Fundamentally Rural

My husband is shopping for a vehicle, specifically one that can “haul things” or “tow something.” We are in our 60s and live in the suburbs. The only things we haul are garbage cans once a week and the odd piece of lumber maybe twice a year. We don’t tow anything. I gave up on this issue when I realized that part of why I fell in love with him is that, like me, he has a rural underpinning.

These days I hang out a lot, reading, painting, knitting. But I grew up in the country and have, in the past, worked on the roof, helped dig a homemade septic tank, fed chickens, weeded, mowed, sanded, and slept outside without a tent.

Years ago I was visiting a friend who said he had hired someone to run a wire from the stereo into the next room, in order to mount a speaker on the wall. Put “hired” in italics please. I was, to use the trendy word, gobsmacked. One characteristic of fundamentally rural people is figuring out how to fix things, improvise, do it yourself.

Another rural trait is, apparently, the urge to own a vehicle that can do rough work.

I’ve never lived in an apartment, even in a city. I would never be able to get my husband to take off his shoes inside. There are stacks of this and that in the (very small) yard. I’m interested in silk, so he planted a white mulberry tree to feed the silkworms I will eventually raise.

One more thing – I think projects are part of our rural framework. My husband and I, and both our adult children, always have projects going, whether it’s picture framing, welding, spinning and knitting yarn, weaving, building, or organizing.

So, fine, we can get a pick up just in case we need to haul or tow something.

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Sites that discuss the Democratic candidates for president and their positions. I will try to keep this updated.

QZ

Five Thirty Eight

PBS Candidates & Positions

Public Integrity

Wikipedia

I Side With

Talking Points Memo

Rolling Stone

Politico

#2020 #2020democrats #2020election

 

“Racism for Dummies” Meme

There is a meme going around about how “we’re all the same.”

It is invariably posted by a white friend who has a loving heart, means well, sincerely believes that “we’re all the same underneath,” and lives in a mostly white town.

What to do? It’s awkward to challenge someone, I’m pathologically averse to conflict, and I don’t want to start a fight. And yet . . . this meme is fundamentally inaccurate and represents a classic example of white fragility.

First, this frames racism as a bad personality trait of some bad individuals with bad ideas. Thus, if you “don’t care if someone is black, white, or purple,” then *presto* you’re not a racist.

But what if racism is defined differently, as a pervasive system of white advantage (see, even here, I’m afraid to say “white supremacy” because I don’t want friends to take umbrage). What if racism is more than a character flaw that is especially common in Alabama?  And isn’t the option of defining racism in a way that excludes you and then putting race out of your mind the quintessential example of white privilege?  You think African Americans ever get to not notice race?

Secondly, it’s factually inaccurate. A person who has experienced job discrimination, police harassment, being followed in a store on the assumption that they might steal, being assumed to be dumb, dishonest, or lazy, having people assume that they owe their position to affirmative action, rather than hard work — this person is most assuredly NOT the same inside as someone like me who has never had to deal with any of these awful stresses.

If a person is actually interested at all in race or racism, then a great place to start is the book White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo.

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/18/639822895/robin-diangelo-on-white-peoples-fragility

Let’s just say this – I can pretty much guarantee that when a white person says “I don’t see color,” “We are all the human race, that’s what matters,” or “I was raised to treat everyone the same,” that the people of color in the room are mentally rolling their eyes.

#race #racism #whitefragility

Losing Weight, Part Five.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

 

Exercise.  Every medical study agrees that exercise is important for good health and longevity.   What about exercise and weight loss?

I believe walking 30 to 45 minutes every day is a key part of losing weight.  You don’t need to jog, lift weights, or swim a mile to lose weight.  But a good walk is very helpful.  I think it helps metabolism or blood pressure or the immune system, maybe all of them, I’m not a doctor.  Just walk at least 30 minutes a day. Even if it’s hot or cold or damp.

Portions.  You will quickly discover that restaurants serve huge portions and that hostesses nag you to have second helpings. Not your problem.  You don’t have to “eat everything on your plate” like a little kid, and you can just pat your rapidly shrinking tummy and assure the host that you’re stuffed.

Sticking With It.  Not going to lie, it’s easy to backslide. Remember I said I’d lost 50 pounds?  Yeah, actually I did it twice, after I fell off the low carb wagon.  Do whatever helps you stick with something. Shopping for clothes a size smaller is fun, that might work.

That’s all for today!

 

 

Losing Weight, Part Four. Nuts and Bolts

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

What to expect: You’ve bought whatever combination of fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, spices, fish, fowl, and coffee or tea makes sense to you. If so inclined, you’ve found recipes for grain-free substitutes for ingredients. You’ve maybe read the labels if you have processed food around. Time to take the plunge.

1. First Two Days. You might feel weird the first two days, because your body is used to the sugar high from cereal, bread, and so on. You might feel a little shaky or have a slight headache. Feel free to gripe. I’ll bet that on the third morning you wake up feeling more energetic than you have in ages. I’ll also bet that you will have lost a pound by now.

2. Dining with Friends. I don’t know about you, nonexistent reader, but I hate calling attention to myself. I hate the idea of everyone at the table wrinkling their brows over my “weird diet” or of a host feeling anxious about “what can you eat?” I try to keep it brief and simple. I urge people to make whatever they normally would and say that I’ll skip anything not on my list. This isn’t a perfect solution. Sometimes people put you on the spot or have Strong Opinions to share. Sometimes the hostess serves bread, a rice casserole, candied yams, and chocolate cake. If that happens, just eat a little bit of everything (a LITTLE), decline the cake on the grounds that you’re full, and don’t worry about it.

3. Restaurants. It’s easier in a restaurant, because you aren’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings or get them in a tizzy. If you order a burger without a bun, they will often set it in a bed if lettuce and tomatoes. If the meal comes with fries or the salad has croutons, push them aside.

4. Weaknesses and Mental Tricks. I have a weakness for desserts, yours may be different. What if you feel resentful and deprived because everyone else is slathering butter on warm sourdough bread, sipping wine, and groaning in ecstasy over the double fudge chocolate torte? Some ideas –

First, this isn’t forever, unless you have a metabolic or medical condition (in which case, I am not a doctor, etc.). This is about losing weight, simply and briskly, without joining a group, keeping a notebook, etc. If you are walking 35 minutes a day (more on that in a minute) and are not eating second helpings, you can lose 40 pounds in 2 or 3 months. Then you can OCCASIONALLY have chocolate cake.

2. At restaurants I sometimes just get up and walk away when the waiter is taking dessert orders. I come back in a minute when the danger is past.

3. Just make it a rule, so you aren’t having will-power battles 50 times a day.

4. Dissociate a little, just don’t think about the presence of whatever tempts you.

5. Just do it. You don’t have to like it, just do it.

#diet #weight

Losing Weight, Part Three, How To.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three: Not Eating Grains and Sugar

We eat so many grains and so much sugar because they’re cheap and filling, give you a quick (if metabolically unhealthy) boost, (did I spell metabolically right?), heck, they may be subsidized by the government for all I know.

Grains are a big part of most of the common things we cook and love – lasagna, pizza, spanikopita, tacos, granola, cereal, rice, corn fritters, not to mention key lime pie and chocolate chip cookies.

So, how do you give them up? I prefer cold turkey – just do it. When you lose a pound in 2 days, it’s encouraging.

Tips and tricks.

1. Prepare. Think of ways to make changes and go buy that stuff. Buy celery if you’re going to put peanut butter on celery instead of bread.

2. New rituals. I had a nightly habit of red wine, corn chips, and ice cream. I devised a new ritual involving herbal tea. I know that sounds lame, but I use a lovely pottery mug, add spices, and play it up.

3. Be sure to include fat in your diet. Apple chunks and cheese is filling. Fat keeps you from feeling hungry.

4. Drink lots of water, tea, etc., which will help you feel full.

5. If you want, explore new vegetables, and ways of making grain free pie crust, spaghetti squash spaghetti, things with nut flour. The internet is probably full of that stuff.

Next up: pitfalls and challenges.

#diet #weight

Losing Weight, Part Two.

Part One

Part Two: One Weird Trick.

To lose weight rapidly and safely, stop eating grains and sugar. There it is, the only important thing you need to do. The rest is just discussion of what that means, how to do it and why, and what to expect.

People are fat because they eat grains and sugar, period, the end. If you stop eating grains and refined sugar, you lose weight. Once you lose enough weight, you can resume eating grains and sugar (unless there is a metabolic reason not to, such as type 2 diabetes), but if you aren’t restrained, you will gain it all back.

Yep, this is the low carb thing, with a few twists and tips.

Sugar is sugar.

“Grains” unfortunately includes bread (yes, even multigrain whole wheat bread), pizza, pasta, wine, beer, bagels, pita bread, tortillas, muffins, buns, rolls, pie crust, crackers, cookies, and yes, even artisinally curated dry crackers. It also includes corn, corn syrup, potato chips and fries.
Avoiding sugars also means giving up fruit juice and being careful about fruit. Six dried apricots is pretty carbalacious.

The Good News – You do NOT have to have a fat free, or low fat diet, unless there is some other medical reason for it, I’m-not-a-doctor disclaimer goes here.

Fat does not make you fat any more than tomatoes make you red. You need fat! Fat is what makes you feel not hungry. Go ahead, add a spoonful of whipping cream to your coffee and a pat of butter to the broccoli.

#diet #weight #weightloss