Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100526

One other thing I've been doing is pulling in my abdominal muscles. I wonder if this has an effect of suppressing the hunger response. When the stomach is full, the cavity it's suspended in puts pressure on it. By applying this pressure when my stomach is empty, I may be tricking my body into thinking my stomach is full.

Waist = 37.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review: Monet's Passion

"Monet's Passion: Ideas, Inspiration, and Insights from the Painter's Gardens," by Elizabeth Murray, is part biography, part photo journal and part gardening book.

The book is organized into three chapters. The first chapter is a biography of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet that focuses on his gardens at Giverny. The author describes how the gardens looked at various times of day and during the four seasons. Images of some of Monet's paintings help to support the text. The chapter also includes some photographs of Monet or the gardens that were taken in the early 1900s.

In the second chapter, the author writes about the gardens as they appeared in the mid 1980s and today. She includes many of her photographs of the property. Included in this are two large images. One is of the lily pond in its lush surroundings. The second is of the entranceway at the end of the impressive Grande Allée. These images are each spread over two adjacent pages, center-fold style.

The third chapter provides ideas on how you can create the kinds of views that Monet created, whether you have sprawling property or just a balcony. She also includes tips on how to make your home's entrance more welcoming.

Several appendices of resources follow, but there is no index. A table of contents, acknowledgements and introduction are included, as well as a green ribbon marker. I found no spelling or grammatical errors.

I've not studied art history, so I enjoyed learning about Monet's intense interest in gardening from this book. I could identify with Monet's habit of dashing off to capture a magically-lit landscape scene on canvas because it's what I enjoy doing today with my camera. One appendix features a listing and description of the colors that Monet frequently used.

My ignorance of Monet may have added to my appreciation of this book. On the other hand, my unfamiliarity with plants made the book difficult for me to fully enjoy. I wished I had a plant catalog next to me while reading chapter one, which included sentences such as this one, "Planted over the bulbs in complimentary colors were pansies with their little faces, long-lived English primroses, sweet-scented wallflowers in golds, oranges and rust, crowns of pink or blue columbine, and spice-scented stock, all blooming in great masses of molten colors within lavender frames of aubrieta." It sounds impressive, but I cannot visualize it, and the Plant Cultivation appendix doesn't include a photo for these and many other specimens.

Overall, "Monet's Passion" is a beautiful book, with lovely images both inside and on the jacket. Let it grace your coffee table for guests to admire, or plan your next garden plot with it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Wasp Nest

Don't worry -- this wasp nest is empty!

I'm combing the archives today because of how busy I was gardening, and it was very overcast all morning!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100519

Last week I wrote about how you can (and should) eat less when you enjoy a low-carb meal. Another element in my recent weight loss is a redefinition of hunger.

When I used to eat high carb meals, I'd experience the unpleasant sensations of low blood sugar at about the same time as I'd feel an emptiness in my stomach. So I trained myself to seek food whenever I felt a lack of fullness in my gut.

After I improved my diet, I continued to respond to even the slightest sense that my stomach wasn't full. But I didn't have to. With a low-carb diet, I can function fine on an empty stomach because the food energy is still in my blood and intestines.

And when I do finally eat, I feel full with less food because my stomach isn't still stretched out from a previous big meal. It has shrunk to a normal size.

This is a good feeling!

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Growing Up, Part 1

The theme for yesterday's edition of Studio 360 was "Growing Up." In the track, Martha Plimpton reads audience responses to the prompt, "I realized I was a grown up when..."

When did you realize that you're a grown up?

Shadow Shot Sunday Window Shade

A shot of the home office window. It's a bit noisy and the color is lost. I suppose I could spend time adjusting the curves in GIMP, but I barely have time to post this!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dream: Ready to Sing at Church

I'm in the church, at the very back, for the first time since I quit the choir. I've agreed to sing with them, and I'm holding the music. The accompaniment starts, but it doesn't seem to be for the song that I have the music for. I wonder if I should stand next to the other basses, who are at the very front and opposite side, which is strange since all the other choir members are nearby.

The director starts conducting a group of string players that are in the pews in the center of the church. It's clear now that I won't be singing.


I'm visiting someone who works at a diner. I'm ready to leave, but then the owner approaches me. I notice that I have a piece of cake with cream topping in my hand. I suddenly realize that I was about to leave with this piece of dessert without paying for it! Yet I don't remember picking it up -- I'm sure someone put it in my hand without my noticing.

My first impulse is to try to hide the cake and clean my hands of the cream topping, or ignore the owner and run out the door. But that would only give a greater impression of guilt. So I simply stop, turn and respond to the owner as casually as if nothing was wrong.


Now outside the diner, I decide to walk somewhere. It is dark and this area is unfamiliar to me. I don't live here, but I'm staying here temporarily. I need to cross a very big intersection. There are four lanes of traffic going from left to right, and there are two other lanes going the opposite way further away. Traffic is stopped in the four-lane portion of the road because the light is red. I walk across without a problem.

But the other two lanes are open and unrestricted. I see an occasional car speed through. I have to be very careful here.

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100513

One part of low-carb eating is that protein and vegetables are more sustaining for a longer period. Once you realize that, you then can eat less at each meal and stave off hunger longer. This is where I am now -- eating less. It's an experiment. I eat just a banana at lunch time. Then an hour later I eat half my lunch. And two hours after that, I eat the other half.

It seems my old way of eating -- to go a bit beyond the sense of fullness -- would cause sugar cravings. It may be that I was overloading my digestive system and that my body needed the energy from sugar to help with digestion!

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Tribute From a Rat

There's a wonderful tribute to mothers in the Pixar movie Ratatouille. Yes, it's a movie about how a rat realizes his dream to become a chef. But I'm thinking about the scene in which the vile and hate-filled food critic Anton Ego takes his first taste of the simple peasant dish ratatouille. He experiences a flashback to a boyhood memory of his mother serving him ratatouille and then returns a changed man.

It's an amazingly powerful scene, and an ode to all mothers. Watch it for yourself...

Shadow Shot Sunday Tree Trunks in the Sunset

A break in the late afternoon clouds produced this effect:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100505

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Blue Ranch-Style House

Not much in the way of shadows this week. We just had our house painted, so I thought I'd take a picture of it while it looked gleaming new!