Friday, June 27, 2008

Life is a Garden

There are days, weeks, even months that seem to revolve around a common theme. Is it intentional? The thoughtful person will wonder, is this a natural occurring or outside of self theme or is this an issue that needs to be addressed within. In the end the journey is what we perceive, therefore, it may just matter that the issue is addressed.

Contemplation in a busy world is something to be designed and obtained as often as possible. Contemplation provides the time to see the forest for the trees. If it is only the blossom that is focused upon, much of life will pass by without the notice, care and nurturing it requires. Without nurturing the whole, the blossom will whither on the vine and the beauty that could comfort and uplift will be lost for future generations. In time, the old ones will say, there was a blossom, it looked like this… and the children having never seen a blossom won’t believe them.

In the Great United States of America of the past, opportunity was available for people who worked hard. Quality work was rewarded. People were fed, clothed. The economy of the Great United States was built in the shape of a diamond, with the greatest number of honest, hard working Americans the following life style:

A typical American family had one parent working and the other parent at home to care for the family (which really is a full time job).

The family had a home, 2 cars, cupboards full, clothes for everyone, shoes that fit, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, investment, savings, 2 weeks + vacation paid, 40 hour work week, time for recreation, money to pay for services such as: gardening, pool service, plumbers, contractors for additions, handymen for maintenance. The kids enjoyed extra classes, music lessons and more.

In our upside down world today, most families are in varying stages of stress, and financial ruin. Two parents working three jobs, and a myriad of tasks left undone because there is little time and less money.

Basic essentials are disregarded because the hard working American has to choose between bad situation or bad situation.

For one family the choice was between health insurance for the family and tires, an essential part of a car, the car that carries the family from place to place.

The mom was saying how she couldn’t imagine life without health insurance and therefore the dad had taken a job for less money that offered health insurance to the family. In the meantime, someone noticed that the tires on this family’s the car were bald. They couldn’t afford new tires or even used tires.

Guess they’ll be covered for injuries when the tire blows out on the highway.

They could make other choices, what would you choose:

Should they not put gas in the car?

Should they not buy groceries?

Should they not pay their utility bills?

Should they not pay the house payment?

There is no other money. They squeeze out what they can with coupons, buying on sale. They kids wear cast-offs, they shop at resale stores. They are average Americans.

Why are these the choices for most American in the 21st Century? Choices of what would have been considered substandard in the 1950s. Is there no one of influence who knows America’s great history? Is there no one of influence who understands how an economy works?

If the average citizen doesn’t have enough for a decent standard of living, you’ll find banks going under, businesses closing, sales down, health care crisis, homelessness, hunger, substandard work to match substandard wages, filth in the street, foreclosure of homes, stock-market losses, surge in prison population, alcoholism, drug addiction, bridges and streets in disrepair, freedom lost for security measures… oh… we’re already there. Isn’t it time for someone of influence to speak the truth and make the change?

When the Owner looks out from his place, he scans the views of his garden to see what his wealth, knowledge and work has created. The owner hired a Master Gardener, who hires Gardeners, who train apprentices. The lowly apprentice works hard to learn from the Gardeners, they are paid as they train with the promise of better work and living wages.

The Gardener works hard to train the apprentice who eases the laborious tasks. The gardener is responsible to the Master and responsible for the apprentice. There are many levels of gardeners who specialize in particular plants. Then there is the Master Gardener who being in the honor place of providing for the owner the garden of their desire and the responsibility of all the gardeners and apprentice. Each individual being fairly compensated for their efforts by working hard, working well and produces a quality product with little or no waste. They recognize their responsibility at home with their family and at work. The economy of the world is the economy of the garden. All work together for harmony. The harmony produces the bounty. The owner reaps the benefits of the garden but also has the greatest responsibility to see that all have good work, good food and a good life.

The greatest lessons can be learned in the garden. If you wish it to grow, you will nurture it. If not you’ll end up with weeds, rocks and sand.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Name: Kate
Birthdate: December 30
Birthplace: Michigan
Current Location: Arkansas
Eye Color: brown
Hair Color: Greying
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 123
Piercings: three in ears
Tatoos: no
Overused Phraze: Ya know whad I mean?
Food: chocolate
Candy: chocolate
Number: 13
Color: green
Animal: wolf
Drink: water
Alcohol Drink: no thanks
Bagel: onion
Letter: Z
Body Part on Opposite sex: Big Arms
This or That
Pepsi or Coke: Coke on crushed ice
McDonalds or BurgerKing: neither
Strawberry or Watermelon: strawberry
Hot tea or Ice tea: hot
Chocolate or Vanilla: chocolate
Hot Chocolate or Coffee: hot chocolate
Kiss or Hug: hugs
Dog or Cat: dogs
Rap or Punk: punk
Summer or Winter: summer
Scary Movies or Funny Movies: funny
Love or Money: Love
Bedtime: earlier all the time
Most Missed Memory: my dad & my son
Best physical feature: ?
First Thought Waking Up: here again...
Goal for this year: pay the bills
Best Friends: Hubby
Weakness: honest
Fears: this quiz
Heritage: human
Favorite Eye Color: green
Favorite Hair Color: brown
Short or Long: long
Height: 6'
Style: real
Looks or Personality: personality
Hot or Cute: Hot
Drugs and Alcohol: no
Muscular or Really Skinny: muscular
Number of Regrets in the Past: nada
What country do you want to Visit: Greece
How do you want to Die: out like a candle
Been to the Mall Lately: no
Do you like Thunderstorms: yes
Get along with your Parents: I am the parent
Health Freak: yes
Do you think you're attractive: no
Believe in Yourself: yes
Want to go to College: graduated
Do you Smoke: no
Do you Drink: water, soda, juice, tea
Shower Daily: yes
Been in Love: yes
Do you Sing: in the shower and in the car
Want to get Married: Done it
Do you want Children: Done it
Have your future kids names planned out: Grandkid names even :)
Hate anyone: Takes too much energy....

Friday, June 20, 2008

About the Author

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What two things do you always have with you? cell phone & business cards
4. What is your favourite TV show? I don’t watch TV
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Oatmeal
6. What is your favorite book? There are so many… Tao of Pooh
7. What is your middle name? Noneya
8. What food do you dislike? meat
9. What is your favourite CD? Korn
10. What type of car do you drive? My car is a Truck
11. Favorite sandwich? Grilled Cheese & Tomato
12. What characteristic do you despise? No honor
13. Favorite item of clothing? Cozy sweaters
14. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Any Warm Peaceful Tropical Island, I’m not picky.
15. What color is your bathroom? Green
17. Where would you retire? By choice, that warm tropical island
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? 45… who knew I’d live this long??
19. Furthest place you are sending this? WWW
20. Who do you least expect to send this back? Don’t know
21. Person you expect to send it back first? Should be interesting…
22. Favorite saying? Can I say that here??
23. When is your birthday? December
24. Are you a morning person or a night person? Neither, I prefer afternoons
25. What is your shoe size? 8
26. Pets? 2 dogs
27. What did you want to be when you were little? A Good Mother
28. How are you today? Besides the pain/agony…stressed & bummed…it’s a vicious cycle
29. What is your favorite candybar? Dark Chocolate Godiva. although lately, I've enjoyed Milky Way Dark
30. What is your favorite flower? Whatever is blooming. Right now, Yarrow, Chamomile, Rose
31. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Tomorrow, it’s Summer!
32 What is the last thing you ate? Peanut Butter & Crackers
33. What are you listening to right now? Lawn Mower/Blower
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Black
35. How is the weather right now? Humid
36. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Client
37. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes! :-)
38. Favorite soft drink? Coke on Crushed Ice in the Summer, Dr Pepper in general
39. Favorite restaurant? Roasted Garlic, just outside Atlanta, Georgia
40. Hair color? Grey
41. Sibling(s)? You could say that…
42. Favorite day of the year? Today
43. What was your favorite toy as a child? Stuffed dog
44. Summer or winter? Summer!
45. Hugs or kisses? Hugs from Friends & Family, Kisses from My Man
46. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate straight up, Vanilla shakes
47. Do you want your friends to email you back? Sure
48. When was the last time you cried? Today, during physical therapy
49. What is under your bed? The floor
50. Who is the friend you have had the longest? My Man
51. Favorite smell? Trees & Flowers after the rain
52. What are you afraid of? Been there, done that…
53. Plain, butter or salted popcorn? Butter, real butter not the fake stuff
54. How many keys on your key ring? Ha! Which key ring?
55. How many years at your current job? Ha! Which job?
56. Favorite day of the week? Today
57. How many towns have you lived in? Too many to towns to count…7 states
58. Do you make friends easily? Depends on the friends
59. How many people will you be sending this to? Blog Readers Only

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hip To Be Square

I met a wonderful couple from El Paso Texas the other day. As we chatted about this and that, I found myself revealing that I’ve become rather boring, or as we used to say in the “good old days” a square. But the really amazing part is how I’m so okay with it.

I must admit, I’ve taken Square to a new height but with the same process that squareness began. The method of applying reason or logic to every subject and situation makes the decision process of what to keep and what to eliminate from life simple, not necessarily easy. The poignant questions become: Does “this thing we are evaluating” have value? What does it add to life?

The process of eliminating the TV was something like this:

The cable bill expounds on the value of paying for 150 channels. The remote control programs 7 channels. Flipping through the channels becomes the primary activity because there is nothing worth watching. Pay for this, why?

Let’s try a while without TV…

Six years later…

Next on the list is the newspaper, if they don’t start including some news I may be able to do without it too…

Having a full life with no time to be dramatic, it truly is hip to be square. Huey Lewis and I have much in common.

“Hip to be Square”

“I used to be a renegade, I used to fool around
But I couldn’t take the punishment, and had to settle down
Now I’m playing it real straight, and yes I cut my hair
You might think I’m crazy, but I don’t even care
Because I can tell what’s going on
It’s hip to be square

I like my bands in business suits, I watch them on TV
I’m working out most everyday and watching what I eat
They tell me that it’s good for me, but I don’t even care
I know that it’s crazy
I know that it’s nowhere
But there is no denying that
It’s hip to be square

It’s not too hard to figure out, you see it everyday
And those that were the farthest out have gone the other way
You see them on the freeway, it don’t look like a lot of fun
But don’t you try to fight it; an idea who’s time has come.

Don’t tell me that I’m crazy
Don’t tell me I’m nowhere
Take it from me
It’s hip to be square”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ice Cream is Good for You!

Ice Cream is not only good, it’s good for you too! But don’t overdo!

Ice Cream in the Food Pyramid

Dietary guidelines from the Food Pyramid tell us to include 2-3 portions of milk, yogurt or cheese in our diet everyday. USDA says okay to Ice Cream.

Fat in Ice Cream

Recently, food scientists have discovered there is good fat and bad fat. Everyone needs some good fat in their diet. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, because it helps our bodies and brains stay healthy.

Fat is used by the brain and the nervous system. Toddlers and young children need a good amount of fat because their brains are developing so quickly. Kids from 6-8 years old should eat 50-60 grams daily. Kids from 9-12 years old should have 60-75 grams in their diet each day. If you have a balanced diet, about 30% of calories should come from fat.

Food labels list the fat content per serving size, so it isn’t too hard to figure out if you are getting enough fat in your diet.

For example:
On average, Peanut Butter contains 16 grams of fat in a 2 Tablespoon serving. Compare that with Ice Cream that contains 14 grams of fat in one serving.

Good Facts About Fat

Fat helps fuel the body. Energy comes from burning fat. Fat helps vitamins travel in the body to where they are used to build healthy cells. Fats are necessary to make hormones. And it takes fat to create tissue for the nervous system. Without fat we wouldn’t think clearly or move as quickly.

What is Ice Cream?

According to Canada’s Food and Drug Act Ice Cream is mostly air. In fact, only 36% of Ice Cream is solid, that leaves 64% puffed air. Out of the 36% solid, only 8% of Ice Cream is milk/fat, 2% is flavor, syrup, fruit or nuts.

What’s your favorite Ice Cream?

A survey by the International Dairy Foods Association reported Vanilla as the most popular Ice Cream flavor. Here’s the breakdown:

1. 29% Vanilla
2. 12% Chocolate
3. 11% Nuts
4. 8% Neapolitan
5. 7% Cookies/Baked Flavors
6. 5% Fruit
7. 4% Candy Flavor
8. 3% Strawberry
9. 3% Chocolate Chip
10. 3% Mint Chocolate Chip
11. 2% Coffee
12. 2% Fudge/Marble
13. 11% Miscellaneous /Everything else

Vanilla sells the most because it’s the main ingredient in milk shakes, Ice Cream cakes, banana splits and it’s great on Apple Pie!

The Right Amount

Wise people tell us that Moderation is the Key to Good Health Habits. What that means is too much is not a good thing but too little probably isn’t very good either. There is a balance that is correct. So when it comes to Ice Cream how do you know what’s right? Simply, you don’t want to eat lots of it in one sitting , and you don’t want to eat it every day.

Keep Ice Cream special and you won’t eat too much. Eat Ice Cream on special occasions or just once in a while. Ice Cream was designed as a dessert treat for Kings. It adds sweet fun after a meal. It adds delicious delight to Birthday Celebrations.

Remember, a portion of Ice Cream is just one scoop.

Follow the guidelines and you won’t overdo. You can Eat Ice Cream and Enjoy it too!