Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bedtime Reading - Eight-Pointed Star with Circle, Seal of Melchizedek

Hello all.

I like to notice these on all the temples I go into. I was pointing them out to Adam in the New Mexico temple when we went, last week I think. I love the symbolism. I don't know too much about it yet, so I thought I'd look it up tonight. Basically I know it's a square symbolizing the earthly, physical, and temporal, with another one shifted at 45 degrees to give the eight-pointed star, with a circle inside that symbolizes heavenly, spiritual things. Therefore, the temple is a place where heaven and earth meet. It also has ramifications with other symbols that we wear. I probably shouldn't discuss it too much. I never know how far I can go without getting myself into trouble, but maybe this seems elementary to you.

Something new I learned tonight is the tie-ins of the star in Morrocan design and that the symbol is even much older than that, showing up in ancient Ur. More reading here.

Eight-Point Star, Khatam, Seal of the Prophets, Four-Fold Archetypes
Fun reading from a non-LDS point-of-view.

Seal of Melchizedek: Part 5
Fun reading from an LDS point-of-view.

I hope to hash them out more later, I could only skim the first one, and barely read the first lines of the second. I really need to hit the hay, so I'm saving these here so I can read more about them later.



P.S. Symbols are FUN! And just looking at one for a split-second can kick your brain from being at rest into fifth gear!

P.S. Well slap me silly, I was the Byzantine Empress Theodora for Halloween 2001 at BYU and stared at that photo from Ravenna for awhile to get the costume right, but never noticed the eight-pointed star on the robe. I know I wasn't really looking for it then. (Also, I know, false robes of the priesthood. For shame.)

P.P.P.S. I can blame this book for even giving me the idea for the costume. I think my mom got it for me. It's really a fun read and very pretty to look through, with costume details from Ancient Greece onto the Byzantines, Germanic peoples, Celts, and Medieval dress. Fun fun!
Ancient European Costume and Fashion

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marriage Equality Catching Fire

It's something that has been bothering me lately.

Can we pray to know of the truthfulness of marriage equality?

Just a thought. What answer have you gotten?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Well, I've been losing weight anyway. I'm trying to stay away from the refined foods, sugar in general, and keeping milk products to a minimum. No more milk on cereal for breakfast for me. I am doing the Green For Life smoothies and they sure do bring some vitality to my life. The book is awesome, I am following it to some extent. The whole eating-heathily thing I knew would get all wack when I got married so I was trying to make peace with it, and with the extra 20 or 30 pounds I was carrying around. Because there was no way in heck I was making two meals for the both of us come dinner time. I can barely motivate myself to do the one.

So I compromise. I do the more healthy eating while Adam is gone to work for the day, and then I eat along with him for dinner. And try to eat more salad at dinner. So far, working great! Reminds me a little of the slim-fast diet, shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner. Not that I've ever done Slim-Fast. I think it's ridiculous. Unless you plan on buying and eating them for the rest of your life. It has to be a life-style change (and not a "diet") if you want it to last. (Something I've got going for me is that I don't mind eating just plain old baby spinach leaves or kale in a bowl, no salad dressing, no garnish, no nothing. Tastes great! So easy to make.)

Breakfast looks like this:

-Brown rice in a bowl, warmed, with some cinnamon on top (good for blood circulation and expelling toxins, good for diabetics. I'm not diabetic, but I'm sure my blood likes a good cleaning). I usually make a big pot of brown rice and eat it for the rest of the week. It's a good investment of 1 hour a week without me going too nuts. I get the brown rice in bulk from Whole Foods, it's the short grain brown rice, and it just tastes amazing. Way better than the yucky stuff you buy in a little bag at Wal-mart. I finally have been splurging and buying the Whole Foods brown rice (which is still a reasonable price) and Adam had some and really liked it. I think he thinks I've been holding out on him, since I usually buy and make the cheapo Wal-mart brown rice, which really isn't that good, and I don't blame him for not liking it so much. It's really not so great. Go get the Whole Foods kind! Or Sprouts or wherever you like to shop that might carry it in bulk foods.

** Muchos plugs for the book Green For Life

** My dad sent me the book. I should give him muchos props. He is nutrition-conscientious and in the past has sent me good, useful books like:
-Pottinger's Cats
-The China Study

The book looks like this:

And can be purchased through this link ~*~ here. ~*~

-Green smoothie, this takes a little bit of time: Any variety of frozen or fresh fruit (that is compatible with other fruits you might be adding, don't want to go too off the deep end; also, sometimes less is more, you don't want to mix more than three fruits usually), maybe 3 tablespoons of yogurt, maybe Greek yogurt when we have it!, yum!; some watered down Simply Orange orange juice (trying to lessen the sugar here), sometimes just water, no juice; maybe a banana, and of course, I'm forgetting the most important part! Either a large handful of kale or baby spinach. It's good to blend the stuff because then you can really get all the nutrients out of the kale and spinach. The insoluble fiber and the tough cell walls of the dark leafy greens don't break down in your stomach, which means you better be chewing that stuff really well before you swallow it or you won't get to absorb a lot of the nutrients. Blending makes it easier and faster to chew, and to absorb! Yay!

Kale is amazing! I don't know why people think it's bitter. I found that if I do a straight kale smoothie with some water, it's still pretty sweet, whereas if I add some fruit like frozen strawberries, I have to add a smidgen of honey or sugar or juice because it's kind of tart and bitter. This holds true for other fruits. The kale really doesn't do much to the smoothie, it's kind of mild and barely noticable.

The baby spinach makes the smoothie seem even more creamy. It gives a nice creaminess that I enjoy. I did kale for awhile, I buy it in the big bags at Wal-mart, lasts awhile, but one day Wal-mart didn't have any kale stocked. I was kind of bummed! I shook my fist, but then I remembered that they have baby spinach so I bought a big bag of that that also lasted a week or so and I was back to making great, healthy, weight-loss inducing juice.

I'm spoiled, I got a hand-me-down Vita-mix from my dad when he wanted to upgrade his, back in 2007, methinks? He couldn't have found a happier recipient with which to bestow it upon. And I think the thing is going on ten years old and is still working great! Blends like a dream!

Another hilarious thing is that Adeline has started to have smoothies with me. She really likes them! That's what I mean about kale not being as bitter or sour as fruit, spinach too! The proof is my little girl likes them (and she doesn't like sour or bitter things) and she always wants what I'm blending. It's not super sweet like Jamba Juice (much too sweet!) but it's just a nice healthy little party in your mouth.

Lunch is variable. Sometimes it's a sammich with whole wheat bread and a little mustard and mayo, kale or baby spinach with a tomato slice on sliced deli turkey, maybe with a slice of cheese, a side of baby carrots or cucumbers. I love cucumbers so much.

Or lunch might be more fruit and leafy greens. That's what inspired the book Green for Life and the diet. Half your diet should come from antioxidant-filled super-food cancer-fighting leafy greens. Not vegetables, not starchy veggies especially, but dark leafy-green fighting-machines like kale and baby spinach. I probably need to get some more variety in the leafy green arena and branch out to a third, but I'll stick with these for now. I get variety with the fruit and I do still eat veggies. And I eat some protein too, but I am really trying to do more half-and-half the afore-mentioned things.

For me, the cultured milk products are not so taboo. I can have a little cheese and yogurt. Milk in a glass or on cereal is a no-no, no to butter, and ice cream is a definite no. Sometimes I splurge though. If I'm at a birthday party I'll have some cake and ice cream and be sociable. Or if I'm just needing a few scoops after a long couple of weeks, I might indulge. But I am really trying to have it very sparingly. Luckily I don't miss it too much.

Then dinner is whatever, something fun. Tonight was fajitas! Ay yi yi! Other days it's been Pork Wellington or Beef Stroganoff or Sweet and Sour Meatballs. And maybe I'll still have a handful of plain kale or baby spinach. Good fiber, yum yum!

What I like so much about Green For Life is that you don't have to buy a special supplement (like Body For Life) or do anything too hard or too involved, or follow a recipe exactly. You just blend green smoothies. As cooking goes, it's pretty fast. Not as fast as a bowl of cereal with milk, but in the extra ten minutes a day, I get to shed some pounds. It's a good trade-off.

The whole impetus of this post was to talk about Christmas present ideas for the nieces and nephews. (Oops, big diet tangent.) It's REALLY been on my mind, especially since other family members have been talking about it. Darn Christmas. And darn not having money. Our savings/borrowings are still going out the door, but at least the rate has slowed down since I've picked up students to tutor in math and teach piano and voice to.

Okay, basically out of time for the part I meant to talk about first. Shirts for the nephews, and maybe for nieces, too! And possibly Sports Shirts! With team logos on them, made and ironed on or appliqued by yours truly. That was my big epiphanic breakthrough. So I've been getting sisters and brothers and sister-in-laws on the phone to figure out shirt sizes and kids' sports team preferences. I shouldn't tell you TOO much of my plan, because I don't want you buying all the shirts!, but here it is.

-Goodwill has a big deal on Mondays, 25% off. Goodwill is ALREADY getting picked over by Christmas shoppers and it's barely November, so hopefully I can buy the boys and girls plain shirts ready for embellishing, and for ridiculously cheap prices, 75 cents! Seriously, we have barely any money, but I'm trying to be a better aunt. Trying to send AT LEAST a birthday card and a Christmas present. Christmas is fun and I want them to have something fun to remember me and our family by, since we don't get to see them that often, and my side of the family hardly EVER! *sniff sniff sniff* I did get to fly out this past summer so that was good. And I'll be seeing them for Thanksgiving, but after seeing a lot of Adam's family lots and lots (even living with them for a time) I'm getting jealous and I want equal time with my family! Or just a little more than status quo, let's not kid ourselves here, sometimes it's good not to see your family that often. Then you're happier to see them. I can get burned out with people.

Wish me luck in this big undertaking! On top of everything else! I'm nuts!

Romping to bed,

P.S. I'm so proud of myself, I am trying to branch out from kale and baby spinach and today I had a green smoothie with a base of beet greens! Not bad. Reminded me of the spinach. It was a little more bitter but not bad at all.