Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Be Prepared isn't just for the Boy Scouts any more.

An item on my home page caught my eye today.

"Rise of the Preppers" was a Newsweek article on the rise of modern-day survivalists in our country. Which lead me to the website

I really don't see anything wrong with being prepared for things. Preparation reduces panic in an emergency situation. But the article made these prepared folks seem like an oddity.

Now I'm an Alabama girl, born and raised. Something you need to know about Alabama girls: We hunt, fish, garden, and then "can" what we grow.

I am not really patient enough for hunting and fishing, but could if I reallt needed to. I don't do well with the thought of taking a life of any kind (unless it's a snake)but I know that the Lord put animals on this earth for man's use, and that includes food. Fish are easier to think about because they seem a little disconnected. But either way, the cleaning and preparing of animals for consumption is gross.I'm sort of squeemish, so I leave those activities to my men-folk, who seem to enjoy it quite a bit. Gardening is easy enough. You put seeds in the ground and the Lord does the rest.

"Canning" is when you take the things you've grown in your garden and preserve them for later. I've watched my grandmother can pickles,tomatoes and fruit my whole life. It was an all day event when I was a kid and she made what should have been tedious work look like fun. I only know how to pickle, but I can read instructions, and since the basics are the same, I'm certain I could figure out how to do the rest.

The words to Hank Williams Jr.'s "Country Boys Can Survive" are now running through my head.

After looking over Survival Mom's website, I came across a nifty little device that seems both practical and economical: the Sun Oven.

Granted, one would have to be home all day long and be able to fend away the neighborhood critters, but this seems like a pretty neat little contraption. Sort of a primative slow cooker. My father-in-law likes things like this. I thought I'd introduce it to him and see what he thinks. Of course, he's also the type that would try to figure out how to build one himself and save the $300.

I consider myself a "prepper" of sorts. I hang on to everything. Having grandparents raised during the Great Depression who had a great influence on my life, I learned that anything "with use left in it" was not to be discarded. When disaster strikes, I will be the crazy old lady with the garage full of useful old stuff to make radios and spaceships out of.

Technology is great, but we also need to remember how to do things the old fashioned way. Nearly daily someone makes the "what did we do before we had..." comment. Computers, cell phones, DVR, X-Box, microwaves,calculators and such are all nice, useful tools, but are they really necessary? I am certain I would probably perish should air conditioning disapear, but I do think that there are times when a little old fashioned know-how would be beneficial. People don't know how to count change back to you any more for goodness sakes. They just hand you what the computer says, in a wad with a smirk. That's a real pet peeve of kids may end up in fast food, but by jingo they will know how to count change!

Having it too easy also leads to a lack of common sense. Remember all the panic over Y2K? News reports of people stock-piling canned goods for months in case the power should forget how to work. I remember vividly standing on New Year's Eve of 1999, in line at Walmart, with all the other local folks buying bottled water, canned beans, milk, and bread, with just my manual, turn-key can opener. The light-bulbs going off over everyone's heads could have lit the store.

One of my friends once said when the end of the world comes, they wanted to be in Alabama, because everything happens there 20 years late.

We may be behind, but we won't be caught off guard.
"Country Folks Can Survive"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet 16....

Happy Sixteenth Birthday Ty!

I love you, "Tigger" Thanks for letting me be your mom.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Julie,Julia, and Joy

As I recouperate from the holiday overload, and inevitable carb-coma, I have enjoyed a few relaxing days with family. Nothing is more blissful than not having to be somewhere or doing something, or worrying over something or working on something.These are the times that paper plates and pizza deliveries were made for.

I also enjoy lounging on the couch to watch tv. My husband and I rarely ever get to do this together anymore, as his Saturdays and Sundays are totally consumed with football. I do enjoy a good football game, but one a week is plenty for me. I only care what Auburn does. Not the hubby....he can find a football game/highlight show/coaches corner/ etc... any day of the week and does not care one yardstripe that the rest of the family doesn't want to watch it.

Yes, sadly, I am a football widow.

Despite 2 other tv's in the house, optimum football viewing is apparently done on our living room tv, so lounging on the couch to watch a dvd on the only dvd player in the house, is out of the question on Saturdays and Sundays. He must keep up with EVERY football game played 'round the world, for matters of what, national entertainment security?

And it is not just REAL football either... he also participates in FANTASY football. Yes, that's right, not only am I being completely ignored for real football, but imaginary football as well. I could leave him and he wouldn't notice until February.

Today, I had the rare opportunity, to watch a movie and got to see the new movie Julie & Julia, staring one of the most versatile, talented actors of our time, Meryl Streep. In it, Meryl Streep plays the infamous and incomparable Julia Child on her journey to bring French cuisine into the lives of "servantless Americans," such as writer Julie Powell, played by Amy Adams, in post-911 New York.
I absolutely love Meryl Streep and her acting methods. She totally imerses herself in her characters: from clutching a bag of ice before appearing as a dead body, to learning new regional or foreign dialects, dyeing her hair, learning to sing, you name it! Drama, comedy, romance...Really, what can't she do?
Some of my favorite Meryl Streep movie are: Silkwood (saw it in high school on a date, though not really a "date" movie, and the fact that this is a true story scared me half to death). Out of Africa (fell in love with it the first time I saw it...."Ah had a fahm in Ah-fri-cah.." I could watch it right now, and still cry when Denys dies), She Devil (the "I'm taking my life back" scene owns me, tho the German maid storming out saying "Up with this sh*t, I will not put!" is pretty good too.) and of course, The Devil Wears Prada (where she's supposed to be Vogue's ice queen editor Anna Wintor, but makes "Miranda Priestly" more real than the inspiration). Also in TDWP is Stanley Tucci, another extremely versatile actor, that stars along side her in Julie & Julia has her husband, Paul Child.
The movie is set in two different time lines of two true life stories: Julia's arrival in France in 1949, and Julie's move to a tiny apartment over a pizzeria in 2002. It transitions between the two stories beautifully, as screen writer Nora Ephron parallels the two women's lives. I would tell you more about it here, but would not rob you of the opportunity of seeing it for yourself, and that was not really the point of this post.
While watching as Julie's blog reaches near-cult like status, it made me think of this blog.
I love to write. I'm told that I write pretty well. Yes, I would like to publish a novel one day (as listed on my Bucket List) and I wish I could write here more often. I have notebooks full of story ideas and character development, but that is as far as it's ever gotten. Currently my days are filled with customer complaints and orders and the amendment of orders and the tracking of orders and the scheduling of workdays and vacation days and personal time and so on... but really, aren't those just excuses? Julie Powell also tells her husband that she barely has time to write and that she never finishes anything, but she knows why...ADD, as proven by the fact that she's not good at housework (well now that's two things in common!)
And like Julie, I wonder if anyone is reading this. I know I have 2 "followers" to this blog, two of my pageant buddies (thanks y'all) that I think wandered over from my pageant blog. (Over there, I have a grand total of 9, not bad for someone who's never won a title, eh?). So if you are out there reading this, let me know. You don't have to send me stuff like they do in the movie, but a comment every now and again would be nice.
There is hope that one day I may be considered a writer. a dream of mine since I was a kid. Someone once told me that what you send out there into cyberspace, never really gets deleted, so maybe some day, this blog may be entertainment for some.
Coincidently, you can still read Julie's original blog "The Julie/Julia Project" on line despite now being published as a book
Hmmm... guess someone was right!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

* Merry Christmas! *

As we enter this Christmas season, I have to reflect on Christmases past. The photo below our Christmas card photo for 2006 after Auburn beat Alabama for the fifth time in a row. "Fear the thumb" was the war cry that year, so we gave everyone a thumbs up after the win. Little Kat flashes a five just to drive home the point. This photo was actually very easy to take. Everyone was excited about it and discussed what to wear and what to do for a full week before we actually took it. My family never misses the opportunity to take a dig our Bama Fan friends and family. We took a good forty or fifty photos and had so many good ones to pic from, it was hard to settle on just one.
The photo at the top is our Christmas card photo for this year. Much has changed in the three years between photos...Auburn didn't beat Alabama, though we did give it the "ole college try." Julz has started college and moved out on her own; Tigger, now as tall as his dad, will soon be driving; Kat, standing barefoot in this picture, seems to have shot up overnight, now towering over her older sister, who is wearing heels so you can't tell she's the shortest. Trying to get everyone together takes an act of Congress, my attempts to get everyone to match (or at least blend) are met with great resistance, and getting everyone to stand up straight and smile (correctly) are near to impossible. Out of twenty pictures, this was the best we could muster.
When you see your children every day, the incremental changes don't seem so drastic. But side by side, you really see and begin to appreciate how much they are growing up.
Merry Christmas Y'all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas Y'all

I think this cartoon says a lot about the sad state we are in nowadays.

The Buckets by Greg Cravens, courtesy of

Merry CHRISTmas and EnJoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Diabetic Body:An Owner's Manual

I have decided it is time to, not only come to terms with the fact that I have Type II diabetes, but to wage all out war to beat it back to wherever it came from before coming into my life five years ago. I successfully beat it once...once being medicated with two pills a day, to being diet controlled.

But, like everything else, life happens. Work, raising a family,and all the other day to day stresses, I let my diet get out of hand.

After nearly a month of feeing absolutely horrible, I decided I could ignore this spectre no longer.

Last Saturday, after waking with a severe miagrane and nausea, I took my blood sugar reading for the first time in months. It was 200. Not good having had my last meal 12 hours prior.

I've learned over the years, when my blood sugar is high, I generally feel rotten and my body will attempt to rid itself of this excess in various, unpleasant methods. Of course, tinkling, a lot, is the most common, but there are times when I can be mistaken for a stomach flu victim.
I can say, that after I "called a few dinosaurs" my headache was gone and I felt somewhat better.

Later in the afternoon, Cyndi and I went to our local bookstore to wander around, have a cup of coffee and relax, an activity we indulge in at least once a week.

We enjoy wandering around, gathering books to look over and a savor good cup of coffee. There are only a few comfy chairs spread around the store. Next to the pair we chose, there was a long table of books marked half price. Most are artsy, coffee table books, children's books or the latest celebrity cookbooks. But one caught my eye as I prepared to settle into my comfy gray chair. It was titled "The Diabetic Body: An Owner's Manual." With a title like that, I had to add it to my stack.

Having discussed the morning's events, I waved the book at Cyndi. "Guess I need to buy it, huh?" I quipped. "Most certainly" she grinned.

As I thumbed through it, it became more and more apparent that I was meant to stumble across it. Most things I've read about Type II diabetes were lots of medical jargon and things over my head. I wanted to learn about my disease, not earn a degree in it. But this book seemed to be geared more for everyday people like me.

So far, I've learned about how early Greek physicians recorded what we now recognize as "classic" diabetic symptoms, the differences between Type I and Type II, and how most glucometers read blood sugar. I try to take 15 minutes a day to read and those 15 minutes seem to be paying off. I've managed to maintain what looks like the beginning of some serious weightloss, and I'm beginning to feel better.

Finally, I feel like I have a tool to help me get my life back under control!