Friday, November 5, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
About six months ago, I made a change. I decided to try on vegetarianism for size. I get on these little bandwagons every now and then... so I fully expected myself to fall off this one in due time. I thought sure I’d succumb to a random chicken nugget or a pepperoni.... But I wanted to try to live a cleaner life, which for me meant giving up eating most animal flesh. I decided to give myself a little leeway, however. I allowed myself to occasionally eat fish. I figured if Jesus was OK with it, I could be too. Plus, going full-on vegetarian was a little intimidating for me. I don’t call myself a pescatarian, because I very very rarely partake in fish these days. But I do allow myself the option. So I suppose you could call me a pescatarian if you like, or a slightly hypocritical vegetarian. But I digress...
I made this lifestyle shift in the spring after reading Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet and watching part of Michael Pollan’s eye-opening documentary Food Inc. For a long time, my family had been eating a mostly vegetarian diet and didn’t really realize it. We rarely incorporated meat, and hardly ever red meat, into our diet. But we did have our weekend barbecues and as an Italian gal, I loved my sausage and prosciutto. But I never felt quite right after eating a meat-laden dinner. I felt heavy, sluggish, bloated and just generally gross.
My motives for giving up meat were strictly health-related in the beginning. I wanted to feel better and be leaner. But the longer I’ve gone sans meat, the more I appreciate the humanity of it. I can’t imagine eating the flesh of a cow or a pig now. I can’t justify their slaughter for my personal pleasure — especially since I know that pleasure is fleeting but that animal’s demise is permanent.
I’ve noticed since converting to a mostly vegetarian diet, that I feel better, my skin is clearer, and my body functions more efficiently. I even sleep better at night (literally and figuratively).
I’m by no means becoming one of those preachy, strict, paint-wielding vegetarians who shakes fingers at hamburger eaters and disfigures fur coats. I don’t hug trees in my back yard, worship Jerry Garcia or wear Birkenstocks on a regular basis.
I don’t flash the peace sign to everyone who walks by either. But I do feel more at peace and generally happier. If indeed our bodies are temples, I am so glad I’m no longer filling mine with animal flesh. I’ve spruced up this temple.
I encourage everyone to give up meat at least one day a week just to experience something different. Have a Meat-Free Monday so that you can explore all of the wonderful other options there are out there, like a veggie quinoa pilaf or red beans and rice or a hearty vegetarian minestrone. You’ll be surprised how good you feel — literally and figuratively!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Tonight my middle child will graduate from preschool. It's a momentous occasion. I'm a little bit nervous. I'm not quite sure how I'll react to seeing him in a tiny graduation cap marching across a stage. Tears will be shed. It will be a tough reminder that life is moving way too quickly. I'll be afraid to blink because I know that in an instant he'll be all grown up and marching across a bigger stage in another graduation ceremony. I'm so proud of my little guy, but I can't help being a little bit sad to see my baby becoming a boy. In a few short months he'll begin his big school adventure as a kindergartener. I'm sure I'll shed some tears then too. Happy and sad.... I guess what they say is true...
Sunday, May 16, 2010
My sweet friend Aimee is an amazing cook. I found this out when we both were in college and I visited her one summer in Knoxville. She made an amazing risotto. I had never had risotto, but after that, I was hooked! Since that time, Aimee has been sharing her recipes and wisdom with all who know her. Her cookbook Savor the Recipes is more than a cookbook. It's a collection of memories of friends and family who have gathered around the table to celebrate each other and great food. Through her stories, you feel as though you are in her kitchen as she cooks and reminisces. The book is packed with yummy recipes including my favorites: risotto (of course), Mexican grits, cantaloupe soup, zucchini bread, key lime pie, orange juice balls... The list goes on and on!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This past weekend it began to rain here. And it rained. And it rained. And it rained. As a result of the unprecedented amount of rain, my hometown experienced historic flooding. My family and I were extremely blessed that our home was not affected. However, many many Tennesseans lost everything in the flood — all of their belongings, their homes, their cars, their pets ... and most devastatingly the death toll has risen to 18 and is expected to continue to rise as the flood waters recede and reveal what's underneath.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Today I ran across a quote I quite liked: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." I thought those words by Ralph Waldo Emerson were especially fitting for today, Earth Day.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Just when you think that you have them figured out, they go and surprise you again. That's the amazing thing about children. Earlier today, my middle child, who's 5, brought me a picture he'd drawn of a little guy smiling with his hands up in the air. I said, "What's he doing?" My son said, "He's reaching for God... to say, 'Thank you.'" My heart melted. How precious is this child of mine, I ask??
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Have you ever seen those performers who spin plates on the end of sticks? Once they get one going, they start another one spinning. On and on it goes until the crowd applauds. As a mommy, I feel like I'm one of those plate spinners.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Today, my littlest boy and I had coffee (well, he had apple juice) and a cinnamon bun with a dear friend of mine from high school. She is one of those friends you can lose contact with for years and then pick up a conversation with as if you'd never paused. In fact, we did lose contact with each other for several years. After high school we both went our separate ways to college. Our lives took different paths. Very different. During those years of self discovery, she became a strong conservative Republican. In fact, she went into politics after school. While I was away at college, I discovered that, though I was brought up in an extremely conservative home, I was a liberal Democrat.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
My 8-year-old, who just learned how to read two and a half years ago, just finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. A 734-page novel. Did I mention he's 8?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Eight more days, well actually seven. That's how many more days my boys and I have until we perfect our leprechaun trap. When my oldest child was in kindergarten a couple of years ago, his class, led by an amazing teacher, made a leprechaun trap. You see, the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day, someone kept coming into their classroom at the oddest times, when the kids were at recess or lunch, and would trash the place... papers on the floor, disheveled books, chairs fallen over... The teacher told the class that in the past, she had problems with tiny leprechauns sneaking into her classroom around St. Patrick's Day looking for a place to hide his gold. So the children built the a trap, hoping to catch the leprechaun AND his gold. Sadly, the children didn't catch any leprechauns that year.
This St. Patrick's Day, my boys are a little older, a little wiser and a lot craftier. I'm hoping we can construct the perfect leprechaun trap. We've got mere days to start. I wonder what our little friend will leave us this year? *wink*
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I love to cook. I love the way that making a meal at the end of a stressful day can be so relaxing. I love the way creating something delicious gives such a sense of pride and accomplishment. I rarely cook big meals these days. But on days like this, when the air is crisp and cold, I crave comfort. And tonight, I found comfort in the kitchen.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I just love C.S. Lewis. His words are like little lightbulbs that illuminate the mind. This morning I was looking for some reassuring words of wisdom from Mr. Lewis about Lent, and he didn't fail me.
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is ... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.
"A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later." I LOVE this! There go those lightbulbs.
Each year I try to give something up for Lent. It's always easier to give something up during this holiest time of year. It seems like the least I can do as an act of gratitude and submission to God. This year I'm giving up curse words, an ugly little habit I picked up while working long, frustrating hours in a newsroom after college. For some reason, only four-letter words can make you feel SO good when you've slammed your finger in a drawer or been cut off in traffic. However, they aren't very appropriate when little ears are around. It's a hard habit to shake and one I haven't really wanted to until now. But the other day when I was out and about, I heard a woman use some of my favorite four-letter words at the grocery store when she was talking to her friend, and I thought, "Do I sound like that??" I was mortified. I don't want my children to remember me like that, "She was a good mom, but she could cuss like a sailor at times.." So here goes...
I'm also giving up workout rest days. My workouts keep me grounded and happy and at peace with the world. And I'll need that if I can't cuss any longer. :-)
It will be a sacrifice. I have a feeling I'll be reminding myself often of Mr. Lewis' sage words. But mostly, I'll be thinking of the amazing sacrifice that was made for me many years ago on a cross in Jerusalem.
Happy Lent, everyone!!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Last night I spontaneously combusted. Well, perhaps it wasn't too spontaneous. While attempting to boil water (insert obvious joke here) I bent down to retrieve a storage container that had fallen on the floor and my hair hit the flame on the gas burner. I heard a loud "Woosh!" and up in flames I went. At first I thought, "Hmm... what was that noise?" then I saw the sparks falling from my head and I knew right away. I quickly remembered what I had learned in elementary school: "STOP, DROP and ROLL!!" So, I dropped to my kitchen floor and began rolling around. After extinguishing myself, I looked up at my 16-month-old who was peering down at me, grinning, as if I had staged the whole incident for his entertainment.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Have you ever heard the song A Marshmallow World by Bing Crosby?
It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day
I wait for it the whole year round...