Saturday, December 30, 2006

The South Beach Diet, Act Two; Or, How I Found out that Dieting is Easier than having Diabetes

Tonight I will detail for you the history of my 3 major weight loss attempts.

For my first big attempt, I joined Weight Watchers. This was the first time I had ever recorded what I ate. I found it very time consuming and challenging to measure everything I was eating so that I could write it down. This was back in the old days of the points system--I don't think Weight Watchers even uses points any more. The points for a certain serving of food are calculated using three values...I was going to tell you what these are, but I can't even remember any more. Anyway, it is relatively easy to figure out how many points something has if it has a nutrition information label printed on the side of it. But I found it very difficult, if not impossible, to figure out how many points one of my homemade soups or casseroles had. I did lose weight on Weight Watchers--I know this because I still have the blue ribbon I received for losing my first ten pounds--but lets just say I "recovered" my losses.

Weight loss attempt number 2 officially began on New Years Day of 2004 at my mother-in-law's house in Springville, Utah. This time it was the South Beach Diet, recommended to me by my father, of all people (not the dieting type). This diet was much easier than Weight Watchers in many ways. I did not have to record or measure anything. I did not have to find time to attend weekly meetings. And I did not have to pay to join. The hard part about this diet was that everything I normally eat was on the list of forbidden foods (sweets, bread, rice, pasta, fruit). Within a day or two, I felt dehydrated and on the verge of a nervous breakdown as I paced the kitchen trying to think of something to feed myself. I also lost weight on this diet. And once again, I was able to recover all that I had lost when South Beach was "temporarily" put on hold in order to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my birthday.

Weight Loss Attempt Nubmer 3 began today. It is South Beach again, but easier this time. Why? Well, between South Beach Attempt #1 and #2, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. This occurred in March of this year, while pregnant with Esther, when I failed the 28 week blood glucose test. I received a prescription for a blood sugar monitor, which I filled by going to my friendly neighborhood medical supply store. There I was instructed in how to punch a tiny hole in my fingertip with a needle four times a day, squeeze a big drop of blood out of said hole, and smear it onto a strip that would tell me what my blood glucose level was. A few days later I had my first meeting with the dietician, who explained to me the diet I would be following for the rest of my pregnancy. Here is the diet:

Wake up and test blood sugar (ie poke finger with sharp "lancet")
Eat 15 g Carbohydrates, but no fruit or milk
Re-test blood sugar exactly one hour after taking first bite
Eat 30 g Carbohydrates, fruit or milk okay now
Wait no more than 2.5 hours, and then eat 45 g Carbohydrates
Test blood sugar exactly one hour later
Eat 30 g Carbohydrates within 2.5 hours of last meal
Eat 45 g Carbohydrates within 2.5 hours of last snack
Test blood sugar 4th time, exactly one hour after dinner
Eat 30 g Carbohydrate snack before bed.
Repeat EVERY DAY for way too many days.

In spite of the fact that I followed this diet very carefully, recording every bite I ate in my old Weight Watchers food journal, I was not able to consistently keep my blood sugar within the right range. So in April I began giving myself a big belly shot of insulin each night before bed. This wasn't enough, and I increased to three shots of insulin a day. By the time Esther was born in May, my tummy was covered in swollen red welts from all of the places I'd inserted the needle. The nice thing about Gestational Diabetes is that it goes away as soon as the baby is born. For my efforts, I am pleased to report that Esther was healthy and I had lost 20 pounds. I had also experienced first hand what a drag it is to have Diabetes.

I saw my dietician for the last time at six weeks post-partum. I was surprised when she started writing out a menu for me that looked very similar to the one I'd followed during the pregnancy. Although I knew that I had a higher likelihood of developing diabetes later in life than someone who had not had gestational diabetes, I was under the impression that regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight were the keys to prevention. She handed me the menu and said, "you should try to follow this the rest of your life."


That night I went to Target and bought (and ate) three bags of Pepperidge Farms cookies.

Now I am 7 months post-partum. I have regained 10 of the 20 pounds I lost during my pregnancy (I was supposed to LOSE 10 more pounds, not gain them). Two nights ago I had ANOTHER serious talk with Dan about getting a dog. I've been badgering him for a long time about this, and he has consistently said that I am welcome to get a dog as soon as he is dead. So I explained to him how a dog is part of my diabetes-prevention plan--to give me a walking companion. Dan actually asked if we could just move back to Idaho instead so that I could go walking with my dad. Anyway, the next night, Dan pulled out my old copy of The South Beach Diet and started reading it to me. "Wait a second" I said. "You're doing this so we won't have to get a dog, aren't you?" Sly smile, but he kept reading. As I listened to the opening chapter it occurred to me that this diet was a lot easier than having diabetes. So this morning I woke up, back in the saddle again.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nativity with Two Dead Sheep

Today is Christmas Eve. We spent the late afternoon and early evening with friends Felicity, Laurellee, Juan Carlos, Toddler Javier, and Baby Andres. For our meal together I served a big pot of Borscht (a beautiful red soup filled with beets, cabbage, and tomatoes) with sour cream, brie and baguettes, a veggie platter with tomatoes, carrots and broccoli, spinach dip, red grapes, and clementines. And fried potatoes and eggs. And for dessert, hot chocolate, candy canes, and chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of friends Michelle & Byron, who gave us the dough as a gift).

After eating and clearing the table, we sat down to have what Dan kept calling "Our Christmas Program." In my family growing up, the Christmas Eve tradition included a big meal with friends (check), followed by a reading of the nativity in Luke, interrupted every verse or two by a movement to the piano where we would sing a Christmas hymn. Tonight, instead of reading from the scriptures, I opted for a board book recently sent to us by Dan's mom. Maybe that was my first mistake. I was thinking the board book would hold the kids' attention better than the actual scriptures, but nothing seemed to be able to hold my boys' attention short of OPENING PRESENTS, which I kept telling them they couldn't do. Unfortunately for me, Dan had told them they COULD each open a present, and so they won out in the end. You can see them opening their presents in the picture above. Javier is attempting to open Esther's present, who was conveniently sleeping in the other room. Much to Adam's dismay (which he expressed freely), the presents they selected were matching ties. Yes, ties. Dan was so excited because he had found them little ties in the Land's End catalog that looked just like the ones Harry Potter wears at Hogwarts. He thought the boys would love them. Adam said they were very boring and he had wanted something he could play with. To this, Eli responded that they could play with them, whenever they were pretending to be students at Hogwarts.

So, back to our lovely Christmas Eve Program. I sat in a chair facing the children, who were on the rug. I opened the board book and began to read about Mary and the visitation of the Angel Gabriel. I stopped at the end of the page and asked what song we could sing. Eli suggested "Mary, Mary" from the Children's Songbook. I was pleased with his suggested, and Dan began to play. It only took a few bars to realize that none of our guests knew the song. So it was a bit hollow sounding, but we moved on.

The next part of the book was about Mary and Joseph's trip to Bethlehem. At that point, Eli wanted to sing, "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem" but I knew our guests didn't know that, either, so I suggested "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" instead. Just as Dan started to play, the phone rang. As I was leaving the living room to answer it, I could see Felicity standing up to go stand by the piano so that she could follow along in the hymn book. Here I must interject that several months ago, we took our hymn book to the church and left it there accidentally. Since then, whenever we want to play the hymns, we have to use Dan's German hymn book. That is what Dan was using, so it didn't turn out to be much help to Felicity who, like most people in this country, doesn't read German. The phone was for Dan, and the song wasn't going too well, so he went to the kitchen to take the call. While he was gone, our little program continued to deteriorate.

Dan came back and we tried to get going again. The boys were being kind of crazy, and things weren't turning out as fuzzy and warm as I had pictured them. I remembered that when I was little, we liked to act out the nativity on Christmas Eve. So I asked the children who in the room looked the most like Baby Jesus. They answered, "Esther!" who was actually in the other room sleeping. Their next guess was "Javier!" who is almost two. I gave up at that point and motioned to Andres, the three week old, and said I thought he could be baby Jesus. Then I suggested that Laurellee and Juan Carlos could be Mary and Joseph, as they were sitting on the couch with the baby, and what could we be? Felicity wanted to be a wise man. Dan suggested we be shepherds. The boys wanted to be sheep. Dead sheep.

I should have known better, but I ploughed ahead, reading how the angels proclaimed the birth to the shepherds. We then tried to sing "Angels We Have Heard on High." Adam howled at the top of his voice the entire song. When we finished, Eli explained, in a rather intoxicated voice, "we were singing in sheep language." Adam added "dead sheep language." I pointed out that sheep can't talk. Especially dead sheep. Next was the part about the Wise Men coming to see the child when he was a bit older. I suggested that Javier could be the Toddler Jesus, and at this point Adam and Eli declared themselves to be dead camels. So I said, "The End!" and all of the adults clapped, frightening Javier so badly that he bit his dad hard on the hand. At which point our guests left and the evening was pretty much over.

Friday, December 1, 2006

This Chicken is Good with Ketchup

This year I discovered an excellent way of making Thanksgiving better than ever: unpaid labor. On Wednesday morning my brother James flew in for a five-day visit. I knew his holiday would be nicer if I cleaned the house before he arrived, but I never quite made it from the thought to the part where I did any cleaning. So, in the car on the way home from the airport, I warned him that the bathroom was disgusting and that he would have to climb over a mountain of mess in order to reach his bed in the far corner of the basement. Almost as soon as he walked in the door, James had his sleeves rolled up and was cleaning my entire house. Before my very eyes I watched this younger brother/ guest sanitize my filthy bathroom, tame the chaotic basement, pick up the living room, rake three giant Silver Maples-worth of fallen leaves, and mow the lawn.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, my sister-in-law, Leslie, was working on the Thanksgiving feast. She had decided that there were never quite enough pies on the big day, and to remedy this, she would be in charge of pie-making. Leslie spent the entire day making pies in homemade shells--4 pumpkin, 2 cherry, 2 chocolate, 2 lemon meringue, and 1 coconut cream. Well after dark, with the last pie cooling in the minivan outside, she started the stuffing. I was in charge of the turkey, potatoes, and gravy. I prepared the turkey Thursday morning according to my friend Heather's instructions: I combined butter with minced garlic and rosemary and rubbed it all over the bird. I cooked it in the oven for four hours, basting it with the melted garlic butter and fat every 30 minutes. It was golden brown on the outside, moist and tasty on the inside. I cut up the potatoes, but Leslie was the one to boil them, and I think I saw one of our guests mashing them. Leslie made the gravy, too!

Our guests arrived at 1 o'clock. We had two tables set up in the living room. At the large table we had 10 adults: me, Dan, Leslie, James, cousin Kendall with wife Mary, and friends Sid, Ken, Amy, and Eileen. At the smaller table we put the 5 kids: Eli, Adam, and cousins Lindsay, Sydney, and Brayden. Baby Esther sat on my lap, and Mary's baby boy fetus, due in February, stayed in utero. Kendall and Mary brought delicious sweet potatoes; Ken brought homemade sushi filled with carrots, cucumbers, and smoked gouda; Eileen brought tomatoes stuffed with mushrooms and goat cheese, and Amy brought green beans stir fried with sesame seeds and almonds. Before we started eating, Dan invited everyone to introduce themselves and say something they were thankful for. I started, thanking Leslie and James for doing all of the work. Kendall and Mary mentioned gratitude for living close enough to cousins to be able to spend Thanksgiving with family. Leslie's friends were grateful that she had invited them to our home so they didn't have to spend the day alone. All of the children were grateful for cousins to play with. All but Adam, that is, who refused to introduce himself or say anything he was grateful for. He did, however, acknowledge later that the big chicken we were eating was good with ketchup. The chicken was actually a turky, but no amount of explanation on our part could convince him of this fact. When Leslie brought out the pies after our meal, she seemed to feel a little self-conscious and embarrassed by the extravagance of making eleven of them. I don't think she could see the child-like excitement in our eyes at the prospect of making ourselves sick on pie. It was definitely the highlight of the meal, and people seemed giddy as they served themselves piece after piece, covered in freshly whipped cream.

After we had reached our bursting point, a large group of us walked the kids over to the park. When their bladders demanded a return to the house, Kendall kindly escorted them back while I continued on with the other adults for a walk through the woods. Later in the evening we had a small impromptu talent show. Eli played some of his piano pieces, including "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter and "The Fiddler on the Roof". Leslie played "Ashokan Farewell" and a square-dancing number on her viola. Dan played his recorder and I sang one of his favorite German Christmas carols, "Tochter Zion."

So, in review, remember these important points for your Thanksgiving Feast 2007: 1) invite overnight guests that will double as unpaid laborers 2) have a sister-in-law that will do all the cooking 3) serve at least 11 pies and 4) eat your chicken with plenty of ketchup.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A "Brilliant" Evening

For many years now, Dan has taken charge of putting the boys to bed. His bedtime rituals with them are sweet, but they take a lot longer than I seem to have the patience for. They read at least one chapter of Harry Potter together. They snuggle and talk about their days. He often tells them a story. It takes over an hour. On the rare occasion that Dan is not home to put the boys to bed, they get me. This is how I put them to bed. Me: "Get in bed, now." Boys: "Mom, can't we have a story, pleeeeeeease?" Me, barking: "No! Get in bed right now!" This bedtime routine I have developed is part of my bid to be named Angel Mother of the Year.

In the past few months, Dan has had to spend more evenings working late at the office. I finally broke down one night and decided to attempt to replicate at least part of the bedtime ritual they are accustomed to. I didn't want to read them Harry Potter because Dan is really into the books and wouldn't want to miss a chapter. So, we sat on the couch and I read them a picture book. It was a much gentler bedtime than my usual, so I've been trying to repent and change my ways. Now on our weekly trip to the library, I spend part of the time searching for picture books that look fun to read so that I won't be bored when they ask me to read Lyle Lyle Crocodile for the 40,000th time. This has greatly improved my attitude toward putting them to bed.

Two nights ago, I was particularly on top of my game. It started out with a package the boys received in the mail from their Aunt Bug. Taped to the outside of the package were six starbursts. I used the candy as a bribe to get them to eat a good dinner, so that was our first step in the right direction. After dessert, I put them in the bathtub. At the end of their bath, I opened their package for them, revealing a brand new Sudoku for Kids book. I used the new book as a bribe to get them out of the water. Once they had their little underwear and wife-beaters on (they won't wear pajamas), we sat on the couch together and Eli proceeded to explain to Adam how to do Sudoku. It was really touching to see him kindly showing Adam what to do, especially since they seem to spend a great deal of their time trying to kill each other. After each Sudoku puzzle that Adam completed, Eli wrote "Great Job" on the top and put a big star in the middle. After a few puzzles, I decided that instead of our usual library books, I would read to them from the new Friend (the monthly magazine for children published by the Church). We opened to the inside cover and read "An Embarrassing Arrest" by Quinn D., age 10, North Carolina:

One day in my class I had to "arrest" a girl in another class for a mock trial we were doing. I was really embarrassed and prayed for help. My teacher said I had done better than anyone she had seen do it in 18 years. Later that night I thanked Heavenly Father for His help.

I asked Eli and Adam to tell me about what had happened in the story. They both did a good job of identifying the main points--the boy had something hard he needed to do, he prayed for help, and received it. They both wanted to know what 'arrest' meant, so we talked about the police and the courts for a bit. Then I asked them how they could apply this story in their own lives. Eli said that he could pray for help with math. Adam said that school is kind of hard for him because he's never done it before. I asked what kind of things are hard for him. He said "reading, writing, talking about pictures..." I felt such a warm feeling there on the couch talking with them about prayer and about how they could ask for help with the things they were struggling with. Dan got home from work then, and when he walked in the door, Eli jumped off the couch and said, "Dad, we are having a brilliant evening!" We don't have evenings like this very often, but when we do, I feel like the best mom in the world.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What is a Blog?

Do not be embarrassed, dear reader, if you have asked yourself this question. You are in excellent company. My daddy was the first to ask me this question, and my Aunt Diana has just asked me. Here is a link to an informative Wikipedia article that will answer this question, and more:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bedtime Story, Anyone?

I found Scranimals (poems by Jack Prelutsky, pictures by Peter Sis) at the library this week, and the boys and I love it. For a grown-up, the text is enjoyable enough to read over and over, as are the illustrations. For a kid, it introduces wonderful words and really captures the imagination. Tonight as we read it together, Eli kept a list of the page numbers of his favorite scranimals. They include: the rhinocerose, the hippopotamushrooms, the porcupineapple, and the radishark. In the car on the way to church Sunday we tried to come up with some new scranimals. I thought of the persimmonkey. Can anyone answer this question: one of the scranimals is called a petrelephant, and it is a mix of a bird and an elephant. What is the name of the bird? I've never heard of a petrel(?), has anyone else?
The second book I want to highlight is Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. Adam and I were first introduced to this book last year by his preschool teacher, Ms. Juli. We re-discovered it at the library last week, and brought it home to share with Eli and Dan. I don't know if Dan has been able to develop a proper appreciation for it yet, but the boys and I think it is hilarious. One of the best parts is when little Trixie, who can't yet talk, is trying to convey a very important message to her daddy. She gets so frustrated that she 'goes boneless'. We used to call this 'getting floppy', but either way, it is infuriating. We also love the angry expression on her face when her daddy finally carries her home.

The third book for the evening is Angel Coming by Heather Henson and Susan Gaber. This book didn't grab our attention until the Author's Note and pictures at the very end. The Note begins: "Not so long ago in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, if a child asked where babies came from...folks would tell of babies brought up the steep paths, tucked safely inside saddlebags, carried by an angel on horseback." The author goes on to explain that these angels on horseback were the nurse-midwives of the Frontier Nursing Service, founded by Mary Breckinridge in 1925. Mary apparently grew up in a southern family with money, and decided to become a nurse to help the women and children in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. She "built a clinic and advertised for nurse-midwives who wanted adventure and were not afraid of hard work." These women wore blue uniforms and made monthly visits along their assigned routes to check on the mothers and children. I've included a photo of Mary Breckinridge and the link to the Frontier Nursing Service, which is still in operation today. Of course, as soon as I read this I said to the boys, "I want to be a nurse-midwife in the Frontier Nursing Service, too!" To which Eli replied, "you'll have to move to Kentucky."

One of the best recipes, Ever

I love to check out cookbooks from the library. Rarely do I find one that I would actually like to own. But the recipe that I'm about to share with you is from such a wonderful cookbook that I've renewed it too many times to count--I think I'm going on a year now. Here is the title: Lidia's Family Table by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 2004). Here is the recipe that we love. But wait, before I write it, I must tell you that since the first time I ever made this recipe, I have made it nearly weekly. It is a staple of our diet. As soon as it runs out, we are ready for more. Okay, here is the recipe:

Soup Base of Garlicky White Beans and Broth

For Cooking the Beans:
1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) dry white beans, soaked overnight
4 quarts cold water, plus more if needed
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more if needed

For the Garlicky Soffritto:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 big garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


Cooking the Beans: Drain the soaked beans and put them in the pot with the water, bay leaves, and olive oil. Cover the pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally [Andrea's note: if I'm not paying attention, mine always froth up and boil over, so keep an eye on this first stage--stirring prevents this]. When the water is at a full boil, set the cover ajar, adjust the heat to maintain a steady gentle boiling, and cook for an hour more, until the beans are tender. Stir in the salt, uncover, and continue cooking at a bubbling boil for another hour or more, until the beans and broth have reduced to 3 quarts. Lower the heat as the liquid evaporates and the soup base thickens, stirring now and then to prevent scorching [Andrea's note: I burned mine once because I wasn't careful enough about scraping the beans off the bottom of the pot when I stirred].

Flavoring the Base with the Soffritto: When the soup base is sufficiently reduced, make the soffritto. Heat the olive oil and the sliced garlic in a skillet over medium heat for 2 mintures or so, shaking the pan now and then, until the slices are sizzling. Drop in the red pepper flakes, stir with the garlic, and cook another minute, or until the garlic is just starting to color [Andrea's note: don't overcook the garlic or it will get bitter]. From the soup pot, ladle out a cup of the simmering bean broth and pour it into the skillet. Let it sizzle and start to boil, shake and stir up the soffritto, and cook if for a couple of minutes in the broth. Then pour it all back into the bean pot, scraping in every bit of the soffritto, or just rinse the skillet out with more broth. Simmer the soup base for another 5 minutes with the soffritto, then remove from the heat. The base is ready for a finished soup now.

Now, to make what Lidia calls "a finished soup", just add stuff to the base, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Some of the additions we've loved: any kind of greens (beet greens, chard, spinach, mustard greens, kale, etc.); zucchini; cauliflower; squash; elbow macaroni. Lidia recommends chicken or shrimp (we haven't tried those, yet). For super extra yumminess, garnish each individual serving with some chopped bacon and parmesan cheese.

Extracurricular Activities

Here is my question: what do you think about children and extracurricular activities? Right now we've got 7 year old Eli taking piano lessons. He practices at home and has a 45 minute lesson every Saturday morning at his teacher's house, here in our neighborhood. He has 2-3 recitals a year. This seems very do-able, and I'm glad he's involved in this. He seems to love the piano and is doing well. I do not feel overwhelmed by the committment. Adam is not involved in any activity right now. I feel extremely hesitant to sign my kids up for things. Having to be places at certain times is stressful for me. I want them to be able to play and hang out at home. I don't want to spend Saturdays at various sporting events. On the other hand, I worry that if I wait too long, they will be too old to get the hang of various things. Here is what Dan suggests: 1 activitiy at a time while they're in elementary school, and 2 at a time in middle and high school. For Eli, that would mean just piano until grade six. Adam is sort of planning to start piano when he starts first grade, like Eli did. But what about sports? Eli played soccer after school in kindergarten, and I did not like having to be at the practices and games. I signed him up for several activities after school when he started first grade, but he asked me to cancel them because he was too tired after school, and I was relieved because I felt the same way. He did enjoy a non-competitive after school basketball program last year that he did once a week for an hour. I liked that, too, because there were no games to go to. When I was swimming today, I was thinking about what a valuable skill swimming is, and how grateful I am that I can swim for exercise. I would really like to pass that skill along to all of my children, both for safety and enjoyment of water-based recreational activities, and as a way of exercising throughout their lives. You may have noticed in my narrative that a lot of my hesitation about the boys' activities is because of my lack of energy and desire. You may be thinking "she shouldn't keep her boys from having these important experiences because of her laziness." While I do worry about this, I'm not sure how important these extracurricular experiences really are at this age. I know I've read things about kids being over-scheduled and about the importance of unstructured play. I know that I got burned out by the time my high school years were over from all of my activities, and I wish I had spent more time at home with my family (this is not meant as a criticism to you, mom and dad--I'm so grateful for all of the opportunities you gave me, and I did have wonderful experiences with swimming and dancing). When I joined the swim team, I think I was 10 or 11 years old. The kids who had been on the team since they were 8 & unders seemed to be a lot better swimmers, but that didn't prevent me from being a decent swimmer and now I enjoy swimming for exercise as much as they do, I imagine. I don't know if I would have been more competitive if I had gotten started earlier. If I don't get Eli and Adam into sports soon, are they never going to be good athletes? If they wait to do serious sports until they're offered by the school (6th grade, age 11), will that be too late for them? I'd love to hear what you think about these things.

Thanks for the swim, Janie!

I would like to say thanks to my good friend Janie, who asked me this morning if I would like to trade babysitting so that we could both exercise. First, Jake came over and played with Adam while Janie went running with her Esther. Then I dropped Jake and Adam at Janie's and took my Esther to the YMCA. Babies have to be 6 months old before they can be left in Child Watch while their parent exercises. So today, Esther is 6 months and 2 days old. If it wasn't for trading with Janie, I don't know when I would have ever gotten around to going to the YMCA. I felt really hesitant to take Esther there, sure she would start crying and it would be an awful experience. But she did great, and I got in the pool and swam for the first time since she was born. When I left, she was sitting in an exersaucer, and she looked so tiny. It was very different from the past when I've left Adam and Eli there. I don't even think she could see far enough to notice me leaving. When I came back, she was fast asleep in one of the sitters' arms. I only swam 1/2 mile, but it felt great to be using my muscles again, and to be in the water. This leads me to another topic...(see next post)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Laugh Therapy

Dan and I just listened to this gem from NPR. "Dire Predictions and Disastrous Votes: Election Ads" aired November 6, 2006, on All Things Considered. Melissa Block interviews two of the most sought after voices in the world of political ads. I think my favorite part is when they do dark and scary renditions of Mother Goose. Do yourself a favor: listen to this.

An Act of Blogger Treason

Today I committed an act of blogger treason. I deleted my 2-day old blog, including my first four posts. When I told Dan what I had done, we had a very uncomfortable moment, after which he informed me of the unwritten law that no one ever deletes a blog. I have felt a little bit sick and ashamed since then.

So, what caused me to destroy my innocent baby blog? Well, it started with my idea to create a blog called "Potato Girl in Japan" as a place to publish the journal I kept as a Rotary exchange student in Nagoya many years ago. I liked thinking of myself as Potato Girl, following my adventures around the world. "Potato Girl in Manila" would be a place to share my mission journal from The Philippines. I wanted to keep the Potato Girl theme going with "Potato Girl in Michigan" but I didn't know how to do that and still keep the content of my original blog. Instead of figuring out a way, I thought, "this blog is so new and there are only a few entries--I'll just delete it and start over." So with a quick flick of my wrist, I deleted it. Then I went upstairs to eat lunch, and I told Dan what I had done. When I found out about the unwritten law, I felt very sorry. I hope you believe me when I say: I will never delete the Potato Girl blogs. I promise.