In Need of Juice

It seems like my life is tied to chargers, not the football kind, but the electrical ones.  I know that I am not alone in my dependency on things with batteries that require constant boosts of electricity.  My phones, computer, Ipad, fitbit are just the things sitting by me at this moment that are in daily need of charging.  There are also those left often used items like cameras, camera flashes, label makers, flash lights and so on that need to be charged and never seem to be when I need them.

 

It seems I never have the charging cord when I am in the most vital need for a juice up.  The worst is to be away from home as you see the battery bars on your most vital device dwindling down.

 

I know that juice bars are a big thing these days, but they are selling the wrong kind of juice.  I would like an electricity bar that has a room full of charging cords for every possible device hanging from the ceiling.  Really the juice you drink bar could install the juice you power up with connection center and do double duty.  Call it “All Juiced Up.”

 

Even better would be the invention of cordless electricity.  We have blue tooth through the air, isn’t it time to have power through the air?  Electricity has existed in the air in the form of lightening bolts as long as the earth has been around so why can’t someone figure out a way to harness it and send it to all our devices on a constant and steady stream?

 

The idea that a lamp has to be plugged into a wall with a cord seems incredibly antiquated.  Cords running hither and yon across a floor are a hazard.  I am surprised that insurance companies have not pushed for this idea long ago.

 

Of course energy producing companies probably don’t want electricity to be free in the air so the first invention needs to be the “through the air electricity meter”.  Once that exists then they might be interested in working to create cordless power.  I guess the electrical wire lobby has been behind the killing of this “no cord needed” idea, but really I think we can take them if we all band together.

 

So start pestering all the brilliant electrical engineers you know.  Actually, just whisper this idea into the ear of a few brilliant children.  I know we can get this sooner rather than later.  I need it now because my computer battery is about to die and I don’t want to get off the treadmill desk to go get the charging cord until I have my 10,000 steps.  The only problem is my fitbit that is counting my steps is running low on juice too.  Hurry, someone invent cordless electricity now!


Don’t Give Your Money to The Government

 

 

Today is one of my favorite days when Russ and I talk about our charitable giving for the year-end.  This year Carter got in on the conversation too.  She said she thought it would be cool to be like Bill Gates and get to spend our time making big difference with big time giving.  I told her that it’s not just big givers who make a difference, but if lots of people just gave a little it really star add up.

 

Everyone who knows me knows that the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC is the cause I am most passionate about.  The Food Bank is one of those charities that gets the majority of its gifts from people making small contributions.  I am always touched when I am manning a collection point for a food and funds drive by the people who come up and press a twenty dollar bill in my hand and say, “I wish it could be more, but I am very thankful for the help I got from the Food Bank myself.”

For that person for whom $20 is a lot of money giving it back to the Food Bank as thanks really chokes me up.

 

As it is for most Charities December is the most important month in our year.  We depend on the year-end donations to make up a huge percentage of our budget.  We have a Charity Navigator Four star rating because we are very efficient with the money we are given because we always try and keep those small donors who dig so deep to support us at the forefront of our minds.  The problem is that even though we have grown every year in the amount of food, 52 million pounds last year, we are providing to the hungry in 34 counties in NC the need keeps out pacing us.

 

There is only one day left to give your money to a worthy cause to help save yourself from giving it to the government in taxes if you don’t.  I hope that you have a little bit more than you needed this year and that you do not have to depend on organizations like the Food Bank for your most basic needs.  If you want to have some fun give some money away in the next twenty-four hours.

 

If you chose to give it to the Food Bank you can just click here http://www.foodbankcenc.org/HolidayMeals to make a donation online easy as pie.  Know that for every dollar you give the Food Bank can turn it into ten dollars worth of food.  That kind of multiplier is hard to beat.

 

Even if you don’t give to the Food Bank I hope that you can get some joy out of giving to something you are passionate about.  You may never know the people you impact, be it students at a school you support or musicians at the Symphony or a homeless family who gets a home through Habitat, but if everyone who has a little something extra gives a little it all adds up to making our community a better place.

 

Bless you and your family this holiday season and know that I am thankful for you all.


Rule Breaking Friends

Once my house is decorated for Christmas I like to take advantage of all the sparkle, twinkle and shine and have people over for frivolity, fun and food as much as possible.  I wrote earlier in the season that I really don’t want or expect hostess gifts and even though most everyone who is invited to my house reads this blog, at least once in a while, they all ignored me.

 

I guess the southern social mores are just too strongly ingrained in the group I hang with, but many even apologized as they came through the door and handed me a bag knowing they were disobeying my wishes.  Some even tried to sneak a gift in without my seeing it, leaving it under a table or tucked behind the Christmas tree.  I guess I will have to forgive them because I actually like these people and most of them actually brought a very thoughtful gift.

 

As the party ended last night and the last guest was heading down our front walkway all the lights in the house went out.  I was standing at the open front door calling out goodbye as I was suddenly thrust into darkness and I thought, “Wow, they brought a present and took my electricity home with them.”  Really, I thought that between giving walking desk demonstrations and running over 500,000 Christmas lights during a party I had blown our whole electrical system.  But I looked around and noticed that every other house in the neighborhood was black.

 

I heard a loud voice coming from the garage as a caterer was calling for help since she was standing in a strange garage full of sharp objects and a hot stove with no flash light.  Russ came to the rescue gathering all the lanterns, flash lights, candles and I phones he could find so that we could continue cleaning up and let the help go home.

 

At last all the plates were loaded in the dishwasher waiting the return of current to run it and all the empty bottles had been taken to recycling.  I decided that I would not try and tackle the gaggle of gifts in the dark and took to my bed with Carter who did not want to go to her end of the house alone in the dark.  Russ was relegated to the guest room where he watched videos on his Ipad that still had a charge.

 

The power returned in the night and so by the time I got out of bed Russ had already washed the remaining platters, run the dishwasher and tidied up.  Sometime after two in the afternoon I noticed that tissue paper had been pulled from one of the unopened hostess gifts.  I look around the bag and nothing seemed too disturbed, but I thought it was as good a time as any to open the loot.

 

I picked up the bag I assumed the tissue had been in and found a holiday coffee mug with a gift enclosure saying, “from Beth and Mike… Peanut Butter Fudge.”  I thought that was an interesting Holiday greeting considering it was a mug.  I continued opening, frames, wine, oil and vinegar, my cup over runneth.

Shay came into the living room to sniff around while I was opening.  I reached down to give her a snuggle and that’s when I caught a whiff of the distinct smell of peanut butter.  I went into the sunroom and found a small perfectly clean Ziploc bag with the corner torn open.  I think that explains the “Peanut Butter Fudge” note.

 

So now I have a new request to all my guests who may read this.  Not only do I really just want your company and maybe an invitation to your house in the next ten years, rather than a hostess gift, but if you do bring one and it is food, put it up high, unless it is for Shay.  The good news in this story is that peanut butter fudge is one of my favorite things and Beth is a fabulous cook so it is all for the best that Shay Shay ate it and I did not.

 

The moral of this story is I can’t depend on any of these gift giving friends to be the ones who are in charge of my living will because if they can’t follow my wishes about not bringing gifts they certainly can’t be depended upon to pull the plug on me when the time comes.

 

 

Note:  This is the first blog I have written while standing at my walking desk.  I got three thousand steps doing it.


The Best Suggestion I Got This Year

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Not all my blog readers know me or know that sometimes I write things in jest.  I often get some helpful suggestions to rhetorical questions.  I am never put off by these kind responses to my writing, but I do wonder when I write about some insane idea that is clearly a joke to me if my serious readers think I am just a fool.

I put this blog in the Diet Comedy Blog Category, a group which is very small since most information about dieting is way too serious/boring/or dry.  No professionals in the weight loss world are actually allowed to be funny because no one wants to be laughed at about being fat.  Luckily I am neither a professional nor employed in the weight loss world.  Now, I have known a few funny trainers in my day and they are the ones who have figured out that if you can keep a client’s mind off the torture you are inflicting on them by keeping them laughing you will have clients who will keep coming back to work out.

Sometime this summer I wrote a blog about wanting to be able to walk around and needlepoint at the same time.  A college friend, Christy, who is a professional trainer with a good sense of humor, suggested I get a walking desk and sent me a link to the website.

I studied the videos, read the testimonials, searched out reviews then told Russ it was what I wanted for Christmas.  Russ is a well trained husband and not only does he actually get me what I ask for, but if it is an appliance he gets me something else that is more personal and fun.  I won’t go into those great gifts, but Russ could give husband gift giving lessons for money.

Anyway…three days before Christmas a tractor trailer pulls up to the house and puts a pallet with two giant boxes in the garage.  Last night at 8:30 I convinced Russ that we needed to disassemble my whole office and install my new walking desk since we needed the garage for a party today.   It was a big job because I had to take apart my sitting desk and move two thirds of it to other places.

Russ is good at reading instructions written by people who don’t talk to humans and was able to put the whole new walking desk together with just some lifting help from me.  By 11:00 PM I was walking and working on my computer at the same time.  My office is a big mess and I am not going to be able to reorganize it while walking on the treadmill, but I certainly think that I won’t have trouble getting in my steps everyday now.  I read the mail and paid some bills and got 1,500 steps just for that busy work.  When I checked my fitbit last night I had gotten 14,159 steps yesterday.  Next thing I need to help keeping me moving is a flat screen for over the fireplace in my office.  I can’t wait until Valentines Day.


Is Lying Worth It?

 

This afternoon on my way between setting up for the debutant ball and picking Carter up at horse back riding I was in alone-in-the-car-nirvana listening to NPR on the radio.  NPR is my standard radio preset when I have the car to myself and not being subjected to teenager radio flicking between a large number of pop stations.  I thoroughly enjoyed my half hour of radio control, listening to a show called “Here and Now” where the host was interviewing an author named Sam Harris about his new book “Lying.”

 

Sam is a neuroscientist who went to Stanford as an undergraduate.  During his time at the superior institution he took a seminar called “The Ethical Analyst” where the class focused the whole course on one question; “Is it wrong to lie?”

 

It seems like an easy question to answer and thus could be a fairly short class that is one I would have liked to take.  Of course it is wrong to lie, but everyone, and I mean even those who were consider for Pope lies.  The only book I remember from my years as an undergraduate was called, “How to Lie with Statistics” in my history writing class, so much for the difference between Dickinson and Stanford.

 

Sam Harris talked about how much easier life is if you just don’t lie, even little white lies that you tell not to hurt someone else’s feelings.  I have no idea if his book is any good, but listening to him got me thinking abut the whole subject and how having a daily blog has made me much more honest.

 

I think that writing honestly about my daily activities has been a huge bonus to my owning my health.  Now I am not saying that I come close to not lying.  I am a big storyteller after all and some stories are improved with a little poetic license.  My mother tells people that all the stories about her are just not true, but my stories are just my point of view.  She should claim that the nice stories about her are really very true.

 

One area Mr. Harris talked about people lying was the lies people tell to avoid embarrassment. For me the blog must be true because there is no way I could remember what I said if it just was not exactly what actually happened, or at least happened as I felt it.  Living a life out loud is much simpler for me.  And I have never been one to be considered quiet in the first place.  So on this point I agree with him.

 

Since my big issue is my weight that was not something I could hide.  When I am fat everyone could see it, there was no way around it.  Once I accepted that I was able to deal with it head on.  The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.  When I told myself I was fat and only I could do something about it I was much more able to change it.

 

Now I am southern, so cutting out all lying is going to be a tricky thing to accomplish.  When someone asks me what I think of their chicken salad is it necessary for me to tell them exactly how I feel about it?  It is going to take all my creativity to remain cordial and truthful at the same time, but I think it is worth a try.  I think I am more than 90% there with almost two years of blogs behind me telling the truth everyday.  This is going to be hard.  I may or may not report in on the progress depending on how badly it goes, just being honest here.


The Christmas That Wasn’t

 

Well this is what I get for giving myself one really decadent Christmas Eve meal, food poisoning.  And my poor friend Logan, who loves a good meal better than any human on earth, he too got whatever horrible e-coli bug I did.  The good news is that the rest of our families some how escaped the gut wrenching bug.

 

I think the culprit was the last minute kale salad.  It was the only raw thing we had and is most suspect.  I tried not to eat very large amounts of the terribly rich food, but that night as I lay in bed I told Russ that my system just could not take that kind of food anymore.  Through the night I thought I heard the sounds of hooves on the roof, but it was probably the delirium starting to set in and not Santa visiting our house.  By morning I was sick as a dog.

 

So I slept through Christmas.  It was pitiful and sad.  Russ, Carter and Shay went up to my parents without me.   Only Shay was happy to get to run free at the farm and really didn’t notice I was not there.

 

The part about Christmas I missed the most was giving my presents.  I know that I was an unenthusiastic opener myself on Christmas morning when Russ and Carter were so excited about the things they had lovingly picked out for me.  I would like a whole do over of the day so I can properly show my loved ones how much they and their kindnesses mean to me.

 

The only good thing about the whole situation was the three pounds I lost, but I know that as soon as I eat again they will find me.  The good news is for my next party I am going to have a caterer.  I am doing my best not to kill any guests or myself ever again.  I hope you had the best Christmas ever, that all the sweaters you got flatter you and that nothing went right into the regifting closet.

The Christmas That Wasn’t

 

Well this is what I get for giving myself one really decadent Christmas Eve meal, food poisoning.  And my poor friend Logan, who loves a good meal better than any human on earth, he too got whatever horrible e-coli bug I did.  The good news is that the rest of our families some how escaped the gut wrenching bug.

 

I think the culprit was the last minute kale salad.  It was the only raw thing we had and is most suspect.  I tried not to eat very large amounts of the terribly rich food, but that night as I lay in bed I told Russ that my system just could not take that kind of food anymore.  Through the night I thought I heard the sounds of hooves on the roof, but it was probably the delirium starting to set in and not Santa visiting our house.  By morning I was sick as a dog.

 

So I slept through Christmas.  It was pitiful and sad.  Russ, Carter and Shay went up to my parents without me.   Only Shay was happy to get to run free at the farm and really didn’t notice I was not there.

 

The part about Christmas I missed the most was giving my presents.  I know that I was an unenthusiastic opener myself on Christmas morning when Russ and Carter were so excited about the things they had lovingly picked out for me.  I would like a whole do over of the day so I can properly show my loved ones how much they and their kindnesses mean to me.

 

The only good thing about the whole situation was the three pounds I lost, but I know that as soon as I eat again they will find me.  The good news is for my next party I am going to have a caterer.  I am doing my best not to kill any guests or myself ever again.  I hope you had the best Christmas ever, that all the sweaters you got flatter you and that nothing went right into the regifting closet.


Merry Christmas! a holiday greeting from Dana’s elves

Dana has been sick – and asleep – all day.  Too sick to write her own post , but she hopes everyone has had a very Merry Christmas.

Until tomorrow…

Carter, Russ and Shay Shay