Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kegels versus Squatting

Before I jog for 20 minutes, it's important to go potty. I have often felt irresponsible that I didn't do my Kegel exercises as my doctors and midwife told me I ought. But, hey, it's not so bad after all: it turns out that doing them wrong is far worse than not doing them at all.

Cheryl recently pointed out to some friends a website that explains the benefits of squatting. Kids squat. My 2-yr-old granddaughter squats all the time when she plays. It's practical and easy. We lose it as we grow older. Squatting isn't seen as proper and pretty and lady-like. But it's good for the tuschie-muscles, which is good for the pelvic floor.

Childbirth is easier for women who don't confine themselves to sitting just in chairs, but who squat in the garden or while reading to their kids or just for the exercise of it.

The results also appeal to our vanity, as gals look better in jeans when gravity hasn't had its way with your muscles that want to droop and sag. But flat-butt syndrome isn't just about appearances; it may very well prevent (or at least put off) the need for Depends.

The two interviews are a starting place if you want to learn more; plus, the sense of humor makes it fun to read. One thing that amazed me is that there are websites designed to teach people how to exercise the body enough to be able to squat. (Wow, I didn't realize people might have to work up to that.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's Laugh

I have reached the age where happy hour is the hour I get to take a nap.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Illness and Employees

I'm suddenly feeling rather cranky.

I've had a touch of a cold this week. Nothing much. I did have a low-grade fever on Monday, but rest and tea and garlic helped. Today I noticed that my eye felt funny. Checked in the mirror, and sure enough, down in the conjunctiva of one eye, it's getting red instead of the white and pink it's supposed to be. I've spent the day washing my hands, flushing my eye frequently, and even taping on a slab of raw garlic for a few hours. With only 6 hours of treatment under my belt, the pink eye hasn't begun yet to improve much.

Then it crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, I ought to check at work to make sure it's okay for me to come in tomorrow. The pink eye should be much improved by then. And it's not like I'm sick and can't do the work. Granted, pink eye is very contagious, but I'd be washing my hands frequently to protect myself from spreading the virus to my other eye, and this hand-washing would protect my co-workers too. Still, I thought I'd better verify that it's okay for me to go to work tomorrow.

And it's not. Shoot. I can understand their perspective. But still ... I'm letting them down, not showing up tomorrow as I was scheduled. Shoot.

They asked if I'd been to the doctor to have it diagnosed. Pink eye? Doctor? It's pink eye. How hard is that to diagnose? Besides, why go to a doctor for something viral -- something for which the doctor has no cure, no remedy, no treatment. All he can do is tell me to wash my hands a lot ... or maybe to wait until my eye gets bad enough for a secondary [bacterial] infection to set in and then give me a prescription for that. But I have no intention of sitting around waiting for the whites of my eye to turn red and for pus to build up. Icky!!!

Having a day off work should be nice, like one of my regularly scheduled days off. But I feel like such a schmuck to stay home just because of pink eye.

Italian Pot Pie

Wanting to make something that took no effort on a day when I wasn't feeling well, I invented something, in hopes that it would be edible. Reaction from the rest of the family was that I better write a recipe down so that the dish can be replicated.

spaghetti sauce
frozen spinach
cream cheese
American cheese
pot-pie topping

Pour ½ pint of marinara sauce into the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Add enough meatballs to cover the bottom of the pan; I used twenty-four 1½" diameter meatballs. Pour another pint of spaghetti sauce on top of the meatballs. (If your meatballs are still frozen, begin baking this part of the dish while you assemble the other ingredients.)

If your frozen, chopped spinach is not thawed yet, begin boiling it according to the directions. When thawed or simmered, drain well.

Stir together the spinach and about 3-5 ounces of softened cream cheese. When your meatballs are thawed, put the layer of spinachy cream cheese on top of the tomatoey meatballs.

Add the pot-pie topping.
3/4 cup flour (mostly whole wheat)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
with --
1 egg
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

(You can leave the cheese out of the batter, and place a solid layer of American cheese slices between the cream cheese and the top crust.)

Bake about 20 minutes at 350°, until crust is done. Before serving, warm the few ounces of spaghetti sauce left in the jar, and pour over the top of your pot pie.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today's Laugh

What did Eli Whitney say to his wife?

Keep your cotton-pickin' hands off my gin.

from Pastor in Bible class last week

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Is What Democracy Looks Like?

One of the common chants for the protests in Madison and elsewhere throughout the state is, "This is what democracy looks like!"

Is this what democracy looks like? Intimidating voters who want to participate, to have a voice in government? Committing the felony of destroying recall petitions? Policemen standing by and allowing protesters to interfere with the democratic process? Threatening people's safety and even their lives?

Why have we not heard "Shame! Shame! Shame!" from the unions and the Democrats directed toward those who are committing these crimes? Why have we not heard this behavior soundly denounced?

Uncircumcised Lips

In Exodus 6, when God tells Moses to go speak to Pharaoh, Moses doesn't want to go. "How shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?"

Pastor spoke about that odd phrase. Who are the uncircumcised? Those who do not believe the promise God gave. Those who did believe would be circumcised as God had told Abraham and his descendants.

Pharaoh wasn't going to listen to Moses' message. When Moses went to Pharaoh the first time, asking a leave of absence for the Israelites, Pharaoh increased the burden on his slaves.

The children of Israel weren't too pleased with Moses. "Go away! Leave us alone! If this is the kind of help we get from you, we don't need it!" Once their straw was taken away, without a corresponding decrease in their brick-making quotes, the Israelites wanted to call down God's judgment on Moses and Aaron.

But it's not just the Egyptians and the Israelites who don't want to listen to God. Even the prophet Moses says that he is "of uncircumcised lips." Even Moses isn't too sure he believes God. Even Moses wants to run away from the message and not preach what he's told. Even Moses wants to escape the theology of the cross and find a more comfortable way.

But does God give up on them? Nope. Does God withdraw His promise? Nope. Does God do the good He intended to do all along, in spite of their massive amounts of unbelief? Yup.

Will he do the same for me? And for you? Yup.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Today's Laugh (for those up on Wisconsin politics)

Stolen from Tammy:

How do you stop 14 runners?
With 1 Walker.

Washing Dishes

About a year ago, I was visiting Jane for several days. On Tuesday night, I began to help clean up the kitchen. "No, you don't!" I was told. "That's Patrick's job." (Or is it Jonathan's job now?) So I sat down, and we chatted and noshed and drank some more.

But Wednesday night, I washed some pots and pans. I cleared some dishes and put away some food and wiped some counters. "You don't have to do that!" "I know. I know! But pleeeeeease let me! I neeeeed to!"

Y'know, once upon a time, I would run into people who said they like to wash dishes. I thought they were lying. Or insane. The only people who like to wash dishes are 2-yr-olds and 3-yr-olds. So I thought.

And there I was -- wanting to do dishes. Feeling better to wash dishes. Not because it was "the right thing to do" to be a "good guest." Not because it was necessary. (See, I always figured that people who "like to wash dishes" were simply commenting on liking the results, liking the clean counter, liking the fact that the chore was done and out of the way for a while.)

What happened to me????

Turns out that I had that same feeling after I started working at outside-the-home paid employment. There is something good and pleasurable and enjoyable about washing dishes. That's when I realized why I'd enjoyed washing dishes in my friend's kitchen. I was in the midst of a stint at symposium, manning the CCA booth, selling books, talking to old friends and acquaintances, doing something that seemed kinda sorta career-ish. To wash dishes was to do what I'm settled with, what I'm good at, what's important and necessary. And there is pleasure in that! When I was working full-time during training weeks at my new job, it was so relaxing, so enjoyable, so right, to be at home in my kitchen, putzing the the daily necessities of keeping a home.

A few weeks later we had a huge snowstorm. The first school-day of the week was Friday. Two of the teachers at our parochial school were so happy and content to be at home for nearly a week, doing housework, cooking, tending to the mundane needs of their families and houses.

Too bad we don't appreciate it until we don't have it any more.

(Important note to everyone who lives with me: This post is NOT to be construed to mean that you ought not wash dishes. Trust me on this: even when you think you're doing allll the dishes, there is still plenty of dish-washing that I'm partaking of. Besides, at home I also have the joys of sock-folding and floor-sweeping. And I wouldn't want to deprive you.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today's Laugh

Why did the Amish woman divorce her husband?

Because he just kept driving her buggy.

from Sandy, told in Bible class this week