My Posse Does it Right

Here are some photos from our “anniversary spectaculare” (the extra ‘e’ there makes it Fronch). We had fun a the sculpture gardens yesterday, as did 500 million other people. We ran into at least three wedding parties, possibly four.

Starving artists’ ode to mini golf:

Mini Golf 052408

Someone else having a much more zen date than us:

The Noble Art of Rock Contemplation

The image used in virtually EVERY Minnesota brochure, The Cherry on the Spoon:

The Cherry 052408

We also went to some more places, which I may or may not post about tomorrow.  It’s Memorial Day, so I should be relaxing and eating picnicky food and waving flags and stuff, right?

Free the hot dogs!

What a fabulous Friday. Aside from the fact that my baby and I are getting over a mild case of the respiratory flu (Lord, can the fussing stop? Her, not me. :)), I have much for which to be thankful.

I have front and back windows open and a cool spring breeze is giving me free (and much better smelling) a/c. As a result, I can hear my neighbor’s wind chime and imagine myself on the dock at a lakeside cottage, waves lapping at the shore.

I just saved $46 at the grocery store in coupons and discounts.

I got me a little sprig of lilac from a park last night. Life is sweet. Except for that crying baby…excuse me…

————

Carrie, who will graduate nursing school this weekend (yay! Pop over and congratulate her!), tagged me for a meme yesterday. So here it is:

The Rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

– I was at home preparing for my wedding. Last-minute things, like printing programs (should that be last-minute? Probably not.), coming up with favors, picking out centerpieces from the huge conglomeration of antiques my grandmother let me borrow…and I was enjoying my last few days with my maiden name. 🙂

What are five things to do on your to do list for the day?

– Get groceries (done)

– Make supper

– Go for a walk with Anja

– Plan locations the hubby and I will visit the rest of this weekend (we’re celebrating our 5th anniversary a week early since we’ll be up north with family next weekend)

– Spend time with God

What are five snacks you enjoy?

– Cookies (duh)

– Chips (I never used to like them until I hit “puberty” at age 21. That’s when I first started getting zits and craving salty things.)

– Ice cream

– In season fruit (right now pineapple is ending its peak and stone fruits are on their way, people!)

– Cereal (especially Quaker Oatmeal Squares)

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

– Stay home with Anja

– Buy a house instead of a townhome (though I really am thankful for our nice home)

– Invest in some charitable gift annuities and live off the interest while helping those ministries out

– Support other ministries in new and astounding ways (currently on support list: Wycliffe, Compassion International and our church/Desiring God)

– I don’t know. Maybe travel?

What are five of your bad habits?

– Biting torn nails when I don’t have a file handy

– Doing one of them right now (Internet)

– Overplanning

– Impulse buying

– Complaining

What are five jobs you have had?

– Maintenance/Landscaping at the D.O.T.

– In-home elderly care

– Camp counselor

– Executive assistant at a private school

– Youth minister

What five people do you want to tag?

– my good friend Jennifer

– my other good friend Jennifer who needs to get a new blog so I can link to her when she does a guest post

– bloggy friend Sharkey

– bloggy friend Jamie at her new home on the net

– bloggy friend mck Mama

At least he doesn’t do armpit tricks…

How many husbands show off for their wives by:

· Stealing a cookbook that their wife was reading and making sound effects like they are ripping it into shreds?

· Doing a floppy-armed Muppet dance?

· Leaving their daughter’s toys in obscure places participating in odd things?

Not many husbands, I would guess.

The Relationship between Nutrition and Disease

Long ago (okay, like 3 ½ years), I knew NOTHING about nutrition. My formula for health went something like this:

Eat 2000 calories + Expend 2000 calories = H.E.A.L.T.H.

Shortly after getting into my home-based business, The Education began. I am SO, SO grateful for what I’ve learned, and as a blessing to you, I’d like to boil it down to one main point.

What you eat affects how you feel.

That’s it! I’m sure a lot of you already know this, but for those who don’t, this one principle can be life-changing. If you eat hamburgers, fries and pop (even diet!), you will feel sluggish and gross. And an hour or two later, you’ll be hungry again. If you eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains you will have more energy and feel satiated. Why? God created fruits, vegetables and grains to fuel our bodies. Man created white bread, deep-fat-fried skinless potatoes and tannin-dyed caffeine with fake sweetener.

A good illustration I once heard referred to a vehicle. Would you fill your gas tank with Jell-o and expect it to run? Probably not! So why do we give our bodies junk for food and expect them to work in an efficient manner? It’s no wonder the statistics for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are going up and up and up every year. Even when so called “health foods” (read: low fat versions of the same horrible, nutrition-less foods) came on the market, did it make us healthier? Nope. More of the aforementioned diseases. So what’s a person to do? It’s so expensive to eat that healthy. Isn’t it? Well, in the adjustments that Husband and I have made over the years, we haven’t found it to be so. When you’re substituting water for soda, it’s cheaper. When you’re eating grains (on average about $1 for a 1-lb. bag that cooks up into many servings) versus meats, it’s cheaper. When you’re purchasing a pound of bananas for snacks instead of a pound of Oreos, it’s cheaper. Granted, a pound of bananas doesn’t have as many servings, but it will fill a little belly for much longer.

An example I have of people not knowing that the two are linked (nutrition and disease) is my sweet little neighbor. She’s in her 80s. One day last summer we arrived home at the same time, and I went out to say hello after we pulled into the garage. “I just got home from the hospital; I was having heart problems,” she said. All I could see was the fast food cup in her hand. “So you went to Culver’s?” I blurted out before my mind could stop my mouth. And she saw no problem with that. My father thought much the same way. He would drink “magic potions” hoping to get rid of his cancer, but when I would beg him to change his diet in an effort to at least improve his quality of life (cancer feeds on sugar), he wasn’t very receptive to the idea. It broke my heart.

So, even though I am far from a perfect eater (hello, cookies? I love you!), I want to encourage everyone I know (including you, bloggy friends) to fuel your body in the way God intended. The occasional treat becomes that much more enjoyable. And you’ll find your body craving salt, sugar and fat much less. And the cancer, heart disease and diabetes? You’re going to have a much better chance of avoiding them or fighting them off if you give your body a fighting chance.

Some great resources for further reading from authors who taught me a thing or seventeen:

http://www.thechinastudy.com/ (amazing book)

http://www.fromheretolongevity.com/ (I’ve heard Dr. Ray speak in person twice, and she’s a fount of information. Oh, and LOOK AT HER. She’s in her 50s. Holy moly.)

http://www.wellnessforum.com/ (I get Dr. Popper’s daily voice messages regarding healthy living. She’s an advocate for health on a personal level and as a political activist.)

http://www.learntoliveit.com/ (I confess that I haven’t read this book, but I know a lot of people who have and attest to its truths.)

http://www.experiencelifemag.com/ (one of the best health magazines I’ve ever received; from the same people who own the gym I attend)

http://www.themeatrix.com/ (will change the way you think about the meats you eat)

Go forth, be empowered, and live healthier lives!

No one told me
It would be so hard
To write daily
Once the sun came out to play

Budding 051408

Spring has finally come to Minnesota. This past week buds turned into droopy, still-getting-their-life new leaves (I love them this way…while they’re tender and have yet to be chewed on or slimed by bugs…they remind me of newborns). Grass went from wintery prickly deadishness to live, vibrant green.

And I am LOVING taking photos. I need to get out and shoot some of the flowering trees before the buds fall off. And I need to steal some lilacs from someone’s yard before they’re finished blooming. I know that’s awful, but they’re my favorite flower, and people can share, right?

So tell me…do your blogs suffer during the summer? My Google Reader’s contents have been fairly sparse as of late, which leads me to believe it is so. And if it is so, does that mean people understand and it’s more acceptable to post less for a season(while not losing all your readership)?

My Brother, the Naive

Not to be confused with knave.

Beck wrote a lovely post about her daughters today that reminded me of some more stories of my manipulative tendencies toward my younger brother.

I really did have the perfect brother for manipulating.  He was tender-hearted, gullible and naive.  He thought I hung the moon until he was about 4.  Then there was me: nerves of steel (or at least gold, in which one can leave a mark with one’s teeth), heart of stone and mind chock full of skepticism.  I needed to take advantage of his innocence like a redneck needs an old dryer in their front yard.

We, like Beck’s children, had a “special tree” in our neighbor’s backyard.  It was a pine, not an old, gnarly, notched deciduous.  Norbert kept the branches trimmed up about 3 feet, but they were so long that they hung down to the ground, creating a tee-pee-like space underneath.  We would play on the soft brown needles underneath.  Our favorite game was “fairies.”  I would tell Brother stories about how the fairies arrived (by rocket, of course) and explain to him why he never saw them (even though he would often claim that he did, the pour soul).

I would run out to the tree, Brother trailing behind but running as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him, and say, “Oh, Brother, you just missed them!  There went their rocket!”  Sweet little boy would look up in the sky, shading his eyes, his lower lip trembling, hoping to catch a glimpse.  But it was hopeless.  Only I ever got to see the fairies.  As he got older and tired of my lies, he would attempt to manipulate me back (that or he was hallucinating).  He would run to the tree and say, “Oh, Heidi, you just missed them.  Too bad.”  And I would say, “Brother, you didn’t really see them.”  “Uh HUH,” he would whine.  “Yes I DID!”  And I would walk off smugly, knowing better, and he would feel ashamed.  I was loving like that.

Story #2

I was not the only one who liked to take advantage of Brother’s gullibility.  When visiting my aunt here in the Twin Cities, it often RAINED PENNIES.  I kid you not.  Miraculously enough, it only did this over her driveway.  It never rained pennies in my hometown.  We (my mom, aunt and myself) would stand in the driveway of her townhome complex and throw pennies in the air.  As they would land, Brother would shriek, “Another one, Mommy!  Look!”  And as he would stoop to pick it up, we would toss another penny some distance away.  As he got older and more suspicious, we would wait until planes were overhead and tell him that the planes were dropping them.  I remember this scheme working until he was probably 6 or 7 years old.  Sorry little chap, wasn’t he?  I only feel slightly better about all my manipulations knowing that my mom and aunt, adults, took their own delight in fooling him.

So there you have it.  More stories of me being a terrible older sister.  Let’s hope, for Anja’s sake, that I have gotten over my need to have fun in such a fashion.  🙂

Come back tomorrow–I may post a photo or two of me and my tow-headed brother.  And tomorrow’s a special day.

Sometimes You Wanna Go…

You, my favorite internet peeps, may have noticed that Bad Poetry Mondays have disappeared.  And FS Fridays.  As much as I loved them, I think I am taking a different direction over the summer.  The excuses reasons?  I work Mondays, we travel a lot on Fridays during the summer, and as the weather has warmed (to an oh so beautiful 55 in Minnesota) I’ve found it harder to post as often as I used to.

In other random news, I was working out a bit later than usual tonight and caught a bit of the putrid filth that is The Bachelor.  I have never watched that show but have seen snippets here or there while at the gym.  Tonight happened to be the finale and the first part I’ve seen of this season.  Does anyone else find it repulsive to see a guy fawn over multiple women (and by fawn over I mean “make out passionately with”) up to the day before declaring his undying love for one of them?  ICK ICK ICK.  At any rate, of the two women I saw tonight, I thought he made the clearly better choice.  For what it’s worth, which is little.

The real point of this post is this.  I never watched the show “Cheers.”  I know some of the people who starred on it–Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, etc.  But I know the chorus of the theme song, and it rings very true in my heart.  “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came.”  That place isn’t a bar for me.  It’s the gym.  And not everyone knows my name, but most of the staff do.  And the other patrons know my face.  You know how when you’ve seen someone’s face a bunch of times, even if you’ve never spoken to each other, you feel like you would help each other out?  Maybe I’m alone in this, but I feel that way.

Happy Mother’s Day!

What I’ve learned about mothering over the past 8 1/2 months makes me SO much more thankful for my own mother and the sacrifices she made, the worrying she went through, and the joys she knew when we succeeded. Thanks, Mom!

A Good Mom

A good mom probably abides by the “rules.” A good mom probably takes the AAP’s advice and doesn’t let her child watch a speck of television until they’re two. Well, up until this point, I’d pretty much kept Anja from watching anything. We would walk into a room at a relative’s house (or when her dad would be playing video games), and she would crane her neck trying to see. I would block it.

Last night, after coming home from running a quick errand, Husband informed me that she’d been crabby since I left. He left to meet with a friend, and she continued right on in her inconsolable crabbiness. Since I am such a GOOD mom, I did what every good mom would do. I searched for “Sesame Street” on YouTube. And we came up with some gems, I tell you. Gems from my childhood. I enjoyed them, but can’t say Anja was very thrilled. Apparently I was more easily amused as a child. Here are a few winners (let me know if you remember them). The last one is my personal favorite (it and its kind).

Blogiversary

Hey guess what?  Yesterday was 6 mos. from my first post.  I’ve been WAY more committed to this than I ever thought I would be.  And I’ve enjoyed it a lot more, too.  The company is outstanding.  I’ve never found a way to read good writers that I’ve enjoyed so regularly.

Thanks for making my day a little brighter, all you bloggy friends!