Thursday Tidbits

Posted on March 7, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Strong women. Young and old.

 

Two important events are happening this week. They have nothing to do with a “border wall” or the unfolding drama in Ottawa. I will leave these political pundits.

It is International Women’s Week around the world. Tomorrow (March 8th), it is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to recognize women’s achievements and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality.

Two years ago, I witnessed an IWD celebration in southern India. It was a stunning affair beginning with a walk in blistering heat by 500 women wearing brilliantly colored saris to the convent at Stella Maris in Kannyakumari. The walk was followed by many speeches and entertainment. For me the highlight was being on a stage accompanying fourteen young women studying to become nuns as they sang “Let it Be”. The only thing that was quite incongruous was the fact that most of the speakers and platform guests were men.

It is a very scary and disturbing time to be on planet earth. We seem to be on a path to self- destruction as we pillage the planet for profit. Leadership, if you can call it that, still remains largely the domain of men. While some democracies have made advances in gender equality, there is still a dearth of women in key positions of leadership.

I am happy that in my sphere of family and friends there are countless strong, well educated women who are making a difference.

Yesterday was the beginning of Lent for many Christians. Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, self-denial and alms giving.

Shrove Tuesday or “pancake day”, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent. In ancient times, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven”, meaning “absolved from their sins” on Shrove Tuesday.

Many Christians do something akin to self-denial during Lent. Back in the day, giving up sweets, booze or smokes were common. Today’s addictions include Facebook, cell phones and possibly Netflix. Sorry, I won’t be giving up any of these. May I recommend two outstanding movies on Netflix while you self-flagellate during the next forty days? “Lion” and “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” are based on true stories. One is set in India (which brought back a flood of memories for me) and the other in Africa.

I digress.

While self-denial is admirable, doing something positive might also be worth considering like visiting the sick or volunteering with a charity. I saw an interesting idea on FB a few days back. It was suggested that for the forty days of Lent, a person should look around their home and every day, pick out an item that they no longer use and at the end of Lent, donate these items to a charitable organization. Even if it’s not Lent, this is a really good idea.

Please take an opportunity this week to thank the strong women in your life.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. I made gluten free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 4, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

The raw facts

 

“I like bread and butter,

I like toast and jam”

Bread and Butter – The Newbeats

You are what you eat (Part 2).

Occasionally (but rarely!), I’m at a loss coming up with an idea for my upcoming Monday and Thursday posts. I mean, you can’t talk about nothing for ever. I was tempted today to talk about The JWR interview (Canada) and the Cohen interview (U.S.) but decided I couldn’t start off a new month writing about things that make most of us distraught.

So, when in doubt, I fall back on the one topic that never gets stale. Food. Besides the weather, political follies and our aches and pains, food is a topic that everyone has something to say about.

So let’s see how your math skills are these days. If a person walks 20 kilometres a day for a month and gains 5 pounds, how much weight would he/she gain if they walked 8 kilometres a month? Factoring in “seasonally adjusted averages” and wind chill, one might come up with something like 12 pounds. Even the late Sister Cordeau, my high school math teacher would be puzzled with the answer. How does -7 pounds sound? Is this the “new math” that we heard so much about in the 1970s?

Hardly.

A short time ago (Feb.11th), I wrote a piece about my addiction to sugar, a malady suffered by many of my readers, it would appear, according to some of the messages I received. Sugar is insidious and may be a silent killer. When I came back from the west coast in early February, I decided that I had to do a sugar purge for at least one month. I immediately stopped eating desserts (you saw a list of 50 of my favourites) and replaced these with fresh fruit. For one month, I ate a banana, an apple and an orange every day.

As a replacement for snacks (can you say potato chips?), I subbed in with raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber and mushrooms using one of the many delicious low calorie dips that you can make or pull off the shelves at the grocery store. I also reduced my carbs by about 50%. My other addiction besides sugar is bread.

I’m sure everyone of you knows this. You can beat your brains out in the gym, you can run or walk marathon distances and do Zumba till your butt falls off but none of these things will result in any significant weight loss unless matched with sensible eating habits. It is SO difficult to maintain consistency when it comes to eating. I told someone the other day that when I’m good (eating healthily), I’m very good but when I’m bad, I’m f…ing awful.

Speaking of f…ing. Get your minds out of the gutter! You can call it flatulence, its polite name, or you can just come out and say farting. (Put the art in farting!).  I noticed that when I started eating raw veggies, I was perpetually gassy. I’m even less fun to be around than usual. Of course, the lentil soup I made, along with a big pot of split pea and ham soup, also contributed to the “breaking of wind.” Actually, the wind inside has been almost as brisk as the wind outside lately. I Googled “raw vegetables that cause flatulence” and the first three on the list were broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. While possibly a little less nutritious, I now steam these vegetables much to the relief of household occupants.

Can I maintain this regime? I don’t now but I’m going to try. Being overweight is hard on the heart and the rest of your body.

I find that I am doing embarrassing things more frequently in my 68th year. Yes. I often head into a room in our apartment and forget why I went there. Sound familiar? The other day, I was in the Credit Union. It was one of those bitterly cold days which is no excuse for what happened next. As I was exiting the front doors leading to Main street, I wasn’t paying close attention and walked into a very thick plate glass window beside the front doors… face first. I didn’t break my glasses nor did I draw blood from my nose being pressed up against the glass. Mercifully, there was no one in the lobby of the building to witness my foibles. I didn’t suffer any injuries other than a bruised ego.

Have a great week and watch where you’re walking.

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