TTFN Facebook

Should I stay or should I go now?

Should I stay or should I go now?

Two weeks ago Wednesday, I deleted my Facebook account.  I waited to tell the world of my new status to make sure that the deletion would stick.  How embarrassing is it to delete your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr, tell everybody how you did it cold turkey, and then be back on it within three days?

I was staying connected to the social media site because well, I have friends (or so I thought), family, colleagues, and old high school friends on Facebook.  I thought by leaving, I wasn’t really leaving behind a behemoth website but all my friends.  I took a social media site and made it personal which is Facebook’s goal.  Before they “let” you leave, they show who will miss you while you’re gone which is funny because only one person has contacted me and asked me where I went.  One person.  Goes to show that either people don’t notice or they don’t care.

Thinking about this all the way through, I realized that Facebook was giving me almost zero pleasure but was taking up about an hour a day, every day.  It was sucking the life out of me.  Facebook was making me feel worse rather than better, and this was all before learning they’re into experimenting on their most vulnerable subscribers!

All that time on Facebook translates to 7 hours per week (let’s be honest, it’s probably more like 14) and 365 (730?) hours per year.  What can I accomplish if I write for an hour each day for my blog?  What if I used all that time for exercise and healthy meal preparation?  Getting manicures?  Massages?  Maybe I’d finally have the time to write the book that I’ve been meaning to get to for years?

The final straw in the camel’s back (don’t worry, the camel still updates his Facebook status regularly) was an article I read by Dr. Fuhrman about how long it takes to break a bad habit.  Apparently, after 66 days I will no longer desire being on Facebook.  And I think it’s already working.  I don’t feel any need to get back on, and I know that if I do, I will find the same things posted day after day, week after week, year after year.

And bonus?  You won’t have to listen to me rant about what I just read on Facebook anymore.

War of the Radishes

A healthy slice o' life

A healthy slice o’ life

I remember a time in my youth when I complained to my mom that I was hungry and needed a snack.  Did she pull out a satisfying sleeve of graham crackers?  How about a salty/sweet peanutty Snickers bar?  Or heck even a cheese stick or two?

No.  No.  And no.

She told me to go get some bean spouts and pour vinegar on them.

Wha?  Excuse me, you want me to do what??  I think I was 10 at the time.

Welcome to my ‘Roots and Twigs’ phase.  During this period, I was allowed to have raisins, carob chips, banana chips, dates, and carrots or apples if I wanted something sweet.

I thought my mom was nuts and I don’t mean the healthy raw variety, I mean the probably bad-for-you dry roasted and salted kind.

Needless to say, this is one period when I looked forward to the daily school lunch.  At least there I could get noodles slathered in butter-like substance, a cheeseburger and a brownie.

Fast forward many years and here I am much older and supposedly wiser.  I’ve read every single thing out there on the Internet that scares the crap out of me regarding my family’s health and so for the past couple of years I have attempted to make some serious changes.  I’ve made everyone go vegan, I’ve asked them to cut out milk.  One daughter now throws a 3/4 teaspoon of matcha tea and flaxseeds into her smoothie.  I frequently cut up a ton of fruit and serve it sans sugar at dinner time as a side dish.

What is the point of this post?  Am I mom of the year?  Am I looking for an atta girl or a pat on the head?  No, I’m looking for others out there who go through all this effort only to have their husbands sabotage their good intentions.

The other day, my husband stopped at the Golden Arches for breakfast.  I have no problem with this because he is a grown man and can decide for himself how soon he wants to die.  I don’t ever stop for fast food–not that I’m an angel because I’m not.  My fast food includes Rubio’s, Noodles ‘n Company, and other places like it but it’s fairly infrequently and I silently cringe as I add up how many grams of salt the girls are choking down.

Anyway, I digress.  I don’t care what the man eats because he’s incorrigible.  He’s frequently found on the couch watching TV with his corn chips, Chips Ahoy, white bread, Oreos, chocolate milk made with Nestle Quik, and anything else containing sugar/salt/fat.

One day last week, he brought home hash browns from McDonald’s for any one of the girls who wanted to eat them.  He hadn’t bought them specifically for anyone–it was a first-come, first served kind of gift.  I mentioned how bad fried hash browns are and his quick retort was, “They’re just like french fries, but in a different shape.”

Yes, he’s right and then I stumbled upon this video about how bad french fries are for people (and probably pets).  We should not consume them ever, according to Dr. Michael Greger.  I have not touched one since viewing this video and will have a hard time doing so ever again.  And this video is six years old.  Where have I been!

My question is this, how do you handle situations where one parent is concerned and proactive about their children’s health and the other is more child-like in his nutrition quest?  I’m really curious.  Do you do your best and hope the roots and twigs phase overrides the sugar and shit phase?  And I mean after college because I already know what one of my girls ate at college during her freshman year.  I think the spirulina cakes in her preschool lunchbox turned her against me.

I am seriously perplexed as to how to get my husband onboard with health.  Any tips/tricks?  I’ve tried talking about nutrition (oh, there’s your mom going off again about processed food), sending videos from the experts, sneaking extra veggies into sauces and casseroles, modeling the desired behavior, and just giving up/shutting up and drinking wine (organic, of course).

What would you do?


Photo copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_filmfoto’>filmfoto / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Back to School

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

Today was the last day I could sleep in without getting in trouble with the Principal, at least (yes, it is all about me ;-).  Tomorrow is the first day of school for my youngest daughter.  It’s her final year of middle school before she’s off to high school.  I think I feel a tear of nostalgia welling up.

When I started this post it was to lament the loss of summer, and to complain about having to get up early for the next week but in reality, it’s time for the kids to go back.  We are all out of ideas as to what kind of activities to do each day which is a funny way to decide that it’s time for school, but yet there it is.  Nothing to do = time for some learnin’!

We live in San Diego which is chock full of stuff to do for kids but we’ve done them all this year.  Everything including things one wouldn’t imagine a kid would want to do like going to the San Diego Museum of Art (it was a hit, by the way), the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, the Birch Aquarium (I loved this visit–yes, it’s still about me), and to a birthday party for a child young enough to necessitate the rental of a bouncy (the bouncy thing elicited gushes of joy–I’ve put it on my daughter’s birthday wish list even though she’s a tad old for one).

As you can see from my list, we’re nearing the end of the things to do in San Diego, so with a somewhat heavy heart, I say good-bye to this summer and welcome the new school year.  May it be the best one for everyone!

 


The photo used is Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_fozrocket’>fozrocket / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

 

When a Neighbor’s Hobby Bugs You

Red Drum

Red Drum

Honestly, I do not feel like writing today but I’m doing it because I told Michael Katz of Blue Penguin Development that I would to honor his dad who passed away this week with making a blog post.  You see, his dad followed through on running for exercise nearly every single day.  I have made schedules for writing but I have NOT followed through every single day.  Michael’s dad lived to be over 90 years old, whereas my blog may not last the next 90 days unless I start writing for it regularly.

Walking down the street the other night, I noticed a garage band playing again.  The band plays their music very loudly every time I walk past, and that is what prompted me to write about when a neighbor’s hobby bugs you.

Neighbors:  they can be good and they can be bad or even awful.  For example, one of my neighbors goes on a motorcycle ride every weekend morning.  Forget ever sleeping in, this man will make sure of it with his very loud and very large bike that he warms up for 15 minutes prior to leaving.  Nice!  Toxic fumes float inside my bedroom window along with the noise pollution.

I love it when people have hobbies, but wouldn’t it be nice if their hobbies didn’t conflict with your desires (sleeping)?

My other neighbor’s hobby appears to be entertaining.  If I’m really honest with myself, I’m partially envious that they not only have enough friends to entertain, but they have enough stamina to work 90 hours a week and then come home and party all weekend.  The only upside to these neighbors’ parties is that if I’m bored, I can go outside and listen to their party talk.  Sometimes it’s gets more or more interesting as the evening wears on and the drinks start to take effect.  No, I’m not doing anything illegal and I’m definitely not stalking–I live in California so my roof is precisely 10 feet from their roof.  You try not hearing what people are saying when they’re practically in your backyard.  I can’t wait to move to somewhere less congested!

My old neighbors used to work out on exercise machines in their garage.  The guy was particularly funny as he grunted, groaned and gagged while lifting too much weight or ran on the treadmill.  I wish his working out had motivated me to do more working out myself, but unfortunately it just made me giggle.

Now it is your turn to share with me what your neighbors do that bug YOU!

 

The News Ain’t All Bad

After rereading my post yesterday about the local news coverage of all the San Diego fires and its impact on my friendships, I feel the need to set the record straight.  Even though many of my friends didn’t contact me to check-in with my family to make sure we were safe during the recent Poinsettia Fire (I was a little hurt about that), I am extremely grateful to Channel 10 news.  My family and I were stationed around our TV waiting for any hint that suggested we should leave.

Without the blow-by-blow account of the Poinsettia Fire, we wouldn’t have known when to worry and when to remain calm.  Without the local news, we also wouldn’t have known about Reverse 911.  Although the site was overwhelmed on Wednesday, I was able to sign up on Thursday morning.  Any future emergencies will go to my cell phone which is a relief (as long as it works!).

The local news certainly has a valuable place in society and I’m grateful for the lengthy, in-depth coverage of the recent numerous San Diego fires.

What I Noticed Today Is…The News is Harming Friendships

Poinsettia Firestorm 2014

Poinsettia Firestorm 2014

What I noticed today is who contacted me to make sure my family and me were okay during the recent Poinsettia Fire.  We were really, really close to the second fire with the first one being dubbed the Bernardo fire.  We were given orders via Reverse 911 to get ready to go.  My family and I quickly decided what to take with us and what to leave behind to…burn??

Actually, I guess what I really noticed is who didn’t contact me, and you know what?  It’s going to be hard to not ask them why they didn’t care enough to send a ten second text.  I know the fires were all over the news all over the U.S. so I cannot imagine that the friends didn’t hear about it.  These, of course, are the people who are out of the state and not the ones living the nightmare.

I asked some friends of mine if they were surprised at who didn’t contact them, and they all replied no.  One friend said that nobody asked her if she was ok.  She didn’t seem to care that nobody had.  She offered this as an explanation, “Perhaps they didn’t think it was that bad.”  And that sentence is very telling.  Here’s what I think about why that is: the evening news.

The news has become over sensationalized about every little drop of rain, wind, and fire and we’ve all experienced it (Firestorm 20xx–said in a booming, powerful voice).  Friends have watched the news covering San Diego from their states, reached out when they thought it was bad (because of the news), and then when I said, “Thanks for checking in but it’s barely sprinkling here.  We weren’t affected by the mudslides,” they must feel embarrassed.  I think it makes them less likely to call/text/email again.

The sensational news stories need to stop so that my friends and family don’t feel dumb about asking me if my family and me are ok.

[We are, by the way, in case you were going to ask :-)]

Touch&Know Discreet At-Home Drug Testing Kit for Parents Who Need to Know NOW

What is this in my daughter's backpack?

What is this in my daughter’s backpack?

Rifling through my purse the other day, searching frantically for something important while at a hotel out of town, I started pulling things out of side pockets, pouches, and every nook and cranny looking for…well, I don’t even remember at this point.

My daughter looked at a plastic baggy full of a white powder, and with wide eyes asked, “Mom, what is that?”

I looked to where her eyes were transfixed, and knew instantly why she was concerned.

My plastic baggy full of white powder looked like cocaine to the untrained eye, but it was simply Z-Sweet, a sugar substitute I cannot live without especially in hotel coffee.

I knew it wasn’t cocaine but to anybody passing by the spectacle of me digging through my purse might think differently.

What if the roles were reversed and I found a baggy full of white powder in my daughter’s backpack or in her jeans while doing laundry?  How would I know what the substance is without confronting and accusing my daughter of possessing drugs?  And what if I were wrong?  What if the found substance was something innocent?  Now I’ve lost my daughter’s trust, and I’ve cried wolf.

What if my daughter is doing drugs?

What if my daughter is doing drugs?

Back in the Dark Ages, if a parent wanted to know whether or not her daughter were doing drugs, she would have to get a urine sample (ew!), or a hair sample (120 hairs at the root-ouch!) and wait for the lab to get back to them.  Many days would pass, and maybe the lab loses the sample, or loses the results.  Like that’s not happened before!

And then there’s article after article on the Web about how to cheat on those tests.  Kids today have the Cliff Notes on avoiding detection by a parent.

A simple test will let you know!

A simple test will let you know!

Those days are gone, however, with a very easy to use at-home kit available at Walgreen’s.  For only $18.49, a parent can know if it’s drugs in only 5 quick steps.  Each box contains two tests.  One is for general drug screening of 20 different drugs such as heroin, crack, cocaine, and the second box is for Marijuana and Hashish.  It’s 99% accurate with no loss of time sending urine or hair to a lab.  In fact, no urine or hair is needed.

Most importantly, the parent tests the substance, not the relationship.

I got the opportunity to use Touch&Know and it was incredibly easy.  Essentially, if you know how to break a glow stick, you already know how to use the Touch&Know Drug Testing kit.

Although I hope I never need the Touch&Know kit for my girls, it gives me a convenient and discreet option if I need to know now.

Find it? Test it!

Find it? Test it!

For more information and the latest product updates, go visit Touch& Know’s website.

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Follow Touch&Know on Twitter.

 

 

Disclaimer:  Although this is a sponsored review, the experience and the thoughts are my own.

What I Noticed Today Is…The Loss of a Child’s Life

I feel I have no business writing this post because I did not know the victim but I feel compelled nonetheless.  After all, the 14-year-old girl who died on Thursday in a terrible car crash attended my youngest daughter’s school for over a year, and a life, even as short as Dana’s, is worth writing about.

My daughter didn’t know her either but because she was in a grade above her but I know she knew of her.  The school is far too small for my daughter to not have noticed her or maybe even spoken to Dana.  The classes are set-up where 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are all together for some parts of the day, or they pass each other in the tiny hallway.  In total, there may be less than 50 kids in these grades.

I’m afraid to go in search of Samantha’s yearbook because I know as soon as I see Dana’s picture, I will remember her.  As a frequent volunteer at the school, I know I’ve seen her and the ache of loss will be even greater.  Right now I am insulating myself from the pain.

What I noticed today is the loss of a child means so much more.  As an adult, I know all that she will miss.  Dana will never experience her first dance, her first boyfriend, her first kiss.  She will never to make it high school.  She will never get to wear a gown to prom or ride in a limo to get there.  Dana will never get her driver’s permit or license.  She will never do the college tour with her family and choose a college to attend.  She will never live in a dorm or join a sorority.  Dana will never get the job of her dreams.  She will never travel around the globe.  Dana will never meet the love of her life.  She will never marry and have kids.  She will never watch her kids grow up and go to high school and college.  Dana will never be a grandmother.  Her life ended at 14 before life really begins.

Dana has died, and in her passing onto whatever is next, she has reminded me to hug and kiss my girls more often, tell I love them every day, and to make sure their lives are so filled with so much more than video games and iPhones.

Today marks one week since Dana died in a horrific car crash.  It has taken me this long to be able to type without tears and try to figure out what to say.  Although none of this is profound, it was somewhat therapeutic to me in a tragic way.  Today I will have a moment of silence at 4 p.m. for Dana.  I hope she is at peace.

 

 

What I Noticed Today is…the Kids are Probably Too Old for Easter Baskets

Easter Baskets 2014What I noticed today is that the kids are probably too old for Easter baskets.  My husband and I are awake and nearly finished with our first cups of coffee and there’s not been a peep (I had to!) from the children.  While I type this, I am staring at 80,000 calories of sweets, and yet my children continue to slumber.

A couple years ago, the girls used to raid their baskets, and search for the eggs the Easter bunny left behind in the dark.  Yes, it was still dark outside–they were that excited.  Not anymore.  It is not only already light but the birds have been singing for quite a while, and I think the sprinklers have run.

Do you think they’ll notice if I eat one of their candies with my coffee?  There truly is nothing better than a Hershey’s chocolate egg with a steaming hot cup of coffee.  And then maybe a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and then a malted milk egg, and then…??  They better get downstairs quick before I eat everything the bunny left behind.

I think I may have to finally admit that the girls are growing up, and leave the purchasing of plastic orbs to the young moms.

Happy Easter to you and your family!

5 Clues Your Text Conversation is Over

What a weird topic, right?  But I needed to nudge myself to get writing again.  I wanted some topic (any topic) to jumpstart my mind to becoming more creative again.  I feel as if I’ve lost my muse and I want to find him again.  If it’s not today, maybe it will be tomorrow, or the next day.  Whenever it is, I will know because each post will flow from my fingers flying across the keyboard into my WordPress site.  Wishful thinking?  Gawd, I hope not!

In no particular oder, here are the 5 Clues Your Text Conversation is Over:

1.  The texts from your friend were nearly a chapter long but now have dwindled down to a sentence or two.

2.  The texts were coming at you rapid fire (you could barely keep up!) but now there’s a minute or longer lag time.  Then a 5 minute lapse…This is how you know your friend has moved on to share his/her exciting information with another text buddy.  You’re old news!

3.  The response to your reply text is a 3 or 4 letter acronym like LOL or ROFL.

4.  The response to your text is an emoticon of some sort :-)

5.  And of course, no reply means the texter has fully left the building and you’re left to crickets.

Okay, there you go.  How do you know when your text conversation is ovah?