Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've never had any desire to give up meat.  I enjoy it too much--chicken, fish, beef, bacon--I love me some protein.  But lately, I've been thinking a lot about health.  I've been on a journey to lose weight but have been failing miserably, thus far.  I've been working out at Curves, which I love, although not 100% religiously.  I worked out once in March due to sickness.  Anyways...my big problem has been food.  I eat too much and don't make healthy choices.  My portions have been getting better, but I'm beginning to really think about ingredients and health for the body--not necessarily low fat, low sodium, low fill-in-the-blank.  I'm talking things like organic, natural, etc.  I'd never really thought about it before I married the hubby.  But, he's always been more health conscious thanks to his mom.  She is well aware of diet and its opened my eyes.  Combine that with research I have been doing has brought me to the conclusion that while yes, I want to loose weight, that should not be my ultimate goal.  Instead, I should focus on healthy eating--more fruits and vegetables (local if possible), cutting out things like high fructose corn syrup, and using fresh, natural ingredients.  A good example is yogurt.  I eat a lot of it, but it wasn't until I started making my own that I started considering what was in the store bought stuff.  Thankfully, one brand now makes a natural yogurt that I feel comfortable buying, even though it has fat in it.  Another item is half & half for my coffee.  I won't by the fake, flavored stuff, but I've been living off of the Fat Free Half & Half.  But, I've starting thinking about the ingredients.  What are the first two ingredients:  Water, Corn Syrup.  That just does not seem healthy.  So, despite the fact that it will be adding more fat to my diet, I am going to switch to organic half & half.  Now if I could only figure out how to drink my coffee black.  :-) 

So, back to vegetarian eating...I've become aware of what goes into our meat.  I prefer to buy organic, grass-fed, cage-free, free-range, whatever it may be meat, but this isn't always possible or wallet friendly.  I've become disgusted with the amount of hormones and genetic modification as well as the treatment of these animals.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I LOVE meat.  I WANT to eat meat.  In fact, my body craves it sometimes.  But, does my body need it?  Was it created to need meat?  Looking back at Genesis, I would have to say no.  Also, look at Daniel--while in captivity, he and his friends requested a diet of vegetables and water (Daniel 1:8-16).  It worked.  I've really been wanting to increase my veggie intake, so this is a perfect way.

I want to try this as an experiment.  I think I'm going to do it for one month and am thinking July, which will give me plenty of time to plan and I won't have to deal with classes.  We will probably go back to eating lean meat and fish when we are done, but hopefully a lot less often.  Hubby is supportive and much more used to this than I am, so this will help.  I'll need plenty of time to figure out what to do.  I like to plan my menu a month in advance, so that will help.  I'm trying to gather recommended recipes that we will enjoy.  So, we will see.  Thoughts?

The biggest question left is will we eat eggs?

On a side note, I've just begun reading Desiring God by John Piper.  I'm just in the intro, so no thoughts yet, but I'm really hoping to get a lot out of it.

Sorry for the length...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An End to Small Wineries?

I like wine.  A lot.  As in, I'd love to get into the wine business somehow.  But, I don't like mass market wine--we're talking Beringer, Sutter Home, Barefoot, etc.  Grocery Store Wine.  I've already told you I'm a wine snob and I meant it. 

I like wineries that stay true to the grapes, not those that aim to appeal to the greatest number of people or try to insure their wines taste the exact same year after year.  Often, these are smaller, more personal wineries.  Family owned.  Examples include Brochelle and Lioco.  There are many more, these are just two that I know vary depending on the year and their vines.  These types of wineries often depend on direct shipping in order to stay in business.  They have Wine Clubs where members are guaranteed a certain number/varietal of each vintage.  The wineries ship these members their wine directly, versus going through a larger organization/board.  If I lived in a state that didn't have antequated laws, I would be a member of at least one wine club.  But alas, Alabama will not allow shipping of alochol.  Everything has to go through the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Board.

Well, if H.R. 5034 makes it through Congress and is signed by the President, it appears as though the rest of the nation will be subject to laws similar to Alabama.  Wineries will no longer be able to ship directly to patrons.  The purpose is to reaffirm and protect the authority of the States to regulate alcohol (in other words, tax and prevent certain types from entering the state). The bill was  lobbied for by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).  Evidently states and the NBWA (i.e. wholesale distributors) are concerned of an "alcohol epidemic."  Give me a break!  Wholesalers still sell alcohol--they just sell it directly to the state and don't want to be threatened!

I've got some more research to do, but from what I've seen thus far, I am displeased and I see a letter to my Congressman and Senators in the near future.

Wine Spectator has provided an interesting article that discusses both the legislation and the hearing that came before the legislation.  It makes some interesting points, via quotes from various individuals regarding the monopolies wholesalers are trying to set up, the competition they are attempting to stifle at all costs, and the fact that cheap and easy to access alcohol will be more harmful than they are willing to admit.  Okay, I need to stop.  I could keep going.  Just read the article.

On a side note...the fencing club finally emailed me back!  Looks like I'll be able to take the beginning fencing class!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Big Man and My Little Man

This is Whatley, my little man (photo taken December 2009).  He is a rescue that I adopted from a DC shelter.  He had been abused and was severely malnourished.  He is my buddy and took care of me when I was living in DC.  He has enjoyed the move, for the most part.  :-)  He loves living close to Omi and Papa--who adore watching him.  

He immediately fell in love with Dylan when he met him and loved him more than me for a long while.  Now, I'm back up top due to Daddy laying down the law in ways Whatley does not enjoy.

This is Whatley about 3 days after I adopted him (February 2006).  He looked and smelled awful.  Isn't the difference amazing?!?

And here is my big man...isn't he handsome?!?  I love him dearly.  :-)   This was during our honeymoon a hike of Pigeon Island that was next to our resort in Saint Lucia.

This is a picture of us from our July 09 trip to Tokyo.

Yay for our wedding day!  It is amazing that it's almost been a year of wedded bliss!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank You, Uncle Sam

In honor of Tax Day, I would like to take this opportunity to officially thank Uncle Sam who has graciously provided us with a new (and REALLY nice) dishwasher and my new MacBook Pro (not ordered yet, but will be in a few weeks).  The generousity of the IRS in giving us back some of our money is greatly appreciated.

Okay, in all seriousness--Happy Tax Day!  We've had our tax return back for almost a month, now.  I'm a firm believer in doing my taxes early--less stress and you get your refund back early or have plenty of time to come up with any money you might owe.  I did our taxes late this year--late February.  I just couldn't get my act together.  I also do them by hand--no purchasing software or taking it to someone.  I'll occaisonally ask my best friend accountant a question.  I did end up making a mistake this year--I missed a credit we were eligible for, but the IRS fixed it for me and blessed us.  Oops!  I know how to prevent that this year.  Taxes just really aren't that hard for us.  If we ever own a business, I will get a professional--I promise.

So, I am serious when I say "Thank you, Uncle Sam."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lotus

I saw a Lotus on the way to work this morning!  It was quite beautiful and makes me sad we don't have ours yet.  On top of that, it is a perfect Lotus day!  It is going to be so much fun once we actually get it--I just hope they haven't stopped selling it in the U.S. by the time we can get it...

Isn't she beautiful?!?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I am mortified by the recent return of an adopted Russian buy.  If you haven't heard, a boy (now age 7) was adopted from Russia by a family in Tennessee last year (September, I believe).  This past week, the boy's adopted Grandmother (GRANDMOTHER, not mother) bought him a one way ticket and put him on a plane back to Russia, hired a driver, and had him delievered to the Russian education ministry--unannounced!!! 

What in the world possessed this woman to do something so henious, especially to a child!  And not just any child, but one who has had more heartache than any child should have to deal with!!  It breaks my heart and I just want to cry.  I have such a heart for parentless children (surprising, since I'm not crazy about kids).  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to adopt an unwanted child--to choose to provide a home to someone without one. 

I think what gets me more than anything is that it was the GRANDMOTHER!!!!!  Where was the adopted mother in this?  I get that things were hard--they will never be easy with adoption!  I get that there are struggles, but to completely disregard not only your legal obligations, but also your moral obligations with taking this child in and promising to love them as your own. 

According to an article on CNN, the boy--Justin--cried that he missed his grandmother--the same woman who deliberately abandoned him! I really really hope that there is some way this woman will be prosecuted.  She has single-handedly threatened adoption-relations between the U.S. and Russia. 

I'll say it again, this just makes me cry. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm trying not to be boring (although failing miserably)...

I really enjoyed this weekend.  The weather was wonderful for every bit of it--made it a little hard to come back to work today.  Saturday evening was very enjoyable--I found a great rain coat (on clearance!), ordered take-out, and listened to Dvorak's 8th Symphony.  It was beautiful--just the thing I was in the mood for.  The second movement, particularly caught my attention.  It had such a sweeping, emotional (read: romantic) melody. 

Church on Sunday was really good.  We actually got up in time for Sunday School.  It was the first time we'd been at this church and we definitely want to keep going.  The minister just started a study on Revelations.  The sermon was also wonderful, yet heavy (in a good way).  We will be going through 2 Corinthians for a time.  I'm looking forward to what God will teach me during both of these studies.   

I also finished the sixth Harry Potter book.  I've been working my way through them and this was the first one that I really noticed a much more mature writing style.  I didn't like the fifth book and the fourth still seemed somewhat juvenile (although I really liked it).  So, the seventh has begun, but my paper is getting in the way.  :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Oh What a Beautiful Day!

It is a gorgeous (although pollen-y) day here!  I've enjoyed it immensely thus far.  Wonderful, relaxing wake up, breakfast (that someone else cooked) outside in the sun, and wonderful weather to enjoy.  I spent some time on my plants this morning--I don't have a green thumb, although I'm trying.  All the blinds are open and the natural sunlight is intoxicating.  I plan on running some errands later and plan to enjoy the weather while I'm out and about.  Now, if only I didn't have to work on my paper.  :-/

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Beginning

Well, I'm going to try and give this a go...again.  :-)

I've never been very successful in the past, but I plan to approach this a little differently.  First, I tend to be long-winded, so I get discouraged because I don't seem to have enough time.  Second, I'm a realist (although most would say pessimist).  No one wants to read about the horrors of life.  I'm not doing this to get a great following (although I do hope someone stumbles across it), I'm doing it as a bit of an outlet for me.  I tend to hold things in and stew over them.  Third, I love art-be it visual, audio, or edible.  I love to view it, listen to it, and create it.  My husband, who loves food, regularly compares meals to works of art (a big complement when it happens to be a meal I've cooked).  I've talked about creating a food blog, but ultimately decided that wouldn't be interesting enough because most people aren't as fanatic about cooking as I am.  Fourth, I'm a bit of a wine snob, coffee snob, tea snob, spice snob, you-name-it snob.  I like the finer things in life and love to share when I find something wonderful.  Fifth, I have been slacking lately in recognizing my Savior in the both the beauties and pitfalls of life. 

So, here are my goals:
1.  Short, concise posts--for the most part
2.  Try to recognize the beauty of life around me which will help my need to become more positive
3.  Share victories of life, things that become art--whether permanent or temporal
4.  In those victories, recognize the grace and presence of God