Saturday, November 2, 2013
We went to the movies tonight, my teenaged son and I. This we had planned since the day he started reading Ender's Game. He came home and asked if I had read it. Of course I had, being a science fiction fan. But it was years ago, so he asked me to reread it so we could talk about it each night. It was a pleasure, and I enjoyed it more the second time round, probably because I could now critique it with one of the most important people in the world to me.
I had to stop and think about the movie visit. I know many will not go to see it, because of the strong views of its outspoken author, Orson Scott Card. Put your money where your mouth is. Live your beliefs with your wallet. I've heard a few more of these, though more don't quickly come to mind. Would I see this movie knowing how much hatred this man holds and inspires? Would I refuse to see the film to prevent him from making any more money than he already has from the book?
I chose to see it tonight with my 13-year-old son. We talked about the things that Mr. Card has said. We talked about the fact that there are people we love and care about that are the targets of some of his hatred, though I think some of that still went over my son's head.
Because I thought about other things, too. About Jesus' call to love. About my own faith and beliefs. How would I feel if an atheist chose not to visit the business I work in, because he didn't believe what I do?
Ultimately, Mr. Card wrote a tremendous story. And if he makes money from the movie and uses that to advance his own agenda, then so be it...because that's what I do with money I earn. We live in a country where we can believe things that others find absurd and even offensive. The fact that his book made it to film has got people talking. Do I judge him as he judges other? Probably. After all, part of the definition of judgment is to form an opinion, to discern.
So ultimately I am glad I got off my butt and put it in a movie seat tonight.
Have you seen Ender's Game? Will you? Let me know in the comments below.
Friday, November 1, 2013
My princess was Hannah Montana, back before Miley washed her hands of Disney and delight, and traded them for flash and skin. My boy was a Stormtrooper, following his method of refusing to wear the current year's costume and ending up in the last year's. Happened every year until last, when he suddenly was "too old" to trick or treat. Also, you can't catch him in a photo with his sister, because they continually pick at each other.
This year, my sweet girl was a cheerleader, and this photo gives a hint of the woman she'll become. Visiting houses with a friend, because brother wouldn't go, and stayed home with dad.
Sweet memories, old and new. I treasure them all.
The dog? He still looks the same.
Friday, April 12, 2013
No change in my asthma. Last year I had a nice reprieve from it, but this year it is ferocious. Don't really expect anything yet, but it would have been nice.
I don't get the evening munchies that cannot be tamed. Those "I'll just have a few chips. They will hit the spot." "No, that wasn't it...maybe a cookie." "Hmmm, maybe just a few more chips."
Yesterday I really felt some of my tummy bloat was tamed - and I have lost three pounds. That's a big plus, since I haven't felt hungry at all. In fact, I believe the volume of food I am eating is less, yet I am more satisfied.
I think I have been sleeping better. I usually wake up several times a night, but have slept the last two nights through. In fact, yesterday morning I slept right through my alarm. Haven't done that in YEARS.
My favorite meal of the last few days is simply called the "Breakfast Smoothie." That doesn't come close to the deliciousness in a glass that it is. Simply frozen mixed berries, banana, coconut milk and shredded coconut blended together. Nothing to sweeten it at all. I'm making extra tomorrow for Emma. Will be interesting to see what she thinks of it.
She and her friend raved about the chicken tonight - Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Rosemary Chicken. But she didn't like the "leaves," and pulled them out of the chicken.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Ok, so maybe I don't know what the big-gun withdrawals are like - but caffeine withdrawal is no fun. I've quite coffee before, and I don't remember it being this bad. Maybe it's a combination of caffeine withdrawals and carb flu. Headaches, light-headedness, lack of focus. This afternoon is going better, though.
I didn't weigh myself the first morning (Sunday) because I was so busy researching and writing on my theory of why man....oh, who am I kidding? I just forgot. I did weigh when I got to the gym that afternoon, so I'm using that as my starting weight. And, no, I'm not posting it here (are you CRAZY?)...though I will update with any changes. None so far. I need to remember that I am in this for the long haul and not the quick fix. Every time I've gone "on a diet" I immediately regain that weight I had so quickly lost.
I know I haven't been drinking as much water as I should. I misplaced my water bottle.
The food has been GREAT. I've been using the recipes right out of Neely Quinn's "21-day Paleo Cleanse." I love the fact that she has lined out the shopping list and prep work as well as the recipes. Our favorites, though, are the breakfasts. No eggs? No cereals? No dairy? No problem, when you have Neely's great recipes. My daughter and I love the Tex-Mex Breakfast. It's a yummy combo of ground beef, onions, zucchini, and spices. And the Ham Stir-fry with ham and sweet potato. Mmmmm.
What do I miss? Coffee. So far that's pretty much it, but it's only been a few days.
I don't have daily arthritis pain, so I cannot say if there is an improvement yet. Saturday was a very bad day, but I'd spent six hours in the car and nine and a half hours in meetings the day before, so that isn't surprising. No typo there...my bosses apparently think I am so amazing I don't need sleep.
I was having some digestive problems after being on antibiotics for bronchitis, and those cleared up the very first day eating this way. That was fantastic. And Sunday afternoon when my caffeine-withdrawal headache was at its worst, I sat in the sauna for a few minutes after swimming and the headache disappeared without even an aspirin.
These are some of the tasty things I have been eating:
|Ham Stir-fry Breakfast|
Saturday, April 6, 2013
I've done the research. Unending research. Everything conflicting. But I keep coming back to two major theories: there are a lot of fat-free vegans who have "cured" themselves of issues like mine. But I know that doesn't work for me. I'm hungry all the time, which equates to cranky. My skin and hair are dry. My stomach hurts. I don't sleep well. And then..there are the Paleos/Primals/Ancestral Eaters. I've tried that, too. But haven't quite found the right style. So now I will try this...the "21-Day Paleo Cleanse." Have to love it...the author knows how to use a hyphen, right? And 21 days is doable. I did the 21-Day Sugar Detox a while back. Felt pretty good, too...but it wasn't quite right. Neely Quinn, the author of the e-book, calls this "A step-by-step guide for people with auto-immune diseases, food allergies, and gut health problems to reduce inflammation, reverse symptoms and lose weight." How can you argue with that? So, here are the rules:
Artificial additives and preservatives
Caffeine (what? Wait a minute, here...did I really sign up for this???)
Sweeteners (artificial and natural)
Nuts and seeds
Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, etc.)
And this leaves me with..what? Styrofoam?
Thank heaven I went to Johnny Garlic's yesterday. That pretzel bun and those garlic fries will carry me for
the next three weeks. Tune in tomorrow to see how it goes. Tweet
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
When she died, I had just turned ten. My stepfather was not a cook. I found her copy of "Joy of Cooking" and a couple of other cookbooks and started working my way through. I mastered hollandaise, steak and kidney pie, liver pate, and beef Wellington. No one told me I couldn't.
Fast forward three years to a foster home. There were never less than 20 mouths to feed. We ate fried chicken, Hamburger Helper, swiss steak...simple meals, easy to multiply. I took four years of home ec, and loved cooking in the little kitchens. I also loved the attention I got from the home ec teacher, Mrs. Zumwalt. She always encouraged me...and we got to make doughnuts during first period.
What did I never learn? How to cook without a recipe.
I have cooked my way through decades of dinner parties and family meals, and until the last couple of years, I never even tried to make anything without explicit directions. And pictures, if possible.
Something happened after my divorce. I had two young kids to feed, one of whom is incredibly picky (blame it on a sensory processing disorder) and my repertoire took a turn for the limited.
Then it happened. One day, I made a meatloaf by memory. Not specific memory, just a general one. And it turned out great. The next time, I decided it might be good with the addition of some grated zucchini. And it was. And a new, adventurous Annie was born.
Alas, nothing I made was ever spectacular. If I wanted to impress, I still turned to my recipes. Until last weekend.
I had a pork roast, and I couldn't find a recipe that fit exactly what I was craving. So I jumped in and winged it...totally winged it. My daughter gave it the highest praise ever. It was spectacular, if I say so myself. I think it was the cumin/cocoa combo.
Tonight, we needed something for dessert, but I am working very hard to stay away from sugar.
I stuck a can of coconut milk in the freezer when we got home tonight, and after dinner, I opened it and scooped out the thick part from the top of the can. I threw that into the food processor with three previously frozen bananas (I always keep them in the freezer for smoothies). A splash of orange juice to get things moving in the food processor, and within a few minutes, we were feasting on a tropical treat. So yum.
I have always said I am not creative, and I don't think that is changing anytime soon, but I think I will have some fun in the kitchen.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I never thought I was a good photographer. I'm not. But she is a terrific subject. Did I mention she is kind to animals?
She adores her older brother. He tolerates her, most of the time.
She has been wanting to dye her hair. I have always said my kids can do whatever they want with their hair, as long as they could turn it presentable enough for a funeral (don't ask why that's my aim). No mohawks, because there is no way you can make that look good, IMHO...but color? Go for it. Cut? Whatever.
Never been a problem until now. My baby wanted to go red. She wanted to jump in and go full blast cherry red. Her hair is so beautiful - grownups pay hundreds of dollars to get half the blonde streaks she has naturally. I told her fine, but nothing permanent. I am such an ogre.
We found a 28-day auburn. I am sure it will last longer than that, and I am confident it won't be pretty while it's fading.
But she loves it. And she is beautiful.