Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Twelve Months to the Double Nickel - October Edition

Since my uterine cancer diagnosis, I’ve been reading a lot about it on the internet.  Just about every site has a list of risk factors.  Most don’t seem to have anything to do with me, but two that jump out for me are never having been pregnant and being overweight.  Even if I were guaranteed never to get cancer if I had been pregnant, I still wouldn’t change that one.  Being overweight is another story.  My BMI has put me in the overweight category for longer than I want to admit.  Although I would have preferred to be thinner, I was able to function without any problems; I even completed marathons.  I knew I was too heavy, but I didn’t feel so heavy that it was hurting me.  It looks like I was wrong.

My baby step for this month is to start to work my way back to a normal BMI.  I’m not going to diet or do anything drastic.  I’m going to try to make good food choices and watch my portion size, as well as continue to walk and work on the other changes I’ve been trying to make this year, (with the exception of sit-ups for now – maybe I’ll add them back in next month.)  My goal for the month is to lose two kilos (about 4 and a half pounds). 

If you are interested in finding out what your own BMI is, check out this calculator.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thank you Nami San and Mizuho San!

Two ladies who work at the university and have good English skills filled out my insurance paperwork for me to mail in.  Since it was all in kanji, I could not have done it myself.  I am very grateful and wanted to give them thank you gifts, so I made these little fobs.  These are just a token of my appreciation.  I hope they like them.

 
Photos show front and back.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count - Two

This week I’ve put together two hexagon diamonds – not many but twice as many as last week.
 


Linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Japanese Dentist

I don’t know how it happened, but somehow a little piece of one of my fillings chipped off.  I really just wanted to stay home, and not go to the dentist, but I went anyway.  Luckily I already had a dentist – previously I’d had my teeth cleaned and a crown glued back on when it popped off.  I'd hate to have to try to find a dentist when I needed something fixed.

The first time I went to the Japanese dentist, I was surprised by how modern everything was.  I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be, but that’s what I had imagined.  As modern as everything is, it’s still different from going to the dentist in the US. For one thing, you leave your shoes at the door and wear the slippers provided, then you kick off the slippers when you are in the dentist chair.

For another, you don’t have to call ahead.  You just show up and give the receptionist your dentist card and your insurance card and they take you in the order you arrive.  I’ve only been a few times, but I’ve not had to wait long on any of the times I’ve been there.  The dentist and his main assistant speak some English, but the receptionist only speaks Japanese.  I thought about what to say to her ahead of time and practiced in my head a little and she seemed to understand about my chipped filling.

In the US, dentists always want to inject me with novocaine, even though I always refuse it.  The Japanese dentist didn’t even offer it.  I would not have wanted it even if it had been offered, but I was surprised that the dentist drilled out the rest of the old filling without wanting me to have it.  I thought he would replace the filling and I’d be done, but no.  The assistant took an impression, then the dentist put in a temporary filling and said that’s all for today.  I’ll return early next week to have the filling finished.  I think it's going to be a special, perfect filling.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bath Summer Textile School - Jan Beaney Class

This was supposed to be a two day class with both Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn, but while vacationing in Greece six weeks early, Jean’s husband had a stroke and they were still in Greece at the hospital at the time of the class. I think Jan was pretty stressed not to have Jean, but she had an assistant and the class went on.

On the first day of class, we went out in the drizzly rain with two angles of white paper to find things to sketch.





 
I’m not so good with sketching, but I did my best. Here’s what I ended up with (don’t laugh!)

 
Next we used markers to draw our pencil sketches in color (again, don’t laugh!)

 
We ironed these marker drawings onto fabric and started stitching over the drawing.

 
Our next project involved dissolvable stuff.  I still have a lot to do on mine – it involves orange ribbon, with beads to be added.

 
Another thing we did was scribble on tissue paper and wad it up and wet it, then tear it up and stitch it to fabric.


 
After that we stitched on this horticulture covering stuff, then used a heat gun to dissolve away the stuff, leaving only the stitching. I really like this.

 
After that we stitched on some burlap, ironed some gold leaf on top, then stitched some more on it.


 
We did another little thing stitching on top of stitches in different directions.

 
Here are my samples after two days of experimentation.

 
My classroom at the American Museum -
 
It was an interesting class!

Friday, September 26, 2014

UK Museums - British Museum, London

One of the great things I discovered on this trip, was that most of the museums had free wifi.  Free wifi is rare in Hokkaido, so I really appreciated being able to check something on the internet or look at my email while I was out and about.

The British Museum has free admission and is close to four tube stations.  I’m very frugal and I love free admission!

When you first enter the museum, it doesn’t seem like the same building you see from the outside.



 
Cradle to Grave by Pharmacopoeia was my favorite exhibit at this museum. The exhibit was created by a textile artist, a video artist, a doctor.  Had I not been involved in my recent medical challenges, it might not have spoken to me the way it did. “Maintaining well-being is more complex than just treating illness.”




Thursday, September 25, 2014

UK Museums - Tate Modern, London

One of the museums I visited while in London was the Tate Modern.  Except for special exhibits, the Tate Modern has free admission.  It is very easy to get to, with three nearby tube stations.  Here are a few of the things I saw and liked while visiting.