Friday, March 28, 2008

Successful Action - Regular Heart-Healthy Exercise

Ruth Sandra Sperling
Designs In Fiber

I thought I would say some things about something that turned out to be one of the most successful things I ever did exercise-wise in my life.

First of all, lets be honest here - I am not exactly an athlete!!

But I grew up walking (inlcude hiking in nature with that), bicycle-riding, swimming - not necessarily for health, but for recreation. I actually enjoyed doing all of them, though competitive sports was not my "thing".

Around the age of 30, I was looking for a way to do daily exercise that would help me get in better shape including loosing inches, but this was part of a doctor's program to handle some mild problems and loose weight.

I "stumbled" upon a book - and that was the luckiest things I ever did. It was "The Fit or Fat Book" by Covert Bailey.

In that book he explains and outlines how to develop an exercise program for yourself. It is heart-rate monitored aerobic exercise, which does a lot of good things for you. He outlines how you determine what the range of your heart rate should be while you are exercising so that you loose fat and gain leaner muscle and change your metabolism so that you burn more calories. It needs to be steady exercise for a minimum of 12 minutes in your heart range.

I would like to quote from the most recent version of this book that I have:

"Exercise that is hard but not too hard and continuous for a minimum of twelve
minutes, does more to increase fitness than other kinds of exercise.
Aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to remove the marbling fat, which in
turn is the most efficient way to change your metabolism so you won't get fat
anymore. Anything that we do that uses our muscles can be called
exercise. And any exercise, even the household chores I made fun of
earlier, help to keep muscle intact. But to retain a full complement of
muscle, we need exercise that uses it fully. Most people are limited in
the time they can spend on an exercise, and some would prefer not to exercise at
all. So the shortest exercise of greatest efficiency should have wide

And this is key to understanding how and what exercise to do:

"The main criterion of aerobic exercise is that it be continuous and
steady. We don't know exactly why that works, but it does. There is
something about pushing a muscle to work hard at a steady pace that leads
quickly to a firming of the muscle and a loss of its marbling. Stop-and-go
exercises just don't do the same thing as quickly."

When I was 30 was almost 27 years ago - and unfortunately, I cannot say that I ever got totally fit or lost all that weight I wanted to loose. And, at different time during the years, there were periods when I just didn't do it.

BUT - AND THIS IS A BIG BUT -- I did it enough so that when I had a serious medical problem like I did 6 years ago, my heart was strong enough to hold up through it.

Since I recovered enough from that medical problem 6 years ago to do exercise, I used Covert Bailey's exercise data to determine how I could exercise with my medical conditions and improve myself and my condition - I knew that aerobic, heart-healthy exercise was key to living the rest of my life and I did it.

In 2006, after I had a monitored study in a hospital, including heart-monitoring, I knew I had done the right thing when the Doctor said to me that even with my medical conditions, the monitored results showed that my heart was fit.

I am not qualified to advise anyone what to do for themselves.

I recommend getting the books by Covert Bailey and reading them from cover to cover. The most recent book that I have is:

"The Complete Fit or Fat Book, The Phenomenal Program that Successfully Guides You from Fatness to Fitness" - It is actually 4 books in one by Covert Bailey and Lea Bishop-mine is a First Galahad Books edition published in 2001.

I got it over the Internet - you can look for these books in bookstores and on the Internet.

Then figure out what you need to do and what you want to do -- and do it.

At my age of 56 1/2 with my medical conditions, I do what I feel is right for me.

To make sure I am keeping in the right heart range, I use a wrist Polar brand heart-rate monitor with a chest strap.

Covert Bailey's books tell you how to monitor your heart rate without one, though.

Now that I have shared with you all my sucess, I think, when I am done here on the Internet, I will go get my Polar heart-rate monitor, put on one of my favorite videos, "Riverdance" - and do this day's aerobic exercise!!

To all of you who read this - I wish you the best sucess in your life!!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Recycling Used Small electronics Through the U. S. Postal Service!!

Ruth Sandra Sperling
Designs In Fiber

I went to the Post Office today in My Small Town in the Antelope Valley, CA this afternoon and saw a new box that had a recycling symbol on it.

Had to go take a look - wondered what it was about!

To my pleased surprise, there is currently a program to recycle used small electronics like cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, digital cameras and inkjet cartridges with a postage-paid mailer through the good old U.S. Postal Service - and they provide the small plastic envelopes for doing it.

See the pictures below - the first one is the front and the bottom one is the back of it.

Well, I took a few - I know I have an old cell phone and an old digital camera (small one with very low pixels-the first one I ever had and now won't ever use!) to recycle. Been trying to figure out what to do with them and I think this is the best solution. Probably will come with an inkjet cartridge or 2 - though the stores that sell them usually take them.
Also, take note, there is a note on the back of the envelope: "USPS has no responsibility for the loss or confidentiality of customer data on recycled equipment."
So, be sure you erase all the data on any small electronics you recycle!!
Not sure what areas of the country or if the whole country is doing it. I am in Southern California, the County of Los Angeles, which has a county-wide recycling program.
But maybe, wherever you are, you want to look around your Post Office when you are there and see if they have a recycling box for used small electronics!!
Since I go there periodically anyway - it is an easy solution for me!!


One of the things I am worried about in our lives is Global Warming.

I am convinced - and have been for years - that it is going on and that we must take responsibility for our impact on Global Warming.

Today I read an article about an Ice Chunk in Western Antarctica collapsing - apparently scientists say that this is a sign of worsening Global Warming.

There is something going on this coming Saturday, March 29, 2008 that individuals and businesses can participate in - it is called Earth Hour 2008 - it is "...the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming". You can sign up and participate!

I will be doing it this coming Saturday evening between the hours of 8 pm and 9 pm. According to their website at this time, over 200,000 people and over 13,000 business around the world have signed up to participate.

Doing Earth Hour 2008 is a statement and maybe a beginning for some, but there are things you can do every day - I do conservation every day - with water and with electricity - I keep lights turned off in rooms I am not in/using and I have energy saving bulbs in all but a few light fixtures. I keep electric appliances and equipment, such as this computer I am using, turned off totally when it is not being used. Doing this is a part of my daily life. Read about the simple things you can do each day to reduce your impact on climate change on

The Union of Concerned Scientists, which has a very comprehensive website and sends out newsletters, also has a lot of information about what people can do in their lives based on scientific data. They have a section of their website dedicated to the subject of Global Warming.

This issue of Global Warming is affecting all of us - there are various different ways of keeping informed and reducing your impact on it!

Doing what I can every day makes me feel a little bit better!!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Rainbow Fireworks" - Fine Thread Crochet with Blending Filament

Ruth S. Sperling


Hello - this is my first blog about crocheting with thread.

I want to share with others what you can make with the finer, smaller crochet threads.

Above is a picture of a doily that I made and sold on the Internet!

The pattern itself was a complicated one and only practice and diligence can give you the ability to do such a pattern, but what I want to discuss is the materials I chose to use in making this.

In the original pattern, it was done in plain white thread, but as it represented fireworks - I decided to get creative!

As it was fireworks, I decided it needed sparkle, so I decided to use silver blending filament with the crochet thread throughout. I used the brand, Kreinik - you can find them on the web.

The round center is white. At the point where the motifs start - I decided to add in a strand of Tatting Cotton (which is very thin thread) in a variegated pastel color - so I was holding together 3 strands as I crocheted - one strand of white crochet thread, one strand of the variegated tatting cotton and one strand of the silver blending filament.

This is a closeup of part of the doily - you can see more detail here and see the effect of crocheting with the 3 strands held together.

The thread that I used is my favorite brand - DMC - all the white thread and the tatting cotton were DMC - some of the highest quality of crochet thread I can find. You can check their website to see what they have available.

You can look at my Internet shop and my eBay About Me page to see the Fine Thread Crochet I have available on the Internet now.

For pictures of other thread crochet that I have made and sold, you can see my public albums.

If you have any questions, please contact me. I enjoy chatting about crochet!!


Ruth Sandra Sperling

Hello - First I would like to introduce myself.

I am a 56 year old woman – born and raised in the Chicago, IL area. After some college at the University of Illinois, and then moving on into the working world including living and working in St. Louis, Mo for about 8 years - I moved out to the West - Southern California, where I have lived ever since.

Now I live in the foothills of the high desert of the Antelope Valley - north of Los Angeles. When I walk out my door, when I look south, I see the towering San Gabriel Mountains – when I look north I see the desert of the Antelope Valley. Depending on where I am and how high up I am, to the north I can see the Tehachapi Mountains and beyond that the Southern Sierra Nevada.

I feel that I am lucky to be living in this small town away from the hubbub of the larger metropolitan areas where I grew up and worked until about 7 years ago when I moved here.

My days are relatively quiet - I keep busy for sure - there still never seems to be enough time in a day - the Internet is like a window to many things going on the world. I prefer it to TV or Cable. I go into town when I feel like it and traipse around my small town - sometimes alone and sometimes with my dog and friend, Misty, who visits with the other dogs all over town - and chases birds, wild jack rabbits and mice in the still empty fields around town.

To those of you with more exciting things to do in your lives, this may seem kind of humdrum, but I never seem to have enough time to do what I enjoy and spend a lot of my time on off the Internet - my Designs In Fiber.

In 2003, I discovered the joy of crocheting with crochet thread and the designs that unfold as you crochet them.

I had been crocheting since my teens - but mostly with yarn.

Someone asked me if I did doilies - and I said I would try. Once I tried, I jumped in - I have been crocheting with thread ever since, though every once in a while I still crochet with yarn also.

I have been learning all kinds of new types of crocheting ever since - and on my blog here I will be discussing different types of crochet with different types of materials - and other fiber arts which I actually do.

I have several other favorite subjects which I will be going into at different times:

  • –Our environment: biodiversity including biodiversity hotspots, forests - mostly public lands - and the philosophy of my favorite writers on the environment including Aldo Leopold and his Land Ethic and his son, Starker Leopold.
  • –Photography - a hobby of mine since I was 6 years old
  • –Diet, nutrition and exercise that helps me now and has for years
  • –Pets!!
  • –Other cultures and other parts of the planet

I will be building the different sections of my blog as I go along - I hope you gain something from looking through what I post - and if you have something to say, I only ask that even if you are outspoken, that you be considerate and tolerant. I don’t expect everyone in this world to agree - but I do believe in being honest, tolerant of others opinions and ways of life - and considerate. Sometimes people have to agree to disagree.

In this very active world that is getting more and more crowded every day - I still hope for peace and understanding between people - and one way to reach that is through communication.