Saturday, April 20, 2013
It's been a really weird morning. Activities included pulling a cat out of the woodstove, trying to convince a dog that a backhoe is not a dangerous thing that could charge at any moment, and digesting the fact that it's snowing again.
The cat thing was actually kind of funny. There was a bird caught in the back room wood stove pipe (its an old pot-bellied Franklin which I never use) and I opened the valve in case it was stuck in a crevice. I also opened the front of the stove to see if the bird would fall down. It didn't, but the idiot cat jumped in and had to be extracted manually, because it's not a cat-shaped launch-out place. No more fluttering, so I figured the bird had been freed and gone out the top vent the way it got in.
Not so! Two minutes later - I had *just* sat down with my coffee - there was a huge fluttering and this massive black bird came flapping frantically out of the kitchen into the living room with all four cats in hot pursuit and good old Lucy the dog leaping around yelling "bird in the house!!! bird in the house!!!" in case we all hadn't noticed.
The bird doubled back into the dining room, then did a quick 180 into the living room again. Pocket doors divide the two rooms, so I managed to capture all the cats in one part of the house and only the bird, the upstairs cat, and the dog (still frantically proclaiming the threat level) in the other part.
Shooed the bird into the front hall and hooked the door so the dog was dealt with. Ran upstairs, called KayKay, the upstairs cat (who always answers, bless her), located her and shut the door to that bedroom. All domestic animals now dealt with.
Ran back downstairs, keenly aware of my rapidly cooling coffee. Opened the front door and the screen/storm door. (Please remember that it's extremely windy and my other screen/storm door blew off on just such a day.) The bird responded to the wide open portal and inrushing fresh air by immediately flying upstairs.
The bird flies into a few windows and doors, with me swearing a blue streak and trying to herd it, by waving a coat hanger (totally ineffectual as a bird-herding tool) back downstairs to the open door and dangerously swinging storm door. Finally the bird (by now identified as a starling) flies into the bathroom. Ooookay. Can deal with this. Shove all the stuff out of the way of the door and try to shut the door, figuring I can then open the window and the idiot bird will fly out.
Nope. Bird flies back out into the hallway (still ignoring the wide open door only fifteen feet away and rams into a few more things, but then flies back into the bathroom. Got it! I tear into the bathroom, shut the door behind me and try to gently approach the bird, which is batting frantically at the window.
I go to open the window and, since I'm watching only the bird, step into the litter box. Yes, bare feet - of course. Said a few more things I'm not proud of. Opened the window, threatened the bird verbally, and it actually flew out. Thank you, god of birds.
Freed all the domestic creatures, shut the various portals, and tried to calm the dog, who has changed from barking about the bird to barking about the backhoe that's been parked across the street for two days but apparently hasn't posed a threat until now.
Return to coffee. Oops - wood delivery! Find boots, run outside. Deal with all of that. Come back in. Coffee. Is. Still. Hot.
Moral of the story: if you're ever in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, get one of the Resort Hotel insulated mugs. They are awesome at keeping coffee hot.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
I have a Fit for Life cookbook that I liked - that was pretty much my whole reason for knowing about the Diamonds. They ate the kind of food that I like (pretty basic, and not in down-to-the-gram measured amounts) and, other than breathing techniques, didn't invoke huge amounts of radical exercise.
That being said, my feeling was (and is) that a way of eating can hardly be deemed "best" if humans haven't evolved in a way that takes advantage of that method. Early humans were lucky to have enough to eat at all - at any point on the globe - year round, let alone evolve a digestive system that works optimally when certain food groups are eaten only under certain circumstances. Humans - like all other creatures - ate what and when they could and it seems contradictory to common sense to assert that only some combinations of food are optimal. It's only in the last 40 or 50 years, surrounded by plenty, that we've had the luxury of choosing what and when to eat, and see where that's got us - a US obesity rate of what, 30+%?
If I had to pick a New York Times best selling diet book, it would probably be one based on ancestral eating patterns, on the theory that indigenous peoples evolved an optimal eating and digestive style that reflected their surroundings; e.g., Norwegians would thrive on fish, but people from central Africa probably wouldn't digest it well at all (as the Norwegians wouldn't digest a diet heavy in fruit terribly well.) Still, we move around so much today that "indigenous" barely applies to anyone anymore.
If I look to my own ancestors (who are, as nearly as I can tell, on one side purely Highland Scots and on the other French or German, depending upon who had the Alsace at the time) and see what they were likely to eat, then eat that way, I feel better - and my weight normalizes more readily - then when I eat, say, watermelon or avocados in January.
I dunno, I think we overanalyze these things. I think we all have an innate sense of what is right for us to eat - or do - at a given point in the year, but we let our desires drown that small voice out. My body wants me to eat meat in the autumn and winter, but for years I wouldn't do it - I was a vegetarian, dammit. In early spring, I'd drive home from the grocery snatching handfuls of salad directly from the bag but never put that together with my distinct non-desire for a salad in December.
Our bodies know what we need, and when we need it - all we have to do is be willing to listen and not override with fickle desire. The Siren song of "food" made in laboratories can't possibly be good for us, or it would already exist in nature. (Yes, I know that there are things in nature that are toxic, and you know well enough not to eat them. Stop playing that game.) There are lots of things that might appeal to us, from Velveeta to crack, but if you listen closely, your own body will tell you what to go to and what to avoid (like Velveeta and crack - both are probably to be avoided.) Just because it doesn't kill us, doesn't mean it makes us healthier or stronger - most grown-ups can survive a rattle-snake bite, but they're no stronger for it.
I guess my long-winded point is simply that if a given Diet insists that you can only eat one item from column A with one item from column C at the same time, and column B can only be eaten before 11:00 a.m. EST, then it's probably a construct for commercial reasons rather than health reasons.
I'm just sayin'.
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