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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On My Way

Off and on for a few years, I've been thinking I need to lose some pounds and also become more physically fit--just healthier all around. My family went on the South Beach Diet back in '05 (I think) and although I wasn't really on it, there were less goodies in the house and more choices of healthy snacks. The years went on, though, and it started with a little this here, and that there, and soon enough, South Beach was gone. Now, my mom has started again, and because she's doing it, too, I find it a lot easier to do it myself. Once again, I'm not completely on it, as it's only recommended for adults to be on phase 1, but I'm following pretty much all the rules, but I'll still have a banana or real sugar in my tea, etc. I'd like to lose about 30 pounds to put me right around the middle of the "healthy" category as far as BMI is concerned, and I'm off on the right foot. Though a firend of my mom's we found SparkPeople (and SparkTeens for me) which has great online tools, including fitness workout videos (LOVE these. :]), tracking for nutrition, and a supportive community of other members. (All for free, I might add.) SparkPeople & SparkTeens also provide their own diet plan, with meal plans, fitness plans, etc, but you don't necessarily have to eat what they suggest.
Oh, and they have a nice little section for goals, whether they be daily, monthly, or weekly, which I love because I can have it all out in front of me as a reminder of what I should be doing, like drinking eight glasses of water each day.
So that's what's going on right now. I might think of something a bit more interesting to post later today, but this'll do for now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maple Farm


We took a trip on Saturday to see a farm that makes Maple products and yarn, amongst many other things. :)

Yarn making. =)

Timmy the Alpaca

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Waxwings

Some Cedar Waxwings were hanging around at the park on Monday and Tuesday (haven't seen them since). Unfortunately, though, on Monday the weather was terrible, so I couldn't get any nice pictures, and on Tuesday, it was beauitful out, but there were lots fo people power walking and biking and the like on the trail, so I only got a shot or two before they left. :(

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rice Pie

When I was little, my mom used to always make yellow rice, and every time, I would smush it down with my fork, shape it into a circle, and then slice it into pieces and eat it. (Because itwas smushed down, the "slices" stay together pretty well.) You can't eat it like regular rice, or it won't taste right, you know. Last night, my mom made yellow rice for the first time in years, and I shared my "insight" with Lizzy. ;]

Believe me, it's a lot more appetzing than my "pie" makes it look. Lol

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hanging Blown Eggs


My mom's post about blown Easter eggs.
Last year we blew out Easter eggs for the first time last year, and when we took them out recently with the Easter decorations, I decided to hang them from a metal "tree" of sorts that we have. I have a link up at the top of this post to a post my mom made about blowing out Easter eggs that you can check out if you'd like because this one's just focused on hanging them. I'm sure there's some great information online of some great way to hang them that'll look really spiffy, but I decided to just figure it out using things around the house.

Materials I used:
-brown thread, twice as long as the length you want the egg hanging down, and at least 6 or 7 inches.
-small needle
-sewing pin
-masking tape (Yes, masking tape. But don't worry, you don't see it.)
-scissors
-eggs, of course =)
What I did:
If you blew out your eggs the way we did, you should have one hole at each end, a small one, and a tiny one. (I'll just call them 'big' and 'small' to make things simple.)

Insert the threaded needle into the smaller of the two holes.
The needle tended to "float" at the top of the hole because of the thread, (see photo at left) so I pushed it down into the egg using a pin.


Holding the thread so that the ends don't go into the egg, (left)but still giving the needle a bit of slack, gently shake the egg so that the needle finds its way out the larger hole. (right)

You can now release one of the ends of thread so that you can remove the needle from the thread, and the egg is threaded on the thread like a bead. (Say that ten times fast. ;]) Take the needle, and thread it onto the end of thread coming from the smaller hole of the egg. You are now going to go through the same process, bringing the other end down through the small hole and out the larger one, making sure to keep the loop at the small hole. (If your loop falls through, you're going to have to start over again.)



Here, I pinned my loop to the tablecloth so that it wouldn't fall through while I finish up.

I then took a piece of masking tape, folded it so that it was not sticky, threaded the needle and thread through the center, and tied a knot on the other side. I then put the tape and thread in the egg through the large hole and pulled up the loop at the top. This tape is just a barrier to keep the knot from going through the small hole at the top.

Now, just hang it somewhere. =)

Little Women (English Assignment)

For English, I was to read a book and create my own cover for it, including a summary on the back. I used Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.

Front Cover
Back Cover & Summary
Full Cover

Saturday, March 7, 2009

There Are White-Winged Crossbills...

...in my front yard.

How amazing is that?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Today I spent a while reading Oliver Twist for an English report, then went upstairs to work on some Spanish assignments, but when I reached for a pen to copy down vocabulary words, there was none to be found (none functioning, at least). You see, I have this bad habit of keeping pens that don't work, thinking that perhaps, some day, they'll work again. Obviously, this notion results in nothing more than a can full of empty pens. I knew I had a bag lying around my room someplace, so that set my Spring Cleaning into action.
I'm proud to report that my room is now clean. (half of it, anyway) Molli's taking advantage of the newlyfound desk top and is laying on it, with her tail swishing softy over the laptop keys, except when it ends up between my finger and a key I need to use--then it doesn't swish so softly anymore. ;]

Monday, March 2, 2009

White-Winged Crossbills

White-winged Crossbills usually spend all year in Canada, but because they feed on pinecones, they'll move if need be to look for food, and this year they were a lot farther south than usual, and there were about 20 at a cemetery only about 30-40 min from my house. =D
I had Crossbills songs and calls already loaded onto my mp3 player, and had that hooked up to the car radio. Not hearing any response, I walked off a distance from the car, and thought I heard a call, but it was hard to be sure with the calls playing in the background, so I signalled to my mom to turn off the mp3 player. I listened. Nothing. I walked on a bit more, a bit disappointed and thinking of going home. Then I heard it again. It sounded like just snatches here and there of the song file I had, but I didn't want to get my hopes up and go looking for a bird that wasn't actually there, so I mentally bookmarked my location and went back to the car. After confirming that the mp3 player was indeed off, I returned to my previous location, listened, and heard it again. Now would be the tricky part of actually finding the birds. I couldn't pinpoint the sound due to moderate traffic on a close road, and I was surrounded by several pine trees, each quite volumous. I scanned a few tree tops with the binoculars and then spotted a flutter of wings as one of the Crossbills--a male--moved to another branch.

I followed them from tree to tree and finally got a glimpse of a few females.

Just as I was thinking I should probably leave (as my sister was probably getting tired of sitting in the car) they started flying down in groups of 3-5 to drink from a puddle about 5 feet in front of me!

Afterwards we stopped at a WalMart nearby and bought 25 pounds of sunflower seed and an oriole feeder for this spring, and then I spent the evening celebrating a friend's birthday. It was a nice day. :)