Tag Archives: family

The Adults are Infiltrating! Oh no!

The scuttlebutt from C-net this morning says that teens are beginning to get weary of Facebook…that it is getting too complicated and fraught with too much visibility for them to chatter comfortably.

I think this is so funny.  Here’s a salient paragraph: SOURCE: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57572154-93/why-teens-are-tiring-of-facebook/

For tweens and teens, Instagram — and, more recently, SnapChat, an app for sending photos and videos that appear and then disappear — is the opposite of Facebook: simple, seemingly secret, and fun. Around schools, kids treat these apps like pot, enjoyed in low-lit corners, and all for the undeniable pleasure and temporary fulfillment of feeling cool. Facebook, meanwhile, with its Harvard dormroom roots, now finds itself scrambling to keep up with the tastes of the youngest trendsetters — even as it has a foothold on millions of them since it now owns Instagram.

Teens have always lurked in corners with clandestine activities, and the “getting away with it” is more of the excitement than the content..be it drugs, sex, or exhibitionism.  I’m old enough to remember sneaking up to “the balcony” in the local movie theater where teens could get away with “making out” .  The activities done up in the balcony in those days were kissing, and a bit of petting.  You could put your arm around your girlfriend, or kiss your boyfriend without it being spotted by someone’s parents.

I personally remember carrying a pair of high heels and a lipstick in a brown bag while ostensibly walking to school.  I walked instead to the little railroad station,  donned my high heels and lipstick in the restroom, and took the train into Philadelphia where I wowwed everyone there with my glamour. drawing OF TEEN No one knew, I believed.  Hm.  If a neighbor saw me on the train and told my parents, my parents were wise enough not to mention it..but would have certainly mentioned it, if it had been done repeatedly.  I blush to think of it.

But, here I am,  a Facebook lurker (I only allow close friends), and my grown children’s entries are one of the delights of my life.  I have grandchildren on Facebook, but I only link with one of them…he is approaching “middle age.”  So..not exactly a teen.

I’m glad!  Just as I am happy to eat in a sit-down restaurant where the floors don’t throb and people with sixteen pierced places on their faces don’t serve me hamburgers,  I am sort of relieved that the teens are taking their trash-talk and quasi-porn selves to some other venue.  I am sick of seeing faces of sweet little kids with their tongues hanging out and rude hand gestures.  Let them do it behind the barn,  or in SnapChat, which I didn’t click on, by the way.  I have no idea what’s in that link in the quote above.

I do think that Zuckerberg is hedging his bets very smartly.  He is buying a teen nightclub sort of place where all that adolescent behavior can be enjoyed away from the main house.

I love teens.  God help them.    Old Swimmer

1 Comment

Filed under TEENS

PALEO: Nose to No’s

NOSE TO NO’s

© SC Holland 2012

CROSS (fit)

The OTHER part of Paleo/primal seems to be the cross-fit part. So my daughter purposefully reminds me as she goes out the door with her weights and cute walking clothes on, usually accompanied by her husband or her niece. The husband explains that he walks ahead of her, more or less, so people won’t really think they are related. He just walks, but she does all sorts of funny walks and swings those weights around in strange ways. The niece is fine with that, doing backward walking, and strutting and other sorts of bizarre behaviors without shame or self-consciousness all around the neighborhood slopes and flat places.

I am not cross training, no matter how good an example they all are.

There is a ceiling to my docility when it comes to doing what my daughter says. She is sure of herself, and looks at me with a look she doubtless learned from me, and tells me what any reasonable person should do.

I have not yet run out of reasons. Excuses. Whatever.

Truth is, I am out of shape. Not fat, and not really lazy. But it has been a winter of sudden aging for me, with months of real illness that set me back. A nasty infection hid in my gum under a tooth causing really bad trouble. The dentist found it, though a bunch of doctors could not. Tooth out, it took a long time to heal, and it took a big dose of antibiotics to kill the bugs that had weakened me in pretty much of my whole gestalt! Then I had a “routine” colonoscopy. That was a hit to my already exhausted bod, wiping out my whole internal plumbing so that it still is not quite settled down.

The good news is that I am much improved with a good dose of pro-biotic and the introduction of Paleo / Primal eating, thanks to my persistently uber-persuasive daughter. The bad news is that she keeps telling me I really should do weight bearing exercises.

I keep telling her that I have a body that must not over-exert itself because of long-term fibromyalgia and possible Post Polio Syndrome. These are both things my regular MD folks have said I should pay attention to and listen to… and not to over-fatigue myself because it will make matters worse.

They recommend swimming, my past sport of choice, so as not to stress joints. Yes I have joint problems in my left knee and neck and back. It’s not that I have ever been inactive by choice. Before this recent illness I was single-handedly putting up and taking down two canopy Easy-Up’s each weekend at a Farmer’s Market and toting around all kinds of weights in the form of wood objects carved from large and small chunks of wood. Not child’s play for someone 74. My weight has been pretty steady at 138 for years, and I am currently wearing size 10-12 jeans, not out of line for a person my size.

So I may be soft right now, but not totally blob-like. It will take a while, and likely some swimming, to get me back to normal function. Or have I passed the place of no return?

It’s bugging me, but don’t tell my daughter.

Saturday I loaded and unloaded equipment from my wood shop up to a new location (closer to my daughter’s place.)  I had a helper, thank goodness, because I kept getting very light-headed and my back really acted up with pain. I was dizzy and short of breath and shakey with the effort Not good at all. Scarey.

So this is why I am rebelling when I have these nose-to-nose confrontations about cross-fit training. This is my beloved daughter standing up to her mom, and I am trying to hold my ground and take it easy on my aching back.

Who will win? What IS winning? And when do you choose to be proactive and take your health into your own hands and when do you take your MD’s advice ? Surely I can choose to “do no harm”, like Hippocrates? I mean that’s pro-active, isn’t it?

It’s a stand-off for now. Whose cave is it anyway?

And who do you think taught my daughter to be so stubborn! And who is thankful that she taught me paleo?

MeJane

PS:   THIS JUST IN on the PRO-EXERCISE side:   PALEO: a New York Times Article about Exercise and Sugar Substitutes…just a share.

1 Comment

Filed under Exercise, Family, Paleo, Stubbornness

PALEO: “HEY, NOT SO FAST, SHORTY! ” (Thanks, Dad)


My Dad called me Shorty. My Mom objected; why, she wondered, would anyone nickname a cute little girl something like that? Sounded like a “tough guy” sort of name, my Mom said.

“Shorty” and “Tally”, a Team

I loved being called Shorty. My Dad and I were a team; he was he tall one and I was the short one. Yes, I even called him “Tall-y” now and then, or “Long-y” when he was sitting down with his feet up on an ottoman. It was so much fun to try to match my Dad’s long strides and copy his skills as much as he would allow. And it felt just wonderful to the teen-aged me to be told, “Wow, you look terrific in that dress, Shorty. Have a good time.” It sounded like a term of endearment to me, and I never minded it at all.

He was the boss, of course, but looking back I realize that he was more like a coach than a pontiff — in other words he taught me by letting me try things and then honing my skills when the time was right.

Because I had and have an impulsive nature, I heard him quite often tell me to slow down and take my time. I learned most things through fast guesswork that usually failed until I found the right guess. He let me do it that way simply to allow questions to arise in my mind and then when I was in a receptive mode (frustration), he would coach by suggestion. Slowly. Methodically.

Playing Pingpong? “Not so fast, Shorty. Wait for the ball.” Writing ABC’s? “Not so fast, Shorty. You missed a letter. ” Later on, driving? “Not so fast, Shorty. Let the clutch up slowly.”

It was his way of saying “look before you leap”, or “think before you act,” or “let the whole process play out fully.”

It applied to a lot of things. Swimming at a slow but steady pace in a long-distance race turned out to be a wise idea. I learned that I could sprint the last ten yards if I had budgeted my energies during the long race. Other contenders might be too tired to sprint. I did win races, and often at the final sprint.

KITCHEN SCIENCE:  THE POINT OF THE STORY:

Taking time for a process to finish properly in the kitchen is a rule of thumb that prevents  blah, slap-dash cookery. There is science behind fast and slow; chemistry and physics apply to foodstuffs, and anyone who has ever played with silly putty knows that fast and slow can make a huge difference in certain substances. Yank silly putty fast and it snaps like ice. Pull it slowly and it stretches like taffy.

Here’s the point visàvis cooking protein foods:

Cook eggs on a low heat and they will not become tough or stick to the pan. Cook meat slowly and the protein in them will not get rubbery. PROTEIN gets tough and stringy when it is subjected to high heat for a period of time. Think about overcooked liver, for instance, leathery and bouncy. Think about those strings of cheese in a pizza. Overheated protein molecules!

FAST FOOD? WHAT??

Quality proteinfast foodis possible when you have first slow-cooked it Meat simmered long at low heat in a sauce and allowed to cool, will easily reheat  into a tenderly delicious state when warmed gently in microwave or oven. Stews cooked slowly for a long time and then allowed to sit overnight are amazingly better when reheated the next day. Gently, slowly reheating a simmered dish very often gives it added dimension. The juices have been mixed and then reabsorbed by cooling and then recombined with reheating. It’s a sort of magic. There is a magic moment when the perfection happens. BE THERE! WOW!  Put some in your freezer for “fast food” later in the week.

Everyone knows what a perfectly tree-ripened fruit is like. Heaven!  Tree-ripe peaches are called “leaners” in New Jersey. You lean over and eat them out of hand, then go ahead and groan with pleasure. All basic growing things have an optimal development process, and there is a perfect time when they reach their peak of ripeness.  Not so fast…just at the perfect speed.

~~

If I had a nickel for every time I have bumped my nose (both literally and figuratively) by going too fast, I would be a very wealthy old lady. Some bumps are useful for learning. Some are disasters.  It’s good my late father’s voice still pipes up in memory when I am pushing too hard and forcing issues saying ,” Not so fast, Shorty.”

Thanks, Dad.

MeJane

3 Comments

Filed under Family, Nature, Paleo Kitchen, recipes

How Evangelistic Should Paleo Enthusiasts Be?

Escaping in droves

My most recent Old Swimmer post in another wordpress blog touched on the balance of appropriateness in another area of life,  talking about religion  and evangelists.   Of course the same sort of sweaty palms business comes up when one talks about politics.   There has to be a sensitivity factor observed, I decided. The matter of obesity and self-starvation is another of those very delicate issues.

The OBESITY issue and conversely, ANOREXIA issue is often, in fact, an urgent matter of life and death!!  And one of the triggers for people afflicted with either of these dangerous eating disorders is TALKING TO THEM ABOUT IT!  They already have a resident bullying inner voice hammering the message home. More bullying is counterproductive.

So I am interested in this as regards PALEO/PRIMAL matters because I personally played a part in an evangelistic crusade to help me (the targeted needy one) get better from a pretty nasty illness that my daughter perceived as related to my diet.  (of all the nerve!)

I was offended, and in fact, critical, of her new paleolithic approach.  She was getting thinner and thinner, and really worried me a lot.  I have another relative who went through a terrible time with anorexia– and she really did nearly die.  This thinness thing was frightening!

Not only that but she had her husband on the diet too!  Not only was he wrestling with blood sugar issues, but also with hypertension and heart concerns.  How could she, I wondered, expose him to such a drastic change without causing him even more trouble?  He got thin too, and even gaunt looking, to my eye, which was used to seeing him as a big, thick construction guy who was rather hyperactive (seems like energy at work)  and busy all the time.  My father was a type 1 diabetic and lived a very brittle life between insulin and sugar– often having diabetic shock and sometimes coma episodes.   My dad died of related failures; he was blind and a double amputee when he died.  And very thin.

So the reaction I had was one of alarm, and now they were on ME to adopt this crazy thing!

I didn’t have a weight problem, but I had been really really ill all winter, with digestive issues, gut issues, migraines,  very stiff joints,  and excessive fatigue and dizziness, among other things.  My whole body felt it– skin, teeth, bones, muscles, nerves, brain.   And my paleo proselytizer  wanted to feed me all the fatty stuff I’d been carefully avoiding, and take away my staple whole grain breads and Mediterranean pastas and my beans!  How in the world would I dare to try such a thing?

Well, we are used to a bit of proselytizing in my family, for reasons of people’s particular faiths, and we have done at least some of the following, each one of us:  doing the blah blah blah, receiving the onslaught of it,  running fast in the other direction from the campaign, being polite and resenting it silently, or loudly, shutting the proselytizer entirely out of our lives,  coming down on the annoying person with outrage and making a big family federal case out of it,  being the subject of critical relatives whispering since we apparently believed in this malarkey, or we were converted, and became evangelistic ourselves!

Now.

How do we successfully present anything that is of great value, no matter what  category it might fall under,  to people we care about whom we believe would definitely gain and not lose by believing us? And are prone to running in the opposite direction?

Famous Bible evangelist D.L. Moody is said to have evangelized aggressively, taking people by the lapels and shoving the gospel down their throats.  I wonder how many people ran fast in the other direction?  I know I would have steered away very fast. Though some people apparently respond to fierce confrontation, no one that I am related to does.

But my daughter the Paleo/primal evangelist was invested in my case because she really was worried.  And she persisted, with respect, but with a bunch of documented facts that finally drove me to my doctor to see if this was a legitimate kind of diet or a fad.   My doctor said it was legitimate and might really help me. I was surprised. Doctors and other health professionals are hobbled severely by regulatory entities and cannot speak out on “alternate” approaches without endangering their licenses.   (search google on “scientific discovery and regulatory obstacles” about  the limits imposed on medical professionals by their various governing bodies.)

Well!   It did and does help me, and my daughter is now my hero.

But my question is what is the best approach when sharing this good thing?  The carrot method, of course, is to make delicious food and present it to raves, and then say that it’s part of the new and healthier diet.  Also the promoter should be a picture of success– healthy and thriving.   But how intrusive can one be about this, and how do we handle rejection of our well-intended “infomercials”?

It’s not a matter of saving souls from eternal damnation, but it is similarly  important when there are serious health issues.  And the Paleo thing is not mainstream.  So how do we find data to back up our bizarre-seeming beliefs?  From Google,  but who sends us there? Evangelists!

Slamming the book on people’s heads is not appropriate, of course,  and arguing over the dinner table isn’t either.  I am still put off by my daughter’s exercise suggestions…it’s just not “me” to commit to exercising on a definite schedule.   I have asked her to shelve that campaign for the time being. She heard and is cutting me some slack.

So the “let’s all get on the bandwagon”  thing doesn’t work with me. Show and tell is better, if it’s not ostentatious.

Some people will respond to group support (classes or clubs)  in issues like these, loving the social aspect and mutual encouragement.  Others will work on it individually and say little to friends;  just decide and do it.

Here’s what I think works best:

As in any other sales persuasion pursuit, you have to read the person you are trying to persuade.  You have to know when to talk about it and when to be quiet.  You have to listen, and wait.  And show and then tell.  And wait.  And keep the door open for more opportunity.  And share good things to eat.  And enjoy your own new health in ways that show.

People will pay attention to a person enjoying the fruits of a healthy regimen simply because they see how much it has made that person’s life better. They will begin to crave the rosy complexion and sparkling eyes and fit body, and want some of that for themselves.

Just like any other kind of evangelizing, you live what you have come to believe.  The rest will follow as the path is laid open.  Letting free-will do the real work, it’s a matter of sharing good data and then getting out of the way. Then giving boosts when someone seems to be ready to try it.

That’s what got MeJane to make a decision to enter in and try it for herself.

MeJane…much healthier and happier now.  :)

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature, Paleo, Stubbornness

PALEO ? YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING!

Bisonlike drawing red…© Susan G. Holland

A NEW ADVENTURE IN EATING….STAY POSTED!

Deerlike drawing

Mama stubborn,  Daughter persistent,  Igluk to the rescue.

Stay posted… Mama moving from modern to primal… feeling like Jane.

My past several weeks have been spent in a sort of gastronomical time warp.  After resisting,  questioning, and criticizing the seemingly whacky diet my daughter has been touting, (and she has become so very thin and model-like and her husband has become so trim and un-diabetic looking) and having told my daughter “Enough!”, and having my daughter look crestfallen and sad, saying “Ok, but I’m giving you gold, and you’re trashing it, Mom,” ….after all that angst I did some research, including the all-important checking with my doctor.

Well, two doctors, actually.  The first one who has been a lovely person to me, but not at all proactive about finding out what’s the matter with me, waved off the concept, told me to eat anything I wanted, and that I was fine because I was not fat.

The NEW doctor is, indeed proactive,  quite well-spoken of in the medical community, and supportive of the paleo/primal diet idea! She said what I had been trying to find out for sure, i.e., “it’s a legitimate diet and may be a real help to you.”

SO!  Out goes bread and toast and peanut butter.  Out goes sugar in my coffee and syrup on my waffles.  Out go the waffles!

The idea is that Igluk did not find farmers cultivating grain or growing legumes, nor did he find manufacturers crystallizing sugar from beets or cane.  He did pick berries, and leaves, and fruit, however, and he did hunt and eat animals.  He found roots and tubers and ate them.  And he worked hard to find his food and to keep warm.  So did his wife.  (Jane, maybe?)

So instead of dousing our systems with carbohydrates — sugars and starches — we are now going to eat primal food only.  This will teach our bodies to draw on the fats and proteins and fiber and nutrients of earthy, basic, primal edibles for the energy it needs. And to quit drawing on sugars and starches.  You stop sugars and starches (yes, pasta, pizza, pie) and start on things you have resisted for health’s sake for years and years and years.  BACON! EGGS!  Cheese!  Butter! Steak!  And some things you avoided for years for your own preference’s sake, like liver, cabbage and collards, and turnips. The one potato you can munch on is sweet potato..it’s a tuber, so that’s okay.

Well, there are other frills, like not eating anything but raw milk products, and not eating beans!  (the musical fruit, we call them.)

I’m not going that far– my milk will come from the supermarket.   Tarzan discover fire; Jane heat raw milk over fire, get pasteurization.  Jane believe pasteurization good.  But my much loved cheeses often come from raw milk — and even caves in Switzerland!(** see addendum)  That is so wonderful to be able to eat them and feel virtuous!

No colas, and no orange juices– full of the wrong things to swig down.  NOT JUICE?  Nope, too much sugar to introduce.  Eat fruit sparingly, like I used to eat cheese.  Hmm.

As I type I am sipping on a soup I made that turned out so surprisingly delicious I have my housemate craving it.  Sweet potatoes, onions, chicken, a bit of dandelion broth!!!!,  some tomato sauce, lots of chicken broth, a bit of white wine, and even a few sections of tangerine!  Spices to make it savory and a bit of lemon juice.  I top it with a lovely sauce of thin sliced cucumbers in plain yoghurt with a LOT of dill weed and some scallion rings.  It is absolutely yummy.

Not everything I have made is yummy.  The dandelion broth, for instance.  I had to add some maple syrup (straight from the tree) to it and freeze it to debitter it some.  But the stuff is great for adding in small amounts to give character to a meat dish, and the dandelion turns out to be a fantastically nourishing green.  Maybe I should go into selling fresh dandelion greens and roots? I’ve got plenty to share in the convenient patch outside our house that used to be lawn.

Yes, I have apparently lost four pounds…and I notice it gone from the spots that seems too pudgy to me.  My belly and waist are noting the difference, though I was not aiming to lose weight.

I was sick this winter…really.  I couldn’t seem to get better.   Now I am actually getting better!  I actually am not sleeping all day and getting short of breath and feeling light headed and getting every ailment that comes along.  I can do work again!  I can think about filling orders for art objects again.

Is it all the diet?  Yes, I do think that has made a huge change.  Like my new doc said it would.  She said not to bother worrying about LDL and other such chronic worries; that it would all align properly once my body got used to the new regimen.

Am I happy?   So far, I am surprised and surprisingly happy!  I am pleased to tell my daughter that she was right on.  She is smiling a lot, and sharing recipes.   She out-stubborned me, and got me to try it.  Imagine!

Old Swimmer  (Jane)

** Addendum: Imagine my delight when I discovered THIS TREASURE while looking for a really good gruyère to put in a home made French Onion Soup!  It was in my lone grocery in a remote town along the Olympics side of the Hood Canal!  Who would have thought?  Well, it was ten dollars a pound,  but it’s so very very very yummy.

On my cave-aged gruyère cheese find: CLICK

2 Comments

Filed under Mysteries, Nature, Stubbornness, The Why's, Uncategorized