Saturday, May 28, 2016

Some of This, Some of That…

It’s that time of year.

The time of year where you don’t dare go out without bug protection even if you are just going to the end of the driveway!

And if you are hiking with a dog through the woods and along mountain roads, you definitely want to protect yourself.

Bugs LOVE me.  The feeling is NOT mutual.

The worst of the worst, possibly even more than chiggers are the biting midges, or no-see-ums.  Bites from these critters don’t show up on me for 24 hours or so…then become raised welts that take a long long time to heal.  I’m wearing some bite marks that I got in April BEFORE I went to Mackinac Island. They are still here. They still itch.  UGH!

Don’t go out without spraying down first!


Sadie says  “Let’s go!”

Despite the bugs, it's BEAUTIFUL out! And I need to be out in it!

There are other doggie friends on our journey.  Yesterday morning we met up with Heidi who lives with her owner Pat down at the bottom of our hilly road.  Heidi always greets with a tremendous bark and a “back off!” manner, but she is really a sweetheart once she knows it’s only YOU!


Heidi & Sadie say Hello!


And this happened after a shower!


Kitting up step outs for an online class recording!

Making step outs long after the quilt has been made has to be the most tedious part of getting ready to record a class.  All blocks have to be shown in several stages, so there is lots of repeat here up to a point, and there will be completed blocks in a couple of alternate color ways as well to show what folks can do with it.  This kind of stitching makes me feel like I’m spinning my wheels but I’m trying to make it as fun as possible.


Working out of the Bali scrap bin!

This bin holds all of the hunk and chunk scraps of batik brought back from Bali several years ago  I swear this box never goes down as many times I have pulled from it.  Most of these pieces are CHUNKS – too short for strip cutting and I’ve left them as is because I don’t know what size I will need from each piece.

I think we need to interest Mona in a batik quilt next to help me get rid of this mess! LOL!


Binding went on the H quilt!


Perfect for evening stitching time in my comfy chair!

I made it about 2/3 down one long side last night.  That’s about average.  It can take me 4 evenings to hand bind a large quilt, and I’m happy with that pace.

Now for the disappointing part of “awareness.”  You know I posted about the documentary “Sugar Coated” that I watched on Netflix the other evening.  I posted about it yesterday.


Healthy or not?

I bought this package of whole dried blueberries at Costco on my way up here on Thursday, thinking they’d be great in morning oatmeal.  I ate a few.  DELICIOUS!  In fact, so good, I had to eat some more.  Chewy, just like candy.  Yummmmm..

This morning I read the label:


Check out what the 2nd ingredient is.


In fact, there are 28 grams of sugars in 1/3 cup of dried blueberries.  31 grams of carbs!  Why can’t it just be blueberries, whole and dried by themselves?  Why the sugar? Why pump them up with more natural flavor?

Even more disturbing was the BBQ sauce that was going on my chicken last night.  The ingredients were listed with High Fructose Corn Syrup being the FIRST ingredient on the list.  Followed by Brown Sugar, Pineapple juice concentrate, Molasses, corn syrup, and regular sugar.

My head is just reeling with all of the hidden sugar in EVERYTHING.  I promise not to make this blog a fanatical thing about cutting sugar from our diets, but it IS important that you look at what you are feeding yourself because we ARE what we eat.

It’s a holiday weekend.  There are bound to be goodies.  Just read labels.  And be aware.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

And sometimes many false starts and stops and sleepless nights! But don't give up the dream!
Mid 19th century 4 patch.
Happy Saturday, everyone!

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  1. Try and enjoy your wood walk bugs and all! My neighbor gave me a bug bit cream that really helps with everything from red ant bits to chiggers...I'll send you the name. And I can feel your "sugar shock!" When Mike was diagnosed with diabetes I started examining every label...spaghetti sauce and salad dressing were the big surprises for me!

  2. Leslie in Canada10:54 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie! Some of the sugars on the nutrient label are natural sugars. Just think how sweet they are when fresh! As well, 1/3 cup is 2 tablespoons sugar. What about cutting down to less than 1/4 cup and then should only have 1 tablespoon sugar. You could add additional sweetness with other high fiver fruits, apples, kiwis, strawberries, etc. Oh, dried anything compounds the sugars as the water is gone but the natural sugars remain. Very difficult to eliminate sugars entirely, natural in so many foods!
    Happy Memorial Day!

  3. Old quilter11:16 AM EDT

    Re Sugar - living with a diabetic gets you reading labels, and the high fructose is the worst. Have been seeing more products without it in the last few years, but it certainly is pervasive. And labeled "healthy" doesn't mean squat. Check the kids cereals !

    Like the antique 4 patch a lot. Summer project maybe, won't take too much thinking.

  4. Anonymous11:16 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie, Give Stubbs BBQ sauce a try if you can find it, this sauce has the least amount of Carbs in it and it's pretty good. Fresh fruit has the least sugar and stick with berries, also the more ripe a banana is the more sugar it has.

  5. Dreams are like life - the more you put into it all, the more you get out!

    Sadie has a cabin-buddy close by....so happy for her. She helps you on these walks...makes you look at things and maybe slow down to see even more.

    Have you ever heard the bugs are attracted to certain colors? Or is this a myth?
    Have fun, smile and walk!

  6. I'm well aware of all the sugars as the past 8 yrs. as I've been diagnosed as being lactose and fructose intolerant. There are very few fruits I can eat, because of the natural fructose. A well known cracker company has introduced a new line of crackers, and there are a few I can eat. One I haven't tried is sweet potato, because it has added sugars. I eat sweet potatoes without any sugar, and once you get rid of all the sugar in cookies, pop, etc.you begin to realize how sweet things are in their natural state. I have to read all labels, even on things that have been OK, as the company may change the recipe, without notice.

  7. I need some education. :) When it says 'sugar' on these blueberries, does that mean it's been added or could it just be the natural sugar in blueberries that takes this to such a high level. What do you think?

  8. If it's on an ingredient list it has been added. ingredient lists are not nutritional content.

    Blueberries fresh: 21g carb, 15g sugar in 1 cup.

  9. Anonymous12:30 PM EDT

    You can buy freeze dried fruit for your oatmeal. They usually have no extra added sugars. Also, most dried raisin do not have extra sugar

  10. The FDA recently passed regulations regarding this very issue. It only goes into effect in 2018 but it will help consumers know exactly how much sugar has been added to their food. http://www.nacsonline.com/Media/Daily/Pages/ND0523163.aspx#.V0nOtZ9RXqB

  11. I sure don't know either why everything has to have so much added sweetener. When I read the back of a can of Shurfine Kidney Beans and saw four different sweeteners I was in shock. They have since removed most of them. Now I can my own...I know exactly what's in that jar! Another thing about processed food is that just about everything has some form of corn or soy in it. I guess the rest of the world won't import those items because they are all GMO so the industry does its best to force it down the throats of Americans. Just this past week I bought some Crystal Light peach tea. Guess what? It now contains corn syrup solids. No wonder my blood sugar went way up after drinking a pitcher of it over 3 days. It will get thrown out & never bought again + I'm sending a complaint to the company.

    The orange binding on the H quilt really sets it off...perfect choice.

  12. Anonymous1:53 PM EDT

    I cut out sugar a few years ago. I walk at least 5 miles a day at work and by Friday I could barely move. I hurt from head to toe...my joints and muscles were killing me. Someone told me cut out sugar....holy cow. It made such a difference. The pain and soreness is gone. I am amazed at how much better I feel. Another book you might like to read is Fast Food Nation ( it was required freshman reading at my son's University) and the TV series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is a much watch.I love his cooking series Jamie's Super Foods. We watch on a Saturday morning and cook it for dinner that night. I do canning, cook from scratch, grow a garden. We drink water or plain tea. Next I want to learn to do is make Kombucha. We spend about $100 a month at the grocery store. Actually cringe when I look at peoples carts in the grocery store. The other day I had to move to the side to let 2 handicap shopping carts go by....filled with soda and salty sugar laden processed foods....that could be the reason their health is so poor.

  13. Anonymous1:57 PM EDT

    i think that when ever you dry a fruit that process causes the natural sugar in the fruit to become concentrated. Also, I think that 1/4 cup equals 4 tablespoons and 1/3 cup would be 5 point something. As good as all those things taste, I try to avoid them. My taster does not know about moderation so have to have none. Boo Hoo.

  14. Watch the corn syrup, dangerous stuff. It gets very interesting looking at ingredients on labels. Makes shopping trips much longer. Enjoy your R&R at the cabin, some gentle strolling and stitching. Fabulous!

  15. Watch out for sugar in everything, especially things you wouldn't think to look for sugar in. I used to eat the Smart Ones meals and the broccoli with alfredo and noodles had a lot in it, and really didn't make you feel full at all. Not worth buying.
    And yes, the bug bites, I hate bugs that bite.... I itch and itch and it's worst when you go to bed at night. Have a great weekend everyone.

  16. Anonymous3:17 PM EDT

    Yep, the sugar thing....quite addictive. I like it in pure form of candy and cookies. At least here is California I can get good, organic food year round. I am quite concerned about finding good food when I move back east, inland. Sewing keeps one's hands busy and out of the cookie jar.

  17. Anonymous4:01 PM EDT

    another thing to read the label is yogurt...the sugar content varies greatly...i try & stick to under 7g of sugar, but its hard to find...you think yogurt would be healthy, but you have to read the label...thanks for the awareness campaign & all the quilt inspirations...you are a treasure...enjoy your mountain time & sadie...shes adorable...

  18. Yes, Mona needs to make a batik quilt on her new 301. Chiggers are the worst for me. All I had to do was step off my grandparents porch, and I was covered in bites. Hubby took the big dog for a hike and swim a few days ago, and, despite monthly bug treatments for the dogs, we still found a tick on him.

  19. No-Seeums are the WORST ... absolutely the WORST. Like you I get open sores after the welts and they stay for WEEKS! The problem seems to be they aren't stopped by repellent and you cannot SEE them (thus the name). Mosquitoes in Northern Michigan are meat eaters this year ... I swear two could grab you by the arms and fly off with you! I do read labels for sugar (I am diabetic). I found it difficult recently to actually find a pizza sauce in the store that didn't contain sugar ... WHO puts sugar on their pizza??? Dried fruits are notorious for their added sugar content ... we are the "Cherry Capital" of the USA here and know our dried cherry and blueberries ... a few go a long way! A short while ago we watched a Netflix program on the "The China Study" about the RIGHT and HEALTHY way to eat to live (not live to eat!!!). We purchased the book (used on Amazon and/or eBay) and it has been a real game changer. Can't recommend it highly enough! You always have the best posts, Bonnie! Thanks for what you do ;-) Happy Memorial Day Weekend ... remember to honor those who gave their tomorrows so we could have our todays. Linda H

  20. I feel your pain with the sugar. About 15 months ago I went through a diabetes prevention program. Besides giving up the things you would expect like soda, alcohol, cake, cookies ice cream and candy, I'm also off most starches: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. I do still eat oatmeal for breakfast some mornings, and very occasionally unsweetened berries. If I have yogurt it is plain Greek, with a tiny squirt of agave. Eating out is not much fun anymore, but I've gotten my blood sugar almost back to normal. Don't ever trust the American Diabetes Association, they are funded by big food and big drug companies.

    Love the H block quilt, can't wait for the pattern to come out!

  21. I'm also a mosquito/noseeum target. And sugar makes the itching much worse!

  22. Love that quilt...sugar thing is cra...I still make everything from scratch for that reason. It takes minutes to whip up salad dressing or bbq sauce from your own ingredients. Great reminder though for people who do not read labels...thankfully it all has to be put on there somewhere. Best bet eat whole foods including butter and sugar but where you control it...say no to processed and overpriced supposedly quick meals and food.

  23. Love that quilt...sugar thing is cra...I still make everything from scratch for that reason. It takes minutes to whip up salad dressing or bbq sauce from your own ingredients. Great reminder though for people who do not read labels...thankfully it all has to be put on there somewhere. Best bet eat whole foods including butter and sugar but where you control it...say no to processed and overpriced supposedly quick meals and food.

  24. Hmm, I know bugs bite some people more than others I wonder if that's because of what we eat? I wonder if you really cut back on foods with added sugar ( in its various forms) if the bugs would be less interested in biting you ?

    It really gets me that sugar was added to your dried blueberries....just being dried makes them taste sweeter

    I have diabetes so I really have to be a label reader ...... It's the total carbrohdrates that I have to count and figure out how much of what ever food I can eat at each meal or snack

    Someone said about yogurt and that one is amazing I buy plain Greek style at either 7 or 9 grams total carbs then I can add a crunchy granola and still have carbs left over that I can use to have some fresh fruit but there are yogurts that if I eat them I'd either have to eat less than a whole carton or I'd be over my total carb limit for my meal....of course any added sugar increases the total carb of a food greatly

    Thank you for trying to make more people aware of what we are putting into our bodies

    As to the blueberries you bought I'd eat them (as you don't have health issues) but not buy them again
    Read ketsup or catsup it is interesting ingredients

  25. Anonymous11:52 PM EDT

    Several years ago I found Avon's insect repellant (not the Skin-so-Soft stuff that used to be touted to repel insects) and swear by it. I'd had a horrid time with No-Seeums for years until I tried the insect repellant -- now I can pick my 4 bushes of blueberries without getting bitten even once by anything ... used to be I couldn't even stand in the grass for 10 min without getting bitten by any number of insects.
    I buy several spray cans of it at the beginning of summer and use it whenever we go to the beach or take walks or work in the yard.

  26. Anonymous12:12 AM EDT

    Bonnie, I've found that to put on Avon's skin so soft before going out really works to keep those pesky bugs off. You might try it. it's not too expensive and it smells nice and makes your skin soft with use.
    Not only the sugars in items, but just look at the food items with SOY in them. My Mom got cancer and us girls were told to avoid ALL SOY! It is in almost everything. Supposedly it's a good preservative and binder for the foods. Yuk! Even the Best Foods (Hellman's) Mayo is full of SOY. They have one product that doesn't have the soy but it sure doesn't taste like the Mayo I'm used to.
    We really need to be informed buyers. Don't let the world tell you what is good for you, really do the research and find out for yourself.
    Thanks for all the info you give us. I, too, really like the orange binding you put on the "H" quilt. Have a blessed day, Bonnie. Enjoy your Memorial time off. QuiltedDrummer@gmail.com

  27. Please read labels every one. I am a Type 2 Diabetic who so far has controlled this horrible disease with diet alone. A Hersey Bar has 14 grams of Carbohydrate. One slice of bread has the same. If you want something sweet eat a square of chocolate.
    And the high fructose corn syrup is a tragedy for this country.
    My brother died at age 66 of Type 1 Diabetes. So sad as he never had a chance for a normal long life. He did try. But even with good medical care he could not handle this horrible problem. And fast food didn't help. A working single man doesn't have time to make really proper meals.
    Find out what the normal amount of carbs you should eat in a day and stick with that.

  28. You can also buy fresh blueberries when in season and dehydrate them or freeze, depending on how you plan to use them later. I eat them frozen right out out the ziplock. The frozen are good for that, cereal or pie!!!

  29. If the bugs would really LOVE you, they would bite themselves.
    They just like your taste... something like we say that we like herring, 8^/ to eat that is.

    The only solution for avoiding sugar is to freeze or dry blueberries (and other sweet fruit) yourself, when they are abundand and in season. Last year I found sugar (glucose) in minced meat... that's where things go wrong. Sugar is addictive, a highly praised and unavoidable drug. Gluten is a small kid along the sugar line......
    Hope that your weekend will be like mine: a small holiday in itself!

    love from a sunny Witmarsum,

  30. Sugar is what causes inflammation, and that is the root cause of a lot of chronic disease, etc. BUT, the other culprit in the blueberries is the sunflower oil. Those veggie oils are "always already" rancid--they are highly processed and broken into bits that are razor sharp in your veins. People used to use good old saturated fats from healthy animals--until the veggie oil industry very successfully demonized them. No reputable science there. The USDA food guide had to admit this time that dietary cholesterol was not connected to problems with cholesterol in the body--and that's another food area with sketchy science. So, they would not admit the problem veggie fats and the good saturated fat issue at the same time. They will have to eventually. If you eat more good fats, your cravings for sugar will decrease dramatically and you will lose weight. Thanks for this post, Bonnie. Upshot: throw out the blueberries. Buy them organic and frozen out of season?

  31. Hi Bonnie,
    I just bought my 1st vintage singer this week will send you picks when I get it. Mona does need to do the bali quilt. Sugar when on and ingredient list is added. 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup so 8 = 1/2 cup All fruits natural sugar is called fructose it is slightly harder to digest because of the fiber of the fruit. If you want to cut down or out sugar you need to read all labels not buy proceed food and cook from scratch you can also use stevia it's natural non cancerous has been used in the East for Hundreds of years and you can bake with it. As for Costco's blueberry's I just buy the frozen ones so sweet no sugar. I am also using things like agave syrup. Hop this helps.
    Thanks for everything you do

  32. What I learned as a former Girl Scout Leader was to refill a rinsed-clean mustard squeeze bottle with full-strength plain household ammonia for the girls to dab onto their bug bites. Ammonia is a powerful "base" that neutralizes the formic acid that the bug bite leaves that makes it itch.

  33. Sadly I learned about reading labels in the 70's-2 ADHD boys-trying to control sugars &
    some additive chemicals to help them with their problems. The reality hits and then the ?'s you were posing. The sadness of saying goodbye to almost all the foods(!)advertised to kids. No wonder we have such a problem with obesity. UGH! Not an easy alternative out there really. Luckily we live in an area where many natural fruits and vegetables are readily available all year. Putting soapbox away now. Love the quote and the quilt. Basic really appeals to me. Soothing.

  34. Anonymous1:10 PM EDT

    Six sugars in BBQ sauce!!! that is worse than I figured.... but I feel so much better over all by cutting sugar out of my life. Been 10 -1/2 months..... yes, there are times when I eat some but not often. Once I was off it ..... I did not crave it the way I use to.

  35. Freeze dried have no added sugar. But, the real reason they put sugar into the dried fruits is . . . WEIGHT! The berries are pricey, the sugar is cheap. They pump up the price by adding the sugar!

  36. I'm so glad to see someone else notice the major issue with our food. If you ever have time watch the movie Fed-Up. It is a documentary on sugar in foods. The one that annoys me the most is canned tomato products. Why so much sugar in those? :( Anyways, back off of my soap box. Beautiful walking pictures!!

  37. My DH has been in the food industry 38 years. The labels show total sugar, not added sugar.
    Hope this helps.

  38. I've been trying to kick yeast as well as sugar for a few years. Very hard. Don't know why sugar is added to tomato sauce. Yeast extract seems to be in most broths, and I've had to resort to making my own beef broth (from bones) because I cannot find a single one without the additive. Why yeast? Many women have an overgrowth of yeast, which causes all kinds of problems, the worst of which, in my mind, is extra belly fat. I'll be watching Sugar Coated in the near future. You almost have to scare yourself to stay away from the candy and desserts!


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