Krissie: Catching UP

Okay. I’m catching up from yesterday. First, Kieran’s stuff about sugar replacements etc.
I’m pretty good about sugar. I can go through stretches, usually caused by anxiety, where I turn to sugar (though god knows I’m anxious right now and I’m not eating sugar) but my drug of choice has always been starches. Breads, etc. Yes, I know they turn to sugar in the blood stream, but that’s what I crave in hard times. My sister, for some reason, always craved salt and fats. Anyway, I’m going to seriously think about stevia. I think I can break free from honey in my herb tea (I drink green tea black … or green). Unfortunately I just started adding splenda to coffee instead of drinking it black — gotta reverse that.
And I’ve often substituted Pellegrino with lime. Flavored seltzer waters sound like the way to go.
I didn’t know that Blake was a recovering alcoholic. God bless him. My favorite people in the world are recovering alcoholics. Besides which, he did wonderful work.

As for the quilt and panels. I’ve always loved working with panels. They’re just … fun. These are two books that I particularly love, though I tend to buy books and then make up my own patterns.
So I’m in my office for the long haul. At least I get to start the day with sex. (For my characters that is). Life is hard with a 25 year old around. You can’t really let loose.

21 thoughts on “Krissie: Catching UP

  1. Oh, I remember the bears panels! My Grandmother made my sons a quilt out of that panel – a crib-sized panel. They loved that thing to death…glad you’re being productive. I’m off to take a walk this morning and then back to writing.

    It’s a beautiful day in my neck of the woods – sending you some happy sunshine and lots of hugs!

  2. I think that most of our eating comes from being unaware. While waiting at the salon, I was offered the obligatory tea or coffee. And I said “no thanks.”

    After about 6 minutes, the receptionist cam by again to ask me. And after a little deliberation, I said “I think not, thanks.” I said it consideringly so it came out less rude than it reads.

    But how often when we wait, we eat to fill the time? Even though we aren’t hungry.

    while waiting to meet a friend at a mall, I observed another young lass (much like meself) who was also waiting on someone. In the same time that I sat there, she bought and ate, a youghurt icecream filled with the calorific goodies (I think it was chocchip) and after that was done, maybe waited 3 minutes before going to the sweet shop nearby for a bag of freshly popped popcorn. I know that we use food to keep ourselves sated in place of things that aren’t fulfilling us.

    So it comes down to vigilance. And NEVER shopping while I’m hungry. Did it today and will have to stop myself shoppping and go home for a meal or start carrying dried fruit and some nut snacks in my bag. I bought 3 cheese puffs to tied myself till next meal. Twas all sorts of bad habits happening together.

    • Kelly S. says:

      This holiday I spent with my parents. My mom chooses to bake cookies and make caramels and buy little pints of ice cream and if I don’t eat these things, she feels unappreciated. I have told her to please not make these things as I want to eat heathy and that means avoid the sweets, but she still does it. Then she insists on sending what isn’t eaten home with me because “she doesn’t need that stuff.” The fact that I don’t either eludes her. So, I take it and share the love by giving it to coworkers. Although, it is getting harder to do that as most of them are trying to be more health conscience too.

      So, even though I am aware, I must eat at least 1 of everything or my mom feels bad. And she wonders why I only visit once a year…

  3. Kieran says:

    What a dear man Blake was. I took a weekend course from him and stayed in touch–when I got my first contract, he was one of the first people I told. He was so happy for me. Nina Bruhns and I taught a SAVE THE CAT workshop at RWA National in NYC a couple of years ago.

    I keep Blake’s enthusiasm for story in my heart, and when I’m stumped, I talk to him! His death was completely unexpected–a pulmonary embolism (he’s another reason I stand up now when writing). He was only 52, I believe. But he’d just taught a CAT workshop in China, and he’d been to London and was a great success there. He was at the top of his game when he went. And he’s only getting more deserved credit post-humously for his fabulous work. The book that came out after his death is my favorite.

    I’d love to know more about quilting, too. I look forward to your post on it. I want to know if I can machine quilt the whole thing, not just the piecing portion of the process. And if so, how would I do that if it were a really big quilt? How can you manipulate all that fabric on the sewing machine?

      • Kieran says:

        I don’t use it. It’s one of the sweeteners that can affect your gastro-intestinal tract. Hey, if it doesn’t bother you that way (diarrhea, gas, etc.), try using it in moderation. But all of those affect me, including sucralose.

    • Oh, of course you can quilt the entire quilt on your sewing machine. That’s what I usually do. It’s a pain, manipulating it, but there are also sorts of tricks, including rolling it up and fastening on it with bicycle clips or the like to keep it manageable.

      Yes, I had no idea Blake had died until a few months ago. Loved his presentation at RWA and just assumed he was still fine and working.

      • Kelly S. says:

        Like Krissie said the piecing and quilting can be done on your domestic sewing machine. For large quilts it is really nice to have the sewing machine flush in the table with room to move the quilt around. If that isn’t possible a dining room table so you have the space to hold up the quilt while you sew the area you are working on. A walking foot is good to have for doing straight lines. A free motion foot, I liked the open-toe variety, with the feed dogs dropped allows for more meandering or patterned quilting. And if you really get into it, there are many “affordable” long-arm or mid-arm quilting machines and frames. My frame is 10′ long and the quilt gets attached to it. Then my mid-arm (it is a stretched singer sewing machine so that the arm length is 17″) moves over the quilt. Some people will go into business doing the machine quilting for others.

        • Kieran says:

          Interesting! If I can just get the front pieced together, I would consider handing it over to someone else to actually sew it to the batting and the back, depending on how much that’ll cost.

          • There are definitely people who will professionally quilt for you and price usually depends on how elaborate you want the quilting to be. Another option for the do it yourself approach is to quilt in sections and then join the sections — that way you are not pushing the weight of the entire quilt around. There are, of course, books out on that approach as well.

  4. Kieran–how on earth do you write standing up?

    And the stevia is a great option for most people. Unfortunately, I turned out to be allergic to it. So now that’s one more thing I have to watch out for on labels…sigh.

    • Kieran says:

      Deborah, I have a stand-up desk I made out of a plastic storage box I put on top of a regular desk. I use that to surf the ‘Net. But I write on my walking treadmill. It’s got a special engine designed to run at low speeds without burning out. I go 1.6 mph for hours at a time. You can knock out 10,000 steps that way, easy. On big writing days, I get up to 20,000 or more.

      • I think the long trip to China and London might have been a greater factor than sitting at a desk. DVT is a serious issue. Flying puts a huge toll on the blood vessels — it’s why Crusie won’t ever fly again.

  5. I have sugar addiction and I am trying to cut it way back, if not out completely (I’m trying to do so much, I have to make sure I don’t overdo and burn out). I also would drink Red Bull when I felt really tired or had to drive a long ways: the sugar-free (aspartame) kind to avoid the sugar crash. Well, our Ms. Blake pointed out the potential side-effects between artificial sweeteners and brain chemistry problems and medications, so I decided to just find some straight caffeine capsules. They contain as much caffeine as one cup of coffee (which is more than twice as much as a small Red Bull) and nothing else. So no side effects because I took half pills, which kept me alert without giving me jitters or anything bad.

    I’m trying to avoid various artificial sweeteners and just use sweeteners with some nutrient content, such as real maple syrup or honey. Also, I’ve found out that blackstrap molasses contains a lot of potassium, which few people get enough of. But I doubt that’s going to become a main sweetener of mine.

    Krissie, I commend you on your quest to eliminate sugars and other emotional eating items. It’s not easy, but you are a warrior and you will do fine.

  6. The good news is that I find that once I got the huge sugar addictions out of my diet (oh, Dr. Pepper, my old friend), I found that I craved sugar less and less. I still have it in my diet — sweetened oatmeal in the morning, gelato a few nights a week. But it’s so much less. I think it’s getting past the habit of it and getting new habits instead. Trying during the transition phase but smooth sailing once past that. Bread and pasta is another thing. I’ve cut way back on bread (I used to think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were all one really needed) and switched for the most part to whole wheat pasta. It’s all improvement, but perfect it ain’t. As is amply demonstrated by the fact that I am still overweight and in a very slow loss process. Sigh.

  7. Oh, I wish it was snowing here!!!

    I really love Pellegrino with lemons & lime slices. It’s my work drink, even in the wintertime. And I strongly agree with Kieran, that all sweetners are worse than the original. I’m not a big sugar addict but I use some in coffee and tea, and once a week, I have a vanilla latte once a week with my friend heather. Trying to get it down more, since I have to have knee surgery over my knee and the less weight the better. Nearly vegan now, and working on getting added sugars out.

    Good luck finishing the book!!

  8. I was a salt and fats person. I stopped eating fat filled foods went to the non-fat stuff, didn’t think about how all of it was FILLED with sugar, and wa-la my cravings went to the sugar. I now simply try to stop the sugar cravings by only buying foods that have 6 grams or less of sugar per serving. I work at all things having, at a minimum, double the protein to fat grams, i.e. 4 grams of fat must have 8 grams of protein. While more difficult with things like oatmeal, all you have to do is add a 1/4 cup of egg white to the oatmeal at the end of cooking time and then you’ve increased the protein. You don’t really taste the egg and you can still make it however you want with berries, brown sugar, etc…. I’ve had people gross out a little by this, but you add egg to cookies and no one freaks out about that. At this time of year if you add a 1/4 cup of pumpkin and a shake or two of pumpkin pie spices to the oatmeal it is quite delicious and with the egg really filling. You can add a whole egg to it, but I’d whisk it first.

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