The No Buy Pledge

If you’re not a quilter, you may hear quilters talking about “stash” and “no buy”.   When I walk through a fabric store, pretty pieces of fabric just jump into my hands and I take them home.  And I create a stash.  Pretty pieces of fabric waiting for me to use them.   Of course, that’s both a good and bad thing.  It enables me to make lovely quilts without buying much, if any fabric.  But I seldom do that… because….I like buying fabric.

A few days ago, I decided to take the “no buy” challenge. These things have “rules” as most challenges do.  Legal to buy is backings, borders, and backgrounds.  And while those are legal, I’m going to try to make do without purchasing them.  Because one challenge to myself is that I will go “no buy” for a year–or until I reach 100 yards, whichever comes first.  Since I have a full-time job, and have other things in my life (running, dog rescuing, family, and home), I would expect that I won’t be able to use 100 yards of fabric in a year.  And since I have set this up with legal purchases, my yardage count will be NET.  So if I buy 5 yards of backing, which is entirely legal, I’ll have to use up 5 yards elsewhere to offset it on that 100 yards.  And, I won’t count as yardage things I’ve already committed–like completed tops.

I don’t buy a lot of pieces 3+ yards.  Heck I don’t buy a lot of pieces over a yard.  So, if I want to not end up in the hole, I’m going to be piecing some backings.

I made this wonkly log cabin top before I got distracted last year.  The top, obviously won’t count toward my new pledge.  BUT,  I pieced this interesting backing, and of course the binding will.  So I will end week 1 with about 2 1/2 yards used.   I’ve been a bad blogger this last year, but I’ll try to check in at least once a month with how my “no buy” pledge is doing.

What are you doing to simplify your life?

If You Can Make it There

A couple of weeks ago, I went back to a small town in Indiana where I grew up.  It was good to spend time with family.

I noticed a couple of things while back home.

  1.  The church that I went to in my childhood isn’t nearly as big inside as I remembered it.  We switched churches when I was in Jr. High school, and I hadn’t been back to that church for 30+ years.  My mom had to tell me where to turn….
  2. All the factories are gone.  Virtually everywhere I remember a factory, there is now a creepy-looking vacant building, or an empty lot  with signs of torn down buildings.
  3. There are medical practices and urgent care offices everywhere.  I can remember the 2 or 3 doctor’s offices in my small town.  There was a hospital next town over.  Now there’s a doc-in-a-box everywhere.  And yet, I would guess the population hasn’t increased much, if at all. People must be a lot sicker.
  4. Lots of places were hiring.  Of course, the type of places that have “We’re hiring” signs outside would be minimum wage jobs, though.  Which is not $15.00 an hour there.

Most people I know have left the area.  It’s hard to find employment there.  People are moving to cities.  In small towns you still find the elderly, disabled, self-employed, and a few people willing to commute for work.  And living in a small city, I can say, cities suck.  Neighbors are too close, you’re too regulated–I can’t even plant a tomato plant in my own yard, or water my lawn more than three times a week, park my car on the street, or have signs in my yard, or have more than 3 pets.

So thinking about my small-city life, I just kept wondering why I left.  I guess most leave because they can’t make it there.

Who’s in Control Here?

About 7 months ago I walked into a doctor’s office.  I was feeling very bad.  I was sick every day.  I couldn’t sleep.  I have a horrible doctor. She was very curt and blunt.  She told me (and this is nearly a direct quote): I was obese, old, and had an unhealthy lifestyle, and that she couldn’t help me.

That was not what I wanted or expected to hear.  So I asked her to recommend the best way to lose weight and she said that she went to Weight Watchers.   Two days later I was at a meeting.  I really wanted to be anywhere else.  I was embarrassed that I needed help.  Heck, I was embarrassed to ask the doctor for help and I didn’t get it.  Now I had to ask for help again.  And I didn’t get it again.  What I got, instead, was them showing me a plan, but they told me that it was up to me, and that I was in control.   So, I decided to be in control.

It was  a week before Thanksgiving–NOT a good time to go on a diet, so I’m told. And I was leaving town the next day on a trip.  I don’t really think there is a good time to go on a diet.  However, there is no BAD time to change your lifestyle.  And that is what I have done.  I eat mostly fruits and vegetables and some lean meats.  Almost never do I touch sweets or processed sugar, and very little bread.  I have found that those were the things that were making me feel bad.  I don’t want to feel bad anymore.

And, I started a Couch to 5K program and I have run 3 5Ks races so far this year. I know I am lucky to be able to run at my age and am thankful for that.  I feel great.

Yes, I’m still quilting, but not as much.  Yes, I’m still losing weight, but not as much.  I am nearly at the weight I was 20 years ago.   I hope to get there by the 4th of July.  But if I don’t, it doesn’t matter.  My lifestyle has changed, and I’m the one in control of that.  I could have changed my doctor, but it turns out that, although her bedside manner stunk, she was right.

Being Judgmental

Recently someone called me judgmental. I have too admit it hurt my feelings. But I suppose I am judgmental. I judge whether things are right or wrong for my life. And I have opinions about whether things are good or bad for society as a whole. Did you ever see someone litter and thought that was bad of them? Someone cut you off and you called them a name?  Yes, I look at people’s action and decide whether those actions are ones I would repeat or not. Whether I find them offensive or not. Whether I find them admirable or not.

The truth is, one of the great ironies of life is that to call someone judgmental means YOU are judging THEM. So, welcome to the club.

 

Getting Things Done

I have had more energy these last few weeks than I have had in a while.  Perhaps it’s because I’m losing weight, perhaps it’s desperation that the end of the year is approaching, perhaps it’s to avoid doing things I shouldn’t.  Whatever the reason, early in November I made myself a promise to finish 6 projects.  Well, as of last Tuesday, I am done.  The final one went out Tuesday night.  Here is the final quilt I did.

After returning from Fedex (who apparently delivered the package to the wrong address, and I’m still looking for it…..), I started Bonnie Hunter’s Allietare Mystery and am doing my dutiful Monday morning link up.


I did manage to get Clues 1-3 done so far, and will start Clue 4 today.

And how about you? Are you doing anything productive?

Losing the Holiday Weight

This might seem to be a little early. But really it is a little late. I made a decision a few weeks ago to lose the Holiday Weight. I’m not talking about the holidays, but about my dog Holiday, who passed away in February.

I had been eating badly and didn’t have my best friend for my daily walks. So I’m off on a culinary adventure. The refrigerator is stocked with fruits and vegetables, the pantry with oatmeal and brown rice and multigrain this and that.

And I have a new walking companion. I fostered a few dogs this year, but the last one is now my dog. Pixie is 6 years old, and has not had a happy life. You can tell a dog that had been hit or kicked–they randomly cower in fear when their mind thinks the blow is coming. But generally, Pixie is a happy dog. She had to undergo heartworm treatment, but now is feeling much better and she shows the same pure, unadulterated joy as Holiday did when I get out the leash for a walk.

So hopefully, I will lose the Holiday weight by the end of the holidays. Wish me luck!