Friday, May 24, 2013
This movie got me thinking about trying a vegetarian diet. In the past year Randy and I have drastically changed our eating habits. This is mostly out of necessity, since he has been having lots of stomach problems as a result of his recovery from salmonella. We have discovered lots of new vegetables and have tried new ways of preparing old standards. Growing up we always had vegetables, primarily canned green beans, tomatoes and corn. Pretty standard for middle income, Midwest people. For 33 years I have prepared meals based around this plate: meat, carb, vegetable. However, recently, it has been less meat, rarely a carb and at least two vegetables. A funny thing has happened to us lately, we now plan our meals around the vegetables we have. Our refrigerator is stocked with kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and squash. When we eat out, we scan the menu for vegetables. For lunch today we ate at Wendy's and both had a baked potato with broccoli instead of fries. It was delicious! This may not seem odd to you, but it is quite a bit different diet than we used to eat.
So, back to my attempt at vegetarianism. We left for Illinois on a Saturday morning and stopped at Hannibal, Mo for lunch. The restaurant was called Fiddlestick and offered a wide menu, similar to an Applebee's. They had a large selection of salads and sandwiches, non of which were free of meat. I settled on a pasta meal with steamed vegetables. It was incredibly good. Steaming hot and perfectly cooked broccoli, carrots and cauliflower on top. This is going to be easy, I thought.
We arrived in Springfield and after some shopping and relaxing, we decided to eat at Cheddars. I knew that I would order their vegetable platter, which I enjoy even when I am not reducing my meat consumption. The next morning for breakfast we had a bagel at a local bakery. I was feeling really great and had not missed meat at all. The morning was spent at the Lincoln Museum, which (handy for me) had a Subway within it's walls. I convinced Randy to eat there, even though he does not like Subway, so I could have a veggie sandwich. The rest of the afternoon was spent touring the Lincoln home and other area attractions. That evening we headed to a Cracker Barrel. I had enjoyed the vegetable platter there before and decided that would be my choice. I asked for the pinto beans, broccoli and salad, without bacon bits. When my food arrived, the beans had some kind of sausage in them (which I am pretty sure was not mentioned on the menu) and the salad was covered with tiny bacon bits. In stead of sending these back I just picked the meat out and ate the food. The waitress apologized and ended up comping my dessert (blackberry cobbler, my favorite!).
On the way back home, I began to wonder what restaurants I could visit in our local community and stay meat free. Our chain restaurants are a Hardees (no meat substitutes there), Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell and Subway. A few local favorites have salads, but no vegetarian main meals. We eat out one to two times a week, so keeping meatless seemed like it would require a major lifestyle change.
I began to read some about being a vegetarian, and happened to see a facebook post about flexitarianism. This is a made up word (I think) and means to enjoy meat and other animal products in moderation and increase the consumption of plant based foods. This idea seems so sensible to me, I decided to adopt it as my new eating guide. I will continue to enjoy meat, on a smaller scale and keep my lifestyle intact. Randy is fairly relieved that I decided to keep some meat in my life, as he enjoys meat, even though his body won't let him eat as much as he would like.
I have always considered myself fairly moderate, so this is not much of a stretch for me. My little meatless weekend was enjoyable and proved to me that I can modify my diet with little or no suffering.
Please share any vegetarian or vegetable based recipe you enjoy. I am branching out!!
Monday, May 20, 2013
We just got back from a nice weekend trip to Springfield, Il. The trip was a gift from our children for a combined Mother's Day and Father's Day gift. We stayed at a nice hotel just two blocks from the Museum Complex. We reserved a hotel so close to minimize Randy's need to walk long distances. (He has been having an awful time with arthritis and his deteriorating ankle). But as it turns out, we drove everywhere we went because the town is so easy to get around in, and his ankle was just killing him! It has been quite a while since we have left home and it was nice to have a change of scenery. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes history or wants to learn more about Abe Lincoln.
Friday, May 17, 2013
In other highlights of the week: I had to make an unplanned trip to the eye doctor to discover that I had a challasion(spelling?), which is kind of like a sty that has hardened. After dealing with it for over two weeks, it is finally getting better. One of the programs I supervise at work was monitored this week and we lost a long time employee. One resignation has set off a chain of movement in the programs I supervise. I don't think there will be any rest for me at work for awhile!
We are contemplating a quick trip soon to Springfield, Illinois to check out the Lincoln Museum. Our children decided to combine a Mother's Day and Father's Day gift and send us away for a little trip. It should be fun!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Tomorrow is Mother's Day, a day which has always been a little bittersweet for me. I lost my mother when she was 52 years old, and I was 28. She died of breast cancer and has been gone for 27 years now. I still miss her. I still daydream about how my life would have been different if she would have lived longer. This will be the third year I have participated in the Mother's Day 5K to raise money for breast cancer prevention. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter also participate in this event. I walk in memory of Mom. I walk in hopes that someday soon there will be a cure for breast cancer (and all cancers). I wish my children could remember her and could have known her love as I did.
I also think about my mother-in-law on this day. She passed away 34 years ago this June. She was like a mother to me. She was loving, accepting and generous with her time. She was 45 and died from Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, unknown cause. She was not a smoker and had been in good health. I miss her and also daydream about what a difference she would have made in my adult life. Many people say that Jessica resembles her in appearance and personality. I consider that a great blessing. She was the oldest of 10 children, including 7 brothers. I wish my children could have know her, it would have certainly enriched their lives.
I now have a step-mother, Martha. Martha is one of the sweetest, kindest women you will ever know. She can always find a positive in any situation and she never lets anything mean or disrespectful pass her lips. She looks about 25 years younger than she is and acts as youthful. I love her very much and count myself lucky that she is in my life.
I have recently spent a great deal of time pondering the role of parenting adult children. I am not sure I have been as successful parenting my children as adults. I have trouble knowing when to stay silent and when to give advice (which is rarely solicited by my children). Backing off and letting go is not easy and are roles I have not accepted naturally. Truthfully, I have not had the chance to follow in my mother or mother-in-laws footsteps, since they both died so young. Maybe I needed to see how they would have handled us as adults (although my mom died when I was 28, she had been ill for quite some time before her death). I think part of my psych wants to hold on to my kids because I know how precious life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. I want to hold them close and tell them that our time together is limited and will not last (something younger people don't usually comprehend). Of course, who wants to hear that? So I plod along, doing the best I can to be what they need me to be. Friend? Adviser? Counselor? Casual observer? I am not really sure what the mix should be. One thing is certain, my children are not afraid to speak up and let me know when I step on toes or go too far into their lives. I raised two bright, self-confident and well-spoken human beings. I am proud of the adults they have become. I hope they are equally as proud of me.
I have been so blessed in my life to have had so many strong and beautiful women influence me. I hope someday I will be remembered as a strong woman who did what she could to help the people she loved.
Happy Mother's Day to all the women out there who had mothers, who are mothers or who will someday be mothers. May you be as blessed in your life as I have been in mine.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Maddie had written a sweet story about her brother. In the story she told that Mason is good at sharing and he says nice things to her. It warmed my heart to see how she feels about her little brother!
In other news, this was a busy weekend. We joined Jessica and Scott for a "trivia night" on Friday and then on Saturday we went to a local concert featuring a "Johnny Cash" legend. It was fun. We have gotten into a rut of staying home a lot, I guess because we have had such a harsh winter and spring. It is time to break out and live a little! On Sunday we went to Columbia to a Farmer's and Artisan's Market. It was a fun morning, followed by a little lunch and shopping. It is hard to go back to work after such an eventful weekend. This is a short week for me, as we are off on Wednesday for a state holiday (Truman's Birthday). Have a good week everyone!