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Bubbe Wisdom by LouiseSilk
Unraveling the Threads of Life
Oct 19, 2010 | 112490 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The House Hunt
by LouiseSilk
Nov 25, 2014 | 267 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Last week, the PG reported that although real estate prices are on the rise and wage growth is weak, Pittsburgh is the fifth most affordable U.S. metro area for housing following Atlanta, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Detroit.

69.8% of residents in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area are homeowners as opposed to the national homeownership rate of 65.3%. The least affordable metro area is San Francisco where 55.1% of its residents are homeowners.

Home sales in the Pittsburgh region were up 10.6 percent this year through September. A total of 21,547 homes changed hands during that time frame compared to 19,475 homes sold during the first nine months of 2012.

Statistics don’t mean much when people like my daughter are actually trying to find something to buy. We combed every area of the city and found workable starter houses few and far between. The condition of most of these houses was appalling, requiring thousands of dollars to get them livable and up to code. When we did find a real workable possibility, it became the immediate subject of a bidding frenzy taking a toll on the nerves as well as the pocket book.

One way to find something affordable is to look at foreclosures. About 5 million homes have gone through foreclosure in the half-decade since the housing collapse. That era has ended with only 2.39% of our homes, the lowest since 2007, in foreclosure. We did try for one owned by Fannie May in Morningside but were immediately taken out by multiple higher-than-asking-price bidders with deeper renovation pockets.

I could go on and on about the poor condition of the housing in our affordable city but since Sarah did find a workable alternative to her liking, I’ll be happier spending my energy with multiple visits to IKEA and Home Depot.

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More Than The Eye Can See
by LouiseSilk
Nov 20, 2014 | 307 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

One of my fellow yogis introduced me to Lauren Walker’s Energy Medicine Yoga. Being a long time yogi and also a student of energy worker Donna Eden, Laura does something quite innovative by integrating all of the essential energy balancing techniques in to the yoga context.

It is a struggle to absorb all of Lauren’s information in the book form, so I started googling the different ideas and came up with several great videos that demonstrate her ideas.

Even if you are not interested in yoga you will learn so much about your body if you simply start with this short routine that balances energies and increases vitality.  Then when you are as impressed with how good this feels as I was, go on to view any of Donna Eden’s videos- particularly the ones that relate to your individual body issues.

Next for those who are interested in yoga, move onto these restorative yoga videos, then these chakra-opening poses and these added mudras. I know it’s hard to absorb and integrate everything into your practice, but whatever sticks will make a world of difference- I am living proof.

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Update on A Work In Progress
by LouiseSilk
Nov 18, 2014 | 442 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Working in the Gallery
Working in the Gallery
slideshow
Coaster gifts for the participants
Coaster gifts for the participants
slideshow
Stitching in the studio
Stitching in the studio
slideshow
Children's tent
Children's tent
slideshow
As reported earlier, I will be having the exhibit BubbeWisdom: Faith, Belief, Practice from January 19-April 17, 2015 at the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center in January.

I have been busy creating work in the studio and gathering materials for members of the community. It's quite a learning experience all the way around. I thought you might enjoy some in process photos to spark your interest.
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Once A Year-Like Clock Work
by LouiseSilk
Nov 13, 2014 | 510 views | 1 1 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Being a breast cancer survivor means enduring a regular diagnostic mammogram every year. That’s what I did on Tuesday marking our last beautiful day of the fall of 2014. 

The best part of the day was the walk up and back. Walking over the Birmingham Bridge to Oakland always makes me feel like I am on top of the world. They are doing some amazing work on the bridge right now- building a kind of underbelly to serve as a repair platform. Interesting to get a bird’s eye vie of the workers performing their craft.

We used to call Magee a “baby factory” but now its not only babies but also a huge medical machine of all kinds of services. I was lucky to have one of the first appointments keeping my waiting to a minimum. On my way out there wasn’t a chair to be had in any of the waiting areas. You may wonder what I mean by waiting areas. In this “mammogram factory” there are four specific holding areas for each stage of the process and the waiting is a killer.

First you have to wait to get called. The significant others never leave this area and wait the whole process out there uninformed. There is a changing area where you undress from the waist up and lock up your valuables. (Of course, these days, everyone keeps her phone in hand.) Then you wait in your “gown” for a technician to be free. They have a coffee and tea stationed in this waiting area. Then you have to wait with your technician in the hallway for a room to open up. There are a few chairs along the hallway for this wait. Then you have to wait at another section of the hallway while the radiologist reads the scans. That wait is so long there that someone comes by and offers prepackaged snacks. Then you have to wait for another room to open up because the radiologist inevitably asks for either more scans and maybe even more unnerving, an ultrasound (even more waiting for that room to be available). Then the worst interminable wait until you receive either a “get out of jail” free card to return in a year or the “let’s see how long we have to wait to schedule a biopsy” card.

UPMC claims that their care is first-class- but to me it feels more plebeian. The walk home was glorious.

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cfdesigns
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November 13, 2014
Well written and so true. Even the 'Burbs have the infamous walk and wait routine 2hrs, but we don't get snacks. Went through this today on a return call from a yearly check 2-1/2 weeks to wait to get back in for more views, mammo and sonor. Very scary indeed. Got a come back in six months it looks like a cluster of cysts Dx. Whew. Never had CA or biopsy. Couldn't even see the little cluster which makes me grateful THEY can and have the technology to do so. Here's to your continued wellness and walks.

Encore Performance: Sadye's Mundel Bread
by LouiseSilk
Nov 11, 2014 | 437 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Sadye Shapiro’s, most coveted mundel bread recipe

Cream together: Stick of margarine or butter and 1 Cup Sugar

Add: 5 eggs and beat

Add:

3 Cups unsifted flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. almond flavor

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Cup almonds

Form into 2 smooth logs on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 375degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from oven, slice, turn slices onto side.

Bake 10-15 minutes.
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About Activation, Physicality, Passion and Intensity
by LouiseSilk
Nov 06, 2014 | 518 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

My dreams are usually of the frustration variety. I am trying hard to go or do something and hard as I try, I can’t seem to resolve it. Every once in a great while I have the kind of dream where I wake up and wish I could stay with the images forever. Last night was one of those.

I was with my daughter Sarah, at some kind of open-air performance. The end of it there was a magnificent parade of all of the performers, maybe sixty or so. They were parading two by two, dressed in all kinds of extravagant red costumes with feathers, sparkles, top hats, fancy boots, slippers, spandex, velvet, and satin- every conceivable variety of deep cherry-red textiles possible. They were absolutely marvelous and totally compelling. I smiled, laughed, pointed and turned to Sarah and said, “Let's go find some place where we can experience this again.”

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Simple Solutions To Complex Problems
by LouiseSilk
Nov 04, 2014 | 297 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Since the invention of the first working sewing machine in 1790, sewing machines have consistently grown in use and function. Most of us remember olden-days when a relative made all of the family’s clothing on a domestic machine. Not so today and so most students come into my class totally unschooled and fearful of a machine. I cannot tell you the number of times over my career a student has chosen hand-stitching simply to avoid mastering the machine.

For someone with sewing experience, the sound of a functioning machine is music to one’s ears. When I am interrupted in class by the sounds of a troubled machine, I walk over to the ailing student and say my standard line, “99 out of 100 times it’s the threading. Did you rethread the machine?” Seeing them sitting there so downtrodden, I don’t wait for the answer but pull out the spool, rethread the top, open the bobbin case and reset the bobbin and voila, they are back in business.

It’s simple: 99 out of 100 times it’s the threading!

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Popcorn-Yum
by LouiseSilk
Oct 30, 2014 | 629 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I haven’t found very many reasons to go out to the movies of late. The last time we went, there were only three of us in the theater and the price, not to mention the flavor, of the popcorn was shocking.

Movie theater popcorn is the worst.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest revealed that a medium tub at a typical theater has 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat, three times our daily allotment. Chomping through an entire container is the caloric equivalent of eating three McDonald’s Quarter Pounders, before factoring in the extra fat and calories from the greasy topping.

Really, I don’t know why anyone with a large screen HD TV would choose to go out. With a little patience the desired films quickly show up DVD with lots of options for their retrieval on the home screen along with comfortable pjs, hand popped popcorn plus the stop/start button for convenience bathroom breaks.

100% whole grain Popcorn will never be a replacement for produce, which is brimming with essential nutrients and antioxidants not found in grains, but it’s still a terrific, low-cal high-fiber snack.

I haven’t tried it (Steve makes the best batch of popcorn this side of the Atlantic- topped with nutritional yeast, chili powder and a dash of coarse sea salt) but I’ve seen several mentions of organic Quinn Popcorn, no GMO ingredients, no preservatives, and chemical free in compostable bags in culinary flavors like Parmesan & Rosemary and Vermont Maple & Sea Salt.

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Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
by LouiseSilk
Oct 28, 2014 | 313 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I am back from New Jersey where the gas prices are significantly cheaper- sometimes even under $3.00. We mistakenly take this as good news- less money out of our pockets- but it’s one of those age-old truisms – something cheaper isn’t always the best thing for you.

Based on an analysis of sea-floor sediment samples collected from the Gulf of Mexico, geochemists reported on the final resting place of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil. The data was gathered as part of the ongoing federal damage assessment to discover the fate of oil beyond the reach of oil spill cleanup efforts. The study found that as much as 31 percent of the oil originally suspended in the deep ocean (up to 620,000 barrels) has come to rest on the ocean floor, the foundation of the ocean food chain from which all of our ocean life stems. Ugh!

Oil supply is rising because of the American fracking boom, the return of stability to producing nations such as Libya, and falling demand because of economic slowdowns in countries such as China. This brought the price of crude oil from $100 per gallon in recent years to below $85 per barrel. Lower prices for oil have two negative effects: more gasoline burning and less investment in cleaner alternatives and technologies.  The EPA predicts that progress will slow down as lower gas prices lead Americans to buy more trucks and SUVs.

It is sad- low prices encourage more oil use, leading to greater CO2 emissions and less regard for such things as the clean up of our oceans- higher oil prices encourage oil-consuming individuals and companies to investment in cleaner zero-fossil-fuel strategies technologies.

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The Excitement of Working Life
by LouiseSilk
Oct 23, 2014 | 434 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
There is so much going on in my studio these days: it's hard to know where to look. There are the quilts being developed for my show this January at the American Jewish Museum, including a tent for children, a community quilt using participants materials of memory, and art quilts and embroideries.

Then there is the excitement of SilkDenim and and the discoveries that come with requested commissions and the exploration of materials.

And as always- the memory quilt business- the latest challenge a throw made of leotards!

I told someone I was quite excited to sign up for medicare this spring and they said I didn't look 65- more like 52. Maybe it's the ongoing excitement of a working life!
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