Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Although some things never change -- Thanksgiving is not one of those things. A family is alive...which means it is always growing -- or shrinking. People come, people go (depending on the people, either one of those things could be the good news or the bad news).

Every family has their happy times. Birthday parties, graduations, good test scores, promotions, beautiful weddings, new babies.

Then there are the not-so-happy occasions. Kids move away. Couples get divorced and the dining room furniture is hauled off to the Goodwill. People die, they get sick, lose their jobs, or maybe their house burns down...

Every one of those things -- good or bad -- has one thing in common.


If you were having the perfect probably would NOT be reading this blog today...So, I am going to assume that something about this day sucks.

You are not alone...Trust me...

If your day sucked -- if you feel lonely -- or somebody hurt your feelings -- or disappointed you...or you are dealing with a loss....well -- it's a very long line you're standing in...

Thanksgiving has become a holiday full of pressure.   Norman Rockwell painted a fictional picture that no family could live up to.  The people you THINK are having a better day than you are probably bored out of their minds, feeling jealous or resentful of their annoying siblings, pissed off at their ungrateful children, and have spent the entire day biting their tongues...

Chances are good they are deliberately telling you the Norman Rockwell-edited version of their day....pretending everything was perfect....because they fear YOU had a better Thanksgiving than THEY DID...

The good news is -- IT'S JUST ONE DAY!!

If today REALLY sucked -- my advice is to write it all down. Just for yourself. It is so interesting to read these journal entries AFTER the fact. It's how I learn. Every single time. If you write it down honestly -- then go back and read it next year, maybe you can PREVENT having another meltdown, crappy Thanksgiving.

But that almost always means you must embrace...that's right...let's say it together....



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tie One On Day

If you're in the middle of a hectic day of Thanksgiving PREP -- take a deep breath. Today is the National "Tie One On Day", EllynAnne Geisel, who came up with the wonderful idea, told me there is no right or wrong way to do it.

TIE ONE ON DAY Give from the heart on Wednesday – then give thanks on Thursday
This Thanksgiving Eve, Tie One On (an apron of course!) and bring joy to the life of someone in need.

This year, every random act of kindness is being dedicated to the memory of Nancy Zieman....

Participation is easy and uplifting!
  • Simply wrap a loaf of bread or baked good in an apron
  • Tuck an encouraging note or prayer into the pocket
  • Present your offering to a neighbor, friend or person in your community who could benefit from your gesture of kindness
  • Tie One On – and put the “give” back into Thanksgiving
Tie One On Day™ is a win-win, for the participant and the receiver. And by embracing TOODay, you will make someone else’s day brighter.


It's easy to get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. Your goal is to have the most beautiful table, moist turkey, perfect gravy, delicious's always more work than it should be. But none of that matters at the end of the day... It's about the people, people...

Appreciate your people. For who they are. For what they bring. Say some encouraging words...You never know if or when you might be saying the words they remember 40 years from now...Let them know you are proud. If not proud -- at least hopeful.

Kiss all the kids on the head. Tell them they are kind and smart and important... While every single thing you do today may not be appreciated -- Thanksgiving is one of those days that often remembers better than it lives...

2017 Frankensew Fitness

This week, I'm in Florida, WORKING OUT SIX HOURS A I may not be able to write a real-time blog, I'm going to publish some pictures of the Style Show of new Fat Fashions.

I did the unveiling of my creations at the TMBC party at Linda P's house...I SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM VOTE!!
I carried my new Frankensewed Fitness Wardrobe in my new carry-on suitcase.
This is the front of the bag...
This is the back of the bag.
This is one of my favorite outfits!!  (I am adding some leopard in with the zebra...very clever, eh?)
As if the zebra and fringe wasn't enough -- I added a glitter pouch.
But it's the WORDS that make this top my favorite. "If a man speaks in a forest, and his wife doesn't hear, is he still wrong?" 

Did I mention that our trainer, Conn Mobley, is an ex-Marine? I think I'll save this shirt for the last day...the workouts are already hard enough....I don't want to piss him off....

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fat Fashion Style Show Breakfast

You know how it goes -- it's Tuesday -- so THERE MUST BE A PARTY.   The week before I left for Fat Camp, LP hosted the TMBC because the special occasion was my 2017 Fat Fashion Style Show.  My sister Ronda came, too  (and brought a homemade apple pie!).
I should have taken a picture of the beautiful table BEFORE we sat down and messed everything up!
Yes, homemade placemats, and fall dishes...PERFECT!
Ronda and Sandy...
Breakfast pizza, muffins, apple pie...and -- hey -- strawberries are healthy, right?
Ron had to bring Sharalan...and we let him stay just long enough to eat a piece of
The pie WAS AMAZING...

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Fitness Camp

Here's what I'm afraid of. I am afraid that, for me, Fat Camp is a lot like labor pains. You know how that works -- once the baby is born -- you forget how horrible the pain was.

I've had such a good result this last year -- I'm afraid I FORGOT HOW HARD AND PAINFUL THAT WEEK WAS.

Then, too, I didn't help myself by only posting the fabulous pictures that made it all look so wonderful....
Because -- TRUST ME -- it was more work than I've ever done. And it was hard. And mostly painful....and, as I'm writing this post (two days before I GO AGAIN)....IT'S ALL COMING BACK TO ME...
As I look back at these pictures from LAST year, I know it was all worth it. The money, the time, the work. I am living a different life because of the choice I made last year...and I'm happy to be able to do it again.

Labor pains never stopped anybody from having Baby #2, y'know??

And -- hey -- THEN, THERE'S THIS...

Honestly -- just Frankensewing the new wardrobe was worth the cost of admission!!

MMWI:  It's complicated.  I weighed 232 the day I arrived in Florida.  And 220 the day I left.  This morning, I was 223 on my home scale...

IT'S ALL GOOD...and I'm just gonna keep on keeping on...OFF TO THE POOL!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Goodbye Nancy

I won't be posting a blog for a couple of days.

Nancy Zieman died...and I'm just too sad.

Anything I might blog about seems unimportant...and just too trivial.

Many other people are writing beautiful tributes...and if you want to read them, or add to them, please go to her blog...

Nancy Zieman Blog

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day One of Fat Camp

I am in Florida -- at the Weight Crafters Fitness Camp. With Rhonda Pierce and some other special friends (who may not want me blogging about them).

Last week, at TMBC, I did a Style Show of MY BRAND NEW FITNESS wardrobe. These two outfits are restyled from things I made last year. I am delighted to report that I got to remove 6" of fabric from each side of the first top...HOLY COW...what a difference a year makes, eh??

For the second top -- I mostly just saved the front of the shirt.  I love the sentiment...and I love the new look, too.

This is what the 2016 outfit looked like.
For 2017, I took the pants in by 3"...

Last year, this top had a big swing style back.
This year, it's a fitted  sleeveless top.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day, Quilts of Valor

It was an honor for me to write a story about the Quilts of Valor Foundation for Inspired To Sew magazine.

Here is a link to that issue.

Quilts of Valor is a genuine grassroots organization, with thousands of volunteers all across the country.

Terry Austin, the local coordinator, invited us to attend their 2014 Veteran's Day event, when they awarded 25 quilts at a ceremony in Rock Island, Illinois. Here are some pictures of that day, and their beautiful quilts. It is a wonderful thing they're doing...
Terry Austin and John. She was a terrific emcee...
There was a large audience...
Veterans from Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan...
The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines....
Each quilt was lovingly draped on the receiving veteran....
THEN, they had patriotic cupcake refreshments...
A large group picture. 
The only WW II veteran being honored on this day was Lillian -- who was a WAVE in the Navy.
While John was comparing good old Navy days with Lillian, I was visiting with her granddaughter. On her 90th birthday, Lillian went sky-diving....

Today is Veteran's Day.

Thank you for your service.

We are a grateful nation...

Friday, November 10, 2017

BASTA!! Sausage Stuffed Dates

Since I'm visiting IOWA CITY this week, I'm going to talk about my favorite restaurant in the State of Iowa.

2015, my cousin Kim and I had lunch Iowa City at a place called BASTA.

It's in the charming downtown -- just a few blocks away from the Old Capitol building.
I was so impressed, I wrote a Yelp review:

The Restaurant: A classic, sophisticated interior with an intricate black and white hexagon tile floor. A long elegant mahogany wood bar dominates one side of the restaurant. The wood fire pizza oven can be seen from every seat in the house. The booths and chairs are comfortable, with real linen napkins, heavy silverware, large coffee cups and a carafe of ice water on the table.
(P.S. Spotless, comfortable bathrooms).

The Food: Appetizer: Sausage stuffed Dates. Really? In Iowa City? Wowsa. The presentation was lovely -- served in a piping hot iron skillet. Four large dates, crispy on the outside, and sweet and chewy on the inside. The tomato sauce had a bite to it. Simply delicious...I will be trying to recreate this dish for the rest of my life.

And that is EXACTLY what's happened.

This is a picture of the REAL Basta appetizer...
At home, I started with an iron skillet, a pound of Medjool Dates, jar of Prego spaghetti sauce, and a package of sausage.
Of course, I'm just guessing about the actual Basta recipe. I put the uncooked sausage into the dates, set them in the sauce, put them in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes
When I took them out of the oven, I sprinkled feta cheese on top. To transport my Basta sausage stuffed dates, I put them in a different pan (with a lid).
I NAILED IT..!!  Next time, I will use spicy sausage.  They will be PERFECT.!!