Friday, December 23, 2011

Catherine Roberts' gifts to you.

I enjoy this time of year in QOVF-land. I actually get excited thinking about what gifts I can give to you, my community. This year’s gifts straddle the tech and health worlds which is rather a reflection of me.

Geeky Stuff
On my travel across country this past summer, I chatted with a quilter about computer stuff. She looked at me and said, “I am a geek. I love working with computers.”
“Yeah. Give me a choice between quilt shop or electronic’s store, I”ll take the latter each time.” I excitedly replied, expecting her to high five me.
She looked at me quizzically and affirmatively asserted, “Not me! I’ll take the quilt store each and every time.”
I knew right there and then, I am a geek first and quilter second.

So in this vein, I offer you my holiday gifts which encompass various of my hemispheres.

Geek Side of Town
Almost since QOVF’s inception, we have subscribed to offers a wealth of classes for those wanting to learn more about computing, photography, graphic art, film editing just to mention a few subjects. The teachers are the best in their field and they know how to teach. You have the luxury of sitting through the classes multiple times or just pausing 24/7. One has the distinct feeling that Lynda and company care about their students and staff which is so refreshing in this day of dog-eat-dog. At $25.00/month, it’s one of the best deals around.
This site is full of pithy suggestions from organizaing your life to computer files. It sounds a bit over-the-top but they actually pull it off more than not.

Backup Advice
Your drive WILL crash; it’s only a matter of time. Try and to help with keeping your data safe.

Seeing the Light at the End of the Getting Healthier Tunnel
Coasting as one gets older is NOT recommended unless you want to see your lab values rise to the abnormally high end of the scale and clothes sizes soar to the stratosphere. Or at least, coasting is not good for me. During this past year, I have found the following movie, books and website which have been a source of inspiration.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the movie, might change your life. It is about an Australian morbidly obese man who drives juicing across the US. I know that might sound odd (and it is). I think one of the strengths of the film are the people he interviews and that one person is Phil Jay Staples. You can watch it on netflix streaming; plus Joe has a great website Reboot which explains/supports his juicing/getting healthier lifestyle.

Forks Over Knives is a film about two men-one a PhD in nutrition and the other a cardiac/thoracic surgeon who came to the same conclusion: a plant based diet improves all around health. I recommend this film not so you can be convinced to switch to a plant based diet but so you will have some facts about what does what to your body. You can find the film here at amazon or at netflix streaming.

Mindfulness Training
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Full Catastrophe Living” is an excellent book explaining the basics of getting the mind in shape. (What good is the body if the mind keeps chasing chickens inventing stories that make chickens out to be monsters?) His eight week Mindful Meditation course has helped thousands physically and mentally. UCLA also has a great site that is open to all  They offer online mindful meditation courses as well as many inexpensive courses at their UCLA site.

Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth
Where is that darn silver bullet/pill that will melt the pounds away? As we all know but are somethings unwilling to admit, there is no such entity (minus surgical intervention). Geneen Roth’s approach to achieving a healthy weight is to be mindful of why you are eating. Her book is personable as though she were right there in the room with you. I think it’s probably easier to just follow a diet than to explore the reasons why I am grazing/stuffing myself with food that is just filler. Here’s the amazon link.

Love Soup by Anna Thomas
Hands down, this is THE best soup cookbook ever. The soups are healthy, wholesome and earthy. I would recommend using the amounts for ingredients she suggests when you first begin. Then you can wing it on your own. I never knew ‘roots’ could be so flavorful and satisfying from taste to visually appealing. You can get it here. My favorite recipe so far is: ?????.

Broadcast television will be the Death of Civilized Culture
When our kids were growing up, we canceled cable tv. We had rabbit ears to bring in our programs which basically consisted of Public TV and CBS, NBC affiliates. Fast forward to our move to Washington state. Our rabbit ears no longer worked because of various mountain ranges and this is when I learned about Google TV. I have now weaned myself from all tv and can say for myself, I am a better person because of this move. I have discovered several internet websites that are truly stellar and edifying. I hope you find them as uplifting as I.

TED-Ideas Worth Spreading.
TED-talks has brief talks that simply have me inspired and whistling a tune. There are topics for everyone and it’s FREE! Try this talk on for size.

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