New Year, New… What?

Ah, it’s that time of year again. Resolution time. I’ve written about this before, and my opinion is that you should pick one thing that really matters to you and focus on that.

This year I am giving up sugar! All of it!

*peeks* Do you believe that? No? Good, because not even I can.

There is no sense in trying to give up something as pervasive as sugary foods. So what I plan to do is limit it. I intend to cut out candy except for special occasions. I will use honey and fruit for sweeteners, and eat baked goods that I’ve made myself. That takes much more effort than grabbing a doughnut or grocery markdowns.

The reason for this is my health. It isn’t to lose weight, though that helps. I have an assortment of ailments that will do much better if they don’t also have high blood sugar to deal with.

I believe in being realistic. I won’t be able to come back this time next year and say I don’t eat sugar anymore. I still will. But hopefully I’ll be able to say things have improved, and that’s the important part.

First, let me make it clear I have nothing against people who choose to eat vegan. What other people want to eat is none of my business. I just wish the rest of the world would return the favor.

Let me check my news article sites. Hmm. Why I should be a vegan. Why the world should be vegans. Vegans angry because restaurants won’t buy separate appliances to cook their food on.

On to recipe sites. Fake meat ads. Vegan recipes heavily pushed. Youtube recipe videos are the same, at least three vegan for every meat recipe.

Okay, part of it I can understand. As a gardener, I am always on the lookout for new ways to use vegetables and fruit. But I don’t need the recipes to be vegan or even vegetarian. And I most certainly do not need recipes that include non-normal ingredients. Tofu need not apply.

Mixed in those articles have been ones about vegans complaining they are being picked on and sneered at by non-vegans. I never condone being mean to anyone, but maybe whoever is behind this big media push should consider that it may be counterproductive. Most of us are just fine being omnivores, and have no plans to change.

To be honest, this isn’t just a vegan thing. This is also a media thing. I remember seeing the same flood with Keto, Atkins, Paleo, and so on and so forth. There is always a new ‘healthy’ lifestyle fad just around the corner. But no matter how hard they try, no amount of internet articles and Youtube videos is going to influence my diet.

Galaxy’s Edge Woes

Disney has become a victim of its own hype, not for the first time. It made us believe that the new Star Wars-themed lands would be solidly packed from day one. Crowds are finally starting to build, but it still suffers from two major problems.

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Today’s post is about a special interest of mine – edible landscaping. This is the philosophy that everything you plant should produce food. Want to plant a tree? Make it a fruit or nut tree. There are many shrubs that produce berries. There are loads of very pretty flowers that are edible.

Even if you don’t have a yard, there are many planters made for food plants. I can personally recommend the Earth Box. I gave one to my father, and he said the tomato plant he put in it was the most productive he’d ever grown. Grow salad plants. Grow herbs to zing up your cooking. Grow those pricey fresh vegetables like bell peppers.

Nothing beats food you have grown yourself. And in an uncertain world, it is good to have your own resources. Not long ago I read an article by a man living in Venezuela who felt he owed his life to the mango tree in his back yard. He had one in the front that was regularly stripped by armed gangs, but the other one couldn’t be seen. It wasn’t much, but it was the one thing that kept him from starvation. I’m not preaching doomsday scenarios, and such a thing happening in the US is highly unlikely. But having a little bit of protection never hurts.

Recently my able assistants Poor Gail Jr. and Poor Rose decided that we should bite the bullet and ride some of the thrill rides so that we will be able to say we’ve ridden them at least once. We picked the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for our first experience.

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I love to write. I really do. So why is my blog, something I think about dozens of times a day, so empty?

It’s mostly a matter of energy. I’ve had some flare-ups of my medical issues, including a round of bursitis in my hip that is still causing me great pain. Bills having me ubering every second I can. Small calamities along the way like my beloved ergonomic keyboard dying of old age, and its replacement being a small el cheapo straight keyboard play their part. So even though my head is full of potential posts, sitting down and being coherent is sometimes more than I can muster the energy for.

But I realized that I need some of what the touchie-feelie folks call self-care. I should do at least one thing that makes me feel good every day, and I want it to be this. Writing gets the juices flowing, no matter if it is fiction, blogging or even posting on discussion sites. I need to get my fingers moving so my brain will follow.

I’m never going to be the new Coupon Mom or AllEars.net. I’m not going to knock any big blogs off their perches. But at the very least I hope to provide good information and interesting commentary on the things that come into my life. We’ll have some fun.

Recently a women posted on Facebook complaining about people who go to Disney World without kids. I thought about writing about how I have gone from a nine-year-old dazzled by the shiny new Magic Kingdom to a fifty-something who still loves to go to Disney World, either alone or with my two adult, currently childless, daughters. But I kept returning to the same thought.

Who cares?

Seriously, why should anyone outside of this woman’s family and friends give a damn about her opinion? Oh, I know, someone tweeted a screenshot of the post so we could all have a chuckle at a mother’s meltdown, but why the articles?

I’ve seen news and commentary posts all over the place. Will Disney ban childless millennials? Duh, no. Should Disney ban them? Again, duh, no. One person’s blowing off steam on the Internet has suddenly become news.

I think what bothers me the most is that these articles behave as though one person’s opinion is super important to how Disney operates. “Will/Should Disney” is giving far too much power to one Internet post. I have a personal Facebook account. It helps me keep up with distant relatives, and hey, I play a little Farmville. But I don’t go to it for news or opinion. Beyond the people I care about, social media is like overhearing conversations at the mall, and should be treating with the same level of importance.

Since my original post, I have had a chance to go back and take better pictures. I am truly impressed by the theming here, and every second I spent there just made me love it more.

A reminder – Toy Story Land is made to look as though Andy built it in his backyard. Everything you see reinforces that.

Woody is waiting to greet you as you enter Toy Story Land. He talks in pre-recorded phrases which are very in-character.
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No, this post isn’t about the Disney ride. Neither is it about the series of movies bases on that ride. Today I’m writing about the distraction that has been eating what little spare time I have, at the cost of my writing time.

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Normally random things on the internet don’t bother me. And the Google daily doodles are usually pretty inoffensive. But today’s does.

Now let me be clear, I have nothing against their choice. Lucy Wills did marvelous research, and is the reason pregnant women take folic acid. She is fully worthy of all the praise that Google wanted to give her.

No, my beef is with the cartoonist. Since I don’t want to risk Google’s ire, I won’t show the cartoon, but here is a brief description. A woman scientist is shown, surrounded with the stereotypical trappings, i.e. a microscope, a rack of test tubes, a white coat. She is holding up a jar of jam or jelly and is giving it a thoughtful look, obviously representing her making the link between pregnancy complications and nutrition.

And what is in the middle of all this? A cup of coffee/tea, and a saucer with a slice of toast with the same jelly on it. A real scientist will tell you that you *never* have food around your work. At best you risk contaminating your work, at worst you could poison yourself. A brilliant woman like Dr. Wills would never follow such sloppy and dangerous procedures.

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