Friday, January 27, 2012

Also in the News

Headline on Yahoo! News

Attribution: ABC New/Good Morning America

“Paula Deen Caught Eating a Cheeseburger”

It seems that Ms. Deen, television chef, caused a furor in the last week or so when she “admitted” that she has type 2 diabetes and is now a paid spokesperson for a medicine to treat the condition.

I can see how some might think she brought it on herself after seeing some of her recipes. One they showed several times was a burger with all the fixin’s on a donut. Okay, that was over the top, but who in their right mind would eat something like that? Is it possible she was just pokin’ a little fun at ya’ll?

I have a news flash for the writer of the cheeseburger story. Unless that cheeseburger had barbecue sauce or some other condiment with sugar, the cheeseburger is okay for a diabetic to eat. It’s not the calories that are so important—it’s the carbs we have to watch. Of course, overweight is a factor when dealing with the condition, but even if you are overweight you can control the blood sugar levels by avoiding the carbs.

Let’s break it down. A cheeseburger usually consists of a hamburger patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion, pickle, and a bun. Some people may choose to include catsup or mustard. Meat and cheese (proteins) have little or no carbs; lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion less than 5 unless you use a whole tomato on one burger; mayo, no carbs. Now we come to the bun. Depending on the size and ingredients, a bun can be as little as 20 carbs for a “lite” bun to as much as 55 for a huge burger at a fast food emporium. Even if it were on a big bun, 60 grams of carbs is low for a meal. The calorie count may be high, but the carb count is low. Some people need to get their facts straight before taking others to task for something which, apparently, they know nothing about.

(So often I have heard people say when talking about over-weight low-income people, “They sure don’t look like they’ve missed many meals.” They are overweight because beans, pasta, potatoes, bologna, biscuits, gravy, and cornbread are a heck of lot cheaper that  meat, vegetables [cauliflower was $4.00 a head last week locally, as an example], and fruit.)

Then were is nurture vs. nature. Some of us have a predisposition for diabetes. It not exactly described as hereditary but it does run in families. In my family, it goes back to my great grandmother. But, of course, some of it does go to nurturing. My mother who over-weight has a great cure for depression. Not drugs, but “eat something, you’ll feel better.” Needless to say, it became my cure, too. I must have been really depressed. There is also the way my family cooked. My grandmother was from Alabama. Everything vegetable she cooked was seasoned with bacon drippings or fatback. Chicken was fried, and the ice cream was home-made in the hand-cranked machine.

Ms. Deen has been criticized for her southern cooking, with some implying that it was her diet that was directly responsible for her condition. They are also blaming her for putting others in harm’s way by touting her recipes to the general public.

There are several contributors to developing diabetes, but I certainly don’t blame my family for my predisposition to it or for the way my family cooked, or my mother’s choice for handling depression. At some point, I made the decision to continue overeating. It was ME, not my family, not some cook on television. I should have made better decisions and then I perhaps I wouldn’t be shunning all the White Stuff that I love to eat. I wouldn’t be worried about losing body parts, kidney function, and sight.

And Paula Deen  shouldn’t be blamed for obesity and diabetes. And if she wants to have a burger, it’s not really such a bad choice. (But we all know that we should watch those calories, too, dammit!)

In the News

Headline on Yahoo! News

“Low IQ and Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice”

Was that splat I heard something hitting the fan?

And was that strange fluttery noise the sound of ruffled feathers?

This study should be fodder for “interesting” discussion.

Note: Article Byline - Stephanie Pappas, Live Science. com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Open Letter to CBS News Division

While I applaud you efforts to improve your morning show, I, a humble viewer, would like to offer one small suggestion. Someone should tell Ms. King to shut the hell up! She talks over Erica Hill and interrupts both her co-anchors and guests. She comes across to me as abrasive with some guests. Perhaps “abrasive” is not the word I’m looking for. I think “snotty” is a better choice.

I was so looking forward to the changes so that I would not have to endure the cooking, wine-tasting, and Willard Scott on NBC. Robin Roberts on GMA has a tendency to become giggly and simpering when interviewing the celebrity du jour and the new guy seems to be wannabe stand-up comedian masquerading as a morning anchor. Maybe it’s just me, but I find giggling, simpering, and one-liners a little grating in the morning.

Well, now. I feel ever so much better. I shall lick the cream from my face, retract my claws, and take a catnap. Enough cattiness for today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Fixit Family News

Harrowing Ride

Part of Mr. Fixit’s family is on the way to South America for a visit. They had a long layover in Atlanta so Mr. Fixit decided to make the 130 mile trip (one way) to see them at the airport.

The weather became a big problem. We ran into torrential rain on I85 almost as soon as we hit the interstate, and it continued most of the way. We had to pull off the road several times because of the visibility problem.

When we were about 2/3 of the way there, they called to say they were still on the ground at LaGuardia in NY because of the severe weather in Atlanta. We went on a few more miles, and then Mr. Fixit decided to turn around and come back home. There would have been very little time to see them, and we didn’t want to drive back after dark.


Some time ago Mr. Fixit became a fan of VH1. Every time I walked by, there it was. Thank Heaven, that didn’t last long.

Now he has watched every western known to man, the weather is keeping him indoors, and the boys don’t have anything for him to do (handy-man stuff at the trailer park for one son or inspection work for the other), he is super-bored. He found RFD TV. He watches blue grass performers, polka dancers, country dancing, and animal husbandry shows. I hope this doesn’t last long. That blue grass music gets on my nerves.

Too Sweet

I have never been accused of being too sweet, but since Christmas, I have been very sweet. For some reason, my blood sugar jumped higher than it’s ever been before. My meds haven’t changed, so I don’t know what’s causing the problem. With my meds, I could eat almost anything I wanted if I regulated the amounts. No full bags of chips and whole cartons of regular ice cream.

I’ve had to cut back on the carbs, eating only a quarter of the amount suggested by the nutritionist to keep the levels within a reasonable range. It’s almost like being on the Atkins diet.

I want white stuff! Bread, pasta,  chips, potatoes, etc! However, when we went to a check-up from Mr. Fixit’s cardiologist, there was a man there who had lost a leg at the hip because of diabetes. I guess I can do without the white stuff. When I die, I would like to go with all my visible parts attached.


And the winner is—Newt! The people in this state just astound me. When Clinton was accused of infidelity, the good Christian people of the state were ready to impeach him. He was called every nasty name in the book. I think some would have liked to have seen him drawn and quartered. The rallying cry was “Family Values.”

At least Clinton’s wife was not suffering from cancer as Newt’s first wife or suffering from a degenerative disease like his second wife when  he kicked them to the curb. His business ethics are quite “flexible,” too, it seems. But Newt pulled off the win. It’s scary and sad how some people can say one thing one time and  say the opposite thing when it suits their own points of view and prejudices.

Does anyone remember who put this country in the mess it’s in today? It seems to me the economy tanked before the election of President Obama.

The Book Project

What a lot of work!

The shelved paperbacks have now been put in order and “catalogued.” (That spelling looks completely wrong.) Climbing up and down that ladder was strenuous for me.

I have started the hard-covers. One book case is finished, and the stacks on a table in my bedroom and stretched across the dresser top are about half done. There is a box under the bed, and another bookcase in the living room to go. Then they must be sorted and put in order.

That leaves the seven or eight big bankers’ boxes in the garage with more paperbacks to be cataloged (that spelling doesn’t look right either. I looked it up and both are correct though. It just looks wrong.

It’s going to be very hard for me to get rid of them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


With most of the Republican presidential candidates in our state flooding the airways with negative ads and another debate in the near future, I suppose it's time to talk about politics--No, let's not.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Is This World Coming To?

It’s time for forget about the strangeness that’s ongoing in the political arena; it’s time to worry about the really important stuff.

Hostess Cupcakes has filed bankruptcy! Say it ain’t so, Joe!

I never cared much for Twinkies; they were too sweet. My favorites were the pink and white Snowballs. You know, the devil’s food cupcake covered in marshmallow and coconut. I also liked the chocolate ones with the white loopy design on top.

When Mr. Fixit and I were first married, he worked second shift. Every day he took one Twinkie in his lunch for dessert. After Ben was born and he could eat big people food, I had to put in two Twinkies. Mr. Fixit would leave one in his lunch box for him. That was the first thing Ben looked for in the morning when he got up. He always had dessert after breakfast.

I can hardly believe that this bit of Americana is going by the wayside. Is nothing sacred? Get out there and have a Twinkie!


I am 66 years old, and every time I try to spell “dessert” or “desert'” I have to look it up. I must have a mental block.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Good-bye Old Friends

This weekend I began a major project that turned out to be a little more involved that I thought. I decided I would try to sell all my books on line. The project involves inventory and re-shelving. In order to sell I have to know what I have and where each book is physically located. I devised a data base that makes it go a little faster, but climbing up and down the ladder and moving books from one place to the other is tiring and time-consuming.

I read cozies, thrillers, and mysteries mostly. My sleuths are police detectives, private detectives, a gay detective, a native Alaskan woman, a female forest ranger, authors, crossword puzzle creators. I have series that include sleuths who cater, cook, quilt, knit, edit newspapers, etc. Nuns, priests, and rabbis also have a nose for crime. One brainy solver is physically challenged, some are elderly, some are physic. All are interesting.

The biggest problem may be letting them go. As I look at each one, I see so many that sound interesting and I have no memory of the plots. I have read every book on the shelves, some more than once, so it’s such a temptation to save them to read later. It going to be so hard to lose my old friends.

I’m looking on the bright side. Maybe they won’t sell.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In Preparation

Disclaimer: Jason, I have not been told that my time is short. The following are just some things that I have been thinking about lately. I plan to be around for a while longer, but I would like to get a head start on some of the practicalities of dying.

When I was young, I could not envision my own death. Death was something that was not going to happen to me. Even though I experienced the death of all my immediate family members, my dying seemed impossible until the last few months. Then a few things occurred that brought the reality of my mortality.

Even though Mr. Fixit and I have discussed aging and death, it is generally in a light-hearted way. “It’s time for you to learn how to use the kitchen appliances in case I die first.”  He has said that he hopes he’s dies first because he doesn’t know how to pay bills using electronic banking. Once he told me that he never wanted to go into a nursing home. I told him I would rather go into a nursing home than to be a burden on the children. He changed his mind when he thought about it.

Not long ago, the subject came up in a conversation with my older son and his wife. We told them our preferences if we should ever need care. I was a bit surprised, though, when I realized that they had probably discussed the subject.

I just cannot justify disrupting their lives and the lives of the grandchildren by being dependent on them for my basic needs. I think perhaps I wouldn’t feel that way if I had daughters. It would be too much to ask of a daughter-in-law and too humiliating to have my sons assisting with, say, hygiene. I’m sure the grandchildren would come to resent the upheaval that comes with having old folks living with them. My boys and their families are extremely busy people who have their own lives to live.

Dying has been on mind more than a bit lately. Of course, there is a little fear of the unknown, but that doesn’t prey on my mind as much maybe as it should. I hope that I can go easy with little pain. I guess we all hope for that. Also I hope I don’t live so long that people would see my death as a relief. I try to think of it as a release from the more unpleasant  parts of living. That gets me through the day.

It’s the aftermath of it that worries me. For instance, I really don’t want anyone going through my personal belongings after I’m dead. It really makes me cringe to think about anyone, including Mr. Fixit, going through my underwear drawer and my closet.

I also know that when the time comes there will be a basket full of to-be-ironed clothes, and I’m sure the refrigerator may harbor a few of those little plastic storage containers with unidentifiable green, fuzzy stuff in them. The kitchen floor will look as if it hasn’t been mopped in a month of Sundays, and the bathroom will be in great need of a good cleaning. I wonder if there is a service like those people who clean up crime scenes who would get rid of my things and give the house a good cleaning. I wouldn’t mind having strangers cleaning out my drawers and closet and giving the house a cleaning before anyone sees it.

I guess the real answer is to throw away any holey underwear I may have now and to keep my house cleaner.

I will never have pets after the ones I have now are gone. No one would take care them or love them like I do. Who else would cook chicken just for them?

What about all the pictures of my family? I scanned and put them on CD’s a few years ago, but I just can’t bring myself to destroy the pictures themselves. I know, however, that my children have no interest in them. They never had a relationship with my family, so to them, those pictures have no emotional ties. So will those pictures end in the landfill when I’m gone? I have considered burning them now. I also scanned Mr. Fixit’s family pictures so they will have those.

I have some old reports cards that I kept simply because they have my dad’s signature on them. Isn’t that silly? Those reports cards would have absolutely no value to anyone but me.

I think I have decided to try to sell my books and my crafty stuff. No one in the family has any interest in those things either.

As a matter of fact, there is very little in the house that the children would want. If I start getting rid of things now that I really don’t need, it will save them a lot of work, and it will save me the embarrassment of knowing that a loved one will see my not so new underwear.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright

Last evening (actually this morning) was the great meteor shower of 2012. Since in my 66 years I haven’t seen a meteor shower (the odd “shooting star” once or twice), I decided that I would see this one. Who knows if I will have the opportunity again? According to our news, it was to become visible about 2:30 am stay visible until daybreak. I thought it was a little later, but I guess I misheard the times; I started my vigil at 4:00 am. According to news sources, there were to be 60 to 70 meteors streaking through the sky every hour.

I wanted to go outside on the deck for a better view, but I didn’t want to run into the nocturnal denizens of our yard. My bedroom window faces northeast and that is the direction for the shower to pass through. I discovered that the heavenly show would be in the vicinity of the handle of the Little Dipper. It was very cold last night and many stars were visible, but I couldn’t find the Little Dipper, Draco, or any other grouping. I have never been able to tell one constellation from the other.

I stood at my window and searched the sky. I wanted to see the spectacular event! 4:15 am came and went—not one meteor. 4:30 followed with no sighting. I was getting a crick in my neck as I scanned the sky from the horizon to almost directly above the house.

Finally! At 20 minutes before 5 am, I saw it! One little lonely meteor that was visible for only a blink of the eye. I waited for another half hour but gave up seeing the celestial show that I had anticipated. At least I did see that one little gem.

I forgot to make a wish.