Saturday, January 30, 2010

Freedom 55

My patient told me she would be 85 on Sunday.
“I will be 55 on Saturday,” I added.



a hop, skip and a jump

Happy Birthday to us!

and at 55, I feel free to be me.

January 30, 1960...Fifty years ago (hard to believe isn't it!)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food as Medicine

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food."

I have read numerous books and articles on nutrition and have generally followed the advice of the Canada Food Guide in choosing foods for myself and our family. Our daughters were all sensitive to cow's milk, yet I continued to give them dairy products after they were weaned thinking they would not be healthy without them. From my mid twenties on, I had frequent migraine headaches which would last three days at a time. No medication would relieve them. I had several episodes of back pain as well as inflammatory joint pain on a regular basis.

Just over a year ago I had surgery for a locked knee. The surgeon noted inflammatory damage beyond what he expected for my age. I was off work for weeks and gradually worked back to my normal hours in the following three months. In early April I developed acute plantar fasciitis in my right foot. My knee pain was nothing compared to the searing pain experienced when I walked. Custom orthotics helped somewhat, but I needed anti-inflammatory medication daily along with Zantac to protect my stomach. I then noticed my blood pressure readings were going up alarmingly from their low-normal averages. By mid-summer I was barely getting through a day of work and was unable to walk much outside after work. I did some research and found my anti-inflammatory medication could cause a rise in blood pressure. I decided to try an anti-inflammatory diet to see if I could get some pain relief.

In August I started by eliminating all sugar and refined foods from my diet. Within three days my foot pain was noticeably better. I then stopped eating meat and after a couple days of withdrawal, felt even better. Dairy was last and hardest to give up as I love plain yogurt. Eating a vegan diet with no refined foods allowed me to completely stop all medication and my blood pressure quickly dropped to normal. The night pain which interfered with my sleep cleared up. I went on a trip to the States for two weeks and walked a lot without having a flareup. (I managed to stick to my diet 90% of the time we were gone). I had a set back when I developed septic arthritis in my elbow after a big dental procedure in December. Once that was treated with antibiotics, my pain and inflammation has been diet controlled again. If I cheat, I have more pain. As a bonus, I have had no headaches at all and other hormonally related problems have cleared up completely.

I have not restricted my portions of allowed foods and am deprived at all. When I plan a meal for myself, I imagine a large garden with an orchard and can have anything from it I want. My meals are colourful and satisfying. It is sometimes socially awkward to refuse food and I do not like to bring attention to my preferences. I have eaten fish a few of times since the summer. I had clam chowder in a sourdough bowl on the wharf in San Francisco because I felt it was part of experiencing that city's culture. The food pyramid from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books is a good model for the kind of eating I need to stick to. It allows some flexibility but is primarily vegetable and fruit based. I stick to the bottom three sections most of the time.

This way of eating is right for me but each person needs to figure out which foods are best for them. We would never think of filling the tank of our car with anything but the proper fuel. Our dog is on a restricted diet due to liver disease and we are careful to adhere to it. Why is it so hard to treat our bodies with the same respect? I have been inspired and encouraged by some bloggers who are long time vegetarians. Melissa (Empress of Dirt) lives in my community and has been very kind and helpful.

Many health conditions can be treated effectively with dietary modifications, yet most people have difficulty following recommendations. Taking medication and vitamins is no substitute for healthy food. David H. Murdock, the 86 year old chairman and owner of Dole foods is a good example of someone who adheres to this philosophy. He says,"No pills, not even aspirin, and certainly no supplements ever enter my mouth -- everything I need comes from my fish-vegetarian diet, which incorporates 30-40 different kinds of fruit and vegetables every week." (source) I think it would be impossible to feel deprived eating a diet with that amount of variety.

We ate at a new Central American restaurant last weekend and ordered a few of their vegetarian dishes. From the bean soup to the green salad with grilled fruit, each course was delicious and satisfying. There were eight different fruits and vegetables in the salad on the right alone. (The Becka has written a post about this restaurant on our blog An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region)

Here are some other resources I have found helpful while changing the way I eat.

The China Study
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Disease Proof

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food, Glorious Food, Don't care what the cook's like...

Published by Carnation, 1955

This is my first cookbook which I received at the age of six or seven. The Becka scanned the cover for me last week and labeled the file
She was appalled at the tone and content of the book which suggested that only Mother and Older Sister could work in the kitchen and little girls, not little boys had to learn culinary basics. Father and Boyfriend were the recipients of the fine meals prepared by the women in the family.

I never thought there was anything wrong with this model. Men earned the money and women kept the home. I was 18 years old when I saw a friend's brother-in-law drying dishes in the kitchen. This was so novel (in 1972) that I remember the moment vividly. Since that time, the men in my life, my father, brothers and husband, have proved themselves to be capable with kitchen duties. I took Home Economics classes in middle school and learned to sew, set a table and cook simple meals. Our daughters took Family Studies and Shop in mixed classes where the boys learned kitchen skills and the girls learned woodworking together.

My husband and I preparing Thanksgiving dinner

As women, including myself, entered the working world, roles and relationships with food changed. Busy living requires more convenience and with more disposable income, fast foods and processed foods are eaten more often. Children prefer birthday parties at the golden arches to having a picnic in the park. Treats are useful for pacifying children when we are busy. And food is a stress-reliever, a "drug" of choice.

I was taught that we were to respect our bodies and that alcohol and cigarettes would defile our God-given temple. But no one objected to gorging on food at a buffet or eating foods which were unhealthy. Every day I see the result of a lifetime of poor food choices in patients I work with. Fatty foods in excess cause liver disease in the same way excessive alcohol consumption does. High sodium intake damages tissues of the circulatory system and organs. And excessive weight leads to many chronic illness which are as debilitating as diseases caused by cigarette smoking.

To top it off, we are inundated with confusing and conflicting information on what we should and shouldn't eat. I took vitamin E supplements for years until a recent study showed that the mortality rate of those who took the supplement was higher than for those who didn't take it. Diet fads have swung from one extreme to another. Prescription medications are marketed widely by pharmaceutical companies while the market for vitamins and other supplements has also grown exponentially.

Food, glorious food!
Eat right through the menu.
Just loosen your belt
Two inches and then you
Work up a new appetite...

Where is common sense, intuition, and listening to our bodies in all of this?

More to follow....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

Ruth, Sandra and Nathan 1958

Food, glorious food!
What wouldn't we give for
That extra bit more --
That's all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food...
(from Oliver!)

We had a vinyl recording of the Broadway musical Oliver! which we listened to repeatedly as children. I still remember the words to the song Food Glorious Food which was sung by the orphans as they were served a meal of tasteless gruel. Food is such a big part of our lives. Whether we have little or plenty, much time is spent in storing, preparing and eating it. The first picture was taken in Grandma's back yard where we enjoyed many outdoor meals over the years. My brother, cousin and I were at an age where parents tend to coax children to eat. Like many children in our post war generation, we were encouraged to clean our plates and were rewarded with dessert after we finished our first course. Our parents and grandparents had memories of war time rationing and shortages. Our food was always homemade and few processed foods were used.

Noddy's Milk Bar, Durban South Africa circa 1960-61

My earliest childhood memories are in Durban, South Africa. Mom would shop at the market and bring home large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. On market day she would spend hours cleaning and storing her purchases. She was a fan of nutritionist Adele Davis and always served healthy meals. I remember her taking brewer's yeast in fresh orange juice each morning. Thankfully, she did not make us drink it. Grandma visited us for several months and I remember going out with her to the gardens of a hotel for tea. I imagine she had something to do with us visiting Noddy's Milk Bar and while I don't remember eating there, they likely had a British style tea menu. (I was a great fan of Enid Blyton and her Noddy books).

Picnic time with our cousins May 1963

After we returned to Canada, Grandma's picnics were still very popular. We drank orange crush as a special treat and it was the only soda pop we ever had except for the medicinal use of ginger ale for an upset stomach. About this time my dad started giving us an allowance of 5 cents a week. I spent much of it on penny candy at the nearby corner store and for the first time had tooth cavities. We never ate out, but convenience foods such as cake mixes, puddings and TV dinners were becoming more popular. Mom continued to serve healthy foods and did a lot of canning and preparation of food for the freezer in order to stretch the food budget. We drank powdered skim milk, ate cooked cereals and generally had fruit and muffins for dessert.

As a teenager I was introduced to restaurant and fast foods when I went out with friends and would eat at places like Mother's Pizza, KFC, A&W drive-ins, Harveys and Dairy Queen. At home we experimented with home made yogurt and recipes like cabbage rolls and lasagna which Mom learned at an international cooking class in Toronto. Cuisine in the late 60s and early 70s was not very adventurous. Processed foods were more popular but most homes had a stay at home mother who cooked meals from scratch. The average person was not overweight and while dieting was popular enough, the media was not obsessed with nutrition and weight loss strategies.

More food posts to follow....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Parable of the Forest

Not far from our home is a small 35 hectare woodlot of white pine, sugar maple, beech and red oak trees. The canopy towers high above the forest floor and busy roads and an industrial park line its perimeter. It is easy to walk through the trails in half an hour which makes it perfect for a late afternoon stroll on these short winter days. These old trees have marked time for decades. Carved intials, dates and hearts are engraved in the smooth grey bark of the beeches but many are distorted as trees have grown and stretched the scars. Upright dead trees are full of woodpecker holes while others have fallen and are covered with mosses and fungi. The face of the burled tree above is obscured by leaves in the summer and fall, but greets me at the entrance to the trail in the winter.

I came here Friday after work, my mind replaying the day's events, some of which had been unpleasant. Change is coming again and staff stress is increasing with the uncertainty of inevitable restructuring in the coming weeks. Gossip is rampant and criticism of co-workers and management is heard throughout the day. I wanted to confront some people to tell them a thing or two and was practicing speeches in my head as I started my walk. The forest was completely silent. I didn't hear a bird or squirrel or footstep of another person. The wind was still, the sun was low in the sky and the moon was visible above the trees.

The angry words in my head slowly vanished and the stress of the day dissipated. I had hoped to find some birds and then didn't care if I found nothing but silence. I observed the effects of constant change and stress around me. Trees develop burls to enclose areas of trauma and infestation while they continue to grow upward and strong. The roots and tubers of spring's wildflowers wait in the cold and ice for their brief days of bloom and beauty before they prepare for another winter. Some trails are closed to allow nature to heal an area damaged by man or weather.

I have been reading A. J. Jacobs' book The Year of Living Biblically. The author is a secular Jew, an agnostic by his own label, who endeavored to obey the Bible as literally as possible for a full year. The book is "laugh out loud" funny but is never disrespectful or trivial. I could relate to his difficulties with the command, "Do not go about as a gossiper among your people..." (Leviticus 19:16). He made two observations. Keeping silent was the best way to avoid spewing biblically banned negative language, and the less he vocalized negative thoughts, the fewer negative thoughts were in his mind in the first place.

Tomorrow is Monday and the start of another work week. Change is inevitable and I must continue to grow and be positive in spite of circumstances which are beyond my control. And I must internalize the silence and peace of the forest and learn the lesson of the trees.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Remember Whensday: In the Clouds

Philip and The Becka in the clouds at the top of the Ceboruco Volcano

I last visited Mexico in 2006 and started blogging the next month. One of my first posts was about our climb toward the crater of the Ceboruco Volcano near Tepic, Nayarit. My brother Philip has a knack for selecting a very isolated beach or mountain for exploration. We spent several hours here and did not see anyone else on the trail.

We are still hearing daily repo
rts about the earthquake in Haiti and this has made me think of places I have been where the earth's crust is unstable. I was in Mexico City four years before the magnitude 8.1 earthquake which hit in September 1985 and caused great devastation. We stayed in a high rise apartment for two nights with friends of my parents and I wonder if that building survived the quake.

The Ceboruco Volcano last erupted between 1870 and 1875 and the volcanic rock fields are still visible. We climbed past steam vents which were hot enough that campers could cook food in them. When we neared the crater, the clouds descended on the mountain top obscuring the way and making it difficult to reach the goal. We had to turn back which was fine with me.

I am following my brother past a steam vent

Finding yourself lost in the clouds on a mountain top is alarming. We had to trust my brother's knowledge of the path as we descended the trail again. I was not afraid that the mountain would erupt but the raw power potential beneath the ground was very evident. The shrouded path is a metaphor of times in our lives when the way is not clear. Sometimes it seems that things will crumble beneath our feet. We need a guide, or can be that guide for someone else in a difficult situation.

Follow this link for more Remember Whensday posts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creative Challenges

I started blogging three and a half years ago and this creative outlet has stimulated an increased interest in the world around me. Other bloggers have taught me much and have challenged me to examine my views on many subjects. The internet is full of wonderful information but is also a source of much misinformation. I cringe at email forwards which are sent by people unable to form their own opinions, who are open to believing anything they read. I avoid ranting bloggers and seek out those who pursue thoughtful reflection about our imperfect world.

Digital photography has permitted many people to record and post about events with immediacy. Big Brother is not the government, police or Google street view, but may be anyone on the street with a cell phone or camera. News outlets readily accept photographic submissions from public eyewitnesses and initial reporting of breaking stories often comes from ordinary observers.

so much information...
so many visual images...

An old, disillusioned Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes,

"All things are wearisome, more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time."

Human nature is unchanged and rules which govern the natural world remain in effect for eons of time. But we must discover this for ourselves through exploration, inquiry and experience. Our natural creativity often gets buried and needs to be rediscovered in order to see the world with fresh eyes.

I have been contemplating my own creative potential and feel the need to challenge myself. In my fifteenth "season" of taking pictures and blogging over 1000 posts, I want to look at the world in varied ways. I joined a Flickr Photo Challenge group in December and tried to post a picture representing the theme of the day. The group has a monthly theme in 2010 rather than a daily theme and members are to post four pictures about resolutions in the month of January. I took the above picture this past weekend as we looked at a group of Mallards and one variant female duck. She became the focus of my resolution for the week. I have been looking for word prompts to stimulate creativity in my writing as well.

I may not be able to say “Look! This is something new" but hope to say, Look! Here is a new way to view this." And that is a productive approach for all areas of my life.

(photo prompt:resolution;- word prompt:unique)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week Three of the January Bird Count

Watching birds from the pier at the Burlington Canal

I went out almost every day again after work to look for birds for the count and until Friday, added only three to my list. The most unexpected find was a Belted Kingfisher who was noisily fishing an open spot in the Grand River.

On Saturday my husband and I took a forty minute drive to the shores of Lake Ontario at Burlington, Ontario. Many species of water birds overwinter here and it would be the best chance to reach my goal of 45 birds. I counted 31 birds and added 14 to my monthly total including two life birds. Last year I saw a White-winged Scoter for the first time and this year added a Black Scoter and a Surf Scoter to my list. While driving along an off ramp of the Queen Elizabeth Way, my husband noticed two Bald Eagles sitting on the ice in the bay. We were able to pull over on the shoulder to get a picture from the car.

Zebra Mussels and Greater Scaup

The docks at the LaSalle Marina had been pulled out of the water in the fall and many zebra mussels were attached to the frames. This invasive mollusc was introduced to waterways of North America from Russia on the hulls of ships. It is eaten by Greater Scaup and these birds were present in the bay.

Here are the birds I added to my January list yesterday:
Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Black Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Bald Eagle, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Canvasback, White-winged Scoter, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, American Coot, Redhead Duck

So I have a total of 51, six over my goal. I has not taken me as long to find birds this year as last year's experience taught me where to look. Perhaps I will get closer to the number of birds I found last year.

Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter
Bald Eagles, Northern Cardinal

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Relief for Haiti

During my recent trip to California, Arizona and Nevada I made the tongue-in-cheek comment that I would like to experience a small earthquake just to see what it felt like. After seeing the devastation in Haiti, I will not joke about something as potentially serious as this. I was aware of my initial emotional disconnection from this event as I hurried to complete my mundane tasks yesterday. News came in the afternoon about the death of Yvonne Martin, a nurse from our community who died in the earthquake. She arrived in Haiti with a medical team 90 minutes before the quake and perished when their guest house collapsed. I know two of her nieces, and the family as well her church congregation are grieving. I have no patience with those who presume to know that God has judged Haiti with this disaster. It is impossible for us to understand the suffering of the people in this impoverished country but we do have an opportunity to share our abundance with them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birding in Mennonite Country-2010

Spreading manure on the fields

There are many Old Order Mennonite farms north of the city and the surrounding country side is the winter home of Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, and Bald Eagles. We were unable to find any owls or eagles this past weekend but driving here is always interesting. One cannot complain about bitter cold temperatures when you pass a horse and buggy on the shoulder of the road or watch farmers at work in their frozen fields. Small children in the back of buggies were bundled under layers of heavy blankets and white vapour enveloped the heads of horses as they pulled their loads.

Country auction

We passed an auction house in a small town and the parking lot was full of motorized as well as horse drawn vehicles.

A small picturesque bridge crosses the Conestoga River at Three Bridges and I waited at the side of the road to see if I could get a picture of the buggy crossing the span. I try to be as inobtrusive as possible when taking pictures of Old Order Mennonites so I waited at a respectful distance from the roadside. I was surprised to see the buggy pull in and park beside my vehicle where I had stopped to look at birds around a feeder. Unknown people had placed seed and suet on trees at the trail entrance and I wondered if the occupants of the buggy were the ones who were putting out feed. They were enjoying the many birds there.

A male Hairy Woodpecker worked hard at the frozen suet. The picture below of the back of his head shows well another difference between this bird and the smaller Downy Woodpecker. The red patch on the back of his head is dissected by a black line while the male Downy has a single red patch as well as black spots on the outer white tail feathers.

In 2008 I wrote another post entitled Birding in OOM Country. Life has not changed here in the past months or decade and I would expect that if I went birding here in 2015, things would be much the same.

Hairy Woodpecker

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week Two of the January Bird Count

"All the birds had fled..."

I was out on trail every day this week but one looking for birds to add to my January total. I know where to look and dressed for the bitter cold each day after work to take an hour or so to check a woodlot, stream or river for any living thing. My husband and I drove north of the city yesterday where we would be sure to find a Snowy Owl or Bald Eagle but came up with only two new birds in several hours of searching. I was reading the reports of recent Christmas Bird Counts in Ontario and saw comments like, "never have so many people turned out to look for so few birds".

American Tree Sparrow and a White-throated Sparrow at a feeder

A bitter cold snap has affected much of the continent. My daughter in the north of Mexico was telling me that the water in her dog's dish was frozen yesterday and that she could see her breath inside the house. So I have no complaints. With central heating and city services which are accustomed to dealing with snowfall and cold temperatures, I am not inconvenienced at all. And I am happy I am not a bird looking for food and warmth outside.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Our bird feeders at home are busy with the usual customers with the addition of a Coopers Hawk who is dropping by a few times a day looking for an easy meal. So far we have not seen evidence of a kill. I ended up seeing the most birds at the feeder at the Guelph Lake Nature Centre featured in my last post. Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Purple Finches are not seen commonly and both were enjoying the free black sunflower seeds.

Purple Finch at Guelph Lake

Other sightings of note away from feeders included;-
  • A large flock of Snow Buntings
  • Horned Larks congregated on a gravel road
  • A Rough-legged hawk hunting over a field next to the road
The last two years there have been large flocks of winter finches such as Crossbills, Redpolls and Pine Siskins. They are notably absent this year. I went to the pine grove where they were seen consistently last year and noticed that the trees which were laden with cones last year have very few cones this year. Many trees had none at all. Each season is unique. I now have a total of 31 birds with a goal of 45 by the end of the month.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday "Flowers": Tree Ornaments

Click picture to view in large size

I have been out birding every day this week in grey, cold and windy conditions and have seen very few new birds for the January count. I will do an update post later for this week. I drove to Guelph, Ontario to a conservation area which has feeders set up and finally saw a variety of colourful birds at one time. Do enlarge this picture and see how many different species you can count. Of course we have no flowers blooming outdoors at this time of year, but the birds looked like ornaments on the bare branches. Below is a better picture of the actual feeder so you can see a couple of other birds who were in the picture at the same time.

Click picture to enlarge

I have been updating two other blogs regularly. The Becka and I are planning to post a daily picture of our region on An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region. There are new recipes up as well on Come Home for Supper.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Remember Whensday: El Día de los Reyes

The Three Kings, Guadalajara, Mexico 1990

We took our children to visit family in Mexico at the end of 1989. It was their first trip outside Canada (and my husband's first visit to Mexico) and we stayed into the first week of January. El Día de los Reyes, The Day of the Kings, or Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th. It marks the visit of the Magi and their presentation of gifts to the young child Jesus. In Latin America it is a day for gift giving and the eating of a special cake. Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Cake is a crown shaped sweet bread which reminds me of German stollen. A small porcelein figurine of the Christ Child is baked in the bread and the person who finds it in their piece must host the next family gathering.

Nacimiento (Nativity) Gualadajara, Mexico 1990

Large nativity scenes were set up in various places in the city of Guadalajara where we were staying with my parents. I have a similar looking nacimiento which fits on the top of my piano.

Grandad and granddaughters in a Mexican village

Our daughters were introduced to third world living conditions on this trip and they adapted well to the travelling and sights we saw. Along with the modern city of Guadalajara, we visited villages and homes where my parents and brothers ministered to the people. I do remember how cold it was at higher altitudes and wished I had brought warmer clothing and a tea pot with me, especially at night.

Pacific Ocean, Mexico (I cannot remember the name of the town)

We visited the Pacific Ocean and finally found warmth at sea level. Hundreds of Brown Pelicans circled the beach when the fishermen came to shore in their small boats and sorted the fish caught in their nets.

Twenty years has passed by quickly. I can hardly believe these pictures were taken than long ago! Mexico has changed too and many in the younger generations are in tune with North American culture and its consumerism. I think it would be more unlikely to come across a burro carrying a large load of sugar cane. But today is still a special day, the end of the Christmas season and a day of celebration.

Follow this link for more Remember Whensday posts.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

January Deep Freeze

Frost on our back door

Much of North America is experiencing a blast of Arctic air and we are not exempt here in south-western Ontario. Temperatures are in the minus double digits and strong north winds have created wind chills in the minus twenties. I opened the door early yesterday morning and was greeted by a lovely canvas of frosty designs on the window of the storm door. I remember an attic bedroom I once shared with my brothers. The windows were thick with feathery frost designs for much of the winter. I liked the idea of Jack Frost doing his work while I slept and his visits were far more welcome than the other monsters who occupied dark corners of the large room.

I have decided to step up to Larry's annual challenge and do a January bird count this month. Last year I was off work recovering from surgery and spent many wonderful hours birding. I counted 61 species and would be very surprised if I achieved that this year with my busier schedule. On January 1st we visited my brother and his family at their new home in Barrie Ontario. They have feeders set up and back onto a conservation area. Bird watching through their kitchen windows was warm and easy. I added the first eleven birds to my count.

January along the river

Yesterday I bundled up for -23C temperatures and went for a walk along the river near a water treatment plant. The warmer discharged water keeps the river open in this stretch and many water birds over winter here. High bluffs protect the river side trail from north winds so it was relatively comfortable to walk for an hour or so in the sunshine. I added some expected birds to the count and then amongst the many Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks, spotted one male Hooded Merganser. I have not seen these birds on the river here before. My count went up to 22.

Hooded Merganser and Canada Goose

Today the wind has really picked up and the sun is gone. I have filled the feeders here but it is too cold for the trails. I will set my goal at 45 birds for the month and it may take a trip to the shores of Lake Ontario to get that number.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Resolving to make the best choice

Last year I resolved to simplify and in the end, did get rid of far more than I accumulated. Many of us complicate our lives with more than possessions and it takes constant effort to focus on what is important emotionally and spiritually.

Yes, I have made some resolutions for 2010. We have much knowledge about many things yet often lack the resolve to make the best choice based on what we know to be true. Things do happen which are beyond our control, but each day is full of choices we can make...

what to say
what to write
what to wear
what to eat
what to buy
where to go
who to spend time with

So for 2010, my touchstone words are "best choice". Perhaps I will share my successes and failures in time. Resolutions are best talked about when they have become a reality in our lives.

I took the picture above on New Years Day. My sister-in-law made a delicious healthy meal and had fresh fruit as well as small chocolate covered cheesecakes after the meal. Choices, choices... I made a good one!