Friday, June 26, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I am on a quest....a journey really, to rid my home of "High Fructose Corn Syrup." If you believe what you read, and this I do believe, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the worst kind of "foodstuff" there is. For the last month, I have been focusing on eliminating white flour from the Parker diet and now we are onto the Liquid Death as it has been called, HFCS. The problem is, this junk is in everything, and I mean everything! So expunging it is not an easy task. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find Ketchup, a staple at the Parker abode, that doesn't have HFCS? Virtually impossible, unless of course you want to spend 8.99 for a jar of "natural ketchup" at the Whole Foods. Which of course, I will do, once we finish the Heinz squeeze bottle of poison that is currently sitting on the shelf on the door in the fridge. I mean, you can't throw away perfectly good ketchup can you. Next up, find me a cookie, any cookie that doesn't have this stuff in it.....almost impossible. Now I am up to making homemade cookies for my families lunches since I can't find a decent cookie in the store that isn't loaded with hydrogenated oils and HFCS.
So, tell me friends, have I lost my mind? Am I going cuckoo? I just figure there has got to be away to eat food that has real food in it right? thoughts.....anyone?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Am I Just "That Good" or do I have "SUCKER" written on my forehead?

Anyone who has peered at my FB page in the last 36 hours knows that I have spent much of that time at the Annual St. John's Bazaar, chairing the soda booth. Now, this is not a complex assignment. The chairperson is required to contact volunteers and finesse them into giving away their valuable weekend free time to help out the church and sell some soda for Jesus. So, about 3 weeks ago, I made calls in earnest and found myself about 12 or so volunteers to cover various shifts throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, a number of folks on my list have since moved away so there were several shifts left uncovered.....and that meant I had to cover them. No biggie, I enlisted the help of my 14 year old daughter along with her friend to help "man the booth" They were a great help, but it quickly became clear that they would rather be riding the rides with their friends. Plus, I needed them to keep my 5 year old occupied, so for much of the weekend, I sent them off to play games and ride rides and I was alone in the booth as the designated St. John's "Soda Jerk." I must say I didn't mind working the booth alone. I was the picture of efficiency, with noone to get in my way and I was really busy so the time flew by. Let's be honest.....In the world of Bazaar Food Booth's, I was good! Soon I had attracted the attention of some steering committee members who were clearly impressed with my fountain drink prowess, for soon I was fielding questions about whether I might be interested in joining the Bazaar steering committee next year......what? All I did was make some lemonade and Iced Tea. Why was I all of a sudden a hot property? This evening, I came home with blistering feet, an aching back, smelling of fried dough and I asked my husband this question. His answer........"because you show up and you lead." How the hell does one lead the soda booth? I think it's more likely because I show up. I also think the word is out that when I am asked to volunteer for something, I never say no. (I always intend to say no....but then I can't, it's an illness) So, guess who will be attending the steering committee meetings for next year's bazaar friends? Yup, you got it.....Jill, the "leading Soda Booth Chairperson" of Brunswick. So I got that going for me........which is nice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Any day.......

I received word on Saturday night that a man that I knew passed away unexpectedly that morning. Now, I had not seen this man for at least 5 or 6 years and we certainly weren't close but I remember this man fondly for he was truly "larger than life" in personality and spirit. The type of person who should be immortal, one might think. Unfortunately, that was not the case as this 45 year old man who was full of zest for life, suddenly died of a heart attack just a day after returning from a Disney World Vacation with his wonderful family. I found myself spending alot of time thinking about him and his family during the past two days. It was a busy weekend, but he kept creeping into my thoughts. My heart ached for his wife and children who are no doubt reeling from this sudden and horrible event. I prayed for them to find some peace in knowing he is in heaven watching down on them. I prayed that their close family will hold them up and keep them safe and sane during a truly insane period when, I am sure....absolutely nothing makes sense.
Of course, being the narcissist that I can be, I began to think about my own life and about lives in general. It seems lately, I have come just way too close to so many cases of amazing people leaving this world well before they were supposed to. It really makes you pause and think about how life is really so short and uncertain. Many of us become so self involved and think only about the minor inconveniences in life as if they are the end of the world. The truth is, they are just that, inconveniences. Even major issues like divorce, job loss, home foreclosure should seem insignificant compared to the immeasurable grief of a family who loses a loved one well before "their time."
Again, the question becomes, understanding the impact of an event such as this on those of us in the periphery, what does one do? Maybe, just maybe, we hug our kids a bit more, we drink a bit of wine, we go for a 2 mile run, we call our mother, we go to church, we reach out to old friends on facebook, we make love to our spouse, we sit on the deck with some iced tea, we smell the flowers, well, you get the idea. And we feel at that moment as if our kids are just a bit sweeter, the laughs are that much funnier, the iced tea is the best we've ever had, because we really savor it. That's my plan. Because, let's face it, life is a crap shoot anyway and there are no guarantees. That's the lesson here, a painful and awful lesson, but one that I need to remember more often. Rest in peace Chip.........I am sure there will a Preakness Party in heaven this year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where the hell have I been?

Well, it's been a few weeks since I blogged. I am happy to report the heel spur is on the mend and I have been on the treadmill and out on the roads a few times since then, so it appears that the worst has passed. Still a little twingy, but ok nonetheless. But enough about my foot, let's talk about Sporcle, my newest obsession. If you haven't been to yourself a favor, don't ever go there. It will suck you into a vortex of ridiculous trivia quizzes that will cause you to lose many hours of your life that you will never get back.
I spent a good portion of last evening on this giant time bandit of a website......I particularly enjoy the "corporate logo" quizzes where they show you the logos and you have to figure out what company it represents. I am amazed at how many I actually got right. It boggles the mind to consider how much useless crap we have stored in the recesses of our brain. For example, why do I know every major muppet character as well as the names of most Dustin Hoffman movies? How does this serve me in life? Only on Sporcle my friends, only on Sporcle.
So, once again, consider this my own personal PSA......stay away from Sporcle. You will find that you have time for little else.