Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My son told me about this movie, Food Inc., and Oprah is talking about it today.  It had quite an effect on him, and, I think it will on all of us.  I hope to see it soon. The movie is very educational about our food today, where it comes from, how it is produced, and how we can make better food choices.  It seems that in the past, as a society, we spent a much higher percentage of our incomes on food than healthcare.  Nowadays our nation is spending a higher percentage on health care than we are on food. 

Whole food is the name of the game.  Striving to be concious of what we eat and to eat less processed food and more whole food is the way to go.  Another way of putting  it is when you go to the grocery store, don't buy anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.  My holistic nurse friend says just make sure your plate looks like a rainbow....that it is full of colorful food.  Just think of the benefits of eating broccoli (bright green), blueberries (deep blue), strawberries (red), squash (yellow), green beans and so on.

Another spiritual friend says, "Spirit (God) made it real simple for us.  Just drink pure water, eat things that come from the land, and fish from the seas.  We are the ones who make it complicated." 

Michael Pollan, who wrote In Defense of Food:  A Dieter's Manifesto, was also on Oprah today.  He summed it up by saying the following:

Eat food,
Mostly plants,
Not too much.

I think we all know this already.  Just hard to do.  I've heard the 80-20 rule is good enough.  I don't know though.  Eat right 80% of the time and don't worry about the other 20%.  At least it's a start.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friendships Near and Far

I spent the weekend with three of my best friends.  It was a gloomy, grey, wet, cold weekend at the lake and yet we were bright, cheery, cozy, and warm.  The entire weekend we stayed right inside our little cabin and didn't budge.  A few good movies, good, healthy food, lots of sharing and laughter, a lovely fire, and good books made it perfect.

Well, there was the overflowing toilet...that was a challenge.  But that was it.  Everything else was smooth as silk.  It just does the soul good to spend time with those who love you, understand you, and want the best for you.  I wish everyone was so fortunate.

Online, here in blogland, we hang with our friends too.  My invisible friends are you.  You often make my day when I log in to see who's been around, who left a little comment love, and what you all have to say that day on your blog.  You live all around the globe...that's really the best.  We're far, far away, different, yet alike, and we are connecting!  We are supporting each other.  We are really celebrating each day with each other.  I'm glad you are here.  I feel like I know you and I wish the best for you. 

When I got home from my girlfriend weekend away, I found an award from Claudia way away in Brazil.  How cool is that!  She shared her 10 favorite things and asked me to do the same...and to pass the award along.  So here are a few of my favorite things....

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

No, that was Julie Andrews's list.

Here are a few of my favorite things

1.  Being inside where it is dry and warm and hearing the rain outside.
2.  Being with my husband when we are on the same wave length and totally in sync.
3.  Being with my children.
4.  Having fun at my sister's.  She's the best.
5.  Vacations.  I just love them.
6.  A really good meal when I am very hungry.
7.  A great book.
8.  Buddy.  He's my dawg!
9.  Art.  I love to draw and paint.
10.  I love to Zumba dance with my gym rat buddies.

I realized I didn't put down anything about a spiritual experience and then I realized they are all spiritual experiences.  What are your favorite things?  I'll pass the award along in a few days.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

John Edwards, What Were You Thinking?

On second thought, don't answer that.  I think we know what you were thinking.

This blog is entitled Real Life In A Minute so here goes real life.  It seems John Edwards has decided to tell the truth.  He is the father of Reille Hunter's daughter, Quinn.  Reille was his campaign videographer when he was running for, ahem, President of the U.S.  It turns out he and his wife Elizabeth have known for sure that he was the father of little Quinn, now two years old, since last summer.

It is understandable why he didn't tell anyone.  He has "decided" to embrace his daughter whom he has been supporting financially and emotionally.  In other words, he has been somewhat active and present in her life for the last year.  Why he has chosen now to reveal the truth makes you wonder.  Was it coming out anyway?  Was he trying to beat the tabloids at their own game?  Did he have a sudden attack of conscience?  Who knows.

Less understandable to me is why his wife Elizabeth chose to keep quiet these many months.  My guess would be to protect her children, not him.  At this point she can't protect them, but if handled well, the children will accept it much better than the rest of us.  Growing up in this day and time it really isn't that unusual.  Children are much more flexible and forgiving that we adults are.

The Edwardses, John and Elizabeth, are currently separated.  He is no longer living in their dream home!  And what a mansion in the country it is.  There are many reasons to feel sorry for Elizabeth but I would rather uphold her dignity in this situation.  She is a smart woman with options.  She is choosing the response she feels is best for herself and her children. 

John Edwards seeks now to rebuild his reputation as a "good person", through several humanitarian projects and by publicly recognizing his youngest daughter.  Will it work?  Of course, it will, although perhaps not in politics.

It is 2010.  Forgiveness is in. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are You Depressed?

Well, are you?  Are you depressed?

It amazes me how many people answer "yes".  I must admit I have been a little down myself lately.  Part of it is seasonal.  The cold weather is condusive to snuggling in by the fire with hot chocolate, a blanket, and, somedays, pajamas all day! As great as that sounds, it gets old.

My routine was disturbed over the holidays because that's what holidays are...departure from the everyday routine.  So, in my case, I stopped going to the gym.  No more Zumba classes or Kickboxing or weights for me.  Noooooo.  I was out shopping, at someone's Cookie Exchange party,  at my own party, eating my sister's to-die-for caramel cake.  And, oh yeah, why not sleep in?  Everyone is off work and it's a "holiday"!  Too many holidays if you ask me.  I am not a holiday person!

Why are so many people depressed, or like me, just a little down?  Some are upset over their jobs or lack of one.  Some have financial concerns and family issues.  Some are lonely.  Some are ill.  The most "up" person I know hinted yesterday that she was really feeling "maybe a little depressed".  Someone else I talked with today said "I tend to get depressed in the winter.  I need to go out in some sunshine."  Then, Lord knows, there is my mother.  I love her dearly, she's depressed, and I can't fix it.  That makes me even more depressed...and on it goes.

So, if any of this describes you, let's do this.  Every day, no matter how cold, let's go outside and get some sunshine.  If we are out there at least 15 minutes, maybe even take a walk, or eat lunch if it's warm enough, we get our much needed Vitamin D and we get those rays which some say ward off the winter blues.

I don't want to knock winter.  I really love the winter time.  We just have to be smart about it and get out butts in motion, get around people, go outside, and stay active. If we don't it's just our own fault.  Did you hear me, self?

This weekend I have a long awaited girls' road trip to look forward to.  Probably just what I need.  Laughing, sharing secrets, looking to the future, hugs, and being silly.  I think it will work for me!  Find something to work for you too!  Every day is precious and we don't want to waste a single one being depressed.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Before And After: Lose 10 Pounds By Tomorrow Noon!

Next time you are in line at the grocery checkout, look around and I bet you'll find a magazine with those headlines.  We won't tell anyone that you actually picked it up, flipped though, and skimmed the article trying to find out how she did it.  Fess up.  We've all done it.  What if the magic weight loss formula is out there and she knows it and we don't. 

Actually we are all smarter than that, huh? 

Friday I met a woman, a real live woman, who truly lost 95 pounds in less than a year.  I've seen her come and go at the gym many times, really large when she started.  She keeps to herself, at least that's the way it seems to me.  I've always kept to myself at the gym too.  It's not really a great place to meet people UNLESS you go to classes.  That's what I love and if you go often enough you will eventually feel like these people in the class are your friends even if you don't know their names.

Anyway, I approached this Jane Doe and told her how good she looked and bragged on her progress.  Everybody needs that and she didn't seem like she got a lot of it.  She told me she had lost 95 pounds... and it was true.  I saw her "before".  Me:  "How did you do it?"  (My version of skimming the magazine.)  Her:  "I walk on the treadmill three miles every morning and three miles every afternoon."  "Oh my goodness", I say.  I'm struck with two things:  how very boring that would be and what motivation 'two times' a day would take! Oh, and that is seven days a week!

Regarding the boredom, she said she comes during her favorite shows and just walks and watches TV.  I could do that, I think to meself.  She lives only two doors down from the gym, seems to be retired, and doesn't wear a wedding ring, so I decide it's very convenient for her and there may be little else going on in her life.  I realize how very pretty she is...that she has truly transformed her appearance.  AND after she walks, she lifts weights for 30 minutes three times a week AND she roller skates at the part.  Now that last one really got me.

I am usually pretty adventurous and fairly well motivated, and I love to skate but I never ever do.  I have lots of reasons why but I shall spare you.  But I will say that soon you are going to read about me and roller skates.  Enough for now.

Just wanted to share this true, non-tabloid 95 pound weight loss story with you.  It takes you where it takes you.  I know where it is taking me!  After Zumba dancin' Monday morning, you will find me on the treadmill with my earphones plugged in watching The View!  I'll keep you posted!

PS.  Aren't those the cutest puppies?  Wouldn't it be nice to take a bath and come out skinny?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do You Text?

Text      HAITI     90999

I bet you do, but if you don't, it's time to learn.  I'm an old fogie myself (can't believe I just said that)  so if I can do it, so can you.  Here's why.

Hubs and I were sitting in a restaurant a couple of nights ago.  Do you have a Kayson's where you live?  They have pretty good food and we like to go there.  They also have TV screens everywhere but no sound thank goodness.  The picture that night was from Haiti.  An earthquake had just happened... pictures and runners across the screen said 7.0.  I don't know much about earthquakes but I do know that is a very big one with serious damage.

Over the next day or two we've see just how serious it was.  My mother's angel caretaker is from Haiti.  She has that lovely French Haitian accent and the biggest, purest heart around.  Her inlaws have lost several family members and several are still missing.  We know from TV that many are homeless, hurt, and scared.  What would that be like if it were my family?  I can't imagine.

My friend Cindy from the Red Cross will probably go down and help out.  Service men and women, doctors, nurses will go too and they will work wonders.  Every person they help is a miracle.  But most of us won't.  It's not our place.  We can send prayers and money though.  My mother called and asked me to send $100 for her.  She always, always wants to help

An easy way for all of us to help is to text HAITI to 90999.  It will automatically send $10 to Haiti through the Red Cross and all of it will go, not just part of it.  The $10 will be charged to your phone bill.  Whoever thought of this is brilliant.  A whole bunch of $10 gifts can make a real difference, over $3 million so far.

Prayers for the children especially and for everyone there who feels scared, hurt and alone.  Hang on.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Lady At Walmart

A week or so ago I was in Walmart.  I usually avoid Walmart unless I need something specific because it is one of those stores that suck you into buying things you don't need.  You go in for something specific and you come out with that ...PLUS some extra towels, 4 tubes of Crest that were on sale, an extra bag of dogfood, Christmas decorations that were 75% off, and new pillows.  So if your motive for shopping at Walmart is to save money, forget it.  If you really need all that loot, well, good for you.  Me?  I'd rather just stay away.

On this particular day I was there to buy a humidifier.  As I walked throught the pharmacy area I heard children screaming, screaming, screaming.  I looked, like everyone does, and kept walking, deciding to wait and check out the humidifiers later when things had calmed down on the pharmacy aisle.  When I came back, though, the children were still screaming.  Oh my goodness, now what?

A young mother with three children was trying to get prescriptions filled.  She had one in the buggy, one in her arms, and one was on the floor near her feet, on a leash.  Two of them were screaming to the top of their lungs.  Onlookers were doing just that, looking on.  Well, WWJD, I thought to myself?  So I walked over to the mother and asked if I could help.  Now, mind you, she is on her cell phone telling someone quite loudly that she is "completely overwhelmed", her insurance has been denied, and the children are still screaming.  "Can I help you?", I ask.  Suddenly her angst was covered with a big smile, "No", she says, "I'm fine".  She's faking, of course.

She's not fine.  I understand her hesitation to accept help from a stranger but how bad could I be with ten onlookers gawking at us?  I just stay there beside her and start talking to the children to distract them.  The screaming stops pretty quickly.  She doesn't tell me to go away so I stay put.  I ended up staying with the mom and her children for 30 minutes while all the insurance issues got worked out.  The pharmacy was in error.  There was no problem with her insurance.  She was scared and embarrassed for nothing.

Victoria was three, Kaitlyn was two, and Jordan was 18 months.  Daddy gave the girls their nicknames: Tori, KatieBug, and Jordy.  I was so glad to learn there was a daddy.  As I spent time with these kids I learned a lot about myself.  I quickly constructed an entire story about them. I decided all of them were sick (and I hoped I didn't catch it) since mom was getting three Rx antibiotics, although they didn't seem sick. I decided they probably lived in a trailer without enough money to make ends meet. I decided mom would probably just keep having kids.  I decided their mother might not know she could put their dirty jackets in the washing machine.  I decided they probably didn't know how to budget their money as mom was using an expensive Blackberry....and I was using a $29.95 phone.  I reasoned she should have a phone like mine and save that money she didn't have.  Part of me wanted to go home with them and teach mom all the things I decided she didn't know.  I realized how very judgmental I was being.

We all became friends over that 3o minutes.  Mom, Brittany, thanked me sincerely.  When I asked her if they were going to "try for a boy", she told me she had her tubes tied and wouldn't be having more children even though they loved these three profusely.  She talked about having 3 teenagers at once, 3 proms, then 3 weddings.  All the kids wanted me to hold them and I did.  They wanted me to go home with them. They wanted to play with my phone. They were smart.  They knew all about texting (at 3) and apps!  Once they were distracted  their tears turned to smiles and giggles and mom could get her business done. I loved every minute of it and I grew to love them in that short amount of time.

I realized that if I ever become a grandmother I will enjoy it immensely and I will make sure I don't tell their mother when their jackets need washing.  Oh how quickly you forget!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

When Will We Thaw Out? Deep South In The Deep Freeze!

Temperature On My Back Porch

One thing I know for sure. I don't want to live up North. I know it's not a fair comparison but this is what an icey, snowy day looks like in most households in the South. First of all, we call off school if there is ANYTHING on the roads. It's not that we are paranoid. (Hmmm?) It's more that our snow melts during the day because it almost always warms up in the day time. Then at night it drops back down below freezing and we wake up with roads covered with ice. Our school busses just cannot get through our frozen back roads. So we have the long-awaited 'snow day'.

As soon as the weather forecast starts hinting at snow and ice, we all run to the store and buy milk and bread. Shelves empty out immediately. So you get the picture. We in the South stay home in our pajamas and eat milk and bread all day. We have hot grits and butter and cheese for breakfast, then milk and bread the rest of the day. We wrap up in blankets as if ice cycles are dripping off the ceiling of the great room, and, well, lots of babies are born down here nine months later. Our obstetricians know they cannot take a vacation nine months after a snow or ice storm if you get my drift.

After a few days of this we start getting cabin fever. I already feel batty after being in this mode for almost two days. My hubby walked outside yesterday morning because the sun had melted OUR driveway. Then he stepped on invisible ice when he got to the street and his feet flew out from under him. Within one second he was flat on his back. I was watching from inside. "Oh crap!", I thought. In the South, people who are 'raised right' don't say sh**. I was ready to call 911 and up he popped. He has a bionic back with steel rods and pins holding it together. I guess that was a good thing because he suffered no ill effects. We missed our chance to win America's Funniest Videos. Where is that camera when you need it?

We have a few more days of this coming up. When we had our children growing up at home it was more fun. We were in and out, trying to scrape up enough snow to make snow balls, warming them up with hot chocolate, throwing wet snow clothes in the dryer. We used to put plastic bags around their feet to stay dry because we didn't always have snow boots. It didn't work! Now I find all this housebound behavior a little on the boring side. Oh well, it IS pretty. We ARE warm. That's a lot to be thankful for...and we are.

Is it cold at your house? What are y'all doing to stay sane?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's a Cold, Driving Day

Looks like I'm going to spend most of the day in the car!  Not my favorite place to be.  Some people love to drive.  I am not one of them!  But it's really, really cold down here in the deep South.

It's not so much that the cold bothers me.  I can always turn up the heat and put on a coat.  It's the pipes I'm concerned about.  Our naked little pipes at the lake are not used to this weather.  They usually have a few spoonfuls of anti freeze in them all winter to keep them safe but not this time.  We could risk it and just see what happens but I'm getting the feeling that's not such a good idea.  So I'm off.

I'm going to turn of the water, drain the pipes, pour in a little anti freeze, give them a kiss and leave.  My sister and I think it's a sign and we'll probably put this little cabin on the market this spring.  It's an emotional thing though.  My dad built most of the cabin himself for mother and him and their retirement and loved every minute of it.  They loved to fish and be outside and they lived only 30 minutes away.  I'm two hours away and even though I love the lake, we just don't go.  Every year we say we are going more but we don't.  It becomes a burden in a way, and an ongoing expense for my mother.

We've debated this issue many, many times since daddy died in 1990.  Mother can't manage it anymore so it's just my sister and me.  Our hubbies are neither one handymen (!) and our sons just aren't that into the lake.  Seems like it's time.  This trip might just do it.

In an hour or two I'm out of here.  I can get there, then down to mother's, pick her up and get back here in about 5 hours total.  Gotta do whatcha gotta do!

I'm taking blankets just in case!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Clean, Green, and Clutter Free

One thing we did better last year than the year before was recycling.  Hopefully this year we'll be even better.  Recycling, to me, means putting everything in the recycle box that you can.  It also means re-using, regifting, and reselling whatever possible. This way there is not nearly as much garbage for the dump, and what does go to the dump will eventually disintegrate.

I know lots of you keep a Goodwill box going because we've talked about it before.  I do.  Whenever I wear something, and at the end of the day I realize I haven't enjoyed wearing it, it goes to the 'box'.  Some of it goes to Goodwill and some of it goes to MUST which supports people who are way down on their luck and need help to survive.    Anyone can go to Goodwill and snag a deal, and in addition, Goodwill provides much needed jobs for local people.  MUST feeds and clothes people and helps them find both are good and worthy of donations.

Regifting is obvious.  If I have something that I know someone else would love to have, and maybe I'm ready for it to go, I'm happy to gift it along.  I'd probably tell them the story behind the gift too!

Occasionally I'll sell something on Ebay if I think it's sellable!  It's kind of a hobby that comes and goes.  Somebody gets "a deal", I get rid of something in my way, and my PayPal account grows by a few bucks.

So one of my New Year's Resolutions is to recycle more and stay away from styrofoam which won't recycle.  Just rinse it and put it aside until the next trip to the garage.  Did you know you can recycle cans that vegetables and such come in?  I didn't know that for a long time.  When you recycle cardbaord, metals, and plastics that are recyclable you will hardly have any real garbage left.

Ahhhhhh.  Clean, green, and clutter free!

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Laughter Is In. It's 2010!

This is me!  Had a blast eating my way through Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Starting today, no sugar and no white flour for awhile!  Want to join me?  I'll just switch to Splenda or Truvia and use whole grains instead of white flour.  Not hard at all.

"The Lord says, 'Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?' " Isaiah 43: 18-19.

Happy 2010, everyone.
Laughter is in! It's 2010!