I feel like I have boiled down everyone I know down to a one-word description. I am tired, and things are grating on me right now, so I do not want to be wordy. Example – I had some foster kittens recently, and one of them was adorable, but out of control, I just call her Extra. I have a manager that reports to me, she is inclined to take the opposite viewpoint of anything anyone says so, she is now just Contrary. I have a friend who is always thinking of others, she is Helper (as in Mr.Rogers look for the helpers), so you see it is not all bad. But one more, someone else I work with always seems to be one step behind, he is now Obtuse. I am done, it is late, and sometimes people suck. But not you all that is why I am sharing this here.
1. Today my 28-year-old daughter had to verbally take down two men on Facebook that were making harsh comments about sexual assault victims. One of the men was 65 years old.
2. Today I called my 30-year-old daughter because she was going to a concert alone tonight and I had to ask her how she was getting there and how she was getting home. Because women cannot plan an outing alone without worrying what will happen to them. I was relieved that her husband is dropping her off and picking her up and is understanding enough to know that having this experience alone was important to her.
This is what is wrong, this is beyond a mom having to worry about a child’s safety. This is about worrying about a woman you know and love being victimized.
On Twitter the other day Danielle Muscato posed a simple question –
“What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?”
The answers were honest and straightforward, the most frequent response and the saddest was – “I would take a walk by myself.” You see, women cannot take a walk by themselves in the evening and be completely relaxed.
Other women said, “I would walk to my car with my keys in my purse and look for them when I got to the car, instead of having them clutched between my fingers as weapons.”
On particularly poignant answer was “I would go to a club and not worry about someone slipping something in my drink when I went to the bathroom.”
All of this right here is why we believe the victims. We know, we know what it is like to worry about your safety every time you are alone, every time you have an opinion, every time you want to live freely.
I am in my fifties. I have been out of high school for a long time, but I remember my history lessons. In high school, college, in books, we learn about the lives of humans and how they lived in the past; the good and the bad.
The awful lessons of history always seem so long ago. We often tell ourselves never again. We often ask ourselves, “How could this happen?”. The atrocities of the past were committed by horrible people, and we could not possibly be so unenlightened that it would happen again.
I will add to this by saying that we know that awful things happen today. We have instantaneous news. However, those dreadful things seem to happen far away. Oppression, extremism, slavery, none of those exist in our clean and whitewashed world. Right?
In a free and civilized world, slavery will never happen again. The Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition, Witches being burned, the Crusades, and the list goes on for as long as man has walked the earth. We are far too evolved for this. Right?
I never thought I would see it or say it, but it is happening, and it is happening where I live. Liberals often say that Conservatives do not care unless it happens to them, I would say that could be said of just about every human. You could argue with me, and probably come up with many examples, but I could probably counter with twice as many for my point. I am just saying that I am watching something I never thought I would live to see; the dismantling of my country.
We are quickly rolling downhill and picking up hate and extremism, and distrust, and government oppression as we go. All of those things from my history lessons, everything from far across the world, all of those horrors are now here.
I said to a very liberal friend the other day that idealism is a loser. I do not want it to be, but it is. It causes division and inaction. If you do not believe and support everything that I do, then I do not want you to win. If the real enemy wins, too bad, we deserve it because you did not think of everything for everyone. It is paralyzing. Our country is being lost to the opposite of idealism; it is being lost to extremists. Extremists are people who will band together under one banner of hate and certainty that they are right.
I do not have the answer for the way out of this, but I believe that many more people will start to react and stand to oppose the extremism consuming our country. Many of you will finally respond when it happens on your street, to someone who looks like you or worships like you. Then, maybe then we will all pour into the streets. But then, it will be too late. There will be millions who have already been fighting with hate, and lies, and oppression. Millions more that already won.
Growing up I had an Italian-American Grandfather, and two Polish-American Grandparents on my dad’s side. Holiday’s were about church and FOOD. Christmas may have belonged to my Italian Grandfather, but Easter, that belonged to my Polish Grandmother.
Kielbasa, Pierogis, Ham, Golabki, and on and on until you are really full. Oh, and then candy, you cannot forget the candy.
My grandparents are all gone now, and if you have read any of my earlier posts, you know I am not exactly a chef. I do try to carry on some traditions. Right now my girls are grown and on their own, and I do not have any Grandchildren yet, so Easter is a quiet holiday for us. I decided this year to make Easter dinner. This is not the first time I have made Easter dinner, but today I am thinking about the foods of my childhood. I am on a diet, so any excuse to think about food seems reasonable.
I cannot make the labor intensive foods like pierogis and golabki, but I can make a ham, and grill up some kielbasa. Also, deviled eggs were always around on this holiday, guess they needed to do something with all of those dyed eggs, and they are easy enough to make.
I see a Monday morning workout in my future. I intend to enjoy every nostalgic bite. Maybe even a peanut butter egg for dessert.
On this journey, I have enlisted the help of Weight Watchers. It seems like a reasonable way to get help. All it asks you to do is pay attention to what you eat and exercise. Since this is what I am trying to do, and the online price has come down considerably, I am giving it a try. (PS – I am not paid by them, although maybe I could be?).
Anyway, wine is four points for five ounces; you get about 30-points a day. Who only drinks five ounces of wine? No, that is not okay. In addition to the points per day, you get weekly points. Having points for wine helps you realize that drinking wine every day is probably bad. So, you need to figure out how you use those weekly points, just for wine, maybe, four days a week.
I have to do math for this, I do not like math. Thankfully! Weight Watchers has a calculator that does math for you! If I keep my food to the daily points, I can use my weekly to consume wine! Want to know the truth? I came up with this as I am writing this, and it is brilliant! Enough exclamation points, I will calm down now.
This is important, so let’s do the math now to figure out the wine. Four days a week, and you get 42-weekly points. This is not a whole number, so let’s use 40 points, four days a week for wine. That is 10-points per day, and two points left over for like a Hershey Kiss or something.
Five ounces of wine is four points, ten points a day, four days a week is 12.5 ounces of wine, four days a week! That seems reasonable, right? Geez. That actually sounds like a lot. Guess I am going to survive this weight loss thing after all :).
Down eight pounds so far. Have a great week everyone!
Here I am again, thinking about all of the healthy meals I could prepare and eat to help me lose weight. However, I HATE cooking. To lose weight, I need to eat well and exercise. The exercise, no problem. Eating well, that is the hard part. Not because healthy options are not available, but because healthy options require prep.
I know that whining about cooking is ridiculous. But, I want you to think of the thing that you like doing the least, more than anything else. That is how much I dislike cooking.
There are a lot of prepared low-calorie foods available. However, these foods do not satiate. Also, I have Celiac disease, so many of these foods are off limits to me anyway. This leaves me with whole food, requiring prep option. This is the best way to eat, right?
Any suggestions for a good ingredients list out there that is healthy and easy to use to prepare meals? What should I keep in my kitchen that I can throw together for a quick, healthy meal or snack? You should know for the record that salads make me sad sometimes, so I do not want to eat just salads. Whine over.
Back at the fitness and weight loss thing again. I have put on weight that I lost a few years ago. This irritates me, but of course, I have no one to blame but myself.
I am finding it is not enough to know how to lose weight; you have to want to make the commitment. Then, once you make it, you have to want to stick to it. I shared the other day that I am now thinking about weight loss as I thought about giving up smoking. I have to want to do, for the right reasons.
Beyond wanting to do something, I have to work on wanting to maintain it. I have not smoked for five years; this does not mean that I do not ever want a cigarette. I just work through the feeling when I do want to smoke, and it passes, until it comes again, then I do the same. I repeated this time and time again for the past five years. I have stayed smoke-free.
I am now in weight loss mode now. Like before, when I lost 50-pounds, I know how to lose the weight. If I eat right and exercise, the weight will come off, steadily. The problem the last time is that unlike with smoking, I did not fight through my cravings every time they happened. I slowly started giving in to them until they just became a habit again. So, here I am all of the weight gained back.
I am in my second week; I started with Weight Watchers again. The first week, I did not lose any weight, I simply started tracking and did not change anything. This week, I have done better; I walked several days this week, and I ate better. I do know that I am down at least a few pounds.
Here is the tricky part. Unlike smoking, I cannot just stop eating cold turkey; I still have to eat, I just have to eat better. There are ways to stop eating certain foods cold turkey. Some say that this is a good way to diet, detox your body and all of that. I am considering that just not there quite yet.
Let’s just say, so far, so good. But taking it in steps. Step one, lose the weight, step two keep it off by working through each desire to slide back to old habits.
This is Alfred. Alfred LOVES mashed potatoes. I also love mashed potatoes. If I give Alfred potatoes on a small plate and make it easy for him to eat the potatoes, he gobbles them and will eat them all. (Do not worry, I do not do this often or give him too much).
Last night I gave him a small container, with just a little bit of mashed potatoes in the bottom. He did not want to stick his head in and eat them, so he stuck his paw in the small bowl and scooped them out a little at a time. As he was doing this, the bowl kept moving. After just a few dips of his paw, he gave up and walked away.
I am thinking that my new diet strategy might be to serve my food in ways that are challenging. For example, if I want ice cream, I have to eat it with a fork standing up on one foot.