me to a simpler life and more time and resources for the Missions of Hope .   I have had a busy start to the New Year in an effort to get started on the right foot .  This past week I decided to take a little break from the decluttering project and have been busy doing other things like: catching up with friends, going to the movie, exercising, going to Sunday services and making notes of all the upcoming activities there that I would like to participate in during January/February, listening to past sermons on line, reading, organizing my medical appointmen

Mom Had a Fall

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My mom had a fall yesterday and was unable to get help for about 4 hours. Her head somehow got wedged in the basket of her walker and somehow she ended up with her blankets over her head as well. She tried to call for help in the hopes that passersby might hear her from the hallway but alas no one came to help. I do pay for a necklace for mom to wear in case she ever has such a problem. The necklace has a button which is to be depressed if you get into a "situation" but mom didn't have it on. She always takes it off when she is getting her bath and then she often neglects to put it back on due to forgetfulness or distractedness. It was many hours later when the wound nurse visited to change her dressings that she was discovered and the ambulance personnel prompted were called to come and check her over. Mom didn't go to the hospital as she said she didn't feel she had any broken bones but she is battered, bruised and very sore. We are on an urgent waiting l

Cleaning and Decluttering Continues

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Well this is about day 5, though not consecutive days, of my major decluttering and cleaning project. Today I didn't feel much like decluttering in my bedroom or living area so I tackled some much needed cleaning in the kitchen. I gave everything on the counters a good wipe down. I also hopped on my mini-ladder and wiped down the upper kitchen cabinets which always seem to collect a lot of grease and grime despite being wiped down almost every other day. I find this aspect of kitchen cleaning quite frustrating and would love to know what others do to keep their kitchen cabinets, stove tops and appliances grime free. Normally I use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean the grime but today I used Orange Lysol. My galley kitchen is very small. Combined with very narrow kitchen cabinets, I have little room for all the basic things one needs in a kitchen. A lot of things need to be stored on the countertops and it is a constant challenge to keep it clean as well as have en
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FOR TODAY Outside my window.. . I see the steeple of the Catholic Church against a backdrop of a very gray sky. The rain is coming down heavily and the leaves on my green bush are blowing in the wind. I am thinking.. . nothing in particular. I just have a sense of contentedness that mostly everything is okay. I am thankful for ... a phone call from the nursing home where mom will soon reside. From the kitchen.. . there is banana-pear bread in the oven and dough for buns rising in the bowl. The finished buns. I used mostly whole wheat flour. I am wearing... my nightgown. I haven't had a shower yet but will soon do so. I am creating.. . nothing yet. I will figure out whether to make something knitted or crochet but there is no rush. I am going.. . to run some small errands in the neighbourhood. I am reading.. . a novel by Vikram Seth entitled A Suitable Boy .  I started it some time ago and put it aside due to busyness and other priorities. I've decided to begin