Down the Memory Hole…

The United States of America is in the middle of some interesting times, to say the least. I would call them troubling times, because some of the events resemble what has happened in classic novels, like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.

If you’ve read my blog before, then you are familiar with some of my views. I am very much a supporter of the U. S. Constitution, especially with regard to free speech and the right to bear arms. If you know me on a personal level, you know that I take advantage of modern technology but I am not on Facebook, I believe in personal privacy, and I am a skeptic about the ways information is shared, obtained, and(un)protected on a large scale.

I am a white, American woman of Irish, English, Scottish, Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, and Texan descent who grew up in Chicago in a mostly white, middle-class neighbor and attended a well integrated public high school and developed friendships with  people of many races. I later attended a small college in the South and travelled with a tennis team compromised of American, English, French, Yugoslavian, Russian, and South African players. I have lived in cities small, medium and large. I feel like I have benefited from the opportunities to meet and learn about people from many walks of life. I remember teammates telling me that Americans and their government were wasting a lot of time and resources on a president (Bill Clinton) who cheated repeatedly on his wife, which is apparently common (and expected) in other parts of the world, when the country should be working on other more important matters. Never has any one of these people ever mentioned being offended by a statue, or a flag, or a street name. I believe most of the people I have encountered would today say that the focus is in the wrong place. I feel that they would be right.

The thing that scares me is that I think a lot of history, American and otherwise, has already gone down the Memory Hole. Books get edited and new editions come out all the time, whether they be biographies with inconvenient facts, textbooks updated with new information (which generates revenue for the writer/publisher), the many interpretations of the Holy Bible (50 versions in English alone), and on and on and on. I remember watching the GOP debate in 2012 when Rick Perry mentioned that the hardcopy version of Mitt Romney’s Book had a few different lines that the same chapter of the paperback version of his book. a I read Barack Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father”, and the version I read in paperback referenced Frank Marshall Davis, who some believe is his real  father ( I’ll leave that up to you to research and decide), differently that the first edition Hardcover version. Even history books tell different views of the same events, not always out of deceit or bias, but due to interpretation.

My far is that removing statues also removes the chance for people to know what happened and  to see who was a part of our American history, good or bad. Taking down the statues attempts to erase events that are a part of some people’s heritage, whether we agree or not. We are slowly but surely putting history, information, and the truth down the Memory Hole so history can be taught the way some people want it to be told instead as it really happened.  Read books, research and see for yourself what the history, rather than let slanted media that are paid to present a narrative tell you what happened and what is true. I frequent get my news from alternative sources like InfoWars and Natural News, and then I do my own research. Take  time to think for yourself, and then decide what you believe and what you don’t.

 

Substandard

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

Where to begin… Everyone has a different idea about what they consider “substandard”. My idea includes second-rate, sub par, and half-ass effort. Basically, it sucks, whatever IT is. Please allow a rant, or three.

A lot of people think our president is substandard, rather I think that Congress as a whole is substandard.  I think telling the country that you will do something if given the chance but then, in essence, saying “we were just kidding” is garbage. I think that Congress said they wanted to repeal Obamacare and passed bills for years that they knew had no shot for any number of reasons, including that several of them are making money off of healthcare related investments (via stocks in Big Pharma, medical supply companies, etc). I thought this before I ever heard and Talk Radio talking heads say this.

Some people think that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Whataburger, etc. serve good, tasty food, and I disagree. I think those place serve substandard food, since most of it is cheap quality, made of GMO ingredients,  chemical-laden, and detrimental to your health. If you disagree, please watch “Supersize Me”, “Food, Inc.”, “King Corn”,  and any other more recent films that discuss the quality and health of the American food supply. I know the argument about people buying what they can afford and what is available, and I understand that food deserts do exist in many areas. However, many cities have expanded availability of farmer’s markets, which often times take food stamps (or whatever they are now called in your state) as payment. I go on this little rant because I have family and friends/co-workers with serious health issues that will cost them and the healthcare system A LOT of money throughout their lives because they refuse to make simple changes. I am not a perfect  person or eater, but I like to think that I learn from at least some of my mistakes

I think it is substandard to misrepresent yourself and your abilities, especially if you own a business that provides a services for which  people pay you a lot of money. When we renovated our newly purchased home, this was a HUGE  problem. We hired painters, with good reviews on Yelp, that couldn’t paint and we hired tile installers that either didn’t know how to grout or didn’t care about doing a good job. The end result was Husband repainting the house after we had some re-texturize the walls, and he later had to replace grout that crumbled in less than 3 months. We are looking at our options regarding the tile job and, unfortunately, the outcome of legal involvement against the painters resulted in us not owing them the result of the bill (after paying half) and them not paying us the money we wanted back for crappy work… and it ended up costing us more to fix/finish the job. Completely SUBSTANDARD!

I am not asking for much, just for people to get up everyday and do their best to be good, decent, and honest people. I make mistakes too, but I at least 90% of the time try to do what I should do as a good, decent, and honest person. I don’t think that this is asking too much.

 

Local- GO TEXAN

via Daily Prompt: Local

This month marked four years since Husband and I moved to Central Texas from the Chicago area. One of the things I love about Texas is the abundance of food, drinks, snacks, and other items that are Texan made marked with the GO TEXAN logo. You hear so much about the importance of shopping local and buying local, but Texans are fortunate in that you really can support your state  and your community economies almost every time you buy food or drinks without much conscious effort.

GO_TEXAN_mark_
GOTEXAN.ORG

Some of my favorite products include Kombucha, either Buddha’s Brew, Holy Kombucha, or Kosmic Kombucha  depending on what flavor I’m feeling. Buddha’s and Kosmic are made in Austin and Holy is made in Dallas-Fort Worth. When I indulge in an alcoholic beverage, I prefer cider and I really like Austin Eastciders Pineapple or Dry Apple.

As for food, we like to go to our local farmer’s market  on Saturday to stock up on farm-fresh, free range eggs, meat, and vegetables. Many of the farmers are from the greater Austin area, and they provide quality products verses what we would find at Whole Foods or other local grocery stores that sell products from around the country.  It’s also fun to see what new foods and vegetables are in season, and try new things.

 

 

Eating gluten-free…

I started eating gluten-free about two months ago at the advice of my NP after reviewing my lab results. I am being treated for a mild auto-immune disease with supplements, my choice rather than taking medicine, and I am trying a gluten-free diet for six months to see if it makes a difference. I believe the logic is that because a few of my hormone levels are off and my thyroid antibodies are attacking my thyroid, that I could have food sensitivities which may be reduced by eating gluten-free. However, I do not have celiac disease.

Courtesy of Cooking Light

Many friends and co-workers think that this is a really tough change for me, but it hasn’t been. I have taken the opportunity to try new foods and to try different versions of foods I already liked. With a recommendation to avoid gluten as much as I possibly can, I have been able to wave off donuts, cakes, work-related food offerings of snacks, junk and fast food, and other things I didn’t want anyway with a  polite, health-related excuse. Honestly, I prefer the gluten-free pancake mix to any other pancakes I previously ate, and I love it with real maple syrup and grass-fed butter. I eat a lot more fruit for my snacks, and I have found that three of my favorite hamburger joints, Mighty Fine, Hopdoddy, and Bare Burger (which I ate in NYC recently) serve gluten-free buns, and that my favorite salad place in downtown Austin, LEAF, has gluten-free salads and salad dressings available. I treat to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes you just want something tasty!

People have also asked if I notice anything different since I started eating gluten-free. I have lost five pounds and kept them off for almost two months. I feel less weighted down and bloated after I eat certain meals, especially pizza  on a gluten-free crust, and I feel a little more energetic and less tired than I had been feeling.  And, yes, I have seen the articles about the risks of eating a gluten-free diet unless absolutely necessary, but I feel like I am still eating a well-rounded, fairly balance diet even with the gluten-free foods that I am eating. Granted, I may inadvertently be eating some gluten due to cross-contamination, but I have avoided foods I know for sure are not gluten-free, with the exception of not knowing every ingredient in the foods I ate at my brother’s rehearsal dinner and wedding. I still did the best I could and skipped the appetizer/cocktail foods when I was told that they weren’t gluten free.

While I have made these changes, Husband has been very supportive and jumped on my bandwagon, which has helped me stay on track and us to still eat meals together. He has also made diet changes to reduce inflammation in his body, and this has helped with his back pain/arthritis/disc repair, in addition to supplements, enzymes, muscle stimulation, ointments and natural treatments, and his inversion table.

Have any of you made any diet/food changes related to health or health concerns?   Do you know of any awesome gluten-free foods to recommend? Let me know!