I have categories on the blog, because I’m like The Pioneer Woman. Some exceptions: I’m a mediocre cook, I don’t home school, I don’t live on a ranch, my photography is so-so at best. Oh, and I don’t have a TV show (why not, I wonder?). Otherwise, we’re twinsies, Ree and I, so I have categories. The real thinking behind these categories is here, if you’re curious.
I realize that it’s been a long time since I posted anything in the Food or Fitness categories. And truthfully, I’m kind of busy looking for new sandals on Endless today, so I almost kept up the no-posting streak. But then I thought, maybe just a quick update.
This? Is not me. Cool picture, though, right?*
I’m sure you all remember – because the goings-on of my life are exactly what you retain in your long-term memory – that I completed my first triathlon in 2011. I intended to do that same race again this year, but life got in the way. I didn’t get to train as much as I wanted, or needed, to. Instead, I picked another race that gave me a little more time, and that race happens to be on Sunday. If you don’t hear from me next week, it’s possible I’m in traction.
You also may remember that I have issues with my feet and calves. Undiagnosed-maybe-plantar-faciitis-maybe-just-defective issues. After years of doctors and various therapies, my vote is for plain, old defectiveness. Throw some old age on top of the plain old and it’s a full time party around here. In 2001 I gave up on running, but in my heart I wasn’t done. Last year I walked the run portion of the tri and that was, how do I put this? Boring. And long. And I did not like it at all.
Thanks to my new best friend(s), I will run the race on Sunday. I won’t be fast or anything, but I’m going to run. How? It’s all thanks to a good doctor and these magic tools from Trigger Point Performance Therapy. No, this isn’t a sponsored post (but I do need a Grid roller, Trigger Point, so if you want to sponsor me via throwing one of those my way, that would be just fine with me).
I decided to tell you about Trigger Point not because I’m being paid to, but in case you, too, have suffered from mystery pain. Or even if you have pain with a name. Learning to use the tools provided me with relief I’ve been hunting for since 2001. Granted, I still have some pain in my heel. It’s manageable, though, and if I stay on top of rolling, stretching, and hydration (okay, so it is a bit of work to keep up with all of this), I’m able to run.
We’re all very excited about this, yes?
And that, friends, is my fitness update. Still no food update, except to tell you that I have eaten some today and will likely eat more in the near future.
I’m toying with a different kind of post for next week – something a little more feeling-y than I have posted here lately. If feelings aren’t your thing, don’t come around on Tuesday. If you want to see if I use bad words (yep) and tell a not so pretty truth (yep again), then I’ll see you Tuesday. Until then,
:: Have you ever had a mystery pain? What did you do about it?
:: Does anyone have a favorite tip for for staying motivated during long runs? (Not that I’m doing any long runs yet, but I would like to.)
*Photo credit: jolisoleil on Flikr read more
Kids and phones... deadly combo? (Photo credit: soopahgrover on Flickr)
Yesterday Healthy Child, Healthy World posted an article* about the dangers of cell phone use and radiation. I recommend you read it, but to save you time right now, here are a few of the key points:
- The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more.
- Every major well-designed study ever conducted has found that those who use cell phones regularly for half an hour a day or more for a decade have a doubled risk of brain cancer, and those who began using cell phones as teenagers have four to five times more disease, in less than 10 years.
- Most disconcerting are findings from the highly respected Prof. Nesrin Seyhan, the NATO-supported founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, whose studies repeatedly show that prenatally exposed rats and rabbits have fewer brain cells.
I read this information with a pit in my stomach. Not because I let my children play with my phone (I do, of course), and not because I use my cell phone more than 30 minutes a day (I don’t hold it next to my head that long, but I use it, and often).
The pit was because I don’t know when to panic anymore. Everything is dangerous. Whatever you are eating/wearing/breathing/using to read this post is going to kill you. Have a nice day!
I could go with a “don’t worry, be happy” approach to health warnings. In some ways I do; in some ways, I just try to have a little faith.
Faith – in whatever it is you put your faith – does not translate to please sit on your rump, shoot radiation into your brain, eat trans-fats, guzzle a hormone-laced latte, and watch Jersey Shore, and do not worry, it will all be okay. Because you? You have faith!
Whatever you believe, I still think we have to do our part. We have to be responsible, active participants in our lives. So tell me, when do I panic about all the things I’m doing to harm my children? Is it now? I’m starting to think it’s now.
Our entire world is wireless, internet enabled, and radiating rays of one kind or another. Food is fake, chemically altered, genetically modified. The sun, it’s so bright, that I gotta wear shades, SPF 4 bazillion, and long sleeved shirts.
Things look kind of like this at our house:
- We don’t let the kids chew on our phones or even play with them that often. But occasionally, yes. They use the computer now and then. Not every day, but a lot of days. And they watch TV. Every day. The Cell-Computer-TV Trifecta: part radiation, part brain-rotting entertainment.
- We’re careful about food at our house. Not iron-fisted, but careful. We buy organic, and shop locally when we can. We cook. We also eat out sometimes, and accept times when we have little control, like at birthday parties or on Christmas when none of it counts (right?). Sometimes – brace yourselves – we order pizza or Chinese food. Yep.
- Mark and I make efforts to apply SPF to all four of us every day, and always for prolonged outside time. But I do let the kids go outside without sunscreen now and then. They wear hats, and sometimes even agree to sunglasses. But there are times when the hats get tossed aside.
Should I do more, and if so, how much more?
There’s this voice I hear when I’m trying to excuse potentially dangerous decisions. The voice sounds kind of lazy, kind of cranky, and says, We’re all dying of something some time, so just roll with it. Have a cheetoh! That lab rat only died because they fed it exclusively cheetohs. You? You also drink coffee and eat hamburgers, so you’re good.
And this much is true: I have no desire to live to a ripe old age, requiring my kids to agonize over my long-term care, or heaven forbid, change my diapers. No way. I mean, as long as I have my mental faculties and can get around, then fine. But the minute I break a hip or start to think I’m Rue McClanahan, I’d like for someone to “accidentally” “trip” me and send me tush over teakettle down the stairs.
We are all dying, and there’s something to be said for punching the clock before you become infirm. I have no designs on cheating death. Immortality is uninteresting. Immortality sounds exhausting.
But I absolutely don’t want my loved ones – my babies – to die a painful, cancer-ridden death because I let them play Peekaboo Barn. So tell me, how will I ever know if I’m doing enough?
When – tell me, please – when do I panic?
*Even though this article inspired some serious concern, I still got a kick out of the title: Cell Phones, Radiation & Your Child’s Health (Giveaway!). At a cursory glance, it screams, Radiation is fun! So Fun That We’re Giving It Away!
Thanks for a giggle, even if I never laugh again because I’m so worried about fried brains.
:: How do you process the never-ending barrage of new reports screaming, The Latest Everyday Object/Food/Activity That Will Put You In The Grave!! Tonight at 5, 6, and 10! read more
Another Halloween in the books.
The Dino Wrangler.
The Candy Doctor.
The dinosaur really wanted the doctor’s stethoscope, resulting in many minutes of tears. Then the doctor lost his scrub cap and was deeply disturbed. (Perhaps he will not be allowed to scrub in on today’s cool surgery because he can’t keep up with his personal belongings?) Then we waved a Reese’s pumpkin in front of him and the memory of his scrub cap was permanently erased.
Crises mitigated, and we can call Halloween 2011 a reasonably successful venture. Now we face the aftermath: the candy. It’s hard to resist all that high fructose corn syrupy deliciousness, so here are a few thoughts on candy consumption management.
In An Ideal World
My favorite Skinnygirl recommends keeping a few pieces of your favorites in the freezer. They take longer to eat, so you enjoy each piece more and eat less.
In My World
Favorite candy is nestled in the freezer, resting ironically on bags of organic vegetables. Twelve hours later, a dentist is necessary after breaking a tooth on frozen candy. Frozen candy is hard; thawing is tedious. Note to self: this is not a reasonable option for simpletons who need instant gratification.
Caution: Thaw Before Eating.
Take all the leftover candy, put it in a Target bag and tie it shut. Put the bag in the garage with a note on it, asking your husband to take it to the office. (What the hell, neighborhood kids? Did the school night throw you off your game? Even with those three boys who charged the door, pushed me backward, and lurched at the candy like wee crack heads looking at a bowl full of free pipes, we had a lot of leftover candy.)
Husband forgets to take the candy with him, citing important meetings and a lot of work-related stuff on his mind. Whatever. Spend the rest of the day making up reasons to go to the garage. Discover that the Target bag is “defective” and has “hole” in it. Look at that, a fun-sized Snickers bar just “fell” out of the bag. Weird.
The Mysterious Case of the Hole in the Bag. A Scooby-Doo episode in the making.
Realize that you are a grown ass woman, in charge of your decisions and in complete control of your cravings.
Sure, that’ll happen.
:: If you have control over the candy, rather than vice versa, I don’t want to hear about it. You are freakishly strong and mature. Move along. (Nope, not a question. I’m aware.)
:: What do you do with all the candy? We let the kids have a piece or two a day for a couple days, and then they begin to forget all about it. Eventually I throw it all out. It helps that I managed to convince H that candy goes bad after a few days. Just wait until he finds out the stuff is packed with preservatives and contains not one bit of actual food, allowing it to last through the apocalypse. Boy am I going to be in trouble. read more
Ooooo. Sub-heads. Yep, it’s a sub-heading kind of day, which just means that this post is a hodge-podge. Enjoy.
I almost missed #iPPP this week, because I thought today was Tuesday. Anyone else confused about what day it is? I’d love to blame it on the Labor Day holiday, but I lose track of the days on normal weeks. Addled, I tell you.
So. #iPPP. You know how I said most of my pictures are of food? I was not exaggerating. Here is today’s lunch, a complete splurge (as in, calorie splurge). It was worth every nasty, toxic, non-nutritional calorie. I’ll worry about the ramifications later. Or not.
I give you the Texadelphia Chicken Cheesesteak, with mustard blend sauce and jalapenos. That mustard blend sauce is rub-it-in-your-hair good. What, you don’t say that? What about slap-your-mama-good? No?
Bloggers Without Borders
From there, we move to something much better for us: Bloggers Without Borders. Have you seen this site? I’m in love. When personal tragedy hit, Erika and Maggy, two blogging buddies turned real life friends, turned their experience into Bloggers Without Borders. According to the website, their goals are:
- To create a platform (through our website, blog and social media platforms) which allows bloggers to promote charitable events and projects and connect them with bloggers who want to get involved.
- To offer advice and support to bloggers want to start projects.
- To respond to the need in our own community (and beyond) by fundraising for specific causes as and when the need arises.
- To use our platforms to raise awareness about chosen social issues through targeted campaigns.
Erika contacted me yesterday in response to the #TXBlogFireRelief campaign that Austin-area bloggers have launched. In chatting with her, I found out that Erika’s home burned to the ground last year, and I was so moved that she wanted to reach out to fire victims here.
Bloggers Without Borders offered to help #TXBlogFireRelief spread the word about the wildfire relief efforts. To that end, they are running a post today, and they are also helping out by tweeting and posting on Facebook.
I just cannot thank them enough, and I beg you to go give them your unwavering support forever. Is that too much to ask? I didn’t think so. Go check out Bloggers Without Borders, follow them, support them, love them. The end. (And thank you, too.)
I wanted to say thanks to all of you who are posting, tweeting, Facebook-ing about the #TXBlogFireRelief effort.
I can’t stress enough how long this rebuilding and recovery process is going to take. The Texas “fire season” always starts around now, but this year is fire season times a gazillion. (No, not a scientific quantification there.) We definitely haven’t seen the end of this.
I’m not completely sure how I’m going about it yet, but in some shape, form or fashion, I will post regular updates on relief needs. Even if you’re not in town, you can still help by sending cash donations to organizations or mailing donated items (you can mail directly to organizations or to me, just contact me if you want to do that). Please follow the hash tag, #TXBlogFireRelief on Twitter for updates, as well.
That brings me to today’s updates. There are a couple Facebook pages doing a great job of keeping running lists of relief efforts and needs. Please take a look at:
Central Texas Wildfire Recovery
Steiner Ranch Social Committee
And here’s a story from WeAreAustin.com (KEYE, the CBS affiliate), that is regularly updated. They have a good list of ways to donate online.
Don’t forget to link up your own post about the fires here. If you’re looking for more suggestions on ways to help, the posts in this linky are the place to go.
As always, thank you. I will never stop saying it, because it can’t be said enough.
Since I haven’t been a frequent flier here lately, I’ve forgotten to tell you some things.
One day perhaps I’ll return to posts with a point, but today’s not the day. Depending on how you view the world, I have either a lot of little points today, or no point at all. You’re entitled to see it however you wish.
Thing #1: Texas Beef Council
I’m remiss, more than a little, in telling you about a great day I spent with the Texas Beef Council, Nolan Ryan’s Beef and Chef Richard Chamberlain. Thanks to my friend, Gigi, our co-host for the day, Austin bloggers were invited to a cooking class and demonstration.
I knew it was going to be a good day, but I have to say I was surprised by how much fun I had. Our hosts were all lovely people and I learned things. Can’t go wrong with that.
A) I was not much of a meat-cooker. I eat meat, but I didn’t like to deal with it prior to shoveling it in. I still don’t really like knowing what part of the animal the meat comes from or what it looked like in between grazing and ending up on my plate.
A1) I can cook meat now. Tenderloin steaks: run and hide, suckers, because I can make people weep with joy after I cook you.
B) I met some amazing Austin bloggers, and got to hang out with a few I was already happy to call friends.
B1) Gigi’s recap is great, including a picture of me appearing to threaten Blythe with a pair of tongs. See? Fun!
C) I ate the equivalent of about five lunches, all of which included beef and none of which included my children complaining about the meal.
C1) Need I say more?
Thing #2: The Passing of Time
I now have a kindergartener (just ask him, he’ll let you know he’s not a preschooler any longer). Graduation was last week, complete with an introduction to each matriculating child and announcements of what the children want to be when they grow up.
H wants to be a police offer, and his friend who lives across the street wants to be a fire fighter. We just need an EMT and the adults on this street will be well taken care of in our old age.
I didn’t boo-hoo like I expected to, but I did feel a tightness in my chest (this is where our resident emergency response team is going to come in real handy), and a pit in my stomach. Mostly, however, I felt proud of my big guy. My funny, sweet, law-enforcing guy.
In addition to my preschool grad, I also now have a two-year-old. H looked at me the other day and said, “Mom, you do know P is not a baby anymore, don’t you?”
Salt. Wound. Thanks, kid.
Yes, I know he’s not a baby anymore. I know he is, in fact, a tiny John Belushi/John Blutarsky. The kid finds bodily functions beyond hilarious and regularly throws his food. He’s into shirtless air guitar and removing his pants in public.
He’s so cute we could eat him. And don’t tell H, but sometimes I am a little stunned that P is not a baby anymore.
Thing #3: More staples. Different Head.
The truth is I didn’t forget to tell you this, because it just happened. Apparently it’s not a holiday around here without a trip to the ER. This time it was Mark, though, and he topped P by one staple.
Open cabinet door met head, there was blood, there was nausea (mine), and finally, three staples. I let him milk it for exactly six hours, and I hope he enjoyed that six-hour recuperation time, because come Monday morning there were pool parties to attend and garages to reorganize. It’s his own fault, really, because he insists he feels fine. I could teach the man a lot about eliciting sympathy.
Thing #4: Triathlon Update
More of an update, less of a thing I forgot to tell you. I haven’t mentioned it in a while, maybe because it’s hard to fit in everything when you only blog once a week, but I am still training for the Danskin Triathlon. It wasn’t quite the training season I hoped for, but I’m going to finish the race. So that’s something.
I feel like my fitness level is improving, maybe not at the rate I had in mind pre-physical-therapy-athon, but it’s improving. So that, too, is something. I still can’t look at a picture of myself without wanting to smash all cameras and mirrors. I have to wonder, though, when – if ever – that won’t be the case?
Except I’m sure I forgot some stuff, so don’t be surprised if another update post appears soon. read more
I recently had an unsettling day. No, it was a spectacularly disappointing and embarrassing day.
This day came on top of days and days of bad news about Japan. Heartbreaking news. Unfathomable destruction.
This day came on top of sad news from a friend.
This day. It was the cherry on my shitty, low-fat, froyo sundae.
You’ve had days like these. Do not – I repeat, Do Not - tell me if you haven’t. We won’t be able to be friends anymore and that would lead to another ugly, downward spiral for me. To protect my sanity, please play along. Tell me you understand what it’s like to be up to your eyeballs in disappointing, upsetting, unsettling news.
But life goes on, and so do we. Just how we do it is a mystery.
Oh, wait. I was so impressed with my poetry until I remembered that those are the lyrics to the Empty Nest
Apropos words, though, yes?
Life does go on, so we have to figure out how to get back on the train without wanting to throw ourselves from it.
My gifts to you, friends, are some proven strategies for what I like to call the Wallow, Rinse, Repeat, But Don’t Repeat Again Because Your Hair is Not That Dirty and Your Life Is Not That Bad, So Now It’s Time to Get Up and Move On process.
You can employ these individually if you wish, or in any combination and order. I mean, for crying out loud, the last thing you need is one more person telling you that your way is not quite good enough. Am I right? So there are no rules here; merely suggestions.
Bad Day Pants
- Make your loved ones tolerate the Bad Day Pants. Do not apologize for pairing your pants with a shapeless, over-sized Turkey Trot tee shirt. Or for the way the horizontal stripes make your ass look three times its normal size.
- Create a list of unreasonable demands and watch your husband scurry to meet your requests. Husbands will do anything to make the tears stop. Here are some suggested demands:
- A McD’s shamrock shake for dinner, but not from the McD’s close to your house. You just know the manager there is not properly overseeing shake production. Your shamrock shake must come from the less convenient McD’s a few miles down the road.
- Ask him to watch a Nanny marathon with you. Not just sit there while you watch, but really pay attention. Explain that you need someone with whom to discuss the nuances of the show. That Niles the butler, he is a stitch, isn’t he?
- Open his search engine to a reflexology tutorial. Put your feet in his lap. Wiggle your toes and sigh heavily until he figures out the amazing mind-body connection located in our feet.
- (This is also a great time to get him to agree to kitchen and bath remodels. Anything to make the tears stop, remember?)
- This may seem like a duh, but I can’t highly enough recommend infomercial shopping. A lighted craft paper slicer, complete with 85 different blades, is enough to turn around any bad day.
- I forgot – you need something to wash down your milkshake. And, uh, the fries. What? You know how milkshakes kind of coat your mouth with sugar? The best remedy is alcohol (another duh, but here comes the advice, stick with me, people). Nobody in your state needs to have delicate stemware in her hand, so drink straight from the vessel. Through a bendy straw.
- Move from the infomercials to catalogs. You know all those catalogs that show up at your home unbidden, because seven years ago you ordered something from the parent company’s now defunct linen outlet? Those catalogs are chock full of amazing things that you need. I just love the reusable coffee cups that look exactly like disposable, paper coffee cups. Oh, those are so clever.
Finally, when you’ve maxed out the credit card and drained your box of wine, you’ll be ready. Ready to cry on the shoulder (or inbox or phone line) of someone who loves you even when, after six straight hours of crying jags, you resemble Mickey Rourke.
Sob, whine and moan, why, why, why?
Then allow your loved one to build you back up a bit. Wipe the tears. Pull yourself together, and for heaven’s sake take off those pants.
Move on, because you owe it those you love.
You owe it to yourself.
:: What’s your bad day strategy?
*Yet another TV theme song cluttering my brain.