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    Journal - Fourth Quarter 2001  

"Enthusiasm is a divine possession." — Margaret E. Sanger       

October thru December 2001:

All entries are organized in reverse-chronological order so the newest entry is always at the
top. (If you're reading the journal for the first time, you might wish to start where I began
(the 3rd Quarter of 1999) and go to the bottom to begin reading.

3rd Quarter 1999 4th Quarter 1999 1st Quarter 2000 2nd Quarter 2000 3rd Quarter 2000
4th Quarter 2000 1st Quarter 2001 2nd Quarter 2001 3rd Quarter 2001 4th Quarter 2001
1st Quarter 2002 2nd Quarter 2002 3rd Quarter 2002 4th Quarter 2002 1st Quarter 2003
2nd Quarter 2003 3rd Quarter 2003 4th Quarter 2003 1st Quarter 2004  

December 2001:

December 8, 2001:
Well, not totally done with shopping, but at least my list of what I plan to get for everyone and where I plan to get it is now in place. I just love scouting out "that perfect gift" for each person on my list. I'd just love to mention here what some of those are, but since certain people read this journal {grin}, I have to be discreet.

I made my "gift wrapping" center today -- I always have to have a place where I can organize all my papers and ribbons. I never cared much for traditional "bows that come in bags", so I collect velvet and satin ribbons all year to hand tie on my packages at Christmas, and like to accent them with little jingle bells or pinecones, etc. I think it gives each package a little personality and I love seeing them under the tree that way. Rich is teasing me that who do I think I am -- Martha Stewart? Well, I'm not going out and gathering those pinecones, nor handmaking each wreath from something I hiked into the woods for, so I guess I am still safe from going overboard. [smile]

I've also cut my carbs to about 7-10 max per day for the time being to allow later for the over abundance of cookies and other treats I'll have a couple of days around Christmas. (Yes, of course they'll be low carb baked goods, but I have a tendency to go overboard and eat too many.)

By the way, I hope all of you reading this are not letting holiday stresses and scheduling make you forget to drink enough water and take your supplements. In this hectic time, you need to be at your peak more than ever.

November 2001:

November 29, 2001:
Into the Christmas/Holiday season yet? I've been burning the candle at both ends testing recipes, writing newsletter articles, doing some freelance articles, and decorating our own home for the holidays. Our big tree in the front yard (one of the prettiest well-shaped pines I've ever owned) is done in a flurry of red, white, and blue tiny lights. We used 1600 lights on it alone so we could make a statement of support regarding all we've lost this year. We replaced all our garden lighting with blue bulbs, and our post lamp is bathed (candy cane style) in red and white lights. I like the look. But I couldn't resist a hint of fun, so I bought two santa hats and placed one on our lit grapevine deer that stands by the tree, and one on our lawn goose in the garden. [grin]

November 23, 2001:

Ah.. Thanksgiving again. We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year -- spent playing host and cook again, but of course I enjoy it. Although in order to make all those recipes done for our newsletter and for guests, I spent 15 hours cooking non-stop one day alone. Tired, but still I love being creative in the kitchen. Each year I publish my list of things for which I am grateful and while I did so in our newsletter, I want to reprint it here:
  • Each year I am more thankful than the last that I share my life with a wonderful partner and true best friend. Richard, as I tell you every year, you are my rock.

  • This year especially, I am thankful for the bravery of the men and women in America who have shown that there is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of one small candle.

  • I am thankful for my readers and site visitors. Each day new stories, ideas, and challenges find their way to my desktop because you care enough to write. True, I cannot answer every letter I receive (though I so wish I could), but each one is a gift to me. You truly are my extended family.

  • I am grateful for my friends and fellow-troopers who trudge over to our home several times each month to help with recipes, taste-test new products, and always share their honesty and sense of humor so that we can pass what we learn on to all of you. These people go above and beyond the "call of duty" and I am so thankful.

  • I am grateful for family -- and for the sense of belonging they bring. Those of you who know me well, know I have lost most of my blood family. But though we are now small in number, we are that much closer.

  • A special thanks to my son, Stuart. I've known few people with so much inner strength. His road has not been a smooth one. Heck, most of the time it's been roughly hewn of rock. But he forges ahead and remains a good soul.

  • I am thankful that this last year brought the greatest level of spiritual awareness I have known to date.

  • I am grateful for the physical challenges of life as a "fat girl." It forced me to be better, to be smarter, to work harder. It taught me humility and acceptance. It made me strong. And it allowed me to see my viable talents.

  • I am grateful I found the low-carb way of life and made it work for me. It allowed me to find health and energy rather than wishing I was "someone else." I learned that to dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.

  • I am grateful for all the brave souls out there fighting the good fight to prove (against the tide of commercial and medical "correctness") that low carb is the way... making it clear that absence of proof does not mean proof of absence.

  • I am thankful for creative and fun outlets that I now find I enjoy to their fullest. Great music (from Matchbox 20 to Jordan Hill... from The Calling to Pink Floyd... from Creed to Ronan Keating -- music is life sustaining.) For great television... whether I want a laugh from Frasier, Friends, or Scrubs. Or to enjoy a great drama in ER, CSI, or The Practice -- Americans have amazing entertainment available right at our fingertips.

  • I am thankful for my love of cooking given to me by my Mom. She was the best cook I ever knew and even as the world became more "modern", she was never ashamed that her first love was her creativity in the kitchen.

    And on a related note, I am grateful every day for having had terrific parents who taught me to love the beauty in life; give everyone a chance; and always want to know more. I am thankful I still feel their presence in my life each and every day -- though they crossed over three years ago.

  • I am thankful for my career and the fact that it's filled with challenge. I am largely in charge of how high I set the bar for myself. And I am thankful that it allows me opportunity to travel. Seeing life from a new perspective from time to time is a very good thing indeed. And I am most grateful for my time in Southern California. I adore it.

  • Lastly, I am thankful for dreams. Dreams that I fight to fulfill. Dreams I want all of you to fight for too. Our aspirations -- our goals -- they are the wind beneath our wings every day. Motivation is the key to all success in life. And it all starts with a dream.
Woodrow Wilson said, "We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true."

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 2001:

October 31, 2001:
H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !
Seems like I've been out of town more often than in town this month, making me all the more aware of how hard low-carbing on the road (and in the air) can be. The world tries really hard to push carbs at you from every direction. French fries here; donuts there. Sheesh... When we first started this site (in 1999) there were an appreciable number of airlines that served low-carb or at least sugar free meals. Now, with pressure from the ADA to make the "diabetic" meals low-fat, the meals are now unacceptable on ALL airlines. For example, the last two meals I was served in the air this past week were:   [Meal One]: Dry broiled fish with carrots and chick peas. Salad with lemon wedges (no dressing). Bread with low-fat margarine. Fat free (egg free) cookie made with three kinds of sugar.   [Meal Two]: Three tiny chicken strips dripping with fat free brown "sauce" and a mound of over-cooked noodles. Same white bread, same no-dressing salad, same cookie. Always served with water, orange juice, or aspartame-sweetened soda.   Ah well... There's great value in making sure you keep some low-carb snacks in your carry-on, since you can't assume you'll get anything you can eat on the plane. It's usually no better in the airport. The world can't change fast enough for me. (Of course I mean dietary-wise... the way the world is changing in "other" ways lately isn't too thrilling...) In the end, I ended up doing a maintenence, (Sugar Busters type) plan while gone. I was feeling pretty guilty about that, but my daughter-in-law (thanks, Laura) reminded me I'm still human.

On the other hand, the time I've spent in California has made me really rethink whether or not I want to keep living in Ohio. It's cold; it's flat; it's boring. And there are no palm trees here... [grin]

October 10, 2001:
Today was the third anniversary of my Mom's death and I spent the entire day missing her. Every year I think it will get easier, but it doesn't.