Monday, November 11, 2013
I miss him every day. He was the wisest, kindest man in the world, and he loved me without reservation. My mother was the critical one, my father was the accepting one. He was firm about certain things, though, like frugality, perseverance, kindness. He taught me about caring about the natural environment long before that was a social concern. We used to go for long walks in the woods and he made me learn birds by sight and song, and to identify trees by bark and leaf. He taught me about the constellations, how to read the night sky. He was a chemist, having put himself through three degrees. Every night after dinner he'd start writing equations on napkins, teaching us what he loved, and it all made sense. He could say in 10 words what others took pages to say. He passed on the wisdom of his father and grandfather, and the words they had learned from their grandparents. He had a hard life. He was stricken with polio when he was 3, and he could never use his withered left arm. That was back in the day when employers didn't have to deal with "cripples", but DuPont was happy to hire him, and he spent 35 years with the company, years he enjoyed immensely. We take that kind of opportunity for granted today, but he was grateful and taught me gratitude.
I am grateful every day that he was my father. I remember his words every day in one context or another, and have passed them on to my children and their children.
And oh how I miss him!!
Monday, October 28, 2013
We talk all the time about not being perfect, about how perfection can't be our goal. But what does "perfection" mean?
I have defined "perfection" to mean eating to my food plan for one day. That's all. I can accomplish nothing else that day and still have a perfect day. Even if I make no inroads on my "to do" list, I can have a perfect day. I used to have high expectations that a Perfect Day meant I was Mary Poppins: Simply Perfect In Every Way. Alas, not going to happen. The one constant in every day is eating, so I have a Plan, I check it off. The rest of my life can blow up around me and land at my feet in shards, but if I eat to my Plan, I have had a Perfect Day.
My food plan allows for occasional emergency substitutions. I can't cook if I am , say, sitting in the hospital with someone, but I really know what I can have to get me through, even though it feels like I should compensate for the fear and pain of watching someone in the hospital and SHOULD be able to have that apple cobbler, but it's not on The List so I don't. I have the fish. And it's still a perfect day, even though the bed is still unmade and I am not wearing makeup. Or even shoes. If I eat within my Plan, it is Perfect.
The more tightly I define "Perfect" the better the chance that I can have it.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
When I first joined WW years ago, the Plan was very limited until you reached goal, then you got certain foods back every two weeks for 10 weeks. Then they switched to an exchange plan and the whole universe of legal food opened up. The lists were HUGE! It's an enormous box of possibilities.
I know people who bemoan not being able to eat the Macho Nacho Platter at some restaurant, yet look at the lists. The components are all there if you make them yourself. Or smothered pork chops. Or chicken pot pie. Or macaroni and cheese. With just a little of the creativity we all have, there really isn't much I can't eat, I just need to make it myself.
I learned to cook in Weight Watchers. I learned how little oil or cream it takes for something to be delicious. I learned the order to add ingredients to maximize their flavor. I learned that adding vegetables can vary texture and color in any otherwise ordinary dish. I learned that a little fruit adds a sweet counterpoint to a savory dish. And all those things are in the lists.
Rather than seeing all the stuff I can't have, I look at all the foods I CAN have, a list far longer than I ever thought when I started out. Those lists are the ultimate mix and match, and the results are an endlessly varying sequence of wonderful dinners. The lists do not include doughnuts, or anything from Ruby Tuesday or TGIFriday (I don't think those restaurants even existed when I started out), but when I shift my eyes from the food outside the box to the food inside the box, it is an unending source of delicious possibility.
The only limitation is my own creativity, and creativity is like a muscle: the more you use it, the better it gets.
Monday, September 09, 2013
I don't know what it is about our section of the power grid, but once again the power is out. I heard a bang at 4am, woke me up, and the power went down. Thank goodness we have a whole house generator!! Although it came on and no power was coming to the house. I had to get a flashlight and reset the circuit breaker on the unit out back. Whatever tripped the grid circuit tripped my generator as well. The people across the street have power, as usual. You'd think that after a couple of decades of power failures, Virginia Power would have figured out there was a problem. As it is, they told me years ago that the only solution was for me to sink the many $$$ into a generator.
My next door neighbor finally bought a generator, but the rest of them are upset. The neighbor behind me complains of the noise, says that it "disturbs the peace of a power outage". Really? They no longer speak to me. Oh well, I can still use my computer. And watch TV and make coffee.
Like a lot of other things, a generator is a very expensive white elephant....until you need it.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
They finally put in the correct cabinets!!
Now, just the final trim and painting. It's been a long two months, but worth all of it!!
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