strung out on heroin and ham

This was the last thing I heard from Morgan Spurlock before I hopped off my bike and paused Super Size Me, the documentary I am watching while exercising this week. Morgan's girlfriend was questioning him on why he continues to eat meat when he is aware of the health and moral issues surrounding the food.  Morgan said it was because he loved ham and bacon and pork chops.  His girlfriend mentioned that people love heroin too, but that doesn't make it justified behavior.

'Balance' is the key word/phrase (can one word be a phrase?) I hold in the front of my mind as I watch this documentary.  Certainly the information is provided in such a way to provide a 'shock' value and to hit at your emotional desire to make good decisions.  The bottom line, however, is most people are not equipped with enough of the information to make good decisions.  Whose fault is that?  I believe it is every one's fault.  Each person should be held accountable to the decisions she makes, and for their child's behalf until she is an adult.  

An 'educated' decision is quite hard to define.  Am I educated if I watch a commercial prompting me to go buy a Coke to quench my thirst?  Am I educated when I see a sign by PETA informing me I should choose cruelty-free chicken?  Or, am I educated when I simply observe what others around me are buying and decide I should make the same selection?

The point is, an effort should be made each and every day to question the reasoning behind our decisions.  WHY do we buy a certain brand of toilet paper?  WHEN do we turn off the TV and send the kids out to play?  HOW many hours of sleep do I need to feel my best?  

Instead of going about our day with the blinders always on, decide to look at your choices and reasons behind what you eat and what you feed your children.  I know when I make the conscience effort to question my habits, I am often lead to a healthier option.  


ding ding ding

WARNING, WARNING, ::epiphany moment:: happening right now.

So, I didn't want to exercise this morning.  The newness and excitement of getting back to regular movement has started to waver.  After many minutes of trying to talk myself out of it, however, I decided the only way to shut myself up was to get busy sweating.  

I popped in Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred because I wanted a fast (20 minute) workout.  As I figured I would, I hopped on my recumbent after Jillian's beating.  You see, once I get sweating, I realize it's not so bad and 20 minutes flies right by.  I also like the benefit of watching HULU while riding.  Today I was pleasantly surprised to discover the full length documentary, Super Size Me.

I have been meaning to watch this movie, but always pass it up for a comedy or drama.  No excuses today!  Even though the movie is 1:39:56, I only dedicated 35 minutes today.

Yeah, you knew this was coming:  HOLY GUACAMOLE, BATMAN! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE [as a nation] DOING?  (and that is my reaction after the first 10 minutes)

So many things to say, but really, it's all said in the movie.  I need action.

In order to raise my children in the manner Dave and I have committed, we need to change the way we are treating a meal at fast food joints.  As in, it is not a 'treat' if we do not know the facts before deciding to partake.

First things first:  I will sit down with the kiddos and we will watch this film as a family.

Second:  When my children request McDonald's (or Wendy's, BK .... the like) I will first offer to take them to the Dollar Store and purchase a trinket.  Then I will offer to make something to eat at home, or stop by the grocery store and allow them to help me decide what to prepare.  As for traveling; um hello!  Prepare and take along a cooler filled with our food from home.

As a side note, I need some reprogramming as well.  MAJOR reprogramming, because ......... damn those fries look good.


leaving on a jet plane

The second museum we visited while in Omaha was the Strategic Air & Space Museum.  I remember visiting there as a child, and was excited to go back and experience the sights with my own kids.  Not much has changed, other than the addition of an outdoor playset (Huh?) where the kids can climb and swing; as well as a couple of computer flight simulators.  

 We were one of very few visitors, so it often felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.

 The fantastical view as you walk through the front entrance

Not much has changed with these stations, but the kids loved them just the same.

 Such hams

You have to watch where you are going!

This is one of my favorite photos.  Love the angle and the action
 A museum wouldn't be complete without smooshing a penny


spring break

The kiddos were out of school for their spring break, hence the lack of posting on my blog.  We, well ...... the kids and I,  traveled to the great state of Nebraska and visited relatives in my home town of Omaha.  We stayed with the grandparents and decided to go to a couple of the museums while we were hanging out. 

This was St. Patrick's Day spenty at the Durham Museum in downtown Omaha.

Obligatory staged photo in front of the building.  But hey, I can take these now that my kids are old enough to stand still when I tell them to!

These statues are throughout the train station part of the Durham Museum.  They have an electronic eye and the characters start up a conversation when anyone gets near.  Ellie was a little freaked out, so she wouldn't get any closer than this.

Union Pacific Railroad train.  Really cool to see them up close and personal.

This was a minature train display ....... HUGE!

The traveling exhibit was "Are we There Yet?" containing antique pedal cars. This was a depiction of NE's carhenge.

I love that my kids are at an age when they can run ahead and explore and I can hang bag and watch it all happen.

There Ben is.  I was wondering where he hopped off to. 
Oops.  I seem to be missing Ellie.  I'd better not hang back too far.

Phew ...... there is my Ellie Bellie.  Getting a drink.

The kiddos posing in line at the ticket counter.  I wonder who is behind the counter?!?!?!

Oh, the Museum Store is behind the ticket counter.  Now, if we could only find the lower half to the nice ticket cashier.

After the museum, we stopped in at King Kong for a bite of lunch.

I think Ben can take him in the staring contest, don't you? 
The chains crack me up ....... I guess people have tried to free these diamond backs?

Next up; visiting Papa Pizza!



Ah, Spring is near.  Birds are chirping, the air smells crisp with a hint of warm, and the snow is disappearing before our eyes.  

Why, look at this fine snowman built just 8 days ago:

Throw in some warmer temperatures with 4 days of light rain and viola!

 (nothing was moved or rearranged.  Notice the hat all the way to the left on the ground)

Hhhhhhm, kind of reminds me of this:

 (The Scream; Edvard Munch, 1893)

Which is how I look when I see this:

 (Our backyard lake, today)

This might make me happy:

Ahhhhh, my very own lakeside resort.


friendship is ....

Friendship is .......... Having someone who 'gets' you
Last week I sent an email out to a bunch of friends and relatives with a funny attachment and well wishes for the upcoming week.  Just a simple little note to say 'hi' to everyone and hopefully get them to smile at this picture:

Funny, huh?  I thought so.

Fast forward a couple of days and I stop over at one of my friend's house for lunch.  hint: she was one of my peeps I sent the email to.  I go to sit down at her table and I see this looking right at me:

HeHeHaHa.  I'm so lucky to have a friend who plays along!


what ever happened with .....

I thought I would go back through the archives a bit and give an update on things I have tried, things I have said ....... you know, clean it all up a bit.

7/13/09:  saving some dough.   We got around to fixing the second car just in time for the school year to begin.  Unfortunately I did not have the courage to stay a single car family.  Even though we live within a couple of miles of school, I knew not having a vehicle would impede me from volunteering.  In addition, Iowa winters can be harsh (this year, for example) and I wasn't ready to brave the walk in sub-zero wind chills.

We continue to live without the extras on our phone line, but have increased the cell service to include Maddi.  While this increased our monthly budget, Dave's new job pays us $100 towards a cellular plan if he holds his own service.  All in all, we are paying about $15 more a month than this summer.

The next budget buster was our DirecTV service, so canceling the service freed up some money.  I thought this transition would be difficult, however, the kids have not missed a thing and I find we ALL find plenty of other means of entertainment besides sitting in front of the television.

Finally, the money saving change of planting a garden was a success!  In terms of learning a new skill, that it.  I'd say the money invested in building and planting the garden verses the money saved in harvesting fresh vegetables was about equal.  The best part was getting our 'first try' out of the way, knowing the next summer would be easier.

08/03/09:  secrets.  I am thrilled to report everyone is still sleeping in their rightful bed and, barring nightmares and illness, nights have been what they intended for:  rest and rejuvenation.  Ahhhhhhh.

10/03/09:  OAMC.  Once a month cooking was something I have always wanted to try, and I am happy with the attempt made to make it happen.  At first we were all thrilled at the convenience of pulling something out from the freezer and having dinner already prepared.  After awhile, however, the convenience of it wore off when we realized everything started to taste the same.  Actually, the texture of the food was all the same.  Mushy.  Not so bad that we didn't enjoy the meal, but enough that we all decided the effort wasn't worth the return.  

What I DID take away from the experience, however, was the idea of cooking up large (2-4 servings worth) of the meat portion so I could have one portion of the work completed when I set out to make a meal.  For instance, if I am going to brown some beef for tacos, I might as well brown up and season enough beef for several meals worth.  Divide out and freeze the remainders and voila, part of a later meal already done.  This goes the same for chicken.  If I am going to roast one, I might as well roast 3 and have the extra meat for later.

Am I putting all of this into practice?  Heck no.  But I do it when I remember and that's the whole point, tight?

Wow, this post is getting rather long!  I think I will finish part II another time.  Yes, yes ..... that is what I will do.



munchy monday

Today I will complete the Food Rules project; picking and choosing select rules from Michael Pollan's book that specifically 'spoke' to me.  I hope you have enjoyed this review and commentary!

 Part III: How should I eat?

Pay more, eat less.

I have a tendency to do the exact opposite.  I get all giddy when I shop at Aldi because I save lots of money, however, most of the food I purchase there is highly processed and nutrient light.  AND, as a family we seem to consume these cheap foods much faster ......... coincidence?  Me thinks so.

Since I have been spending more on higher quality, less processed, nutrient dense foods, my food budget has increased.  BUT, we are savoring the food because we know it cost more and don't want to just 'gorge' on it.  We are also getting fuller faster with the healthier choices.  

The banquet is in the first bite.

The law of diminishing returns factors in this rule.  That first bite will be the absolute best!  Taker a moment, put the utensils down and appreciate the moment of satisfaction.  If you don't, you will find yourself chasing the sensation by shoveling forkfuls of food into your mouth trying to replicate that first bite.  (not that I would know anything  about that, of course)  

Don't get your food from the same place your car does.

This rule rocks.  Totally makes sense!  Do YOU grab lunch or a snack at the Quicky Mart when you purchase gasoline?  I have a friend (with the initials KM) who should pay close attention to this piece of advice. 

Treat treats as treats.

Hand in the air!  Hand in the air!  putting hand down so I can file this one away.

Finally, rule # 64, Break the rules once in awhile.

Pheeeeewwwwww.  I thought I would never be able to eat McD's french fries again without a MAJOR self-induced guilt trip.  I just need to concentrate on the 'once in awhile' portion of the rule and I will be golden.

Now, let's EAT!!!!!!!!!