Author Archives: hearthie

Speaking of fasts

Quick internet fast: If you need me, email me or call me or text me or send a homing pigeon. Going to be off FB and internet (other than what I need to grade homework or biblegateway) for a week. See you next Wednesday.

Yes, WP comments come to my inbox.  I’ll let them through (except for ads or craziness) but I’m not going to respond until next week.


Things I’ve learned

In the past few months, I’ve learned a few things about myself and life in general.

  1. I am profoundly affected by what I take in on an emotional basis.  I found this out from, of all things, bingeing on comedy youtube videos.  I got more energy, but it was as if I had had too much coffee – I had the hardest time settling back down!  One likes to think oneself above this sort of thing.  I’m not.  I’m an emotional hot-house plant.  Well, I can use that…
  2. I can force myself to write – but I cannot force myself to write creatively.  In other words, I can fill in an idea.  I can research, I can edit.  I cannot make myself write from the heart.  I become academic.
  3. Truth is far more powerful than even I had any idea.  It is also something which can be utilized in more situations.
  4. Inspiration should be actively sought out, as should rest.


Kind of in a weird headspace this last month or so.  I’m mentally/emotionally ready to start the new year, but one has this holiday thing to DO first.  I’m preparing myself to party, and to rest, and then run forward headlong.

It’s as if I’m doing my normal Christmas-to-NYE reflection a month early.  Odd.

I need to find a good time to fast and pray before then.

Thoughts on Paper: Diet Plan 2018

I’ve spent the last five years trying a lot of things and recovering from trying a lot of things to get the waist size down.    I know what works, and I know what doesn’t.  I can’t do crash diets where I’m hungry all the time.  I get crazy, then I rebound.  Ugly stuff.

So.  Diet plan:  13yo and I are going to start Whole 30 again on January 8.  For both of us, but especially me, this is a hard-reset of the habits.   That’s why we’re waiting.  I just couldn’t see saying, “let’s suffer right before fudge season, then ruin ourselves and have to do it over”.  Stupid.  Better to wait.

Why W30, and how does this work? Well, if you remember my personal diet pyramid from this summer, you’ll see that grains and sugar aren’t a big part of what I should be eating.  Unfortunately, I find them easily and quickly addictive.  IF I stay off of them, I lose weight.  The minute they come back, I stop losing weight.  When they get comfy, I start regaining.   Truth is sometimes not very comfy stuff.

So, W30 isn’t “the diet”, it’s the reset that leads me to eating what I should be eating.   I lost more weight AFTER W30 than during that month.   I’ll use W30 resets as necessary if I find my habits slipping.

Now, as a permanent diet, I need to figure out when I have dessert/treat allowances, and I’m going to have to write those in stone.  I do better with hard rules.   I haven’t sat down with this yet, but as a concept, what this would look like is “which day/wk am I allowed to have dessert, and on which occasions/year will I make exceptions to that rule?”  Because sugar habituates so quickly for me, I won’t be having it on a daily basis.  I can’t.

Exercise:  BBC 2x/wk; CF 1x/wk; start walking regularly with 13yo.  I looked up how competitive athletes and body builders cut fat before meets, and they add lots of low-intensity cardio (walking on a treadmill) while maintaining their normal training regimen.   I tried that this summer, adding activity to my day, and yes – the pounds came off.  The low-intensity doesn’t add substantially to my appetite, which heavy workouts do.  (Hit a PR, eat all the food).  So, I need to make that concrete, not random.   Adding a session of CF will help, but mostly it will help my cardio capacity, which isn’t where it used to be.

My goal is to lose 25 lb.  I have no idea what my goal weight “should be”.  My muscle mass now weighs more than I weighed in HS, and I wasn’t thin, so that doesn’t help.  25lb is a rough guess, and it’s also an achievable goal.  I need to not stop pushing until I get there.   It feels completely insane to say this, but I’d like to hit that by Easter.  Three months?  I dunno, folks.  That’s a lot of weight in three months.  10lb is more usual for 3 months for me.  But I am getting the push, so I’m going to commit to that goal.

There, now the plan is on paper, and not bouncing in my head being irritating.

I’m having way too much fun

This is the first draft of this skirt… I’m going to change some things, but I’m very squee, and I’m having WAY too much fun.


I took the skirt pattern from Vogue 9114 and combined it with my tried & true six-gore skirt, adding a proper waistband instead of a gathered waist.    I like it, but here’s the next-time changes:

  • use the 9114 skirt to the knee, then my tiered skirt, fluffed up to near invincible layers.  (I think I need more horizontal volume on the bottom hem.  While my six-gore is voluminous, it can’t hold its own with 9114 on top – I have my Folkwear petticoat on under it, and it’s still not very fluffy).  Oddly, I have a feeling this will save me yardage.
  • work a bit harder on the waist/waistband – I cut the waist down quite a lot, but not enough to smoothly insert into the waistband.  For a wearable muslin, this is fine.  For the real deal, it is not.
  • Make a new fluffy blouse without the weird collar thing going on.  I bought this at Target for a costume.  It works with this really well, but I can’t with the collar.
  • And just wait for the waistcoat, dahlings… 😉

Anyway.  Stage 1, dialing it up to 11, complete.

You’re welcome.

Strength Standards

Honestly in 2018 I’m going to be working on losing weight, not putting on muscle, but why not have strength goals?  They’re more fun.

Here are the strength standards in the “next box up” for the  Bench – 160  Deadlift – 330  Squat- 270.  That’s dropping a weight class, which I hope to do.

(I changed to a mean scale so now I weigh 10lb more than I did before.  The cheapie was more accurate – the doctor’s office scale showed the same amount (with clothing allowance), but I could wobble it… so, I bought a more expensive, more consistent scale which came with a magical weight gain.  I dunno, I just work here.  Anyway.  So, dropping a weight class according to the new scale.  I’m hoping to lose 25lb this year, fwiw).

  • Current Bench – 128 (I question my ability to move that far in a year, but I know my coach is going to incorporate more upper body work into my life, because I can’t up my DL without it.)
  • Current Deadlift – 295 (I almost moved this … almost.  My arms and upper back just wouldn’t do it).
  • Current Squat – 255 (Just hit this.  If I can do some walkouts at this weight, I think I could move this. It’s my torso strength that’s holding me back, not my thighs – my intercostals were killing me last week).

The plan in 2018 is to start hitting the gym 3x/wk and incorporating one CF class in on top of my BBC class.   That’s more cardio, more gymnastics, and more PRs.  My BBC coach doesn’t like to work on PRs very often, she doesn’t think they’re safe.

How realistic are these goals?  Bench – not really.  I should certainly see some gains, but 32lb?  Yeah.  I’ll give it a go, but no promises.  Deadlift?   My behind can do it, I don’t know about my arms.  Even with straps (I have tiny girly hands) I couldn’t hold on at that weight.  Got it to my knees, could NOT straighten up.  Squat?  I had more “in the tank” but I was seeing stars so I stopped.  15lb is totally reasonable.

I’m wondering if I should start wearing a belt on my big lifts… when do you know it’s time?  Well, I COULD ask my coach… LOL.  Also, when do you start wearing knee things?  Again, I need to ask.  I think I’ve gotten to that place.


Strength standards online


I spent Black Friday at the fabric store

… no, not Joann’s.  Am I crazy?  No.  At the normal fabric store.  Which was empty.

My husband knows what I’m going to do before I do it, btw.  I find this quite strange.  “Spend X guilt-free dollars” said he, from his sick-bed… I wasn’t planning to get anything but some yardage for a skirt idea.  And – I spent exactly what he said on myself, with a bit extra for BFF’s Christmas gift.

And then I sewed.  I sewed on Thanksgiving (we went to my mom’s house, she likes to host) and I sewed last night.

Finished yet-another-shirt – I need a break before I do the last two, although I have a good feeling about this one.  But you need to be in the mood for precision for men’s clothing, and I’m not.  We’re up to 11 shirts in the queue now, I should probably do a bit more editing of the older shirts.

DSC06061 (2)

And I made BFF’s gift.  A tiny peek, on the off chance she checks this blog (she doesn’t normally).  Fear of sweater knit?  Killed.  This was very easy, and she’s going to love it I think.  Might have to hem it up, but that’s easily done.   You know those basic shape patterns you see on pinterest?  Yeah.  They’re as easy as you think they are.  Just use a big zig-zag stitch and think about the drape.  I don’t know what fabric content this is, it laundered well and is soft.


Can’t decide what to sew next… I got some fabric for my six-gore denim skirt (the current version has developed holes and a stain) and I got fabric for the new idea.  Oddly the ‘new idea’ isn’t burning a hole in my brain, so I might go six-gore first.  It’s not a huge time-suck.

I got my Christmas letter written, it’s sitting on DH’s desk for any editing.  And it’s an otherwise quiet day.