31 October 2013

And So It Begins ...

I LOVE the holiday season, and always think of it as starting with Halloween.  The decorations, the costumes, the goodies - to me it is just a lot of fun.

What I cannot stand, though, is the "news" stories that surround the holidays.  I am talking about the insistence that we know how holiday foods and drinks contain calories.  I just saw the first one about half an hour ago - an 'expose' on the local news about the hidden calories in Halloween candy.

Really?  Candy has calories?  Shocking.  Personally, I would like to meet the individuals who have no idea that candy has calories.  Because the first question I would ask them is where they have been living if this is news to them.  And then I would like to ask the news reporters to find some actual news to report.

And of course it will continue:

Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving dinner has calories!
Christmas - Christmas cookies and treats have calories!
New Year's Eve - Champagne and other beverages have calories!

This year, I'm wondering if Jewish people will  be informed that whatever they fix for Thanksgiving/Hanukkah dinner will have calories.  I mean, news like that could be so surprising, it could ruin the whole thing!

Most people I know are more than aware that food and drink have calories - maybe they can't tell you how many, but they know they are there.  For myself, I look forward to the holidays, to actually enjoy myself, and enjoy the special things I don't eat or drink during the rest of the year.  I try not to get terribly carried away, though sometimes I am more successful than others.  And I am sure that if my doctor told me that if I consumed more than X number of calories during the holidays, I would not live to see another one, I'd be very careful.  For myself.  I would leave everyone else alone to do their own thing.

So please - join me in enjoying the holidays!  Eat, drink, and be merry.  And try to ignore the people who want you to obsess over every little aspect of it.

There's a reason it's called the HOLIDAY SEASON, right?

24 October 2013

The Experience of Food

On my other blog, I occasionally participate in something called Ten on Tuesday, where you are given a topic and you share 10 things related to it.  This past week, the topic was:  10 Foods You Eat Regularly Now That Were Exotic (or unheard of) When You Were a Kid.

This was a lot of fun to think about, and my list is here.  But even more fun than making my own list was reading others' lists.  Though some things seemed pretty common - i.e., eating only white bread as a child, now eating different types of bread all of the time - there were some big differences as well.  Mostly based on people's ages, I think.  For instance, my parents were products of the Great Depression and the "modern food" (convenience, processed) revolution.  So we seldom had anything homemade.  We also wasted very little, if any, food.  We were poor, so there were some things we ate regularly because they were cheap, and other things (pineapple, for instance) that were rare and exciting treats.  But other people had grown up eating healthier foods (for instance, fresh vegetables), and their lists contained primarily ethnic foods they had recently learned about.

I find this fascinating.  Food is such a personal thing, though a universal necessity.  But it is also part of what forms each of us.  For every person like me, who ate canned vegetables regularly, there were people growing up in families who ate foods that are still considered ethnic, even if more well-known to people now.  One of the biggest events growing up in one place we lived was an annual summer festival known as the Syrian Picnic.  Of course, it was a lesson in "unusual food" like grape leaves, hummus, etc.  Everyone would talk about what new things they had tried eating there for weeks, and it was considered daring to have tried more than two or three things.

I know there are foods both local and international that I have never heard of or tried, or perhaps would not even want to think about eating.  Those are the "exotic" foods to me now.   

But every summer I wish I could go back to the Syrian Picnic ...

What about you?  What are your food choices now compared to those you grew up eating?

15 October 2013

No, Really

Remember this post?  Well, today was the day.  I have fasted for TWO days (apparently I have an extra long colon, so it needs more time to "clean out"), and made myself sick drinking the prep mixture they gave me.

And you know what?  I threw up four times last night, but that was all.  Which meant that I had to cancel the whole thing first thing this morning.  Which means I fasted for two days, made myself sick, lost lots of sleep, and missed a day of work for what turned out to be a non-event.

Eventually, things started "moving" as they should, but not in any way that makes it helpful for someone trying to have a colonoscopy.  Let's just leave it at that, as far as descriptive things go, shall we?

When I called to cancel, the nurse said she would talk to the doctor and they would get back to me as to how we should proceed.  Frankly, I'm not interested in doing this until it finally "works."  The last time, it took six different attempts before there was a successful one.  And then, I had to fast for FOUR days, and use a different prep each night.  Yes, it worked, but I missed work after that for a week, since I was sick and weak from the whole prep.  I don't really want to go down that road again (plus after having shingles, I have no more sick time), so I hope there is some other option.

You would think with all of the advances in medicine, there would be some simpler way to have someone get ready for this particular procedure.  I've been wondering, for instance, if there is some alternative/natural prep that could be tried.

In the meantime, I'm annoyed and frustrated.

Kinda like her.

However, life goes on, so next time I'll try to have something good to talk about!

12 October 2013

Finally Getting There!

After fighting with shingles for what seems like forever, I did actually feel well enough to start organizing/cleaning out my closet today!  I started with my shoes, and made a fair amount of progress.  I would have gotten more done, but I figured if I was doing it at all, I should actually clean the floor of the closet, which was covered with dust, dirt, and dust jackrabbits (dust bunnies doesn't begin to describe them ...).  It looks much better now.  :-)

I do feel motivated to keep going though, so that's good.  It means that I won't suddenly just stop and then suddenly realize that I need things other than sandals and flip flops in the cold weather.  And I'm not surprised to realize that I have a lot of crap.

This morning while I was eating breakfast, I had the TV on, and was watching the local news.  They had a segment that I thought was pretty interesting, and I thought I'd share it, in the event that you hadn't heard about it.

Tradesy is a website where you can sell/buy designer goods that are slightly or barely worn, or even brand new.  Apparently you sign up, take photos of the things you'd like to sell, and they devise a price.  Once the item is sold, they keep 9% of the cost, and send you mailing materials to ship it to the buyer.  I thought this sounded like a good idea.  Not that I have many - or even any - designer things, other than possibly a purse or two that I received as gifts, but have never used.  I do like donating things to those who might need them or would really enjoy them, but I'll admit that sometimes I'll wish that I had a way to get some money out of some of the stuff, since it's either new or nearly new.  Like I said, I don't have a lot that would sell on Tradesy, but it's a lot of fun to look and see what is for sale by others!

Back to the real world, and tomorrow is another day or purging and organizing.  Even though it makes me crazy to work on it too long, I'll admit to looking forward to seeing what more I can accomplish!

Here's hoping your weekend is a good one.

07 October 2013

The Great Purge Is Coming!

No, this isn't my closet - but my closet isn't too far off.  Like most people, I switch my clothes at the change of the seasons, and so [theoretically] my closet is cleaned out twice a year (warm weather vs. cold weather).  In reality, it usually has to get really bad before I am willing or even interested in doing a thorough job.

On top of which, I tend to keep things even if I don't wear them, "just in case."  Which is stupid.  And it's one thing if you have two items in that category, but over the past few years, I've accumulated quite a collection.  So I have decided it's time to purge the closet, not just switch the seasonal clothes.  And I'm hoping to work on that this coming weekend.

I've read a lot of articles and and blogs about taking charge of your closet, and am familiar with things like Project 333 and Dress with Less.  I'm not sure at the moment that I can whittle things down to ____ amount of items for the next 30 days or whatever.  Mostly because I have not really taken the time to prepare, and I get itchy after so long, going through stuff.

So I'm going to try and apply those overall principles to my work this weekend.  I'm going to just donate things that are still wearable, but that I don't wear, or that no longer fit.  I'm going to get rid of things that are just plain worn out.  And I'm gonna confess that there are things I just no longer like.  This is hard for me, because I get attached to my clothes, and I also hate feeling that I wasted money.  Which is why being able to donate unwanted clothes makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing - I'm hoping most things will fit into that category.

And I'm also only doing one group of clothes at a time, rather than all of my clothes.  A few years back, I very conscientiously purged my winter clothes before putting them away over the summer.  Which was fine, except I forgot that there were things I wanted to buy to replace some of them.  Needless to say, I had  couple of challenging weeks, with one pair of slacks, and cardigan and a blouse to wear!

I like clothes, and I have also been trying to buy things that will last for a while, and very often, that means I've had to save up to buy them.  Which as you can imagine, makes it really hard to let them go down the road.  But you know what, keeping things that you don't/can't wear, or that you no longer like, or that are too worn out to actually wear, is just a waste of space, which leads to a waste of time when you are trying to decide what to put on during any given day.

I'll keep you posted.  I think because I am feeling especially motivated, I might be able to take more care on this project.   I hope so.  I really do not like having a messy closet, and just having extra stuff around.

As my sister says, "White man's troubles."  :-)